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Product Reviews

42 (67% helpful)

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  1.  I didn't want this to finish!


    I loved the story and characters throughout this game, they really come alive and the world itself is so full of character. Your choices are never really clear cut as they were in Baldur's Gate style games: you very often have to go for the lesser evil, trying to stay true to the road you have chosen for your witcher, and it's not so easy.
    Combat is deeply satisfying (I only wish I had understood how to use the riposte skill much sooner than I did), the graphics are very good and voice acting is great. I'll definitely play this again, changing my choices to see the different outcome; the question is whether to do that right away or wait after I've played something else.
    Definitely one of the best RPGs ever, for a mature audience.

  2.  Way underrated, pure fun


    The only problem I've had with this title is the somewhat outdated graphics, but the loads of fun I've had totally compensate for it. It's like a cross between Oblivion and Diablo, in third person view, with the added benefit of morphing into a dragon. Combat goes far beyond clicking on enemies, and there's plenty of ways to customize your hero. Plus, there's loot frenzy in Diablo fashion, and a whole lot of quests that involve exploration and puzzles. Looking forward to the additional content for this one!

  3.  A vastly improved Overlord


    There are many subtle improvements over the first installment in the series, other reviewers have mentioned them already. This is essentially a very funny game where you play as a demonic overlord commanding an army of imp-like minions. Even though you'll really get to be evil and carry out all sorts of misdeeds, the game is too cartoonish and demented for you to take it seriously and be disturbed by the violence depicted.
    A few issues prevent a five-star rating. The game very frequently missed mouse-up or mouse-down events, disrupting player control, sometimes with devastating results. Often the camera following swept minions did not follow them properly, with similar results. And finally, while you can dominate weak individuals like peasants or villagers, you are often forced to kill them instead, because they clumsily block your way whenever there is a narrow path you need to follow.
    Highly recommended title anyway!

  4.  A solid and enjoyable shooter


    FEAR 2 can essentially be considered FEAR with vastly improved graphics. The gameplay is very similar, although a couple of fun and frantic mech sessions have been added, and the general setup is the same as the first title, namely a cross between Akira and The Ring. You battle wave after wave of black-ops operatives, replica soldiers, biofreaks and supernatural entities, while the disquieting Alma makes regular appearances. The action has been more than satisfying to me. Playing at standard difficulty removes the need to use the slow motion feature and rely on quick reflexes and strategic use of cover instead. I used SloMo only in those few situations where I was not having enough fun - more specifically a few gauntlet sections throughout the game, where you are locked in confined spaces against swarms of enemies.
    Apart from the hyper-action sequences, the enemy AI is quite advanced, and it provides for satisfactory confrontations. Forget brain-dead enemies flocking like lemmings to a choke point you control, only to be shot down. Try it in this game, and the best you can expect is a live grenade within five seconds. They'll use cover, flank you and generally move from place to place. A welcome addition is the possibility to "cook" grenades before throwing them, as no enemy in the game is dumb enough to stay next to a live bomb, waiting for it to detonate.
    I especially loved the graphics and the visual design of the various levels. It looks like a lot of attention to detail was put into this design: when you are in a ruined city or inside a secret underground research facility, it almost looks like the real thing, even though so much of the environment is unaccessible. It's a question of both graphics processing power and artistic effort by the designers.
    The main drawbacks in the game are in my opinion the excessive similarity to the first title in the series and the use of the Steam service to limit fair use. While I wouldn't recommend buying it at full price, it's still a very fine shooter for those that have a decent gaming rig.

  5.  A solid experience


    This game was a pleasant surprise. I bought it mostly because of the bargain price, after reading mixed reviews, and at first was a bit put off. It's a tactical RPG, much as Baldur's Gate was, but allows less freedom in terms of dialogue interaction with NPCs and uses a completely different rule system. At the start it's rather difficult to figure out what skills you should invest in, since if you are like me, this is the first time you have played using The Dark Eye ruleset.
    As I said, at first it didn't impress me much, and its limitations surfaced almost immediately. Buggy pathfinding, run of the mill quests, flaky camera, nice but previous generation graphics, unconvincing bits (things like lockpicking right in front of the owner of a chest, or barrels filled with all kinds of goodies, a la NWN).
    After a while, though, I got the hang of it and was able to refine my main character and the rest of the team in a way that allowed me much more tactical depth. You can invest experience points into skills and spells at any time, not just when you level up. You gain experience and levels Baldur's Gate-style, not Diablo-style, meaning that you don't gain 100 levels and you don't get endgame weapons that deal 100 times as much damage as the ones you get early in the game. Instead, the difference between a certain weapon and a superior one rarely goes beyond a few damage points or a slight attack bonus, but in the end it works out fine with the TDE ruleset, just like it does with the classic D&D one. So you can expect more fun after a few (or several, depending on how you play) hours of gameplay, as new possibilities open up. You can choose between a varied assortment of companions, up to three at a time, so that you can appropriately complement your main character's capabilities and weaknesses, whatever starting class you choose.
    While the story may not be incredibly original in itself, it's not worse than those found in the majority of RPGs I have played, and it is well delivered throughout the adventure.
    In the end, I highly recommend this game. It's not perfect, and yet I give it the max rating because of the enjoyment I got out of it. While there is room for improvement in several side areas, the basis of the game is solid, and I never got bored. Moreover, they chose not to implement a remote activation system to limit your fair use of the game, and in a PC gaming scene consistently moving towards the use of Steam or SecuROM, I really have to applaud the choice.

  6.  Way too repetitive


    Admittedly an action RPG is not a game that is expected to have much depth, but Sacred 2 goes too far. As you level up, you gain access to better equipment and skills, but then enemies also level up, so in the end it's all grind, grind, grind, level up, and nothing ever changes. Forget about tactics, varied quests or any kind of acceptable fantasy plot. You simply click on enemies and that's it.
    The spell/special skill part is different from most games out there, in that it does not use mana, but rather a cooldown time for each skill. As each skill becomes more potent, it also takes longer to reload, so in the end it's usually not worth bothering. I selected the dryad (long range/magic fighter) and stuck with the normal attack for 99% of my play time (I didn't finish the game, it was just too boring).
    On the plus side, the world is lush and richly detailed. It's also *really* huge and will take a lot of time (and patience) to fully explore. A teleportation system helps a bit with backtracking, but not enough. Mounts are available, that make you faster at the expense of special skills, but travelling still takes a long time.
    Today I uninstalled the game, and the uninstaller failed to deactivate it, even though activation after installation ran smoothly, so I have basically lost the license and my right to use it. Not that I'd be that likely to install it again in the future, but I still find it's not fair. At least it came cheap.

  7.  What are you looking for in a game?


    This game is a third person shooter of a particular brand: instead of military weapons, you mostly use futuristic cutting tools - which is good because you get to confront monsters whose limbs you'll need to cut off in order to vanquish them. Undoubtedly very gory - but scary is another matter: after my very first steps on the USG Ishimura, the game stopped surprising me, as it proves way too predictable and repetitive.
    I totally agree with the person comparing this title to Doom. Forget everything you know about tactics, situational awareness, precise shooting. Dead Space overdoes the gauntlet scheme: you are thrown in an enclosed area, then all the monsters in the world jump in around you. You can't avoid being surrounded, you can't really plan anything. Just hack, cut and maim, and quaff a medkit if your health gets too low.
    I played on the medium difficulty level, and the game is quite easy, frustration did not arise from difficulty. You find plenty of ammo and equipment, both on monster bodies and around in the environment. Still, I prefer games where you, the player, make a bigger difference. Games where the way you play may mean the difference between a brilliant victory and an utter defeat.
    So, if you are looking for frantic action with no planning whatsoever involved, you can safely buy this game. It's non-stop action and you face an endless stream of AI-less enemies thrown at you. If on the other hand you prefer a tactical approach, I suggest you steer clear of it.
    The PC port, it has SERIOUS mouse lagging problems, making the game almost unplayable. I was finally able to overcome them by disabling vsync in-game and forcing it on using 3D overrider (the control panel override does not work under Vista) but I feel the issue should not arise in the first place.

  8.  Fantastic private life devourer


    This title places you into a large world to explore, loosely following the storyline and fighting enemies at every turn. You control your avatar directly, but rather fight in turn-based combat through a small army of assorted creatures, which your avatar supposedly leads. You can choose between a warrior and a mage (or a paladin), but again this does not mean you directly use the avatar's abilities. A mage will tend to have his army fight more defensively, wearing enemies out through the use of magic, whereas a warrior will try to get down to direct confrontation as soon as possible.
    Warning, say goodbye to sleep. "Just five more minutes..." repeated ad nauseam means you risk going to bed when outside it's getting clear. This game sucks you in, tactical possibilites are endless and the move from strategy to action RPG was a smart one. I also loved the cartoonish graphics, even though they are not very impressive from a technical standpoint.
    On the other hand, difficulty is not high because of good enemy AI, but rather because your army gets progressively more outnumbered, and when you have to fight 4x your forces, a bad AI opponent can put up a good challenge anyway. Moreover, a nasty bug caused my game to crash *regularly* every ten minutes on Vista, or run sluggishly on XP. The solution involved using 3D-Analyze to force windowed mode, which put an end to crashing, but it's a shame having to resort to such unintuitive measures.
    Anyway I had a blast, and I don't feel like removing one full star because of the bugs, especially in a game not marred by DRM. Consider my vote more a 4,5 than a full 5 - and I suggest you at least have a go at the demo, because this game deserves your money.

  9.  A fantastic, hard science fiction experience


    This is another game that totally exceeded my expectations. Essentially, it is a role-playing game where your skill as a gamer takes the place of dice. You have levels, classes, stats and equipment, and they do define your character, but in the end it's you that controls movement and combat, and for me it works great. You get a lot of freedom to explore the setup; there are a lot of different planetary systems to travel to, and you are encouraged to visit them all. Every location holds some reward, and some secondary quests can be unlocked this way. Unfortunately, most planets look the same, with only basic colors and mountain steepness that change from place to place.
    When you are exploring, you usually control a 6-wheeled tank reminiscent of the space buggy from Moon Patrol. When things get close and personal, you get a simplified version of Rainbow Six Vegas: two members of your crew always accompany you, and you can give them basic commands or even directly control their special powers. You can take cover behind obstacles and choose from a several weapons, depending on what the situation calls for.
    There is ample room for improvement here. Pathfinding is weak at best, with squad members sometimes refusing to move when you command them to go somewhere, or getting stuck against the most irrelevant objects. Their AI is lackluster, and they frequently get in trouble when they shouldn't. Another minor demerit comes from the cover system. It kicks in automatically when you approach a suitable object, but it would be better to let you control it explicitly as it sometimes is a nuisance and slows you down when you would want to run, and sometimes it doesn't work as expected, leaving you exposed. But at the same time I really enjoyed combat and the variety of tactics you can employ, depending on your skill set and your allies'. You have combat powers, plus technical and psionic skills. I never got bored along two playthroughs.
    I'm very impressed by the SF background. If you take the time to read the notes on your codex, you'll realize that the good guys at Bioware have invested plenty of time to create a believable and coherent universe, rather than go for the generic space opera setup and forget about details. These notes are not directly related to the game, but they really helped me feel inside the game.
    I also liked the cinematics and the space music themes a lot. This is a game with very high production values. To best enjoy it, I suggest you go for the hardcore difficulty, which is unfortunately locked the first time you play. Don't worry too much at first: the game gets gradually easier as you progress, because your equipment improves at a higher rate than your opponents' skills. Also, I suggest you don't go for the pure non-combat classes, as they are less fun to play. Soldier or vanguard give you plenty of variety but also allow you to be the centre of the action, while a pure biotic heavily depends on his squad mates and slows the pace of the game (I haven't tried out ALL classes though).
    I won't go into the details about the sad DRM scheme they decided to employ for this game, but it prevents me from giving a full star rating. I suggest you make sure to read about it before you buy the game, in order to make an informed purchase.

  10.  A Real Classic


    My first contact with Fallout 3 was a bit disappointing. Coming from the lush world of Far Cry 2, I found Fallout's graphics unable to compare favorably, due in no small part to the bleakness of the post-nuclear war it's set in. But soon I started exploring, and things quickly changed for the better. The rule system for character development is very flexible and allows you to crate an avatar with exactly the set of attributes you desire. An artful manipulator that could sell fridges to the Eskimo, a Duke Nukem-style goon leaving only destruction in his wake, or a crafty technician who is great at hacking computers, opening locks and using explosives to indirectly hurt his enemies, it's all there. The world feels alive, and there is a lot of variety under the surface. The main quest is rather short, true, but there's a myriad of secondary ones that will keep you busy for a long time. Besides, you'll want to explore most places you encounter, because there may be unique items hidden inside that abandoned shack or that derelict power plant.
    You can also choose any path you like: good, evil or just random. The designers tried to give you a reason to undertake quests anyway, even if you couldn't care less for the old lady who has asked for your help. Maybe you are pretending to help her, but actually plan to keep for yourself the artifact she wants you to retrieve. In my opinion, it's much better than "Ok, I'll help you because I want to do this quest and I need the extra xp, even though I am evil and would never help a loser like you in my life".
    The game can be played as you would an FPS... almost. The controls tend to be a bit unresponsive, when it comes down to real time fighting, and you appear to deal much more damage when using the VATS system, which allows you to target the enemy based on your RPG-like stats. That doesn't detract from the fun, at least for me. Oh, you top up at level 20, so just keep that in mind when you choose character perks and skills.
    What else to say? I heartily recommend this game. And now I'm back to playing for my second run through: this time I plan to explore *everything* on the map. Hey, I want ALL those elusive bobblehead figurines for my stand!