Category Archives: Short Game Reviews

Very short game reviews for smart instant game purchase decisions!

Aeon Command short review

Aeon_Command.jpg

LINKS

Aeon Command on Steam

POSITIVES

  • unique approach for tug of war game with space ships
  • tons of upgrades for resources, weapons, armor and powerups
  • decent long campaign with 3 sides
  • skirmish with 3 game modes
  • looks quite nice for a 2D game

NEGATIVES

  • 3 sides are very similar in terms of space ship arrangement
  • space ships are hard to distinguish visually on the field
  • once you figure out the method, it becomes a bit easy even on Hard

VERDICT

I’m a big fan of tug of war games because you can play them with just one hand and the other one can be used to stuff Doritos in your face. ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus, I love the fast resources management and spawning of your military, so you don’t have to deal with lengthy initial building phase like in RTS games. I had quite some fun with this one, looks nice, is interesting to play and it’s one of rare tug of war games that has space ships which I think is nice and unique. If you want to blast some space ships with lasers and rockets and have some instant fun, this is the right game for you. And it goes for just 2.99โ‚ฌ on Steam, so it’s a steal ๐Ÿ˜€

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood short review

POSITIVES

  • same engaging gameplay with stealth and mad Rambo “modes” as in The New Order
  • skills force you to utilize more arsenal depending on what skills you want
  • no more weapons being taken away on every mission or incident
  • can carry heavy machine gun with you if you attain the skill
  • occasional funny stuff by the Nazi if you listen to their conversations
  • nostalgic original Wolfenstein 3D levels via Nightmare levels
  • no more technical issues like getting stuck in vents
  • generally good graphics and audio
  • now has Anti-Aliasing modes
  • has FOV controls

NEGATIVES

  • story and gameplay not as engaging and interesting as in The New Order
  • a bit disappointing last boss fight despite playing it on hardest difficulty
  • texture pop-in effect is still infuriating
  • half an hour of stupid unskippable intro videos

VERDICT

Even though developers fixed a huge share of negatives from The New Order, especially technical issues, this game wasn’t as engaging and interesting as the old one (this is a prequel to The New Order). Could be that I simply adored the alternate reality World War 2 so much with all the alien tech Nazi’s had and the way how they were winning instead of losing. It was scary and freakish and I loved that. This one was more of a contribution to the Return to Castle Wolfenstein to be honest, a lot more tame on the occult hellish Nazi technology. Still a good shooter though. Would still recommend it. Shooting Nazi’s just never gets old ๐Ÿ™‚

Wolfenstein: The New Order short review

Because I’m lazy as fuck, I’ll try to make my short reviews even more compact. This will be my first attempt, but I might refine it even further over time ๐Ÿ˜€

POSITIVES

  • amazing presentation of alternate reality World War 2
  • presentation of story through game is really interesting and engaging
  • very engaging gameplay with stealth and/or mad Rambo “modes”
  • skills force you to utilize more arsenal depending on what skills you want
  • nostalgic original Wolfenstein 3D levels via Nightmare levels
  • generally good graphics and audio
  • has FOV controls

NEGATIVES

  • stop taking my bloody weapons away all the freaking time!
  • because of losing weapons every mission, most skills like extra throwing knives can’t even be used properly
  • constantly getting stuck inside vents for no logical reason
  • texture pop-in effect is infuriating
  • game knows no anti-aliasing and refuses to accept from graphics driver control panel (had to use SweetFX SMAA to improve edges slightly)
  • half an hour of stupid unskippable intro videos

VERDICT

Brilliant game gameplay, story and presentation wise that is somewhat ruined with technicalities like horrendous texture pop-in when looking around, complete lack of anti-aliasing, getting stuck inside vents into invisible barriers and god awful losing of weapons on every mission and every major incident during game. Would still highly recommend it because it’s still a very good shooter despite those negatives. A true successor to the original Wolfenstein 3D.

Short Game Review: Infinifactory

There is just one word to describe this game: “Freaking out of this world amazing” Yeah, one word LOL

After I got notification from GOG about release of Infinifactory, I honestly didn’t expect it to be this good. I had mixed feelings, it looked interesting, but didn’t really have any idea what it is. I have decided to give it a try anyway since GOG has a no risk refunding policy since forever. It just looked interesting in some mysterious way. It’s roughly 20โ‚ฌ which might sound a lot for an indie game, but when you’ll taste its brilliance, you’ll forget about the price.

How to describe this game?

Imagine Lemmings in a Minecraft world with objective based building of The Incredible Machine. This is Infinifactory explained in one sentence.

Gameplay & puzzles

There is a story attached to it, but the main point of this game is construction of the most efficient production line possible. You get a blueprint of the final product and you have to manipulate individual bits and pieces to form the final product. You can use conveyor belts to move them around where you want them, rotators to rotate objects, pushers to sort items, welders to combine them in larger fixed objects, mill them into different shapes, eviscerate parts and replace them with new ones, there are sensors and wiring that can be used to manipulate parts timings and control other parts. If you’ve ever played Minecraft before (who hasn’t), you’ll feel like at home because the building of complex machinery is very similar to using redstones in Minecraft. Just with one very important exception, you don’t have to build stupid stairs to wire things in vertical dimension. Here you just make a vertical wiring and it’ll work. I don’t get it why they still haven’t done it in Minecraft, because that shit is dumb. But Inifinifactory developer has done it right.

Initial Infinifactory missions are rather easy, but later on, they become very challenging, but not frustrating, which is another bright point of this game. At first you make a rough prototype of the production line to sort of get production parts in the right places, then you start combining them and that’s when things usually become complicated, they break and get stuck and then it’s some trial and error work to sort all that out. And it’s really not frustrating or annoying. You just can’t wait to resolve some problem and finally see the finished product exiting the production line. And the feelings you experience when everything works like a clockwork, well, that sensation is un-freaking-believable. It just makes you chuckle like a small child who found a way how to steal cookies from the cookie jar without parents ever finding out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Trivia

Oh, fun fact at this point, developer of the Infinifactory also created Infiniminer which is a Minecraft style game that actually predates Minecraft. I didn’t know this either till this very moment. I’m using Minecraft above to describe it since people are more familiar with that one, but Zachtronics Industries actually invented the block manipulation sandbox game that we today know the most as Minecraft (and several other spin offs). He innovated that!

Graphics, music and audio

I’m not even going to write about graphics, music or sound effects. They are besides the point. Ok, they are all nice, but trust me, you won’t spend hours and hours in this game because of graphics.

Game features proper FOV (Field of View) adjustment which means it gets a FOV Alliance seal of approval!

Verdict

I know there will be a small percentage of people who won’t like it for whatever reason, but if you love good and incredibly unique puzzle games, this game is a must have.

Infinifactory has a lot of familiar elements found in other games, but it uses them in such unique way I can’t praise it enough. Zachtronics Industries, you’ve outdone yourself with this game. It’s brilliantly unique, entertaining and educational.

I can only recommend it with a 20 out of 10 woolen seal of approval! Buy it. NOW!

Short Game Review: Lichdom Battlemage

lichdom_battlemage

This game caught my attention because it focuses on one thing that I usually simply skipped in fantasy medieval RPG games. Magic and wizardry. If a game gives me option to choose between a mage and warrior, I’d most likely pick the warrior. I just like a more direct contact with enemies using swords, axes, bows and other cold weaponry. But we talked about it on one of the GOG Twitch streams and I said, what the hell, I’ll just give it a try and finally taste the magic side of RPG games. And so I did.

Visual and audio presentation is spectacular. Unsurprisingly, considering it’s running on CryEngine 3 engine. Worlds and levels are amazing with some really nice architectural designs. You can wield many types of magic, ranging from fire, ice, lightning, phase, necromancy etc and each comes in 3 basic shapes. Direct fast attack, slower indirect massive attack and block (out of which I basically never used Block). You can also combine them in order to turn battles in your favor by freezing or slowing down enemies and then striking them with powerful spells. In a nut shell, basics work pretty well and are easy to understand.

However, game becomes unnecessarily overcomplicated with the overwhelming amount of “construction” parts for the spells. Every spell has so many combinations it’s ridiculous and the documentation surrounding crafting is nearly non-existent. And when I wanted to check tutorials on Youtube, they were for some older versions of the game with different interface. It’s so confusing it took me like half the game to sort of grasp how the whole thing even works. Luckily game has a “Smart inventory” mode in which game automatically generates the best possible spells and upgrades with the components that you have. It means you’ll be stuck in the same spell form (homing fireball for example), but it’s easy and doesn’t require any knowledge. At least something, otherwise I’d stop playing this thing after half an hour…

But all in all, I think the main problem with this game are the repetitive enemies and just that annoying grinding. For hour or two of playing with spells it’s ok, but then it just becomes annoying grinding. Enter level segment, freeze enemy and strike it with damage spell. Repeat. It gets even worse when you get mini bosses that you have to freeze and strike with strongest spell like 15 times. Super crazy annoying. There is no real world manipulation either, you can’t affect enemies beyond direct attacks. Something I really loved in Dark Messiah of Might and Magic where half of kills could be done using environment (using kicking and swords, but still). You could actually be very creative with the kills. I wish there were spells where you could manipulate world objects, throw them around, drag them around, push enemies off the cliffs, into fire, onto spikes, stuff like that. Instead, you just keep on grinding with direct attacks and that’s all it is to it. After a while, I did manage to craft two spells on my own, a lobbed fireball that splits into 3 more on contact which was really devastating. And lightning that shocks more than 1 nearby enemy. But after a while, it all became the same routine grinding of same old enemies again…

And that’s really the main problem with this game. It simply lacks variety. It is constant from start to end. Even the story, after like 1/4 of the game I simply stopped giving a damn about Journals and those “memories”, I’ve only done them because they gave me spell components. It’s that uninteresting. Which is a shame. The game had tons of potential, fantastic game engine, but if gameplay is not good, this is what you end up with. A great concept with rather poor execution.

It has its moments, but that damn grinding aaaargh, I just can’t forgive it for that. I’m not gonna say that I absolutely hate it, but it could be so much more than what it is. Maybe in Lichdom Battlemage 2? I hope so, because the idea is kinda cool and it gave me interest in magic more than any other RPG game before. Luckily I got it at a decent discount price on GOG, because I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself paying a full price for this game. But for what I paid, it’s an ok game I guess. So, if you get it with any kind of discount, I can sort of recommend it, but be aware of the repetitive grinding that might get in the way…

Short Game Review: Among The Sleep

amongthesleep

This was one of the biggest gaming surprises of all times. Granted, it has its share of problems, but those things aside, it’s one of the most memorable things I’ve experienced. A game revolving around an infant protagonist with gameplay similar to Alien:Isolation, presented with Unreal Engine. Imagine Alien:Isolation where Amanda Ripley is replaced by an infant, alien by a creepy scary shadowy creature and the space station with a regular average family home. That’s what Among The Sleep is. And it was actually released BEFORE Alien:Isolation. Have guys behind Alien game got inspiration from Among The Sleep game? They look surprisingly similar in a way… Game looks and feels absolutely amazing. The attention to details is just mind-blowing. The house actually felt like a real thing. The sounds, noises, even the music background creates this amazing atmosphere. And the way how you can interact with environment and objects adds extra level of immersion. Not much is really happening, but that is really the most terrifying part. That lack of things happening makes it even more scary since you don’t know what will happen around the corner and trust me, things do happen. I’m just not gonna tell you when hihi, so be afraid, be very afraid the entire time XD.

The only real downside of this game is that it becomes a bit repetitive after a while and is a bit short for the price. Sure they gave us free DLC, but it’s still a very short game for which it’s a bit hard to justify the full price. But this unique scary experience from the perspective of an infant roaming through a scary empty house makes you want to support the developers. Just because they were bold and did something no one else even dared to think about, let alone actually make a game using that idea.

Do whatever you want, get it for full price or when there is a maximum discount, just make sure you check it out. I can assure you it will blow your mind in its own special way.ย  Very short, but sweet is how I’d describe it.

Short Game Review: Bulletstorm

bulletstorm_wide

As the name suggests, the game will make you go guns blazing and corpses flying. In first person. It’s made by people who delivered us Painkiller and it’s also heavily inspired by it. It’s powered by Unreal Engine and it delivers some really amazing visuals. People behind world design really delivered the most breathtaking environments I’ve ever seen. They are massive, bright, colorful and just look absolutely jaw dropping.ย Story in this game is there just so you can’t say there isn’t one. It’s OK I guess, but don’t really expect much from it. Combat is also fun in a way, particularly in the second half of the game when you get slightly more powerful and interesting weapons to work with. Doing combos, kicking enemies around and leashing them becomes really fun. But there is always that “however” and in this case, it’s quite big one…

The only thing that holds this game from grabbing “really fun game” title are the weapons. For the love of god, why have they designed weapons in a way you can only carry 3 of them at a time (out of which, the basic rifle is non-configurable) and that they only hold 20 or 30 rounds of ammunition when they are fully upgraded. 30 in a game where you’re expected to blow shit up, constantly!? This forces the whole game tempo to slow down, you’re constantly dependent on fiddling with moronic Drop Pods. Completely unnecessary. Sniper rifle with guided bullets is fun as hell, but they yet again ruined it by enemies instantly knowing bullet is flying at them and they always start to run sideways. ALWAYS. Why!? It’s so annoying and kills the fun of being creative with the sniper rifle.

Bulletstorm is an example of a game with huge potential ruined by silly game design decisions and when you manage to mess up one of the most important core elements of this kind of game, the desirability drops dramatically. More enemies, more ammo to carry around, elimination of silly Drop Pods, ability to carry all the weapons at once and the game would kick ass. People Can Fly, if you’re making Bulletstorm 2, make sure you’ll address this! Otherwise, don’t even bother releasing the sequel…

Oh and stop being bloody lazy with the FOV settings developers. This game is almost unplayable without FlawlessWidescreen tool. Instant headache guaranteed with its idiotic narrow FOV…

Verdict?

It’s OK when you want to admire amazing levels while shooting and blowing stuff up, without worrying about complex game mechanics. But all those bad weapon design decisions really ruined it for me. It’s a real shame, this could have been an amazing Serious Sam/Painkiller inspired game… I still recommend it, if you can overlook the silly weapons limitations and you’re willing to wait for a decent discount deal…