Sunday, July 21, 2013

Antichamber Review

Game:  Antichamber
Year (s):  2013
Company:  dev.  Alexander Bruce
pub.  Demruth
Engine:  Unreal Engine 3
Type:  Puzzle
Viewpoint:  First-Person
Metacritic Score: 82
My Score:  An astonishing shit.

Price (as of July 21, 2013)

Regular list price on Steam:  $20
Lowest Buy-It-Now on eBay (new, with shipping):  Not Available

My Game Time: 18 minutes

Obligatory Trailer:


I first noticed Antichamber about a month ago.  After watching the trailer, I came away thinking that it had graphics to rival that of 1990 (I am not exaggerating, check out the trailer).  Nonetheless, it had a decent Metacritic score, solid reviews, a few awards, and sounded like something different.  When it was discounted during Steam's summer sale for six bucks, I figured it was worht a shot.

Antichamber is a game without an introduction or tutorial.  You start off with a red flight of stairs going down, and a blue one going up.  There are two pictures on the walls that change, but there are no clues as to what you're supposed to be doing.  At one point, I'm pretty sure I found the objective, but I couldn't figure out how to interact with it.  I tried hitting E, F, clicking the mouse, nothing.  So I continued on the stairs.  After eighteen minutes of that, I deleted the game.

Don't be fooled with the Escher-esque pitch, the awards, or anything else.  This game looks awful, teaches you nothing, and, out of 176 total games, is THE WORST GAME I have ever gotten through Steam.

Friday, July 5, 2013

BRINK review

Game:  BRINK
Year (s):  2011
Company:  dev.  Splash Damage
pub.  Bethesda Softworks
Engine:  id Tech 4 (modified)
Type:  Red vs. Blue shooter
Viewpoint:  First-Person
Metacritic Score: 72

Price (as of June 26, 2013)

Regular list price on Steam:  $19.99
Lowest Buy-It-Now on eBay (new, with shipping):  $6

Obligatory Trailer:

The Good

BRINK allows for a great deal of unlockable abilities and weapon customization.  The more you play, the more things you have access to.  A selection of dozens of firearms are avialable, and any weapon can be used by any character class.  There are a few different game types to keep things interesting, and there's full bot support.

The Bad

As shown in the trailer, the game is supposed to be big on parkour movement (trailer is NOT actual gameplay).  During the campaign I could climb on some objects and sometimes get a slide to work.  I found this more realistic, but not particularly useful in a firefight.  I certainly didn't move like they do in the trailer, I don't know if these movements had to be unlocked or if the game just failed to teach players how to do things.

Another flaw is lack of a map or compass waypoints for objectives.  Levels are not symmetrical.  While I could see where my teammates were, following bots doesn't always lead one in the right direction.

Personally, I didn't feel that the four classes were very different.  Some objectives had to be completed by a specific class, but gameplay was mostly the same.  

The Verdict

BRINK is one of those games that is meant to be played with friends.  I think I could really get into the unlocking and weapon customization aspects, but my experience playing with bots was just not quite enough to have me tell friends to buy this.  BRINK isn't a bad game, per se, it just didn't do it for me.