Pariah -Why Sticking Your Head in a Bowl of Piranhas Would be More Fun.
This review originally appeared on www.cjdaweasel.com You can view it there with pictures included.
First of all, let me explain how I came across this atrocity. I was intending to buy the game Advent Rising when I forgot the name of the game I wanted, and picked up Pariah instead. I took it home, and initially, thought I had found a good game. God was I wrong.
Pariah sets you up as a doctor trying to get a hold of some girl that got away when your ship went down. After that, your guess at what the hell is going on in the story is as good as mine. Apparently you have a virus that makes you really powerful, but they don't let that get in the way of a incomprehensible story.
Monkeys With Guns
The AI is kind of like finding your significant other in bondage gear kissing the dog, its just not right. First of all, bad guys will cap each other. I'm not kidding. They will blow theirs and their buddies helmets off, and sometimes kill themselves by shooting an explosive barrel that they were hiding behind. Now, I don't pretend to know much about military tactics, heck, I don't pretend to know much about anything, but I guess in bad guy Boot camp they forgot to mention that you don't take cover behind barrels of liquid marked "WARNING: FLAMMABLE".
Speaking of baddies, where are they coming from? Its like playing Virtua Cop, where 50 bank robbers can hide behind a single cash register. Bad guys will pop out of nowhere, sometimes appearing in rooms that have only one entrance. I think their strategy is to send wave after wave of guys after me until their dead bodies are piled so high that I suffocate.
Types of Boomsticks
Another annoying factor of Pariah is the complete uselessness of some of the weapons. The plasma rifle, which you are forced to use for most of the game because there's no ammo for anything worthwhile, just plain sucks. A rotating spaghetti gun with Tomato paste attachment would do more damage than this blinking piece of slow reloading future-crap. I personally preferred the grenade launcher or machine gun to any of the other weapons available. If you spend most of a game wishing for a gun that was perfected a century before the one that you're currently using, something is very wrong.
The sniper rifle, while not as bad as the plasma gun, is very close to being just as useful. Instead of fighting endless hordes of generic looking bad guys, you can instead fight endless hordes of generic looking bad guys while zoomed. Later in the game you can upgrade this gun to include a heat signature mode, which makes everyone look like Jell-O under backlight. If you try really hard, you can pretend that you're not playing the same game, but the illusion only lasts until the next baddie blows himself up.
How Not to Die
In order to heal yourself, and replenish your Dentyne Ice sponsored health bar, its required that you shoot up with an MP3 player. If that sounds weird, that's because it is. I like that they tried to keep with reality by having the good doctor abuse his own drugs, but frankly, I don't blame him. I mean, if the smartest person I was fighting was the one who decided NOT to try to my block bullets with his face, I'd need drugs too.
A World Inside a Garage
Included with Pariah is a level editor, that lets you create levels to play multiplayer matches in. While in theory that sounds like great fun, the editor itself is small and no fun at all. It only lets you put a certain number of objects on a map the size of a basement. The only types of matches that will be held in an arena that size are **** slapping tournaments.
It isn't a "level" if I can run across it in 30 seconds. The game might as well have shipped with a piece of fishing net, two toothpicks and a stress ball and exclaimed on the box that "You can create you own Volleyball WORLD!".
Ways to (almost) Get Around
Dozer - The Dozer was originally designed as a practical joke, being hard to steer and impossible to aim. In this vehicle it is easier to kill yourself than your foes.
Dart - I tried to mount one of these after I removed the guy that was on it (not that kind of mount you sicko), but it just kept spinning me in circles. So after 15 minutes of trying to get on it, I gave up and tried to shoot it with the Dozer. After 10 shots I finally blew it up, which means that either the Dozer sucks, or that... No. The Dozer sucks.
Wasp - This is a three wheeled version of the Dart. So basically it doesn't work, but it does so on three wheels.
Bogie - This vehicle was designed to back up, which is good because the steering is so bad that's what you'll be doing most of the time with it. It also supports two people, in the event you hate someone enough to make them play this game with you.
In the end this game feels like a five dollar hand job. It gets the job done, but there's more fun ways to do it. And if anyone knows what the hell happened at the end, please email me and explain it.