My experience of trying to get into League of Legends.

I had zero experience with MOBA type games. I figured I really should at least try them out. League of Legends is free? Great!
 
The tutorial tells you how to move and attack, but tells you approximately bubkis about how to be good at an actual game. The fact that you can play games against the AI is great, because you can get familiar with the mechanics and the abilities of your chosen hero. I quickly felt like I got the basics down. As long as I was playing a ranged character, I didn't die much per game, and made good progress in my lane. 
 
I got into beginner level matches with other people who were new to this game and it was very fun. The game does a great job in making you feel useful even when all you're doing is killing the minions. If I wouldn't be here, they would just walk by, right? The feeling of doing something good for your team even when you're actually completely useless is an awesome thing for a multiplayer game to pull off, because it doesn't immediately discourage  people from at least trying it out. I got familiar with my hero's abilities and started using them in some cool ways. (If I use that knock-enemy-away ability while BEHIND the actual enemy, I can knock them into the firing range of my tower, yay!)
 
So, League of Legends is great. It's an interesting spin on a team based multiplayer game. I can easily see myself having this game installed forever and get a game or two in every few days.
 
But then I ended up in games against people who have played this game a bunch.
 
The League of Legends community I ran into was the worst group of people I know of. I'm a super patient person and I can tolerate an unhealthy amount of shit before I freak out, but dude, the people who play League of Legends and ended up in my game are terrible, completely disgusting excuses for a human being. I played several games so my sample size is pretty big, so I feel justified in saying this.
 
Note that I didn't suck in my games. I super-rarely gave anyone a reason to scream at me. 
 
95% of the time I got called names and hated on because I was low level without even getting a chance to play.
 
I got into a game, had 3 different people yell NOOOOOOB at me. Then the game started and I was the person who destroyed all the towers in the lane I chose at the start. Game ended with a win, and those same 3 people were still pissed off about the fact how they got shit noob people in their team.
 
The PvP button looks like the scariest thing ever at this point. If winning a game against an AI is still grounds of people telling you how you're absolute shit and should feel bad for playing the game, what the hell will happen in PvP games?
 
Fuck that.

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I thought I should start writing reviews, but then I realized...

...that nobody would take them seriously. 
 
Here's a list of recent games I've played, and what I think I'd probably rate them:
 
Alice: Madness Returns - 5/5
Just Cause 2 - 5/5
Mass Effect - 5/5
Bulletstorm - 5/5
Fallout: New Vegas 5/5
Portal 2 - 4/5
Batman: Arkham Asylum - 4/5
Infamous - 3/5
Mass Effect 2 - 3/5
Fallout 3 - 3/5

Can you see the problem here? As far as the collective opinion of the world goes, every single one of these opinions is flat-out wrong. If I were to write these up, they would probably be instantly rated down because I'm obviously trying to be cool by being different. In my head (because I haven't written them yet) I could justify those scores very well, but who is actually going to take the time to give a shit when they see a 3 star review on something as highly regarded as Mass Effect 2 (Goddamn Game of the Year)
 
Is there anyone here who agrees with any of these ratings?

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Going directly from Uncharted to Uncharted 2 was a bad idea.

and NOT for the reason you might expect. 
 
Spoilers for the first hours of Uncharted 2 to follow. Spoilers for the entirety of Uncharted 1 to follow as well.
 
I got an offer I couldn't refuse. Uncharted AND Uncharted 2 for a price lower than just the original Uncharted costs in mosts stores in here.. Having still not played either of those, I immediately jumped in. 
 
Uncharted 1 is great. There was a lot of bitching about bulletspongy enemies when it came out, but I didn't see it at all. When enemies took a lot of hits, I was shooting them in their arms/legs anyway so I didn't really expect them to go down. The game also looks great. There's detail in the world most other games wouldn't even bother with. The characters are all great, Nathan Drake is a believable human being, and not a mindless killbot. I found the ZOMBIES plot twist near the end to be absolutely brilliant, and the final boss fight is against a dude with a shotgun who you have to fight with your BARE HANDS.
 
awesome 
 
So...Uncharted 2 is the Assassin's Creed 2 of this series right? Everything that was good about the first one is now great, everything that was great is now superb and everything that was bad is now gone? I need to pop part 2 in right now.
 
So I did so, and what do I get? 
 
A painfully slow climb out of a train. Sure, the train is on fire and hanging over a cliff, but all I'm doing gameplay-wise is holding up on the analog stick and hoping that something is there he can climb on. The game clearly looks better, but that's basically all I'm getting out of this sequence.  Okay, it's slow because they are establishing how messed up this situation is, and because they need to tutorialize new players. Let's assume that.
 
Alright, done with that. 
 
Breaking into a museum? Awesome? Nope! More slow walking and slow jumping. 
 
There's a steamy pipe that needs to be switched off and I need to find a valve. I figured it's located whereever this ladder goes because I haven't been there yet, but after Drake jumped up and down in front of the ladder without climbing on, I realized it's just a goddamn wall texture that looks like a ladder to me.
 
Except that it's not a wall texture, that actually was a ladder, Drake just didn't feel like climbing on it. Of course I didn't realize this after running around the whole area for 30 minutes. After this part, I GET TO PLAY VELVET ASSASSIN! Yay! The worst kind of stealth imaginable! Game of the fucking year.  Then they tell me to find a box so I could switch off an alarm. After another few minutes of running around the room like an idiot, this problem was solved.
 
Now do it again! The box is directly above you, and you need to get up there. The only way to get up there is to climb up the only thing that looked like it couldn't be climbed. Everything else in the room that looks like a ledge won't hold you. Have fun!
 
You need to do this to get to SOME MORE VELVET ASSASSIN!
 
After all that shit is done, now you're in a jungle shooting bad guys. It's Uncharted 1 again!
 
Ugh..
 
I'm perfectly aware that this game is going to go in all sorts of crazy directions, but it couldn't leave a more boring first impression. Coming right off of Uncharted 1's crazy explosive conclusion, running around different rooms like a monkey looking for something interactive wasn't really something I wanted to do.

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I Finished Something: Portal 2 (Spoilers)

I want to talk concretely about some later parts, so I can't do this as a review, because reviews are spoiler sensitive.

Anyways, Portal 2.

Portal 2 would have been a 5 star experience for me, if the entire middle of the game hadn't been there. The game starts off with the familiar test chamber format, and then suddenly realizes that it's a sequel and it needs to be bigger and grander than it's predecessor. The problem is that I felt like that didn't work AT ALL. Every environment I was taken to was way too big. There was a moment where I was at the base of a huge structure, and carefully portalled my way to the top of it. After reaching the top, there was nowhere left to go. I spent a good 15 minutes looking around everywhere and feeling completely stuck. I jumped back down again and tried again, only to notice a small door near the base of the structure.

That sucked.

The "Here's the problem, figure it out" formula of the early game had been replaced by a "Squint your eyes until you see a patch of white wall 3 miles away" The gameplay was completely blocking the story and the humour. After every solved sequence, you are rewarded with a few sentences of complete hilarity. I found myself playing the game just so I could hear a joke after I solve the situation.

In the earlier parts of the game, I liked both the puzzle and the humour. The puzzle where all you had were lasers, laser redirection cubes, and the place you need the lasers to go was the highlight of the game for me, gameplay wise, because it was a seemingly stupid simple puzzle that required some out of the box thinking.

What really irks me about the fact that all of that is lost completely in the midpart of this game is that near the end you go back to the test chamber after test chamber formula, and they succesfully mix it up and make it feel completely different by making seemingly randomly put together test chambers, which was both funny, and interesting to puzzle my way through. The first act and the third act of this game are absolutely brilliant and one of the best experiences one could have in this medium. The second act is the reason why I'm never going to play this game again.

Also, as a minor note...

Before Portal 2 came out, I was really interested in seeing what they do with the ending. I figured that Valve knows they made something special with the ending to the first game, and they need to amp it up. There's no way you can do just a new song. That already happened in the first game, and the reason why it was special was because it was completely out of nowhere. Just a new song wouldn't be completely out of nowhere, it would be expected, so you need some other completely out of nowhere thing.

I though about this a little bit, and only came up with a single solution. You  could have a song about the fact how there is no song this time. (You're expecting a song, you might think that one is going to be here but you'd be wrong) or whatever.

That's just me though, I bet the geniuses at Valve have something completely unexpected and amazing cooked up in their heads.

Nope, just a new song. Not as good as the first one.

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Misconceptions: Demon's Souls

It really bugs me that Demon’s Souls isn’t a video game in people’s eyes, it’s something that gets served to the worst possible people in the worst possible parts in hell. I played it, and I can confirm that Demon’s Souls is in fact a video game.

What I feel like happened with Demon’s Souls was that a few people played it and said “Oh my god this is hard”, then other people tried it, died, and went “Oh my god this really is hard”. Getting killed in a video game is nothing new, but since people started playing this with the expectation that it’s the most horribly unfair thing ever, every death felt 100 times worse.

So here’s a few points I’d like to talk about.

FAG…(Frequently Articulated Groans)

#1
..........
Demon’s Souls only let’s you use half of your life bar after you die, and since it’s a difficult game, that means you only get to use 50% of your life bar all the time! This makes the game very difficult!
...........

This literally never bothered me. Since I only had half of it the whole time, it wasn’t “half” of my lifebar, that half of it was my life bar.
Your first time through you very, very rarely have the whole bar, so how does suddenly not-having something you never had in the first place make the game more difficult?

Don’t think of it as losing half of your life bar when you die, think of it as gaining bonus health after you defeat the boss.

#2
.......
Demon’s Souls is bullshit because you spend a lot of time gathering up a lot of souls and then you die and all of it is gone and the entire playtime was worthless
.......

I played through the entire game and I never ran into a situation where I lost a huge amount of souls. Do you want to know how I achieved that?

I simply spent the souls I had and never ran around with a fortune. Whenever you buy an upgrade for your dude, the next upgrade is more expensive, so if you’re worried that you’re losing too much upgrade money if you die, go ahead, run back to the start of the level and teleport to the hub world and use those souls.

Sure, you’ll have to play through the level you were in again, but if you had an unbelievable amount of souls with you, the upgrades you bought should have made you into Superman.

They didn’t? Of course they didn’t, you didn’t have that many souls.
.........

#3 It’s full of a bunch of weird systems and features that aren’t explained at all, how can one reasonably expect people to play this, when half of the mechanics are just sort of there without any sort of explanation?
.........

I’ll be honest here, I played through the game and I still have no idea how the world and character tendency system works. When Vinny said on the Bombcast how he tried to make some specific stuff happen by influencing the tendency, I was like “No wonder he’s not having fun”.

Vinny also said something about trying to make a specific sword by killing geckos and getting the specific materials for it.

That sounds pretty boring if you ask me. The way I played the game was by just playing the goddamn game. If I picked up a new sword I looked at the numbers on it, and if the numbers were bigger than what my current weapon had I switched to that.

You know, just like you do in every RPG ever?

The weird systems are all there, but that’s high-level shit. Getting too hung up on them and completely discarding Demon’s Souls because those systems are there is just like watching the GSL final and deciding to not buy Starcraft 2 because your fingers can’t do that. All the while people who played Starcraft 2′s excellent campaign listen to you and go “What. Garrrrgh”

High-level play exists for every game ever, heck, go and youtube “Tetris master”. Why don’t I hear anyone saying how Tetris is for crazy people who feel like they have something to prove?

I still don’t 100% understand some parts of the game, but I still had fun playing it

#4
........
You had fun? How can you have fun in this game where death lurks around every corner, there are hordes of enemies who just straight up murder your ass, and when you die you have to start all over?
.........

The most overblown thing I hear about this game is it’s difficulty. The game has an above average difficulty level, sure, but I feel like the reason most people find it so hard is due to the fact that they tried to play it as a hack&slash, because it looks like one.

There’s nothing complicated about the controls. There’s a sword button and a shield button. Unlike most videogames though, getting hit in the face with a sword kind of hurts, which means you can’t mash buttons and need to play defensively. 73.4182% (Calculated by pure science) of the enemies in this game can be defeated by running up to them with your shield up and letting them attack, or running up to them and then quickly away and making them swing at the air.

After they have swung their weapon they are open, which is where you should run up and cut them.

That’s it. That’s all you need to know to be at least mildly successful at this game. You shouldn’t try to cut enemies first, like in other games, you need to be more defensive.

You’ve probably heard this point from many Demon’s Souls fanatics, and I’m here to repeat it because it’s 100% true. Whenever I died, I never felt like the game was cheating. I never had anything to blame besides me just being sloppy with my playing.

As for getting killed in a level and having to start over, this was also very rarely an issue. In most levels you can activate a shortcut which will stay there even if you die. If I died too much at a level, I just went ahead and tried another one. When I was back to the one I got stuck at before, I had gained levels and skills and fared way better.

And just to prove to you that I’m not the greatest videogame player that ever lived (With me having no problems with Demon’s Souls and all), here’s a list of games that are apparently way harder than Demon’s Souls as it turns out.

#1 HEAVENLY SWORD
...

I never beat the final boss because it quite frankly seemed impossible to me. I just stand there and get beaten to death, without even having a chance to do anything about it. I load it up, watch my lifebar fade away, and see a game over screen. I never plan to go back to this game.

#2 DARKSIDERS
...

Played on normal and got horribly stuck at the Tiamat fight, after several attempts and different strategies, I still got hit without understanding what the heck I was supposed to do to avoid it. I might go back to it after I forget all the rage that fight has caused me.

#3 SINGULARITY
...

Got stuck at the spot where you first meet the phase ticks. I open the valve, bugs flood in, and I get completely overwhelmed. I tried every single strategy I could think of and couldn’t pull it off. TMD tricks and otherwise. I kind of want to try it with a shotgun, but the checkpoint is after you’ve passed any weapons lockers in your path so there’s no way to do that.

#4 THE SHOOTING RANGE IN DEAD SPACE 1
...

There’s a trophy for getting a perfect score (Which means shooting every target that pops up) in the shooting range. I spent over an hour on it and either completely messed up, or missed 1 target.

#5 THE FIGHT AGAINST THE KROGAN BATTLEMASTER IN MASS EFFECT 1
...

I quite literally died more in this fight than in a fight against any single boss in Demon’s Souls.

I understand that everyone who already likes Demon’s Souls is going to scroll through this and comment “Yeah” and everyone who already hates Demon’s Souls is going to scroll through this and comment “F off”, but I still had to get this out of my system. Demon’s Souls is an excellent and unique game that has a way too horrible of a reputation.

If I write more of these, the next one is probably going to be about Alpha Protocol. That game is not great, but it gets hate for all the wrong reasons.

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Let's Fail At Old Games: Contra

 I thought of an interesting experiment. 
 
How about I take an old classic game that I haven't played in several years, and record my attempt at playing it now? This will be a pure, unedited run. I will take a game, hit record and see how I do after several years. We all would like to think that some things are never forgotten, and if we'd sit down in front of one of these games we would run to the end on a single life on our first attempt.
 
As it turns out, things are much more grim than that.  
 
Previously:
 
Super Mario Bros
 
This time, Contra! I did quite a bit better than on Super Mario, so I had to split it into 2 videos.
 
  

  
    
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Let's Fail At Old Games: Super Mario Bros

I thought of an interesting experiment. 
 
How about I take an old classic game that I haven't played in several years, and record my attempt at playing it now? This will be a pure, unedited run. I will take a game, hit record and see how I do after several years. We all would like to think that some things are never forgotten, and if we'd sit down in front of one of these games we would run to the end on a single life on our first attempt.
 
As it turns out, things are much more grim than that.
 
   
  

  Please don't laugh too hard.
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I'm going to Brad the Assassin's Creed series - Part 2

CLICK HERE FOR PART 1 
WARNING! SPOILERS FOR ASSASSIN'S CREED 2!
 
Assassin's Creed 2 has been obtained, and I've played a bunch of it. 
Holy F-ing S. Ubisoft has figured out how to make the Desmond bits not completely annoying, by actualy having things happens during those segments. When you got to play as Desmond in the first game, you got to take part in such unique activities as Walk To Your Bed and Walk Back To The Animus and...well that was it really.
 
This game starts out by having you escape the facility you spent in the first game and beating up a bunch of dudes. Later you get to jump around like the ancestors you spend most of the game playing as.
 
Ubisoft has also figured out how to write a compelling story, by using such mind-blowing concepts as "Characters" which are a new addition to the series. Ezio, the lead this time around, shows more character in the first 6 seconds of appearing on screen (After the bit where you see him as a baby, obviously) than the entire first game had combined.
 
Gameplay-wise...I have no idea how they achieved this, but even when I'm doing the exact same stuff I did in the first game, it's way less annoying. When I ran around for viewpoints in the first game I could only do 3-5 of them before getting sick of it, here I got all the viewpoints in a city as soon as I entered it. 
 
Later I ran around for treasure chests after buying the map for it. There are a ton of chests literally everywhere, and it didn't get annoying.
 
If I had to guess, I would say it's because of the fact that the guards don't want to skewer you if you look at them funny. This makes simply running around so much more fun. 
 
I like doing random stuff in this game. At one point I figured I've been doing too many story missions in a row and I may be running through the game a bit fast, so I went and checked out the Assassin's Tombs, and loved the concept of turning the game into Prince of Persia for a section. The sidemissions are all fun, which is a huge improvement over the first game, which...mostly wasn't fun.

Combat still looks awesome while being unbelievably tedious, and the climbing mechanic is worse.
 
You heard me, there's something Assassin's Creed 1 did better. Coming directly from the first game, the climbing mechanic feels way looser, which brings the occasional situation where Ezio jumps in the completely opposite direction I wanted him to. In the first game I occasionally got stuck mid-climb, being unable to climb any higher while there was an obvious ledge to grab. In this game they overcompensated for that, if there's anything to grab onto, Ezio will, whether you want him to or not.
 
This doesn't break the game though, it just makes me have to pay more attention when running around. Assassin's Creed 2 is still about 60-80 infinities more enjoyable than the first game, and the game will probably be my first platinum trophy, because if I keep going like this, I will literally do everything there is to do.
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I'm going to Brad the Assassin's Creed series - Part 1

 WARNING! Might contain spoilers for Assassin's Creed 1!
 
"You guys keep telling me not to play Assassin's Creed 1, that's kind of why I want to"
 - Sir Bradley Shoemaker 
 
I've always had an interest in the Assassin's Creed series, but due to some not-so-pleasant experiences with the first one, I've kind of avoided it. Then everyone kept telling me how the second one is an infinity or two better. Then I saw Assassin's Creed Brotherhood get a 5/5 on here and get a #1 spot on Ryan's GOTY list. Then I heard it even has subtitles this time around! Maybe they actually figured out how to make this game properly!
 
So I was willing to give it a chance. Not ready to spend full price on a game I think might be good, I got an used copy for super cheap. I have a week or so until it arrives. That's enough time to go back to and finish the first game!
 
I loaded up my save file I had from a billion years ago, and felt kind of lost. The map was full of "Save citizen" markers, without anything else. What do I do?  Where do I go? Who do I stab?
 
Screw this, I'll start this game over.
 This game starts showing problems after the first few minutes.. First of all, it needs subtitles badly. Second, it needs some good voice actors. I laughed when people talked in the first few hours before I got used to it, that's not good. And third, it needs an editor. This game seriously wins the award for "Most words spoken without actually saying anything", and this is coming from a guy who loves the Metal Gear series.
 
This continues throughout the game, whenever anyone starts saying anything it's very eye-stabbingly slow and boring. After a few hours I stopped paying attention to what anyone was saying, and used the conversation parts to stretch or talk to somebody in the room with me while I was playing.
 
I repeat, this is coming from a guy who loves the Metal Gear series.
 
With this game being called Assassin's Creed and all, you might think that you'll be playing an assassin. Not so, instead you'll be playing an errand boy called Altair, who died and went to hell, doomed to run the exact same errands over and over and over again. The repetitive nature of this game has been talked about a lot, but I cannot stress enough how bad it is. I salute you if you manage to play this game in a marathon-y fashion, because doing the same exact things all the time should fry your brain after a few hours.
 
As a huge fan of the Hitman series, I have an appreciation for a good assassination where everyone is left wondering what the heck happened while you walk away with your target dead. Doing that is completely impossible in this game. You walk to your target, watch them do something evil, take a step towards them, alert every guard on the planet, fight for an hour, kill your target in the process, and repeat. There was only one target who I managed to kill without him seeing me, but that still alerted every guard on the planet. It was hard for me to let go of that, because if that happens in Hitman you're supposed to restart the level.
 
Storywise, there's no story. You're an assassin who is supposed to kill people because that's what you do. All of this is completely meaningless though, because you're actually a future-dude in a future-chair seeing past-things. There's absolutely no story to the past parts, and having it made completely meaningless like that doesn't help.
 
And then, suddenly, in the last 15 minutes in the game or so, everything turns awesome. It's revealed that your boss told you to kill those people so those people would get out of his way so he could run away with this magical sci-fi artifact. You obviously aren't too into that and go to kill him. He waves his artifact around and stuns you in place with Random Yellow Magic. He then waves it around some more and makes every assassination target from the entire game appear around you and fight you. After that he makes like 12 versions of himself and fights you. After you do all that, future-man steps out of the future-chair and shows some past-powers he randomly gained.
 
I was a fan of the endgame, not so much the rest of it. The climbing around mechanic is as stable as Fallout New Vegas. When it works, it's awesome, when it doesn't, it's so bad it's funny. I can't count the times I ran away from guards, started climbing a building, suddenly stopped and couldn't move in any direction at all until I got rocks thrown at me and fell down. There was an obvious direction to climb, Altair must have gotten cramps or something. The combat looks completely awesome, but it's way too slow. If you want to get through it without getting beat up too much, you need to rely on the counter, but to counter someone they need to attack first, but often they stood around you and....stood around you.
 
After a GTA game rolls credits, I immediately go back and start doing some side stuff and other things I missed. After this game rolled credits I took the disc out, put it on my shelf, and never plan to look at it ever again. There are brilliant ideas here, all done in a half-assed "Let's just do this so we could go home" kind of way. If the second one is this, but good, it will probably be pretty amazing. 
 
We'll see.
 
*checks mailbox*
 
We'll see at some point.

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I play a game and say stuff about it: God of War: Ghost of Sparta

God of War: Ghost of Sparta is the franchise’s second entry on the PSP. With most of the appeal of this series being the unbelievable sense of scale, you would think that the game on a handheld would lessen the experience.

The thing is, you’d be kind of wrong.
 
God of War translates surprisingly well to the lesser platform. Ghost of Sparta looks a lot better than the previous PSP entry Chains of Olympus, which already looked amazing for the platform. The graphics are very sharp and occasionally look like they’re pretty close to one of the PS2 games. The action is as brutal and violent on a “Oh god he didn’t just do that” level, which is exactly what you’d want out of a God of War game. Boss fights and setpieces all feel suitably epic and grand.

All this might lead you to believe that this is just God of War, again. I started this game with this exact mindset. They are just trying to capitalize on the success of God of War III by quickly releasing a game with the same name on it, which won’t try anything new and will just be more of the same. Turned out, this game is one of Kratos’ best adventures yet.

Ghost of Sparta deserves special mention for it’s storyline. If you’ve never played a God of War game before, then this is a really bad place to start, since the plot is wedged between the original God of War and God of War 2. In Ghost of Sparta, lead man Kratos is as close to a human being as he’s been since the original God of War. One of my main problems with this series since it’s start has been the fact that with each sequel, they’ve gone the Saw route and amping up the blood and guts, and not focusing on the characters and the story, which were very important and very good before. In God of War 3, all that was left of Kratos’ troubled antihero appeal was a man yelling at the things he was murdering. That has been a bummer, because the God of War games have always had a really interesting story to tell, which is surprising considering that the gameplay is about murdering every single thing that moves.

Ghost of Sparta goes back to the roots of the character, and tries to give him back his long lost feeling of emotion. This game addresses the issue of his brother, who got casually mentioned in the first game and was never touched upon again. Kratos actually seems to care about finding his brother and actually wants him to be alive and well, which is a huge step up from his “DIEEEEE” problem solving method of God of War 3.

Often you’ll be walking through areas where you’re not even allowed to use your weapons.

Yes, you read that right.

There are living creatures who don’t need to die in Ghost of Sparta,

That’s something that has never happened in a God of War game before. Even the innocent civillians in previous games gave you health when you killed them god damnit. This time you literally are not allowed to even try and attack some people.
To conclude, yes, it’s more God of War and you know how it works and what you’re going to do in it. I’m not going to argue with that, but it’s about as good as the series has ever been. If you’re a fan, the surprisingly superb plot makes this game worth it alone. If you’re sick of the series, or never liked the games in the first place, this probably won’t change your mind.

 


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