Rather than keep spammin the chatbox thought I’d throw some thoughts down here. So far I’m taking a rough guess i’m at least 3/4 through the SP and have an hour or two of MP under the belt. The short version - a somewhat average shooter but for $30 from India it’s a decent time waster and probably better than the last few CoDs, both MP and SP wise.
Gettin the bad outta the way:
- the SP story is rubbish IMO. You start the game fighting humans. In C1 and Warhead, it made sense to fight the Koreans over the tech. But because we’re in NY they couldn’t use em again, so they put a PMC in there as the generic baddies. They’re fighting you because they think you’re Prophet, who’s got the alien virus, and they want the suit back. This continually irks me - why would you use a PMC rather than National Guard? But more importantly, the fact you AREN’T Prophet means a simple bit of communication would instantly clear up the mess, thus resolving 50% of the game conflict. The silent protagonist can work (see Half life) but not when half the games problems could be erradicated by opening your trap just once. But hey, it still makes more sense to me than MW2.
-Playing on the hardest difficulty is still generally quite easy (mainly due to the suit’s stealth). However some of the big boss fights feel more like annoyances rather than challenges. When fighting a giant mech I’ll sneak around behind it to launch some missiles at it, only for it to immediately swing round almost instantaneously and melt my face off. The fact sprinting is linked entirely into suit energy levels also means you can only walk away in fear when this happens.
- semi infinite enemy spawns. When enemies call in reinforcements if your stealth tactics fail, you can expect a bit more challenge pushin through. But when you’ve cleared an area, walked around a corner, and when you turn around a dude has popped outta nowhere and shot your head off… urghhhhh. And since the game uses a checkpoint system which doesn’t save very regularly this drove me nuts at the start. After a while you adapt and expect this tho.
So they aren’t great points but rest assured, when the game does get it right, it can be great fun. While it is very linear and not as multi-layered as the pre-release press purported, the larger combat arenas do give enough area to move around that I think you could play the SP a couple of times with enough variation to keep it fresh. Consolisation has meant when you reach these areas you have the option of pulling up a tactical help which points out the bloody obvious things like which way is good for stealth, where is a flanking point, etc. When you start ignoring the voices suggestion of using this help and just find your own way through, it’s infinitely more interesting.
I’d also dare say this is the reverse of C1 in regards to combat fun. Previously I’d enjoyed taking on the Koreans and then found the aliens a slog. This time however I’ve found the new humanoid aliens much more fun than the CELL drongos, partly due to their propensity to use the environment a lot better (they tend to jump around and shift positions on you regularly).
Graphics wise while it ain’t a system buckling behemoth like C1, it is definitely a pretty game. Aside from the odd texture here for the corpse physics fail there, the scenes are well set out and the vibrancy is a nice change from the recent CoD games. I found the user-created graphics mod an absolute necessity, partly to tweak performance to my satisfaction, but also to remove blur. Holy crap, they’ve thrown that around like crazy and it is absolutely nauseating.
Multiplayer is a lot like the SP, in that when it’s working its a lot of fun, but it has it’s annoyances. Fortunately for the most part I put this squarely on rampant hacking. You can have a decent amount of time without em, but every session I’ve had so far (prolly turned it on 4-5 times) has had me quit eventually due to a hacker joining the server. Here’s hoping they make a fix that actually works, otherwise the MP life will be short. Other than that, there’s a healthy range of maps and they bumped PC up to 8v8, which works nicely (although Skyline is prolly a little cramped). Most maps have multiple levels which is a joy for mixing it up. Balance is solid, and I’m not raging if someone manages to stealth up behind me, because I realise it generally takes a little skill to do. The fact you’ve gotta break cover to collect tags and thus killstreaks is a genius move, as it really cuts down on the number of campers (or at least their kill streak rewards). The thermal vision doesn’t seem as useful as it did in the demo either, and I don’t see that many kill cams with it in use. It’s by no means a hardcore comp, but it is fun pub play to have a crack at every now and then.
If you couldn’t be bothered reading that ramble:
- generally fun SP campaign, let down by sometimes shoddy AI and awful story
- semi-infinite enemy spawns linked with very separated checkpoints lead to rage
- while I’d like to be able to run without having to care about the suit power, the streamlined powers aren’t necessarily a bad move.
- aliens are actually fun to fight this time.
- Fun pub MP currently marred by hackers.
If I had to throw a number at it, prolly a 7/10. If ya got some time to burn, it’s worth picking up :D.
edit: wow, that was waaaay longer than I meant it to be :P.