I have played each game in the Deus Ex series, and this much-anticipated third instalment has been a long time coming. Sort of Half-Life meets Metal Gear Solid, with a sprinkling of Blade Runner on the top. You play as Adam Jenson, a cybernetically enhanced security agent working for Sarrif Industries who must investigate what happened during an attack on his previous employer that ended with the death of a close friend. Set in a future detroit, you have the freedom to go about missions and side quests in you own way, upgrading your abilities along the way to further enhance and customize your experience. This is a very deep and expansive game, with tons to see and do, and will no doubt last be a fair while. Interacting with the environment and the characters is a joy as the world you inhabit seems very alive, aided greatly by an impressive graphics engine with life-like animation and some stunning lighting and other effects.
The story too is quite complex and obviously had some care put into it. Although you have an arsenal of weaponry at hand though, this is no run and gun shooter either, with the gameplay leaning much more towards stealth and finding hidden areas and different routes through an area. This is also much of the fun, as discovering different way to approach a given situation can be really absorbing and often I have found the time fly by as I get lost in such a detailed and interesting world. Having played the previous games, although extremely polished, it still feels very similar and the actual mechanics haven’t really progressed from Deus Ex #1. Which considering that game is regarded as a masterpiece, I suppose is no real criticism.
So a solid experience then, and although only a little way into it (just reached China) I’m really enjoying it.
How does one stand out in a crowded genre? With the first game in this acclaimed series, developer Monolith Studios successfully combined the gun blazing fun of Call Of Duty with the slow-motion cool of Max Payne then sprinkled on some eerie horror inspired by Japanese horror Ring. This winning formula spawned an equally successful sequel, but now with original developer Monolith jumping ship to make way for Day One Studios, can the same magic still remain intact?
On the surface the answer to that question is a resounding yes. I was at first worried due to this game’s complex ranking system and wealth of multi-player modes, meaning I expected the single-player campaign to be a brief and unfulfilling diversion. Thankfully the single-player is a fully fleshed out continuation of the story, with you as series hero Point Man breaking out of Prison with your undead serial killer brother Paxton Fettal. Now it has to be said, the plot of these games has never been the series’ strong point, and I admit to being totally clueless to what is going on. But none the less the action is solid, filled with some great atmosphere and decent level design taking you through shopping malls, suburban neighbourhoods and city streets to name but a few. The game feels a little more out in the open than the corridor based action of its brethren, but no less fun. Perhaps a change of developer means the gameplay is a touch less refined and at times b****** hard, but the weapons are fun and overall I’m enjoying it.
I haven’t explored the multiplayer modes, as I’m not a big fan of playing games online (normally because I get my ass handed to me), but the inclusion of being able to control your brother on a second play through and have the ability to possess other characters in the game, is very intriguing.
For now though, if you liked F.E.A.R. 1 & 2, this is a must.
- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Launches F.e.a.r. 3 (1337spktme.wordpress.com)
- F.E.A.R. 3 (Review) (popmatters.com)
- F.E.A.R. 3 Review (godisageek.com)
In a games industry seemingly crowded by first person warfare shooters and simplistic casual family games, it’s good to actually play something that isn’t interested in trying to appeal to the widest audience possible or re-create New York city or a war-torn battlefield. This is happy just being a videogame. A sequel to the widely publicised but rarely seen American McGee’s Alice, this time on all platforms rather than just the PC, has you controlling an adult Alice as she tumbles into Wonderland once again following her release from a mental asylum as featured in the previous game. Fans of the stories by Lewis Carol will be immediately familiar with the dream-like fantasy world, but this is certainly no children’s fairy tale, with Alice portrayed as a much more violent and attitude driven girl happy to bludgeon her enemies to death with a Hobby Horse or slice them to shreds with a Kitchen Knife.
Developer Spicy Horse have crafted a lovingly dark tribute to the classic stories with each location (each with its own distinct theme) beautifully realised if not exactly graphically ground-breaking on a technical level. This game harks back to the classic days of the 3D platformer, a genre I’m sad to say seems to be disappearing at a rapid rate. It feels very nostalgic to play though, and has some great ideas, inspired by the stories such as shrinking to discover hidden paths and get into otherwise unexplorable areas, and along with a good variety to the monsters and some quality fight mechanics with imaginatively bonkers weapons, this so far is a joy to play. I’ve barely been off it and only received the game yesterday.
I have also come across some interesting diversions from the standard platforming and fighting mechanics, such as a side scrolling shooter level, some interesting, if simplistic puzzle solving (which suits me), and challenge rooms where you are set upon by a wealth of monsters and if you survive you win a section of a rose – which I’d guess fills up an extra rose on you health metre. Very Legend Of Zelda. Granted, the ideas aren’t exactly new, so if you’re looking for something fresh or innovative, then by all means look elsewhere, but if you want quality tried and tested gameplay, a classic platforming hack ’n’ slash adventure with no end of imagination and a gorgeous visual style … then I’d recommend this in a heart beat.
Apparently the game clocks in at a good twenty hours with five very big chapters. It’s not terribly tough however, so play on HARD for a more satisfying experience.
Note: The game comes with a code to allow you to download the original American McGee’s Alice, which is a great free extra but the game hasn’t aged well, and compared to the new game, the fight mechanics and control system (converted from PC’s mouse & keyboard to the 360 (or PS3) pad) is not particularly well implemented.
Because this highly anticipated first person puzzle-game-sequel is going to be utter genius. And very funny.
… released on PC / XBOX 360 & PS3 21st April 2011.
- New Portal 2 Trailer – Aperture Investment Opportunity #2: “Bot Trust” (thegamerwithkids.com)
- Portal 2 – New Short TV Spot Trailer (godisageek.com)
- Trailers: Portal 2: Panels (escapistmagazine.com)