Review: Dead Space 2 - Clean pants

Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge were part of EA’s new strategy to bring new IPs to the forefront, instead of just making numerous unwanted sequels to a lot of their tired franchises. Both were great games with new experiences or ideas, but Dead Space proved to be the most successful and well received amongst the two (I enjoyed Mirror’s Edge a lot more but that’s just me). It didn’t reinvent the story telling in video games, it provided a story with a beginning, middle and end, enough to give a justifiable reason to dismember Necromorphs and upgrade your equipment. But because Dead Space had a generally conclusive ending, the reveal of a sequel was as questionable as when BioShock 2 was first announced a few years ago. It was a complete experience with no game breaking glitches or ridiculous plot twist like your wife was your arm, it was – is good enough to be a standalone game. Visceral’s first attempt at making a survival-horror game was a very well executed one at that, so it isn’t necessarily a bad thing that Dead Space 2 isn’t a far departure from its predecessor, even if it could easily pass as an expansion pack.

Review: L.A. Noire - Uncovering the Truth

Instead of developers relying on hardware strength to produce higher fidelity graphics, they are finding ways to optimize their game engines, to then use these new found tricks to replicate something that would require advanced hardware. Team Bondi has recently developed this new technology that would allow them to capture little movements of the human face, similar to the concept of full body motion capture. This significant improvement of facial animation plays such an important role in Team Bondi’s and Rockstar’s detective story, that it’s unfair to dismiss this technological leap, even though it would have been better served as the supplement, not the core.

Review: Dragon Age 2

“Dragon Age Origins” provided an experience that originated on PC, so the complaint of the combat feeling shoehorned onto the console versions is understandable. I didn’t see anything wrong with the pause feature that interrupted the flow of play, and I couldn’t think of anything to add or fix to the combat or radial menu, that would result in making it “better”. I thought it was implemented just fine and rewarded those who took the time to understand the proper positioning of characters, and the most effective combination of Tactics. A lot of reviewers will say the combat has much improved in this sequel, when it actually hasn’t changed at all; they have just mistaken the improvements for the lack any challenge. Two years is a long time, and the shorter but common development time spent on this sequel is not a sufficient excuse for why it is an excruciatingly dull, story driven game.  

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops

A Call of Duty game that doesn’t have developer Infinity Ward behind it is usually downplayed up until the launch. Treyarch’s previous game Call of Duty: World at War didn’t meet the extremely high bar set by Call of Duty 4, but it still managed to provide things that kept the franchise fresh. The Russian Campaign in World at War was well done, and I was expecting Treyarch to make the Black Ops campaign the best in the series. The extensive amounts of refinements to the multiplayer along with new additions provide the best multiplayer Call of Duty experience, though the same can’t be said for the campaign.

Review: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

It wasn’t very clear what Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood had to offer until I began to play it. My understanding was that Brotherhood was a multiplayer game that took place in the Coliseum, where you would train a group of Assassins. What I didn’t know was Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood would come packaged with a fully developed single player and competitive multiplayer component. The jump from Assassin’s Creed 2 to Brotherhood isn’t as substantial as the first to the second, but the refinements to combat and the amount of content available makes Ubisoft’s latest title an unbelievable package.

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