Reviews by boris73

55

one-trick pony

boris73 | Jan. 4, 2013 | Review of DiRT Showdown

First up, lets start with the positives:

It looks pretty nice.

Right, thats the good stuff over with, now the not so positives:

It's just... kinda boring really. After about an hour, I felt I had experienced all there really was in the game, and I was already tired of it. There are endless dull loop track for racing events that lack the challenge that you got from previous dirt games, or you can play some demolition-derby style games, which - lets face it - are essentially smash-em-ups against AI bots, and has that EVER really been very thrilling in the long-run?

Actually the best and most enjoyable aspect of this game I found - and I don't just mean in relation to the rest of the game, I did actually enjoy this mode - was the challenge-based content. This is where I spent most of my play-time in the game. Having to perform jumps or find tokens or drift around certain areas, etc... It was the closest thing I found in the game to being fun, creative and requiring even a modicum of skill. But that said, drifting really is ludicrously easy in this game thanks to the silly physics and arcade handling, so its less of a challenge than it was a fun diversion.

If a single-player car death-match type game appeals to you, then give this game a try... but if you were looking for a driving challenge and the thrill of exciting fast-paced travel along beautiful courses... nope.. not here.

85

What modern fps games are missing.

boris73 | Jan. 4, 2013 | Review of F.E.A.R -

Modern shooters are pretty 'samey'. Played one, and you've generally played them all. An endless parade of similar mainstream war shooters, its up to older games like this to really deliver something thrilling, something fun, something "fresh" (as sad as it is to say)... and something raw and primal.

F.E.A.R harkens back to when shooters weren't about trying to ground you, weren't about trying to be all dry and serious; this really is a balls-to-the-wall all out assault on your senses. It's action, its horror, it throws you in the deep-end and then tosses "gritty realism" out the window in exchange for telling a thrilling sci-fi tale, dumping you into a environment oozing in dark and disturbing atmosphere and throwing wave after wave of visceral and satisfying combat your way.

By todays standards, the game looks a bit dated, with box-like rooms and ageing models and textures, but at least you should be able to fully crank up what visuals it does provide with today's average PC's; you'll still get a rather satisfying looking game, especially in the heat of combat with particle effects and debris filling your screen - its still quite marvellous to look at.

But really, all the stuff that was most important when it came out, still delivers now. The tense atmosphere filled with isolation and dread is there. The intense and thrilling fire-fights are still every bit as exciting full-on as they ever were, and the enemies are still a blast to fight. The story is still intriguing and keeps you playing just to see where it goes next, and its delivery is spot-on. Finally, the gameplay is still some of the tightest and most responsive you'll find.

Visually dated, yes, but still one of the most enriching and satisfying first person shooters you'll ever play.

70

Not flawless, but a highly enjoyable sequel.

boris73 | Jan. 4, 2013 | Review of F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

I'll come right out and just say it... I enjoyed it. I think when you hear "sequel", you tend to get a bit worried, and while this definately feels more action and less horror than its scare-focused predecessor, and it has that console "mainstream" feel about it, I just couldn't help but still find a lot to enjoy about it.

If you've played the original, slipping into a new character in this game makes it feel like less of a continuation and more of a reboot - it did have a bit of a disconnected feel about it, but I found the gameplay to still be a lot of fun, the action was wonderfully intense - a real blast to play, and most importantly it still had that spooky element to it which I enjoyed so much in the first.

All in all, a good looking game, with great combat, atmosphere, wrapped up in a story delivery that keeps you interested until the end... and in games like this, there is little more than you can ask for. What it does, it does pretty damn well.

Not flawless, but well worth playing - especially in today's generic shooter market.

50

Running outa' gas...

boris73 | Jan. 4, 2013 | Review of F.E.A.R. 3

The previous two games were a blast! This one, it just kinda feels like its going through the motions... I guess the feeling is off, is the best way to describe it. It feels a bit too clean, a bit to neat and tidy, a bit to formulaic. The graphics are nice, and the controls are fine, and the gameplay is ok, it just lacks the gut-punch that the previous games had.

What you're getting is a functional shooter, one that will kill time and provide a bit of enjoyment, but it's nothing memorable and if you have the choice, I recommend the previous F.E.A.R games over this one. Rating this one 50/100 to reflect what this is - very middle-of-the-road. Not terrible, but nothing special.

95

As close as you can get to a perfect game.

boris73 | Jan. 4, 2013 | Review of Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year -

This game has it all, and does it RIGHT. Level design is rich in detail and wonderfully conceived and evocative. The characters are amazingly realised, both in form and some of the greatest voice acting you will ever hear in a videogame. The gameplay is rich and exciting, every combat scenario eagerly looked forward to and a blast to tackle however you decide to do it - will it be wonderfully functional stealth attacks, or wade in with fists flying for some of the most satisfying and deep hand-to-hand combat ever seen in a game?

Virtually flawless gameplay, artistic design and characters aside, you have a rich gameworld to explore with many great locations to see, a great length of gameplay to be had with secrets to find, an engrossing storyline, and utterly brilliantly dark and overbearing atmosphere to lose yourself in.

If you love action games with real substance to them, and fantastic production values, this is a no-brainer. Its a must have.

90

Everything that a great sequel should be

boris73 | Dec. 31, 2012 | Review of Batman Arkham City: Game of the Year -

This game maintains the incredibly high standards of the original. Visually, its a stunning game to look at. The voice acting is among the finest you will find in a video-game, and all of the dialogue is fantastic. One of the best things about the original, was the combat, and its satisfying to see that its not just as good as the first, but the developers managed to improve on it. It is more fluid and the range of moves (allowing for multiple enemy interactions simultaneously) have been expanded upon without becoming overbearing. This is easily some of the most satisfying combat you will find in a game. The boss fights are fantastic as well, creating some very memorable moments (I loved the clayface battle, but they were all exceptional!).

The addition of an open world at first seems a bit overwhelming, but you soon get used to it, and making your way through the environment through grappling and gliding is a lot of fun. There is also the fun riddler trophies and puzzles to find and solve, which is a highly enjoyable diversion from the main quests.

And speaking of the main story... I feel this is where the game is at its weakest. It is still very good, and I really enjoyed the Joker storyline, but I feel that in opening the world up and making it free-roam, the game loses some of its tighter focus that made the first games story so satisfying and engrossing. But this is a minor gripe, the storyline for Arkham City is still a lot of fun and very well written.

Overall, this is a great looking game, with tight and intuitive controls, fantastically satisfying combat, great characters, voice acting, dialogue and story... and above all, a hell of a lot of fun that will really give you your moneys worth. This is definately a game anyone who loves action and adventure games should have in their gaming catalogue.

60

More of the same...

boris73 | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Borderlands 2 (ANZ)

If you've played the first game, its pretty much the same thing. It looks the same (except now its SNOWING!!), and it still feels the same, its still the same dull repetitive collection/kill/fetch quest type missions as before, with emphasis on loot and the shooter experience rather than any kind of narrative/story satisfaction... it is essentially as if you're playing an online mmo. If that's your thing, then I highly recommend this game, because what it does, it does well. But if you want something more substantial than endless 'go here, kill 10 of this and then come back for your reward' missions, then probably best to go elsewhere. Personally, id suggest playing this with friends, because that's where the real meat of the experience is; being able to kill things with your friends to alleviate the monotony of the single player experience - and with friends, its a VERY fun game. But if you do intend to play it by yourself, and you are looking for something more than just a single player mmorpg type experience, you may find yourself getting bored of the very samey gameplay after a couple of hours.

87

Great game, pity about the setting.

boris73 | Dec. 26, 2012 | Review of Fallout: New Vegas DNS

This game improves on fallout 3 on a technical level, but I can't help (totally personal opinion here) that it LOSES something on the setting. I found the ruined cities and barren outskirts to be dripping in atmosphere as they were so evocative of a truly ruined once-thriving civilisation. In New Vegas, they've gone for what is essentially a wild-west setting. It feels like something thats been built up rather than a destroyed world, or perhaps as if we had gone back in time.

But really, this is my only real gripe about the game. It definately improves on the previous game, by bringing in a faction reputation system, weapon handling has been greatly improved, and you can now modify your weapons, there is even a hardcore rpg mode requires you to eat and drink, and the core story is much more interesting. The world is still rich in detail, full of life, and exciting to explore, and thats where most of the meat in the game is. You will be able to spend dozens of hours just adventuring out in the desert, finding vaults, exploring deserted towns and old bases.... This is definately a game for people who just love to lose themselves in an epic adventure through a big world full of exciting stuff just begging to be discovered.

85

A genuinely pleasant surprise.

boris73 | Dec. 26, 2012 | Review of Trine

I went into this game just to give it a quick play and maybe kill an hour or so before moving on to something else. That soon changed as all other games fell to the wayside as i became utterly absorbed by this little gem. It looks great and it plays great. It is rarely frustrating, on the contrary, whenever i was stuck i found myself actually enjoying the creativity that was called upon to solve the puzzles. The platforming works really well, and the combat is incredibly fun and satisfying. If you're looking for a fun, inoffensive, challenging and enjoyable little adventure game, you wont find many better. This is well worth the purchase.

90

Fantastic action, emotionally deep... truely a classic.

boris73 | Dec. 23, 2012 | Review of Max Payne II: The Fall of Max Payne DNS

This isn't a game so much as it is an experience. The graphics may be dated by today's standards, but that doesn't lessen the impact it still carries today. The combat is tight, fun, satisfying and thrilling, and while I didn't feel that the story was as important as the first game, it still packs an emotional punch and really delivers a truly memorable and engrossing experience. The word 'classic' gets thrown around a lot, but this game certainly earns it: every gamer should play this at least once in their life.

70

deeply flawed, but theres still something great here...

boris73 | Dec. 22, 2012 | Review of RAGE: Special Edition (International)

Badly marketed, with a terrible launch, mixed with unfair comparisons to other games and incredibly high - maybe even unreasonable - expectations.... RAGE almost never had a chance. First of all, the story is poor. Poorly handled, poorly concieved, and just frankly ISN'T even there for most of the time, leaving the array of fetch-quests to support the gameplay most of the time. Plenty of ill conceived 'fluff' in the game, like the pointless minigames and the half-hearted "open world" vehicle sections that essentially exist just to get you to the next game 'arena' only serve to detract and dilute the core experience.

BUT... if you give the game a chance, go in with an open mind, and ABOVE ALL: DONT EXPECT THIS TO BE AN OPEN WORLD/EXPLORATION GAME LIKE FALLOUT, but instead realise that it is (and really aspires to be little more than) a linear shooter, its actually very enjoyable. The shooter mechanics are first-rate, the combat is so much fun and so satisfying. Character animations are leading-edge, especially during combat... even the low resolution texturing, while initially distracting, actually form beautifully designed and realised gaming environments when you step back and take them in as a whole.

This is a very polarising game. Some quite solid (though low res) visuals and fantasticly satisfying shooter gameplay are marred by a poor story and some poorly thought-out needlessly distracting mechanics. Some will love it for the satisfying combat (I know i did), and some will loathe it because they wont look past the admittedly poor storytelling, pacing, unmet high expectations and an unfair comparison to more open-world games.

This game definately needs a patient gamer that wont instantly write-it off, and will give it a chance to do its thing. Its very rough around the edges but i firmly believe at its core theres some amazing stuff here.

67

Left me kinda cold... not in a good way...

boris73 | Dec. 10, 2012 | Review of Hitman: Absolution PRE

First of all, the game looks really nice. Its VERY heavy on the bloom, to ridiculous levels, but overall visually its quite a striking game. When the game works well, its a lot of fun stalking around, picking the right time to attack someone, sneaking through areas, setting up traps, even giving up on the stealth and just shooting your way through can be very satisfying... unfortunately i found the game to be a bit buggy sometimes, where the AI wouldnt react properly (ie their walk paths would never take them to the traps i had set up - sometimes they would never even move from their initial spot, when they were definately supposed to)... it could make the game kinda frustrating. There are some incredibly fun levels, but by the end of it i just felt myself being kind of indifferent; I was hoping to feel some kind of emotional connection or satisfaction in the conclusion, but it was sadly lacking. Fun game, but not a memorable one. It is also rather guided and easy to be honest.

70

flawed but still fantastic

boris73 | Dec. 9, 2012 | Review of Two Worlds: Game of the Year

this is one of those diamond in the rough games. its a bit rough around the edges, but the visuals are stunning, and the world is rich and exciting to explore; you can really lose yourself in the experience!