Average User Score: 2.5Nov 13, 2013NOTE: This review is for the campaign ONLY. My LIVE subscription ran out.
I did not like the campaign because it committed one very big crime. It wasn't that the story had the tone of a B Movie plot. It wasn't that it painted the US as being victimized (really!? The US makes a WMD and it's only bad if the Latinos use it? Come on!) and it wasn't even because the game uses the same old 'follow the leader linear path' formula that COD always uses (surprise, surprise).
No, its biggest, worst crime, is that it is BORING.
Say what you will about the previous games, but they knew how to make a campaign. They had great pacing and great action. Always kept me interested. This campaign has NONE of that.
For a start its storyline was REALLY bad. I mean, I was expecting a B-Grade Action Movie plot from Call of Duty, but this was terrible even by those standards. Firstly, I rarely had an idea of what was going, or even what anyone's motivations were. The Federation? Who were they why did they do what they do? I sure as hell didn't know! Secondly, is that I wasn't able to give two damns about ANYONE in the story. The Ghosts have the personality of robots, everyone had bored voice actors, and all this talk about them being of almost supernatural background comes off as really dull. Like a grandad trying to spook an adult with a kids story. As for Rorke, he comes off as being an unreasonable dick rather than as this badass Spec Ops version of Bane (You'll know which level I refer to). And thirdly, is that the story is disjointed. We jump from the Jungle to the arctic to Fricken SPACE with little to no explanation. For all the talk about the US being on the defensive, you're never given that impression from the amount of hardware the army always fields. While invading Chile.
The sound design is also just plain terrible. There's hardly ANY music ANYWHERE. I only realize it now, but the lack of music really drains any drama out of the scene. It's incredibly dull as a result (the helicopter level is a good example of this).
But surely the gameplay, while still unchanged, still makes it a fun experience? Wrong. It's just plain dull. There's no intensity, no hooks, no drama. You're given all these cool toys, but they only last as a one mission gimmick. There's two vehicle levels, but they're poorly designed. And to make matters worse, all of the cool stuff introduced in Black Ops 2, like branching storylines, the ability to pick loadouts and the more interesting level design is gone, with nothing new to replace them with.
And finally, even the big set piece moments suffer. I'll admit that there were two, maybe three levels that were pretty cool (including a mountain base raid involving disguises and a level with an arctic oil platform) but everything else is, well... ordinary. There's the level where you command drones, there's the level where you shoot from the back of a moving car, there's the one in which you push back an enemy army. It's all stuff we've done before, with little in the way to revive it.
Overall, I hate Call of Duty Ghosts not because it's the same old crap. I hate Call of Duty Ghosts because it is WORSE than the same old crap. It feels like a massive step backwards, a sign that Infinity Ward is bankrupt of ideas, and is now rehashing old crap in an effort to make a yearly release for the franchise (seriously, they ripped off a scene from the Dark Knight Rises. And although the series has always taken scenes from old action movies, to take a scene from something released so recently feels different). The Call of Duty series may have always had the same tired formula, but it has always had the same solid level of quality propping that up. Now even that is gone.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.4Jul 29, 2013Not bad. I certainly felt that its setting and world was unique, I mean, nobody else has tried to mix DnD with cyberpunk. Writing's decent. Combat's great, and the environment's are gorgeous. Plus it's got plenty of shelf life with its editor.
There are a few problems to it. The environment can obscure certain areas at the bottom of the screen, there's no ability to traverse floors, Speechcraft while serviceable, is fairly no-thrills and it can be a bit difficult to control units close to each other in battle. Plus the main campaign kinda felt pretty short. Finally, its checkpoint save system was not fun to use.
Still, I enjoyed it. A good respectable return by the franchise.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.7May 8, 2013I really wanted to enjoy this game. But there are very large flaws in it that prevent me from remembering it in a positive light.
It does have good strengths. Colonial America feels vast and suitably unique and fresh in the usual library of swords and armor adventure games. There's always something to do, always something to take a look at and have fun with. And the cities feel very interesting and lifelike. In addition, naval combat was surprisingly fun. It felt brilliantly epic to watch and hear a ship get obliterated by a full broadside from my cannons. And the multiplayer was as unique, involving and fun as it was in previous games.
But then the big flaws drag everything down. For a start the game is buggy as hell. This would really break the immersion of the places I was in. Sometimes an NPC would just walk between two charcacters during a cinematic. Not cool. Second was that while Haytham is an interesting character to start off as, making me wait for 6 sequences before the game opened up was not good design. Then there was the Desmond storyline, which was just utterly disappointing.The plot twists get increasingly plain stupid, the Abstergo villain turns out to be a gigantic and I never had any more reasons to start giving a damn about the whole storyline. The eventual fate of Desmond indicates Ubisoft didn't either.
But what really breaks the game is the level design. In every mission it constantly puts secondary objectives, game-over-if-you-are-seen restrictions and boundaries everywhere. There's not even a way to turn off the optional objectives from your screen. And every time you didn't get one of them right the game just loves to remind you of your failure with a big red cross at the end of the mission. This pissed me off to no end because it made me feel as if I was being punished for not playing the game THEIR way. In an open world game, where there are often multiple solutions to a problem, this is just terrible mission design.
I wanted to like it, but in the end, I didn't feel like it was worth the hype. Not by a long shot.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5May 8, 2013I immensely enjoyed this game. The environment of Yamatai Island is fantastic and memorable, a rather scary mix of ancient Japanese and hideous scrap metal graveyards. Gameplay, both combat and traversal is also pretty damn good.
Far me though, the real star of the game was indeed Lara. She does suffer from a bit of the narrative disconnect between her not wanting to kill and her killing LOTS of bad guys, but more importantly she was quite possibly the most relatable action protagonist I've played. She successfully walks the fine line between fear and courage, meaning that she puts plenty of emotion into her actions without coming off as being whiny or a crybaby. And towards the end, you do get a great sense of her becoming a real badass.
There are a few flaws as always though. I would have preferred there to be more challenging puzzles. And the supporting cast, well certainly not annoying at all, is not fairly interesting.
With all this in mind, Lara Craft is back. And she's more alive than ever.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6May 8, 2013The ending of this game made me cry tears. Is that enough for you?
That aside, there are a few flaws. The adventure game puzzles are very, very basic, so if you're looking for something to challenge you, you've come to the wrong place. In addition, repeated playthroughs tend to all lead to the same outcome, which gives weight to the idea that your choices ultimately don't matter.
But by golly, it's one good narrative.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1May 8, 2013The gameplay's essentially the same as the actual Far Cry 3, (which isn't exactly a bad thing) and it is much shorter. In addition, the neon VHS design means that you don't really have much draw distance in looking around. All of this is mere nitpicking. The writing never takes itself seriously, and manages to stay brilliantly cheesy without turning crass. And just when you think that it can't possibly get anymore ridiculous... boy oh boy, does it prove you wrong... Especially at the end. Worth every cent of your wallet.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Jan 30, 2013If there is a game out there that can convince someone to enjoy super-invisible, deep stealth (like Thief and the first Splinter Cells), as much as Batman-style action stealth, this is that game. The mechanics of this 2D game are surprisingly and amazingly deep. Enemies will respond to sounds, investigate where they think they saw you, and even be terrorized by your actions. There are a whole assortment of gadgets that you can use in many ways to turn the tables on your foes. You can perform all sorts of tricks, such as climbing up almost every wall, scurry around in the air ducts, throw a dead body to terrorize some hapless guard. There are even multiple solutions to your problems: do you shank that guard at the first opportunity? Or do you use your gadgets to distract him while you slip past? Or do you even get them to kill each other by accident? The choice is yours. Even months later, I still cannot find anything wrong with this game. It's length is bolstered by the presence of New Game+, its animation is beautiful and well crafted, its sound and music creates perfect ambiance, and even its story, despite being small and short, has a surprising amount of twist and turns to it. Buy this game. This is stealth done PERFECTLY.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.4Jan 30, 2013Where to begin... first things first, this game makes use of Frostbite 2. For the most part, the visuals are quite beautiful, and several scenes are quite striking. Of course, you need to download the optional 1.7 Gig Texture Pack in order to appreciate this. If you can't, then be prepared to be assaulted by some of the most horrendous textures I've seen. I wasn't able to download it. Seriously, without the pack, it looks like everything was painted on by someone who doesn't know how to paint a fence. I hope for your sake that you can do so yourself. Moving on, the gunplay that the game has is fairly solid, but the problem is that the firefights are completely marred by glitches and piss-poor A.I. Rule of thumb, a large 50 meg patch coming out directly at the game's launch is never a good sign. Also, I've seen plenty of times in which enemy soldiers rush out to me in the open, and don't get me started on my team mates. Sure, they're smart enough not to jump into my sights, but aside from giving me ammo when I need it, they're completely useless. They can barely hit ANYONE, and to top it off, they kept nudging me out of cover and into direct fire: Annoying as hell. The other big problem of the game is that when you get right down to it, it really offers absolutely nothing new to the formula. We've played all the sequences, all the environments before, from the stealth segment, to the helicopter gunship level, but this game adds nothing new. It just rehashes stuff that's already been done before. Oh sure there's the breaching sequences, but aside from looking cool, there's no gameplay differences, and the novelty wears off fairly quickly. Then we come to the story. It's not as bad as everyone's been saying, and can even be touching at times, but it suffers from two major problems. One, is that the player characters are talking in the pre-rendered cutscenes, but are silent in game. That's just disconnection. The second problem, is that some of the levels and segments have little meat on them. Take the one in which you snipe one pirate off of a ship. One shot, one kill, mission ends. ONE SHOT: MISSION ENDS. That is not how you build a level. That's not to say the game's totally hopeless. The gunplay is reasonably solid, as I said before, the sound's pretty good and, strangely enough, there are some surprisingly intense driving sequences. It's not a bad game per say, but there's really nothing here that nothing here that hasn't already been done before (if not better) by its competitors. I therefore rate this game a solid MEH. Rent this game, don't bother buying it. P.S: did anyone else find Preacher's wife and daughter to be REALLY creepy looking? I sure as hell thought so.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Aug 27, 2012I'd be lying if I said that this game was the best thing since sliced bread. The gunplay, while serviceable, is fairly average, the cover system needs a bit more work and the sand mechanic is simply too contextual to be of any interest. However, the game contains what is quite possibly the most profound story I have EVER experienced in a game. This is story that won't just make you question the motives your character has for fighting, it will ask you in quite a lot of different ways "Why do you enjoy playing these sort of games? Do you enjoy butchering and slaughtering people on screen?". It is a game that will ask you, the player "Do you feel like a hero yet?". Couple this with fantastic environments and you will be in an experience you will NEVER forget. It may not be game of the year, but Spec Ops: The Line might be the most important game of our generation in terms of its story and the questions it asks.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Aug 27, 2012At first I was a little apprehensive in the knowledge that the series had now gone to Sao Paulo, but Rockstar's writing certainly assuaged my fears. They knew what they were doing when they took Max and sent him on an odyssey through a land where the fabulously rich live beside the crushingly poor. Gunplay is fantastic, and the animation keeps you in the action all the way. Play this game, it'll take you for one hell of a ride.… Expand