Call of Duty: Ghosts


This was the first game I played to the end on the new generation of consoles, and aside for some complex scenes it really does not look or feel like there has been any significant technological improvement – though to be fair it is a cross-generation release. It is in all aspects familiar to what has already been done in Modern Warfare and Black Ops, but the mixture is different.

The basic progression structure is more similar to Modern Warfare – it’s a railroaded experience where the story doesn’t branch and failure always means loading from a previous checkpoint. In terms of the gameplay, it has a few normal missions but most of them offer some big twist on the FPS formula. I do appreciate both of these as I play Call of Duty for the spectacle and the fps whack-a-mole where you immediately get shot if you stray too far from your team was never that appealing to me.

Narratively, the Call of Duty games have been on a decline since the first Modern Warfare – it started out alright with most of the script being emotionless military jargon which helped set the mood but didn’t push a contrived story at you. The more angry commanders and personal vendettas they added, the more they expected you to be invested in the characters the less it worked. Ghosts thankfully takes a step back from the last games of the last generation, but sadly this seems to be a temporary thing due to the emotional angles they’re setting up for the sequels.

Posted on Nov 24/13 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »

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Tetrobot and Co.


Tetrobot and Co. is a really sweet puzzle game in the Sokoban vein, essentially a turn-based, grid-based navigation puzzler that mostly revolves around moving blocks around. Puzzle games of this kind thread a risky path – it is very easy to make a game harder by obfuscating information, overwhelming the player or requiring perfect input. Tetrobot handles this beautifully and almost exclusively consists of logic puzzles that are as clean as Sokoban levels but varied and interesting due to the different elements in the game. Some puzzle elements are repeated a bit too often and the occasional behavior of a game object is kind of counterintuitive – together with heavy backtracking in some levels this occasionally makes it feel like Tetrobot and Co. is wasting your time. There is a generous rewind system in place though, and very little of the time I spent with the game felt like a chore.

There’s not much else to say about the game, really. It feels like a tablet game so PC controls were a little bit uncomfortable. At the time of this writing, there are some bugs that occasionally break the rewind system or force you to restart a level. There’s not much in terms of story or deeper meaning of the game. Gameplay-wise, though, it was near perfect for me with just enough variety and depth – this makes it easy to see past anything else.

Posted on Nov 03/13 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »