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Posted:
2014-11-02

plugster

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox One

8.1

'Sunset Overdrive' on the Xbox One is an open world third-person action shooter video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Microsoft Studios.

If you have a pair of eyes and haven't been living on the bottom of the ocean then the odds are good that you've heard of 'Sunset Overdrive'. This open world, third person, adrenaline rush of a video game has been marketed to death in just about every place imaginable. That's okay though as we tend to forgive massively hyped games when they live up to their expectations--which 'Sunset Overdrive' absolutely managed. to do.

What is going on in 'Sunset Overdrive'?

In the not so distant future there is a new energy drink taking over the marketplace and it is called 'OverCharge Delirium XT'. Sounds delicious, right? It probably is but it comes with a massive side effect: it'll turn you into a mutant. Employees of the company responsible for the mutation causing energy drink, FizzCo, want to escape their creation like the rest of us. You are one of these surviving employees and it is your job to get the heck out of there. As you can see from our brief synopsis, 'Sunset Overdrive' never tried to take itself seriously. In fact if the game at any point wasn't self aware then it would have failed completely. You can't be this far 'out there' without knowing exactly what it is that you are looking for. Insomniac Games, known for producing such titles as the 'Spyro', 'Ratchet and Clank' and the 'Resistance' series, seems perfectly capable at deftly balancing all of the chaos that their game is centered around.

Sunset Overdrive is Supreme Open World

For awhile there the term 'Open World' was little more than a buzz word designed to pull in gamers to try half finished ideas. 'Sunset Overdrive', much like the hit roleplaying game 'Skyrim', truly embraces the term for everything that it has. Players will navigate a chaotic cityscape that is completely traversible. Not only are you able to run, jump, and clime everywhere but you will also utilize such traffic methods as skate grinding, zip lining, and parkour running. In fact we have found through our own playing that it is highly unlikely you will ever actually walk anywhere. The world is so big and you are often times so far away form where you want to be that it only makes sense to employ these fast paced traveling alternatives. Your character will bounce, fly, grind, and fall throughout a giant world of absolute insanity. While you can stick to enjoying the experience on your own it is possible to go online with the 'Chaos Squad' mode in order to share the violence with up to seven other players.

Core Gameplay is Impressively Deep

Gameplay footage will show players zooming around the screen as violent little blurs, easily taking out the hulking monsters that have taken over their city. The truth is that the game is as hard as it looks. You have to be on point and always on the move in order to find the success in combat that many players employ, or else you will become food for mutants. Learning how to move between all of your different weapons and abilities is a much needed skill for long term success. Fortunately 'Overdrive' refuses to punish players for failing and instead encourages it. There are fast load times and a quick respawn to always keep you back on the controller.

Sunset Overdrive Is What YOU Make It

One of the crowning achievements of 'Sunset Overdrive' is the fact that it is a completely customizable experience. Every bit of the game changes with the way that you play. Are you the kind of player that wants to wallride the entire city? Then your stats in those areas will boost and your abilities will encourage you to keep chasing the skill. Do you want to wear a funky mask and go around beating up robots with a flaming bat? Why not! Go be the fire-bat superhero if it excites you. The point I'm getting at here is simple: there are no trails to follow except for the ones you blaze.

Sunset Overdrive is Bold.

If we had to sum up our experience with 'Sunset' with a single word we would use the term 'bold'. 'Overdrive' is never afraid to get silly but it also never stops being a smart experience. This is not a game that you can hack and slash your way through. A keen eye for strategy and customization will lead you to a gameplay experience that we haven't seen since the glory days of PC Skyrim.

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Posted:
2014-11-02

plugster

Super Gamer Dude

3DS

7.1

The problem with being an avid gamer is pretty simple: there is never enough time to truly get through all of the games we want to play. This problem gets even bigger as more and more games turn toward a sort of open world, free roaming style. One of those new games, commonly referred to as 'sandboxes', is "Fantasy Life" for the Nintendo 3DS. This roleplaying game was developed by Level-5 and released late last year. Since its arrival into the hands of mobile gamers it has developed a cult like following across the globe, and for good reason. Let's take a closer look at "Fantasy Life" and what makes it endearing enough for us to want to step into its world.

Fantasy Life Offers Diversity & Replayability

One of the most clamored for gaming elements of the modern gamer is the ability to truly 'choose your own path'. This means that traditional class systems are out. We've seen games like 'Skyrim' and 'Dark Souls' embody this element to great success and it is the core tenant that "Fantasy Life" builds its fanbase. In "Fantasy Life" you get to live your Life the way you want. This means that, of the 12 different classes involved, you can seamlessly flick to whatever suits you at the moment. Do you want to be a hunter today? How about a fisherman? Crafting something useful sounds fun too, go give that a shot. Fans of the "Rune Factory" series will be familiar with how these different classes function as well as how they are used to push the story forward.

A Fantasy Life Takes Some Work

The basic premise of "Fantasy Life" involves your aide being requested by King Erik of Castele. The noble old man wants you to investigate a mysterious meteorite that crashed into your home, along with a talking butterfly by the name of Flutter. The story ramps up the gravitas by bits and pieces but the crux of your goals are simple: perform tasks, finish quests and keep the peace for the beautiful world that you live in. There are stretches of gameplay that you will start to feel the grind set in and the story doesn't do much to alleviate the feeling. You'll find yourself following instinct as you push toward 'fetch quest' style missions. Fortunately for "Fantasy Life", the core mechanics of the gameplay are so addicting that the quests remain fun long after your eyes have grown tired of reading.

Multiple Gameplay Objectives Keep You Focused

Many life simulators tend to get bogged down in tedium and it causes players to sort of get lost in the shuffle and eventually walk away from their gaming console. Games like "Animal Crossing" and "Harvest Moon" can occasionally fall victim to this sort of problem. "Fantasy Life" avoids these same issues, however, by instilling a wide range of objectives that players can stumble into. Players will have to answer to their sidekick, Flutter, as the little butterfly makes demands for you to complete challenges. The same goes with all of the city folk that you will run across as you play the game. A small symbol will hover over their heads and a brief interaction will incite a challenge quest for you. Do these quests in order to gain Dosh (money) and experience points. Finally you can go into co-op mode in order to find the furthest borders of the "Fantasy Life" world. With your friends on hand you'll be able to tackle more challenging tasks.

In Closing

"Fantasy Life" is the type of game that attracts both casual and hardcore game enthusiasts. The lackadaisical nature of the gameplay allows for players to slow down their pace and truly soak up the 'zen' style of play that seems to be encouraged. Attractive and colorful graphics pop off of the 3DS and the controls are as tight as can be. Moving about in the 3D world is easy and the music is top notch. While the game will definitely put off some of the more story oriented players out there, it will still have more than enough burn to retain its active fanbase. Keep an eye out for more expansions as Level-5 continues to grow another great franchise.

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Posted:
2010-10-05

plugster

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

8.4

This game has spent four years in the making by some of the most successful game developers in history. It should be no surprise that this game has some of the highest expectations on the planet. Furthermore, anything less than an outstanding game would be a complete failure.

Ok so the game starts out as Link riding Epona across the landscape and I honestly couldn't help myself but saying "this is just like Ocarina start." You will start your quest in a small village near Hyrule, but as you progress further and further through the game you will make your way to different temples and cities. You might even remember these as you once played, quite some time ago. It really does resemble Ocarina but you are cast away into Twilight.

Ok so the gameplay of the Wii remote is legendary, but, this game is different from other Zelda games as you will change to a wolf and have a new set of abilities. There are some state of the art cut scenes that will have you jumping out of your seat. Don't throw the Wii remote through the TV. You will even meet Zelda which has been imprisoned by the Twilight. You are introduced to Midna which is character in which you will have a lot of questions that you want answers for.

All the great elements that made the Zelda games epic are back but the controls are what make this game work well, you can use a variety of different weapons such as swords and slingshots. However, since it is a Wii game you might think that it won't always pick up your sword slashes or arrows, you couldn't be more wrong because it works brilliantly. I don't recall one time where it didn't work as planned and I have played it for more than 75 hours.

The ability to transform into a wolf is amazing and you can find treasure chest and hidden items with the heighten senses of smell from the wolf. Follow the scents of your foes with the wolf form and not to mention you can use Midna to warp all around the map later in the game. As if all this isn't enough you can even fish and it is better than any fishing game I have bought on Wii.

This game is just so fun and addicting, I can't really think of anything bad to say about it. You would have to be out of your mind to not own this game.

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Posted:
2013-03-11

plugster

Super Gamer Dude

3DS

7.6

Harvest Moon The Tale Of Two Towns for the 3DS is a bit different from the Nintendo DS version. This game is a simulation game, players start as farmers, but also act as a medium for the 2 neighboring towns. This is where the storyline comes into play. When players first start the game, players can choose whether or not they want to live in a rancher town that deals with animals or if they want to live in a harvesting town where they deal with a lot of farming. Players can also choose whether or not they want to be a girl or boy.

The storyline of Harvest Moon The Tale Of Two Towns involves 2 towns, Konohana and Bluebell that are fighting with each other due to previous majors that had an on going feud about who has the best cuisine. The 2 towns used to be joined together by an underground mountain tunnel, but as the fighting grew, the Goddess became more upset and destroyed the tunnel to cut off communication between them both. The only time the towns now come together is for the cooking festival, but they tend to manage to even fight there. As the main character in this game, players are set out to reunite the towns back to peace and harmony again. Players can choose between the 2 towns when it comes to a place to live. If you are more interested with animals then Bluebell is the best fit for you because it is a rancher town with a European style of life and Konohana is more of a farming town with a more Japanese style of living. Each town is unique in that they look completely different and the way the people act are completely different.

Harvest Moon offers features that are new to the game's whole series. These changes include the way you romance other characters, the way your friendship is displayed to you (from hearts to flowers), new ways of transportation between towns (flying on an owl), brand new characters but some of your old favorites are still there, festivals take place more often, newer crops are available for planting, and you can now plant and sell your crops to your friends over wifi. These changes offer a totally different experience from the game's usual experience. However, there are many things that are the same in Harvest Moon The Tale Of Two Towns. For instance, the way you take care of your crops and animals have not changed, the stamina bar is still in place, some of the old favorite characters are in the towns, the way you make friends and the way you court someone and marry them are the same as in previous versions of the game.

Harvest Moon The Tale Of Two Towns is a game that both newcomers and veterans alike can enjoy. If playing simulation games where you continuously have missions with ever changing stories, then give this game a shot.

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Posted:
2013-03-11

plugster

Super Gamer Dude

Wii U

6.2

Transformers Prime on the Wii U is based on the popular cartoon/movie series. In this game, you need to save planet earth. With the help of the humans (Jack, Raf and Miko) and the giant robot transformers (Optimus Prime and cohorts, the Autobots) you'll take on dastardly Megatron and his evil followers, the Decepticons. You can play solo or multi-player as one of the five possible Autobots. Each level focuses on a different Autobot so you can really experience them all. For example, if you're playing as Arcee, you'll transform into a motorcycle. Like any Transformer, you will be able to switch between being a robot or its alter machine ego quickly. (This will all depend on how you want to fight the Decepticons as its easier to throw punches as a robot).

With the Wii U, you'll use the controls on the side of the handheld device rather than utilize the touchscreen that much. Since the game was designed for its younger fans in mind, it's easy to learn. There are also many online forums where you can pick up hints and even walkthroughs of the game.

Pros

Voices are from the show lending the game some nice familiarity and authenticity.

High quality graphics work well in the wii platform.

Will please younger fans who follow the show.


Cons

Story is short and game can be defeated in one sitting. (albeit a long sitting)

Designed for the younger crowd. (so how much the family will play together is limited)

Sound and music uninteresting.


In terms of the cons, while an adult maybe able to defeat the game in one sitting, this is clearly a game designed for children and thus, their interest in the story and defeating Megatron will probably last longer than an adult's interest. While the whole family might not play together, this is fun game for kids and their friends who are fans of the show. The ability to play multi-player and online, makes this game fun and interactive for fans of the show to share their knowledge and know how. If the music is uninteresting and the sounds are boring, Megatron is probably defeating you.

Transformers Prime Wii U is rated Pegi 7, that means it's suitable for ages above that. Quite frankly, any 5 year old would probably be able to maneuver this game fairly well with help from an older sibling. While there are many battle scenes (the earth does need to be saved after all) the violence is mild and unrealistic. Kids will revel in being able to transform into their favorite Autobots all the while helping their masterful leader Optimus Prime save the day.

You might want to play one or two rounds yourself, so you can follow what is going on the next time you have to take your child to see a Transformer movie. This game is aimed at the younger generation, as such the gameplay is limited and may not suit everyone.

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Posted:
2013-03-08

plugster

Super Gamer Dude

PC Games

8.2

Age of Empires III: Complete Collection continues with the legacy set forth by the groundbreaking real-time strategy franchise.

The game continues the timeline used by the previous Age of Empires I and II. Having already campaigned through the dawn of civilization into the Roman Empire and later through the mid-evil times and the age of kings, Age of Empires III journeys through from the age of discovery to the age of imperialism. Included is the industrial revolution, the discovery of the new world, and the mass use of firearms.

The complete PC edition also includes the games two expansion packs: The War Chiefs and The Asian Dynasty’s. The War Chiefs expansion offers the use of Aztecs, Iroquois, and Sioux and includes the addition of new resources and home city options. India, China, and Japan were included on the Asian Dynasties expansion and the ability to export resources for cash and hire foreign troops as mercenaries. Also included is the ability to eventually build a wonder.

Just as the technology evolves through these ages of civilization, Ensemble Studios brought forth a stunning new graphics and physics engines. The details are beautifully at work amongst the explosions resulting from the new cannons and new musket fire. In addition, the game has a detailed naval element, which includes some beautiful water effects and an authentic shoreline that includes crashing wave display.

Age of Empires III sets itself apart from other real time strategy games through the implementation of the home city feature. As the player advances in a particular game, they gain experience points that can be applied to benefits offered from the home city. Players can select from a deck of cards, unique to each civilization that will send amounts of resources and other benefits from the home city to the colony. Home cities begin with 15 cards and can be expanded to 20, as players gain experience the benefits improve as well.

Multiplayer uses the ES Online interface where opponents can not only search for death match and supremacy game types based on home-city attributes, but also includes clan modes, strategy tips, and other community related techniques. Multiplayer games can become long as players must advance through the various ages, but Age of Empires does allow players to begin matches at more advanced time periods.

The entire game is based off of the discovery and colonization of the new world. Age of Empires III allows you to pick Spanish, British, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, German, and the Ottoman. Another interesting feature is the use of Native American tribes as mercenaries, players can elect to trade and hire with the indigenous civilizations. As typical with the Age of Empires franchise, the civilizations are based off of the villager units who gather resources and construct buildings. In previous games the villager would make a return trip back from the mines or forests they were gathering resources from, in Age of Empires III the resources are automatically accredited to the player.

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Posted:
2013-03-11

plugster

Super Gamer Dude

Wii U

5.1

Ubisoft Quebec based the game on the film and the Marvel "Avengers" comic book. In "Marvel Avengers Battle for Earth", twenty separate characters battle a shape-shifting band of scoundrels called the Skrull who infiltrate the Avengers by replacing them with doppelganger look-alikes who have the same powers as the originals. The remaining Avengers have to battle the impersonators to keep an alien race from invading Earth through a portal hovering over New York.

The characters make the game. Most of us are familiar with the most popular. Black Widow, Captain America, the Hulk, the Human Torch and Iron Man are part of our culture. All of the twenty have appeared in a comic book. Each character has three unique super power moves which can be chained together for combinations. As the player controls his or her character, he'll be rewarded with damage-enhancing super attack, frenzies, velocity boosts, and breakers.

Gameplay features four different modes; Campaign, Arcade, Versus and Challenges. The player can ignore the Versus mode if he wants but he must complete the rest. Combat within each mode except Versus gives the player four characters. The player can control two and the game controls two. The player can switch back and forth between the characters he controls at will.

Campaign mode has five levels and eight stages within each level. You have to complete the first four stages within a level before you can do the last four. Other than that, they can be played in any order. The opponents are selected by the game and form a loose storyline.

Versus Mode - is PVP or player versus player and takes place on one of five stages.

Arcade Mode - you play in teams, any two unlocked characters for a ten battle progression.

Challenges mode should be done first. It has a training section to acquaint the player with the moves available with each character and the controls used to move and strike with the character. Once the player knows what he's doing, he's ready for the Trials section. Twenty scenarios make up the Trials with specific handicaps and parameters and each must be completed to succeed in the game. There are eight more scenarios available through the player's Uplay account.

Gameplay on the Wii U uses the gamepad or Wiimote and Nunchuk controllers. Using the gamepad, requires players to press buttons then trace patterns on the screen. The Wii remote inputs commands through the pad alone. The Wii gamepad takes advantage of the natural movement of pointing to control the game. The controller is held in one hand (the Nunchuck is held in the other hand and adds additional commands but doesn't have a pointing device) and pointed at the screen. Movements of the controller are tracked by an image sensor which can track movements along three axes.

Uplay came into being in 2009 with the release of the game, "Assassin's Creed II". It's a network which allows players to connect with other players and gain rewards through achievements in the game. Uplay targets four specific actions within the game to earn the player between five and forty units or reward points. The units can be used in any Uplay enabled game.

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Posted:
2013-03-11

plugster

Super Gamer Dude

Wii U

4.6

007 Legends for the Wii U is made up from six different classic James Bonds movies, tied together in a way which offers players a unique gaming experience. The six different stories are Moonraker, On Her Majesty's, Licensed to Kill, Die Another Day, Goldfinger and Skyfall. All the popular and most famous characters are included. Players will also have access to the typical technological gadgetry and weaponry.

This version of James Bond features some variations to the single player campaign and also offers a unique multiplayer experience. The multiplayer mode allows up to four players to join in at once and there are also new weapons, high-tech gadgetry and even new maps to explore online. The multiplayer mode of James Bond 007 Legends is a four-player split screen that also gives players the option of finding various unlockable items throughout the levels.

Some of the modes in the multiplayer feature let the player play as certain Bond characters. Besides the main storyline, players may also try their hand at the Mi6 Ops Missions or they may also play as some of the infamous Bond villains. This gives gamers a unique perspective from the viewpoint of both James Bond and his opposing villains.

This game begins from the ending portion of the 007 Skyfall's opening scene. The player will witness a cinematic view of 007 fighting someone on top of a train when a sniper from the MI-6 group successfully hits 007 which results in him falling off the train and into the nearby water. After some flashbacks, the player will begin to play the game.

The player may use stealth to their advantage to sneak past enemies but they can also fight off enemies whenever need be by utilizing a wide variety of weaponry. The player may use the Wii U game pad while in battle to swap out their weapons and may also tap the Wii Remote to change the weapons as well. Alongside the stealth, players can perform melee sneaking attacks or may also take advantage of their silenced weapons or shock darts if the moment calls for it. Once the player takes an enemy down, they will need to properly hide the body so that a patrolling guard or security camera doesn't spot it.

One of the most exciting points of the game is that the developer made it a point to incorporate the most important aspects of the films and story into the gameplay experience so that the player gets a fully immersive James Bond experience that spans several time periods. There are also other moments in the game that give the player an adrenaline rush. For example, there are moments in the game where the player may be required to utilized QTE commands to successfully defeat an enemy or get past a certain point. These exciting moments add to the gameplay experience and make the player feel more involved as the James Bond character. Once the player makes it to the end of the level in the game story they happen to be playing, they will encounter that story's main villain.

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Posted:
2014-11-02

plugster

Super Gamer Dude

PS4

7.3

The Evil Within is a tour de force of horror and a love letter to the genre its creator gave birth to almost 20 years ago. It expertly twists and turns through the dark corridors of a mind set loose. A symphony of gore and violence, its surprise terrors will first creep, then roar from climax to climax.

This survival horror action game sees you play as Sebastian, a detective en route to a mental hospital after a distress call. As hell breaks free from its constraints, thus begins a riveting adventure that proceeds through twisted psychic landscapes. It would be remiss to give away more, other than that you are often chasing or are chased by a mysterious scarred figure in a white cloak. The loose story sometimes resembles more the classic creepy stories of 19th century horror writers who used unease and peculiarities to set the mind awry, and sometimes it is closer to the slasher movies of the last few decades with harrowing set pieces of intense and macabre action. With a tempo that modulates these tendencies expertly, you'll not likely get bored of any one specific area before you're thrust into a new situation.

As you twist through the different stages of the adventure, you'll be playing in a format familiar to one of the director's previous works, Resident Evil 4. A camera sits comfortably behind our hero's back and he has various melee and firearm techniques to tactically dispose of his varied enemies, who each require different strategies to handle. Unlike the current paradigm of endless action though, the metronomic difficulty of The Evil Within relies more on quiet moments of desperation when you realize you just don't have enough juice to survive Rambo-style, and must forage for a way to get through with limited supplies.

In many ways, Evil Within plays more like a spiritual sequel to the early Resident Evil titles, with noble and useful new play ideas scattered throughout. Matches can burn enemies to prevent them from getting up. Preciously useful crossbow bolts can be manufactured from disarmed traps that may also kill you if you're not careful. Being vigilant and searching everywhere nets you gel that can be used to upgrade the power of certain weapons, health, speed and a great deal of other unique stats. (The otherworldly, not quite real hospital you do this in is a great touch. For people who remember the PSX Resident Evil titles, it's quite possibly the best "save room" ever, and simply must be experienced.)

Amidst this backdrop, the game neatly intertwines a variety of different elements to keep the stimulation fresh and exciting. Excellently designed boss battles are nearly all fresh and harrowing. Small sections of co-op play bloom when one of Sebastian's partners are encountered. Nods to classic story-telling techniques appear periodically in the form of enemy-less exploration netting exposition in text and audio logs. Tiny bits of Tomb Raider-like trap evasion or light puzzle-solving also contribute to the horror spectrum of experiences.

More than anything however, the myriad ways a player can power up Sebastian to power him through his horrific experiences, and the games' excellent enemy design combine to make a superbly re-playable game. On the default difficulty, it's likely death will become you quite frequently, but it isn't frustrating, due to fair segmenting between discrete level-like chapters and fairly spaced checkpoints. You can't simply barge through, but upon winning newer difficulties unlock that thoroughly prove how strong and deep the action engine is. There can be a lot of room for play here: dallying in tactics makes for horrific scenarios unique to each session, though the content itself doesn't change.

The Evil Within has some engine problems with frame rate and other small graphics issues. Some gamers don't like the letterbox-style "black bars," which were presumably put in to restrict view and make the game more cinematic. These concerns can be alleviated by switching options or purchasing the PC version, which will keep frame rate problems away on strong computers. PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are not recommended.

Otherwise, the game is a near flawless representation of the world of horror video game mechanics taken to their finest extreme.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-11-02

plugster

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox One

7.3

The Evil Within is a tour de force of horror and a love letter to the genre its creator gave birth to almost 20 years ago. It expertly twists and turns through the dark corridors of a mind set loose. A symphony of gore and violence, its surprise terrors will first creep, then roar from climax to climax.

This survival horror action game sees you play as Sebastian, a detective en route to a mental hospital after a distress call. As hell breaks free from its constraints, thus begins a riveting adventure that proceeds through twisted psychic landscapes. It would be remiss to give away more, other than that you are often chasing or are chased by a mysterious scarred figure in a white cloak. The loose story sometimes resembles more the classic creepy stories of 19th century horror writers who used unease and peculiarities to set the mind awry, and sometimes it is closer to the slasher movies of the last few decades with harrowing set pieces of intense and macabre action. With a tempo that modulates these tendencies expertly, you'll not likely get bored of any one specific area before you're thrust into a new situation.

As you twist through the different stages of the adventure, you'll be playing in a format familiar to one of the director's previous works, Resident Evil 4. A camera sits comfortably behind our hero's back and he has various melee and firearm techniques to tactically dispose of his varied enemies, who each require different strategies to handle. Unlike the current paradigm of endless action though, the metronomic difficulty of The Evil Within relies more on quiet moments of desperation when you realize you just don't have enough juice to survive Rambo-style, and must forage for a way to get through with limited supplies.

In many ways, Evil Within plays more like a spiritual sequel to the early Resident Evil titles, with noble and useful new play ideas scattered throughout. Matches can burn enemies to prevent them from getting up. Preciously useful crossbow bolts can be manufactured from disarmed traps that may also kill you if you're not careful. Being vigilant and searching everywhere nets you gel that can be used to upgrade the power of certain weapons, health, speed and a great deal of other unique stats. (The otherworldly, not quite real hospital you do this in is a great touch. For people who remember the PSX Resident Evil titles, it's quite possibly the best "save room" ever, and simply must be experienced.)

Amidst this backdrop, the game neatly intertwines a variety of different elements to keep the stimulation fresh and exciting. Excellently designed boss battles are nearly all fresh and harrowing. Small sections of co-op play bloom when one of Sebastian's partners are encountered. Nods to classic story-telling techniques appear periodically in the form of enemy-less exploration netting exposition in text and audio logs. Tiny bits of Tomb Raider-like trap evasion or light puzzle-solving also contribute to the horror spectrum of experiences.

More than anything however, the myriad ways a player can power up Sebastian to power him through his horrific experiences, and the games' excellent enemy design combine to make a superbly re-playable game. On the default difficulty, it's likely death will become you quite frequently, but it isn't frustrating, due to fair segmenting between discrete level-like chapters and fairly spaced checkpoints. You can't simply barge through, but upon winning newer difficulties unlock that thoroughly prove how strong and deep the action engine is. There can be a lot of room for play here: dallying in tactics makes for horrific scenarios unique to each session, though the content itself doesn't change.

The Evil Within has some engine problems with frame rate and other small graphics issues. Some gamers don't like the letterbox-style "black bars," which were presumably put in to restrict view and make the game more cinematic. These concerns can be alleviated by switching options or purchasing the PC version, which will keep frame rate problems away on strong computers. PS3 and Xbox 360 versions are not recommended.

Otherwise, the game is a near flawless representation of the world of horror video game mechanics taken to their finest extreme.


  Viewing Reviews 1-10 of 31