Reviews by vvhitevvolf

70

Genesis Rising Review

vvhitevvolf | July 8, 2013 | Review of Genesis Rising

The thing that makes Genesis Rising's unique and worth buying IMO is the twist of having living ships that leech blood and dna/genes from the enemy to refill health or earn new equipment and skills. Sometimes when you destroy another living ship it explodes in a huge spray of blood ! Its crazy, Its like if Vampires designed ships for space travel these would be the result.

You can also purchase different "upgrades" with blood. Blood is the currency in GR and Its really a creative idea that works well in the game. I can't believe I never heard of this game before because its is well made, fun to play and there's nothing else out there quite like it. Yeah, it a gimmick but it a good one that makes this game interesting.

The story even has a choice to be good/evil that effects how the NPC's react to you. The voices and character models are pretty lame but the ship designs are really good and as you equip new genes they actually morph to show the new weapon "growing" out of them.

Genesis Rising should have been a lot more popular than it was because it offers something new to the Space RTS genre. It also has mutiplayer and skirmish modes. I doubt there's anyone playing MP but I'm interested in skirmish and i imagine that will add some additional playtime to the game.

If you want a deep trading/fighting/exploring/strategy type game well there plenty of those out there but if you are looking for something different and at a great low price I recommend Genesis Rising. I can tell the developers really put some time into making this game. Its a shame the game was not popular enough for a GR 2 because there's some great ideas here.

So I say give the game a try. Its worth the money and although Its not the best game ever, it's one that's worth playing and I'm glad I took a chance on it.

I give it an 7 out of 10

85

Review of Metro 2033

vvhitevvolf | July 8, 2013 | Review of Metro 2033 PRE

Metro 2033 is a very good game. It has solid graphics, good controls and an interesting post apocalyptic environment and story that keeps you interested and moving forward to see what happens next. It reminds me of the Stalker series and that's because its from the same developers. It could have easily been called Stalker: The Metro Underground.

If you want a quick opinion then, I really enjoyed my journey through this game and recommend it. With that said the biggest downfall of the game is the fact that you don't ever feel like an unstoppable killing machine like a lot of other shooters out there. In metro 2033 you always feel like you are under powered and a few rungs down the food chain. This is not really poor design so much as it is excellent design that was purposely made to make you feel that sense of insecurity.

The game is very linear compared to stalker but that didn't bother me. It fits the story and setting. The environments are mostly dark and you will really feel like one of the survivors that live in the underground metro tunnels. Occasionally you meet other people and they are a welcome site after seeing what creeps around in the dark outside. These "camps" are nicely detailed and feel alive with people going about there daily lives. The details in the whole game are well done. After getting towards the end of the game the story gets a bit strange. Not to spoil anything but the ending is not what I expected. I will leave it at that.

If you are looking for a tense FPS that encourages a a more stealthy and "survival" approach then give metro 2033 a shot. Overall I give it a 8.5 out of 10.

90

Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition review

vvhitevvolf | July 8, 2013 | Review of Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year

Batman Arkham Asylum is simply a great game and ,as of its release, the best game based on a comic book character ever made. The graphics are great with detailed environments and excellent character models, The controls and camera are good and never really frustrate you, the voice acting is well done and the combat is smooth and responsive, if not a little bit easy but that just makes you feel like a super hero so I can't complain.

The game uses a "detective" mode that makes finding clues, spotting enemies or helping you know where to go next easy and intuitive. In addition, there are numerous tools like the baterang and grapple hook that really makes you feel like batman as you investigate for clues or sneak through enemy filled areas. You also get the ability to level up batman with new abilities which is a nice touch. The levels are also well designed and interesting throughout the game and you will always be moving to new areas with their own unique look and theme.

The only bad thing I would say about this game is that it is pretty linear and some of the actions you do are repeated too often, but that's really just being picky. Overall Batman Arkham Asylum is the Batman game we always wanted and Rocksteady delivered. I highly recommend the game and give it a 9 out of 10.

80

Pleasantly surprised

vvhitevvolf | July 8, 2013 | Review of Faces of War CAP

I believe Faces of War is the second game in the "of war" games, The first was Soldiers: Heroes of World War II. It was followed by games like Men of War and Theater of War and I think it is a great place for people to start the series. It has a good tutorial that explains how to play the game. If I had to give a quick summary of Faces of War I would describe it like a mix of commandos and company of heroes.

You control a small squad of soldiers similar to commandos and each soldier has his own strengths like in that game except it's not quite as focused on having each soldier only being able to perform certain actions. With that said, you still have a lot of options at your disposal. You can take direct control of each individual soldier and have him use items he comes across throughout the missions. You can search dead soldiers for items like health packs, ammunition, grenades and weapons. You can also take control of tanks, jeeps and machine gun nests ect. that you come across. This really makes the game interesting and makes it stand out from games like Company of Heroes.

Faces of War is much more action packed than commandos and that's where it is similar to Company of Heroes. You don't build bases like CoH but like CoH you are usually having to react quickly and think about where to position your troops to keep them alive while dealing with a variety of dangerous enemies as you progress through the level. Faces of War is much more intense because you won't be calling in wave after wave of cannon fodder to accomplish your mission like in CoH.

Faces of War will require some strategy as you will almost always be outnumbered and outgunned. Also, the environments are destructive as seen in CoH so hiding in one spot to long may lead to some tense moments as you find yourself exposed after having your cover destroyed. The levels are well designed and offer a wide variety of missions. You might be sneaking into a base at night on one mission and driving a tank the next. It's surprising that this game was not more popular because I find it to be just about as good as CoH.

The only real flaws I have with Faces of War is that the AI pathing is sometimes pretty bad. You tell your troops to move to an area and they run directly in front of dangerous enemies instead of trying to move using the safest path. So that requires some micromanagement. Also the commands take some getting used to. Getting your soldiers to do what you want sometimes feels more difficult than it should. Especially when you are under fire and in that moment every second counts. But of course the more you play the better you get at the game and the controls will get easier, so stick with it.

Finally, the graphics are really good considering how old the game is and the sounds of the war going on around you are all done really well. The voice acting is one downside to the game because they don't get the accents correct for each campaign type . There are 3 campaigns to tackle. Russian, German and Allies and they are all fun and provide many hours of game play. Faces of War is a great game for anyone who is looking for some good old WW2 RTS action and at the price its going for it may just surprise you how such a great game slipped through the cracks. I highly recommend Faces of war and give it a 8 out of 10.

90

War is coming...

vvhitevvolf | July 8, 2013 | Review of Darksiders

Darksiders is a fantastic hack n slash type game with tight controls, interesting level designs, some unlockable abilities and a decent storyline that lasts at least 15 hours. I personally liked the art style of the game and enjoyed playing through from beginning to end. I originally had this game for Xbox 360 and liked it enough to buy it again for PC. I won't go into much detail because others have done that already so I will just say if you are thinking of getting this game I highly recommend it.

75

Another "good" game gets unfair reviews

vvhitevvolf | July 8, 2013 | Review of Disciples III: Renaissance PRE

To begin, I have played all of the disciples games along with many other turn based strategy games like king's bounty, the heroes of might and magic series and others so I feel I have a good understanding of this type of game.

Disciples 3 Renaissance could be called Disciples of Might and Magic because it is a mix of heroes 5 and disciples 2. Disciples 3 Renaissance has added a hex based battlefield like HoMM 5 and King's Bounty. For many people this was unacceptable and the reviews have reflected this. I personally didn't mind the change at all. It's true that D3 could have been better but overall it's a good game.

The developers remove the "rod" feature and changed the thief to a "regular" hero as well and his abilities need to be unlocked. The new changes prevented the thief spamming in the game, so I understand why Akella went in this direction.

D3 still feels like a disciples game but also has the feel of a HoMM game too. Not a bad mix because they are both good games. With that said the game could have been much better. Akella should have added a lot more strategy on the battlefield, more spells and skills ect. but I just accepted it for what it is and moved on.

One great thing about the disciples series is that it always had great artwork and that trend continues. Disciples 3 Renaissance has some good art and character design and is the best looking game in the genre as of the time it was released. It really kept me wanting to see what cool new character or creature I would encounter next.

Yes, Disciples 3 Renaissance is different than previous games in the series. Yes, there are a few bugs here and there but nothing too bad. I have only experienced 5 or 6 times where I have had to reload a save because the game got stuck during the battle. Not game breaking at all. I have played for at least 40 hours and rarely had any trouble.

In a lot of reviews people say is how awful the voice work is. Yes, there is some repetitive V.O. and I heard so many people complain about the narrator. The guy sounds kind of like a native american Leonard Nemoy. I think the developers should have put some music behind him because it is a bit bland but it's not as bad as people claim.

So, if your like me and don't expect every new game to be the best ever and understand that sometimes games have a few flaws but you can overlook them then I recommend Disciples 3 Renaissance and the expansion, Disciples 3:Resurrection to you.

Just be aware that the game can get repetitive and you may encounter a few bugs here and there. The visuals are quite impressive and it plays on low end PC's as well. Did you like Disciples 2 ? Do you enjoy HoMM 5 ? How about King's Bounty ? If you answered yes than give Disciples 3 Renaissance a try.

Although D3 is not really bringing anything new to the genre I found myself playing the game for hours at a time and enjoying it. That's all I ask from my games and Disciples 3 Renaissance delivers many, many hours of entertainment.

I give Disciples 3 Renaissance and solid 7.5 out of 10.

75

Could have been the next Mass Effect

vvhitevvolf | July 8, 2013 | Review of Alpha Protocol

Alpha Protocol is a great game that suffered from being released without being polished. It had many bugs that have since been patched and it still suffers from poor AI, occasional camera issues, overpowered bosses and some frame rate slowdown but overall this game had potential and could have been the first in a series of incredible games like we see in the mass effect series.

AP is actually a lot like Mass Effect. So if you liked Mass Effect give this game a try. There's a lot of choice that effects how the game plays out. It has a lot of variety to the missions that I find to actually be better than Mass Effect's missions.

If you are going with the "stealth" style of character the boss encounters are tough, these guys will frustrate you to the point of turning the game off. (hint: most are weak to flashbangs and shock bombs but still annoying)

Mass Effect has the whole squad thing going for it where as AP mostly has you tackling missions alone. It uses the Unreal engine and looks quite nice IMO. There are also some tweeks you can search on google to make it look even better if you want.

Here's a couple things to try for the PC version that I found helps improve the game.

(Make a copy in the same folder of the files, APEngine.ini and APGame.ini so you can go back to original settings if you have any problems)

To improve the framerate issue:

Open "APEngine.ini" located at "Documents\Alpha Protocol\APEngine\Config" and change the following:

UseBackgroundLevelStreaming=false OnlyStreamInTextures=true OneFrameThreadLag=False

To improve Michaels Movement. This slows the turning speed and slows the animation when crouched ect. I really felt it helped improve the games controls.

"APGame.ini" located at "Documents\Alpha Protocol\APGame\Config" and change the following:

InteractDistance=250 CoverWalkSpeed=75.f CoverRunSpeed=125.f PlayerRotationSpeed=80000.0f MoveSpeedNormal=240 MoveSpeedScoped=80 SprintSpeed=320

Its a shame that the game didn't get fine tuned before release because I think it was a good start to a great franchise. Unfortunately the game was released as a buggy mess and deserved the low review scores it got. Even though it plays fine since it was patched and works even better with these tweeks, its just too late to reverse the bad reputation it has. 7.5 out of 10

86

A good city builder with some light warfare.

vvhitevvolf | July 8, 2013 | Review of Grand Ages: Rome

Grand Ages Rome is a mostly a city builder and although there is some military warfare Grand Ages Rome is not like Total War. So if that's what you are looking for you may be disappointed. If you like city building then this is a good one.

There is a tutorial but it leaves out some things that make playing a lot easier. First of all, you need to use the overlays feature. When you click on the top right more buttons appear that give a lot of useful information. You can see where crime is high, where religion is needed or where food is scarce ect. its all done quite well and uses color indicators which makes it really easy to see just where you need to focus your attention to keep your city running smooth. Red needs immediate attention, yellow is borderline and green means all is good in that part of the city.

The game is actually well made and I liked that you can upgrade your character by purchasing different estates that give you starting bonuses or make certain industries more efficient. You can also upgrade during the mission. For example you can research new technologies after building a school and use points to upgrade your buildings and troops ect.

There are some low reviews of this game out there but I think the main problem is that the tutorial should have gone into a lot more depth. I think what happened is that a lot of people didn't understand how to use the features in the game to help them manage the city and that hurt peoples opinion of it. They got frustrated trying to keep their citizens happy and got aggravated when they rebelled against them so they gave it a bad score.

Although the tutorial does explain the basics quite well, I was struggling myself at first but I just kept clicking on everything and digging deeper into the interface and once I understood it I was able to enjoy playing the game. There is a helpful series of gameplay videos on youtube that I recommend checking out.

As I mention before this game is not supposed to be like total war, it does have some similarities, and people who like those types of game may want to try this game. Just understand that it's not going to be a "Total War" style game because it focuses a lot more on managing the city and less of the warfare. In the end I found Grand Ages: Rome to be pretty good overall and I recommend it and the expansion, for those looking for a good city builder that has decent graphics, good depth and some light military warfare.

75

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light review

vvhitevvolf | July 4, 2013 | Review of Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light

This game is basically a top down shooter with some puzzle elements. It has nice graphics and smooth controls. It isn't really a "tomb raider" game because you won't be challenged to figure out any complex puzzles or be required to make intricate jumps like previous games in the series. But what it does it does well. It offers fast paced action, a decent variety of weapons and also has some hidden secrets. You are also rated on your performance in each level which adds to some replay value if your the type of gamer who likes to find every secret, get your best time or complete every challenge. It also allows for co-op game play which is nice for those who want to experience the game with a friend. I enjoyed the game even though it lacked any real depth. Overall I give the game a 7.5 out of 10.