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User Rating: 7.8 | Pariah XBOX
Thanks to another GS bad (and, at least for me, incomprehensible and biased) review also, Pariah suffers from a nasty reputation: every single game has its own features, so first of all it’s pointless and unfair making comparisons with Halo.
I’m not saying Pariah is a masterpiece, but it isn’t that bad game either.

The story is of science fiction: in a next future there’s a virus that made the Earth a sort of trash bin for toxic, nuclear waste, and the only population still living on it are the Scavengers, “human scum” infected by the virus.
Player is Jack Mason, a medical officer in charge of escorting hibernated body of Karina, a woman infected by the virus I was talking about: but Scavengers’ artillery pulls down Mason’s airship, so that now he must survive hostile environment and rescue Karina.

Gameplay. Pariah is a typical fps. Player can count on a good and usual weaponry (assault rifle, shotgun, grenade launcher, rocket launcher, plasma gun, sniper rifle, a close-combat sort of lancet), but the new feature of the game is the possibility to upgrade, by picking up special items, every single weapon you’re equipped with, and you can do it for three times.
To heal yourself you’ve got a special item making use of the medi-packs that killed enemy drop, and you can upgrade it also.
System control is easy and intuitive, and aiming is pretty functional for a console shooter, considering you haven’t a mouse.
Sometimes you can use land vehicles, equipped with special weapons, to go through large sceneries of the game: they can be driven quite easily but the shooting and aiming system is frustrating.
Foes’ AI is not challenging enough, and this makes the game pretty easy to complete, even at a hard difficulty level.
To save your progress you must reach checkpoints, but they’re generally placed in good points, so you shouldn’t risk to get bored by continuous efforts to pass a section.

Graphics. That’s the best side of Pariah. The large environments of the game, especially the external and natural ones, are managed by the very acclaimed Unreal Ungine, so I think I don’t need to say more; unfortunately, in spite of it, it’s possible sometimes to notice frame-rate slow down, and on the other hand internal environments are a bit less impressive, mainly because repetitive and already seen (about at least a million times) in many previous games.
Enemies’ textures are well done. As I said, the game seldom suffers from slow down for a second, but it’s not that annoying. To make everything more realistic, there’s a bit of geo-mod technology, less improved than in other fps though.

Audio. As far as music, something better could have been done: there’s only one main soundtrack, the one in the demo mode, and you can listen to it at some points of the action. Not bad, but definitely poor; foes’ threatening sentences are… strange, unusual, ridiculous according to someone.
Sound effects are just on average.

Value. Once you finish the game the only reason to replay Pariah on single-player campaign is a more challenging difficulty level. At normal level it’s pretty easy to beat.
But multiplayer mode is funny and you can edit your own maps.
To conclude: ok, Masterchief’s saga is simply another planet. But this doesn’t mean Pariah is a terrible game, like someone likes to claim. If you’re a real fps aficionado, it’s worth playing.