#9 – Section 8: Prejudice (PC)

I finished this one on accident. I mean, I meant to play Section 8: Prejudice, and I fired up the campaign that I had in progress from the last time I played it, but I didn’t realize it was so close to the end. As in, it was the last level. I steamrolled it because I found out afterward the difficulty for the whole campaign was set on easy. I can’t remember if that was the default or if I even had a choice in the matter.

Anyway, Section 8 is a lot like the Tribes games. You have a jetpack, a couple of weapons, selectable loadouts, large maps, lots of players. The single player is nothing like the multiplayer. It’s just a linear tour through some level geometry. One of the neat things about it is that everything drops out of the sky rather than materialize out of thin air. Kind of like Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, which was an amazing game. It’s a little ugly, but probably on purpose because of the intended high player counts. I just browsed a few of the game modes, and I saw 9 players on a 32  max map, and that was the most populated server.

3 robot men falling out of the sky out of 5

RE5: Desperate Escape

I feel like I’m on a roll here and didn’t want to lose momentum so I blasted through Desperate Escape too. Desperate Escape is the opposite of Lost in Nightmares. It’s a straight action shooting gallery. It also fills in a spot in the plot that wasn’t really needed. No boss fight, but plenty of Majini to shoot to pieces. There’s one new enemy but it’s another slow bullet sponge. It’s really interesting to see how hard the game and its designers are willing to swing between slow paved tension and frantic action.

RE5: Lost in Nightmares

This doesn’t count because it’s DLC but I want to post about it anyway. So this is a weird thing. You play as Chris and Jill, you’re in a mansion, it looks an awful lot like the mansion from RE1, but it’s not. Even the layout is pretty much the same as the mansion in RE1. There’s one enemy type and a familiar boss fight. It took me less than 48 minutes to complete, but it felt way more Resident Evil than RE5 itself. You’re creeping around in a spooky mansion. There’s plenty of tension. There’s even an “itchy… tasty…” reference. The “story” (there isn’t much of one) fills in one specific blank in the plot of RE5, and that’s about it.

#7 – Resident Evil 5 (X360)

What do I have to say about Resident Evil 5? When I left off last time, I was halfway through the game and couldn’t be bothered to finish it. I recently got the Resident Evil 6 Archives, so I felt compelled to power through this one so I wouldn’t be lost in 6.

Resident Evil 5 feels like it jammed together Resident Evil 4 (totally fucking awesome) and Resident Evil Zero. I’m one of the few people who actually enjoyed Resident Evil Zero, so it would make sense that I would enjoy Resident Evil 5, but it’s not that great. The enemies are somehow stupider than most RE enemies. The friendly AI partner is mostly competent but not great. The biggest offense it commits is poor choice of weaponry. When I give it a rifle and a pistol, it’ll use the pistol until the ammo is depleted before using the much more powerful rifle. This isn’t much a problem fighting normal enemies, but it’s very annoying when you’re fighting the mid-range to boss level enemies. I mean I gave the AI partner the rifle for a reason.

There are also some tonal changes in Resident Evil 5. The game is more action-y, even more so than RE4. You still can’t move and shoot at the same time, but you can sidestep, and there are even enemies with rifles who shoot at you. The story is your basic Resident Evil nonsense; someone has a virus, it turns people into monsters, they want to use it on a lot of people, the end. There’s a “shocking twist” 3/4ths through the game that is absolutely obvious well before you get to it.

But Resident Evil 5 isn’t really a bad game. It’s quirky, for sure, but it’s competent.

3 tentacle snake monsters out of 5

Here’s why I liked Killzone 2.

I’m still stuck in a gaming rut, even though I started Journey. I’ll finish it this weekend when I can sit down and play it straight through. The PS4 announcement and subsequent announcement of Killzone: Shadow Fall is making me think about how much I liked Killzone 2. Since I’m talking about ending stuff, here’s a break. Don’t read the rest of this unless you’ve played it or you really don’t care about spoilers! Continue reading Here’s why I liked Killzone 2.

#6 – Mass Effect 3 (PS3)

I finally finished the trilogy. I intended on completing all the DLC but I passed on “Omega” for Mass Effect 3. Other than that, I played all of it. The first thing I have to say is that I didn’t hate the ending, even if I chose the wrong one. I don’t really get the hate for the ending in the first place. The whole game is about giving you mostly superficial choices. The endings are in line with that.

Mass Effect 3 is the best playing of all of them. The combat is more action-y and the stuff outside of combat is smoothed out so that you are making an effort but it’s not mindblowingly boring or tedious. No Mako, no resource collection, not much planet scanning. I’m rather glad that the crew in ME3 is reduced back down to ME1 numbers. The huge cast in ME2 was almost a necessity since the main plot didn’t really go anywhere. There’s enough to do with the story in ME3 that the off-plot missions are nice diversions.

The whole trilogy is certainly worth playing, even if Mass Effect 1 is starting to show a little age. Get them on consoles (to avoid Origin), and get the DLC. It soaked up an entire month of weekends for me and it was totally worth it.