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Portal 2, Assassins Creed Brotherhood and Crysis 2

Oh dear it seems when I have 3 new games to play in short succession I don’t really want to do any writing Here are short reviews of the games I have been playing

Portal 2

Easily the best game of the year more charm than any of the solid but soulless AAA titles so far. Though let down by a few small thing. The single player puzzles often feel simple rarely having long multistage chambers like the first though the co-op remedies this and is often even funnier due to solving or failing puzzles in ridiculous ways it gives a huge buzz on doing something right that is lacking from the single player.

Smaller nit-picks I have are that the ending sequence was not in game something which has always previously always been one of Valves triumphs and the fact the game has loading screens that cut away from the game, again Valve has always previously kept your view during level changes. Those small nit-picks are essentially minor let-downs it what otherwise is a fantastic experience and the irrelevance of them for the most part should give an indication of how good this is.

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

I like this game but it does have some huge flaws the basic controls just feel dated remnants from no unused aspects of the first game, it is still far too difficult to do what you want in terms of going into combat or free running. Though this is never an issue as the game is rarely difficult it’s just a shame as it feels so clumsy.

There are still instant fail stealth missions but again the mechanics are not really up to it though it is counteracted by enemies having highly a limited field of view. The story is still a joke of inconsequential nonsense though the historical side is still genuinely interesting. The fact it this is still the only game (I am aware of) you get to run around in fantastic recreations of ancient cities and this is as interesting as ever.

All the extra parts are great there’s no shortage of content despite a relatively short story the meat of the game is in the extras, my favourites being assignation missions you can perform any way you want and recruiting assassins and sending them out though a text minigame.

Crysis 2

A very by the numbers if fantastic looking FPS that while mechanically a superior game to it’s prequels the less open levels make it a far less interesting game. So far this year it’s the only game I have thought is not a good purchase.

The influences of Modern Warfare 2 are clear to see in the single player with multiple sequences that have you crawling along the floor straight out of the finale of MW2 though without any of the cinematic gravitas the Modern Warfare games somehow manage. I find just as I am beginning to enjoy the game something comes along whether it’s rushing enemies that leaves you flailing around as you have no idea what is going on or levels ending just as you feel they started building up to something big. Another problem is having armour, sprint and cloak functions all running on the same resource this means that when a skill would be really useful you are least likely to have it especially the sprint dues to the lumbering tank you are regularly. This was less of an issue in the first game when you were often at range and you did not need to get away as urgently but the often cramped corridors make it utterly useless to try and do anything tactically.

Crysis 2 is a fantastic looking game while maybe only slightly more technically advanced it seems to have taken several steps forward artistically. Sadly such detailed graphics often make it visually too busy and it can be difficult to tell exactly what is going on especially when the alien enemies all rush you at once.

Crysis had a fairly irrelevant story but it did the job of moving the locations along here it is just a mess with plenty of interesting premise but none of the really interesting elements are really built on and killing of the protagonists from Crysis and Warhead off screen during an inconsequential flashback is just annoying. The voice acting is pretty awful I can’t remember the last time I was consistently reminded of how immersion breaking it could be especially with the polish of the rest of the game.