5 s over 18 Reviews
a completely fine entry to the series. the ability to add challenges to each section was nice and the series' continued questioning of the 'good guys' in the cog is more developed than i'd have expected from a series. it's fine.
more remakes and remasters should go down the end of evangelion route. god is canon and god is dead.
i'm reluctant to be too critical due to its age and influence in the FPS genre but I still get irritated when people tell me levels such as "Assault on the Control Room" are the greatest ever made after I've had to double round and retrace my steps four times as everything looks the same and isn't clearly signposted.
Anyway, these were infinitely surpassed by later entries but this started it all off and the story especially is great. The stakes are there, easy to understand and engaging with a small but memorable cast of characters. Foehammer respond!
Gears of War 2
I never understood the criticisms of the environments in these games as they're beautiful in a melancholic sense and tell a lot about the degradation of these societies in the face of constant war. Plus the Locust areas look big and gothic.
The gameplay feels less focused on Gears albeit with some nice new weapons, enemy types and less egregiously bad checkpoint placement. They've consciously opted for a more epic game and it works in some places (the giant worm sequence will always be gloriously daft) but fails in other places where you can see the strains of the console already showing with 50 enemies running in the same motion being gunned down in two hits.
All in all, it's fine? Not as memorable for me from my teenage years although that may come down to how long I spent playing Gears 1 but a good enough follow up.
PS: the less said about the Dom storyline the better. Just turgid and the emotional payoff is further undercut by how bad the graphics are in those scenes.
Classic Halo gameplay that merges together with a Rogue One-esque classic war story of a group of comrades taking on increasingly insurmountable odds in service of a greater cause than their own survival.
Thought it helped to get across how futile and doomed the defence of Reach was and is only ultimately let down by some tedious mission elements or checkpoints that never materialised. I don't like the Hunters in any Halo game and the ones in this were especially irritating in a way I can't quite put my finger on.
This was fine? All of it looks very gorgeous and typically fun to roam around and play while the new Isu enemies were a good challenge (the kolossi especially.) I just didn't care about the story whatsoever and the wrap-up at the end confirmed for me that I shouldn't care. Was nice to see some returning faces from the main game though.
Still as immensely playable as the main game, lots of good lore info around Darius who I think is briefly referred to in Assassin's Creed 2 but massively let down by a forced romance option that led me to put this down for a full year.
Gears of War
Recently delved back into just to see if it held up. It's unashamed about what it is and I actually think it's an interesting enough world that's compelling enough to stick with (more so than what Halo devolved into despite a better premise).
Good gameplay mechanics let down by tedious bossfights and bafflingly placed checkpoints at tough sections which usually require a lengthy walk or cutscene to delve back into the action.
just a great game world to throw yourself into and a great lead in kassandra even if the main plot and much of the side quests feel a let down in comparison to origins. the return of your own ship and ship combat is a welcome return as it's always been excellently done in the AC series and is even better in an ancient greece which is just gorgeous to sail around in.
also big kudos to them leaning wholeheartedly into the ludicrous supernatural greek myths. it's the best development on the original wild lore that typified assassin's creed. ofc lenin was supported by the assassins! ofc the templars rigged the 2000 american presidential election. the minotaur is real, and it's pissed, why not?
it took me two years to click with this but i raced through it when i did. bayek is not just one of the best assassin's creed characters but one of the most engaging video game characters i can recall with a terrific voice acting performance. a lot of the time he helped elevate side quests which weren't very interesting in and of themselves and he helped to sell the main plot which was pretty good.
also appreciate the game having a lot to say about imperialism, colonialism and incipient nationalism among subject peoples. pretty surprised ubisoft could pull it off as well it did. game was also fairly challenging in a way so many assassin's creed games are not.