joelrwhite / Member

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Beginning Was Great... In The End Not So Great Afterall

ARX FATALIS

Started as a fun, unique and challenging RPG. Learned spells and cast them by forming symbols in the air with your hand. The combat was pretty good although the bow damage was kind of lame. Graphics, sound and environment was done well considering that all locations were subterranean. The quests unfolded to tell an interesting story. Near the end, though, combat was too easy (the Ratmen were supposed to be challenging assassin-types butwere easy to sneak up and blast them away with a fireball). The Dwarven level was somewhat of a challenge because you would constantly have to run away from a Giant Lizard (or whatever it was). By the time you arrived at the final level, you were powerful enough to destroy other spell-casters with ease and the final fight took little effort.

In The End: Needed more levels, increased difficulty and an ample supply of monsters.

THE SUFFERING

Pretty cool idea where Hell literally erupts into a prison. The hero/anti-herowould get bloody and at one point would get enraged enough to turn into a death-dealing monstrosity. Fighting demon opponents was fun although it could get frustrating if you needed to keep someone else alive. An interesting aspect throughout the story was how the hero's past would unfold. Whether he saves or leaves several people scattered throughout the game would determine his fate in the end. The disappointing parts were more technical in nature; your allies seemed to easily get killed or would get in the way of your gunfire. Also the game would tend to freeze up often. A lot of the combat seemed to be in small areas (true that a prison should mostly be space-challenged, but outside the prison, the paths and clearings were also limited in space).

In The End: Needed better patches, improved AI (especially for allies) and larger spaces to fight.

HELLGATE LONDON

The idea of wandering London streets filled with demons was a good one. The character could level up with unique powers, and the various character abilities were great. The variety of demons was large enough to keep the replay value high. Graphics, sound and gameplay were outstanding. But a few problems were big enough by themselves to make the game a flop. Big problem #1: variety of maps were lacking, only a few locations were unique. Big problem #2: variety of quests were limited, go find this, go kill that, on occasion go help defend a key location. Big problem #3: normal difficulty was about right for single player but unlocking a higher difficulty made it nearly impossible to play, as demons would respawn without end and game progression would slam to a halt. At this point the character would have progressed somewhere between 20th-25th level when the max was something like 50th, so exploring new abilities wasn't possible.

In The End: Needed more variety in maps and quests. Needed more balanced difficulty without having to play multi-player,and have smooth transitioning to level up so that destroying wave after wave of demons would still be satisfying without having to be killed over and over again.

STALKER - SHADOW OF CHERNOBYL

Loved the game's physics, environment, and story. Major problem, even with patches, were the broken side-quests; such as defend this location, and when completed would pop up again when exiting the area. You could choose to ignore it, more of a nuisance than anything else. The main quests were mostly good although on occasion would come across an advancement problem even after being solved. The ending could come to too quickly if not choosing a couple of branching quests correctly (one being to avoid the Wishmaster), and the best part of the game, and a big chunk of it,(eliminating soldiers while climbing the tiers of Chernobyl) would be missed.

In The End: Fix quest issues, and possibly have branching quests that would give you a few different endings without having to miss a better part of the end game.

MAFIA II

Game story was pretty good and characters were interesting. But as the game progressed, I began wanting some real challenges and wanted the game to stop asking me to drive here and there. Where were the great battles and car-chases like in the first game? Where were my bonus levels? Then the game ended without much of a finale.

In The End: Game needed to be much longer. DLCs should've been for free or a lot cheaper.