Friday, May 31, 2013

Metro: Last Light Game Review

In Post-Apocalyptic Russia, borscht eats YOU! Metro Last Light is the sequel to the 2010 game Metro 2033 which is all based on a novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky. Originally called Metro 2034, its name was changed after publisher Deep Silver acquired the game from THQ which had gone bankrupt since the previous game, which lead to a very questionable business move for the release of this game that I will talk about later in the review. I have not played the first game in this series and I’m not sure why. If you know me, I have a huge fascination with Russia and Eastern Europe and since this game was made by Ukrainians and Russians with the same setting, I should have checked out the Metro series sooner. Metro Last Light is pretty much what I expected Fallout 3 to be. I am not a big fan of Fallout 3 at all which is blasphemous to some people, but when I played Fallout 3, I was expecting a post-apocalyptic shooter which is not what it is at all. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just not for me. Metro, on the other hand, is the post-nuclear war shooter that I had been wanting. This game has been called like a cross between Silent Hill and Fallout but I found it to be more like a cross of FEAR 2 and Fallout. It mixes FPS action with survival horror and does it quiet well. Put on your gasmask, we’re diving into this review.

STORY: Set in Russia in the year 2034, humanity lives crowded and dying in the massive Moscow metro. Subway stations are now makeshift cities and fortifications, the few working subway trains are the only forms of transportation, and the dark tunnels hide mutated life evolved from the nuclear war that made life on the surface uninhabitable to humans. The surface is now populated with monstrous beasts and other things considered to be unnatural. On top of that, humans are constantly at odds with each other in the Metro, trying to go to war with each other over the last bit of resources. You play as Artyom, a member of the Spartan Rangers, an elite military force that tries to police and keep peace in the Metro. In the previous game, Artyom nuked a mysterious surface dwelling race known as The Dark Ones and now there are reports that there is still one of these beings left. On the mission, Artyom and the Dark One, which is just a child, both get captured by one of the warring factions. Artyom must now escape and complete his mission to find out the secret to this last Dark One and survive the hellish world Earth has become.

In terms of setting, Metro is amazing. The world this game is set in is extremely dark and oppressing as life in a subway system would be. The majority of mankind is destitute or dying and it brings out the worst in humanity. You really get that uncomfortable feeling of this is what life would be life if this really happened. The story itself is good and comes together well at the end but there are long stretches of time in the game where the story isn’t really moved along at all as you’re just trying to make your way from one area to another. And there are other times where I was wondering ‘why am I here and what does this have to do with anything?’ But this isn’t too big a deal as it never gets in the way of the gameplay. The game just seems to spend more time immersing you in the setting as opposed to the story. You may take that as a good thing or a bad thing. Most of the male characters are interesting and well acted, especially a guy named Pavel who because a friend of yours. Artyom himself is a semi-silent protagonist though. He talks during the intermissions between levels as he writes in a diary but he never actually talks in the missions. I don’t understand why they chose to do this. I’m not a fan of the silent protagonist in games like this. This then leads me to the female characters…

This is not a game you’re going to be bringing up in discussions women being positively portrayed in video games. 1) The game sports the most realistic and graphic nearly nude lap dance I’ve ever seen in a video game. It’s optional but it’s there and most likely you’ll pay money to see it at least once. In terms of context, it makes sense because this scene happens in a brothel while you’re trying to spy on somebody. It just makes you feel like you’re suddenly in a Duke Nukem game for a minute.
2) The character of Anna. She is the only female in this game that has any real character and it’s not done so well. When you first meet her, she flat out doesn’t like you, and then you don’t see her for a long time. When you finally do see her again, she’s happy to see you for some reason. Mind you, there was zero character development in that gap of time. Then a level later, she basically makes you have sex with her and then you don’t really see her again till the end of the game. She was basically there for a boob slip and a non-explicit sex scene.  Now I’m no prude. I have no problem with nudity and sex in video games but it has to have purpose. Had this relationship had more build up and context, I wouldn’t be making a big deal out of this but the way Metro goes about it is borderline exploitive. The Witcher and Mass Effect series did it sooo much better. If you don’t care how games go about portraying their women, then ignore my little rant here.

The game is around 8 to 10 hours long depending on the difficulty you are playing on and the difficulty makes a big difference in this game. There are a lot of levels. 31 to be exact but the levels themselves are short. While some will feel longer than others, some you’ll find yourself thinking ‘that was it?’ The game does have two endings giving it some replay value and both the endings are well done and satisfying regardless if it’s the good or bad ending.  The last level is also pretty damn epic. While the story of Metro is good, it will constantly be the setting that seems more interesting, for me at least.

GAMEPLAY: The core of Metro is like most FPS games so if you’re a veteran of such games, you won’t have too much trouble. It’s all the equipment you have is where it gets interesting. Your guns are not the only things you’ll be carrying on you through the tunnels and wastelands. You’ll have a headlamp, lighter, battery charger, NVGs, med kits, and most importantly your gasmask. They all serve their purposes and you’ll find yourself having to use them throughout the game but everything has limitations. The gasmask isn’t just something you slap on and you’re good to go. You’ll have to keep an eye on your watch while wearing it as the air filter has to be replaced every five minutes or so. The lens of your mask will also get dirty and you will have to manually wipe it off the mud and blood from time to time. Ammo conservation is also very important especially on the higher difficulties. While finding ammo when fighting human enemies isn’t too much of a problem, long periods of time where you face non-human enemies is where you’ll find yourself starved for bullets. Mutated enemies do not go down easy, not even human enemies without well placed shots. On the high difficulties it is imperative that you exercise stealth by staying in the shadows and taking out lights sort of like in Splinter Cell. If you remain undetected in the dark, the AI is laughably stupid and you’ll be able to get so many unrealistic unnoticed kills. However, if the enemies are fully alerted to you, they become much smarter and do put up a good fight. That stealth trick only works for the human enemies by the way. Monsters are best avoided if possible as fights with them can lead you to literally fighting down to your last bullet.

If you like your guns unrealistic and crazy, then you’re going to be disappointed. Most of the weapons are jury-rigged old Soviet weapons but they are customizable and satisfying to use. You really feel the punch of these guns. A lot of the guns have a magazine where you can clearly see how much ammo you have left which leads you to using your HUD less (which is already limited). You also have secondary weapons like throwing knifes, grenades, and mines. When you’re at a major settlement, you can buy weapons and supplies at various shops. You pay with military grade ammo. Bullets are this game’s currency which I found interesting. You can even use your money in your guns if you find yourself in a pinch. They do more damage than regular bullets but you are literally shooting money away so this is to be avoided this. Not that it matters much. Most of the time I found it better just to pick up a stray weapon during my travels than spend the money on a new one at the stores. You have no health gauge and it is based on how much red and blood is on the screen like many shooters these days. Artyom can regenerate health if he stays in cover but it happens very, very slowly. You are best using your med kits.  

Many of the levels are fairly linear but then again, you are going through subway tunnels so they’re supposed to be. There is some limited exploring that can be done but it never takes you too far off the main path. Some invisible walls and the inability to climb over waist high structures do not help when trying to find cover. That is one thing modern shooters should take away from Call of Duty. The surface areas are a different story. Surprisingly, the dark, claustrophobic areas of the Metro are less scary than the open, bright, surface of nuked out Moscow. That is mainly because out here almost everything is trying to kill you, including the air. You’ll encounter beasts that are nearly unkillable and hazards that will really make you watch where you step. The weather changes radically, being sunny one moment then suddenly you find an acid rain storm is bearing down on you with high winds. This whole time you must keep an eye on how much air you have to breathe. If you’re too busy to look at your watch, keep an ear out for Artyom’s breathing which becomes more labored as the clock runs out. This isn’t the scariest game I’ve played but I was surprised how on edge the surface levels made me feel. Not once did I feel safe on the surface till I was back in the Metro.

Last thing I will talk about is the Ranger mode. This was advertized as the ‘true survival horror mode’ and to true way to play the game. This was a DLC available ONLY if you pre-ordered Metro Last Light. So if you didn’t pre-order the game, you’re out of luck if you wanted to play the highest difficulty. Not to mention, it would cost a bit extra. Supposedly, this is THQ’s doing, not Deep Silver’s and for some reason due to legal red tape they couldn’t undo this when they acquired the license. Maybe they’re going release the DLC for free in the future but right now, you could only get it through pre-order which is bullshit. You should not have to pay extra for something that should be a part of the main game. If you see another business practice like this in the future, do not pay into it. It is unacceptable and the only way for these game companies to get the message is by hitting them in their wallets by not paying for crap like that.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND:  Metro Last Light is one of the best looking games I’ve seen on the Xbox 360 this year. Easily ranks with Crysis 3 and Bioshock Infinite in terms of visuals and obviously if you want the best visuals, play it on PC. Do I even need to say that anymore? What steals the show are the wastelands of Moscow. They are hauntingly beautiful with burned out buildings, cars, roads, and mutated wild life taking it back. You can see famous Russian landmarks throughout these levels and I’m far more impressed with these ruins than the ones seen in Fallout 3. The weather effects add to the detail of this poisoned Earth. The Metro’s look beautiful as well with excellent lighting effects. The character models all look good though there are some repeating character models here and there.

The sound design is very noteworthy as it greatly adds to the horror aspect of the game. There is nothing more terrifying than walking around in a grassy field on the surface, hearing something roaring in the distance and something moving in the grass around you. I found myself saying ‘OH GOD, WHAT IS THAT!?’ many times due to the excellent sound design in this game. The voice acting uses pretty much every Russian voice actor out there right now. If you’ve played many Call of Duty games, you’ll hear some familiar voices. If you’re extra hardcore and want a truly immersive game, play through the game with the Russian language audio selected. It’s like playing a foreign film, though trying to read subtitles while shooting at things is not so easy. The music is fitting but mostly just there with a light Russian folk feel to it. It fits the depressing tone of this world.

Overall, Metro Last Light is an enjoyable post-apocalyptic shooter. It can be a very immersive experience and a challenging one depending on the difficulty you play it on. Like I said, this is the game I expected when I played Fallout 3. If you’re a fan of such shooters, definitely check it out. If you’re expecting something closer to Fallout, then you will be disappointed as it doesn’t have much to offer in terms of exploration that Fallout had. If you liked the FEAR games, I suggest also giving this a try. Considering how it differs depending on the difficulty, and different endings it defiantly warrants more than one play through. I just hope whatever they do next with the franchise doesn’t involve paying for more extra game modes. Thank you for reading! Keep a look out for my next review which will be for the game Remember Me.


-Excellent combat
-Great and immersive setting, good story
-Difference difficulties and endings give replay value

-Ranger mode BS
-Short, linear levels
-Limited exploration  


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes Game Review

Since I’m going to an anime convention in less than a week, I figured I’d review something Japanesey so I’ve been playing Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes. Originally released in 2010 by Capcom and having an anime based on it, I had never heard of this game before a couple weeks ago after watching an episode of Game Grumps. Considering how cheap it was on Amazon, I thought what the heck, I’ll check it out and what we have here is a very fun but mindless hack-n-slash type beat’em up with lots of flare and characters. It is very similar to Dynasty Warriors in the general gameplay and setting but is very much stylized like an anime. Now other than what I’ve just told you, I know nothing about the series beyond what I’ve played in this game. I have not seen the anime; I don’t know which came first. I assume the game did. I don’t know which follows the other better or whatever. I do know this is the third game in the Sengoku Basara series but the first to be released in the US. There are two versions of this game: the PS3 version and the Wii version. I am playing the PS3 version. I have no idea how the Wii version differs. Anyway, let’s dive into this Samurai madness.

STORY: Very loosely set during the civil wars of Japan during the 19th century, the country has been split apart into many warring factions. The two main armies are The Eastern Army lead by Ieyasu Tolugawa and the feared Western Army lead by Ishida Mitsunari. Mitsunari wants nothing more than to avenge his former leader’s death at the hands of Ieyasu and will stop at nothing to get this moment while Ieyasu seeks to unite Japan and form a peaceful empire. Caught in the middle are many other armies and factions that must either join one of the two sides or face inevitable destruction.
While the general story is pretty much a run of the mill plot you see in many anime series, what makes Samurai Heroes interesting is just how many stories there are. There are 17 playable characters in this game, each with their own campaign and story. Many of the stories over lap and can end differently depending on what path you choose during the campaigns. There is a wide variety of characters ranging from super serious and badass characters to really whacky and weird characters, all with their own fighting styles. Battles and cut scenes will play out differently in the campaign depending on who you are playing as so it gives some replay value to levels you had already played through as other characters. Some of the story is fleshed out by conversations characters have during battle… somehow.. And some of the conversations are laughably clam considering the actual action happening on screen.
Some knowledge of Japanese history might be helpful to understand a couple real world events that are referred to in this game but I honestly don’t really care that much. While some people might find the stories interesting, I find myself skipping over cut scenes if I’ve already seen them. Some of the characters have more interesting stories than others and some of the characters I found downright annoying but the story never over stays its welcome. Each campaign consists of 8 battles varying between 10 to 30 minutes each. It can take up to an hour and a half to two and half hours to complete a single campaign but considering that there are 17 campaigns, you’re not going to be finishing this game 100% in a single sitting.

GAMEPLAY: The core gameplay of Samurai Heroes is all about beating the crap out of armies with a flurry of attacks. Each character has their own weapons, attacks, and super attacks that are a lot of fun to use. It’s extremely satisfying to charge into a group of 20+ enemies and start throwing their bodies around like popcorn. The weapons characters use vary from swords, guns, tridents, bows and arrows, super natural powers, ect. One guy even uses a wrecking ball as his weapon. Super moves are easy to pull off once your gauges are filled and I usually use them to finish off bosses. The camera can be a bit of a pain sometimes as it doesn’t correct itself often enough. I usually find myself having to do it manually but it’s never too much of an issue. The combat is the reason you want to play this game. It is simple and mindless but tons of fun.
Sadly, there are some missed opportunities here that will disappoint people who might have wanted a deeper experience from this game. The over world map gives the impression that this game might have more strategy involved but it really doesn’t. Other than choosing the order of your battles, you have no real control of your armies in battle. Different battlefields offer different hazards and objectives but the lay outs and order of events will always remain the same with the exception of a couple maps. While the levels are not completely open battlefields, there are usually multiple paths to explore within the levels with hidden items scattered through them, making them worth exploring. Your objective is to capture each of the enemy base camps then go for the army leader, kind of like in Battlefield and there is a similar Battlefield style map on the screen that is easy to read. But like I said, you do not have control of your actual army so you can’t give commands for one group to go take this camp while another battles this group of enemies ect. It’s probably a good thing too because the AI is just dumb. I rarely see them actually doing anything other than running around. You can get a buddy AI who follows you around to back you up but he does even less. It’s not like really it matters since you can easily take on multiple platoons of enemies and come out without a scratch. Thankfully, the boss AI is a bit better and can make for some enjoyable battles, especially on higher difficulties.
In addition to the campaign mode, there is also Quick Battle which is just an instant action mode where you can pick any of the battles you previously played and play them without all the in between cut scenes and with any character. Though the default cut scenes will still be in the levels but I end up just skipping past them. This is also a good way to level up your characters and gather resources outside the main game. You can collect new weapons and power-ups from your battles to add some RPG elements to the game but they are pretty shallow so don’t expect anything too deep. Thankfully, the game sports 2 player co-op so you and a friend can tear up the battlefield together so you don’t have to rely on your army of crappy AI.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND: Visually the in game graphics I found to be rather middle of the road and something you would have seen from early PS3 games. That’s not a bad thing but it’s nothing that will blow you away either. The level designs are nicely done and the scenery varies from forests, castles, mountains, and other typical settings in Japan. There is one level that is a bunch of boats connected to each other that is pretty cool. A lot of the textures look pretty flat but you don’t really have time to stand there and look around since there is so much action happening on the screen. Samurai Heroes does have flawless frame rate though and this is very important for a game that will literally have hundreds of characters on the screen at once. This makes the battles even more fun with how smooth the animations are. In terms of visuals on the other hand, the opening cinematic is beautifully rendered and really gets you pumped for this game. Or will annoy you with J-Pop. The characters all have really cool designs though very few of them actually look like samurai. Most of them look like Tekken or Guilty Gear characters. Or J-Rock stars.
The voice acting is pretty average for what you’d expect from anime voice acting these days. There are a lot of recognizable English voice actors in this game though. Troy Baker (the voice of Booker in Bioshock Infinite) voices Ishida Mitsunari and Johnny Bosch, who has voiced so many anime characters over the years, voicing Sanada Yukimura. There are many others I recognize but can’t name of the top of my head. Most of the dialogue is over the top but if you’ve seen anime, it’s nothing too different from what you’d expect from most anime series. Take that as a good or bad thing but a Japanese audio track option would have been nice. Regardless of what you might think of the voice acting, the game has some poor lip synch. Sometimes a character will have their mouth shut and will still be talking. This was excusable in the early days of 3D games but not so much anymore. Lastly, the game does have a great soundtrack that is fitting of the game and works perfectly with its style. The game features the song ‘Naked Arms’ by T.M. Revolution during the opening theme and final boss fight once again adding to the anime feel of the game.

Overall, Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes is a fun but mindless beat’em action game that has very satisfying combat. With 17 characters to choose from, there is a lot of gameplay here though it can become repetitive after awhile. While this game is definitely not for everyone, anime fans and fans of Dynasty Warriors and other hack n’ slash type games should check it out. If you want something with more strategy though, you’re going to be disappointed. If you want to get this game, I recommend getting it off Amazon as you can find it for $15 on there. It runs between $20 and $40 on Ebay and not really worth that much money. Thank you for reading! Keep a look out for upcoming reviews of Metro: Last Light and the Deadpool game later this summer.  


-Extremely fun and satisfying combat, many characters to play as
-Fun 2 player mode
-Perfect frame rate

-Story won’t interest everyone
-Varying degrees of voice acting
-Levels can get repetitive 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bioshock Infinite (Over Due) Game Review

Oh boy, a review of another great game that I had been putting off on playing! So unless you’ve been living under a rock for over the past month or just not paying attention to the gaming media (same thing), you probably have heard that Bioshock Infinite is being highly praised by everyone and their mother. Now I’m not one to buy so easily into hype. I’ve been disappointed by the hype before like with Fallout 3 and Skyrim (Sorry, I didn’t like those games). However, I have had more experience with the Bioshock series so I was never planning to completely rule this game out but good lord! This game! Yes, the hype was right. Not only is this game amazing, it far surpasses the previous games. I’m sure many of you have already played it by now and already know this or at least agree it’s a good game. So I’m just going to just give a quick rundown of my thoughts on the previous games before jumping into the Infinite review.

The first Bioshock game was actually one of the first games I played for the Xbox 360 and one of the first games for the system that I really enjoyed. I thought the setting, weapons, powers, and enemies were cool. I was impressed with the visuals and at the time considered it one of the best looking games I had ever played. The one thing that bugged me about it was the endings: they all sucked. They all felt hurried, extremely short and unsatisfying. Maybe it’s just me but it feels like since the first Bioshock many great games have had short and unsatisfying endings (ME3 being the most notorious). Bioshock 2 took me awhile to get around to playing. I had heard mixed things, it seemed to get delayed a lot and when it did finally come out I didn’t really hear much about it which usually isn’t a good sign. I managed to get it for $7 at Gamestop so I got a pretty good deal on it. I found it had a better story and endings than the first game but the unchanged game engine was definitely showing its age. My interest in the series died down for awhile and while I liked it, I wasn’t as crazy about it as some of my friends. This is probably what made me wait for Infinite, a game that had already been delayed multiple times, but after finally playing it would seem the wait was definitely worth it.

STORY: Set in 1912, Booker DeWitt, a washed up Pinkerton detective, is sent on mission to retrieve a mysterious girl so he can have all his debits erased. After rocket ride from on top of a lighthouse, he lands in a city in the sky known as Columbia. At first, it seems like a very nice place with steam punk like technology, seemingly peaceful people, and a nice fair to attend. But something is off as this is a deeply religious city and has some very backwards beliefs. They follow the Prophet Comstock and his Confederate States style of beliefs. The girl Booker seeks is Elizabeth, a woman that has been looked up in a tower all her life and possesses powers that cause tears and openings in time. Getting to her is a fight but getting her out of this city and their fate will be an even bigger fight.

So there is a lot to talk about here. This game’s story is one of its strongest points and I love a game with a deep and immersive story and Infinite delivers. The logical move of having a new setting that is in the sky as oppose to at the bottom of the ocean like the previous games was smart. It makes for an awesome setting especially if you’re a fan of steam punk.  This isn’t just another utopia fallen grace like Rapture was in the previous games, it’s very much in order until Booker is identified as the False Prophet by the authorities and then everyone is out to get him. The story goes through all kinds of twists and turns from then on with commentary on American expectionalism and imperialism. This game has drawn some fire with themes of racism and extreme Baptist religion but I feel this is all fitting considering the time period it is set in and that Columbia is modeled after an Antebellum South like culture. In other words, if this seriously bothers you and you think this game is dumb because it’s not politically correct, then you should go read up on some history.

However, the real heart of the story is the characters; Booker and Elizabeth add a level of immersion that just wasn’t there in the previous Bioshock games. Not since Mass Effect have I found myself really caring so much about game characters and I loved the interaction between the two. I’m glad Booker is not another silent protagonist. Those seem to be fading away from games and I’m glad. This game couldn’t have worked with a hero who never talks so I’m glad Irrational Games made him talk and have real character. Other characters like Combstock and the Lutece twins are great but its Elizabeth who steals the show. She has been popular long before this game came out with plenty of fan art and cosplays of her over the past couple years. A lot of work was put in to make her a very likeable character and it definitely shows. She is heavily inspired by Disney princesses, namely Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I’ll talk more about Elizabeth later on in the review.

Lastly I’ll point out that the game has a very good ending. Good as in, it is clear there was a lot of effort put into it and it was not rushed like the ending to most games these days. It’s definitely a mind bender though and not exactly what I was expecting but it was very good none the less. Everyone will have a different opinion on the ending but I’ve seen far worse endings to games. Also there is only one ending, no multiple endings. However, I’d rather have one well done ending instead of a couple half assed ones so it’s all good. The game clocks it at around 9 to 10 hours I think so it’s slightly above average in length but it didn’t feel too short or too long at all and it gave me that feeling of not wanting it to end which is a good feeling in my book.

GAMEPLAY: The core gameplay of Bioshock Infinite remains relatively unchanged from the previous games. You shoot guns with the right hand and use special powers with the left and most anything can be checked and looted for goods. One thing I could tell I wouldn’t like from the game before even playing it was the change of weapons. In the previous games you’d collect and upgrade weapons throughout the game and you would keep all those weapons on you the entire time. This time you can only carry two guns at a time. The guns are mostly modeled after real weapons from the time period but are less interesting to look at than the guns from the previous games. However, there is an upside to this. There are many more guns to be found this time around ranging from pistols, to carbines, to machine guns, and rocket launchers. During major fights, it’s usually easy to find weapons fitting to the situation if you stop and look around for a moment. All the guns can be upgraded but the upgrades are less noticeable than in the previous games however the guns do feel satisfying to use and are generally accurate whether you’re aiming down the sites or from the hip. The vigor powers (same thing as plasmids from the previous games) are all new, creative, and fun to use. They all have multiple uses and alternative uses for setting up traps which makes combat even more fun. I was a bit disappointed that they did not bring back telekinesis but the ability to block and throw back bullets greatly replaces it. You also have this hook device that you use to ride on the sky rails that are found around the city. You use these for travel and combat. These segments are fun and feel like a rollercoaster ride but can be a little difficult to control if you’re trying to attack enemies from them. The hook can also be used as a melee weapon to deliver some brutal finishers to enemies. The combat is a lot of fun and can be very challenging.

While the level designs are fairly linear, there are always areas to explore in each part of the city you visit with tons of things to loot, items to collect, and sites to see. The fair at the beginning of the game has lots of little mini-games to play and acts as sort of a tutorial. Speaking of tutorials, this game doesn’t seem to know when they end. Throughout almost the entire game, instructions would appear on the screen to tell you how to do things from time to time. I can understand having these pop up at the beginning of the game or when a new mechanic is introduced but through the entire game? It doesn’t break the game; it’s just annoying to be trying to look through a wall of text that blocks half the screen from time to time.  There is a good variety of enemies you face including regular gun wielding guards to vigor powered enemies. You sometimes also have to battle a Handyman which is pretty much this game’s Big Daddy. They’re a bit more disturbing though as they are just old or disabled people forced to wear these mechanical bodies.  These guys are hard though. There are only a few battles with them in the game but they are some of the hardest. I am little disappointed that there is no climatic battle with the Songbird (the other Big Daddy like thing) but that might because I was dreading it the whole game. What happens instead is more interesting.

Unlike in the previous games there is no morality system which would affect the game’s ending since there is only one ending. Then why did they have you make seemingly important choices in a couple spots in the game? Only one had an outcome later but it was minor. Another is just picking which broche Elizabeth is going to wear throughout the rest of the game. They seem a little pointless now but do not detract from the game. The AI for Elizabeth is where the game stands out again. She’s one of the much more competent AIs I’ve dealt with in a video game. Not only does she act like a real person for the most part, she is also helpful. She will actively search levels for items and will give you ammo and power ups during fights. You can also have her pick locks for you to gain access to secret areas in stages. She’s far more useful than say the AI in Call of Duty games who just run around and shoot at nothing…

GRAPHICS AND SOUND: What can I say? Wow. This game is just beautiful. One of the best looking games I’ve ever seen on the 360. However, if you want the best possible visuals you MUST play it on the PC. It has been declared a technical benchmark in gaming if that means anything to you. It is a feast for the eyes. This is one of those games where you just walk around looking at everything and just take in the sites. The design of Columbia is just jaw dropping. The character models are just as beautiful but once again Elizabeth steals the show. Like I said, she was designed after Disney princesses and she looks like one with those big blue eyes. While her model is very impressive and technical feat, I’ll honestly say I was more impressed by the way Lara Croft’s character model acted in the Tomb Raider reboot.

Along with the excellent visuals is the excellent sound design. Everything sounds great including the amazing voice acting that really brings these characters to life. Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper suit the roles of Booker and Elizabeth perfectly. The old timey music used for the soundtrack is very fitting and adds to the immersive feel of the game. It reminds me of the music from O Brother Where Art Thou?

Over all, this game surpasses the previous Bioshock games far more than I was expecting and has given me new love for this franchise. Not only is the best Bioshock game yet, this is one of the best FPS games I have played in awhile, even better than Crysis 3. I should add that this game does not have a multiplayer mode and I’m glad they didn’t try to force one in like they did with Tomb Raider and every other game out there. If you’re one of those people who enjoy games just for their multiplayer, this game clearly isn’t for you. If you are a Bioshock fan, most like you’ve already played this game multiple times by now and loved it. If you’re like me and were on the fence, play it. Play it now! Even if you’ve never played the previous games, I highly recommend checking this game out. This game has the honor of being my first 10 out 10 game since I started writing game reviews. It’s not 100% perfect but the pros greatly outweigh the cons to the point where they didn’t really bother me at all. Bioshock Infinite is one hell of a ride everyone should check out. Thank you for reading and waiting for me to getting around to writing this. I’m not exactly sure what my next review will be but keep a look out through this summer!

OVERALL: 10/10

-Strong story and characters
-Fun, challenging combat
-Beautiful graphics and an immersive setting

-Too many on screen instructions at times
-Weapons less interesting than previous games
-Good gaming PC required for best way to view the visuals 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bioshock Infinite Review is coming..

I’ve finally gotten around to playing Bioshock Infinite… And… I really like it so far. Expect a long over due review within a week.