Assault on Dark Athena is totally worth it. It’s like three games in one (Butcher Bay Director’s Cut, Assault on Dark Athena and the MP) and Butcher Bay is one of the most rewarding gaming experiences I’ve ever had. This game is the definition of a top notch game. The atmosphere is perfect, the dialogue is badass, the levels are interesting, the game is challenging, and the characters are really defined. If anything, you are buying one game and getting two for free, and I cannot stress this enough, if you have not played Butcher Bay before, you MUST buy this game. Like now. Do it.
I have not been able to play the MP or the Dark Athena campaign yet. But that should not stop you from taking a look.
Driver SF is a very, very frustrating game. I feel it’s best played with a controller, but that will not stop you from getting annoyed. For some odd reason, the civilian AI cars get really derp and decide that instead of trying to get themselves to safety, the best thing to do is to drive right in front of the guy who is trying to stop/cause trouble. It’s like they were all programmed to be the hero or something.
You think your quick reaction times will help you avoid it?
These idiots will not stop until they make you rage, it is impossible to drive without spinning out, crashing or failing a mission. This even happens when you are in your cop car. Forget that you’re a cop with sirens and people should be getting the hell out of your way, no no no, San Francisco stops for no one. It’s ridiculously annoying. I feel like Driver would be much better if it wasn’t set in San Francisco, because it is a fucking mess there.
The campaign story is not all that great. You are basically told the ending at the start of the game. I mean, come on. Why should I continue playing? So I can know that I’m in a coma and should get out so I can stop the bad guy that I’ll end up stopping anyways? And the reasons for doing side missions are so stupid that the developers deemed that the side missions should be required in order to move on with the main mission.
Which introduces the topic of how dumb the side missions are, for example, you must evade the cops for a certain amount of time or you will fail a mission. Sounds easy right? Nope. All of the AI cop cars have the ability to plow through AI cars and not stop. Yeah. And if you crash, you’re basically screwed, because then more cop cars will show up.
Luckily you could just skip this side mission and do a different one, right?
With the side missions, Ubisoft basically made it impossible to move on until you complete ALL of the side missions. Thus you end up having to do team racing (where your partner is the most stupid thing ever [You finish in first, partner gets second to last, you fail the mission]) and more of these stupid getaway missions.
This game is the most frustrating, rage inducing game ever. Ubisoft, fucking stop it. You’re being stupid. Stop doing shit implementations of driving games.
Binary Domain can be easily described as I, Robot the game.
One of the key features of Binary Domain is the ability to use your voice to give commands. Unfortunately, the voice recognition is really shitty and the game relies too heavily on it.
In fact, in order to even give this game a “try it” rating, I would highly recommend that you turn off the voice input setting. If left on, all that’s going to happen is extreme frustration. Sure, the recognition is hilariously bad at first, but after about twenty minutes of your teammates going “HUH” and “WHAT WAS THAT, I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU” to almost every single prompt, you just want to throw your computer at a wall.
There are too many parts of the campaign that require you to stop every four seconds so that a teammate can tell you how scratchy their butt is at the moment. It really just kills the immersion because those prompts are designed for you to have voice recognition on, but you, hopefully trying to save yourself from pain, will likely have turned it off. Teammate interaction gets even worse because everytime you get injured, you must issue a command to your teammates that you are okay, otherwise they’ll get mad at you and stop firing their weapons because their AI doesn’t know what to do.
The campaign is decent but that might be because the developers ripped off I, Robot a lot, so the story is fairly intriguing. But I have to mention how Binary Domain has very smooth cutscenes that flow seemlessly with the actual gameplay. It’s something that can be appreciated considering almost every other game always has a black screen or some sort of abrupt transition between a cutscene and actual gameplay.
Multiplayer is mostly deserted, but you should be able to find atleast four people to play the firefight like gamemode with you. Just don’t expect to play any PVP gametypes, because it’s incredibly rare to find the required six people to start the game. Otherwise, the game just ends up being like this:
Overall, the experience is quite good, but it’s not the greatest thing ever. I would recommend a try, and then buy it if you can get it for under ten dollars.
Quantum Conundrum is Airtight Games’s newest title and yes, while it does have Kim Swift on the design team, that does NOT mean you can just say “Oh Portal was good” and leave your review at that. I’m looking at you Machinima/Giant Bomb/MetaCritic blurbs/(Stupid Review Website I hate).
Anywho, Quantum Conundrum is basically a quirky puzzle game that focuses on using different dimensions in order to solve puzzles. The game claims that “there is a dimension for that”, where “that” is the solution to some puzzle (for example, a high up ledge that you can’t reach because you are the height of a four year old boy). It’s an obvious play on the iPhone’s “There’s an app for that” marketing shenanzo that quite honestly,-blah blah blah blah blah fuck it.
As cool as the marketing blurb makes that sound, it really means that you get four different dimensions and the game doesn’t really expand much from there on out, which is a shame because it would have been interesting to really have a dimension for almost anything.
That rant aside, QC is as Portal as you can get without adding Valve to the mix. But don’t most puzzle games (let’s all stop and stare at ‘Splosion Man for the XBLA) try to do that now? I mean, let’s look at the similarities between the two games:
There’s a song at the end of the game
There’s an unseen character (for 90% of the game) who watches your progress while providing humorous commentary
You are mostly alone
The floor is lava
Momentum puzzles…WITH LAZERS! :O
There are several objects that the player is intended to build an attachment to (which actually seems to work unlike the Weighted Companion Cube in Portal)
Just being in the facility is some sort of hazard to the character’s health
The story kinda ends on a semi-cliffhanger (you know the end of Portal where you are laying there on the concrete parking lot at the end of the game? QC’s ending is a lot like that. It doesn’t explain if you escaped the house or not, it just ends)
Story plot is built up in between levels (Portal had the elevators, QC has the hallways).
You explore outside the main “testing environment” at some point
The game is kinda short. Portal was supposed to be a game that would take eight hours long. Portal ended up being about 4-6 max, really. QC sits right at eight.
There are challenge modes that (for lack of a better word) challenge you to complete puzzles in fewest number of (portals|shifts) as well as how fast you can complete the level
Well…I guess that is kind of a lot, but you can’t really blame them too much, because Portal was a really successful game. However, that is a good thing to a degree, despite a few physics bugs that plague the game, Quantum Conundrum is definitely worth a try. It’s funny, well written, clever, witty and has really good voice acting.
The main narrator/scientist uncle is voiced by John De Lancie, who I believe was a fantastic choice for the game. His passive aggressive tone just really adds to the overall quirkiness of the game. It’s honestly a fun game, sure you may die a lot and there will be a lot of rage, but you’ll have a lot of fun (except when you throw your keyboard at the wall for the physics deciding to derp right at the last second) while doing it. I would totally recommend a buy of this game…
I have two really big issues with this game.
First: Even towards the end of the game, it doesn’t feel like I’ve mastered the controls at all. Seriously, I would expect that I never accidentally switch into a dimension that I didn’t mean to, but even towards the final few levels, I was STILL making that mistake. It was extremely frustrating, considering that the last puzzles require almost perfect timing and dimension switching. It honestly feels like the game might have been better controlled on a controller than it would have on a keyboard.
Second: The story pulls a Hard Reset and just ends. No real wrap up, it just ends. That’s it, there’s nothing else. Judging from the fact the game already has achievements for future DLC, I’m assuming that near the end of development the developers decided to stop working on the story and focus on working on DLC stuff. It’s really lame.
Overall, Quantum Conundrum is a very hard game to recommend, it’s enjoyable and whimsical, however, there are a lot of issues that get in the way of the overall immersion. You can get trapped in puzzles, the physics likes to derp out every now and then (Oh, this platform magically lost its collision again, fantastic), and quite a few portions that just induce rage. But on the other hand, it’s a humorous puzzler that can be quite challenging. Either way, I say try it, but I’d lean towards buying it if it is on sale.
Here, have a short review. Hard Reset is a good shooter with gorgeous graphics for an indie game. The electro gun is good, easy to make into a god weapon. Which is great because there’s nothing better than seeing a huge swarm of robots blow up into itty bitty electrified pieces. Seriously. The major downside is that the game doesn’t last very long, topping out at about four hours max and that the story just ends suddenly. There’s no real closure or anything. It just stops.