Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
A definite grower
on 28 February 2011
I've just completed this game, so am writing the review based on the entire single player campaign. I haven't tried multiplayer so won't be commenting on that.
Lets get the nasty bit out of the way first. This game requires Games for Windows Live. I had a mare getting that up to date a couple of months ago when I was playing Bioshock 2. Consequently, I didn't have any trouble this time around. However, I see from other reviews that it has been an issue for some people. All I can suggest is that before you install the game, make sure your system is up to date, then be prepared for a couple of reboots as GFWL sorts itself out. Theres nothing complicated about the process. It is just time consuming.
Anyway, now that that is out of the way, what is the game itself like? Imagine you are in the movie of a Marvel Comic Book, and you won't be far wrong. The dialog is cheesy as heck, and everything is completely OTT, however there is an underlying story that pulls you along nicely. You play the part of a wronged merc, out for revenge. You are stuck on a planet which used to be an adventure playground for the rich but which has become overrun by savages and mutants. All this is explained as the story progresses. You soon get some enhancements that bizarrely monitor your actions, and award you points depending on how you kill your foes. At first this seems a tad unbelievable, even if you have totally immersed yourself in the game world. However, it all gets explained when you get to about Act four, from memory. (There are seven acts in total, in a game that lasts approx 10 hours).
So, this skillshot system is immediately appealing, and immense fun. However, it soon gets quite boring. Had I written this review after the first act, I would have given this three stars at best, as the novelty soon wheres a bit thin. As you progress into the game though, you get access to more weapons, and some of these are a treat. You have a sniper rifle, and get this, you get to steer the bullet as it flies towards the target! How cool is that? Each weapon has two modes of firing. In the case of the sniper rifle, the charged up version goes one step further. Once you have shot somebody, you get to move that body around (all in slowtime) before letting it detonate, hopefully killing other baddies. So you can look through your scopes, spot a group of grunts, and fire a charge shot at the leader. Once hit, you can send the corpse above the others, and explode it, killing them too, for bonus points.
Oh yes, bonus points. These are awarded for a variety of reasons. Obviously you get points for killing people creatively (so drag somebody towards you, kick them away and shoot them midair into a cactus for mega points, etc), but you also get points for killing newsbots, certain actions, and there are reflex bonuses where if you respond to the "Hold Right Mouse Button" quickly enough, you get points. And what do points make? Well, not quite prizes, but they allow you to get more ammo, and upgrade the capacity of your weapons.
Health is a simple affair. If you get shot too much, hide until you recover. There are no health packs to worry about. In some games this would be a downer. However, in this game it fits. This game is all about having mindless fun.
Once you have enough weapons to give you a bit of choice in proceedings, the game settles to a very enjoyable gore fest. Because though you have eight weapons to choose from, you can only carry three at a time. You shouldn't stick to just three weapons though, as each weapon has its own unique methods of getting bonus points. This encourages to try everything at least once. An example of this is once again the sniper rifle. I loved using this, however, as a result I got very few bonus points for killing with it (familiarity breeding contempt I guess).
As I said before, the game itself is about ten hours long. This is fairly short, but seems to be getting to be the norm rather than the exception these days. There is a lot to do in that ten hours though. A lot of it is derived from old games, however there are enough novelties to keep you interested, should you make it past the first act. For instance, at one point you get to control a life sized rocket shooting dinosaur robot, having previously been chased by it through a model city. Boring? Not a bit of it.
Once you have finished the game, you can reply sections (as Echoes) and this adds to the game, as now you have definate target scores to achieve. (Eg, clear the level in four minutes etc). There is multiplayer too, but I haven't bothered with that yet.
Graphics and sound are good without being awesome. The good news here is that you won't need a ninja PC to run it. The bad news is that you won't be able to use it to show off your ninja PC if you have one, as there is nothing spectacular. However, given the comic book theme, photorealism is not a requirement. The game is also pretty stable. I only had one crash while playing it. It minimises to desktop should you need to use the PC for something else, and restores without throwing a hissy fit.
All in all, this is a great game. I won't give it five stars, partly because it is short, and partly because it uses GFWL. Were it available on budget it would earn an easy five stars. So if you are reading this in a year's time then go for it without question. If you are reading it as a possible new release purchase, then I would say buy it unless you are on a budget. The price will definately drop soon (this always happens these days) and the fun elements of this game will still be fun in a month's time.
Good dirty fun!
++++ EDIT +++++
Somebody asked for the specs. Here they are:
OS: Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP2), or Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo, AMD Athlon X2, or equivalent, running at 1.6 GHz or greater
Hard Disk Space: 9 GB available
Video Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible, 256 MB of VRAM; NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS, ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro 256 MB, or greater
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible, 16-bit
DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
Network: Internet (TCP/IP) connection
OS: Windows Vista (SP2), or Windows 7
Processor: QuadCore 2.0 GHz
Memory: 2 GB
Video Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible, 512MB of VRAM; NVIDIA GeForce GTX260, or ATI Radeon 4870