Average User Score: 5.5May 25, 2015I started playing Civ 5 again a couple of months ago (mid 2015) without any expansions, and whilst shopping for those I saw a deal on this andI started playing Civ 5 again a couple of months ago (mid 2015) without any expansions, and whilst shopping for those I saw a deal on this and thought I would give it a try. For reference I played Civ 2-5 but not Alpha Centauri and I'm reviewing version 184.108.40.2066
The first thing I noticed was the game engine, it's exactly the same as Civ 5. That is not necessarily a bad thing but I did expect more than a reskin of a 5 year old game. Where happiness was, now we have health, and gold has become energy, among other rebrandings.
Gameplay wise, the technology structure going from tree to web is a nice touch, giving a more open ended narrative compared to the history of human science. Things like borders and exploring remain from Civ 5, although they do not make much sense when you have so much technology that you can launch satellites and the planet is uninhabited by intelligent life, but you can forgive this as a game principle.
The AI is quite unforgivable though. If you get an idea of how to play the AI will never attack you. The difficulty settings, like Civ 5, are based on giving the AI cheats instead of making it more tactically effective. It will attack other nations or independent stations (which you have no diplomacy option to complain about) or beg you for resources with the offer of favours, which are quite worthless.
When war does finally break out, you end up being heavily penalised in Health (should you take an enemy city) or in reduced trade routes, which are extremely valuable throughout the game. If you set up your armies correctly you can rarely lose a unit to the rather incompetent AI. In fact, after entering into a war with several nations, and barely even a laser beam fired, I am offered a peace treaty and one of their cities! Not only is the AI incompetent, it actually wants you to win with as little fuss as possible.
The affinity system is the basis for your new societies beliefs, or whatever. In actuality, it represents what upgrades your units get, and much like Leonardo's Workshop in Civ II, all your units are upgraded automatically. It also turns your cities a different colour. The levels for this are linked to the tech web, meaning science heavily outweighs culture in this game. This is also because most of the victory conditions rely on research. Whilst there are cultural borders and virtues provide buffs, there is no cultural victory (but military domination remains).
The early game with explorers and aliens is quite fun as you try and dodge their nests and find relics and escape pods that aren't covered in poisonous gas, much like the early game of Civ 5 is enjoyable for finding city states and ruins whilst dodging barbarians. Quickly though the game becomes a grind, mostly due to the weak AI and the build more research more repeat actions, followed by the all too familiar "Next Turn" button spam.
One of the most disappointing things is the lack of visual stimulation with regard to the tech and wonders. When you build a wonder you receive a pop-up screen with an image of a futuristic blueprint that basically looks like nothing at all, a quote which means very little out of context, and the buff it gives you. These are supposed to be world shaping discoveries but outside of the civilopedia the game offers you nothing. This was fine in Civ 5, it's Earth. But this is the unknown fiction.
Beyond Earth is not a bad game but it feels very undercooked. With the first expansion coming later this year I hope, unlike the Earth the game leaves behind, Firaxis are more about looking back to what needs to be fixed before looking forward to new challenges to explore.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4May 4, 2015Bit apprehensive of this game after playing Divinity and hoping for a Baldur's Gate spiritual successor. However, I have been pleasantlyBit apprehensive of this game after playing Divinity and hoping for a Baldur's Gate spiritual successor. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by how close it is to those Infinity Engine (IE) games.
Graphic wise the map renders are consistently beautiful. The 3D sprites look great, there are plenty of varieties in races, hair, skin colour, and features. The UI is clear and customizable, with improvements over IE such as fast and slow modes and zooming.
The music is as good as the IE games which is impressive. The voice acting is very good, scattered between the most important characters, with about 90% of the lines being spoken.
The gameplay is a little bit hit and miss. It's worth reading a guide to how the combat works before starting as it can take a little getting used to. Because the game uses a different rule set to IE games (which used Dungeons and Dragons) the stats and items are different. This is the most disappointing part of the game thus far - the items are generally boring and your ranged damage characters are better off wearing no armor/normal clothes because they can attack faster without the armor penalty and rarely get hit. Items with the same stats also do not stack, meaning if two items buff your might, only the larger buff will count.
I have tried the crafting/enchanting system somewhat, and it is quite easy to use but somewhat confusing. I have picked up a large number of potions and food but have not had the need to use either.
The storyline is good, sometimes confusing, sometimes rambling. There is a lot of text to read which I'm sure some people will love, but I think it could have been cut down a bit.
Great game, updating the IE style for the modern era. Good story and gameplay, combat system and items a little hit and miss (pun not intended), graphics and sound are spot on. Only an 8/10 because it is a homage to the past and it is just missing a real "wow" factor to take it above and beyond the classics.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.8Dec 30, 201430-ish hours in and I'm really loving/frustrated by this game. My PC is 3 years old, only updated the Ram since and it looks fantastic with30-ish hours in and I'm really loving/frustrated by this game. My PC is 3 years old, only updated the Ram since and it looks fantastic with very few FPS drops. Textures, lighting and models all look great, really noticeable on characters during cutscenes. The maps are MASSIVE and very detailed, but sometimes the 3D maze-like aspect gets quite boring.
Sound is minimal but immersive, although sometimes the volume levels seem a bit random. Characters are deep and story driven, and choices are interesting and thoughtful.
Gameplay is often unbearable. If the fight is complex at all you can't really rely on the AI to keep your 3 party members from killing themselves, running off or attacking the wrong thing so you need to micro, which means using the tactical camera. Because of the open world idea for this game, the camera has real problems in confined spaces. AI and tactical cam combine to give everything an extra layer of difficulty. Tank aggro is about as reliable as any of the previous DA games too.
Behaviours or tactics have taken a big step back from the previous games. You pretty much rely on the AI to pick the best spells to use rather than setting a priority list.
It's not perfect, but it is a wonderful hiking simulator, much like Skyrim was a few years ago. The combat could have been so much better, but the rest is spot on. It's almost as shame fighting is so important.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Oct 1, 2014As a veteran of Fallout and Fallout 2 I was looking forward to this game. Generally it is disappointing because combat is the worst thingAs a veteran of Fallout and Fallout 2 I was looking forward to this game. Generally it is disappointing because combat is the worst thing about this game. After playing around 10 hours I have been frustrated by it a number of times.
Ammo is scarce and PC's miss most of their shots unless you spend heavily in combat skills, which means you neglect the massive number of other useful skills which make up parts of the game which are actually fun. Melee weapons beyond a nail board seem to be completely forgotten.
Most of the fights, save a few, seem to be standoffs with little in the way of tactical cover, rather two teams blasting at each other until one crew dies. This is a major let down. Even setting up ambushes becomes a tedious tip-toe forward trying not to aggro the enemy, who can run at you like Usain Bolt and get into melee range on their first turn. There is no kind of CC or even debuffs.
Loot is randomly generated apart from medical supplies and some mobs. You can easily get starved of one type of ammo so the pressure is on throughout the game to conserve as much as you can.
The story is quite good so far, with a hard choice early on with real consequences. The dialogue is well acted and written, although sometimes you will want to turn the radio transmitter spam off so you can actually focus on your story.
The "isometric" (3D) view is great, although the graphics in general lack a real polish, looking much like the first "Dawn of War" game which came out 10 years ago this month. The maps are exactly like the old Fallout games or even New Vegas, mostly brown but with some fun variations on the theme. The sizes are fine and walking them does not take too long. Loading times between maps were around 10-15 seconds for me. I have not found any bugs.
There is a lot to like about this game, and like Divinity Original Sin its probably more fun with a guide on how to set your party up (which I think is a really lame thing). The combat is tiresome but the dramatic parts are good and the environment is what you would probably want. I don't think it is worth £30, if you liked fallout wait for it to be £20.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Nov 25, 2013Very witty, clever, engaging, thought provoking and detailed. But... £10 for 2 hours played? If you don't mind spending £10 or whatever thatVery witty, clever, engaging, thought provoking and detailed. But... £10 for 2 hours played? If you don't mind spending £10 or whatever that is where you are on a movie that is very good, but you won't watch again, then this is probably a good game for you. If it had been half the price I would give it a 10/10.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Oct 29, 2013A bunch of characters who say stupid things for the sole purpose of making you choose a side to be on. None of these characters areA bunch of characters who say stupid things for the sole purpose of making you choose a side to be on. None of these characters are interesting or worth any sympathy. A sad humorless script. The acting is a by the numbers affair.
I did not get any bugs, I quite liked the graphics and, to an extent, to gameplay. I have nothing but admiration for games of this genre's right to exist (as opposed to the many who expected an FPS or something), but and I am clearly in the minority, I think that if you want to make a game centred on a story line you should make that story good and populate it with great characters, not morons who flip-flop to suit the needs of the contrived plot or the need for another "decision".… Expand
Average User Score: 5.3Mar 14, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. With regard to the ending, I completely agree Ross Lincoln on Gamefronts article called Mass Effect 3 Ending-Hatred: 5 Reasons The Fans Are Right. It is a fantastic article and the only negative comment from an established media site I have yet seen.
The many hours prior to the final one are really very enjoyable. I was close to completing everything in the game on the first play through that was available, barring a few non-combat side quests.
The combat remains the same as ME2 but sped up a great deal. The cover system remains quite clunky where you sometimes get in cover, sometimes just do a diving roll against a wall and stand up again but it is not that bigger deal. You will probably only die by going too far ahead too quickly and getting flanked, where due to the very rigid but effective combat system you are reliant on enemies being in only one direction.
The acting, story and missions are everything you would expect from the series, which to me means a high standard. Legion and Thaneâ… Expand
Average User Score: 5.1Oct 10, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game could have been a lot better. The combat parts are enjoyable with some beautifully crafted mission areas. I just finished my first play through on hard and I feel the game is slightly let down though by the strength of the shotgun in the tight corridor areas, which number about 90% of the total mission spaces. You are pretty much golden once you get it. Graphically, as others have said there is an issue when you turn around and the textures are redrawn in detail about half a second too late. The textures themselves are poor when close up, but as you exit the games first room the vista is quite amazing. The brown-ness of the landscape does get a bit boring, as does the first few hours of the game without much story at all other than helping out some guys by being a one man army. The story in general is really bad quality, none of the cast have any appeal or character and there really is no final boss fight to speak of which is just a massive anticlimax, and reeks of a rush job considering some of the early boss fights. All the jobs actually have a decline button, the purpose of which, considering the alternative to doing the quest is doing nothing at all, would seem to be completely superfluous.
The racing side is enjoyable, the cars handle well and the combat/guns are OK, pretty much targeting on their own. The one down side is some later stages of the rally pick-up-point battles where you race towards spawning lights. The lights spawn in a cycle which really makes no sense and rewards (if you are in front) the people behind you, making it often better, although less fun, to just camp one set of points whilst the other three cars collect the remaining lights.
The combination of action/shooting and driving reminded me a lot of GTA 4. Rage really could have done with little things like cut scenes when introducing jobs, rather than taking inspiration from World of Warcraft. Running into the mayorâ… Expand