Reviews by heerox328

88

True to its title.

heerox328 | Nov. 8, 2014 | Review of Assassin's Creed™ Director's Cut Edition (NA)

The only Assassin's Creed title that actual emulates its title. While every other game in the series is a pre-historic Batman simulation, AC1 was actually an assassin simulator. The game was built around major targets and it was up to you to determine how to assassinate them.

The game is a bit dated now, but at the time it was revolutionary and unlike anything we had ever seen. Certainly still a great game, but it lacked scope in environments and the story was inconsistent at points. AC2 was overall a better game, but Ezio was annoying as a character and the game became more of an action-adventure than an assassin experience.

Certainly worth picking up, even if this game came out seven years ago.

60

A painful and underwhelming experience.

heerox328 | Nov. 8, 2014 | Review of Assassin's Creed III: Deluxe Edition (NA)

This game is truly bittersweet. It is set during one of the most turbulent and interesting times in American history: The American Revolution.

There was a lot of potential as well as great characters to choose from (George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, etc.). However, this game falls squarely on its face due to a disconnected main protagonist and an inconsistent and sloppy story.

The first thirty minutes of the game are the experience at its finest when you are playing as Haytham. The origins and story of Connor are interesting and show promise initially, until Ubisoft reduces his character to an angry and increasingly annoying anti-hero.

The assassin mechanics have been traded for a pre-historical Batman. The combat is exceptionally well-executed, but you feel more like a brute than an actual assassin. The story is not great, even with a lot of cameos from famous American Founding Fathers.

The game was too large and ambitious, leading to a lot of bugs. We see the introduction of ships and naval combat, but it's largely underwhelming and optional, unlike the successful improvements the system saw in AC4:BF.

The ending of Desmond's story is also odd and somewhat questionable. I would not recommend this game personally. If it's on sale, then you may consider it if there is nothing else available. Not as bad as Brotherhood/Revelations, but not a good AC game either.

88

The best Assassin's Creed game since AC2.

heerox328 | Nov. 8, 2014 | Review of Assassin’s Creed® IV Black Flag™ Gold Edition (NA)

Have you been unsatisfied with the AC franchise since AC2? Did you grow tired of the Ezio saga and the underwhelming and buggy AC3? Do you want a new scenery, a new kind of an assassin, and the most ambitious and AC game yet? Look no further.

AC4:BF is the best AC game since AC2 and certainly the most creative. If you do not like pirates, you may not enjoy this game. It's more or less the ultimate pirate simulator with the skills of an assassin as icing. You have your own ship. You have your own crew. You can board and take or destroy other ships. You can even capture outposts and spread your influence over the Carribbean.

This is by far the largest and most beautiful AC game to date. The water is absolutely gorgeous and the color palette and visuals are unrivaled. The story is also very well-done, although it does slow down in the middle. The Abstergo parts are somewhat interesting, but AC4 shines when you are playing as Edward.

I'd highly recommend this game for anyone who was burned out of AC after AC2. This game is definitely a winner. Highly recommended.

93

The perfect mix of FPS and open world.

heerox328 | Nov. 8, 2014 | Review of Far Cry 3 (NA) Other

Do you enjoy first person shooters? Do you enjoy open world games? Far Cry 3 might be for you.

An amazing and wild story. A incredibly compelling and enticing antagonist. A beautiful, lush environment with plenty of activities to do.

Amazing driving physics, beautiful visuals, and an absolute pleasure to play. Far Cry 3 is a wild, exotic, and unique FPS that is unlike any other.

It's an RPG. It's an FPS. It's an open world game. It's multiplayer. It's even cooperative. The game is whatever you make it, and you have the freedom to play your own way.

I highly recommend the game, especially for the single player. The shooting mechanics are superb and the finishing moves and predator progression trees are incredibly addictive and exciting.

Crafting and hunting are also incredibly addictive with plenty of distractions to keep you busy on this large island. I highly recommend this game. Easily one of the best FPSs I have played in the last few years (Metro LL and Halo 4 being among them). Pick this game up. It's an absolute blast.

90

The next great AAA franchise

heerox328 | Nov. 8, 2014 | Review of Watch_Dogs (NA)

Watch_Dogs is hands-down the next big AAA franchise of the year. While Ubisoft admittedly butchered the PC port visually and in terms of performance, the game still shines regardless.

The story is spectacular. The voice acting is superb. The gameplay is refreshing and new really putting the power of the city into the player's hands. If Ubisoft nurtures this franchise properly, it could be a major competitor to GTA in the coming years.

Multiplayer is also excellent with seamless invasions from other players attempting to hack your game. There are also a variety of different game types, races, and free roam that truly offer some form of entertainment for everybody.

You can also mod the game, apply FX, and you'll be able to return Watch_Dogs to its 2012 E3 visuals, of which are absolutely stunning and spectacular. Don't let the negative reviews fool you.

Many are judging the game based on Ubisoft's failures and not actually considering the quality and merits of the title itself. Watch_Dogs is an amazing game and I would recommend it to anyone. Pick it up as as soon as you can.

84

A very good origin game.

heerox328 | Nov. 8, 2014 | Review of Batman Arkham Origins

Batman Arkham Origins is an incredibly fun and entertaining experience. If you loved Asylum and City, you'll enjoy this game. While it's not made by Rocksteady, WB Montreal took the award-winning formula and gave us an environment twice the size of Arkham City.

Batman is younger, rougher, and a lot more reckless. The game takes place during Christmas Eve, lending to a nice yet eerie environment with plenty of snow and thugs to clobber.

The story, itself, is very well done and has some surprising twists and epic boss fights. Overall, WB Montreal polished the free flow combat system, significantly upgraded detective mode, and further refined bringing the Batman experience to its fullest.

If you are a Batman fan or just love the Arkham games, this is definitely worth the money. It will be a nice substitute until Arkham Knight releases in June of 2015. Highly recommended.

85

A solid upgrade with a rough start.

heerox328 | Nov. 8, 2014 | Review of Battlefield 4 (NA)

Battlefield is a franchise like no other. Enjoy a first person shooter? Enjoy massive warfare with unrivaled graphic fidelity and incredible destruction? Look no further.

Running on Frostbite 3, DICE brings us its latest and most ambitious Battlefield experience yet. With the additions of levolution and the return of commander mode, DICE ups the standards once again from the award-winning Battlefield 3.

While admittedly Battlefield 4 had a slow start due to lack of polish and netcode issues, DICE has worked hard to revamp the game and give it the overhaul and attention it needed. This isn't a significant upgrade from Battlefield 3, but it does have better visuals, more customization, levolution, and a single player experience that is somewhat better.

Solid game. Definitely worth picking up if it's on sale. If you already own Battlefield 3, I might wait until Hardline or Star Wars Battlefront before picking up another Battlefield title.

88

The perfect blend of FPS/mech warfare.

heerox328 | Nov. 8, 2014 | Review of Titanfall (NA)

Did you love CoD4:MW? Do you enjoy mech combat? If the answer to both of these is a resounding yes, look no further.

From the founder who brought you Call of Duty comes a new innovation in the first person shooter genre: Titanfall.

The perfect blend of FPS and mech combat all in one. The only criticism I can attribute to the game is a lack of a compelling story. Respawn Entertainment tried to mesh the main story and the multiplayer into one, but had less than ideal results.

Otherwise, this is a solid multi-player experience with amazing verticality and interesting dynamics between pilots and titans. Amazing game. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys shooters and mech warfare.

66

Terrible PC port. Decent JRPG.

heerox328 | Oct. 26, 2014 | Review of FINAL FANTASY XIII

If you ever played a Final Fantasy game predating FFXIII, then you more or less know what you expect already. The game itself is rather straightforward. Storytelling is rather bland and predictable. The music is great and the cinematics are well-executed. Gameplay is mediocre and the pacing is a bit slow, making the game feel a bit longer than it should. The reduced price tag is reasonable. There are certainly plenty of other RPGs you'd likely consider more worth playing, but the production value for this game is high regardless. Pick it up if you are somewhat interested and have nothing else to occupy your time.

Pros: - Well-done cinematics - Compelling soundtrack - Entertaining transformations

Cons: - Archaic combat - One-dimensional characters and acting - Ridiculous and silly plot - Linear environment traversal

97

An amazing ending to an amazing trilogy.

heerox328 | July 28, 2014 | Review of Mass Effect 3 (NA)

Mass Effect 3 was a controversial installment in the trilogy, largely due to how the experience ended. Do not let the hate and negativity dissuade you from what is arguably one of the greatest trilogies ever created. The ending is phenomenal, and in a period where there is no right or wrong choice, and each choice will have profound consequences, it's up to the player to choose how the galaxy will continue.

Mass Effect 3 continues the amazing plot, story, and character development the series has always been known for. All previous companions make a comeback and their stories are rightfully concluded before the ending of the game. Combat is refined and has been expanded, providing new opportunities and choices for the player.

The overall scale of conflict in Mass Effect 3 is absolutely massive and dwarfs anything that was done by its predecessors. This is one ride that will keep you engage, immersed, and ultimately leave you so profoundly moved, you realize you just witnessed something truly special. Above all else Mass Effect 3 is more than just a game. It's a true masterpiece on a variety of levels and just goes to show what is truly possible when amazing storytelling, voice acting, and personal choice can truly impact the experience in ways we never thought was possible.

If you have not played this game, you are doing yourself a disservice. Pick up Mass Effect 3 now and experience what is probably the greatest story-driven, science fiction franchise ever created in video games.

77

Not perfect, but has potential.

heerox328 | July 17, 2014 | Review of Dishonored

Dishonored very much reminds me of Metro 2033. It is a game that has a rich and interesting universe, while having a lot of potential of truly being special. In some aspects, Dishonored is great. In others, it somewhat fails to deliver. 4A Games was able to deliver the true experience we wanted with Metro Last Light, and I'm curious if Arkane Studios would be able to rectify the issues Dishonored suffered in a sequel. Anyways, I'll address the pros and cons below:

Pro* - Great sandbox and environment verticality: One of the areas Dishonored excels well in, despite being rather linear, is a great deal of choice in how you move in the environment. You will often find yourself either climbing roofs, sneaking through buildings, or moving underground. How you move and where you go is really up to you.

  • Combat with variety: Whether you want to use range, go in close and personal, or set traps, there are a variety of tools at your disposal that can keep combat interesting.

  • Interesting characters: One potential strong point is the variety in character personality and the various motivations that compel them to action. You meet all sorts of characters that can help with the pacing of the experience.

  • Powers, enhancements, and bone charms: Mixing in magic actually gives Dishonored a unique experience. Some of the powers are worthless, but others such as night vision and blink are invaluable. Enhancements are just powers that are passive-oriented rather than active, which are useful. While many of the bone charms seem to be worthless, there are a few that can actually improve game play, such as knocking an enemy unconscious faster, if you want a low chaos score.

  • Your actions have impact: What is actually really compelling about Dishonored is your actions, largely in whether you kill or spare enemies, has a major impact on the experience. It will change how people perceive you and can even go as far as determining how many weepers and rats are around, and even manipulate the setting and tone of the environment and how the story plays out. The latter is most apparent in the final mission.

Con* - Terrible morality system: The element that I may like the least about Dishonored is the fact that chaos is largely determined by whether you choose to kill or spare enemies, especially major targets. I would not mind this as much if I had as many ways of knocking an enemy unconscious as I do killing them. It was incredibly frustrating having to reload and meticulously make every step without killing someone just to achieve the low chaos ("good") ending. Forcing players not to use tools at their disposal is bad game design. Chaos should be more so driven by story choices I make, rather than pure game play choices of killing or not killing enemies.

  • Combat unpolished and not well-considered: Sword fighting has potential, but was very clunky and not built to take on multiple enemies at once. Pistols were overpowered and took away from the stealth elements. Crossbows were nice, but again an emphasis on killing. Assassinations and sneaking up from behind is where the combat excels. With how chaos is gained, if one wants the good ending, you can't use most of the tools you are given.

  • An uninteresting story until near the end: Not to spoil anything, the game is rather slow, predictable, and uninteresting about 60% of the experience. Things don't become interesting until a decisive turning point where the game really comes to life. The game is also very short, with there only being 9 chapters, which fly by quickly. Arkane Studios could take some cues from Irrational Games in how to make a truly fantastic, yet unpredictable story.

  • Silent protagonist: This is more of a personal critique, but Corvo not having a voice took away from the experience. With amazing main characters such as Commander Shepard, Geralt of Rivia, John Marston, etc., we are in a time of gaming where voiced protagonists work and are extremely compelling. Silent protagonists are a thing of the past and honestly while they are supposed to allow the player to further develop the character more personally, having one-sided conversations doesn't leave much to the imagination.

  • Stereotypical good guy, bad guy: While there are many interesting characters, the extremity of morality, much like the chaos system, takes away from the experience. You either realize people are pure of heart and inherently good, or they are sinister, diabolical creatures with only their personal interests in mind. Such extremes takes away from the story and makes the experience less engaging and less immersive.

Dishonored has a great foundation to be something incredible, but the game itself is at best a decent experience. With a bit more focus and reconsidering some of the mechanics, we may have an incredible new franchise on our hands. This game is definitely worth picking up, but I wouldn't pay full price for it.

88

Origins is the most refined Arkham game to date.

heerox328 | Nov. 19, 2013 | Review of Batman Arkham Origins

Origins is truly an Arkham game in every right. WB Montreal should be commended for continuing the phenomenal franchise that Rocksteady started with Asylum. The game is in every way just as professional and compelling as the two previous installments. With the addition of new enemies, new gadgets, a more in-depth detective mode, multiplayer, and a more refined Batman experience, it truly is a game worth purchasing.

The only criticism one could argue in regards to this game is it doesn't innovate enough. The gameplay experience is still very much identical to Asylum and City. That, of course, isn't necessarily a bad thing, but could lead to criticism from those who may have wanted more. As far as storytelling is concerned, I would personally consider it the strongest out of the franchise thus far. A raw and inexperienced Batman encountering what will become some of his most dangerous and longstanding enemies makes for a truly compelling story.

In regards to the environment, it is twice the size of City, offering a whole new section of Gotham, and is littered with plenty of activities, crimes in progress, crime scenes, etc. For veterans of the Arkham games and those who are personal fans of Batman, this is definitely a buy. Even for those who may have not played Asylum or City, this game is a great intro as it isn't directly connected to the two previous installments.

A truly phenomenal experience. I cannot wait for the season pass content to be available for play.