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Average User Score: 4.3Mar 16, 2015I'm pretty underwhelmed, especially for $15. This is clearly an uninspired direct port of a mobile game (which I didn't discover until after II'm pretty underwhelmed, especially for $15. This is clearly an uninspired direct port of a mobile game (which I didn't discover until after I bought the PC version), and even the mobile version is underwhelming & shallow as a game. All the 4X concepts are there -- exploration, resources, research, diplomacy, combat -- but most of them are shamefully underdeveloped. You have only limited control over the victory conditions -- either all them, or any one, but not subsets -- and the opening splash screen is actually miselading: it says you can win by controlloing 51% of the galaxy, but you actually need either 51% of the total population _or_ every single star system. Domination victory turns into a grind, yet a simple one (hint: focus on torpedoes). As a $3 mobile game, it might have been worth it, but it is vastly overpriced at $15. Avoid this. [Reposted: somehow my original score of 4 got changed to 2]… Expand
Average User Score: 7.5Sep 8, 2014Very happy with this game. Good casual tower-defense variant with significant replay value, since you can go back and try to get betterVery happy with this game. Good casual tower-defense variant with significant replay value, since you can go back and try to get better scores/reputation results on previously completed runs with more advanced tech items. Bought it on a weekend deal on Steam -- felt I got more than my money's worth out of it.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.7Feb 11, 20144X space games have long been my favorites, dating all the way back to Galactic Empires (the Ursine Engineering game) on the Apple II and4X space games have long been my favorites, dating all the way back to Galactic Empires (the Ursine Engineering game) on the Apple II and Stars! on the PC. That's my only excuse for violating my own standing policy -- do not buy a new game release until I first read some reviews on Metacritic -- and springing for Horizon as soon as it showed up on Steam.
Horizon looks like a state-of-the-art 4X space empires game...from, say, 10 to 15 years ago, right down to the annoying slow typing out of tutorial text (vs. putting all the text out there immediately, so that those of us who read faster than 50 wpm can get through it more quickly). I had qualms from the start -- the Voyager-2-encounters-aliens premise was questionable all the way back in Star Trek: The Motion Picture -- but pushed ahead anyway. I ran through the tutorial, looked at the manual, and tried a few games.
What i discovered is that Horizon turns into a slog pretty quickly, combining micromanagement, obscurity, tedium, _and_ a clumsy user interface that forces you to spend a lot of time closing windows or moving them out of your way. I found nothing here that wasn't done better by GalCiv 1 over a decade ago, while compared to Endless Space (also available from Steam, for about the same price), Horizon is truly awkward and disappointing.
Frankly, I worry that 5 may be too high a rating for Horizon; however, I'm erring on the side of kindness, since I've pretty much given up on the game after several hours of play. I really can't recommend it at all.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Nov 23, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Even when I've uninstalled all my Steam games (something I do regularly), XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the one I re-install when I really need to play something. Still, in most cases I don't play through to the mothership finale I just see if I can get satellites over all countries w/no defections and research my way through both the Lab and the Foundry. At that point, the end of the game is a foregone conclusion, and I start a new one.
XCOM: Enemy Within brings a whole new complexity and expansiveness to the game. I love the MEC and gene engineering options, and having multiple plot threads (aliens, EXALT, Progeny) makes the game feel a lot larger. Likewise, I love the new maps and the repurposing of some of the old ones; now, having an old map in the original orientation and use provokes more of a "OK, I know how to do this one" reaction rather than a "[Sigh] Not again" reaction. And, as others have noted, the Meld issue forces me to move a bit more aggressively and recklessly than I normally do.
What I'd love to see in future DLC (besides more maps and maybe a few more scenarios) is some form of "Search and Respond" mission that you can initiate at any time in effect, to provide a setting to experiment in and to advance rookies. What you encounter could range anywhere from a stray cow (and maybe a Meld pillar) to an EXALT safe house to a standard alien encounter to an overwhelming flood of aliens (with you having to make a successful retreat while being pressed and attacked on all sides).
I have a few complaints (spoilerish) the EXALT HQ raid seemed a bit easy, while the "Operation Progeny" scenario comes a bit late in the game to have the impact that I'd like it to have (in terms of adding talented personnel). On the other hand, the 'Enemy Within' event was a true "Oh, crap!" moment.
Excellent DLC for an excellent game, well worth the price.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Mar 13, 2013Judging Tomb Raider (PC version) on what it is a "you are there embedded in the movie" game it' is outstanding, and I think it deserves toJudging Tomb Raider (PC version) on what it is a "you are there embedded in the movie" game it' is outstanding, and I think it deserves to be weighed on those merits. I'm not a big RPG/FPS/puzzle player, yet I found this game compelling enough to play to the very end (~20 hours). Plus, I love sniping with fire arrows. My biggest complaint was a two-part action sequence roughly 1/3rd of the way into the game, where getting through depending upon making a series of correct move-left/move-right decisions in real time. Took me nearly 90 minutes to get through it, and I was ready to quit. Nothing else was that difficult/irritating. Highly recommended; your mileage may vary. ..fritz..… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Jan 6, 2013Never played the 1990s XCOM, so I didn't have any particular expectations for the game. Bottom line: I enjoy it. I much prefer turn-basedNever played the 1990s XCOM, so I didn't have any particular expectations for the game. Bottom line: I enjoy it. I much prefer turn-based strategy over RTS, the game plays well, and it has a fair amount of repeatability. I find myself getting attached to certain characters throughout a game and feel a certain guilty sense of relief when it's the rookie who gets killed on a mission rather than one of my more experienced characters. That said, the game does have some problems, the most notable being the instability of the user interface -- not in the 'crashing' sense, but in the sense of suddenly moving just as you click the mouse to move a squad member or launch a rocket/grenade. In fact, when it comes to throwing/targeting items, the UI is prone to wild swings, and it takes a very gentle touch with the mouse at times to get it to land where you want. Related is the problem of ensuring that you're going to place you think you're moving; given the 3-D nature of the game, it is easy to end up exposed instead of sheltered, or right in the midst of the aliens instead of up above them. Since there's no "undo last movement/action" (understandably), an entire mission can get derailed by a single mouse click. Minor quibbles include having settings that don't seem to match the mission (e.g., going to urban France and having all the signage in Chinese, or finding yourself in what appears to be a temperate Northern Hemisphere forest deep in the Nigerian interior). I'd frankly like to see more variety in the mission settings (desert, jungle, seashore, island). The entire game plays through fairly quickly, which for me is an advantage; I can start up a game and see it through to the end without committing myself for days. The key lesson is don't rush in, because nothing will kill off a character or blow up a mission faster than getting out ahead of your cover (both physical and firepower). Recommended.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Aug 14, 2012As a long-time (decades) 4x game player, I was very impressed with the quality of ES when it was still in its alpha version. Its main flawAs a long-time (decades) 4x game player, I was very impressed with the quality of ES when it was still in its alpha version. Its main flaw (common in 4x games) is lack of a compelling narrative to carry you through to the endgame. Still, I've put in over 200 hours on this game (thank you, Steam, for reminding me) since first downloading the alpha version, I am particularly impressed by the clean, smooth, consistent user interface. And while some have criticized the combat system, I rather enjoy it, and I find it has subtleties and balancing aspects that casual reviewers overlook. A fun game -- and that's what games are all about, isn't it? ..fritz..… Expand
Average User Score: 1.5Aug 14, 2012Lulled , perhaps, by the outstanding quality of "Endless Space" while it was still in alpha release, I bought LOP (via Steam) a few days afterLulled , perhaps, by the outstanding quality of "Endless Space" while it was still in alpha release, I bought LOP (via Steam) a few days after release. Big mistake. From a quality point of view, the game is buggy, slow, and inconsistent in behavior. From a game design point of view, LOP is underwhelming and tedious. Fixing the bugs won't fix the game design; avoid this turkey. ..fritz..… Expand