October 25, 2010

Review – Quantum Theory

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 2:29 pm

Quantum Theory
Quantum Theory isn’t the worst game I’ve ever played.

If that line doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement toward the positive however, that’s probably because it’s not.

There’s an early sequence during the player’s rampage through an ominous tower filled with evolutionary chaos, where a cinematic break is required to introduce the largest example of greyish-blobbish indistinguishable enemy yet encountered. The creature materializes from a swirling cloud and kills several smaller enemies before kicking the player back into the game to suddenly deal with this escalation of battle, only to find 4-5 quick shots that would dispatch any normal enemy also enough to stop this beast dead in its tracks as well.

Much ado about nothing seemed to sum up the experience. Yet somewhere in that moment I found words to summarize my time with the game, the distinct feeling that the development team begrudgingly finished this title for release with the collective battlecry “MEH” heard ringing around the office.


October 20, 2010

Review – Vanquish

The squad of marines pushed forward as enemy grunts shimmered Soviet-era red from cover points along the hillside. At the peak, a giant robotic crab tossed wreckage indiscriminately, forcing me to rush between cover while pumping bullets into robotic soldiers never shy about disregarding their own safety to invade my personal space.

Quick melee attacks cut them in half easily enough – the trick is in making sure to finish the job, least their broken carcasses scurry along the ground hoping to detonate as close as possible.

About halfway up the hillside, a tower collapsed and spread more debris and smoke over the battlefield while a horde of enemy reinforcements broke through an opening to thwart my advance.

All that cover may make it seem worth stopping for a smoke break until the dust settles, and Sam Gideon is always willing to steal a few puffs whenever the moment presents itself, but sitting to wait the war out from a safe vantage point is rarely an option. Momentum encourages players to keep moving with a beat that begins the moment Sam crashes aboard the orbital space colony at the center of a fresh Russia vs. America conflict, and Vanquish uses every last enemy capable of carrying a weapon to keep your ass moving.

The achievement for surviving the first stage of the invasion is dubbed “Space Normandy” for good reason. Platinum Games has married the gritty realism of battle typically assigned to games based on the Second World War with the anime lasers and sheen of influences like Neo-Human Casshern to create a third-person Sci-Fi D-Day.

Along the way it becomes clear that the rumored irrelevance of Japanese videogame design continues to be greatly exaggerated, with Vanquish offering a level of exquisite mathematics that make trigger fingers tingle with a workout unmatched by heavier North American releases.


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