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Recent reviews by Jesp

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1 person found this review helpful
17.9 hrs on record
I'm sure you've heard people compare this game to the Arkham games, Assassin's Creed and all of that. There is no doubt it's "inspired" gameplay-wise by other games, but after playing this game I fail to see how that's a bad thing.

The story is a pretty straight forward revenge-trumps-all revenge plot from beginning to end, where the main character experiences a big loss at the hands of some bad guys. It does have the aspect where an ancient elf ghost of sorts offers to help him on his way by giving him supernatural powers and in return the main character helps the elf find out more about his past, however. I was still not that engaged with the story, and the ending was... pretty underwhelming to say the least in my eyes.

The gameplay is... well, it's an Arkham game with swords so lethal and brutal that Batman would certainly not approve. The free-flowing combat system where you slide between enemies to build your combo so you can unleash special attacks works as well as it did in Batman from my view, and the animation quality is pretty superb during all of it. It has the Arkham archetype when it comes to enemies as well, with everything from puny grunts to ranged specialists and big brutes you either have to hit in the back or stun before you can attack them. It's functional, satisfying and FUN! The stealth system is pretty basic with stealth takedowns and "attention icons" over the enemies' heads to let you know how suspicious they are, and you can indeed run away and come back when they calm down.


The Nemesis system was hyped up pretty massively, and I feel like it works pretty well as a first dip into it. Including the normal enemies, you can also run into (or hunt) captains and warchiefs (even though even these guys are one of the "normal" enemy classes, for reasons that will be obvious soon) These guys are stronger and they have strengths and weaknesses. You'll meet the captain that counters all your finishing moves and can't be hurt by ranged attacks that can be instantly stealth killed if you sneak up on him. You'll meet the captain that takes damage from most attacks but can't be insta-killed, but is terrified by certain animals and becomes a clumsy little baby when he sees one... the list goes on, and there's a lot of combinations here! The warchiefs also often have captains as their bodyguards, so going for them often turns into a huge brawl.

The mention of obvious reasons why these mini-boss enemies follow the normal classes is because a random grunt that gets the killing blow on you can over time rise through the ranks and become the next warchief. This game makes death both interesting and a tool at your disposal if you want to play around with the enemy officers, who constantly fight eachother and try to increase their influence. You gain the ability to "brand" them eventually, which lets you control them and decide their decisions. Is that warchief really giving you trouble? Seek out his 5 bodyguards and brand them, then turn them against him when you confront him again! It's all pretty fun even if it is somewhat limited, especially if you're like me and you enjoy manipulating game worlds and enemies. You should also try letting a random Uruk kill you and then indirectly protect him all the way to warchief rank simply by helping him in his trials, but not branding him... pretty sure that's an achievement, actually. And oh, they will remember if they killed you or you did something mean like burn them, and they will make sure to say it to you when you fight them again as well.

I will admit that to many the game will probably turn a bit repetitive. The combat is fun, but once you get all your upgrades it does turn a bit easy. Get a 5 hit streak, decapitate two enemies, then repeat. If you want a bigger challenge you might want to consider limiting your upgrades, or maybe limiting how many health upgrades you get. The nemesis system does help quite a bit as you can jump in even after the story is done and make some riots happen, and a big messy brawl is never far away. That is most of the game though, it's a sandbox that in the end comes down to violently murdering Uruks no matter how you look at it. Or making them kill eachother on your behalf, but still counts!

I had plenty of fun with it and I'm sure I'll enjoy toying with the Nemesis system for a while still, but just be aware that if you want a big amount of variety in the in-game activities it might lack here. But if you love the free-flow combat system of the Arkham games the potential repetitiveness is probably a good thing, as there's a lot of brawls to be had.
Posted October 5, 2014.
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4.6 hrs on record
Keep in mind that I got this when it was free, so I might be less harsh on the game than I would be if I bought it at full price.

The main attraction of this game is without a doubt the ballistics and the "bullet cam" featured in it, and both of those things are neat. The difficulty decided how realistic things get, where on the lowest difficulty your rifle is basically hitscan and on the highest you get very limited help AND bullet drop + wind is a factor. You can even customize your own difficulty if you want help (there's a feature where you hold your breath and you get an indicator of where your bullet will go, for example) but also want wind to be featured, for example. Hell, there's even sections where you can mask your shots with the sounds of the battlefield.

I did get a bit tired and lowered the frequency of the bullet cam towards the end of the game, because as much as it's a neat feature you'll get a bit tired of it - you'll go for headshots 95% of the time as any other shot is somewhat unreliable as a one-shot-kill unless you hit a vital organ, and seeing the same animation of a skull crack 500 times isn't the most exciting thing in the world. Outside of sniper rifles the gunplay is relatively unimpressive as well, and the most exciting thing is probably the fact that ammo is somewhat scarce. There's also fully regenerative health which lowers the tension of having your cover blown. This game would benefit from a system where you either have partially regenerative health and had to rely on healing items, which seems to be what they have in Sniper Elite 3 from what I've seen.

The stealth system is functional at best. If you get found, you're probably better off simply fighting your way through the remaining enemies rather than try to relocate, as the normally abysmal sight of the enemies get boosted to incredible levels when they are aware of your presence. You do have a silenced pistol as your default sidearm, and you'll be relying on it as there's no canned "stealth kill" animations for unaware enemies, and you'll have to scavenge for ammo for that particular weapon - which is good. There are NO silenced sniper rifles, which is a plus in this case.

The game does.. not have the best replay value. There's collectibles, actually a ridiculous amount (especially the bottles you are supposed to shoot), but there's not really an incentive to go for them besides achievements. There's one level that seems out of place where you get to choose your loadout, and it's the only time in the game where you get to do so.

The game shines when you are picking of enemies and taking your time, or you're masking your shots and picking off stragglers. When it allows you to do this, it is truly a pretty neat sniper fantasy provider from one end to another. But once open combat ensues, the secondary weapons handle in a far less satisfying way - they are inaccurate and feel weak unless you are literally 2 meters away from your target, and once you get a semi-automatic rifle you're probably better off "quickscoping" enemies with that as opposed to using your submachine gun in open combat.

I have not tried the multiplayer aspect of the game. The "Team Distance" game mode sounds fun as it highlights the sniping aspect of the game, and it sounds like it would remind me of awp_ maps from CS:S - where you're at a distance and looking out for movement on the other side.


If you can get this game free or on a good sale it's worth it for a single playthrough, but don't expect too much more than that from it. I am also biased since I play sniper classes in most games where they are available, and the free promo of this game did make me pre-order Sniper Elite 3, so I guess it did its job!
Posted July 1, 2014. Last edited July 1, 2014.
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