Singularity, and why I need to stop reading Jeff's reviews.

So, after being on the fence about this game since seeing the preview in Game Informer some months ago, I saw Jeff's review...  
 
Now, I have a history with Jeff's reviews, in that they've led me astray before, but 4/5... pretty positive prose about the story and the variety of the game.... Man, I wish he'd mentionedthe uneven difficulty, the extremely tight focus of the corridor rail shooter nature of the game that wants you to run around collecting stuff, but punishes you for doing so and/or locks you out of areas once you pass that you're having to run through anyhow, and tops it off with twitchy controls and a story that tries to ape BioShock's atmosphere, and I do mean ape, as in "trying to be like it without understanding it"... 
 
Yeah, I really need to stop reading his reviews. They haven't done me a dang bit of good yet. 

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Overlord 2: The Classic Ruining of a Game...

Its a classic moment. You're playing a game, thinking its average, or possibly a bit above average. Enjoying it, if not greatly, at least well enough to keep playing - And then you hit that spot...

That moment of clarity in which every single flaw in the game is exposed, and the game is exposed for what it is. For while a game is not defined by its best moments, it is often defined by its worst.

In Overlord 2, that moment is the Spider Queen fight and the subsequent escape from the pit.

The Spider Queen fight is not terribly challenging, except for the fact that the "puzzle" of how to kill is perhaps the least well designed thing I've ever seen. Everything conspires against you actually giving a crap to finally blunder onto the "solution"... The camera insists on barely letting you know where she is, much less how she's reacting to what you're doing. The targeting is flakey, frustrating, and just plain bad, and getting it to do what you want is a matter of trial and error in finding the places that you can stand where both the camera and the lock ons agree you should. Finally, the minion controls, because they made the colossally stupid decision to once again tie the camera sweep and the minion sweep to the exact same movement, and then decided it would be cute to throw in a degree of latency to their reactions to your controls, leads to a fight that is so tedious and so twitchy that one must assume they knew it was this bad, and though "this is the challenge." Combine this with the fact that the fight requires a repetition of all these actions several times, and the simple truth is this: These people are the worst game designers on earth, bar none. I mean, even Custers Revenge didn't get so many things wrong.

The follow up escape exposes even more flaws in the camera, the movement system for minions, and the basic setup of the game...

Now, many people are giving this game a 3-4 score, and if I were to ignore this particular sequence, I might agree. Overall, the game is "not bad" and there are some "good" moments to it. But I firmly believe there are moments in a game, no matter how excellent, that destroy it, and this is one. Because of it, were I to finish the game, I'd give it a 2 or perhaps even a 1. Because no amount of "pretty good" is worth slogging through "plain awful."


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