• Hello,Welcome to Play.com.  . (Not youSign in?) | Register
  • 0 SuperPoints
  • Your Account
  • Help

Product Reviews

17 (59% helpful)

Page 1 of 0

  1.  Possibly the most frustrating game I've ever played!


    So here we go again with old "virus/super soldier/generic super powered everyman" plot that developers seem to be rather obsessed with right now. A group of government scientists who obviously went to the Umbrella Corporation School of Morally Dubious Viral Research thought it would be a good idea to to fashion a virus that........ well I'm not sure really since the plot makes about as much sense as the continued popularity of Big Brother. You play as Alex Mercer, a thug in a hoodie who somehow became the carrier of said virus and, unlike the rest of the population of Manhattan Island, didn't turn into a mindless slathering zombie with a penchant for feasting on passers-by. Oh but hang on there's that extremely tiresome Web of Intrigue mechanic where you are forced to 'consume' (ie. eat) key players in this whole virus malarkey. Apparently the consumption of said targets will gradually reveal to you the full details surrounding the outbreak and therefore fill in the gaps in the already paper thin storyline. Unfortunately, the brief cut scenes that accompany these 'consumptions are so vague and the order in which they take place is so random that you'll have to search youtube to find someone whose been kind enough to string them together in the correct order and post them in a video.
    So no points for plot there then, but what about all the sexy violence. Well as your typical super powered thug in a hoodie Mr Mercer has a rather impressive repertoire of weapons with which to commit his own brand of bloody murder. He can of course steal weapons from soldiers and hijack vehicles as with any other sandbox game which kind of makes that a moot point really because we've seen that all before. What sets Alex apart from most other psychotic videogame protagonists is his ability to change his cellular structure into a variety of stabby and bashy weapons a la T1000. There's the Wolverine style claws for forecasting heavy showers of body parts, the 'breeze blocks for fists' if that's your sort of thing, a hideously overpowered tentacle thing which has a long range and does amazing damage (as well as enabling you to jack helicopters in mid air) and the massive sword thing which, coupled with the rock hard body armor should make you nigh on indestructible. Which of course it doesn't because around the mid-point this game gets frustratingly difficult to the point of despair. I only played on medium difficulty and found that some of the missions were stupidly hard, especially the bosses who were a great deal more powerful than me, took an age to kill and had very cheap attacks that followed me around and couldn't be dodged. Aside from that niggling annoyance however the combat is largely satisfying and the controls intuitive.
    I could go on forever about the huge immersive sandbox environment and the free running but if you've played Assassin Creed or any one of the Spiderman games since the PS2 came out you'll already be more than familiar with that sort of thing. The environments are let down by the games slightly ropey graphics and choice of colour scheme which makes one of the most vibrant areas of one of the most vibrant cities in the world look bland and lifeless.
    Finally, the side quests. In a word pointless. In another word rubbish. Nuff said.
    To conclude if you like generic games with satisfyingly visceral combat, rubbish and incomprehensible storylines, ugly brown and red graphics and nothing to do outside of the wrist cripplingly hard campaign then Prototypes for you. I'd recommend renting it but on the off chance you end up snapping the disc I'd give Blockbuster a miss this time!

  2.  I was using my Chewbacca defense!


    There are many who view George Lucas as some kind of soul destroying anti-christ who should know when to leave well alone and should have left his "trilogy" as it was. I personally didn't think all that much of the Star Wars prequel films, but The Force Unleashed has done a damned fine job of reinvigorating my love for the franchise. For one thing, any game which casts you as everyones favourite asthmatic Sith Lord and tasks you with mercilessly slaughtering Wookies on the planet Kashyyk in the very first mission gets an A+ in my book.
    The aim of the game from the very start as the developer so eloquently put it is to "kick ass with the force" and scope for such ass kicking is pretty great. After the aforementioned prequel mission you take control of Darth Vaders secret apprentice and get sent out of on your mission of mass destruction. The controls are extremely tight so the use of your lightsaber and assorted force powers is very easy to get used to. Although the apprentice is horribly underpowered in the beginning you will find you level up very quickly and unlock new and more destructive force powers as you progress. The combat is very fast paced and extremely visceral in places but does experience some slow down when trying to combine anything with force grip as theres a delay between targeting your opponent and being allowed to attack them. This can become annoying in a battle with a large number of enemies but is more of an irritant than a massive issue.
    The boss fights however are a bit silly, there is a rogue Jedi Knight to be found at the end of most of the missions and the battles are hard but not in a good way. To clarify, they have no visible attack patterns, seem to be shielded against pretty much all of your force powers, block most of your lightsaber attacks, and most have annoying ranged/shockwave attacks which are unblockable and deplete your health bar pretty quickly. This means the boss fights descend quickly into a force lightning spam-othon followed by desperate hammering of the attack button. However,the quick time events at the end of the fight allow you to take part in the cutscene of the takedown which is pretty cool in it's own right. By far the most frustrating sequence in the game however is the battle against a star destroyer, awesome in theory but a mess in practice with on screen prompts being very lacklustre and the constant stream of tie fighters meaning a long and frustrating experience, BAD Lucasarts!
    The most important thing to the fan boys will be the story and thankfully it's very good. Not just a great Star Wars story but a good game story as well. The characters are well rounded and the script is excellent. The voice acting could have been atrocious but thankfully none of the characters sound like Anakin Skywalker or Padme so no annoying mushy love dovey sequences or angsty tantrums from the main character and my only gripe is that James Earl Jones blatanly isn't voicing Darth Vader but thats the fan boy in me trying to get out again.
    Far and away the graphics and physics engines are the stars of the show here creating some absolutely stunning vistas in which to create havok and let slip the dogs of war. The physics engine makes for some hilarious sequences whereby stormtroopers hold on to eachother for dear life at the edge of a precipice while you stalk towards them with a quickly recharging force bar. The realistic movements and reactions to everything you do really are a tour de force and deserve your apllause by themselves.
    Overall TFU is a great addtion to the Star Wars universe and while short at about six hours offers a great deal of replay value.

  3.  Hells yeah!


    I never played the original Mercenaries on the PS2 so hadn't been looking forward to it at all. I decided to buy it due to the fact that we're in the season of "Naff All's Coming Out" and GTA IV was rubbish. First impressions were that it looked ghastly, like someone from EA had kindly come round to my flat and dipped my LCD in a swamp proclaiming "it's the look we were aiming for". So the graphics are a bit rubbish and the streets of the cities are pretty much deserted, but after the initial 30 minutes yawnathon the game starts to open up and the fun begins.
    I started and finished the game in several co-op sessions with an Xbox Live buddy and discovered it to be the most fun I've had in multiplayer since Gears Of War. The story is needless and inconsequential, something to do with a coup, or a dictator, or some guy in South America and some factions and stuff. It's pointless and stinks of "EA Stock Mercenary/War Game/Space Marine Storyline #45791", but the developer can be commended for at least trying to justify the unbridled carnage on offer.
    Despite the lack of credible narrative, the gameplay is a tour de force, which once the whole map has been opened up and your "team" has been put together allows freedom to destroy whatever and whoever you want when you want. You start off by choosing one of three avatars (grizzled, tattooed Scandanavian guy with a mohak, token black guy chomping cigar or sassy, token Asian girl), your choice makes little difference to actual gameplay with exception of varying strengths and some classic one-liners. From there you basically work for some factions, make some contacts, assemble a team including a helicopter pilot, mechanic and jet pilot make a shed load of money and hammer several hundred (maybe?) square miles of Venezualan countryside with an impressive variety of particularly destructive ordnance. It's silly, immature, shallow fun and with a friend it'll be the best laugh you'll have on Xbox Live till Gears Of War 2 comes out and you go back to fragging n00bs.
    My only problem with the game is that it's very short and a little bit glitchy. I've had to restart my console a couple of times because it didn't like me and my buddy levelling an entire city block in one go. The thing that also makes it so fun is also it's biggest downside, the shallowness and lack of depth means that once completing the 'story' and collecting a thousand easy achievement points (for us 360 owners) it's only place will be propping up the pre-owned shelves in game.

  4.  Too Inhuman!


    I'll be the first to admit that I like playing bad games (much to the chagrin of my girlfriend), I don't know why I just do. If you were to look at my gamer card pretty much every rubbish movie tie-in, lame kiddie game and Japanese oddity will be all present and correct. The problem we have here is that there's bad and there's Too Human. I was really quite looking forward to this game and was expecting an epic action RPG in the same vein as Mass Effect, with an excellent story, slightly ropey combat and a wealth of customisation options. Unfortunately, none of the above elements have been implemented in any way shape or form. I get the impression that throughout the development, nobody actually stopped to play the game and see if it was any good.
    Allow me to elaborate;
    Combat: the right analog stick is used for melee combat while the triggers are used for primary and secondary fire on your equipped ballistic weapon. Use of the right stick for melee could have worked very well if it weren't for Baldur's sluggish movements and clumsy swordplay. It's actually possible to stand flailing your sword at nothing while an enemy bites your arm off. The ballistic weaponry (ie. guns) is terrible. All weapons are hideously underpowered and the auto lock-on is, as usual, terrible often prioritising dead enemies over the living ones. The combination of melee and ranged weaponry should have allowed a great deal of flexibility in taking down targets but with more than a few enemies on screen at any one time makes the whole gameplay experience messy and frustrating. The most annoying part however, comes along in the from of the Valkyrie, which ascends from the heavens to whisk away your battered body every time you die. This might be OK if it were skippable, but it's not and it gets very, very old very, very quickly because you will die A LOT. There also seems to be no punishmennt for dying other than this little 30 second cutscene. All enemies in the area you've vanquished remain dead and all EXP wou gained before stays in tact.
    Story: Silicon Knights should be commended for doing their research but not for the scrpting. The characterisation and dialog are awful, the Gods are severely ungodly and generally very annoying with Baldur regularly coming across as a whining mummy's boy who's lost his favourite teddy.
    Graphics: Are actually pretty good, all the environments look solid and there's a great sense of vast open space in all of the locations. Character models are well designed (although the Goblins look like a massive rip-off of DOG from Half Life 2), but unfortunately other than the bosses there are only about 5 or 6 enemies, which are repeated throughout the game, which leads to the combat feeling dull and samey.
    Overall Too Human is a stinker, one of those games that punishes you repeatedly for playing it, almost as if Silicon Knights hate gamers and want them to suffer greatly for the £40 they forked out for it. I finished it (bad games and all), but if it weren't for trade-in value I'd burn it!

  5.  Awesome Album, Rubbish DVD


    As a die hard maggot I've been waiting for this album with baited breath for over 4 years. Now, you may think that would prevent me from giving an objective opinion on All Hope Is Gone, but I'll give it a go nonetheless.
    Disc 1: All Hope is Gone.
    Slipknot's 4th studio release is nothing short of staggering, they've managed to take all of the best elements of their first 3 albums and meld it into a near perfect whole.
    The distortion charged spoken word intro .execute. builds the tension on a par with Iowa's (515) before exploding into Gematria (The Killing Name), a politically charged assault on the senses clocking in at six face melting minutes that stands as a statement of intent for the rest of the ablum. Continuing the onslaught Sulfur has a distinctly old school 'Knot flavour but with a cleaner vocal in the chorus offering some respite. First single Psychosocial stands as a career highlight from the band with it's simplistic heavy metal beat, offset by a superb solo from guitarist Mick Thompson and relentless percussive undertones. Vendetta perfectly intertwines speed metal riffs, a very natural vocal performance from Corey Taylor and a fist pumping Marilyn Mansonesque chorus. Butcher's Hook ramps up the intensity before the experimental track Gehenna slows things down with it's Alice in Chains feel and nod to old tracks like Prosthetics and Skin Ticket.
    Album highlight This Cold Black is by far the heaviest track with another brilliant solo and a great chorus. On the first listen Wherein Lies Continue didn't really do much for me, but with time it may become a grower.
    By far the most controversial songs on the album, certainly amongst Slipknot fans and other metal heads alike, are Dead Memories and Snuff. While I agree they do sound slightly out of place on such a heavy record, both are excellent songs in their own right and deserve your attention. Snuff stands as a vocal and song writing highlight for Corey Taylor and Dead Memories continues the melodic metal edge of songs like Vermillion quite adequately.
    The decision to end with the title track, a traditionally heavy Slipknot song as opposed to the usual slow, intense and morbid offerings on previous records works well and serves to end the album on a high. Overall, All Hope Is Gone has confirmed that Slipknot are still worthy of your attention and has cemented them amongst the elite. Still makes you wonder how they'll ever top it.
    Highlights: Gematria (The Killing Name), Psychosocial, This Cold Black, Snuff)

    Disc 2: nine: The Making Of All Hope Is Gone
    It would be through a lack of thoroughness on my part if I did not offer opinion on the second disc of this package, a DVD containing a 35 minute "documentary" on the making of the album. I use the term documentary very loosely however since it is nothing more than a flimsy collection of scenes shot on Handicam that have been roughly cut together to form nothing more that a structureless mess. Considering that Shawn Crahan (#6, percussion) is largely responsible for the editing on the superb Disasterpieces live concert, it surprises me that Voliminal and now nine are so badly made and put together. Rather than opting for a more professional production values as seen in Lamb Of God's excellent Walk With Me in Hell, Crahan has chosen to pursue a more artistic approach, but to no avail. What could have served as a vessel for giving a real insight into one of the most intense, creative and entertaining bands of the last decade has succeeded only in making them appear very boring which is a real shame. If your not already a fan of Slipknot I wouldn't recommend this pack, as even fans will be disappointed.
    2/10 (at least they tried!)

  6.  Slightly biased!


    I must admit that I'm not an enormous fan of the hack 'n' slash genre but having read many glowing reviews on Heavenly Sword I picked a copy up and gave it a go.
    The first thing I was struck by is how beautiful the cutscenes were in glorious HD...... and how mediocre the graphics were during gameplay. It seems this games suffers from the old trick of not using the in-game engine for cutscenes which in the current-gen is slightly unacceptable! It also has very little substance to it as i regularly found myself descending into fits of extreme button mashing trying to get a decent combo going but to no avail. Finally the game is hideously short running in at about 6 hours if you take your time or are a bit rubbish.
    I'll openly admit I'm probably being a little harsh on Heavenly Sword because it's not really my thing but I was expecting more from it! Come on Sony give me something worth playing!

  7.  Converted Halo Hater


    First off I was a bona fide Halo hater who jumped on the I hate the XBOX 360 bandwagon before the console even graced our shores. I bought one on release (strange I know!) and nearly 2 years and a shed load of top quality games later Halo 3 sits quite nicely in my list of the best games I've ever played. Is it because it pushes the boundaries of next gen? Is it because it's gameplay, graphics, etc are the best thing since sliced bread? The answer to both is no!

    The reason why this game is so freaking awesome is because I went into it expecting nothing and got the most fun I've had playing games in years. 4 Player on-line co-op on legendary was the absolute bomb, skull searching with my girlfriend and having a redvsblue style arguement over XBOX Live was hysterical and fighting repeatedly with a mate over who was driving the warthog goes down in my personal history as the only time I've ever had a fight (i bashed in his bombaclad head with a skull moo ha!) Even multiplayer which i usually suck at is sweet especially with a good team on slayer. Fun is the word here people and if you stick the disc in yer drive with an open mind and couple of good mates you'll see what i mean!

  8.  War shouldn't be fun..... but it is!!!


    I've got to say first that I think that World War 2 shooters have been done to death and was pleased to hear the next call of duty would feature a more modern setting. I was also extremely scepticle when I heard a new medal of honour game was coming out (especially since MOH: Rising Sun was pants). Having played Airborne though I have to say my mind has been well and truly changed.

    The single player game, while short at only 6 missions is great fun to play with it's slightly lacklustre AI and ragdoll physics (some of the enemies are ridiculously stupid). The missions are all pretty straight forward too with a variety of objectives flashing up at various intervals giving you the option to do them in whichever order you choose. Unfortunately, as you progress throught the game the little things you ignored at the start do get a little annoying especially at higher difficulties. Also the introduction of panzershreck teams and storm elite troopers towards the end of the game is more of an annoyance than a new challenge. Overall though the key problem with this game is the same as all FPS, you are everyones primary target which will become more apparent when you play through on expert.

    Online is where the game really is a tour de force. I'm terrible at online multiplayer deathmatches but for some reason i get on with this game very well online and have no trouble racking up the kills and objective points. This is down to the multiplayer being very well balanced with no huge difference in weapon stopping power and no shotgun to cheapen the experience. There is the odd schemer with a panzershreck but they tend to get dealt with rather quickly. The only real downside online is an inability to host ranked matches (a la Gears of War, GRAW, etc.) which can lead to a frustratingly long wait while the game searches repeatedly (23 times last night) for a game to slot you in to.

  9.  Hmm, right!


    Having just read some of the glowing reviews for the PS3's so called "flagship FPS" all i can say is that anyone that says that this is anything more than a below par run of the mill shooter obviously hopped on the "I hate the XBox 360" bandwagon and didn't even bother playing the sublime Gears of War. Now, being the proud owner of both PS3 and X360 I can safely say that RFOM isn't much cop!
    The graphics look so last-gen i expected to look up and see a PS2 blinking away at me. The Chimera (while a great idea!!) look ridiculous, the environments look OK but not as polished as i'd have hoped considering the graphical power under the consoles hood and the physics straight suck. I'm sorry but if i throw a grenade under something i expect it to react realistically!
    On the other hand the storyline is a strong point and is the only thing that kept me moving through the bland environments and repetitive combat. The on-line modes are super as well but not a patch on some of the alternatives.
    Overall the game is a major disappointment and stinks of a game that was rushed to meet release! My PS3 is a blu-ray player now...... my X360 is still a games console by the way!