In this group of Glorious Writing Bastards… thing, I am pretty much the biggest Tolkien geek to have ever graced it. So with that out there you can assume why I lost my shit when Shadow of Mordor came out. Granted, it may not be a perfect Lord of the Rings story, it is still a kick-ass, and I risk sounding pretentious saying, it might also be a revolutionary game. After what happened with Destiny, I decided to wait it out and watch a few reviews. I never heard anything catastrophic so I ran to the nearest game store and bought it for the PS4. Somehow I got all the Pre-order DLC, I don’t know why though, but I’m not complaining!
Was my excitement well worth it? Well its a complicated answer.
The game as a whole was really good. Combat was great, voice acting was superb. But its crowning achievement was the Nemesis System, the system that simulates the Orc “hierarchy” in the game. Orcs you encountered will recognize you, they’ll remember your actions throughout the story (although not that many) and what you did to them if they survive their encounter with you. Hell, there was even a small unspoken detail in which they can be brought back from the dead and the proof of this can be seen on their bodies: Bleached skin and blue eyes is one of them. This adds a lot of role-playing opportunities to the game, cause you know, I’m into that. But to fully understand what I meant by “complicated answer” I need to dissect the game a bit. Here goes!
The story was by far the most disappointing part of the game. You play as Talion, another damned bird referenced name, a ranger in the Black Gate of Mordor who not only is murdered but used in a blood sacrifice along with his wife and son by servants of the Dark Lord Sauron, The Black Hand. You are denied death by an Elf Spirit that sticks to Talion and is essentially immortal until he can kill the one that cast the curse on him. It seems like your typical revenge story. The thing that ticked me off was the fact that the campaign itself was really short, in fact it felt like a giant tutorial. But further analysis by fans indicates that the story is SO much deeper than what was presented, though don’t count on it until it’s confirmed.
The most frustrating thing is the fact that it just ends with… no ending. There was no ending to the game. I remember beating it, and I was just sitting there for 5 minutes asking myself “That’s it!? What happened?!”.
Look at it this way, You are receiving the best blow job ever, its great, you’re having a great time and then, out of nowhere, the girl or guy just leaves. Without a word. Nothing, that’s it. And you are left confused all alone in the room. That’s how the game and story played out for me at the end. With the way the game ended it left me a sign there might be a sequel or a post game DLC. To be honest, I don’t understand what happened during the development. There is a story DLC that was announced Day one after release but it won’t be available until Winter. The game just fell short at the end, was it time constraints, budget cuts, both? I don’t know.
Afraid of this being just an Assassin’s Creed clone? Yeah, throw that out of the window. The game has its own unique charm when it comes to gameplay. Picture this, Arkham City’s combat and Assassin’s Creed’s Stealth had a baby and this baby made a system in which your assassination targets were unlimited and unique in their own way. THAT is what Shadow of Mordor is. It borrows a bit from other games, to make its own formula. And it did a good job at that. In some ways you can say that it did better than Assassin’s Creed.
In the Nemesis System, Orcs have their own personality, their own names and ranks. The difficulty on each target can range from completely pathetic to “hardass motherfucker that’s immune to every special attack and has to be killed in honorable combat or the shadiest way possible”. Let me give you an example from personal experience. There was ONE Orc that would not go down, the dude had a shield, I couldn’t vault over him and had a poison weapon… oh and his health regenerated for each hit he did on me. That’s how hard the game can be sometimes. But the rest of the game is filled with the generic Orcs, you can take a about 40 of them, but you CAN be overrun so you should avoid huge conflicts, especially since there are 2 ranged classes in Orc society and they don’t always wait for their turn A la AC.
Should you get this game with its annoying Mass Effect 3-ish ending and vast DLCs problem? I still say yes. Story aside, the game is wonderful and the new Nemesis system makes it one of the most unique games currently for this generation. I assure you that you will probably have fun with it, killing legions of Orcs and assassinating captains and Warchiefs for maybe 15 to 20 hours and it will still have a bunch of replay value. But if you want to be smart, wait a couple of months, when they (undoubtedly) release a “GotY” edition with all DLCs, don’t waste the extra cash or if you got the game like me, wait for reviews and maybe get the Season Pass if its worth it, and it better be. The biggest problem the game has? Dev/Publisher decisions. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to terrifying and killing Orcs around Mordor.
Play as Sith, Go around a planet and do quests. Have to choose whether to be a goody two shoes or a complete psychopath, apparently being a smart Sith just doesnt exist in this game. Go around doing quests taking over the planet for the Empire, feel like I accomplished a lot. Find out that the Jedi/Republic side of the story is going around the same planet cleaning up my mess and undoing everything I did. Feel like I accomplished nothing. Leave the planet after doing the last quest, to only then tell me that there is an extra chapter to planet’s story and do more quests. Ask myself, why I should do this all over again. Leave for another planet, do the same thing, right before I leave… they drop the same extra quests bullshit again… Why did I play this game? KotOR 3, that’s why. But that’s not going to happen, now that Bioware decided to think that distorting the story, and completely stopping the possibility of a true sequel is a good idea.
There was nothing in the game that made me feel accomplished with my character’s advancement. I didnt feel like an awesome ass Sith Lord, All I felt like was a dual lightsaber wielding lackey going around and doing favors for people. The biggest restriction this game gave itself was that it is declared cannon. I’m a big Star Wars fan myself, but if this game wasn’t canon in any way, it would have led to many unconstrained amazing adventures that would’ve added to the continuing playability of the game and a more a interesting story.
Maybe add a multiplayer function where a faction conquers the other’s capital, they would receive huge bonuses, and access to enemy exclusive items, you know… like a war. But at no point in this game, which is about a war between the Sith and the Republic… did it actually feel like an actual WAR! At no moment did I feel like my faction was risking resources or territory in a battle. Just a hack slash, thank you ma’am PvP matches like again, most games. SWTOR didn’t have anything innovative, it was simply a company’s semi-successful attempt to take advantage of the growing MMO market and showing nothing exciting for it.
The game was just a WOW in space except 10 times more repetitive, and even more annoying with the “Free to play” policies these people have. Too many limitations and no baiting to make me interested in being a subscriber,the crafting did not help in any way (And, seriously, Companions doing every thing for you?) I had no motivation in finishing the game. Just look at it this way. Finish the game with one character/class, only to begin anew and go through the tedious cycle all over again. It’s no surprise why some people preferred Star Wars Galaxies. The game was rich in community and more of a “form your own adventure” thing.
The Space Combat, was atrocious… its just a rail shooter. At first it was fun, but i noticed a few small problems right away. First, you are limited 3 space missions a week, if you are F2P . 3? 3 missions for a rail shooter that adds little to nothing to the Games War or my story. I eventually got a subscription, missing 3 days cause of a patch they screwed up mind you, and after playing the space missions for a few days I noticed it… They are recycling MAPS. all that money put in this game and they repeated the Dragon Age 2 problem. And second problem… it doesnt contribute in any way to the DAMN WAR! SWTOR is advertised as a faction based MMO, yet its a game where everyone wins. Its the sort of experience that strives to make you feel powerful and important, when you really aren’t. You are not changing anything, you are not unique in anyway in this game.
What makes an MMO worth playing is its people. On the positive side, the comunity is pretty good, for me, this is what kept me in the game for so long. If you can find a good group of people, I assure you, you WILL have fun with them. This isn’t a game to be playing like an antisocial adventurer. Some missions require you to either grind or take buddies with you, the latter is extremely advised, mainly cause you receive less to no experience if you are higher level than the quest or enemy. So the game is a no no, playing solo.
In the end, The Old Republic is not really a bad game. There are just loads of better MMOs to play out there, some being non subscription based like Guild Wars. The crafting is limited and confusing for most of the time, being handled by companions and only having 3 crafting skills at a time. Once you start playing its recommended you find a good guild to join and make friends, that’s where most of the fun is. But my biggest recommendation is to play Guild Wars 2 or the Star Wars Galaxies EMU, do not pay a subscription fee when there is a Non-sub counterpart that offers a more complete MMO experience.
Want to make crap-ton of money with a beloved game series with a high chance of tears and failure? Well just slap in the word “ONLINE”. You read me, ONLINE! This fad is the one some game developers have always obsessed about in the past few years. Matrix online, APB, Age of “Fucking” Conan and now recently ESO. Unfortunately most go straight to hell.
The Elders Scrolls has been a cherished RPG ever since the mid 90’s. I should know. I’m in the long list of people that love it. But there is always a black sheep in the horizon in every series that just screws it all up. No its not Skyrim. It’s Elder Scrolls Online. The MMO announced not long ago, that set off a lot of different vibes. Personally I was a bit excited in the beginning. Sharing my Tamrielic Adventures with my friends and other people around the world. But that there is the problem. Are we deviating from the vision of Elder Scrolls? The series had been changing through each game released, removing this and that. But not doing something as drastic as this.
The problem with making a long time single player game into an MMO is that you need to be aware of the amount of content. The Old Elder Scrolls games were long as hell. I personally had 400 hours in Oblivion. Which made me question how I graduated High school in the first place. ESO doesn’t look bad, quite the contrary, it looks amazing. But will it stand to the test to be comparable to the rest of the series?
I followed the game’s news zealously. Finding out more about it. It’s supposed to play almost exactly like Skyrim… only look nicer. It’s been revealed that the game will have Massive PVP. That was the main focus for a long time, massive LotR-ish battles . Sure… but will the campaign, my personal story, be as focused as it has been in the past games?
I’m sure with the content and all and the fact that its free, we’ll get a lot of fun from it. What? Its not? I have to pay $15 a month? I’m sorry Bethesda, I couldn’t hear you. 6 years ago, while playing Oblivion, I don’t recall liking the idea of being fucked over for the sake of enjoying your games. Full price for Skyrim? Sure! Full price and a monthly subscription fee? Have you lost your mind?! The idea of MMOs having subscription fees is just ridiculous and antiquated. Asking people to pay $180 a year just so they can play Skyrim with multiplayer, that is where ESO went wrong. There are F2P MMOs out there that would give me an equal or better experience. Look at Guild Wars 2, their profits depend on the sales AND extras they sell in-game. The extras aren’t necessary for the game, but a lot of people buy them, some even pay up to $200, the cheeky fuckers. Thats why the game keeps running.
The Old Republic MMO started out with monthly fees, and now even they went F2P, they reached their profit goal maybe? I doesn’t matter what it has, as a result the population even went up within the game. Sure it has limitations. You don’t have access to everything in the game but you can by just buying something in the online store. But who knows, maybe ESO will end up doing the same thing. We shouldnt be harsh on it, only time will tell.
Deus ex is an Action RPG developed by Ion Storm. Released in 2000 on the PC, it was known to be one of THE best PC games out there. At the time, I wasn’t a big on PC gaming due to my age and lack of knowledge. Therefore, I was never able to play the game itself. But with the release of its successor Deus Ex: Human Revolution in 2012, I was finally introduced into the series. Playing and beating the game more than 4 times, it’s quite obvious for me to say. I f$@&^%$# loved it! Being able to play the game without firing a single shot (being the stealth–freak that I am) or not killing anyone was amazing. The concept of human augmentation, the ups and downs of technology and its effects on the human mind. It was enthralling. But being introduced to the series by the 3rd game was a bit …unethical, in my opinion.The game is set in the dystopian future of the 2050’s. A plague called the “Gray Death” is terrorizing the population of the US and the government is barely able to keep order and control. A terrorist group called NSF has attacked, taken over the Statue of Liberty and stolen a shipment of Ambrosia, the vaccine for the plague. It is up to the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO) to take care of the situation. You are J.C Denton, a newly-graduated agent in UNATCO. What set you apart from your colleagues are your Nano- augmentations. A new form of the already existing mechanical augmentation that replaces the obvious robotic physical modifications to internal and incognito improvements. Making your character the perfect agent. You are tasked in stopping the NSF and recovering the vaccine, But throughout your journey you discover that not all is as it seems. Without spoiling anything, the game is filled with many twists and a conspiracy that is so well built it is the best I have seen yet. I’m sure, Mr. Clancy will understand.
Deus Ex’s gameplay style is strong in its RPG core; meaning you are crap in the beginning at most skills considering you are fresh from the academy. You are inaccurate with rifles. Heavy Weapons are too heavy to run with and lock picking doors takes too much time. You must increase your skills as you play the game by earning skill points. You earn these points completing mission objectives, exploring and finding hidden areas, and helping people with side quests.
In addition to your skills you have augmentations that you can find and install during the course of the game. Like super strength, the ability to make drones and regenerate health. But these aren’t the only ones. The twist is you have to find them all, hidden or given as rewards in the game. They’re all worth finding, making them very important tools, especially in harder difficulties.
You can play the game however you want. Want to be a shadow and sneak your way throughout the game? Go ahead! Become a walking apocalypse and kill every man, woman or machine you see… Even the innocent ones? Um…sure, but get your head examined. Want to be Batman, sneaking and beating the crap out of anyone that messes with you? I did, and it was hard as hell to accomplish.
Combat, again, it depends on your skills and gameplay style. Firefights are harder to win if you aren’t skilled in pistols or other weapons. They don’t do as much damage and are inaccurate unless you upgrade. Using a knife or blunt weapon in a gunfight is near suicidal; unless you use it against other melee enemies or used as a backstabbing weapon, mainly because headshots do realistic damage. One shot in the head, and it’s time to reload the game.
Your health isn’t just a general health bar. You have to be careful when getting shot. Your limbs all have individual health bars. It’s refreshing concept to be honest. Damaged arms mean lower accuracy and strength. Broken legs mean you can’t run as fast and you’ll eventually end up crawling on the floor. Broken head and Torso mean… well then you’re dead.
The AI is pretty good, for its time. Enemies have a cone line of sight and can hear your footsteps. If you are trying to sneak, but run like an idiot, YOU are going to have a bad day. Also, when sneaking through a mission, you have to be careful when talking to NPCs. That guard outside near the door can actually hear you talking and come inside GUNS BLAZING. The AI, believe or not, for a 2000 game, actually not only did its job right, it went beyond the Call of Duty.
Deus Ex was made for replayability. The game encourages you to try different methods of playing. Different choices may turn up different outcomes and consequences. Therefore, it leaves a lot of room to experiment.
In the end, I can see why it was and still is cherished as one of the best games out there. Although it is an Action RPG, it can be played in a number of ways. A shooter, Stealth game, etc. It can seem like a complicated game at first. Mainly because it doesn’t hold your hand. Which is what I loved the most about it. It doesn’t assume you’re a child. You want to find the next objective? You’re going to have to explore, with the directions they give you. But its easy to get used to. Its a “However you want” game.
I highly recommend this game. Especially if you liked Human Revolution. The style is not far from each other. But get ready to receive a challenge, unlike what the 3rd game gave. Between a challenging experience and very well structured story this is, by far, a game you would not want to miss.