The Biggest BS Ending Ever (Spoilers)
To warn everyone right away, this review will spoil the ending if only for the fact that I hated it as much as I did.
I have incredibly mixed feeling about this game. In almost every aspect I found things that I really liked and other things that made me want to smash my face against a wall.
Starting from the bigger picture and working our way down to the mechanics lets first touch base on the world. Pandora, as this game is set, appears to be some sort of foreign planet that is inhabited by colonists or criminals or something. To be honest I am not sure because the developer doesn't tell me anything at all about the world that I am existing in. I honestly thought for the first few hours of the game that this was some sort of post-apocolyptic Earth. OK, that is not point of this game, I understand that, but the developer should at least lay a little bit of ground work for the world. A fourth grader could have at least explained where I was.
So the world was not explained to me very well, but that is not to say that it is not impressive. The art style and design for the most part is incredibly well done here. In fact I feel bad a little bit for the art team because I imagine that most people missed so much of what they did. I found myself several times through the game sort of having to stop myself and just look around for a while. Some of the intricate skylines and distance shots were some of the best I have seen in any game. It certainly has a great deal of scope to it.
The overall worldscape was nicely done as well. I would classify this for the most part as an open-world game and I was impressed that it did not feature as much of the "jank" as I normally find in many games. Sure you can pick enemies off from a distance before you get into their trigger range, but for the most part the world behaved as it should and exhibited few bugs. Comparing it to something like Fallout and it stands up very well.
So it is a beautiful world that is well made, but I am plopped into it without any explanation of where or why I am there. And that leads me into the storyline. Where the heck is it?!?!? This is another instance of the developer I think just failing to at least lay a basic framework for motivation. I am on this world as some sort of mercenary looking for the vault. Ok, that can work, but can you at least lay a little more motivation into it for me? Give me some more conversation or evidence in the NPC's that this vault is a big deal. For the most part it appeared as if I was literally the only one in this world looking for this damn thing apart from Tannis. Putting in a little bit of motivation like the exploits of other failed adventurers or something would have really done wonders to make me crave this vault a bit more. And when it is all said and done it the Vault is a load of crap!!!! More on that later though.
The biggest aspect of this game that shines has to be in the gunplay and the loot collecting. In terms of the FPS action in the game it is very tight and right up there with any of the FPS games around. The four mercenary types are a nice touch to adjust to different play styles and the multiplayer co-op is very well executed. I can see how this game was tailored for that style of play. Now I was disappointed in the loot hoarding though. Forgiving all of the other storyline issues, the loot collecting should be the focus right? Problem is the loot is straight up boring. While there is plenty of volume of it, I only changed my guns around 4-5 times throughout the entire game. If you are going to make a loot based game you have to be constantly offering me loot that is either scenario driven in its effectiveness or constantly better. There is no point in offering me hundreds of guns that are all inferior to the one I picked up six hours earlier. Add on top of the fact that found it almost impossible to effectively focus in on a gun style I wanted to play as I just found the whole thing frustrating and gave up for the most part. What is the point of collecting all of this loot if it A) isn't better than what I have and B) doesn't provide me with the tools I want to try to customize and guide my character towards a particular play style? For example, I was playing as the siren. I wanted to exploit her abilities to utilize elemental weapons or use the SMG and it seems like the game just doesn't throw the tools I wanted at me. I think a more effective way to utilize this loot mechanic would have been to offer all of the content as upgrades to weapons that I could mix and match rather than throw hundreds of guns at me.
So now that I have my character lets talk about this missions and that ending. The missions on the whole were fun, in short bursts. I have to say that I did like their pacing for the most part with each one taking about 20-40 minutes to complete. They did get pretty boring quickly though as literally every single one was go to a location, kill everyone there and may be bring something back or flip a switch. That brings me to the main mission of the game, the vault. So after trudging through everything, gleaning little pieces here and there that the vault is supposed to be something magical, battling hoards of the defenders to it I finally come to it and what is it? It is a damn monster. Yeah, that is it!!!!!!! It is a giant ugly monster with one eye and to be honest the battle was easier then the defenders leading up to it. I just sat back from a distance and laid into it for 60 seconds or so and it fell and then the game ended. Whoops, sorry. The vault actually doesn't have any riches or power to it. It was just a damn monster. Thanks for playing, have fun, don't let the door hit you on the way out. I nearly threw my controller on the ground in disgust at the completely anticlimactic ending and reward. It seemed just so lazy by the developer. Did they run out of time for the ending or something? Not only that they again failed to explain anything. What is the monster, where did it come from, what exactly was the vault then, who was the person guiding me, why did I need to open the vault? Here is the paradox. Was I as the hero the only one that could defeat this monster? Why, the vault only opens every couple of years and during the last hour of the game I am told to rush to the vault or else it could not open for another 200 years. So if I didn't open the vault the monster never would have appeared and nothing would have mattered, right? So why the fuck am I rushing to the vault to kill a monster that won't do any damage unless I summon it to kill it? How the hell does that make any sense at all!!!!!!!
Overall the game has a ton of good things going for it, but let me down in some of the substantive gameplay and narrative elements I believe are not only key, but rudimentary to a game. How did the developer and other reviewers seem to miss these points?