Reviews by Joe_Crow

82

A Step In The Right Direction

Joe_Crow | Aug. 28, 2013 | Review of Call of Duty: Black Ops II

The difference between MW3 and Black Ops 2 is by far the largest leap we've had in Call of Duty since COD3 to COD4. With a new setting, a vastly improved class system and some interesting single player gameplay, I felt like I was getting my money's worth.

The single player campaign is for the most part, a standard 7 hour COD affair, with various characters to play through a cinematic, almost on rails story. The new Strike Force missions offer a somewhat more mentally demanding experience however, as you deploy troops from the sky, before dropping into various military shoes. You're able to choose your weapons for the single player missions this time, too.

Most of my time has been spent in multiplayer of course, with new and interesting weapons and equipment. The new "pick 10" system offers much less restrictive loadout choices, giving you the option to have multiple perks per tier and to switch out your secondary for more equipment or perks. The maps are quite small for the most part, encouraging CQB. While they're all fun, none of them seemed to stand out to me as classics, unlike in previous games in the series. The 8 player Zombies mode also offers some replay value.

Visually, the game is similar to it's predecessors, with very little in the way of advancement. If you like Call of Duty, it's worth picking up Black Ops 2. You'll enjoy the additions, the new futuristic setting and having more freedom in your choices. If not, it's unlikely you'll be convinced this time around.

92

Highly Recommended

Joe_Crow | Aug. 28, 2013 | Review of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition

I've already clocked 40 hours into Dark Souls and have no intention of stopping any time soon. Dark Souls is the most rewarding game I have played in a long time. It's brutal difficulty, while making progress slow, is refreshing, and forces you to think before you act.

Replaying areas rarely feels like a grind, thanks to the deep combat system. This isn't a hack and slash game. Expect to have to learn the moves and patterns of each enemy before you're able to defeat them.

Story is almost non-existent unless you choose to speak to the various NPCs that populate the Lordran. The scarcity of any human companions gives the game a lonely and dark feel; this however, makes finding a bonfire (which allows you to save) or a human NPC all the more rewarding. The game is beautiful. Lordran is a varied world and is completely interconnected.

The PC port is not the best version of the game, with various control and graphical issues. With a couple of mods though, the game runs smoothly.

If you're looking for an deep, engrossing and challenging experience, I highly recommend Dark Souls.