Reviews by Sganotak
A nice horror adventure gameSganotak | April 8, 2014 | Review of Betrayer
Betrayer is a nice horror adventure game made from former Monolith devs. It draws inspiration from The Elder Scrolls, Far Cry and even Dark Souls.
You begin the game stranded in the 17th century New World. However this land is inhabited by nightmarish creatures looking to make your life difficult. The UI is very limited and there's no handholding or missions to guide you. You just have to survive and progress through this twisted version of colonial Virginia. The game is very immersive and the black & white art style is something unique that adds to the atmosphere, of course, if you feel distracted or annoyed by it you can always add some color through the game's options. When you die, you're stripped off all of your equipment, which remains at the site of your death. Die again before reclaiming them and you lose them forever, thus the Dark Souls influence
Sadly Betrayer's weakness is what I expected to be it's strong point. Coming from people with a lot of experience in FPS games, I expected solid gunplay and good AI. This is not the case with Betrayer, since the shooting mechanics are very clunky and the AI is rather passive and follows linear patterns. The stealth in the game is also kinda random, as enemies will spot you from nowhere a lot of times or don't notice you at all when you sneak past them.
Betrayer may be rough around the edges but is certainly a rewarding game with unique ideas, I'd really like Blackpowder games to work on a sequel that builds up on what made the original great and sort out the gameplay issues this game has. If you're looking for an atmospheric first person horror game, you should definitely give Betrayer a chance.
Has many flaws, but it is still enjoyableSganotak | Jan. 24, 2014 | Review of Guise of the Wolf
Guise of The Wolf is a fun indie game. While there may be other games that do the werewolf part better, like Skyrim and Wolf Among Us, GOTW can still give you a good time if you look past it's many flaws
The gameplay is a combination of action, adventure and has a touch of stealth. As a human you have to hide and steal items from castle inhabitants. When you transform into a werewolf you use your strength to fight enemies and your agility to overcome obstacles in the game's platforming sections. Despite all this sounding good in theory, the actual gameplay is rather boring and unpolished. The stealth sections are plagued by a broken and really predictable AI, also the werewolf gameplay isn't very rewarding because it's too easy to one hit kill every enemy,
The story starts off strong but it gets a little boring and predictable as the game progresses. The game's setting is fantastic and I really liked the castle's dark and gothic atmospheres despite some areas being a little empty and generic. There are also a lot of jump scares throughout the game, that are pretty annoying. All in all, Guise of The Wolf was an enjoyable ride for the 5-6 hours it lasted
The gameplay employs a cel-shaded graphical style, a pretty good choice in my opinion, as it covers up the graphic engine's weaknesses. However it still looks like a 2000 game and the character models are low res and blocky. The music is really good albeit a bit repetitive and has a gothic feeling to it, but the voice acting is pretty average.
If you want a cheap indie adventure game with fairly low system specs, Guise of The Wolf won't leave you disappointed.
Medieval Gore-FareSganotak | Jan. 24, 2014 | Review of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare
This is a very fun multiplayer game. It's a first person slasher set in a medieval setting, with two rival factions battling over a fictional kingdom, the Agatha Knights and the Mason Order. It offers a variety of game modes such as Deathmatches, Duels, Last Man Standings and even Objective based modes.
There are 4 character classes that you can select from and level up by scoring kills. As you level up you will unlock more weapons for each class and some neat armor customization options that unfortunately are pretty limited. A problem I had with the game is that the archer class is way underpowered compared to the other three and requires a lot of skill and effort to be able to compete with the others
The gameplay is fun, accessible and really violent. Nothing's better than charging and beheading the guy that stabbed you in the back before. Each weapon is also very authentic and realistic so you can feel the weight and power of each hit. Also, unlike other multiplayer only games like Counter Strike, Chivalry is a lot more easier to get into and you won't always be dominated by more skilled players since the game is fast paced, wild and unpredictable.
While the game offers a decent tutorial to make you familiar with the combat mechanics. The single player modes where you can pit yourself against bots for practice are really lackluster. Not all maps are available and the bot AI is terrible. Also sometimes the game may present some annoying bugs but luckily Torn Banner Studios updates the game constantly and is quick to fix any major issue
Finally there is Steam Workshop integration for the game so you can download extra maps, skins and modes created by the community
If you want a fun multiplayer game that doesn't require hundreds of hours to be put into it just to feel competent, Chivalry is strongly recommended.
Worth every pennySganotak | Jan. 24, 2014 | Review of Don't Starve
Don't Starve is a unique indie survival game that has many fresh ideas, a lot of content and huge replay value
The objective of the game is pretty simple and summed up in it's title, Don't Starve. After being abandoned in a -randomized- world you'll have to survive by finding food, building a shelter and avoiding the creepy and monstrous critters of the night. It is not as simple as it sounds though and there is a lot of addictive material hunting involved, additionally there's an upgrade system and by doing research you can build more advanced weapons, shelters etc The game requires a lot of careful planning and clever management of the materials you gather to be able to survive and can be quite challenging
The dark, gothic atmosphere and art style of the game are truly impressive and so is the sound.
Finally, the game has an active and very competent modding community. You can download hundreds of mods that will enhance your experience, like the Heavy Weapons Guy from Valve's Team Fortress as a playable character and many more.
At this price and with the amount of content it offers there's really no reason not to buy Don't Starve
A good sequelSganotak | Jan. 24, 2014 | Review of F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
As the name implies, FEAR 2 is an origin story which provides the explanation for the events that took place in the first game. Despite being a continuation of the first game's FEAR 2 offers an entirely different point of view, as you control Michael Beckett, a member of a tactical force that after being assigned with a simple task is starting to encounter mysterious foes and witness paranormal events. The story may feel shallow and boring at first but it gets a lot better as the game progresses.
Gameplay-wise FEAR 2 fixes some rough edges that the first game had and also adds some new features, like a dynamic cover system, which can be used by you or your foes and drivable mechs. It is also a much easier game since you will come across medkits,armor and ammo a lot more often. Use of the slow-mo system is still the most fun way to play the game, and the damage feedback of the various weapons of your arsenal is great. There are also a lot of different foes with various abilities that add a spice of variety to the game
Unfortunately the game's atmosphere isn't that dark and gritty like the first game, but more sci fi. There are still some creepy levels but don't reach the quality of those found in the first FEAR.
The game's also pretty short and it will take you around 6 hours for a run on normal. There's also multiplayer, but I doubt that the community is still active
FEAR 2 is a solid follow-up to FEAR. While it may not be as groundbreaking as it's predecessor, it's still a great and atmospheric horror shooter
Not as great as Origins, but still a fine RPGSganotak | Jan. 23, 2014 | Review of Dragon Age 2 (EU)
Being released in less than a year after Dragon Age Origins was done with it's DLC, it was widely suspected that Dragon Age 2 would be a rushed product. This is partially true as DA2 doesn't even come close to the greatness of Origins. However it is still a great RPG bearing Bioware's seal of quality
Unlike Origins, in DA2 you play as a fully voiced character with a fixed race and background, similarly to Bioware's other epic, Mass Effect. This character, Hawke (whom you can freely customize in gender, appearance and class), is forced to escape Lothering with his family after the Darkspawn attack and settle in the city of Kirkwall, where the events of the game will take place
The story is good but it lacks the consistency and scope of Origins. It consists of three main acts, which are not very connected. Don't be worried though, the narrative is still the strongest part of the game and there are lots of different decisions that you make throughout the storyline that will affect later events. The dialogue system is very reminiscent to that of Mass Effect and most of the followers that you will acquire during your quests are interesting and full of personality.
The combat received a major overhaul and became more flashy, stylish and streamlined. I loved Origins' old school combat system but I have to admit that I enjoyed the changes that DA2 made a lot, since it achieved a good balance between tactical and action gameplay.
The graphics sport a more cartoony look but retain the gory and brutal animations that made Origins so awesome. The musical score is also impressive and the Voice actors do a very good job at bringing their characters to life
What's wrong with Dragon Age 2, is that it made a lot of compromises due to it's short development time. The majority of the action of the game takes place in the city of Kirkwall, so you will be visiting the same areas over and over again, even when you venture outside the city's walls you will soon realize that all the dungeons and outdoor areas are generic and identical. Another major problem is the lack of loot variety and most importantly follower customization, which was present in Origins. Finally, despite it's strong narrative and plot, Hawke's story arc seems really minor and irrelevant to the events of Origins and the universe of Dragon Age in general
Dragon Age 2 may take several steps forward for the series, but at the same time it takes an even or greater number of steps back. It is impressive however that Bioware despite all the pressure to quickly release a sequel for the widely successful Origins managed to deliver another great story-driven RPG. Therefore I strongly recommend this game.
A lot of fun at a reasonable priceSganotak | Jan. 23, 2014 | Review of Steel Storm: Burning Retribution - Complete Edition
This is a casual pick up and play top down shooter with a good value for money. The combat and levels are pretty repetitive but the DLC bundled together with the game adds some variety.
The gameplay is smooth and easy to get into, best enjoyed if you own a gamepad, but keyboard and mouse controls are pretty solid too. However, there are two overpowered weapons that you obtain towards the end of the game that are stupidly overpowered and completely ruin all the challenge that the game is trying to offer. The overall length of the game can be about 8 hours if you invest time in challenges and try to complete the DLC
There's also 16-man multiplayer which is a nice addition, but a lot of time lobbies and matchmaking will not work. Also if you get into a game, you will soon realize that almost all players will hunt for the overpowered weapons which can be frustrating.
There's also a robust level editor that offers you many tools to create and share your levels with the community. So if you're into modding Steel Storm will certainly leave you pleased
The graphics are pretty and the use of cel shading for the game's models is clever and fits the gameplay perfectly. The sound is also ok, but number of tracks is limited.
To sum it up, a lot of good silly fun can be had with this game. Add multiplayer and user mods to the mix and you have a great deal for your money. For the price it's currently offered on GMG there's no reason to not pick it up
An enjoyable old school RPGSganotak | Jan. 23, 2014 | Review of Might + Magic X Legacy Digital Deluxe Edition
I've been playing this since beta and I didn't like it that much. The available content was very limited and the game overall was very rough and unpolished. However the full release fixes most of these problems.
First thing's first, this is an old school first person RPG. You will spend most of the time roaming dungeons and doing quests, the character models of the party you control are not visible and there are no impressive spell and attack animations. So yeah, if you're not familiar with the genre, you should do some research first and see if you like it.
At the start of the game you create 4 characters among four different races (human,elf,dwarf,orc) which can be one of three basic classes (Warrior,Mage,Archer). Further class specializations (like Mercenary for Warrior) can be achieved via the class progression system. The combat is pretty accessible and easy to get into but the battles themselves -especially bosses- require a lot of tactical thinking and can be brutal sometimes. Another cool feature is that you learn more things about a monster type each time you defeat it. There is a wide variety of available skills for all classes and the numbers of quests and loot are quite satisfying. However due to the game's low budget a lot of these elements were dumbed down and streamlined compared to previous entries of the series
The story is pretty much non existent (as is the case in most games of this type) and no knowledge of Might & Magic lore or events is required to fully enjoy it.
The graphics of M&MX are using the Unity 3D engine so don't expect anything impressive. In fact, M&MX resembles a tablet game in graphics quality. However that doesn't stop it from creating a beautiful and believable world
This game have been in beta for so long, however a lot of technical issues that users have been reporting all the time still persist. I suffered a lot of framerate drops, crashes and graphical glitches in my high end rig, which forced me to restart the game. There's no point in releasing your game early in beta form if you're not willing to fix these critical issues by launch...
M&MX belongs to a genre that you just don't see nowadays, and it's undeniably good to see it making something of a comeback. While it may not have the same amount of polish and options that Legend of Grimrock offers it can still be a very fun pick up and play RPG
Vampires invade Skyrim!Sganotak | Jan. 22, 2014 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim® - Dawnguard™
The first expansion pack for Skyrim, boasts a vampire-centric premise mainly drawing inspiration from popular films like Underworld or Van Heilsing.
The main questline (which can be started if you're level 10 or above) revolves around Harkon, a vampire lord who wants to stop "the tyranny of the Sun" by recovering an ancient artifact. You can either join Harkon and help him accomplish his evil plans or try to stop him by joining the Dawnguard, an ancient order of vampire hunters. Both paths have entirely different quests with a few meeting points, which gives the DLC a huge replay value. No matter which side you choose, you will be joined by Serana, Harkon's daughter who is full of personality. The many conversations you will have with her during the questline will easily make her your favorite follower of the entire DLC.
In addition, Dawnguard adds a lot of interesting features to the already rich gameplay of Skyrim.Both the vampires and the Dawnguards offer various perks for joining them. There is a new weapon type (crossbow) which you can research and upgrade if you join the Dawnguard, you can also have armored trolls as companions and there's also a wide variety of new weapons and armors to choose from. Should you join the vampires, you will become a powerful vampire lord and have a unique set of powers at your disposal. Dawnguards also offers two new big areas to explore, some new interesting boss battles, skill trees for both Vampires lords and Werewolfs and many more.
Dawnguard is not without its technical quirks though. You may have a lot of slow downs and framerate issues when roaming around the new areas. Also, I faced some problem with waypoints not pointing in the right direction. However, all these are really minor issues and won't affect your overall enjoyment of the DLC
No matter if you like vampires or not, Dawnguard is an excellent addon for Skyrim with a huge amount of content, excellent replay value and some meaty additions to the main game. Strongly recommended
A fun sandbox gameSganotak | Jan. 22, 2014 | Review of Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 puts you in the shoes of Rico Rodriguez and sets you loose on a fictional tropical island. The game is fun, granted, but the novelty that it initially has wears off before too long of playing.
Rico's main and most interesting weapon is the grappling hook which allows you to tie two objects together or get to your destination quicker. This game also provides you with multiple parachutes as you fall courageously from the sky. It's unrealistic, that's a given, but that's what separates it out from games such as Grand Theft Auto. Graphically Just Cause 2 is stunning. The tropical vistas dash out in front you, begging to be explored. Too bad the game's world is mostly empty and generic. Some of the game just feels too empty. It makes the city feel completely static, and the one time you find a person, if you accidentally hurt them, you'll get far too many police coming in your direction.
One of the good things about Just Cause 2 is the sense of speed and adrenaline that the game gives you, it's completely unrealistic, but it's just so much fun. The ragdoll physics definitely do the game some good as well, because if you go flying off a cliff, you hover and crash ferociously on the cliff below. The game definitely has a few secrets too,. There is also such a vast array of things in the game that it takes so long to get from one end to the other. There are achievements that you can hunt for, but getting them on STEAM isn't really that satisfying, they're just something extra.
The audio in this game is beyond bad, the voice acting is terrible both in quality and the actual acting. The music was OK though
The main problem that I had with Just Cause 2 is that it doesn't have much replay value and you won't return to it for a second playthrough. It's fun game for, sure, but even before the end, you will be bored and eager to give it up and play something else. There also a recently released multiplayer mode for the game, which admittedly is a lot more fun than single player. At it's current price and paired with a discount coupon from GMG it's certainly worth a purchase
An enjoyable MOBASganotak | Jan. 22, 2014 | Review of Demigod
Demigod is not just another MOBA. It focuses more on strategic thinking and co-operative play, since team and base development is just as important as character progression. Does it hold up though with other games of the genre?
There are a total of eight Demigods you can choose from divided into 2 categories. 4 assassins and 4 generals. Generals require more strategic thought as they control their own personal army. They also focus on supporting allied Demigods and controlling the battlefield. On the other hand assassins have more devastating moves and focus on all out damage and destroying the enemy structures and Demigods. Unlike other MOBAs Demigod offers 8 unique maps, which is pretty good and adds a layer of variety to the game
Although the game is extremely fun to play with friends and even against the AI. It lacks many vital components. For example there is no tutorial on how to play the game. Many single player practice games are needed just to get the hang of the basics. After this your will have spend a lot of time to become familiar with the advanced features of the game. Such as helping and upgrading allies, buying units, armor and items, and advancing stages in your own technology tree.
The number of Demigods is also very small compared to the hundreds of characters other MOBAs offer. In addition, the balance of the game is questionable. This restricts multiplayer games as teams often consist of the same Demigods.
Demigod suffered from a lot of bugs at launch, many of which have yet to be fixed. The community is also pretty dead for a MOBA but you still can have a lot of fun if you pick this up with friends. However, keep in mind that there are other games that do everything Demigod does better and for free.
Fantastic turn based RPGSganotak | Jan. 22, 2014 | Review of Blackguards
This is Daedalic's first attempt at creating a hex turn based RPG similar to FF Tactics or Heroes of M&M and I can say that I am quite impressed. I am playing this since it was in Alpha and I am very happy that it lived up to it's promises.
The story has your created character falsely accused of murdering a princess and imprisoned. With the help of two outlaws you break out and try to uncover the evil plot. Along the way you will meet lots of interesting characters that will aid you or stand in your way. The story is pretty linear but there are many choices that can result to different outcomes, so no playthrough is exactly the same to another. What I really liked about Blackguards was it's dark and morally gray characters that help shape up a strong and interesting narrative. It's Daedalic after all, who specializes in adventure games with rich and mature stories...
The gameplay is based on the rules of The Dark Eye, a pen and paper RPG game that is more popular in Daedalic's native Germany. Newcomers to the genre may be overwhelmed and confused by the complexity of the skill tress and the difficulty of the combat, which can be punishing at times. However veterans will feel pleased and rewarded by the depth and variety of the character progression system and overall gameplay. Furthermore, Blackguards brings some noteworthy additions to the genre like environmental interactions. The character class progression may be sprawling with options but the aesthetic character creation is very limited. Also there is no proper tutorial in the start of the game so it will take a while for you to get used to the game's mechanics.
The environmental design is beautiful and among the best I've seen for a game of the genre. On the other hand, character models lack some detail and despite everything being fully voiced in the game, there is no lip syncing. The voice acting is pretty good and the soundtrack fits the game's atmosphere perfectly
Blackguards is an impressive addition to the turn based RPG genre. Clearly aimed at the hardcore crowd, with a dark mature story and a lot of replay value it delivers a deeply enjoyable experience
Great Hitman GameSganotak | Jan. 21, 2014 | Review of Hitman: Contracts
This game is pretty much a remake/reboot of the original, so if you didn't play the first Hitman, Contracts is the ideal starting point for the series.
It's an old game however and you will immediately notice a lot of issues, like the lackluster AI or the terrible controls. The graphics engine is pretty dated as well and the game is not optimized for modern PCs. I am pretty sure there are mods out there though that will potentially fix that for you. I also didn't like the pre-mission briefing since it is presented in a very static and unaesthetic way.
The gameplay is the classic Hitman Sandbox Stealth. There are not many gameplay upgrades from Hitman II, and the environmental variety is not as good as Silent Assassin's but the game is still a blast to play if you enjoyed the original Hitman gameplay formula. As I said before, the narrative is a main focus for this game and it is an origin story.
Another very strong part of the game is it's brilliant soundtrack composed by Jesper Kyd, who is responsible for the soundtrack of all Hitman games. It fits the game's gritty and dark atmosphere perfectly and it also dynamically changes to fit the action or add more suspense
Right now, Blood Money is the definitive Hitman experience. However if you played Blood Money or want some more background on the Hitman story and characters, Contracts is the game for you
A short but good DLCSganotak | Jan. 21, 2014 | Review of Sleeping Dogs: Zodiac Tournament
This DLC pays tribute to the various Martial Arts flicks of the Chinese cinema. It is even presented as a film, which is pretty cool.
It focuses almost entirely on the melee part of Sleeping Dogs, which is a great thing and offers various challenges. There are new enemy types with different fighting styles, new death traps and a lot more. If you think that you mastered combat in the main game this DLC will give you a good challenge. There are also unlockables that transfer to the main game after you're done with the DLC
However it is pretty short (less than 2 hours if you avoid the collectible finding) and hasn't got much replay value. Still it's an enjoyable experience and if you enjoyed Sleeping Dogs , you're gonna have a blast with Zodiac Tournament. United Front Games deserves all of our support for this awesome game
A good little DLCSganotak | Jan. 20, 2014 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim® - Hearthfire™
This DLC may not include an epic storyline with tons of new objects and quests like the other two and it Just gives you the opportunity to build your own house from scratch
The three holds of the game that didn't have a purchasable property now offer you the choice to purchase a deed and build your own house there
The housebuilding itself is pretty limited so don't expect it to have the depth of The Sims or Minecraft. However it's still pretty good since you have lots of different foundations, room types and interior design options
Outside of house building and material collecting this DLC also adds some new options, like child adoption and hiring of a follower as a steward. There are also some fun new quests like protecting your property from raids or rescuing your family from kidnappers.
A minor issue I had with the DLC is that sometimes items that you place in display cases or bookcases tend to glitch
Hearthfire is a nice small DLC at a fair price that adds a lot of interesting features to the game
Wasted PotentialSganotak | Jan. 20, 2014 | Review of Kingdoms of Amalur - Reckoning (EU)
If I had to describe KoA in one word that would be generic. The world is generic, the characters are generic, the plot is generic and the quests are generic. Such a shame for a game that wasted a huge amount of budget on hiring talent like Todd McFarlane and R.A Salvatore to create the game's world and lore.
If you ignore all of the above KoA can be quite a fun RPG since it features an excellent combat system, tons of loot, a very unique and vibrant class customization and leveling up system and a lot of interesting enemy types.
The cartoony graphics fit the game quite well and you will feel right at home if you enjoy games with similar art direction like WoW
The game also offers a lengthy main quest and lots of side quests which are unfortunately very similar to the boring grinding quests available in MMOs
If you can get past the generic nature of KoA, it is guaranteed that you will have a lot of fun with it since it is a very polished game, with tons of content and solid gameplay mechanics
My personal favorite game of 2012Sganotak | Jan. 20, 2014 | Review of Sleeping Dogs Digital Edition
This is probably one of the very best open world crime games of this generation. It may not bring anything new to the table but it combines a lot of different and fun gameplay elements into the same package.
The graphics are fantastic. If you have a high end rig you can also try downloading the free HD textures pack to enjoy the game at its fullest. The rain effects are amongst the best I've ever seen in a videogame
The story is pretty good albeit a bit predictable. The characters however are very well written and brilliantly voiced acted, as a lot of famous Asian actors lend their voices to them like Lucy Liu, Will Yun Lee,Ian Anthony Dale, Byron Mann, Robin Shou etc.
The gameplay is a lot of fun and it makes you feel like you're starring in a Hong Kong action flick, which was what the developers were aiming for. The fighting system is very fluid and reminiscent of the Batman Arkham games, The driving despite being a bit arcadey fits the game well and introduces some concepts rarely seen in open world sandbox games like jumping on other moving vehicles and hijacking them . Shooting is also very fluid and responsive despite it being a minor part of the game with guns feeling more like temporary power ups. The player movement in the world is pretty limited however and the parkour sections are linear. The game would benefit a lot from a system like the one featured in the Assassins Creed game.
The main story takes around 12-15 hours to beat but the game offers a wealth of side content. There's also no multiplayer mode which is a huge plus for me since the developers focused 100% on the single player experience
The true crime games have always been a guilty pleasure of mine and I wasn't expecting much from Sleeping Dogs. However it turned out to be my favorite game of 2012. Can't wait for the sequel
Overrated but still enjoyableSganotak | Jan. 20, 2014 | Review of Far Cry 3
Despite hating Farcry 2, I gave FC3 a chance after the universal praise it received. The game is definitely better than FC2 but it still suffers from some major flaws and bad game design choices
The best thing about Far Cry 3 are it's graphics. The game is pure eye candy. The flora and fauna of the island are so beautiful and feel so alive. The physics engine is impressive too and the in-game fires are so realistic and spread so naturally that you will be tempted to burn things up all the time
The gameplay is good and the shooting mechanics are solid. There's also weapon customization in the game and it is always fun to edit and upgrade your loadout depending on the situation
What's wrong with FC3 is that relies too much on the tropes and boring features found in Ubisoft's open world games. The side missions are a joke and are mostly like "kill a pirate with x weapon or hunt x animal with y weapon". This is unacceptable for a game of this age. There are also other activities like climbing radio towers to uncover the map (copy-pasted from Assassins Creed) or clearing outposts that get old quick. Finally the level up system that is presented with tribal tattoos on your arm is a failed attempt at adding RPG elements to the game and locks certain gameplay aspects behind it like cooking grenades or stealth takedowns, which should have been available to you from the beginning
The story is pretty weak and while it's pretty cool to play as a tourist gradually turning into a battle hardened warrior, Jason himself is a pretty unlikeable protagonist. The other characters of the game are forgettable too, except Vaas, brilliantly portrayed by Mark Mando, who unfortunately plays a smaller part than I'd like in the story
The competitive multiplayer is average but the 4 player Co-Op mode can be fun since it features a different story with new protagonists
The game also offers editing tools for creating maps
Farcry 3 may not have deserved the praise it got on release, but it is still an enjoyable shooter with impressive graphics and great shooting mechanics
Underrated gemSganotak | Jan. 20, 2014 | Review of Spec Ops: The Line
I had a lot of fun with this game and it is surely one of the best TPSs I played. It's too bad that it flew under the radar of most gamers
The art direction is amazing. I've never played a Shooter game with such amazing world art and environmental beauty. The story is another strong part of the game and unlike the other unrealistic and mindless military shooters like COD and Battlefield, it is dark, mature, emotional with realistic and believable characters
The shooting mechanics are stellar and there are also some good tactical options for squad management. What I didn't like about the game is that it's pretty linear and really short. It took me 5 hours to complete it on Normal and the amount of challenge was just right.
There's also a multiplayer mode but it's pretty average and the community is dead.
If you're looking for a single player focused TPS with a deep and emotional story, then Spec Ops is the game for you
A good conclusion to the seriesSganotak | Jan. 17, 2014 | Review of SpellForce 2: Demons of the Past
This is the last expansion pack to the Spellforce 2 series, that started back in 2003. Like the previous games it's a mixture of strategy and RPG in the vein of the old Warcraft RTS games. There's single player where you create your character and advance through the story together with a band of heroes and there's are also skirmish mode that you can play online or vs the AI which focuses more on base building and the RTS elements of the game.
The single player experience is really enjoyable and continues the story from the last expansion. There are some cool new additions to the campaign like puzzles. There's tons of new loot and quest. Finally, the story is pretty good and concludes the series pretty well
The skirmish/online mode is ok, although you can tell that the game is primarily designed as an RPG, so a lot of the strategy elements are not well developed.
The graphics of the game hold up pretty well despite the main Spellforce 2 game being released in 2003, the music is also good and fits the game pretty well but there's a limited number of tracks. The UI is similar to that found on old games of the same genre and could have been more modern and responsive.
This expansion is standalone and doesn't require the previous games to work, but I strongly advise that you play them in order so that you don't get lost in the story.
Demons Past is a good RTS/RPG and a worth conclusion to the Spellforce series. I strongly recommend it
Didn't stand the test of timeSganotak | Jan. 17, 2014 | Review of Gun Metal
This is a 10+ year old game so don't expect much from it. It draws inspiration from Transformers as you control a huge mech that can transform to a jet at any time.
The story is almost non existent and the game revolves around simple missions where you have to escort friendly units, protect your base or launch assaults at enemy bases. The mech and jet controls are pretty clunky and the targeting system can be unresponsive sometimes, also the game AI is pretty linear and always follows the same patterns.
As you progress through the game, you will unlock a lot of new weapons and upgrades for you mech suit,. The weapon variety is very good and it is always fun to experiment with your loadout and try different combinations.
Gun Metal was an average game at it's age and now it feels even more dated and hard to get into. However if you are a fan of Transformers and would like to play a game with simple missions, you can consider picking this up at a discounted price
A good but overpriced indie platformerSganotak | Jan. 17, 2014 | Review of Wooden Sen'SeY
Wooden Sen'Sey is a decent indie action platformer. I picked this up expecting something similar to Trine but it's a lot different as it features a lot less puzzles and doesn't use the physics engine that much. The graphics are pretty good and each level has a unique art style and musical theme.
The main problem with Wooden Sen'Sey is it's repetitive and some times very difficult gameplay. There are 9 main story levels, with each one featuring various challenges that you can beat, which add a bit of replayability to the game. Your main weapon is a grappling hook that you can use to not only navigate the levels but also kill enemies and chain combos together. If you ignore the various challenges, the game can be completed in about 2 hours which is very short
It is also better to play this game with a controller as the mouse and keyboard controls are bad.
Wooden Sen'Sey is most definitely not worth it's current price. There are far better and cheaper platformer games. Pick it up when it's -75% off
DisappointingSganotak | Jan. 17, 2014 | Review of Montagues Mount
This is a psychological thriller adventure game. I am a big fan of the genre and I had a really hard time getting through Montagues Mount. The game is a letdown. First of all, the storytelling is unintuitive and you will spend the most time solving generic puzzles. The game's also highly unpolished and riddled with bugs. On the other hand, the audio design is pretty good and the atmosphere is interesting despite the game's weak graphics. There are more episodes coming in the future so let's hope that they're of better quality. In the meantime if you're looking for a good psychological thriller you can play Dear Esther
A unique strategy experienceSganotak | Jan. 17, 2014 | Review of Crusader Kings II
Unlike other Paradox games, Crusader Kings II focuses more on creating a dynasty than conquering the world. If you're new to Paradox's grand strategy titles Crusader Kings II is the perfect starting point as it is a lot easier to get into than Europa Universalis, Victoria or Hearts of Iron. It still has a steep learning curve and the lacklustre tutorials don't make up for it, but fortunately there are lots of Youtube tutorials and Let's Plays that explain the game mechanics
The gameplay is a mixture of grand strategy and RPG. When you start a game you can play as one of hundreds of different characters, be it a King or a count of a small province. There is no end goal or objective in the game, which gives you the freedom to tell your own stories and do pretty much whatever you want with the game. Each character, has several attributes and personality traits than can affect his relationships with other nobles. There are also some random events that tend to repeat themselves some times. The AI is very realistic which makes the game more immersive
There is also a wealth of DLC available for the game. Most of them are just (overpriced) cosmetic upgrades to the game like better portraits for the different races, or unit models, but there are also major ones which enhance the game and add a lot more gameplay options to the game, like playing as a Muslim, Pagan or creating a Republic.
The game is very mod friendly and the modding community is very strong. I personally recommend the Song of Ice and Fire mod if you're a fan of the tv series/books.
If you're a fan of strategy games and medieval dynasties, this is the game for you
An excellent stealth gameSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Hitman: Absolution
Absolution doesn't stay true to it's Hitman roots, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. It is a great and pretty challenging stealth game, with solid mechanics and good replay value. The shooting is very fun and responsive and it's more rewarding to use guns to take out targets this time. There's also a variety of environmental objects that you can use as weapons and you can still make deaths look like accidents.
The graphics are fantastic and all the places you visit during the storyline are very impressive and fit the game's personality perfectly
Sadly Hitman Absolution has some major flaws like a broken disguise system, which lets people wearing the same costume as you, spot you very easily and a bad checkpoint system that respawns previously killed enemies each time you reload.
There's also Contracts Mode, which offers community created contracts on the story levels. It's a nice idea with a lot of potential that is severely limited from the linearity of most levels.
Absolution may disappoint nostalgic Hitman fans. However it takes several steps forward for the series and is an excellent and pretty fun stealth game
Another great game from Netherrealm StudiosSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition
Injustice does everything to please hardcore fighting game fans and casual fans alike. It features an accessible and robust fighting system mainly based on meter management. Interaction with stages and character types also play a large role during battles. All these result in epic fights with a really cinematic feel, which makes Injustice a pleasure to play and watch
The roster is pretty diverse and will please every DC fan out there and each character has a wide variety of skins to choose from.
The Story mode is pretty good, and a lot of the DC Animated Universe voice actors reprise their roles. There's also Classic Battle and S.T.A.R Labs that features various challenges and mini-games. Even if you don't feel comfortable going online the single player content of this game is more than enough to keep you busy
Online play is great and the King of The Hill from Mortal Kombat makes a return. However the game tends to lag sometimes so you won't be able to pull off most of the combos you practice offline
To sum it up, Injustice is a great game and the perfect opportunity for fighting game newcomers and DC fans to get into the fighting game genre
Best Superhero game ever madeSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Batman Arkham City: Game of the Year
Arkham City improves upon everything that made Asylum so great and innovating. The game is set in Old Gotham, which is now a high security prison and called Arkham City. Batman infiltrates it and tries to uncover an evil plot set by Hugo Strange. There's a large cast of batman villains that you will face throughout the game like The Joker, Mr.Freeze,Poison Ivy and Bane. The voice acting is amazing and most of the Animated Series actors reprise their roles
The combat system has received a huge upgrade and is more rewarding than ever. Batman can now use most of his (new) gadgets mid battle and there are tons of new moves and takedowns. I dare to say that this is the most complete and fun combat system out there. The stealth/predator sections are also upgraded since the enemy AI is a lot more competent at spotting you and flanking you and all levels are carefully designed to reward a strategic approach. There are also a lot of Riddler Puzzles scattered around Arkham City which are extremely fun to solve and unlock batman lore.
The story is pretty good, although at times it feels that the plot advances too quickly. Personally, I liked Arkham Asylum's story and setting more
The Game of The Year Edition offers Robin, Nightwing and Catwoman as playable characters for all the game's challenge maps and it also contains the Harley Quinn's Revenge mini campaign. So there are lots of content to keep you busy. Definitely a must buy and one of the best games of the past generation
Co-Op at it's finestSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Left 4 Dead 2
Like most other Valve games, L4D2 is mainly focused on multiplayer.
The game features new protagonists and the old ones in a total of 13 different campaigns with each one having multiple levels. You can play them single player with AI controlled teammates or join a Co-Op game, which is the meat of the game
What really impressed me is that the AI Director who populated each level with normal and special infected will give you a different challenge it's time based on your team's strength,weaknesses and overall style of play. Most Special Infected require a lot of teamwork to be defeated and that's where the game really shines
The Source Engine despite being dated works really well, the gore and dismemberment of the zombies is really satisfying
There are lots of official and unofficial modifiers that you can apply to your campaigns like permadeath, headshot-only kills and many more. This greatly extends the game's replayability
There is also a competitive mode where you can play as either the survivors or the special infected but unfortunately the community is pretty cruel to new and inexperienced players.
To sum it up, L4D2 is one of the best Co-Op games on the market
A decent HD portSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Assassin's Creed Liberation HD
This is an HD Port of the PS Vita game that was released last year. Luckily they didn't just stop at updating the visuals but they also added new missions, enhanced the battle mechanics so that it feels more like the other Assassin's Creed games. They also fixed some technical issues found in the handheld version.
However it is still a streamlined Assassin's Creed so expect a lot less content and overall game length than the home system/PC games. Aveline is a surprisingly charismatic protagonist and it's good to experience the life of an Assassin from a female perspective. The setting is magnificent...18th Century New Orleans is one of the most interesting places the series has ever visited, and it's even more impressive with the updated visual as the world is now more alive and populated. The game also focuses more on stealth than combat, featuring a disguise system which you can use to fool your enemies.
If you're new to the Assassin's Creed franchise or are looking for a good action adventure game, you should probably play the other games first. If you're a fan of the series and want to experience a new interesting side story in the Assassin's Creed Universe, Liberation HD is the game for you
Only worth playing Co-opSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
This is yet another average and generic Lord of The Rings game.
The story is bad and the voice acting is horrible, despite Nolan North and Laura Bailey playing two of the lead characters. You will also interact with most of the main characters from the movies and the books but you will soon realize that they're just there for fan service and add nothing to the game.
The game is plagued by several anachronistic game design choices, like invincible walls, linear levels and character progression system, dialogue trees that serve no purpose and many more.
The combat system is solid and the violence is pretty close to that of the movies. However it becomes repetitive and tiring after you clear wave after wave of the same enemies in each level. The boss fights are disappointing and the challenge is minimal because you can get revived by your teammates as soon as you fall in battle
The game is pretty long (12+ hours) so I strongly advise you to play this co-op with friends or with people online, otherwise you will most likely get worn out from the repetitive nature of the game. The 3 protagonist system works pretty well and you can freely switch between them throughout the story even if you're playing alone.
Even if you like LOTR, you will find War in The North boring and uninspired. However if you find it for a low price and have some friends to join you it can be an enjoyable game
A new breath to the seriesSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag
This game is a prequel to ACIII, you play as ex-privateer Edward Kenway who is also Connor's grandfather. Like all previous games, AC IV is set in an open world filled with things to do and secrets to uncover. While an Assassin's Creed game in name, Black Flag is mostly focused on living the pirate life.
The much praised naval combat of ACIII returns and it's now a core part of the game. You will spend a lot of time sailing and exploring the West Indies for treasure and as a pirate you can raid other ships and forts . The game offers a lot of content and it will take you a substantial amount of time to reach 100% completion. Most ACIII mechanics that were overly complex have been reworked and fit the game perfectly
The story of the game is good for Assassin's Creed standards and Edward is a likeable protagonist. You will also interact with notorious pirates from that time period like Black Beard, Calico Jack and Charles Vane. It is also important to mention that you don't need to play the previous games to fully understand this one, as it's pretty much a reboot of the series
This is probably one of the finest looking games on the market. Everything looks beautiful and you will surely spend a lot of time just admiring the beautiful scenery, especially if you have a high end system. The voice acting is also great and the music will give you a Pirates of The Caribbean vibe
Also the much annoying and tedious Animus sections from previous games that broke the pace of the game are greatly reduced and are mostly optional.
What I didn't like about the game is that it hasn't evolved much gameplay wise from AC II. The free running animations are still the same, the sword fights despite having top notch choreography are still very easy and the stealth sections are not challenging because of the lackluster enemy AI. Also most of the main storyline missions are generic and are just camouflaged side missions
In conclusion, AC IV is what ACIII should have been. Even if you don't enjoy the AC games but are interested in pirates, you owe it to yourself to play this game because it's the best pirate themed game ever made
One of the best strategy games ever madeSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Total War: Shogun 2
Shogun 2 is not only the best Total War game ever made, but also one of the best strategy games of all time.
It's set in the 16th century feudal Japan and your ultimate goal is to become Shogun by conquering Japan.You play as one of many available clans, with each one having a different specialty (the Chokosabe are superior archers while the Shimazu have the best katana samurai for example). Your starting position and neighbors play a large role in the initial challenge so each clan needs to be approached differently
The game is significantly harder than previous Total War entries. This is mainly owed to the fact, that the economy of the game is very strict and hard to manage and requires clever managing. The AI also is a lot more human like and it will provoke to establish an alliance or trade agreements with you through Diplomacy. What I really love about the AI in this game it wants to become Shogun as much as you, so it can try to trick you, manipulate you and blackmail you. The game is equally challenging in both early game and late game, as in the beginning you will have to build a strong foundation for your clan while in the end game you will have to defend yourself from the other powerful clans that will try overthrow you after witnessing your rise to power.
The graphics are amazing. The environments are beautiful and the attention to detail is outstanding. Each unit is very detail and when two armies engage in combat the battle animations are awesome and immensely satisfying
The art direction is one of the strongest points of this game. The UI, the Map, the menus are all hand drawn in japanese fashion which really adds a lot of immersion to the game. The ancient Japanese music that plays during the campaign or during battles also fits the game perfectly.
One minor issue I had with the game was the little number of units available. I know this is supposed to take place in a single continent but the devs could easily make the troops of each clan have a unique design. Fortunately there are lots of mods that can address that
There is also an updated Multiplayer component for the game which features a lot of new additions, like Co-op and head to head campaigns, an avatar conquest mode and real time custom battles.
To conclude, Shogun 2 elevated the Total War franchise to a new level and it's certainly worth a purchase, whether you're a casual or hardcore strategy fan.
MediocreSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Basketball Pro Management 2014
If you expect this game to be similar to Football Manager, but for basketball then you will waste your money. Keep in mind that this was developed by a small team of students.
There are a lot of leagues to select and there's a good variety of management options. You can also play as a Youth Team or a Women's team which is pretty cool. There's also a data editor which lets you modify pretty much everything in the game
The game suffers from a lot of technical issues, like constant crashes, slow loading times, unresponsive and glitchy UI, just to name a few. The AI is also laughable and it makes some pretty funny and weird choices
Unfortunately there is not a proper tutorial for the game, so you'll probably have a hard time figuring out the game if you don't find any helpful guides on the internet
You will probably enjoy this if you're into management games but it's certainly not worth it's current price.You're better off picking up NBA 2K and playing the Association Mode
Didn't live up to the hypeSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Total War: Rome II Emperor Edition
People were expecting a lot from this game since according to Creative Assembly, it was their most ambitious project yet. Also bearing in mind that the first Rome was the best Total War game ever, the hype was unrealistic for this game.
Rome II is a great strategy game but not a good Total War game... They removed a lot of fan favorite features like the Family Tree, seasons on the campaign map etc and replaced them with some extremely streamlined new features like an almost useless and broken political system.
I have mixed feelings about the AI. In some occasions it can give you a really hard time (like open field battles or siege defenses) but it can also be really incompetent (abandoning siege equipment in a middle of a siege and instead ordering all it's unit to torch your gate)
The graphics were upgraded significantly from Shogun 2, but the game still hasn't introduced a proper antialising model. Also there are some new screen filters during battles (like rain drops when it's raining, blurriness when you fight in the desert ) that you may find annoying.
The sound design is pretty damn good, the OST is epic and they hired some famous actors like Mark Strong to provide voiceovers for the game. However, they removed the pre-battle speeches which is a major letdown for me
What I really like is the unit variety and cultural diversity in the game. Unlike Shogun's almost identical clans, every faction in Rome II offers a lot of unique units and completely different gameplay and strategy than the other ones. The Campaign Map is also huge and gorgeous to look at. I also liked the new Diplomacy system since it introduces a lot of new options like non-aggression pacts defensive alliances etc. and client states/vassals really matter this time. There is now an army and fleet limit which grows as you conquer more provinces. This may sound like a bad thing but it's actually a cool new addition since you will be fighting a lot less unnecessary battles and will need to manage your armies better. General traits and retinues make a return, but there's also a new army tradition system which let's you level up your army as you like, you can also change names of armies and units!!!
The game was almost unplayable at launch, but since then Creative Assembly released several patches to fix it as much as they can. However no matter how many patches they release, the game remains flawed at it's core and it will still be an inferior game to previous Total War entries.
I'd advice everyone to wait on this one. CA will eventually release a Gold Edition which will include all the DLC, so if you're in no rush to play this, better wait.
A solid little DLCSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed: Metal Sonic Pack
While there were better choices for a Downloadable character for this game like Akira from Virtua Fighter, House of The Dead Characters, Billy Hatcher etc. Metal Sonic clearly had a lot of work put into him and feels totally unique, he also is fully levelled so you don't need to unlock mods for him, they're all there from the start! The DLC also comes with a new stage (Outrun Bay) that you can race in. Finally, this pack includes some new stickers that you can use for your driver's license. It's important to mention that all content is available for both offline and online play and you can even play with friends that don't own the DLC via custom game.
A good sequel to a great gameSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of King Arthur II
This game doesn't introduce a lot of new things and it's pretty similar to the first King Arthur game, which isn't a bad thing since the first game was a masterpiece...
The graphics are outstanding, the story and lore are impressive for a strategy game and the battle gameplay, while still inferior to that of the Total War games is very fun and enjoyable There are some problems with the game though, such as the lacklustre AI and some streamlined and removed features, like the morale system. .Another problem with the game is that it is more unpolished and buggy than it's predecessor, despite my PC being high end I had lots of framerate drops and several crashes to the desktop. However don't let this minor issues discourage you from picking it up as it's still a great game
Best kart racing game of the generationSganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed
I was a little hesitant to pick this up at first because I am not a big fan of Sonic and the other SEGA characters, but thank God I bought it because this game is awesome.
The game offers lots of content for you to unlock. The character roster is huge and features important characters from SEGA's videogame history. The tracks are equally impressive and each one is based on a different SEGA Franchise. There is an good amount of single player modes, like World Tour (where you compete in various challenges and try to earn stars to spend on unlockables), GP which is your typical kart game tournament mode, Time Trial and Single Race. Unfortunately, some game modes like Battle Arena and Battle Race are available only for online play which is a major letdown for me. The AI will give you a great challenge, especially on the hard difficulty so you'll have chose your character and kart mod carefully. The game also offers a leveling system for all characters which awards them with extra kart mods as they level up. The gameplay mechanics are simple and easily accessible, the controls are fluid and the game balance in general is great.
Be warned though... This game is meant to be played with a controller, you will probably have a hard time figuring out the keyboard mappings.
Total War meets Medieval FantasySganotak | Jan. 16, 2014 | Review of King Arthur Collection
If you enjoy the Total War series of games you're also gonna love King Arthur. It closely follows the Total War formula (Turn based gameplay with epic scale real time battles) but it also features a lot of RPG elements and some nice little touches like text adventures. The graphics are top notch and there's a lot of attention to detail. However the game lacks some polish and can be unforgiving at times. In conclusion it's a great game