Infamous: Second Son


Infamous is very much a game focused around empowering the player – there are story elements and a few limitations in the name of progression, but for the most part it’s the kind of sandbox game that gives you an area and tells you to have at it. The gameplay experience is very smooth – movement and combat are both easily manageable and there’s rarely any difficulty spikes or annoying elements you have to deal with – while this could make for an uninteresting experience, Infamous throws a variety of missions and side missions at the player to keep things interesting.

It also has the nice feature of having different powers that really feel different – each style contains a certain set of attack and movement powers, similar enough that no combination is completely useless in any situation but different enough that they feel different. In addition, a lot of work have gone into the visual effects and  making the powers look distinct.

Different sandbox games focus on selling different experiences, Infamous feels like it’s selling the superhero/supervillain experience remarkably well.

Posted on Jun 28/14 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »

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Wolfenstein: the New Order


The upgrade system in Wolfenstein is exceptionally well balanced – it’s not apparent at first when you’re just learning the ropes, then you’re unlocking things just as a side effect of playing the game a certain way, after awhile you’re deliberately unlocking things in the same category and finally you’re trying out new strategies just to get those elusive last few unlocks. It’s the hallmark of a good leveling system that it encourages you to explore the possibilities of the game and a trait of a balanced game that you continue using a majority of different strategies even when there’s nothing left to unlock – it’s been a long while since I got so deeply into an FPS.

Other than that, Wolfenstein is a grand game with meticulous detail in the right places. It has the audacity to include monstrous robots, lunar bases and underwater temples but the insight to make it all somewhat plausible with a large amount of human moments and reminders of what the world has turned into everywhere you look. It’s a careful balance between intense action and war drama but I found it struck it perfectly for the kind of game it is.

Oh, and I also played Transistor. Supergiant has crafted a cyberpunk noir story that is refreshingly unique and managed to make a working hybrid of an action- and turn-based RPG. It’s no small feat and fighting normally just to sequence into a turn-based mode where you can make sure the crazy skillshots hit is very gratifying.

Posted on Jun 04/14 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »