By FinalDasa 12 Comments
3 Weeks, 3 Shooters
With about $20 on me I walked into Play N Trade and began to browse. Play N Trade is a typical non-Gamestop used game store. They have games from practically every popular system and hold the occasional local tournament. With a buy 2 get 1 free sale going on I began browsing the Xbox 360 games for any cheap titles I was curious about when they were released but either didn't have the time, interest, or money to invest in them. After what was probably way too long of time to make a pretty simple decision I choose my 3 games.
With a friend or two into Warhammer and one in particular who sang the praises of this game I gravitated to this title right away. I had told myself over and over I would return to this game one day and give it its due.
The game lets you play as a powered up SpaceMarine. You're mowing down fields of Orks, inside brown and bland buildings, with weapons that keep the shooting diverse enough through the 8-10 hours of gameplay. The story doesn't really get going until about halfway through and even then I'm still left wondering what any of it really means. The story and the world do the overall game a disservice though.
The diversification of locations isn't varied at all. You wander through fallen buildings, standing buildings, and underground, below buildings. Really it all serves to give the waves of enemies new spots to rush at you and take cover from your attacks. Luckily the combat is enjoyable and spotting a new group of Orks to rip up is a good thing.
Oh and the elevators. You'll take an elevator down, fight some Orks, pull a lever, and take that elevator back up. About to open a door to the next room? Nope, it's an elevator to the next room. Elevators are a decent way to hide loading times but when your have at least 25 throughout your game you really need to think of an alternative. And that essentially sums up the entire game. SpaceMarine found a handful of good ideas, attached a story, and never let up. New or different ideas don't crop up the entire time and for a game attached to such a crazy universe that seems like a missed chance.
I don't play a lot of Battlefield. Battlefield 4 was by first big introduction to the series and I even tried out Hardline for a few hours just to see what it would be all about. I knew coming into Bad Company 2 that the game's tone would be different from the self-serious military tone I'm used to seeing in Battlefield and COD games. The marriage of the lighter tone, the destructibility, and the tight shooting really serve to give the now stale genre of first person shooters a new and fresh feeling.
The game encourages the demolition bug within all of us. There will be those moments when you're pinned down by some annoying group of enemies and no way around it. In other games you're stuck between the checkpoint and your ability to hide behind whatever cover you can find to heal. In Bad Company you can switch over to the grande launcher and decimate the building their in. It doesn't always root out the nest but it will certainly give you a moment or two to find a solution.
Despite this being a fantastic game all around it was probably my least favorite. We live in a world now where the first person shooter genre is more of a list of features and Bad Company 2 ticks every single one of those off. However those are all features and experiences you've been through before. It's a shame since this is still a stand out so many years later.
I saved Bulletstorm for last because I honestly didn't expect to push through all of it. Having played through the demo multiple times when it was released I thought I knew what the combat was about. Either that combat had changed between demo and game or between release and now because what I played back then and now was much more enjoyable.
Each enemy you kill is scored depending on how you managed to do so. Simply shooting a guy a lot scores low and doubles as a poor way to dispense with enemies. Most of the enemies are bullet sponges further encouraging you to deal with them in different ways. Your whip and kick are ways to pull enemies or objects manipulating the battle in your favor. When you see an explosive but it's sitting next to you instead of the enemy, you can kick it right into their face.
Even without those explosives most sections with enemies will have plenty of ways to earn combat points. You put enemies into cactus, rebar, chasm, electrical wires, and more. Finding out ways to do so makes a group of overbearing enemies almost fun. I accidentally found out that you can pull enemies who are behind cover and far away into objects and earn points. I felt like the combat was a small puzzle to put the enemies where I wanted them.
There were some cringe inducing and frustrating moments. The dialogue was a cross between Duke Nukem and Gears of War. Gruff, foul mouthed, overly tough soldiers running around talking about how their dick just got scared off. It fit the world and story but wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear for 8 hours.
The fun combat, the vibrant environments, and pace of the game overcame all my problems with Bulletstorm. I wouldn't mind seeing another game similar to this one especially now that the newer consoles.
I didn't expect to enjoy all three games. Each come to the genre with a different mind set and try to take a very worn out concept and make it its own. None of are perfect, far from it. But playing something away from the norm was refreshing and made me wonder about other titles I may have skipped over that I should go back a play through.