Average User Score: 5.5Feb 16, 2015I've owned and played every Civ game. When this was announced I was hoping for Alpha Centauri 2. And I was extremely disappointed with thisI've owned and played every Civ game. When this was announced I was hoping for Alpha Centauri 2. And I was extremely disappointed with this game when viewed against the original AC.
But, for whatever reason - I kept playing. And, something funny happened - I found a pretty enjoyable game once I accepted it for what it is vs. what I was hoping for.
The game is not perfect. In some ways, it is like a Sci-Fi expansion for Civ-5. But, if you spend some time with the game, it is a different game. The addition of: quests, affinities, and a different way of handling technology make for interesting games that vary from one game to the next.
The weakest part of the game is certainly the wonders and the victories. Both are underwhelming and understated to the point of being flaws.
But, the need to manage resources carefully - to build affinity specific units vs. city improvements - as well as having to manage the AI opponent's march to victory can make for some challenging games. For example, you may choose Harmony and work to build Xenotitans - but, will you have enough Biomass?
Hopefully they will continue to support and develop this game. Is it AC2 - no. Is it perfect no. Is it fun, and can you spend a lot of time trying various strategies- yes.
Judged on its own, SMC-BA is a good game that adds some interesting changes to the original Civ-5 model. Despite lackluster wonders, and a underwhelming (i.e. none) Victory screen - this is a fun game.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.9Nov 9, 2012I have played every single Halo game - except for Halo Wars. And, I was quite worried about Halo 4, not being sure what to expect from 343I have played every single Halo game - except for Halo Wars. And, I was quite worried about Halo 4, not being sure what to expect from 343 vs. Bungie. Overall, this is very solid game. I should note that this is a review for the single-player campaign as I'm not much of multiplayer gamer. As far as the campaign goes, I have some mixed feelings. As far as story goes, the story for this outing is second only to the original halo as far as I'm concerned. I wasn't in love with some of the Cortana voicework, but I greatly enjoyed the story, the direction of the plot, and the focus on the relationship between MC and Cortana. To me the story was the highlight of this release. The graphics in some areas are also pretty incredible. In other areas - especially when inside the forerunner structures they were very meh. Kind of a Tron:Legacy feeling - but it was hard to distinguish see some barriers in the final flying section. Gameplay was solid - but somewhat of a let down. The gameplay is very solid - no complaints with regard to controls or how the guns handle, etc. But, I was really hoping for more innovation - especially in the forerunner weapons. But, basically, they fell into the standard tropes - I.e. Sniper Riffle, Assault Rifle, Shotgun. There were a couple of weapons that I didn't try - but pretty much we've seen and used them all before. While there were some interesting and new set pieces in this game - I'm hoping they will bring more innovation to the next two games. Yes, the Knights require a slightly different strategy - but overall you are doing the same thing from previous games. Fight grunts, fight elites, fight hunters, rinse/repeat. Changing out the flood for the forerunner units doesn't add that much for. Finally, I do wish the campaign was longer. I know I'm in the minority - but I want more for my $60 than 7-10 hours. I've little interest in multi-player and don't think its unreasonable to expect a 15-20 hour single-player campaign for a AAA title. That being said - I do not regret paying full price for this game. While I had hoped for more innovation - this is definitely the second best game in the series. Not as mind-blowing as the original Halo - but I'm not sure if that is possible. This game was a very strong effort - and will definitely bring me back for the next chapter. I wished for a stronger sense of "new & different" from this release, but otherwise I would recommend this game. Its a very worthy addition to the Halo franchise - and 343 really deserves to be successful. They put a lot of love and hard work, and it shows in the story that will keep you playing until the end.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3May 23, 2012This is one of the most disappointing game purchases I've ever made. I read all the positive reviews, and rushed to Best Buy to put down myThis is one of the most disappointing game purchases I've ever made. I read all the positive reviews, and rushed to Best Buy to put down my $60. I wanted to love this game. Unfortunately, after playing for a few hours, I really hate the game. Here is why. First session of playing the game, I start the tutorial. I get to the part that requires throwing a bomb - and the control to throw the bomb DOES NOT WORK. And the tutorial will not advance until you throw the bomb. No way to cancel the tutorial....I google the issue, its a bug. Have to exit the game and loose my progress so far. Restart the game, and have to replay 10 minutes of tutorial to get to the same point. 2nd play through the controls work.
That kind of bug getting through QA - just not acceptable.
Combat is another reason that I don't care for this game. There are too many cases where the combat is just no fun, and the controls seem to work against you. Specifically, if you use the lock-on feature - there is no rhyme or reason as to which enemy you will attack - and using the feature often has you diving into the middle of several enemies and quickly dying. Second, as you walk through the world - you will randomly get dropped into a group of mobs - and have very little chance of surviving the encounter. During these encounters - its not a question of playing well. You simply get overwhelmed by the number of enemies and you die. You then have to wait 1-2 minutes while the game stops, tells you you are dead, and you have to reload your most recent save. A poor design decision that really takes you out of the game. And since dying seems to happen fairly regularly, this process amounts to an unecessary frustration. There are plenty of other RPGs, that have a better design so that dying is a sign of challenge - but doesn't lead to anger and frustration. Next, is the quest and map system. At multiple points in the first chapter - you will be left clueless as to where you have to go to move the quest along. Sometimes the map will show you a general direction - but at others it gives no useful information. So you will spend 30-40 minutes wandering around cursing trying to figure out how to advance the quest and the game. Worse, however, is a quest system that actually breaks a main quest into 2-3 separate quests in your quest log. And, its unclear that you have to finish multiple separate quests before trying to tackle the boss fight at the end of the quest chain. So, in my case - I'm in a boss fight that I cannot win - because i didn't realize I need to finish a separate quest to manufacture a special trap. So....I can basically lose 2-3 hours of gameplay; or, I can stop playing the game.
Finally, I spent way too much time watching cut scenes that are meant to convey the complex story. With brief forays into actually playing the game. Followed by a lot more cut scenes. Followed by a brief amount of game play.
Don't get me wrong - there is an interesting and complex story in this game. But, too many of the developer's design decisions make actually playing the game a frustrating and un-fun proposition. I enjoyed the story - but I never enjoyed playing the game. The combat controls work against you, and the quest design and map/UI are confusing and useless multiple times in the first chapter.
I don't mind a challenge, or dying. I enjoy demon souls | dark souls. I do mind a game that has poor design choices, and pulls you out of the game too frequently. After getting into the boss fight w/no chance of winning without significant back tracking - I'm going to trade the game in.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.0May 22, 2012I'm completely puzzled by all the negative reviews for this game. While it isn't a perfect game, it is an extremely enjoyable representativeI'm completely puzzled by all the negative reviews for this game. While it isn't a perfect game, it is an extremely enjoyable representative of the genre.
The graphics have a cell-shaded look similar to Torchlight. If you don't like that style of graphics, then you will not like this game. If you do like that look, then the graphics are fantastic. While you cannot zoom in - probably to balance performance - the animations, effects for the various attacks are incredibly well done. If you have a weapon with a poison effect - pools of green fog will appear around dead mobs. The monk has various animations associated with his attacks that clearly convey the power of his fist and foot based attacks.
There is a lot of skill, craftsmanship and love put into the graphics in this game. So I would rate graphics as 9.5 out of 10.
Nothing new or different here - this is a hack-n-slash game. Click, click, click, click, right-click, etc. That said, the controls are responsie and well thought out. As you level up, you will unlock various skills and you can change the active skills any time you aren't in combat.
The games consists of exploring areas, killing mobs, and picking up loot. And you are always hoping for better weapons or armor.
While there is nothing "new" under the covers - what is here is rock solid, if repetitive - and earns a 9.0 out of 10.
I've seen a lot of comments about the lack of customization. I'm not sure that I understand why being able to customize the "look" of the character is so important to some people. If this was a Skyrim type game, yes that would matter. But, given the fixed perspective of the game - I agree with the developer's decision to limit you to selecting the gender, class and name of your character. Anything more would have been pointless window dressing.
As your level progresses - you do have limited control of your skills - which fall into broad categories such as: Active, Defensive, Passive, etc. While there is a set path , limited options as you level - you will need to switch out skills at various points.
I would rate this area an 8.0 out of 10.
Stability and Performance:
I've played the game about 25-30 hours so far, playing across 4 different classes: Wizard, Demon Hunter, Barbarian and Monk. The game has hard-locked my system once. Otherwise, it has been perfect and rock-solid. I'm also playing on an older Dell XPS 8100 - and have everything set to high-detail. The games loads quickly, transitions as you change areas are fast, so no complaints here.
I would give a 9.0 out of 10 rating.
Loot & Leveling
Loot and leveling are the areas where I have some qualms about the game. With regard to loot - so far the game seems pretty stingy. You find a lot of magical items, but none of it has had a WOW, TFA factor. And, the rare / epic items are extremely infrequent and also kind of ho-hum.
You spend a lot of time picking up trash items, and selling them. And, for some reason, I seem to be getting a lot of items that are restricted to a different class than the one I'm playing. I.e. my Demon Hunter keeps getting a lot of Barbarian only gear.
In short, there seems to be something slightly "off" and underwhelming in the area of loot.
On the positive side, you unlock an Blacksmith NPC - and if you spend gold training him you eventually get access to some nice items.
Leveling - because of the fixed path for the various skill areas - also is a little less satisfying than I might like.
While these are gripes - when balanced against the overall game they are relatively minor. No game is perfect, and these are the two areas where Diablo 3 shines the least.
I will give both loot and leveling (unlocking new skills) a 7.5 out of 10.
This game is a definite 9.0 out of 10. There are a lot of lessons that other developers could learn from Blizzard and this game. The overall polish and design are extremely high-quality. I've had no problems connecting to servers, with performance, etc.
I would like better loot, and more of a sense of freedom when it comes to unlocking and selecting skills when leveling - but these are really minor quibbles with an otherwise excellent game. A lot of people have complained about not having scrolls - but given the limited inventory slots I applaud the design decision to eliminate the scrolls and just provide a town portal and identify unknown items skill. This is a fun, addictive games with an extremely high-level of polish and artistry. If you like the genre, and don't mind the graphics style - this game is highly recommended. I paid full price, and feel that I'm getting my money's worth. Will that change when Torchlight 2 comes out - at $20 - maybe. But, until then, this is a fantastic hack-n-slash. Highly recommended.… Expand