Category Archives: Gaming Reviews
Game Review: Saw II: Flesh & Blood
Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: 2010
Story: Step into the dark and tormented world of Saw 2 and experience the gruesome traps that Jigsaw has created to test your will to survive. With new traps, puzzles, and combat system players will need to think fast and act quick to pass the rigors of the tests Jigsaw has engineered. Set between the Saw and Saw II movies, the game follows Detective Tapp’s estranged son Michael, who become Jigsaw’s next subject while he is investigating father’s recent death.
Fast Review: Saw II: Flesh & Blood. Not exactly a game that will jump out at you, and one that I haven’t seen at JB Hifi, or EB Games. I found this on Xbox Live as a Demo.
The scene starts with Campbell, a drug addict placed in the “Venus Fly Trap” who has to cut beneath his right eye to retrieve a key to stop the deadly mechanism. He then has to go through numerous, deadly traps in order to retrieve his long lost son, who is also a drug addict, including throwing a man off a ledge for his own survival. Before finding his son, the player is forced to choose either sacrificing Campbell for the sake of a stranger, or saving himself.
The gameplay is very graphic, with scenes of self-mutilation and horrors that even those with strong stomachs (like me) made cringe … well, maybe just a little 🙂
Overall, the graphics were good to a point, but the storyline was not all that spectacular. For me I rather play TWD or State Of Decay than this.
My Rating: 3 out of 10.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified
Summary: It’s 1962. John F. Kennedy is the U.S. President and the Cold War has the nation gripped with fear – but a far more viscous and insidious enemy than communism is threatening America. Known only to a scant few, a covet government unit called The Bureau begins investigating and concealing a series of mysterious attacks by an alien enemy. As special agent William Carter, you make the decisions, pull the trigger and lead your squad in a third-person tactical shooter set within a high-stakes, covert war to defend the human race. The Bureau’s mission is clear – survive, adapt and overcome the enemy threat to protect the citizens from the truth.
Review: The Bureau: Xcom Declassified is definitely a game interesting enough to last me a chapter or two. After that I lost interest.
Early ’60s America is recreated as a golden era in American history, and then obliterated by an all-out alien invasion that only the fledgling XCOM organization can stop. As Agent William Carter, you command two other agents, who need constant babysitting throughout any firefight situations, and more often than not you’re the one doing all the shooting while your squad screams “I need healing over here!”
Scenery was interesting to a point, in that billboards around the towns reminded me of some of the scenery you will see in Fallout: New Vegas ( A game I highly recommend), and some of the aliens you will encounter do resemble Crypto (Destroy All Humans), but as far as anything else, that is where the game becomes dismal and bland.
The pace of combat is very uneven. Missions routinely throw you into back-to-back firefights with dozens of enemies that leave you short of ammo and barely hanging on to survive, and when you get killed by any one of the dozens of enemies, you will start back at the last auto-check-point.
My point of interest in this game lasted until the Gunship battle and that was enough for me.
Gameplay/Storyline: 3 out of 10.
Scenery: 7 out of 10.
Thief is a stealth video game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. It is a revival of the cult classic Thief series of stealth games, of which it is the fourth game. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One platforms.
Summary: The story begins when Garrett is paired with his former apprentice, Erin, who both ended up accepting the same job from their contact Basso. On their way there, Garrett steals Erin’s claw without her noticing, because she usually uses it to kill guards when not necessary. They arrive at their job’s location, Baron Northcrest’s manor, and find a ritual taking place. Garrett gets a bad feeling and calls off the job, but Erin disagrees and she ends up falling into the center of the ritual, which was nearing its completion. Erin stops and floats in mid-air as she is surrounded by the ritual’s energy. Garrett, while looking down at the light, has part of the stone that was used for the ritual embedded in his eye which then begins to glow and collapses.
Review: The first time I got to try this game out was on one of my mates Xbox One. I will say that at first I was expecting a game that was predictable and a pain in the ass like Assassins Creed. Man was I in for a treat! You play as Garrett, a thief by trade, whose mission is to find out what happened to Erin after she fell through the glass ceiling into the ritual.
Stealth is your way, much like a ninja, as you explore the city in the dark of night and steal anything and everything that is not locked down. The only thing standing in your way of riches are guards, wannabe do-gooders, and local authority figures. The only thing that comes across one’s mind when you see a guard nearby is “Do I shoot this guy in the face with an arrow or wait til they leave”. (Take note that not all guards can be killed with one shot).
The gameplay is smooth enough from my perspective. The main mission was certainly challenging and captivating, although I will say that when you are exploring the Asylum, you will come across creatures that look like they were “borrowed” from silent hill (See screenshot below)
I will say that when you encounter these creatures (and you will), killing them is not so easily done (as I found out). Using stealth to sneak up and kill these creatures will not work, and you can bet you will use a lot of arrows to kill just one. You will come across these creatures in the Asylum and later on in the pit. Consider it lucky that these freaks are blind, but their hearing is exceptional, so avoid making much noise or you’ll be killed quickly. Best advice is save often in the game, or you’ll find yourself restarting from your last save-point.
Keep a lookout for hidden passages and secret rooms along the way, and, oh yes, not to forget the hidden passages behind the whorehouse where you will get to be a voyeur 🙂
If you have not played Thief, then I recommend that you do.
Gameplay: 9 out of 10
Storyline: 7 out of 10 (Had to deducted 2 points due to annoying Silent Hill freaks)
Headed in an added direction, we will be reviewing games from time to time.
The first game we will review is Mirror’s Edge, from EA DICE.
Summary: In a city where information is heavily monitored, agile couriers called runners transport sensitive data away from prying eyes. In this seemingly utopian paradise, a crime has been committed, your sister has been framed and now you are being hunted. You are a runner called Faith – and this innovative first-person action-adventure is your story. Flow is what keeps you running, what keeps you alive. Mirror’s Edge delivers you straight into the shoes of this heroine as she traverses the cityscape, engaging in combat and fast paced chases. With a never before seen sense of movement and perspective, you will be drawn into Faith’s world. A world that is visceral, immediate, and very dangerous. Live or die? Soar or plummet? One thing is certain: in this city you will learn how to run.
Review: The setup is simple. There’s a nebulous government attempting to squash the resistance networks of which you’re a part. You play as Faith, a athletic runner caught in an ill-defined web of conspiracy and betrayal, and it seems your only way out is to run your ass off.
The Xbox demo made Mirror’s Edge look like fun, but in essence, it turns out to be a game that can make you so mad that you’ll want to rip the disc out of the console and throw it as far as you can. 🙂 The game’s emphasis is on flight rather than fight, which is fine if you have some superhuman abilities, and have the weapons to defend yourself. But when you take a character that can’t really fight her way out of a wet paper bag, and stick the player in situations where it is impossible to do anything except run, then this is where the game becomes not only challenging but downright frustrating and tedious.
In the beginning of the second chapter, it opens with Faith having to make her way down into a sewer system, with a SWAT team already firing on her from the ground and from the air. The only way down into the sewer system this landscape is to get up to the metal beam overhead, then take a flying jump down to a narrow platform below, while getting your ass shot off by the SWAT team. If you manage to make it that far, then you have to perform almost impossible aerial aerobatics to get to the next platforms and pipes, and if you miss your mark, then you restart the mission from the beginning of the chapter.
The tutorial (the Demo) was easy enough, which made this game look like it would be fun to play. But the actual game itself? Forget stringing moves you did in the tutorial. In the game-play you can barely do the basics because, surprise, you’re being shot at non stop. Which pretty much sums up the game. You run your ass off while trying to find where you are meant to go, while at the same time you are getting your ass shot off.
The checkpoints are VERY widely spaced in this game. If you stuff up somewhere along the line (and you will), you can expect to redo large sectors of the game only to be killed off again and again. (Keep in mind there is no time to stop and look around properly in the environment. You mission is to RUN, and if you make the mistake of stopping for too long to find out where you are, then you can expect to be killed off by the SWAT either on the ground or in the chopper).
In all, the game had a lot of promise, but failed to deliver, hence why it was probably in the bargain bin.