Phrases like “It’s single player WoW” and “lots of hype, little reward” are being tossed around when talking about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and honestly I can understand the sentiment. The game had potential to be a very good game, but never managed to quite step beyond a standard button masher, and that’s frustrating. Below is a full review of all aspects of the game.
For those that don’t know, Far Cry is an FPS with an RPG element. Think a realistic version of Borderlands. In this iteration, you play as Jason Brody. Now, I don’t want to give away the main plot lines (google the intro video if you must know), but let’s just say you are forced to become the “hero”. While you’re busy saving your friends, you also get to learn the way of the Rakyat, the local warrior tribe on the island.
Moral choice is nowhere near even close to being a new thing in video games these days. I have made choices that have, destroyed the food supply for an indigenous race, not killed a gun runner so I can extort money, weapons and information from him later, I killed a good friend so that I could gain the support of another dude with far greater connections (and score his killer apartment), I have saved and conversely harvested creepy little girls. I have done all of these things because in some way or other it has helped me to reach my own ends. From making me a more badass Jedi to giving me more currency to upgrade my plasmids, all of these choices have given my game some form of mechanical reward to help me on my way.
Let’s be honest for a second. Videogames are drugs. You know it and I know it. You know how it is, when you’ve got a good one, and everything just clicks into place, and your synapses start firing binary coded pixellated hadoukens directly up your dopamine receptors’ asses, and your eyeballs go rectangular, and you’re riding an endorphin-tsunami with a big stupid grin on your face until you fuck up or someone pulls the plug. That’s drugs. At least if you’re doing it right.
Ahhh, high definition remakes. Games that studios hope will make a pretty penny off of nostalgia. They’re relatively easy to pump out, and without having to create a game from the ground up, its a guaranteed money maker. Now comes an HD remake of the most prolific extreme sports franchise in history, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Covering locales from the first two games and using game mechanics taken straight from the second game, this should appeal to everyone who played the old games back in the day. But is the novelty worth the price tag, or does the sheen wear off through the rose tint glasses?
Quantum Conundrum is really difficult to not compare to the Portal franchise and this isn’t surprising when you look behind the scenes of this 3D puzzle jumper. Designed by Kim Swift, the creator of Portal, it’s easy to see the similarities between the games. The silent protagonist (you) and an omnipresent voice always saying some snide thing or another from God-knows-where. The similarities end there… more or less.
Because it costs over 75 bucks, I was reluctant to pick up Diablo III. Its first two predecessors were pretty, with lush, lovely sounds and fun mini-quests, but it was easy to grow a little weary, as the gameplay relied little on tactics and roleplaying, consisting entirely of endless dungeon crawls, with little in the way of coherence, and irritatingly tedious return trips through the complex mazes of levels.
TL;DR version: read the words in bold.
So there’s this whole “games as art” thing. It gets bandied around a lot these days; the main argument seems to be whether a videogame can evoke an emotional response in the same way a painting or a piece of music can.
Yesterday, the first true sequel of sorts came to the Angry Birds franchise with Angry Birds Space. There’s already been a few variations, including Angry Birds Rio, which was just a shameless tie in to the animated Rio film and Angry Birds season, a shameless attempt to get people to buy more Angry Birds stuff because it’s got hearts and jack-o-lanterns and shit, but the gameplay was still basically the same— take your birds, fling them at piles of wood and stone and ice, knock out the pigs. But Angry Birds Space feels like a completely new and exciting thing all together.
Whoa. This game is gorgeous.
I loved Uncharted 2. That is how this review needs to begin. To me, Uncharted 2 was the zenith of the Uncharted series and then went into a steep decline. Which is why Naughty Dog is probably working on The Last of Us currently, they realize they need a break. Even though Bend developed Uncharted: Golden Abyss, you would still never know the difference (this is a compliment towards Bend’s technical achievements on the Vita.)