Puzzle games and Online games

Posts Tagged ‘combat

Although World War II may be the most popular video game setting since the omnipresent lava world, usually we only see combat from the ground. Heroes of the Pacific focuses on the aerial component of that war, and pull if off with such finesse that it earns a mark next to such great WWII labels as the Brothers in Arms and Call of Duty franchises.

Although Heroes is far from the first WWII fight sim, it soars high score above the other games thanks to its incredible attention to detail. The shifting, multilayered clouds are truly a sight to behold, and the water below is equally impressive. Of course, what is more stunning is the sight of a hundred Japanese planes barreling down on you.

Of course, looks aren’t anything without substance (just look at Paris Hilton), and fortunately Heroes delivers on this front as well. Controlling the various planes is completely intuitive and each one has its own unique handling. The different missions are also expertly paced – dogfights are broken up with bombing runs and a huge variety of other tasks, so you never feel like you’re simply shooting everything that flies. There are even a nice variety of multiplayer games modes and bonus missions included.

Syphon Filter:  Take the graphics, for instance, which were already quite stunning the first time around. The character models still look as good as ever, but some of the environments are especially impressive.

Water plays a part in some of the new environs, and while it looks amazing when you are on the surface, actual underwater combat is only so-so. The bulk of the game centers on either being stealthy or flagrantly combative, but underwater combat strips that away (you’re slower and can’t really use cover). It’s not horrible by any means, but we definitely prefer fighting with ground beneath our feet.

One complaint we had about the first game was that the story wasn’t all that engaging, and sadly, we have to say the same about Logan’s Shadow. The basic premise of sidekick Lian Xing possibly being a double agent is intriguing, but the major plot points are predictable – which is kind of surprising given that author Greg Rucka (Queen and Country, Whiteout) helped craft the story.

Everything else is great, though. Both the multiplayer and the gameplay are better than ever – the former thanks to two new modes (Retrieval, which is like Capture the Flag, and the Sabortage, where you, well, Sabortage your opponents), and the latter thanks to new features like being able to use enemies as human shields. It’s enhancement like these that help make Logan’s Shadow the best in the series.

Condemned: Criminal Origins was a curiously unique piece of work. Simultaneously commercial and entirely niche, it blended abject horror, gritty combat and oppressive atmosphere with forensic science, Greg Grunberg and an unnecessary leap into the supernatural. At its peak, Criminal Origins felt like an interactive Se7en, following the journey of a fragile cop into the twisted mind and sickening accomplishments of a serial killer. However, the studio’s confidence in this excellent premise faded, leaving the draft plunge into surrealism at the game’s climax spoiling an otherwise impressively cogent adventure.

With Bloodshot, it appears Monolith may have abandoned the maturity of the original. Protagonist Ethan Thomas, once styled on portly Heroes Star Gurnberg, has now been remodeled as what can only be described as ‘emo vagrant’, mixing a trendy haircut with blood –eyes and tattered clothes. He’s lost a few pounds too. Thankfully, Thomas pugnacious attitude hasn’t deserted him, ad you’ll be happily clouting destitute weridos with all manner of leap pipes, axes and misshapen pieces of firewood. But where Criminal Origins used its combat as a means of telling its story, Bloodshot is pushing it to the fore. The intense atmosphere will remain and the aggressive and cruelty of the experience will be ever present. Whereas Criminal Origins simply presented its violence, Bloodshot revels in it.

Keen not to lose all senses of purpose, Monolith has completely revamped the forensic investigation. In Criminal Origins, it acted as little more than a semi-scripted segue between all the brutality, but Bloodshot has made everything that more organic. You’ll have to use the correct tools, locate suitable evidence and examine every minute detail in order to solve the crime scene’s morbid mystery. Let’s hope that Monolith finds a suitable balance between combat, horror and investigation so that Condemned 2: Bloodshot can truly progress from its predecessor.