Quick Thoughts: Games Of The Early Fall Season

Time, it’s just not on my side these days.  Still, I’ve been able to play a lot of games lately and while I just haven’t gotten around to giving full impressions or reviews, I still wanted to give a little bit of insight into what I think.

So without further adieu, here’s a handful of games that could use some thoughts and opinions.

Borderlands 2
I know I already gave some detailed impressions, but I’ve recently (and finally) beaten the game.  So have my thoughts changed at all from my initial impressions? No, not really.  The game overall is so much better than the first.  The story and writing are much stronger, it now has an ending that makes sense, and the loot is still everywhere but this time more interesting.  The downsides remain including a few glitches here and there, lots of backtracking, and side missions that don’t really need to exist.

Forza Horizon
The Forza games have always impressed me with their beautiful graphics and attention to detail even if I’ve just never fully gotten into them.  I can appreciate the series.  Horizon is a step in a different direction even though the game retains the majority of what makes the series great.  The demo was so impressive in terms of the open world and the unreal level of polish and detail.  The game looks fantastic.  There’s no doubt that this is a well put together game and for those of you that like more realistic racers, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.

Darksiders II
Darksiders II takes the first game and basically rips it in half.  In almost every aspect, it improves and fixes the experience while adding new things like loot and customization.  The game retains it’s action combat and Zelda like dungeons, but this time gives you a huge open world to explore, complete tons of side quests, gain experience to level Death, and most importantly, acquire sweet loot like armor and weapons.  The experience is all around more focused, better implemented, and a lot of fun especially when you get your first possessed weapon.  These bad boys can actually be upgraded by feeding them items and once they level, they’ll acquire new abilities and increased stats.  The only thing that I can really complain about is how lengthy some of the dungeons can be.  For me, I felt that some didn’t need to be as long as they were, but overall, it’s been a very enjoyable game so far.

Fable: The Journey
I haven’t been tracking this game too closely, but I still wanted to give the demo a shot since I’ve played (and enjoyed) the other games.  The Journey just didn’t sit too well with me after firing up the demo.  It looks real good, but the controls kept failing me which made the experience more frustrating than anything else.  See, you use spells by doing simple arm movements.  So for example, a ball of lightning can be done by bringing your hand to your shoulder and pushing out at the tv.  Most of the time, it’s accurate and goes where it needs to.  Even though I was performing the motion as described by the game, Kinect would not pick up where I was aiming, so the lightning blast would shoot off in the wrong direction.  It happened quite a bit, enough for me to get frustrated and move on to something else.  Now, I’m not saying the game is bad, but definitely download the demo first and try for yourself.

Sleeping Dogs
This game really snuck up on me as it neared release.  I took a chance, picked it up, and fell in love with the open world Hong Kong that United Front Games created.  Sure, many people probably compared it to GTA, I can understand that.  Both are open world crime games, but Sleeping Dog has a few more tricks up it’s sleeve which helps it to stand apart.  First and foremost is the combat.  If you’ve played the newer Batman games, it controls very similar.  Enemies flash before they attack which lets you press the counter button.  In addition to some really slick kung fu animations, Wei can grab opponents and interact with objects in the environment for some really brutal 1 hit kills.  You’ll be able to do things like kicking someone into a phone booth, smashing someone head through an air vent, and so many other things. This helps make the combat simply fun.  The story is pretty interesting and there’s a ton of things to do in the city such as collectables, side missions, ambient missions, and side jobs for people.  This helps make the city feel more dynamic and life-like.  Doesn’t hurt that the game looks great as well.  Glad UFG was able to actually finish this and release it after being dumped midway through by Activision.

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