Average User Score: 8.2Jun 8, 2014This game is, more or less, a nail in id Software's coffin. id Tech 5 proves to be quite underwhelming - the character textures are great, while the environment looks atrocious, there is zero interactivity in the environment - your lazerkraftwerk can cut chains and thin cover but you never get to use that in combat creatively, the combat itself is pretty meh with weapons that have no impact and enemies that just spawn on a trigger and swarm you instead of being well placed. Most importantly, there's neither charm nor general innovation here.
Also, you do not pick up ammo and armor automatically. So you have to tap 'Use' over every body and every piece of robot debris. And then there's the occasional 'Pick up' hint while running around so you have to backtrack and pixel hunt for that ammo pack/medkit. This gets really tedious after a while.
The brightest part of the game is easily the "lean out of cover" key. That one is good, really, but at the same time that's about it.
The New Order could use a chill pill. Better, more destructive weapons, less dead seriousness and more focus on fun gameplay rather than infinite repetition of the "Nazis are bad and we do not condone, glorify or endorse the beliefs, ideologies, events, actions, persons or behavior of the Nazi regime" stance. Yes, I get it, Nazis are bad, that's why I'm killing them. Can we please make this killing fun?… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5May 24, 2014DAO fails at three important things - story, engaging gameplay and any kind of morality-based choice.
Sure, there is a lot of lore. But (just like in every other Bioware game, unfortunately) it's not that important. Yay, dwarves! Ancient race! Thaigs! Golems! Story! Shapers! Stone! Now go and kill 718 foozles, you lousy Grey Warden. Because Dwarves are your sworn allies and not in any kind of trouble, but, you know, the plot compels you to go through the Deep Roads and GET YOUR RECOMMENDED DAILY AMOUNT OF LORE!
And the combat is downright bad. Your AI companions must be repeatedly programmed to do things in a "If ... then ... " fashion and you have a limited amount of tactics slots per character (does that sound stupid? It is). As for the main character - it's Baldur's Gate all over again. You swing your weapon, numbers fly out, but enemies don't react to your swinging at all. Unit collision is horrendous and playing a rogue or warrior is a recipe for boredom because they have zero AoE and 90% of the fights are against 5+ enemies. So you are much better off going as a mage, who has all the crowd control and MASSIVE AoE at his/her disposal.
Choice, again, is all grey and grey. No matter whether you are good or evil - every decision can be justified from either standpoint. I understand undertones, but this is ridiculous.
In the end, DA:O could be a good RPG, but the overabundance of tedium, amount of fighting vs. actual story and the plot-induced invisible walls kill any sort of enthusiasm for it.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.1Apr 10, 2014Beautiful, really beautiful. In the graphical sense. Nice music too. Can't say anything bad about the crafting part. Very interestingly implemented and varied.
But the actual gameplay is quite subpar.
The story, which has always been a staple of Final Fantasy games, this time around is not even remotely engaging. Don't get me wrong - the whole "big bad empire" vector is done quite nicely. In the cutscenes. You, as a hero, don't get to really encounter the Garlean Empire until you're almost at the level cap. Until then 80% of your time will be spent doing fetch quests and reducing the population of local monsters. Also, you are a silent Chosen One in the worst sense. Sometimes the story calls for a dungeon. Well, you'll have to find three more Chosen Ones for that. And after the boss is dead, all the NPCs act as if you're the only Chosen One and the other three did not exist.
The combat system is nice, although not exactly varied. You have combos, you have some AoE abilities and that's about it. None of the combat abilities actually look or feel satisfying. The archer just gets to shoot the bow with different colored flashes signifying different abilities. And then that very archer gets three AoE attacks. Which all do roughly the same damage, cost roughly the same amount of energy and occupy three slots on your hotbars. Except one of them has a much smaller radius. As for suplexing a train or doing something really COOL - no, that's not happening. Stun an entire group of enemies? Freeze an enemy to the ground then blink away and unleash a Pyroblast? Nope.
But the worst part by far is the technical implementation. Almost everything in this game speaks of lack of user friendliness:
To use a key item on an object you have to: a) target the object; b) open your inventory; c) find the key item; d) right click the key item; e) click "Use". Not simply right-click the object, no, sir. And there's no choice in using the items, really. One item for one task.
If you want to insert materia into your gear, you need a crafter of that particular item type. Not just a separate materia specialist.
If you want to run a dungeon, that's fine. You can queue as one class, then swap to another and continue questing/farming/something. When your turn comes, you switch back to the class you queued as and enter. And suddenly you find yourself unable to: a) Use private chat; b) Blacklist goldsellers; c) Open your Free Company window; d) Open your friend list. Presumably all of this was done to make players focus on the task at hand...
If a player leaves your dungeon group... Well, you have to stick around in the dungeon and pray for a new one. You can not teleport out, you can not invite someone manually, you can not even change your class. Lost a tank/healer midway through? Run is over, because most players do not set that "Join party in progress" checkbox.
Then there's the bane of a lot of people: The AoE dodging. Bosses, you see, have AoE abilities. And the actual area of effect for those abilities is clearly highlit for everyone to see and move out of. But there's something very wrong with the timing for that. You move out of the AoE zone a good couple seconds before the cast is over. You are standing on the other side of the room... And then you get hit! This damage lag can be really two or three seconds. All the other abilities at the same time will work fine.
Of course, even eight months after release the game still suffers from random disconnects.
And while we're on the subject of user friendliness. A lot of dungeons will have story cutscenes. Right in the middle of them. So if you're watching a story cutscene for a quest that sent you there, everyone else is either waiting for you or pulling the boss while you're locked in that cutscene. Of course you can skip them and rewatch later from an inn. If you know about that option and want to actually skip past parts of the story. This mechanic is rather unfriendly towards anyone who has beaten the story quest before.
Sure, all of these have workarounds but the sum of all small problems weighs heavily.
One other thing that you start noticing rather quickly is how FF XIV is trying to be NOT WoW. Down to wording. There are no instances/dungeons, there are duties. There are no daily quests, there are leves. There is no threat, there is enmity. There are no bosses, there are lords of the lair. There is no pleasure in playing, there is frustration.
Overall FF XIV is just right for you if you wish to spend time walking around beautiful landscapes and enjoying sunsets, gathering items and then crafting something. If you want to be a fighting class, the game is not really for you.
P. S.: A Botanist's tool of choice is not a gardening implement like a shovel. It's an axe. Botany in this game is not about sowing seeds and nurturing plants. It's about chopping down trees. And that's the kind of design that fuels this game.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Feb 1, 2014Sleeping Dogs wants to be a GTA with an oriental flavor. What it turns out to be, actually, is a bleak open world game with a slight smell of John Woo movies. Not even taste, no...
S.Dogs offers you the option of choosing your allegiance but it influences nothing apart from the acquisition of certain skills. Side activities like dates and karaoke aren't too engaging and although the dates (and using massage parlors) strongly imply you having sex with the girls, nothing is shown. Brave this game is not.
DLC costumes, guns and vehicles are sort of a gimmick. All the missions are done in vehicles provided to you and carrying any kind of gun outside of your apartment makes you a police target immediately. And the game is full of "chase this guy on foot for five minutes and then take him down in melee" sequences where shooting the guy fails the mission. Smart this game is not.
What's left is an extremely dragged out and watered down Hong Kong action movie broken into small parts hidden among a bleak GTA clone.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Feb 1, 2014A brilliant homage to the sci-fi action movies and the pop culture of the 80s.
Yes, the game could use some more length and a greater variety of enemies. Or a more involved plot, maybe.
But it is what it is. It's a game where you can hunt dinosaurs with lasers firing from their eyes with a futuristic neon-painted bow. Or a sniper rifle if you're cheap.
A lot of new games try to be as serious as they can, although we've all seen serious before. But this one is for the nostalgic gamers.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8Feb 1, 2014Have you ever wanted to chop up a giant robot with your sword?
Well, that will have to wait until you've taken its health down to a preset amount. After that you can deliver two or three cuts and the affected body part is destroyed for good. Every other cut after that is more or less for your own sadistic enjoyment.
Revengeance is all about wanting to do something outrageous and being consistently slapped on the wrist. You can't do great damage until you have blocked, dodged and jumped your way through a preset sequence of attacks from the enemy that will severely hurt you unless you block/dodge/jump. And if you've been a good dog you'll be allowed to engage in the iconic Blade Mode™. For a few seconds.
Of course, that only applies to bosses. Slicing through the lesser enemies is quite easy. Slicing a VIP in two before you have the chance to cut off the Oh So Important Left Hand™ is quite easy too. Can't cut that hand off a corpse, obviously.
Quite an enjoyable grindfest that keeps reminding you that you are merely a cyborg, not an Enemy Cyborg™… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Feb 1, 2014Quite beautiful, yes. But at the same time quite boring. The old school vibes are good, but, you know, Wolfenstein 3D is also very old. And very simplistic. And that is what Shadow Warrior channels.
The sword is extremely reliable for taking down multiple enemies in melee. It also heals you. So what can be done to make the player feel alive? Right, invulnerable enemies. Some invulnerable until you've killed all the trash, some invulnerable from the front. Bad game design? Old school!
Huge levels that are easy to get lost in? Old school! The one tiny problem is that halfway through the game it stops making sense, so when you're lost you keep asking yourself TWO questions - "Where do I go from here?" and "Why the cat did I even come here?". In a certain level you also get complete darkness for free. And, of course, miles and miles of identical graveyard with identical houses, some of which have a lock on the door. And some doors will magically open once you've killed everything (even if you have no idea where that everything is stuck due to some AI glitch).
Weapons? Well... There's the sword and there are several fartguns. You can upgrade them but their destructive power stays quite meh. But sometimes you have to fight a boss. Solution! You get infinitely respawning ammunition to compensate for the power of your fartguns.
The process is a cycle. Enter a room. Have the door lock itself behind you. Kill everything. Run around the room trying to activate every object in sight. Kill something that got stuck somewhere. Run around the room again, this time some door or console might actually activate.
This is all very oldschool and very sad.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3Feb 1, 2014Even now after all the updates and patches (assuming there were any, of course) the game suffers from atrocious technical issues.
Like the mouse cursor not showing if you have a gamepad connected. And I have one. And no, I do not feel like giving my PC a reacharound every time I want to play a particular game.
So, assuming you decide to grin and bear it. The interface is optimized for the mouse and optimized badly at that. The highlighting of menu items is nonexistent and managing inventory is quite hard due to no paperdoll being present and the actual inventory slots being switched with an ultra-precise tilt of a thumbstick. The top tier menu actually has many more items than are shown on screen. How many? Well, you'll just have to scroll through them and see, young man.
Assuming you have managed to equip items and learn skills somehow... Moving with the thumbstick will also lock you in place for no reason occasionally. The character gets unstuck after 3-5 seconds on his own, though. Binding skills to buttons is done by going into the skill's menu and pressing Y. Press anything else - you've upgraded something. Pressed Y? Good, no way to exit the binding interface. B(ack) will replace your B binding, obviously.
The loading times are three to four times that of any other game, too.
As for the gameplay stuff such as mechanics, item variety and skills... This has nothing on Torchlight or Diablo. Those two are way more fun and way more player-friendly.
The only reason to buy this would be the price tag and the latter levels which are rumored to be good. But suffering through the rest isn't worth much.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.3Jan 4, 2014The best thing about Prototype is the freedom of destructive action. You can dropkick a helicopter or tear off a tank's turret then smash it dead with that very turret. Pity you can't tear down buildings. And that destruction (and a new power) is the only high point of the game. The rest is worse than in the original.
The plot is completely an excuse one and the protagonist is extra stupid with a side of macho man pain, which really lowers the amount of care given.
The graphics are rather outdated, too. With no real innovation and a reduced array of fun activities this might be worth buying at a sale but only if you've completed over 90% of the original and desperately want to see a couple new enemy types.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.4Jan 4, 2014While surely it is a great endeavor with huge production values Lords of Shadow fails terribly as a game. Good for watching, maybe, but playing it is a chore.
The combat is rather bad due a to a very shallow moveset which gives you ten weak attacks executed in various combos and only a couple strong ones which either require a combo before them or consume lots of magic and don't really make much of a difference. Add to that a fixed camera with no target lock and you're left tapping X again and again and AGAIN because landing something bigger isn't worth the effort and risk. Enemies also get a lot of unblockable attacks they promptly use outside of your camera view. Timed blocks and dodges, again, give you no significant advantage. Grabs, throws, disarms, using the environment? Nope, not in this game.
The other big part of the game is puzzles. While they might be challenging occasionally there's always a scroll nearby that allows you to bypass them for the price of losing the experience reward. And half of those puzzles don't even make sense in context. They are puzzles for the sake of puzzles. You must make all the flippers in a pachinko-style automaton green BECAUSE REASONS!
Also the game does a LOT of handholding. You have to come near EVERY extra-strong door and examine it so the game can condescendingly explain that the door is extra strong and you'll need some outside means of opening it. Only after that the outside means will be available to you. Any significant object or action will immediately get a camera focused on them for a good five seconds while the character is still being hit by the enemies off-screen. If you press a button while interacting with some mechanism you WILL watch the mechanism do whatever you requested until you are allowed to exit the interaction and be on your way.
Every level also has a challenge. Only unlocked AFTER you beat it. You know, FOR REPLAYABILITY!
Broken game flow, dull combat, bland level design with a fixed camera and no mobility (insurmountable waist-high fences everywhere) and irrelevant puzzles make this an exercise in frustration rather than an enjoyable game.
Great graphics, though. Almost as god as in... Any other game with a budget.… Expand