Upplagd: 22 januari
This... is a bit of a complicated title to review on...
Okay, let's start with the mechanics of the series:
-You assume the role of a U.S. Army sergeant
-You have to lead your squad (MG team, assault team, whatever...) through trenches and waves of enemies
-USE TACTICS AND FLANKING POSITIONS (applies mostly to the first two installments of the series)
The mechanics work SIGNIFICANTLY better in this title than its predecessors... the other two, when I played them a few years back, I recall having painfully repetitive, boring, difficult, and frustrating gameplay mechanics.
BUT! that doesn't mean that this installment is none of those things:
-The levels do feel recycled
-Even on the game's hardest difficulty, the game doesn't challenge you at all. In fact, it can be quite boring. There were times where I was hoping for a real challenge, such as playing a level where I would have to use stealth efficiently
-The game restricts gameplay to cover and squad-based FPS mechanics, and tank levels (these I enjoyed, but they don't last long and there are only three).
There is no justification for these main issues, it's simply rushed and poorly managed game design.
The visuals are... well, they vary. There were moments where the game made excellent use of the Unreal Engine's lighting, shadow, and occlusion effects (really really impressive for a 2008 game). However, the textures feel so flat and grainy, and vegetation barely looks passable. Then again, the character models are amazing, the development team really outdid themselves with the main character models.
The story, granted, is really, REALLY slow (boring) and broken at first. But as you further progress, it unfolds into a powerful and emotional story, with quite a few unexpected twists and turns. It's damn near a masterpiece. Hell, it even felt like I was playing scenes from Saving Private Ryan.
Most of the bore from the story came from the questionable voice acting at the beginning of the game... I'm not going to hide this... it was bad. The narrator (protagonist) at first sounded like he was shouting his story at you, and the rest of the characters sounded like really cheesy 90s video game sidekicks. Oh yeah, it's pretty bad. But for some reason, not even an hour after the game, the voice acting and scripting improved incredibly fast.
After that one PAINFUL hour, I really got into learning more about the main character, Matthew Baker, and the challenges he must face on the battlefield. And I have to give the developers credit for a really important aspect of the story's progression: character interaction. For once, in a really long time, I cared about the characters. This one particular scene in the game was so emotional, I actually started tearing up. Damn good job, THAT is proof that the developers cared about their characters. Games need to attribute human feelings to them, and this game is exemplary in that sense.
Overall, the experience I had with playing the game was OK...
Pretty much the only thing that kept me going was the story's progression, I always wanted to know what would happen next. And I genuinely cared about the game's characters.
Had this game not been rushed or simplified, it would've been a fantastic title.