Like a Diamond in the Rough...
If you don’t like this game, I can understand. There's some bugs to get around and a few other things like rough cut scene transitions. But when you play a game, you can’t look at what you think it should have been (everything usually sucks by that standard), you have to look at what it is. From this point of view Advent Rising is an amazing game even though it doesn’t get everything right.
The game play is great. You have the ability to dual wield any two weapons (yes, even rocket launchers!) at any point in the game but you can only carry 2 guns at once. This is counter balanced by the fact that through the course of game you also develop super powers. They're done really well and go a long way to making you feel like a superhero.
Advent introduces a targeting system the devs called “Flick Targeting”. It's nothing to fancy, just tap the right thumbstick in the direction of an enemy and you'll lock to them. The problem is, it's just not very polished. Since there's no button to disengage the targeting system, many-a-time you'll be running around and accidentally engage the targeting system just by moving the camera, and that my friend, is annoying.
The graphics are a mixed bag. Some times the scenery is just breath taking like some of the jungle levels, the pre-rendered cut scenes, btw, are awesome. But then there are others times it's disappointing with the lack of detail. Over all however, the art style is done well and mostly makes up for the lack of detail. Another issue is that the frame rate drops a lot when you’re in the heat of battle, but it’s not all that bad because with the flick targeting, you never have to stop shooting aliens.
The voice acting is very really good... for the most part. The voices fit the main characters and gives them a lot of believability. But some of the less important characters are not done nearly and can sound kinda funny even though they're not supposed to be. The soundtrack is superb. The absolute best part of the game! It not that kind of soundtrack you turn down, but the one you go out and buy. Even if you don't play this game, go get the soundtrack now! The sound effects are good, nothing really distinguishing about them though, they fit the bill and that's about it.
The plot is great, it's just not conveyed in the best way. It's your classic space opera, humanity in peril and all that. The story is kind of hard to follow though because the cut scenes can be rather confusing. You really need to play through the plot more than once to grasp it all, but once you do, it really is a great tale. The basics are, you are Gideon Wyeth, and an alien race called the N'Kul are bent on the destruction of mankind. You get super powers and kill a lot of them. That’s all you really need to know, but it's a much richer experience if you pay attention, because it goes oh so much deeper.
This game is great if you know exactly what it is, a third-person shooter with super powers, a great story, and fun vehicle sections to boot. It’s not Halo, or Star Wars, or Max Payne, or anything else, so don’t expect it to be. It may draw inspiration from similar titles, but Advent Rising is its own beast. Even with its flaws, in the end it's fun... and isn't that what games are supposed to be?
The most disappointing aspect, however, is we'll probably never get to see the conclusion of the trilogy, which is quite a shame.