Friday, 24 September 2010

Late Summer Review Round-up


This summer seems to be more about the game I didn’t review rather than those I did. Skipping Red Dead Redemption and Alan Wake until after the buzz had died down discouraged me from writing traditional reviews. Instead I went on a word splurge and coughed up a load of nonsense about Red Dead last month and how it failed to use a single character as a monstrous antagonist - something missing from recent games.


More recently I covered Limbo – an interesting puzzle-platformer that really gripped me for about an hour until it wandered away from the large spiders and monstrous children.


I also enjoyed Deathspank for a time but it’s combat mechanics and general humour were never going ot be good enough to sustain its 12-hour running time. Glad I’m not covering the sequel, Thongs of Virtue, as that sounds like damn-near carbon copy of the first game. No thankee sir.


Kane & Lynch 2 was a headache to review, literally. I spent five hours with it on a rainy Sunday evening and by the time the shaky credits had rolled I had crushing headache. The way K&L2 presents itself was pretty interesting and the gnarly documentary style lends itself perfectly to a nasty gangster game. But the rest of the single-player campaign was so forgettable and boring that I can’t even stand to think about it anymore. Do check out the multiplayer though – it’s the only deep part of the game and gave me some serious chills trying to time my betrayal correctly or figure out who was going to stab the team in the back.


For some reason my Heavy Rain review didn’t go up until August on Gamepeople but I think the fury and disgust I levelled at it still holds true many months later. I don’t think I’ve played something that has made me so actively angry about it!


Finally, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light completes my late summer review spree. I liked it from a pure entertainment perspective and the co-op is very enjoyable. But as a game that features Lara Croft it just didn’t have the same atmosphere as the main Tomb Raider games. There was no sense of uncovering ancient ruins or artefacts, no crazy Atlantean story to get to grips with – just a twin stick spear-throwing shooter that you can throw away after a few hours.


What I have been playing that's been really enjoyable is Assassins Creed 2. It's been said many times before but its a true expansive sequel that blows the arse off the first game in spectacular fashion. The setting and the blatent anti-Church story are aspects worth exploring in another post, as is the Mass Effect 2 DLC - The Lair of the Shadow Broker - which reminded why Mass Effect 2 is still one of the best games I've ever played. Boom.


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