Before anyone says this I'm not writing this just to complain. This is just a gamer and long time GTA fan (who isn't) being critical one something that could have been amazing.
GTA V/Online was supposed to come through and be the ultimate GTA experience but this one is coming off flat to me as an overall product. I wasn't to excited for GTA after the huge disappoint IV was for me. Truth be told I purchased the game mainly for GTA online but since that wasn't immediately available I played through the offline game.
Offline the game was a fun time but lacking to me. But first praise. I loved the main characters! They were a fun bunch i enjoyed playing as. The heist were fucking amazing! I haven't been that excited playing a action title in a long time. It felt like I was truly pulling off movie heist in-game. I'm so glad they fixed the driving and the god awful friends constantly calling you.
But with all that said I feel like so much of the game was missing. Their was basically no building interiors. Aside from the few interior levels for missions, safe houses, and the stores. Also the lack of customization for your character physical appearance and clothing was annoying. The clothing selection was so tiny I stopped caring and the haircuts sucked for the most part. On top of it all i really hate they took away my ability to rob stores or kill NPCs in stores. I know it's small but I want to be able to cause chaos wherever I want in game. The single player was a mixed bag for me but the online was supposed to be the greatest thing ever.
And the game launched not with a bang but a whimper. I mean I expected bugs but Jesus. I knew problems were on the horizon when they said it would be a two week wait and heard nothing of a large scale beta. It's no excuse for them to not have tested this on a larger scale. Did they really expect to do this with them doing an in office lan party? I would have hoped they learned from the time they had with RDR & GTA IV Online. But it's like they went backwards.
But I expected day one to be a shit storm but things got better before they got worse. The second day was awesome. Myself and many others were able to get online and actually play. The game is a blast when it works. I can't express how much fun i've had chasing people or being chased by people. But even that fun can't outweigh the problems with the game. Missions pay next to nothing, everything is incredibly expensive, it feels like the game is being set up to be pay to win, and putting money in the bank does nothing to protect it. I have basically lost all my money from dicking around with friends and randomly getting gunned down by random players. bug or not this is frustrating. But the worse of it all has to be the characters being wiped. I've had multiple characters wiped. My most recent one was level 11 and the game wiped him. Then they brought him back after I made a replacement. Now the game is confused and has my rank a level 3 and I can't get any missions. It's infuriating to have all my time and effort wasted because of this. It's almost to the point I don't want to play the game any more. I really hope R* get everything ironed out asap!
But that's just my experience. I'd love to see how others feel about the game
(Edit) I also have to mention R* has been terrible with keeping consumers updated on this matter. Every response is a canned response and it's becoming tiresome. Even running around in the game isn't fun anymore because I'm constantly worried my progress will be wiped and it makes the game feel pointless. I knew there would be bugs but Jesus this is maddening. The worst of it all is R* is doing nothing to make me feel confident in them. Patches come out and fix nothing, cloud servers go down and 100s of characters are deleted, and still thousands are stranded on the outside hoping to get in. Stuff like this is why I buy games less and less. They release games knowing full well there will be issues but don't take the time to try and fix them. Rockstar held the game back for months to give it more polish. Then added another two weeks for GTA Online and it's still in shambles.
I was losing interest in GTA as a series before 5 and this pretty much sealed it for me I'm not buying the next GTA. They stripped the single player down and then make the most appealing feature (for me at least) an unplayable mess that punishes you for playing. I'm still pissed at all of my money being taken out of the bank for random deaths and the god awful payment you get form missions is killing me. I'm seriously getting fed up with this game.
I want to start this off my by once again warning this will be a spoiler heavy blog.
With that out the way I must say "The Last of Us" is one of those rare things that I can connect with on a deep emotional level. I usually can watch or play anything and not become attached to characters at all. (I watched the Lion king when it first came out and didn't cry when Mufasa died.) But this game was different. From the intro onwards the game had it's hooks set in me deep. Even though I knew what was going to happen in the intro it was done so well. Playing as Sarah really set the feeling of helplessness in and seeing Joel doing everything he could to protect his daughter from was powerful. It's not very often you're in a game and have no true control over your own safety or making any decisions. From that moment I connected with Joel. He may have come off as brutal and cold from the start of the outbreak but I could empathize with him. Joel became merciless because he had a reason to survive.
For me Joel is what makes this game truly special. While I grew to care about Ellie, this was his story in my eyes. Joel is one of the most well rounded human characters I've ever seen. I'm so glad Naughty Dog didn't go with the typical grizzled old man with a heart of gold. Yes he's he starts grumpy and comes around. But it's believable. He wasn't always a downer, he could be likeable at times. Him and Henry looked like they would have made great friends (R.I.P. Henry). And Ellie doesn't win him over with her charming personality and wit overnight. They formed a bond over time. Truly becoming friends, master and pupil, and somewhat father and daughter. Them growing together made the finale of the game that much more poignant.
Once winter came the game went from great to incredible. With Joel possibly dead taking control of Ellie made me think of the intro with Sarah but this time I wasn't defenseless. It was a nice change of pace and the game making you face the consequences of the actions was chilling. I really hadn't taken the time to think about all the killing we did without question. Just shooting almost every stranger without a care. But seeing the group they came from was eye opening. Even though they were a fucked up group of cannibals they weren't that different from us. Joel's especially brutal torturing is just as bad as what they had been doing. I feel like this scene really showed how far Joel was willing to go for what he needed to fight for. I was almost shocked by his indifference to the gore but I understood him. Joel was not going to let anything happen to Ellie. It's that love and need to protect her that makes him one of the most interesting villains in recent memories.
When I call Joel a villain i'm not saying the sense he's truly evil. Everyone in this game is a bit evil. But what's truly evil in a world that has lost it's morals? Despite this Joel is truly the villain of this story. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and Joel just paved it the rest of Humanity. Throughout the story it's repeated many times that once you become attached to someone you're guaranteed to die. Joel fought these feelings tooth and nail. But Ellie broke through and he couldn't let his last hope of a companion die even if it meant saving the world.
When Joel went on the rampage in the hospital my jaw hit the floor. I was praying this was a "supposed to lose fight". I reluctantly went through the hospital hoping a cut scene with Joel being shot down would happen. For the first time in the story I couldn't empathize with Joel. He literally became a madman. Hell I screamed out at my TV when I knew I had to shoot the doctor. I was in shock as I escaped the hospital. At one point I allowed myself to be captured hoping it would start the ending. But alas I/Joel had doomed society for my own selfish needs. Then the ending cut scene began. That last conversation brought it all together for me. Joel needed a reason to go on. Ellie had become his reason to live. She became his new Sarah. No matter how selfish it was if she died he'd have no reason to live.
I sat there watching the credits in disbelief. I'm all for sad endings. I personally can't stand happy ending that aren't earned, but this was truly a bummer of an ending. Then I thought about it. How many people could sacrifice the most important person in the world to you for any reason? Could you sacrifice your best friend, parents, or your own child? Joel broke his own rule to save the one he loved and damned the rest. As that moment I understood everything Joel had done. He's just a loving father and couldn't let his "child" die again. The ending is beautiful in the most bleak sense. I wish games had more stories that had real characters like Joel. Ones that really act like human beings, that understand moral decisions aren't black and white, & aren't squeaky clean good guys or purely evil.
(Let me preface this and state this is my first blog. So it'll likely be very rough around the edges.)
I'm proud to say I'm a huge fan of "Kane & Lynch: Dead Men". It was the first game I was truly hyped to play on my new PS3 and despite all the bad press around it I genuinely enjoyed it. From the moment I heard of the game I was enthralled. The marketing had me in it's grips hook, line, & sinker. Then i finally got to play it and I fell in love with this hideously gorgeous game. Now I'm no apologist for this game but I think it's a true gem that gets a bad rep.
The game is heavily flawed. The controls are unnecessarily stiff. The AI controlled team is stupid and them repeatedly telling me "FUCK YOU" wears on my nerves. Hell the gunplay is down right horrific. I've played many a shooter far superior to this game. But this game still won me over.
The game has a scummy kind of charm to it in my eyes. At the time I had seen nothing like it. It was felt like I was in a heist movie with a gang of psychos. The characters are some of the most morally reprehensible creatures I've ever seen in the medium and I loved them. I find that it's rare that you find a story cast their lead as a truly despicable person. It's refreshing in my eyes. I'm tired of the cool rebel anti-hero who secretly has a heart of Gold. Kane is a savage bastard and doesn't shy away from it. And he only has the scars and broken family to show for it. He doesn't try to repent for his crimes, he doesn't care about who he's hurt, he's only out to save his daughter who hates him. He's not even heroic in that sense he's still being selfish. In a sick way he's more human than most characters in games or movies. Now for Lynch he was just a sick sick bastard. I loved how raw he was. I really felt like he would snap at any moment and just start killing everyone...which he did. I like they didn't try to balance the team out with a lighter personality. They basically chained two crazy men together, gave them gun, and told them to paint the town red.
Speaking of towns this game had some incredible locals. I was so excited to see where the game would take me next. Every new mission was a breathe of fresh air. Never having to just stick to one place for most of the game. The opening escape got me amped for everything that came afterwards. The bank job had me standing on my feet jumping around as I went deeper and deeper into the bank. And every second of the Japanese missions was mind blowing. This game had some incredible missions. But I have to say it all fell apart for me in Cuba. The story just took a steady dive me for me right there.
That's my biggest gripe with this game. The story is good but it falters for far too long after the construction yard fight. The introduction of the other "DEAD MEN' and the war zone just annoyed me. I mean the stakes were raised but it felt like it stopped being a heist game and tried to be a military shooter. I wasn't a fan of it. While I'm speaking on dislikes I have to mention the gun play again. At times I would almost rage quit the game because of how difficult it was because the shooting sucks. I wish Eidos would have taken the time to polish the shooting in this game. It looks like they put a lot of love(funny thinking any love can be found in a game this dark) into this game. But couldn't be bothered to polish it. And the biggest issue I have with the game is it's endings. They just feel so pointless. While I love how bleak the true ending is. It's just make no sense to give me the option of having two endings if they are basically the same. (spoiler alert. If you haven't beaten it)
Why even allow us to rescue Rific and Shelly?
But what's done is done. I love this game and I'm deeply saddened with the piss poor sequel. But that's a completely different blog. With that said I'd love to hear what you guys think of the game good, bad, or whatever.