Reviews by klaros

70

It isn't the AAA title you would have expected

klaros | Oct. 27, 2011 | Review of Medal of Honor (EU)

MoH Multiplayer and MoH Single Player seem clearly two different games.

MoH Single player The graphics doesn't keep the same level, sometimes is good (characters for example) sometimes is really bad for example some rooms or objects textures (where they neither used the bump mapping properly). Story is really interesting: you'll impersonate different kind of soldiers, which is really good for the variety, and will try to deal with an organized enemy. The game is really short: you could even complete it in one day. Also at the hardest difficulty level your team mates sometimes could do many kills, this way the game seems even shorter. Sometimes they will put themselves between you and the enemy, so to open fire you'll have to wait that they will move or you'll have to choose a different solution (like moving or throwing a granade). Sounds are good expecially for the weapons. Sometimes there are some glitches. For example in a situation was supposed that you'd have only a knife as weapon. I found a rifle, and obviously I got it. I arrived to a situation where I had to silently kill an enemy. If you got the rifle you could no more access to the triggered action which would let you pass to the next zone, this means you're stuck.

MoH Multiplayer Here you'll have no any access to some veicles like helicopter or quad. You'll be no more capable to lie down but you can only kneel. There is a sort of RPG part where you'll gain experience which will permit you to have better weapons or ammo. This isn't really a pleasure when you enter the MP the first time (obviously you have the worst weapons). If you get hit by few bullets you can easily die and the game will not show the shooter position. Differently from many others FPS even the tiny pixel at distance can kill you even without a sniper rifle, this means you need to get used to look at everything at distance and everything moves with much more care. You can easily spawn in an unsafe zone, which means you can die many times in a row at the spawn without the possibility to find a cover.

The most intresting part in MoH Single Player is the hisorical setting, the actual war in Afghanistan, even if the game doesn't point to a full realism. If you like the challenges you can try the MoH Multiplayer. Moh is far from the AAA title you would expect, but has some positive aspects. I suggest you (if you are interested to the Afghan conflic or to a new kind of Multiplayer challenge) to buy it with a good discount.

85

Good Refreshing Game

klaros | Oct. 26, 2011 | Review of Mirror's Edge (EU)

Really nice game. Different from a normal FPS, here you'll shoot less than a normal FPS and run more to find how to resolve a situation. To gain a weapon you'll have to fight with bare hands and all of them will not have many bullets, this means you have to be fast and don't waste your ammo. This way every gained weapon will be more satisfying than a normal drop after kill.

Nice colors. The graphics if maxed wouldn't be still good. The soundtrack is wonderful but you'll listen it only in menu and at the end of the game. It is perfect if you are searching for something different, it alternates fast paced fight situations to relaxing run and jump puzzles. The story is good enough and fits well but isn't a deep one. It is so relaxing that after I completed it a first time I restarted it at the hardes level (you can unlock it after you complete the game once). You'll also unlock the challenges and bonus content as you proceed chapter after chapter.

I suggest to play it before the graphics become outdated.

75

Kings Bounty: The Legend, wonderful graphics and sounds

klaros | Aug. 2, 2011 | Review of Kings Bounty: The Legend

Kings Bounty: The Legend has a wonderful graphic, good effects and really nice sounds, lots to explore, and a lot of options: you can both get equipment, quest objects, usable objects, have a wife and daugthers and sons (which will improve your stats like other objects), find 3 king crystals for improving 3 kind abilities (mind, might and agility) and you'll get a sort of pandora box that will add to you abilities and quests. So why only 75 as score if it is a wonderful game? For battles. The main part of the game is a bit repetetive: the magic you can cast are pretty much the same, most of them aren't worth to be casted due the poor effect on the enemy. Infact it is much better kill many troops you can before the starts the melee. This means you'll use similar magics and the gameplay will be always the same. I'll do a little paragon with Heroes of Might and Magic IV, which I consider the best HMM game (for the stories and graphics, in my opinion HMM V have both poor enough: too many polygons and poor textures, an uninteresting story) and KBTL. Mean while KBTL hardly beats HMM on graphics and on the customizable main character, it loses in strategic battles and lacks the economic management. In HMM you for example could hide your troops that you wanted preserve from a ranged attack, your heroes could fight in battles and have a great part there but more than anything the magic you casted were useful, you can change strategy from a race to another one, and they were all balanced. Last but not least HMM IV had great little stories, while KBTL let just you going around with just some main quest which don't engross you. If you want to see a beautiful graphics and a lot options, with some little nice quests you should buy it, you should buy it also if you don't want to spend too much, infact it is well worth to buy under 10 EU. I suggest you to look some videos about next chapters in this series because seemed King Bounty paid attention to these problems and tried to fix them.

73

Tower Bloxx Deluxe, An unexpected nice game

klaros | Aug. 2, 2011 | Review of Tower Bloxx Deluxe

At first time I saw this game's screeshots I didn't cosidered it much. After playing it I reconsidered it ^^

Just with simplicity Tower Bloxx can open a smile on your mouth when you try to impile your blocks, with that "Ooooops" sensation :D The same smile will also appear when you'll see your buildings reaching insane heightness and the city damn small there. It could be a bit addicting or repetetive, depends on how much you consider challenging a balance game where are tested your reaction time and coordination ability. There are a campaign mode where you'll have to manage various cities spaces and improve them; a multiplay challenge section, and a crazy heightness section, where you have to reach the space and meawhile you'll see the strangest things XD (with some citations from well known sci-fi films). After you played too much some AAA games you're like you eat too much sugar and don't feel more the taste this is why Tower Bloxx fits well between some matches on a AAA title and another, just to don't get yourself too much seriously :D

80

AvP: A good game, but multiplay could drive you crazy

klaros | Aug. 2, 2011 | Review of Aliens vs Predator Pre

Graphics - The characters graphic is incredible, really really polished, much better for example than Mafia II, infact you'll not see any polygon. Background graphic is really good too, if you make some screenshot you could easily create something for your desktop. Ground is well made: the bump mapping let you think all good details are in 3D. The only bad graphic part are the trees, which aren't so negligible because Predator and Alien (but expecially the first one) will pass much time there. Sounds - I played a localized version, completely translate (and not partially as often happens) and voices and sound are good enough, nothing to say against them. Story - The story is particulary the human's one, infact there is the intrigue (giving the basis for a sequel), the other ones simply follow what you expect the other species will normally do. The problem is that you'll normally play human as first so the other stories are just needed to complete your vision of what happened in the colony (why everything went a mess) from other points of view. Which is interesting but not exalting. The game atmosphere is based on the costant "hunt or hunted" situation, except if you are human, where clearly and really well you'll feel to be the prey; infact you'll start alone with just a little pistol, a light and many dark places; you'll also find some alien that will terrorize you cinematically at right points. The other species story will not be so involing because there will not be this costant fear feeling; with predator you'll just wait for the right moment to strike than jump away and camoufladge, with alien will be a rapid strike and hide. Gameplay - AvP permits you to play 3 different kind of gameplays, and you'll not see Predator's and Aliens' ones in other games, infact they are really peculiar. Alien can run really fast and will tend to take the enemies at back, exiting from darkness and using some little passage (vents) or walking on walls; alien can see the Predator also if camouflaged (I think it is due the smell). Predator will do really high and long jumps and can run fast too (not as alien and not as much as alien do, but will be enough to search a good view point), can camouflage itself and use heat vision or alien vision (this is a special one that you'll acquire during the story) but you'll can't use them at the same time, so you have to choose who will be your prey and so who will be your hunter (because you can't see well the other species) or you can use the normal view and do it by yourself. Predator weapons are quite disappointing because are all or really slow or let see where you are and some of them will turn off your camouflage; you'll use the cannon, the lance, the double arm blades and the rotating blades. Humans have more weapons: a normal smg, a sniper rifle that permits you to see your enemies also if camouflaged or in the dark (but is slow reloading and has few bullets), shotgun (if you aim well you'll do a kill with just a hit), smart gun (a big machinegun) that automatically finds its target but will not permit you to run and ends its bullet pretty soon, so use it well. If you attack a foe when is giving you her/his back or when it is fallen on ground you can do brutal but graphically apreciable ending moves. There are 5 chapters for each species. This could let you seem that the "games" are short, but you have to count on the fact that there are 15 chapters in total, which is good for a normal game. It is true that many maps are the same for different species but playing with a human is completly different from playing a predator or an alien. For example predator can jump from a side to the other in a map in few steps without caring about what there is, a human has to do it all walking (human can run "slowly" and for a short period) so has to take care about its back all time. I suggest you to try the game at the hardest level too (not just to get the steam achievements) but because is there that you'll feel a realistic hunter/hunted sensation: one error and no any save near, this will put the accent both on your moves, your resoning, improving the engrossment and the involvement. Multiplay - Here start some problems. These problems are expecially about sticking with the original films. For example is completly ridiculous that a marine can block the predator's double blade attack simply tilting its gun, infact the blades should cut both gun and marine; it happens the same blocking alien's attacks. It is similar when predator will use the cannon against aliens, in film it is voided by the predator honor code. It is also ridiculous that the marine has a much greater fire power than the predator while this one is really slow, for example the lance is almost useless becuase is so slow that you can use it only on a long time still foe (are they waiting for you?). Predator doesn't have all its weapons from film; when it hits with its rotating blades a human (for example in the chest) the human can easily survive and kill the predator (because the blades will return to you really slowly). Alien blood isn't so dangerous as it should be: it doesn't melt anything, expecially predator's blades and human can easily survive to it. Humans if stick tougheter can play the lions part, while they should fell themselves as preys. This way the chain could be Predator hunts alien while alien try surprise humans from darkness. Predator vs human isn't easy for the first one because the second one has the best ranged weapons (really! what #@§*!). Predator has to find its weapons over all the map, starting with only arm blades (how the hell does it lost its weapons???) and so on... The fact is that in AvP creators tryed to balance 1vs1 the species, this way you'll find many countersenses, that personally drive crazy. To all this I have to add that multiplay game is really fast paced, while you hit you can easily been hitten, there aren't many pause times. Due the fact that there aren't safe spawn points you can pratically spawn dead. It is a really pity that doesn't exists a real multiplay co-op mission. What should drive you there is the aggressive hunter mentality, or you'll only find a sudden bitter death or everything will appear you as a mess. Although exists a good variety of matches what you'll really play depends on what others are playing, infact there will not be so great number of people plaing it. What is really innovative in AvP is that you'll not be sure anywhere because if you look for aliens for example the other species have the space to easily kill you; a defensive standind will not drive you anywhere because you can defend yourself from endind moves only one time (if you are rapid enough), the second one is the last one.

75

Magicka, Worth to buy it

klaros | Aug. 2, 2011 | Review of Magicka

Magicka is a fun game fitted with parodies and jokes, nice graphics and colors, intriguing voices in a stranger nordic language. It is not really simple using all the elements to cast magics (you'll have a key in your keyboard for each element, 8 in total) and often you could cast something wrong, like casting a huge rock falling on yourself, but it will be also a nice source for a laugh in multiplay. You'll have to play in a close space, becuase your mage is quite big respect your screen, this means both that you'll enjoy better the view of the objects, that will be a mess fleeing and casting expecially in multiplay, for example you could easily cast a fire ball against a friend, or you could push him away or down in a ravine. Again this will be good for a multiplay laugh (if your friends will take it well). All this would be great just if multiplay would be playable without problems. The fact is that can quite easily happen that connection falls (it shouldn't be based on official servers but there should only be player hosting matches and the game seems pretty sensible to little lose of connections). If you enter in a game with 4 friends could happen that one exits or get disconnected. At this point there is no chance to see her/him reconnects or to see another one taking the empty space. The story is fun and is pretty long, but played alone is quite repetitive (the jokes will keep the game alive). There are enough chapters to play coop over internet, meanwhile there are few maps only for multiplay (except if you have intention to buy DLCs). Magicka is sold with a low starting price and there are many DLCs. Some of them will add few items or just a map. Magicka could have been a much better game, but the multiplay problems transform your playing in a russian roulette: will this match last? If not how much could I play? Let's hope that no more than 2 people will lose the connection or half fun will go away. As all others let's hope Magicka creators will find a solution. Meanwhile the vote is kept low.

70

I agree: this should be a free DLC

klaros | Aug. 2, 2011 | Review of Mafia II DLC: Joe's Adventure

Today I played Mafia II (who cares you'll say, well read a bit more) after having finished time ago the main game in hard difficulty level and having collected enough steam achievements. Why should I enter again in Empire Bay? Easy answer, to play Joe's Adventure DLC.

The first time I saw Joe's adventure I was enough disappointed: not only the Mafia II's story didn't reach the expectations that the masterpiece Mafia I raised, but this DLC seemed having something less than the main game. Waiting a month after endind the main title let me see things from a different point of view: after having spent enough money on Mafia II, I revived it with much less money (I got the DLC with a good discount). And here again I have something to do, run here, shoot there in a wonderful graphic environment. But that's all Joe's adventure does, so I'll pass to describe what it lacks and what it has. This DLC transforms Mafia II in something more similar to the earlier 3D GTA. Which means you'll have many side missions and some more important to proceed in Joe's main story. To get the missions you'll have to reach floating simbols, which is shocking if compared to Mafia II, because the main was based on a graphic realism, but after the first times you'll just consider them ok. When you click on these floating simbols you'll see a 2d still image where there is written what you should do. Again this is a "shock" because you are used to ingame animations, events and talk. And again after some missions you'll care no more about it, "just give me the action" is what you'll think about. Obviously this will not be engrossing and involving as Mafia II was, but will not be a really big problem because the missions are challenging and you'll can confront your results and scores on internet with all other players. Infact you'll get score for some different actions, like velocity, shooting enemies, skidding. What really have no any sense is giving points for running over people with your car, like happened in Carmageddon...

In Joe's Adventure you'll find some stealth missions (if you want to play it stealth, but if you prefer you can start shooting when you want), race against time with your car for reaching some points (will also happen that you'll have to do it under heavy fire) and the normal shooting missions. You'll have also to find more playboy magazines. A good point goes to the radio: now there is fun music and great hits, obviously contemporary with Joe's time. You'll also find some new clothes. Some new locations are really well done graphically and you could do some nice screenshots there. I think this DLC should have been included in Mafia II, as it happened in Mafia I and as it is in GTA: main story + side missions in a single game. I should remember also that if Joe's adventure would have been integrated, GTA still has more a full multiplaying feature. This let you think how inopportune is setting this DLC apart, but the fact is that buying it will extend a good 50 EU (when was sold the first time just a year ago), or 30 EU (or less if you are lucky) game. After a month that you didn't play it I assure you that would be really nice rediscovering it for few bucks. In my case I was surprised again by its graphic.

80

Mafia II, sex, violence and money, based on your low instincts

klaros | Aug. 1, 2011 | Review of Mafia II dns

In this review I'll do a double comparison: with the old Mafia and with GTA.

Graphics Mafia series is always been sold a year after GTA, so it always had better graphics. For example light and fire effects are really impressive, I found myself doing screenshot in a bathroom for the lights effects, in Mafia II there are the best fire effects ever seen (pretty realistic ones, I wonder how could someone do something better), also the light from a lamp on floor and its shadows is wonderfull like are wonderful your car's lights on asphalt while is night. Characters have some polygons (you'll see it expecially looking at the fingers) but are well done (just look the girls) although there isn't a great models variety. Cars too are well done also if you can find some polygons after accidents. You can customize your car (it is expecially nice to chose colors and rims) but as for clothes to have a decent number of models and styles you have to buy the expansions. Clearly there is no comparison between Mafia II and Mafia graphics, although the second one surprised when was sold the first time.

Sounds and Musics Joe's gags are pretty always fun, but obviously at the end of the game there will not surprise you anymore. The music and the radio comments came directly from the time the game is setted and will change as the time passes (for example there will be comments on war or on your crimes) but it isn't something great, just fair. To extend musics you'll have again to buy expansions (the same form graphic). I think you'll find better music on GTA, but obviously it is definitively better than first Mafia.

Gameplay There are different kind of missions: sort of car race, sort of splinter cell hide and strike, normal shoot everything. You'll can use covers and jump them too. There is a good enough variety of weapons, molotov, nades, rifles, machineguns too. Using cars is fun but I don't understand how the other drivers and pedestrians could have an AI worse than Mafia I: the first ones will always cut your way, while the second ones will try to do the same expecially if you use your horn (while they should do exactly the opposite). During the game you'll have to find many contemporary playboys numbers where you'll see the girl of the month, a trick to "convince" you to complete the achievement and play the game again in a different difficulty level. In game sexy characters (half naked) is used to attract players, while they should have pointed more on story quality. The gameplay isn't much different from GTA one, excepted that there aren't side quest and if you want them you have to buy the expansions. In Mafia I when you finished the game you had access to many strange but nice minor missions. If you want something similar on Mafia II you have to buy the expansions. While GTA has a multiplay mode, Mafia II doesn't (sharing achievements or score tables exepted). If you but Jimmy's Vendetta you'll transform your Mafia II in a sort of GTA game, multiplaying apart.

Story While Mafia was mainly based on engrossing and involving events, GTA in comparison was more a nice to do list, infact the story was less important. As time passed things changed and the GTA story become a bit more important, while in Mafia II surprisingly the story isn't so good as first episode's one was. What let a player say in 2002 that Mafia was more engrossing than GTA was the story and the setting. Due the technical ammount of workload in Mafia I characters weren't much psychologically deep, but the happening, story twirls and feelings were involving: you were a taxi driver that found casually in middle of a starting mafia war, you had no other choises than join to a family, you find there a nice girl that you would marry, some betrayals in the mafia family ecc. All this built a fiction but sort of epic adventure with a great ending. In Mafia II the story seems more centered on "realism". Don't take if for bad, you'll always be the superhero guy that kills hundred enemies and will shake the city. What I mean with "realism" is the character psychology: there will be the contextualized but a bit recurrent question: why are you doing what you're doing? Vito will recognize after some time that the answer is for the good living (girls, quality objects) for voiding the poor life they had before. There isn't something epic anymore but a trivial motivation. Although in the game you'll go in jail for something near 10 years for some little crime, and Vito near the end will have a sort of educational consideration about whatever you had went devasted by the same violence he used to get it, that the mafia easy way get back with interests what gave to him, you'll find that the story lack to be engrossing. I have to add here an important bad part in the game: Falcone was in real life one of the most important italian magistrate that with Borsellino sent to jail a huge amount of important mafious people, also discovering most about this organization we today know. He, Borsellino and the escorts were killed by mafia with explosives. Ingame his surname is used by a mafia boss. Obviously this is everything except a good idea, probably it is the worst idea I saw in a videogame.

75

Alien Breed: Impact, the style is here

klaros | July 31, 2011 | Review of Alien Breed: Impact

Alien Breed is an Alien Swarm similar game, exepted the fact that AB is centered on a single player and has a better graphic, AS is only for multiplay. Don' get confused by the titles: Alien Breed Impact, Assault and Descent together form only one game (5 chapters each one with same graphic but sometimes a different style) divided in 3 parts. So the gameplay is the same, only that in Impact and In Assault you'll not see the end of the story, infact they don't have an episode-end. Firing on alien hordes is fun but you'll note that the motivation for going from a point to the other is that there is something to fix on the ship or a keycard to get. Often you'll have to fix what you have just fixed. This can easily let you feel the repetition. The story is fair enought to let you get to the end, but it isn't the stronger point. The multiplay is fun but there are some important issues to underline. Differently form Alien Swarm you can play at best with another one human player, and not with 3 other ones. Finding someone to play it with isn't simple. The multiplay doesn't have many maps. Alien Breed: Impact, as from this review title is where you'll find by far the most beautiful style in the series (exterior and interior ship style and backgorund planet), differently from the other episodes you'll find also intersting weapons like the laser rifle and a sort of ion cannon. For example they are more usefull than the rocket launcher in 2nd episode (slow and useless with fast creatures).

76

Alien Breed 2: Assault? A good pass time

klaros | July 29, 2011 | Review of Alien Breed 2: Assault

Alien Breed 2: Assault is a nice game. It is fun enough shooting all that aliens.

It is similar to Alien Swarm but with a better graphic an a good physic engine (Unreal 3). Infact while the ship is falling down on the planet you'll see how some quake will move the objects. Story is fair but not really important, infact the main part is shoot shoot shoot. For example you'll really often have to fix something in the ship or search for a key. At the end you'll smile while you'll get the new fix-something mission. At start you'll see a comic strip summary where is illustrated what happened in the prequel, but it isn't enough involving to bring tension from the 1st to the 2nd title. While you proceed you'll find some terminal where you'll can buy weapons, ammunitions, first aid kits and upgrades, you can also save there. It remembers quite well Dead Space. Mainly the point of view can rotate, but sometimes in some particular zones it will become fix or will follow your character from a particular angolation. This could cause you some problems, for example when the angolation will get fix you could not see what will be next, if you should shoot or run freely (the radar could help you but will be similar to blind shooting and you could waste ammonition). Another problem that came for the fixed camera is when you try to aim, infact it is really complicated because your the character and you don't have the same reference system and he shoots in a direction different from where your mouse is pointing at. Luckily there always is a laser sight, but it keeps to be counterintuitive. While Alien Swarm is an only multiplayer game, you'll have here a single player story mode, a survive solo mode (with 3 maps), 3 maps for multiplayer over internet co-op survive mode (but only with 2 players, counting you too), a multiplayer over internet co-op campaign mode (again only you and another human player). It is a really pity both that you'll play with only another human player and that it isn't simple find someone to play with (often there is nobody for a co-op). I passed a really nice time but obviously it isn't a mastepiece but just a pass time, recommended if you don't want to spend too much and have fun without a high demands.

90

One of the best building game, the fiesta is on the Island

klaros | July 29, 2011 | Review of Tropico Reloaded Cap

Tropico is a sunny fun game. Peasant's graphic can't open a smile on your mouth and with ingame music you can't feel the nice sea, palms and wind atmosphere. With this pack you'll also get some improvements like new scenarions and new buildings.

Whoever doesn't want to be the president and decide the destiny of a little tropical island? You got everything: power and wonderful holidays!

You'll haven't only to construct buildings on your Island, like in similar Sim City games, but you'll have to fit the employment (and decide wages and education!), housing and all other needs your people have, you have to pay attention to international realations because cold war is still out there (great powers like USA or URSS could destroy you if you don't pay attention), you'll have to find the resources, trade with the world and attract tourists! You'll have to deal with political elections (if you don't have voided them :D) or eventually with revolutionists! You can also emanate law acts. You can choose your characteristics and decide the way you'll hold you power! You'll find also a campaign or random map ganerator (nicely customizable) with different victory conditions (open map, economic, international prestige, etc). You'll find resources using from green to red scale for the distribution. You can open various farms (to fit your population nutrition need or to fit your exportations) or raw material (like wood, bauxite, gold and iron...) and transform in your industry raw materials in final products! Taking care about torurists is nice too, building entertainments, hotels, villas, panoramic points of view, ancient ruins tours... There is also a deep information system to know everything you need about your Island or to compliment with yourself for the results achieved :P

Obviously the graphics is today technically outdated, but it keeps to be nice enough to view. On your island you'll feel like nothing can go wrong excepted for your bad management decisions, but it will not be so simple.

Tropico 2 try to set everything under the pirate light and will add some themed options and objective. This means you'll build your own pirate ships to collect money. A nice option is that when you need a specialized worker you can give a kidnap mission to your ships, this way it will be straighter than educating them or paying them to come spountaneosusly. Like this one you'll have more pirate missions to assign to your ships. This game seems the right complement to Sid Meiers Pirates! Infact here you'll take care about the pirate cove, meanwhile in Pirates! you'll go around with the ships. Remember that you'll get 2 games and a expansion ^^ so my suggestion is to put in to buy list and wait for the right price.

85

Really good game, but...

klaros | July 28, 2011 | Review of Victoria Complete DNS

This strategic game has many options and is really customizable in many aspects (internationl strategical, political, military, economical, technological, prestige-cultural, sociological) them will surprise you letting you think that it is the best modern state simulator (like keeveek wrote in his review) but we also have to remember some important issues. I found it really fun and decisively worth to buy (you can buy it for few money too because it is quite old). I surely suggest you to get it if you like strategic games, also if there these "issues".

Pro: it is really detailed, you can chose general, admirals, various army and navy type and options (they will evolve with tech), you have to balance your economic state and caring about education/science and cultural level, crime, taxes (for rich, middle and poor classes), nation's debt, tolls (it will influence your protectionistic policy, so your internal development), social reforms (you can risk a revolution if people isn't really happy and reforms cost enough). There are colonial wars or normal ones. Will happens to you events where you have to do a choice that will have tiny or great influences.

Con: As many Paradox strategic game, similar to Europe Universails, it has some rules that undermine its realism and let it resemble more to a complex risk. For example you can't have more diplomatic relations than your relative diplomatic score (that let you "how damn do they think these limitations?"). Due the fact that if you don't take care about diplomatic relations other nations could start hating you, at this point you understand that the limit is important, expecially if there are nations much more powerfull than your or if you remember that you have to have relations with the whole world, so few points can't be enough. If you started a war, conquered some or many provincies and you have a powerfull ally, could happens that this one will make peace before you would want to or you achieve your objectives. The problem is that your ally making peace could obtain some provinces YOU conquered or you wanted, also without sending a tiny army (expecially if it is a war far from its borders). AI isn't really intelligent, I won wars where I was weaker simply because I used better my troops. Seems the AI bases its strategy on spreading many troops on your country to subtract you your resources. If they are a great number they can succed, but if you keep winning battles the war could be really really really long without going anywhere, just keeping you repiting your defensive moves. At that time industrial worker didn't need a really high specialization but in this game you have to pay to promote them as industrial workers (craftmans) and you have to do it for every province you own and repeat it on the whole game, infact social situation changes with population grow and emigration/immigration. Due the fact promoting someone as wroker is unrealistic this will obviously influence your involging in the historical simulation. To optimize production you have to split workers groups (again) in every province and for the whole game. Do you have to say every people where opportunities are? You can't be "mayor" in every province while wars run, or you can be it and the game will never end. If you conquered the whole enemy territory it probably will not accept the annexation, also if it is a nation far more weaker than your, so you'll have to conclued a peace and to start other wars to annex it all (uncivilized nations apart). Multiplay can run on internet only if you have the IP number from someone hosting a game (I think hamatchi or similar could help here, but the game isn't made for having an official dedicated server). The game hasn't a tutorial (which is really disappointing because it is a complicate one), but you can find a tutorial-mod from victoria fans. When you annex a nation you don't get their money or their tech, why? Do really all scientists do harakiri when you annex their nation?

85

Cryostasis: between the film and the game

klaros | July 28, 2011 | Review of Cryostasis

Abstract - Cryostasis in my opinion is an underated game. It is different from other FPS in a way I would say it is an experimental one. Infact shooting isn't the main characteristic although it is essential. The point is both to let you feel the strive for surviving, the feeling to be hunted by mysteriuos creatures, and tring to understand what happened in the Icebreaker. Isn't the fast pace shooting at the center of this game, but it is the tension and the variety of situations.

Con: when doesn't happen a special triggered event you'll feel the repetitivity. Luckily there are enough of these, the issue is that they aren't uniformly distributed. The game is played most time in indoor big or little, orderd or half-destroyed places (outdoor mainly means cold, so hostile environment). Graphics could had better details and now it is 2 years old. If you need fast paced FPS with packs enemies to destroy in few secs, you'll not find Cryostasis fun at all. No any multiplay, when you end it you can just play it on an harder level.

Pro: it refreshes FPS genre having at the center the atmosphere and many various triggered situations to keep an high tension. This will remember you more a long film than a normal videogame. Graphics, some details apart, aren't bad at all, expecially the innovative freezing and melting ice effects on everything. Movements, sounds, weapons, lack of music, search for heat and bullets point on realism in shocking contrast with the horrific monsters.

Final Opinion: if you want to try an alternative FPS where isn't shooting the main game part, but it is the atmosphere and the situations, you should give a chance to Cryostasis. The game has also a final moral which you could find interesting because in opposition with the whole atmosphere played. Graphics also deserves to see effects that you'll not see elsewhere. If all this intrigues you, I suggest to read the more detailed review or to buy it without doubt if it drops to 5 EU or less.

Ps: the game has 3 possible endings

If Cryostasis intrigue you, read the following more datailed review Cryostasis is special FPS because it has staked everything, graphics, sounds, cutscenes, events and combat on the atmosphere creation. In Cryostasis you will seek refuge in a stranded ice breaker. Immediately you will feel like in Penumbra (from the Amnesia series), without weapons, in an inhospitable environment, unknown to explore. The weapons that you will initially find will be simple objects, to be used in close combat, then you'll get slow to load weapons; the constant need to try to search a heat source or to void cold environments to survive, the lack of bullets, and finally finding a path will let you feel the inadequacy and insecurity of your position.

-> Weapons - You will not use powerful weapons, capable to kill many enemies in a short time: if you aim wrong a time, you risk to be killed. You will have melee weapons, by collecting objects, and firearms like single-shot rifle, rifle with more bullets in magazine, sniper rifle, bengal light launcher and machine gun. -> Movements - Using a weapon will involve realistic camera and body movements. For example it is not immediate to understand how to use the axe because, while you try to hit something, the camera and your body will realistically move. Your character cannot run like an olimpic runner, but you will feel the character's weight as someone trying to survive in a polar zone. -> Sound - To increase tension, music will be present only in menus or in credits: you will clearly hear the scary noises in the empty vessel, your footsteps on the frozen ground, your enemies who come to hunt you. The just bark will frighten you while you'll be in a kitchen surrounded by ferocious dogs, ready to tear you at the slightest wrong movement. -> Gameplay – You have to figure out what happened into the ship and why those strange cold creatures attack you. Clearing the path will often requires to reason a little while the enemy tryes to kill you. To survive you'll need something more than just shooting, you will face a notable variety of situations to pass, which will be the real game attaction and which will express the atmosphere that a lonly hunted will feel while desperately try to survive. In addition, through flashbacks you try to change the past by saving the dead sailors' souls on a wide variety situations. The changes will free the path to next rooms. Your enemies will often catch you by surprise, taking high the tension. More uniquely than rarely you could kill an enemy using an AI glitch. -> Cutscene – Through them you'll know step by step the ship story, completing the puzzle and understanding what happened to all the crew only at the end. These cutscene would not be something distant that just will run statically in front of your eyes, but you'll walk in as you would be there at the time events happened. This way you'll feel them more involving. In these you'll see nothing mystical, but in parallel will be recounted to you a disquieting fable. -> Graphics – The game is approximately of 2009, Cryostasis hasn't a better graphics than Crysis, but has some positive and innovative aspects like ice formation on everything (also on your weapon and your snow googles) when the temperature will drastically fall, or ice melting and water flow and dropping near heat sources. Correspondingly colors will rapidly shift from cold white/blue to more alive ones, highly contributing to the stranded ice breaker atmosphere. Human characters are graphically well done. Some enemies could be done better, others are well done. -> Story interpretation – Cryostasis story in my opinion seems a Cernobyl reinterpretation, where the reactor responsibles are “inculpated” to be too much selfish (for the career, for trying to please the political party, for pride). Under this light hot colors mean humanity and cold ones selfishness and inhumanity.

90

One of the best Indie Games

klaros | June 28, 2011 | Review of World of Goo

Summary: Great music, really nice graphic, both fun and relaxing, story is interesting.

Music: Here you can find the really amazing, fun and inspiring soundtracks, remember that ingame quality is much better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsPdtzNADxw&playnext=1&list=PLF8E5A6A4BED51BD2

Graphic, actions and sounds are perfectly mixed to create an epic incentive to advance. Behind the story there should be a meaning that creators want to express, this makes it more interesting.

Gameplay: You start with your goo-balls, you have to stuck together them to reach a certain zone saving most balls you can. You'll find a variety of situations and of balls with different proprieties to take advantage of. There is a section where you can try to build the heightest goo-tower with the balls you saved all over the game. You'll confront your height over internet with the other goo-players.

67

Did this game pass beta tests? This apart nice game.

klaros | June 9, 2011 | Review of NecroVisioN: Lost Company Cap

I found this game worth to buy only at price drops.

Some defects: - you can get stuck between objects - Servers for multiplaying are no more online - when enemies are close to you your bullets or melee weapons could pass throught them without consequences. This means that enemies will hit you while you'll try to hit them. This seems to be a glitch. - Enemy sometimes will hit you also if you are under cover or their fire sometimes will pass through objects - The game theme seems a bit kitsch. Only at the last chapters the game will became something really intriguing and appreciable. This way you'll ask yourself why the whole game isn't like the last part! - the graphic is not bad could be better. They used hard bumping map effect on everything, also on faces. This way graphics seems better but you'll ask yourself how some materials (like faces) can reflect so much light. - The Vampire Artifacts idea (which will give you physical power) could have been implemented better. - AI is not good. An example is when you use the tank: zombies will not be a threat, but your friend, the granate launcher, can inflict you many damages! - May happen some fatal game crushes. Although 1C will try to help you as much they can, seems that Farm 51 is not supporting you. - I didn't find the Challenges Rooms really fun and not usefull. These will give you weapons if you'll achieve some results.

These aspects will let you think that the game is not finished yet and it is still in beta.

Positive aspects: + you can kick you enemies when they are too close (glitch apart). This way you'll bash them. + you can use a weapon for each hand. + Good weapon variety (Vampire weapons are nice, but you'll use them only in last chapters!) + you can use your firearms as melee too + you can perform combos and rise your fury levels (which are like Max Payne's bullet time more some lightnings) + Some variety in gameplay. In some chapters you'll use tanks, in another a plane. Gas mask use.