Mopping up.

I’ve got entirely too many games in my Steam account that I haven’t finished, so I’ve dedicated the last couple weeks to cleaning them up by wrapping up a few that I’d started. Trying to clean up the easy ones means linear shooters, so here’s what I think of a few of them!

Homefront could have been called Call of Duty: Red Dawn, except instead of Soviets, it’s the Koreans (primarily North Koreans) that are invading. The game goes to some lengths to try to make you hate the Koreans, typically in the same manner used in Red Dawn. Americans have been round up and put in camps! They’re executing us in groups! Mass graves! But this is the game that sank Kaos Studios, because the guns all feel the same, and the single-player game is so short. Four hours short. And I guess the multiplayer community died quick, but I don’t particularly care about that. It’s okay. C+

Transformers: War for Cybertron is a good Transformers game. Wrap your brain around that. High Moon Studios clearly cares about the franchise, and went to some lengths to include a large number of popular Transformers, as well as lesser known ones. This game is not related to the Michael Bay movies. Even if the action is a little repetitive, it’s a bold move to make a three-player coop, no cover system, third person shooter nowadays. The voice acting is fantastic, and the last couple missions are really awesome. If you like Tranformers, It’s a solid A. For everyone else, it’s a decent action game.

A lot of people hate Brink. I guess they never played Quake Wars and were expecting a multiplayer Mirror’s Edge. I, however, loved Quake Wars, so I guess I was a little surprised at the smaller focus of Brink more than anything. The movement system, which looks cooler than is actually useful, doesn’t make up for the lack of vehicles and sprawling outdoor maps, but the persistent stats help. I played the whole game solo, despite that not being the game’s strength, and there were a couple of missions where I got exceptionally frustrated at the lack of AI support. At times, it felt like the enemy team had more players, or at least better focus. Regardless, it looks good and plays pretty well (considering the complexity), even if Splash Damage can’t live up to their previous games. C

If I had noticed that Inversion was developed by Saber Interactive, the same team that TimeShift, I probably would have passed on it. When I bought it, I think I might have confused it for Hybrid, which is another cover-based third-person shooter but it’s made by 5th Cell, who made Scribblenauts. I like Scribblenauts. I think TimeShift was a big letdown. Inversion is also a letdown! Here’s Inversion: take Gears of War (literally all of it, the bad guys coming out of the ground, the cover system, the two weapon and grenades limit, the “find my ” story, buddy of Hispanic descent, everything), and add in some goofy gravity tricks. You’ve got a gun that can lower gravity and raise gravity in small areas. You pass through some zero gravity areas by moving from one chunk of environment to another. Your gravity gun can also pick up and throw stuff, like cars, which only becomes useful when you’re forced to do it to defeat a boss. The story is just as quickly vomited out at the end as it is in Gears of War. This game is Gears of War, except not as good-looking, and not as fun. D+

I still have a pile of games, even good games like Skyrim, and Darksiders 2, and Saint’s Row: The Third, but Borderlands 2 is out soon.