Reviews by upandatom786

99

The Battle Continues

upandatom786 | Feb. 12, 2014 | Review of Mass Effect 2 (NA)

Commander Shepard returns in this sequel to Mass Effect, and it's hard not to see the improvements Bioware's made in this game. The combat, a sore spot in the first game, particularly the shooting, has been revamped. Playing as a Soldier is now much smoother and more fun. That doesn't mean the powers system isn't still tremendously accessible. They are, and still remain a perfectly valid way to play the game.

The graphics have improved greatly as well. When this game first came out, the level of visual acuity it showcased was stunning. Even now, the game looks great, especially if you have a higher end PC. And the art design of the world has kept up with the expansion of the playable world. The new playable race, the Drell, are well fleshed out and look suitably exotic.

Of course, the real strength of this game, as in the first, is the writing and storytelling. Both factors remain strong as ever. The dialogue between characters is brisk and snappy or deep and dark, as demanded by the story, and no other video game franchise is as adept at making you care for the main characters. The story is compelling, and would hold up to the plots of most movies. All in all, this is a great game, as close to a perfect AAA title as studios can get.

88

The Most Polished Game Of The Year

upandatom786 | Feb. 12, 2014 | Review of Tomb Raider Game of the Year

Tomb Raider was made with a specific goal in mind: to reboot a classic franchise for the modern age of video games. The development team succeeded tremendously in this goal. Although the game doesn't really tread any new ground, it's a really fun game to play, and it's obvious the high level of craftsmanship that went into making it. This is a smooth, smooth game. The controls are perfectly calibrated and tested, the graphics are immaculate, and voice acting and story are professionally done. This isn't the most exciting or innovative game of the year, but you'd be hard pressed to find one that's more fun to play.

80

Punishing yet rewarding

upandatom786 | Dec. 25, 2013 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown (NA)

Few games have perfected the feedback loop of role-playing like XCOM has. Every time you start to tire of a gameplay element, they introduce something new to play with, ensuring you never get bored. Add that to gameplay that makes isometric strategy gaming accessible, even to this rookie, and you have the foundation for a great game. The stylized visuals aren't great, but they're more than serviceable, especially at higher settings. The story is relatively rote for the most part, although it hits a few unexpected beats. No, the main draw here is the gameplay, and the constant incentives for playing well.