Reviews by dark2025
$5 each for these great games? Yes please!dark2025 | Oct. 30, 2012 | Review of THQ 5-Pack
Metro is a very atmospheric post-apocalyptic FPS set mostly in the Moscow underground, but you do occasionally come up to the surface. The game's presentation is top-notch and the gameplay is quite good too. Worth it for $5.
Dawn of War II is a squad based RTS/Tactics game. The game is great even for those who aren't normally into strategy games since it's not really a game about base-building, but more about getting your hero and troops to accomplish different objectives.
Company of Heroes is an extremely well-received RTS. Again, it's less to do with base building than with tactics - finding cover, using unit abilities, flanking, and careful planning is crucial to success. It's a game you NEED to play if you enjoy RTS or WWII games in general.
Saints Row 2 is a GTA-like sandbox game, but it's a little more fun in the sense that you can go absolutely crazy in that game. It's a game where reality is thrown out the window and you're encouraged to embrace your destructive side. Awesome game for anyone who likes to free-roam.
Lastly, Red Faction Guerrilla is another game where you can free-roam and cause all kinds of havoc, but this one isn't nearly as crazy as SR2, and is slightly more realistic. It's really fun to take down buildings in that game though, but may feel a little repetitive.
TL;DR: BUY THIS PACK.
One of the best shooters everdark2025 | Oct. 30, 2012 | Review of Spec Ops: The Line
I won't say too much about this game because I think it's good to experience it for yourself. I will say however, that while disguised as a generic 3rd person shooter, Spec Ops really has a lot of things to comment on, and what it's commenting on can be debated - you might end up interpret it as saying something about the video game medium, and even about you the player.
Personally, I think the mask the game puts on is fantastic - it leads you to believe in just about every way that you're playing a generic shooter, but then somewhere in the middle you will start to realize it's so much more than that, and again you might interpret that in many layers.
Yeah the gameplay may not be the best, but this game proves that not all violent video games are mindless and stupid. You really ought to check it out for yourself.
Fantastic scrolling shooterdark2025 | Oct. 30, 2012 | Review of Raptor: Call of the Shadows
I used to play the shareware version of this to death. It remains one of the best in its genre despite its age.
The gameplay is pretty simple, you're in a ship and you're shooting down ships coming the other way from the top of the screen. You gain money for killing enemies and destroying buildings scattered across the map. After each mission you can use that money to buy new weapons, upgrades, or just to repair your ship.
It's challenging, but not overly so. The difficulty ramps up nicely with each level so that you should have decent equipment to deal with each new challenge.
I honestly think this game is still fun to this day, unlike many 'classics' that are actually more like nostalgic pieces than anything fun you'd play today. I'd definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for a nice shoot'em up.
Bring on the Payne!dark2025 | Oct. 22, 2012 | Review of Max Payne II: The Fall of Max Payne
Max Payne 2 continues the film-noir story from the first game, but is even better this time around. While the visuals aren't as crisp anymore, the overall presentation (with the comic-book style cutscenes) is still great, and the game is quite smooth and rivals many newer third person shooters in terms of playability, especially when you add in the cool bullet time element.
It's a dark game with a great atmosphere and an intriguing story that still holds up well today, so there's no reason not to play this one.
FPS with a great atmospheredark2025 | Oct. 22, 2012 | Review of Metro 2033
Metro is a post-apocalyptic game that takes place mostly in the Moscow underground. There's been a great deal of effort to make this game as atmospheric as possible. The presentation is top-notch, especially when you have to venture up to the surface of the obliterated city during your travels.
You'll come across many 'settlements' within the underground as well, where you can talk to NPCs or buy equipment with high quality ammunition. Yes, you have a choice of either save up the valuable ammo you find for trading purposes or you can use them in combat for some extra punch.
This game is often on sale for $5, so I'd definitely recommend you pick it up for that price.
Nice shooterdark2025 | Oct. 22, 2012 | Review of Red Faction
Back in the day this game advanced the genre by allowing you to blow up walls. It didn't fully utilize that element, especially in the latter half, but it's still fun enough to play. It's a story-based FPS similar to Unreal or Quake 2, but with a Mars setting.
It still holds up decently today. It's not spectacular, but you should have a pretty fun time with it if you enjoy old-school shooters.
Great addition to the main gamedark2025 | Oct. 22, 2012 | Review of LA Noire: DLC Bundle
I didn't really care for the new suits, but these cases are as lengthy and interesting as the cases from the main game, so now you have a few more chances to play detective.
If you've played the original game and enjoyed it then you'd enjoy this too since they're all done in the same style. If you haven't played the original then realize that this is just the DLCs. I'd recommend the complete edition - the one that comes with the DLCs as well as the main game itself.
Very worthy additions to GTA 4dark2025 | Oct. 22, 2012 | Review of Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City DNS
The Ballad of Gay Tony is a fantastic expansion that added some much needed silliness as well as a fun story to Liberty City, while The Lost & Damned offered another decent campaign as well as other side-missions to the mix.
While each of the single player campaigns can be pretty short, there's a lot of variety between the two to keep you entertained for the entire duration, and there are also enough side-missions and new cars and weapons to try that free-roaming is much improved from the base game as well. So regardless of whether you would like to either 100% the game or mess around or just play the campaigns, I think you're going to have a good time.
Great expansion.dark2025 | Oct. 22, 2012 | Review of Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost & Damned
This expansion features a new campaign, new vehicles, new side-missions, and a lot more.
I'll have to be honest, the story didn't really keep me captivated as much as GTA 4 or The Ballad of Gay Tony, but the experience was good nonetheless (the story is only about half of the new content in the addon, although if you don't care for trying to 100% the game or multiplayer, then you might like this addon a little less). I never really used bikes much in the original game so it was a good change of pace to use them almost exclusively in this game. If you want more of GTA4, definitely get both this and Gay Tony (I'd recommend the latter more though if you want a better campaign to play through).
Very good remake.dark2025 | Oct. 17, 2012 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown (NA)
It's much of a simplification of the original game. It's by no means bad though.
No more ammo management and no more buying from the market or hiring/firing scientists and engineers (although you can still sell and manufacture stuff).
Soldiers are more valuable now due to the limited squad size and powerful ranking perks.
Battles also seem a little more tactical again due to the squad size, cover system, and limited moves (default soldiers have 2 moves per turn, and shooting uses all your moves).
I guess the main differences are the smaller squad sizes and the removal of time units. To be honest though I kind of like the new combat system. I didn't use full ship-load of guys anyway in the original game, and I like how now individual soldiers matter so much more so each move should be carefully evaluated.
The strategic elements have taken a hit though since there are fewer things you can spend your money on now and fewer things to manage back in base.
I'm playing normal difficulty now and I don't like how the aliens get a free movement every time after you stumble onto a group of them. Sure they can't shoot when this happens, but they can still surround you, often leaving you with no way to defend yourself after you end your turn - so now instead of getting the surprise attack on the aliens, they're the ones who have you surrounded. I lost a battle on my very first turn because I discovered 2 groups of aliens (including 3 Chryssalids) who immediately flanked all my guys leaving me with no way to re-position my men. Now I'm super careful with every movement I make. I'm not sure how this is on the other difficulties.
There are also some bugs right now, like how sometimes the game would get stuck on the alien turn, or camera glitches like the roof not being peeled back so moving around inside can get tricky when that happens.
I'm enjoying it overall so far though, the action can be pretty intense and quite fun. Hopefully they patch some of the bugs soon though.
Loot-based zombie RPGdark2025 | Oct. 11, 2012 | Review of Dead Island
Dead Island is kind of like Borderlands with zombies. That is to say, it's an action RPG that will have you go around killing things (in this case zombies), finding better loot so you can kill more things, with little mini quests (many of which are fetch quests) along the way.
It's fun, but can get a little repetitive and the skill tree isn't all that intriguing. It's better if you can play co-op with a friend since you can work together making the game a little more interesting.
Creepydark2025 | Oct. 11, 2012 | Review of Condemned: Criminal Origins CAP
Condemned is one of the most atmospheric and creepy FPSs I've ever played. It's full of memorable scenes and features an intriguing story. Sure it may be a little linear, but it's a blast to play nonetheless.
The only negative thing I'll say is that the melee combat sometimes feels a little off, but it's not that big of a deal compared to how awesome the rest of the game is. If you're into horror or mystery games then please do yourself a favour and pick up this one.
Fantastic gamedark2025 | Oct. 11, 2012 | Review of Company of Heroes
This game really gives you a feeling of actually being there on the battlefield commanding your troops. The graphics do a nice job of conveying the destructiveness of war, and the action is equally intense.
The game focuses more on tactics than resource gathering and base building. To win you must be aware of the battlefield, take advantage of covers and execute flanking manoeuvres whenever you have a chance. It's not a speed-based strategy game like Starcraft, so even if you're not normally interested in this genre due to the speed factor you should still enjoy CoH.
Good gamedark2025 | Oct. 11, 2012 | Review of Dead Space (NA) DNS
You're in space, trapped in a ship full of misshapen monsters. To beat them, you'll have to try and dismember their limbs one by one. It's a nice idea and is pretty atmospheric. The action is intense, but I wouldn't exactly call this game too scary. The game overuses horror cliches so you pretty much know when something bad's about to go down. There's a vent coming up? You can bet something's gonna drop out of there.
Still, not a bad shooter though, I'd recommend it on sale.
Not up to par with the first 2 gamesdark2025 | Oct. 11, 2012 | Review of F.E.A.R. 3
This game felt pretty generic to me. The story was crazy and the gameplay was nothing special - more or less a generic shooter. It wasn't scary and was pretty short.
I haven't played the co-op though but have heard it's better than the single player mode, which I can believe. Basically you might want to consider this game if you enjoy generic shooters or you have somebody to play co-op with you, but otherwise either ignore it or get it in a pack with the other 2 FEAR games.
Very nice RTSdark2025 | Oct. 4, 2012 | Review of Supreme Commander 2
SC2 is a RTS game that is different from the rest of the pack in its epic scale. Alright, it's not as big as the original Supreme Commander, but compared to others of its genre, the scale is still pretty impressive. As a result of the smaller size, the game is faster than before.
It's a fun game with a nice campaign. If you enjoy RTS games then this is a must.
Difficult but rewardingdark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines
Commandos is a tough, tough game. You command up to 6 units, each with their own skills and abilities. You're up against dozens of enemy troops scattered across the map, and you must use everything at your disposal to make it through safely, accomplish the objectives, and all without suffering casualties. To do this you must set traps, distract guards, and use your units' abilities to their fullest. Stealth is key, and the game might end pretty quickly if you're seen.
It's very challenging (the first mission alone might take you numerous tries), but at the same time it's highly rewarding to execute a flawless plan. I'd also recommend Commandos 2 over this one if you're new, since I think that game is probably easier to get into.
Best Commandos Gamedark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Commandos 2: Men of Courage
Commandos is a fairly unique game in that it's a real time tactics game where your group of units are trapped deep behind enemy lines. You are outnumbered and outgunned. Stealth plays a HUGE part here. If you get involved in straight up gun-fights then your chances of getting out alive becomes pretty minimal. Rather, you have to observe the enemy soldiers, set traps or distractions and kill silently or just plain avoid the guards. Then you must make your way to accomplish objectives such as rescuing somebody, blowing up certain structures or installations, etc.
It can be difficult, but if you're patient and clever in your tactics you will be rewarded. Highly recommended.
Good for collectorsdark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Alan Wake: Collector's Upgrade
This item is really geared towards collectors (hence the name) and features nothing that adds to the game itself, so no DLCs and such. You might want to look to American Nightmare if that is what you're looking for.
I suppose if you really enjoyed the game and want to know a little more about the background, design process, and listen to the soundtrack, then there's something here for you, but at $10, it might be too steep of a price.
Good action gamedark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Mafia II
The game is fun to play and the story is pretty engaging. The setting and presentation are both well-done, and the city feels like it's straight out of the 40s/50s. Unfortunately there's not too much to do in the city outside of missions other than just drive around, which is pretty cool for a while but then gets a little boring. It's not long, especially for an open world game, but it is fun, and I'd recommend it if you're looking for a new action game to play.
Better than Arkham Asylum?dark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Batman: Arkham City
B:AA was an awesome game with one of the best fighting mechanisms I've ever seen. This continues in B:AC, except the game is even more epic since the areas are larger and there are more side missions to do. The atmosphere and presentation of the game is top-notch. As with B:AA, the developer really put in a lot of details that make the world much more immersive. The gadgets are fun to use and there are even more challenges than before.
Definitely highly recommended, and if you haven't played B:AA, you should get both.
Not baddark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Binary Domain
Having just finished Binary Domain a few weeks ago, I must say it's a fun game and raises some moral questions in its story, but unfortunately it keeps falling short when the chance was there to be something greater. For example, the robots will slowly disintegrate when you shoot at them - losing limbs but still operating, and only headshots will ensure a quick kill, but there's a lot of repetition of the same kinds of robots that ends up making the feature's uniqueness fade rather fast.
It's a nice third-person shooter with some pretty intense parts that's sure to satisfy fans of the genre. Could have been much better, but still very good for what it is.
So-sodark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Alien Breed 2: Assault
Alien Breed 2 is a shooter where you basically just go around killing aliens with various weapons. It's a nice idea (who doesn't like shooting a bunch of aliens?) but it becomes quite repetitive after a while. The level design also starts to feel samey after a while since the environment all look pretty similar. The story is nothing special, and the game is pretty short. Basically what I'm trying to say is that this is a very average game, nothing really special about it, but also nothing particularly bad about it, unless repetitive shooting isn't your thing.
Cool gamedark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Alan Wake
Alan Wake is a game where you fight shadow monsters who are invincible until they are hit with light. The story is suspenseful and mysterious, and the gameplay is intense. It's very dark (literally and figuratively), but good looking.
Play it if you're looking for a more unique action/adventure game with a nice story.
Best Hitman gamedark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Hitman: Blood Money
This game is all about killing people - very specific people. Kill them and escape to win the level. Sounds kind of easy, but it's actually more complicated. Sure you can probably go in and kill everyone, but it's probably going to cost you your life too. To win (and have the best outcome), you must be stealthy and kill your targets without witnesses, ideally making them look like accidents, like maybe something heavy fell on them 'by chance', or maybe they 'fell' over a balcony.
It's a very unique stealth FPS that is very fun to play and to figure out how to accomplish your goals in the best way possible. Very much recommended!
Decent, but not greatdark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Invisible War
As a Deus Ex game, it was kind of lacking. As a game in general, it's actually pretty decent. There's still choices to be made when playing the game, such as being more stealthy or be more direct, but it's lacking in the sense that it's kind of limited - the game is much more linear and you can't do as much as you can in the original Deus Ex. Still, if you're looking for a game with a mix of FPS/RPG, you might want to give this one a try, even if you haven't played the first one.
One of the best RPGsdark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition
Deus Ex was a superb RPG with a focus on story. The plot twists and choices you make (and not just black and white ones like in Mass Effect) really make the game more interesting. The choices aren't all plot based either, but simple things like how to get through a door - whether to bash it down, hack it, finding the key, or maybe talking somebody else into opening it for you. The game really lets you play it how you want to - exactly what you'd want in an RPG. Highly recommended if you can get over the slightly aged graphics.
One of the best video game adaptations ever madedark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Batman: Arkham Asylum
Arkham Asylum is a fantastic game, perhaps the video game equivalent of film The Dark Knight. The action is probably the best part of the game, and the great story just makes it better. The fluid fighting is simply superb - all the combos connect so smoothly with each other and it makes the game so much more atmospheric. That's not the only attention to detail that make this game - for example, guards will chat with each other and Batman's cape will become gradually more torn.
If you haven't played this game before, this is a must if you have at least a slight interest in Batman and/or action games.
Beautiful gamedark2025 | Sept. 26, 2012 | Review of Trine
As you undoubtedly know, the visuals are fantastic. But it's more than that. Combined with the music, story, and humour, the overall presentation is just spectacular and the experience itself is almost worth the money.
Gameplay-wise, it's a fine platformer with physics puzzles using 3 characters of vastly different skills. Switching between them to utilize their powers, overcoming foes, and trying to find all the secrets is plenty of fun. So basically it's not just graphics - the game is actually fun to play too. Definitely highly recommended
Fun, but you need friends and a love for explorationdark2025 | Sept. 24, 2012 | Review of Magicka
Magicka's magic system is certainly very unique and fun to play around with. However, certain spell combinations are just too powerful and the game's difficulty level is fairly uneven, making it so that the game might be too difficult for some players and too easy for others, those who are willing to try more spell combinations and who are frankly just faster with the keyboard.
The humour is nice too, with many game and other pop culture references. There are many different enemies and different challenges to do. However, playing by yourself it can get boring, especially if you just resort to the same spells over and over again. If you have friends however, things become much more interesting because of friendly fire - a lot of the time you might just kill your friends because there's so much action on the screen you don't even notice them, or maybe you're just the type of player who likes to see your friends rage. Whatever the case, the chaos and destruction in a multiplayer game is really quite fun. So hopefully you go into this game with people to play!
Not as bad as people may claimdark2025 | Sept. 24, 2012 | Review of Duke Nukem Forever
I really didn't find this game to be terrible. I played Duke 3D just prior to DNF, and must say Duke was just about as cheesy and as offensive as he was before. It's not great - the 'jokes' often miss and ends up being just offensive and horrible, as well as things like having quick time events and a cliched story.
That being said, the gameplay itself is actually decent. Sure, there's not much new here but at least the environments are nice and diverse, the gameplay pretty varied with different segments thrown in (not all work that well, but at least they're a change of pace). It's fun if you just take it as a mindless shooter.
I think the reason for all the negativity was just the hype built onto the decade plus years of development, added with the nostalgic love for the older Duke games, causing many to be unhappy with its mixture of modern shooter mechanics (e.g. regenerating health) and more linear level design. It's definitely worth $5 to try it.
A decent ridedark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of Dead Space 2 (NA) DNS
If you enjoyed the original Dead Space, you should enjoy this one too. It's a little too similar though, and to me felt like I was playing an expansion pack. Not that this is a terribly bad thing however, since dismembering those necromorphs (this time with a few new variants) is still fun, if a little repetitive.
Dead Space 2 relies on claustrophobic hallways, sound effects (which as mentioned before, is fantastic), and extremely low lighting to try to instill fear into you. While those elements do a nice job of creating a creepy atmosphere, the game isn't actually scary, at least not after the first hour or so. Since the game goes for the 'Boo!' scares, eventually you'll pick up on when a nasty critter will try to jump you. You might even learn to aim at a necromorph's location before he even jumps out. The scripting is very predictable - you know that when there's a big empty room in front of you that a horde of enemies will be jumping out as soon as you take a few steps in. You know that pretty much every important action you perform plot-wise results in an attack, and you know which vents they'll be pouring out of.
Horror is not about having something jump out, flailing its arms about as it screams 'boo!' Hitchcock said it best - "There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it." Therefore it's unforgiving that these 'bang's in this game are so predictable.
Dead Space 2 is also a very linear game. You literally can't stray away from the main path at all. It would have been much more impressive (and scarier) if you had more freedom to explore the 'city' or even just the ability to choose different paths, not knowing where each may take you. As it is stands, the replay value is pretty low. You can play it again with tougher difficulty levels and utilize different strategies if you wish, I suppose.
All that being said, it's still an enjoyable game, but if you're looking for a truer horror game, go play Amnesia.
A decent addition to the Bioshock franchise.dark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of BioShock® 2 DNS
Rapture may not quite have the mystery of the original game since you already know them by now, but despite the sameness of the game, it is still very fun to play, and that's really all that matters. It's quite the atmospheric game. The art design and excellent sound effects draw you right into the world of Rapture. However creepy it may be, it's not very scary, allowing for a larger audience. The story, while not as memorable as the first game, is not bad by any means. If you're new to the series, please play the original game first - not only will you familiarize yourself with the settings and learn the background, you'll spot some neat references to that in this game. If you have already played Bioshock before, I definitely recommend you trying this one out too. It's worth your time!
Want destruction and mayhem? You've come to the right place.dark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of Just Cause 2
Great game, vast island to explore, varied vehicles, and some crazy things you can do with the grappling hook. The missions CAN become a little repetitive if all you're doing is jumping from mission to mission though.
If you got GTA just for causing havoc, then get this game, since it should provide you with more than enough to satisfy your destructive needs.
Fantastic collectiondark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of The Stronghold Collection
Great collection of castle building games (although Crusader is more about the combat). Good combination of city management and combat, but it does get HARD (Crusader Extreme comes to mind...).
Stronghold 1 is still one of my favourites, despite its perhaps dated graphics, especially with no way to increase resolution, but it's extremely satisfying to build a bustling castle and then send hundreds of troops to take down your enemy's.
Nice for RTS fans.dark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of Sword of the Stars: Complete Collection
A fun space RTS game with some very unique races and a very in-depth research tree. Empire management is simple enough, but the interface could use some work. Combat on the other hand, that can get a little tricky. Still, if you're a fan of space RTSs like Sins of a Solar Empire, then you should give this one a chance. Having all the expansions are nice too since there are many additions that make the base game better.
Decent DLCdark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of Magicka: The Stars are Left
For starters, the campaign is quite short, but also quite difficult. It's by far better to play this one with a couple of friends. There seem to be some game fixes too, but it's still quite buggy and will crash sometimes. Besides that... I mean, it's just more Magicka, so if you are a fan of the game you'll certainly want to pick this one up, otherwise leave it and play the main game first. You can always buy this at a later time if you feel like it.
Not the best racing game, but fairly unique.dark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of Flatout
It's a very arcadey racing game that rewards your for destruction which provide you with money and therefore better upgrades for your car. There are also silly mini games like seeing how far you can eject your driver (yes, your driver literally leaps out the windshield and flies for hundreds of meters). Fun? Yes, but only if you throw realism out the window, which is to say - if you're looking for a realistic driving simulation, you'd better look elsewhere.
So-sodark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of Insecticide
Part 3D platformer, part point & click adventure. Its action parts are a little repetitive, and the adventure puzzles aren't really as good as it could have been either. The end result is an odd game that really doesn't do well in either aspects. The only thing that's going in its favour is the humourous story and setting.
Oh the game is also incomplete, since this is only part 1 and no more were released (for the PC at least), so the game basically ends just as the story is picking up steam. Too bad.
One of the best games of the year.dark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a genuinely good game even if you've never played the original Deus Ex. In fact story-wise there's very little connection between the two so you're not missing out on much if you skip the first one.
The stealth element works fantastically. I completed the game using purely non-lethal methods but I never felt the game was slow. The game is intense, has a decent story, and some well-executed mechanics. The only issue (as you've probably heard many times) is how out of place the boss battle feels, especially if you've been playing the pacifist path. Still, it's easy to overlook that since there are only about 4 such battles in the game. The rest of the game is quite brilliant.
Very good trading game.dark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of Patrician III DNS
Patrician 3 is pretty much like the second one in the series (or so I've heard, haven't played 2). It's a pretty deep and rewarding trading game and better than most others of its genre. Plenty of economics and politics if that's your thing, but it's not really an action game, so keep that in mind if you were looking to conduct battles. There's also a little micromanaging that some may find tedious, but overall a great game.
Great Genesis classicdark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of Comix Zone
This game first hooked me with its unique graphics (which looks pretty good for even today) and and the idea of playing through a comic. The gameplay is really well done too, including numerous enemies and items available. The difficulty level is quite high up there, especially if you're used to today's easier games.
It's quite short and maybe you can finish it in an hour or two, but if you want to experience some old-school beat-em up game, this would be a great start.
Worth a lookdark2025 | Sept. 21, 2012 | Review of The Guild 2: Renaissance
Renaissance includes all the buildings and most of the maps in the previous games, and is a great sandbox game with a good mix of economics and RPG elements. It's kind of buggy and things like pathfinding could have been better. It also has no tutorial or campaign, but you can actually download The Guild 2 vanilla demo and play the tutorial in there, then jump into Renaissance for the main game.
Definitely a good game to have in your library.
The most underrated game of 2009dark2025 | April 26, 2011 | Review of Cryostasis
The Good: Superb atmosphere, made possible by fantastic sound and visual effects, scary, great story woven in layers with many, many symbolic elements. You should know that the story carries the game here, it's not simply just a vehicle for more cool stuff to do. Be sure to keep playing to the end, the payoff is very much worth it, the mental echo ability (going back in time to solve puzzles that change the present as well as saving somebody's life) is very innovative and works very well.
The Bad: Combat feels a little off, which is made worse by the increasing amount of enemies near the end of the game. However, your character is no soldier, and the weapons are made to be more realistic than your average shooter, so the clunkiness of the combat may be forgiven a little. My complaint is that they stick you with too many enemies near the end that makes you wish you could have the option of skipping combat all together. The levels are too much of the same, by which I mean one empty frozen room after another. The biggest problem is the performance issue for the game. My PC is no Crysis killer, but it can run that game in 1680x1050 with medium-high settings with no problems. For this game I had to turn everything off/low (with the exception of PhysX, which my card should be able to handle) as well as a resolution of 1280x800, yet I only got around 20 fps. I can get maybe 50 at some areas, but where it matters - the combat - depending on how much is happening, my fps might drop down to 10. It's inexcusable given the claustrophobic environment you're trapped in. No replay value.
Overall: This game has its flaws, but thankfully overall it's not a combat intensive game. If you're looking for a game with a terrific atmosphere that will scare you then this game is for you - as long as you don't mind some clunky combat once in a while. You'll also be treated to one of the best stories I've seen in a game. The mental echo parts are pretty unique and fun, and often help to tell the story. It's very rewarding when you come back from one and see that the environment around you has changed as a result of saving somebody's life. I feel the positive elements of this game are way overwhelming than the negatives. It's a great, albeit very underrated game that anyone interested in survival horror should definitely check out.