Average User Score: 8.7Oct 25, 2014Despite all the gushing praise being heaped upon Divinity: Original Sin, it's not actually the second coming of Baldur's Gate (or whateverDespite all the gushing praise being heaped upon Divinity: Original Sin, it's not actually the second coming of Baldur's Gate (or whatever your favorite old-school RPG is). It IS a decent game, but it's marred by some serious flaws resulting from some poor design choices. Given the fact that there were apparently 20,000 kickstarter backers, it's strange that these obvious issues are still in the final release.
- It's a party-based CRPG with turn-based combat.
- Nice twist on the genre, with an interesting mix of elemental effects that complement each other. Oil burns; water puts out fires but creates steam; water conducts electricity etc. This adds a whole new element to combat, elevating it beyond the more traditional "ice monster = fire attack".
- There's various moments that require role-playing, where your two (main) characters can express their opinion and influence their character traits. Different traits can give you distinctive perks when high enough.
- Overall it's great fun to play whenever you forget about the flaws (see below).
- The game is actually very linear. Sure, you can explore areas outside the city that aren't part of the main storyline at the beginning, but only if you don't mind instadeath whenever you meet enemies.
- The camera can only be rotated 90 degrees, which makes it really hard to see things obscured by the scenery or to target enemies. You can toggle between top-down and pseudo-isometric view, but that doesn't really solve the problem.
- Targeting is extremely finicky and requires pixel-perfect precision. Move your mouse one pixel between targeting and clicking and your warrior will waste half their action points walking all the way around an enemy, while giving the enemy a free attack of opportunity in the process. Combine this with the limited camera and given how tough some of the combat is, this is EXTREMELY frustrating and can turn the tide of the battle.
- Inventory management is poor, and the trade interface is a shining example of how not to design a game. Only ONE member of your party can trade at once. That nice new spell you wanted to buy for your mage? Turns out your mage is 4 gold short after adding all his loot to the barter screen. Want to add 4 gold from another character? No problem. All you need to do is leave the trade screen. Transfer the 4 gold to your mage, and the reinitiate trade and add all the items again. The most bizarrely frustrating and useless change to the tried-and-tested party based trade in every other CRPG ever. It makes the inventory management in the unpatched Jagged Alliance: Back in Action seem almost sane, and that was terrible. At least JA: BIA got a patch, AFAICT this isn't going to happen with D: OS.
- Speaking of trading, another major annoyance is that trading is further complicated by virtue of the fact that irrespective of which character you have selected to trade with, gear in the shop is always compared to the gear worn by the character that initiated the conversation with the shopkeeper. Start conversation with your fighter, switch to your mage and then mouse over a robe, only to see that, yes, the robe isn't suited to your fighter. Solution: cancel and restart trade again. I can only assume that this is a bug... but it sure is annoying.
- Lack of quest markers and lack of information on what you need to do next to advance the game. Yes you have a journal, no it isn't helpful. After pointlessly walking around town talking to everyone 192029 times, you'll find yourself reading the walkthroughs rather than wasting your time, which is always a pity.
In essence, if you like CRPGs and can look past some of the frustrating design flaws, you'll probably get your money's worth, just be aware that the game isn't flawless and isn't the best CRPG ever. The funny thing is that although this game gets called "old school" all the time, in many respects it's taken a step back; rather than adhering to tried-and-tested conventions, the devs seemed to feel it necessary to fix what wasn't broken - the result being that they broke it, which is to the detriment of the game. D:OS is however a good solid game and with a little more polish and care could even rub shoulders with some of the classics.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Aug 25, 2013A promising game ruined by poor programming and design.
The UI is unusable it took me about 2 hours to be able to build a metro line thatA promising game ruined by poor programming and design.
The UI is unusable it took me about 2 hours to be able to build a metro line that actually works. Unhelpful error messages during the process don't help. Nor does the fact that you can misclick by one pixel and not realise meaning you're bankrupt and have a line that doesn't work. Other examples of the terrible UI include lists of vehicles that use the same icon for every vehicle yes, you really have to mouse over each entry in the list to tell them apart, and even then you still need to know the capacity associated with each vehicle name, because even when mousing over, only the name is actually displayed if the vehicle is currently in a depot. Very helpful and well thought out...
The tutorial is as clear as mud it consists of telling you to do things that are self evident such as place some stops and connect them but DOESN'T tell you how the game actually works or what to look out for. The end of the tutorial is supposed to be you building a metro line, but the only info you're given is "build a metro line". There's no info on how to actually place metro tracks so they're not red (i.e. unplaceable), or more importantly, how to build the metro underground. So it's click click click, that's not working, click click click, god this is frustrating... click click click, you know what I give up.
Once you've finally surmounted these unnecessary issues, you're left with a game whose core mechanics are flawed. City growth can at best be described as "random" and more truthfully as "broken". Industry spreads like cancer all over a city, especially to high value areas with high traffic where high rise offices and housing ought to be. Build a new road and the "intelligent" game plonks 3 schools right next to another. Then, 3 minutes later, it removes the schools and build something else for nor apparent reason. Passengers would rather walk for 30 minutes than go another stop on the bus they're already on. Ticket prices require changing every couple of hours, but this again seems random rather than due to anything related to your network and quickly becomes boring and repetitive.
Unfortunately, the game is already in that stage where DLC is being released regularly, so chances are the core mechanics aren't going to be fixed. What the devs really need to do is take the best parts of CiM 1 and the best parts of CiM 2 and weed out the serious flaws in both games. If they actually got their act together, they'd be on to a winner. As it is they've released 2 games that are halfway there but have such serious issues that you begin to wonder if the series is ever going to go anywhere.
At any rate, my advice to anyone still considering buying CiM2 would be to wait for the next game. This one doesn't cut the mustard and ends up being an exercise in frustration rather than fun.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.7Nov 23, 2012Cities in Motion could be a great game. Unfortunately there are numerous glaring flaws in the game which even after a couple of years have notCities in Motion could be a great game. Unfortunately there are numerous glaring flaws in the game which even after a couple of years have not been fixed. The most glaring issue is the bizarre way that implementing a mass transit system in your city is a recipe for gridlock. Yes, that's right - getting people to ditch their cars for public transport results in massive traffic jams. Very counter-intuitive. The reason for this is quite simply incompetence on the part of the programmers, as there are several issues that conspire to create this situation: poor AI (cars never overtake even when there are two lanes), incredibly slow loading and unloading of passengers at stops and the inability to build stops that don't block traffic. One of the "solutions" to this problem on the official forums include the gem of suggesting you do not build lines where there's high traffic (which defeats the point). What you can do is build metro systems instead - but that kind of defeats the point of the game if the other modes of transport are rendered obsolete. So CiM is a nice try, but quite simply not good enough. Traffic Giant didn't have these glaring issues and is a much older game. It's a pity that the devs don't seem to care, because a little bit of effort on their part would turn this game from mediocre to enjoyable if they could just fix these issues instead of charging an arm and a leg for unnecessary DLC when the core game has such fundamental issues.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.4Nov 14, 2012(Note: This is an updated review to reflect changes in the latest patches.)(Note: This is an updated review to reflect changes in the latest patches.) Ok, so it's not as good as Jagged Alliance 2. But how many games are? he new real-time system is quite fun (and I'm normally a TBS nutter!) and the ability to plan your strategy while the game is paused is well implemented. A number of patches have removed or alleviated some of the more blatant flaws in the initial release - the addition of sector inventories is a godsend, although equipping militas is still cumbersome (you need to run around and talk to each merc to equip them). If you can see past the lack of FOW and some of the other changes since JA2, there's a lot of fun to be had here. If you desperately want to play JA2, well, then play JA2, it's still the great game it always was.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Mar 30, 2012Easily the best RPG I've played for at least a decade, if not ever. It's like Baldur's Gate all over again without all the glaringEasily the best RPG I've played for at least a decade, if not ever. It's like Baldur's Gate all over again without all the glaring deficiencies of the old D&D ruleset. Great story, great characters, good voice acting, and it's a party-based RPG! The biggest downside to the game is that it has to end at some point. Oh, and the AI is a bit daft if left to its own devices. If you're even mildly interested in the premise of the game, you really should play Dragon Age: Origins. I want more of the same please!… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8Mar 30, 2012I had great fun playing Mafia 2, but it's definitely too short. If you can pick it up for cheap now that the game is getting older, it mightI had great fun playing Mafia 2, but it's definitely too short. If you can pick it up for cheap now that the game is getting older, it might be worth it. I would have felt cheated if I'd paid 40-50 for it. At 20 smackeroos, just about justifiable. Still has a few bugs in it too, one of which required me to replay an entire level. Voice acting etc. is good, but you still can't help thinking that you're playing GTA light. That's not a totally bad thing of course. In general it looks like lessons were learnt from Mafia 1 (the difficulty isn't anywhere near as insane in parts) but I would hope that Mafia 3 has more substance to it.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.8Mar 30, 2012You've probably already noticed that loads of Civ fans are unhappy with Civ V. I'm one of them. I bought Civilization I on release, and everyYou've probably already noticed that loads of Civ fans are unhappy with Civ V. I'm one of them. I bought Civilization I on release, and every other version since. Civ V is the first one that I can't even begin to enjoy. It's a massive step backwards. It's basically no longer Civilization, but some weird war game without any of the depth that made all the previous versions fun to play and saw the series progress with each iteration. If anything, Civ V is kinda like Civ I in that it essentially removes all the additions to the series in between. Except that Civ I was actually fun to play and gave you the feeling of building a "Civilization to stand the test of time". This is a monstrosity not worthy of the name. I definitely won't be purchasing Civ VI in blind faith - and I never thought that I'd say that about a Civ game! Please Sid/Firaxis: focus on what made the Civ series so great - the "interesting decision paradigm". If you want to make a war game, by all means do, but then don't call it Civilization.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4Mar 30, 2012The atmospheric post-apocalyptic setting of Fallout New Vegas has seen me rack up 150 hours of gameplay and I'm still nowhere near the end.The atmospheric post-apocalyptic setting of Fallout New Vegas has seen me rack up 150 hours of gameplay and I'm still nowhere near the end. The graphics are nothing great but OK, but that's not why we play this kind of thing, right? It's got what you'd expect from an Action/RPG - quests galore, skills and attributes, companions, a sprawling game world - but without the hackneyed medieval/Tolkein setting, which is a nice change. I really like the music on the radio too, although it gets somewhat repetitive after a while (too few tracks). Great fun to play and well worth the 20 smackeroos I paid for it.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.7Mar 30, 2012I never played the original Crusader Kings, but Crusader Kings 2 had me hooked instantly. That said, it's DEFINITELY not one for everyone. TheI never played the original Crusader Kings, but Crusader Kings 2 had me hooked instantly. That said, it's DEFINITELY not one for everyone. The graphics are minimal (you just stare at a map the whole time), battles consist of little more than numbers decreasing for each side and a single game will takes hours upon hours to finish.
But if the above hasn't put you off, CK2 is a compelling game. The comparisons with Football Manager et al are pretty much spot on; this is a definite case of substance over style. Building up your dynasty is great fun. You need to scour the world for suitable mates, deal with unruly vassals or ungrateful lieges, put down regular rebellions, come up with tentative justifications to go to war, cozy up to the pope, and so on. There are many different ways you can approach the game, and you'll need to vary your tactics several times over the course of the game as circumstances dictate.
I do have a few gripes though, but nothing major. Finding a particular province or person can be tedious at times, and it would be nice to be able to define better filters for sorting through potential spouses for your children. Particular irritating is that some of the tool tips that are displayed are very unclear or misleading, which does not help you when you're starting out. You're somewhat thrown in at the deep end at the start and it takes a while to get into the swing of things. There are also a couple of minor bugs at the time of writing, such as your heir being displayed incorrectly (reloading fixes it though). I've not had any game stopping issues though, and no crashes after 100+ hours of playing.
If the idea of building a dynasty appeals to you, you don't have an aversion to games that don't rely on fancy graphics and have the time to invest in playing the game, you really ought to check out the demo. I played it for several hours and was immediately sold.… Expand