With the Thanksgiving holiday giving me a blessed long weekend from work, I decided to take the opportunity to try out some of the Wii U games that have been sitting in my backlog; some for quite some time. Coincidentally, the three games I've looked at so far all have the M rating in common, and well, yeah, it's a weak unifying them. But anyway, I've spent a good couple hours at least with each of these games, and I thought I'd give my impressions on them.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut (Rated M for Microchips)
I believe that at this point, those of you on the forums that know me fairly well are already aware that by and large, I am not an FPS fan. I can count the number of titles in the genre that I've spent significant time with in the past decade on one hand. That being said, Human Revolution is a game that interests me because it's not the "standard" FPS. You an sneak. You can hack. You can shoot. You can do all of these things. Unless you're playing the original version and encounter a boss. Then you're pretty much just shooting.
I played a little bit of the original version of Human Revolution on the PS3; not enough to get particularly far into it, but enough to see some of what it had to offer, encounter a really weird environment glitch, and then say to myself "Maybe I'll get back to this when I have time" as I picked up a different game. (That never happened.) But with the Director's Cut on the Wii U, I felt that I should give the game another shot.
Right off the bat, it's one smooth port. The GamePad screen is basically useless up until after Jensen becomes a cyborg; during the prologue, all it displays is the game's title logo. But as he's undergoing the live-saving augmentation, the touch screen plays along by generating each of the primary icons one at a time. It's a nice little touch. And once you actually get to a point where the screen becomes usable, it's pretty easy to manage the game from it. The minimap is particularly useful in showing the position of nearby enemies and which way they're facing. No awkward minimap with small icons tucked in a corner or behind a menu; it's just there.
Also, hoo boy, this game is ruthless. I've died a lot. A lot. Mostly from me tripping over my own shoelaces at points I'm better off just being stealthy. But I'm at least able to understand why it is I'm messing up. As far as the boss fights are concerned, I haven't gotten far enough to encounter the first one. It'll definitely be interesting to see what sort of tactics I end up feeling comfortable with in those.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Rated M for "MIchael Ironside, Where Are You?")
Unlike the other games I'm talking about here, I had never actually played a Splinter Cell game before today. I was always more of a Metal Gear fan. But anyway, this game has Sam "Not Michael Ironside" Fisher Sam Fishering the shit out of terrorists. Which is the plot of every Splinter Cell game, as far as I know. Anyway, I really like the game's stealth mechanics. It's not to punishing, though Sammy Boy is not very sturdy in a firefight, so there are sections I've had to redo after getting spotted and immediately filled with lead. Sort of like my Deus Ex experience, but with less black and gold.
The touch screen in this game offers quick selection between Sam's arsenal, which is handy. And it's also possible to lay the entire game from the GamePad, if I wanted. It has that enemy tagging and "last known position" mechanic I'd seen in previews of the previous game. (Whichever one that was. I think Sam Fish kills terrorists in it.) And I've had decent fun with it...up until the first point in the game when you're forced into an actual firefight against waves of enemies. I have to protect a guy that's prone on the floor from the terrorist bad guys that are starting to swarm, but that also means me finding a good cover position and taking on these guys when I have only limited handgun and machine gun ammo. Also, there's no way for me to tell when a guy is shooting at me from behind except for an on-screen indicator suggesting the direction I should be pointing to make the guy stop shooting me. Except that by the time I see it, I'm usually dead. I died so much at that point that I just had to turn the game off before I got too frustrated. It didn't help that the closest I got to finishing that objective, characters were talking like it was time to move, so I turned to the window only for another terrorist that was still in the room to run up and shoot me in the face.
God damn it. Maybe I'll get back to this? I don't know. The action bits are not as fun as the sneak-up-on-dudes-and-kill-them bits.
Resident Evil: Revelations (Rated M for Mutants!)
I had previously played a bit of Resident Evil: Revelations on the 3DS. It's one of the games that is able to use the Circle Pad Pro that gives access to a second analogue pad, but even so, it's kind of unwieldy. I was able to get through Kid Icarus: Uprising with the accessory because I'm left-handed and so it was essentially mandatory (also, Uprising is an awesome game and you should really all play it if you haven't). So like Deus Ex, I had previously played through part of the game, but not the whole thing.
And it's...actually kind of wild how well the 3DS game holds up on the Wii U. The controls are essentially the same as they were on the 3DS with the Circle Pad Pro, complete with the touch screen inventory and map. I never played Resident Evil 6, though I get the feeling that this game was ported to consoles mainly because it's the most recent Resident Evil game that wasn't shat on in reviews. I wouldn't really call the game scary (though it at least makes an attempt at creating a spooky atmosphere). But there's definitely that sense of need for ammo conservation and scrounging for health items.
If there's one thing that I do have to knock the game for a little, even though it can't really be helped, it's that it's obvious that it's an upscaled 3DS game. It's not ugly, or anything, but there's just something about the way the game looks that feels a bit off. Sort of like when you take a movie that's meant to be viewed in 3D and show it in 2D. But it's a small quibble; the game controls well and it feels like a good Resident Evil game. So hey!
I mean, they could have ported The Mercenaries 3D.