By Sackmanjones 5 Comments
It has been a solid 8 years since I've had a good pc to play games on. Yes, my EVGA 9600 gt had a great run but the time had come, and I finally pulled the trigger on a new PC. Either I have the most amazing or worst timing ever because the day after I built it is when the Amazon sale started and a few weeks later so did the Steam sale.This is my first time contributing to a summer sale because 8 years ago I was too young to have plastic money and my parents were a bit anal during that time using the credit card online. But alas! At the end of this sale I came away with about 28 games that I've never played or had fond memories of. I just wanted to share what I've been playing and maybe post my idea on what to play next! I'm gonna do my best to post these in the order I played them.
I will avoid spoilers but if I must, never fear I will use a spoiler bar.
1. Spec Ops: The Line
What can I say about Spec Ops that hasn't already been said? It is a game built from the ground up to make you, the player, feel like an absolute shit-hole. For the most part it succeeds in doing that. It is a game where not only the characters in the game slowly unravel, but you unravel with them. There is a lot to like in Spec Ops: The Line, the story is solid and constantly throwing strange questions at you. The characters are believable and truly change before your eyes without overdoing it and most of all it shows that sometimes you don't have as much control as you think you do, something many games let you have. Of course, this doesn't come without its fair share of issues, as Jeff has already said, the game does take a bit of time to get going and while the sand mechanic in battle is neat, there just isn't enough use of it to really make an impact. However, while I can totally see and understand why people criticize it for the generic "third person" gameplay, I actually enjoyed it more than most and it has to do with one major fact. Power. Your weapons are deadly, 3 shots (4 at the very most) can down most enemies and for me that is a big plus. These weapons felt like real killing machines and as time went on, it was scary to see the joy Walker got out of this power. I'm not gonna say this saves the game for everyone, it is a mostly standard 3rd person shooter with some added sand effects and some basic squad controls. However, with a pretty compelling story and some truly unique character arc's, I really enjoyed Spec Ops, probably more than it deserves. I should say I didn't even touch the multiplayer but it doesn't sound like I'm missing much, I also did play the campaign on hard which to me really stirred up the intensity of the game.
Man, I have to say I was a bit disappointed by Syndicate. While I did enjoy my time with it, I guess I just didn't connect to it as much as Jeff did. I really liked the world they created and just the overall distinct cyber future, overpowered corporation tone, however, I just didn't find most of the story that interesting and the 2 twist they throw in I saw coming from miles upon miles away. I just felt like I was moving through an interesting world without an interesting story to keep me connected and that really hurt the experience. Gameplay wise, I thought it was pretty good, I really REALLY liked how the guns moved around obstacles naturally (well for the most part) and the sprint while holding a pistol out is just incredible! On the other hand, the 3 chip powers you receive were ok but I just don't think they were very interesting to use. The one I used the most was backfire, which as it sounds makes enemies guns backfire, knocking them on their asses and easy to pick off. The other two powers consist of an enemy pulling a grenade out to blow himself and anyone else around up, and an enemy straight up switching to your side to mow down other enemies only to finish himself off at the end. I found the suicide power pretty hard to use, it's obviously made to take out groups of enemies but there was really never a time where it would kill more than two baddies. The persuasion power was fun to use but more as a distraction rather than taking out enemies (which is in itself useful I guess.) Boss fights weren't bad but I didn't find them overly exciting and just wanted to beat them as fast as possible to move on. However, I did enjoy the look of the game, it had a weird cleanliness to it that I thought fit with the background story they made and of course lens flare is the best.(?). Syndicate is a fun game but I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed once it was over. While the gameplay is fun for the most part, there was just nothing else drawing me into the game and made feel connected. For what its worth, the co op was pretty exciting and fun but only for so long.
3. Alan Wake
Alan Wake is a great game! I really enjoyed my time with Alan Wake, from the weird story mixed with Remedy's goofy charm and flowy writing made for a world I wanted to know more about and explore. The game is absolutely beautiful on PC and combat (I thought) was fun and exciting. The story of Alan Wake is a twisted tale of a small town called Bright Falls. On the surface what seems like an innocent town turns out to have a dark secret and the game feeds you information at a near perfect click to keep you interested all the way until the credits roll. Alan Wake is an extremely likable and believable character, he is a man with good intentions but has flaws, and he knows it. The supporting cast is also excellent, most of the characters you meet are interesting to listen to and can put a smile on your face ( Barry that knuckle head!). As I said before the gameplay I think is really fun. The dodge move Wake has is extremely satisfying just with its excellent animation and well timed slo mo shots. It's a balancing act of crowd control as well as power control with your flashlight. On top of this you have things like flares that can get you out of a rough patch. Should I use this flare to weaken my enemies, or use it to help me run to the next safe zone? This keeps the intensity up at 100% all the time and while there are a few hard parts because of the mechanics, in the end it works really well. Of course, to add on even further to this excellent game, the atmosphere is just perfect. From the small town feeling to the quirking writing and brilliantly done "Night Springs" you just feel absolutely connected to Alan Wakes fantasy. As I said before, the game is gorgeous. Trees naturally sway in the wind, and light look amazing bouncing off different surfaces and into your eyes. This is a game you need to play and experience for yourself. What an awesome adventure, and with the added DLCs in the pc version, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Also if you are a Max Payne fan there are a lot of little easter eggs for you to enjoy that sure brought a smile to my face!
4. Deus Ex: The Missing Link
I loved Deus Ex: HR. I never played the originals but man I wish I did now. DE:HR did such a great job of sucking you into its amazing world that also paired with a great story and gameplay. While the gunplay isn't the strongest, the stealth and exploration is and man is it fun to find that hidden vent and bypass security like nobodies business. It was one of my favorite games last year and I'm really glad I picked up this DLC. There isn't much to say other than its more Deus Ex with a pretty good, self contained story that is dark and intense. The gameplay is just as good as before, but things are a bit more cramped and thus there is less to explore which is a shame. It's also a shame that you start bare, with no augments at your disposal, yes you do get upgrade points faster than the normal game but it would have been nice to have implemented what you had in your main save to this. It's a nice chunk of content (running around 5 hours for me) and if you enjoyed Deus Ex: HR there is no reason you should skip on this.
Deus Ex: The Missing Link 4/5
5. The Darkness 2
This game is so god damn fun! At the end of the day, video games are supposed to be fun (who knew?) and that is exactly what The Darkness 2 is. The gameplay is incredibly fast and fun and makes killing the last guy just as amazing as the first. You again take the role as Jackie, a tormented soul who has trapped the darkness deep down for 2 long years after the previous game. However, one thing leads to another and Jackie must call the darkness out for help again. It's a good, dark tale that throws in some great twists for good measure that second guesses your sanity as you play.The story is a decent one but you come to The Darkness 2 for its gameplay. The gameplay is fast, intense, brutal and exciting! You have tons of weapons at hand plus the darkness tentacles that are always by your side (unless light is in your way). Unlike the first game, the darkness is a far better weapon to use, you can slash enemies in half, impale them with poles and throw car doors at them, slicing their head clean off. Also there are execution moves (as seen above) that are just so gory and over the top that you can't help but smile. One of these moves includes the darkness pulling a dudes spine out........OF HIS ASS! I mean holy shit, I don't think anyone deserves that kind of punishment! However, at the end of the game, there are a lot more enemies and they seem to be more resilient to your attacks, this doesn't make it more excitingly challenging, it just makes it more annoying and kinda hurt the game a bit for me. The Darkness 2 is just a fun game to play, it has a story that keeps you mostly interested but if its not your style don't worry, everyone enjoys an ole spine out of the ass mutilation. As of right now I haven't touched the co op mode but I don't think you need to to get the full excitement out of the game.
6. Alan Wake's American Nightmare
I think Patrick was mostly spot on with this nice little piece of content. It is an absolutely wonderful idea that plays to all the things I loved about the original Alan Wake. Night Springs was awesome, and getting a chance to be in an episode was super cool and exciting. Unfortunately, the game just barely overstays its welcome and kind of dampers the whole experience in the process. Don't get me wrong, if you liked Alan Wake you should really pick this game up but set your expectations correctly. Anyway, like I said it takes place in the fictional world of Night Springs, which happens to be somewhere in Arizona. The Desert setting is a great detour from the forest setting in the original and the plot revolving around Wake's arch nemesis, Mr. Scratch, is fun to watch play out. The FMV in the game is so well done that I didn't mind standing around and watching them all play out. The characters are again quirky and good to listen too and the atmosphere, while different, is still perfectly made and looks beautiful in each of the three distinct environments. They also added some new enemies that add to the challenge like a taken who splits when you shine your light on it and spiders who..... I actually just think they are big spiders. But like I said, the games main twist on things is really neat but it happens just one too many times and near the end I found myself running past things just to finish it up. Overall, American Nightmare is a good experience for fans of the original game but even fans might be just a bit disappointed by the lack of variety in the games landscape.
So those are all the games I've gone through from the summer sale so far! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Right now Im currently trying to decide what game to play next, Im trying to get through the shorter ones before I start my big RPG's like The Witcher 2.
I am currently considering now:
I may also just get through Dear Esther since its supposed to be like 2 hours tops but right now Im stuck on deciding between these 3. Your insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again for reading! This is Sackmanjones, signing off.