There are some things the game does rather well. The RPG elements are sound, the story is interesting, the writing is solid, and the dialog system is excellent. Unfortunately, the gameplay itself is a mixed bag. That, along with the unimpressive visuals, will constantly find a way of getting in the way of your enjoyment.
Alan Wake is a fine homage to the supernatural without being ridiculous. It takes everything that defines the genre – the campy characters, over-the-top camera angles, and clichéd plot points, and combines them with a great story to provide a lasting interactive experience.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a perfectly good reminder of what gamers may have missed if they never got a chance to try out the series in the previous generation. At times it’s a Sands of Time déjà vu; and I mean it as a compliment. But that is the best compliment I can give it.
When it’s at its best, Split/Second beats the pants off the competition, but in opting for quality over quantity, it finds itself way too short on content. The powerplays are a joy to behold, but they get old quickly and there aren’t enough environments to keep things fresh. Multiplayer is an absolutely blast, but again lacks longevity due to its shallow nature.
The biggest change Halo: Reach brings to the series is in the form of ‘armor abilities’. Each armor ability has a different function; camo makes you invisible, jetpacks let you fly, armor lock makes you invulnerable, sprint lets you cover distance quickly, etc. They work the same way the suit powers worked in Crysis. You have a set amount of time you can use the armor ability for, and once it’s expired, you have to wait till it recharges before you can use it again. Each game type has its own set of armor abilities you can pick up and (like everything else that matters) they are all available to every player regardless of rank or experience.
2010 FIFA World Cup feels like a case of one step forward and three steps back. In terms of game modes and content, online features, and presentation, it is clearly deficient by FIFA standards. But the most important factor is gameplay, and that’s where it claws its way back. But even so, it’s clear that there isn’t enough on offer to hold your attention once the World Cup is over and once all the excitement around it has died down.
With almost every change counting as a positive improvement and with very little to complaint about, there are enough refinements and rebalancing of fighters to give Super Street Fighter IV its own identity and not let it latch onto that of Street Fighter IV. Of course, this will lead to the death of the online community of the old masterpiece, but it is a worthy sacrifice, and one which has paved way for the next step in the evolution of an already legendary franchise.
Minor flaws aside, Resonance of Fate is a highly enjoyable RPG that every fan of the genre must try. It has some very cool ideas and a great battle system that is as fun as to play as it is to look at. Most importantly, it feels like playing a proper RPG, complete with tons of side quests and loads of customisation.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope could have been a terrific game, but a perfectly good combat system and interesting side quests have been marred by an idiotic story, bad voice acting and horrendous dialogue. Pick this one up only if you are severely RPG-starved.
All things considered, I still think the game is worth a look, but only for the multi-player. As far as the single player is concerned, may be simplified games are the order of the day now, and maybe there is no room today for games that require any sort of lateral thinking or forward planning. But even judged by those absurdly low standards, Conviction doesn't acquit itself too well.
Just Cause 2 is pure gaming fun in its most unadulterated form. It doesn't pretend to be anything else. There's no epic story, quirky characters or carefully written dialog here. What it does offer, however, is fun in spades; something which you'll keep coming back to. And sometimes that's exactly what a gamer needs.
If you liked Origins, then chances are this review is totally redundant, and if you didn't like it, there isn't anything here to convince you otherwise. But what we do have is a long, very smartly built campaign that does almost everything right. This is a worthy expansion to an already great game.
Final Fantasy XIII is an average entry in a widely acclaimed RPG franchise. The drop dead gorgeous visuals and fantastic battle system cannot hide a shallow story and uninteresting characters. If you are a fan of JRPGs, play this game, but don't start by thinking "I hope it's better than FF ". It's not.
If you don't game on the console and haven't played the game before, I strongly recommend picking up Assassin's Creed II for the PC. Yes, Ubisoft's new DRM is a pain, but it's a pain PC gamers will have to learn to get used to.
Overall, even though the Mercenaries Reunion mode comes off as tad disappointing, the inclusion of the three new modes adds a substantial amount of gameplay to the original game. If you have yet to pick up one of the finest action games of last year, this is the definitive edition to get.
Metro is a study in contrasts. A well crafted single-player experience highlighted by top notch visuals, some genuinely great levels and a tense, unyielding atmosphere, marred by broken stealth mechanics, a bad decision relating to one of the enemies, and weak weapon effects.
This is probably one of the best team-based multiplayer games to come along in a very long time. Divided across four classes - Assault, Medic, Engineer and Recon, everything has been balanced to absolute perfection.
In a jaded market ruled predominantly by guns, fast cars and extreme action, Heavy Rain ambitiously emerges as a refreshing change, encouraging both the gaming industry and its patrons to stop and smell the roses. Kudos to Quantic Dream for creating a well thought out, emotionally engaging experiment that is sure to pave the way for the future of gaming.
God of War III is redefinition. It redefines our understanding of scale in video games. God of War III is restoration. It restores the meaning to a word we reviewers often throw at the drop of a hat - epic. It is the most beautiful violence you have ever seen in a video game. In all its moments of brilliance, you will revel in delicious bloodlust while the blades of exile are on song, and your most primal instincts will scream with delight. Pull out your most wicked smile for this one.
BioShock 2 is a sufficiently good sequel to one of the most memorable games of recent times. It may lack the charm of the original due to the been-there-done-that feel that it cannot shake off, but it still manages to be an engaging game that gets better as you play thanks to a decent story and varied gameplay.
Mixing historical events and fiction with incredible finesse, the downloadable episode that serves as the thirteenth memory block of Assassin's Creed 2 picks up immediately after the Battle of Forli.
Bayonetta is a serious workout for your arm. It comes highly recommended to anyone wanting to relive the heyday of the Japanese videogame industry and also wants an accessible game with top-notch content for his or her trouble. This is nostalgia at its best; the kind you don't need those much-maligned rose tinted spectacles to enjoy.
On the surface, there's not much technically wrong with Dante's Inferno, but the things you earlier overlooked as slight niggles, slowly gnaw at you the longer you play, which eventually sucks the enjoyment out of it. To be honest, I know nothing about the Divine Comedy, so there's no way for me to tell how faithful to the original the game is. But in the game, you play as Dante, who must journey through the nine circles of hell to rescue his wife Beatrice, who is being held captive by Lucifer.
Mass Effect 2 is everything a sequel should be. Bioware has stripped the franchise off all that held it back and has taken some major risks with the design, but in the end, it all works.