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2.9 stars 2.9 Stars Average score of 89 user reviews

A Good First Step 0

After Risen 2 and 3, it was hard to give developer Piranha Bytes the benefit of the doubt. It may seem unfair to give up on a developer entirely after two mediocre games, but Risen 1 was released in 2009, establishing a decade-long dearth of things for fans to be excited about. I didn't go into ELEX with a whole lot of hope and now, having finished it, I can't exactly say it blew me away and re-establishes Piranha Bytes as titans of the crpg. What I can say is that it's [i]extremely[/i] better ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

You Can Take the Game out of the Metro, But... 0

While Exodus has been said to be the first open world game in the Metro series, that's not really the case. Of the game's five chapters, only two take place in 'open-ish' environments. These are the most prominent chapters, so about half of the game is open world(-ish) as opposed to 2/5ths.The open world maps are decently satisfying to explore despite being apocalyptic-ally barren. Exodus borrows a lot of the better idea from Far Cry 2 here. You are also limited to three weapons at a time when o...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A MooD Piece 1

Hedon is a lot like the original Unreal. It's halfway towards being an immersive sim, but lacks the 'sim' parts and any RPG elements. What it comes down to is wandering around semi-large but bespoke levels solving light switch-and-key puzzles, usually with the aid of text logs full of tedious lore. I'm not the biggest fan of Unreal and, as a result, I'm not the biggest fan of Hedon. There's a lot of aimless meandering, too many jumping puzzles, and some unfortunately obtuse progress-blockers her...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Below Mediocre 0

Kao Round 2 is a Polish 3D platformer from the PS2 era. The character is a little kangaroo man with boxing gloves, which isn't exactly inspired but whatever. It "borrows" a lot of stuff from Rayman 2 and a little bit from Crash Bandicoot. Kao isn't the bottom of the mascot barrel, but he's decidedly below average.The plot has Kao rescuing his animal friends, who have all been captured by The Hunter because he's mean and likes to do that. You do spend plenty of time rescuing animals, but you're a...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Stroggos On Earth 0

Kingpin is unlike other 'crime' games I've played. There's no joy in this world, where American urban blight has apparently spread across the entire planet. I doubt the sun even bothers to rise anymore in Kingpin's universe. At the end of the game, spoiler alert, you eventually murder enough people to take down the titular big boss of all gangsters and assume his throne as the new kingpin. Kingpin of what? You've met your subjects; every man shaped like mashed potatoes and twice as dumb. Your ki...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Starts Strong, Ends Weak 0

Amid Evil is a game I started out loving, but ended up just liking. The first three episodes were absolutely fantastic. After that, I feel like there's a rise in visual quality met with a descent in gameplay quality until a final episode ("The Void") that played like junk. While the game is admittedly gorgeous, I think it makes a lot of decisions based on form over function. Yeah, thin walkways twisting above a bottomless nothing look really cool, but they're no fun to fight on (or off of, which...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Best When Mundane 0

"Hey Noct, check this out," Gladiolus says. An icon appears in the game world. I slowly walk over and inspect it. It's a poster advertising a fake, in-universe brand of root beer. "I could go for one of those right now.""So buy one, then," Noctis, the player character, replies."Hell yeah I will!" Gladiolus barks back. "Later, though. We've got stuff to do."This is the end of the conversation. As far as I can tell, it's impossible to buy root beer in Final Fantasy XV. At no point does Gladiolous ...

5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Stupid Game You Might Find Yourself Enjoying 0

Total Overdose starts with a tutorial mission in which you play as an old DEA agent, blasting up drug runners who operate from an Aztec ziggurat. At the end of the tutorial he is killed off by another agent who was secretly working for the kingpin Papa Muerte the entire time. At this point the perspective shifts to the real protagonist: his son, who is also a DEA agent and is out to find the truth. And then at the end of his first mission he hurts his leg so he calls in the real protagonist, his...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A (mostly) Well Considered FPS 0

This game starts out pretty rough. It dishes out new weapons extremely slowly. I don't think you get a single barrel shotgun until the third level or so, and for a while ammo is tight and it incentivizes you to use your melee weapon with stick and move tactics like it's King's Field or something. Stick with Project Warlock, though, because this is a pretty good game. The last two episodes in particular get pretty crazy, and once you've got weapons they all feel good to use. There's a ton of ene...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Swing and a Miss 0

Whiplash isn't a bad game, it just seems that way a lot of the time when you're playing it. I like the premise-- you're a weasel and rabbit who are chained together trying to escape an evil corporate laboratory. I like how mean-spirited it is without falling into the 'dark and gritty' pit of its vintage, even if the humor falls back on crutches like 'randomness' and meta jokes a bit too often. I like how you can do Devil May Cry-style launcher moves in combat. I love how the game is full of ref...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Game Time Forgot 0

Heretic 2 is sort of lost to time. It's the only game in the Heretic/Hexen series that isn't on any digital storefront. It doesn't have a cult following or a fan-made source port. Nobody ever talks about it. It's a mainstream, AAA (for 1998) PC game on the Quake 2 engine made by a known and well-regarded studio that somehow became all but forgotten over time.The game plays surprisingly nice with Windows 10. As far as fan-made luxuries, there's a hi-res hack and a patch (http://hexenmod.net/foru...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Love It And Hate It 0

I loved Arx Fatalis. It's a broken piece of shit that can go to hell and stay there.Its setting is cool. The environments are really atmospheric and it all feels like a coherent place. For some reason I would constantly get stuck on the geometry. I had to noclip cheat out of some situations, but I'd get jammed up in simple hallways. Sometimes I'd come to areas-- hallways that you are specifically meant to be traverse-- that I couldn't walk through unless I was going backwards. It's the worst wh...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Bad First Impression / Okay Game 0

Vivisector started out as a Duke Nukem themed hunting game; an offshoot of the studio's Carnivores series. The result is a bit of a mash-up of genres. The outdoor environments are vast and aimless, but the finer gameplay beats are reminiscent of old school FPS (you don't even have to reload your guns). It's difficult to pin down, but I'd say it's a lot like Jurassic Park: Trespasser without a noodle arm. It could also be considered a more barren and uglier Far Cry 1.Ostensibly, this is an FPS ta...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Fake Quake 0

Chasm is a 1997 FPS made by the Ukrainian Action Forms Ltd, who would later make Vivisector and the better-known-but-still-obscure Cryostasis: The Sleep of Reason. It's heavily inspired by the original Quake, to the extent that you can easily call it a "Quake Clone" or even a cheap knockoff. In fact, it seems to have originally positioned itself as an alternative to Quake that would run on older, 486 PCs while looking 'just as good'. The dark secret that makes this possible is that while all ene...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Never Say Never Again 0

This is not a remake of Rare's Nintendo 64 game. It's also not an attempt to go back and make a game that's more faithful to the film than the old hardware could have managed. If anything it's much less faithful to the movie than the rudimentary N64 adaptation. So what is this game? Well, it's an FPS from 2010 that's loosely based on a movie from 1995 that's made as a tribute to a different game from 1997 that was based on the same movie. But aside from the first two minutes of the first level i...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Live and Let Die 1

It's easy to connect the dots as to why this game exists. The license was in a state of limbo. The Brosnan era of 007 films was over, yet Casino Royale was still a few years out. So why not dip into a film from the past; one that never got a video game adaptation? And if you're doing that, why not make it the film that regularly tops "Best Bond Films Of All Time" lists? Why not From Russia With Love?Well, if you've seen the movie you'd know why not. It may be one of the most beloved 007 films, b...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

On Her Majesty's Secret Serviceable At Best 0

When you think of James Bond as a video game franchise what comes to mind? One-liners? Crazy gadgets? Espionage? Some sort of sexy lady sidekick? Throw 'em all out the window because this isn't a James Bond game. Bond himself only shows up very briefly. He dies a minute into the tutorial (don't worry, it's virtual reality or something) and MI6 disappears with him. You play as Some Guy. You don't speak or have a personality. After being kicked out of MI6 for seeing a VR approximation of 007 fall ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Dr. No Thank You! 0

The previous two EA-developed Bond games for the PS2 generation had a problem. They were stuck in the past, copying an old Nintendo 64 game while their contemporaries passed them up. By 2004, with Halo 2, Half Life 2, and Doom 3 on the horizon, something had to change. So, at last, EA ditched Goldeneye as its chief creative vehicle and instead chose to copy a completely different Nintendo 64 game.Everything or Nothing is heavily inspired by the game WinBack. If you don't know what WinBack is, it...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

For Your GAMING ENJOYMENT Only 0

I accidentally played this after Nightfire, having come to believe that Nightfire came out first. That I was mistaken was immediately obvious upon booting it up, since Agent Under Fire is even more old fashioned than the already quite prehistoric Nightfire. Even though it's a PS2/Gamecube game, the default controls are based on N64's Goldeneye, where you're expected to use the left stick to turn instead of strafe. A dual analog preset exists, but the game's not set up to accommodate that control...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Quantum of NO Solace!! 0

When I started out playing 007 Nightfire, I was enjoying it quite a bit. The first mission is cool. You sneak into a castle on a snowy cliffside, infiltrate a classy dinner party hosted by the bad guy, make out with his wife, escape in a hail of gunfire, and then make a getaway in an Aston Martin in a level that plays like an arcade racer except you can shoot missiles. I'm a huge fan of their '007 moments' idea where you get bonus points and a little musical sting when you find hidden opportunit...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Bargain Bin 3D World 0

This game is an unabashed knock-off of Super Mario 3D Land/World made for iOS and Android phones and later ported to PC. That's not a bad thing; there are worse games to rip off than Super Mario 3D World, and to be honest that was kind of ripping off Crash Bandicoot (who was ripping off Donkey Kong Country and Sonic, who were ripping off Super Mario Bros, which was paradoxically ripping off Suzy Cube). I'm partially joking about the Crash Bandicoot thing.That said, it's a much more simple game t...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Short But Sloppy 0

Red Faction 2 is kind of like if Halo had a more Quake-like focus on explosives. You (more or less) start the game with a grenade launcher that can hold 30 rounds, and you can hold 30 hand grenades on top of that. Hitscan weapons like double uzis, assault rifles, and sniper rifles exist but are either extremely underpowered or take too long between shots. The grenade launcher should be your go-to in most situations. It makes for a more instant-gratification take on Halo-style gameplay and that t...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Not Perfect, But Good Enough 0

This is a well put together indie Metroidvania, although it is shockingly short for the genre. The map is quite small; I'd estimate it to be about 1/3 of the size of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's (and that's not even counting the inverted castle). I finished in five hours, but that was after a lot of wandering back and forth across the map in a (failed) attempt to find every stupid hidden bug collectible. A less thorough player would probably finish in 2 hours. It's not that there's anyth...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Fits Right In 0

DUSK isn't the first indie game to try to be a retro FPS, but it is the first one I'm aware of that actually succeeds. It fits right into the late 90s-early 00s canon in ways that its indie peers like Strafe have only a superficial misunderstanding of and even AAA "throwback" FPSes like Painkiller or Doom 2016 are either unable or unwilling to commit to.The game's weapons are satisfying to use, effective, and unique enough that they don't feel like also-rans from already existing games. As far a...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Not For Everyone 1

Boiling Point feels like a cheap knockoff of a more popular game, iterating on established mechanics to fill its own niche. The only problem is that I don't know what it could possibly be ripping off. The games it most resembles, Far Cry 2 and STALKER, both came out years later. Perhaps that speaks to Boiling Point's overstuffed nature and systems designed to appeal only to a very niche audience. Perhaps it also speaks to Boiling Point being a little ahead of its time... and ahead of its develop...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Quest of The Avatar: Forsaken Virtues 0

The game is a mix of 3D and 2D side-scroller platforming. Two of the playable characters, Modern Sonic and The Avatar, will switch between the two based on context. Classic Sonic, the third playable character, is nothing but 2D side-scrolling. In 3D mode Sonic Forces is alright, if a little simple. The 3D moveset has been reduced since Generations, with the most notable exclusion being the drift mechanic. The boost is now contingent on 'wisp energy' item capsules and combat instead of ring colle...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Detroit Bad Game City 0

This game should be called Todd Macfarlane's Spider Circus! I'm not a KISS head by any means but I'd actually prefer that to a game full of Todd MacFarlane's twisted clowns! There are a few times where a KISS song will play on a jukebox or something and it feels so out of place in this wannabe Marilyn Manson cover of a Nine Inch Nails song setting. Weapons are ineffective and ammo is relatively scarce. Enemies are mostly spiders and come from the Daikatana school of tiny swarming creature design...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A great open world survival horror game 0

The Evil Within 2 would be a great open world survival horror game if it was actually an open world survival horror game. That's what they sold it as, and I bought it a year after release thinking that that is what it would be. In reality, there are TWO small-ish maps (by open world standards) of open-ended sandbox design alongside about a dozen or so linear action levels that will actually make up the majority of your playtime. The second map is even about half as big and complex as the first o...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Just one of those games 0

The game is split about 50/50 between shooting and walking in a line. It's sort of strange how many rooms you walk through that are just empty. Sometimes (but not always) there's a little skull in the empty rooms. Those are audio logs. They relay extrapolations on what is already obvious. There are a lot of orcs, things are violent because of it, etc.The shooting is fine. While you play as a big, slow guy like in Gears of War, there's no cover system. Instead the game focuses on having a high nu...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Great Cast, Great Story, Good Game 0

Tales of Berseria tells a surprisingly nuanced, funny, and affecting story with passable action-based combat filling in the gaps.Its main strength is how it rides the line between following JRPG tropes while also playing against them. Your central protagonist is a young woman named Velvet Crowe who lives an idyllic life in a cozy little rural village. Of course, within an hour something bad happens to said village. The end result of these bad happenings is that Velvet is transformed into a half-...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Day The Robot Cried 0

One of the game's "bad" endings involves the heroine and her daughter being sent to a robot concentration camp, where they are then marched single file into a robot gas chamber.If, upon reading this, your chief concern is that I've 'spoiled' that ending for you, give Detroit a try. You'll love it!...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Good for Kids, Okay for Adults 0

Poi is a 3D platformer in the style of Super Mario 64. It's a Unity engine game where the end credits are about 30 seconds long and begins with "Created By Ben & Paul" before listing off a handful of contracted sound designers. By that metric Poi is really really good. However, in the real world where there are 50,000 games competing for your attention released on Steam every day, it gets slightly harder to justify.It's a very slight game. There are only four 'major' worlds, each one about ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

20% okay 80% miserable 0

When The Bureau was first announced as 'XCOM' it met with an understandable backlash. People assumed the publisher was trying to replace their favorite turn-based strategy game with an action shooter where you fight blobs with shotguns. But that was then. Nowadays we have two 'real' XCOM games behind us. Beyond even that, we have indie games like Xenonauts for the extreme purists. What I'm suggesting here is that the traditional XCOM audience is now well-served and I think there's room in the se...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

She's Back! 0

To start with, I haven't played any of the other games in the Final Fantasy XIII series, including the two direct prequels to Lightning Returns. Why play the last and most poorly regarded game in a trilogy without having any experience with or understanding of the others? I don't know and I don't feel like asking questions about myself that might have undesirable, personality-shattering answers.Hmm?I played the PC re-release of Lightning Returns. One of the major issues with the original console...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Solid but slight 0

Skyler & Plux showed up on Steam and GoG one day and it looked like a complete ripoff of Ratchet & Clank, so I bought it the second it was 50% off. Unfortunately it's nothing like Ratchet & Clank (it's more like a mix of Jak & Daxter with Rayman 2). It seems these touchstones aren't accidental. All of the marketing materials specifically call out that it's a throwback to the sort of mascot platformers you'd see on the Playstation 2. To an extent, it succeeds at that.I say to an ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

It Mostly Works 0

Snake Pass is a platformer where you play as a snake. In each level you have to collect three stones. Optionally you can get orbs and coins, neither of which do anything besides provide self-satisfaction. Getting these collectibles as a snake requires you to slither and climb your way up and across poles. They get a lot of mileage out of poles, especially when they start introducing poles attached to moving and rotating platforms. That said, the game is somewhat short. There are only 15 levels, ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Glaring Issues 0

The guy from the Tropico box art has taken over a nation called Medici, which is either in the Mediterranean or in South America. I'm not sure. He rose to power by utilizing bavarium, which I think is either rocks or some kind of element or something and does whatever the cutscene needs it to do at any given time. Practically, it gives certain tanks and helicopters temporary holo-shields. The cutscenes make a point of saying that bavarium is extremely dangerous for anyone-- even nuclear powers s...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A Beautiful Game 0

This is a beautiful game in just about every way and I highly recommend it. There are a few complaints. For people expecting a standard Platinum game, they might find the combat to be too simple, but that's a matter of perspective. This is a sequel to Nier, which was more or less styled after Zelda with its high leeway and lack of emphasis on inputs. Automata's combat fits this template and it does it admirably.Sidequests (which I recommend doing) often have you trekking through the same enviro...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

More is Less 0

Note: This is a review of the remastered edition from 2017When the first Turok remaster came out a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised. I spent 20 years thinking that game was crappy, but ended up having a lot of fun with it thanks to Night Dive's improvements. I was pretty excited to see if Turok 2 would continue the trend and I'd have a new retro FPS to enjoy. Unfortunately, Turok 2 is a pretty irritating and ponderous game.That's not speaking to the the quality of the port, however. Nig...

1 out of 6 found this review helpful.

An Improvement On Human Revolution 0

Mankind Divded made a horrible first impression. The PC port has a robust featureset (lots of options, FOV adjustment, etc) but it struggles to maintain 60 frames per second even with the high-end features turned off. The load times are long, and the post-processed anti aliasing blurs the screen so much that they had to put in an ugly sharpening filter that makes the game look like a jpeg from 1997. The game crashed on me about 5 times in my 30-hour playtime (possibly because I was using DirectX...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.