PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

GREED – Black Border (PC)
Published by: HeadUp Games
Rated: for Teen 16
Available on PC
Single and Multiplayer
Price: $19.95
System Requirements:
DirectX 9.0c Graphics with Pixel Shader
CPU: Intel P4 3.2 GHz, AMD 64 3500+
RAM: Min. 1 GB
Display: 1024x768
DVD-ROM

Thank you GamersGate for supplying us with the review copy.

Captain’s Log, Star date 2010: Upon playing Greed: Black Border, my search for a fun, space themed, hack n\' slash game is still ongoing.

When you begin the game you must choose between three classes of characters, each specializing in short, medium and long distance firing range. I chose the marine with the medium firing range. I would have liked to try the female character, but sniping has never been my specialty. The game’s storyline is pretty basic where you receive a distress call from a ship mining the invaluable resource, ikarium. Upon landing on the ship, you discover that it’s pretty deserted except for mindless zombies and saw bearing robots that don’t play nice. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but the game’s title will become more relevant as the story unravels.

There are three chapters in this game and about six different enemy types. There’s not a whole lot of variety here. You’ll be fighting zombies, robots, crabs, scorpions, bugs and alien robots. The enemies just get harder and have more hit points as you progress. Some of the enemies will use elemental attacks such as fire, electricity and poison. Each chapter has a boss battle at the end. The bosses are HARD; they have an insane amount of hit points and do massive amounts of damage. The inventory system is definitely lacking and you’re limited to only carrying nine med-packs. I’ll admit that I cheated and used a trainer to get unlimited health to beat the bosses.
Highlights:

Strengths: Decent 3D graphics, Upgradable weapons and armor
Weaknesses: Boring enemies, Average game play, no servers to join
Moral Warnings: Violence, Blood puddles, and minor swearing

To fight the enemies you can use the left and right click buttons to fire your weapon and to use a class power. As you gain experience you can add points to your skill tree to use attacks like berserker, frag grenades, projectile nuclear missiles, land mines, and so on. There are defensive skills like a protective barrier and health regeneration. The bottom of the screen will display your health, energy, and shield meters. The shield is similar to Halo where your shield takes damage first but after that’s gone, your hit points go down. The shield regenerates automatically as long as you’re not taking damage. When fighting you can use the WASD keys to dodge and somersault out of harm’s way. These moves, along with missiles, frag grenades, and land mines will consume energy. You can collect up to nine energy containers to refill your energy in the heat of battle. With every new level the player can assign more points to their health, shield, or energy.

Another similarity to Halo is the check point system. I hate not being able to save on the fly. The check point locations are plentiful on some maps but really lacking in others so this is truly a mixed bag. Often when I opened the game menu options it would crash my game to the desktop. If you must open up the game menu, make sure you save first!
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score: 58%
Game Play: 9/20
Sound: 7/10
Graphics: 7/10
Stability: 3/5
Controls/Interface: 3/5

Moral Score: 83%
Violence: 5/10
Language: 6.5/10
Sexuality: 10/10
Occult: 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 10/10

Like many click and kill RPG’s, the enemies will drop loot thus whetting your appetite for better armor and weapons. The armor, guns, and helmet have a socket for upgradability. Make sure you choose your upgrade wisely because you cannot remove the item after it has been installed. Later in the game you’ll meet up with a greedy trader and you can buy and sell some equipment from him. You can even teleport back and forth as your inventory fills up quickly.

The maps are pretty big and the scenery changes with each chapter. There are many Metal Gear like puzzles that involve swarming lasers, blades and electrified floor panels that mean instant death if you touch them for too long yet you still have to cross it. Many areas of the maps are only accessible through key cards and key codes. Make sure you explore every room and read the journal entries for clues on how to unlock combination doors.

Graphically this game is decent and it is 3D rendered. The enemies are repetitive and the colors are bland but the physics and particle effects look good. The camera is in a third person perspective and you can zoom in and out to see more details. The maps are littered with explosive barrels so there are plenty of opportunities to watch explosions and blow your enemies away (literally).

The sound department is lack luster. The music loops and enemy noises get repetitive after a while. You can always tell when a zombie is nearby. The voice acting on the other hand, is decent.

From an appropriateness stand point there is plenty of defensive violence. This is a kill or be killed game. There are often blood puddles and body parts laying around so that’s the main reason for it’s teen rating. The \'D\' word is used a couple of times.

Although there is multiplayer, I have been unable to try it. I did not see any online servers to join and the DRM restricts me from installing it on other computers in my house. After you beat the game a harder level is unlocked, but its only feature is more difficult enemies. To be quite honest, I have no interest in playing this game again. I’ve seen all six enemies already.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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