Reviews by heerox328
Better story than Fallout 3. Less compelling open world.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition
Fallout New Vegas comes to you from Obsidian Entertainment, many of which were part of Black Isle Studios who created the original Fallout games.
It's the same award-winning BGS interpretation with Obsidian's own flare added to the formula. The game improves upon the other in terms of the main story and compelling characters and companions.
Where it falters is being plagued with bugs, a less interesting open world to explore, and less memorable stories. It's definitely worth picking up if you like Fallout 3 or just a good open world RPG. I'd recommend it to anybody.
The best of TES and Fallout combinedheerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition
Do you love BGS titles (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim)? Are you a fan of post-apocalyptic games or a fan of the original Fallout franchise? If you don't mind a new and fresh interpretation on the iconic franchise, you will love this game.
As you would expect, the environment is dense, rich, and unforgettable. Plenty of characters to meet with lots of enemies and critters along the way. Great feeling of isolation and loneliness while also providing humor and seriousness when appropriate.
This was truly one of the best RPGs of the last generation. What are you waiting for? Pick it up.
Second only to Morrowindheerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim®
Skyrim truly rectified a lot of the issues Oblivion had. Wonky combat. Cookie cutter dungeons. Lackluster main story. Terrible level/gear-scaling. Underwhelming voice overs.
It certainly isn't perfect, and had its fair share of issues, but it's the best TES game since Morrowind. There is something for everybody here and the game is unrivaled when it comes to choice, freedom, and activities.
All of the guilds quests, besides the College of Winterhold, are well-done and professionally executed. The main story is incredible and delightful, even with a lackluster ending boss fight. The combat, class-less, player progression is also more open-ended and player-driven than any TES game going all the way back to Arena.
This game was a game changer and has influenced DAI, TW3, LoZ, and likely many more RPGs coming out. If you do not already own this game, you have been living under a rock. Get it now.
The modding community is also the most dedicated and impressive fan base you will ever meet. You can change almost every facet of the game and make it look better than any game currently on the market if you have the rig to support it. Amazing experience.
The weakest out of the modern TES titles, but still great.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Game of the Year Edition
Oblivion was great for new fans of TES, but disappointing for the long-established fan base. My largest criticism, besides the terrible main story, was level/gear-scaling (highwaymen should never have Daedric armor) and generic dungeons with no reason to explore them.
Those criticisms largely killed the fun and experience of the game, but putting them aside, this is a great experience overall. Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine are great additional content for Oblivion. The Dark Brotherhood questline was unparalleled and iconic. Radiant AI, albeit scaled back, was revolutionary and really brought the world to life. Even the visuals at the time were cutting edge (not the potato faces).
Oblivion wasn't perfect, but it pushed the TES brand forward in a lot of ways. Definitely a game worth picking up if you like BGS games.
Best RPG ever madeheerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game of The Year Edition
This was my first BGS game. This was my first open world RPG. I have never looked back sense.
By far the most immersive, believable world ever created in the video game medium, Morrowind is a game unrivaled.
Unparalleled customization, gear progression, freedom, exploration, combat, and many more venues, this is the ultimate fantasy RPG. Some may be intimidated because there isn't necessarily a structure to the game. You choose how you play. You build your own tale. You create your own stories.
There are political issues. Questions of religion. Slavery. Discrimination. Moral dilemmas. Characters who are morally ambiguous. It's almost scary how real Morrowind feels in a lot of respects. Not to mention Bloodmoon and Tribunal are two of the greatest expansions ever created for an RPG. Massive in scale and lots of brand new content, including the addition of werewolves as a transformation and god-killing swords.
This is the game that started it all on consoles and allowed BGS to create Oblivion and Skyrim. If you can get passed the dated visuals and the combat, this is an absolute buy. Do not stall. Morrowind awaits you.
"Skyrim with guns."heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Far Cry 3 (NA)
Do you love open world games? Do you love shooters with an intricate predator system and intense melee takedowns? You will love Far Cry 3.
You make the game what you want it to be. With an amazing story, an incredible antagonist, and freedom to do what you want, Far Cry is the ultimate open world shooter. Not to mention it is absolutely stunning in terms of visual fidelity.
Multiplayer and coop are lackluster and uninteresting, but the single player experience is unforgettable. Buy this game immediately. You will not regret it.
An amazing new franchiseheerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Watch_Dogs: Deluxe Edition (NA)
Don't let the hate and ignorance that has largely drowned this game deceive you. It is amazing and it is a brand new franchise that has brought something different to open worlds.
Yes, Ubisoft downgraded the visuals on PC to make the game work on Xbox 360 and PS3, but that hardly takes away from the amazing experience it is. There is also a restoration mod to restore the game to its E3 2012 visuals anyways.
Back on track, you fill the shoes of Aiden Pierce, middle-aged uncle who's niece ends up dead because of a botched hacking job. He finds himself on a quest for vengeance as he makes his way through the sprawling city that is Chicago.
The story is top notch and the gameplay is revolutionary. For the first time ever, you can take control of a near-future urban city by hacking various technology. You truly do feel empowered and it changes the experience quite a bit.
This isn't even mentioning the seamless integration of MP where players can come in and hack your phone, leading you on a chase to find the trespasser. There is also a racing game, team death match, free roam, and various activities to keep players busy for hundreds of hours.
Watch_Dogs truly is one of the most innovative and different brand new franchises that we have. I am absolutely looking forward to the expected sequel and hopefully it will not be plagued by pre-launch PR missteps like this game was.
Mediocre shooter mechanics. Different tone from its predecessorsheerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of BioShock Infinite (NA)
Bioshock Infinite is one of the best examples of compelling storytelling and professional voice acting. It's truly a privilege to experience this game and see how the story unfolds and comes to a head. That being said, this is not Bioshock.
The survival horror aspect of the derelict underwater city of Rapture has been replaced by the dystopian, warped American Dream experience that is the floating city of Columbia. Other than both having a similar formula and medicore shooter mechanics, they share little in common otherwise.
The game is definitely worth finishing for the story though, as it's a bit of a twist at the ending. Plasmids have been redone and are okay. The skyhook changes the gameplay somewhat, but is far from revolutionary. Elizabeth's interactions in combat are different, but don't really change the pacing.
Decent game. Great story. Pick it up when it's on sale.
Decent game. Incredibly overrated.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition
What makes Borderlands 2 compelling is the cooperative play, the procedurally generated weapons, and the never-ending progression. Other than that, the unique setting and ridiculous humor are what make this game stand out.
Personally, I didn't find the setting or the characters appealing. The art-style and visuals are unique, but not my style. The shooter components are mediocre and do not stand the test of time against Halo, CoD, Battlefield, and other masters of the genre.
Again, coop and infinite amounts of weapon customization are what make this game stand out. I'd only pick this game up if you can get hit heavily discounted. If you don't have a group of gamers to play with, I'd pass on this one.
The best aspects of Mortal Kombat and Detective Comicsheerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition (NA)
Do you love fighting games? Do you love DC super heroes? If the answer to both is yes, this game is a must buy. Not only is the combat and action incredibly fun and addictive, but the story is actually strikingly good!
Multiplayer is also a lot of fun and there is a large catalog of heroes to choose from. Not much else to say about this game as it's rather self-explanatory what it is. Definitely worth it to those who are interested in this genre.
One of the best RPGs of the last generation.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
Do you love BioWare storytelling? Do you love a dark, mature, and more realistic fantasy setting? Do you enjoy a game that offers morally ambiguous choices where there is no right or wrong option? The Witcher 2 is just the game for you.
This is the story of the anti-hero Geralt of Rivia, the legendary Witcher, on a quest for answers and to clear his name. Witchers are mutants, humans modified through alchemy and mutagens, created to slay monsters. I will not talk about the plot, but as the title of the game suggests, regicide plays a large role in the experience. There are a lot of politics, a lot of war, and a lot of relationships that are built as the story progresses.
You don't technically need to play The Witcher 1, but I would highly recommend it to be familiar with the characters and what is happening early on in the game. None of the choices in The Witcher 1 really impact The Witcher 2 in any major way, but the last moments of The Witcher 1 directly tie into this game.
The combat, while loved or hated, provides a tactical and challenging approach to engagements. You must use your wit, your signs, your accessories, and your Witcher swords to successful obtain victory. There are also quite a few romances that are possible, and large environments to explore in every chapter of the game.
I really do not have a criticism of this game as it more or less improves upon the original in every way. Definitely a must buy for all RPG fans. This game is on sale a lot, so definitely keep an eye out.
The ultimate first person parkour experience.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Mirror's Edge (NA)
Do you love DICE (Battlefield)? Do you love first person games? Do you salivate at the idea of a game based on parkour mechanics and martial arts? Mirror's Edge is right up your alley then.
The game, itself, is a breath of fresh air in an industry long plagued by established franchise and bloated AAA developers. The combat and interaction with the environment is incredibly engaging and fun. The combat is strikingly simplistic, yet complex when you combined your various abilities together.
The story itself is a bit lackluster, and the game isn't incredibly long, but this is a game worth playing. The game also still looks stunning considering when it was released and has a unique artistic style not seen in other games.
I'd definitely pick this game up, especially the next time it goes on sale. It truly is an experience everybody should have at least once.
Simplified Oblivion with multiplayer.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Two Worlds Epic Edition
If you always wanted an open world RPG where you could explore with friends, that's exactly what Two Worlds is. It's not as complex as Oblivion and certainly doesn't have as much content or diversity in activities, but it's a decent game for what it was built to do.
There are also PvP arenas and a single player game, which aren't that great due to class imbalances and a lackluster story, but it's content. Besides the opening song, the rest of the soundtrack is poorly done, but again doesn't detract from the few things this game does right.
A decent RPG that has a bit of a niche for what it does. I'd recommend to any RPG fans who like the idea of a vast open world where they can explore with friends. Armor progression and weapon progression is actually fairly well-done.
Players used to be able to duel other players and disarm them, leading to a lot of players losing their epic weapons. Last I checked Reality Pump patched the ability to duel other players out of the game. It was an interesting and kind of fun feature, but getting your gear stolen by random players was not fun.
The game is worth buying at the low price though.
Great story. Disappointing game.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Dragon Age II (NA)
This game is not as terrible as many claim. The story is actually very good and the companions are overall much better than those in DAO. The problem is the gameplay side of things was a step back from the first game. Lack of variety in environments. Simplified combat. Simplified gear progression. Lack of reactivity. The list goes on and on.
Gameplay aside, this game is still worth playing. I'd even say the overall story is better than DAO, and this is largely due to the voiced protagonist we have in Hawke. It's also a much more personal tale as its really about family and trying to survive in a post-Blight period. If you like BioWare and Dragon Age, I'd definitely pick this one up. Not perfect, but certainly not bad.
Great overall game. Underwhelming combat system.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Dragon Age: Origins - Ultimate Edition (NA)
This game is a pure classic. Brand new universe. Compelling characters. Massive and epic enemies. The entire fabric of the world on the line. Truly a stuff of wonder.
If you love a mixture of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, this will be a game for you. The combat, itself, is a bit dated, but overall the game is solid everywhere else. The Awakening expansion is also one of the greatest expansions ever made for an RPG.
BioWare storytelling. Amazing companions. Great plot with a few twists. Moral dilemmas and the ultimate fight. There's a lot to be found here for any and all RPG fans.
DAO is also the only game where you can start out with extremely different origins, whether you are a human, elf, or dwarf, as well as a warrior, mage, or rogue with specific social standing in society.
Do not pass this gem up.
The best of Star Wars and Star Trek combined.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Mass Effect (NA)
Do you enjoy science fiction? Do you enjoy a bit a fantasy? Do you enjoy tactical shooters with a party-based system? Mass Effect may be the franchise for you.
It is an epic tale of the exploits of Commander Shepard and his crew on the Normandy. This game is a bit dated now and the combat isn't the greatest, but there are mods to rectify some of these issues, especially the visuals.
I'd recommend this game for the incredible story, companions, and voice acting alone. It's an absolute marvel to explore and learn about this new universe and how it all works together.
This game also features exploration and pivotal vehicle play, unlike its predecessors.Not a perfect game, but definitely one of the best RPGs of the last generation and one of the hottest franchises in gaming.
You will not want to miss this if you have not experienced the wonder that is Mass Effect. Newcomer or returning fan, this is a game you don't want to miss.
An otherwise outstanding sequel with some setbacks.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Mass Effect 2: Digital Deluxe (NA)
Mass Effect 2 truly was a reinvention of the Mass Effect brand. I know that sounds strange, but that's exactly what BioWare did when building the sequel to the critically-acclaimed and well-received new franchise.
Mass Effect 2 continues the story of Commander Shepard and his crew on the Normandy. I'll spare you the details, but it's darker, more intimate, and is a story far more about relationships than the main plot, such as the previous game.
If you are just interested in the story and are proficient with shooters, you'll absolutely love the game. If you are a bigger fan of RPGs and enjoyed the exploration of ME1, sadly ME2 stripped all those aspects away in favor of more fun gameplay and focus.
Besides being more of a simple shooter-on-rails than its predecessor, my only criticism is that ME2 by far has the worst planet scanning/probe deploying mini-game in the history of the franchise. You will find 80% of your time is participating in this tedious event if you are a completionist like me and want to make sure you have enough resources to upgrade the Normandy and her crew.
That one minor misstep aside, this is an incredible game. It's the Empire Strikes Back to A New Hope. An absolutely fantastic game. Lost a lot of RPG elements and depth of the first, but it improves in almost every way in other facets.
I'd recommend purchasing ME1 before you pick this game up, however. The Genesis is a substitute, but you won't appreciate what is happening, especially at the beginning of the game. Play in chronological order and import your characters. You will not regret it.
An iconic RPG with moral choice and unrivaled reactivity.heerox328 | Dec. 7, 2014 | Review of Fable Anniversary
Whether you are a longtime fan of the franchise or an unsuspecting newcomer to the tale, Fable: Anniversary is a game that is welcoming to all.
With the overhaul of visuals, audio, and the implementation of Fable 2/3 combat, it is truly an amazing spectacle to behold.
This was one of the first console RPGs where choices really mattered. Not only did they have an impact on the game and the story, but also visually on your character and how others perceived you.
There was a large variety of customization in terms of gear, haircuts/beards/mustaches, and even hero titles and how NPCs would refer to you. Fable also stands above the rest because of the iconic soundtrack and the incredibly addictive Dark British Humor experienced throughout the game.
This game is truly a delight and I recommend anybody to pick it up, especially if you never played the original or never experienced Lost Chapters. You will be satisfied by this purchase.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The next great AAA franchiseheerox328 | 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Not perfect, but has potential.heerox328 | July 17, 2014 | Review of Dishonored Nexway -
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.
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.