Reviews by ChrisRARC

92

XCOM Enemy Unknown: Infinite replayability, Meaningful choices

ChrisRARC | Nov. 11, 2013 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM EU puts you in the shoes of a base and battlefield commander, taking on missions around the globe with a team of 6 operatives to combat the unknown alien threat. It is equal parts turn-based strategy and base operations planning, the former being a glorious slugfest against ever increasingly potent enemies and the latter an easy to understand base set-up game that encourages planning ahead to maximize building adjacency bonuses and tech tree unlocks.

The game is infinitely replayable thanks to alternative upgrades, dozens of maps, mutators to the campaign, and variable difficulty modes that are mitigated somewhat by the ability to quick load a save every time an operative bites it.

Your choices on soldier abilities have impact because choosing one route usually locks out the other. You have limited funding and have to juggle weapons and armor production and research and base expansion.

With the upcoming Enemy Within expansion set to release, now is a great time for anyone who fancies turn-based action RPGs to hop in and see what the fuss is all about.

95

Borderlands 2 - good time sink alone, a blast with friends

ChrisRARC | Nov. 3, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2

This game is meant to be played with a friend. If you solo alone you can make good progress into the various campaigns. But ultimate vault hunter mode will prove a challenge and you will inevitably need to call in some support to help you out in times where your gear is inferior.

Pros include awesome looking guns with special effects, progressively harder and varied enemy types to face, tons of quests with good writing to tackle, and a deep skill customization system that let you trick out your character to your playstyle. And with the released DLCs, you can be hooked for hundreds of hours like I was!

85

Shooting distilled down to its core

ChrisRARC | Oct. 23, 2013 | Review of Call of JuarezĀ®: Gunslinger

Call of Juarez returns to the Wild West after its disastrous previous outing. The mechanics are simple yet fun to learn. You have to manage your ammo count, slo-mo reflexes and the bullet dodge mechanic.

The narrator does a great job of telling you what's going on in his mind and it is a novel way of telling the story as it happens, with flashbacks and corrections taking place with no interruptions.

Duels are a nice gimmick, since they are simple and don't take very long, yet ramp up the tension towards the end of the level with a nice mexican standoff. I highly recommend it if you like arcade shooters like Bulletstorm.