Reviews

Horrible Video Games, A Review: Double Feature

BY: GAVIN KIBLER

Okay so, Aliens, Colonial Marines is a bad game. Cut, print, done.

Actually no, I have to actually expound on that.
Crap.

Okay, so, Aliens: Colonial Marines is such a bad game that nobody wanted credit for making it. Literally, the seven conglomerate companies that made it kept passing the blame. First Gearbox, then Sega, then someone else, and so on and so forth.

It’s clear that this abomination is just the mutated offspring, or should I say, satan-spawn, of a series that should have just called it quits at AVP, but that’s a different story for a different time.

The graphics are atrocious, the whole thing looks about eight years old. The guns are hideously inaccurate, the graphics of the corridors and overall, are copy pasted and awful. It’s like they didn’t even try.

It’s PATHETIC.

0.5/10. You get the .5 for effort. Which there is none. Congratulations, Gearbox. (.5 out of 10.)

Next on the schedule: Duke Nukem Forever.

Oh my god where do I even start with this. Alright guys, remember the initial news for Duke Nukem Forever? Yeah, the news that came out like, 13 years ago? Yeah, well, neither do I.

Duke Nukem Forever came out of development hell a few years back, in June 14th of 2011.

It should never have exited the putrid void from which it was thrown out of.

Duke Nukem Forever, graphically, isn’t that bad of a game. It’s rather bland, to be honest, but at least it doesn’t look like a 90’s computer game. It’s visibly comparable to Doom 3 in level design, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but with the technology available at that year, they could have done way better.

In other respects, the game is completely dated, with the whole plot revolving around “Saving all of the women of earth from aliens.” I’m not even joking. That is the entire plot. The entire game is sexist, and Duke leads the charge. It’s just awful.

Instead of health, you have “ego”, which you can refill by doing things, such as beating some guy at air hockey, admiring yourself in the mirror, and other egotistical things.

Seriously, that is the game. It’s awful.

4/10 (4 out of 10)

Dead Island: Riptide

Review by Gavin Kibler        

Dead Island: Riptide, the sequel to Dead Island, was released on April 25th, 2013. It was developed by Techland and published by Deep Silver. It was released on PC, Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 3.

The game starts with the survivors escaping the zombie infested island of Banoi in a helicopter and landing on a military ship, only to be taken captive by the crew of the ship. The selected character wakes up some time later in a cell. Not long after, the cell is unlocked by the captain, due to the zombie epidemic somehow having reached the ship itself. The player then has to make their way to the bridge while the infected try to nibble their giblets. After finally reaching the bridge, the ship runs into a jagged rock formation, piercing the hull and propelling the player overboard. The player wakes upon the sandy beaches of Palanoi, apparently having been rescued by a duo of survivors who inform the player to head to their camp.

The start of Dead Island: Riptide was rather dull and didn’t really impress me much, but it was bearable.

Dead Island: Riptide has a lot of performance issues that break game-play so much that a graphic tool had to be used to turn off several things that were making it lag horribly. It has a limited arrangement of preset graphic options that were accessible in the game, but more often than not, it is easier and more effective to edit the settings manually.
When I had finally resolved these issues, the game became fun and challenging. The special infected were in the game at the very start, and the damage that the normal infected deal seems to have been increased. Two hits from one of those things and it is over. The AI has been improved in some areas, and damaged in others. On one hand, zombies act like savage animals, but on the other, often times I can just throw things at a Thug and it won’t react in the slightest.

Weapon durability and damage has been increased, and made more realistic. You can hack through things, and the weapon won’t be broken after the first attack. That is one of the new features that I liked the most. A new game mechanic has been introduced: barricading. As far as I can tell, barricading is only available at certain points of the plot, as you can’t just set up a fortress anywhere other than the points of the game where you have to defend an area. The barricades consist of fencing and are just lying about in the areas where they are needed. When the hordes attack, the fences tear and bend realistically from the attacks of the infected, adding realism to the game. A few new special infected have been added, making the game more difficult. The screamer, whose shrieks call the infected, the grenadier, who lobs chunks of explosive meat at you, and the wrestlers, who are basically just buffed up versions of Thugs.

There are a few glitches and bugs in the game. When a pulse or shock grenade is thrown, it causes the game to lag horribly until you transition to another area through a loading screen. Sometimes enemies will be completely unresponsive, and won’t react at all to your attacks; though this mostly occurs with Thugs; this only really affects the scale of immersion that the player may have. Sometimes it is impossible to put up barricades where you normally would be able to do so, making a bunch of problems for you if you are ill prepared for the zombie apocalypse. Those are the glitches that I am personally familiar with. I honestly think these problems need to be addressed, but so far, no patches have been released.

The replay value of Dead Island: Riptide is relatively high. The game changes constantly with item drops and enemy spawns, making the game non-static. The game features a sandbox type map, much like popular games such as Fallout 3Fallout New Vegas, and Dead Island, making it possible to explore areas and do quests that you didn’t know existed.

The issues and glitches bring the rating down to seven out of ten.

 

Metro: Last Light  (8.5/10) (PC)

BY GAVIN KIBLER

Hello! I’m Gavin Kibler, and I am going to be doing the Video Game Reviews from here on out. I will rate the games on a 10 point scale based on the experience I had while playing the game in question. The reviews will include pros and cons, glitches, and performance issues that make the game what it is.

Metro: Last Light is a game that was produced by THQ, and was released May 14th, 2013. It is a horror game under the sub-genre of survival horror. It’s a fairly decent game in both areas of plot and gameplay.

The thing that first struck me was the atmosphere and ambience that the introduction had.

There you were, sitting with your buddies around a fire in a metro tunnel, and then suddenly further down the tunnel something screams in terror. We all looked to one another, knowing that danger was close, and we all drew our weapons from their holsters. The fire went out, and the screen went white; my friends were gone, and in their place were mutants. Without hesitation I dispatched the creatures. The screen went white once more to reveal that in a fit of hallucination, I had killed my friends. Artyom looked at his hands and dropped the knife he was holding. He started to look up to see another creature, one more terrible than the last. Then, he woke up.

Using a dream sequence for an intro isn’t original by any means, but it was done well and built a sense of dread. It was then that I knew that this game would be good.

Metro: Last Light has a moral system, similar to the Mass Effect series. Except that in this game, it is convoluted and very vague. It has two endings based on what actions you take, how you do them, or if you do them at all. It was frustrating to reach the end of the game and get the bad ending when I had done good things throughout the game. It was at the conclusion of the game when I found out that killing the bandits and raiders that meant to kill me counted as bad karma.

The game has some performance issues with computers with older graphics cards, but the lag and fps drop can be drastically removed by in game settings, much unlike the previous title, Metro 2033. You can now turn off the advanced filtering (i.e. Anisotropic filtering), change the resolution to lower settings, change texture settings, and other things to fit your computer specs. The overall texture of the graphics is very realistic and adds greatly to the atmosphere and setting of the game itself. The metro tunnels can be damp and flooded, or dry, moldy, and filled with the bones of unfortunate scavengers who were unlucky enough to run into one of the many mutants of the metro system. One of the shining features of the game is when Artyom ventures out into the ruined city of Moscow. As one would expect, the landscape is littered with the burnt out buildings of Moscow. The sky textures and animations were well done and the flora and fauna were both well scripted and designed, no one encounter with an enemy is ever completely the same. When it comes to the graphics of Metro: Last Light, THQ really brought its A-game.

Not to say that this game is perfect in any sense of the word, as with any game, Metro: Last Light has flaws. For instance, when Artyom uses a rope to cross a gap, often times he won’t be able to proceed because Pavel has disappeared, and the only solution is to load a save or checkpoint. The game does have redeeming points in it, such as the option of stealth based gameplay. When you are undetected, you can silently kill the enemy in front of you, or knock it out. The whole idea of the game is item conservation. Whether it be bullets, or gas mask filters, you have to watch how much you use the said item, or you’ll run out. This will lead to a quick death. The game is different from a lot of the recent titles simply from the fact that NPC behavior and enemy encounters change time to time based solely on your behavior, and how you do things.

Overall, Metro: Last Light captured and held my attention throughout its entirety.  My rating for this game is 8.5 out of 10.

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