Reviews by Guardian412

80

The Nightmarish Adventures of Dr. Albert Tokaj

Guardian412 | Dec. 12, 2013 | Review of Afterfall Insanity Extended Edition

A pretty good low budget indie horror game, which is mixing the gameplay of Dead Space with the worlds of Fallout and Metro 2033, with the melee weapon usage of Condemned: Criminal Origins, and the psychological storytelling of Spec Ops: The Line. As it's a low budget game, it has it's faults, namely the weak voice overs and the writing also should be polished here and there as the dialogues are awkward sometimes, but it was an entertaining game. You can identify with the character, who has reminded me for the strange mix of Isaac Clark and Gordon Freeman. Afterfall: Insanity is't too long, about 7-8 hours, but I liked the twisted, even if sometimes predictible storyline.

92

Welcome Isaac Clarke aboard the CMS Terra Nova

Guardian412 | Sept. 9, 2013 | Review of Dead Space 3: Awakened (NA)

Now this is how a DLC must look like. It's scary, it has a great story, continues right where DS3 has ended, it has few weapon mods, and it's scary... hmmm, did I mention, that it's scary? The only negative thing what I can tell about it that it's short, about two hours on hard difficulty (Yes, I'm that masochist. But I played System Shock 2 on impossible after all, so playing these games on hard difficulty is a tradition. It's good for my heart. :) ). Unlike the Mass Effect series, Dead Space is true to it's voice since the very first episode and the whole story is consistent since the story has started onboard the U.S.G. Ishimura, continued on the Sprawl and then ended on Tau Volantis and now, onboard the C.M.S. Terra Nova. This DLC is a great conclusion, the real and perfect ending for DS3. Dead Space 3 is one of the most underrated games of 2013 and after DS3: Awakened's ending I'm looking forward to Dead Space 4.

92

Traverse the Aranoi Desert!

Guardian412 | Sept. 2, 2013 | Review of Dungeon Siege 3: Treasures of the Sun

Dungeon Siege 3: Treasures of the Sun is easily one of the best DLCs on the RPG market. It has everything a real DLC should have, a new and long storyline, brand new enemies and contents, higher levels, tougher enemies, crafting and three new ultimate skills. The DLC, which is taking place in the Aranoi Desert is about 4-5 hours long and regardless it's playing in a desert, it's well detailed, the story is well told, some of the bosses, or even minions are very-very challenging and the whole quest is very entertaining from the beginning to the end. The three new ultimate skills are also giving a great a change in the gameplay, which became easily my favorite add-on for the core game. The story fits well into the main storyline, however the DLC storyline doesn't have any effect for the ending of the core game, what I've found a bit unfortunate. But regardless of this Dungeon Siege 3: Treasures of the Sun is similar to Titan Quest's Immortal Throne DLC. It has everything what a DLC should have and it is a great add-on for a great game.

91

For the10th Legion!

Guardian412 | Sept. 2, 2013 | Review of Dungeon Siege III

Dungeon Siege 3 is a game what I hated first, mostly because of the weirdo controls, but by time, as I got used to it, it is became a very-very enjoyable game. With it's great atmosphere it sucks you so easily. The world is well detailed, the story, which is building from the usual fantasy cliches, is well told and has enough twists to keep you entertained until the very end. Dungeon Siege 3 is relatively long game, which has a very good consequence system, similar to Dragon Age: Origins. Here, in the end you'll truly see the result of your game descisions. The game itself is relatively long one. According to Steam it took me 24 hours to beat all the missions, along with the 4-5 hours long DLC, which is a must for this game as it's easily one of the best DLCs on the RPG market, has a similar content and quality like Titan Quest: Immortal Throne. Dungeon Siege 3 is not a brainless hack and slash game, but during many battles, especially during the DLC missions you have to adapt and use different strategies to defeat the enemy. The game itself is beautiful, even by today's standards. You can't create your own character, but the four characters and their skills are great for this game, especially as each four of them will be part of the story and will be your party member by time regardless which character you chose as your main character.

Dungeon Siege 3 is a great game for casual and RPG fans alike. It's not the Dungeon Siege you may know as it's quite different than DS1 or 2, but if you give a chance for this game, if you let it to suck you with it's atmosphere and good storytelling, you'll enjoy the war against Jayne Kassynder and her dreaded army, and the revelations you'll make as the member of the 10th legion.

91

Agent Carter, report to the Skyranger hangar at once!

Guardian412 | Aug. 27, 2013 | Review of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a great game regardless what the mainstream reviewers says. Actually I enjoyed this game much better than most of the recent releases. It has an interesting, twisted and long storyline, a polished gameplay, good missions, great skills, well designed tactical controls and authentic atmosphere. Some says the game could have been better. Yes, just like every game. Some parts of it could be different, such I would enjoy an open world exploration and more side missions. Or more interaction with the base staff. But as I look back, I enjoyed every moment of this game, regardless I wasn't able to discover every house, or couldn't interact with much elements on the levels. It takes about 20 hours to finish the main storyline, so it's also a very long game considering it's a tactical TPS game. The only two real cons are the higher system requirements which is unusual for the Unreal engine and the A.I. could have been better here and there. But if you get used to the tactical control and get the real taste of The Bureau, you'll like it. If you loved XCom: Enemy Unknown and if you'd like to know what leaded to the foundation of XCom organization, or if you want to play in the XCom universe from a different perspective, The Buraeu is a great game to do this. It has an interesting premise, a great atmosphere set in the 1960s Cold War Era, a very long gametime, interesting skills and sometimes very-very hard missions and tough enemies. Even if it's a TPS, you have ti use similar tactics what you used in XCom: Enemy Unknown. The Bureau is a great and challenging game, what I bravely recommend it to those who love longer storylines and challenging battles.

91

Planet X and the Flying Saucers!

Guardian412 | Aug. 18, 2013 | Review of Unstoppable Gorg

I love tower defense games and I love the atmosphere of the 1940-50s sci-fis and Unstoppable Gorg is offering both at once. The game is very simple, your defense system has to protect your starship or planet and defeat the waves of incoming UFOs and other aliens. It can be a very-very challenging at times, - even if you've played with various tower defense games before -, but victory is never impossible. The great and polished gameplay, the charming visuals, the various difficulty levels and the loveable, so old school, funny retro cutscenes are making the Unstoppable Gorg to one of the best, but foremost one of the most memorable tower defense games. Ed Wood would have been really proud for the storywriters. :)

89

Junk, junk everywhere!

Guardian412 | Aug. 18, 2013 | Review of Deponia

Deponia is an excellent presentation that if you tell a story well, you can turn a highly unlikeable hero into a likeable character. By time. The art style and the presentation of Deponia, - the world of Junk -, is great, the supporting characters are all memorable and the whole story is filled with a unique, but likeable humor and funny dialogues. The only reason why I don't give 90+ for this game is the very beginning. Honestly, I didn't like Rufus at all in the first ~30 minutes or so and I wanted to shot him after the first few dialogues, sentences and actions. But I'm glad I didn't uninstall the game after the first impression as by time he became a very likeable character. If you can survive the first few minutes, you'll enjoy Rufus' story from the beginning to the end. And the World of Deponia deserves this chance.

85

Be a Space Pirate! Join now!

Guardian412 | Aug. 18, 2013 | Review of Star Wolves 3: Civil War Cap

Star Wolves 3 is my favorite in the sci-fi RTS/RPG hybrid Star Wolves series. The game has a very long storyline, interesting and very hard and challenging missions, lots of ships, weapons and upgrades to purchase, a huge sandbox like universe. But unfortunately it also has some flaws. The general problem is that other than the primary missions, unfortunately there is very little to do in most of systems and because of that, it feels a bit dragged sometimes. The game also has zero voice acting, so if you don't like games without voice overs, this game is not for you. However the game is very-very addictive as it is capable to grab your attention for hours or even days as you're slowly evolving from a Space Tug driver to a real Space Pirate who is managing their own tiny fleet, and if you're not looking for the faults of the game, you won't even notice there is any, and will enjoy the ride. If you're an experienced space RTS fan, I highly recommend it as Star Wolves 3 is a very good game in a genre which is almost non-existent, and if there wouldn't be a Homeworld or a Nexus, this would be one of the bests. Despite it's flaws, give it a chance as it's real gem.

91

Trick or Treat!

Guardian412 | Aug. 18, 2013 | Review of Costume Quest

Costume Quest is a creative and adorable Halloween themed adventure game that carefully combines turn-based battles with small RPG elements. It comes with a great DLC, Grubbins on Ice, The game has an adorable story, cute characters and story which is filled with little morsels of in-jokes, clever dialogues and some truly imaginative scenarios and visuals. It is a short, easy game that plays like some sort of Final Fantasy-lite. Yet, it's the best, smartest and unfortunately shortest game Double Fine presumably has ever made. It is surprisingly fun despite it's childish appearance.

94

Clementine? Where are you, Clementine?!

Guardian412 | Aug. 18, 2013 | Review of The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is one of the best example that if you can tell a story well with interesting and well developed characters and good dialogues, everything else can be a secondary element, even the gameplay. TWD is not really an adventure game, but mostly an interactive movie which is told extremely well. The episodic presentation is great, so as the cartoonish cell shaded art which is giving an excellent atmosphere for this game. My only problem is that the choices are too illusive and doesn't have real effect on most parts of the game. Yes, some choices has interesting effects, but most of them are just an illusion. But if you can accept this, you'll definitely enjoy this five episode long story. Honestly, after the hype this game got, I didn't want to like it at all. I don't like overhyped and highly praised games as most of those are just a well created marketing campaign with a zero product behind them. But The Walking Dead is one of those rare examples which completely deserves all the praising, all the awards, all the hype. It's one of the very rare examples where you can and will love the main or even the secondary characters. All their motives are clear, all their dialogues are fantastic, all their emotions are so real. I highly recommend this game to those who can enjoy and love character centric stories and a great storytelling as The Walking Dead is one of the finest in it's genre.

94

Royal Treasure Hunter Wanted!

Guardian412 | Aug. 18, 2013 | Review of King's Bounty: The Legend

King's Bounty: The Legend is one of the finest remake of it's time and it is a well polished game with great replay value. It is a game what people of every age, - people with a young soul -, may love as it has a true fairy tale charm which is capable to grab you right from the beginning with its art and music, and then addictive gameplay, to then never let you go. A hero (a.k.a. Royal Treasure Hunter), a long fantasy fairy tale adventure (a.k.a. the Quest), dark woods, caves and icy plains to discover, a brave tiny army and hundres of evil enemies to face in a great Turn Based Strategy / chess-like game. The game itself is very long one with plenty areas to discover and dozens or even a hundred quests to complete. There's a lot to like in King's Bounty: The Legend as it is highly entertaining and a very-very-very addictive strategy and adventure game, which is successfully mixing the 21st century values with the design elements and atmosphere of the games of the 1990s.

94

Welcome aboard the Queen Zenobia!

Guardian412 | Aug. 18, 2013 | Review of Resident Evil: Revelations

Resident Evil: Revelations is finally returning to the survival horror roots of the series as instead of the action, here the emphasis is on survival. Unlike RE6, you really have to watch for your ammo and health kits as you're slowly revealing the deadly secrets of the sea liner Queen Zenobia. While the game was originally a 3DS title, the port is pretty descent and almost flawless. The twisted storytelling, and it's episodic, Alan Wake like presentation is refreshing and great, so as some of the supporting characters. However this episode has also some of the worst supporting characters. But nothing you can't handle, so you may get used to them by time. Honestly, I liked RE:E better than RE6. The storyline, the old school survival horror atmosphere is great. But unfortunately the good episodic presentation and the cruise liner setting also comes with a price, namely the game is shorter than most of the previous RE episodes. While RE4 and RE6 was around 16-20+ hours long, Resident Evil: Revealtions is only 7-8 hours. If you're a Resident Evil fan, it's a mandatory purchase. RE:E is similar to Resident Evil 4's gameplay, while it is capable to give you the true survival horror atmosphere of Resident Evil 2. This game is highly recommended!

93

Highly recommended

Guardian412 | April 1, 2013 | Review of Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil 6 is an interesting game, because it gave me the worst first impression ever with it's Prelude and Tutorial level, which is almost all about QTEs, and what is worse, you don't get any main menu until you don't finish this 10-15 minutes long part. There I wanted to uninstall the game, mostly because I don't really like QTEs. But then I gave a second chance few days later and I didn't regret it.

After the very bad first impression, regardless I still haven't finished it, I have to say that Resident Evil 6 is a very good game and I'm glad I gave a second chance for it. The first three campaigns out of the four are very-very long, about 20-25 hours and the I haven't started the fourth yet. Each of them is very different, regardless the storyline of each of them is connecting here and there. The first campaign, Leon and Helena's is horror with many QTE elements and a challenging main enemy (And a great mini-boss, which was my favorite maybe from all the Resident Evil games.). The second campaign, Chris and Piers' is an action filled campaign with less QTE, but with one very hard segment close to the end (Namely the last chapter of this campaign, Chapter 5, one of the very few places where the camera handling goes insane. Here, let the mouse go, if you play with mouse and keyboard and use the mouse only when you have to slide and shoot, other than that release it and use the keyboard only so you may pass this part much easier. If you touch the mouse, the camera goes insane at key places and it's impossible to finish the level.). The main enemy is not that hard, regardless this one is a very challenging campaign, mostly because of the lack of ammo and the high number of enemies. And the third campaign, Jake and Sherry's is a good adventure, with a nice balance of the first two campaigns, with a well designed main enemy which reminded me for Nemesis from Resident Evil 3. Don't have a clue what the fourth campaign is as I haven't started Ada's campaign yet, but if I have to guess, knowing Ada's character, it will be a stealth campaign, which will connect all three campaign storylines together.

The story for the first three campaigns are great and diverse by the way and the setting, so as the visuals are all great. The old characters, Leon, Chris and Sherry are well developed, so as the story connecting to them, and the new characters, Helena, Piers and Jake are also very memorable as each of the characters has a very good character development throughout the chapters. And you may play with all six, which is also offering different gameplay. The weapons are great, so as the close combat which is very good if you master it, and the upgradeable skills are also very useful. The dialogues are a bit cheesy sometimes, but we're talking about a horror-action-adventure game hybrid after all, so it fits perfectly. The storytelling, the directing and the detailed cutscenes are the usual Resident Evil / Capcom quality. The soundtrack is great and different for each campaign. The OST is about 4CDs long by the way and it has some really nice tracks.

Resident Evil 6, while it's different than the previous episodes, it is a very long and quality "4 in 1", fine and highly entetaining game, emphasis on the word "entertaining" as this is what a game should do in the reality, entertain people. And if I should compare this game to the movies, THIS is Resident Evil and not those movies we can see in the theaters. And Resident Evil 6 is offering four, 7-9 hours long playable movies in one. The port is a quality port, if we don't count the camera handling in the fifth chapter of Chris and Piers' Campaign (See the solution above so you may pass that part easier instead of gathering 70+ deaths as I did during that one tiny scene.). This game is different than the previous episodes, but maybe it's not a problem at all. If you're open for the new things, you get a new, very long and twisted story, presented from four completely different perspectives and levesl, along with new environments, challenges and new characters and gameplay to discover. Resident Evil 6 is a highly recommended game. Give it a try!

70

A non-mainstream review

Guardian412 | Feb. 13, 2013 | Review of Aliens: Colonial Marines

Contrary to the popular belief Aliens: Colonial Marines is not a bad game. It won't change the world, it's not a miracle, but it's a game for Alien fans. I read the most of the mainstream reviews about the game, but I hardly agree with them. Reason; every single mistake they told is also available in other games. Bad A.I.? You won't see a different A.I. in a Call of Duty or Medal of Honor either (The very same what the A.I. of those games, mixed with scriped events. No surprise here.). Linear level design? We have the same in almost every single game since the beginning of the 21st century? The story is weak? It's not an award winning storyline, but it's authentic and not aimed for brainwashing propaganda, but aimed to entertain you. NPCs stuck into the walls? You also find this in every AAA mainstream games. So officially these are the bad sides of the game, the very same mistakes you may find every mainstream pushed AAA conveyor belt game. Now the only real bad side of the game is the graphics, as yep, it's ugly in 2013. I just wish there would be a texture or graphic update as the Aliens vs. Predator 2010 was much prettier. But it's very authentic. The Sulaco, Headley's Hope, the Alien Derelict, each of their corridors, rooms are recognizable from the movies. The story is a standard, average storyline, but what would you expect from a story where you know everything already. Do you want to be scared? How to scare someone if you do know who is coming at you and when? And still, the aliens may stalk and attack you unexpected. The controls are also no different than any other FPS games and comparing to Aliens vs. Predator 2010, this one is not that sluggish, but works better.

Did I enjoy the game? Yes, regardless the ending is disappointing a bit, but if you ever played with any of the AAA games in the past, you won't see any difference as those endings are disappointing as well. Aliens: Colonial Marines is not a long game, took about eight-nine hours on hardened difficulty, but I also love to go slow to explore and look around a bit, gather the collectibles and such. The game itself won't change the world. Should it be better? Yes. Definitely, especially as it was developed for five years or more. But is it a bad game? No, especially as all the mistakes you may find here, you also find in every single AAA games, one by one, highly praised by the mainstream media. The only two differences between those games and this one; #1; this one is not pretty at all, #2, this one is trying to entertain you instead to tell a propaganda storyline. But that's the essence of games, to entertain you and Aliens is capable to do that, especially if you love this universe. And Aliens: Colonial Marines feels more of a game, than a combat simulator. So, if you love the world of Aliens, if you love games, emphasis on games, I strongly advice to do not listen the mainstream reviews, but give it a try to this game. I know I won't win a popularity contest with my review, nor with my opinion, as these days it's trendy to trash everything what others are trashing, especially by the biassed mainstream reviewers. But reviews are about personal experiences and not about popularity. And regardless it has its faults, if I compare this game with other games, it has the very-very same faults as other AAA games have; from the glitchy, poor A.I., to the linear level design, to the short gametime and such. Personally I enjoyed Aliens: Colonial Marines and I'm bravely give 70% for it.

90

Descent into The Cave

Guardian412 | Feb. 9, 2013 | Review of The Cave

The Cave is an interesting little game, even if it seems a little short for the first playthrough, which will take about 4 hours. But for the game's luck it was designed for multiple playthrough, namely about three. The game is offering you seven characters to play with, three with each of the playthrough - and each of the character stories has two endings depending on your final choice - Redemption or Corruption, making the possible endings to fourteen in overall. As you descend into The Cave with your three characters, you'll learn their stories one by one, so as you've to live the key moments of their lives and solve the riddles you'll face each time. Other than the basic levels, each character has a character-specific level, which is making the different playthroughs different with each of them. The game is a platformer adventure game with fine and relatively hard puzzles at times, but none of them are illogical, nor impossible. You just have to use your mind, especially as there is no hint throughout the game at all, which reminds me for the golden era of computer games. The cute cartoonish artistic design, so as the storytelling is great and also funny. My only problem was the controls, namely the jumping feature. The game is offering you two different controls, keyboard+mouse or keyboard only, but somehow the keyboard only control is a bit sluggish when you have to jump, which is making the jumps a bit annoying at times. Other than that the game is great mix of Trine like platforming gameplay and puzzle solving and old fashioned adventure games. The replayability is also expanding the otherwise short playtime, and in this case the replayability is more than mandatory, as otherwise you won't learn the story of all seven characters. The Cave is a low budget, but so great indie-like game from Double Fine and if you love platformers, so as adventure games and storytelling, this game is a unique experience and a mandatory purchase.

92

Welcome Isaac Clarke on Tau Volantis

Guardian412 | Feb. 7, 2013 | Review of Dead Space 3: Limited Edition

Dead Space 3 continues the story of Engineer Isaac Clarke, starts years after the storyline of Dead Space 2, and it is the great conclusion to a great sci-fi horror trilogy. The game has changed a lot since we last time played in this universe and lived the horrors of both the USG Ishimura and the Sprawl. First and most important change is the length of the game. Dead Space 3 has the length of the first two games altogether. It took me about 14 hours 11 minutes to finish on normal difficulty, but, and here comes the twist, I accidentaly missed some optional quests and areas. Yep, the game is not that linear anymore, but you may complete side missions parallel with the main quest and I haven't tried the co-operative mode, which will definitely expand the gametime, so as the storyline a bit. The game has the dark atmosphere of DS1 and DS2, even if its not that scary anymore. But the horror genre is not and never was about scaring the hell out of people, but to present the darkest corner of the mind. And Dead Space 3 is still one of the bests in this, to present a situation what you wouldn't want to live if you would be in Clarke's place, but would ran far away instead. Dead Space 3 is still a horror game, even if its different than the first episode. However comparing to my all time favorite, System Shock 2, Dead Space never was that scary. :)

The environment, so as the whole design of the game is great and flawless, merging the first two games altogether perfectly, especially as it plays on both land / station and in space / spaceship environments in about a 60-40%. Personally this was a huge surprise to me as from the advertisements and trailers I thought it will play only on the icy planet of Tau Volantis. Well, I was dead wrong. The storyline is maybe the strongest of all three as it finally explains everything, and unlike Mass Effect 3, Dead Space 3 is doing this right. As it's a horror story, don't expect class A twists, however there are few great one, so as explanation. But you may expect a class A storytelling instead, along with great characters, narration and voice acting. Only the final conclusion, the final boss fight and the ending feels a bit vague, similar to DS1 and DS2. But basically the whole game is a hell of a ride, a very long one. Is it better than Dead Space 1? Yes and nope. Yes, because it's not that repetaive, but nope, because as you already know what a Necromorph is, you already won't feel that thrill and mystery you've felt in the first episode. Is it better than Dead Space 2? Most definitely, especially as DS3 has optional side missions and great weapon crafting, which will feel a bit strange and alien for the first time, but by time you'll get used to it. However there is one huge problem with weapon crafting, namely the balance. If you find the right combination, the basic weapon will do just fine from the beginning to the end of the game, and honestly, I used a well upgraded basic welder and a probe rifle, what is a quest item, almost throughout the whole game. I didn't felt the necessity to craft new weapons as to me it was enough to craft the old ones and boost them to the maximum. So this part, while it's damned good, as there are hundreds of possibilites for the weapons, but its also bad as if you find the right combination, even the most basic weapon, the iconic welder is quite enough.

Honestly I don't have a clue why the mainstream reviewers don't like this game as this time EA and Visceral did the conclusion of a trilogy damned right. So in my opinion, if you love horror-sci-fi games, if you ever loved this series, Dead Space 3 is highly-highly recommended game not just for every Dead Space fans, but for people who want to play a good game. I gave 93% for the first episode, I gave 91% for the second, so I believe Dead Space 3 deserves a solid 92%.

30

Worst in the series

Guardian412 | Feb. 7, 2013 | Review of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

Red Alert 3 is a fine example what happens if a classic strategy game turns to mainstream. The original Red Alert was one of the finest cold war strategy games, mixed with an interesting fictive story and a unique and so great atmosphere where you was almost touch the tension. Red Alert 3 however is a joke, a game which is a comedy and does not have any of these elements at all. The strategy part is even worse as here one major strategy exists; mass production and flood victory. I still remember the times when in Red Alert I needed to fight against overwhelming Russian tanks with only a handful of Apaches and that one required skill, especially in multiplayer. Here; whover clicks faster, builds the greater army, wins, regardless what you do and how you do. There is no true balance in the game, but it applies the stone-paper-scissors game mechanics scheme on the very-very basic level. The missions are boring and there is a cooperative mode, which is making it even worse, especially if you play it in solo. The story of Red Alert 3 is a joke and you can't take it seriously. The actors and actresses, while many of them are B movie actors, none of them are better than the noname actors of the original Red Alert. Their dialogues and the whole story line is a joke. And I'd like to know who the hell figured out that you have to play with Pink tanks in the tutorial. This game is a joke and not in good sense. If you ever loved the original Red Alert, or even Red Alert 2, avoid this title as far as you can.

69

We're the 10th Legion and we love to borrow ideas

Guardian412 | Feb. 4, 2013 | Review of Dungeon Siege III

Dungeon Siege 3 feels just like Space Siege Redux, a game which is intended to be unique, had some great ideas, but its a prime example how things may go wrong during development. While the story starts interesting and also has potential, the gameplay, the awkward and a bit useless console inventory and the linear levels turns the sweet to sour. Just like Space Siege, unfortunately Dungeon Siege III is also trying to borrow many things from other games, while its leaving it's original roots behind. It wouldn't be a problem, if it would work. Unfortuately it doesn't. While the four characters that with you can play are colorful, the art design is great, the music, especially the main theme is very atmospheric, somehow all of them can't create an overall great and unique picture, what the designers intended to create. Something is missing and you'll feel it throughout the game. It is a relatively long, about 20-22 hours, but unfortunately it turns flat in the first hours. Dungeon Siege III would be a good game, if it wouldn't run under the name Dungeon Siege, and if it would be more unique instead of borrowing ideas from other games. But it does, and comparing to the previous episodes, its a bit disappointing. Still it's better than the sci-fi edition of Dungeon Siege, Space Siege, which has fallen into the very same mistakes. However if you've never played with Dungeon Siege before, but if you love Action-RPGs, give Dungeon Siege 3 a try. I won't say that it's the best in the genre, as it's far from it, but it's far from being the worst. If you're patient, the story may drive you from the beginning to the end. Don't expect too much.and you may enjoy it.

90

Mini Lara's Great Adventure

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is an interesting and refreshing take in the Tomb Raider franchise as instead of playing in TPS view, you're controlling Mini Lara from a distant 3D perspective on her next great journey. The game is more of an action platformer and much faster paced than the previous episodes in the series, yet you still have to think a lot if you want to complete the chapters. The other interesting improvement as the cooperative mode where you may also play with the Mayan Guardian of Light, Mini Totec, to along with Mini Lara, stop the evil Mini Spirit, Mini Xolotl (With the exception of the cutscenes, each of them are "mini" in the game, thanks to the distant perspective. :) ). The game's story is nothing special, yet it decent enough for this title and will keep you entertained on the about 8-10 hours long campaign. The levels are great, detailed and beautiful, has plenty secrets to discover. The narration and voices overs are all high quality, so as the gameplay which is easy to play, but hard to master, especially if you want to get all the achievements. If you ever loved the Tomb Raider games and platformer games, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is for you.

88

Legendary episode of a Legendary series

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Tomb Raider: Legend DNS

Tomb Raider: Legend is the seventh in the Tomb Raider series, and the first one which is finally brought back the flawless controls with some upgrade, and well known tomb and maze exploration which was the trademark of the series, but slowly vanished by time. The storyline is decent, but don't expect great twists and turns, - however the storyline never was the strength of the series. And while the game itself is one of the best in the series, and it has the best and most beautiful menu themes of all, Tomb Raider: Legend suffers the problems of the games of the 21st century; it's too mainstream, too linear and too easy. Legend is a classic, a true legend in the series, and with a reason, and while the game is great, as I played Tomb Raider: Legend after Tomb Raider: Anniversary, - which is the remake of the first episode, but was relased after this title -, I have to say that Legend feels too short and way too easy comparing to Anniversary.

91

It takes a strong man to deny what's right in front of him

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Spec Ops: The Line dns

Spec Ops: The Line is a solid and very average third person shooter with very memorable characters and a relatively short, 5-7 hours, but grim, challenging, twisted and grown-up psyhological story to tell, reflecting the true horrors and madness of war where you won't meet with heroes, only the casualties and the pain of war. In this game you'll experience and live hellish events which takes a strong man to deny what's right in front of him, so as one of the catch phrase of the game says. While the game doesn't offer anything new in the genre, the gameplay is polished, the visuals and design of Dubai are great. But the most important; the excellent storytelling is making Spec Ops: The Line to one of the most memorable and twisted warstories to play with. If you love games for the stories, Spec Ops: The Line is a mandatory purchase and it is highly recommended.

25

CoD Nukem Forever

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem 3D was one the games on I was grown up. The gameplay was great, the story, while it didn't take itself seriously, it was fun and sometimes hillarious, the level design was great, the weapons and the enemies were memorable. Now all of these things are missing from Duke Nukem Forever. After so many years of waiting this game seems like a graphically updated, poorly executed mod, created by people who have never played with the original and do not understand the magic of the series at all. The story, the character and his phrases are so dull and painfully unintelligent, even by Duke's standard, that it literally hurt every time I heard them. The conversations, the phrases are not funny, but they're ultra-ultra-ultra dumb. The levels are also painfully straightforward and scripted like if you would play with the newest edition of CoD. I rarely give review rating under 65% as I usually try to find and usually I do find at least one redeeming point, even in bad games, a reason why I used to tell in my reviews why you should at least give it a try. But I haven't found a single redeeming point in Duke Nukem Forever. Hmmm. Okay, I'll try to find one. Let's see... Duke Nukem Forever starts fine with the game's exe, and you'll find yourself redeemed and satisfied when you'll see the uninstall.exe's progress bar, which works perfectly from 0% to 100%. If you like to run game exes, but foremost uninstall executables the most, Duke Nukem Forever is definitely for you. Otherwise do not waste money, not even a single cent on this title. Buy a box of lemon lollipop instead. Even that one is much sweeter than this game.

65

Play it in short bursts

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Greed: Black Border

Greed: Black Border is a prime example for the well known "take a little from here and a little from there" scenario, namely when developers take ideas from various games, and they develop only the half of it well, or don't develop it at all. This game is not bad, but not good either, especially if you compare it with the others in the Hack and Slash RPG genre, such as my all time favorite, Titan Quest. You may chose from three different characters, Sniper Lady, Tough Marine and Flamethrower Guy. The game is difficult, which wouldn't be a problem if it wouldn't be difficult because of the sometimes flustrating level design and the unbalanced game system; namely if you're playing with sniper, there is a chance that you won't be able to pass the first boss, which is almost impossible with certain sniper builds (I played twice with the sniper and I was able to defeat the first boss only for the second walkthrough, when I was prepared for it since the first level. And the first boss is around level four or five or around that.). The storytelling is the worst part of Greed: Black Border as its is almost none existent, regardless there are some trace of it, starts interesting and it had potential, but the very bad narration, the minimal story elements, the irritating NPC characters, regardless they're very few in numbers, and the story is turning very flat and boring pretty soon to ruin the overall experience. My other problem with the game that regardless what weapons you buy, its the very same in look, just with different stats. The game is not even intending to give an illusion that you're fighting with a different type of weapon. If you have seen your sniper rifle, you've seen all of the sniper weapons in the class. Only the armors are changing slightly, but not that much. Still, if you want to play a sci-fi hack and slash game, Greed: Black Border isn't a bad game, at least not that bad, and its still capable to give some fun, but foremost challenging hours. If you want a sci-fi hack and slash game with Dead Space like atmosphere you may enjoy it, at least if you play it in short bursts. Very short burst.

91

Run Faith, Run!

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge is one of the very few games which is intending to show something new and also successfully doing that. The game is basically a first person parkour platformer game where you have to defeat the obstacles by climbing waterpipes, jumping from roof to roof in endless heights to reach places what you wouldn't be able to reach in other games at all. And in between you have to run a lot indoor of futuristic buildings, construction years, metro stations and outside, on the top of the buildings to escape from the police which is hunting you for something you haven't committed. The gameplay is very polished and works well, and while you're capable to use some firearms, pistols and shotguns, after you're disarming someone and snatch their weapons, and you're also capable to defend yourself in close combat with various actions, the gameplay is focusing on the platforming the most. And this is where Mirror's Edge shines the most. The futuristic sci-fi setting, so as the storyline is great, even if the twisted story is very-very short. If you'd like to play with a very unique and great game, join Faith and be a messenger with great parkour skills, to run through a beatiful city, to escape the police with skills you haven't experience in games before, and to reveal a conspiracy which is affecting your beloved city and your loved ones.

84

My name is Rodriguez, Rico Rodriguez

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 is easily one of the greatest, most fun and also the most beautiful sandbox games up to date. As Agent Rico Rodriguez, whose incredible agent actions reminds me mostly for the James Bond formed by Pierce Brosnan, you've to cause chaos on the tiny islands of Panau ruled by an evil dictator and his forces. As an open world game, Just Cause 2 is one of the finest and the most fun I played with. It has a large world to discover, dozens of challenges to complete, plenty vehicles to play with, and a well polished gameplay. My greatest problem with Just Cause 2 is the very short campaign mode, the below average storytelling and simply bad characters. However unlike in GTA or other similar games, here the storyline is rather plus as the gameplay is rather centering and focusing on the sandbox gameplay the most instead of focusing on the storyline. But if you don't care about a storyline, - as this game is not about the story and maybe it never was -, but if you want to play with an open world game where you can grapple an ice cream car to the tail of a flying Harrier, and watch them as they happily fly into the sunrise, Just Cause 2 is definitely your game.

65

The Balance Killer DLC

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex Human Revolution: Tactical Enhancement Pack

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Tactical Enhancement Pack is the DLC what I call as the balance killer. While it has two great add-on weapons, the silenced sniper rifle and the shotgun, unfortunately each of them, along with that $10000 is making the game very-very easy up from the beginning and they're simply killing the core balance of the game. The problem is if you get this DLC, you can't eliminate it from the game anymore, so buy this DLC only if you want to make Deus Ex: Human Revolution much-much easier.

80

Hack-a-Tron 2000 DLC

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex Human Revolution: Explosive Mission Pack

Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Explosive Mission Pack is a must DLC for the game because of numerous reasons. It has one tiny mission, which is not a long one, but its giving a plus for the main storyline, so as for the whole Deus Ex universe. The DLC is also offering one new weapon, the grenade launcher, one remote explosive pack, and my favorite, the automatic hack device, the Hack-a-Tron 2000, so as I call it, which is capable to open everything, be it a computer or a lock. If you want to play more, if you want some new weapons that makes things boom and if you've missed the hacking tool from the original Deus Ex, get this DLC which offers all of this, Hack-a-Tron 2000 included.

92

The Missing Link is not missing anymore

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution – The Missing Link

The Missing Link is telling the missing days of Adam Jensen after he left Hengsha to Singapore to find his love, Megan. But the journey wasn't that easy as it seemed in DX: Human Revolution, but faced Jensen with a challenging mission, full of conspiracies, where he also was stripped from all his augemented powers. As many used to say, this DLC should be in the core game and it shouldn't be a DLC at all as its clear that it was simply cut out from the main game to sell it later as a standalone tiny storyline. Still its one of the best DLCs up to date and also one of the longest. The Missing Link is offering about 4-5 hours of gametime, a great storyline, a stealthier mission, a new villain and a satisfying ending - good bossfight included, which was the weakest point of the original DX: Human Revolution. If you loved DX: Human Revolution and want to learn what has happened with Adam Jensen on the missing days, The Missing Link is a mandatory purchase.

94

Welcome Mr. Jensen

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the prequel of the highly acclaimed Deus Ex series, playing 25 years prior the great, classic cyberpunk adventures of Agent JC Denton. As Adam Jensen, Chief of Security of one of the greatest augementation companies, you have to reveal a great conspiracy which has started when mercenaries have stormed the company's HQ and killed your girlfriend, and almost you as well.

DX: Human Revolution faithfully follows the challenging gameplay of the original game, which is making it to a great FPS-RPG hybrid, with plenty stealth gameplay, hard decisions you to make, great and memorable characters to meet with and an excellent conspiracy story and a well designed world to discover. I had only three greater problems with DX: Human Revolution; #1, The storyline is not as good as the storyline of the original DX and the ending does not have any connecton to our decisions at all. The cause and effect, which has made the original DX so memorable does not exists here. #2; There are too few missions and too few locations to discover (At least if you compare it to Deus Ex.). #3; The background story of the mercenary villains are weak and the Boss Fights connecting to them are the weakest points in the game. Those parts reminds me mostly for the console gameplay of DX: Invisible War.

DX: Human Revolution is not as good as the original one, as no game can be that good, but its easily its the second best game in the genre and its a must, especially if you ever loved Deus Ex.

80

Lt. Frost, report to the briefing room at once

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Project Snowblind

Project Snowblind is originally intended to be the third episode in the Deus Ex series and you may feel this in the cyberpunk storyline, the great atmosphere and the setting the most, which is based on one of the most iconic level of the orignal DX, Hong Kong. As Lt. Nathan Frost you find yourself at the middle of a war, but as the time is passing you've to learn that nothing and no one is what they first appear to be. While the DX series is mostly an FPS-RPG hybrid, Project Snowblind is more of an action FPS game than an RPG. You're still capable to use augementations, so as you did in the prequels, the focus is more on the intense gunfight, than on revealing the background and the cause and effect of the conspiracy. Personally I consider Project Snowblind as DX2.5, just as its always intended to be the sequel and part of that franchise. It's not a bad game and this is how the action should be look like in DX: Invisible War. However the lack of the true RPG elements and decisions is also making Project Snowblind to different kind of experience. If you like the world of DX, I also suggest to grab Project: Snowblind.

81

Who are you Alex D?

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex: Invisible War Capsule

Deus Ex: Invisible War continues where the original left off, twenty years after the events of Deus Ex, but unfortunately instead of being a great sequel, it is one of the first PC victims of the era when companies started to oversimplify and dumb down their games to the mainstream console audience. Unlike Deus Ex, which was well known for the well thoughout RPG-FPS hybrid gameplay, decision making and storyline, Invisible War was stripped from true challenge, meaningful storyline, real decisions, complex gameplay and even longer learning curve. While the storyline of Invisible War is definitely fit to the world Deus Ex, and its one of the redeeming factor of the game, still unlike the first one, the second doesn't want you to think, to meditate on the possibilities of conspiracy theories and their existence. This game, this storyline was made for the mainstream people who can't or don't want to learn new things, but accept everything blindly and never take up questions about their life or their surroundings in their whole life. Regardless of these mistakes the game is still better than most RPG-FPS hybrids we receive these days, but if you want a better Deus Ex-like combat experience with less RPG elements, I would also suggest the spiritual sequel, what I call DX2.5, Project Snowblind. However Invisible War worth one or even more playthroughs, especially if you love the universe. Playing as Alex D, you've to find your way to learn the secrets behind the terrorist attack which wiped out a whole city from you barely escaped, so learn the origin of the people trying to hunt you down for a reason you don't know, The setting, the characters are still great, - and if there wouldn't be the original DX, or if Invisbile War wouldn't be that ultra mainstream, this would be a classic as well. Still, you'll find the spirit of Deus Ex in the game, which is making the difference between standard games and the Deus Ex series.

98

Every time you mention it someone will reinstall it

Guardian412 | Feb. 3, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition DNS

If I should give the "Best of all time" award to game, Deus Ex would get that award and with a reason. DX has one of the most original, well twisted and detailed storyline ever written, with well designed open world levels, the most memorable soundtrack, phenomenal voice narration for each of the characters, and a very polished gameplay which should be a standard even today. DX has a true cause and effect storyline which reacts for each of your actions throughout the game, twisting the story to be told based on your actions and decisions you make up from the very first minute. No walkthrough is ever the same.

At the middle of the 21st century, playing as UNATCO Agent JC Denton, you'll find yourself in a hostage-terrorist situation at Liberty Island, New York. But soon you'll learn than the whole situation is more than it first seems to be, and soon you'll find yourself at the middle of a conspiracy which is embracing and affecting every part of the world from the New York to Hong Kong. You must learn what the truth is, whose are the people responsible for the death of millions, and foremost what your role in the events truly is.

Deus Ex is the game every time you mention it someone will reinstall it. And it's true. While the game is more than ten years old, its still considered as the best in the FPS-RPG hybrid genre and one of the all time classics. If you are one of the two or three men in the world who haven't played this game, get Deus Ex to learn why it has turned to an all time classic and the reason why many are calling it the best game of all time. DX is highly-highly-highly recommended for everyone.

85

Loading turret, aim, fire!

Guardian412 | Feb. 1, 2013 | Review of iBomber Defense Pacific

iBomber Defense Pacific is the sequel of the original iBomber Defense, but this time the setting is the Pacific Theater instead of Europe, Africa and Russia. If you've ever played with tower defense games, such as the prequel or my favorite in the genre, Defense Grid, you'll feel right at home right from the first levels. So as in the first game the missions are challenging, but never impossible to beat. The graphics is colorful, the animations are smooth, but unfortunately, and it is good and also bad, it haven't changed much since the first episode. While iBomber Defense Pacific seems and sounds like a standalone mission disc of iBomber Defense, set into a different setting, iBDP has a great atmosphere, challeging missions and a great gameplay to forget this tiny detail. I rarely give exactly the same rating for prequel and sequel in a series, as usually one of them is weaker, but here I give the same rating. iBomber Defense Pacific has enough great improvements to be better than the previous installment, but unfortunately the core elements haven't changed that much to be better than iBomber Defense (So the pros and cons are creating a nice balance.). But just like the first one, it’s certainly worth giving iBomber Defense Pacific a look, especially if you love this genre.

85

Man your stations!

Guardian412 | Feb. 1, 2013 | Review of iBomber Defence

iBomber Defense is a standard tower defense game set in the second World War, and its one of the finest in the genre. The task is simple, so as in every similar game in the genre; build defenses to stop the enemy before they would reach their targets or would leave the map. The maps are different and great, however if you've played with Defense Grid, which is the finest in the genre, you know that these games also looks better in 3D, still iBomber looks great in 2D. The graphics is great and because of that every enemy units, so as each of your defending turrets you may build and upgrade are recognizable for the first glance, so you may adapt to the enemy accordingly very fast. The gameplay is polished and some of the levels - there are about 20-22 - are hard and challenging, even on standard dfficulty, but none of them are ever impossible to complete. And while iBomber Defense is not as good as Defense Grid, which is my favorite in the genre, I bravely suggest it to the fans of tower defense games.

65

You're on the Ark. What could go wrong?

Guardian412 | Jan. 31, 2013 | Review of Brink Nexway

You're on the Ark. What could go wrong? Well, basically many things. Brink is a game which is intended to merge many ideas, from the Counter-Strike / Battlefield type cooperative gameplay with the game mechanics of Mirror's Edge and while the opportunity was there, it has turned to the wrong direction somewhere during the development. The classes you may choose from, regardless they're customizable, are the ones you've seen in any similar games. The weapons are also nothing special, so as the AI and the gameplay which has more faults and glitches than redeeming factors. While the basic idea and the setting is great, - a huge utopistic town, called the Ark -, and it is developed well, the game can't do much with it at all. The game has some minimal story for the two playable sides, the Security Forces and the Resistance, but it is so minimal that it won't grab you, especially not in single player mode. However I have to add, that the game was designed for multiplayer. But if there is a single player mode, and there is, it would be better if it would be more developed instead of being a secondary something what the developers add to the game, just to don't feel the lack of it. If you'd like to play a post apocalyptic game, playing in an utopistic setting, and if you have friends to play, give a chance for Brink as it works there the best. But if you'd like to play a game in solo, its better if you look for a different title.

89

Band of Brothers

Guardian412 | Jan. 31, 2013 | Review of Company of Heroes THQ

Company of Heroes is a real time strategy game I can relate mostly to the World War 2 TV series, Band of Brothers. Whoever seen that series, that one will find the atmosphere and even some of the missions very-very similar. The game mechanics is a bit different than the mechanics of the games in the genre, yet its just fairly unique; you have to capture critical points to have a chance to get new people, supplies and resources, or to build buildings, but whoever ever played with Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War, that one will find the system very similar, especially as the developers of the two game are the one and the same. The game has great graphics, a very good gameplay and good to great missions. The campaign is relatively long and it is always providing something new to keep your attention and also to provide some challenge, especially during the last missions of the game. The story told in the game is nothing new or unique, especially as many missions are based on real operations, but it is told well enough with good stylish cutscenes to keep you entertained during the campaign. Company of Heroes is an old game, but it is still one of the bests in the genre. It is highly recommended for those who want to relieve and play some of the episodes of Band of Brothers.

75

A little gene here, a little there, off you go new starfighter!

Guardian412 | Jan. 31, 2013 | Review of Genesis Rising DNU

Genesis Rising is another prime example for what happens when you have great ideas and a story to tell, but you don't have the resources to polish the game to the maximum. This game is very unique in the genre. Unlike other space games where you build mechanical spaceships, here all your ships, be it starfighters or even your mothership, are living creatures that you can evolve with different genes that are giving different types of weapons and skills. As you eliminate your enemies, you may also acquire new weapons and skills by looting the dead shell of the destroyed enemy ships. The game is fast-paced and it is easy to learn and play.

The storyline is interesting and very unique, and it would be even great, IF, and huge emphasis on if, if the voice acting wouldn't be terrible and if the dialogues wouldn't make a below average presentation of the otherwise good story. But Genesis Rising isn't a bad game, It was definitely made by love and it has a soul. I also spent hours with it and enjoyed it. It has plenty unique and great ideas, and maybe it would be even a classic if a studio with a greater budget and a bit more experienced people would have done it. However what I really loved, and this part of the game is really professional, is the design of the spaceships. Finally a game where the ships has not just a unique look, but they also have a graceful presentation. The overall look of the game is beautiful, even by today's standard. The other part what I also loved is the level design and the difficulty. This game is hard, even for veteran players. You can't save between missions which is also just raising the difficulty and this part while it's good, it's also a negative element as you must take sometimes an hour aside just to finish a level. The campaign is long, difficult and diverse. You may also trade and form strange alliances, while you're encountering with strange alien cultures. So if you're capable to forgive a weak presentation, while you want a challenging and unique real time strategy game playing in space, I bravely suggest Genesis Rising.

77

Starring Average Joe

Guardian412 | Jan. 31, 2013 | Review of R.U.S.E.

R.U.S.E. is an in original and fun approach in the RTS genre, which is ruined by the very shallow solo campaign which is rather a very-very long tutorial, has a below average storyline and presentation, but foremost annoying characters, such as the main character, Joe Sheridan, who is rather acting like an Average Joe from the local pub than a Colonel or a General. However the gameplay itself is fun and you have to plan ahead if you want to achieve victory (But this is rather applies for the multi game instead of the single campaign, which is pretty straight forward.), The battles have a great scale, the maps are very large, the R.U.S.E. cards, a.k.a. diversion tricks, you may use against your enemies to trick them is an interesting and definitely unique option to play with. One of the strongest point of R.U.S.E. is the different factions as you can feel the difference in their gameplay. You may play with few sides in multiplayer mode; U.S.A., U.K., German, Russian, French, Italian and if you get the Rising Sun DLC, the Japanese. The units are acting as they should and finally this is an RTS game where the guns on a B17 Flying Fortress and other bombers are not just for decoration, but they're being used against the enemy fighters. The graphics is also more than enough for an RTS game like this, especially as you'll watch the battlefield from a great distance under most of your gameplay. If you like real time strategies, R.U.S.E. is the game you shouldn't miss, but only if you plan to play in multiplayer.mode the most as the solo campaign, so as I mentioned in the beginning, is mostly a long tutorial with an shallow storyline and boring characters, starring Average Joe.

88

Fear the light, embrace the darkness

Guardian412 | Jan. 30, 2013 | Review of The Darkness II dns

"Fear the light and embrace the darkness if you want to live", maybe these are the best lines that with I can describe The Darkness II. As mafia don, Jackie Estacado, after a deadly hit against you and your people, you have to descend into the darkest corners of darkness to take revenge, to find redemption, to save the soul of your dead love and foremost, to survive. And what is worse, your greatest ally in the desperate adventure is the sadistic hellspawn, The Darkness itself, which keeps you alive just to feed on you and your brutal actions. It is a dark story which is capable to grab you from the first moment and won't let you go until the end. But while the story is great and well presented, filled with memorable characters and scenes, its relatively short.

But fortunately the game won't end with the relatively short single campaign. The Vendettas cooperative campaign, what you can play in solo as well, is a great expansion with a different storyline, telling what has happened parallel the primary storyline. In this game mode you can choose from four different characters, each of them with different skills.

The Darkness II has a great cell shaded graphics, excellent narration and storytelling, and a unique atmosphere. The game mechanics is mixing the standard FPS gameplay with melee fight, which is represented by the Darkness itself. As you're progressing with the game, your character is evolviing and you may also open new powers to use against your enemies. The Darkness II is a bit gory game and because of this maybe some people won't like it, so as because of the dark atmosphere. But if you're capable to accept a story where you have to choose between the bad and the worst, just to stay alive and in the hope that you may do some good, and to find your love, you'll definitely love this game.

91

So you want to hear a story, eh?

Guardian412 | Jan. 30, 2013 | Review of Borderlands Game of the Year Edition dns

Welcome to the world of the planet Pandora, the wasteland where everything is gray and dirty, and where treasure hunters are trying to find their fortune. And you, the gamer is one of them. You can choose from four different treasure hunters (Siren and her phasewalk skill is my favorite) and then; off you go, go and discover Pandora and its secrets, and by the way., save the world if you have time. Borderlands is an FPS-RPG hybrid and its maybe one of the bests. The game is offering you thousands of randomized weapons with different stats, facing you with dozens of different types of enemies, such as local residents, creatures, mutants, bad robots and even zombies (DLC included in the GOTY), while you'll complete quests, gather XP, evolve your character, shoot, loot, shoot and loot... oh, and shoot, shoot, shoot. So Borderlands is basically offering everything what you may expect and want from a game in the genre.

"So you want to hear a story, eh?", that's the first line of the game. Unfortunately that's the only thing you won't get from Borderlands. Story. While the setting has an interesting premise, and there is even an interesting twist at the end (Some may won't like it), but the storytelling is the weakest point of the game, along with the final boss, which is... a joke? Yes, I believe we can say that. A joke. However its not really a problem as the game doesn't really want to take itself seriously, which is also a huge plus. But if we don't count the weak story, all the other parts of the game is well developed and great. The graphics is cell shaded, which is giving a good up to date look for a few years old game, and you also won't need NASA's newest rig to run it perfectly. While Borderlands is offering a solo mode, the whole game was designed for a four player co-op mode. But personally I enjoyed the solo campaign on my own as well.

The Game of the Year edition contains all the DLCs, and they're quality material with interesting scenarios and quest, which is a huge plus as its expanding the already long game time with few additional hours. If you're interested in playing a western like FPS-RPG hybrid, and if you have friends to play with, Borderlands is definitely your game.

65

A missed opportunity

Guardian412 | Jan. 30, 2013 | Review of Alpha Protocol

There are games you can love or hate, but can't pass near it without a word and Alpha Protocol is definitely one of them. It's a game which would be great, but something presumably went wrong during the development. As a role playing spy game Alpha Protocol is a unique game with a great and detailed story to tell, with interesting decisions to make where each of them have a real cause and effect for the rest of the game. But unfortunately as a stealthy action game, which is the other part of Alpha Protocol, it fails thanks to the poor AI, the clunky controls and the bugs that with you'll encounter sooner or later. The game isn't bad, and if there would be a huge patch to fix the glitches, to polish the graphics, the animations, the gameplay, it would be great and a classic in the genre - and if you focus on the story and consider Alpha Protocol as a story centric game where the gameplay is mostly a secondary element, you'll definitey enjoy it. But as the game is more than a story to tell, an RPG where you have to play, sneak and fight with poor controls, due to the average / below average execution, the game is definitely a missed opportunity. I can recommend it only for those who love spy stories and have greater patience for buggy games.

91

Welcome Isaac Clarke aboard the Sprawl

Guardian412 | Jan. 30, 2013 | Review of Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2 continues the story of the great horror sci-fi game, Dead Space. As engineer Isaac Clark, the protagonist of the first episode, you'll wake up in a mental sanitarium of the Space Station Sprawl three years after the Ishimura incident and while you awake into the same deadly nightmare you've experienced aboard the planet cracker ship, you'll have to learn what has happened in those missing years and how is it possible that the necromorphs came back after you've eliminated the threat in the past.

One of the greatest improvement of Dead Space 2 is that the developers have cured Isaac's sure throat and finally he is capable to speak all over the game. The other greater improvements of the game, other than the great graphics which is finally much more colorful than the graphics of the first, that the game does not have any loading screen at all. The game loads at the beginning and up from that moment you won't see a single loading screen at all. The whole game plays fluid and without any interuption from the beginning to the very end. However not everything is perfect in Dead Space 2. The story is a bit weaker than the storyline of the original Dead Space, some of the twists are predictible at times and the characters are also a bit weaker than the core team of the USG Kellion.

While Dead Space 2 is supposed to be a horror game the horror factor is slowly vanishing by time, mostly in the first quarter of the game and you have to realize that the game is more of an action game than a horror. And if you play Dead Space 2 right after the first one, you'll see this right from the beginning as you will have the routine to not be scared, but to eliminate the necromorphs easily with a smile on your face. Especially with the new weapons, which are even better than the unique weapons of the first one. Dead Space 2 is a great game, but in my humble opinion its more of an action game than a horror and unfortunately it is not better than Dead Space. Still it is highly-highly recommended.

93

Welcome Isaac Clarke aboard the USG Ishimura

Guardian412 | Jan. 30, 2013 | Review of Dead Space

A missing planet cracker ship, a tiny ship with a crew of five to the rescue, a silent engineer in a desperate search for his lost love, and deadly, scary monsters as welcoming party as you step aboard the ghost ship USG Ishimura. Maybe this is how I can describe Dead Space's story the best. As Isaac Clarke, the silent protagonist of the game (Presumably he has a sore throat in this episode as he can speak well in Dead Space 2), you have to find your love, Nicole, while you must learn the truth behind the xenomorph infestation plaging the Ishimura, but foremost you must find a way to leave the deadly ship alive and in one piece, which is not an easy task. Dead Space is a horror game and it is scary at first, but honestly I've met and played with scarier games in my lifetime. Unfortunately the the scary factor of the game is becoming way too predictible as you're progressing with the storyline and the elimination of the necromorphs will become a routine task, especially during the last chapters of the game. The storyline is well told, the narration is great and the game has enough twists to keep you entertained from the beginning to the end. One of my favorite feature in the game was the H.U.D.s unique presentation, which is definitely new and a great improvement. The weapons, what you may upgrade by time, are also very-very unique comparing to other games and Dead Space is one of the very few games where you'll love and use the basic weapons just much as you'll use the more powerful ones you'll find later in the game. The graphics of the game is great, however its a bit repetative, but it fits well for the planet cracker ship Ishimura. Dead Space is a horror game, one of the bests in the genre. I also finished it about three times since I have it. But it has some flaws, namely the level design and the tasks you have to complete, which is making the game a bit repetative at times. Still, if you love horror and scary games, Dead Space is your game as its one of the finest in the genre with a unique story, and it is highly-highly recommended for both horror and science fiction fans.

90

Easy, but great platformer fairy tale

Guardian412 | Jan. 30, 2013 | Review of Trine

Trine is a beautiful, but a relatively easy platformer game, which has a unique feature; dividing the skills and the talents you may use to solve the puzzles between three major characters; the knight, the thief and the wizard. During the game you may switch between these characters anytime (And the story also explains the "why"); you may fight against evil skeletons with the knight, you may use the grapling hook of the thief to overwhelm greater distances and you also may create boxes and planks with the wizard to reach otherwise unreachable places. As a platformer game, Trine is very-very linear. However there are plenty collectibles to gather and you may also develop the ability of your characters. The fairy tale storyline is minimal, but its enough and its well told by the narrator and the characters. The graphics is beautiful and has a great style, only the sequel, Trine 2 is prettier in the genre, and the controls, so as the gameplay is great. If you want to play relaxing, easy, but great game, if you love fairy tale stories, Trine definitely worth the purchase.

91

Tron 3.0

Guardian412 | Jan. 30, 2013 | Review of Darwinia DNS

Darwinia is one of the most unique strategy games I've ever played. It reminds me for the digital world of Tron, and yet while its similar, its also very different. You, the player have one major goal, to save the digital lifeforms of the digital world of Darwinia from an evil virus spreading on the great lands of the digital space. While you have to find and eliminate the source of the threat, you also have to care, nurse and protect these tiny little creatures, the Darwinians to evolve and spread on their tiny world. The graphics is very minimal, also reminds me for Tron and the games of the 80s, but its quite enough for this game. The gameplay is complex, yet easy to learn and play and the story itself, as Darwinia has a basic story as well, is also enough for this game. The campaign is relatively long, about 10-11 hours to complete and while it is a face paced game, sometimes it requires you to stop and meditate to plan what to do do next. If you love unique strategy games and you also want to play something new, something different, Darwinia is definitely for you.

78

Part 3 - Every journey ends one day

Guardian412 | Jan. 30, 2013 | Review of Alien Breed 3: Descent

Alien Breed: Descent continues the story where Assault left off, at the cliffhanger of the second episode, and it is ready to close the circle and give you the final answers and the conclusion of the storyline. The graphic haven't changed since the first two episodes, but Descent has some new gameplay elements which is refreshing after the first two episodes. But the core gameplay haven't changed, so you'll still gather money, buy ammo, upgade weapons and fight against alien hordes. I felt this episode better than the second episode, Assault, but somehow its still weaker than the first, Impact. The storyline has an interesting ending, but the final fight is a bit disappointing and a bit off comparing to the rest of the game. But if you've played with Impact and Assault, Alien Breed: Descent is a mandatory purchase.

75

Part 2 - From beginning to end

Guardian412 | Jan. 30, 2013 | Review of Alien Breed 2: Assault

Alien Breed: Assault continues the story where Impact left off, at the cliffhanger of the first episode. The formula haven't changed since the first episode. You fight your way through hordes of aliens, you gather credits, you upgrade your weapons and you shoot, shoot and shoot. My greatest problem with Assault was that it has recycled some levels of the first episode. While the game has five levels, just as the previous episode had, in some of the chapters you have to go back on the levels you've already played in episode Impact, which is good as you already know where to go, but its also bad as its giving a repetative feeling, especially if you play Assault after Impact. The graphic is the same as in the first one, so its decent for a game like Alien Breed: Assault. This episode is rather a transition episode between the first and the third episode, and as in most cases, the transition episode is the weakest of all. This rule applies here as well. I felt this episode as the weakest of all three. But if you've played with Impact, and if you love to learn the origin of the alien ship which crashed into the Leopold, give a try to Assault as it will give you some answers, while it will raise few more for the last episode, Alien Breed: Descent.

80

Part 1 - Every journey has a beginning

Guardian412 | Jan. 30, 2013 | Review of Alien Breed: Impact

Alien Breed: Impact is the first episodes of the new Alien Breed trilogy which is the 21st century remake of the oldie, well known franchise of the same name. While the game is capable to grab the player from the beginning, its fast paced and has a story to tell, it has its faults which is coming out in the gameplay itself. The controls are responsive, but if you ever played with Shadowgrounds, you would wish a similar controls instead of the one you have here, namely the camera and character control. Unlike in Shadowgrounds where you was able to attach the camera rotation to the character, here you have to rotate the camera independent from the character, which is a bit flustrating at few places, especially at one place where you have to escape from an enemy and the camera controls is very annoying. The storyline is offering a mystery as your starship, the cruiser Leopold is crashing into a larger unknown craft. Right after that hell spreads all over your ship as aliens starts to decimate the surviving members of your crew. You, Chief Engineer Conrad have to find out what this space ship of alien origin is, while you also have to ensure the safety of the Leopold. As Alien Breed is an episodic release, you'll get all your answers in the second and third episodes, but unfortunately as you step onboard the alien ship in the first episode, Impact, some of the textures of the alien ship is spoiling some twists from the later episodes. The game itself is a simple fastpaced shooter, with five huge levels to discover and the episode ends with a cliffhanger (Each episodes have 5 levels, so the whole game is 15 levels long.). In the game you may gather credits to buy ammo and upgrade weapons, even sentry guns, while you have to repair critical elements of your space ship and fight your way through dozens of waves of alien hordes. The atmosphere is good, the environment is detailed and beautiful for this game, but the game can be a bit repetative at times. It's a decent shooter, which is not great, but its still a good experience in the very rare sci-fi, top-down isometric survivor shooter genre. But if you loved the original series or if you ever loved Shadowgrounds, give a try for Alien Breed: Impact.

91

A magical journey

Guardian412 | Jan. 29, 2013 | Review of Dear Esther DNS

Dear Esther is more of a mysterious visual novel, than a game. But its fulfilling its purpose perfectly and capable to grab your attention with storytelling and beautiful visuals. In this "game" you don't have greater goals. You simply have to reach the end of the island on foot, while you slowly learn how you got here, who you're and what Dear Esther is all about. The experience is like hiking on a beautiful, but deserted and mysterious island, where you want to discover everything, and the best is, you'll without anyone or the game would tell you to do so. You'll look around to check the beautiful landscape, the flora, even stones and you'll walk further and further until you reach the end. Curiosity and the great narration leads the gamer from the beginning to the end. If you accept the fact that this is a visual novel and not a game, if you love art and storytelling, you won't regret by purchasing this game. Dear Esther is pure art, a great story to learn and a magical, extraordinary journey you have to experience.

65

Mediocre, and not for single player

Guardian412 | Jan. 29, 2013 | Review of Dead Island

Dead Island is one of the latest attempts of the new wave of zombie games and while it has an interesting scenario, what may happen if a travel paradise on a tropic island turns into an infested zone, the game can't do anything with it, other than its sending hundreds of mindless zombies against you to keep up your interests. The problem is that the game itself is turning very boring and very soon in single player. It is very dragged as the game is restricting you mostly to scrappy melee weapons in the majority of the game, which wouldn't be a problem if the game wouldn't play anywhere near the 21st century. The other greater problem is the lack of true storytelling and characters, which is making the game dragged, repetative and boring in a long term, especially if you play it in single player mode. Dead Island isn't a bad game, but it's definitely not good either, at least if you play it in single player mode (I haven't tried the cooperative mode.). The trailer of the game was great and dramatic, but unfortunately that dramatic tension and atmosphere does not appear in the game at all. However the game has one redeeming point, namely the intro music, Sam B's Who Do You Voodoo *, which is giving a great atmosphere in the beginning. Unfortunately as the great opening and the phenomenal music fades away, the game quickly turns into a dragged boredom in a long term.

91

Fun and memorable journey on the Planet Stygia

Guardian412 | Jan. 28, 2013 | Review of Bulletstorm

Bulletstorm is one of the most stylish and unique FPS game of today, and its one of my favorites in the genre. While it has the standard elements of the genre it is one of the very-very few which dared to present something new what no one else did before, namely the Skillshot System which is not just a nice decorative element of the game, what you use as you play, but it also has its interesting background and tiny storyline, what I really appreaciated. As in every shooter game, you have to kill a lot, but here you have to take down your enemies with style, elegance and skill to have a chance to acquire ammo and new upgrades.

The visuals of the planet Stygia are great and detailed and the levels are well designed, even if they're linear. But the skillshot system is turning the linearity to endless fun as you'll try to discover better and more twisted ways to take down your enemies. The background story, while it's a standard revenge story, it's one of the best in years, regardless it won't spoil you with major twists or surprises. But Bulletstorm is telling a story you will like, with unique, truly badass characters you won't forget. The main characters, Grayson, Ishi, Trishka and the protagnoist, General Serrano have really memorable personalities. They're not your typical nice, good or evil guys, but each of them are true soldiers who use harsh words where they have to... and many times when they don't have to, but they'll. :) But all of it is giving a lifelike style for the characters, their personalities and their dialogues. And if you like humor, the dialogues also will make you laugh few times, I can guarantee that. The game is not long, about 7-8 hours, but special thanks for the great story, the characters, the fun gameplay its a very memorable journey where you'll spend your time fighting mutants, while you must find a way to take revenge and you also learn the deadly secrets of the once so beautiful paradise, the deadly planet Stygia.

If you're looking for something new, something unique in the genre, I highly recommend Bulletstorm as it won't dissapoint you. Grab your ticket and take a ride on planet Stygia to explore its unique flora and nice population.

80

The Good, the Bad, and the Balance

Guardian412 | Jan. 28, 2013 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Slingshot Content Pack

XCom: Enemy Unkown was my personal GOTY 2012, so I waited for the expansion so much and while it is expanding the already great game, unfortunately it's killing the balance as well, which is good and bad - it depends on how we look at it. It is good, because Slingshot DLC is giving greater challenge in the beginning, such as fighting with Rookies against some Mutons or even Chrysalids with standard, basic weapons. Its challening and giving the usual tense atmosphere. But it is bad, because it is killing the balance of the core game as you have a chance to get some researches much earlier as you should. Plus, you also get a powerful Lt. character into your group, who is not bad at all, but his presence is also killing the balance a bit. The DLC is giving new achivements, and new customizable options to your armors, which is good, especially if you love to play with these things. The three maps and some new cutscenes coming with Slingshot DLC are fun, the missions are great, even they're a bit short. But they're challenging, especially if you play on Ironman Classic or above.

While others say its overpriced, I won't say that, but I never used to complain about the price of a game, because I respect the work of others. People have worked on Slingshot DLC and we pay for their work. And what you may get for this price these days? Not even a movie ticket for a movie, which is shorter and less exciting than this DLC. If you'd like to get more content and more challenge for XCom, I would say, get it. Its a quality material. But if you measure the games by their price instead of their content or the experience, maybe you should wait for a deal or skip this DLC, especially if you'd like to keep the balance of the original game.

74

Something is missing, something I can't explain

Guardian412 | Jan. 28, 2013 | Review of Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is a good game, but to me something is missed from it. It has a unique atmosphere, a good gameplay, an interesting story to tell, but somehow all these things can't fit well together. The levels are very linear and straight forward, like a nail, and while they're presenting interesting scenarios, offering some alternate solutions for some situations, and introducing an interesting gameplay and characters to you, the game itself can't do much thing with the world itself. It is leaving too many things open, especially in the story, while it is offering too many out of nowhere solutions, especially in the end. The atmoshere is unique and the gameplay is great however, so as the voice acting, the music and the presentation itself. And while this whole Metro, underground scheme is so familiar, as my native home city has a very similar tunnel network, with exactly the same blue Metros and stations you may find in the game, somehow the world couldn't pull me as much as other great games used to do. While in my eyes it was a highly linear semi-interesting 8-9 hours long adventure, with some interesting ideas, people who love FPS adventures and games in general should give a try for Metro 2033 to create their own opinion about the game itself as maybe this game wasn't meant for me, but maybe it was meant for you.

91

The Dark Knight

Guardian412 | Jan. 28, 2013 | Review of Batman Arkham City: Game of the Year -

Batman: The Arkham City continues the plot of Batman: Arkham Asylum, and while the sequel improves the already great game to the next level, and everything seems great, it has one great flow; the storyline, which was my greatest problem with Arkham City. It is the same problem what I've felt during that overhyped second Nolan movie, The Dark Knight. It is weaker than the storyline of Arkham Asylum, so as TDK's storyline is weaker than Batman Begins, and the reason is; both wants to show way too much, with too many protagonists and none of their storylines get enough time. While the primary storyline has some great twists, I felt it shorter and less complex than the storyline of Arkham Asylum, mostly because it is trying to focus on so many secondary plots and villains.

As the title of the game says, it's been set to Arkham City, which have turned the game to an open world game with plenty things to discover, dozens of side missions to complete and of course the Riddler's Riddles are came back with an overwhelming number. The action, the gadgets have been greately improved, so as the stunning music - foremost the main theme, which is much more memorable than the theme or any of the tracks of Arkham Asylum. With the exception of Arleen Soarkin who have played Harley Quinn in Arkham Asylum, every great voice actor have returned for this game, including Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker.

While I consider Batman: Arkham City as a really-really great game what I can highly recommend to everyone, because of the weaker storyline, I still consider Arkham Asylum as the better game. But I also prefer Batman Begins over The Dark Knight. And in this video game series, in my eyes, this game is the The Dark Knight, which is a great improvement in many things, but it want to tell way too much, want to focus on so many things and it is making the storytelling much weaker.

94

Batman Begins

Guardian412 | Jan. 28, 2013 | Review of Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year -

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a stealth action game with a perfect, dark atmosphere, a powerful gameplay and a great storyline set in one of the iconic place of the Batman universe; Arkham Asylum itself. Batman: Arkham Asylum is an excellent game where you truly get THE Batman experience - from playing the predator and hiding in the shadows, through taking down the villains on a non-lethal way, snatching them or knocing them out from above, to using great BatGadgets to investigate scenes or to distract and lure your enemies into a trap.

The memorable and long storyline was written by the Batman cartoon veteran Paul Dini. If you was young in the 90s, you may remember some of the great adventures of the cartoon adventures of Batman, played by the talented voice actors, Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as The Joker and Arleen Soarkin as the blondie Harley Quinn. Now they're all back to give their great voices to our favorite protagonist and antagonists, and they're better than ever.

The visuals of the game is perfect and very detailed, regardless the game is few years old. Every character is recognizable and memorable, every tiny bits is well developed. The action is great, the control is fluid, easy to learn, but you have to practice a lot to master it, especially if you want to be THE Batman, the invisible, silent knight of the night. Batman: Arkham Asylum is the finest comic book game adaptation up to date and the Batman Begins of the video games. It is a game which is highly recommended to those who love the Batman universe and always loved the comic books or even the cartoons.

92

Welcome to the world of Rage

Guardian412 | Jan. 27, 2013 | Review of RAGE: Special Edition (Europe)

Rage is post-apocalyptic game, set in the 22nd century, about 100-150 years after the meteor Apophis hit the planet and some survivors escaped from the destruction by burried deep underground in tiny escape pods, known as the arks. The game starts right there when you're awakening in one of these arks and as a man of the old, ancient era, you'll find yourself in the beautifully detailed environment, but desolated lands of Rage. Rage is an old school FPS and its one of the finest of its kind, made by the veterans and masters of the genre, Id Software. The gameplay is polished and fluid, the gametime is relatively long (Especially with the new The Scorchers DLC), the weapons and their alternate firemods (Different bullets), the items you may craft, such as sentry-bots and sentry-turrets are all great, and making the 15-17+ hours long journey (+2-3 hours with The Scorchers DLC) a memorable experience on a world you haven't seen before (The overall graphics is truly beautiful, regardless the resolution of the textures are pretty low. But unless you don't check it with a magnifying glass, it's great. :) ). The NPCs are also diverse and beautiful and the voice acting is excellent. The enemies, so as the AI controlling them fit perfectly for this game. The driving experience, as you may drive and upgrade different types of vehicles, is also great, so as the races and car battles you can play with them. The one and only, but greatest problem of Rage is lack of true storytelling, and the ending with it. If you've read the Rage novels or the Rage-Wiki on the net, you'll see how detailed and rich this world is. From these you also learn who you're, or how you, Lt. Nicholas Raine, a marine, got into the Ark prior the meteor Apophis hit the planet and turned it to a wasteland. Or who is responsible for the failure of the Ark Program. But unfortunately without reading these you won't learn these elements, not even your name, as regardless the world is there, the story and the well developed characters are supposed to be there, somehow these elements are not really told in the game at all. You get the shell of the story, nothing more. But I honestly suggest to read Rage-Wiki, so as you play the game, your mind will be able to fill the missing gaps of the storyline and you'll understand why certain things are happening. With this game Id Software have proved again that they're the masters of the genre. Rage is a memorable experience, what I bravely suggest for everyone.

94

Space combat reborn!

Guardian412 | Jan. 27, 2013 | Review of Strike Suit Zero Collector's Edition

Strike Suit Zero is one of the best space games I've played in years. Freelancer type controls; checked. Homeworld like music and story; checked. Freespace like tough and lengthy missions; checked. Battlestar Galactica like battles; checked. Robotech like mechship; checked. And regardless I don't really like mechs, the experimental mechship, Strike Suit One is definitely a fun ship to play with (However its not the only ship, but the only mech ship.)! But this is how an Indie Game should look like in 2013. And its much better than any of the recent mainstream stuff. SSZ is a difficult game and its one of the reasons why the mainstream console warrior reviewers hate this game and giving 40-60% because they can't complete the third mission, so as many of them admitted, while veteran gamers are giving 80-90% for this beauty and with a reason. This game is not for rookies who love to get hints and helps for every enemy, every corner, but it is for space veterans who love the challenge and brutal battles, even in dense flak fire. The game has about 13 missions, which sounds very few, but I can assure you that they're very-very long and some of them are really tough missions. As SSZ's motto says; space combat reborn! And it is so true. Strike Suit Zero is a beautiful, sometimes brutally difficult, but very atmospheric space game and it is highly recommended for those who love the challenge and loved Freelancer, Freespace, Homeworld, Battlestar Galactica and Robotech! I also highly-highly recommend to get the Collector's Edition for the beautiful and atmospheric soundtrack!

65

Highly unrealistic,even for an arcade game

Guardian412 | Jan. 26, 2013 | Review of Ace Combat Assault Horizon Enhanced Edition (EU)

While I love arcade games, just as I love aircraft simulators, I have a huge problem with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Namely the number of crafts against I have to fight. In a realistic simulator its good if I can take down 2-5 crafts per mission. In an arcade game, such a H.A.W.X., which is a similar arcade game than AC:AH, its good if you take down 15-30 per mission, but when I take down 180 enemies within the first two missions, I have to say its way too much and highly "unrealistic", even for an arcade game. And from these numbers you may calculate how many missiles you have and also may calculate what length of the missions of AC:AH have. They're way too long. The game itself is not a bad port at all and you can control it perfectly with you keyboard and mouse. The only exception is where you have to control the character's P.O.V. during the cutscenes with Y, G, H, J, which is pretty awkward for a PC, where the mouse would be the evident control. The other greatest problem is that the game is forcing the movie like visuals and actions, especially during the game, and in many cases you can't take down any enemy aircraft without switching to the "Movie-cutscene gunpoint" view, so as I call it where the action is turning mostly to a rail shooter where you have a nice "almost auto-pilot" control and all you have to do is to target the enemy to shot it down. The graphic is another interesting point, because the game is not ugly, but unfortunately its not beautiful either. But at least you don't need a high-tech rig to run it. The advertised destruction system also would be great, if it wouldn't be so static and the planes wouldn't fall apart on the very same way, regardless where you hit them with missiles or the cannon. I wanted to love this game, so as I loved H.A.W.X., and I want to know why the console players praise the Ace Combat series so much, and presumably the other episodes of the series is really great, so as I heard, but Ace Combat: Assault Horizon is not the best presentation for that, especially not on PC, where it feels like a half-baked arcade game which want to show plenty great movie like action scenes, and it does greately, but its going overboard and shows way too much and its ruining the overall gaming experience.

75

Good remake, but it's too streamlined

Guardian412 | Jan. 26, 2013 | Review of Death Rally

The original Death Rally was one of the games I played a lot back in the 90s and I waited this remake so much. The game itself is a great remake of the original one, and from this view I was satisfied. But unfortunately there is not so much improvement and the game became a bit too streamlined and the game balance is also not the best, especially if I compare it to the original one. And from this view I was a little disappointed. But Death Rally is still a fun game, especially if you don't want to think, just race and blow up your competition one by one with a machine gun barrage, mines or rockets, or if you want to relieve the old races, but with an up-to-date graphics and gameplay. It is a nostalgia game, mostly for veteran PC gamers, but if you haven't played Death Rally before, if you don't know the old one, I still say; give it a try. It's not expensive game, yet its still fun to play. Don't expect too much and you'll like it.

84

Weird, unusual, but very good game

Guardian412 | Jan. 26, 2013 | Review of The Void

The Void is a very-very strange game with a brilliant and very unique game mechanic and a unique world and story to discover. The game starts right after your death. Somewhere between heaven and hell, there is a world, known as the Void and this is your new home. As the newest resident, you'll have to adapt to this new "life", while you have to face with the older residents, the Brothers and Sisters, and complete their sometimes so strange wishes and sometimes sick desires. The game is difficult, requires great tactics and timing in actions at many times, and there is a chance that you won't survive the first days during the first tries. But if you listen to the tutorial, which is highly adviced, and if you get the real taste of The Void, there is a chance that you'll love it. The graphics is a bit old, yet its still requiring a better rig, but its a graphic which is perfectly fit for this game and its so strange atmosphere. The Void is not for everyone, and honestly when I played it for the very-very first time, it lasted on my rig for 30 minutes, but mostly because it was so strange and new and I didn't have the patience to understand it, to learn how to play. But then, on a gray afternoon, when I gave another chance for the game, followed the tutorial and started to understand how the game mechanic works, I started to love the game. So, as I said it is not for everyone, but it is for those who love unique and challenging games and love to learn and discover new, non-mainstream worlds and games.

85

A fun episode, but not a true sequel

Guardian412 | Jan. 26, 2013 | Review of Alan Wake's American Nightmare

American Nightmare is spin off of the original Alan Wake, a Night Springs episode, which is less creepy than the original game and focuses more on action. If you can consider it as a spin off episode, if you like a Dusk 'til Dawn type of atmosphere, if you loved the orignal game, you'll appreciate and enjoy American Nightmare regardless of its flaws, as it has its moments and memorable characters, such as Mr. Scratch, and it is also a good and fun episode prior the true sequel. But if you'd like to see a true sequel, its better if you'll wait for Alan Wake 2. This game is recommended for Alan Wake fans, but if you're new to the series, start with the original game.

97

This writer's favorite

Guardian412 | Jan. 26, 2013 | Review of Alan Wake: Collector's Edition

Alan Wake is one of my favorite games, if not my favorite of all time. I have two reasons for that; #1, Just like the protagonist, Alan Wake, I'm also an author. #2, Alan Wake is a hell of a game from the beginning to the end. As an author I know how a writer's block look like and how the author may feel, especially when he and his girlfriend arrives to the quiet town of Bright Falls to take a vacation, just to be far away from the job and the daily problems. But even if everything is quiet, you can feel that the typical sleepy town is more than it seems for the first time. The mystery is in the atmosphere. That was the moment when the game grabbed me and didn't let me go until the very-very end (+2 chapters of DLCs included.). The protagonist and the co-characters are believable and lovable characters, even if some of them, especially Barry is a bit repulsive for the first time. Each of the characters have clear character development and their motives and actions are clear from the beginning to the end. But there is always more and more secrets you'll learn about each of them, be it Alan Wake or the other characters. This game is a story centric game, but the gameplay is also great. In Alan Wake a mysterious, spooky town with deadly secrets waiting you to discover, while the next book of yours what you've never written, yet somehow it does exists, will show the path in your 17+ hours long adventure to reveal the deadly secrets of Bright Falls. The great atmosphere, the polished combat, the clever, twisted storytelling and memorable characters make Alan Wake's quest thrilling from the beginning to the end. Highly-highly recommended!

90

Old fashioned, hard, but excellent remake

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | Review of Tomb Raider: Anniversary DNS

Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a hard game, which is following the game design of the 90s. This game does not have HUD displays and flashing neon hints over and over again, so as mainstream games has these days. You must think a lot to overwhelm even the easiest challenges and levels. Long, polished and challenging, very faithful to the original Tomb Raider. Tomb Raider: Anniversary is an excellent remake.

70

Only for Warhammer 40k fans

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | Review of Warhammer 40000: Space Marine (THQ)

Hack and Slash TPS in the WH40k universe, with an average story, tunnel level design, gray color palette and a repetative, average gameplay. It's a good game, but only if you're a WH40k fan and if you know the universe. It can be very refreshing after a hard day or if you don't want to think, just shoot, shoot, shoot to take down some Ork Nobz and their Waagh banner. But it's just an average game if you're not a fan of the universe. I recommend it only for WH40k fans.

95

Excellent visual novel

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | Review of To The Moon

Clever, touching, heartwarming and heartbreaking science fiction storytelling, strong and memorable characters, detailed and emphatic pixel visuals and beautiful soundtrack make To the Moon to one of my favorite story centric games of all time. Highly recommended!

95

One of the best expansions

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | Review of Titan Quest Immortal Throne

Immortal Throne is giving a very challenging 18+ hours long Act, Act 4 to Titan Quest (Act 1-3 was 32+ hours). The story continues where the core game has ended and now you have to find a way from Rhodos to cross the River Styx, to then descend and discover the depth of the mythological underworld and all its levels, such as the City of the Lost Souls, The Tower of Judgement or the Elysium. This expansion pack upgrades an already perfect ARPG to the next level with brand new features, a new mastery class (And eight cross-classes with it), brand new enemies, challenging minor and major bosses, and very large, diverse, detailed, artistic and beautiful levels. As Titan Quest was highly-highly recommended, Titan Quest: Immortal Throne is highly-highly-highly recommended to those who love ARPG and mythology!

90

A timeless masterpiece

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | Review of Titan Quest

A timeless, highly polished, beautiful, very-very long (32+ hours only for the core game) and sometimes also difficult ARPG. This is what the new games in the genre always wanted to be, but never been. Titan Quest has an entertaining mythological story with a great lore and atmosphere, lot of diverse and memorable enemies, huge maps of great ancient cities and four ancient countries to explore. And while this game is six years older than the newest games in this genre, Titan Quest is much better in everything, be it character classes and skills, primary and side quests, item sets and even the graphics, which is sharp, realistic, colorful and stunning. Despite of its age it is much prettier than the newest games in the genre. Titan Quest is the best in the genre and if you like ARPGs and mythology, it is highly-highly recommended!

95

Better than BioShock 1

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | Review of BioShock® 2 DNS

I prefer BioShock 2 over BioShock 1. It has a better storyline, which is unlike the original BIoShock, it's original and not a System Shock 2 copy-paste. While it has only nine levels instead of sixteen, what the original had, the levels are much larger and I also found them better and more atmospheric than the levels of BioShock 1. I also liked the characters, so as the ending of BioShock 2 much better. Being as Mr. Bubbles Delta is also huge plus and his storyline is much deeper than the story of the BioShock 1's protagonist. If you liked the first one, BioShock 2 is highly recomended. If you never tried the first, play with that one prior playing with BioShock 2 (It's a sequel and its better if you know the story of the first episode.). Both games are fairly long, 11 hours each. BioShock 1 is recommended, BioShock 2 is highly recommended.

85

System Shock 2 underwater

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | Review of BioShock DNS

Bioshock is a fun game, but it's far from being original or perfect. As I call it; System Shock 2 underwater. If BioShock would be a remake, it would be great, but Bioshock is recycling almost every single story elements and twists from System Shock 2. And honestly I still prefer the Von Braun and Shodan over Rapture and Ryan. Bioshock is also dumber and more mainstream and it does not have those elements which has made System Shock 2 to a memorable legend. Yet Bioshock is still a great and memorable game, an excellent shooter with many RPG elements, excellent visuals and presentation, but it is not as good if you know the famous precessedor.

95

A unique masterpiece

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | Review of L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition

Authentic, detailed and outstanding noir atmosphere of the 1940s, great storytelling and well written storyline, the excellent performances and acting, the absorbing investigations and intoxicating sense of style makes L.A. Noire to a very memorable and very long journey. Personally I wish it would be longer, regardless its more than 34 hours long quality game from the beginning to the end (All DLCs and side missions included.). If you love the galmourous, but illusive world of the 1940s, if you love the noir atmosphere, if you've watched the movie L.A. Confidential countles times and you want to be like Detectives Exley and White for a while, or if you'd like to be part of the historical and real life police cases, like the mysterious Black Dahlia case, this game is definitely for you. L.A. Noire is the best noir game and the best detective game I played with. Highly recommended for those who love great and twisted detective stories, investigations, the noir atmsphere and the great lifestyle of the 1940s.

65

Not an RPG, but an action game instead

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | Review of Space Siege

Space Siege is a game which is intended to be unique, had some great ideas, but its a prime example how things may go wrong during development. The game has an interesting scenario; what happens if our colony ship what we have to defend is the last hope for mankind, carrying the lasts of our people. But unfortunately it can't do much thing with the idea. The story starts too slow and while it has many interesting ideas what you’ll learn as the story slowly progressing, most part of the plot is poorly executed. As an action game it works, as its similar to Shadowgrounds; colorful, its full of aliens and action. As a sci-fi its also atmospheric, especially the intro and the setting itself. But as Space Siege is intended to be an RPG, similar to its predecessor, Dungeon Siege, it terribly fails as it became way too straightforward and monotonous to be an Role Playing Game. I recommend this game only to those who love sci-fi and action games, but I can't recommend it to those who want to play an RPG as this game is far from it.

90

Follow the Match Maker if you dare

Guardian412 | Jan. 25, 2013 | Review of Condemned: Criminal Origins

Condemened: Criminal Origins is a highly original thriller FPS which is focusing on unique melee combat and crime scene investigations. Playing as SCU Agent, Ethan Thomas who was framed for the murder of his collauges, you have to clear your name, while you must track down a psychopath serial killer, known as the Match Maker. Following the trail of the killer on your longest and most thrilling night, you have to investigate crime scenes of the latest victims, so as you have to fight your way against overwhelming odds of drug addicts in abandonned locations to learn the truth. Condemned: Criminal Origins is a very atmospheric and creepy game, especially if you play it at night. Its about six years old, yet its still beautiful. It isn't a long game, about 8-10 hours, depending on your skills and the level of difficulty, but its a very unique and scary experience what you won't forget for a long time.

95

A true masterpiece, my other Game of the Year in 2012

Guardian412 | Nov. 14, 2012 | Review of Dishonored (EU)

Dishonored is a very unique game, which is capable to successfully mix the rusty and sometimes hopeless atmosphere of Steampunk with the thrill of Stealth and FPS Games. The game is playing in a beautifully crafted and detailed world of the fictive Gristol and its capital Dunwall, where each of your actions will leave a mark on this truly living world and its citizens. During the game you may play as you want; you can be stealthy and merciful, may render enemies unconscious, or you may eliminate every enemy and even innocent civilians throughout the game, and anything in between. The different approach, especially the stealthy one is rewarding the gamer as each actions are affecting the end game and the world you play in. The storyline and the characters are memorable and detailed, so as the levels you'll visit. The only thing what I didn't really like is the silent protagonist - regardless that the back-story of Corvo Attano is well crafted. In 2012 a silent main character is a bit outdated, especially in a world which has a beautiful lore, memorable characters to meet, well written dialogues to listen and great books to read. The RPG part is also a bit restricted, at least if you prefer the stealthy merciful assassin approach over the terminator game style. But other than these problems, the game is giving you a complete freedom and you may complete all your tasks any way you want.

Honestly I never really liked Steampunk, and in the beginning I didn't want to play with Dishonored. But the dozens of recommendations I got from friends made me very curious and finally convinced me to get it. And I don't regret it at all. This is the game which sucks you in right from the beginning and won't let you go until the very-very end. The game also has one of the best credits theme I ever heard, performed by Daniel Licth. His song, Honor for All is making a perfect closing for the hours you'll spend in the city of Dunwall. The game is relatively long, may take 15-20 hours to complete, depending on how you play, yet I still felt it a bit short - maybe because I wanted to play more and more, wanted to be Corvo Attano for a longer time to take my revenge for the lost ones. Dishonored is my other Game of the Year in 2012. It is a true masterpiece and it is highly-highly recommended!

75

Weakest in the DoW2 series

Guardian412 | Nov. 13, 2012 | Review of Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War II: Retribution THQ

Dawn of War 2: Retribution is a standalone expansion, starting 10 years after the events of DoW2 and DoW2 Chaos Rising. The single player game, which is usually my favorite in games, is offering a 16 missions long campaign and six species to play. And while the storyline is interesting, unfortunately I felt it much weaker than my personal favorite, Chaos Rising. The problem with the campaign is that if you played it with one of the species, you played it with all. I've finished the Space Marine and then the Imperial Guard campaign, - this last one is a new faction in DoW 2 by the way -, other than the different characters and some different dialogues playing a different faction won't give you new missions or objectives at all. So if you'd like to get Retribution for the Single Player experience, choose wisely which faction you'd like to play as there is a high chance that you won't playthrough the campaign for a second time. I strongly suggest the Space Marine campaign as the storyline and the campaign make sense with that one the most.

In my opinion, if you loved DoW2 and DoW2 Chaos Rising, you may consider it as a good sequel, which is also closing the storyline what the series have started in DoW2 and continued in Chaos Rising. Especially if you play Retribution's campaign with the Space Marines as that is telling you the true ending with the characters you already know from the previous games. But don't expect too much from Retribution. It is an expansion pack, heavily building on the first two games, DoW 2 and DoW 2 Chaos Rising, with six species to play, each of them with different heroes. But there is only one campaign to play with all six, one story to learn, which is very-very disappointing. Dawn of War 2: Retribution is still a great game, some of its features maybe better than DoW 2 and Chaos Rising, but due to the afoementioned disappointing single player expeirence, unlike many I consider it as the weakest and my least favorite in the DoW 2 series.

80

Useful, but it's not for everyone

Guardian412 | Nov. 13, 2012 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Elite Soldier Pack

I got this DLC when I preordered XCom. It’s a fun thing to customize the characters and the armors, especially if your characters grow to your heart (Even if they may fall during the next mission, which is a huge possibility.). This DLC comes with about 20-30 color sets and an alternative set for most of the armors. If I recall correctly only one of them doesn't have an alternate version. This DLC actually gave me the chance to create groups, Alpha, Beta and Gamma squads and make a visible difference between the groups to easier identify the characters and the group they belong to. But that's me, as I love the details and as I said, I got this DLC for free with my preorder. It gave me fun during my 80+ hours of game and this is the reason I gave it an 80%. But would I buy it if I wouldn't have it? Honestly, I can't say for sure. This DLC gave me more freedom in the game, was very-very useful during my XCom stories, but maybe its a bit overpriced. But this is the well known curses of DLCs. In my opinion if you love XCom, and if you love to customize your soldiers for fun, or if you're a collector of great franchises and love to get every single DLCs, like this one, I bravely suggest to get it. Otherwise, maybe it’s not for you.

85

Good, atmospheric, but relatively short game

Guardian412 | Nov. 13, 2012 | Review of Aliens vs Predator Pre

Aliens vs. Predator is a good, atmospheric, but relatively short game. All three campaigns, Marine, Predator and Alien is about 10 hours long altogether and while the multiplayer is relatively interesting, unfortunately not so many is playing with it.

If you love single player, the campaigns are fun to play, especially as all three of them are playing relatively parallel with each other, with slight delays and overlaps. The Marine campaign was my personal favorite as it reminds you how weak the humans are and how strong a swarm of aliens, or even a single one hiding in the shadows, and the stealthy predators armed with high tech weapons could be. This campaign is a tense and thrilling one, but after a time you can get used to it as you get better weapons, such as the famous M41A Pulse Rifle or the Smart Gun. If you've seen and liked the movie, Aliens, and the marine operations in it, you'll like this campaign the most. The Predator campaign however is not that great, but its not the game's fault. But I never was a Predator fan after all. To me it was like driving a overpowered stealth tank between some fragile black sheeps, a.k.a. aliens, and their human shepards, a.k.a. marines and civs, and shooting them with plasma gun. Not much of a challenge. Some will like it, but being a Predator is not my style. And finally the Alien campaign is one of the most interesting to play, especially as you're a "named" alien with a relatively soft, yet existing background story, and not a no name black creature, one out of the thousands. Unlike in the Predator campaign, I rather felt here that you're THE stealth predator without any high-tech hanky-panky -, the real killer, the most dangerous creature of the universe. So something what an alien truly is. Unfortunately this one is the shortest campaign. But its fun to play.

After all these years, the graphic is still beautiful, however the levels are repeating each other in the campaigns (But not all of them.). But a place you've visited with a Marine, there is a high chance that you'll visit it with the Predator and the Alien as well. However you'll take a different route, thanks to the three different gameplays.

Basically if you love the movie Aliens, you'll love the Marine and Alien campaign the most. If you love the Predator movies and life style, something I can't identify with, you'll love that campaign the most. And if you love both movies, you'll definitely love Aliens vs. Predator.

97

A worthy remake, my personal Game of the Year in 2012

Guardian412 | Nov. 9, 2012 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown dns

After 84 hours of game I finally finished my second playthrough, which was Ironman Classic. Without saves this game is very hard, but it is so memorable and very-very exciting, similar to the original XCom - even if its more streamlined here and there. A good story is the one which have memorable characters who has their own life and story to tell. And I believe XCom is one of them. But not because the general story the game offers, but because the path which leads you to the end, the story your characters will create with their actions and even sacrifice. During your long journey you'll remember every single character by name. You'll remember all the soldiers you lead into battle, all their actions and sacrifice they'll make in your game. Not many game is capable to give you that.

There are some minor glitches and issues what hopefully the upcoming patches will fix, but the highly addictive gameplay, the beautiful music, the polished, well thoughout and refined game mechanics, excellent scenarios, but foremost the phenomenal and unique atmosphere is making XCom to my Game of the Year in 2012.

90

Solid and entertaining

Guardian412 | Nov. 9, 2012 | Review of Binary Domain

While it is a standard third person shooter, Binary Domain is successfully mixing the atmosphere of "I, the Robot", "Blade Runner", "Gears of War", "Terminator" and "Metal Gear Solid". The believable setting, the memorable, even sometimes stereotypical characters with good and well timed humorous dialogues, an excellent, enthralling, believable and long sci-fi storyline, well directed cutscenes and the intriguing detailed world of rises the game above its conventional third person shooter appearance, making it essentially the best "I, the Robot / Terminator" game ever made. One of my favorites in this year. Highly recommended!