Reviews by JURGMANDR
Fun but a bit clunky at times.JURGMANDR | July 28, 2014 | Review of Sang-Froid - Tales of Werewolves
Let me just say that the overall concept of the game is fun but the controls are a bit clunky. The tower defense portion of the game makes it much more interesting than trying to play it as an action game imo (in part because the action parts like melee are somewhat clunky). The ambiance and lore create an interesting world filled with all kinds of evil to kill. TLDR: the voice acting is meh, the soundtrack is excellent, combat is kind of clunky, traps ftw, great atmosphere, great story.
A great stealth game, but not really a Splinter Cell one.JURGMANDR | July 26, 2014 | Review of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - Blacklist (NA)
I was super mad when Ironside got replaced as Sam Fisher, but I honestly quit caring about an hour into the game.The gameplay was so damn good (the story was enthralling as well) that it mitigated the jarring change in voice actors. The story was well paced and kept me playing for hours at a time. The side missions are very entertaining as well (especially Kobin's missions where you have to eliminate whole swaths of enemies without being detected). I chose to play most missions either ghost or panther style which excluding a few setpiece moments is a very viable option. There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore (pipes to climb, vents to hide in, sewers to crawl through) as either style. Conviction was a fun game, but didn't have quite as much stealth as Splinter Cell fans wanted. This game does. The melee kills/knockouts are really fun (like always) and the new killing in motion concept was pretty damn cool. TLDR: It was polished, controls really well, told a great story, and scratches a stealth junkie's itch. Uplay is kind of and I had some troubles with it, but I turned it to offline mode and no problems since.
A return to form for Ms. Croft.JURGMANDR | July 26, 2014 | Review of Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider is great. Here's a quick rundown of all the things that make it great in my opinion: 1. Camilla Luddington feels appropriately vulnerable in parts of the story and bad-ass in others, and was a great casting choice. The acting in general, is great (though there's only 3 guys doing the voices for basic enemies, which is nowhere near enough). 2. The bow and the ice axe feel appropriately weighty and all the weapons deliver satisfying kills/executions. 3. Controls are absolutely fantastic (very responsive). The cover system is simple and very effective overall (no button presses necessary, just get close to it). 4. If you've got a high level graphics card you'll be in love with the visuals. 5. The level design is fantastic, there are multiple ways around (at least in the bigger areas) and plenty of secrets to be found. 6. I really loved the UI, which was simple and effective (not quite Dead Space level UI but still great)
Cons: 1.The tombs are fun but there aren't enough of them, and they're all quite easy 2. Game will force you to fight certain enemies for setpiece moments (like Uncharted), instead of being given the option to sneak around (this is relatively rare though) 3. the survival instinct button is basically like detective vision in arkham asylum and not necessary imo.
Single Player is the only reason to play this, although multiplayer is fun if you can actually find people to play with.
A diamond in the rough.JURGMANDR | July 26, 2014 | Review of Spec Ops: The Line
This game's single player story is quite good. The controls feel clunky, but get the job done. On that note, let me say that overall the controls do not have a nice smooth feel, nor does the slide into cover mechanic feel as fast or have as much "oomph" as it should (a la Gears of War). The attack command did not seem to work at all other than when prompted on screen( i.e. I'd be sitting their trying to get my teammates to take out certain enemies and the command wouldn't work, I'd get shot, and have to kill the bastards on my own). The guns have no real distinguishing features (at least to me they don't other than perhaps vertical recoil) other than certain attachments (the p90 has a laser sight, the m4 has a suppressor, the scar-h has a grenade launcher, etc). On that note let me say that this is a gory game ( though it could have done it in a slightly more realistic way than headshots always ending in exploding skulls with geysers of blood and grenade kills turning people into giblets). The finishing moves become increasingly more brutal as the game's story progresses, which is a great touch. The AI (at least on normal) is acceptable as they occasionally try to flank you or flush you out with grenades ( on harder difficulties the enemy AI shines while the teammate AI is terrible ). Teammate AI is tolerable on normal and vastly inferior on harder difficulties. The sand mechanic is a nice touch. Overall the game's story is disturbing, well written, but lacks choices that truly matters , the controls are clunky, squad command didn't work (at least for me), the enemy AI on lower difficulties is a worthless, the teammate AI is worthless in general, guns and overall movement lack any visceral punch. Minus the technical flaws, the story alone is worth playing this game for.
Solid and enjoyable, though has some cheap moments.JURGMANDR | July 24, 2014 | Review of Dark Souls II (NA)
Dark Souls II is good. Not as good as the first, but still damn good.It's basically Demon Souls 1.5 |(which isn't necessarily a bad thing). For people who didn't get to play Demon Souls but played Dark Souls you're probably in for some nasty bumps. Losing health each time you die (with the effect only being reversed by using a human effigy/ being summoned and helping another player defeat a boss) is the biggest change from Dark Souls. I'd recommend using the small white soapstone a lot since it's an easy way to get a couple kills and regain your humanity. The level design is more like Demon Souls in that there's a main hub world and all the other worlds are connected to the hub.
Pros: +Excellent enemy designs +The game has some standout environments (Majula, Forest of the Fallen Giants, Iron Keep, No-Man's Wharf, Dragon's Aerie) +Tons to explore +Melee combat feels as meaty as ever. + Fighting the Mirror Knight in the rain is easily one of the coolest moments imo +Retains the ambiance/atmosphere of previous games
Cons: -Some areas are just plain cheap. There are a few bonfires where enemies are directly positioned outside (Straid's Cell, The Sinner's Keep bonfire, one of the Earthen Peak bonfires).Granted, enemies despawn after you've killed them a few times. -Certain levels make it harder to get to the boss than actually fighting said boss. -The game sometimes relies on overwhelming you with enemies to increase the difficulty (which limits certain playstyles like dual wielding at times). -Keyboard and mouse controls are doable but not great. I'd recommend a controller. -The guard break is changed from a kick to a swipe with your weapon (which is much slower and way shorter range). This sucks for regular gameplay but makes PVP less of a kicking match :P -Still basically a console port :(
A Return to Form for Splinter Cell.JURGMANDR | Sept. 14, 2013 | Review of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - Blacklist (Capsule) (NA)
I was super mad when Ironside got replaced as Sam Fisher, but I honestly quit caring about an hour into the game because the gameplay was so damn good (the story was enthralling as well). The story was well paced and kept me playing for hours at a time. The side missions are very entertaining as well (especially Kobin's missions where you have to subdue/eliminate whole swaths of enemies without being detected). I chose to play most missions either ghost or panther style, which excluding a few setpiece moments is a very viable option. There are lots of nooks and crannies to explore (pipes to climb, vents to hide in, sewers to crawl through) as either style. If you missed the verticality of the older games, it's back. Conviction was a fun game, but didn't have quite as much stealth as Splinter Cell fans wanted. This game does. The melee kills/knockouts are really fun (like always) and the new killing in motion concept was pretty damn cool. TLDR: It was polished, controls really well, told a great story, and scratches a stealth junkie's itch. Uplay is kind of and I had some troubles with it, but I turned it to offline mode and no problems since.
Unrelenting and Brutal. Not a game for casual FPS fans.JURGMANDR | Sept. 10, 2013 | Review of Rising Storm
First off, this is not a game for people who can't stand not having a killcam. You will die and you will most likely have no idea where the shots came from. It's an extremely well done expansion pack if you were a fan of Red Orchestra 2, but for noobies it's a very hard pill to swallow. You can't really run and gun (since running around generally gets you killed). The weapons are all very powerful, few weapons require more than 3 shots to kill someone, which makes moving from cover to cover even more paramount. The minimap will drive noobs crazy at first (since it's damn near impossible to tell where the objectives are on certain maps) but eventually you'll get it. There are generally limited slots for roles like snipers (so you don't end up with whole teams of them like what happens in BF3 or BFBC2 from time to time). Like most hardcore team based games, if your team isn't communicating/playing well together, be prepared for both an ass-whooping and a lot of grinding. Good tactics and good teamwork will always win. When the game is in your favor it's an intense and entertaining game.
Entertaining in short bursts.JURGMANDR | Sept. 9, 2013 | Review of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
I first heard about this game 3 years ago and was excited by the prospect of a good action-rpg in the LOTR universe. It's basically a brawler with light RPG elements (skill trees, randomized loot, stats that affect your build). It tries to use a conversation wheel but it really doesn't affect the story or gameplay in anyway (most conversations just give you some extra backstory or ambiance). The keyboard and mouse controls are very solid and work surprisingly well for a brawler wit the ability to chain attacks quite easily. The AI isn't completely retarded, since they actively use their special abilities/healing and even picking you up if you're downed (which is something Gears of War 1+ 2 should've had but never did ;_; ) The biggest problem with combat is the same 3-5 kill animations repeating for your weapons ad nauseam (although it is quite hilarious to chop an orc's legs off with a club) The story is ok, the voice acting is pretty solid overall, though the textures and graphics are kind of muddy. TLDR : It's an enjoyable game for LOTR fans (mostly because of the lore/backstories you can find out) though the combat is satisfying but repetitive
Gloriously gory fun.JURGMANDR | Sept. 9, 2013 | Review of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
It's basically like an FPS version of Mount and Blade but with decapitations and limb removal. There's a good amount of weapons to use ranging from the formidable claymore to the lowly cudgel , with 4 classes (Archer, Man-at-Arms, Knight and Vanguard). The melee combat is quite fun with the ability to feint, sidestep, block adding some depth to fighting. Many people play as vanguards due to their good range, speed and health (not to mention their awesome sprint attack) though as people play more they tend to be Man-at Arms (due to their ridiculous harassment capabilities). It's an intense exciting game to play with friends or even by yourself. I highly recommend it if you enjoy multiplayer mayhem.
A compelling adventure.JURGMANDR | July 16, 2013 | Review of Tomb Raider
This isn't a game, this is a movie. A really fun movie to watch and play. If you're not a fan of QTEs there are quite a few in here. This game does so many things right. It has a great soundtrack and is a very beautiful game. The combat is very gritty and brutal (the executions are downright ghoulish at times), the cover system is well done (no button presses necessary, just get close and she'll take cover), the music is great, the acrobatics feel natural, but the best thing in the game imo is the level design. It's a Dark Souls esque vibe where the world is littered with bonfires (save points/fast travel points) and many parts of the levels are multi-tiered. The tombs are cool though I wish there were wayyy more tombs to explore, since they were my favorite part of the game.
A fantastic game all around.JURGMANDR | July 16, 2013 | Review of Dishonored
This game drips atmosphere and ambiance. The art style and the level design are fantastic. It's like foggy Victorian London had a baby with some arcane/steampunk ideas. The story is well done, with pretty good voice acting all throughout. The side missions and little tidbits of lore really flesh out the world though. There's usually a lot of little nooks and crannies to explore for bone charms and other helpful collectibles along with those tidbits of lore/ background stories. The controls are buttery smooth, the combat is well done with a lot of options if you don't want to play solely non-lethal. You'll always have multiple options for a given scenario (a la system shock 2, bioshock, Deus Ex). There are some fun possibilities like teleporting up to a rooftop, dropping down on a guard, possessing another and then summoning a rat swarm to devour your former host.
A polished well honed experience that is well worth your time.