Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Demo Day

Since Dead Space is a game best enjoyed at night with all the lights off, I decided to spend my free time today checking out a couple of recent demos on xbox live. Notably, Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm.

Crysis 2

This is the multiplayer demo for the upcoming game. I never played the first Crysis because my computer is a piece of poop, so this game wasn't really on my radar at all. What I played so far left me impressed and curious as to what the full game will offer.

The first thing I noticed is that the graphics and effects look quite good. Everything runs at a reasonable framerate and I didn't notice much lag when I was playing. The guns had a good feel to them and movement was very fluid. You can sprint, slide, pull yourself onto things and one class even has the ability to jump in the air and do a ground-pound attack.

One neat mechanic the game has is the ability to activate shields or cloaking at any time. You can essentially switch between stealth and tank mode whenever you need to, as long as your suit has enough power. I thought this was a really good way of mixing up the combat. It's a shame that's pretty much all there is though, because otherwise it heavily rips off CoD.

All the things you've come to expect from a military FPS are present. Leveling system, weapon loadouts with different attachments, emblems, perks, custom classes. Maybe the full game will offer more in the way of different modes, but once I figured out how everything worked it was business as usual. Fun and satisfying, if not exactly ground-breaking. One feature I loved was the option to press Y and instantly mute everyone in the lobby. Every new game needs to have this, now!


I've been cautiously optimistic about this game since I saw the first videos of it. The graphics are excellent and the gameplay is as fast and fluid as you could hope for. The demo only gives you one tiny portion of one level, but it is fun while it lasts.

It plays more like an old school arcade FPS, like Quake or Unreal Tournament. You can grab guys with your electric whip and fling them into the air for some cool combos or kick them in the butt with your giant boot. You are encouraged to chain as many unique combos together as possible for a higher score multiplier. How novel!

Unfortunately that is pretty much where my enjoyment of the game ends. The character designs are pretty bland, and the story looks bad but not in a funny way. They are also trying to go for a Duke Nukem sort of in your face attitude. Only it fails badly. I found it grating, even before the demo was over. The only word I can think of to describe it is "Daikatana".

It even says something like "This game isn't going to buy itself, dick tits!" Ha ha, so witty! If only this game was half as clever as it thinks it is. I think what annoys me the most is that people will say "It's not a poorly written shit-fest, it's a parody of those kind of games!" Well if there's one thing I learned from Airplane, it's that parodies should still be funny and interesting. The writing in this game is neither. And don't call me Shirley!

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