Reviews by chrisdolman22

94

A Fantastic Package

chrisdolman22 | March 4, 2014 | Review of The Orange Box

I'm sure by now you already know about most if not all of the games included in the Orange Box, it's been around for years, but I think it's safe to say that most of the games in it are fairly timeless.

Portal isn't the longest game in the world, but if you fancy a brain-bending challenge or just something a bit different, then this game will keep you occupied for quite a while.

Team Fortress 2 has gone free-to-play since the release of The Orange Box, but this purchase will still get you a lot - this counts as a premium upgrade, which allows you to find better weapons, carry more in your backpack, and also unlocks a few other special bonuses. It's a great game. Mann vs Machine, the wave-based survival mode is my favourite, but the team based competitive modes are equally as good. My only complaint with TF2 is that it often doesn't feel like you're progressing or getting anywhere. Weapons drop randomly, and there is no levelling system, so you are going to be playing purely for the fun of playing. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it keeps a level playing field, but it does sometimes make me burn out on the game a little.

Half Life 2 doesn't really need a long description - it's fantastic, play it now.

This is a fantastic purchase, and I still play all of the games years after I bought it. Valve know how to make a good one.

75

It's FIFA

chrisdolman22 | Sept. 27, 2013 | Review of FIFA 14 (EU)

As much as I love FIFA games, FIFA 14 is very much still just another FIFA game. While the console versions have improved with the new Ignite engine, the PC version has remained roughly the same. The graphics are marginally improved over last year, but not a huge amount, and the menu system is newly laid out, and possibly more irritating that last year.

Game wise, goalkeepers seem to be on some form of steroids, and are seemingly impossible to score against with regular shots, however chipped shots and corners are very easy to score from. Other than this, gameplay is roughly the same as before, and any changes that were made in the past 12 months are largely un-notable.

All that said, this is still FIFA, and it's a solid footballing experience. I am a huge fan of the Ultimate Team section of the game, and if anything spend more time on the web application trading in players rather than in-game playing matches with them.

Generally, it's a very good football game, but the jump from 13 to 14 seems fairly insignificant, It's definitely worth it if you don't own FIFA 13, but if you do then you don't gain a huge amount from the upgrade. Good game nonetheless, though.

55

Acceptable At Best

chrisdolman22 | May 31, 2013 | Review of Hidden Mysteries: Titanic

While this is certainly an interesting concept and the Titanic idea hasn't been used enough in games, there just isn't a huge amount to like about this game in terms of gameplay. The puzzles aren't particularly complex, which in turn meant that they weren't particularly interesting to me, and for a game which is based pretty much entirely just on puzzles and the occasional mini-game, it doesn't really make a case for me to play this more.

Graphically I'm on the fence about this one, for a (I assume) low-budget game I suppose they're reasonably good, but nonetheless the characters still look quite angular, and some of the animations are questionable to say the least. The sounds of characters amd the ship are fairly well-done, but something about them still doesn't really make this game immersive.

This seems very much like a 'you get what you pay for' game. It's okay and will entertain you for a while, but equally I can't see myself going back to it in a hurry, and I wouldn't really recommend it unless it was really cheap

95

The Best Of DiRT

chrisdolman22 | May 31, 2013 | Review of DiRT 2

While DiRT 2 definitely definitely didn't follow the Colin McRae script when it was released, in my opinion it bettered it in every way. DiRT 2 swaps straight-up rallying for a very good balance of rally and rallycross, along with a handful of new gamemodes which add further depth to an already very solid franchise.

DiRT 2 is all about off-road speed, from tearing around a London Battersea track in a rallycross event to trailblazing across open desert landscapes in a ridiculously fast modified car. My favourite mode is gatecrasher, which combines both a long, twisting rally stage with yellow gates scattered along the course that much be smashed, which requires speed but also driving precision, something which has been fairly lacking in a lot of rally games and is a very nice challenge on higher difficulties.

The graphics are surprisingly good for a game of it's age, the driving physics are great, there is a great variety of tracks, and while the selection of cards is slightly lacking, you don't really notice it because of the different upgrade packs which have to be equipped for each different type of event. Codemasters are one of the best studios at making cars feel unique in how they handle, and they really pulled it off here.

In short, DiRT 2 is a fantastic game, easily in my top 5 favourite games of all time, and at the prices charged these days it's impossible to go wrong. Buy it and you won't be disappointed.

75

Great Football Game

chrisdolman22 | May 30, 2013 | Review of FIFA 13 (EU)

If you've ever played any of the FIFA series before, you pretty much know what you're going to get with FIFA 13. In effect, FIFA 13 is just any of the previous FIFA games, but with more polish, a scattering of new features, the latest teams and more.

Now, I'm not a fan of game companies regurgitating the same game over and over, but to a certain extent I'm glad that EA do with FIFA. While there are few major changes to last year's FIFA 12, 13 feels far nicer to play. The movement has been improved, ever-so-slightly, but moving your players around the pitch and dribbling the ball through your opponent's defense is far more enjoyable that it was. Players move fairly intelligently, and while you do get the occasional FIFA 'why on earth did you try and pass to that player' moments, passing is slick too.

My favourite feature is the 'Ultimate Team' section, which is like a digital trading card game, but each card represents a player that you can use in your team. You can sell cards on the trading market and buy others to increase your coin total and buy better players so that you can take on your friends and the world with your very own team built from scratch.

Sure, there isn't a huge amount of reason to buy this over FIFA 12, but the updated squads, improved graphics, superior motion and vastly larger online player base have sold it for me. If you're into football and want to play it on the PC, FIFA 13 is definitely the way to go (until FIFA 14, that is).

70

Surprising

chrisdolman22 | May 28, 2013 | Review of Toilet Tycoon

Naturally with the subject and the price of this game I wasn't expecting much, but for two pounds I thought I'd give it a try. I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised. The basic concept is to build and maintain toilets, dull I know, but added to that fact is the ability to have an 'opponent' of sorts, who is running a rival toilet. Most of my fun from the game has been from trying to sabotage their efforts and fending off their attempts at sabotage. As examples, you can send a vandal or a vomiter to your rivals toilet, have them do misdeeds, and then report the toilet to the sanitary board, who may fine or even repossess their toilet. This concept is incredibly fun (particularly if you play 4 player local multiplayer) because it adds a whole level of tactical thought to the game, despite the fact that it sounds as though it should be fairly pointless.

On top of that, this game doesn't take itself too seriously and has a good sense of humour (really bad toilet-based puns, for example) which amused me. I'm not going to go out and say that this is the best game ever, or that it has fantastic graphics because it doesn't, but it is a fun, slightly tongue-in-cheek experience and for the price here I would really recommend that you try it.

90

Fantastic, but Familiar

chrisdolman22 | May 28, 2013 | Review of Need for Speed Most Wanted

First and foremost, I can't go without saying that while this game is very good, it is incredibly similar to Burnout Paradise. The game is developed by the same studio that built Burnout Paradise, and the basic premise is the same, you drive around an open city, complete races, smash billboards, find shortcuts and unlock new cars. However, with that said, that is definitely not a bad thing in my mind. NFS: Most Wanted feels very much like a grown up version of Burnout, with real cars, performance enhancements, and a map designed less for incredible stunts and more for skillful driving. As with any NFS title, there are of course still some spectacular jumps to be made, but they are focused very much more on realism.

Where Most Wanted really shines is police chases, however. At any point in the game you run the risk of incurring the wrath of the police force, who will do whatever they can to stop you street racing. As chases lengthen, you'll increase your heat rating, making the cops deploy more resources to try and stop you, making chases harder and harder to escape. In my opinion, this is the best part of Most Wanted, and something that has been distinctly lacking in some of the more recent titles in the series.

Really I cannot fault this game. The campaign is fun, gameplay is addictive, and the online multiplayer can make hours of your life pass in minutes if that's your sort of thing. This game has been worth every penny, and I bought it on day one. Great work, Criterion!

65

Pretty good, but not the best

chrisdolman22 | May 28, 2013 | Review of DiRT Showdown

Despite being something of a fanboy of the DiRT series, I have to say this game did not quite meet my expectations of a Codemasters release. Sure, the graphics are fantastic and the game is very polished, but I have to admit I feel a little underwhelmed at the variety of events. After the first section of the campaign mode the game modes will start to feel a little repetitive.

Don't get me wrong, it's a very well made game, but sometimes it feels like something that could have been released as a game-changing DLC as opposed to being a full release. It's fun to jump into, but it won't demand your attention day-in, day-out like DiRT 2 & 3 did for me.

85

Incredible Game

chrisdolman22 | May 28, 2013 | Review of GRID -

This game may have been released way back in the early days of this generation but as a racing sim/arcade hybrid title it's fantastic. The graphics are very good (particularly when you consider it's age), the selection of cars is great, but by far my favorite part is the sense of sheer speed and adrenaline which comes with playing a tightly-contested race in ridiculously fast super cars. Codemasters are a great team of developers and I'm very much looking forward to GRID 2, it's been too long