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Average User Score: 7.8Jan 6, 2019Prey is a game that I bought on a whim, with absolutely no information or prior knowledge on what the game is or about. What I ended upPrey is a game that I bought on a whim, with absolutely no information or prior knowledge on what the game is or about. What I ended up experiencing was one of my favorite games I played in 2018, something surprisingly extensive and enthralling.
To start with the pros, I have to say the greatest strength of this game is the level design/exploration; I was always shocked with how many different ways there were to get almost every single task done. Simple objectives such as finding a way to get through a locked door could be solved by many completely different means (crawling through a maintenance shaft, forcing it open with abilities, hidden pathways, finding its keycard, etc). Prey gives the player the freedom to think critically to solve problems in super creative ways, and it paid off immensely. By the end of the game, I was looking high up at the ceilings for alternate routes in rafters, creating my own platforms with the awesome Gloo Gun, taking out tough hordes of enemies with goofy strategies that somehow worked, and forging my own path through the game's world. I was given the freedom, and I learned to use it to my advantage, and it felt oh so insanely rewarding.
Beyond that, the graphics, world building, lore, characters, and side quests are all top-notch. There are a staggering amount of small details throughout the game that build the world around you and truly make it feel engrossing, and even plausible. I was surprised many times as I progressed through the story, and found myself always wanting to learn, see, and do more.
Building your own set of weapons and abilities was a treat as well. I found I was incentivized to always figure out what powers, abilities, and items worked best for me to solve the problems as I saw fit. There were consequences, both good and bad, to all decisions I made in regards to my character. This even applies to the story as well. You are just given so many options for practically everything in this game, it just boggles my mind, and I find it hard to stop mentioning or praising it.
It is hard for me to find any large faults with this game, but I will say its biggest downfall are the loading times. The game is treated as a somewhat open-world, with large areas loaded at once that you can access through different doors and elevators. The loading times between sections of the ship can last around a minute or longer. By the end of the game, when you have the whole ship opened up and are running around from place to place to get things done, those mentioned loading times get truly egregious. I found myself hitting loading screens three times within 10 minutes getting certain tasks done, and the waiting was getting super aggravating.
Another fault would have to the how bloated the game starts to feel at the end. This is a problem with almost all open-world type games. There just became too much to do, and I began to feel fatigued and just started rushing to the end of the storyline.
As a last minor complaint, some of the traversal was a bit glitchy or unreliable at points. Never enough to be a big problem, but annoying at times.
I don't want to completely spoil this for people who haven't played, because experiencing it for the first-time was so awesome for me. However, there is this being that shows up eventually in the game that is incredibly powerful and pursues you at random points, and it was one of my favorite mechanics in the game. It added many great thrills and improvised moments that kept things fresh as the game went on.
Overall, Prey is a fantastic game. I was always surprised by what it had to offer; so much player choice, detail, world-building, and polish. It has its annoying moments here and there, and drags on a bit towards the end, but it is a gaming experience I will always remember very fondly. So glad I happened to pick it up.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.8Dec 15, 2018I first played Homecoming a long time ago as a budding Silent Hill fan, having first played SH3 and 2. I was never able to get past a certainI first played Homecoming a long time ago as a budding Silent Hill fan, having first played SH3 and 2. I was never able to get past a certain part, and over the years I always had a negative view of it in my head. I finally got around to actually replaying it and finally attempting a full playthrough very recently. I came in expecting it to be a mess, but I was actually very pleasantly surprised by Homecoming.
Let's start with the pros. Homecoming, for the most part, retains the series' engaging atmosphere and level design, with foggy towns surrounded by dilapidated buildings. Puzzles were for the most part clever and interesting, some of the combat was fun, it has truly great monster/boss design, very interesting lore, and some impressive graphics at times. By far my favorite part of this game were the Otherworld segments. They did a fantastic job of making the Otherworld environments feel super trippy, surreal, and hellish. Sometimes I couldn't help but feel being in the Otherworld in Homecoming was equivalent to actually being in a real Hell. The visual designs, exploration, and puzzles in these segments were absolute artistic highlights of the game. One odd thing this game did really well was the graphics on the enemies and bosses; something about the textures and lighting on them made them look strangely photo-realistic, which never failed to impress me.
Now on to the cons. Almost everything I mentioned above has a downside to it in some kind of way. While the graphics are impressive in places, in others they are downright bad (very low resolution textures in some environments and awful character models). Some of the levels are pretty boring to traverse, with the Prison level being ridiculously bland and linear to the point of feeling lazy. The bosses, while very visually impressive, are lackluster and not fun to fight (the final boss is fun, though). The characters are not all that interesting or memorable, and the endings leave more to be desired.
The gameplay overall can also get a bit repetitive and bland, with the combat being the worst offender. It really gets tedious and problematic as the game goes on, with the nurses and Schisms (hammer-head shark things) being nightmares to fight properly. It's just that the clunky controls and awkward movement hinder the overall smoothness of the game.
In the end, Homecoming is a surprisingly good game, considering its reputation in the franchise. It has a good number of frustrating problems that show off how unpolished the game really is, but it has so many good and interesting qualities that I found it hard to not be engaged and wanting to come back for more. I would give it a 7.5 out of 10, but for the sake of Metacritic, I chose 8.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.9Sep 22, 2018I have loved Tomb Raider from its very first game ever all the way up until Rise, and Shadow continues that trend. This is an absolutelyI have loved Tomb Raider from its very first game ever all the way up until Rise, and Shadow continues that trend. This is an absolutely gorgeous and immersive game through and through.
The graphics are some of the best I have ever seen, with so much detail in the environments that it hurts. NPC models could have been improved, but I have yet to see a single video game ever that gives NPC models the same care as player models.
Gameplay and exploration are classic modern Tomb Raider fun, with extra finesse and polish thrown in for good measure. The tombs and combat have all received a minor flourish in quality and execution overall, and I rarely found myself bored.
The story is more engaging this time around for me, compared to Rise. I was genuinely invested and noticed a lot of subtleties taken to build the world and Lara's character even more. I really loved the young Lara flashback, that was such a refreshing little addition.
With Shadow being such a stunning and immersive game, that also means the minor quirks stick out more. Some character and environmental animations can be wonky/glitchy, and Lara moves around a bit too floaty for my taste (that's been a minor issue I've had with this whole trilogy). Also, some traversal glitches pop up every now and then that can be weird and cheap looking, and sometimes resulted in messing up my progress.
Beyond that, I loved the steps taken to make this feel more connected to classic Tomb Raider, with memorable tombs, engaging puzzles, brutal deathtraps with specific death animations, and lots of open exploration.
Overall, this is a fantastic game. I wish player reviews would be a bit more graceful, as I can tell people want to crap on this game just because it's the third in a line of quite similar, yet super successful games. It really is a step up from Rise (which was still a great game) and takes us back to a lot more of what the Tomb Raider series is about.… Expand
Average User Score: 9.5Jul 9, 2018When it comes to completely engrossing, genuinely fun, and memorable gaming experiences, Super Metroid is almost unmatched. I just veryWhen it comes to completely engrossing, genuinely fun, and memorable gaming experiences, Super Metroid is almost unmatched. I just very recently replayed it and still thoroughly enjoyed it. The fact that it still holds up genuinely well to this day is an incredible testament to just how well-made Super Metroid is.
There are some points throughout the game where the controls get in the way of traversal, and some rooms are made to purely frustrate the player. Also, while the bosses are awesome, some of them are far too easy.
But overall, this is an absolute must-play of a life time. Truly incredible!… Expand
Average User Score: 7.2Jun 25, 2018An intensely investing story and world, full of fun and interesting gameplay. This depiction of ancient Egypt and Greece is absolutelyAn intensely investing story and world, full of fun and interesting gameplay. This depiction of ancient Egypt and Greece is absolutely astounding and breathtaking to the max. The way you can just run across the desert for such a long time, ending up at the Pyramids of Giza or Alexandria or Memphis, it just blew my mind. Each area having its own distinct looks, people, economy, and politics. This truly feels like a genuine recreation of those times and places. The story and characters are wonderful as well, keeping my interest until the end.
The game is slightly brought down by some awkward glitches and mechanics here and there, as well as the overabundance of side quests and unlockables which feels very overwhelming at times.
In the end though, this is probably the best game in the Assassin's Creed franchise, with so much beautiful stuff to see and do, and so much detail that it hurts. History nerds (such as myself) will also find so much to enjoy.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.4Jun 24, 2018I enjoyed this remaster. Dark Souls is the first game in the souls series that I played, so I was excited to see it being re-released for theI enjoyed this remaster. Dark Souls is the first game in the souls series that I played, so I was excited to see it being re-released for the current consoles, even if the improvements were minimal. Thankfully, the same game remains, and the minor enhancements are very welcome, which makes it impossible to score this game poorly.
Dark Souls is a fantastic game, with the first half being potentially one of the best video game experiences of all time. Ridiculously good level design, addicting gameplay, satisfying challenge, and a sense of discovery are all at a serious high. I sometimes stick around the early areas of the game, fighting through the area enemies and bosses over and over just because it's so fun and engrossing.
The second half takes a noticeable dip in fun and quality, but is still ultimately enjoyable and interesting thanks to the base mechanics and lore.
This remaster, in my opinion, genuinely upgrades the texture quality quite consistently throughout the whole game. I was legitimately impressed by how much more detailed, clear, and sharp some of the visuals were, especially on the bosses and magic effects. There were also minor tweaks to things such as menu traversal that cut out minor annoyances, and a significant improvement to the framerate, which is rad.
In the end, I find it hard to be mad at this game. It took an amazing game and made it slightly better with a rather decent buying price.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.9Jun 24, 2018Agony has certainly received plenty of hate, most of it unjust if you ask me. Not many people actually focus on what is genuinely good andAgony has certainly received plenty of hate, most of it unjust if you ask me. Not many people actually focus on what is genuinely good and what is genuinely bad about the game, they just follow mob mentality and dismiss it as crap.
What Agony does well is provide an overall gaming experience unlike any other. The visuals and level design are some of the best I've ever seen, perfectly evoking what hell would probably be like. It is unrelenting in its use of graphic, taboo imagery and I appreciate that. The sound design, enemies, and atmosphere all come together nicely to bring you to what is probably the closest to hell you can ever be on this Earth. It is truly riveting in that sense.
As for gameplay, I liked it. The stealth is tense, the puzzles are satisfying to solve, and there are tons of secrets to acquire, which is always fun. However, there are some glaring faults that drag the gameplay down. The most common enemy in the game kills you in one hit and moves far faster than you. Checkpoints tend to be too far apart at the most stressful of times (which is good sometimes, but most times just frustrating). The soul form mechanic can be truly cumbersome and underexplained (the first time I got captured by one of those tentacle things really confused me). And some sections are just plain tedious to play through. The tedious sections typically involve collect-a-thons amongst a bunch of enemies. Agony is actually at its best when it puts you in situations with little to no enemies, free to explore the grotesque environments. Also, sometimes the game just acts weird, and weird things mess up your progress, which is never fun.
I can actually forgive a lot of these flaws, given that it is an indy game from a very small crew. What I can't forgive is the unforgiving challenge at points. Many checkpoints have powerful enemies right next to them, rendering them sometimes unreachable which is very painful. Also, the most common enemy being able to one-hit kill you AS WELL AS shooting insta-kill projectiles at you if you manage to get away... just crazy.
Also, some of the animations and cutscenes are just so silly looking, breaking the immersion and intensity. It's at its worst during the final boss of the game. But again, mostly forgivable given the game's upbringing.
The story and voice-acting has seen some criticism, but I actually enjoyed it. I found the story dark, cryptic, and intriguing. The Red Goddess is a great character, and her voice acting sold me. She was the perfect depiction of untrustworthy, hellish deviousness. Most NPCs were 100% forgettable, which is fine to me.
The graphics also get criticized, which I find ridiculous. The textures are not incredible by today's standards, but the art direction and level design is absolutely breathtaking and wholly disturbing, which I adored. I lost count of the number of times my jaw dropped or I gasped when entering new rooms, vistas, or seeing the brutal tortures on display. I will say I also appreciated the prominence of male genitalia in the game. Female genitalia is not nearly as taboo, so seeing free-flying manly bits was weirdly refreshing.
I also appreciate the surprisingly large amount of side content. Agony Mode is an interesting challenge, and the huge number of collectables and also different ways to play through the game can add to some serious replay value.
Overall, Agony is an obviously flawed and low-budget game, with the lack of polish and some clunky/tedious game mechanics, but it is definitely better than majority claim. It is a gaming experience that is unlike any other. It pushes the boundaries on how intense and also artistic video game visuals can be, and for the most part offers up intriguing gameplay and an engrossing atmosphere.… Expand