Average User Score: 5.1Dec 17, 2012This is not a bad game, not in the slightest, though nor is it a great one. There are however a number of fundamental issues that can makeThis is not a bad game, not in the slightest, though nor is it a great one. There are however a number of fundamental issues that can make this a very frustrating and jarring experience, and sadly all too often this can prove to be the rule rather than the exception. Multiplayer suffers from largely mediocre map design, whereby CQC is clearly given clear preference and prominence, and maps are not just predictable (3 largely symmetrical routes in most maps), but encourage a relentless, unsubtle, tactless pace and momentum that quickly leaves an unsatisfying taste, especially for those who like a more strategic approach to at least be possible. If this were the only issue, then it could be attributed largely to personal taste (if you prefer run and gun, frenetic, twitch based, 10 second bursts of gaming, it might well be for you), but the fundamentals of this type of close combat, twitch reaction shooter are severely undermined when things such as lag, dropping frame rate, and very poor hit detection become not a rare annoyance, but a frequent (often debilitating) hindrance. For a game of this type, that feeling of randomness (both when you do well, and when you're being pummelled), create an extremely dispiriting, frustrating, and occasionally enraging experience. When you add to this the inconsistent balancing of matches, the persistent connection issues, poor balancing of scorestreaks and weapons, these feelings just exacerbate the sensation that this activity you undertake to relax is all too often anything but. Overall a game like this hinges on a feeling of personal culpability or achievement, and far too often it feels as though you are the victim or beneficiary of factors completely out of your control, that is just not acceptable in a competitive online game like this.
I speak here primarily of the Multiplayer mode, mainly because it's the mode most will play most, but furthermore because sadly both the zombie mode and the campaign just feel a little lacklustre and stale, more a distraction than modes you'll be eager to commit much time to.
I have no biases against the COD franchise, I racked up over 15 days of play time over the past year on MW3, and have played for just over 2 days on BO2 thus far. But these nagging annoyances have become too much to deal with for me personally. There is undoubtedly fun to be had playing this game, but be very aware of the severe issues you will probably have to deal with should you decide to purchase it.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.9Nov 22, 2011An amazing package.
Half Life 2 and its expansion packs may have aged a little with time, but is still eminently playable, and very engagingAn amazing package.
Half Life 2 and its expansion packs may have aged a little with time, but is still eminently playable, and very engaging at that, which given its age is testament to quite what a game it was on release.
Portal makes up the other marvelous aspect of this package. Creative, thoughtful, and often ingenious.
Overall the Orange Box makes for some of the best gaming anywhere, let alone for the price you can get it for nowadays.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Nov 22, 2011Brilliant cinematic experience. Some of the set pieces are particularly enjoyable, even awe inspiring on a few occasions. Only really losingBrilliant cinematic experience. Some of the set pieces are particularly enjoyable, even awe inspiring on a few occasions. Only really losing their appeal ones you have to repeat them multiple times owing to a silly death of mistake. But this is a rather minor point. The game feels largely responsive and agile in responding to your actions, though the AI can feel a little robotic. The character development, while not masterful, is certainly entertaining. All in all, it's a highly polished and pleasant game to play through, and well worth pushing through the odd moment of jarring suspended belief given that the vast majority will sweep you up with it and carry you along its tight, beautiful and varied trajectory!… Expand
Average User Score: 7.5Nov 22, 2011Fight Night R4 captures the often brutal and physical nature of boxing in an often very convincing manner. The violent thudding sound as aFight Night R4 captures the often brutal and physical nature of boxing in an often very convincing manner. The violent thudding sound as a haymaker connects with a jaw or rib cage can be almost gratuitous at times, but still feels in keeping with the nature of the sport. You have very few of the embellishments that boxing in games have had in the past, as a result you feel far more connection to what is going on. Feeling as though you really are involved in a tactical and mental battle, trying to work out and anticipate your opponents style and plan.
This is obviously far more true of the multiplayer experience. Get two accomplished, or at least even matched players together, and you will have some immense contests. While to begin with, the control scheme may seem to be rather random, alien even, soon enough you'll come to be able to manipulate the controls to get the hook, upper cut or straight that you wanted most of the time. It does remain fiddly at times, and in the heat of the battle with punches being landed, mistakes can be costly, but it doesn't overly detract from what is a great multiplayer experience.
A few more boxers would have been great, particularly in certain weight divisions. But then again, given what a nightmare the world of boxing has become with corruption and the monetary expectations most boxers seem to have to do the most mundane of things now (let alone enter the ring against an opponent who may lay a punch on them...), I could envisage how tough this aspect of pulling the game together must have been.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Nov 22, 2011The thing that most stands out about Bioshock, is that unlike other most other games it possesses an interesting and involving storyline andThe thing that most stands out about Bioshock, is that unlike other most other games it possesses an interesting and involving storyline and world. As a Politics student, I found the references to ideas of Ayn Rand's philosophy of a lawless, individual centric world realised here in the context of a previous period of history to be utterly captivating, and not overly ridiculous either.
A world in which every crazy and often unpleasant scientific experiment is permitted, where the strong feel no compunction to take advantage of the weak. A world in which the worst essences of humans is given scope and license to be explored. All of this is what so enthralled me about Rapture.
The game itself is not perfect. Despite the very interesting notion of plasmids (power ups in essence), it quickly becomes clear that a few will be your primary choices for the majority of the game. And despite the menace and creepiness of the game's atmosphere, this can be sadly suspended a bit at times owing to what feels like stupid, unreactive AI behaviour.
But despite this, the world drips with character and a decaying perverse charm to such an extent that you will regularly spend time just wandering around, dreading the thud thud thud that you often hear long before you lay eyes on one of the ferocious Big Daddies.
I couldn't recommend Bioshock more. To an FPS fan of COD leanings, this is by no means as slick or polished, nor do the controls feel as exact and sharp. But the slightly clumsy interaction felt in keeping with the ethos of this world, dilapidated and creaking as Rapture is. You never feel overpowered, you always feel as though you could be overwhelmed and are forced to think as a result.
If nothing else, if you're looking for a sense of place in a game, if you want a game with strong philosophical and political commentary, both overt and often more subtle. Then Bioshock will be a delight to experience, rough edges permitting.… Expand
Average User Score: 3.1Nov 22, 2011MW3 is a very good game, very good indeed. I couldn't call myself an expert on this generation of games, owing to the fact I have only justMW3 is a very good game, very good indeed. I couldn't call myself an expert on this generation of games, owing to the fact I have only just come back in to gaming, though COD has been a regular game for nights with friends with 360s and PS3s, so have some experience of these games.
MW3, despite being very accomplished, and indeed a great deal of fun, nonetheless seems to be lacking in distinct features over previous iterations of COD. As such, I feel 8 to be a fair score, it's still a marvelous package for the price, the one player may not be to my exact tastes, but the hours you can pass online certainly make up for this.
A few issues would relate to this said multiplayer experience. While I love that they have introduced a less one track focus for streaks and bonuses in the online games (support, assault etc), there still remain some issues.
Primarily for someone like myself, the lack of a buffer from the seriously good players out there when you first boot up the game can be very frustrating. You feel as though your experience of death, respawn, death respawn is never ending at times. Equally, added to this can be the occasionally ridiculous levels of killstreak bonuses people pick up. To have to think carefully about one attack helicopter can provide a refreshing amount of strategic thought to a match... to have tons of things in the air shooting and bombarding the hell out of you you as you spawn provides a sort of random anarchy that makes you feel no matter your skill you are going to perish at this point in the game.
Anyway, to end on a more positive note. Undoubtedly a very good game indeed, for both fans of the series, and to those looking to either delve in to marathon online sessions or just dip in and out. Not the freshest game out there given it doesn't move mountains to evolve after COD: BO, but probably more an indictment of how good this series has been at providing a slightly arcadey FPS experience for the past few years.… Expand