I'm mostly worried about it being so titanically long that I'll never be able to finish it. I hope they spice up the tech trees for the campaigns, I remember reading in a Q&A batch a while ago that the Firebat, who will not appear in multiplayer, will appear in the campaign. If such is true, then I will be happy. An ex-prisoner in eight-foot-tall powered armor shooting fireballs twice his size out of his fists makes everything better. _________________ Characters
So, I was given No More Heroes for Christmas. It is a very fun, very quirky and very unique game. However, I have never in all of my years seen a game more deserving of it's M rating, including Fallout 3.
In the first hour or so, you notice that, when you hit somebody, they spray blood like a fire hydrant. You can also cut people in half and, in some cutscenes amputate limbs. I hear that in the Japanese version this blood is cut down or even removed, but, like, wow. You could fill a small swimming pool with one bad guy's worth of blood in this game. In addition, the main character, Travis, asks a woman to have sex with him if he manages to become "The Number 1 Assassin". This woman also shows off quite a bit of cleavage and wears a short skirt, which Travis attempts to look under at least one time, I assume more over the course of the game. And, on top of all that, everyone swears like a sailor and your save points are toilets.
But, all that aside, sword fighting is fun, if a little tricky to learn, and it certainly is not like any other game I've ever played. My major complaints are that it uses save points and does not allow you to save just anywhere and that it has a bit of a learning curve. I'm not very far, but I'd give what I've played thus far a good 8.5/10. _________________ Characters
I got Left 4 Dead. Destro is a happy lich, and has had loads of fun with his brother blowing an inordinate number of zombies into tiny bits. Naturally, he'll be giving the zombie side a shot as soon as he and his friends can get together to play again. _________________ Avatar by Vael
Trout by Vael
So, I picked up Dawn of War 2 the other day. I vow that, for the rest of the review, I will not touch on the fact it forces you to install Steam or Windows Live, as that technically is not part of the actual game but rather the distribution/digital rights management.
One of the first things you'll notice is that there is no tutorial. At all. Yeah, that really helps. Oh don't get me wrong, it's a great game, and I'll elaborate on that later, you just have to figure it out yourself. It comes with a manual, but in-game tutorials with visual cues, voice overs and real-time instructions are so much more helpful.
Once I got past the obnoxious learning curve, I was really pleased with the single-player campaign. The lines are a little cheesy at times, but the filters and effects they add to the voices make the characters sound so badass that you really don't care. In addition, the missions are a little repetitive, there are about 4-5 archtypes of missions which you have to do several times each, but the gameplay is, at least, fun.
I would describe it as a cross between Dawn of War 1 and Diablo. You control 4 squads of soldiers with about 3-4 guys each, each squad carrying weapons, armor and accessories that you equip them with before every battle. Each squad levels up as it kills enemies and completes missions, gaining strength and allowing you to distribute stat points among various skills such as Melee Combat and Stamina. Each squad has special abilities, some of which are unlocked as you assign points into skills and some of which are gained by items.
The multiplayer, however, is completely different from the singleplayer campaign. In multiplayer, you control one central structure which can be upgraded and produces all of your units an you have to either destroy your opponent's structure or capture a set of nodes on the map to accumulate Victory Points. Each individual squad can be upgraded to have certain types of equipment or special abilities. In addition, when killing enemies or being killed by enemies you gain points in a third resource, and with this third resource you can use Global Powers which can be used anywhere on the map, such as calling down drop-pods which replace dead marines.
One big disappointment about multiplayer, though, is that it only has about 8 maps so far. Yeah. That's not very many. I can imagine this getting really repetitive really fast so with luck they will either release more or release a tool that allows us to create our own.
In both single-player and multi-player, you can take cover behind objects such as walls, barrels, plants, etc. I assume this makes you harder to hit if the enemy is attacking you from the other side of the obstruction (so it isn't like in DoW1, where simply being in cover reduced all damage taken from all sources from any direction) but I haven't payed a whole lot of attention to this aspect. Some heavy units like Dreadnaughts and Terminators automatically destroy cover that they walk over, which is neat. It has a physics engine which at times makes debris look like a stop-motion animation rather than it moving in the same time-stream as the rest of the game.
Aesthetically, the game is beautiful, the gregorian-chant music during the campaign fits the Space Marines perfectly, the graphics are good for an RTS, the particle effects and explosions are well done, bright and vibrant. Like it's predecessor, it comes with an Army Painter which, in addition to everything it could do in DoW1, allows you to paint Space Marines in half, vertically, as opposed to hard-coding the Primary color as the main body and the Secondary color as the shoulder plates.
Despite all of it's flaws, DoW2 stands head and shoulders above most RTSs, giving it a solid 9/10 from me. Just please, PLEASE release more multiplayer maps. _________________ Characters
I am getting SO tired of new games being so short. Mom finished the newest Spyro in 2 hours (it was basically an interactive movie) and I finished the newest Pokemon Ranger in 1.5 days. (And that was when I wasn't playing all day.) After playing FFV right before it, Ranger: Shadows of Almia was a HUGE let down. _________________
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