More video game reviews

There are two weeks this semester that are conspiring to bring down my GPA, specifically the week Crysis: Warhead came out and the week FarCry2 will come out. Here’s my thoughts on the latest batch of games:

STALKER: Clear Sky

The last STALKER left me a bit confused as to whether there was any plot, and this version seems to follow suit. There seemed to be some sort of mysterious goings-on happening that threatened to end life as they knew it, but as the game progressed, the entirety of the plot boiled down to “go kill Strelok because he’s bad.” However, the implied plotlines involving the various factions and thir wars was pretty interesting, and the ability to lead a faction of my choice to victory was pretty fun.

But, as with the last STALKER, the gameplay wasn’t smooth. I remember one part in particular where, as soon as I walked out of a tunnel, an MG nest opened up on me and killed me almost instantly. Again, and again, and again. It took a good hour to go about 20 yards in the game. Other times, however, it seemed like I could just run though the level with a knife and come out unscathed.

But in general, despite the bugs and gameplay issues, the majority of the game was pretty awesome.

Crysis: Warhead

As awesome as Crysis was, Crysis: Warhead is even more awesome. Explosions are bigger, the guns look better, and the storyline is pretty good too. I have to admit, I had a lot more fun playing Warhead than the original Crysis, and I look forward to more of this kind of gameplay in the future.

Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway

Take a “long hallway” level from Call of Duty 1, add in some Rainbow Six combat style, the equivalent AI of Doom, a little of FEAR’s creepiness, add it all into a blender with the UT3 engine, and you’ve got the basic idea of how BiA:HH runs.

In a year jam-packed with “open-world” games, this game is just a throwback to the simpler times, when all you needed to design was the immediate surroundings. This becomes painfully obvious especially in the last level, where you’re running a tank through a “town”, which basically consists of a few houses placed between two long, unbreakable fences on either side, surrounded by green fields. Nothing in those fields, just the fields themselves.

And as if the AI didn’t make the game easy enough, the computer puts little circles above the enemy’s heads, intended to show how “suppressed” they are by your fire, but in reality, are used more often to find Nazis hiding behind walls, making the game insanely easier.

Not a “bad game” per se, but definitely not the shinig start of the year.

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