Reviews by Kiant

88

A Return to Greatness

Kiant | Sept. 6, 2013 | Review of Tom Clancys Splinter Cell Blacklist

After a short break sulking in the shadows, Sam Fisher returns to our view and the question on our lips, is how is our grizzled spy?

Luckily he seems to have come back in good shape, after a few bumps in the long running series cough Double agent cough and some could say Conviction since it focused more on the action side in a series most known for it's stealth and not it's action side it was always going to be tough with this new entry. They clearly knew action would attract players but at the same time, the old Splinter Cell fans want true stealth back to the series.

Luckily this game manages the balancing act very well. On one hand you can play it as an action game, however you don't get rewarded as much money per mission. A hybrid style about being silent but still able to kill targets or you can play it purely silent and don't kill anyone and only subdue. You are not locked into doing any as you can freely choose during a mission.

So the developers are pushing you towards being silent since it has the most rewards but it does allow the players who don't wish to do that a choice. The fact they have been able to pull that off, shows full credit should be given to the devs.

When you throw in the Co-op and the return of the highly addictive Spies Vs Merc you have a very attractive package for the price, also your money to buy upgrades etc transfers across all aspects of the game and all aspects of the game are accessed from the singleplayer on your plane.

The only problems I have with the game is the story and the changing of the voice actor. The story is not exactly ground breaking and feels pulled from any number of Spy thriller stories out there but it doesn't diminish the fun factor of the game, after all gameplay is king in Splintercell games.

Secondly the voice actor is kinda weak. Not really his fault per se' but more that the direction he was given was not up to scratch. Ironside pulled off a more convincing job of a grizzled veteran, after all this game isn't a reboot, it's a fully fledged sequel.

And finally for all you PC gamers, the port is strong in this one so no need to worry about that :).

Overall a return to form for Splinter Cell and I hope Ubi continue with the direction they had in this game for future titles.

84

Crazy over the top, tounge in cheek action

Kiant | Sept. 5, 2013 | Review of Saints Row IV

Those are just a few words that can be used when it comes to speaking about Saints Row IV.It's hard to explain all of this game in just one sentence. The game has been amped up so much it's more on 20 dial than 11. The difference between the first saints row that was trying to copy cat GTA at the start of this generation, compared to the product we have now is outstanding. The further it has been able to distance itself from GTA and become it's own game, has worked wonders in making this franchise better.

Sure many of the concepts in this game are directly rifted from other games, such as collecting orbs high in rooftops, so clearly inspired from Crackdown, or that you plug yourself into a simulation which might as well be called the matrix all show that originality was not what the developers were aiming for.

That doesn't make it a bad game, since all those inspirations make this game stronger, the humor and ability to mock itself show the developers are clearly clever and know what type of audience they are aiming for. Sure it's not going to reach the dizzying heights of drama found in the walking dead by Telltale or ND's excellent Last of us but it is still fun. Sometimes, that's all that matters when playing a game, if it's fundamentally fun then you don't always need originality or fresh ideas. There are not many games where you can be driving a giant mech suit trying to accumulate a high score by blowing stuff up and then in the next instance hear your main character and an NPC singing along to "Opposites Attract" whilst driving to a mission marker.

If you want a laid back, kick ass game that is just genuinely a pleasure to play and enjoy having a massive smile on your face whilst doing it, then this game is for you.