Reviews by TheImpZA

75

Somewhat generic third person action romp…but it’s fun!

TheImpZA | Nov. 28, 2013 | Review of Red Faction Armageddon

You play as Darius Mason. You screw up. You fight aliens. If you’re looking for deep character interaction, look somewhere else. This is all space military with big, burly guys (and overly sexualised girls) shouting and running and shooting and exploding. The only time the main character displays any kind of emotion is near the end of the story, but even that is underplayed because KILL ALL THE ALIENS!

This game has one of the most impressive destructive engines that I’ve ever seen. Wow! If this is achievable with current gen, then I can’t wait for ‘next-gen’. Is there’s a wall between you and progress? Smash it down with your warhammer. You can’t stop progress, move on soldier! Is a cowardly enemy is hiding in a building? Get your plasma cannon and blow it up (and watch to fall to the ground in thousands of lovely pieces). The destruction engine is so well done. But wait, there’s more! You can rebuild the things you destroy as well, and blow it up again. It’s just so much fun.

The gunplay is also very satisfying. There’s a good variety; you have the bog-standard guns for the people that get afraid when they don’t have an assault rifle or shotgun or something, but where it really shines is its take on some unique weapons. There’s the dual-wielded Banshee Pistols, the Plasma Beam (which melts enemies and the environment), the Warmaul (you whack people…in the face), the Plasma Cannon (shoots flaming balls of plasma), the Nano Rifle (the nanites eat whatever you shoot it at), the Rail Driver, the Singularity Cannon (it makes black holes) and finally, the Magnet Gun. There are also upgrades and you have four powers at your disposal; a “force push”, a shield barrier thing, a super-buff mode and a power that suspends all the enemies near you in the air for easy pickings.

So cool that it gets its own paragraph, the Magnet Gun is the best thing about RF: Armageddon. It’s basically a mixture between the Portal and Gravity guns. The power of magnetism comes into full destructive fruition with this gun. 1. Shoot magnet 1 at the wall of a building. 2. Shoot magnet 2 onto an alien. 3. Watch them collide and splat thanks to the hilarious physics engine 4. Profit? The possibilities are endless. This is the gun that the game was made for. Without the fully destructible environments, it wouldn't work half as well as it does. Good job Volition.

Why is there no FoV slider? If you get sick/nauseous easily when playing games with a low FoV, then you will not enjoy this from the start. Ah, but there is good news you see. Head on over to PCGamingWiki for a quick fix that makes everything better. The odd thing about this is that it’s an excellent PC port. There’s full DX11 options and all those other wonderful things that make the game look really pretty, so why couldn't you take 10 minutes to include a bloody FoV slider? If you can manually set it in the config file, it really wouldn't have been hard to make it an option in the settings menu.

They definitely could've worked on making feel less like Red Gears of Faction War 25. Not overly generic, but it needed a little bit more “something”. The destructive engine and semi-unique guns are fun to play with, but towards the end I was just waiting for it to end. It was getting repetitive and there’s was a distinct lack of new guns and enemies towards the final boss fight. Also the plot is a little bit thin…and has a couple of holes. Overall though, it’s good action-y fun. It’s simple, but it’s good at what it does. There’s also a few co-op modes and some challengers, but I never played those. I recommend you pick this us if you’re into this genre. Chances are you already have it from one of the numerous bundles that it’s been a part of.

64

Could have been so much more

TheImpZA | Aug. 6, 2013 | Review of Afterfall Insanity Extended Edition

I've wanted to play this game since the first time I saw out, but since it got pretty bad reviews when it came out I decided to wait.

Visually the game is decent, but nothing to write home about. The sound design is OK, but the voice acting is terrible. Some of the worst voice acting I've come across in a game to be honest, although it didn't bother me enough to stop playing completely.

The first half of the game plays somewhat like a Dead Space clone with a few puzzles thrown into the mix here and there, but it changes into a post-apocalyptic shooter/action game about halfway through. Melee combat in this game is not really good and even though there are quite a selection of melee weapons with slightly different animations, they all feel the same and they all have the same finishing animation. You basically just click the mouse until an enemy dies and there is no real challenge throughout the whole game when it comes to melee combat. It doesn't really get any more challenging when you have guns either. In fact, the only times I recall dying throughout the game was during boos fights and puzzles that I didn't solve on time. Some of the puzzles where interesting, but the tutorials for them are mostly useless and you are left to figure what you are supposed to do and how to do it pretty much on your own.

The story was not terrible but also not one of the better stories out there. The story did, however, become predictable pretty early on and I saw the ending coming a mile away and I'm pretty sure everybody that played the game experienced the same thing.

Overall it was not a bad experience and even though I enjoyed most of the game, I'm glad I didn't buy it on release and I probably won't ever play it again. I just hope the developers have learned their lesson and that the sequel will be a better thought out, more polished product.

75

More than a game, great player experience.

TheImpZA | Aug. 5, 2013 | Review of Dear Esther

I knew that this was not a game in the normal sense of the word, more like a journey of both storytelling and art. It took a while to get used to but I think I eventually got what the "game" is all about. The way that the recollections and the environment complement each other is great. And the environment! The Island is really the character that will stick with me, from the depressing moors to the astonishing caves.

One annoyance was that at times you noticed a brief stutter just before a part of narration, a bit immersion breaking but it either got better further into the "game" or I stopped noticing. So not a major problem.

86

Epic sequel, big improvement!

TheImpZA | Aug. 5, 2013 | Review of Darksiders II

I loved everything about this game from the awesome art direction to the great voice acting and story, the awesome new character (and everything that entails), the added RPG elements and the awesome worlds to explore, etc. A really good tie-in story to the original Darksiders. I can easily recommend this to people who enjoyed the first game and hack 'n slash fans in general. It took me about 26 hours to finish, but I'm far from done. Already started my new game + on Apocalyptic and this time around I'm going for all the side quests and as much collectibles as I can find. It doesn't get a perfect score because the camera can get annoying at times and sometimes Death will jump in the wrong direction during platforming sections.

91

Perfect sandbox game, just perfect!

TheImpZA | Aug. 5, 2013 | Review of Sleeping Dogs: Limited Edition

What a game this is. Definitely recommended to fans of open world games such as GTA or Saints Row. I really loved everything about this game and it came as a big surprise. I wasn't even planning on buying it, and I'm really glad I decided to take it. The story and voice acting is top notch and the game is quite impressive visually. It might not be the most original game (borrows a lot from other sandbox titles), but who cares when you're having this much fun.

The fighting system is really the stand out feature here, IMO it is even better than that of the Batman games. It works almost the same and while Batman's is a bit more fluid, I really like how you can interact with almost anything in the environment during a fight in Sleeping Dogs. Even if something doesn't have a specific kill animation you can still use it to help you beat up your enemies. E.g. if you're close to a railing you can throw people over it or if you see a table you can smash someone's head against it. Soundtrack is also pretty good, especially the Roadrunner Records radio station. Loved driving around Hong Kong listening to Fear Factory, Devildriver, Killswitch Engage, etc. Finished the game last night, but I'm gonna spend some more time with it to finish up the sidequests, races, etc. and to try and get more of the collectibles so I can max out my character.

78

Good new direction for the series

TheImpZA | Aug. 5, 2013 | Review of Assassins Creed III

After finally finding the time to play AC III I must say that I was quite impressed with the whole new 'feel' to the game. Brand new setting, new characters, new time zone. It made me more intrigued and interested in playing the game after a lengthy Ezio Trilogy. The game starts off slowly and I personally didn't mind it as it gave me time to learn more about the characters in the game. The new and simplified combat system takes some time and practice to get used to but it is a much welcomed change. The tree-climbing is a great addition and is integrated quite well into the game. The game is packed with stuff to do besides the main missions and the areas that you visit are large and expanse.

Connor's story is gripping and gets you right into what's happening in his world. Whereas Desmond's story shows development but lacks an ending that the character deserves. Overall I enjoyed AC III but I think that more work could have been given regarding the endings of both characters.

80

Good game for newcomers to the series

TheImpZA | Aug. 5, 2013 | Review of Hitman: Absolution

I recently got this game on a since I missed it at launch. First up, I've never really been a fan of the Hitman series, nor have I played the previous games all that much. So this game was a new start for me.

The story was actually rather good. I got sucked into it quickly, but would have benefited from knowing some backstory I believe.

The game itself is a bucket load of fun. The mechanics and gameplay is something more unique than I'm used to, and enjoyed it thoroughly. The graphics is also very pretty, but there's a bit too much lens flair for my taste. Also, NPC's in game are not good looking up close and personal.

Overall I am enjoying my time with the game, and I can see myself playing it for a bit longer. There are some nice replay incentives, and I am yet to try the multiplayer aspect of the game.

95

Perfect 'mature' RPG

TheImpZA | Aug. 5, 2013 | Review of The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition

The games graphics are beautifully rendered and will put your GPU through its paces. The only thing I could complain about is how the shader sometimes causes lines on people’s faces, that said it’s not very obvious and most people probably won’t even notice it.

The soundtrack is brilliant and the dialog is just as good, but as most will already know is for mature audiences only cough plough cough.

The mechanics of fighting was nothing spectacular but it worked well enough, the game seems to reward thinking and planning your more difficult battles beforehand with the use of potions and traps, I found the battles initially more difficult than most RPG's but after a while it was easy enough and I died very seldomly from chapter 2 onwards.

The story, this game has one of the better story lines have experienced in a RPG for a while, it left me wondering what was going on politically and was not predictable like most RPG's I was left satisfied by the end result and the choices in the game made me actually sit back and weigh out the possible outcomes. The only thing I could complain about was that at times I felt like I was thrown into the deep end as far as geography and characters are concerned , although this can also be seen as a good thing since it makes you read and get more into the politics character and overall world of the game.

It’s definitely worth playing if you're a fan of RPG's

91

Max is back!

TheImpZA | Aug. 5, 2013 | Review of Max Payne II: The Fall of Max Payne

Going back to his job of a homicide detective, Max has been solving everyone's problems except his own. Max reports to a disturbance at a local warehouse, run by a Russian mobster and his friend from the first game. Here he trades bullets with armed thugs masquerading as a cleaning company.

During the firefight you cross paths with Mona Sax, a hired gun and thought-to-be-dead love interest of Max's. The story here is very dark, much like the first game, and told to a film-noir narrative. The dream sequences are especially disturbing, and much better done than in the previous game. They give insight to his character, and his battle with heartache and paranoia.

Bullet time is obviously back from Max Payne 1, and has had some significant improvement. Be prepared to use it a lot more than then previous game, or face annihilation. With every kill you get, time slows done even more, allowing you to pull of some fantastic kills. Even with the bullet time abilities, make no mistake, this is a challenging game. One slow-mo dive at the wrong time can get you killed, and death comes quick.

Graphics are a mixed bag, and this game is quite old, so I would recommend visiting PC Game Wiki for some enhancements. It's a missive improvement over the first game, but it was released a long time ago, so keep that in mind. The game's attention to detail is astounding, rivaling most PC games that are released in this day and age. The models and textures are a bit dated, but the environments are amazing.

I can't recommend this game enough, it is astounding. If you're a shooter fan, this is a must play.

90

3 of the Best

TheImpZA | Aug. 3, 2013 | Review of Max Payne Complete Bundle

Max Payne 1 - Developed by Remedy Entertainment

The story of Max Payne is one that you won't soon forget, lots of action and lots of emotion. Max Payne is a renegade undercover NYPD detective, who after the murder of his wife and daughter, starts a one-man assault on the mobsters of New York. The game is presented in the Noir style, and features excellent graphic novel cut-scenes, which are perfectly done.

The main gameplay element is Max Payne's special ability, called Bullet Time. This causes the action to slow down to a cinematic slow motion. This allows Max to perform these amazing jumps through the air while taking out any enemies in his path. The gameplay is based off old Hong Kong action movies and features a bullet time effect similar to that of the Matrix movies. It's very noticeable that the developers have watched a lot of John Woo movies during their production time.

The games graphics are old, so I recommend taking a look at PC Game Wiki for the widescreen and sound fixes if you're using Windows 7 or 8.

Max Payne 2 - Developed by Remedy Entertainment

Going back to his job of a homicide detective, Max has been solving everyone's problems except his own. Max reports to a disturbance at a local warehouse, run by a Russian mobster and his friend from the first game. Here he trades bullets with armed thugs masquerading as a cleaning company.

During the firefight you cross paths with Mona Sax, a hired gun and thought-to-be-dead love interest of Max's. The story here is very dark, much like the first game, and told to a film-noir narrative. The dream sequences are especially disturbing, and much better done than in the previous game. They give insight to his character, and his battle with heartache and paranoia.

Bullet time is obviously back from Max Payne 1, and has had some significant improvement. Be prepared to use it a lot more than then previous game, or face annihilation. With every kill you get, time slows done even more, allowing you to pull of some fantastic kills. Even with the bullet time abilities, make no mistake, this is a challenging game. One slow-mo dive at the wrong time can get you killed, and death comes quick.

Graphics are a mixed bag, and this game is quite old, so I would recommend visiting PC Game Wiki are some enhancements. It's a missive improvement over the first game, but it was released in 2005, so keep that in mind. The game's attention to detail is astounding, rivaling most PC games that are released in this day and age. The models and textures are a bit dated, but the environments are amazing.

I can't recommend this game enough, it is astounding. If you're a shooter fan, this is a must play.

Max Payne 3 - Developed by Rockstar

9 Years have pasted since the previous game, but unfortunately little has changed for our troubled protagonist. He continues to remain disturbed by the death of his wife and daughter, and finds comfort in his liqueur and painkillers.

Max Payne 3 relocates most of the action away from the slum infested streets and tenements his native city, New York, and to the seedy nightclubs and hostile environments of São Paulo, Brazil. Working as the private bodyguard of Roderigo Branco, Roderigo's wife Fabiana is kidnapped, which sets in motion a chain of events which engulfs Max into a much darker story.

Just like it's predecessors, it's filled the great dark humor and elaborate metaphors. Some players might find the cut-scenes too intrusive, but they way they find the loading screens and blend seamlessly into the action is a masterpiece. Max Payne 3 really shows that games can be a writers medium.

The game features bullet time yet again, and I think I've said enough about that. It remains wonderfully cinematic, shocking and hardcore. Production values are high and the level of details is astonishing. Gameplay is simple, elegant and satisfying.

It's the first Max Payne game to feature multiplayer, which is chaotic fun and well designed.

Conclusion

All three games are brilliant, and deserve to be in your collection. What are you waiting for? Pick this up now while it's on sale.

92

Incredible and Mesmerizing Expierience

TheImpZA | Aug. 3, 2013 | Review of Bastion Cap

Finally got around to playing this fantastic indie game. Amazing art direction and a superb soundtrack, one of the best that I've ever heard. The gameplay is topnotch with a really well designed flexible difficulty. I'm currently replaying the game in New Game + mode and it's still just as much fun as when I started. This is coming from a person who usually doesn't like the style of 'hack 'n slash' ARPG's.

Not only is the game fun to play, it also has a well structured story with quite a few twists and turns. The ending choice was quite difficult to make; and I like how it fits in with the NG+ mode. There's also some new dialogue and a new mission when doing a NG+ playthough, so it's definitely worth it. The narrator will also change his narration based on how well you play the game, and also the order which you do the missions, which is a nice little touch that most games don't bother including.

Overall I rate this game a 92. Well worth the price, my first playthough was just under 10 hours, and you should really replay it for the additional dialogue and story mission, as well as to chose the alternate ending. Puts most AAA games to shame, and I can't wait for their next game, Transistor to release next year, which will be an instant purchase for me.