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Average User Score: 8.0Jun 11, 2015A game with some of the best AI, some bad design choices, and a fair share of bugs makes for a game which can't live up to its own moments ofA game with some of the best AI, some bad design choices, and a fair share of bugs makes for a game which can't live up to its own moments of brilliance.
The map, whilst very nice to look at, is horrendous. It gives no real visual clues to anything, especially line of sight. You place your cannon or men in a position which looks like they'd clearly be able to fire and engage someone, and they will sit there, motionless. You click on an enemy unit, and they refuse to fire at it. Doesn't matter that they are lit up to be in your LoS, whether they think they can actually see it is apparently random.
There is a topographic mode included, to help alleviate this bad visual design. Shame that's mostly useless as well. You place your cannon at the top of the hill, they still can't see bugger all. Oh, it's because I placed them a few meters to the left so now they can't see. Even with the Topographic mode it's still hard to tell ridges and valleys apart, so in the end I felt I had to play the same map several times before I even knew where and where not to put my units, or where I had to exactly place my cannons for them to be useful.
Every battle so far seems to have its share of bugs. Units will sometimes follow crazy paths, they will need to be told to do things several times, or sometimes they will just suddenly become pacifists and never fire at anyone. In my most recent battle, almost all the units on the map stopped fighting each other. They apparently declared a truce and never did anything to each other. I could order them to attack and they would stand there. I could position my units so that they were physically intermingled with the enemy, and still nothing. When ordered to charge they ran past the enemy unit and had a tea break. In other battles I've had magic positions on the battlefield, where any unit that enters it is petrified for the rest of the battle and can never move again, both my side and the enemy. This isn't the pre-release version. This is several months AFTER release mind you, plenty of time to fix issues like this.
When the Unit AI isn't bugging out, it's actually rather good, at least for Cavalry and Infantry. They can often be trusted to carry out orders without any intense micro-managing, but I found it's easier to keep check on them in case they decide it'll be fun to walk across 50 enemy cannons and have a tea party whilst being flanked. Cannons need to be micro-managed though. If you place it just below the crest of the hill (A very easy mistake to make with the unclear maps) and you order it to attack someone, there is no clear visual or audio feedback telling you they can't attack. So rather than having an artillery barrage help break the line before your army attacks, your attack has been routed because you didn't know your cannons are a few meters out. You'd think that they'd maybe roll forward at least a few inches so they can attack what they are being told to attack, but they prefer to just ignore you
The enemy general AI, however, is brilliant. There are several different AI Personalities that a general can get, ranging from ultra defensive to all-out attacking. And they do make a big difference to how a battle goes. The AI isn't stupid either. They actually know how to fight battles, using actual proper tactics. I've been fairly outplayed by them a good few times. They know when to attack weak units, when to charge, when to swap out tired units for fresh ones, and a few times I've been totally out flanked. It isn't just good AI, or passable, this truly is some of the best I've ever seen in a game.
The UI is rather pretty, but this is apparently at the expense of usability. It gives very little feedback on your units, terrain, or the battle. It's hard to determine when a unit is breaking or not without first clicking them to bring up their small info-boxes. Whilst it is manageable in the smaller battles on the first day, as soon as large battles start it can be incredibly easy to miss units breaking or routing on different parts of the field, or whether or not that unit you're attacking with is in any condition to fight. This all isn't a very bad point or anything, but it is more of an annoyance. I would much rather have a lot more information presented to me rather than having a screen that looks pretty.
In summary, this is a flawed game. Bugs can easily ruin enjoyable battles, and it's Mobile orientated design saps a lot of character from units and makes it very hard to easily tell what's going on. However, the AI is really something to admire. I've not seen Strategy AI this clever in a long, long time. It's such a shame that the rest of the game lets itself down… Expand
Average User Score: 5.8Oct 8, 2014First off, I'm not reviewing this as a sequel to Far Cry. It's made by different people with a different aim, so there really isn't muchFirst off, I'm not reviewing this as a sequel to Far Cry. It's made by different people with a different aim, so there really isn't much point comparing them.
The game is a First person shooter set in an African environment, where you must work to bring down an arms dealer who is supplying arms to sides in local conflicts, causing death and misery, Boo! You play a mercenary who will bring down this criminal, by going to the conflict zone and shooting dead hundreds upon hundreds of people with arms he buys with blood diamonds. Yay you! Anyway, how does it look? Ok. Nothing really spectacular or worth mentioning, it is there, it functions but is tends to get rather bland with the colours sometimes, but I won't hold it against it. So graphics get a good mark from me, except for the fire which looks very 2D.
Now, the gameplay itself. Let's start with the combat, as it is a shooter after all. All the weapons feel and look good for the most part. Some seem similar, but most manage to feel like different guns. Shame that there is a God awful degradation system in effect. Most weapons you get from enemies seem to have seen better centuries and will jam constantly or just outright explode. Never when the enemy has them, it only happens to you. You need to buy new weapons from arms dealers (these ones are nice weapon sellers apparently) to actually get one that works like it's supposed to. So the weapon degradation is annoying and poorly but stops short at being game ruining.
What doesn't stop short however, is the AI. It is so rubbish. Enemies aren't good at taking cover, or more often than not just randomly walk in the open towards you. They can't shoot straight, can't think of approaching you from any angle apart from the direct one, and just in general are rubbish. This makes all the action scenes seem rather pointless and undermining. I'm supposed to be fearing for my life in fire fights, not just sitting near a rock shooting people as they trundle towards me or act like jack-in-the-boxes. When your shooter actually fails at the combat section, it isn't a good sign.
To get around the map you have access to some trusty cars. Well, I say trusty, they tend to break down a lot, which is fixed by a few seconds of twiddling in the engine, which isn't making me feel like I'm fixing it or I have to take care of it, it's just a hassle that no one would notice if it wasn't there.
The actual gameplay itself is really bad. Get mission from some person, drive there, kill people, come back and get paid in diamonds (Good thing you are here to help stop this guy who is causing all this conflict!) Getting to your location, normally miles away, involves driving through camps filled with constantly respawning enemies. Once you cleared everyone from the camp you can literally just walk about a hundred meters away and then everyone there has respawned. If it was a sandbox you could just go round them, but no, the natural corridors force you through them, again, and again, and again.
Every time you want to go somewhere you have to have yet another pointless and repetitive (and boring) fight. There are no friendly forces who can take over the place even, Despite working for one of the sides in this war they tell you that "Our boys won't recognise you", which should be read as "We didn't want to program a reputation system in". This is one of the games worst offenders, the totally painful firefights it forces you into again and again against the mediocre AI.
Another big weakness is the voice acting. I will say without doubt that it is the worst voice acting I have ever heard in a game. I'm including games like Deep Fear in that. This game is worse. At least in others they try. This game the voice actors sound like they have been dragged from some office, sedated, lobotomised and then told that if they show any emotion or, indeed, talent, they will be killed. I have yet to hear a line spoken as if it was a human doing it. Microsoft Sam is a better voice talent than these people.
So in the end, we have a open world shooter that isn't open world and isn't a very good shooter. For a game with a good budget behind it which promised lots it has delivered us a repetitive and poorly done shooter that fails at being good at shooting… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Jun 29, 2013I came into this game expecting an enjoyable side scrolling Castlevania style game. Full of challenge, exploration and just overall fun. But,I came into this game expecting an enjoyable side scrolling Castlevania style game. Full of challenge, exploration and just overall fun. But, with added replayability thanks to the random designs. I was very disappointed.
What I found instead was a very poorly deigned fighting game with atrocious platforming. The jump controls are awful, and it all feels so floaty and poorly done.
The combat. Well, you have a few spells that are either not that useful or just taken straight from Castlevania. The actual sword combat is crap too. Only a few characters can block, and that takes up MP, so that makes it mostly useless. Enemy attacks are very hard to avoid thanks to the floaty jumps and the fact that you often have several coming at you at once, making them unavoidable. Thankfully the stunlock has a good invincibility length, so that somewhat lowers the frustration. A major problem seems to be fighting anyone or anything that is slightly above or below you. jump attacks are dodgy, at best, and more often than not just result in you getting hit. The combat never fells like you are actually physically hitting things, and this, what should have been the main thing in a fighting game, just feels very amateur.
The difficulty just feels too artificial as well. It's not a game made hard by good design to make it challenging but not frustrating. It's just hard because they throw loads of enemies at you and give you crap ways to fight them
Now, we have the major selling point of the game. The hero legacy, where when your character dies and his or her heirs take up the fight, but with new and improved bonuses that your previous generations have unlocked. An epic time line of heroes fighting to overcome the evil castle, getting stronger and stronger. Shame it's crap as well. there is ZERO sense of connection to the previous characters. This in no way feels like a line of heroes fighting, just some random characters kicked out of some random number generator. It is, in essence, a very crap levelling system. You go in with a terribly underpowered character, get some gold, and when you die (Which will be soon) you spend some money on upgrades so you can repeat this seemingly endless progress. There is no sense of progress, it's just grinding done poorly. Even upgrading the manor is taken from a cool idea into a levelling up menu.
Even the randomness of the castle doesn't help the grinding feel of the game. It changes a lot each time, but seeing as you do pretty much the exact same thing and each room in an area looks exactly the same regardless of shape, it never feels like I am exploring a whole new level each time. Just one where they've muddled stuff around so it doesn't flow together well.
The end result is a game that just isn't all that fun and has a very poor feel to it. Bad controls, bad combat, bad levelling system disguised as another feature it isn't.
The graphics are nice, the sounds are good and I give it a bonus point for it's portrayal of homosexuality. In fact, I may say it's one of the best I've seen in a game. I take that point back again after it uses disability's as a joke for it's traits. "We wanted to show anyone can be a hero" You don't do that by making fun of serious conditions for a few laughs
Overall, a title with great promise let down by very sloppy execution… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Apr 25, 2013Napoleon: Total War is in my opinion the worst game in the entire franchise. In fact, it's worse than the Napoleon mod, made for M:TW 1. TheNapoleon: Total War is in my opinion the worst game in the entire franchise. In fact, it's worse than the Napoleon mod, made for M:TW 1. The truth is, this game shares many problems with E:TW. The difference being that I was willing to forgive that game somewhat because it had just come out, had a lot of new features and had some promise. This game though? They have no excuse.
What we have in this game is the worst unit AI I have seen. I can't believe it is still so broken from E:TW. Units will never fire at their side, even if a unit is standing on the side pouring shot into them. When you order a unit to move, it will often just walk in front of your own lines and then walk next to the enemy, the path finging is horrible. And, to make matters even stupider, your other units will NEVER attempt to avoid friendly fire. Working your cannon and a full is crossing your path? Why, you just shoot through them of course! Who cares if you kill 40 odd people, it was there fault for walking in front of you. God knows you couldn't possibly stop loading, aiming and shooting your gun for a brief few seconds while they walk past. This isn't just limited to the cannons either, your men are perfectly happen to shoot friendly units. If one of your other units slightly overlaps them, they won't have some men not fire, they won't position themselves between the other people. They will just happily blast all their friends. Another failure in the AI, and this is one I am totally fed up of seeing, having been in the game since M:TW 2 and is still in the latest Shogun game. That is, Cavalry are almost totally incapable of chasing down routing units. They will charge up to the fleeing unit, charge past them, and then very slowly walk in the same direction as them, only interacting with the enemy if they happen to bump into them. I've seen hundreds of people escape purely because my mounted units are totally incapable of getting it into their artificial heads that they can actually DO SOMETHING! You don't have to slowly walk after 1 person who is running when 100 people from the same unit RUN PAST YOU!
This absolute failure of the unit AI (There are many more ways they fail other than the examples I listed) in my opinion totally ruins any chance this game had. Every single little detail in a battle has to be micromanaged because the developers clearly can't be bothered to put effort into this game
As for the other aspects of the game, what do you get? You get some micro campaigns, massively dumbed down from Empire, so they end up as stupidly simple little things compared to previous expansions. The graphics are normally a strong point for these games, but I think this game suffers along with Empire. Units will turn into sprites when you zoom out a bit, but sprites and 3D units seriously don't mix, making it look horrible. All bullets fired by people are still mini meteors with a blazing white trail behind them. Rain is just hideous, and turning graphics to the top just makes everything look shiny and bloom-tastic.
I hate to say it, but this game is really bad. Don't waste your money or the 25GB of HD space it needlessly takes up… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Dec 1, 2012Let's see, where to start. Well, first off I have no idea why some people say this is a very good looking game. The textures are awful, belowLet's see, where to start. Well, first off I have no idea why some people say this is a very good looking game. The textures are awful, below even todays poor standards. The animations in general are poorly done, less than some mods. Items appear from thin air a few meters in front of you, as do textures. The FOV seems really narrow, and is uncomfy to move around with.
Now, I'm not one of these people who thinks that graphics make a game, but I do think bad graphics can damage a game, especially when it seems to be something people are saying is one of the high points of your game.
But, graphics aside, how does the game actually play. Well poorly I'm afraid to say. The concept is very good, similar to the old " Robinson's Requiem". It's like a survival exploration game, with your vulnerable character trapped on a deserted island, looking for a cure to his illness whilst being hunted by a large predator. That sounds excellent, but the execution is poor. Movement seems very clunky and unreal, I think in part to the Fov. Your character stumbles when climbing steep hills, balances on sudden hight changes and actually has momentum when he moves. This should be good, but it just feels so clunky, with you character shuffling along and makes going even short distances an annoying task. You have to find a cure for your illness by combing the island for plants, then research their properties and then using them to make cures and other such items. Again, this sounds good but it is poorly executed.You walk round, see a bright plant and try to get into the right position to "use" it, then you trek back to a research station, where it's just a case of clicking use another few times. What should be an excellent survival aspect ends up feeling like a boring fetch quest repeated ad nauseum.
The sound is so generic I can't really be bothered to talk much about it. The only thing there is to say is that the music is mostly non existent, and you will grow tired of footsteps and heavy breathing very quickly.
You may have noticed I've not named the character you play as, but that's not because he isn't named, it's that the story and setup is so bland I instantly forgot.. You are just a generic set of puppet arms wandering around a poorly textured island reading tutorials scientists left for you. I have no real feeling for anything either way. I don't feel a need to explore or discover anything about the island, I'm just sent off to get plants because I have the plague, apparently.
In the end, we have a game with a very interesting, if not original, concept for an adventure game, but it is so poorly done that I really can't recommend it to anyone. I wish i could say it will get better, but if this is a state they decide to release it in I don't think there is much hope for it in the future.… Expand