An adventure crime story set in the early 20th century? That's definitely right up my alley and I couldn't wait to start playing. But I began to have some concerns about this game when I realized it does not support high resolutions and does not even support the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. But then I though, no problem: graphics aren't everything, and I can definitely tolerate a low resolution game with poor graphics, in exchange for a good detective story.
Then I noticed the main character's voice acting was a little weak. I soon realized the main character has the best voice actor in the entire game - the rest were totally atrocious, and the horrible scripts they were given are no excuse for such a bad performance.
The puzzles in the game were ok. Most suffer from typical point-and-click adventure problems and clichés, but the game did a decent job giving you clues at what to do next without making the puzzles too easy. There were one or two though (I'm looking AT YOU DOLL PUZZLE) that were just outright terribly executed.
So poor graphics, terrible voice acting, okay puzzles. What about the story?
The story started off promising enough: you are Jack Del Nero, a private investigator who gets hired to find a young woman and taking a picture of her having an affair. As expected, you end up entangled in a much more complicated and sinister plot. And for a while, the game was enjoyable with a decent mix of intrigue and puzzles. There is a point though, right around the one third mark, where the story really starts to feel very boring. I began to lose interest quickly, and I picked up a walkthrough just to cruise through the rest of the game.
And when the end finally came, I had a mixed feeling of relief and anger. Relief because it was getting tedious and stupid. And anger because the ending was insanely stupid and was a total cliff hanger, The game ends by informing the player that there is a sequel coming. I didn't know this was just the first part of a series, and this certainly wasn't made clear when I purchased the game. Either way, I won't be buying the second part.
To be fair, the game isn't short or anything (about 10 hours), but I believe it failed to adequately inform the buyer that there is a sequel coming. I don't often regret purchasing a game, but I did this time.
The new Tomb Raider is fast-paced, packed with action, and highly entertaining. It is also one of the best looking games I have ever played on the PC. The wind and water effects are extremely impressive. I have to say the developers did a fantastic job optimizing it for the PC. It ran well at max settings on my Radeon HD 7950 at 1080p.
The game has a good balance of platforming and shooting. Its story is merely decent - interesting enough to give you an incentive to finish the game, but too predictable and unrealistic to be memorable.
If you're on the fence about this, just buy it - you won't regret this purchase.
I've never gotten around to playing the previous Bioshock games, so this was my first experience in this universe. In the beginning, I found the game fascinating: discovering this massive city in the sky, wondering why I'm asked to find Elizabeth and who she was, observing the extreme and shocking racism in the city... these are all themes that seemed terrifically promising.
But the more the story starts to unravel, the less I liked it, and the more I just wanted it to be over. What seemed like an intriguing plot turns into an outright absurd and convoluted mess that is just too bizarre for my taste. And you never really get to be immersed in the social fabric of what initially looked like a fascinating city.
The graphics are great, sound is okay. The combat is fluid and generally fun, but there's so much of it that it eventually gets tiring. You can explore the world a bit, but the game gives you very little reason to do so. Ultimately, you're going to just shoot your way through from one checkpoint to another, while occasionally looking around for some ammo, health, and salt (for vigors). The whole city just serves as a backdrop for the incessant, mindless shooting.
The game does have high replayability value because there are a lot of things that happen during the game that only make sense later on - so you'll understand the story better by replaying it. In my case, the story was so out there I'm not interested in playing again in the slightest.
For the good graphics, decent combat, and unique setting, this game deserves a solid 6/10.
@beutlich99: I second this. I took great pride in my long list of ratings, and now it's all gone. Very disappointed and annoyed.
And yes, this was the only feature about Gamespot that made it better than IGN.
The Raven - Legacy of a Master Thief is a fun adventure game, but a few issues prevented me from really liking it. My main issue with it is that the universe is not very convincing. Pretty much all of the characters are caricaturish stereotypes who are not convincing as real people, and certainly not interesting in the slightest.
The story is pretty ludicrous. Although you move to a few locations throughout the game, you keep seeing the same people everywhere you go. For example, the game starts on a train, and then takes you on a cruise ship, but of course the ship is full of the same people who were with you on the train earlier, and almost nobody else. The script is poor (written as if 10-year-old girls were the target audience), the voice acting is horrid, and the foreign accents hilariously bad.
Movement is also a chore in this game. It's from a third person perspective, just like the good old point-and-clicks, which I'm generally fine with, but here it's just very buggy. I found myself stuck in some areas and not able to get out. I click on the edge of the screen where the character is supposed to go, which is supposed to change the view, but the character just goes to the edge and my view angle doesn't change. I need to repeat this action several times until it finally works as it's supposed to.
The graphics are nothing to write home about either. It's rendered in 3D, but with a low budget, it doesn't look very nice.
So why am I giving it a 6, and not lower? Well, I love murder mysteries, cruise ships, and trains. So while the story was silly, I still found it entertaining enough for me to finish the game. Another good thing is that the puzzles are not too over-the-top, and remain logical to a certain extent. This was a very easy game, which is a good thing - I don't have the time or patience to go pixel hunting and Al-Tabbing to walkthroughs. Thankfully, there's none of that here.
If the developers can just make a more coherent story, create more interesting and believable characters, and make the game more adult, they've got a winner in my books.