In some ways, 2011 has been the best year for gaming i can think of. In others, its been as disappointing as finding out Christina Hendricks’ tits are fake. I mean, they’re real and all, but Jesus, can you imagine if they weren’t? I dont know how i’d cope.
Poor old Space Marine. Space Marine was dealt a shitty hand from the start. For starters, it’s called Space Marine. And while the Warhammer Universe pretty much invented the idea of taking normal everyday Marines and putting them into outer space back in the fucking 80’s, the very term ‘space marine’ is nowadays pretty much a nom de plume for generic, uninspired 3rd person shooters, e.g. “Oh it’s just another bald space marine shooter”. It’s the equivalent of calling your brand new First Person Shooter “GRITTY BROWN DESERT SCENARIO WHERE EVERYONE SAYS “OSCAR MIKE” AND “DANGER CLOSE” ALL THE TIME”.
Sadly it’s not just the name dragging Space Marine down, the gamepaly comprises of doing pretty much the exact same thing to the exact same enemies in the exact same location for roughly 80% of the entire game. There are 2 varities of enemy, the Orks, and Chaos Space Marines. One of these enemy types charges at you in a brainless mob, over and over, screaming WAUUUUUGH and saying SPOICE MAWINE in a cock-er-ney accent, the other at least attempts to show some AI and fights you with a modicum of intelligence. Take a guess which variant you’ll spend the majority of the game fighting.
You could actually spend an hour playing the demo and you’ll have seen everything the campaign has to offer. Aside form some thrilling on rails shooting moments. Sigh.
Dead Space 2
In a parallel universe somewhere out there, James Cameron was never born. And in his place, Michael Bay directed Aliens. Vasquez was turned from a butch as fuck lesbian icon into Megan Fox and spends half the film bending over to pick up shit. Hicks was played by Shia LeBoeuf and instead of being an ultimate badass space marine, he’s now a quirky self conscious proto geek who discovers that through adversity he can overcome his adorable geekiness and bang Vasquez. All the aliens were replaced with CGI and there are 2 Aliens called roofus and doofus who provide the comic relief because theyre so inept at orally raping humans.
Thankfully, this universe doesn’t exist, yet. But in it’s place, we got Dead Space 2. Which is like if Transformers 2 Dark of the CGI jerk off session was actually renamed Aliens and marketed as the sequel to Alien. Dead Space 2 went to great lengths to take as much of a shit as humanly possible on it’s predecessors good name. Gone was any attempt at tension or atmosphere (cause it’s in space! lol!) and instead we got bombastic setpieces every time you turn a fucking corridor, a sassy female sidekick, and some of the worst, most cock headed game design this side of an Atari 2600 game about a man with a penis for a head.
Insipid fucking trash.
What the FUCK did Crytek do to my beloved Crysis? Crysis is a masterpiece FPS. Not because of it’s graphics, and the fact that it still looks better than pretty much everything released 3 years after it first came out. No. It’s a masterpiece because it’s a game that understands that in a game, fun should be whats paramount. Everything else is secondary. Crysis gives you a bunch of skills that can be used in any manner you like and an environment that practically begs you to have fun fucking about with it. It’s everything a shooter should be, forward thinking, fun, gorgeous, and not a corridor in sight. (just don’t mention the aliens). So the sequel was even better, right?
Crysis 2 is a game that assumes you, the player, are a fucking moron. It’s a game that much like a person rubbing a dog’s nose in its own shit, grabs you by the neck and says “hey, you, simpleton, look over here at this exciting fucking setpiece cause i spent a whole afternoon animating this shit and i’ll be fucking damned if im gonna let you miss it because you were too busy having fun to look in this direction”. It’s like the game is tolerating your presence as you would a particularly annoying child. It tries to placate your constant demands to throw boxes at enemies and blow up houses by showing you some TOTALLY AWESOME uninteractive setpieces, and by wrenching control from you so you can sit and watch some of the worst acting seen outside of an Ed Wood film get married to a script poorer than the Greek financial sector and a plot so incomprehensible you’d think it was being written on the fly by the 5 year old who writes Axe Cop.
LA Noire is not a game. LA Noire is what happens when a game designer mistakenly thinks he has the talent and directing ability of Hollywood’s finest, despite never actually taking any directing classes or studying films or basically doing anything that qualifies a director as being someone who is able to successfully direct a film. Much like how Crysis 2 thought it would be the world’s worst Sci-Fi action film first, and a videogame second, LA Noire decided it would try and be the stupidest, most laughable attempt at a Film Noir murder mystery first, and a game, eh, pretty much fucking nowhere.
LA Noire is actually pretty fucking hilarious in it’s attempt at being a videogame. Every now and again while roaming the streets you’ll get called to the scene of a crime and have to chase down a suspect. But you cant ever chase them down and arrest them. You have to shoot them. So my first instinct as a cop was go for a non lethal takedown and at least shoot the guy in the leg. So i aimed carefully and hit him square in the shin. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a fatal gunshot to the fucking ankle. Ditto when my attempt to disarm a pistol wielding thug by shooting his hand resulted in the suspects instant death. It gets to the stage where you know you’re going to wind up killing the suspect anyway so you may as well just shoot the fuckers on sight and get it over with. For a sequel, Agent Cole Phelps should pretty much be followed around by the Coroner and a Hearse at all times.
Then There’s the interrogations. A fucking laughable attempt at virtual Simon Says where you’re supposed to ‘read’ the facial expressions on the suspect, but its kinda hard to read their expression when every one of them looks like someone who’s had a facial transplant after a vicious chimp attack and is working as hard as possible to stretch every single facial muscle at all times. The facial animation is impressive at first, but after the initial wow factor wears off, you’re just left with talking faces that look like they’re being superimposed onto a mannequin in the world’s first ‘walking and looking at things-em up’.
And then there’s the story. The story is so fucking stupid that it makes Crysis 2’s attempt at sci-fi look like 2001. There’s a murderer in LA. And it’s up to agent Phelps to arrest every man in LA and wrongly charge them with the murders until through sheer luck he stumbles across the real perpetrator. The Detectives in LA Noire make Frank Drebin look like fucking Sherlock Holmes. You arrest a bloody neighbourhood’s worth of guys and charge them with murder, even tho the murders all have the exact same MO, in the same location, same type of victims, and even tho none of the details are given to the press, the reason for arresting so many obviously innocent men? They’re all copycat killers. Yet none of these innocent men ONCE protest their innocence, or deny murdering the women, or even get released once you do arrest the real killer! THIS SHIT MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE.
LA Noire fails as a game, it fails as a film, and it fails as a display of supposedly ground breaking animation because it just looks fucking wrong.