Posts Tagged ‘impressions’

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Bioshock 2 Multiplayer Impressions.

February 9, 2010

Whilst everyone and their sisters are enjoying Bioshock 2’s brilliant single player I have taken it upon myself to get to grips with the less enthused about portion of the game, the multiplayer, and you know what? It’s good.

First thing you have to get over is the chunk-o-riffic presentation, everything feels big from the guns to the gigantic crosshairs and of course, the hulking Big Daddies. The game is a million miles from the elegant sheen of Call of Duty or Bad Company, Bioshock is the warthog to their cheater, but The Lion King showed us just how charismatic a warthog can be….

Hakuna Matata

Secondly you won’t be securing many cheap kills with throwaway headshots, combat in Bioshock demands you to be on your toes, ballerina style. Due to the nature of the game you don’t know who’s hacked a turret or if there is a booby trap somewhere, or what plasmid or weapon the next goon is going to run around a corner brandishing unless you’re paying attention.

And that’s arguably the strangest thing many people will find about Bioshock’s multiplayer; corners. As to be presumed of a game set in an underwater dystopia there aren’t many fields to do battle over. The levels and hectic gameplay more echoes the claustrophobic gun fights of Goldeneye or Unreal Tournament than it does Halo, all the more so because you need to secure additional plasmid ammo dropped around the level to keep yourself fighting fit, but ultimately it always feels like Bioshock.

Look at the size of that Shotgun! at that height the kickback should blind you.

As with all modern multiplayer FPS games Bioshock has a leveling system, traveling up the ranks secures new guns to blast people with, new tonics to buff yourself with, and new plasmids to royally screw other people over with, and of these three it’s those gene altering magic powers that help Bioshock feel unique.

Some plasmids work well in conjunction, some will help you escape quickly with a Little Sister, some simply deal huge damage. Knowing which plasmids to equip and when can make the difference in every situations, but more importantly they breed experimentation and you’ll amaze yourself time and again at your burgeoning combat creativity. Fights just aren’t this dynamic with C4 and a UAV.

And then there’s playing as the Big Daddy, not since twatting four survivors off a roof in Left 4 Dead has a multiplayer filled you with a feeling of such dominance, armed with obscenely powerful proximity mines, a crippling stun stomp, and a gun that launches rivets the size of your face an effective Big Daddy can dominate both offensively and defensively. All that and you make brilliant stompy sounds as you walk.

The game has a great sense of character without feeling forced.

So whilst the initial levels are quite a task to get through Bioshock 2’s multiplayer evolves into a surprisingly creative, if somewhat manic multiplayer mode that is different enough to the norm to be worth checking out, you may just find a new favourite online time waster. It’s a shame there’s not more to your ‘apartment’, but perhaps there will be some tasty story messages from Sinclaire at the higher ranks? Back to Rapture for me!

Whilst everyone and their sisters are enjoying Bioshock 2’s brilliant single player I have taken it upon myself to get to grips with the less enthused about portion of the game, the multiplayer, and you know what? It’s good…

First thing you have to get over is the chunk-o-riffic presentation, everything feels big from the guns to the gigantic crosshairs and of course, the hulking Big Daddies, the game is a million miles from the elegant head up display of Call of Duty or Bad Company, Bioshock is the warthog to their cheater, but The Lion King showed us just how charismatic a warthog can be….

Secondly you won’t be securing many cheap kills with throwaway headshots, combat in Bioshock demands you to be on your toes, ballerina style. Due to the nature of the game you don’t know who’s hacked a turret or if there is a booby trap somewhere, or what plasmid or weapon the next goon is going to run around a corner brandishing unless you’re paying attention.

And that’s arguably the strangest thing many people will find about Bioshock’s multiplayer; corners. As to be presumed of a game set in an underwater dystopia there aren’t many fields to do battle over. The levels and hectic gameplay more echoes the claustrophobic gun fights of Goldeneye or Unreal Tournament than it does Halo, all the more so because you need to secure additional plasmid ammo dropped around the level to keep yourself fighting fit, but ultimately it always feels like Bioshock.

As with all modern multiplayer FPS games Bioshock has a leveling system, traveling up the ranks secures new guns to blast people with, new tonics to buff yourself with, and new plasmids to royally screw other people over with, and of these three it’s those gene altering magic powers that help Bioshock feel unique.

Some plasmids work well in conjunction, some will help you escape quickly with a Little Sister, some simply deal huge damage. Knowing which plasmids to equip and when can make the difference in every situations, but more importantly they breed experimentation and you’ll amaze yourself time and again at your burgeoning combat creativity. Fights just aren’t this dynamic with C4 and a UAV.

And then there’s playing as the Big Daddy, not since twatting four survivors off a roof in Left 4 Dead has a multiplayer filled you with a feeling of such dominance, armed with obscenely powerful proximity mines, a crippling stun stomp, and a gun that launches rivets the size of your face an effective Big Daddy can dominate both offensively and defensively. All that and you make brilliant stompy sounds as you walk.

So whilst the initial levels are quite a task to get through Bioshock 2’s multiplayer evolves into a surprisingly creative, if somewhat manic multiplayer mode that is different enough to the norm to be worth checking out, you may just find a new favourite online time waster.

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Impressions – Darksiders

January 27, 2010

An odd little game this, released just after the Christmas rush and hidden under a tidal wave of Bayonetta hype. I’m sure many people passed it by for that game EDGE gave a ten and has a sexy arse kicking witch in whilst Darksiders happily sat on the shelf displaying its own 10/10 score and lovely boxart. And you know what? Darksiders is actually pretty good.

The whole style of the game makes it very fun to watch in motion.

You play WAR, of four horsemen of the apocalypse fame, who has landed on earth as loads of angels and demons have started fighting. Not knowing quite what’s going on you promptly start to throw buses around and impale things on your sword before you are whisked away and accused of starting the whole thing like your parents accusing you for throwing a party and thrashing their home whilst they were out for the night. So they strip your powers and then send you to perform the cleanup, bunch of squares.

It was when a friend uttered the words ‘It’s a bit like Zelda’ that I added it to my ‘interested list’, and on closer inspection it is like Zelda, but also with an over reliance on rubbish combat.

Ok rubbish combat is a little harsh but coming from Bayonetta of course it was going to be lackluster. The problem with it is that the set up is more akin to God of War, which would be fine if War wasn’t such a slow bugger and the enemies didn’t come in ‘shite’ and ‘tear the player a new arsehole’ difficulty.

The voice acting is very textbook, apart from the joker to the right of this picture, his acting is brilliant.

Zelda works because every encounter is well constructed, naff enemies go down quickly and big enemies take a sensible number of strikes using the block and counter system the game has honed. The issue in Darksiders is that hacking away at a bunch of enemies that pose no threat loses its bravado after the fourth wave, and the opening of the game is set up in a way you’d think the Zelda stuff was never going to come.

And then there are the bigger enemies, annoyances with loads of health, annoyances that don’t flinch, annoyances that have attacks aimed in such a way that if you don’t dodge at the exact right second in the exact right way you’ll be chewing on concrete in no time. Enemies come thick and fast as well, meaning encounters with multiple rubbish ones will happen, and whoever had the genius idea of putting the ‘enemy lock on’ on LB needs a slap and a firm talking to, before being executed for such a horrendous decision.

What about that bit that’s like Zelda then eh? Well littered around the disjointed world are important locations which play out like a typical Zelda dungeon, just with more hacking and slashing. Fortunately the puzzles are pretty good, with only some minor control explanation hiccups to be blamed for my ever-worsening hand cramps. Item use is explained and expanded on in fun ways whilst puzzles make you engage the grey matter for more than just ‘hit the five things in the right order’.

And then there’s the look of the game, it’s a pretty stunning art direction to stare at with bright colours and big chunky demons and angels, I heard it was designed by some comic book dude and it certainly shows, if indeed my informants are correct.

Joe Madureira is his name, drawing anatomically bulging people is his game.

Anyway, it’s fun enough to keep my attention so I’ll press on. Review soon.