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Red Faction: Armageddon
9 New from
This game has been given a lot of mixed reviews, and understandably there are some who feel that it does not live up to "Guerilla", however i feel that it needs to be said that this franchise didnt start off as a sand box game either, it was the Geo mod engine that made it so popular. "Guerilla" brought a nice twist to the game, making it sandbox, and adding the 3rd person perspective. "Armageddon" has stepped away from the sandbox type game and gone back to its roots in my opinion, and i think it works well. The graphics are up to standard and what you would expect, with some nice lighting effects, and there is certainly plenty to do and shoot at. The story is solid, and drives you well with some fairly decent voice acting, and nice FMV sequences. I think that the Nano Forge is a nice touch too, allowing you to rebuild damaged walkways, and equipment, some of which is needed to progress in the game. Although not long, I still feel that this is a good game, keeping up a lot of the original factors that made the the red faction franchise so popular, and although it does not have the replayability of "Guerilla", its still a good and enjoyable romp.
Missions can become a bit repetitive, and sometimes you do get bogged down by enemy, however, these are mute points when looking at the bigger picture. All in all an enjoyable game, and worth looking at in my opinion
Rivers of London
As the title states, this is an excellent mix of police crime fighting and fantasy, which works extremely well. It is a well written story with some pretty in depth crime investigation going on, with an original take on trying to explain the mythical/magical side to London with modern society. His characters are well thought out, the story is an absolute corker, although trying to explain what it is about will do nothing but ruin what is a brilliant take on an age old story. All those that are afraid that this is a kids book in disguise, and is just a take on Harry Potter, rest assured the truth could not be further away. A brilliant first book and start to what will be a successful series I`m sure. I await the release of "Moon over Soho" with baited breath!
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days - Limited Edition
10 New from
Firtsly, I am a realist, and realise that this title will not be everyones cup of tea- and that a lot of people will compare this game to many other titles out there. I take this game at face value and have played it with an open mind.Firstly the game is a massive improvement on its predesessor- thats not saying the original was a bad title, it just had flaws. In this outing you play as Lynch and as per his usual form, you see his escapades making what started out as a relatively run of the mill job turn into a chase through Shanghais underworld, with a corrupt government official throwing everything at you to try and stop you escaping.
The visuals are well done, played as though through a video camera, complete with motion blurring, pixellation, and splashes on the lense. Some of the scenes have been edited as if they have been blanked out after a session in the editing suite which adds a nice touch- as if its a playback and they didnt want you to see the result of a shotgun blast to a head at close range- or (as a result of the story line) covering genitalia where appropiate. people have complained about this feature, but to me it enhances the story and adds a little bit of realism to it.On the subject of realism- again, people have complained about the lack of realism to the game, and that the storyline is far fetched- About as far fetched as an Eastern European going to a city called Liberty City and eating hamburgers as a way of reviving himself from various injuries, or following the story of a treasure hunter as he looks for Marco Polos lost fleet, and tackles yetis anyone? The point is, its a game- and the story fits the profile very well- plenty of action, plenty of character interaction, and again you get to feel part of the story coming out as a result of the relationship between the two anti-heroes. Someone else complained about only being able to hold two weapons- Its a refreshing change to see a game that limits the ability to carry 45 different weapons and all thier ammo- slightly more reralistic than most games in my opinion.
Sound is another great feature in the game, and if you have the equipment to appreciate the quality, then it again further enhances the effect of the gameplay.
The main story is short, and can be completed in around 4 hours, however this need not be a bad thing, as i feel that the game can get a bit repetetive, however the story helps to keep this down by changing areas and environments accordingly. It is certainly not as bad as some reveiwers have made it out to be
All in all- this title will not win any awards, however as games go its a challenging and enjoyable outing with a certain amount of replay value, especially with the online modes. As stated- not everyone will like it, and some people will go out of their way to compare it with other titles, but if you can get past the fact that this game is purely designed for entertainment- then I think you will enjoy the title.I certainly have.
Alpha Protocol: The Espionage RPG
10 New from
Firstly let me start by saying that at the time of writing I am only 3 missions in and first impressions are that this isnt a bad game, its just not (imho) what was advertised. I suppose that I should have listened to my sub-conscious when I saw it was been developed by Sega- a company not normally involved in RPG-esque titles.
You play the character Mike Thornton, who has recently been recruited into the Government organisation that gives the game its title. Your background determines your starting stats and can be anything from an ex soldier, CIA or just a plain ordinary guy. From here you are given the option to conduct training in the various activities likely to be encountered whilst out in the field, from disarming alarms, to hacking computers, to weapons and "gadget" training. Missions can be conducted in any order, and to a certain degree, your actions on the missions will affect the course of the game later on. Succsessful completion of mission objectives, disposing of enemies and succsessful interaction with alarms, locks and computers all give experience points which in turn go towards levelling up to the next level, where points can be spent improving skills such as sabotage etc.
All sounds run of the mill RPG stuff, so why the 3 stars?
The problem with the game is that it just doesnt really work as an RPG. Its a kind of budget "Mass Effect" with little nuances thrown in. The computer hacking is nothing short of fustrating, trying to identify a specific line of coding in a sea of swirling, ever changing letters and numbers, which is timed to change every few seconds, so just when you have identified the location of the code, it changes, which has had me nearly throwing my controller at the screen on a few occasions. AI of the enemy is apalling, and as for the espionage side, It seems as soon as you enter a mission area, enemies come running towards you in a suicidal wave of lemmings. James Bond it is not. It just all seems a little unpolished and could have been improved with a little bit more dev time.
On the whole, its not a bad game, and interaction with the other characters in the game is well driven within the story, and I am convinced that this will have bearing on how it all pans out, however, there is too much going on in the game, that doesnt make it feel as finished as it should be. maybe with a bit more playing it will come together, but therein lies the problem, as there isnt enough incentive for me to finish the game with the points mentioned making it a fustrating experience. As a standalone shooter it would be mediocre at best, what with its rivals, and there are just too many more polished RPG titles out there for it to contend with.Not at all what I was expecting, and I think it will disappoint others too
4 New from
I`m confused......As I live overseas I usually recieve my games and DVD`s slightly later than usual so was obviously dismayed to read some of the reviews this game was being given after pre-ordering it some time ago.Once I actually recieved the game though the disappointment turned to confusion as it became apparent the version I recieved in the post is quite obviously different to the one most people recieved.The one I got is an extrememly entertaining and playable version and a good addition to the Wolfenstein franchise.At the point of writing this reveiw it has to be noted that i have not finished the game but my conclusions so far include the following:
Playability and storylineFrom the intro video at the beginning of the game it becomes obvious that this game is a follow-on from the previous titles and not a next gen re-make, so trying to compare it to RTCW is not really relevant, as the two are completely different games, although the concept is the same- Shoot bad guys. The storyline allows you to interact with other characters within the game and the ability to buy upgrades etc brings an element of RPG-ism into the mix too, and with the ability to switch goals using your journal does not make this a one horse race, though I can honestly say the ability to blow the crap out of Nazis will never get boring! The addition of hidden items on each level also bring a certain replayability to the game. These and other elements of playability make it an extrememly entertaining title to play in my opinion.I have not played, nor am I able to play online so cannot comment on the multiplayer aspect of the game.
Enemy AIAlthough not the best example of AI in a game of this sort, it is no where near as bad as is being aluded to in some previous reviews. The enemy DO NOT run at you in a straight line waiting for you to shoot them. They will use squad tactics against you and will use cover for self preservation when available, which is a concept that a lot of other games of this genre do not employ. the NPC`s that you interact with will strike up conversations whilst going about their daily business and when you move as a group, they will cover your movement as well as waiting for you to place down fire before moving themselves. It is fair to say that a lot of work has been put into making this as realistic as possible, and in my opinion it has been acheived.
GraphicsThe graphics are well drawn and there are some pretty nifty effects thrown into the game which make it an attractive title with some nice touches. On a minor point, the disappearance of dead enemy once off screen, which is a pet hate of mine, but one that can be looked over, and there is a little bit too much of a shine on some of the clothing and water effects at times. One of the NPC charatcers who takes you around the town, for example, looks like he is wearing a patent leather jacket its that shiny... Apart from that though, they are no way near as bad as some I have seen.
OverallAlthough there are always going to be issues, as i have yet to play that perfect game, this title is no way near as bad as some people have made out. As stated i have not played the game through but my first few hours of play have been enjoyable and except for a few minor things such as disappearing bodies and maybe a bit too much shine on some of the graphics there are no major show stoppers in this game. The addition of the upgrading system and almost RPG-ish feel to interaction with the resistance members have brought a very nice touch to an exttremely polished title. The old BJ magic is still there though as this game sees you doing what he does best! maybe its not 5 star material, but its still worth a look!
When i first saw this game advertised I was hoping for a vast improvement on the origonal Area 51 game, releaeed on Xbox. Midway had the time and the expertise to correct the failings of that game and come up with something purely next gen.After the release of the teaser trailer, I was begining to think that this game was going to be a true hit. Unfortunately, after recieving the game and playing it for 15 minutes I have come to the conclusion that what I had hoped for, was not what I was going to get.This game could not have had a QA phase in its production. That is the only way this rubbish could have made it onto the shelves. It feels as if Midway have rushed it to get it out before christmas, which, in my eyes is going to be the death of it.The graphics and sound are nothing to write home about, a fact i am deeply annoyed with, because they actually looked and sounded nice on the video.The gameplay(what there is of it) is absolutely awful. The story totally linear, and the control of your character is clunky. The driving phases are totally shocking, and deserve a special mention later on. AI is utterly non existant, and seems to have been designed around the movement of shopping on a conveyor belt-the enemies, come at you in pixelled droves. They all are identical, move the same, die the same, and generally not well drawn.I managed to get as far as a driving section in the Nevada desert, close to the start of the game, before removing the disk from the console.On the subject of driving.. whoever was in charge of writing the engine for that part of the game should not be allowed near a computer again. Ever. It has got to be one of the worst examples of in game control of a vehicle that I have ever had the poor misfortune to experience.
In summary a very very poor attempt at what could have been a good game. Utterly gutted that i wasted my money on it, and will be trading it in at the earliest opportunity. I strongly recommend that any serious gamer stays away from this title.If you do want to see for yourself, I would reccomend renting first.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Game Of The Year Edition)
1 New from
Have owned this game on the pc, bought the origonal release on the 360, and now own The Game Of The Year Edition.This game has everything a gamer would ever want. Beautiful graphics, engaging story line. Individual character development, Freedom to do, and be whatever you want, fast paced combat, exploration, non linear storyline and gameplay..... the list is endless.I have played and completed this game more times than I care to remember, and yet, when I restart the game i always seem to find something else new to do. This is, in my opinion, by far THE BEST title released on the XBox 360 to date bar none. Now that Bethesda have decided to release the expansions, my life is complete!This title is top notch value for money and should be part of any collection of must have games for this console.
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men
I recieved this game on fri, and have managed to play through up to the point where Kane and Lynch try to initiate a prison breakout.Yes, I agree that AI is not too good, and yes I agree that there are some issues with the cover system and some elements of gameplay. I do not, however think this is reason alone not play the game.Someone mentioned in a previous review the un-realism of the game, for example- getting an adrenaline injection after being "shot ten times". Sounds about as unrealistic as a multitude of games out there whose heroes/heroines are shot a 100 times but miraculously heal after taking a first aid pack. The fact that they have used a different healing system, I feel, is adding a little something different to the mix, add to that the fact that your character is limited to only being able to recieve two to three shots of the stuff before he OD`s and dies anyway. That in my opinion adds a little more realism into the game play.Someone mentioned that the graphics were awful. Ok, they are not the best I have seen on the 360, but they are no way near as bad as people make out. Some of the effects I have seen are actually quite good. One particular effect that springs to mind are damage effects. Hit a wall- the spray of dust and debris is quite good, I particularly like the way the dust falls to the ground. Hit a pillar- same effect, unless you hit a weak spot and then the damage is more severe. Shoot a car, and you riddle it with holes, holes that, I might add, dont suddenly disappear..... Shoot an enemy in the head, and he goes down, shoot him in the leg and you wing him. That, in my opinion is a good physics engine.Voice acting is good, and the use of language fits the type of game it is, so expect a lot of -shall we say- colourful metaphors to be used.. a lot! The relationship between the two main characters is very good, Its quite obvious the two hate each other, and they let eachother know this at every oportunity!Story is good, if a little ambitious, but then if it wasnt there would be no fire fights to speak of, making it a very boring game. Yes, its far fetched, but then so are many of the films this game has quite obviously taken its ideas from. The fire fights are good, and you will have to work for your kill. Someone mentioned that you have to fire about ten rounds before you hit anyone, where as their rounds always hit their mark. I agree to a degree, but if I move my character from cover to cover, they have the same problem as you have. Also, the closer you are to them the easier it is to hit them, but vice versa. Again this adds to the mix.Up to now I have enjoyed the firefights and the gritty atmosphere of the game. I dont think it is a benchmark game, but I dont think its that bad. It certainly is NOT the worst game on the console as some people have claimed.In summary.A dark, gritty,violent game with a pretty decent-if far fetched- story line, good graphics with some good effects. good voice acting and sound. Firefights are fun, and fast paced, and unless you use your team and move from cover to cover, can be quite short!On the downside, AI is poor, and there are some gameplay issues such as use of cover which could have been thought out a bit better. If you do die you find yourself having to re-start the scene, with no manual save option, which can be fustrating, especially on some of the harder chapters.On the whole I would pay lip sevice to some of the comments that have been made to this game. Its not as bad as some of them say. My reccomendation would be to rent first if you are not too sure. Its certainly not going to be in contention for game of the year, but its still a good game in my opinion, and worth a try.
Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
2 New from
Like almost every other reviewer here i found the title to be a visually stunning game, with some jaw dropping effects and sounds, good voice acting and an engaging story line, in fact everything that has been mentioned in 95 percent of reviews I have read I totally agree with however for me, there are two major flaws.The length of the game.I had waited for this title for a few months and was looking forward to hours and hours of gameplay and fun, what i got was 3 hours, which in my opinion, does not warrant the £40 price tag that comes with the game.
The second major flaw, and the one that ruined it for me, was the actual gameplay itself. The game is far too linear, which again, in my opinion is not something I would expect from a Next gen title of this calibre.
I know the majority of people will disagree with me for for giving it only 4 stars, however this is my opinion. I do not feel that a title this short or this linear should recieve full marks on a Next Gen console.
To SummariseIt IS a good game, It IS worthy of being played, It WILL do well as a title, however my advice would be to rent it out and play it. The chances are you will probably complete it in that time, and will be able to make the choice yourself whether or not to purchase it
3 New from
Firstly, Let me say that if Immersive RPG- based games with an element of 3rd person combat are not your thing- Step away from this title now. Secondly, by the very nature of this game, multiplayer is not really a viable option, so again, if all you want is online gaming, this is not the one for you. Do yourself a favour and carry on playing Halo 3.If, however your interest has still been peaked, then please, read onBioware have been responsible for some very good bench mark RPG titles over the last few years, more recently with titles like KOTOR I and II and Jade Empire on console. Mass Effect has followed in the footsteps of this run of good games and has to be classed as a must buy for all those people out there who love the genre.The game is immersive, with some stunningly beautifull backdrops and effects. The sound and voice acting are superb, and the storyline is fast and imaginative.There are cetainly similarities between KOTOR and Mass Effect it has to be agreed, in fact it can be said that the "Biotic" power that your characters can harness is just a blatant rip-off of the "Force" powers that were used in KOTOR, but then you could say that Ghost Recon was a rip off Max Payne because they both had Colt carbines in them.Mass Effect is HUGE. There is a certain amount of restrictions put on you as to where you can go and who you can talk to, but lets not detract from the fact that WHERE you CAN go, is a massive area, and WHO you CAN talk to initiates some pretty extensive conversations with quite a few alternate options of dialogue to choose from.Character development is top notch, as is the development of your team, with a vast array of equipment and abilities available for you to equip and learn. People who rush in and blindly fire at the enemy expecting to win, over using team tactics and abilities, are going to have a very short and fustrating game.The only slight problem has already been highlighted in other reviews, and that is a minimal drop in frame rate occaisionly, but it is hardly ruining the enjoyment of the game.
Overall, top notch gameplay, graphics, sound, voice acting and storyline.
If you are a fan of the Genre this is a must buy, and if you are looking for an immersive game with a lot to offer, again, buy this title. 5 stars does not do it justice