Upplagd: 18 december
Positives: Wonderful setting, competent shooting mechanics, cool concept, beautiful art, functional music.
Negatives: Frustrating AI, inconsistent characterisation, apparently baffling story (although I personally didn't get that far), an unlikable protagonist, other tiny problems with combat (described below).
If you go into this expecting a game like Mass Effect rather than X-COM, you won't feel particularly cheated, but the gameplay just isn't as solid as a Mass Effect game.
I wanted so badly to love this game - I loved the setting, I loved the concept, and I thought it was really wonderful that the developers were trying a bunch of new things. However, while this game isn't broken and it isn't terrible, there are just so many flaws that drag it into mediocre territory. After about 3 hours, I lost interest, and I simply wasn't having fun.
The biggest thing that frustrated me was the inconsistent characterisation on display, especially from the protagonist. He's painted as a noir-like loose cannon that gets the job done, but this is just frustrating - he bafflingly switches from treating characters with respect to ignoring orders just because, and seems seriously shaken up by the loss of a character he's just met despite being grumbly and disaffected about everything. It's as if the writers couldn't decide who they wanted him to be.
I also have a few issues with the combat which were individually not deal-breakers but were frustrating when added together:
- Control is often taken away from the player for unplayable cut-scenes which add absolutely nothing to the game
- Weapons lack impact, many enemies take a frustrating amount of damage to put down
- Combat scenes feel like they drag on too long consistently, additional spawning enemies feel frustrating
- Because there is no crosshair outside of aiming, bringing up the sniper scope doesn't necessarily point it at the enemy you were looking at. Add this to the insane amounts of time between shots and for reloading the sniper rifle, and one of the most satisfying weapons becomes one of the most frustrating
- Cover mechanics more complicated than they need to be when it comes to rounding corners or leaving cover
- Team mate AI is often bad. Engineers stand in front of their own turrets taking damage without moving. Your squadmates mindlessly hang around detonating mines. And they never seem to do any damage - they seem to fulfill more of a babysitting role. I understand that this is to make the player feel empowered but I'd at least like my team of crack professionals to be competent!
The tone of the game switches frequently - an audio log found in a university plays a professor reproaching his assistant for 'not following his intuition and relying on evidence'. Because that's what being a scientist is like....? And I seriously have to question why an institution that's meant to be the best of the best is so full of 'loose cannons who don't play by the rules'. If this is meant to tie in to any sort of X-Com canon, I've never considered my squaddies in other games to be dismissed alcoholics or police with a criminal history. It's a pity that this little thought was put into the setting and characterisation because the artwork is convincing and consistently impressive.
I would have loved for this game to be so much more. I'd pick it up on sale if the above issues don't bother you much.