Average User Score: 6.8Jun 6, 2013You go into this game with a lot of hopes for indie innovation, but eventually discover that the game is incomplete, which is massivelyYou go into this game with a lot of hopes for indie innovation, but eventually discover that the game is incomplete, which is massively disappointing for the price tag. The side missions are broken and the games don't seem to end for hours after you've solidified your lead and win.
Most of the fun comes from building your ships and seeing them in action, but you can't make the most of that fact until you unlock the technologies and chassis's, which is tediously slow to do because the economy consolidates research in with production and food. You need food to increase and maintain population and production to build things like your fleets or planet improvements, so research is always an after thought after keeping your empire stable. This makes playing small and medium maps very tedious as you wont get economies strong enough to take advantage of most of what the game really has to offer.
Recommend your first game for each empire be set to easy and drag it out so that you can create your ship designs with an easily acquired and maintained economy, ready for more competitive games later. Replay value is limited to a couple games per empire until you're doing the same thing over and over with no real buzz that you might otherwise find in other games regardless of repetitiveness. This could be largely improved by allowing a customisation of chassis's with perhaps a limiting frame to maintain some empire specificness.
Overall the game was fun, but each time i found myself eventually enjoying myself i would be stumped by a tedious mechanic. First it was an economy i couldn't stabilise until i had 7 moderately sourced and fully upgraded planets that could export. Scarey threats from AI that had no business making threats. Spies which remain a relatively hidden aspect of the game as well, a complicating mechanic i'd like to have an option to disable, not least because it's a needless nuisance to the economy for a game you'll buy largely for the combat.
I feel like i've jumped from topic to topic haphazardly, but that's how the game feels, so many aspects affect other aspects of the game in a compromising way. Things that get in the way of what attracts you to it in the first place. Building your ships and sending them into battle. It's like they made the game and thought of 20 mechanics to prevent you from getting to what makes it so interesting.
It still needs work or at the very least to be fixed and have some UI improvements and then individualising the AI would also make games more dynamic. Otherwise you might as well just play geometry wars.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Jan 5, 2013The narrative is funny, modern and liberal which is refreshing. Unfortunately the gameplay does not support the good writing. Much of the gameThe narrative is funny, modern and liberal which is refreshing. Unfortunately the gameplay does not support the good writing. Much of the game is spent levelling in order to unlock additional traps to make more fool proof kill systems, but surprisingly re-playability is ZERO. I anticipated being able to go back and improve upon my old scores using higher tier/alternative traps, but this is impossible as the lower level dungeons do not support the higher tier traps.
The foundations of a really great game are here, but the levels weren't built with any kind of hindsight to completion. This could have been redeemed by a level editor feature, even if the levels were tile based like the original Timesplitter's. With community support the game could have lived up to its hype, but it did not.
The balance is also a little off, the magic items reward less for kills and are harder to tech and mana heavy making it more of a liability; and the unlocks you can purchase through steam are clear "pay to win" elements as they are more powerful/useful than the base items.
I really wanted to like this game, the narrative was great and the traps and levels started off fun, but i had hoped to keep playing this game after completion, only to find you can't mix and utilise the new traps in old dungeons in any meaningful way. You can place them because there's enough room, but not in any areas where they'll actually kill anything.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.5Jan 5, 2013The only thing "Doom" about this game are the classical Imps and Hellknights and a glorified Hell level towards the end, homaging Doom II'sThe only thing "Doom" about this game are the classical Imps and Hellknights and a glorified Hell level towards the end, homaging Doom II's art style. Cramped hallway style gameplay that tires after 4 of the 12 hours of gameplay, with the same old tricks of enemies jumping out from secret compartments or darkened corners whilst you tediously search for keycards in order to progress to something more interesting. Even on hard mode you trip over health and ammo which i guess is OK only in the context of the fact that this is DOOM and not a survival horror.
The enemies aren't much of a threat when you realise they can barely hit you when you get inside their shooting arc, but not too close to melee; although i guess most players wont figure that out since they are scarey enough to try to avoid getting too close too. Although they do have this nasty habit of trapping you against a bulkhead and smacking your lower region to pieces just below your FoV which would be annoying if it wasn't for the fact this'll probably be the only time they take seasoned FPS players below 75% HP.
The shotgun is the staple weapon of the game as you will always have ammo for it, unfortunately the infamous BFG feels a little lack luster when you can carry 328 shells but only 38 BFG rounds and it only takes 8 shotgun shells to take out a Hellknight compared to 4 BFG rounds. The BFG was famous for its room clearing capacity but in the extremely linear hallways of DOOM 3 you're more likely to have an enemy marine detonate the round in your face than use it effectively in anything but the rarest of circumstances.
The game would have felt more classical DOOM like if there was more open space to strafe enemies and less time spent dropping into your PDA to read employee emails and audio logs. It's basically DOOM with all the corners cut off and the narrative shoved down your throat.
In the context of its time it is a pretty game and the weapons are generally fun in that you can shoot to your hearts content without fear of needing that ammunition for something important later. There is also a traditional shooter feel in regards to how curiosity is often rewarded, such as the discovery of vents or spaces under stairs hiding some armour shards or ammo or other goodies like easter eggs.
The final boss is a little disappointing however and ironically probably the easiest part of the game. I scored it a little higher than what i felt like because the game has obviously aged in the past 9 years and it deserves a score relative to its release date. The game was OK, but it does just make me want to play the originals.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.6Jan 3, 2013I shouldn't complain about graphics in the context of its release date, so i wont. But the looks do detract a little from what's required ofI shouldn't complain about graphics in the context of its release date, so i wont. But the looks do detract a little from what's required of you and how the game mechanics actually work. AoE had a square grid system that was easily translated into tactical options by the player, 1 square could have 1 tree or 1 stone block or a building, etc. and said objects would inform the player where enemies could move/move around or get through them by destroying them. This system is defunct as units can move through trees, although the proximity of trees that will block units appears arbitrary and the way units move through forested areas insinuates a cover mechanic that doesn't exist. This could have been an excellent aspect of the game that was completely forgone. It all leads to one conclusion that the games combat has not evolved. The macro aspect is emphasised by units being built in 5's, it feels so daft you can just multi-select your structures and set a waypoint at the enemy base and be done with it. That's essentially what the game is, 2 bases throwing units blindly at each other.
This game is all about macro and economy, which is an odd focus for an RTS when requisition mechanics have always been the most boring aspect of strategy games and how macro dilutes any sense of strategy. Micro plays so little in combat that as long as you match up a bunch of varying units your army is safe, or you can be a bastard and just mass cavalry which is good against everything except pikemen; who can be out maneuvered an kited anyway. The deciding factor is often who can amass the largest army or replenish a dying one fastest. A last note on this matter of micro, units have a habit of freezing up when given orders in quick succession as they'll constantly want to change formation. This is the single most annoying thing about this game as it costs significant time and makes your units vulnerable to being sniped as they dawdle in battles.
The home city mechanic gets in the way of gameplay. That's all about i can say on this innovation, sadly. You're in the middle of a heated skirmish and you're constantly prompted to visit your home town to select a bunch of stuff that contributes almost no significance to the round. This mechanic seems to only exist to keep players playing to grind and level for pointless rewards. A sad turn for a classic genre defining RTS game.
The battles and skirmishes aren't interesting, the units aren't defined enough, too much focus on macro and subsequent battles of attrition over tactical decision making. Only recommend buying this game in a sale and playing the campaign if you must play it at all. The multiplayer is tiresome and un-interesting. It will disappoint die hard AoE fans.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Dec 17, 2012This game was an absolute pleasure to play through; the gameplay was fluid and the skirmish style gameplay of the jungle/brush fighting bringsThis game was an absolute pleasure to play through; the gameplay was fluid and the skirmish style gameplay of the jungle/brush fighting brings innovation to standard cover based shooters. It makes a change fighting from bush to bush rather than from chest high sandbags to chest high concrete blocks. The only thing i will say is that the ending is a little abrupt. Judging by the map you feel that it's safe to assume that reaching the second island equates to the half way mark in the game, but you'd be wrong. I completed the game before even finding out whether the second island out posts were even capturable; the map hints suggest that they are as they are presented the same on the map as the capturable outposts on the first island, despite the fact that the ingame dialogue suggests you avoid them at all costs. Suddenly all notion of the sandbox leaves the game and all those cool toys you get unlocked and are happy to use only seem to come into play for 3-4 more missions even though they're nothing particularly out of this world; so all the neat gadget-attatchments you were happy to discover and utilise also, for these new weapons, barely enter the game at all; unless you unlock every radio tower before playing through the story (which is impractical).
Enjoy the first island while you can and play through at your own pace. Don't be OCD and capture every out post you can at the start as you'll rob youself of interesting "random encounters" like guerilla jungle fights (which also earn you money on the side if you help the rebels win).
The crafting is also implemented at a decent level of sophistication. Skyrim was renowned for its unnecasserily tedious power levelling of skill perks and the herb list was extensive, but this game consists of 3 types that produce combat, hunting and healing abilities, the different herbs for each type are only aesthetical. Making it more practical for the casual gamer to bother with. Crafting gear is a little more laborious, different gear (wallets, loot sacks, weapon holsters) requires different animal pelts which appear to be arbitrary (2 goat skins make a tier 3 weapon holster and are available in a tier 1 area whilst a tier 2 loot sack requires a tier 4 animal pelt), but does give a general sense of progression by stalling you from having deep money/loot reservoirs and all weapon slots a fifth of the way through the game.
Summary: The characters are interesting and unique, the narrative is relavent to first world activities if not a little predictable plot wise (afghanistan and fictional terrorist attacks on NY are so over rated). The guns offer actual noticable difference in play style and stealth is a legitimate option to even the happy gunners (there's nothing stopping you from stealth killing half the men at an outpost then spraying the others with machinegun fire from the sniper nest you just cleared). But as i said, once you hit the second island and do a couple errands you'll suddenly find yourself at the final mission thinking you still had to liberate the island and get to use your new fanciful gear only half of which you unlocked for free because you avoided radio towers on the second island blocked by restricted zones.
I completed the story, liberated the first island, unlocked all the radio towers and did all the *important side missions (hunting/assasinations/medical drop offs) in 12 hours of gameplay. *doing certain side missions unlocks features helpful in the main story arc, such as the final version of all craftable gear or unlocking skills from the skill tree. But there was probably a good 40% more to explore and do. The relics can be largely ignored. They don't unlock gear like in GTA, the radio towers do that. But you'll want to get the radio towers anyway so you're not running blind the entire game so unlocking free gear feels like more of a side affect of not wanting to get lost and being sensible enough to unlock visibility of the map.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Sep 17, 2012changing weapons is confusing, some are exchanged whilst others are kept and some you cannot reload or hold spare ammo for and you're forcedchanging weapons is confusing, some are exchanged whilst others are kept and some you cannot reload or hold spare ammo for and you're forced to dual wield if you pick up a second pistol for its ammo meaning you cannot use the iron sights anymore. Occasionally you are stripped of your weapons arbitrarily and have to reacquire your attatchments too. Parts of the map have holes you can fall through and the final boss has several bugs that prevent the game from being completed at all.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8Sep 14, 2012The hex system is a massive improvement for the Civ franchise, it's just a shame the game was riddled with balance issues for the better partThe hex system is a massive improvement for the Civ franchise, it's just a shame the game was riddled with balance issues for the better part of a year after its initial release. Certain wonders were necessitated for victory, certain Civ's were necessary for particular wins (cultural, etc), but fortunately most balance issues have been resolved. The achilles heal of the game is the atrocious AI and the pseudo difficulty setting which is more accurately defined as a "handicap" system.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Sep 13, 2012Replayability is huge despite being repetitive, mostly due to the small levelling system that lets you play more challenging difficulties, butReplayability is huge despite being repetitive, mostly due to the small levelling system that lets you play more challenging difficulties, but with particular performance perks that reward skill and tactical thinking. For a large period of time the sniper was made redundant to the commando's semi-auto rifles, but a recent update that included more sniper weapons remedied this sole complaint on balance. The next challenge is finding a team of players that don't scatter on the final boss.… Expand
Average User Score: 9.2Sep 13, 2012It's difficult to rate this game as it steadily decreases in refined quality with each update, particularly promotional updates that tend toIt's difficult to rate this game as it steadily decreases in refined quality with each update, particularly promotional updates that tend to ruin the design ethos. Each weapon released feels like it was beta tested by monkeys, often needing to be rebalanced upon public release, but unfortunately not being balanced until months, if not years down the line. The shere volume of unlocks is overwhelming for new players alienating large numbers of players including the entire F2P player base.… Expand
Average User Score: 9.1Sep 13, 20122 words: "Counter-Strafe". Just like bunny hopping defined traditional CS gameplay, exploits like counter-strafe have defined competitive DoD.2 words: "Counter-Strafe". Just like bunny hopping defined traditional CS gameplay, exploits like counter-strafe have defined competitive DoD. The skill curve is high and newbies will find it frustrating dying from experienced players who can anticipate player movement through a map and kill with indirect shots via bullet penetration through walls or well timed grenades. General gameplay is enjoyable however and you'll find yourself playing for several weeks each time you load it up nostalgicly.… Expand