9 Dec 2015

A series of comments – Video Games

The end of the year has come quickly. With both jobs getting busy and the holiday season coming around the corner I've been doging my video game reviews. I’ve got a few game review drafts up and unfinished and I figured instead I’d just throw out a few comments – good and bad, and kill it with an overall score as per the side bar.

I'll always mark my largest con with the title 'The BIG BITCH'. So you get a sense of the weakest element of each game.

See you in the trenches

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

+ Open world, sand boxes
+ Open mission layouts – do your missions your way
+ Well designed optional mission objectives
+ Weapons and Equipment development robust and deep
+ Short and Sweet side missions
+ Great graphics, sound, and controls

- Repetitive main missions mid game: The BIG BITCH
- After collecting and spending resources you need to wait long stints of in game time to collect your upgrades. Much worse later in the game with the higher upgrades
- Too much reliance on Deployed Ops and the Online Content
- Story is overwrought ‘it’s a Kijima Game – duh’, changes to some characters contrary to previous incarnations is annoying
David Hayter is not voicing Snake
- Intro Mission way to long 

MGSV:TPP is a long title in both sense of name and game. It is well executed but some major bumps in the road remove it from being perfect or close to perfect. Instead it’s above the standard a well-crafted game that has way too much padding in wait times and repeating missions. Once a player completes Chapter 2, the desire to continue is quickly eroded by the padding.

Fallout 4

+ Well designed open world
+ Brilliant use of factions
+ Lots of little things to find, rewarding exploration and inquisitive players
+ Involved main story arc
+ Voiced characters
+ Weapon and Armour creation and customization
+ New PERKS system simple and very well balanced

- Dialogue is the worst of the franchise. Completed Failure: The BIG BITCH
- Some non- player character motivation not very clear
- No ammo or fusion core crafting (ammo crafting was a high point in Fallout: New Vegas)
- Settlement Construction clunky, maybe change to a third person view
- Survival Mode is just a harder difficulty, players were expecting the same from Fallout: new Vegas
- Gameplay and mechanics not well explained, poor instructions

The simple amount of hours I’ve logged into this game since it came out is staggering (even though most people are on their second run… it’s been busy here in Dozerland). Fallout 4 is still on my short list for game of the year and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on some of that sweet DLC and maybe some of the mods that were promised to be ported to consoles.

Each of the cons listed are minor – except the dialogue complaint. That can be fixed with Mods or future DLC. It frustraiting to not know what my character is going to say. It feels less like I'm playing a Fallout character and more like I'm controlling the Lone Survivor. I don't want my Mass Effect in my Fallout.

Rainbow 6: Siege

+ Graphics
+ Smooth controls
+ Destructable enviroments
+ Nice little open worlds for mission settings

- Unrealistic scenarios: BIG BITCH
- Need to play solo-training missions before you can play online, without a team
- Online only, no single player campaign

It's been way too long since we had a good Rainbow Six game. The franchise left the PC plan and impliment style of play for 3rd person shooting with the two console Rainbow Six: Vegas games from last generation. Only the second game had any legs to it and even then it was a poor Rainbow Six game.

The scenarios are the worst - in the second tutorial scenario you play a single opertator who needs to, breach a house, extract a hostage, and drop the bad guys. No team support - ok fine, I'll deal with it but this is not feeling like a Rainbow Six mission. As I've cleared the house and now walking the hostage out I'm approaching the cop cars that surround the extraction point (marked by a road flair) and two enemies shot me up. No protection, how did they get there? What the Fuck... found out my second run through - they spawned. Spawning in Rainbow Six (unless calling re-enforcments from off level) is like having a life bar in a Ghost Recon game. It seems like another Call of Duty style shooter game with a more tactical and team base bent.

Just Cause 3

+ Nice graphics
+ Shit blowing up real nice and pretty
+ Great use of upgrades and challanges, complete challanges to upgrade your kit. The whole system is optional and rewarding and dosn't feel at all like filler
+ Great open world and open mission concept

- Loading Time is way to long between scenes: BIG BITCH
- Controls feel a bit soft at first
- Learning how to move in the air is annoying
- Ran out of ammo too many times in the early missions

Just Cause 3 feels like Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction on my old Xbox. Mercs had a good sequel that needed some polish otherwise a fine game. Just Cause has been filling that gap. when Just Cause 2 introduced the grapple mechanic the game entered into the realm of ridiculous over the top action. Just Cause 3 has polished that style and ran full tilt into the current generation of consoles.

My Big issue with the game is the load time bug that is currently known to XboxOne users. When wanting to retry a challange mission I ask myself, is the wait worth it - because if I don't get it right, I'll be asking again.

Not bad for an end of year selection of games. I need to still play Assassin's Creed: Syndicate but that's what's new in video games these days.

- Cheers