Average User Score: 6.3Jul 12, 2011(Sorry, didn't know metacritic doesn't recognize paragraphs)
I just purchased this game for dirt cheap and I had absolutely no problems running the game in high detail on my newish PC - 3 years after release. It still feels like a waste of money. I heard many good things about this game from everyone and really seemed up my alley. I also own an Xbox controller for the PC so I was able to enjoy the same controls 360 users have. All in all, I am playing a just plain better version of GTAIV. All that said, after a good 20 hours, I have to say this is the most overrated piece of twaddle in gaming history. I am astounded at how many perfect 10s this game received despite a laundry list of glaring problems, affirming my suspicion that games are rated on graphics and presentation alone, with 0% of fun factor being considered.
This game has some awesome moments. The realistic graphics really make for some cinematic scenes. Gun fights can be amazing in destructible environments, with pillars being shredded by gunfire. The realistic graphics and physics give the automobile-related incidents a new "oh snap" factor. I really enjoyed how the new realistic and serious twist put more gravity into your violent actions. It's just too bad the game does almost nothing to nurture these elements. First of all, the controls are godawful. Niko moves like he's wearing a 60-lb backpack and the cover button is just plain clunky. The snap-to-target system rarely chooses an enemy close to your reticule. Instead it just seems to choose a random yokel fully behind cover while someone that was in your reticule before you hit the aim button fills you up with machine gun fire. This is great considering that missions have no checkpoints, so there is no feeling of frustration like driving halfway across town to pick up a car again because Niko was too stupid to target the guy 5 feet in front of him or you didn't know you were going to need a really fast car to chase a helicopter. It becomes a bit easier, later, when you realize all of the missions are a exactly the same. Drive to point A (maybe on a timer), kill guy ( maybe chase him in car), maybe lose the police. This gets real old in a game with so much potential for mayhem.
In fact, that leads into the main problem of the game: it just seems to want to waste your time instead of provide fun things to do. Your friends call constantly to do inane, unwelcome minigames, others constantly call your phone to make you sit through a five minute cut scene before doing the same mission again. You are constantly being nagged to do anything but free roam, which is OK I guess because the game provides absolutely no incentive to free roam. You can go on a rampage, of course, but make sure to save first because the game does nothing but you put in the hospital or take away all your weapons for causing a ruckus, nor does it provide you with anything resembling fun targets (not unarmed civilians) for some good ol' action while free roaming. Instead, why not just follow the storyline? It has its moments, but its altogether too long, thanks to driving around, again with no incentive to go really fast except to have to restart the mission because your passenger flew out the window. I won't get started on the phone as well. I can't believe you have to manually dial any number in something that is supposed to be fun. It's also great that Niko can't carjack while someone flaps his gums on phone with him for 5 minutes. Of course, if you are really bored, you could watch TV in game instead of turning off the game and watching actual good TV (What?), go to a cabaret or comedy club instead of visiting Youtube, or any other diversion that has nothing to do with playing a game. You could also slow down and listen to the radio. There is a huge list of licensed music which I was looking forward too, but have heard maybe 5 songs so far in between the 20 minutes straight of cringe-inducing unfunny radio ads, DJ comments, and news breaks, not to mention the humor of the radio/TV doesn't mix at all with the semi-serious tone of the story. I ended up turning off the music altogether and using Windows Media Player in the background.
All in all, 99% of what this game has to offer is entirely unwelcome. It's really too bad, because it presented a sweet physics system and infinite potential to turn a modern city upside-down. Instead, it envelops itself in self-important drama, asinine courier tasks, and inconvenience in the sake of immersion.
Maybe GTA4 was a sign of the times. Maybe it was the draught of games we had in 2008, maybe the economic scare was so serious that we all just wanted to escape into a virtual world, even if it wasn't very fun. Maybe it's just the forerunner in a trend of games for people who hate games but just want to escape.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.3Mar 9, 2011Bioware's identity crisis and tribute to the color brown gets a sequel with an even greater identity crisis. If Dragon Age: Origin's crisis came from its overly generic universe, it was at least an honest attempt to recreate the magic of Baldur's Gate, even if it had none of the charm of Forgotten Realms, needless micromanaging, and 1% of the monster variety (Darkspawn and dragons, yay. I thought dragons were supposed to be hard to kill and usually optional?). In Dragon Age: 2, the identity crisis extends to the gameplay, where it either feels like a dumbed down version of Dragon Age: Origins, or a really bad God of War, depending on your personal preferences. This is really too bad because the dialogue is solid; they replaced the mute character of Dragon Age: Origins with a Mass Effect-style dialogue system and the story is decent enough for an RPG, in my opinion. It just doesn't feel like enough to make up for the bastard-child gameplay.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Jan 30, 2011I once had a dream that I went to a movie theater, but the movie stopped about every 10 minutes and would not continue until everyone in the theater finished a round of an old RTS. Everyone in the theater left saying it was the most awesome experience they ever had except for me, who felt annoyed and disappointed that my movie was interrupted by an old video game. I now realize that I can see the future. I was playing Starcraft 2.… Expand