"The Truth is upon you: please step inside."3.5 starson by tangentstar
Pros: Truly next-gen graphics. Nice main menu. Mostly good AI. Fairly legnthy campaign. Online Co-Op, and XBL support. Powerful closing cut-scene of game.
Cons: Flat, repetitive Campaign. Hard to fallow, and hard to get into story line. AI imperfections
After going through and reading several user reviews on CNet I was disappointed. I don’t understand how some one can give a game a perfect score, when they clearly sight flaws and things they dislike in their own review. Also a comparison keeps coming up to Halo 3; people don’t seem to understand what made the Halo series so successful. Could you imagine enjoying the Halo story lines if cortona just popped up and told you “Chief, destroy all these enemies” and nothing more?
Reviewed on: Sony SXRD 50” (1080p display, 1080i input ) & Sony 5.1 sound system.
Right away I started up the campaign, after reading the notes on the difficulty setting I started off with it on “hardcore.” The initial take on the graphics is above average; unfortunately you are started off in a level that isn’t very graphically impressive (when compared to the rest of the game). Since the main focus of almost all of the user reviews on this game focus on graphics I will start with that.
GRAPHICS: Truly this game features next generation graphics, and the game is at least worth a rent just to see the achievement. In my review of Chromehounds, I mentioned how spectacular they are. This game blows Chromehounds away graphically, and probably most games to date. Several times I would just stop to admire the detail in the ground, or the plants or even in the gory bodies around. (Sometimes you will find human bodies with their intestines hanging out…) I cannot explain how well done and incredible the most graphics of this game are done. The animations (movements) are very realistic, lots of light and water effects. That said I did catch some minor flaws in the graphics. For example on several occasions shadows would flicker through textures and geometry (solid objects). This was not a big deal, but caught my attention since the graphics are at such a high level. Another thing that was unusual was how some areas and levels of the game could be so incredibly detailed while others where just above average. This applies to textures of objects to. Most things in the game have high resolution textures, but there where a few times when I would walk up to an object only to be disappointed as the textures were sub-par to the rest of the game. For example I saw this in a telephone pole… Also I would like to note that objects collision is very well done in this game, and rarely do you see solid object pass through each other. Most important all these graphical effect are executed perfectly (really!). I can’t think of one time when I noticed a slow frame rate!
AUDIO: Audio in this game is just average, Surround sound is present but not breath-taking. It isn’t a downfall of the game; it just isn’t as advanced as the graphics. It does its job…and a little more. I noticed this when I was playing campaign online with a friend. He was on a turret behind me, and he was talking to me but I was having trouble understanding him because my rear-right speaker was blasting out his gun fire. Audio that blew me away was in the PREY demo from XBL. It was incredible to turn on the jukebox and listen to the audio effects as I moved around. The most notable audio effect in this game is the voice acting! Your guys say some funny stuff, while other times it’s powerful and emotional. This really adds a nice human element to the game.
GAMEPLAY: Okay and here it is. This is exactly why this game did not score very high for me. Of course almost any video game will be fun when you first pick it up. The learning curve was a little steep, initially, but with the difficulty set on hardcore that should be expected. The A button almost carries to much work load. As there is several times when I want to sprint but ended up covering. Getting out of cover in the heat of battle can be trouble some, along with getting into cover sometimes you will run up to cover and have to move around a lot before you can actually cover.
Starting the game most people will enjoy the detail in the carnage and learning the game, its weapons, and your opponents. But what happens after you learn these things? Honestly very little. The story is hard to follow, and isn’t that complex or interesting. About 2/3 way through the campaign I started to wonder why I was playing this. It’s not that it was boring because there was action and elegant game worlds, but more because it had become so repetitive. There was no mystery, no question of what would happen next. I just didn’t care anymore. So when I got pretty well stuck on Hardcore I loaded it up on casual. I was surprised how easy it was. It was like a walk in the park compared to hardcore. So I rushed through the rest of the game to find no real development of the story. After the closing of the game, the final cut-scene, I was dumb struck. How could such a basic story line end with such a powerful closing statement? The words of the unknown voice where so powerful. I truly wish that the effort of the closing scene had been put into the whole game. This cut scene made me wonder if I had missed things in the game that should compare to the final scene. But nope, I watched my brother play campaign, and saw about what I had experienced.
Campaign was so disappointing for me; such a graphically advanced game had failed to entertain me in the most important category: entertainment.
One cool thing in this game is the active reload. This feature allows you to reload faster, and if you have really good timing, you can power up your ammo. Although I will never understand the physics/chemistry behind this idea…it’s a “sci-fi” so what ever.
Some nice things in campaign where your team members, they bring a nice human element to campaign and help you to feel at home among them. Surprisingly, very rarely do you hear phrases repeated over and over again. And while we are on the topic of computers….
The AI’s in this game where actually pretty decent. While some people thought that your squad mates are worthless I thought they were actually very useful in combat. While both enemy and human AIs seemed to be a bit over aggressive, both were fairly well balanced. Your squad mates will go down quite a bit because of this. While enemy strategy is always the same, the AIs will execute it in a variety of ways. There was a couple times where I would have killed all but one enemy and he was just waiting for me to come and get him. It was a Theron Guard, which is a tougher enemy. One big problem with the AI is when they are ‘in cover’ they simply don’t care if you shoot them. For example when you are approaching the mansion, just as you exit the city, you fight a bunch of enemies that are on lower ground than you. If you stay up high, and duck behind the ledge enemies will run up to this wall and cover. At this point you can pop up and shoot down on them, and if they are still covering they will not respond. This is also true if you see part of their body exposed when they are covering.
One thing I found pointless was the big “bugs” that claw out of holes. These are the ones that you kill with the hammer of dawn. They seemed to be completely pointless in that they were never really that threatening.
So after writing this, it seems I have found a reoccurring theme in this game: inconsistency. The story line is mostly bad, but the ending is just so powerful it’s out of place. The graphics are mostly incredible except for a couple places. The AI is very well done with the exception of the getting shot under cover bit.
I didn’t play XBL so much, but from what I did play I experienced some lag, not bad, but it was there. Game play seemed heavily based on who could rush out and get the most powerful weapon first. This was usually the sniper rifle since, a head shot is an instant kill. The lag seemed to make shot guns pointless. Anytime you’re in shot gun range you’ll probably get chain sawed. The lag seemed to make your opponent be able to chainsaw you from a greater distance and in awkward positions.
So… Well this game is definitely worth a rent just to see what a graphical achievement it is. While it seems the only strong point is the graphics. The game play just didn’t appeal to me. And because of this, the game is not worth sixty dollars to me.
On a final note, I would like to point out that I have only rented this game for five days and there for this review is probably not as complete as it should be. Read the other reviews, but if they point out on thing they do not like, remember that it is no longer, truly perfect.Updated
so after doing something, i wanted to clarify that the story of this game is not BAD, its just not at the level of Halo...
Also after talking to many people online i heard that the online is very difficult to get into because it is so complex.