This third person shooter displays every flaw in the gaming industry.
The "Steam punk" genre is rarely visited in gaming and Damnation is one of the few that has gone there. The start of the campaign reveals the first flaw of the game, not enough information is given. After playing the game for a few hours, you pretty much believe that it is set in the 1800's, but details should be given first rather than have the player assume the setting. The basis of the story is that a crazed man, known only as Prescott, has developed an army of super soldiers using an unstable and somewhat radioactive drug called PSI Serum, hence the name of the army, PSI. This insane army is attacking helpless cities so that they can eventually control all of America. Yep, you guessed it, that's where you come in.
You play as "Rourke", a stereotypical bad-ass who's history is unknown. You've banded with a group of rogue warriors and are single handedly fighting the menace that is PSI.
Another notable downside that should be mentioned is the hideous graphics and textures that the game utilises. These are more than noticeable and you can tell that the developers tried to hide this in areas such as the driving sequences, where they don't expect you to actually stop and look around. If the graphics of a game have to be hidden, then the game should not not be released until it can be perfected. It is obvious that Damnation was a low-budget game.
The frame rate and in-game loading screens are an absolute eyesore and should have been looked over before the game's release. The game almost crashes when too many enemies are present and it will completely stop at any random moment when it feels like loading a part of the level.
There is also an abundance of glitches in this release. The whole game just doesn't feel very smooth and could have used a lot of work in this area. Also, the enemy AI are just disgraceful. The shooting sections are not fun, but rather pointless.
Damnation really could have used some help in the sound department too. The voice acting is below average and will make you more annoyed rather than get you into the mood of the game, and the weapon sound effects are pitiful. It is sad to see a game get released with this amount of problems.
With all these bad points being put forward, the game can offer some features that make it bearable. The climbing and leaping across buildings can be quite fun, and the length of the campaign is commendable. There are some intriguing puzzles in the game that will have you thinking and most probably make you curious as to know what the answer to it is.
It would be fair to say that Damnation has tried to recreate the experiences of some of the most well known games out there today. The mood, music, shooting sequences, controls, chapter layout and overall feel of the game is very similar to that of the famed "Gears of War" series. The climbing sequences feel like they have had most of their emphasis from "Assassin's Creed". In essence, this game doesn't do much that is new, original or revolutionary.
This game is destined to be overshadowed by many other successful ones and will be considered as a kind of grey area by the developer, a game that they'd rather just forget. The basis of it was very good and could have been successful if more time had been used in the developing stage, or even had a different developer completely. Rent this game, see what you think and take it from there, but it is a certainty that it will be forgotten in the very near future.