Bronze: Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 by CI Games
Don't get me wrong, the first Sniper: Ghost Warrior was a miserable game so it's not too surprising to see that the sequel isn't much better. What is surprising though is that the sequel actually fixes all of the problems with the first game. Big problems like enemy soldiers being able to shoot you from miles away with basic assault rifles and being forced to play awful missions where you aren't even a sniper are no longer problems in the sequel.
However, Ghost Warrior 2 manages to bring in a suite of new problems. The main problem was that the game didn't trust you to make any decisions yourself and you had to stick to the game's very rigid script. I know Call of Duty gets a lot of flack for being overly linear but this game is easily one of the most linear games I have ever played. You are almost constantly with a companion, making sure to not give away your position and you are only ever given the chance to kill people is when the game tells you to. There are some sections of the game where you are on your lonesome but these instances are rare. On top of that, the game is only 4 hours long and features the most scant multiplayer offerings I have ever seen in a shooter that has multiplayer.
1 Mode. 2 Maps.
- Ross Hartley
Silver: Dead Space 3 by Visceral Games
Dead Space 3 always had the deck stacked against it because it is a follow up to two of the finest games of this entire console generation. My hopes for Dead Space 3 were never too high because I wasn't overly impressed with what was shown of the game pre-release. A Lost Planet-esque snow planet and human-on-human violence are two things that I don't come to Dead Space for. To be fair though, those two aspects are reasonably well handled in Dead Space 3. The game is actually quite good overall and still has the same great gameplay from the previous games. However, Dead Space 3 has a some big drawbacks that dampened the experience and for me, it's nowhere near as good as the first two games.
First of all, I am not a huge fan of the new crafting system. It's not bad, it's just not something I wanted from Dead Space. As someone who just wants to use a Plasma Cutter, I found the crafting stuff to get in the way more often than not. I also couldn't care less about the inclusion of co-op play. From what I played, it seems well implemented but for a game that's mostly so claustrophobic, it felt like an afterthought. The main problem for me though was the fact that the game was far too long and the game has a lot of filler shoved in, like repeated rooms and crappy side-missions in order to pad out the game's length. While most games these days are too short, Dead Space 3 is far too long at around 20 hours and I was begging for it to be over. Generally, Dead Space 3 felt like an unnecessary sequel that was cobbled together but there is a great game still there, you just have to look for it.
Oh and the story is really dumb.
- Ross Hartley
Gold: Dead Island: Riptide by Techland
Dead Island: Riptide. Oh man... Dead Island wasn't a masterpiece by any stretch by imagination with its many bugs and general ugliness but it was a solid first attempt with big open environments and a satisfying first-person melee combat system. Riptide has these core elements but that's the main problem, there are 0 improvements. Sure, there is a new character class and some new weapons but the gameplay, structure and graphics are identical. The environments are not as memorable and feel far too similar to the jungle and city environments found in the original game. I was excited to see where Techland would take the series after enjoying the first Dead Island quite a bit but Riptide is one of the worst follow-ups I have played in recent years. Even the new novelty rap song can't hold a candle to that banging "Who Do You Voodoo?" tune.
- Ross Hartley