To start with, I should explain that I’m lucky enough to have this game running on a pc that can handle the higher graphics settings without much of a problem. [That was a space for people to grumble under their breath about me showing off.] The reason I say that is because a lot of graphics problems that many other people will have experienced didn’t happen to me. So if I’m hugely biased towards the graphics, I’m not just suffering from a low expectation threshold. Admittedly I’m not a blathering fanboy or girl either, so I may have a little more restrained views than some of the other reviews I’ve read or watched so far.
Having said that, I have to admit I found the graphics to be absolutely amazing and almost everything they were promised to be. You know that the graphics are good, when you spend minutes looking at your screen just watching a sunrise; or if you forget to shoot someone because the leaves in front of you distract you. The graphics seem to show up exceptionally well due to the physics engine, since unbelievable movements in the game tend to distract you from just appreciating the graphics. The physics and lighting effects particularly look good when the settings are turned up to absolute maximum, but this did cause the pc to stagger a bit, although not as much as I anticipated. The water effects are some of the best I have seen to date, and the reaction of the water to movements while you’re in the ocean in a boat or swimming are very natural.
What a wonderful day for a swim …
Now that I’ve got the major portion of the gushing out of the way I can get on to a reasonable review.
The sound is accurate, particularly when you have surround sound as the direction a sound is coming from is accurately portrayed. Unfortunately, there are glitches in the sound which can cause certain sounds to continuously repeat until you load a new section of the game. A particular problem is if a helicopter crashes to the ground, and the ground isn’t level it can often repeat the noise of the crash continuously. It wouldn’t be problem, but unfortunately the regularity of these occurrences is higher than you would expect in a game that shows such attention to details in other aspects. There is sufficient variation in sounds, particularly in terms of gunfire from different weapons, which allows you to clearly identify which weapon is being used. This often helps when you’re planning an attack strategy since taking on a guy with a machine gun is normally different to fighting an enemy that has a shotgun.
I love the smell of explosions in the morning!
The game graphics often distract from the fantastic physics that this game was built upon. Being able to interact with any object in the game in a natural manner adds a depth to the game that might otherwise be absent. The storyline of the game has a few moments where you feel that you might have picked up the wrong game because you know you’ve played through this portion of the story line before at least twice. In a curious twist, I do believe that they made the correct decision to use tried and tested storylines to hang their outstanding graphics on. The storyline is polished enough to flow smoothly and easily, allowing you to focus your brain power to keep up with all the amazing graphics around you.
A direct quote about the game play from a fellow gamer was, “Fast, furious and awesome.” While I might think it’s a slight exaggeration, it isn’t too far from the truth. There are many advantages that are handed to you with the nanosuit you enter the game in, which interestingly enough is standard throughout the game rather than allowing you to upgrade over the course of the game. This forces you to become more tactical when making use of the suit in later stages. Using the suit in different ways will allow you to pull off maneuvers that would otherwise be impossible. You can really see the difference between using different aspects of the suits and what you would otherwise be able to accomplish. Using the strength augmentation allows you to punch far harder and throw items (and incidentally people too) far further than you would otherwise be able to do. This obvious difference does change how you approach some enemies and objects, since the suits effects have a very finite life span. This prevents you from being able to rely solely on the suit to get you through the game.
Since there are two distinctively different multiplayer options available to you I think the replay value of the game is high. There is the standard multiplayer has a very similar feel to Counterstrike games, which actually favors those gamers who use good tactics rather than only those gamers with the best guns. Although, if someone gets hold of a VTOL, then unfortunately all of your tactics are likely to go down the toilet in pretty short order. In addition to the straight player vs player deathmatch, there is a multiplayer option that is called Power Struggle. This allows you to form groups up to 32 gamers in total and allows you to play group vs. group and takes the form of a Capture the Base game rather than a straight PvP. The maps are large enough to accommodate teams 16 large without feeling cramped. These two options in addition to the large amount of freedom you find within the game means you’re likely to be enjoying this game until well past Christmas.
Didn’t see that one comin’ … did ya?
Overall this game was an interesting problem for me. At first I didn’t really want to like it because it seemed to be far too over hyped and too fixated on how good it looked. It was like looking at the game version of Paris Hilton, good looking, but too self involved to give anyone else enjoyment. Thankfully as I played it I discovered that it was more of an Elle Macpherson, beautiful, but with the substance underneath it that will see it become a perennial favorite. Although I believe that it will become more of a favorite once machines that can run it as it should be run are more accessible to the average gamer.
Chaos, anarchy, disorder… My work here is done.