Reviews by israel_hlc

89

Good game, totally underrated.

israel_hlc | March 1, 2013 | Review of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

War in the North is the most underrated game I have ever played. It is far from perfect, it’s true, but, it is excellent.

The graphics are a bit below the average, especially the characters’ models and textures, but the environments are good.

The gameplay is good; you play each time as one character from a choice of three. As you cannot change your character every time you want and the AI is pretty dumb, the overall experience will be much better if played in coop.

The plot is interesting. It’s not very deep, but it is linked to the Lord of the Rings story and you will even find meet some of the members of the Fellowship during the game. For fans of the trilogy, this game will be even more interesting.

78

Nice game

israel_hlc | March 1, 2013 | Review of Death Rally

I gave this game a try when it was in a free weekend. I have to admit that it was harder to stop playing it than I expected.

The gameplay is very nice, with top-down view and the choice of winning races by speed, by blowing up your enemies or both of them. You earn money from the races and so you can buy new cars and upgrades for the cars you already own. As the races are short, you always feel like playing one more match, and so the game becomes very addictive.

The negative point is the multiplayer. The idea is great, where you could compete against other human players instead of the AI during the campaign. The problem is that the matchmaking is completely dull. During the free weekend (where supposedly there were more people playing) I could find an opponent in only a few times, but as the game kept trying to find more opponents to fill the race, the match delayed too much to begin and the opponents gave up on waiting. The game is worth a try. It’s a short game (I got it 99% complete with a few hours), but it is also a relatively cheap game, so in my opinion it is well priced.

93

Instant Classic!

israel_hlc | March 1, 2013 | Review of Alan Wake

Alan Wake is a game born to be a classic. Everything in the game fits very well in the excellent plot, from the environments to the soundtracks.

The graphics are very good. Not that it could be considered one of the best graphics in the year, but it is very good indeed. Great part of the game is played in the night, and the darkness effect fits the game perfectly. When under daylight and outdoors, we can see beautiful environments, especially due to the very well made lighting effects.

The gameplay is good, ammo is not that scarce, but you will want to save it as much as possible. The flashlight-based battle in very welcome, but sometimes felt a bit of a repetitive task.

The plot is excellent, which would also fit perfectly well in a book or a movie. The game progresses through chapters, from the point of view of the writer of the book. Even if you don’t like darker games very much, I totally recommend it.

96

Excellent! Everyone should play.

israel_hlc | Feb. 28, 2013 | Review of Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3 is an excellent game, totally worth of being in the Max Payne franchise. It kept the roots of the original games with a strong story, nice gameplay and, of course, bullet time. The graphics are pretty good with well detailed environments, realistic-looking modeling and textures. The gameplay is almost perfect, with only some movement issues that could be better. Like other modern third-person shooters, you will perform jumps, sprint run and get into cover while through gunfight. The unique point in this game is that your character can’t move around so fast or perform quick actions as you would like. Well, it makes a lot of sense, since Max now is a lot older than in the previous games. After jumping in bullet time, for example, it will take some time to get up again, so you wouldn’t like simply jumping through the open if you are not sure if capable of eliminating all enemies at once. The plot is good and fits the game very well. If you played the first (and maybe the second) game(s) you will probably understand it better, but they are not really a prerequisite for enjoying the game. Want a piece of advice? Buy it and play now. It’s one of the best games I have played in the last years.

82

Good game, Sonic reborn

israel_hlc | Feb. 20, 2013 | Review of Sonic Generations

Sonic Generations is good, maybe surprisingly good. After many years waiting for a good Sonic game, this game brings us a really solid experience, worthy of the classic games from the Genesis era. The gameplay is based on both the classical 2D sidescrolling platformer and the modern 3D third-person based we have seen in recent titles (each of these are played with a “different” Sonic character). The 2D style resembles a lot the original games, and it is where the game got its strongest points: The levels are well designed and fun to play; the different paths bring good replay options. The graphics are excellent, colorfully designed and fit perfectly in the game. While running through the levels, the game has a nice fluency and I haven’t noticed any loading glitches. The game is not perfect, of course, especially in some boss battles which are just too easy. The plot is not a strong point too, but I really wasn’t expecting it to be. Unfortunately the 3D gameplay is built to be played with a controller and playing with the keyboard sometimes will be a bit frustrating.

100

Unique and Addictive

israel_hlc | Jan. 23, 2013 | Review of L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition

L. A. Noire is an open world game very different from other games of the genre. Instead of being free to steal cars or kill people through the city, the player will play the role of Cole Phelps, a police detective, and by that I mean the player will have to protect the law instead of breaking it.

The gameplay is completely awesome. In each case you have to solve, you will have to interview witnesses and search the crime scenes for clues that will help you advance in the investigation. The most clues you find, the better (and easier) it will be when incriminating a suspect. Some clues are just like “shining in your face”, but others will require deep investigation.

The interviews with the witnesses and suspects are the game’s most brilliant moments. They will start their testimony and you will be able to ask them questions. For each answer you will have to choose if it was the truth, a lie or partially truth. A wrong choice here and you may miss some useful information until the very end of the case (sometimes you will even close it with something “missing”). I can assure it is no easy task, though. You will need to pay attention to every word, to the voice and, especially, to the face expressions in the eyes or the mouth, or otherwise you won’t be able to catch a lie.

As you progress to the main cases, the detective grows up in his career and face new kinds of crimes, from the traffic crimes to homicides or arson. No spoilers here, of course, but I got really impressed on how the game develops the cases, the background story (you discover it in some newspapers which can be found through the game’s missions) and your own character’s story (its past and the career growth).

Technically the game has some rare crashes (I played it in DX11), but in the overall it runs very well and has pretty decent graphics. The motion capture technology behind the faces expressions is very good. Although not perfect yet (sometimes the face seems a bit overexpressed), the interviews wouldn’t be the same without it.

Finally, it is easily in the top 10 best PC games I’ve ever played in more than 15 years. One of a few (really few) games I finished wishing I had more, much more. If you haven’t played it yet, give it a try. I totally recommend it.

92

Freedom and a lot of fun!

israel_hlc | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 is excellent. If you like to explode things, shoot everywhere and watch various things being launched to the air, you will surely like this game. If you like open world games, where you can choose missions, collect things in improbable places and interact with a lot of things: you will also like this game. If you like stunning visuals – especially mountains, trees and the sun being reflected over the water – you will like this game. If you like to eliminate your enemies in different ways like attaching them to a rocket or throwing them from higher ground, this game is made for you. The game is unique and very fun, worth the hours you will spend on it. Ok, there are a few glitches (had to reload the game because I got stuck twice) but they are just minor problems.

65

Disappointing

israel_hlc | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Fallout: New Vegas DNS

New Vegas is a good game, nothing more than that. After the spending more than 100 hours in the wastes of Fallout 3, I must confess it was a little disappointing to play New Vegas. The game begins too suddenly, and the plot is poor. There is no appeal to “see what happens next”. It is true that after some time, maybe after midgame, it gets a little better, but nothing that makes its plot really good. There are a few great additions to the game mechanic, especially if you wanted Fallout to be more realistic (and harder). But other features are missing or have changed for worse. Being honest, it is not a bad game. Just not good as the previous one.

96

The best COD since the first MW

israel_hlc | Dec. 27, 2012 | Review of Call of Duty: Black Ops

Black Ops is the best Call of Duty game launched since the first Modern Warfare. The graphics are good enough, although the game engine – the same since Modern Warfare – shows signs of some limitations. It has a good point, of course, for those who don’t have high end machines, because it’s not that hard to achieve 60fps. The story – main point of the game in my opinion – is the best seen in the franchise so far, sucking you into the game. The variety of locations where the game is placed fits well with the weapons available each mission. Also, if you like the multiplayer, it is as good as the ones before it, although nowadays (end of 2012) there may be not many people playing anymore.

88

Not the usual Lara Croft game, but still fun

israel_hlc | Dec. 26, 2012 | Review of Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light

Guardian of Light is a nice game, featuring Lara Croft for the first time in a game outside the main “Tomb Raider” franchise. While it keeps some similarities with the classic Tomb Raider gaming style, the gameplay is totally different. It can be perceived easily in the first few minutes, where the original third person view gives place to an isometric overview. The game is quite easy, and the collectibles are also quite easy to find, at least when compared to the last Tomb Raider games. The greatest addition is the cooperative mode. One player will have to play with another character (no two Laras in the same screens, of course), what some people found strange in a game where Lara Croft is the main character. But in fact, the co-op mode added a great replay value to the game: all the levels must be played differently from the solo campaign. I only missed the option to have in game voice chat, because stop to write messages is not really fun.

86

Great game, great environment, good sequel

israel_hlc | Dec. 18, 2012 | Review of Mafia II dns

Mafia II is a great game, with very nice graphics and an interesting plot, although not so good as the previous game. The very detailed city gives you the impression you are in a real city, where people really go from one place to another (not just random walks). While driving, you can also turn on the radio and listen to some songs from the 50s, or even tune to hear the latest news from the world (with lots of content based on real events). The game is not perfect just because sometimes you feel wasting too much time in “mundane” tasks, especially because after the first game you could expect a more righteous character. Of course it’s nothing that much as in GTA games, but sometimes it exceeds a bit. In the overall it is a highly recommended game, especially for those who enjoy open world action games.

90

Surprisingly Good

israel_hlc | Dec. 13, 2012 | Review of VVVVVV

Imagine a platform game where you can’t jump. Can’t imagine it? OK, neither could I.

VVVVVV is a unique game of the genre, where instead of jumping you switch the direction of the gravity. Now add this with a level where you can’t see what’s above your head (or under your head, if gravity is changed), and you will have an innovative indie game.

The retro-based graphics and sounds may be unattractive for some people, but they really fit well within the game.

The game is not long; it can be finished in just a few hours. But it will be worthy its price. At least you will have enjoyed a surprisingly good game.

65

Not that good

israel_hlc | Dec. 13, 2012 | Review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2 was launched with the hard mission to be the sequel of one of the greatest FPS of all times. Unfortunately, it failed to fulfill the high expectations provided by its predecessor.

The game itself is not bad. But sometimes it makes you feel playing “more of the same”. The gameplay is almost unchanged and the graphics are only slightly better, as it runs over the same engine of the first Modern Warfare.

The worst point in my opinion is the story. While the first game was impressive and cinematographic, this sequel lacks some basic fluency between the fragmented missions. There are also missions that don’t add value to the game at all, and even one that kept me thinking why has it been included in the final game: totally unnecessary.

Again, I’m not saying it is a bad game. It is just not as good as the two previous Call of Duty games: the first Modern Warfare and World at War.

95

Excellent modern platformer

israel_hlc | Dec. 12, 2012 | Review of Trine

Trine is a very good game, with stunning visuals, impressive soundtrack and a nice gameplay. I have to confess: What attracted me most in this game was its soundtrack in one of the first released trailers. And inside the game I was not disappointed: The soundtrack just plays the right thing every time. The game itself cannot be considered innovative: The gameplay is similar to other puzzle platformers, and the option to play with the three characters resembles some older games like The Lost Vikings. But this really does not diminish the value of the game. Actually, by the sum of its parts Trine is a true unique game, worth spending some hours until the very exciting end.

92

A great sequel

israel_hlc | Dec. 12, 2012 | Review of Max Payne II: The Fall of Max Payne DNS

Max Payne 2 is a pretty decent sequel for one of the greatest video games ever made. Most of the best qualities of the first game were kept intact, so it is a safe bet if you liked the first game. The comics kept the storytelling very similar to the original game, what in this case means it is really very good. The story itself (a direct sequel from the first game) is good, although in my opinion the first one was better. The dense atmosphere and the bond created with the main character keep you highly immersed in the game. It is a classic, a must for anyone who played the first game. If you haven’t played the first one, play it first and then enjoy this great sequel.

100

One of the best puzzle games ever

israel_hlc | Dec. 11, 2012 | Review of World of Goo

World of Goo is a beautiful and exciting 2D physics based puzzle game. The levels are very well designed, not too easy nor punishingly hard. On each level, your objective will be to build a structure made of goo balls aiming to reach a pipe that will suck all the remaining goo balls. It may sound weird, or even too easy, but in fact the game is very, very addictive. The background plot is surprisingly interesting (being honest, I didn’t expect a real plot in a puzzle game), with a good sense of humor. The “villain” keeps leaving you messages through the levels, and they make the overall game experience even better.

95

A beautiful game

israel_hlc | Dec. 11, 2012 | Review of Tomb Raider: Underworld DNS

Tomb Raider Underworld is a remarkable experience. The game is very beautiful, with great graphics for both the characters (Lara too, of course) and the amazing environments you will see through the game. The story is also good, and if you like the genre it will surely suck you in.

It's worth playing again if you don't collect everything in the first time you play it. But (and here is why I don't give it 100) there could have more unlockable extras, as we had in previous the games. These collectibles could also be a bit different at least when you are in such different places like caves and under water, but of course this is not something that affects the game value that much.

90

A great game

israel_hlc | Dec. 11, 2012 | Review of Tomb Raider: Legend DNS

Tomb Raider Legends is the game responsible to revitalize one of the most famous game franchises. With almost next-gen graphics (from the year it was launched, of course) and an excellent gameplay, this game brings the franchise back to the group of top rated games, where it used to be years ago. Of course it is not perfect, but it is a really very good game, with a good replay value (with lots of collectibles, for those who like to achieve everything the game has to offer) and certainly offer a good time to the players who give it a try. Finally, I recommend it to anyone who liked the first franchise games and was disappointed with the last ones.

95

This is how a remake should be made

israel_hlc | Dec. 11, 2012 | Review of Tomb Raider: Anniversary DNS

Tomb Raider Anniversary is a remarkable game because it not only brings a classic 10 year old game to modern computers with improved graphics, but it in fact surpasses the original game is some aspects.

The great plot and atmosphere from the original game are very well implemented over the new game engine (from Tomb Raider Legends); the graphics are very good compared to other games launched in the same year.

The gameplay is the greatest triumph of this remake. While in the original game it was sometimes painful to reach some places, or even turn Lara to the other side, in this game the movement is very good and fluid.

As in most of the third person games, there are rare camera glitches, but seeing Lara jumping [almost] freely from one place to another will surely make the players consider them minor bugs, especially because they don’t really affect gameplay at all.

Finally, this game is a must not only for all Tomb Raider fans, but for anyone who enjoys action adventure games –even if you didn’t like the original game.