An instant favorite. It’s everything you could possibly want in a 90s throw back, minus the 2D sprites and plus the HD resolution, mouse aiming, creative level design, uniquely simple but somehow freighting enemies, frantic play and addictive gameplay. On some levels I would even try to see how many enemies I could get fighting each other, something I did all the time with Doom. And yes, they do fight and kill each other. It's glorious.
Half-Life fans need to play this immediately.
You may not get to play as Gordon Freeman or see any familiar characters… but you’ll see plenty of combine enemies and crab heads. You’ll even get to use a modified version of the gravity gun giving the nameless player the ability to “rocket jump” to solve puzzles and escape enemies. The puzzle solving is definitely unique to “Half-Life” adding a stealth element allowing the player to sneak past enemies in the dark if they choose. There are two wonderfully setup climax battles in the middle of the campaign and the end- which by the end will leave you wanting more. Much more.
At first glance, F.E.A.R may seem like any other FPS with features that have "been done". Well its based on a modified Quake engine, "can't possibly be any better". "Nothing will be as creepy as Doom". "Bullet time, pfft…what is this Max Payne?"
Sure at first glance F.E.A.R has everything any other FPS has to offer; . F.E.A.R - First Encounter Assault Recon a secret military agency which you can probably guess by its name was assembled to deal with unexplained phenomenon situations.
It is extremely difficult not to spoil this game by describing the plot outline. The opening cutscene explains the game’s antagonist, Paxton Fettel loses his mind and takes control of hundreds of military cloned soldiers. (Why are they cloned? I have no idea). Fettel and his army of cloned soldiers go on a rampage through a small town killing dosens of civilians and seem to be looking for someone or something. Of course it is up to you, the player, to search the city, wipe out the cloned army and stop Fettel.
The kick to the story is sometimes Fettel will be talking to you from a ghostly apparition. He will appear suddenly at the end of the hallway, but disappear as soon as you turn the corner; there is also some strange connection between a small child in a red dress, creeping you out by appearing and disappearing in the strangest places while laughter and crying fills your ears.
The best feature of F.E.A.R is the weapon control and gameplay. Most FPS have a variety of weapons you can lug around throughout the game but usually do not distinguish recoil, change in ammo or a feel for power and weight. F.E.A.R's engine allows the player to feel all these features on every weapon. A simple right click on the mouse will allow the player to aim the weapon (much like Call of Duty) and at the same time change the speed of the character to a slow walk, becoming a silence killer. When an assault gun is fired, the recoil is felt, obviously not through the mouse, but on screen; the bullets penetrating plaster walls, wooden boxes, paper, fiberglass, tile ceiling, glass windows creating a cloud of dust and debris right in your face.
Among the series of weapons you can find during the course of the game including several assault weapons, dueling handguns, a nail gun, shotgun, rocket launcher and some sort of laser rifle, all carry very unique firing recoils and bullet wounds effects to your enemy. You cannot keep picking up weapon after weapon and continue your away through the game. F.E.A.R only allows three, including your handguns if you choose to carry them (I don't :)). You also carry along a series of grenades which all seem to come in handy at one point or another. A standard HE grenade, a proximity grenade and a very cool remote grenade. Use them wisely, they are scarce. If all these weapons and grenades weren't a lot to choose from, you are given the option of hand to hand combat. Whether it is the simple melee with your rifle, slide kick, punch or jump kick you can kick the crap out of your enemy instead of riddling them with bullets. However, be prepared to face well armored opponents who will not flinch to a weak kick to the face. I got a little jump kick happy and found myself falling out of a 50 story building because I thought I was jumping into the next office. Oops.
Aside from this enormous improvement in weapon control, F.E.A.R also gives the ability to the player to slow down time. Yes this is a beaten to death feature and can be seen in Max Payne 1 and 2 and The Matrix series, but when you combine the previous feature with slowing down time, you can almost see every single dust particle rendered by your video card. Also be very prepared when you use the time button and place your shotgun an inch away from your enemy for a giant red cloud of…well you know.
To go along with bullet time, F.E.A.R carries a great soundtrack with most impressive sound effects. How about hearing every single shell that hits the ground when you're firing your assault rifle while at the same time hearing the bullets pierce your enemy and the wall? Well that is exactly what you hear… but don't be freaked out by the whispers coming from the dark hallway when your flashlight goes dead and your radio hits a wave of static and your turn around to see a child crawling on the floor towards you.
The AI in F.E.A.R is not bad. Enemies will react to certain situations which I was very impressed with. If you throw a grenade, one of the enemies will call out. "Oh ♥♥♥♥ grenade." And the team will scatter. Same situation if an enemy throws a grenade, the rest of the team will prepare for a "fire in the hole". Also if they hear you running down the hall, they will turn towards the sound of your footsteps, but you can just as easily walk in a different direction, sneak up behind them and see them all staring at the original spot they heard you from.
The cons? Well there isn't much, but one thing is for sure, you better have AT LEAST an X800 to run this game on high. I've said this before about Doom 3 and HL2, if you're playing these games on low or medium quality; you are not getting much out of these games compared to what you see with a top of the line card, especially if you are turning off shadows. F.E.A.R is a CPU, memory and graphics HOG will truly test your system.
Bottom Line: F.E.A.R is quite easily one of the most unique, freaky, best looking games to date. With a combination of today's horror qualities most resembling the Ring, graphics that utilize today's best graphics cards and the best use of gameplay in FPS, F.E.A.R will fit in your collection with ease. I wish the surrounding environment changed more throughout the game like HL2; changing the time of day, or setting instead of the same warehouse, office building, sewer maps that even still look the same, but I hardly notice when I'm trying to figure out where those whispers are coming from.
The Pre-Sequel is the Return of the Jedi in Star Wars. Return of the King in LotR. And more aptly, it’s The Battle of the Five Armies in the Hobbit. It’s the third part of a trilogy that seems to have overstayed it’s welcome by losing a little bit of charm from the second installment.
For reference, I dumped 80 hours into Borderlands, 154 hours in Borderlands 2, and only 74 into the Pre-Sequel. Shame on me for thinking I would get the same experience in BL2. The Pre-sequel feels like a half-baked attempt at a Borderlands game.
Before getting into the game, I was already annoyed out of the gate when Gearbox didn’t offer a 4-pack like the previous two games. My three friends and I were planning on getting the 4-pack and play through as co-op. Instead we each shelled out $60 plus $40 for the DLC, which we also thought, (shame on us again) would be near the same level of quality as the BL2 DLC. Fans of the series I think would agree with me, that Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep was some of the best DLC BL2 and in recent memory. It was funny. Fun. Long. And unlike anything else we’d seen in BL. And this was just one of the DLC. Mr. Torgue’s Campaign was great. Captain Scarlette was great. But in the pre-sequel we get a bunch of packs and an Onslaught level thing. Nowhere near the level of quality in the previous game.
The game itself is riddled with bugs and graphical glitches and strange physics- which is strange because Boderlands 2 was like a rock. Here are five examples of bad QA. There was even a sequence where we fell through the map
And finally the story itself is just not as engaging as the previous games. It feels dull. Uninspired. And downright boring. The four of us made the best of the co-op experience, which I would recommend playing it that way if you choose to play this game. Playing solo would be like watching paint dry.
Up there among the best co-op games ever made along with the best DLC ever made for a game release. Truly a needle in a haystack.
Dead Rising 3
Knowing what I know now, if one of my friends wanted to play this over the slew of other co-op zombie games? Well the ranking would be like this.
1. Left 4 Dead 2 (Valve)
2. Left 4 Dead (Valve)
3. Dying Light (Techland)
4. Resident Evil Revelations (Capcom)
5. Nation Red
6. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (Capcom)
7. Resident Evil 5 (Capcom)
8. Dead Rising 3 (Capcom)
9. Killing Floor (Tripwire Interactive)
10. Dead Island Riptide (Techland)
11. Dead Island (Techland)
12. Resident Evil 6 (Capcom)
The problem is the gaps in quality from the games on the lower half of this list. Dying Light is by far the most technical superior game where it has very minimal technical issues (glitches), clarity in missions, user interface; these are all things that suffer from the Dead Island games and Dead Rising 3. Dead Rising 3 also has a time limit that distracts you from the fun of what could have been killing zombies with all the objects in the world. Why would Capcom want to limit you like this? The final boss is barely a final boss. If you happen to get the C-Ending or F-Ending, the game just ends with a text crawl and brings you back to the main menu with options of starting a new game (no new game+) or skip to a chapter. There’s no casual roam the world option.
As far as gameplay Dead Rising is fun as hell. It’s very satisfying killing zombies with vehicles and weapons you can create with the hundreds of objects. The drop in and drop out co-op option is pretty great too. This is a must for games like this and I’m saddened to hear Dead Rising 4 will not have this option. The story element is a huge miss with Capcom- it doesn’t have to be a stellar story, just make it seamless and have it make sense!
Edit: 12/31/16 - To make matters worse, Capcom, for whatever reason, decided to make the DLC unplayable in co-op. This means that 50% of the game is single player and 50% of the game can be played co-op. (took me 15 hours to play through the main campaign, and 15 hours to do all four DLC episodes) So if you purchased the game for the co-op element, and expecting to play with friends, you will be out of luck playing through the Four Episodes. Makes little sense.
Just a travesty of a game and what should be a dead franchise. The only reason this would worth playing is through the co-op campaign; play with a friend, point out how crummy the level designs are, how painfully unscary Alma is, how the story makes little to no sense and how this game even exists after a wonderful first installment. Other than co-op, avoid this game.
I am really baffled by how much Id missed the mark on this. Aside from the blatant copying of Fallout and Borderlands, the game doesn't really do much to peak any interest in the post-apocalyptic-FPS-barren-wasteland-desert-survival games. Like, Doom and Quake, Rage just continues to throw enemies at you as you trek through the same areas over and over (and sometimes backwards). Yes other games make you return to the same areas (Borderlands) but Rage's linear single hallway design makes it tiresome. The racing feels so out of place and the in-game economy is very broken. Yes it's pretty when you're looking at stuff far away, but when you're close it's really gross.
No wonder Carmack left Id.
f you're coming off the disappointment of Amnesia: March of the Pigs (not to be confused with the brilliance of Amnesia: The Dark Descent), look no further for legitimate mood and tone. Feel the of breath in the pitch black of enemies bearing down on you; someone or something constantly pursing you... to which you are unarmed and you're only defense is the black of night and your ability to hide. Outlast does everything great that Amnesia does, only to a much more frantic and chilling setting. Yes there are jump scares, but they are scarce and cleverly placed. Outlast is a true horror experience
Creating a successful horror game is tricky. There needs to be just enough of a blend tension, fear and scare tactics so the game does not fall to mundane generic enemies jumping out at players. Dead Space not only creates the one of the best atmospheres in a horror video game, it’s full of enough puzzles, frights and dilemmas to make even the most jaded 3rd Person Shooter player sit up and take notice.
You play as Isaac Clarke, a space engineer, traveling to the USG Ishimura, a “Planet Cracker” which is emitting a distress call. After a tense opening sequence, Isaac boards the ship with his coworkers, Lt. Zach Hammond, security officer, and Kendra Daniels, a computer expert, and soon realizes this is no ordinary distress call as the ship has been overrun by an alien race. Isaac gets separated from his coworkers and must fight his way through the alien monsters to bring the ship back online and find a way off the Ishimura.
Dead Space has taken every great piece of third person gameplay in the history of video games and combines it together to deliver an entertaining, enjoyable journey. You navigate Isaac from an over-the-shoulder view. There is no Heads Up Display (HUD) in Dead Space. Your health is indicated by the light meter embedded in the spine of your suit spine. Your ammo is displayed above your weapon when you aim and your stasis meter is also located on the back of your suit. What is stasis? It is a piece of technology that gives you the ability to slow down objects and enemies for puzzle solving and reaction time. You can recharge your stasis by accessing stations located throughout the ship or by finding portable stasis packs. Isaac also has the ability to use Kinesis, which allows him to move heavy objects or acquire objects that are out of reach. Stasis becomes available to Isaac a few minutes into the game, and Kinesis becomes available for use when entering the second chapter and has unlimited use.
The game's most unique and striking appeal is operating in zero gravity or a vacuum. When entering a Zero-G zone, Isaac has the ability to jump from one side of the area to another. This opens up an new realm of puzzle solving and is some of the most fun sequences in the game.
The enemies in Dead Space are deformed humans that were killed and turned into monsters by a race of alien creatures. There are a dozen or so different styles of enemies that navigate their way through the ships ventilation system, which means you may encounter an enemy at any given time. As many enemies as there are, they all can be taken out with the same technique: begin by shooting off their limbs first. Direct hits to the body will waste ammo, especially during fights with the tougher, more advanced enemies. Some of the more memorable enemies are the epic boss fights that also combine a little Zero-G action. The threats on the ship are sometimes not always enemy related. Dead Space shifts gears twice for a little Han Solo, “Don’t Get Cocky” turret action.
So how do you take out all the enemies? With a wide range of weaponry of course. Isaac begins the game with a Cutter, an extremely accurate “laser” that fires a wide beam either horizontally or vertically. There are tons of lockers and chests to explore during the course of the game. Some lockers may contain ammo and others may contain credits, which can be used in Stores. At these Store locations, Isaac can store, ammo and items. Isaac is limited in the number of items he can carry, however the number of items can be increased if he upgrades his suit. Usually near by a store, is a Workbench, where Isaac can upgrade his weapons and gear.
There is a lot of backtracking in Dead Space. At the beginning of each chapter, Issac exits a tram which carries passengers from one section of the ship to another, and at the end of each chapter he makes his way back to the same tram to journey to the next section of the ship. Isaac visits some sections of the ship more than once. There are tons of save points throughout Dead Space, probably more than there should be. Even if you don not save, Dead Space autosaves so much that you really do not have to save once through the entire game, unless you want to exit out of Dead Space or turn off your PS3. To make the game even easier, the developers also added in a feature that actually maps out the direction Isaac needs to travel to complete his next objective. This feature is displayed by a blue outline on the ground. (see pic below)
The problem that most avid gamers will notice is that everything, aside from the zero gravity gameplay, has been borrowed from past films, novels, or other games. The over the shoulder view bares a striking resemblance to Resident Evil 4, the monsters are mere replicas of John Carpenter's The Thing, parallels in Event Horizon are seen throughout the entire game including some obvious set design rip offs and features in Doom 3 and System Shock are also used in Dead Space. It is at this point where we stop and think: are these references by the EA Readwood Game designers an homage to their favs or are they simply thefts? No matter, the similarities are not enough to take away from the Dead Space experience which delivers a terrifying story, but the influences are definitely obvious.
Graphics and Sound:
Dead Space does everything right graphically. It looks beautiful in full 1080p when staring out into the vast ocean of space, blowing an enemies head off, or playing through some beautiful level designs of what a 'Planet Cracker's' engine room, maintenance bay and mining section may look like.
The sound effects are also top notch in Dead Space. As Isaac communicates with his team, a 2D holograph image appears before Isaac, which the player can rotate. The static overlaid onto the video and audio logs is incorporated nicely, and the creeks and cracks heard throughout the broken ship add much to the atmosphere. Listen for the lullaby.
Players may pick up quickly on how Visceral tries to scare its players. They use the same formula that Hollywood does, during a tense or critical moment in the game they play loud music like the typical brass pieces you hear in most horror movies. More often than not this takes place when a player looks in the direction of an enemy. So this tactic may help a player in certain areas rather than scare him or her. If a player is not paying attention and some random horns start playing, that is a pretty good indication that there was probably a monster that ran past the door that they probably missed.
Pros: controls work extremely well on the PS3, terrifying boss battles, graphics and sound are gripping,
Cons: : unoriginal enemies, predictable but engaging story, very easy to beat, lots of backtracking
Bottom Line: I recommend this game in spite of my criticism of the unoriginality of some of its elements but it is defendable to question why this game has been so highly touted. Some have labeled Dead Space as the ‘Worlds Scariest Game’ and people are shouting from roof tops to “Buy this game immediately!”. The game isn’t perfect, but what is? It has a wonderfully smooth flowing story, a great environment, near perfect controls and graphics that can make a grown man cry. Dead Space is solid game that should be experienced by as many players as possible. There are striking resemblances to a dozen pieces of work, but they are forgivable. Expect a sequel.