Average User Score: 5.8Feb 12, 2015Glad I didn't follow user reviews on this one. Best RPG I've played to-date, and I am a RPG-aholic. Really feels like a combination of theGlad I didn't follow user reviews on this one. Best RPG I've played to-date, and I am a RPG-aholic. Really feels like a combination of the Elder Scrolls games (big, immersive, sandbox world to explore), the Dragon Age games (fantastic character development/narratives), and Diablo games (twitch combat and progressively-opening lands to explore). I'm less psyched about the twitchy combat, it's the one element of the Dragon Age universe I feel took a step backwards into "we're a console-driven world now!" territory, and detracts from the overall experience (hence my subtraction of one star). But that's not enough to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as so many user reviewers are doing. Yes, Dragon Age has slid away from traditional AD&D components into more console gaming components (as is every other non-indie RPG these days), which basically means more button-mashing, less strategy, but if you can look past this, you will find a world that is enormous, probably the most exploration-worthy world of any RPG to date (including the Elder Scrolls games where you could explore vast stretches without finding anything of note). The graphics, animations, textures, and character and loot models are definitely next-gen, and although there are a few missteps (yes, if you turn the graphics down, the characters get a glossy sheen to them) - but this is a game clearly designed for modern graphics cards and a fairly robust PC. The game is huge, you can pump 200 hours into it easily, which FINALLY puts the DA franchise in the same ballpark as the Elder Scrolls games. The writing is good and the biggest challenge, particularly for players new to the universe, is the overwhelming amount of lore. But for any true RPG'er, this is a positive. You get to feel truly powerful in this game, too, as your character goes from a lowly nobody to a commander of the biggest force in the world, with an enormous fortress to add to and decorate. You also now command two groups of characters - the teammates, as with every other Dragon Age game, whose stories open up and get deeper as you progress - and your advisers, a group of folks who bring stealth, politics, and brute force to the bigger picture and help open up new sections of the map to explore. I'm 70 hours in and I haven't even opened up every map yet. This might just be the greatest RPG made to-date, don't let user reviews talk you out of purchasing the game. It certainly hits all my RPG buttons. Haven't even looked at any of my other games since I got it. Totally immersed and addicted. And, as in all DA games, what you did in the previous games effects what happens in the bigger picture of this game as well. In fact, you might just run into some of your own characters from previous games! Big thumbs up.… Expand
Average User Score: 3.9Sep 23, 2014The Sims has been my favorite franchise since its release in 2000 and this is the first time in the series' long run that I have truly feltThe Sims has been my favorite franchise since its release in 2000 and this is the first time in the series' long run that I have truly felt disappointed. Disappointed, I should add, in much the same way I was disappointed with SimCity and what's happened to that franchise. At this point I truly abhor EA, as it feels like the decisions made regarding these classic games have been made by the same committee who decided to improve upon the wheel by making it square.
There are good aspects to this game, it's not a 0 or 1 rating game, as so many people are trigger-fingering here. The user interface has undergone a much-needed facelift and after a short and awkward learning-curve, you find it's far more intuitive and well-placed, opening up the majority of the screen to watch the game rather than be cluttered with information. The way specific skills level up seems more natural, and the addition of new skills like 'comedy' when talking or traits like 'introspective' when not being social for a while is cool. The graphics, lighting, effects, music, all still good, but compared to the difference between Sims and Sims 2 or Sims 2 and Sims 3, this is easily the smallest leap and I've noticed some people are annoyed at the slightly more cartoonish approach. I am not bothered by it.
I'd love to say there's a lot more to love about this game, but there's not. Sims 2 introduced a whole host of improvements, notably an 'open world' type system. Sims 3 introduced a ridiculously innovative style system of textures and colors, among many other improvements. Sims 4 strips all of these things away and claims its big introduction (something so good it had to replace those other things) - moods and multitasking. If added to the already awesome additions of the previous games, fine. Great, even. I like multitasking - watching tv while eating and talking is nifty. But for as unexciting as that is, the moods system is even less exciting. Yes, now moods affect things, particularly how you engage in conversation (always has, though, really), but now you get corresponding facial expressions, body language, and animations. Again, add these innovations on top of the previous innovations, and fine.
But removing previous advances, especially the style-swapping features of Sims 3, has caused this game to feel like a big step backwards. I mean big. Feverishly looking for the eyedropper tool as I style a room, only to be reminded yet again that the function was totally removed, is the hugest bummer. Yeah they took out swimming pools and toddlers and ... whatever ... I want the ability to style everything the way I like it. With that one single feature gone, the game has lost an entire level of engagement for me. Add to that the missing open world design of previous games, and then, yes, a freaking universe of items - and this thing feels like just a totally incomplete shadow of former Sims games. A real letdown.
I am playing it and supporting the series for one reason and one reason alone - out of the hands of EA, I think this game could be revived (I feel the same way about SimCity). I honestly have no idea if EA is even directly responsible for these ridiculous design decisions or not, but I know that everything EA has touched in the last five years or so has turned to complete you-know-what.
The game isn't worth buying for sixty dollars right now. Period. It's a practically empty shell of a game where your only real aspirations are to become friends with people in your direct vicinity and maybe eat and do dishes, watch tv, go to sleep, rinse repeat. There's practically nothing here anymore, feels like very little to do. The interest in seeing how moods affect things wore off after about 15 minutes of playing and I longed for the ability to at least lose myself in styling things to my content. I'll go back to the Sims 3 where I've got Sims in college, on vacation, and everything looks badass because I made it that way. I can do without the moods. I'll be in a better one myself with all the stuff missing from Sims 4.… Expand
Average User Score: 1.4Aug 5, 2014Blasphemy. Deep Silver took a good open world RPG franchise going great places and stunted it with this childish arcade game. Doesn't matterBlasphemy. Deep Silver took a good open world RPG franchise going great places and stunted it with this childish arcade game. Doesn't matter if the game is good or not (it's mediocre), get that name off this game.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Jul 29, 2014This is a good FPS. Actually a really good FPS, more along the lines of Team Fortress rather than Call of Duty. The action is nonstop, theThis is a good FPS. Actually a really good FPS, more along the lines of Team Fortress rather than Call of Duty. The action is nonstop, the graphics are lush and full of color and the many battlegrounds full of life. But I think what sets PvZGW apart are the characters themselves - each can be customized to the point of creating a truly crazy, unique character - and each of the 'classes' of both zombies and plants have interesting roles that are useful, as well as fun to explore and improve. The entire game just oozes over with character and personality, and if you were in any way a fan of the original PvP, you'll feel oddly at home here. For the record I've been playing since release and I've never been one-shot-killed yet. And I play regularly. In fact I haven't really seen any instance of cheating. I deduct one star because the game can occasionally be wonky, with game-ending bugs popping up from time-to-time (such as falling into the landscape or getting stuck in a black screen you can only Cntrl-Alt-Del to get out of). But overall it's mostly quite stable, and very fun. Do I wish EA didn't own this franchise? Of course. I don't think they improve anything they own. But I'm not going to let that stop me from giving the game the score it deserves.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.3Apr 5, 2014Every 5 years or so a game comes along that addicts me in a way I find both exciting and scary. Hearthstone is currently that game for me.Every 5 years or so a game comes along that addicts me in a way I find both exciting and scary. Hearthstone is currently that game for me. I should say that I was already a big CCG (computer card game) fan, having eaten through hours of the various incarnations of Magic: The Gathering, Spectromancer, M&M Duel of Champions, and the like. I'd always gotten at least a little addicted to most of those, so I figured I should try this one out, despite not exactly being a WoW fan for many years. What I first noticed in beta was how clean and crisp the game was - a real looker - and coupled with the gameplay itself, I discovered a super highly-polished game, the likes we've come to expect from Blizzard.
I do think this is the CCG that can make people not familiar with the genre fans. It's less complex and much more user-friendly and intuitive than any of its counterparts, with a good tutorial that eases the player into the experience. By the time you've been eased, you're likely to be hooked, and that's when it's time to take the fight to other real online players.
This is where I think the game shines. In a way, players are somewhat disconnected from each other. There's no chatting unless you're already friends, and there are a limited number of emote choices ("Greetings", "Sorry", "Well Played", etc.). This means you're not instantly assailed by trolls out smear themselves across a good experience - you just have to play and play your best, and I appreciate this being the focus, rather than a social experience. There are plenty of other venues and games for that.
Gameplay is fairly straightforward, and in this Hearthstone lacks the depth found in other CCGs. But what it has that other CCGs don't are sounds and animated visuals for each of the cards' unique abilities. There are several 'tiers' of cards, too, so unlocking (by winning arena battles and acquiring new decks, or buying them in the store) rare and legendary cards is fun not just because they add a new layer of strategy to your game, but bring along with them interesting sounds and visuals unique to those specific cards.
The WoW universe is very present here, and most of those audio and visual cues are taken straight from it, of course. The characters are all pulled from the MMORPG and each deck matches one of nine playable character classes from that game (Cleric, Paladin, Rogue, Warrior, Warlock, Shaman, Priest, Mage, Druid). Each has its own set of special cards reserved only for that particular class, and each of the classes seems pretty well-balanced.
In the end, this is a casual time-waster and you could do SO much worse for a free-to-play game. In fact, I'd argue it's the best FTP game I've played in ages, maybe ever. The pay-for-decks aspect isn't in your face at all, and you can earn decks just by playing arena battles (battles where you and your opponent are given a random selection of cards from the start). So a player could certainly climb the ranks and earn levels and decks endlessly without ever spending a dime. Those folks who do spend cash for cards don't particularly have an advantage, either. This is still a card game, after all, so even though someone else may have several amazing legendary cards in their decks, it certainly doesn't guarantee them a victory. And in time, you'll be getting those epic cards without spending money in any case because of the reward system, and being able to spend gold for new decks, or arcane dust to purchase individual cards. Once you've been playing a while and start getting the maximum two cards of each type, you can turn those excess and unnecessary cards into arcane dust. Once you have enough dust you can actually craft even the most legendary of cards. It's not a quick process, getting to that point, but it's a really rewarding one.
All in all Hearthstone is a fantastic FTP CCG, as polished as any Blizzard game, and as addicting as any CCG. It might lack a bit of the depth or breadth of a longstanding game like Magic the Gathering, but it's a refreshing new spin and one that will likely be more appealing to a larger number of people. Final word: It's 100% free to play. Give it a spin.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Dec 10, 2013Best browser game I've ever played. A great combo of role-playing and turn-based tactical combat. Although you really don't get to designBest browser game I've ever played. A great combo of role-playing and turn-based tactical combat. Although you really don't get to design characters per se, the items they equip (in the form of cards) make characters individual, with a host of battle and spell powers. The overall 'story' of the game is kind of hilarious, as you find yourself a player to a DM (Dungeon Master) controlled by the computer. This DM is about as geeky as they come, but combined with the graphical style of literally looking down at a 'table top', complete with grid-based dungeons the whole thing just totally works. Yes, the game is free to play. Yes, you can buy much more uber gear with real money, but even if you only run through the campaign without spending a dime, you will have had a blast, and for free. This one's a must. A gem that is truly unique. I can't believe this is a browser game. Play it!… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8Nov 23, 2013The game is out of early access now and while it's still rough around the edges, it's a good one. It comes the closest to providing theThe game is out of early access now and while it's still rough around the edges, it's a good one. It comes the closest to providing the sandbox zombie survival game I've been waiting for. It has more strategy and depth than Dead Island, it's a ton more user-friendly than Day Z, it's prettier than Project Zomboid, and it has more zombies than Grand Theft Auto! But it feels like a combination of all these games. A lot of things make this game unique the need to befriend survivors in order to unlock them as playable characters; the need to capture, build, and maintain safe houses and outposts, a persistent world that continues on even when you log off.
The game is a bunch of fun as is, with a lot of exploration to do (on several levels world exploration, and exploration of game mechanics two staples of a good survival sandbox). Melee fighting isn't perfect but it works. Firearm fighting isn't perfect but it works. Exploration and scavenging works it's a lot of fun and puts to shame games like Day Z where buildings act mostly as non-explorable set pieces. All structures in this game are fully explorable and hide a lot of goodies. Driving works pretty well and using your vehicle as a weapon against zombie hordes is kind of epic.
The biggest complaint I see from players who rate this low is the mouse & keyboard scheme being too clumsy to use. I'm seeing that same complaint even today, which makes no sense to me. The M&K work just fine this game does not require a gamepad. I repeat this game no longer requires a gamepad. The other major complaint I see is about the graphics being ugly. They're not next-gen, but they're good at max settings, with great lighting and some good textures. Occasionally it's muddy, with colors seeming to run together, especially when out in forested open areas. Someone else suggested the graphics are on par with GTA IV. I wouldn't go quite that far. They do leave something to be desired. But that's the point. This feels kind of like a test game. Like, "let's see if this works". And it has. Quite well.
This first version is a bit clunky but it's making cash money, so I foresee a real future for this franchise. A polished, AAA sequel could easily be a GOTY contender. In fact, if I was a betting man, I'd bet the next game in the franchise goes up for that title.
Average User Score: 7.9Nov 20, 2013Adds a ton of content to an already content-full game. Additions: Medals that can be awarded to your favorite soldiers (you even get limitedAdds a ton of content to an already content-full game. Additions: Medals that can be awarded to your favorite soldiers (you even get limited buff customization options with each medal). Several layers of added game depth (a covert operation sub-plot, for one). Additional alien types. Gene splicing. Mechs. Gobs of new maps. On the plus side, this is what all DLC should be. Robust. On the downside, it's a little pricy for DLC we're almost in 'full game cost' territory for this one. That's where this title takes a hit on score from my perspective. If it was standalone or about ten bucks cheaper, I'd rate this a 10. But the bottom line is that the add-on really fleshes out the original game and integrates superbly into it, adding hours of new content and fun to a game that already provides many hours of fun and tons of content. 7.5/10… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8Oct 19, 2013Probably the most fun I've had in a MMORPG in a long time. Has definitely kept my attention longer than Guild Wars 2, Tera, Star Wars, LordProbably the most fun I've had in a MMORPG in a long time. Has definitely kept my attention longer than Guild Wars 2, Tera, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Rift. Best graphics bar-none in a MMORPG. I'm still constantly saying 'wow' at the lighting, texture, architecture, day/night & weather effects. It's fun to get new items not just because they improve my character, but because they are unique looking. Underneath it all, it's pretty much your standard grind with a story woven through it. People complaining about the constant cut scenes just have a short attention span they're fine and are the only thing keeping this from being -just- a grind. A remarkable level of polish, come to be expected from Square Enix. I didn't play the prior version, glad I missed it, starting this fresh has been a blast. One character can hold all the classes in the game, just switch out your weapon and -voila- you go from being a warrior to a wizard or a ranger to a monk or any of the many tradeskill classes (which are their own games unto themselves). I've still created two characters, one to do all my melee stuff, the other for caster stuff, primarily to handle inventory better. All the separate items (especially tradeskill items) can build up fast. Battle are fairly standard fare, think WoW, but it feels much more organic and certainly more 'lifelike' for a fantasy world. Animations are great. In the higher levels, the dungeons absolutely require strategy and cohesive teamwork, and this can make for a wonderful experience or a horrible one. My first character was a healer, and there's a lot of healer-hate until you learn the ropes. Once past that hurdle, it's rewarding to become good at this game. On the other hand, you can certainly solo much of the game (but to advance the storyline you'll have to team up at certain points, and that's where, occasionally, people hit a wall). The team finding mechanism works great, always pairing a tank, a healer, and two dps classes, and it doesn't take long at all to get into most dungeons. There are occasional wait times, though. Fates are the random open-world dynamic events that happen, and people farm these for experience regularly. They are, in fact, more popular than the dungeons, and this is too bad. They should reverse the risk/reward and make dungeons more valuable to explore and complete, and lessen the payoff of Fates. But between the Fates, the dungeons, the storyline, the side quests, and the quite good tradeskilling system, you are almost never at a loss for something to do. End game is a bit lacking right now but there are promises for more content, including PvP, treasure hunts, epic difficulty dungeons/bosses, and so forth, along with housing and a few more classes on the horizon, so I do see this game lasting. If you hate the grind of WoW, you might not enjoy this. It's still the 'oldschool' way of MMORPGs in that respect. But it's delivered beautifully enough to keep most people sticking around. The story, while not terribly deep, is still fun to watch play out over the course of the adventure. And it's very intuitive from the get-go, with great UI customization and easy-to-pick-up mechanics and controls. Finally, I got the game a while after its shaky release, when people couldn't log on for long stretches, and I haven't had a single issue with logging on or finding parties, or anything, really. It's a very stable, very fun game. I highly suggest it.… Expand
Average User Score: 2.2Mar 5, 2013DRM with endless problems logging on to a single-player game. Check.
A city so small you're done in an hour or two. Check.
A future ofDRM with endless problems logging on to a single-player game. Check.
A city so small you're done in an hour or two. Check.
A future of nickle-and-diming paid customers to death. Check.
Following the profit structured Social version rather than the fan-beloved SimCity 4 version. Check.
Run by EA. Check.
Critics giving 9's and 10's after playing on private servers for critics. Check. Everyone else giving 0-3 rating. Check.
Efforts like this MUST fail or it is all we will get in the future. I remember the days when I would call in sick to work to play an awesome newly-released game. I'd spend hours playing and I wouldn't regret playing hooky at all. Now you try to do it only to discover that you spend the day in a que waiting to play a single-player game you already paid for. Thank god I tried it at a friend's house. Once it actually logged him on (an hour later), and four interruptions and two hours later, and we felt like we were basically done. Couldn't expand any further.
This isn't the rebirth of SimCity and this isn't the way games should be made and marketed. Protest with your wallet. Keep it closed.… Expand