Critics' Corner

 


Well, well, well, the long anticipated Assassin's Creed. Played it, beat it, thought it was great but just one problem: repetition. Now don't get me wrong this is a GREAT game! The graphics are fantastic, the controls are great, and the gameplay is fluid. The storyline is a bit different but after the first couple of missions it starts to make sense. But the repetition is just annoying. The first three missions are great but after that it's the same thing over and over again. The game does try to add some spice to itself with different types of objectives but it falls short. The objectives have all been done before and they usually suck in the other games that have tried it. Now on to a positive note, the graphics. Oh my God! These graphics are so great! I didn't get a chance to play it on my HDTV but even on SD it's something spectacular. The way they lay out the cities and the way they have them looking, perfect! Also, the voice-acting is great! Everything the people say, and how they say it sounds and looks real. The storyline, like I said, is a bit unusual but it works. I think, from the ending, there will be a sequel. In fact, I'd be surprised if there isn't! I won't spoil anything but the way they ended it didn't really answer all the questions and leaves off like the end of a TV show would at the end of the season. The game does take a while to beat, however. If you're like me, you'll want to go for all the side quests (which I did by the way, just to get the achievements) and that will add about 1 to 2 hours of gameplay. The game, without the side quests, will take about 6 to 8 hours to beat. Maybe longer, that's just a estimate. This game is a definite rent but if looks really appealing to you, then definitely buy. Chances are you'd be better off buying it cause you'll probably rent it more than once. Luckily for me, my friend let me borrow his copy. So I'm good there because I'm not going to play it again because I got other games but if it looks really good then buy it. If not, rent it.

-Alex (PDB), Xbox 360 Team

Graphics - 9.5 (sometimes quirky)Story - 9.0 (good but repetitive)Gameplay - 9.0 (laggy and glitchy sometimes)Sound - 8.5 (loud when should be quite sometimes)Verdict: RENT 8.5/10 (only rent because after beaten, nothing to do)

 
 

Thank God they got rid of WWII (for now, wait til CoD5)! And thank God the game that strayed away from the dull repetition of war games we are used to was good! Wait...not good...GREAT!! This is by far the best FPS I have ever played! The campaign was great until about the last few missions which started to get repetetive. But overall it was good. The start of the game has you following the British S.A.S. soldier known as "Soap". With Soap, you start out in Russia (I think) or near that area. (All I know was there was snow in the levels!) But anyways you are him for the first couple missions where you are on a wild goose chase to find an Al-Qaeda terrorist. But anways after the first two missions you switch to the good guys...er...the Marines. Where you are with a guy who has a name that I forgot cause it wasn't cool like "Shampoo". But anyways then you do a couple missions with him switching back and forth between Soap. But then something happens, to the Marines guy (won't tell you what because I don't like spoilers but something happens to him) and you're Soap for the rest of the game. Anyways there is a Russian sniping level with Soap later in the game that is (in my opinion) the best level in the game. There is also a very cool and unique level in which you commandeer an AC-130 gunship that is the s***! This is actually the best level with the sniping one coming in at a close second. Overall, with the campaign, it is great and has some nice unique and diverse levels in spots. Overall the campaign alone would give this game a 8.5 or 9.0.

Now I will switch to the best part of this game...the multiplayer! First I want to give a shout-out to pill922 for playing with me online with me, that was a great time and I hope to see you online when I get my hands on my permanent copy. But anyways, the game has great multiplayer and should definitely kicks Halo 3's ass when it comes to most addictive online play and best online play on 360 so far! With a great unique feature called the "Perks System" you can earn (that's right you have to work for it) great abilities such as, throwing a grenade down when you die and getting some important final shots with your pistol to even out the points when you die. These are great and it has the ranking system that we know and love in Halo 3. You also get some challenges to increase your skill with the weapons you use. Not much more to say about it except that it's great! Ok, so once Call of Duty 5 comes out it better have changed to go back to the War in Iraq instead of this crappy WWII genre that got old after CoD2 minus 5 years. But if it is in WWII they better add some of the great features I have come to love in CoD4, especially the online gameplay! So if you haven't played this I higly recommend picking it up for at least a rental but it's definitely worth a buy!

-Alex (PDB), Xbox 360 Team

Graphics - 10

Story - 9.5

Gameplay - 10

Sound - 9.5

Verdict: BUY 9.5

 
Halo 3 05/11/2008
 

Finish the fight, finish the fight, finish the fight...shut up already! I finished the fight and although it was fun it's also a big weight off my back! The way they make it sound, they make it seem as if if you don't beat the game that everyone will hate you and that it's a sin. It's just a game people! The campaign mode was alright but the campaign seemed short and the AI seemed terrible on both sides. On enemy AI it's like they can't see you unless you're 3 feet away from them, and on the friendly AI the only thing they're good for is to act as a human shield. The friendly alien is the only guy that can save your life in a firefight. And never, ever let the AI drive! They have no idea where to go and when to stop! Now let's get into Halo's bright spot: multiplayer! The online is amazing! The online is fun even when you have the annoying 10 year-old who thinks that he's the world's best Master Chief. Due to the new mute-on-the-fly feature you no longer have to hear the kid whine because you stole his kill. The only thing that's good about that is that you now know he obviously isn't the best...you are! Also, Forge and Theater are fun but Forge can get old and Theater has it's limits. Why not be able to make cool effects in your videos or pictures like in PGR4? Now that would be cool! And then in Forge it's only fun with no vehicles because other players can easily make yours disappear. Now am I saying that Halo 3 sucks? Hell no! It's a great game and a must have for 360 owners! Am I saying that parts of it could have been better? Yes! All games have room for improvement but I'm going to give this game a 9.0. Haven't played the DLC yet so it might be better.

-Alex (PDB), Xbox 360 Team

Graphics - 9.5

Story - 9.0

Gameplay - 9.5

Sound - 8.5

Verdict:
BUY* 9.0/10
*if you're a Halo fan, rent if not.

 
 

    Condemned 2 Blood shot takes place several months after the first condemned game.  In the first game you take the role of Ethan Thomas a S.C.U investigator (FBI).  Ethan’s gives into the bottle and now questions what is real and what’s in his head.  But when a friend from the first game goes missing he’s reluctantly thrust back into S.C.U.  The story starts out as a true sequel to the first game but the story slowly goes into a disappointing direction that leaves you asking by the end of the game what the fuck is this!  The antagonist in the game is boring and the ending boss is a joke.

            When first starting Bloodshot you have access to single player and multiplayer.  But the farther you get in the single player you unlock the fight club mode and more stages for fight club.  So fight club is just what it sounds like, you are through into a small area were you have access to some weapons and a horde of bums come and you fight them.  This is a novelty that you play once or twice and then never play again.  There is one stage were you can set how many guys you want to fight, what type of weapons and how many guys at a time.  This is only good for people looking for achievements and nothing else. 

            The game play feels very similar to the first game but that’s a good thing.  There are about 20 new weapons for you to swing and throw at enemies.  But this time around Ethan can throw punches and block.  The fist fighting is actually Farley deep in the sense that you can pull off combos as well as getting damage boosters for them.  The biggest game play flaw is that, sense Ethan is a drunk when he has fire arms if you haven’t found a bottle of booze and drunken it his hands get shaky and it’s almost impossible to hit you’re target.  This is annoying when theirs no booze in site and you only have a few shots, this is an interesting idea in theory but it’s executed very poorly.  Another new addition is environmental kills, when you beat an enemy enough he/she will get on their knees and you can grab them in a head lock and either throw them over a ledge, smash their head into a TV etc.  These never get old and aren’t frequent enough to get dull.    

            One of the biggest complaints from the first game was that their wasn’t enough freedom in the “CSI” segments.  This time the game has given you limitless amount of freedom so now you have to find clues you’re self.  This makes the segment a lot more fun to carry out because now you feel like you’ve actually accomplished something.  At the end of each mission you are rewarded with a grade ranging from poor to perfect and based on all of your rating from that level you are awarded with an upgrade for you character.  Upgrades include gun holsters, steel toe boots and a taser.

            Graphically Condemned 2 looks great…that is when theirs light.  Most environments are insanely dark and the question has to be asked why the fuck don’t I have a flashlight?  But enemies look crazed and environments look destroyed.

            One of the best parts of the Condemned games has to be the sounds.  You can usually hear the enemies before you see them but it’s still creepy to hear a crack head rambling and not knowing wear he is.  The weapon effects are a sickening as ever; you can literally hear the bones of you’re enemy crunching after hitting him with a pipe.

            There is an adversarial online mode but it’s hardly worth mentioning.  There is death match; team death match and the only worth while mode were one teams hide’s severed heads and the other team tries to find them and scan them.  There are only a handful of maps and one team starts with guns while the other team starts with melee weapons (besides the Molotov cocktail) so it feels a bit unbalanced.  The structure how ever is great meaning connecting to games is a breeze while finding games (no matter how bad online is) is easy as pie.

            All in all Condemned 2 Blood Shot isn’t enjoyable enough to warrant a purchase.  Poor story, boring multiplayer and same old mechanics don’t seem to be able to save this game yet the CSI segments are great and the first few levels are fun.

Graphics-8.5
Story-5
Game play-8

Sound-8
RENT 7.8

                                


 
 

    Army of two is a 3rd person action shooter for the ps3 and xbox 360.  You start out as two men named Rios and Salem who are private military contractors.  In English their mercs who are hired by the government to do special jobs.    After the first mission you’re treated to a cool trailer that time lines you working for this PMC (private military contractor) called SSC.  I like the premise for being a mercenary yet the overall story isn’t very good and the dialogue is laughable with one character calling you fuck-o several times. 

       This is one game you really need to play co-op instead of single player.  You can play local co-op or co-op over xbox live with a friend.  When playing by your self you pick which character you want to be and the AI controls the other.  The AI For your partner does an okay job of covering your back and holding position.  But when you tell him to heal you he drags you about a mile away from danger besides going around a corner which by that time you’re usually dead. Also when you tell him to run forward he just runs straight at the enemy no flanking or running for cover.  The enemy AI isn’t much better ,enemies will take cover and flank you but then theirs enemies that run straight at you and sometimes right by you.  If you play with the AI though the whole game instead of playing with a friend you’ll have a drastically different experience.

        

            The co-op mechanics are simple awesome.  When you “die” you fall down and sit up on the ground and your partner needs to drag you to cover to heal you.  While your being dragged you can shoot at enemies and so can your partner.  You can pick up riot shields and slow walk forward while your ally shoots.  You can also give you partner daps, give him a high five or a pound it.  This is something that gives the characters a little personality.  You can take cover in a sense were you duck behind cover and shoot over a ledge but your never actually attached to it.  This is one linear game were your hand is guided though open space but you have to eliminate a seemingly endless amount of enemies to continue.  But what is cool is that there are certain objectives you can do for a bonus sum of cash kind of like the game Mercenaries.  One very annoying thing that pissed me off every time was when you come to a door to proceed to a next small part of the level their was when you come to a door there’s  cut scene were it shows you kicking the door open then theirs another loading screen.  Loading screens are plenty and long some as long for 40 seconds!  Mid-mission you can buy weapons form special weapon dealers from around the world.  You carry a primary, secondary, special and grenade weapons that aren’t all that satisfying to shoot.  Yet all the guns in the game are fully upgradeable which includes, bigger clip, putting shields on guns, better stocks ,You can also buy face masks and new armor.  Luckily when you get up-close to an enemy you get to perform a very satisfying melee kill. 

You either head but a guy (with your metal mask), kick him in the head, choke slam etc.  Agro is what Army of Two is all about.  Theirs an agro bar on your hud and agro is the more you shoot the more enemies pay attention to you while your partner becomes practically invisible.  There are some enemies you have to use agro to kill heavily armored guards.  But you end up letting  your partner stay back behind cover full on agro while you flank your enemy over and over.         

            Army of two is a pretty good looking game if you ignore enemy models.  The enemy models all look mostly the same and their faces look really fake.  The cut scenes look great and are actually enjoyable. 

            The multiplayer is a after though with four maps and three game modes.  There are vehicles in the multiplayer that aren’t in the single player but besides that multiplayer is pretty much single over xbox live. 

            Army of two has some great Co-op concepts that execute rather nicely yet poor AI, shallow single player experience (co-op is a must for this game),a very disappointing final boss and boring multiplayer stop this game form being great.

Graphics-8

Story-6

GamePlay-8(in co-op),6(in single player)

Sound-5

7.7

RENT

Pill92-Editor, Xbox360 team

 


 
 

            If you enjoyed 2006’s Rainbow Six Las Vegas  there aren’t any surprises here.   There is a new A.C.E.S system which rewards you for every special type of kill (killing an enemy using a rope, head shots, close quarter kills).  You gain experience for these special kills which earn you new weapons, camo and amour.  Yes now you can customize your amour and clothes with about 20 types of camo.  It’s a bit disappointing not to be able to start with all your favorite weapons but having to unlock them makes sure you don’t get tired with the 30 so weapons available to you.

            Now the character you create for single player is carried over to multiplayer which feels identical to the first Vegas.  There are 12 new maps but it’s almost impossible to find a solid server.  Vegas 1 had these connectivity problems and you would think they would have fixed it the second time around; hopefully a patch of some sort will be issued.  2 new adversarial modes have been added but if you’re a multiplayer veteran you should appreciate the new maps more.  Now the maps are new in theory but several of them are from the Pc game R6 Raven shield, so their recycled maps.

            Now if this your first time playing a rainbow six game you need to prepared for the different ways of assessing certain situations.  You control two rainbow members and you can have them storm a room, smoke a room, grenade a room etc.  You can have them use sound suppressers and only shoot when being shot at.  Controlling your squad is a bit difficult at time because they get stuck on the environment and they some time don’t respond.  Something that’s new to the squad mechanics is now you can point our places were you want you squad to throw smoke or grenades.  The problem is you and your squad throws grenades about a foot in front of yourselves.  Weapons are still very satisfying to shoot and sound realistic.    
    Fire fights are still exciting and the environments you visit are great.  The story like the first one is forgettable it gets to the point were it is “look for this guy here”.  The campaign starts you out in France 5 years before Vegas 1.  It’s strange why they choose to go back in time but it’s still enjoyable to play.  Even with these flaws you won’t find a better tactical shooter on the360.  

Graphics-8.5

Story-5

Game play- 9

Sound-8.5


8.5

BUY

          

Pill92-Editor,Xbox360 team

   

 


 
 


    Condemned Criminal origins is a horror first person shooter/fighter for the Xbox360 and pc.  You play a Forensic investigator for the F.B.I named Ethan Thomas who is reporting to a crime scene of a murder in a neighborhood where the crime rate has sky rocketed.  As you arrive at the scene you see the murder has the signature of a murderer called the Match Maker.  Early on in the game you’re framed for two murders and you’re trying to catch the real killer by proving your innocence. 

    The story starts off a little weak but the intensity builds as you get closer to catching the killer.  You find out very early in the game that you have the ability to see flashbacks of the killer.  This power is useful and it pushes certain aspects of the story along however it is never really explained why these flashbacks occur. 

    The thing that makes Condemned stand out from other horror First Person perspective games is that it has a fairly deep melee combat system.  Blocking is key to winning confrontations while swinging a handful of close combat weapons like 2 x 4’s, pipes, axes, sledgehammers etc.  Each weapon has statistics for speed, damage, block and reach.  From time to time you find firearms such as pistols, shotguns and submachine guns but they usually have next to no ammo and are too scarce.  Also, you can’t hold onto more than one weapon at a time, or load one gun with another gun’s ammo which would be more realistic.  You also have a taser that temporarily stuns the enemy giving you a free hit.  It has to charger for about 8 seconds after it fired but it becomes your greatest weapon.  While an enemy is stunned you can also grab his weapon. 

  Don’t forget you’re playing a Forensic investigator so from time to time you need to use your “CSI” tools.  You have tools such as a black light to find hidden messages and gas spectrometers.  Unfortunately the CSI segments your hand is being held, which means they tell you which tool to use and were to point it. Never the less these parts break up the combat which can get very repetitive.  Theirs also only about 7 different enemy models which means that most enemies you’re fighting are wearing the same clothes.

  All in all over used enemy models with repetitive combat don’t mix well, but the great story and CSI segments help get over these small flaws.


Graphics-8.5

Story-9

Game play-7.5

Sound-8

8.5

BUY


Pill92-Editor,Xbox360 team