Reviews by edisleado

100

The best Hitman game in the series... so far.

edisleado | Oct. 19, 2013 | Review of Hitman: Blood Money

Hitman: Blood Money provides a huge number of interesting and unique missions all cleverly connected via a subtle narrative structure.

As Agent 47 yet again travels the world taking on high profile assassinations, a rival contract agency, known as The Franchise, begins horning in not only on the ICA, but on their employees - and inevitably 47 himself.

This time around, Agent 47 is kitted out with more tools than ever to pull off a hit as cleanly - sadistically - or simply just as enjoyably as possible. Poison and sedative syringes, remote control mines, and other unique tools can be applied in countless ways throughout Blood Money's many levels. The amount of choice you have in Blood Money is astounding - all you need to bring to the table is your own creativity and ingenuity for Blood Money to provide hours upon hours of fun for you. Even when replaying the game years after release, more often than not, players can find a new ways to complete a hit.

Masquerading as a friend of your enemy has never been more fun. All the mechanics of previous Hitman games have been refined to make for the most enjoyable experience in Blood Money.

There is simply no other game series like Hitman due to it's unique spin on 'stealth' gameplay by featuring 'social stealth' (hiding in plain sight). Hitman: Blood Money is the shining star of the series and it would be a mistake for any gamer to miss out on it.

70

A fun game, but not the best in the Hitman series.

edisleado | Aug. 9, 2013 | Review of Hitman: Absolution

Absolution is an undeniably beautiful looking game, and finally, playing as 47 feels like he truly is the master assassin he's reputed to be.

However, what Absolution has improved in terms of graphics and combat, it has stumbled quite a bit on the gameplay and even on the story.

In Absolution, the ICA, the international contract agency that 47 works for is now under new management, and his old mission handler, Diana, who has seemingly betrayed the Agency, is his first contract upon his return to work.

Without spoiling too much, Agent 47 takes it upon himself to protect a young girl from many groups that are vying for her possession. When she slips from his grasp, 47 embarks on a personal journey to save her.

It's a story that could have actually turned out very well had the writers taken it more seriously. It presented an opportunity to further flesh out 47's character, but apart from a couple of lines of dialogue, 47 is not expanded upon any further.

The entire story, characters and all, possess an immature and out-of-place grindhouse-ish vibe throughout. There are glimpses of subtlety and heart, but these bits are, for some reason, cut short and forgotten about, seeming to indicate that the developers cut parts of the game's story (and cutscenes).

I won't give away the ending, but there's a point in the story that effectively negates the reasons for doing everything you've done over the game, but the silver-lining is that it may allow for the next Hitman game to return to its roots.

Anyways, enough about the story, you want to hear about the gameplay, right? I'll keep it short, but considering the fact that this is a Hitman game, there are an inordinate number of levels with no actual target to assassinate. Not only this, but even with a decent combat system, a majority of the levels are structured in a way that doesn't allow you much freedom in how you approach your targets.

The famous disguise system of Hitman is also a little different this time around. People wearing the same clothes as you will more easily figure out that you're not actually one of them. The problem with this is that, oftentimes, these levels are mostly populated by the people with the only disguises you can use. Instead of being able to 'hide' in plain sight, disguise gameplay devolves into hiding behind obstacles to break line-of-sight, making the game feel more like Splinter Cell than Hitman.

A new introduction to the Hitman series are the challenges. Each level features unique challenges where you must accomplish objectives in a unique manner, or even go out of your way to do something special. Some of these challenges can be quite tedious, but a lot of them are great fun to try and complete.

This review may sound a quite negative, but I actually spent 81 hours playing Hitman: Absolution. It's still a fun game, but it is a far more streamlined of a Hitman game than what I've grown used to with previous installments. If you're a new Hitman fan, this would still be a fine game to start on.

80

Beautiful and sprawling maps

edisleado | Aug. 7, 2013 | Review of Battlefield 3™: Armored Kill (NA)

Unlike any of the other BF3 DLC, Armored Kill focuses on vast and open maps that harken back to the ones seen in earlier Battlefield games.

In Armored Kill, you receive 4 large maps: Bandar Desert, Armored Shield, Alborz Mountains, and Bandar Valley. In these maps, you'll find new vehicles such as the Tank Destroyer, mobile artillery trucks, the AC-130 Gunship, and ATVs. Furthermore, there is the new Tank Superiority mode and additional assignments.

With 64 players, these maps really display the beauty of all-out (virtual) warfare with massive explosions, destruction, and tracer rounds zipping through the sky. That feeling of running alongside vehicles and other foot soldiers during the initial push is especially spectacular on these maps with their exceptional vastness. And just wait until you look down when you're flying overhead in a jet or helicopter. Believe me when I say that these maps are beautiful and varied.

Because of the large map sizes, Armored Kill can provide more deliberate and tactical gameplay compared to what you'd get with the default maps and some of the other DLC. However, keep in mind that whatever problems you have with BF3 itself are still present with this DLC (e.g. lack of commander mode, small squad sizes, etc.). But if you like BF3 and just want a taste of what previous Battlefield games were like, this is the DLC for you.

85

Another excellent Batman game from Rocksteady!

edisleado | Aug. 7, 2013 | Review of Batman Arkham City: Game of the Year

Arkham City allows you to spread your 'wings' once again as Batman. This time around, you'll find yourself in Arkham City, an immensely detailed isolated small town (or perhaps a large jail) that is even more of a wretched hive of scum and villainy than Mos Eisley.

Arkham Asylum's excellent combat system returns with even more moves to perform (which you can add to by using the upgrade system after gaining enough XP), and there are even more Riddler trophies to collect and puzzles of his to solve in Arkham City.

It's exhilarating to finally be able to take to the open skies by grappling and gliding around, but due to the minimal amount of things you can do in the city, the open-world aspect doesn't add that much to the game (apart from being very pretty to look at).

The GOTY package also includes Harley Quinn's Revenge, which is a post-game DLC that is separate from the main campaign. While it introduces some interesting story content, it falls short in length and in payoff. It asks questions and answers none of them. In my opinion, it's definitely not worth it to buy on it's own, but still fun to play because it's part of the package for 'free'.

If you loved Arkham Asylum, there's more to love in Arkham City, especially with the presence of so many of iconic Batman characters like the Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and even Robin!

Just as a side-note, even though you activate this game on Steam, GFWL (Games for Windows Live) is integrated into Arkham City, requiring you to log in twice in order the play the game. Annoying, but not a deal breaker.