No, not the movie, the game, confusingly carrying the same title though being quite different.
+, +, + amazing visuals through a beautiful graphics engine, beautiful artistic sunsets and the dunes, looking at times spectacular
-, – infantile often downright stupid story with not credible world, and adolescent namings. I wanted to believe in the world, and I could’ve totally seen made it at least half credible in a Fallout kind of sense but it seems just down right silly
+, +, +, + amazing level design, by that I mean many camps and locations which although reusing assets are each lovingly designed in a way that invites exploration and discovery, each having it’s own specific character.
+, – passable but “meh” music
-, – the occasional frustrating “boss fight” locking you in and not allowing for open world solutions or alternatives
+ decent progression and leveling
+, + some genuinely interesting and memorable locations
Overall I’d simply say the world looks great and the level layout with a beautiful engine but destroyed by a worse than mediocre story. I’d give it a 1 on a -5 to 5 scale: worth playing for the world and discovery but showing many other problems. Still i think it’s a game worth mentioning because i suspect behind the unidimensional almost caricatural world is a team of people who put a lot of love into the game and it shows.
It’s amazing it took me like 8 months to finish this game despite loving it so very much from the launch date. Here’s my quick thoughts:
+, +, +, +, + Aaaaaaaaaaaaaamazing world, so very very big and open and fascinating to explore and beeeeeeeeautiful!!!
-, – too bad it didn’t had voice over. I mean in a way the primitive old language is charismatic, but on the other hand it breaks the immersion a bit not to understand it and it makes it feel a bit like a more “indie” budget title, which it totally doesn’t feel otherwise
+, +, +, + deep and complex story with a lot of moral grays. Many times I was surprised how they dared to be so “politically incorrect” with the kinds of things they said in the game, and the story. I’m used to seeing stories in which the hero is camouflaged for modern tastes and values yet in this game the story and the world is much more unapologetically tribe-vs-tribe, and even in this the game manages to surprise with complex tensions and interests, and even the major villain being presented in a way that made me go “WOOOW”, humanized through his child and brain illness, and even in the mutual deadly hate there is a place formed for mutual respect
+, +, + a nice variety of approaches, locations, from stealth to using animals and to full on spectacular action
– after the initial 20h of great discovery my interest plateaued for a while because of same world, yet what a world
+, +, +, + beautiful graphical engine, beautiful day-night cycle
+, +, +, + spectacularly realized vegetation, in looks, in color spectrum, in variety, in organic distribution
+, + an interesting approach of handling cold weather resulted in wonderfully dynamic experiences and emergent gameplay situations. I remember this one time when I was trying to silently take a village in the snow, yet I was freezing, so i would try to sneak past bonfires
+, +, +, + great variety in the terrain and locations
+, +, + a masterpiece in handling the animals, they are beautiful
+, + I was very surprised how many interesting and unique places to discover they’ve managed to create, with unique looks and atmosphere, world events, caves, ritual sites, villages…
+, + gripping level-up system with a lot of skills and objects to acquire while learning the land
Overall I’d say this is an underrated masterpiece of which i hear way too little of. I’d give it an amazing 4.5 on a -5 to 5 scale. I wish it had had dialogues but otherwise this is a one of a kind experience that totally took me by surprise, I really reeeeeeeally hope they’ll make a Primal 2 or even better further experiment with translating the formula through history.
Finished it. It was a just one day experience, but it definitely was a memorable surreal one. We got the game not knowing what to expect, possibly nothing special, but after 1h of play I was so impressed with the quality of the historical elements in the environment that I went and got the addon on the spot (haven’t played it yet). Here’s quick thoughts while the credits are rolling:
+, +, + , +, + some amazing surreal moments of dream and paradox that I think would’ve had both Escher and Dali impressed. And some changes are so subtly and beautifully integrated that it’s amazing, like one moment you’ll be looking around a room and the next seeing it’s got an endless ceiling, but wonder if it was like that before, or turning around a room to find doors where you remembered walls… or things floating, just amazing moments.
+, + interesting mystery atmosphere, told through small things, placements of things, indirect letters, that kind of stuff
– there were also moments however when it felt like it had too many “booo!” scares… though I got quickly immune. The suspense stuff was better though.
+, +, + at times amazing soundtrack
– Though some story was there I wish there was more story and a bit less of the ‘gore’… just a bit, it mostly worked but it could’ve used IMO more monologue or something
+, +, + loved the historical household objects
+, – the classical paintings in the game were a perfect disturbing fit and wonderful in their ways. The only problem was there was too few of them and they repeated breaking a bit the great immersion.
+, + at times it looked technically very impressive, both as engine and at times even in terms of environment asset quality, there were moments I felt I was playing Bioshock, which is an amazing achievement for what I assume is a team/budget that’s much smaller
Overall I’d give this game a grandiose 3.5 on a -5 to 5 scale: a truly unique and extraordinary experience. Had it’s moments when it was harder to push on but overall it surprised and delighted in a way in which games rarely do and tends to be more the domain of movies: a constant journey of change, change in subtle ways, story always advancing almost without failure and failures turning into development and surprise. This game has greatly surprised me.
PS: though lacking that amazing tech this game is I think a worthy inheritor of the title of what P.T. might have been had it actually been developed into a (good) game. I definitely felt Silent Hill echoes in the game and a ton of ton of H.P. Lovecraft influences. What an impressive pedigree!
As usual, my thoughts are just for the singleplayer as I don’t care much for the multiplayer (might try it out at some point for 30 minutes, but not what I bought it for). So, here’s my thoughts:
+ decent music
+, -, – Really big open spaces. This is beautiful at times, but most of the times it feels “a little empty”.
– sometimes it lacks direction, easy to get lost in what you’re supposed to do next. At one point I spent many minutes (even in high story tension) trying to figure out what arbitrary thing I’m supposed to do next.
+, +, + some quite fantastic setpiece moments
+, +, +, + great variety of environments
– otherwise feeling a bit generic
+ a bit of a between soldier story
-, -, – I already mentioned how the world feels pretty empty and uninteresting (or rather overstretched), this is reinforced by lots of time spent in lock counter fire, easy to die, you’re forced to advance very slowly.
+ I guess with the right frame of mind (but I only managed to get it sometimes) you can enjoy the realism of slowly advancing
Overall I found it a generic AAA war fps, goes through the expected steps, in a kind of formula, with art assets that are passable but not incredibly memorable Still, decent enough to play and finish it which says something, so I’d give it a 1 on a -5 to 5 scale. The artwork may not be great/incredibly original but it’s consistently good and with some setpiece moments and great engine it sometimes even made me go “wow”, and the other times it was interesting to see all the military equipment which I’m assuming was research based on the real world.
Got it like 5 days ago… dooone :D
+, +, +, + quite a decent length for such a linear story. Played every day/evening quite intensively + extended weekend. I was expecting it to finish in half the time, given how we were constantly advancing, running through the story.
-, + very linear. Occasionally it’s okay/nice to have a game like this (presuming I didn’t pay as much for it as an Oblivion), but this is made okay by the fact that there’s ALWAYS something happening. It’s even hard to talk during this game (unusual), as there’s always some commentary or dialogue happening. I find this is great and relatively new/cutting edge for games which tend to be a lot of repetition.
-, +, + normally i dislike vehicle sections, but in this game they were the most open of the whole game, and that was great, to see this level of polish and a bit more open. I fondly remember for example the big riverside muddy terrain, that looked faaantastic
+, +, + the best photography system I’ve yet seen in a game. It has filters and options, but most importantly it allows blending out of all characters to take photos of the environment, loved that. I only wish I could move my camera a bit more
+, +, +, – the world looks a couple of times faaaaaaaantastic. It particularly exploits the wonderful formula of ruins + overgrown vegetation + great sunlight/shadow spots. This looks at times fantastic. My complaint is something harder to put my finger on, … all the plants and many stones felt… I don’t know… plastic/mass produced/somehow cheap. But the formula is still fantastic
+, +, + a bunch of really reeally fantastic interiors, old furniture and many interesting props
– there’s no choices or any meaningful stuff to explore, anything to leave a personal mark on the experience, it’s just a better than movie experience
+ manages to tell a decent pirate story
+, +, + the soundtrack had a couple of quite fantastic moments
+, +, + the story writing is quite good, with nice personal moments (as well as the facial capture) and a nice variety of events, from different moments in time, childhood, adulthood, even… Nice jumping back and forth, even a surprisingly well done prison break
+, + the game was so long and with so many settings and moments it feels like multiple games.
+, +, +, + there’s that one moment… with the pirate village… maaan, that looked goooood.
Overall: I’d give this game a 3.5 on a -5 to 5 scale, making it a great, even excellent game with great overall polish and lots of varied content. It manages to bring to life some amazing places and moments. The reason I wouldn’t go higher is the linearity of the story and the lack of meaningful personal memories. Still, I would say this is for this generation something at least as good as Indiana Jones was for the previous one, so a milestone in entertainment.
Well, finally finished it, but only like 1-2 years after starting it, with a big pause due to its difficulty spike(s). Here’s my brief thoughts:
+, +, -They take a lot of the tried and proven mechanics of the Souls games, this gives it some boosts up but also some of its worst sides
+, +, + quite interesting visual art style. Overly ornate and often a bit generic in that, still sometimes beautifully decorative and showing sometimes beautiful vistas, lighting and colour
+, – the ornate decorations of the armours and weapons make them visually memorable and striking but also rather implausible and impractical looking
– , -, – , -, – horrible difficulty spikes, like really horrible. I hated the game many times, and though i was curious to continue it the unreasonableness of some bosses was just too much. I ended up after a lot of trials and frustration in actually selling the game and abandoning it (a very hard thing for me, especially due to curiosity and appreciating some art content) and only recently continued it as it was given ‘free’ on PS+. I think this kind of difficulty is a huge betrayal of the customer, not giving him the choice of having his experience and in fact cheating him out of his money because he never gets to experience the full content. For example by the end of the game i saw by achievements that like 4-7% of people had gotten to the last enemies, meaning all the others never got their money’s worth, and as an artist I’m sad that they missed out on content that was actually pretty good in terms of visual and even some story. As such I judge the developers strongly and find this behaviour inexcusable. Of course people who want to experience a high level of challenge should be given this opportunity, but not at the cost of the others (hmm, how libertarian an idea!).
+, + overall decent music. Maybe not incredibly fantastic top of the line, however always original and in big quantity! Respect
-, – ,- ,- The level design i found to be by far worse than the souls games. Among the problems were also rethreading of old grounds, pretty much absent directions to next objectives, and that kind of self-mutilating “feature” of an open world where respawning enemies combined with lacking directions lead to the openness of the world just leading to a ton of wasted time and cursing in confusion at the waste. This is made particularly bad by their level designs lacking what the Souls games one do: a unique and memorableness to them: they thus feel often like mazes and are hard to remember in clear terms. I think good design should have places that you can easily describe verbally like “and then i went over the bridge and up the castle”, instead of “and then you take a left and then another and the rune that’s similar to the other rune is …. “. Such clear and well thought out level design I think becomes necessary in a game that insists to being so difficult and involve backtracking. The lack of this turns complexity that should occasion joy of discovery into complexity that just makes things unnecessarily difficult.
Overall I’d give it a -1 on a -5 to 5 scale. They took a very risky path of actually believing the short-line descriptions of why people like dark souls/bloodborne “because they’re hard” and missed the subtlety that people are only willing to put up with the difficulty if the quality of your product is truly amazingly unique and fantastic, thereby they lifted their standards to be judged on to impossible measures. Though I liked the artwork the pain I had to go through to enjoy it was too much for me to recommend this game to anybody else to actually buy it.
Well, it only took me like 3-4 years, but i finished it.
– took so long because after the initial enjoyment it did what many games do which is have an unreasonable difficulty spike at the end so i just dropped it
+, + Great art assets, always with great character
+, + nice music with a variety as big as the visual themes
+, +, + a great and surprising variety in gameplay designs. Didn’t expect so much variety and inovation
+, – decent story. Might not have loved it but at least it had character
Overall: i’d give it a 2 on a -5 to 5 scale, very high production values, great entertainment and variety, even for somebody like me with a natural avoidance of everything that has childish themes, yet i still enjoyed it quite a lot due to it’s great and and abundant content in every corner.
This one has been a long time in the playing but finally finished it, so with the credits rolling, here’s my thoughts and memories on the artwork in it:
+, +, +, + Amazing variety of environments. All of them handled and lit with amazing care and love. They tend to be of the uncreative real-world type, but for that they’re interesting and varied real-world places all alternating at a beautifully quick pace. Many a times i was going to play just a bit/a mission and then i was like “i just wanna see the new place”, and then the new place was so interesting I was almost tempted to pull till the next one…
– , -, + it’s a very linear experience. Sometimes it’s understandable and of course it makes sense fo the story it’s trying to tell of the people and the relationships between them, but sometimes the leash felt particularly short as the game was showing fascinating places just a few steps more forward yet if you went there too soon instant death (though well masked, maybe even simulated) awaited. Still, on the plus side for accepting this leash you get a steady pace of high quality scripted events and storytelling so it’s easy to endure for shorter bursts
+, + quite good glorious music
– the checkpoints sometimes were enough but even on the easiest difficulty more than once i experienced frustrating repetitions of the same sequences forcing me to take it even slower and re-see/do the same things. A couple of times this was so frustrating to almost put the game down for a few weeks/months.
+, +, + great cinematic storytelling, interesting story
– , + now those who know me or have been following my impressions on games know i really dislike it when a FPS puts in a driving sequence, but this game did it sooo well, i almost accepted it. That may be also due to the fact that they were also highly scripted events just like the FPS sections. I was amazed not just that they managed to create a half decent driving simulation (i was expecting a very low budget on rails fake feeling one) but what really blew me away were some scripted driving sequences, in particular the one in a middle eastern market+city where I was shocked and delighted to see great attention payed to little details from market stalls to bikes on the road and side and all sorts of neat touches
+, + cohesive overall mood and tone of story. The gameplay, the cinematics, the dialogues, all merged to forme a cohesive emotional picture of the game’s message. Even if the message may be a american pro war propaganda, the game managed to do it well, beautifully presenting one point of view, with everything from story to character motivations, and culminating with the heroism admiration moods and “worthy cause” feeling. I may be more skeptical about the point of view, in that even if they were truly honest in their story the game omits to mention why maybe the other side was doing it’s own stuff, but in fact even in this aspect the game felt excellent as if you looked between the lines you could see even the hints of that, perspectives from the other side or simply ended up questioning why the soldiers were in places so far from home killing people and doing their own objectives… still, all that is part of the richness of the game’s spectrum as every hero becomes stronger the better you portray it’s villain’s strengths and so this game manages to do a decent job surprisingly even at that while remaining consistent (and sometimes enigmatic!) at it’s reverent heroic tone.
Overall I found the game to be quite fantastic and to be honest i find it totally unfair that it gets a horrible 55 metacritic rating as I found it pretty much as good as the very praised in the 90s Modern Warfare series of games to which in my mind it is so similar both in content and quality of production that i had to multiple times focus very hard to remember it’s not a “Modern Warfare 2-3” game :P Similarly having had recently played Halo 3 which was spectacularly reviewed by everybody i can’t but find this game shines fantastically at the quality of it’s presentation and the beauty and love of the memorable locations and fights it created. So I’d give it a quite good 2.5 on a -5 to 5 scale, I find it to be a very solid AAA high budget FPS and I’m super thankful to Sony for making it a free PS+ game, totally an underrated gem IMHO … if you’re willing to put up with american soldierish … but even in that field i found it was much more a story of comradery an sacrifice with friends than one of barking orders so I was able to tolerate it better than others.
Well, just finished it, credits are rolling… here’s some quick thoughts on the artwork in this game:
(my considerations are just for the singleplayer as I won’t even start the multiplayer, also since i’m playing it almost 9 years after launch I probably see it with different eyes than others did)
-, -, – the atmosphere felt far less scifi and discovery and much more boring army military training. Maybe I remember wrong but Halo 1 & 2 felt much more main character hero oriented, this felt like a series of war battles, and not that well set up either. Maybe my expectations of a half decent story were set up by all the Microsoft praise, all the E3s of anticipation and of mentioning it as a great story, all the advertising campaign of finishing the story… all of that lead me to believe it would be a much more story oriented/better story, which i didn’t feel in the game
+ it was pretty long, with some turns and twists
-, -, -, – the content felt way stretched for what it was, a lot of big empty spaces. I love walking around in big places if there’s something to explore, but these were just big empty spaces to driver around aimlessly, not searching for something or exploring but just mindlessly hoping to accidentally trigger the next checkpoint
+, + there were a couple of pretty well done locations, i remember the first sight of a desert planet, the beautiful lighting on some alien spaceship infestation…
– but all of that came only after many hours/levels or very mundane and generic looking terran places
-, – the whole scifi design felt very generic, I mean like reeeally generic and unrecognisable. And sometimes not consistent feeling. So many walls were made of fusion of metalic plates, they all looked like they could open, or non did, but sometimes some opened, sometimes some didn’t
+, + the musical theme and soundtrack was pretty good
– the overall sounds of the games were pretty embarassing (for a AAA title). I mean some people thought the new star wars movie was destroyed by a Jar Jar Binks who destroyed the serious tone of the story, well, this game had hundreds and hundreds of them. All those little silly monkey-kid-aliens with the “funny” lines and the chipmunk voices. And even the bigger oners, which looked like orcs who by the things they said seemed like they were also meant to be funny/silly, found it just lame. Sometimes I think i could rate the quality of a game (from my point of view of course) simply by what my neighbours hear when I put the volume too high, and this game i was quite embarrassed by what they heard. It was either a looney toons show for kids or the rest of the time scifi sounds intermixed with all sorts of groaning and moaning of the b-rated movie type.
-, – undesired forced vehicle sections and even third person actions in a first person shooter. Why oh why do they always think they can make a fps better by making it 3rd person despite the fact that i bought the game for being a fps?!?
+, +, – there were a couple of cinematics which were pretty decent. Not enough to make a good scifi story, but at least some more less generic. At least in contrast to the many showing some soldiers or equipment or soldiers and equipment they felt a bit more interesting
– some vehicle sections felt as if they were taken out of a low budget indie game… particularly towards the end of the game there’s a section on a breaking apart surface which made no intuitive sense as to why it would be there and felt so random. A lot of the game’s environments felt like there was absolutely no thinking behind them as to what they would normally do when they don’t serve as a corridor for you to go through
All in all I felt rather disappointed by the whole experience. If this hadn’t have been such a big and advertised title I would’ve probably not have taken the time to play it/put up with the many generic and frustrating sections. I played and finished it mostly because i knew there was a big fanbase around it… in the end that was good in the sense that it did indeed prove to have more content than it initially showed. As a scifi and as a fantasy lover I felt generally quite disappointed by the quality of the story/world as it failed on both aspects, maybe it succeeded as a military novel, for all i know it might be, but it’s not a genre I appreciate or know of. So all in all, i’d give it a 1 on a -5 to 5 scale. I’d have given it a -1 except that it was longer and had more content and sometimes there was a hint of a promise.
Well, I went in with great excitement and hopes, with a great bias hoping it will be as good as Doom 2… here’s my experience/thoughts as the credits are rolling:
+ yeayy, new doom game
– the level design was totally not thought out compared to what i had hoped based on Doom 2 (geometric interesting maps with original gameplays that make you approach things in interesting ways, original radical location ideas), instead there was generic environments based on real-ish , not very original, places like industrial locations and laboratories, all done very generically. For example within the same framework the game Dead Space mixes the same elements (scif+demons+rituals) in ways that actually have you stop and observe at times, with pacing between moments of observation and even admiration and inquiry and moments of action (and I wasn’t even mad about Dead Space, just sayin’)
-, -, the artwork quality was a bit kid-ish, despite the gore and all that it felt simplistically treated
+ the music was decent, not fantastic like I found quake 2 and even 3 soundtrack, but also pretty decent for the adrenaline music that it was, didn’t disturb and occasionally even engage. I was worried at one point they’d put dramatic voices over the music but it was nicely just instrumental
-, -, + the environments were quite simplistic, you’d think i’d like them as they touched on things i’d enjoy, medieval elements and all sorts of gothic and skeleton stuff, but they weren’t top of the line as i would’ve expected from such a high profile AAA budget game, the environments were all feeling as if you’re a kid/ant in a giant place, and I don’t mean in the good way, but in a way in which a wall had sometimes like 5 bricks, felt unbelievable even if one imagined some kind of giants are living there. And no, it didn’t feel like the place had any function or purpose or thinking other than it being an arena
+, +, + the actual gameplay in the sense of weapon behaviour was very well done. They not only managed to touch the emotional chords with old weapons but even largely kept the feeling of the old ones all in solid shooting mechanics
– multiple times i got lost/was frustrated not knowing where i was supposed to go next. Normally i’m excited to have an open environment but this felt open only in a similar way in which Quake 2 was open: you had to kill all enemies in an area and then find the thing that you were supposed to do to get to the next one. A directional marker was supposed to help me but since it only gave a general direction and sometimes you had to go in the opposite one to get there it sometimes actually hurt, leading to wasted time/frustration. Again, i would’ve loved a real exploration game (thinking here even of an environment like in the souls games, with action), but there was i felt not much to see/explore
-, -, – very limited number of environment types, i counted like 3 only, an industrial type, a mars type and a hell type. They were all done pretty simplistically and their looks were just skin-deep and just for show
-, -, + it felt like a series of connected arenas, as opposed to a a world. This compares quite bad to for example some beautifully done locations in their previous game Rage where the environmental artwork quality was top notch years ago, but eventually i could get into the arenas simply because i had played a lot of Quake 3 Arena back in the day and I could get into the zone
+, + they did a decent job of semi-plausibily going through a checklist and reinventing all of the old enemies, giving a nostalgic touch
– the story was very “meh”. Generic and filler, once or twice i had hopes there’d be more thought put into it as they went into the whole resource exploitation direction but it never materialized
+, – i was hoping the snapmap editor would bring great expanded life to the game, and maybe it will, but from what i’ve seen so far the limitations inside it are way too big and maps made inside it all look the same bland same-same that even the main game had quite a bit. A big test/disappointment/proof of this limitation to me was when i searched for the mandatory level remake of Doom 2 e1m1 that has been redone by now in so many different engines and editors but obviously the designer couldn’t do the v-shaped stairs and just ended up putting a square room connected to another square room, just like a lot of the new doom’s environments. It’s ironic that a game which was fundamentally 2d from more than a decade ago actually offered the ability to be very creative as within that top-down view of the editor you could create any shape. Maybe i’ll be proven wrong and in the future great maps will be made by the community (i hope with all my heart), but something tells me from what i’ve seen so far the chances of the gothic cathedrals and temples i’ve seen made in Doom 2 engine are pretty slim. Hope I’ll be proven wrong.
– it no longer feels like a cutting edge of 3d like iD software used to be. I was generally resigned that they’re not the best artwork games, but heck, at least they’re FPSs which i love and they bring cutting edge tech with them, this no longer felt like this.
All in all i’d consider this a mediocre game by the standards of modern games. For those who really want to go back into the world of Doom/Doom2 it’s still there, providing a bit of a fix, but that’s in my humble opinion simply because there’s such a shortage of games in this genre that give you even a little bit of freedom to explore outside cinematics. If there were more games like this … well, how do i put it, i think this game feels like a mediocre FPS from the 2003-2006 period, it’s nice that it’s there… but if i had 5 others worthily competing for it with different environments and gameplays and more atmosphere and location exploration or at least better done locations I’d probably choose another one. I’d give it an overall 1 on a -5 to 5 scale, it was good enough to play, but not good enough that I’d recommend it… which is a shame because i would’ve really liked to and i hope more games with these themes and gameplay will come out.
+, +, +, + amazing lighting, as i’ve grown to admire about the Killzone games, the brave and striking choice of lighting is awe inspiring, interplays of warm and cool lights are quite spectacular, as are the blooms are flares
– , + the game does try to give choices of stealth, but as much as i would’ve liked to do it it seemed unreasonably hard
+, + surprisingly interesting story, including interesting moral greys (even if not in choices)
-, – way too many enemies and waves
+, + , + possibly the most technically impressive PS Vita game i’ve seen, a milestone in 3d gfx for the Vita.
– though the visuals are impressive the locations are sometimes a bit similar on the industrial side
+, +, +, + much more meaty than i expected, at least double or triple as long as i initially thought it would be
– sometimes way too hard missions i had to repeat with frustration
+, + nice story twists
Overall: 2 (on a -5 to 5 scale). A decent game that excels when you consider the platform it’s on. For the Vita it shows amazing 3d which more than once left me thinking this is almost big console/ps3 level graphics and scene setup, something i can’t think of any other Vita games to have done so well in full amazing 3d.
All in all the commentary for Doom 2 stands for this expansion with some special notes:
-, + starts off a bit less impressive but has internal consistency and grows impressively
+ some maps are huge mega-maps whole games in themselves with intricate patterns in both visuals and gameplay
-, -, – way too difficult even on the easiest difficulty mode
+ some original puzzles and atmosphere
+ good gun acquiring pacing progression
+, – Overall I was quite impressed by this expansion, it felt very much like a Dark Souls/Bloodborne game: good level designs and ideas but hidden behind unreasonable difficulty. However once you accept that you’re supposed to proceed slowly and with paranoia, it can pay off in atmosphere. I still had to save a lot and reload for tiny progress in order to finish it.
I’d give it a 2.5 on a -5 to 5 scale (while compensating for the aged visuals, more based on game & level design).
A funny game to play for Christmas, I know, but I was so excited to find it released on the ps3 as a collection I had to buy it and play it a bit, and one thing lead to another, great fun ensued for days… and i finished it again. So, this is interestingly enough a review… 20 years later.
+ very interesting game designs, variety in level designs
-, – some puzzles feel a bit arbitrary, and some I found totally unreasonable, being about as hidden as a secret level, except being mandatory for the main game
+ original puzzles making use of gradually built up previously introduced elements. One example that comes to mind is the original tunnel of barrels level which forces you to think of a quick and alternative solution to not be caught in the chains of explosions
-,- obviously very aged graphics for somebody who’s never lived those times
+ i would say the game aged pretty good, still being fun in 2015, of course if one is willing to look over the huge graphical changes in these years
+, – I didn’t remember the game had so many puzzles. I mean i remembered the shooting, but not how often i got stuck and wondered around either aimlessly or trying to figure out things. This is a plus as it creates pacing, moments of quiet to emphasize those of action, but can also be a minus as some puzzles are in my opinion a bit too hidden
+ pretty decent midi music
-, – inconsistent use of visuals: some textures sometimes signified they can be triggered/would move, while at other times the same things didn’t do anything and were just decorative. I understand the need but it was confusing.
+ a lot of content to explore. I didn’t remember there was so much to explore, even stuff that felt optional, and alternate routes! Impressive!
+, + something that i miss in modern shooters, i loved that all through the game there was a lot of advancing and exploration, covering huge distances. (yeah, i feel there’s a drought in such shooters, i’d love to play more FPSs)
All in all I’ve had great fun replaying it, of course largely due to the memories, but to my surprise I found that having forgotten >60% of it i also had a large feeling of discovery and surprise, which was very enjoyable. Compensating for the huge time elapsed since launche and/or with some nostalgia sprinkled on top i’d give it a 2.5 on a -5 to 5 scale. Those who are willing to give it a chance might have some fun.
Well, I finished it, to my surprise… I guess I had gotten used to it never ending after a while. Here’s my quick thoughts as the credits are rolling… (although as they ended it seems like the game is not done so i don’t know what to believe…)
+, +, +, + the open world plus team recruiting gives you a reason to try all sorts of interesting stuff and explore giving a great feeling of freedom of approaching situations
-, -, – but a lot of that is gone in the main missions which often interrupt with arbitrary and weird moments
+, + a lot of music to collect
+, +, + has some interesting themes and decently deep thoughts on war, deterents, private militaries, even some semi-interesting ideas on biological warfare
-, -, -, -, – the main story is at times reaally kukugaga silly. Just ridikalikalika lous silly. Giant robots, kids, awkward lines, over the top dramatics about nothings, cardboard box weirdness… the game doesn’t take itself seriously quite often… and I can’t take it either if it can’t take itself seriously. I can really say about this game as an insult that it felt they were making the story as they went along, a little bit like a parent telling a fairy tale to a 3 year old, introducing huge radical changes or shockers just for the sake of shocking. For a few moments i thought they just introduced a few outrageous things but then they’d compensate with a lot of normality bringing believability but that train passed quickly and suddenly the whole central plotline and main characters were giant elephants standing on incredibly long and frail ant legs.
+, – funnily enough the game sometimes really shines as soon as the story ends as you can play with the fascinating simulation… but it would’ve been nice to be more than the simulation, or more content attached to the simulation (locations, situations…)
+ high production values everywhere, even in cheesy silly cinematics
+, +, + a lot of content, even after ending seems the game isn’t ended
-, -, -, + for the huge ammount of time you spend stealthing i was expecting a lot more interesting events to witness, more interesting conversations, original motion capture. The audio logs were an interesting thing (though some of them were also silly, and ridiculous) which helped, and even the 80s music was nice… if a bit complicated to get started/stopped/adjusted.
+, + the game is a lot of fun to experiment with the world,
+, +, – the environments are pretty interesting, though basically just 2 types and not very polished, I mean the textures and nice stones are there in Afganistan for example, but they feel somehow procedural/random, not caringly & lovingly designed & memorable
Conclusions: overall i’d give it a +2 on a -5 to 5 scale. Sometimes it really upset me with the silliness or with the arbitrary story constraints rezulting in extra frustation (giant robots, playing hide&seek with them in a small robot, fighting super fast kids…. that you aren’t allowed to use all your learned skills with, closing into weird areas after showing you the fun of choices), but there were also many hours of just fun experimenting with the world, sneaking around and doing interesting stuff. All in all i think this is a good game as seen just from the point of view of gameplay, but not in terms of content, it’s just that the gameplay is at times so revolutionary (it reminds me a bit of Shadow of Mordor) that it raises the bar higher for all games to come.
It was well done, fun open world choices even with some interesting themes sometimes, but then undermining all that with often very silly main story segments and just making stuff up as you went along destroying the slowly built believability of the universe it was creating.
+, +, + some really amazing environments. I’ve seen some forts which could’ve even been a Dark Souls level location, with multiple winding paths and secrets and beautiful attention to detail. Very impressive
+, + a brave, interesting and original story!
+ nice music
+, + finally says some things from the other side of the fence with commentary on many of the dubious actions of the assassins. It still tries to morally justify some of it’s own stances, but at least there’s a balance seeing the other side
+, + it was interesting seeing the british empire perspective
+, + it’s really nice how this story ties into Unity! Having had played that before i got the shivers when i realized the link. Brilliant.
+ I wasn’t a huge fan of the ship sections in Black Flag but here i found them much more okay because the locations seemed to have much more personality, they felt less generated and more worked on by good level designers
+, + some reeeeeeeeeeeeally beautiful locations, shockingly enough even optional ones, I remember this one place with bits of ship hulls in ice walls and among ice cliffs…
Conclusions: 2.8 on a -5 to 5 scale. This is to me one of the best assassin’s creed games I can think of… i guess many of them are great, but this one brings such a breath of fresh air it even manages to compete in some ways with the epic Unity despite that having much more epic artwork and and decorative locaitons on more powerful hardware. Long story short, I was quite impressed by this one. I gotta say this was much much better than I thought. The environments in particular got a lot of love and good design, with multiple paths and even interesting secrets.