Geek Citadel Mini-Reviews: Metro: Last Light, Reus, and Deadly Premonition
Deadly Premonition can only be labeled as the re-imagining of the TV series “Twin Peaks.” The intro oozes a bizarre atmosphere that sets the tone for the entire game. Two twins discover the corpse of a young woman named Anna hanging decoratively from a tree. The small town of Greenvale is rocked by the discovery, and a wave of despair hits the citizens. Enter FBI Agent Francis York Morgan, an eccentric detective with a penchant for coffee, and tendency to talk to an imaginary friend named Zach.
He’s been on a trail of a vicious serial killer with the same M.O., and this recent murder matches the killers pattern. This upstanding city detective with a lack of social skills, has to match his wits versus the Greenvale police department. It’s in these encounters that Deadly Premonition outmatches most video games. York is dedicated to his job to a great fault, and it’s clearly taken his personality to a strange place. The Sheriff and his Deputy are used to handling their problems directly, but this aloof outsider disrespects the city and the way they work. His grandstanding ways and their reactions to them is fantastically portrayed in the voice-work.
This game pulls no punches with mature themes. It surprisingly sells a murder mystery with the intricacy of a well-scripted television show. The flashes of violent crimes and descriptive tales of York’s previous cases is handled with such grace that it never borders on alarming. The thrilling murder case evolves by doing actual detective work. Questioning suspects, tracking a lead, solving puzzles, and profiling crime scenes is when Deadly Premonition is at its best.
At its worst… is everything else that Deadly Premonition attempts. Shoddy graphics, animatronic character animations, screen-tearing, heavy frame drops, terrible driving mechanics, maximum car speed at sixty mph, horrible inventory system, no fast travel, no way-point system (which wouldn’t be a problem if the cars were faster.), a slow time-limit clock, a worthless food and hunger bar, and a terrible pause menu. Even after all of those missteps, the combat is the ultimate disappointment. Instead of sticking to a deep seeded system of detective work, and a possible gunfight here and there with a perp, we are instead treated to a ghoulish dip into the supernatural world of Silent Hill Greenvale.
It doesn’t fit in with York’s case at all and apparently it only happens in his head. He runs around dark passages with a flashlight and a gun, and shoot the most abysmal A.I. monsters ever. Even with the horrible aiming mechanics, it’ll be near impossible not to get a head-shot on these dimwitted enemies. There are plenty of weapons thrown around the area, but the pistol has unlimited bullets and handles every situation without issue. The only time where York doesn’t have the outright advantage is when he’s facing off against an axe-maniac in a raincoat. This activates horrible quick-time events and analog quaking chase scenes that are not even remotely amusing.
It’s shameful how a game with such a great story and game play ideas for a detective mystery, turned out to be a freakishly ugly and boring horror shooter. If the combat doesn’t get you, the mundane travel system will, or the inventory, or the time-limit, and so much more. Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut receives a C- from Geek Citadel. Somehow, under all of these mistakes… lies a detective story worth unraveling.
Did you ever want to nurture and help a world develop by means of mystical abilities? Reus gives you the power to accomplish this feat. You are a planet that has control over god like creatures with the power of development and destruction. As a planet that often takes naps, you seek caretakers to tend to our creations while you sleep. The goal is to instruct your godlike creatures into creating a habitable planet for the humanoids of the realm. It’s in hope that when you awaken from your slumber again, it will be to a beautiful and prosperous civilization.
Reus is less about building structures, and more about creating an ecosphere that will help humans thrive. The goal is to attempt to complete as many projects as possible before the creatures go to sleep. Each completed project opens up a new development for humankind. After accomplishing a project for the humans, they will send out an ambassador to meet the giants looming in the background.
Collecting ambassadors unlocks skills that can help improve the agriculture. Setting up matching crops will create a symbiosis between them. This usually creates a higher food or mineral output from the combination of crops. The ultimate goal is to upgrade and produce as much resources as the humans demand.
It’s damn fun to try and meet human demand and see how they grow. More than likely no matter what you do, they will become greedy and rampage on their neighbors. You can watch it all happen, or you can take control of the situation by stamping them out under foot. Reus has a cartoonish art style, and the animations work fairly well for the simplified visuals.
There are only a few modes available with Era, and Freeplay mode as the minimal selections. Era Mode pits the player against time to unlock as many developments and achieve a high prosperity. Freeplay allows you to create and play as long as you wish, but unlocking developments and new projects isn’t possible.
In the end, we have an excellent god game to play in short bursts. Longevity isn’t its strongest suit, but if games like Civilization are a bit daunting, this would probably be a better title to invest in. Reus receives a B- from Geek Citadel. As far as god games go, it’s a bit light on the content, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great investment.
What happens when humanity commits the ultimate mistake? Civilization collapses on itself and all that is left on the surface is scorched earth. Humans survive under the surface like rats, and mutated animals stalk the cities that they once lived in. The Dark Ones were the worst of the problems, and a man named Artyom helped thin them out by launching a missile on their nest and wiping them out. Unfortunately, the group he works for has discovered that one of them may still be alive. It’s up to Artyom to take on the task to eliminate the last Dark One, and end their plague once and for all.
It’s simple fact that humans never change. There are three groups still fighting each other even after making the planet uninhabitable. The Reich, The Reds, and The Order are fighting for supremacy of the human race. Artyom is a ranger in The Order, and on his quest to finish off the last Dark One, he gets caught up in the politics of the three groups. It’s a wild ride from start to finish, with Artyom constantly on the defensive against man and beast alike.
Metro is a persuasive shooter filled with ambience and lore. Every single corner rings out with a voice about how the world used to be, or what it’s like now that things have changed. Combat isn’t about expending as many bullets into people as possible. Ammo is scarce and the only means of payment in the world, so conservation is necessary. Shooting people in the face is best accomplished from the darkness. However, when all else fails and the bullets start flying, it’s a rewarding and satisfying experience that doesn’t overstay its welcome. Metro understands that purposefully placed combat, mixed with an inviting ambiance is all that a true shooter needs.
The title utterly nails the visuals, with some jaw-dropping sites and a thoughtful attention to detail. Disasters are an easy thing to depict by throwing shrapnel and broken down buildings everywhere. Metro shines at bringing acceptance and hope to a world that should have nothing to live for. An imperfect wasteland filled with grotesque mutations and down-to-earth character models creates a believable world. It’s no small feat that Metro achieves not just beautiful graphics, but also an immersive backdrop to accompany the imagery.
This title delivers on all fronts as not only a shooter, but as an experience piece. If you’re looking for a shooter that isn’t just about set pieces, this one will definitely prove to be a great choice. Metro Last Light receives an A from Geek Citadel. This highly entertaining shooter accomplishes atmosphere, tension, and adventure more than many in the genre.
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