Přidáno: 19. května
A solid concept lacking polish breaks down into tedium and frustration
There is something to this game that really speaks to people, the free-running first person parkour, when it works, is absolutely amazing.
Unfortunately, there's a whole lot of stuff getting in the way of your fun.
It's not the plot, the plot is perfectly serviceable. Sure, it starts with your sister being framed for a murder and returns to that big bag of clichés for every new twist and development, but it wasn't bad and the little animated cutscenes did their job (...of masking loading screens, but they're neat too).
No, what breaks this game is the lack of polish that was applied to it. The finishing touches. There are many small gripes to be had here (lack of non-hostile characters within levels, level design not making sense from a functional perspective, big bulkhead doors that take half a minute to open, no subtitles for ambient speech like overheard conversations and announcements, shoddy and partially missing directions) but the two main ones are:
- Bad checkpoints:
In a game that is ALL about flow, making your way through complex environments and a certain amount of trial and error in how to approach things it is absolutely critical that messing up does not frustrate too much. The checkpoints as they are now are far too few and far between to accomplish this, and some of them are spaced very weirdly.
There's a segment where you're climbing out of a large vertical shaft (it's in the Store page screenshots as well) and one of the checkpoints is right before a valve you need to turn to shut off a stream of water directly behind it. After that comes some tricky platforming, and I had to do that section several times. The problem here is that the game does not remember that you turned off the water, so you're stuck watching Faye perform the same ~8 second animation of turning off the water every single time, on top of the loading screen and unskippable bit where you're falling to your death that is far, far too much time to spend waiting and redoing things. This is only one of many places where I felt the game was far too sparing with the checkpoints, and to add insult to injury the in-chapter progress isn't even saved when you quit the game. You always start back at the beginning of the chapter.
- The enemies:
In Faye's world the worst thing anybody can do is run across rooftops, it is immediate reason to send armed SWAT teams and attack helicopters after them. They shoot first, then shoot some more, and maybe ask questions later but that's not in the game. The justification for that is that you're supposedly carrying top-secret information and messages without the government surveillance catching it... except you don't do that in the game even once.
You're able to disarm these enemies when you get close or punch them out, and then pick up their guns and use them but I didn't bother with that and the game very much feels like it doesn't want you to (there's even an achievement for it... you know, on consoles. Because Steam integration is too much to ask from EA).
Regardless of whether you choose to engage or avoid these soldiers (they're hardly police forces any more) they will be in your way. Shooting for you as you duck and weave trying to make it to the next too-far-away checkpoint. I get why they're there, they are adding tension to the game.
Or parts of the game anyway, their appearance and disappearance is very jarring. Open up an inconspicuous door that is marked as your next target to find a dozen soldiers just lazing around a parking lot in case a Runner (that's you, because you run) decides to come through there. Run your way past them into the elevator, go up a floor (or however many floors, the insides aren't marked with a number) and you're completely in the clear again. The game seems divided into platforming segments and engagement segments, and the transitions are almost always immersion breaking.
In the late game the attempts at adding challenge become almost laughably silly, with every door you walk past popping open, revealing a tiny dark room with no other exits and one to three fully armed enemies that were sure you'd be coming this way. Add to that the new agile enemies, which should make the game more interesting since they can follow you around, but who end up doing pretty much the same thing anyway (and are as easily befuddled by you running through a door).
For DICE, a studio that was at that point best known for its Battlefield series, this was a huge and impressive step towards something more creative. A first person game built around avoiding fights, with a kick-♥♥♥ female protagonist.
For Electronic Arts, a publisher known at that point for buying up smaller development studios and turning them into faceless drones that will never make another fun game in their life this was a great moment to show the world they could do something special, something different. Unfortunately, they did not.
With an extra 6 months of development and a whole lot more play-testing and polishing this could have been an absolute gem and must-play.
As it stands it is a 5-hour eulogy for what could have been.
Do not get this game, and do not get the upcoming sequel.