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Average User Score: 7.1Aug 23, 2013I feel that Blood Stone is a very underrated James Bond game. 007 games tend to vary from the excellent (GoldenEye) to the awful (007I feel that Blood Stone is a very underrated James Bond game. 007 games tend to vary from the excellent (GoldenEye) to the awful (007 Legends). Blood Stone certainly does not hit the heights of GoldenEye, but it does have a very atmospheric James Bond experience. This is helped by the game design I like it when 007 games look to emulate the feel of the movies by incorporating items such as a credits sequence, a theme song, Bond "moments" and real actors to do the voiceover. Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench really elevate the game with their voiceover work. Joss Stone is a welcome addition to the Bond universe being both sexy and talented. The title sequence closely emulates the new design direction of the Daniel Craig era and is a very good standard for a videogame.
The 3rd-person shooting is fairly formulaic. However, Bond can action some awesome takedowns (which reminded me closely of The Bourne Conspiracy) and these give you "Focus Aims" which allow you to dispatch enemies quickly with a single headshot. The game is fairly easy to complete anyway so these are not massively useful, but do help to make you feel like James Bond in that you can wade through enemies quickly as he might do in the movies. You can make use of scenery to help dispatch enemies for example, shooting a lift so that it falls and kills the occupants. The usual explosive barrels make their 974th appearance in a videogame since Doom!
The story interested me. I enjoyed the ride. Of course, don't expect a story as complex as those in recent movies. But it's enough to keep you playing until the end. Bond visits some very interesting locations around the world in this mission.
The driving sections of the game were excellent. You will drive a car and a boat at different points in the story and the handling felt good. The speed of these sections was also good. They felt exciting and probably the best realised driving sections in any James Bond game, including 007 Racing!
The multiplayer is the game's weakest offering. Like many modern games, publishers and developers seem to believe that a multiplayer option is a desirable section to the majority of gamers. I don't believe this is the case. I would much rather that developers spent the time enhancing and extending the single-player experience. Let GoldenEye do the multiplayer experience, Blood Stone is strongest in the single-player experience.
The game is not long, and it does have its limitations. However, if you are looking for a game to perhaps play between longer AAA titles and you are just looking to have some fun for a few hours then Blood Stone is a game I would certainly recommend. I enjoyed the ride with James Bond. Roger Moore would certainly raise an eyebrow at that!… Expand
Average User Score: 5.7Aug 22, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My favourite episode of the 3 Washington DLC packs. Lots of action and a tight storyline moving us towards the final confrontation with King Washington. Strands of storyline were tied together and there seemed to be more logic to what Connor was doing, and his understanding of the situation.
I loved the final spirit guide power. There's nothing like stomping guards as a bear. (Or soaring across the city as an eagle. The only way to fly.) The boss battle was fairly simple to work out, but there were a few challenges along the way and the atmosphere lifted the DLC above a mediocre effort.
I quite liked the conclusion to the story. Anyone who's seen the Stewie vs Lois Family Guy eps will know how this will end not quite a dream, people! But strangely coherent for me. It kind of works. And shows that we all have our dark sides. The final scene on the ship was fascinating.
And everyone loves a good pyramid.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.1Aug 22, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The second episode seemed to be the weakest of the three for me. I really liked the eagle power and this made traversing the rooftops of Boston and New York that much easier. However, it is almost essential to use this power as you are attacked on sight and this can be very frustrating.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.0Aug 22, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was fairly impressed with the first episode of DLC and the idea of playing with history and using alternate timelines is a good one. Evil Washington is awesome, and not quite as silly as Mecha-Hitler in Wolfy. Pacing is a bit off as certain missions can be a bit dull and repetitive. But I liked the powers you need them as EVERYONE in the world wants to kill you as soon as they see you in the DLC. So that can be annoying. But the stealth powers and wolf-pack summon freshen up the combat in AC3 and give you more tactics to consider in combat. I liked the storyline and am interested to see where this is going.
Presentation is excellent. Voice acting is very good and the movie sequences are very well directed.
I think I have to deduct a mark for the price. Overpriced DLC seems to be a recurring theme from Ubisoft back to the dark days of releasing unfinished AC games and then asking gamers to pay for the sequences that you didn't finish. This is not the case here, but I think that the DLC is overpriced for the hours you will spend playing it.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8Aug 22, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really loved the WTF! moments in the storyline. These moments remain unsurpassed by any such moments in the original games, apart from maybe the ending to AC1 which everyone kinda saw coming anyway. The Haytham stuff was very well done, and the conclusion to that relationship with Connor seemed both inevitable and tragic.
The graphics are an obvious improvement on the previous games. I know this as I completed AC: Revelations and then went straight on to AC3. Character models are great and there is real depth. However, there have been buggy moments throughout and I have to wonder if the current-gen is being pushed to its absolute limit, or if we have some lazy debugging?
I felt like this was a very linear AC game. That I was being led towards the next mission and that any side-quests (and other stuff) was all there as filler. There seems to be very scant reward for doing many of the side-missions and, often, they would just get in the way. This is odd to me as I have always made an effort to 100% these games in the past here, I just don't care and can't be arsed. Maybe I'm Assassins Creed-ed out? After playing two games consecutively?
Connor is very dull, bless him. I suppose I warmed to him in the end, particularly with the Haytham stuff and the DLC, but when pitched against the mighty Ezio, he is just a sullen boy with confusing morals. I'd have much rather played the whole game with Haytham!
The whole currency system seems completely broken and money is at a real premium. In the crucible of the New World where there were many fortunes to be made, this seems to be at odds with the timeline. There is no chance of making enough money to buy items and upgrades from your usual activities and missions. So now we move to hunting (not much to be had there) and the very broken trading system. Which is not explained well enough. And in the era of paperless manuals "it's on the disc" things need to be explained really well, people! As did the new assassins guild(?) system which also felt very broken when compared to the silky, seamless offering in Ezio's world.
I hate climbing trees. I used to love climbing trees as a lad, but not in this game. In fact, I reckon that I could have scaled some of the trees myself faster than Connor's utterly ridiculous jumping around on the spot, or to his death antics that I have often experienced. User error, you might ask? Possibly. But the trigger system of free running often leads Connor to take short breaks to catch his breath so you feel it necessary to push the jump button and then, a few seconds later, find yourself to be bear chow with 97% percent of your bones shattered on an unforgiving frontier ground.
And bears? WTF? There seems to be one place in the frontier where bears must be respawning cos I killed 6 or 7 of the bastards before I legged it! Did I stumble on Beartown?
Guns are annoying. It takes away the fluidity from combat that we were able to demonstrate with Altair and Ezio and makes everything too busy for me. Also, is it just me, or are half of the British army in one borough of Boston or New York at any one time? No wonder the British lost the war it's because seven batallions were busy chasing some native kid around the streets of Boston! It seems to become quite unfair too quickly. And given that stealth is often a near-impossible option, the game can become quickly frustrating.
Desmond. To paraphrase another scribe, "What the f*ck was that all about?" Given that it was a completely unsatisfactory journey, I suppose that it was inevitable that it would be a completely unsatisfactory ending! I didn't mind the modern-day stuff. I actually found jumping around skyscrapers, Abstergo and UFC PPVs a nice distraction from Connor's dull life. And it was nice to see Desmond being quite bad-ass. But the backstory between the Templars and Assassins now seems likely to be shelved for an altogther more supernatural, sci-fi, whatever paint-by-numbers plot in future ACs. The Templars vs Assassins plot was fine for me I didn't really care where these items came from (e.g. Apple of Eden) just that they were powerful, important, and progressed the storyline.
And Lucy is dead. Well I'll never get back all those hours in AC1 that I spent chatting her up then! And BTW, that spoiler was given out by the production team at last year's Eurogamer when they started their demo with "Yes! Lucy IS dead!" Spoilers, people! The fact that it took place in some crappy Minecraft crossover DLC is a real slap in the face for such a major character in the modern plot. Not good. And the same production team from Ubisoft proudly presented the tree climbing stuff at Eurogamer. I should have seen that coming.
In conclusion, I found AC3 to be frustrating and pleasurable in fairly equal amounts. Too linear in places. Broken side-quests. Fiddly. But good characters. A beautiful world to play in. Ship battles were VERY good fun, which bodes well for AC4. Liked the stories.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.9Aug 22, 2013After purchasing my Bioshock Infinite season pass, I was very much looking forward to the first piece of DLC. Unfortunately, what I receivedAfter purchasing my Bioshock Infinite season pass, I was very much looking forward to the first piece of DLC. Unfortunately, what I received was best described as filler.
In the modern videogame world, AAA developers seem to be obsessed with multiplayer additions to games where it is completely unnecessary. Tomb Raider is one such example. I was very pleased when Bioshock Infinite was released without any multiplayer options. Clash in the Clouds feels like a multiplayer addition, without actually being a multiplayer game. The competition is not on a face-to-face basis, but over leaderboards. I play Bioshock games for the interesting storylines, incredible characters and varied single-player combat mechanics. So this doesn't interest me in the slightest.
Well... I say that, but Irrational Games have done something very clever here. And that is the ability to buy collectibles voxphones, statues, artwork which will complement and expand the storyline from the original Bioshock Infinite single player experience. As that is my focus, does this mean that I will be "grinding" through this DLC to unlock them all? Possibly. But under duress.
To me, Bioshock games are fantastic single-player experiences with just the right difficulty level for those gamers that adore storyline and cleverly-crafted backdrops over getting sniped by a 14 year-old from two miles away on COD. Having to fight two handymen and a patriot on the same map, at the same time, feels more like the latter, I'm afraid. A chore that must be endured if you want to unlock all of the collectibles.
Can't wait for Burial at Sea.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Aug 22, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Bioshock Infinite is a triumph of a game. It overcomes the memory of Rapture by introducing the new and exciting world of Columbia. It is both recognisable and fresh as it keeps the same combat mechanics from Bioshocks 1 & 2, but introduces new powers and methods of combat (such as the use of skylines).
First of all, the storyline. On a first playthrough, and without the background information of the voxphones (recorded messages from prominent residents of Columbia) the storyline might seem a bit confusing. You play as Booker DeWitt, a PI who has been tasked with finding and extracting a girl called Elizabeth from Columbia. The quote "Bring me the girl and wipe away the debt" is used extensively throughout the storyline and you always feel curious about Booker's past and who is behind this plot. However, if you are like me, and want to collect every voxphone to expand the storyline, listen to every conversation, look at every poster in Columbia etc then you will be able to follow the storyline more clearly. This is essential when you reach the game's shocking, and thought-provoking, ending. The one major triumph of this game is that it elicits conversation between you and others who have completed the game a discussion of the ending seems compulsory and everyone seems to have their own idea on what is going on! Congratulations to Ken Levine and his team for weaving such an intricate story with well-rounded characters and motivations. It is rare for a videogame to challenge issues such as racism, classes, religion and capitalism but these are all contained within, even if some are not extrovertly shown.
The combat is fluid and there always seems to be a variety of methods on offer to dispatch a group of enemies. Do you make use of the skylines? Do you use your vigors and try to set fire to a patch of oil, electrocute enemies in water, or use a water-based attack to hurl them off Columbia? Or do you just shoot them in the face? The options available to the gamer are varied and appreciated. The enemies themselves normally exhibit a fair degree of AI, although they can sometimes do silly things. Occasionally, enemies have got stuck on scenery. Some of the new enemy types are very interesting and a bit scary to deal with. I liked the Patriot. However, I felt that the Handyman was over-powered by being too fast for his size and strength. The point of Big Daddies was that they were incredibly powerful and could rush you, but you always felt more nimble and agile than them so at least you felt you had some kind of advantage.
Columbia is a beautiful place a lot of open sky to look at. The sounds of Columbia are also excellent I love the early 20th century adaptations of a few late 20th century classics! (Especially the Beach Boys) There are many diverse locations to explore and exploration is rewarded by voxphones, weapons, health packs, vigors and infusions. Infusions allow you to level up your health, shield (thanks, Master Chief!) and salts. Salts are the spiritual successor to EVE.
I should talk about Elizabeth here. Generally, I find NPC sidekicks to be incredibly annoying in videogames. In the past, they have often been characters that you have had to protect and then they do something stupid and get themselves killed, often due to poor AI. Elizabeth is different. The game has been constructed carefully so that Elizabeth is only ever a help and not a hindrance. Elizabeth can open tears in reality to assist you in combat. These tears can be anything from bringing allies to the fight to med-kits. She is a valuable companion, able to draw your attention to collectibles you might have missed, and offers interesting conversations as you progress through the story. You feel very protective of her as you find out what she has had to endure. Songbird is also protective of Elizabeth you all will have seen him (it?) in the trailers. You will discover that there is a tenuous link between Songbird and Rapture's Big Daddies. Songbird is a fabulous creation well done to the design team. Both scary and something that you want to love. It's a shame that we couldn't see more of Songbird. The sequences that Songbird inhabits are normally the most exciting or emotional.
The game's almost a perfect 10 but not quite. While the storyline is incredible, there are a few plot points that don't quite tie together for me. I have experienced some slow-down on the 360 in busy areas of combat. The handyman is a bit unbalanced. Elizabeth's abilities and autonomy seems to have declined somewhat from early versions of the game. Some vigors seem to be hardly used by many gamers seem to have their favourites and stick with them. If specific vigors were required in certain situations, that might encourage the gamer to use a wider mix of vigors. And you killed Songbird, you b*stards! ;-)
Can't wait for the DLC. Season pass purchased. Thanks for the ride, Irrational Games.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Aug 22, 2013Having completed Season 1 of The Walking Dead, I was very interested to play 400 Days to experience these new characters. On the whole, IHaving completed Season 1 of The Walking Dead, I was very interested to play 400 Days to experience these new characters. On the whole, I enjoyed this DLC, although it did seem very short. Stories are very mixed with some seeming longer than others, and some appearing to be mostly dialogue. The character I liked most of all was Wyatt because of the clever (and funny) dialogue in his story.
The most frustrating element of 400 Days is the addition of random (luck) choices. Without spoilers, in one episode you play a short game which will decide the course of the story. Unfortunately, I experienced the same outcome in the next playthrough, and the checkpoint is quite a way prior to this game taking place. This is very frustrating if you are interested in branching storylines and would like to see how alternative choices play out. Additionally, there is an achievement linked to this game which achievement hunters may find frustrating to get if they are not lucky.
Overall, I enjoyed this DLC. However, given the ending, I am wondering how relevant the time I have spent with some of these characters will be to Season 2.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Aug 21, 2013Telltale Games have succeeded in creating a new type of game. An interactive story where characters, dialogue and decisions take precedenceTelltale Games have succeeded in creating a new type of game. An interactive story where characters, dialogue and decisions take precedence over the hand-eye co-ordination required of gamers in FPS or racing games. The puzzles are fairly simple and are successful in some, but not all, of the episodes. However, the storyline is fantastic and elicits rare emotion from gamers. The whole season is a rollercoaster ride of emotion and leads us to an ending that is brave and thought-provoking.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Aug 21, 2013Season 1 of The Walking Dead ends as a real triumph for Telltale Games. The branches of the storyline tie together well. Decisions become evenSeason 1 of The Walking Dead ends as a real triumph for Telltale Games. The branches of the storyline tie together well. Decisions become even more heart-wrenching. Our favourite characters are put in even more danger. The ending itself is worth a 10. Rarely have I felt so much emotion in playing a videogame or even watching TV/movies. There is also a silent conversation within the episode that is laced with tension and proves that decisions you made previously WILL come back to haunt you!
However, I have scored this episode an 8 for two reasons. Firstly, I felt that some of the decisions that certain characters made were a little bit out-of-character particularly when they may be sacrificing something to save other members of the group where there were prior tensions or even hatred. Secondly, the episode felt short. This is positively an interactive movie with very few puzzles, some simple real-time events, and the ending seems to come across you quickly. This may possibly be due to my earlier decisions in that characters had died?
There are more huge decisions to make. One decision, made towards the beginning of the episode, helps to prove the notion that some outcomes are fate, and the helplessness of the situation will promote the strongest emotions in the player.
One quick thought on the ending. Without spoilers, ensure that you wait until after the credits as the "true" ending is shown then. I was very disppointed with the ending. I suppose that Telltale had to keep it fairly ambiguous as different players would have made vastly different decisions. However, my recommendation to Telltale for season 2 will be to develop a more satisfying ending. They may need to produce a number of alternative endings to fully satisfy, and conclude, the branching storylines.… Expand