Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review of Red Faction: Guerilla

Unlike the previous game reviews, I'm going out on a limb here and reviewing a game that I have not actually completed. There aren't a ton of games that I will not finish, or at least come close to finishing. After all, given the price of games these days I feel like I should complete them on principle alone. However, I find myself unable to continue playing Red Faction: Guerilla after a particularly bad night.

The game's premise is interesting enough: liberate sectors from the oppressive EDF to free the planet. The destructive quality of the game is appealing. There are a number of different ways to bring down whole structures: detonators, shooting explosive canisters, or even going back to the basics with a sledgehammer that does an ungodly amount of damage. All that is very satisfying and enough to hold your attention for a while. Once you get into the meat of the game, which involves carrying out a number of missions and challenges to eventually build morale enough in an area to overthrow the EDF there, the controls and a few other mechanisms are lacking.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

L.A. Noire Review

I think I said in my last post that I would likely be done with L.A. Noire pretty soon. I had no idea how close to completing it I really was as I got to the end of my journey with the LAPD this evening. I have loads of opinions about this game, so here we go.

The hype about this game from day one was the technology behind the "animation", MotionScan, developed by a company called Depth Analysis. The technique employs a 32-camera rig that captures every nuance of facial expression as actors read through their lines in a white room. A server is used to automatically map the faces. Considering advancement through the game is dependent upon interrogating witnesses and deciding whether they are telling the truth or lying based on their facial expressions, this stuff has to work pretty well to make the game successful. I thought it worked exceptionally well. There was nothing obvious or hammed up in the way witnesses reacted to questions, making it reasonably challenging. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fable III Review

I decided to add video game reviews to my blog. Although it doesn't relate to enterprise IT issues and topics, the video game industry is a huge technological presence and quite frankly, I simply like playing video games and talking about them. I'm no video guru (I'm not a guru of anything really) but I will post my reviews and experiences of games as I finish them (or sooner if I'm really excited).

I completed Fable III 2 days ago. It takes me a while in general to complete games as I tend to lose interest if I feel like I'm doing the same thing over and over again (looking at you, Ninja Blade) or that the game play is simply too hard to enjoy (what's up Prototype?). With the right game however I play it pretty obsessively until I'm done, as in the case of the last game I completed, Mass Effect 2. I found myself going back to Fable III over and over again.  I acknowledge that some part of that had to do with the fact that the game was downloaded so there was no need to swap discs, and the disc in my tray is L.A. Noire (look for a review on that soon as I feel close to finishing it).

The first thing that caught my attention about Fable III was