Reviews by Monaro213

90

Shoot & Loot

Monaro213 | Nov. 19, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2 (ANZ)

Absolutely fantastic first person looter (I'm adamant that term has been used somewhere before, but it doesn't lose any relevance whatsoever).

Borderlands has always been about the guns. It's the focal point of the series. How do you kill enemies? With guns. What do enemies drop? Better guns. Kill stronger enemies with your better guns, and expect even nicer weapons, shields, grenade mods, class mods, etc to rain around your head. The gunplay mechanics are spot on. Each weapon class has a satisfying feel to it: the cocking of a shotgun (particularly the Torgue variety) feels and sounds phenomenal, the kick of a Jakobs revolver... it's spot on.

It'd be a great game based on that alone, but the characteristic cel-shaded visuals return in all of their glory for this game, and the highly stylised blood, gore and general violence are perfectly suited to such carefree gameplay.

The story is, while a bit generic, very well written, with Handsome Jack delivering memorable line after memorable line. It's a bit more focused than its predecessor, and this is a very good thing. You know where to go, when to go there, while still retaining the freedom to go about your business and mug one particular enemy endlessly in the search for a ridiculously rare weapon (pointed look at Doc Mercy and the Infinity.)

It is not without issues: I had some framerate issues at points, and there are more than a few instances of enemies getting stuck in terrain, etc. Nothing crippling ,however.

All-in-all, fantastically violent shooter, and the quest for more loot keeps dragging you back in for more.

85

Let Me Tell You A Story

Monaro213 | Aug. 5, 2013 | Review of BioShock Infinite (ANZ)

Bioshock Infinite is a fantastic story set in an achingly well-crafted world. Strife and chaos are disrupting an archaic, racist theocratic 'city-in-the-sky', while you, Booker DeWitt, are seeking to redeem yourself.

The team at Irrational have developed a fantastic tale and world, and my only real criticisms of this game are as follows: 1) You kill enormous numbers of police, vox soldiers, etc for very little reason. If there were less of them, I wouldn't have a problem, but for a game that confronts death a lot, to ignore the (in my case) thousands of kills that you make, it's a bit jarring. 2) The gunplay is rather dull. The Vigours liven it up a bit, but for the most part, it's the same gunplay you've seen and played over-and-over already, and if anything, is made less interesting by lack of feedback from your weapons. They're deadly accurate, little by way of recoil, and just feel strong. 3) Strong, that is, until you reach the 'heavy-hitters'. The Siren and the Handyman are unbelievable bullet sponges: I found them to be remarkably un-fun to fight. 4) My final criticism is more a nitpick than anything, but the pacing of the narrative is odd. You're thrust (rather elegantly, I must admit) into Columbia, then the narrative bottoms out for a few hours, before snowballing at an incredible pace and delivering a brilliant and satisfying ending.

All-in-all, however, this is a rare game that is all about the story. A singleplayer experience that I strongly recommend to anyone that loves a good, intelligent yarn. 85/100