Reviews by Eskimoseb9
A great experienceEskimoseb9 | July 12, 2013 | Review of Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock Infinite is a beautiful experience let down by the 'game' side of things. Elizabeth is the heart and soul of the story, and in my opinion one of the best characters of this generation. She is a strong female character that stands on her own two feet, making sure the game never feels like one long escort mission. The relationship between Elizabeth and Booker, the player character, is one of the highlights of the game. My other highlight would be the graphics, which are much more stylised than photo-realistic, but nonetheless absolutely beautiful. The world itself is creative and fascinating, but complementing it with the visuals makes Columbia a wonderful world which never gets dull to explore. Exploration is a key part of the game, much like the original Bioshock, and without finding some of the hidden gold stores it can be very difficult to advance. Exploration isn't just necessary for boosting your character though, but for gleaning more out of the story. Seriously, the story is convoluted as it it, and without finding a few voxophones it would be impossible to follow. Without spoiling anything, the last half hour of Infinite sticks with you for a very long time. What is disappointing then is the fact that this wonderful story and set of characters is let down by the mediocre gun play. Vigors feel much less effective in Infinite compared to the original Bioshock, and gone is that feeling of vulnerability. Combat just becomes ammo management as you take down enemy after enemy with a series of headshots. The combat neither has the originality nor the variety to compare to the game's story. For me, the best part of the game was the opening, where you had no weapons and you were given space to explore and embrace the truly beautiful world, without the combat trying to push you on. Infinite is a game that would perhaps be more impressive if it was less of a game. The hyper violence of the boring gun play only acts as frustrating breaks in the narrative, but the story and the excellent interaction between Elizabeth and Booker are truly fantastic.
Diamond in the roughEskimoseb9 | July 12, 2013 | Review of Mirror's Edge
Mirror's Edge is a game that could easily be made a masterpiece. Get rid of the guns, that's all there is to it. It is possible to do the entire game without killing a single person, but certainly not in your first few attempts. The free running mechanics are the meat of the game, and shine very very brightly. The fact that you can see your hands and legs as you move, or the rotation of the camera as you roll, provide a great level of immersion, and make performing a successful string of moves incredibly satisfying. This paired with the oculus rift would be a unique experience. The story is largely dismissable, typical corporate conspiracy stuff, and the cut scenes were for some reason done in a weird art style, entirely different from the rest of the game. The world on the other hand is really pretty, and the texture quality especially is a level above the competition. The absolute colour themes of different buildings project the impression of a very alien and dystopian world, making running through it that much more enjoyable. The gun-play though, on its own, crashed this game, being completely dull and uninspired. No reloading, no cool free running shooting, just standing taking guards out one by one. It's really bad, and completely against the premise of the game: constant movement. I can only think it was designed to somewhat protract the length of the game, which is at best about 8 hours.The time trials are fun, and come much closer to the game's core, but unfortunately they are full of dud times made by hackers, making aiming for the top spots almost impossible. Overall, Mirror's Edge is a hesitant experiment that took loads of cool ideas executed impressively well, then tried to add gun play to entice the FPS loving masses. Definitely worth checking out though, Mirror's Edge is unique and at its heart, fun - a breath of fresh air that holds lots of promise. I can't wait to see what they pull out for (open world!) Mirror's Edge 2.
A wonderful game if you love claustrophobiaEskimoseb9 | July 12, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex: Invisible War
I loved Deus Ex, so I bought Invisible War because I couldn't believe all the negative reviews it had gotten. I was so disappointed to find that it is inferior in nearly every way to the original. Obviously, the graphics are superior to DX1, but aren't anything special even for the time. The reason for this is the game was designed around the Xbox's architecture, and this posed a problem for the entire game. Remember the first time you encounter enemies in DX1? You're on the huge Liberty Island. one of the greatest opening levels to a game ever. This time however, the game starts you on a bloody basketball court. Level design in this game is completely inferior to both the other DX games, and I genuinely felt claustrophobic on occasions, which has never happened to me before. The game play is much more dumbed down compared to the first game, giving you much less room to make your own path through a level, purely down to the Xbox's memory limitations (and down forget the tell-tale radial menu. No well designed PC game should have one.) The only area I think Invisible War contends with the original is in the story. The game is much shorter than the other game, taking about 15 hours to beat, another strike against it. The story however does diverge, and allows you to make much more significant story choices than the first game did. This contributes somewhat to its replay value, since you can play the game again with an entirely different story path, but it still does not make up in any way for the lazy game play I wish this game had simply not been a DX game, it would stand on its own feet much better than as a member of the DX franchise. I seriously recommend you steer clear of this game if you want to keep your opinion of Deus Ex intact.
FlawlessEskimoseb9 | June 14, 2013 | Review of Assassin's Creed 2 Deluxe Edition
I love this game completely, and give it a 100 because I don't think it has any real flaws. Ezio is a wonderful character, and his developement is really well implemented. Even if Brotherhood and Revelations were progressively worse games than AC2, Ezio remained strong. AC2 is unadulterated fun, and everything from the climbing mechanics to the combat system were as enjoyable now as they were when the game came out. The highlight of the game though has to be the locations, which are still the best of the AC series - in my opinion Venice is the most beautiful real life location ever created in a game. After playing it for 100 hours I still go back to play AC2, because everything about the game tied together perfectly.
Pure funEskimoseb9 | June 14, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2
Borderlands 2 is all about the guns, but by chance happens to have an exciting story, fun shooting mechanics and great cel-shaded graphics (the pc version has one of the best video option menus I've seen in a game).
Each player class is different and fun to use, and work together very well in co-op. I enjoyed playing Borderlands 2 on my own just as much as I did with friends though, and would recommend either way. My first playthrough lasted 50 hours, making the game excellent value. The guns are all exciting to use, and are incredibly varied, with every manufacturer and gun type contributing to different shooting and reload animations. I just loved how zany some guns could get - a shotgun that shoots flaming ricocheting bullets is relatively mundane in BL2. Any fans of loot-fests (Diablo) looking for a fun and not-too serious shooter should definitely give this a try.
Not quite as good as OblivionEskimoseb9 | June 14, 2013 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Without a doubt, Skyrim is an immersive and expansive fantasy game, featuring numerous improvements over Oblivion in graphics and combat (which is no longer like swinging swords until you or your enemy die). Magic especially is very entertaining, with the ability to fire dual handed spells a welcome addition. What I think it lacks though over Oblivion is the same sense of character. The landscape of Oblivion was colourful and varied while Skyrim's snowy peaks and duller colour palette make for a more realistic world, but also for a less vibrant one. Quest lines felt smaller, with a lower replay value - I spent 70 hours playing Skyrim and completed nearly everything I felt I want to. By contrast I spent over 100 hours on Oblivion, and still felt there was much left to explore. Skyrim is still a beautiful and epic game, but for the best Elder Scrolls experience, I would still play Oblivion.
Never gets dullEskimoseb9 | June 14, 2013 | Review of Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs is open world at its most refined, blending the best elements of a variety of genres to make a fun, if not entirely original, action game. The voice acting and dialogue is top notch, making full use of the talented cast, but just as important is the story, which is powerful and gripping to the very end. Game play is a must in any open world game, and Sleeping Dogs really doesn't skimp, successfully blending entertaining car mechanics (courtesy of Need for Speed programmers), well realised hand-to-hand combat, and a surprisingly fun bullet time shooting mechanics too. Overall highly recommended - good fun with a high replay value very well optimised for the pc.
A short but sweet experienceEskimoseb9 | June 10, 2013 | Review of Dishonored
Great stealth mechanics and an atmospheric steampunk universe make Dishonored a must-play for any fans of the stealth action genre, including Deus Ex. Unfortunately, unlike Deus Ex this game can be completed in 10 hours non-lethal, and even less lethal. Ultimately a great introduction to a new IP, with good replay that makes up for the short game length.