Reviews by Nuxaider

73

Overhyped but Still Somewhat Enjoyable

Nuxaider | April 25, 2013 | Review of Grand Theft Auto IV

After the initial success of GTA 3, GTA 4 looked it would promise a lot and sadly, didn't deliver. Not that it's bad, but there are a lot of things lacking from previous games.

Graphics: The graphics are bit outdated by now but still look very good. The world looks very similar and authentic to New York and really helps with immersion at times.

Sound: The sound quality and assets are rather good also. The cars each sound different and the game's soundtrack that you hear mostly from the radio is a good selection of tracks to suit a wide range of genres. Voice acting for Niko and other main characters is pretty good.

Gameplay: Compared to other GTAs, GTA 4 is lacking. Immediately, you'll notice a lack of air vehicles, a lack of gadgets to play around with (jetpack), and overall, a lack of a fun story. This game takes its story a bit too seriously and the gameplay suffers as a result. The missions are mostly consisting of driving to a location, killing some people, and then driving back. To the game's credit though, there is a bank robbing mission that is a blast to play later on. I only wish the entire game was like this.

Overall, besides improved graphics and sound, not much has improved since previous GTAs. Unless you want to get it to play online with friends, I'd avoid this game.

92

Best GTA Out There

Nuxaider | April 24, 2013 | Review of Grand Theft Auto III

GTA 3 has a place in my heart as the best GTA ever made. It has a serious yet at times humorous tone, great graphics (when it was first released), a fun sandbox world to explore.

Graphics: Though obviously outdated, it was great at the time. Though the quality isn't as good, it has a very nice aesthetic.

Sound: While GTA 3 doesn't have a noteworthy original soundtrack, its selection of songs on the radio are excellent and very nostalgic.

Gameplay: The game manages to create fun missions that are still somewhat serious, which is a major accomplishment for any sandbox game. And of course, there are the sandbox elements. Various vehicles and weapons make it fun to explore the world and destroy everyone in your path.

Overall, this is an amazing sandbox game that may be outdated, but is still a blast to play.

100

Surprisingly Deep

Nuxaider | April 18, 2013 | Review of Plants vs Zombies Game of the Year Edition (NA)

At first glance, Plants vs Zombies looks to be a simple, easy game, but don't be fooled. The game has enough depth and complexity to give both adults and children a challenge while still having fun.

Graphics: The game isn't impressive in terms of graphical fidelity, but its artstyle is definitely good. It's stylish and charming; even the zombies look cute along with the plants. The design is overall colorful and very eye appealing.

Sound: The game has an amazing soundtrack that is cheery, dark, and sometimes even epic depending on different levels and situations.

Gameplay: Where most TD (Tower Defense) games have a focus on placing turrets around a path to manipulate or take advantage of the flow of enemies, PvZ has a straight lane in which you have to place plants to kill the zombies before they get to your house. While extremely simple, this puts a larger emphasis on enemy preparation rather than path preparation. Like it or not, it works well in the game. Also, the selection of plants are well balanced; there is/are no "best" plant(s) to use since each of them have balanced downsides and upsides. There's a large amount of levels, with mini-games thrown in every so often to break up the pace.

Overall, I can't think of anything bad to say about the game; good sound, good art, and overall simple but fun gameplay makes this a highly recommended game.

75

I Never Asked For This; But I'm Sure Glad it Came!

Nuxaider | April 17, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the prequel to the original Deus Ex, which in some regards, allows for some more creativity and new ideas to take root. So how do these new changes affect the game?

Graphics: The game looks very nice, with a lot of detail surrounding the main characters, though the minor characters could look better. The art style is very well done, though some may dislike the orange/yellow filter.

Sound: The soundtrack is very nice, but it lacks the mood and emotion the original Deus Ex provided. The music is mostly electronical (which the original also had) but it's just ambiance. There are moments where you can hear soundtracks from the original on radios and I kind of wish they didn't do that sound the difference between the two soundtracks isn't so jarring.

Story: While the story is very well done, it lacks the complexity and motivation the original Deus Ex had. The whole Illuminati and anti-augmentation components are a nice addition, but they merely serve as the background, not the main story which is just Adam Jenson being attacked, being augmented, and finding out who's behind it all. Another point worth bringing up is the ending. Like Deus Ex, the "RPG" elements don't matter a whole lot, especially at the end. There are literally, different buttons for the different ending you want. At least you actually had to perform different objectives to get different endings in the original Deus Ex.

Gameplay: Gameplay is for the most part, good. The mechanics are about the same but the shooting is much better. Augmentations are more streamlined; for example, you no longer have to activate an augmentation to have more strength, instead it's a permanent upgrade. The hub worlds are beautiful and large, with lots of areas to explore. I only wish the levels were like that. The stealth is mostly hiding behind walls while maneuvering around a crowded corridor. While there are multiple paths, it lacks the openness the original Deus Ex offered. Also, the game favors non - lethal too heavily. A kill is worth 10 XP, headshots are worth 20, a non - lethal kill is 30, a non-lethal headshot is 40, while a takedown is 50. Obviously, to powerlevel, non-lethal takedowns are the way to go. This encourages powerleveling since this is the most efficient way to earn XP and therefore to unlock more augmentations.

Overall, this is a worthy sequel to the original Deus Ex and I would recommend playing it. Hopefully mod support comes out soon.

90

The Definitive FPS/RPG

Nuxaider | April 16, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition DNS

I was introduced to Deus Ex after discovering that Human Revolutions was actually a prequel. This game set the standard for not only future Deus Ex games but also FPS/RPG-like games later to come.

Graphics: What can I say? A game this old obviously has bad graphics but they don't detract from the experience. In terms of the art style, it fits well and the constant darkness in the game complements the mood set in the timeline.

Sound: The music is some of the best music I've ever heard. The ambiance sets up mood very well and battle music to menu music is catchy, heart pumping, and sometimes emotional. As for voice acting, the main characters are well done, if a bit monotone at times. The minor characters aren't bad but are cringe-worthy at times.

Gameplay: Immediately starting up the game, you'll notice how large Liberty Island is. And it's only the first level. The greatest thing about Deus Ex is that there truly are multiple paths, choices, and playstyles a player can do. Non-lethal, lethal, or straight up avoiding enemies are all valid strategies to completing a level. A minor complaint I have is with the shooting; it's too RPG-like. While that sounds ridiculous since I just praised Deus Ex for that, trying to use a gun when you are low-leveled is near impossible thanks to the large bloom. Only upgrades and skill points can improve it. These aren't bad things, though I wish weapons were a bit more accurate early on. Also, some skills are rather useless (swimming, poison resistance, etc) while others are very good. Some better balance between skills would be nice.

Story: The thing that really drives home the story is how it relates to current life. The conspiracy theories and the plot twists make for an interesting and engaging experience that no other game can provide. However, the different elements of the story are vaguely connected and the player often forgets how and why they are in their location and the significance of it in relation to their previous objective. The minor dialogue and events are the most memorable, which is unfortunate since the story has a lot of care put into it.

Overall, if you want to see where it started, Deus Ex is a worthy, replayable experience. Oh and it has multiplayer.

60

Same Old, Same Old With Some Differences

Nuxaider | March 26, 2013 | Review of Call of Duty: Black Ops

It should be no surprise by now that each year, a Call of Duty game comes out, a year goes by, then a new one comes out. Despite this, this game is one of the few CoD I'll actually recommend to someone, albeit, ranked rather lowly.

Campaign - The story itself is bland, but how it's told is interesting. It suffers from the same dilemma as most FPS campaigns today: linear, bad AI, short campaign. It's mostly a time waster that you'd only want to play if you're really bored.

Multiplayer - After the disaster known as Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops brought the franchise somewhat out of the ditch. Core gameplay is essentially the same with some minor differences. Dolphin diving is included; it's a big change in the game but most players never use it which really is a same since it changed the meta game so much. Guns are relatively balanced and the maps are good but nothing special. Key gamemodes like Gun Game were a nice change of pace from gamemodes like TDM and Domination. The best thing to come out of this game is the COD points system. Basically, you get points each time you finish a match and you can then use those points to buy weapons, attachments, etc. This hands down beats the usual, "grind to get attachments" gameplay and lets the player customize their weapon as soon as they unlock it. This unfortunately didn't return in Black Ops 2 though.

Zombies - This mode, honestly, is only as fun as you make it. Playing with friends is fun, though that is largely due to the fact that they are your friends. The maps themselves are pretty good but only 3 maps is disappointing.

Overall, if you haven't played CoD before and want to try it out, I'd still recommend Call of Duty 4 over this game, but it is still an average game to try out.

70

Dated Game But Still Fun

Nuxaider | March 26, 2013 | Review of Hitman: Codename 47 Capsule

Hitman: Codename 47 is where it all started. In terms of mechanics, it feels clunky at times but still perfectly serviceable. Though this game was a masterpiece during its time, now we've been spoiled by better, more convenient game mechanics the later games offer. A.I. is poor by today's standards but are still smart enough to have a challenge. Overall, if you want to see where the Hitman franchise started, this is a worthy purchase.

63

Really Should Have Been Part of the Game

Nuxaider | March 2, 2013 | Review of Sonic Adventure™ 2: Battle Mode

As the name suggests, this DLC is only 2-player battle mode, and is essentially a collection of mini-games. Having two players on the screen is awkward and requires additional gear. Given how little content there actually is, this should have been part of the game. That being said, this functions as intended, is relatively cheap, and is a good optional time waster with friends. Overall, if you have nothing better to do in Sonic Adventure 2, buy this.

40

One of the Worst Sonic Games to Date

Nuxaider | March 2, 2013 | Review of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I

After over a decade since Sonic 3, SEGA has finally released its "sequel." Too bad it isn't any good.

Graphics: Graphics are decent. They aren't jaw dropping but they certainly get the job done. For some reason though, Sonic looks like he was dipped in varnish and is extremely plastic and shiny. Just an aesthetic though it may displease some people.

Story: This game has a vague story. After the events of Sonic 3, Eggman decides to use all his inventions to stop Sonic. And that's basically it. It may be criticized that there is no story, but as a tribute to older games, it does a good job of keeping how the story is told.

Gameplay: The fact that this game is even considered a sequel should be shameful. The levels are littered with springs and boost pads, making the game quite literally, "hold right and occasionally jump to win." The game basically plays itself with the amount of springs and boost pads in the game. Also, the levels and bosses are literally borrowed from older titles. Sure, some have some innovation here and there but if the levels seem familiar, it's because they are. The bosses are the same as you fought them over a decade ago with slight changes. The major turn-off for this game are the physics. Sonic controls awkwardly and defies conventional game physics such as being to run up a wall with hardly any speed. These clunky controls are the final nail in the coffin for this game.

Overall, I would not recommend buying this game now that Sonic Generations is out. This game's quality is so bad, it is an outright cash grab.

85

Sonic is Back to Glory

Nuxaider | March 2, 2013 | Review of Sonic Generations

In my opinion, Sonic games have gone down in quality since Sonic Adventure 2. Each game disappointed me more and more so when I saw Sonic Generations, I was expecting more failure. Luckily, SEGA showed that they still know how to make good Sonic games.

Graphics: The game looks nice, but not in a technical sense. The game gets its impressive visuals from aesthetics rather than technical force. Each level is bright and detailed, giving each stage their own unique look.

Story: The story in Sonic Generations is bad. The plot itself is self explanatory: it's Sonic's birthday, Eggman creates a time warp, you fix it, but it's just so,...boring. The setting isn't explained so there isn't much motivation besides "Eggman is the bad guy so I have to stop him." The voice acting doesn't help the story out either. Don't get me wrong; the voice actors are excellent, but their lines are cringe-worthy. Sonic sounds like a car salesman and it totally ruins the interest in the plot. That being said, the plot isn't very important in a Sonic game.

Gameplay: Sonic Team finally got it right. Previous games were plagued by linear level design and speed crazy gameplay that was only designed to make the player feel a rush when they were playing. There was absolutely no skill involved and it felt like playing a racing game. This game does not do that. Modern Sonic levels are wondrously designed and have more branching paths than the older "go left or right" variety. Levels are open and encourage exploration to find new paths to the goal. Classic Sonic levels are similar to the style of older titles and is definitely a nostalgia trip. The physics are not 100% accurate to the first couple Sonic games, but they are leaps and bounds better than the horrid physics of Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. The only minor complaints I have with Classic Sonic's stages are that there aren't enough loop based sections and the platforming is too "Mario-y" (simple hopping on one platform to the next.) Overall, excellent gameplay.

If you were disappointed by recent Sonic titles, Sonic Generations is the game fans have been waiting for.

80

A Great DLC After Two Dissapointing Ones

Nuxaider | Feb. 21, 2013 | Review of Battlefield 3: Aftermath (NA)

After Close Quarters and Armored Kill, Battlefield 3 players were longing for content that reminded them of the greatness of the Back to Karkand DLC. While Aftermath is not on the same level as Back to Karkand, it comes close.

Maps: From a gameplay perspective, the maps are very well balanced and cater to a variety of gameplay types. Vehicles are not as heavily armored but are still lethal, sticking with the theme of a aftermath, no pun intended. As to their design, they are nice to look at, but the same 5 shades of brown get boring quite quickly. A big marketing point of this DLC was the earthquakes, and they are sadly, underwhelming. All it is an occasional shake that makes it harder to aim. So much could be done with the earthquake idea; buildings could collapse and lead to new paths, streets could open up and reveal underground passageways to an objective, etc. So much more could be done but they decided to stick to the absolute basic.

Scavenger: Another gimmicky gamemode, but unlike Gun Master, it actually forces you to play with your team. It makes players use weapons they normally wouldn't use and tests their ability to adapt to any given gun. The only real issue I have with this gamemode is that the weapons don't have random spawn, so players who have played it longer will know where all the best weapons are located.

Crossbow: Another big selling point of this DLC. It is gimmicky, yet still viable. It manages to make the Recon more useful while allowing the other three classes to give up one of their important gadgets for more versatility. While you won't be clearing out any rooms with it, the gimmicky nature of this weapon makes it fun, challenging, and skillful to use.

New Player Models: The models are rather well designed, though I personally dislike their appearance. One thing that bothered me about the appearance of the stock characters is that most of them had their face covered up (nearly the entire Russian team has their face covered) and this DLC allows for a different appearance to your characters. However, the fact that you can't use the new player models in other maps is very disappointing, and in my opinion, a waste to only use them in one set of maps.

Dogtags: Once again, just cosmetic.

Overall, if the last two DLC left you disappointed, Aftermath is a good DLC to pick up.

20

Paying for Weapons? Yeeeaaa....no.

Nuxaider | Feb. 17, 2013 | Review of Deus Ex Human Revolution: Tactical Enhancement Pack

This DLC offers 2 weapons and an additional 10000 credits. And the problems already arise.

Silenced Sniper: The stock sniper rifle in-game cannot be silenced so to have an exclusive weapons that allows for stealth and is basically better than the sniper in-game breaks the balance of the game. This gun is strictly lethal (duh) which is unfortunate for non-lethal players. Some non-lethal weapons would be nice and would slightly justify this DLC. However, sniper rifle ammo is scarce early game so precision and ammo conservation are important.

Double Barreled Shotgun: This gun is awful. Not that the damage is bad, but that is completely goes against the style of the game. You are encouraged to be stealthy and/or non-lethal. A shotgun such as this throws non-lethal out of the window and forces you to get in close to enemies; enemies in this game deal a high amount of damage so it's rather counter-intuitive.

10000 credits: Though it is possible to earn a surplus of credits easily in the game, having such a high amount early in the game makes everything too easy; you can just buy your way to victory.

People can say "Don't use it then," but there is no way to drop currency and if you were going to drop your items, what's the point of buying the DLC? Overall, if you've gone through the game several times and have gotten bored of it, buy this DLC if you feel like messing around and obliterating all the enemies. If you want a challenge, avoid this DLC at all costs.

62

Good for Consoles, Bad for PC

Nuxaider | Feb. 17, 2013 | Review of Battlefield 3: Close Quarters (NA)

This DLC was what consoles needed but for PC, it is a total mess.

Maps: Map design is rather good, but as the name suggests, this DLC strongly favors close quarters combat, leaving long range infantry to suffer. With an elevated number of players on PC, it is a total slaughterhouse; which may or may not be a good thing depending on your preference.

Gun Master: An old concept tries to find its place in Battlefield 3 and fails unfortunately. You are put into teams but there is only one winner. What ends up happening is you follow teammates to steal their kill in order to win. Though it defies Battlefield's team oriented gameplay, it should have been a free for all, or some unique way for gun master to work as a team. Additionally, the weapon ranks are questionable; sniper rifles, long range assault rifles, and slow firing LMGs have no place in a high octane close quarters battle. It is better now since you can customize the weapon progression now. The only reason you'd want to play this is to unlock the weapons.

Guns: Though this DLC is called "Close Quarters" there are a lot of long ranged guns. That's really the only complaint I have with the weapons beside the "grind to get weapons" philosophy.

Dog Tags: Cosmetic so nothing worth noting.

If you really want the weapons that badly, get this DLC. Otherwise, avoid if you dislike close quarters infantry combat.

90

Best DLC for Battlefield 3

Nuxaider | Feb. 17, 2013 | Review of Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand DLC (NA)

Since this is written long after it was actually released, it's sad to say that this is the best DLC out of all the DLCs released so far. However, it's good so it has some merits.

Guns: This DLC includes 10 weapons, which is a healthy amount to keep things fresh in the core game. Though the FAMAS was OP at launch, it's now below average, which is unfortunate, but I rather have an underpowered weapon than a overpowered one. It is disheartening that you actually have to grind to unlock these weapons. Since you've paid for them, you'd expect you get them right away. Just a way to lengthen the game sadly.

Dog Tags: Purely cosmetic. 'Nuff said.

Maps: Easily the best group of maps in the game. Each of them is superbly balanced, allowing for any playstyle. Vehicles or infantry, not one dominates the other. There are some minor complaints though. For rush, the maps feel rather short though that doesn't signify bad level design. Also, it's a quick cash grab by EA and DICE to rerelease everyone's favorite maps; relying on nostalgia is easy to sell. I don't mind since they're actually good, but I wish the maps that came with the game were this well-designed.

Overall, if you don't have this DLC, I would highly recommend getting it.

67

Not Bad But Could be Much Better

Nuxaider | Feb. 17, 2013 | Review of Battlefield 3 (NA)

If you were like me, Battlefield 3 was your first Battlefield game so this review is based on a standard, non-Battlefield veteran standpoint. That isn't to say I know nothing at all about previous games but I don't have first-hand experience with older games.

First things first: this game requires Origin to play. I have a personal distaste for Origin but it doesn't affect the quality of the game. Love it, hate it, or indifferent to it, it's just a FYI. Additionally, I will be covering the single player, co-op, and multiplayer portions of this game. If you don't care about a certain section of the game, just skip on ahead. Anyways, onto the review.

Graphics: One thing that's been very consistent with every Battlefield game is the beautiful graphics and this game is no exception. The only thing that detracts from the beauty is the notorious "blue filter." As the name suggests, the game has a noticeable blue tint in it that makes the scenery seem washed out and dull at times. Bright environments suffer the least from this, but darker environments have a noticeable blandness to them.

Sound: In terms of an actual soundtrack, it's well produced, but very unmemorable. Most of the soundtrack sounds like generic Hollywood action movie music. The theme of this game is very bland and doesn't evoke as much emotion as I would have hoped. "But what about the epic Battlefield 2/older Battlefield theme?" I hear through the monitor. The theme is rarely heard and even when you do hear it, it's just a short snippet. As for the sound of the guns, vehicles, etc., it's very good and it feels as though you are actually shooting a gun or driving a jeep. That being said, I've never fired a gun or driven a tank so I can't say that the sound assets sound just like real life, but they are diverse, clear, crisp, and better than most sounds from other shooters I've played.

Single Player: The single player of this game is easily one of the most boring and tedious campaigns I've ever played. First off, this game treats you like an idiot. And before anyone cries out that it's catering to the mainstream audience, Bad Company 1 and 2 had campaigns that were interesting, respected your intelligence, was open, and most importantly, FUN all while being on console. Battlefield 3's campaign just does not deliver. Narrow hallways, a constant "Follow __" arrow to point you in the right direction, boring characters, and an overall boring story. Now, some fans will say that the campaign is a tutorial for the multiplayer. That is a downright lie. The only thing the campaign teaches is how to control infantry (which is basically the same as all FPS's anyways) and the tank, and even then, the tank "tutorial" is misleading. It implies that tanks have at least 3 weapons at once when you only have 2. Everything else vehicle related is not taught at all. As soon as I realized that in the jet mission you aren't flying the jet and are just sitting in the back on an on-rails type of deal, I had little hope for the game to actually teach me how to pilot important vehicles like the jets and helicopters. Overall, the campaign is a total waste of time and should be avoided at all costs. If you bought this game for the single player,...I feel sorry for you.

Co-op: This is slightly better than the campaign but not by much. The biggest improvements over the campaign is that you actually get to shoot people instead of watching your teammates do it. Other than that, the co-op adds a whole array of new problems. Idiot teammates and a lack of a VOIP makes it rather annoying, still rather linear levels, and the fact that you HAVE to do co-op to get all the weapons for multiplayer is ridiculous. What was supposed to be a fun time waster with friends turns into a mindless grind for multiplayer weapons. Additionally, one of the very first co-op missions require you to fly a helicopter, so basically, you'll end up crashing a lot and angering your teammates if it's your first time flying. All in all, better than the single player campaign, but not by much.

Multiplayer: Now this is what everyone's been waiting for: the main course of this game. Since the multiplayer is so large, I will be splitting it up into multiple parts. Scroll down to the ones you're interested in.

Frostbite 2: The "new and improved" engine that DICE had been advertising is surprisingly underwhelming. Walls that should be destroyed cannot and only specific buildings can be destroyed. They argue that if everything could be destroyed, it would unbalance the maps. Well then, design your maps better, simple as that.

Classes - Battlefield 3 introduces 4 classes: the Assault, Engineer, Support, and Recon. Each of these classes have their own respective role but the balance is not perfect.

Assault - Essentially the medic of this game. With the most versatile guns in the game (assault rifles), the ability to heal and revive teammates, and the ability to have underslung weapons, the Assault class easily outshines the other classes. Of course, it isn't the best since it cannot destroy vehicles at all, but the ability to go into any gunfight at full health is a valuable asset. Combine that with very versatile weapons and the Assault is the most important class in the game.

Engineer - The second most important class in the game. The ability to destroy armored vehicles (tanks, jets, helicopters, etc) makes engineers an important asset to a team....provided there are vehicles to destroy. On solely infantry maps, the Engineer is arguably worse than the Recon. The carbines are basically assault rifles but worse in terms of damage, recoil, spread, etc. It's not impossible to get kills with but against another player of equal skill, the Assault will always beat the Engineer. One thing to note is that the Engineer's AT-Mines have no physics, meaning that you can't "throw" them like you could in Bad Company 2. They simply drop wherever the cursor is pointed, which severely limits the Engineer's agressiveness. The Engineer's gadget, the EOD bot, is the most useless gadget in the game. Though it is amusing to see the physics make the EOD bot fly in the air and do flips, it cannot perform it's intended purpose, which is to arm and disarm M-Coms. Horrible driving physics make the EOD bot useless.

Support: One of the great things about Battlefield 3 is that LMG users (Support) are actually useful (Suppression; more on this later). The ability to throw down ammo for your teammates is somewhat useful if they want to continue using their gun but it is entirely possible to pick up another kit of a corpse and use that gun instead. Claymores and C4 make the Support an excellent area denial class but the "campiness" of this class may detract some from using it. On that note, C4 suffers the same issue as the Engineer's mines not being able to be "thrown" (see above). The third most important class in the game.

Recon: Recons can either be the most important player or the most useless player in your squad/team. Being able to snipe enemies from far distances, placing spawn beacons, making enemies show up on the map, and laser designating enemy vehicles are all important, but unnecessary. Recons are far less useful than they were in Bad Company 2: no C4 makes them useless against armored vehicles and no motion balls limit the usefulness of the Recon and make them more sedentary. Easily the most useless class in the game.

Suppression: This element of the game is so controversial that it deserves a section all to itself. Basically, suppression is supposed to emulate the feeling of being, well, suppressed in real life. No one can keep calm with bullets whizzing by their heads and explosions going off nearby. When you shoot at someone, the bullets will cause their screen to blur and their bullet spread to increase, forcing them to take cover until their screen clears. While in concept it is a great idea, the ability to make the enemies' bullets defy physics turn gun battles into total luck. Say 2 people are shooting each other: they each get 1-3 bullets on each other and by this point, they are both suppressed. Whoever survives is the one who happens to have luck on their side. A great concept, but executed badly.

Maps: Most of the maps in this game are rather terrible though there are a few gems.

Operation Metro: Basically the "Nuketown" from Black Ops in Battlefield. Set in the Paris subways, the map is essentially one giant choke-point and is a kill farm. It is extremely easy for the defending team to set up shop with their bipods and Recons and deny all access to the objective. Just flank them you say? Too bad there are only 2 other narrow corridors to go through.

Caspian Border: An actual good, large map. Though more suited more vehicles, dense foresty environments make for fun and intense firefights. There is nothing bad about this map.

Operation Firestorm: A large desert map with an emphasis on vehicles once again. There are roads for vehicles to traverse but also buildings for infantry firefights. Nothing bad about this map except for a tendency for Recon to snipe you 1000 meters away on the mountains.

Grand Bazaar: This map is literally a square. Putting a LAV in a map designed around infantry combat make this another kill farm map, though it's slightly better than Operation Metro since you can flank the opposite team.

Damavand Peak: When the trailer showed Damavand Peak, everyone freaked out about the base jumping and how it was "epic." That is now nothing more than a gimmick that will probably end up getting you sniped. The tunnels are basically Operation Metro except a bit darker but the outside of the tunnels are large and perfect for infantry combat. Not a bad map, though has some good and bad elements.

Tehran Highway: A vastly underrated map. The only night map in the stock game, it is wide urban combat with tanks. The size of the map allows for versatile gameplay: you can snipe, engage in close infantry fights, or go in a tank.

Kharg Island: Kharg Island is a cruel mistress; sometimes the map plays beautifully and you are in love with it and at times, you regret even joining the game. In terms of Rush, if you don't make a successful push on the first try, the defending team can spawn camp the attacking team which spawns on the carrier. Additionally, though this map has air vehicles, it is surprisingly small, but large enough for infantry combat.

Seine Crossing: Another Bazaar/Metro-esque map. Close quarters combat with a tank available. If you get pushed back far enough, the defending team can easily destroy the attacking team as they spawn. The buildings serve as a perfect camping spot and given how many floors there are, it's near impossible to take care of the campers.

Noshahr Canals: Known for its killfarm TDM variant, Noshahr Canals is actually a good map. It is wide and open but like Kharg Island, the attacking team can be spawn camped since they spawn on the carrier and can be sniped by anti-air and tanks.

If you managed to read up to this point, congratulations. Though it sounded like I was complaining the whole time, I actually do like this game. I just wish it was better. There are several design and map issues that make me cringe but it is still easily the best multiplayer shooter of 2011. If you have never played a Battlefield game before, go ahead and buy this. If you have played Battlefield before, I recommend waiting for Battlefield 4 instead.

85

Old But Still Golden

Nuxaider | Jan. 29, 2013 | Review of Hitman: Blood Money Capsule

Hitman: Blood Money is easily considered the best Hitman game in the series, and with good reason. It takes all the pros in previous games and puts it all in one complete package.

Graphics: Compared to today's standards, Blood Money looks mediocre. Even at the highest settings, it looks just "OK." There seems to be some issue with the visuals in first-person mode: in third-person, everything looks smooth and crisp while in first-person, it will usually look blurry and paler. Strangely, this seems to only affect certain areas. As for the cutscenes, they are simply put, awful looking. All the blur and paleness of the first-person mode is amplified along with jagged edges that really are somewhat cringe worthy to look at. Keep in mind that they don't ruin the game, but they are perfectly acceptable and the gameplay more than makes up for decent graphics.

Story: Though the story is interesting and is motivation to keep you going forward, this is not the selling point of the game. The game is told in sequences of flashbacks where you play as Agent 47 in those scenarios. The story won't be winning any awards, but it'll be enough to pique your interest.

Music: The music in this game is simply beautiful. The music ranges from ambiances to combat themes that are thrilling and emotional. When the music plays when you've been caught, your blood pumps as you run for your life or blast them away with your weapon(s) of choice. Overall, awesome soundtrack.

Gameplay: Now this is the meat and potatoes of this game. The concept is simple; Here's Agent 47, here's the area that the target(s) is/are in, kill them however you see fit. This simplistic yet open gameplay is the key to Blood Money's success. There are numerous ways to take out your target, either by creating an "accident" kill, poison their drink, choking them with fiber wire, or just simply shooting them. Also, the number of ways to actually get to your target add to the openness of the game.

That being said however, there are flaws in the game. Disguises are rather overpowered in this game, dressing up as a police officer or as a guard and being able to walk anywhere without being suspected is ridiculous. The only way they'll get suspicious is if you are in an unrestricted area, are standing next to another guard of the same type (cop to cop), dragging a body, or shooting an unsilenced gun.

Also, this game is mostly trial and error. I understand that the developers want you to learn from each playthrough but it is frustrating to die or become suspicious when the game tells you nothing. Also, whenever the game does give you hints, it's of your targets (which if it's your first time playing you wouldn't know) doing normal things like drinking a beer or singing on stage. All it does is leave you wondering, "Why is this important to me?"

Hitman: Blood Money is overall an amazing game and though is it aged and it does have its flaws, is definitely worth the purchase.