Reviews by darkhorse441

75

Cool Story (No Pun Intended), but buy the Season Pass

darkhorse441 | Feb. 20, 2016 | Review of Batman Arkham Origins Cold Cold Heart DLC NA - PC

Cold, Cold Heart is a DLC for Batman Arkham Origins which takes place after the game’s main story and focuses on the first meeting between Batman and Mr. Freeze. The story is reminiscent of of an episode of Batman: The Animated Series and is on-par with the rest of the game, which means it is enjoyable but not as much as Arkham Asylum and City. The gameplay is similar to the base game, but with the addition of the XE suit that gives Batman resistance to cold and nifty new heat-based abilities. This suit looks darn cool, and I wish it had been playable in the main game outside of the DLC. The DLC also includes some side missions to extend game duration and give you more for you money. Overall, it is a worthwhile addition to the game, but since it is included in the Season Pass along with tons of other content, I must recommend the Season Pass over just Cold, Cold Heart.

62

Wasted Potential

darkhorse441 | Feb. 20, 2016 | Review of Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition NA - PC

Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate Deluxe (mouthful isn’t it) is the PC port of the portable stand-alone spin-off of Arkham Origins. But how is it? Well let’s break it down: Gameplay: The game retains many of the other Arkham Games’ format, but in 2.5D. Grappling, freeflow combat, stealth sections, exploration, and detective mode are all present, but adapted for the 2.5D format, which I feel really limits their creativity and fun. The game is definitely playable, but it is really limited by the format. Furthermore, many of the side missions involve near-unfindable objectives in a terribly-designed open-world and give very little reward. Graphics: It’s a port of a 3DS/ PSVita game. I’m not going to complain too much. Yes the graphics look average and the customization options are limited, but at least the devs made the effort to update the textures and other various elements from the portable version. Story: Umm...yeah. The story is really a big meh. It features a breakout at Blackgate Prison (hence the name) that (Spoilers) features the creation of the Suicide Squad which amounts to next to nothing overall. Unlike the other Arkham games, I felt no desire to push myself to the end of the game to explore the story in its entirety. The story itself is told through animated comic book panels in the vein of Watchmen: The End is Nigh, compounded with the occasional in-game dialogue which is ruined by the fact that some characters move their mouths and others don’t. The voice acting is pretty decent, but because of the mediocre story and average presentation, it doesn’t really come through. Gameplay Experience: Complaining time. This game is frustrating. To unlock all the skins and get 100% complete, not only do you have to use an annoying WBID, but you have to play the game THREE TIMES. It would be fine if the game was fun, but due to the annoying side missions and average gameplay, I really don’t want to have to play the game three times. Plus, the game’s control scheme is just strange, with seemingly different actions mapped to one button. At least bugs were minimal to my recollection. However, with the fact that the game was just an overall disappointment due to a combination of factors, my gaming experience was generally disappointed.

82

A Solid Spin-Off

darkhorse441 | Feb. 17, 2016 | Review of Alan Wakes American Nightmare - PC

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare is a stand-alone follow up to the cult game Alan Wake. But how is it? Well let’s break it down: Gameplay: The gameplay is similar to the original Alan Wake, but with more focus on shooting and action than survival horror. Ammo is plentiful and shooting is less restricted and more rewarding and reactive than the first game. The number of different guns to unlock has increased, though many of them do not handle too differently from another. The maps are also more open-ended than the original, with three pseudo open-world locations rather than linear paths. In addition to the story mode, the “Fight ‘Til Dawn” survival arcade mode has been added to give the game some replayability. Graphics: A net improvement from the first game. Colors seem more vibrant, animated cutscenes are replaced with live-action, and while the game engine appears to be the same, everything has been given a fresh coat of paint. For a 2012 game that was download-only, I really have no qualms. Story: Coming off the excellent story of Alan Wake, does American Nightmare hold up? Well, sort of. In an effort to make it more “stand-alone”, the devs made the connection to the original game tenuous so as not to discourage new fans but still similar so as to satisfy AW fans. Characters and events from the first game are mentioned but the exact details are left somewhat blurry. As I mentioned, the cutscenes are live-action, with in-game interactions being rendered live. The dialogue is a bit wonky at the start of the game but gets better as it progresses. Honestly, the story is decent, but nowhere near as good as Alan Wake. Gaming experience: Great! I experienced no bugs or crashes. My only complaint was that the game seemed a bit too easy, though I was not playing on the hardest difficulty.

96

The Definitive Edition

darkhorse441 | Feb. 17, 2016 | Review of Alan Wake Collectors Bundle - PC

I’ve already reviewed both Alan Wake and the Collector’s Edition Extras separately, so I’ll be brief and only mention the Collector’s Edition as a whole. The base game is fantastic and the extra content is great for the fans of this game. This is really the definitive edition of Alan Wake, as complete as one can get without American Nightmare (also available on GMG) and the Bright Falls miniseries (which you can watch on YouTube). For the extra price of the Collector’s Edition relative to the base game, I must say: buy the Collector’s Edition. Alan Wake is such a phenomenal game that as soon as you are done playing it you will be scouring the internet for rumors about a sequel, and you will be glad that you bought its definitive version.

55

A Huge Letdown

darkhorse441 | Feb. 17, 2016 | Review of Scribblenauts Unmasked A DC Comics Adventure NA (1) - PC

Scribblenauts: Unmasked is a crossover game between the Scribblenauts and DC universes. But how is it? Well let’s break it down: Gameplay: WHAT EVEN HAPPENED HERE? Previous Scribblenauts games have focused on puzzle-solving and using your imagination. This game’s puzzles in-level are basically spelled out for you and those in the different overworlds are randomly generated, which sounds cool but basically ends up being a mess. The levels often involve fighting a DC baddie but OH MY GOODNESS the combat in this game is just awful. It involves randomly clicking on an enemy and attacking with a weapon that breaks after a few hits. The possibility of creating any weapon you can think of is completely neutered by the fact that they all basically attack with the same amount of strength. And if you succeed in defeating a baddie but your superhero partner is killed, you have to restart the level. Further, in order to unlock levels or costumes, you need to complete puzzles to obtain points, but since the puzzles are not fun, there is very little motivation to unlock everything. The gameplay is only saved from being complete trash by the character creator which is connected to the Steam Workshop and the amount of DC superheroes that makes Lego Batman 3 look pitiful. Graphics: No complaints. Both Scribblenauts and DC characters look cute and the 2D animation is gorgeous. The items you create also all look pretty cool. Story: The story was engaging enough to push me to finish the game until the final “twist”. It is mostly DC-centric with the Scribblenauts characters being the characters from another dimension who must team with DC characters to get home. I would recommend some background DC knowledge before playing this game. Gameplay Experience: No bugs, no crashes, barely any limitations on the things you can write into existence. What could have been a good game is hindered by a terrible combat system and no real reward for solving puzzles.

85

Comic Characters Beat Each Other Up...Need I say more?

darkhorse441 | Feb. 17, 2016 | Review of Injustice Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition NA - PC

Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fighting game featuring DC characters. But how is it? Well let’s break it down: Gameplay: It’s a fighting game, and a darn good one. The characters are all balanced and there’s a character for every fighting style. The game also adds some nifty features to the genre, such as the ability to wager part of your power to cause extra damage, interacting with the environment, or the ability to beat your enemy into another stage. The AI while playing against the computer can go from ridiculously easy to controller-smashingly hard depending on the setting. To prolong the game’s duration, the S.T.A.R Labs missions are added, but are frankly kind of useless. Overall, Injustice is a very solid fighting game. Graphics: The graphics are honestly good. Sometimes character’s faces or designs are a little strange, but overall I have no complaints. I was able to run the game on maximum settings with little or no lag and it looked good, especially the backgrounds. Story: For a fighting game, the story is surprisingly decent. It feels very much part of the DC universe with its stories of alternate universes and wacky excuses to explain how for example. Green Arrow can survive getting beaten up by Superman. The game even has a tie-in comic that has been running for years, so that should show how good the story is. Gameplay Experience: I had no significant lag, bugs, or crashes during gameplay. However, I have not played online. I have heard that the PC port has one of the worse online multiplayer experiences of the WB Games catalog, which is saying something. However, if you want the game to play alone or side by side with a friend, go ahead and get it. For the usual cost of the game, which comes complete with all DLC, it’s worth a play.

65

Interesting Content, Not Worth Full Price

darkhorse441 | Feb. 16, 2016 | Review of Alan Wake Collectors Upgrade - PC

Alan Wake is one of my favorite video games ever. Its gameplay is solid and the voice acting is great, but what stands out most is the story. Naturally a fan like me would want to expand on the gaming experience with extra content. That's where the Collector's Edition Extras come it. I consider them akin to a "Deluxe DVD" in that their content is not necessary to enjoy the game, but those who wish to expand on their game experience should get it. Let's decompose what is in the DLC: -Developer Commentary: This is exactly like a DVD commentary where the devs are describing various aspects of the game as you play it. Interesting, but a bit distracting from the main game. I would recommend this on a second playthrough. -PDF book: The PDF version of the Alan Wake Files, released along with physical copies of the Collector's Edition. It expands on certain characters after the ending of the game and goes a bit more in-depth concerning the game's setting. The content does expand on the game's story, but not in any very meaningful way. Still great for those who enjoy the game's lore. -Soundtrack: Exactly what is sounds like. It does not actually include all the songs featured in the game (Such as Roy Orbison's In Dreams or David Bowie's Space Oddity), but it does include the in-game music by Pietri Alanko and some original Poets of the Fall songs, some of which appear in-game as songs by the "Old Gods of Asgard", a fictional band. The soundtrack is great, and the song "The Poet and the Muse" actually has some major references to the game story. Overall the Collector's Edition Extras are a nifty addition to your collection and do make the experience more complete for those die-hard fans of the game. HOWEVER. I cannot recommend them for the price they currently retail at. They cost approximately 1/3 if the game's base price and contain nowhere near as much content. If you are interested, I strongly urge you to purchase the Collector's Edition (get this DLC half-price) or buy it on sale.

93

The Best Batman Game to Date

darkhorse441 | May 24, 2015 | Review of Batman Arkham City Game of the Year NA - PC

This game is simply fantastic. The game is much more immersed in Batman lore that Asylum, and the story is full of twists and turns guaranteed to shock the player. Rocksteady has taken Arkham Asylum's open world and increased it to the size of a portion of Gotham. Other improvements include an upgraded combat system, better gliding control, less overpowered detective mode, the ability to play as Catwoman and upgraded graphics. The game does a fantastic job of blending action and stealth gameplay while following a new, original Batman story set one year after Asylum. The stealth segments are challenging but rewarding, the action segments are tight and give you the feeling of really being Batman, the music and overall presentation is very atmospheric and the various gadgets and Riddler Trophies make exploration and revisiting areas both necessary and enjoyable. Also, since this is the GOTY edition, all challenge maps, skin packs and even a Story DLC are included with the game. The only problem with this game is that the story is a bit too over-the-top at times, takes some major liberties with the Batman canon (not going to spoil it), and at times feels like an excuse to meet villains, more so that the more linear story of Arkham Asylum

93

I'm Batman

darkhorse441 | Feb. 25, 2015 | Review of Batman Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Overflow 1 - PC

I had heard that the Arkham games were pretty good, but I had no idea how good until I picked up this gem during a sale. Arkham Asylum and the games that followed are the perfect example of how to make a superhero game: a good story coupled with well-designed characters and a great voice acting, everything the superhero would need in a comic (gadgets, fighting skills, powers...) and of course, well-built game. Everything in this game feels like being Batman: the free flow combat system which allows you to seamlessly change between enemies during a fight, the gadgets which help solve puzzles and reach new areas, the learning curve and increasing difficulty, the great concept of "detective mode" and of course the great, dark and well-designed open world of Arkham Asylum. My major complaint for this game would be that sometimes, the combats seem a little repetitive and can get boring without some of the gadgets used in later games. As well, the advantages of detective mode are so numerous, you end up spending most of the game like that and not being able to appreciate the great setting. However these problems are minor and should not stop you from appreciating this terrific game.

88

The First Great Innovation in Lego Games

darkhorse441 | Feb. 24, 2015 | Review of LEGO Star Wars III The Clone Wars MAC - PC

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars was a breakthrough for Lego games. Based on the first two seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the game utilizes an all-new game Engine that allows for more realistic movement, better physics for breaking objects, the ability to move items around with the Force and be able to control them, silver and gold objects that can only be destroyed by certain characters, hybrid vehicle/on foot levels, and dynamic split-screen for co-op. On top of these innovations, the game has three different campaigns for three leaders of the Separatists during the Clone Wars, each spawning from the Battle of Geonosis and ending in the attack of the Zillo Beast. The character selection is also quite large, with Clone Wars minifigs getting a makeover (removing their bug eyes from the sets), minikits unlocking minifigs from Episodes I-VI, and the ability to unlock characters by defeating them in the hub or freeing them from jail. The game of course has the same problems as most Lego games: repetitive gameplay, aggravating bonus stages, and the need to look online for tips. The game also suffers from an oversized hub world that seems to take forever to move around in. Despite these flaws, Lego Star Wars III is still a great game for fans of the TV show and of Star Wars alike.

83

Hasn't held up well

darkhorse441 | Feb. 23, 2015 | Review of Half Life - PC

I understand that at the time of its release, Half-Life was revolutionary in terms of its graphics, storytelling, and innovative design and presentation. Following in the footsteps of games like Star Wars: Dark Forces, it turned FPS from a run-and-gun game to a game with a story and a sense of adventure. And in that respect, we must always respect Half-Life. But... When played today by someone who was not old enough to be gaming when the game was released, it feels very dated. The graphics haven't held up the test of time as some other games from that era (Ocarina of Time, Medal of Honor) have. Also, the characters' speech is often garbled and hard to understand. The physics engine is also very clunky, especially when compared to later Valve games like Portal or Half-Life 2. Of course this is all seen from the perspective of someone used to newer games, so it is of course necessary to take a step back: The game itself is interesting as it not only reimagines FPS games, but also adds puzzles and environment interactivity. The story also creates its own lore, with memorable alien names and iconic moments, people and weapons. The enemy types are also varied and taking each one of them down is rewarding in its own way. The difficulty of the game is high, but not so high as to alienate less experienced players. However, many problems can be found in the game that are not due to the game's age. The character model is bizarre, and doesn't seem to have legs or normal arms. Also, ladder climbing becomes hilarious as the player climbs without use of his legs or arms. The controls are sometimes a bit clunky when trying to solve a puzzle, press buttons/levers, or crouch-jump. Also, the level design is fairly repetitive, consisting of long hallways that sometimes feature open spaces where you will either receive ammo or be attacked by a group of enemies. Finally, a major problem with the game is, though the storytelling and lore are both revolutionary and impeccable, the story itself is boring and almost non-existent. It has neither the sense of finality or accomplishment as Half-Life 2 or other modern games nor the humor of a game like Portal. It effectively consists of getting from point A to point B, killing anything in between, solving puzzles and hoping that something will happen. There is really no arc or clear idea of what is happening at any one time or what is to come. All in all, Half-Life is a revolutionary game that changed an industry and blew everyone's mind and should be played by everyone the same way every self-respecting gamer should play Super Mario Bros. It just has not survived the test of time well, and does have some flaws which can reduce the amount of pleasure during playtime. It also cannot be ignored for its sequel Half-Life 2 and (maybe) 3.

85

A Bit Pricey, but Still Good

darkhorse441 | Feb. 23, 2015 | Review of LEGO Batman 3 Beyond Gotham Season Pass - PC

The Lego Batman 3 Season Pass gives access to six of nine DLCs scheduled to be released between November 2014 and Spring 2015. The pack includes: -The Dark Knight Pack: Gives the player several extra characters and vehicles from Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy including the only playable versions of Scarecrow, Ra's Al Ghul and Commissioner Gordon in the game. The level included allows you to play first as The Joker then as Batman in the truck chase from The Dark Knight. It's pretty cool to see these characters in action, but I was disappointed that the Joker's purple suit (not nurse outfit) wasn't included. -Man of Steel Pack: Allows the player to play as several characters from the 2013 movie Man of Steel. The level included retells the beginning of the film and has you fighting Zod and his minions while trying to send Kal-El into space. The level isn't bad, but the characters are mostly identical in terms of abilities. -Batman 75th Anniversary Pack: This pack includes some of Batman's most iconic looks over the years. This includes his first appearance, Azrael, Gotham by Gaslight, and more. In the bonus level, the Joker and Harley Quinn are trying to crash Batman's 75th anniversary. This level is a bit boring and confusing, but the cool Batman costumes completely compensate for that. -Arrow Pack: Based on the popular CW TV show, this DLC pack, complete with voiceover by Stephen Amell, gives the player access to characters from the show, which can be very useful in free play or free roam. The level itself is hilarious, entertaining, and could easily have been an episode of the TV show. This is by far my favorite pack -Bizarro World Pack: Tying into the new Justice League vs Bizarro League movie, this pack showcases deformed versions of JLA members, along with Guy Gardner, Desaad, and Darkseid. The level is narrated by Bizarro and is pretty funny, but is short and overall not that great. -The Squad Pack: Adds characters and a level from the Suicide Squad. Not yet released. NOT INCLUDED: -Rainbow Batman Pack (Adds two characters-Free) -Superheroines and Villainesses Pack (Free-Not yet released) -Batman of the Future : One of my major problems with the season pass is that it does not include this pack, which, while it does not include a level, allows access to very useful free play characters from the Batman Beyond animated TV Show.

89

DC Comics Fans Rejoice

darkhorse441 | Feb. 23, 2015 | Review of LEGO Batman 3 Beyond Gotham - PC

Very seldomly do DC Comics fans receive a game of this magnitude; it allows you to explore iconic DC Universe locations as well as all seven Lantern Worlds. This game almost triples the amount of playable characters from the last game, adds celebrity performances from Conan O'Brian, Kevin Smith and Adam West, and changes the way characters switch suits. The game features copious amounts of trademark Lego humor and the story as well as side quests all help to create the feeling of a large-scale DC world. However, the level design can be repetitive, the game has some bugs, and open-world of previous games has been sacrificed to create a series of "mini-hubs" (similarly to The Lego Movie Videogame). Also, if you don't have a fairly good understanding of the DC lore, it might be hard to follow the story, which unlike the past games follows the Justice League rather that Batman almost exclusively. If you're a DC fan or a fan of previous Lego Games, you should definitely consider adding this one to your collection!

94

Best Puzzle Game since Tetris

darkhorse441 | Oct. 12, 2014 | Review of Portal 2 (1) - PC

Portal was a revolutionary game that took what we thought we knew about puzzle games and totally changed it by adding 3D FPS elements and a storyline. Portal 2 perfects all this by expanding and enhancing every aspect of the first game: a longer campaign, better graphics, more characters and even more references to the Half-Life franchise. The game takes a concept of jumping around with portals and makes it into a fun, well-designed, challenging, and heart-warming game that's as entertaining as it is clever.

88

Incredible Open World

darkhorse441 | Sept. 27, 2014 | Review of LEGO Lord of the Rings - PC

Ever since Lego Star Wars III, the franchise has had some form of open world, which has evolved and culminated in this game. True to Peter Jackson's trilogy and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Lego Lord of the Rings comes highly recommended for fans of the saga. Its strength lies in its open-world, which incorporates many RPG elements and is reminiscent of Skyrim. (Anyone get the in-game arrow to the knee reference?). Middle Earth is faithfully recreated and allows for fetch-quests and minigames. While the levels are a bit lackluster and sometimes buggy, the game itself is saved by its incredible open-world gameplay. A must for all Tolkien fans!

93

The Definitive Lego Game

darkhorse441 | Sept. 27, 2014 | Review of LEGO Batman 2 DC Super Heroes Steam - PC

Lego Batman was the best selling game of the franchise and gave a new twist on Lego Video Games. Now, as The Dark Knight was to Batman Begins, Lego Batman 2 improves on nearly every aspect of the original. It adds an open-world, expands on the story, has voice acting, and increases the size of levels. The result is a funny game that evokes all the nostalgia of the older Lego games while creating a fresh new style of gameplay. If there is one game that truly shines in the legacy of the original Lego Star Wars, it is Lego Batman 2. While it is sometimes buggy and has a small character selection compared to other games, it uses the toyline to its fullest and incorporates the best elements of both Lego and DC to create a fun experience for gamers of all ages.

90

The Best in the Series

darkhorse441 | Sept. 27, 2014 | Review of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum MAC - PC

Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 takes a fresh two look at the franchise. While there was little difference between the two previous games, Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 adds a new 3D game engine, greater camera freedom, more rides, better park control, and the ABILITY TO RIDE YOUR ROLLER COASTERS! This feature alone makes the game highly recommended, compounded with the fact that the Platinum editions allows you to create pools, water rides, and zoos. Granted the game has its flaws, and the graphics seem a little outdated by today's standards, but it is a great simulation game to add to your collection in anticipation of the next installment.

92

Wow...

darkhorse441 | Sept. 20, 2014 | Review of Portal - PC

What can be said about Portal that hasn't been said a thousand times; the gameplay is probably the most innovative of the generation, the story is engaging and witty, and the graphics are top-notch (for a 2007 game) and still hold up today. The only real compaint is the very short nature of the game; an average player could finish it in three hours, though I guarantee it will be some of the best moments you've ever spent gaming. Journey through one of the greatest and most original of Valve games, and get ready to play a game that defined this generation of gaming.

90

A Refreshing Change

darkhorse441 | Sept. 20, 2014 | Review of The LEGO Movie - PC

The Lego Movie Videogame follows the same structure and design as previous video games. However, it offers a refreshing new design and a different feel. The realism of previous games has been replaced by all-LEGO decors and animation truer to actual Lego Minifigs) Blending with cutscenes from the movie, it expands on certain scenes and creates an open-world recreation of the blockbuster motion picture. It may be shorter than recent LEGO games, which is a bit of a letdown, but also helps to re-live the nostalgia of the older, shorter games. With its massive character selection, changeable pants, and witty dialogue, this game is a great addition to fans of the movie and LEGO fans everywhere.

90

Classic Lego Fun

darkhorse441 | June 14, 2014 | Review of LEGO Batman The Videogame Steam - PC

Many will agree that some of the newer lego games (Lego Marvel, Lego Batman 2, Lego LotR...) are a lot better than the originals, and who could argue? But nothing really beats the nostalgic feel of the original games, when they talked in gibberish, when the game engine had a certain feel that made it feel like being a child again. This game offers all that nostalgic feel as well as one of the greatest superheroes (#2 according to IGN!) of all time: Batman. The characters, the story, the suits, and the powers are all fun to watch for both new fans of the Lego series and old. My one major complaint is the incredibly small selection of characters. Actually, it is the smallest of any Lego game. Still, it offers several great hours of gameplay, and is well worth the money.

89

Awesome

darkhorse441 | June 14, 2014 | Review of LEGO Marvel Superheroes - PC

This Lego game definitely does what no other has done. It has great characters, good humor, an amazing selection of minifigs, new big-figs, a great open world, and so much more. My only concern is that sometimes the story gets a little bogged down by having so many characters and I sometimes lose track. Also a bit disappointing is the DLC that costs, in my opinion, more that the characters it unlocks are worth. But other than that, this game will be definitely worth your money and it takes a long (but great) time to finish.