Release Date: Nov 4, 2008
ESRB Rating: Mature, for Blood, Gore and intense violence.
Available On: PC, Xbox 360 and PS3
Let me start this review off by saying, this game is not near as bad as I expected it to be. In all actuality, it was actually one of my favorite gaming experiences of last year. Now, that being said, this game is by no means amazing, but it can be a very enjoyable and satisfying gaming experience.
You take on the role of Charles Deckard, an art thief that has been hired by a millionaire to steal Pandora’s Box. You only have one thing that you are told to do before you steal it, that’s to open it. That when the fun… eh… I mean, trouble begins. Once you open Pandora’s Box you’re branded with a signet on your hand, which lets you do a few cool things. Soon after the box is opened creatures start pouring out, and I’m not talking about the pink fluffy kind. Griffins clog the skies, werewolves are eating everything that moves and a gigantic golem constructed of cars and concrete is terrorizing a panicked public.
This game is a shooter, and that’s all it tries to be. If you’ve ever played a game like Call of Duty, then you won’t have any problems playing this game. There are no iron sights, so the only time you’ll be clicking the right analog stick is when you have a sniper rifle. The weapons are kind of a mixed bag. You get a lot of them, but only two or three of them actually work that well. When your most powerful weapon is an axe, you know the developers didn’t do something right. You’ll probably get around 8-10 different weapons to play with, but like I said, you won’t be using seven of those. On the upside, the guns are all fun to shoot and look at. The sprinting feels clunky, and when you jump you’ll only get about 2 inches off the ground. There are a lot of things the developers could have done better, and maybe with more funding, they could have. The developers, Spark Unlimited, are the same people that brought us Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, so they have plenty of good ideas, but they seem to always fail to execute them. All that being said, blasting werewolves into oblivion never seems to get old, so there is definitely a good time to be had.
The level layout is painfully linear. It’s a, “From point A to point B” type of game. To take away from the linear level design, the developers gave you some pretty exotic environments. Sewers, castles and the streets of New York are a few; needless to say, you’ll never be bored with your surroundings. This game also sprinkles a few boss fights, which in my opinion, are great.
The game goes back to the old health bar system, but you won’t be picking up any health packs in along your way. You have the ability to drain a type of energy, called Animus, from the dead bodies of your enemies. This heals you and gives you a force push type power. So you’re rarely on the verge of death, and that feature almost makes the game too easy. The powers themselves almost feel like a missed opportunity, there is only one enemy in the game that the push power has any effect against, so you’ll rarely be using it. On top of that, there is never anything to use your powers on outside of combat; no puzzles, locks or anything. Right when you feel that nothing can stop you, the game knocks you off your high horse and teaches you how to die. Sadly, there isn’t much replay value to this game, and the multiplayer is practically dead. On top of that, the game probably won’t last you that long, maybe 8 hours at the most. Even with all of its faults, it’s still one heck of a game.
Lousy graphics was on the list of things I expected from this game. I was pleasantly surprised when I started the game up and realized I was wrong. The character detail is rather good, the monsters are beautiful and the environments look pretty good. The textures could have been a little bit better, and so could the special effects. My last gripe about the graphics would have to be the animations; there just aren’t many of them. Other than those few things, the graphics are really good.
The music was one of the highlights of the game. It’s rock fused with a little bit of classical. It fits all of the moments of the game perfectly. The sound effects are pretty impressive, and the voice acting isn’t half bad. There are a few instances that it kind of seems like they could have done a better job on the sound effects. Overall, the audio is good.
The game has some frame rate issues. If any hectic battle breaks out, you’ll notice it. The A.I. is sometimes painfully stupid. Towards the middle of the game you know everything all of your enemies are going to do. Clipping also happens a few times, you might even need restart from you’re most recent save. All of the things I’ve mentioned (except the A.I.) rarely occur, so it’s not much of an issue.
This is a very violent game; decapitations, dismemberment and gallons of blood are all present. Werewolves are the main enemy you will be facing, and you won’t need any silver bullets to take these guys out, all you’ll need is an axe and a well placed swing to the neck. The only way werewolves can be killed is through decapitation, so it gets very gory. You also have to kill human beings in the game, but I can’t say much more or I would give some of the story away. There are a few instances that involve men getting shoved into giant fan blades, which is, nasty, to say the least. Language is almost nonexistent, maybe a D*** every now and then. One or two female characters wear some form fitting outfits, but nothing sexual in the game at all. Now the game does kind of mess with the occult, it’s based heavily around Greek mythology, but it’s nothing you wouldn’t learn outside of your 10th grade history class. Like I mentioned earlier, you have the ability to drain energy from the bodies of your enemies, so that kind of falls into the magic category. Another thing worth mentioning is, one of your enemies named the, Nari, are in Slavic legend demonic beings whose origins are the souls of dead children. They can be heard giggling and singing as they gruesomely kill their prey. They can be quite disturbing.
This game is not without its faults, and like I mentioned before, it’s not a great game, but it is a good one. Seeing all of those creatures that you’ve read about come to life the way that they do is amazing. Once you come across your first Werewolf, Griffon or even Minotaur, you’ll see why this game is something special. The creatures themselves are what add something to this game that not many others have. Overall, it’s a fun game, and if you can get past the gore and slight occult themes, at least try this game, because it’s worth it.
Game Score - 37/50
Game play - 15/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3/5
Morality Score – 32.5/50
Violence - 2/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content – 8.5/10
Occult/Supernatural – 6.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical – 8.5/10