Walking into the ruins of New York for the first time is a visceral experience. It’s a beautifully designed and well executed dystopia. Individually rendered grass, leaning skyscrapers, gorged and festooned with jungle.
At some point, perhaps in the middle of a gun battle against bandits protected by shields reinforced with angry midgets or while firing your talking sniper rifle that guilt-trips you whenever you fell any of your disposable foes out for your equally disposable head, you realize that sanity was thankfully left off of the “things to include in our game” checklist. Every other mission presents you with a ridiculous goal or scenario of utter parody – a favorite being a mission to shoot an evil sheriff without killing her deputy – and if you tried counting the myriad pop-culture references and shout outs in the quest text, throw away lines of dialogue, and background art alone, you’d end up with a number higher than the national debt.
GCI’s extreme customization options are nice, but aside from the “psychological profiles” option rewarding play styles that match disorders found in the DSM-IV, it’s not that unique. No, the big meaty difference here are the slipshod, homebrew gadgets that each of the imposters employ. From springy moon-boots, a pop-out hang glider, and a hand-cranked grapple gun, all of Batman’s traversal gadgets are present in a garage built form.
The First and Foremost Frontier. LAST TIME I was discussing time, and how the usage of it, and specifically how the developers of Dark Souls and Skyrim let players manipulate time, reflected a core difference of focus and design philosophy. Letting the player have any modicum of control over the […]
Improbably well-informed terrorists, led by an improbably super villainish man named Vladimir Makarov, have initiated World War 3 by installing a war ready Ultranationalist party to take control of Russia (MW1), and then used false flag terrorist attacks to goad them into invading the United States ala Red Dawn (MW2). Now it’s up to the player to take control of various soldiers (some of whom will perish) in order to wrest Soviet control of America’s eastern seaboard and traipse around the world trying to prevent the war from going all-out nuclear while it still rages throughout Europe.
At the end of the day and the game, the gestalt of Deus Ex: Human Revolution still works. All of the individual parts, while disparate in nature and wildly varying in quality, come together to create an experience far greater than any individual aspect. In fact, I’m going to reveal the biggest reason for this viewpoint: I can’t put this game down.
No, wait I was right the first time: Shame on you, Duke Nukem development teams! You fooled us again! Where’s the real game? The one actually worth fifteen years of our time and yours? Alright, I won’t be too harsh on this point (others already have already beaten me to it), but Duke Nukem Forever simply isn’t worth the time it’s taken to make. I’m not sure what could be worth such a prolapsed cycle, but it sure isn’t this.
What’s a publisher to do when faced with the fact that gamers across the world have shot, stabbed and blown up pretty much any decent faceless, non-morally ambiguous enemy in the oversaturated first person shooter genre? After all, what hasn’t been done?
The other thing a war-porn game must deliver is a satisfying experience of fictional warfighting. Thankfully, Killzone 3 delivers on that, and in spades. Space-Soldiers and Space-Nazis alike gun each other down with thrilling intensity. The clatter and bang of assault rifles and the dull thump of grenades and explosions establish an aural impact to match the game’s gorgeous presentation.
It’s time to say goodbye to the Halo franchise because, if nothing else, Halo: Reach proves that even Bungie can run out of ideas. Halo: Reach has the most lackluster campaign so far in the First-Person Shooter series, a ho-hum series of skirmishes with no point, no characters of consequence, and of no real significance to the rest of the series.
No matter how much you might want to love the game out of nostalgia or give it a pass for being in a series of pedigree, you’ll have to face the truth: Metroid has jumped the shark . . . or at least bomb-jumped over Mother Brain.