Reviews by nemesis44uk

74

Bargain shooter

nemesis44uk | Dec. 11, 2013 | Review of Sniper: Ghost Warrior PRE

When Sniper GW first came out, it took a kicking from the gaming press and players alike. Some of it was justified, but most major bugs were all squashed with subsequent patches, rendering the game very playable.

Graphically, Sniper GW looks pretty good and animation is smooth, running well on my moderate system. Shooting people is fun and although it lacks the excellent x-ray damage that Sniper Elite v2 has, you still get a nice POV bullet kill cam.

The only thing that doesn't work for me is the close range stuff. This is also true of Sniper Elite v2 - Snipers just don't get involved in that. Having said that, a more realistic depiction would be crawling for a couple of hours and taking one shot. Not fun for a computer game.

It is definitely worth a purchase, especially at this ridiculously low price point of £1.99.

91

Stern but rewarding

nemesis44uk | Nov. 20, 2013 | Review of GTR 2 FIA GT Racing Game

I have played most racing sims since Indianapolis 500 on the Amiga back in '92. Race On, Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix series, Indycar Racing series, Nascar Racing, Rfactor 2 etc

GTR 2 is one of the finest racing sims out there. The handling of these GT beasts must be done with caution, especially when you are racing in the dark, in the rain, mid-pack with just a couple of inches between you and the next car.

As a result, I cannot recommend this game enough. It will punch you in the face and ask for your lunch money, although there is a percentile difficulty adjustment, which makes it a dream to find the best AI opponents for you.

The menu screens are outdated and a little clunky, but this is a seriously great game.

90

Total WAHHHHHHHHH

nemesis44uk | Nov. 20, 2013 | Review of Medieval II: Total War Collection

Medieval Total War 2 is getting a little long in the tooth now. It's looks are fading when compared to it's younger siblings, Shogun 2 and Rome 2.

However, I guarantee that within ten minutes of playing, you won't be worried about the graphics. You WILL be worrying about grain, upgrades to your battlements and your French neighbour who keeps sending spies across your border.

That's before you even get into your first battle. There is something stirring about watching your formations of men wheeling around to flank the enemy and charging into battle at an opportune moment.

I can say without doubt, that £3.74 will buy you dozens, if not hundreds of hours of entertainment. Also, because it is a relatively old game, you don't have to have a Large Pixel Collider PC to run it.

Just buy it, even if you have little interest in the period.

89

Strangely engaging

nemesis44uk | Nov. 20, 2013 | Review of Euro Truck Simulator 2

Euro Truck Sim 2 doesn't have any of the high speed thrills of F1, nor the authentic flavour of the DCS high-end simulations, but it does have hundreds of miles of roads, traffic, deadlines and problems that require some tactical thinking - do I take a cheaper cargo to Birmingham, which will leave me in a good position for my next job, but loses me money on this run; or do I go for a different cargo which will take longer, but make me more money?

The scenery is pleasant and runs well on my machine. Minor gripes are that the sound is too quiet in the cab and it may be realistic, but the roads feel very very narrow!

Lots of absorbing fun to be had. For the price GMG are selling it, you won't spend a better fiver.

85

Unusual sim, but compelling

nemesis44uk | Oct. 26, 2013 | Review of Franchise Hockey Manager

FHM is an in-depth sim of the sport of ice hockey. It doesn't just cover the NHL, but pretty much any league you care to think of.

It is a balancing act between the financial cap and the best players you can afford and not going over the cap.

The original launch game had some game-breaking bugs, but now it is patched up and it runs much better. Even if you are not familiar with ice hockey, the business side of the game is engrossing. Do a little reading on the internet and it will help with tactics if you get stuck.

Trade players to make a Stanley Cup contending team, use your tactics to outwit your competitors.

Highly recommended.

70

Missed opportunity

nemesis44uk | Oct. 1, 2013 | Review of Men of War: Vietnam Cap

MoW: Vietnam had all the ingredients to be a class leading RTS. A Men of War game set in Vietnam? Asymmetrical warfare brought to a PC game with the attention to detail that 1C have?

Vietnam is an era surprisingly under-represented in gaming and good Vietnam games are rarer than hen's teeth.

Unfortunately, MoW: Vietnam misses its target slightly. The biggest problem here is the environment. A claustrophobic jungle canopy lends itself well to the game's "look" but it makes visibility difficult for you. In other games, if you get too close to the foliage, it normally disappears, thereby allowing you to focus on your character. In this game, it doesn't, which makes it tough to keep tabs on all your men. I recommend using the "Outline" option, which highlights your troops when they disappear into jungle.

It's not ideal, but it does go some way to making the game playable. Unfortunately, the game's voice acting is dire, with borderline racist comedy Vietnamese accents. This ruins immersion for me, but doesn't do quite enough to spoil my enjoyment of the game.

For all its faults, it is still a cracking Men of War game set in a modern era.

Worth buying, if it is on sale.

86

Give up your social life

nemesis44uk | Aug. 22, 2013 | Review of Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition

Fallout GOTY edition contains the base game plus all the DLC available for Fallout 3.

There is lots of fun to be had with this epic post-apocalyptic RPG and even the sequel to this, New Vegas does not outshine Fallout 3.

The combat system is superb and using V.A.T.S. (limb targeting computer) allows for those slo-mo decapitations to look oh-so-good. Eyeballs fly and raiders' heads pop like corks. An early mission will see you in an abandoned supermarket up against a dozen raiders. It's no contest!

There are a few downers which drag my score out of the 90s and one of those is that some of the graphics are pug-ugly. It looked dated even when it first appeared and the years have not been kind to it.

Voice acting - generally fine, but there is also a lot of amateur dramatics going on and it really yanks you out of the immersion. Not a deal-breaker, but worth noting. Of course, on the other hand, you have Liam Neeson as your dad!

Recommended for people who don't mind turning into a hermit.

96

Majestic - should be on every gamer's hard drive

nemesis44uk | Aug. 22, 2013 | Review of Dragon Age: Origins – Ultimate Edition

This Ultimate Collection is sublime. It contains Dragon Age: Origins and it's add-on pack Awakenings. Plus all the DLC available.

I have no idea how many hours it would all add up to, but if you try different characters and different conversation responses, you really could have a game that lasted forever.

Graphically it is beautiful and the voice-acting is as good as any you will see at the cinema. The NPCs are extremely memorable and bicker between each other as you walk. The storyline is immense and actually quite mature for a "Tolkien-esque" setting.

There are a couple of nits, whilst I'm picking them - some of the quests are a little dull, you encounter an Ent, complete with Ent-ish voice, which is an absolute rip-off from the Lord of the Rings movies and the difficulty is pitched on the wrong side of hard.

All that is a bit like dating a supermodel, then complaining that she uses hairspray. Not terrible problems.

It is offered up on sale here at GMG occasionally, but to be honest, even at full price, it is still an absolute steal.

73

Genuinely surprising

nemesis44uk | Aug. 22, 2013 | Review of Medal of Honor

I have played most of the great war games out there - ARMA 2, Call of Duty, etc and I have to say that this was a really pleasant surprise. It has had some lukewarm reviews but I think I prefer this to Call of Duty.

My issue with it, is in the early days of Call of Duty, an effort was made to be respectful about veterans and what they experienced. Now, it's all setpiece after setpiece, each one bigger than the last. It's the difference between Schindler's List and a Michael Bay movie.

MoH feels more like those early CoD games, where there is a minimum of showboating and the game's protagonists are calm and professional, without over-egging the pudding.

Graphically, it has aged, especially when put next to Battlefield 3, but it is a good game and well worth it, especially if you can pick it up for cheap money.

90

So real you'll have nightmares

nemesis44uk | Aug. 22, 2013 | Review of Rising Storm

Rising Storm is a very hard game. If you jump in and spray and pray as you might in CoD, you are going to die. A lot.

RS is as realistic as they come (should you want to play that way) and never before in a game have I checked corners and obsessively been worrying about a 7.62mm virtual bullet splitting my virtual head.

In most games, you respawn after a few seconds and it isn't a big deal, it's a game, right? This is almost a simulation, where it will take a lot of practice before you get anything more than the odd lucky kill.

This does, however pay off in spades, once you know what you're doing and the real feeling of achievement as you take down an enemy gives you a buzz like no other game out there.

Highly recommended.

94

Unique

nemesis44uk | Aug. 22, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 expands on the success of the original game. Everything is bigger, bolder and better. Gearbox are to be applauded for their efforts on this game.

It's highlights are:

  • The art style is beautiful and unique
  • A single player game pretending to be an MMO.
  • DLC which adds genuine playtime to a game
  • Almost endless replayability
  • Customise your favourite gun with endless options

Borderlands is a superb game and very enjoyable.

83

Massive

nemesis44uk | Aug. 19, 2013 | Review of Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition

Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Edition contains all the DLC and the base game in one simple package.

What won't be simple is how much time you will spend on this game. Prepare to give up your job, pets and family members in your quest for glory in an irradiated land.

The V.A.T.S. body part targeting system is so much fun, you will be shooting the antennae off a giant ant, or blowing the head off a raider in glorious slow motion. The quests are varied and the scope is huge - prepare to put in dozens of hours if you want to see all the game offers.

There are a few gripes - the graphical engine used here is creaky and old. Although it is still capable of rendering the post-atomic wasteland in occasionally beautiful ways, it can't be denied that it is really showing its age.

Some of the voice acting is the worst I have ever heard in a AAA title. It isn't quite enough to spoil the game, but it ruins the immersion that has built up and is quite jarring.

However, putting all that aside, Fallout: NV is worth purchasing, providing you aren't looking to stretch your new Nvidia 770 card.

93

Superb and majestic

nemesis44uk | Aug. 19, 2013 | Review of Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes (COH) is without doubt, one of the best games I have ever played.

On paper, it is very similar to most other RTSs out there, but the combination of addictive gameplay, smart AI and strategic thinking makes this one a winner.

Graphics are dated, but not ugly and this only shows up in the cutscenes - in battle, you are far too busy to notice low textures on character models. Besides, when you are zoomed out to normal RTS levels, the graphics are more than adequate.

Everything is destructible - sniper in a bell tower? No problem, just call in artillery and reduce the tower to rubble. I had a very tidy base set up with great defences (I thought) and interlocking fields of fire. I was sitting pretty, so I didn't worry too much about base security, my troops all out in the field.

Unfortunately, the enemy brought their Nerbalwerfer (sp?) unit in and pounded my once proud base, whilst being out of range of my base defences. It was crushed and I ended up losing the game, but the show of destruction was as detailed and pretty as anything I've seen before or since.

The missions are long (multiple hours once you get partway through the game) and survival is no way assured.

Buy this game and its add-on packs and turn off your phone. You're going to be in WW2 a long time.

89

Cursed by Origin's excellence

nemesis44uk | Aug. 19, 2013 | Review of Dragon Age 2

DA2 is the much maligned sequel to Dragon Age: Origins. PC Gamer UK had the temerity to award DA2 95%, earning it the everlasting scorn of the entire internet.

To be sure, this is not a 95% game, but neither is it as bad as a lot of people would have you believe. It has been cursed by DA:O's excellence and to be fair, ANY game would have struggled to live up to that burden of expectation.

DA2 has a clearer, brighter palette (not so much brown) than the original game and a simplified combat dynamic. I was chopping off trolls' heads with gleeful abandon. It is a very different game to the first, but there is still a lot of enjoyment to be had.

Minor quibbles are that it lacks the storyline of the first game, or the races that you can choose.

On the plus side, it has superb voice acting, interesting NPCs and an easier difficulty level than the first game.

I wholeheartedly recommend this game, especially if you were put off by the first one. To people who loved the first game, treat this as a side project and lower expectations accordingly, you might be pleasantly surprised.

80

Unfairly dismissed by gamers

nemesis44uk | Aug. 19, 2013 | Review of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men

Do you remember the good old days, when you could buy Commodore 64 games on cassette in the petrol station? So many impulse buys and because of their price, it didn't really matter if what you bought wasn't that great.

Kane & Lynch Dead Men is like that, as long as you don't pay full price (£29.99) for it, that is.

Before Payday: The Heist, there was only K&L to play if you fancied indulging your darker side. You aren't an heroic cop or a super-soldier or mankind's last hope. You were an ethically challenged psychopath with a penchant for big guns and bad clothes.

It feels refreshing to play the other side of the fence and much like the movie "Reservoir Dogs," it is a lot of fun to be cornered by the cops and have to shoot your way out. The shooting is fun and with moderate amounts of destructible scenery, it doesn't get old.

The dialogue is as salty as you'd expect, but there is a charming interplay between the two main characters that elevates the level for voice acting.

Sure, the textures and occasionally the hit-detection are a bit iffy at times, but K&L is well worth buying, if only for the change in perspective.

85

Fun

nemesis44uk | Aug. 19, 2013 | Review of Far Cry 3

Far Cry 3 is a vast improvement to the second game in the series and has one of the tensest and sweaty-palm inducing openings of any game. You escape your captor and have to make your way through their camp and to safety in the jungle. It sounds simple and in 99% of games, it usually is, but not here. A mixture of stealth and flat out running, with villains chasing you is a heart-pumping start.

The rest of the game (as far as I have played) doesn't take it much easier on you either. Clever AI opponents and random encounters with wildlife serve to complicate matters.

The game looks and sounds beautiful and there are usually many different ways you can approach the mission.

There are some down points, including the inexplicably stupid companion NPCs and the odd crafting mechanics going on, but FC3 is a step above the rest and is well worth seeking out, especially at GMG's prices. Recommended.

94

Epic

nemesis44uk | Aug. 9, 2013 | Review of The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition

The Witcher 2 is one of the best games I have played and I've been playing a looooooong time.

An RPG of the highest order, TW2 is an adult, gritty adventure where even the protagonist's ethics are shady. Superb voice acting and motion capture helps immerse you in this beautiful, dangerous world.

It isn't all fairy dust and dragons, though. There is fairly graphic sex and nudity as well as a sprinkling of salty language. Tough decisions are made and consequences faced as a result of those decisions.

Graphically, the game is gorgeous - even on a modest system, the world looks and sounds beautiful.

Faults are few, but if I had to find fault with the game, it is that there is often no notice of an impending boss battle, so you do not have time to prepare for it with potions and buffs.

Minor quibbles aside, stop reading and buy this. You can thank me for it later.

72

Old school shooter

nemesis44uk | Aug. 7, 2013 | Review of Doom 3

Ahhh, Doom 3.

I remember waiting outside Game's doors to open for this one when it was first released. It seemed a long ride home to get it installed.

I couldn't believe the graphics - simply astonishing at the time, as were the jumps and scares. Unfortunately, after a few hours of play, it turned out to be all bark and no bite.

Corpses hissed and disappeared, the tiresome torch/gun dynamic and the randomly spawned (always behind you, though) enemy in a supposedly clear room.

Fast forward to 2013 and embrace Doom 3 with all the latest and best mods which make it feel like a new game. Simply google: Doom 3 mods and within minutes, your Doom 3 will run and play like a new game.

Buy it, play it with the lights off and enjoy a real slice of nostalgic gaming.

85

A true racing sim

nemesis44uk | Aug. 7, 2013 | Review of RACE On

Race On has more cars than Greggs have pies. This compilation has something for everyone. Single-seaters, tourers, sports cars, etc.

Whilst getting on in age a little bit, the graphics are still more than serviceable and convey a great sense of speed. The damage model is not all it could be, but that isn't really important. The noise of your engine is loud and detailed, the crackles and pops from your overrunning exhaust pipe accompanying every gear change.

The cars (especially the touring cars) feel right on the ragged edge of adhesion and it really immerses the player in the race, because you know that if you drive in a silly fashion, you are going straight to the scene of the accident.

That's not to say it isn't accessible - far from it, with a large selection of driver aids and AI which is adjustable by percentage points, everyone should find a setting that they are happy with, whether you are a hard-core simmer or you're looking for an arcade buzz.

Highly recommended.

64

Could have been amazing

nemesis44uk | Aug. 7, 2013 | Review of Battlefield 3

So, I fired up the game and straight away, I thought "Battlelog? What's this?" Instead of a conventional menu screen, it's a browser based launch system that tracks your kills, deaths etc. Different, but okay....

I'm not overly focused on graphics, but I do like games to look nice and boy, does this ever look nice! The quality of shading and effects are almost good enough to fool you that it is real life. The sound also deserves a shout out, because it is an area that many games skimp on, but the weapons sound very authentic and LOUD!

Singleplayer is entertaining enough, but it feels very generic and it's not something that you will play through more than once.

Multiplayer is where Battlefield 3 lives and dies. Unfortunately, I don't spend every waking moment playing games, so I am merely cannon fodder for those that do. Fair enough, I will play and improve. Except I don't. I go behind an enemy and fire around 10-15 shots into him, he turns round in a flash and boom. One shot, one kill. Repeat ad infinitum.

I have been playing online shooters since the days of the original Doom and I can honestly say, I have never been so frustrated with the level of competition. I even try noobie servers, but they are dominated by excellent players who want to kill noobs and boost their stats.

Is it cheating? When someone has a kill/death ratio of over 50-1, I have to ask myself that.

Some fun can be had, capturing points is where I tend to try and pick up scores - forget about shooting people, it's impossible.

That's the problem for me - an online shooter that you can't shoot people in? I'll stick to Planetside, thanks.

65

Don't believe the hate

nemesis44uk | Aug. 7, 2013 | Review of Aliens Colonial Marines and Season Pass

I never followed the previews or demo videos of this game's development, preferring to go in cold. After reading the slating that this game received by virtually anybody who played it, I held off on buying it at release.

Having picked it up recently in a sale, I was pleasantly surprised - the sounds are lifted straight from the movies and the graphics are decent. Downsides include the difficulty, which is all over the place and level design is averagely generic, although it does have some "jumpy" moments.

I have given up on a KOTOR type Alien game - one which is different enough to be interesting and new, yet retains just enough connection with the source material to make it feel like you're in a familiar universe.

This, then, fails to hit all the high points, but certainly isn't as bad as the internet makes out.

Therefore, with lowered expectations, I would recommend this as a good purchase, especially if on sale.

70

Fun, but where's the sequel?

nemesis44uk | Aug. 6, 2013 | Review of Dark Messiah Might & Magic

Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, or DMMM as it's easier known, is a "Fun with Physics" RPG that predates Skyrim.

At the time, DMMM was very impressive - allowing you to kick someone down the stairs, or into a spiked trap, or fire. Shoot the rope with an arrow and a bucket will fall on a troll's head.

Also, this is the first game I remember using bloom and HDR so effectively - they added a shine of realism to the graphics.

A fun little game which I was happy to support, but I find it odd that no sequel with improved graphics and physics has emerged.

Definitely worth a purchase, especially if you have a PC rig not quite up to spec as it is friendly in that respect.

90

A stunning reimagination

nemesis44uk | Aug. 6, 2013 | Review of Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider has held a special place in my heart since the first blocky game. True, I fell out of love midway through this long series with Angel of Darkness, but the games have improved since that lowpoint.

This, then, is Tomb Raider 2012 style and is a proper reboot of the series. Everything is reset and it all starts again.

Graphically, the game is the most beautiful I have seen. On PC, the textures are crisp and the patented TressFX hair technology (because we're worth it) is bizarrely effective in making the game look more realistic.

The "feel" when Lara is negotiating 100ft drops or diving to catch her ice axe onto a rock outcropping is spot on. It has the right amount of inertia and momentum, which can't have been easy to program.

In many reviews, the occasional lack of playability has been raised and I can't argue that there is perhaps too many areas where you aren't given enough to do. What I would say, is that as a whole, I didn't find that spoiled my enjoyment of the game to give it a lower mark.

It has been well publicised that the title didn't hit sales targets and as a result, was defined a failure by the publishers. That really is crazy talk as I suspect that the estimated sales figures were way off.

This is the most exciting Tomb Raider since its initial outing and should not be missed.

85

Outstanding value for money

nemesis44uk | Aug. 6, 2013 | Review of Max Payne Complete Bundle

For the low, low price of £11.38, you get Max Payne and its sequels, plus all the DLC released. That is a shed-load of content for very little money.

Max Payne The original and innovative (for its time) film noir on PC. Looking rather dated now, it doesn't stop the story being a mature and disturbing one.

Max Payne 2 The classic Max Payne adventure - with photorealistic textures and a slew of special effects, this was the most cinematic Max Payne to date, until.....

Max Payne 3 Max is older, if not wiser. the storyline and Max's internal dialogue drive the story along at a furious rate.

Graphically and sonically, the series improves leaps and bounds. The grizzled Max Payne in MP3 is a shadow of his former self, no vigour, no energy, just a shambling wreck of a man.

Gameplay is solid and engaging, if a little bit samey after a couple of hours' play. Bullet time is as much fun as it ever was and for me, the game ran very well on my modest i5.

To get all three of the best action games ever released for this bargain bucket price should be a crime.

85

Genuinely nasty and depraved - I loved it

nemesis44uk | Aug. 6, 2013 | Review of Manhunt

Manhunt is one of those games that upon release, stirred up controversy by the bucket-load. It's an adult game with adult themes and definitely shouldn't be played by the under-18s.

Playing as Cash in a snuff movie, it is, at heart, a stealth game, with the goal being to survive. To survive, you need to kill your enemies who are very nasty pieces of work. This relies on the player sneaking up on an unsuspecting villain and killing them. This triggers an extremely graphic cutscene, which is not hindered by the dated graphics.

Where the game falls down, is when firearms are introduced and some of the stealth becomes unimportant. This reduces the white knuckle gameplay whereby an enemy is walking past your position and you don't have any weapons...are you hidden well enough? Are you sure?

It is a shame that it doesn't work on Windows 7 as my upgraded computer won't run it.

Manhunt is a great game and I would recommend it to anyone (over 18). To my mind, it is one of the very rare adult games that lives up to its hype.

60

Not a good singleplayer game

nemesis44uk | Aug. 6, 2013 | Review of Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 4-Pack

I played and enjoyed Sniper Elite v2 a great deal. It wasn't perfect, but the killcam was highly enjoyable and kept me coming back for more.

Unfortunately, the problems with Nazi Zombie Army are more glaring and the compensation of the killcam is no longer sufficient reward for the teeth-grinding difficulty involved.

I can see that playing this with a mate will definitely be more fun and in theory, be easier, because he can cover your back. As a single-player experience, I can't say I enjoyed it too much because of the difficulty level.

Also, a certain amount of disbelief suspension is required to play any zombie game, but I draw the line at zombies who can snipe and reanimated skeletons.