Wednesday, June 15, 2011


RATING : [2/5]

I'm very rapidly running out of games to play.
A fair amount of the games I've purchased here have turned out to be Japanese/Korean copies, which is an unfortunate gamble when you buy a game here.  I decided to give this one a shot. No idea what it was about or what kind of game it was, just something I snagged at the market.

I didn't get very far, but I'm not going to commit the blame to the fact that it was a bad game.  It didn't hook me, but I might finish the game later.  I only got so far as to get the general idea of the gameplay.

The story presented actually seems like it could be interesting if they execute it properly.  Basically, earth has degraded via global warming to the point of the US being split down the middle by flooded waters. The two sides develop different sets of beliefs and ways to evolve to handle the planet's condition. One side decides to literally evolve, throwing their efforts toward genetic modification. The other decides to take cybernetics as their route to survival. When the US Leader outlaws genetic modification, the East tears itself from the US, and war becomes an immediate threat. Which is where you waltz your happy ass in.

That's as far as I got with the story.  Its interesting enough that I might pick it back up.

The gameplay is third person shooter, but with at least one twist: you can manipulate the environment around you, which I thought was actually pretty clever and unique.  You can lower or raise an area of ground to either get over or under any obstacle that might present itself.  As soon as this mechanic was announced, my gut surged with an almost gleeful OCD attack, very reminiscent of the days I spent millions of dollars in Sim City using the bulldozer to make sure my cities were perfectly flat. I spent an hour or so dropping the entire map's environment as low as it would go, and then decided to make little mountains for myself to conquer.  Doing so revealed many little purple things (some sort of power up), which endeared me to the map designers, as happens when someone rewards my quirky nature with shiny things.

Being able to manipulate the environment gives you a tactical advantage during battle, as you can manipulate your enemy's terrain, or create cover for yourself.  However, the actual shooter gameplay feels underdeveloped. For instance: there isn't a game mechanic built in to let you interact with cover (shoot over or around and still be covered), so its only use is to give you something to hide behind it until your health regenerates. 

I think it would have been smart for them to spend a little bit more time working with how the character can work with the environment that he's manipulating, aside from just being able to walk on it or stand behind it. 

After the training bit I got to the first real section of gameplay, which laced with small cutscenes: enemies fleeing, an establishing shot of a turret, the norm. Sadly, these clips felt incredibly stiff, and were reminiscent of an XBox or PS2 game. Between the slightly awkward animations, and the characters, environments, and lighting not being as developed as I'm used to seeing in the current generation of games, the art didn't help draw me in at all.

So far, the game has the interesting environment manipulation (I'm curious to see if you develop more powers over time) and the possibility of a decent story that's encouraging me to keep playing.  However, I also just picked up my PSP and started playing Patapon, and Zelda is out in 4 days, so... it's fighting a losing battle.

[TLDR] Story could be okay, main gameplay mechanic is nice, general gameplay feels underdeveloped, art and animation are so far unimpressive.


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