Average User Score: 6.7Oct 21, 2014This game really needed better writing. The sparse, basic gameplay is fine, but in order to immerse the player, a game so brooding andThis game really needed better writing. The sparse, basic gameplay is fine, but in order to immerse the player, a game so brooding and atmospheric really needs equally poetic writing. It's really too matter-of-fact, choosing much too often to "tell" rather than "show". The film-noir narrator demonstrates none of the colourful use of language usually so characteristic of that archetype, and tends to explain the story with very little metaphore, almost as if he were reading from a text book.
That being said, the visuals are quite stunning, but not much else can be said about it.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Jun 11, 2014I would love to rate this game higher, but there's a small number of very big flaws marring it.
The first is simply the writing - not only isI would love to rate this game higher, but there's a small number of very big flaws marring it.
The first is simply the writing - not only is it awkward to the point sometimes of embarrassment, the tone the dev was clearly aiming for in it could not fit the tone of the game any less.
Secondly, there's the graphics - again we have a jarring mis-match of tone and feel between the gorgeous, surreal and bleak tiles and backgrounds and the gaudy and amateurish character artwork.
On the other hand, if you can look past those two criticisms, this is a beautiful, atmospheric game with excellent controls, intriguing mechanics and immersive, sprawling metroidvania level design.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.9Apr 23, 2013It's hard to choose a score for this game, but I went with a 7 mainly because it does exactly what it's trying to do, and does it solidly.It's hard to choose a score for this game, but I went with a 7 mainly because it does exactly what it's trying to do, and does it solidly. However, by it's very nature this game is the kind you will play for a few minutes to a few hours, being outrageously entertained, then completely forget about it.
Think the preposterously difficult control system of QWOP in a 3D physics environment in which you must perform surgery with wildly inappropriate tools.
Hilarious, mindless fun.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.7Apr 20, 2013Very different from the previous two games, Penumbra Requiem is less a survival horror adventure and more of a straight physics puzzler. InVery different from the previous two games, Penumbra Requiem is less a survival horror adventure and more of a straight physics puzzler. In fact, out of all of frictional games, this one almost certainly utilises their physics engine the best.
Portal is mentioned in reviews very often, and not without good reason Requiem came out only shortly after Portal, and its influence is seen all over this game. Set in an impossibly huge, underground, abandoned scientific facility check. Dry, dark humour check. Boxes on buttons check. Narration by automated female voice check. And yes, this game even has portals, although they are set in place and only transport you from one level to the next. I'm sure there's more, but you get the idea.
Bear in mind that is not a bad thing. Portal was a great game, and anything like it can't be all bad either.
So it may be better off going into this game looking for a Portal fix than a Penumbra fix. While it does hover over a few not completely explored plot points from the previous two games, it's hardly necessary for a proper reading of the story as a whole, and if anything confuses more than illuminates. The hallucinatory undercurrent also makes it incredibly unclear how much of this game if any is supposed to have really happened and how much was just in your character's head.
From a gameplay perspective, however, it performs solidly as a physics puzzler, and for that reason alone I think it deserves a 7.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8Apr 17, 2013Not quite as good as the series' successor, Amnesia, Penumbra: Overture is still a worthy horror title. The atmosphere was spot on and thereNot quite as good as the series' successor, Amnesia, Penumbra: Overture is still a worthy horror title. The atmosphere was spot on and there were a few genuinely frightening moments. The story too was enticing, if a little bit uninspired.
I wasn't really a big fan of the monsters, at least the dogs which looked like some kind of halloween pinata and the spiders which looked equally as comical, but it could have been worse. I didn't mind the combat as much as most people, but I understand that what they were trying to do with it ultimately failed.
The goal, obviously, was to make the combat cumbersome and difficult to make encounters all the more frightening, but unfortunately it just came off as frustrating and tedious. Luckily the developers took this on board and removed it completely from the next title.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.7Apr 17, 2013Overall a really good experience I'd play this over a bland, brown triple A FPS any day. The puzzles were clever and tricky, but not soOverall a really good experience I'd play this over a bland, brown triple A FPS any day. The puzzles were clever and tricky, but not so illogical that I had to spend my whole time reading a walkthrough. There were also a lot of things fixed from the first game, but also a bunch of new issues. Not sure if it was my linux copy, or the game itself, but there were more than one graphical bug, such as missing textures etc.
But my major complaint is the voice of Clarence. In fact I'm surprised it's not mentioned more often. Typically voice acting is something I would leave as a "splitting hairs" complaint, but the voice of this very fundamental character is so utterly wrong it almost ruined the experience for me. He sounds more like a character from a Warner Brothers cartoon from the 1950s than what his character is really supposed to be. Any time I began to really feel immersed in the otherwise intoxicating atmosphere, his voice would chime in, sounding like an anthropomorphic dog with a cigar hanging out of his mouth, and the entire illusion would be shattered.
Additionally I would like to add that that the AI could have been better. Now, I don't deliberately go into a horror game looking for all the strings and ruining the illusion, but when I'm supposed to be terrified of a monster that's supposedly looking for me but is instead stood stationary in a corner pointing it's flashlight at the wall, the fear very quickly subsides.
Even so, there were enough genuinely terrifying moments, and sumpteous creepy atmosphere to make up for this.… Expand
Average User Score: 9.1Feb 27, 2013Half-life is a solid FPS, nothing more. The gameplay progresses at a decent rate, and is fairly well balanced, but that is about all you canHalf-life is a solid FPS, nothing more. The gameplay progresses at a decent rate, and is fairly well balanced, but that is about all you can say for the game. The cons are that the pacing is erratic, the aesthetics (at least for the first three quarters of the game) are bland and sterile, the story (as praised as it is) is shallow, cliched and irrelevant and there is nothing particularly original about the whole thing.
I don't understand how this game (and its sequel) gets all the praise it does. I suppose it has a lot to do with the average level of FPSs at the time, which is depressing more than anything.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Feb 22, 2013Amnesia: the dark descent is a well crafted experience that manages to pull off something that a lot of games fail to do these days, and thatAmnesia: the dark descent is a well crafted experience that manages to pull off something that a lot of games fail to do these days, and that is atmosphere. By keeping the gameplay and interface very simple, one is much more easily drawn into the world. And it is the first game I've played in a very long time that has actually succeeded in scaring me. I was skeptical at first that it could have such an effect on my all but dead emotions, but the first time I was being chased by a creature, thought I'd outrun it, then turned around to see it right behind me, I very nearly wet myself. Some reviewers will often say that the monsters were not scary because, if you watched them closely, their behaviour was predictable and they were easy to avoid. But if you can sit back and enjoy a game without having to test the engine's every weak point, then this game should scare you. If you were the kind of kid who pulled the beard off the mall santa, then it probably won't. But if you're a cynic who can't suspend a little disbelief every now and then, then I don't see how any game could scare you. (And for that matter, feel free to suspend a little disbelief on the matter of not being able to pick up candles. It serves the gameplay. Just accept it.)
All this is not to say that the game is perfect there are a few items on which the game falls down. Firstly, the level design occasionally feels a little samey. It's not nearly as bad as the endless repeating corridors in the likes of Eye of the Beholder, but it is a little like that. Also the voice acting is a little painful to listen to at times. I wish I could say that it's below par, but in the gaming industry this is probably better than average. [slight spoiler alert] In particular the voice of Agrippa fails. Here's this weird, creepy undead dude missing his jaw hanging from a chain, and he sounds like a jolly fat guy with rosey cheeks wearing lederhosen and playing the accordion [spoiler over].
These, mostly minor, complaints aside, Amnesia: the Dark Descent is a great game. The story is interesting and very well researched (look up the Brazen Bull for example), and the attention to detail was for the most part spot on. Atmosphere, immersion and tension are excellent, and the game goes for just long enough to not overstay its welcome. And most of all it's a stand out, iconic title with some true innovation amidst a pool of samey, tepid drivel.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Feb 22, 2013World of goo is a sweet and charming, yet a powerful and engrossing experience. The art and overall character is engaging, and the music isWorld of goo is a sweet and charming, yet a powerful and engrossing experience. The art and overall character is engaging, and the music is sublime. The story, while quite simple, works well to draw you in to the world, but never upstages the experience. The story even takes a few moments to explore some deeper issues such as beauty and ethics, if that sort of thing appeals to you. But if all you want is a simple physics puzzler, this game will also deliver. The gameplay channels some classic puzzle games, particularly lemmings, but modernized with a simple physics engine. The game while short is probably exactly as long as it needs to be while there are plenty of types of gooballs and game possibilities, any more playtime would have probably worn out the game's freshness.
To split hairs, there are a few things this game could do bettter. A common complaint, and well warranted, is that when there are heaps of gooballs swarming in one area, it's sometimes hard to pick the one you need. Also, while the music is beautiful, the game could stand to have a few more tracks. Another minor criticism is that some of the animations in the cutscenes are a bit poor.
Finally and this is purely subjective I very quickly got sick of building huge towers and bridges. When I've already worked out the solution to a level, I feel very frustrated if I then also have to spend 5 minutes meticulously building a structure just to make a minor error and have the whole thing collapse and force me to start again. (In my opinion, the challenge in puzzle games should be more about working out the solution than mastering the technique to pull it off)
But I hate to end this on a bad note, so I will say that this is a unique, beautiful at times artistic game that should really be in everybody's game library.… Expand