Monday, June 30, 2014


Great game, for sure. Best thing I can say is when I finished the story mode I thought it was a little short, assuming I finished it in 6-8 hours. Later I checked on Steam and it took me actually 14.

I enjoyed Arkham asylum, and was tempted about this one. Again the combat system was a main reference for Ryse, and the free roaming approached seemed a good fit for the IP. Now I think it's a remarkable sequel since it builds onto the previous one. Practically every game system from Arkham asylum can be found on this one, plus some new gadgets, open world (although relatively small)... and Catwoman.

The pacing is similar to the original, combining combat with stealth & investigation challenges. I may be wrong but I believed there were some more bosses but less exotic gameplay sections (in Asylum you had several scarecrow levels, while in this one you one have one 'dream' section). The story works (although they put together so many villains that I found it a little confusing, and somehow unfinished) and the new free roaming systems (hook / wip) work like a charm.

Some new enemy types, same multiple collectible options and arena challenges makes me think they must have a mature and solid design team, who didn't go crazy but instead kept the foundations from the original, added some well-selected new options and created a decent sequel without excessive ambitions. They knew where the gold was, and mined selectively.

Highly recommendable, in any case. These Rocksteady guys are really something...

Sunday, June 22, 2014


aaaaand another game I got very cheap thanks to a work mate. I did play it a little bit back in 2008 at a friend's console, but I'm not a big fan of survival horrors in general so I passed. But since I also have DS2 waiting, I gave it a chance.

I found the game extremely well crafted, and as I usually say "very mature". The devs didn't try to excel on every area, and instead focused on where they thought they would get more gold: The monsters. The enemy design is smart, varied and features a new dismemberment tech. I suspect it sucks most of the rendering power, so the level dressing is very repetitive and doesn't have much windows. But that works fine with the horror genre.

They not only reuse most graphic assets in levels, but also you re-visit 2 scenarios as well. The story was good enough to me (I confused both female characters) and sometimes engaging despite the lack of charisma from the player character. The weapons design is intelligent (they use classic weapons with a Sci-fi twist) and I believe they were pioneers in the integration of the HUD within the game world, since health / statis / ammo are displayed onto the player character.

In summary, lots of little good decisions and well-measured ambition that offer at the end a rounded and mostly satisfying experience. If any, a little more variation on systems out of the basic combat would have been appreciated, and since the game doesn't have MP the 13 hours of gameplay felt a little short, but nothing major.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Thanks to the Xbox gold subscription I got when Ryse was finished, I'm enjoying some free games I had no real intention to buy. I was intrigued by SR3 because of the college humor you could see in promotional videos, but other than that I always took it for another GTA look-alike.

I can't say my opinion has changed much. There are indeed some funny missions and bizarre game options which can make you laugh, but I suspect they'll be more effective in the co-op mode. The game world is glitchier than any Rockstar game, and some of the missions doesn't seem to have been tested enough. But the overall experience is entertaining, as over the top as the developers intended (I attended to one of their GDC talks in which they explained their tools for concept phases, quite interesting) and very varied.

Can't really recommend it unless you're a big fan of free-roaming games, but it's not a waste of time. It holds an 84 in metacritics which I think it's a little inflated, but not too much. In any sense it's worth it particularly if it's on sale (or free) ;P