Gaming in a time when us long abused scapegoats have risen with pitchforks in hand. A Marxist living in a time of political, racial, and gender McCarthyite witch-hunts that involve no shortage of ideological civil war. An anti-theist in a time of mass-enlightenment via the internet and superstition's initial stages of total structural collapse. In these alone I cannot mark myself a revolutionary but at the same time cannot help but find kinship with those of revolutionary flavor.
Game Review on Dec 30th, 2014 - 2 people agree
There isn't any way around it, this is a much more in-depth fantasy version of Civilization 5. Aside from all the depth and such, the setting feels far more fitting than the "insert X historical leader as the figurehead of X nation" of Civilization. The "world gets periodically buried in an ice age" lore simply works well, where that historical stuff is fun but wears quickly; at least in my experience. It generally helps the diversity of the world, factions, and even is a gameplay element with the onset of a punishing winter for elongated periods of time.
City placement isn't dictated by distance between cities but rather they're divided by generated provinces you can claim with a single city, entirely doing away with gamey nonsense and weird broken borders typical to Civ5. Technology is organic, only divided into tiers rather than mandatory lines of progress more like a loading bar as a manifestation of your needs. After having played a number of Paradox strategy games, I've come to appreciate a good UI and this game certainly isn't hard to navigate through; everything's where it should be, no hassle.
Diplomacy isn't the typical limited rigid enemy/neutral/friendly set either. By default nations are in a state of "cold war" from which point they can either become friendly or fight their opposition's armies over control of neutral territory. You can also compliment and insult, among other things to decrease or increase the cost of certain types of diplomatic declarations and agreements. No longer are the days of "I really want to kill that guy's settler but I really don't want to declare war on him" as now you can simply slaughter them along with everything else.
Units are one of the finer points of this developer's games, at least compared to most generic units in strategy games. Each faction has three basic units but you can drastically alter them by creating(renaming kinda) a new unit with better equipment, along with any minor faction's units you pick up along the way. You could make your ranged units more durable than any generic mele unit, create a berserker unit, or even the most expensive upgraded thing you can get your hands on.
Heroes play a role much like characters in more recent Total War games. They can be given the finest equipment your nation has like any unit and eventually level-up to be anything from a skilled administrator to a glorious commander through a very Total War-esq tree of passive boons. In battle, they also play a role as a most effective unit.
Faction diversity's easily among the strongest features of this game, going against the current trend of making factions very much the same as each other. For instance, one of them can only build a single powerful city and subjugate distant minor faction villages which then occasionally supply that faction with free units. Another can only increase its population and heal units through using dust (magical money). The trader faction can even uproot its cities and set down somewhere else at will. This vast difference between factions is only further supplemented by the ability to create custom factions, with a limited point system providing you a series of boons along with crippling debuffs to choose from; ensuring balance.
If you've enjoyed Civilization, you'll probably find this game surpasses it in pretty much every way—though the character limit on custom names is truly criminal.
Game Review on Dec 28th, 2014 - 1 person agrees 1 person doesn't
Pretty effects and lighting aside, the game's art style is the typical boringly realistic shade of boring most AAA games adopt these days. Unless its raining it'll bore your eyes, or rather as long as it isn't a happy generic sunny color-faded day it'll probably look good.
The game's mechanics in general ooze bad console-port, from that one second it takes your character to acknowledge you just pressed W to start moving, the ****** targeting system, 30 FPS cutscenes, and the hilariously obtuse "tactical camera." If I wasn't forced to buy it on Origin, I'd have to swear it were a Ubisoft game based on the aforementioned.
Perhaps the most criminal thing about this game is how much it feels like an MMO, minus the actual multiplayer; in fact, the limited multiplayer that you can play that has nothing to do with the single player campaign is essentially broken. Most of the game's content is not much less vapid than the typical MMO's and the primary story feels disjointed from all this extra nonsense bobbing about demanding your attention. So far, the first few hours aren't very interesting at all and I haven't been able to force myself to play anymore than a couple hours on any given day to find out if it does ever indeed become interesting.
Not until something like a dozen or more hours into the game does it actually become interesting, which is quite pathetic for what one would expect of Bioware game. Generally, you'd do well to do only what's non-MMO time-filler content as much as possible. You'll probably level fast enough to not have to.
Game Review on Sep 28th, 2014 - 4 people agree
It's almost a shame this game's fallen into obscurity and never really was well known to begin with. The gameplay and story were good and it looked great for its time, easily overshadowing the original Company of Heroes at least in the looks department.
It tried to do something new, tossing out the old base building RTS model and putting the focus on combat and a host of support abilities going as far as tactical nukes. You could take on any number of roles between, infantry, armour, ground or air support and weren't dependent on some perfect build or way of doing anything like the typical RTS. Merging well, both the mentality of the fast pace of the shooter genre and the tactical/strategic understanding one needs in an RTS make this different but again very good.
The story wasn't the now all too frequent simpleton's propoganda infused anti-USSR plot, it was about two massive empires waging war without a metric ton political baggage ruining the story. There were instances where the political officer would reference his connections to the Politburo, along with the idiot nephew who was the poster child of propaganda incensed idiocy. That's all it took to get the message across to the player that the USSR was internally screwed, without being so lazy as to just toss dozens of civilians being mowed down before the players eyes or an having entire platoon's worth of men gunned down by their own machine guns.
And the US wasn't portrayed as the mystical savior either, as most of NATO was portrayed in the game and on its own territory, the United States had to resort to reasonably desprate measures. In that, I can respect the writers and whoever else was involved in actually bothering to come up with an enjoyable realistic story.
Game Review on Sep 28th, 2014
Among the numerous Paradox strategy game series', this one certainly isn't lacking in the content department. Character creation allows you to do what you will with any given starting character, from making ugly weak dwarfs to brilliant strong madmen. Count to Emperor; you can take many positions and generally do a great deal from any of them. However, that's about as far as my praise goes.
This game most shortly put is an offense to whatever senses of logic I poses. It confounds me so to no end, as I have struggled to find any enjoyment in this game beyond being a subjugate duke or king below another person in multiplayer and for extremely limited periods of time. The sheer massive lists of persons throughout the world to suffer is only one among many of my problems with this game that exemplify the core problem of this game: tedium.
Your own family will constantly complain or try to kill you if you refuse to give them half of your personal titles. In some parts of the world, random armies of holy warriors from one cult or the other will invade you relentlessly unless you do so first. The passing-on of titles from one heir to the next is nigh unintelligible. Buildings are essentially pointless to invest in, when you could just spend that money on mercenaries that are generally lead by their own badass commanders. Technology is pretty much pointless outside of anything that expands the number of titles you can hold or those that curry the favor of your lessers. War is simply a numbers game, if you have a few thousand more men than your enemy you win; unless you do something incredibly stupid like crossing the Gibraltar or between Ireland & Britain. Generally really, the UI is abysmal and finding or doing anything is a chore on top of all of the above.
If you're attentive and can find entertainment in stabbing the same king of the same country in the face long enough to become emperor of the universe or love clicking on diplomacy windows all day, you may well find
Game Review on May 27th, 2014 - 3 people agree 2 people don't
At the very least, I can say this game is something of a mechanical masterpiece aside from some of the sticky console mechanics that are all too obvious. You can't even completely turn auto-assist off.
The hacking is satisfying enough, allowing you to manipulate practically everything electronic in site. From being able to burst a small pipe aside a building to stun targets or a pipe beneath the streets to blast a multitude of cars into the sky, there are at least about a dozen or two different things you can deploy or implode to serve your needs.
Surprisingly the AI is extremely good, often flanking and working together for once. Even police, often not much more than fodder, are lethal and dogged pursuers you would do well to avoid altogether. Though the one issue with the game's world is how awkwardly forgiving and unforgiving it can be. For as much as police are deadly, unless they're summoned by a mission's script, you will rarely be able to catch their attention if ever; you can run over several pedestrians and a number of things on any given side walk without an ounce of heat gained.
Visually, it isn't as impressive as it was previously, even at maximum settings. The textures were clearly downgraded among other things. Another major issue in that department would be the extremely short load distance, allowing you only to see a couple hundred meters in front of you a whole bunch of objects phasing into the world and probably being the source of a great deal of lag when driving at high speeds. However the Worse Mod makes the game both look and run better. If you've got a super rig, you can make it look just as good if not better than it was at its E3 reveal.
The multiplayer modes are all quite good, allowing you to do a variety of things; racing, capture the flag(decryption), plain old classic coop world roaming with a limitation of eight players, among others including the 1v1 modes and so on. Granted Uplay is a terrible service, so if you really hate Ubisoft's DRM & digital store be aware the game will be based off of their ****** service.
Some would say the main character is the boring stereotypical badass protagonist, however I consider him perfect for the type of game this is. They provide just enough of a foundation of motive that allows the player to have whatever play style they prefer. Want to be silent and sneaky, saving people in the dark dank alleyways or kill lots of people and steal everybody's money? Have at it.
In the end, most problems lie in the performance department, aside from the previously mentioned awkward ludonarrative dissonance in the world's reaction to the player's actions. And on a general side note, guns feel pretty powerful, explosions aren't Hollywood pyrotechnic displays, making it a more realistic grounded experience in contrast to something like Saints Row or GTA.
Game Review on Mar 29th, 2014 - 9 people agree 1 person doesn't
This game is just a mess. After half a year it's still broken and DICE continues to mock the ire of its own fans.
After one broken game after another, I'm just going to outright stop buying their broken ****. At most I'll await the reviews of the upcoming Battlefront, otherwise I'm entirely done giving EA my money.
Game Review on Mar 3rd, 2014 - 1 person agrees
For a complicated game, the UI and everything in general are intuitive and not too hard to understand. Comparatively, pretty much every last grand strategy I tried in the past simply was too crazy and unintelligible for someone new to such a genre, like myself.
However simple though, if you're looking for a war simulator look elsewhere. This game's about international relations and nation management, the least of which is on the list of priorities is throwing armies around like you would in a Total War game and absorbing every last chunk of territory you can get your hands on. It's not as though if you want to be the Napoleon of the 1500s you can't be, however you'll likely have several major nations invading you, very few friends after a short while, and all of twenty men left if you don't manage your manpower well. Rifles may very well partially grow on trees but the men who wield them don't.
I'd recomend starting as England, allowing you to be able to focus on learning how to effectively manage internal affairs before dealing with international politic heavy nations like Austria or most any other surrounded by neighbors. As a more isolated nation, it also seems to have more internal events, civil wars, and rebellions which will likely be your undoing but teach you much. It's also a nice place to watch the world develop so you can gain a basic understanding of the world's progression through time, from national motives, to religions, ect.
Simply summarized, this game's an imperialism simulator. If you're trying to be the nicest, most lovable, cuddly dictator then you'll soon be invaded and end up like Ned Stark.
Mod Review on Feb 28th, 2014
Even in beta, this mod was better than most any other mod for Sins if not all other available ones without contest. I can only imagine how much quality content can be added onto it in the future.
Game Review on Feb 26th, 2014 - 2 people agree
Mod Review on Jan 31st, 2014 - 1 person agrees 2 people don't
Six factions, plenty of additional structures, and almost every ship you could want from them. However the whole thing is poorly enlarged in scale in every respect, making resources awkward, the sizes of ships varying in inaccuracy compared to each other, and in the end just generally making this unrefined mod even less stable and more laggy.
The textures could use quite a bit of fixing, the whole economy feels unbalanced as hell due to the overhauled scale, and the way in which you acquire a titan aka a "supercap" is so confounded that still to this day I have no idea how I called them in yet I always managed to do so eventually.
The effort to add a larger experience is there, but they don't seem to have that much interest in balancing or fixing it.