God of War: Ascension – impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

+, + very high production values from beginning to end

– didn’t like the rendering style at the beginning, felt like shiny wax somehow, realistic but weird

+, + but then later on it sorta changed and with amazing artwork I came to love the visuals

+, +, + amazing setpiece moments

-, +, +  the story is a bit confusing at the beginning, but then the loops and stories within stories really give a big payoff in the end(s).

-, +, + same old gameplay, but what an amazing gameplay it is, and new moves and new original puzzles, and the fighting felt somehow fresh and different… or at least weird different, but definitely different and that was good

-, +, + the puzzles were sometimes way too hard, with no clues, but man were they mindbreakingly amazing, timetravel elements, complex puzzles with no handholding, to be honest i’m shocked they’d be so cruel to their customers, but on the flipside once you do them somehow (even with online or in my case genius wife help) man do you feel cool and impressed.

+, + weirdly enough towards the end, after a number of times when i had to force myself to push on, especially with stuck moments, i got a kind of excitmenet that i haven’t felt since GoW2 & Gow1, a sense of discovery and amazement

+, + the scene placement creates such a buildup, sections tease future sections, as you see from afar where you’re going, and doing complex things, and by the time you get there it feels so epic you think the game will end, but then it doesn’t and this happens again… and then again (especially going up the huge statue)…. amazing scene setting

+, + superb environments, really superb

+, +  fascinating creatures

+ good character development

+ interesting secondary characters

Conclusions: I’d give it an epic amazing legendary 3.5 on a -5 to 5 scale because it has such high production values. So much innovation in so many ways. I didn’t expect this. Just bought it because i thought the demo was “good enough”… Color me impressed!

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

+, +, +, + aaamazing environment work

+, – okay but not fantastic story

+, + beautiful level variety

-, – too difficult at times

+ good music, always in atmosphere, sometimes mixing it up even with modern styles but still surprisingly well fitting

-, – bosses, bosses, bosses, oh how I hate their frustration and repetition

+ just as I was thinking the story is a bit cliche they did some quite weird yet interesting things with it. Sometimes they broke the fourth wall of immersion and took some liberties, but it was all done with taste and surprisingly well fitting. The way a barn raises out of a swamp when the storyteller mentions it, or a story/location is changed based on the bar discussions would have been things I would have thought i’d dislike with their slight humor even at games, but it’s done in moderation and well polished visually so it’s even interesting

– badly named: i say this simply because the name is so long I only remember the first part of it and there’s too many of them, I’m still struggling to remember their naming. Bad branding IMHO.

+ nice subtle touches in the story, narrative tricks

+, + did I mention the environments are quite beautiful? So much love, so much attention to detail, from the interestingness of objects to dexture detail and even game design helper touches like say a wooden plank of a different color placed at a crossroads to show you subtly the way you’re supposed to go. Amazing. Or little dust or particle touches at the right place. Superb mastery.

Conclusions: All in all i was blown away by this game. I can’t believe how fast I finished it, it was just that gripping! I’d give it a 3 (on a -5 to 5 scale). The bosses and difficulty repetitions still left me with a bad taste, but the amazing environments make me still go wow, and the story was pretty decent, even with a bit of subtle humor. I’m having more and more respect for the company Techland. They have such amazing artists and I’m finding so many of their games just blew me away, weather it was Dying Light, Dead Island or the Call of Juarez series.


PS: i’ve instantly went and ordered Call of Juarez The Cartel, I hope it’s gonna be as good as this!

Assasin’s Creed Unity – impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)


+, +, +, +, + it brings to life Paris in the 18th century. And it lets you explore it pretty freely surprisingly quick into the game! An amazing world, amazing recreation, not just locations, fantastic buildings, AND period costumes, but also streets full of people which seem surprisingly alive, with things they do, and all so beautifully lit and with atmosphere

+, + the animations of the people on the streets, even their voices and the things they talk are SO SOOO incredibly many! it is truly amazing that somebody actually made this game

– the main story is pretty “meh”. Templars are evil, assasin’s are good even when they kill hundreds of people, and a romantic main story full of foolishness and absolutely no player choice

+, +, +, + the environment artwork is just AAAAMAZING, for the first many many hours in the game I just walked around to see the places, and even close to finishing it not only did I not see everything and will be going back but as I was playing the game I kept seeing and noticing new and interesting things, be it a building, or a loaded cart or a pile of fascinating rubbish

-, – the ending boss fight conditions are quite arbitrary & silly (things that have always worked don’t work, others do, and you must keep trying with hints that can actually confuse

+, +, + there’s a lot of secondary stuff to do. I’m very excited to see the AC series going in the direction of an open world RPG. With the mini-quests there’s absolute freedom in the order you do them, many characters to meet

+, + surprisingly even the multiplayer was cool in this game… and I am a brave fighter for the cause of singleplayer. I guess it’s because the multiplayer missions (that I liked) had cinematics like a singleplayer one, except set in different time periods, and it was thus just singleplayer with other people doing their thing too, sometimes even surprising you pleasantly

+, + quite good music

+, + at some point it actually surprised very wonderfully with an interesting time travel into the 19th century… too bad the other one wasn’t that interesting

Conclusions: all in all i must say this game surprised me way above expectations. All ACs have had admirable production values, but with such a well done open world city, many quests and a total lack of frustrating ship battle grinding this one has made a particularly good impression. I hate to say it, because all ACs I find quite beautiful in their way but the beautiful beautiful open world with all the detail and the historical period recreation might make even me join the choir saying this might be the best AC… and I find this hard because I found the first one particularly original, and the Venice location I found fascinating as well as Constantinople… but Paris had such SUCH a density of beautiful architecture and amazing attention to detail in the crowds and even junk on the street that it really passed a threshold of realism. I really wasn’t going to give it such a high mark, but as I’m writing and try to find faults I see how hard it is so I guess I’ll have to give this one a 3.8 [on a -5 to 5] scale just for being so incredibly polished in everything. I’m not giving it more just because I’m reserving higher scores for games with moral choices, more play choices and also first person. Still, it even started to show some choice of strategy choices of the Hitman type.

+, + even after finishing the main story I plan to play it some more, something that has never happened to me with an AC so it’s fitting that I add this after the conclusions

+ i hear the game had a troubled launch, but for us this turned out wonderful as Ubisoft was incredibly generous and thanks to that historical fact which never affected us we got a really huge DLC addon!!! AAAAmaazing!

PS: I can only hope all future ACs will become more and more open world RPGs, hopefully even introducing choice someday!

Dying Light – impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)


+, +, +, +, + navigating an open world like I’ve never seen before! All first person games will from now on have to live up to the standards raised by this level of freedom in navigation. I mean of course I don’t expect all games to become open world exploration games, but just like how Assassin’s Creed revolutionized the 3rd person genre by showing that one shouldn’t be stopped by shoulder high barricades and even houses, that’s how I hope this game will raise the bar for all 1st person games

+, +, + very interesting open world to explore

+, – the main story is not horrible but not great either

+, +, + however there’s a ton of secondary quests with great stories. There’s also a couple which are a bit more silly, but in the end they were not as many as I initially feared and I guess it makes sense that some of the survivors would be a bit ‘special’ after the horrible things they’ve gone through

-, – the moment when the game disappointed me was when it pulled out the first story mission with a timer for failure. Before that I played it immersively and felt responsibility for my choices, tried not to do too risky stuff, but after totally arbitrarily being forced to do something with a timed bomb, stuff I couldn’t have possibly known without trying and failing, again and again… well it was disappointing

+, +, + amazing length, great value!!!

+, + quite cool music

-, –  no dialogue choices, no story branching

+, + some quite beautiful locations!

+, +, +,+ amazing attention to the environments, the items tell such amazing stories, rooms places, items. Just amazing!!!


Conclusions: 3.7 (on a -5 to 5 scale). Best PS4 game so far from my point of view. Amazing game, I couldn’t wait for the next day after work to play a bit more, to explore the fascinating world!!!

Demon’s Souls – impressions

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Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)

Wow, I can’t believe we finished it. It came so close to never getting finished… a couple of times. But so very happy we did. Quick thoughts:

+, +, +, + aaaaaaaaaamazing level design, the connections, the locations, the secrets

+, +, + very interesting world

-, -, – the difficulty is sometimes wildly impossibly hard. Theoretically this could be fixed by some summoned friends, but that system is also broken in design because as the game ages, the servers are more empty and you are left to yourself often when you would most need help. The community is still surprisingly active, which is how we actually ended up finishing it, but not necessarily the ingame one but the online resources. Ingame also there’s a lot of messages and good stuff, but game is very restrictive where it allows to place summon points and thus discourages it

+, +, + some truly truuly fascinating locations, and the variety and surprises are just amaziiing!

-, -, – I had to do quite a bit of grinding until things got more manageably doable

+, +, + greeeat value for money, you could spend a year or two in this fantastic universe

+ pretty good and fitting music

+ quite interesting characters along the way

+, – there are easily stuff you could HUGELY miss forever, your only (reasonable) chance is looking online for guides. This is a plus because it shows depth, but a minus because … well, you could easily miss awesome stuff if you don’t spend hundreds of hours trying out random things. For example there was a major interesting character, a witch, which you would have never met unless you wore a certain specific hat in a certain specific quite secret place which was not obvious to find even after acquiring a quite secret key & character friend.

-, -, + very unexplained and cryptical, though that is sometimes was also interesting

+, + very touching story moments

– there were a few creatures/enemies that were a bit ridiculous/silly

+, + the architecture is quite amazing

+, +, + very deep and interesting system for weapon developments, major choices to be taken, deeply thought out resources and requirements that force you to think hard about what you do

Conclusions: All in all an aaaamazing game if you are willing to put up with it’s insane difficulty curve. It has a lot to offer and hides a HUUGE world under the surface… but one that is quite had to dig out. If you do it though you’ll be left with one of a kind memories. 4 (on a -5 to 5 scale).

Silent Hill: Downpour – impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

+, +, + although the story overall is linear there are shockingly big open areas in the game, with many mysteries and corners to explore… and not the kind of copy-paste world either, distant remote corners seem to have gotten a lot of environmental love and attention to details, and totally optional secondary quests are shockingly interesting and well done

+, + amazingly well thought out story

-, + starts up a bit slow but keeps building up

+, + deep and interesting themes explored in both symbolism and the text passages found through the game, themes like the nature of prisons in modern and older societies

+ surprisingly long

+, +, + very interesting and memorable characters

+,-  a varied soundtrack, though it’s not used to it’s maximum potential IMHO as there’s some songs which you only hear small parts of that would have been nice

+, + well done environments

+ at easiest difficulty (like we often play games) quite enjoyable, with not very hard fights and a lot of time to just look around

+ surprisingly many breather moments, unlike many insecure games sometimes the game not only didn’t constantly throw waves of enemies but at some moments the enemies even ran away

+, + having finished it I still have the feeling of many mysteries I didn’t solve that I’m curious about, and also many interesting questions on the main story -, + a price of the open-sih world sometimes is the possibility of getting lost for a while, but even that’s okayish because of the interesting environments and secrets+ it manages to capture the spirit of a Silent Hill story while at the same time not repeating one and giving an original perspective+, + some amazingly painted moments, such as a mystical setting up of a Hansel & Gretel children’s play

Beyond: Two Souls – impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

+, + some quite unique story moments that I’ve never before seen in a game, particularly the childhood story of a child with a spirit connection

– it was basically an interactive movie with little choice

+ the movie overall was relatively ok

+, – the camera is fixed most of the time, meaning many beautiful shots, but also sometimes forced and often dizzying or confusing camera movements

– but then there’s also moments when it’s not so great

+ decent soundtrack

– the characters aren’t very logical sometimes in their actions

+, + sometimes it looks almost fotorealistc, more like a ps4 than a ps3 game

– despite the occasional deeper military insights it turns into the standard american military saves the world type story (though this doesn’t affect the rest of the chapters too much). Would have been nice to see the story from the other side too instead of being so unidimensional. (in this case (surprisngly) it’s not the russians but the chinese that are the bad guys… are we entering a new age ? )

Conclusions: 2.5 (on a -5 to 5 scale), a quite unique and interesting experience and definitely better than we expected from the demo which was rather dissapointing (so much so that we delayed the purchase despite the great respect for the company behind Fahrenheti/Indigo Prophecy)

Shadow of Mordor – quick impressions

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Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

+, + amazing surprise

+, +, +, + the chieftain fights simulation is just simply a leap forward in gaming, I totally didn’t expect this game to thread such brave new territory

– often i would want to do something but get stuck or the character would not react to movement

+ the stories generated in game are fascinating

+, – sometimes it looked beautiful, sometimes just okay

+, – the main story has it’s interesting twists, but also it’s ordinariness, often I didn’t want to get back to it just to play more simulation

+ sheds some interesting lights on the (to me) otherwise relatively boring mythos of the lord of the rings universe with interesting moral greys and layers of story

+, +, + shockingly memorable orcs. Even as a graphics artist with a lifetime interest in learning how to do this I am still amazed and shcoked how they managed to make the different chieftains so memorable and unique and full of character both in facial expressions and accessories.

Conclusions: 3 (on a -5 to 5 scale). Totally shocker good game, took me by complete surprise, I was expecting it to be just a tiny insignificant filler but it was like WOOOW. Lots of fun to experiment with orc control, just to mess with their inside struggles of power. I really hope future games will have more of this internal simulation, with stories forming inside the game.

PS: I haven’t played such an original and interesting Monolith game since Blood 2 (one was even more amazingly original).

Dark Souls 2 + Lost Crowns DLC – quick impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

+, +, + amazingly big and varied world

– initial impression of the first level was a bit world of warcraftish/less serious, but it got better with time

+ very interesting deep world and characters

+ very unique experience

– way too hard. I’d say about 4x harder than it should be (if you choose easy, those who want hardness should be given double if they want)

-, – the DLCs are even more unreasonably hard.

-, – many areas are so hard/frustrating that playing with party/other players/online is pretty much mandatory, especially in the DLCs

+ the multiplayer though I didn’t want it did also provide some unique experiences.

– many things are not well enough explained, not just in the story but also gameplay wise. For example I totally accidentally started the game again without wanting to, which locked me out of the DLCs I bought until i had to refinish the whole game

+, + overall unique memories, unique locations and an interesting world

+ sometimes very beautiful, Majula in particular, or the variety of other locations

+, – it’s great that the locations are linked, and it’s great to have fast travel, but at the same time this disconnects them a bit

+, + so very very full of secrets and mysteries

+, + quite the amazing community, online, forums, ingame

Overall: +3.5 (on a -5 to 5 scale). Amaazing one of a kind game, unique and fascinating experience. I wish it was a bit more serious and less cartoony looking sometimes, but the hugeness of the game amazed again and again and again. Too bad this great world is only given to you if you’re willing to endure a lot of wasted re-re-respawn times. I wish more people could experience it. I warmly recommend trying it out. Don’t give up until you’ve tried out at least 4 locations.

DmC: Devil May Cry – quick impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)


+, +, +  at times the environments are quite fantastic. Not all levels though, some or rather dry and uninteresting, but maaan, when it shines it really shines. Breaking apart bits of interesting architecture in an empty space rearangement in abstract yet meaningful ways was the part that most impressed me, but there were also very interesting other locations and contracts, including to my surprise rather late in the game a uniquely used graphical chalk look environments for planning storytelling

– waves after waves of similar enemies

+ however this is slightly counterbalanced by the quite through/reflex thinking provoking series of key combos, even to some extent customizable. On a physical reflexive plane it at times feels quite satisfying

+, + very interesting story told in quite bold cutscenes with nice cinematic work.

-,+ punishingly tough at times even on the easiest level, though once you accept that I must admit there’s a certain elegance in the way it pushes you to play inteligently even with fast reflexes

+ pushes the cinematography for a game medium to surprising places

– annoying music with the angry voices, I mean at times it is atmospherically aggressive rock, but mostly it would have IMO been much better with just instrumentals

+ interesting cast of characters

+,- the colors of the game had good and bad moments, sometimes the stylization felt good, while at other times the over saturation filter on everything made things burn out in not so good looking ways.

+ great idea with the switching between the real and the limbo dimension, and correlations between them, how the humans perceive an event and how the demons do

Overall: 3.5 (on a -5 to 5) scale. Though not the kind of game I admire the world, being neither choice oriented or open world exploration oriented the game really shines with it’s original environments and quite interesting story. It has some quite moving dramatic moments as well as an interesting perpetual tensions between dimensions, main characters… Warmly recommending it despite the occasional finger pains from button mashing :D

PS: [Vergil’s Downfall] my recommendation refers only to the main game, the Vergil’s Downfall DLC I started with great excitement because the first location was cool and new, but then it got diluted and artificially prolonged artificially with too many filler waves of battles and the story was nowhere near as good as the main game, neither in the artwork, or in the narrative.

Killzone 3 – quick impressions

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

+, + very cool symphonic  music

– too much of a military shooter sometimes

+, + awesome light direction, great use of complementary colors

+ good variety in locations and even some more stealthy mission types, some beautiful places from jungle planet to ice world to greatly realized space station and even junkyard

– very linear

+ enjoyable in in it’s shooter simplicity, always going forward, except for the occasional:

– a bit too tough battles

+, + good storytelling, very interesting characters, great twists

Conclusions: 2.5 (on a -5 to 5 scale). It’s pretty good if you are okay with first person shooters because of the interesting story, great lighting and music.

Killzone: Shadow Fall – Quick Impressions

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

+, +, + very interesting propaganda and anti propaganda in the main story

+, +, + some interesting space and quiet moments, time to absorb the beauty

+ quite impressive graphics

– some locations lasted too long or didn’t change fast enough

+ tried to offer some traversal options (though it also occasionally pushes into hard fights)

– frustratingly hard at times

+ interesting original music (though sometimes too short loops)

– a bit too much of the high tech sci fi (i think some more sections like the initial forest mix would have been nice)

Conclusions: 2.5 (on a -5 to 5 scale): pretty interesting if you’re into shooters but with some brave wonderful choices in good directions such as choices, exploration or environment admiration.

God of War: Ghost of Sparta – quick impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

This holiday I finally got a chance to play it on the vita, here’s my quick thoughts

+ it feels like God of War 1.5, not quite as good as 2 but with some nice improvements. So quite a good game!

+++ very interesting locations/architecture/lighting/angles

+ okay story with family members, even a trip to Sparta

+ pretty interesting new moves

+ ties in well with the other games while still being independent

Conclusions: 2 [ on a -5 to 5 scale], a good game, not mindblowing but high quality through and through.

If you’re still wondering weather or not it’s worth playing it, or don’t think you will but don’t wanna miss out on some interesting locations check out this cool full movie somebody made of the playthrough:


Dragon Age 2 – quick impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

+, +, + amaazing story, shocking amount of surprisingly difficultmoral choices, makes me think of the amazing fallout 2 in this respect (though here it’s all the conversations and not object choices)

– weird long loading times between sections

+ quite interesting characters, made me even partially forget my dislike for controlling multiple characters… still don’t like it, but for what it’s worth this game did it quite good

+ it’s like mass effect, except a more interesting story with more stories and choices, and more morally difficult branches

– even having played it at the easiest level annoying number of fights and sometimes I died because of random fluctuation between very very easy and then hard boss fight

+ some of the choices were so difficult that even having finished it i keep thinking weather I took the right choice (from a moral point of view) and of course the what-if, what would have happened not just in a game but in a world like this

– the environment artwork is only so and so, there’s occasionally beautiful places with very nicely stylized statues but also some very generic and repeating feeling locations, but all is okay because of

+ great ammount of interesting moral situations, choices ranging form familial to political, of friends and values

– given the long time spent in between region loading screens I find out surprising that the graphics thare are IMO rather unimpressive, sometimes with a nice twist but not that impressive

+ a lot of attention to detail in the writing, the choices, the thoughts of the characters, the internal coherence

+, -,+ (maaajor spoiler) as I googled after finishing the game i had the impression there’s really just one ending, and a twist to it… which is a shame because by the end of the game it had managed to pull something amazing to a gaming old man like me: it had convinced me that there are actually real moral choices with consequences. Characters had actually left the game, acted against choices and big stuff like that. I would have much more preferred having a fallout 2 style narrated modular multiple endings. That would have been a chance to showcase the many individual choices I had made and improvise a story based on them for the future, because amazingly enough the game had in abundance choices and things of which it could have told about. A missed opportunity there, in my opinion. I don’t know if the budget ran out there or EA did a too obviously money greedy thing and tried to leave too many doors open for downloadable content/sequels and spinoffs. I have nothing against companies being profitable, in fact I find that important, but EA has burned a lot of good will by me by pairing awesome games with not so inspired marketing or sales attempts such as forcing you onto it’s servers, bullyingly insisting you register and such things.

+ (spoiler) surprisingly long, more than once i thought it would end, yet it continued, but not in the bad sense, but in the sense of a whole different section, years later, on a higher level of story/experience/social status/context. In many games when it says “chapter 1, chapter 2…” i just forget it and don’t care… but with this game the chapter separations actually made sense and stuck to myself because the context of the story were so very different

+ the first game I know of that manages to make a good story that is about a city, takes place in one and still manages to stay interesting all through it. That i found quite revolutionary, following the life of a city over years! The way the story kept comming back in different settings. Cool!

+ I found the game did a very elegant job of showing some charcters from the prequel, doing it with moderation, showing some, not others, binding the story and yet keeping it of it’s own. Cool!


Conclusions: i must admit i totally underestimated the game, i played it more as a semi chore, a “game of thrones” substitute, but the game kept on giving, i played it over months, yet every weekend I would play it a bit I was surprised it still had content, still had story, and it escalated amazingly in the end. I give it a spectacular 3.5 on a [-5 to 5 scale]. What it could’ve done a bit better for me was open world and non-party gameplay, preferably immersive first person, as well as more interesting objects that aren’t just about stats.

Dishonored + Dunwall + Witches – second impressions

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Well, i actually replayed the game in the last 2 weeks. Fully. I’m as surprised as you are. I just wanted to try it out again for a few minutes, dip into the world again as a beautiful memory, and to my surprise I found it almost as wonderful the second pass through as the first time. All the while I was tormenting myself with guilt, asking myself why i’m not playing some new game, of the many big games I haven’t yet gotten around to play, to experience new artwork, yet I was having so much enjoyment at every moment when I was near the choice Dishonored won again. So one could honestly ask… why? Here’s my answers:

  • the artwork is still beautiful
  • because of the many micro choices, paths to take and ways to solve little obstacles with either powers or different world traversals whenever I asked my mind as to what would happen next, a question which usually suffices from me re-watching a movie or re-reading a book, my mind would not give back an answer, and thus it always felt fresh. The long story, the twists and the addon content also helped in thus delightfully confusing my memory allowing me to relive a wonderful experience
  • there were actually bigger level choices to make which gave a certain freshness both to results and to styles of play
  • unlike a movie in a game I was constantly choosing my own camera angles, avoiding the familiar and thus creating a new sequence of events and just as importantly new angles, which was important because:
  • the artwork in general is so good and original that i felt i had a lot to learn and memorize by simply seeing them from a new angle and with a fresh perspective.

On second pass I wasn’t that excited about the Knife of Dunwall content, as it felt a bit more of the same (though what a beautiful same!), but with the 2nd addon Brigmore Witches content I was again impressed and delighted, the brave artwork directions, particularly the haunted mansion location as well as the gameplay tweaks in the mechanics (the high float, and the delightful Fallout-esque very tempting artifacts which were incredibly powerful but with a huge down side too).

Overall I still warmly recommending this game for it’s original artwork, interesting story and most importantly a very original and interesting world universe setting.

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