Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Christmas Games

Hohoho, I got two new games for Christmas. In an odd twist these are actually sort of current games so my review might actually count for something.

Let’s see shall we?

Assassins Creed 2

Man, if you liked the first one you will love the second one. Hell if you didn’t like the first one you will probably like the second one. Unlike alot of sequels Assassins Creed 2 proves to be vastly superior to the original in pretty much every way. The combat is better, the missions are fluid and different, even the climbing has had a few upgrades, the whole game is solid and I would defiantly recommend it to anyone.

Ah, but did you notice? I just said everyone... you know what that means... This game is really easy! It’s not too much of a bad thing, cause in a game like this where there’s alot of talking and action redoing sections over and over again could easily ruin the experience, however it will never really test your abilities. When you die the game gives you a pat on the back, maybe makes a little sigh but then puts you back on the right track.

The story has you following Desmond’s escape from the Templar scientists, once away from the facility you join team geek and begin your training to become an assassin. Of course he trains by using another animus thing so he can relive the life of his ancestor Ezio, and through him learn all the skills he will need.

Ok first a couple of things came to mind when this began, first off no one gives a shit about Desmond... He’s not funny and we don’t know anything about him, so we can’t relate to him at all, but then when Lucy asks him if he wants to join them he just straight off says yes without asking any questions... I’d personally have to think about it, because all these people are INSANE. Sure I’d probably have to join them anyway, but I don’t know anyone that can make that kinda decision in under 5 seconds. But I guess he trusts them, it’s not like they’d put him in a crazy machine without telling him about the horrible side effects... oh wait, that’s exactly what they do... you’ve only yourself to blame Desmond.

Next up, is this training really necessary? At the start it feels kinda tacked on, like they couldn’t think of a better reason to send Desmond back into the animus. I mean... why not give him a gun? On that note, why do none of the templar security guards have guns? I know they want Desmond alive but they don’t care about the other ones... guns would solve them pretty quickly.


Ok so at the end of the game you have fisticuffs with the pope (not a joke) and its piss easy and then alot of the games secrets are revealed... and... I didn’t like them. It’s the age old trick of using a hot topic to give your story ‘deeper meaning’ but in the end it only serves to kinda offend me. Basically the gods are actually super beings/aliens who created man, but then man was like f*** you and made these weapons to fight them... then these weapons were used throughout history to brainwash/control people, so every big event in history is because of one of these weapons.

It’s annoying because the message of the game is trying to be deep but mostly boils down to, people are stupid and have to be brainwashed by lies before they’ll do anything. That’s a lack of faith in humanity that’s kinda disturbing. Of course the main thing that offends me is when it’s revealed that all religion is a lie and the gods are really just these super beings. Surprise I’m very religious so it’s no wonder I didn’t like that... It’s not enough to ruin the game for me, but it does leave a bad taste in my mouth... a game is supposed to be fun, not something that makes me sigh.

Finally, dick move Ubisoft... What happens to Ezio? At the end the super being isn’t even talking to him, it’s using Ezio to talk to Desmond in the future, ooooo... But when the message ends it shifts to Desmond and he goes off on his adventures... We don’t give a shit about Desmond! What happened to Ezio! Where’s his closure? Assholes!

Dragon Age Origins

51 Hours.

That is how long it took me to finish that game. I shouldn’t even have to mention what type of game it is... I sat down for 51 hours for this game... I think that speaks volumes about how much I enjoyed it.

But seriously the game is the son of Bioware’s earlier game, Neverwinter Nights, the marketing and some people will tell you it’s the new Baldur’s gate, for those of you who know that game, and they are wrong. This game is the sequel for Neverwinter Nights. It plays exactly the same. But this is a good thing, NWN was a great game plagued with bugs and a rather storyline that went from bad to good a little too rapidly. Dragon Age could only have happened after they looked deeply at NWN and learnt from their mistakes.

The story is sort of generic, with dwarfs, elves and other fantasy creatures you may or may not know, but it is because we already have expectations of these things that they can be developed so well. For example we all know dwarfs, loud short people with a love of fighting and ale, and in dragon age they act alot like you’d expect they would... right up until you learn about their deep, complicated and convoluted political issues. By the end of the dwarven quest I hated those little assholes.

The story is about an order of warriors called the Grey Wardens whose sole duty is to fight dark spawn and defend the world from the terrible blight. Unfortunately a new blight is coming and so new grey wardens must be gathered to fill the ranks, and you are one such recruit. When you make a character you’ll find each race has a different beginning you have to play through before you join the grey wardens and this is a great feature as it gives you some time to decide how you’re going to act in this large and troubled land.

Two thumbs up, this game’s a keeper.


It is of course not perfect, but pretty close... there were only a few things I was unhappy about. At the end of the game I was hoping there would be one last little plot twist, explaining more about the darkspawn and the elder gods... but there never was which was a shame... I know bioware are planning more games in this setting, so it’s easy to see why they don’t reveal something huge like that... but come on... That’s just mean.

I did however enjoy the epilogue, because something seems to always go wrong even if you had the best of intentions at the time.

Hmm, that’s annoying, I can’t think of anything else to be mad at about this game... huh....

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