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Product Reviews

Top 100  Reviewer Top 100 Games Reviewer
94 (88% helpful)

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  1.  War... War never changes


    Fallout 3 is a very special game. Utterly bleak and twisted, yet wonderfully charming, it's an open world RPG unlike any other you have ever experienced. It's a world that's both fantastic yet entirely believable, with a dreary, dark atmosphere, filled with dark humour. There are a plethora of brilliant political and social undertones, making Fallout an educational, as well as a truly fantastic experience.
    The game of the year edition is a wonderful bargain. This beauty contains ALL of the five downloadable expansions released in the year after the original Fallout 3's release.
    Each piece of DLC alone costs around 8 pounds, which determines that the DLC alone would cost 40 pounds. So for only 29.99 you're getting the incredibly vast and enjoyable original Fallout 3 story and the 5 pieces of DLC, which add around another 4-5 hours each of gameplay. It's an incomprehensibly detailed and profound landscape, with an immeasurable breadth of exploration. No matter how much I go on I could never do this game justice, so just press the buy button now.
    It's a true monument to RPG's and I am eagerly anticipating Fallout: New Vegas with bated breath.

  2.  ODST proves Halo is on its last legs


    Ever since Bungie reached the dizzying heights of stardom with the incredible Halo: Combat Evolved, it's been a downhill struggle to try and surpass it's incredible campaign. In my opinion they should have left it with the fantastic Halo 3, but with Halo Wars, ODST and now Reach, it feels as if Bungie are sucking the Halo franchise dry.
    I really wanted to enjoy this game, and it had real potential. ODST tries to break free from the linear design level of its predecessors. It's a commendable effort, but ultimately fails in execution. The introduction of a new visual combat aid (VISR) which outlines enemies and points of interest, only serves to dull and kill the already bland and grey visuals of New Mombasa.
    The textures are grainy and static and I often found myself endlessly wondering around these dull, empty streets. Some may say that this is the point of the game, to show how ravaged and dead the city has become, but all it serves to do is make it an uninteresting set design, more of an obstacle than an engaging level.
    ODST is told in a series of disjointed and confusing flashbacks, as you jump from character to character. The problem with this is that I felt no emotional connection to any of the generic jocks that comprise your team. At times it seems like ODST is taking a step backwards. You can't dual wield, there's no battle rifle (undoubtedly the best weapon in the game), and you'll find yourself infuriatingly searching for health packs. Again you may say that this is the point; that ODST is trying to be more realistic. But does this added realism make the game more fun? The answer is no, and you'll soon be itching to get back onto Halo 3 and in the shoes of the superior Master Chief.
    There are no particular moments in the campaign that have replayed in my memory, making it an entirely average campaign experience, and one that I'll be unlikely to play again.
    ODST's saving grace is it's Firefight mode, where you can hold out with up to 4 players against an endless wave of Covenant forces. This is what Halo SHOULD be like. Simple, fun and with some epic set pieces. It's the only reason ODST gets 3 stars, an overwhelmingly average campaign, an enjoyable but far from addictive firefight mode, and an extra 3 multiplayer maps for all the Halo 3 online players, ODST demonstrates that the Halo franchise is nearly on its death bed.

  3.  When in Rome...


    When you first play this game it feels almost like an add-on to Assassin's Creed II, but my question is, why is this a bad thing? Assassin's Creed II was incredible, and enough innovation and evolution has been injected into Brotherhood to keep the experience fresh and enjoyable, in a way it follows the saying 'if it ain't broke then don't fix it.'
    Some of the new additions include investing in the city, buying landmarks and various establishments to boost your income. You can now also recruit people to your cause, sending them on missions to gain experience, ultimately becoming a fellow Assassino to help you fight on the streets of Rome. It's no longer the story of a single man fighting against his enemies but more your transition from a lone Assassin to a leader of men. There's nothing more satisfying that perching casually on a roof beam as you watch your recruits expertly dispatch your enemies. However the down side of this is that it makes Assassin's Creed Brotherhood a little bit simple. It's a minor annoyance, but I love a challenging a game, and this rarely challenged me.
    The setting of Roma has been intricately created and is a truly beautiful setting to explore. Highlights include traversing the ruins of the Colosseum, descending into the glorious Pantheon and exploring the underbelly of the city discovering pieces of Romelus' treasures.
    I could list many other details about Assassin's Creed Brotherhood but they all point to how great this game is, the franchise is getting better with every instalment and I cannot wait for what Ubisoft does with the next in the series.

  4.  Once Upon a Time in the West...


    Call of Juarez is a gritty, engaging and frenetic game with that authentic twang of frontier madness that makes it an accomplished Western.
    You'll find yourself grimacing as you slowly reload, taking cover behind a rock and then squint down your sights, letting off a recoiling shot. This game is in the style of a old fashioned FPS, which works fine, because it's an old fashioned country.
    The majority of the game is an entirely linear storyline, with an occasional interlude into a free roaming wilderness. These breaks are a refreshing change of pace, although the environment feels painfully underdeveloped. But overall the single player is a satisfying experience.
    It's also well worth mentioning the multi-player, it's popularity may have waned since its release, but it's a solid effort. Highlights include outlaws versus law-men, bank robberies and bounties, all set against authentic Western backdrops. It all demonstrates that both the Multi-player and Single Player experience of Bound in Blood is strongly tailored to what Wild West fans want, and it truly delivers.

  5.  When there's no more room in hell...


    Dead Rising 2, a Zombie slasher set in an overrun Casino complex. If you enjoyed playing as Frank West in the first Dead Rising then you shouldn't have any trouble transitioning into the shoes of jaded biker Chuck Greene as you roam the Zombie riddled streets of a Las Vegas styled Fortune City.
    It pretty much is the first Dead Rising in a nutshell, but enough new material has been injected into the game to keep it a fresh and satisfying experience. The extremely tedious manner of rescuing survivors has been eliminated, which in my opinion made it a little too easy to escort them back to the safe room at times, which was one of the more challenging aspects of the first game.
    The most notable addition to the game are the combo cards, where you can splice two random items together to create a plethora of crazy weapons to dispatch your undead foes. However the way the game runs, leaving you with rarely any time to explore the city itself, means that you maybe don't have enough time to take advantage of these combo cards as you should, as well as other aspects of the game such as the juices and magazines.
    Hence it seems Dead Rising 2 is not a game for a person who will only play a game through once. In fact it is screaming to be played over and over again and you will find yourself enjoying it more and more with each play-through. It's not the smoothest of games and often feels like the first Dead Rising, but these issues will be pushed to the back of your mind, because Dead Rising 2 is, at its core, a cheesy, bloody and unashamedly fun game.

  6.  Looks can be deceiving


    What happens when a game focuses much on becoming more realistic that it looses all it's enjoyability? Fifa 11 is the answer to this question. Sure it looks beautiful, and is still the forefront in football animation, visuals, player likeness and licenses. However this is where the positives end.
    Fifa 11 aims to introduce more "realistic" passing, but all this seems to have done is restrict opportunities to create fluid, seamless football, realism sure is fun eh?
    AI defending is so overpowered it's ridiculous. Rarely (if at all!) do they give away fouls, they can shrug any attacker off the ball with ease, and execute perfect 40 yard clearances directly to a fellow striker in the heat of play.
    Opposition players will more often that not finish a game with a 100% passing rate, 100% tackling success, but will test your goalkeeper, tragically ironic given EA's new found obsession with "realism". AI attack is too weak and the defence is too strong, resulting in extremely unbalanced and frustrating matches.
    Loose balls will almost always run favourably into the path of the opposition, often resulting in 3 or 4 tackles to finally successfully regain possession. Your own players will comically trip over each other, flying in all directions in a tragically farcical affair.
    That's just some of the many issues and problems with Fifa 11, I haven't even started on the online glitches, mid-game freezing, non-existent player growth in Manager Mode and hilarious displaced commentary.
    It may not happen in domestic week to week football, but I want to create 4 or 5 world class, defence cutting moves in a match, that's what I find fun. The only way you can score goals is through boring, repetitive moves that with leave you with no satisfaction The Fifa franchise has lost nearly all it's enjoyability, and I can no longer enjoy playing the beautiful game, because it's become pretty damn ugly.

  7.  Exhausting fun


    Split/Second is a frenetic tour de force of cataclysmic destruction as you lay waste to the environment around you. It shuns the tedious stereotypes of contemporary driving games and introduces a fresh, new concept of roadside destruction as you utilise trains, planes and automoblies as a stepping stone to victory. You can even alter the track with huge explosions causing buildings to quake and fall.
    However where Split/Second fails slightly is through a gameplay that lacks depth. It's an experience that is enjoyable on surface level, and the first time you play it will be a thrilling affair, but it is unlikely to keep you hooked for hours on end. It just doesn't introduce any new principles after your first few hours of gameplay to keep that fresh, unique atmosphere alive. Game modes such as survival and air attack often feel like last minute additions in an attempt to flesh it out.
    It also has a weird handling system which seems to slow you down when drifting, often makes flooring it round a corner to bounce off a barrier more effective than a perfectly balanced drift. When out in front you're only way to fill up your power meter is through drifting, so at times it feels like a Catch 22, with being in 2nd or 3rd place a more preferable position to 1st, but this is very much the Split/Second experience.
    Blackrock have got a very good concept here and with a bit of work, like redressing some of the gameplay issues and adding some more depth, Split/Second 2 could be a truly amazing game. Split/Second velocity is certainly a new and different driving experience, a welcome one as well, but it is unlikely to keep you hooked for more than an hour at a time.

  8.  Beautiful.


    I always enjoy putting this game into my Xbox 360, whether it's to go covert with my mates on the 2player splitscreen Spec. Ops, going solo on the truly EPIC campaign, or plugging in my mic and braving the infuriatingly competitive heights of Online Multiplayer. Infinity Ward were never going to mess this up, it's a truly wonderful game, and a pleasure to play. The campaign, just as I expected, is an awesome experience, with film-like set pieces which will leave you gasping for breath at the end of every level. Finished the campaign and got a spare set of hands and a controller? Get on Spec. Ops, it's a fun, arcade alternative, and a light, refreshing addition (but seriously, where are my arab/russian zombies?). Finally online, it's always going to be a brilliant experience. There are so many more perks, attachments and killstreaks. You'll go from never wanting to the play the game again to skipping work and your social life just to raise your K/D spread by that crucial .1. Infuriating, mesmerising and beautifully crafted, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is all that a perfect game should be.

  9.  Beyond epic


    Red Dead Redemption is a true homage to the Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone. It's a gritty, blood soaked tale of revenge that is as explosive in its action as it is quietly beautiful in its depiction of the expansive Old West. It's a startlingly well realised world, from the arid wastelands of Mexico to the paved streets of the modernised Blackwater, everything about RDR feels so real. Horses react flawlessly and you can even see their muscles contract as you accelerate across the beautiful landscape. Saloons are filled with the atmosphere of the old west, a piano player striking a jaunty tune whilst gunslingers skulk in the corners drinking whiskey and playing poker.
    A game that perfectly captures not just an historical period but also the spirit of a widely recognised fiction, Red Dead Redemption rightly takes its place not only alongside gaming's elite, but also with the classic westerns that were its inspiration. A true testament and well worth the wait.

  10.  Rule #5. Watch this film.


    It's not often that I come out of the cinema with an insane grin on my face that doesn't leave it till I get home, causing people to give me strange looks. But I actually don't care, because Zombieland was just THAT good. The movie has a simple, easy to follow storyline, with the four main characters playing off each other extremely well. Eisenberg is endearingly unheroic. Harelson is comic gold, with brilliant timing and expressions and Stone and Breslin are the two sassy sisters who join them on their travels. The film has an amiable, episodic randomness, but it's so charming and fun that you won't really care where it's going. The music is great, the slow motion scenes slick and stylish and there are jumps and laughs around every corner. For all the splattery takedowns of groaning extras, it's fitting that Zombieland ends up in an amusement park, because it basically is one. A hectic, fun rollercoaster ride that will leave you in a considerably better mood.