Reviews by V2lentin

90

A more than decent follower

V2lentin | Jan. 31, 2013 | Review of Darksiders II

Darksiders 2 is the follower of the 2010 hit Darksiders, proudly carrying its legacy. The plot happens between War's coming on Earth and his release from the imprisonment of the Charred Council, with Death as the main character. The story is not very complicated, but manages to keeping you moving forward in the game without getting bored. Nothing out of ordinary here. What I liked though is the vastity of the game, which now sends the player in a lot more places, such as the Kingdom of Dead, angels' realm, the Makers' realm and a few other locations. The graphics are very good, even though Darksiders 2 is a console port. The Makers realm looks absolutely amazing, with large open areas and its distant landscapes. Also, the characters look very well drawn too and with rich details. The music changes depending on the area you are visiting and fits like a glove with the general theme of the place. The voices are well done too, with Death sounding exactly like you'd expect: a harsh voice that will give you goosebumps. Like the original Darksiders, this one has a lot of platforming and puzzles too, with the combat coming second. Even though the combat is pretty much the same, with 2 scythes instead of a sword, the puzzles are a bit harder now. There is time travel too, and the ability to "clone" yourself, which really adds a new layer of difficulty to the game. Death can level up too, just like War, with new abilities to unlock or upgrade with each level. Overall, the game is absolutely a must-play, considering that it has been on sale so many times.

85

Very fun, sometimes buggy

V2lentin | Dec. 29, 2012 | Review of Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package

Saints Row the Third is one of those games that can't be taken too seriously by the player, because the game itself is not taking itself too seriously. At first look, it may look like a bad GTA clone, but once you start playing it, you realize that everything in the game is so mindlessly fun that you can't love it. You want to be a big guy, dressed as a woman and base jumping from tall buildings? You can do it. And a whole lot of other things just as crazy. The graphics of the game are pretty good and everything is very well drawn and richly detailed, from characters to huge skyscrapers. The sound is just as good, with a rich playlist of various genres that will satisfy every gamer, no matter what kind of music he prefers. Despite all these good parts, the game's biggest problem are the bugs that might annoy you now and then. Sometimes, you'll get stuck in the pavement and incapable of moving, or the game will freeze for some time. If you are patient enough and you can overcome the bugs, the game will be very rewarding and will offer a rich gaming experience. The DLCs in this package only add more and more fun to the base game, starting with vehicles such as a motorized broom stick or a tank and continuing to outfits and crazy weapons. So, getting the full package is maybe the best deal you can get, especially at this price.

90

Just beautiful

V2lentin | Nov. 4, 2012 | Review of Botanicula

Botanicula is a point&click adventure game that takes place in a wonderful environment, through the foliage of a tree that you must save. You control a group of small "things": a feather, a mushroom, a seed, a twig and an acorn that must work together in order to save their home tree from a bunch of parasites that infested it. The mechanics of the game are pretty simple and the puzzles you have to solve are not very hard, most of them being one screen-one puzzle; somewhat like Machinarium. What makes this game really easy to love is its graphic style. Everything looks ver detaliled and has nice animations that look very natural. You can see the love that was put in this game's artistic style. The sound is also very well done, with a soundtrack that blends together jazz and a few other styles in order to create an auditive experience to match the visual one. Although is pretty short, Botanicula is a game that must be played, if not for the gameplay, at least for the lovely graphics and soundtrack.

85

Back to Purgatory

V2lentin | Nov. 2, 2012 | Review of Painkiller: Hell & Damnation

Painkiller H&D is a modern remake of the original Painkiller and Painkiller Battle Out of Hell, with up-to-date graphics and new additions. At its core, Painkiller is an old school FPS, with classic gameplay, but the mindless shooting will please everyone. This time, Daniel, the main character of the first games, is stuck in Purgatory and he makes a deal with Death in order to be reunited with his wife. The story is here only to give us a reason to kill demons and let our inner maniac have some fun. As in the original, Daniel, has to clear up arenas filled with demons in order to progress through levels and reach the final bosses. The enemies are not very smart and they only charge at you or use their ranged attacks, but they can overcome you withe their numbers or kill you when you are not paying attention to them. There's no healh regeneration like in the modern shooters, so some players might feel they are at disadvantage. What you'll love about Painkiller H&A are the weapons. Even though there's only one new weapon, the old ones will make you love them. The guns you can shoot different ammo and each one has its unique alternate firing mode: stake shooting weapons that can shoot grenades or shurikens and electric shocks are only 2 of them. Of course, the claw is back too, letting you dismember enemies like a madman. The graphic engine is Unreal 3 now, which translates in a better looking game and enemies. Everything looks fresher, with new HD textures and nice lighting effects and shadows. The soundtrack consists mostly of rock tracks, which is to be expected from such a gory and bloody game. You'll almost feel an urge to kill demons when you'll hear the music. There has been added a co-op mode which is a very good idea. Dismembering ghouls and witches sure feels a lot better while having a friend to lend you a hand. There are the classic multiplayer modes too: team deathmatch, classic deathmatch and capture the flag. Even though it's a very short game, with about 5 hours of playtime, Painkiller H&D can be a lot of fun, especially if you haven't played the original at its time. If you did, it would probably better to wait for a massive sale, as this game's only new features are up-to-date graphics and co-op.

80

Platforming at its best

V2lentin | Nov. 2, 2012 | Review of Trine

Trine is a relatively simple to learn and play platformer that will keep you glued to the monitor all day. The player can control 3 main characters, swapping between them at any time: a thief, a knight or a wizard, in order to uncover the mysteries of the Trine, an artifact that brought them together.

Each character has specific abilities that allow him to pass through levels: the thief can hang to almost any surfaces with her rope arrows or set enemies in fire with incendiary arrows. The knight has a shield that allows him to block enemy attacks or falling objects and he can push or pull heavy objects. The wizard can summon objects like planks or boxes in order to reach get to places out of reach. The levels are nothing to surprise us, just the classic platforming, spiced with enemies and bosses.

The graphics are detailed and nicely coloured, with well done light effects and shadows. So is the music, with a subtle medieval theme that makes us think about princesses and dragons, especially while playing the knight. Also, the voices are very well done, having well written lines for each character.

The game supports co-op, only local though, 2 mice & keyboards or 2 controllers. It can be very entertaining at times, even though player1 can always change to whatever character he wants, which can get annoying. Trine is a game that is really worth its money, especially with so many sales and bundles. So, buy it and enjoy the adventures!

85

Trouble in paradise

V2lentin | Nov. 1, 2012 | Review of Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 is the kind of sandbox game that doesn't takes itself too seriously, and that means a lot of fun for the player. The story puts you in th shoes of Rico Rodriguez, a special agent that must eliminate his former mentor, hidden somewhere on the exotic island of Panau.

The story resembles a cheap action movie, but that doesn't bother anyone, because the entire game is written like that. It's not like nobody warned you about what to expect. Although the story is childish and full of clishes, the gameplay will make up for that. The grappling hook and parachute Rico uses are probably the most useful tools in the entire game. You can use them in order to fly , towed by a car or hang enemies to cars and let them be dragged away.

The graphics of the game are just beautiful, with nice bright colours, making you feel the atmosphere of a tropical island. The explosions also look awesome, for every little maniac inside us to enjoy. The sound is not bad either, but the voice acting could have been betterr, especially after we've seen what GTA IV was able to do.

If you always wanted to feel like one of those action movies super agents, taht blow everything in their path, then Just Cause 2 is right the game for you. If not, you should still give it a try. You'll sure like it.

90

A new chapter in the GTA saga

V2lentin | Nov. 1, 2012 | Review of Grand Theft Auto IV DNS

GTA IV is, for me, the best game in the series, despite its tehcnical problems on PC. It has a much better story, the main character being a Serbian immigrant who comes to America at his cousin's invite and promises of a better life. What Niko(the main character) finds out once he arrives in Liberty City, is that everything he was told was a lie and he delivers maybe he best line in the game: "The only thing big about your life are the cockroaches." Slowly, Niko starts getting familliar with the city and its gangsters, which earns him respect and money. But what really motivates him to go forward is his thirst for revenge.

The game world is not as big as in the previous games or other sandbox games, but looks and feels more authentic than ever. The pedestrians react better to you actions, such as gunfire or reckless driving. Also, there are a lot more thing you can do, such as going bowling, darts, going to stand-up or all sort of clubs. A very nice addition is the mobile phone, which now allows the player to make calls and receive text messages, unlike GTA San Andreas, where you could only receive calls when the script was dictating. There are internet cafes too, where you canvisit sites and appoint dates with various girls.

The evelopers finally introduced a multiplayer mode, supporting up to 32 players, depending on the game mode, which can be versus other players or co-op. Totally, there are about 15 game modes for multiplayer. The graphics of the game looks nice, but they could have been a lot better. Just Cause 2 or Saints Row 2 are better examples. Still, everything looks a lot better than everything we've seen in the GTA series, and mods can drastically improve that.

The sound is very well made, with high quality voice acting and top class soundtrack. No matter what music genre you like, the radio stations in the game will make you feel at home, with a lot of variations both in genre and in tracks.

GTA IV is probably one of the must-have games of the last years. If you haven't played it, buy it and you'll never regret it. But make sure your PC can run it well.

80

An interesting concept

V2lentin | Nov. 1, 2012 | Review of Dwarfs!?

Dwarfs?! is a game that puts you in charge of a small dwarven village, with the task of expanding it and completing a series of objectives. What makes the game different is the fact that you can't directly control the dwarves, instead you only point them whre to dig and they'll start doing their job. That is also the biggest mistake you can do: leave a dwarf all by himself for 1 minute and he'll get in trouble. Scattered all around the underground, there are caves with mysterious content. Or empty. Inside the cave can be anything from precious ores to demons or lava. You'll have your village flooded pretty quickly if you don't keep an eye out for every dwarf, whic is pretty difficult once you get to have more than 5 diggers. There are some minigames, and a tower defense mode, which can be pretty challenging. The graphics are nice, resembling an old school 2D game, although Dwarfs?! looks better than Terraria, also a 2D digging game. The music is nice, with tracks resembling a medieval party or something like that, which matches with the tavern you own, which is the main building of the village. Overall, Dwarfs?! is a nice game, but can get boring at times, resembling with a live wallpaper instead of a game. But the boredom will be gone after you start encountering the dangers of the undergrounds.

85

Best served in multiplayer

V2lentin | Oct. 30, 2012 | Review of Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Bad Company 2 is one of the best FPSs I've ever played, despite its single player mode, which is more like a training for the multiplayer. In SP, you play the role of a soldier tasked with finding a device that could destroy entire cities. Helped by 2 other teammates, you'll roam through jungles, deserts or cities, killing bad guys and getting ready to jump into multiplayer once you get bored of the campaign. The graphics of the game look very good, just what you'd expect from a Frostbite powered game. The textures are well done, and so are the lightning effects. A nice feature is the fact that most of the walls can be destroyed, giving you a sense of power and also of war authenticity. A well placed grenade will blow your cover, a bazooka will take out an entire floor of an enemy building. You'll love it. The audio effects are very good, with nicely done voices and realistic sound effects. This game shines in multiplayer, where 2 teams battle in the classic modes: team deathmatch, CTF or rush. The players can use tanks or jeeps on the battlefield, or even helicopters, in order to gain an advantage on the enemy team. Killing enemies or helping the team gets you XP points that will let you advance in rank an unlock new weapons and gear. The game it's really worth its money and I think everyone should give it a shot.

89

Prepare to die

V2lentin | Oct. 30, 2012 | Review of Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy is one of the hardest platform games you'll get to play. Ever! And especially if you try using a keyboard. The game was clearly desing with a gamepand in mind and this is the way it plays best. The story is quite simple: you are Meat Boy, a cubic piece of meat, whose girlfriend was kidnapped by Dr. Fetus. Now you must get her back. The levels are short, most of them taking less than 1 minute to complete. But that is the perfect run. You'll try tens of times, until you'll master the jumps and timings in order to get it right. The graphics are nicely drawn and detailed and everything fits the overall ironic style of the game. The music is fast paced and makes you feel the rhytm of the game, sometimes giving you the impulse of trying to be faster and faster. SMB is one of those games that must be played in order to understand how difficult it really is. It's a very rewarding experience, expecially when getting a record time.

90

Dark and gritty

V2lentin | Oct. 30, 2012 | Review of Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is the game that will push your PC to the limit! That's a fact, because is not very well optimized. Still, Metro 2033 is one of the best FPSs you'll ever play. The story takes place in the year 2033, in Moscow, after a nuclear apocalypse that left most of the world uninhabited. A few survivors, buried in the ruins of the subway network, manage to create a working society, using military grade ammunition as currency. The player takes the role of Artyom, a young man sent for help when his home station is attacked by mutants. Throughout your journey' you'll encounter various people, some of whom will try to help, some who'll try to stop you, even thoough the final decision belongs entirely to you.

What sets the game apart is the dark and grim atmosphere, created by the few NPCs scattered around the stations, and the darkness of the metro tunnels. If you listen closely, you can hear interesting stories from the survivors of the russian metro, immersing you even more in the game's world. The graphics are awesome, with a lot of detail and very well chosen colours. Everything you see looks almost real, especially the outdoors, with beautiful lightning. A nice thing is the HUD, and by that I mean the lack of it. The only thing you'll see on the screen is the ammo counter, when reloading. Everyting else is cleverly blended on the weapon(the air pressure for pneumatic weapons or the bullets in the magazine) or the counter Artyom is holding. Also, the sound acting is mored than decent, especially when playing with Russian voices and English subtitles. Overall, Metro 2033 is a game that must be played, especially for the fans of the FPS genre, as a warm-up for the upcoming Metro 2034.

76

Not impressed at all

V2lentin | Oct. 29, 2012 | Review of Medal of Honor Warfighter

After playing this title for a bit, I can say that, although there's a lot of hype built around it, it's still a generic shooter, with nothing to separe it from games like the CoD series or BF3. In the game, you play Preacher, a member of an elite squad, called Tier 1. Although the game tries to create some drama, showing us flashbacks from the past of the soldier, where he has to deal with the family vs. job/duty conflict, nothing is explained too deep. The story is just a poor excuse for shooting bad guys over and over until you get bored.

The gameplay is also mediocre, with enemies sitting like ducks and waiting for a headshot. Everything is scripted, so there's no point in replaying a mission, hoping the enemy will flank you or choose another tactic. Even your squadmates are scripted to the bone, dragging you through the levels, almost holding your hand. What I liked, though, are the weapons, which are pretty well done. They sound different and act accordingly. A nice thing to see was bullet drop, which will make sniping a bit harder, though wind force and direction still lack.

Frostbite 2 is present here too, just like in BF3, which is why the graphics are wonderful, with very richly detailed environments and characters, though it could still use some polish here and there. Explosions look amazing and they sound as well, creating the sensation of a real battlefield.

Unfortunately, I haven't played the multiplayer, so I can't talk about it from my personal experience. But, from what I saw, looks a lot like any standard multiplayer FPS. Although there is a nice addition: the fire team., which means you are paired with a team mate and you'll help each other: spawning on one another, requesting ammo or seeing each other through walls in order to gain experience points for working together. The game is clearly not worth its full price, especially if you own other FPS games from the CoD or BF series.

80

Fighting gravity

V2lentin | Oct. 29, 2012 | Review of Rotastic

In the last years, casual games marked have seen a boom, especially due to everyone being in a hurry, missing the time for a deeper challenge. Rotastic is one of that games, not requiring very much time to enjoy.

In Rotastic, you can play as one of the four characters: a viking, an elf, a boar or Death itself, although the only difference between them is the way they look. The purpose of each level consists of collecting all the gems scattered on the screen in the shortest time while swinging from the hanging points scattered around.

Somehow, this game resembles Super Meat Boy, requiring a precise mastering of the controls. And a gamepad. The graphics are colorful and cartoonish-like, just as what you'd expect from a casual game. The music is fast-paced, and fits the gameplay, with tracks that resemble a middle ages party.

The game supports multiplayer, although only local, where up to 4 players have to collect the most gems in the shortest time. Rotastic is a pretty fun game, but it would have been better if it was launched as a mobile/tablet app than a PC game.

90

A classic adventure

V2lentin | Oct. 28, 2012 | Review of Edna and Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes

Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes is a sequel to Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, an adventure game launched last year. Despite the name, the main character of the game is in fact Lilli, a young girl who is very kind and tries her best to help others. Even so, she is always bullied by the other students and Mother Superior. What's strange about Lilli is the fact that she tends to be a killer without her even realising that. The story revolves around saving Edna, Lilli's only friend, when she goes missing.

The game is a point & click adventure, but the quests are nothing too hard, especially for the die-hard fans of the genre. Every puzzle is pretty logic, even though not real-life logic, but more like cartoon logic. The graphics are very nice and innocent, with cartoonish characters that look almost out of a 90's cartoon for small children. Even so, it fits like a glove to the game and it gives it a special atmosphere.

The music is also very nice and fits the graphics, adding even more to the cartoon atmosphere. Overall, E&H: Harvey's New Eyes is a pretty good adventure that will entertain anyone, not just the fans of the genre. If you liked Deponia, this is a must-have.

98

Fresh air

V2lentin | Oct. 28, 2012 | Review of Dishonored (NA)

Dishonored is one of the few games released in the last years that let give the player a very wide range of choices on how to approach the missions. It's almost a sandbox.

You are Corvo Attano, a former bodyguard of the Queen, now accused of murdering her and thrown in prison. Helped by a handful of men loyal to the Queen and by a mystical Outsider, Corvo must now save the daughter of the Queen and restore her on the throne. What sets this game apart from most other games is the fact that, similar to Human Revolution, you can choose the approach that suits you: go on a rampage and murder every enemy, or be a ghost, never detect and let everyone live.

In order to do this, you have various weapons to choose from: a sword that will always be in your right hand and spells like teleportation, stop time, possession, or weapons like grenades, a crossbow or a pistol. The level design is also very clever, almost always there are at least 2 paths to choose from in order to reach your destination.

The graphics of the game are not its strong point, at least not in the technical aspect. The art style looks very good, but it lacks polishing, especially when it comes to faces and animations. The sound is pretty well done, with enemies reacting to your footsteps but, unfortunately, not minding when a recording starts playing out of the blue near them.

Although the game may seem short, the stealth approach will make it considerably loneger, especially if you want to explore every nook and cranny and complete the side quests too. I think this is the only game that should cost 50-60$, because it has enough content to make it worth the money, unlike most other titles in the same price range.

93

Classic and modern at the same time

V2lentin | Oct. 26, 2012 | Review of Kings Bounty: The Legend

King's Bounty: The Legend was probably one of the best games of 2008, if not the best. I haven't played the older HoMM and KB games, but I will review this game from the perspective of a gamer at the first contact with the genre. The Legend is a mix of RPG and TBS that really manages to impress. Even though the fights are turn-based, roaming on the world map is made in real time, allowing the player to evade the fights that are too hard for the moment.

The story revolves around a demon invasion on the land of humans, Endoria. You play the royal treasure seeker, tasked with finding the king's daugther and stopping the evil forces. Throughout the journey, you can get married, each wife coming with different helpful bonuses, and you can even have babies. The hero can equip items that will give bonuses to various abilities, like in any RPG. What sets KB apart from other games like it, is the fact that, in order to get new troops, you'll have to buy them from friendly castles and taverns instead of creating buildings to produce the troops.

The graphics of the game are very beautiful, with amazingly rich detail and bright, vivid colours that give it an almost childish look. The sounds are alos pretty well done, with a fitting soundtrack and very carefully selected sound effects: clashing swords or the howling wolves. There are no vices in the game and all the text is written, but that's not a very big drawback, at least to me.

To every fan of the genre, King's Bounty The Legend is a game that shouldn't be missed.

89

Loot addiction

V2lentin | Oct. 26, 2012 | Review of Borderlands

Borderlands manages to be a succesful mix between a FPS, an RPG and a hack'n slash, taking some features from each genre in order to obtain a game that will keep you playing for hours an hours.

The game revolves around a Vault containing legendary loot, that opens once every 200 years. You are a vault hunter, looking for the key and the location of the Vault, working for others in order to make a name for yourself. There are four characters to choose from, each one with its own abilities: soldier, sniper, berserk and siren, and each one has a unique class skill that will help you in combat. The story is not very interesting and gets repetitve after a few hours, but it's not too bad either.

What this game marketed the most is his loot system, with randomly generated weapons and shields. No 2 weapons will be the same, no matter how many times you'll replay the game. This can also get annoying after a while, when you realize that all the randomness is not helping, especially after getting weaker weapons from the most powerful bosses than you got from stores or random chests.

The co-op supports up to 4 players and saves the game for while, especially if you play with game that know how to play.

The game has nice graphics, using cell shading technique, that gives it a cartoonish like feeling, although the textures are not very detailed.

The sounds are nothing to complain about, but they don't sound bad either. The commentaries of the characters can get annoying after some time, seeing as they are very repetitive. This game is really worth its money and I'll recommend you getting the GOTY edition that adds a lot of playtime hours and new content.

95

Probably the best indie of 2011

V2lentin | Oct. 25, 2012 | Review of Bastion Cap

Bastion is maybe the best indie game of 2011 and that says a lot about it. The game puts the player in the "shoes" of Kid, one of the few survivors of a Calamity that destroyed almost the entire world. The Bastion, a small floating island, is the last refuge of the few survivors, and Kid must upgrade it using the cores scattered around the few islands that survived the Calamity.

In order to defeat the enemies you encounter, there are 10 different weapons, each one with its specific features. Also, Kid can use a special ability, like a whirlwind hammer hit or summoning a pet. Apart from the difficulty level you can set at the beginning of the game, there are idols at the Shrine in the Bastion that can be activated in order to make the game harder and add a challenge even for the most skilled of the players.

At its core, Bastion is a hack'n slash like any others, but what separates it from other games in this genre is the atmosphere the sountrack and the graphics manage to create. Everything in the game is hand drawn, with rich details and bright, vivid colours that will easily impress anyone. Also, the soundtrack is absolutely awesome, with songs that will really make you buy the Sountrack edition of the game. The voice of the narrator sounds adorable, like the voice of an old cowboy: so calm and warm that will make you love it from the first moment you hear it.

Bastion is a game that should never be missed, and I recommend getting the Soundtrack Edition, which comes with the full soundtrack album in MP3 format.

91

A real upgrade?

V2lentin | Oct. 24, 2012 | Review of Dead Space 2

Dead Space 2 tries to be the upgrade to Dead Space, one of the best action-survival games of the last years. The player is put again in the suit of Isaac Clarke, this time on a space station called Sprawl, to fight the Necromorphs that attacked humanity once more.

The gameplay is just as before: kill necromorphs by dismembering them. What has changed though, is the variety of suits and weapons that Isaac can use. Even with all the weapons, every one with its own features, the most effective remains the plasma cutter, that can be upgraded to be the unstoppable, even against the most powerful aliens. Also, the suit has now booster boots, that can propel Isaac through zero-G areas.

The graphics are even better, with nice light effects and detailed textures. The sound is the best part of the game as usual, with frightening music and scary sounds from aliens. What I personally don't like is the fact that Isaac can talk now and that takes some of the supense away. He was more likeable when he was a silent character, a mysterious engineer facing the aliens and his own haunted mind.

There is a multiplayer mode now, involving teams of humans and aliens fighting each other. I think is a nice addition, even though I haven't tried it out. If you liked the first DS , buy this one too. You'll never regret it.

89

The start of a revolution

V2lentin | Oct. 24, 2012 | Review of World of Goo

World of Goo is the game that started the indie revolution and drawn everyone attention to the small game developers.

The game mechanics are pretty simple; click and draw. The purpose of each level is to make "buildings" out of goo balls in order to reach the pipe that will suck the remaining balls to the World of Goo Corporation. What adds to the complexity of the game is the diversity of the goo balls, each type having various abilities, like being flamable or capable of being removed from the buildings created. The levels are not very hard to solve, but some of them require some thinking, especially the ones in the final chapter.

The graphics are pretty nice and fit the game like a glove. Also, the sound is very well done, with the balls having specific chirps for when they are clicked. World of Goo really deserves to be played by anyone, from casual gamers to harcore gamers and it will be a shame not to get it.

80

A breath of fresh air

V2lentin | Oct. 24, 2012 | Review of Bulletstorm

Bulletstorm is a hate it or love it game, that's for sure. A lot of people complained about the story or the characters, but I found the gameplay to be a very addictive experience. You play the role of a mercenary, Grayson Hunt, chasing a former employer seeking revenge for a mission where he killed innocent people because he was told they are dangerous.

What sets Bulletstorm apart from all the other shooters on the market is mostly the graphics. When all other FPSs are gray and boring, Bulletstorm is colourful and bright, almost childish. Blood is finally red, not grayish red, leaves are bright green, not grayish green, and so on. Also, everything is nicely drawn and richly detailed. The gameplay is just as anyone would expect from any standard FPS, with a twist. Yes, you shoot everything that moves, but you can also use your electric leash for more spectacular kills that will earn you points for upgrading your weapons and leash.

What turned most people off from this is the immaturity of the language. Out of 5 words, 3 are curses, and that doesn't do any good to the game. Also, the multiplayer is not very good, because there is only a Horde mode, where you must work together with yout teammates in order to get higher and higher scores. Even though is pretty well done, is not enough. A deathmatch mode or team deathmatch would have been a nice addition. At least the game is not very expensive and it's well worth its money.

92

Magic fun!

V2lentin | Oct. 24, 2012 | Review of Magicka

To put it simple, Magicka is one of the funniest games you'll ever get to play. There are so many references raging from folk tales to internet memes, and so many hidden easter eggs that nobody will find them on the first playthrough. The game itself is based on the Norse mythology, but has heavy influences from other cultures too.

Magicka puts you in the robe of wizard tasked to stop an evil sorcerer that tries to bring the world to its doom.The story is not the strong point of the game, but its spell casting system. There are no scrolls or spells in the true meaning of the word. The wizard has 8 elements that he can combine as he wants, with various outcomes. You can create shields of rock or fields of electric mines, not to mention the spells you find scattered around in the game world, like ressurection or even casting Death.

As far as the graphics are concerned, the game looks very nice, with bright colours and rich details. That may be a problem for older PCs, because the game will not run, although it may be faulty optimisation too. The voices of the characters are some sort of mumbling in what seems to be a made-up Nordic language, but sounds funny and is pretty well done.

What makes this game even more attractive is the co-op, which supports up to 4 players. The story can be played in co-op or you can battle your friends in various arenas, like a frozen lake or a tower, each one having different specifics. A funny thing in the co-op is the fact that you can cast any spell on your teammates, so you can kill them at any time by mistake.

Even though the game was launched nearly 2 years ago, there are plenty of DLCs that can extend its life and add some flavour to the gameplay. Ranging from robes or staves to new quests, the DLCs shouldn't be missed by anyone who bought the original game.

89

A Middle Age simulator

V2lentin | Oct. 24, 2012 | Review of Mount & Blade: Warband DNS

Mount & Blade Warband is probably the best Mount&Blade game to date, being a real upgrade to the original. This game doesn't have a proper story and is more of a sandbox, allowing you to play the role of an adventurer trying to make a name for himself.

After creating your character and choosing a background story, you get to ride through the land of Calradia, where you'll have to choose a faction to fight for. If you prove worthy enough, you can even get to be a marshall or king. There are companions that can be recruited, each one of them having specific skills that can help your party, like engineering or medical skills.

The gameplay is rather simple, but the multitude of choices gives it some complexity. You can choose to be a merchant or you can be a mercenary fighting for your king, against other factions. every action you take has an influence on the way other lords or kingdoms behave towards you. The graphics of the game are not very polished, but they're functional and the armors and shields are pretty detailed. A big upside of the low graphics quality is the fact that the game can be played even on older systems.

The soundtrack is not very rich, but the music fits the atmosphere of the game, just like the graphics. There are no voices and all the dialogue is written.

The combat is very well done and easy to master. Drag the mouse one way and the weapon will hit that way. Simple and effective. There are various weapons, from swords and bows to lances and throwing knives. The one thing that separates this game from other medieval themed games is the lack of magic. Overall, the game is very addictive and it's really worth is money. A great game, especially when you realize it was made by only a few men devoted to their passion.

95

Scary enough for you?

V2lentin | Oct. 23, 2012 | Review of Dead Space

Dead Space may not be the scariest game ever, but it will surely make you jump out of the chair sometimes. You play as Isaac Clarke, an engineer sent to SS Ishimura to investigate a transmission blackout. There, he will find himself on a ship posessed by an alien entity, that turned all the human crew into aliens. From there, is your task to investigate what happened. This game's graphics are good, although some textures don't look very well. The aliens are very well done, looking scary enough to give you the creeps. The sound is very well done, the music and the ambiental sounds creating a scary environment that will make your heart stop sometimes. Isaac isn't talking at all and that may be a good thing after all. You only hear him breathing heavily in vacuum and that is more than enough. From now and then, you'll end up in zero-gravity areas or vacuum that add a new challenge to the game. The enemies have vulnerable points and the accent falls on tactical dismemberment, so you shouldn't aim for the head. Overall, a good game that is really worth buying.

100

Bigger and better

V2lentin | Oct. 23, 2012 | Review of Batman: Arkham City

Batman Arkham Asylum was one of the best super-hero games, but Batman Arkham City is THE best super-hero game. Everything was improved from the original: the graphics, the combat, the sound and the playground is now the city, which is bigger than the old asylum.

The story is one to remember too, with the Joker and Hugo Strange as the main villains, helped by Solomon Grundy, Poison Ivy, Clayface and some others.The Riddler is back too, with more difficult puzzles, involving rescuing his hostages. There are some other puzzles too, that involve unlocking the Riddler trophies and solving some sidequests. A nice adddition is Catwoman as a playable character, which will make a lot of fans happy.

The graphics of the game look amazing even on DX9. At launch, DirectX 11 was available, but it used to cause crashes, so you might be better without it. The sound is also very carefully done, especially the voices of the inmates, that grow scared everytime Batman seems to be in the vicinity.

The combat was improved too, with the addition of some new gadgets, like the freezing grenade or the shock gun. But the stealth approach is the most rewarding, letting you feel the real Batman while you pick off the inmates one by one, listening how their voices grow more and more terrified. One of the best games in the last years for sure, Batman Arkham City shouldn't be missed by any gamer, no matter what.

89

Parkour at its finest

V2lentin | Oct. 22, 2012 | Review of Mirror's Edge

I think Mirror's Edge it's the only parkour game ever, and that makes it a game everyone should play, no matter what. Even though at first it may seem odd to have a first-person camera, you'll get used to it after the first 30 minutes of playing and you'll start to love it. Seeing the world through the eyes of Faith, your character, gives you a better understanding of the environment and a feeling closer to the real parkour. the story is relatively predictable, but the gameplay and graphics make up for that.

Mirror's Edge is build on Unreal Engine 3, maybe the most versatile engine to date. The city and the buildings look so clean and minimalistic, but the contrast between the white of the walls and the green or the red and blue painted here and there is just beautiful. The textures also look amazing, even from up close.

As I said, the story is quite simple. In the future, the freedom of speech is limited by the government, so a small group of athletes carry messages through the city. When Faith's sister is accused of murder, you must do everything to find the real killer.

Throughout the city, Faith will be hunted by the police, using firearms. Even if Faith is a skilled combatant, you can't climb while using a firearm, which makes the game a bit more difficult, because you must rely only on hand to hand combat. Overall, a very good game that deserves a sequel.

96

One of the best super-hero games ever

V2lentin | Oct. 22, 2012 | Review of Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman AA is probably THE best super-hero games ever, with more than decent graphics, an easy to master control scheme, which makes fighting a pleasure. Even so, the stealth even more enjoyable, because that is the true way to feel you are Batman, the terror hiding in the shadows. The villains are pretty well done, visually and vocally, especially the Joker. This is one of the games that you shouldn't miss no matter what kind of gamer you are. You HAVE to play it!

85

Mythology mash-up

V2lentin | Oct. 22, 2012 | Review of Darksiders

If you're expecting to see accurate mythology, then this game is not for you. It's a mash-up of all kinds of demons and gods from various cultures, but it's a plausible mix. The gameplay is rather simple, all you have to do is to kill evertything that moves, but the moves and the fatalities are really awesome, especially the Chaos Form ability. There are some puzzles too, some of which are pretty difficult, but nothing too hard to solve. four boss-fights are quite easy, each boss having its attack pattern that is quite easy to spot and counter. The graphics are pretty good, but nothing to impress. Also, the controls are well ported from the consoles, which makes the game easy to master with the mouse and keyboard. Overall, Darksiders is a game worth playing and I highly recommend it to anyone, especially when it's on sale.