Category Archives: Video Games

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away. Oh, forget it: “Fallen Enchantress, Legendary Heroes” is the third game in Stardocks line of Elemental games. As you probably know, ELemental’s release was a total disaster: For most people FE was the actual Elemental game. On top of that, just a couple of months ago, Stardock released “Legendary Heroes”, which is (surprisingly) a standalone game for the full price. I was among the people expecting to see this released as a DLC or even as a patch.

Legendary Heroes, as its predecessors is a 4X game in a magical world/fantasy setting with a slight city management background: Additionally, having played some 80 hours on this game the focus is on battle as well. You guide your champion (or sovereign) thru time, enhance your troops thru research and then try to win the game. There are 5 or so winning conditions, ranging from Diplomacy to Domination. Games can take fairly long if you choose the random huge map: anything from 4 to 10 hours for a single game. Without a doubt, graphically the game looks really good and performs very good as well. There are several things in the game that show the attention to detail, from the cloth-style map (zoomed out) to the fine-grained bubbly city views (zoomed in).

There are plenty of things that spoil the fun. The game’s stability (for one) is questionable. It appears to me that most crashes will frequently happen during the beginning stages. Additionally, the AI is very (lets say it) simple. It’s capable, but at times the AI doesn’t act decisively when it should. Often, further in the game, FE/LH can feel unmanageable, mainly because it’s hard to track all your individual champions and cities. Too many random events can also hamper your progress and gaming experience. And last but not least, while (turn-based) combat is fun, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of variation in combat maps. Hopefully mods might take care of this.

Generally, the game allows for extremely detailed management and for plenty of experimentation albeit, against a not very strong AI. If you like a 4X/strategic turn-based combat game, FE/LH will probably fit your boots. If you’re a Civ 5 fan, there’s nothing wrong with trying FE/LH. On my legendary “Frustration” rating, it’s a 6: Things are manageable during the starting phase of the game and before you know it, you’re at the end of your turn because you either lost or you gave up because of some random event spoiled the fun for you. Slightly recommended.

Gallery follows:

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Random Christmas stuff

Now that vacation is sort of settling in, the following links attracted my full attention. In order of interest and heritage. I think.

The Dutch language is a very ‘adopting’ language: as opposed to the French, the Dutch language allows for the use of foreign words in public publications. Eventually, if foreign words become popular, they may become part of the Dutch vocabulary. There’s an organization handling the official word list and semantic rules: The TaalUnie (“Language Institute”). Just recently, I noticed the following sentence in this Dutch article:

Game of Thrones meest gedownloade serie

For some reason, the sentence looked silly to me: however, apparently it’s correct Dutch. I tend to think that by 2020, there won’t be such thing as a ‘Dutch language’.

On the Internet, mob mentality is the new democracy and while the word ‘mob’ has a negative… sound to it, on the Internet it’s sort of a good thing. Take for example your favourite home page: Reddit. A few weeks ago, the EA devs for SimCity 2013 (or whatever it’s going to be called), did an AMA (“Ask Us Anything”) about the upcoming city simulator. Within seconds, the most upvoted question was the one asking about the game’s hated ‘Always Online’ DRM (permalink to question):

What will happen to the game if I am playing and lose my internet connection – will the game still be playable and update the servers when my internet connection resumes or will it pause and wait for the connection?

The EA devs never really responded to the question and the rest is history (permalink to comprehensive ‘will not buy if’ thread).

A similar thing happened to the game WarZ, which was officially released on Steam last week. It’s a game that purports to put you into a post-zombie-apocalypse setting. The game was inspired by the popular DayZ mod for Arma2 (Arma2 on xsamplex). However, the game (WarZ) obviously didn’t deliver. The first Reddit thread that noted that the WarZ devs were less (say) truthful about the product can be found here, and obviously, it also targets Valve for allowing this game to be sold on ever popular Steam:

Honestly, some of the blame falls on Steam for this one. Obviously the info was written by the WarZ guys and then sent to steam, but it’s obvious no fact checking happened.

The follow-up thread (after the producer changed the description/feature list on Steam) still cried foul and eventually, Steam decided to stop selling the game (Forbes link), offering people refunds. The whole incident reminds me of the ‘Sword of the Stars II’ farce that happened last year (previously on xsamplex).

The moral of the story is that, if you publicly over-sell your over-promised games on the Internet, you will not get away with it. I guess, that Reddit users (and gamers) are a force to reckon with.

Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3, then. Shepard and EDI, at it[/caption] So yeah: by now you may have already read my review of Mass Effect 2. If you didn’t, go read that first.

Mass Effect 3 was released this year (wikipedia), with plenty of fanfare and controversy. First of all, there was the spat about DLCs that featured extra footage (scenes so you will) that were crucial for the storyline. Secondly, EA, owner of Bioware, decided to bring out Mass Effect 3 for their digital content delivery system, Origin, only, therefore ignoring requests from many fans to deliver the game thru Valve’s Steam. Thirdly, many game reviewers jumped the gun by calling this the best game of the year, which it isn’t. So what’s new and what’s not new?

The game is once again heavily scripted, dumbed down and generally, feels shorter than ME2 (I finished the game in 26 or so hours). Maps and levels, generally don’t take long to finish and worst yet, when leveled up, feel easy to take on. You hear that right: it feels shorter and it feels easier. I think, there were only two maps/missions that were fairly tough only because both of them pitted you against banshees. My general feeling about ME3 is that you can’t really call it an RPG: the choices that you have to make during many cutscenes generally have two answers: you can either pick evil or not so evil. Even that is sort of a step back from ME2, let alone ME1.

However: the story line is epic and while hard-core fans didn’t agree with the ending, I feel this game is an appropriate end to the Mass Effect lore. Sure you knew Shepard would die eventually (well, if you play it in a specific way you can actually have Shepard survive, but this implies that you gathered every ‘war assets’ that you can find). And that’s, I guess all I wanted to mention in this posting: Mass Effect 3 is a worthy game if you already played the earlier ones. If you haven’t played the first two games, you might miss references. Dumbed down and what not: my general feeling after finishing this game was a sigh of relief. I’m not sure what Bioware is planning and cooking up, but I surely hope they leave the Mass Effect world alone now. If not, I’m certain I will not buy into their crap any more. And that’s all I’m going to say about this.

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Civilization V

I‘ve been playing Civilization 5 (wikipedia link) now for a while and I’m still mixed about it. If you played and loved Civ4 (Earlier here): it’s nothing like it. The game designers drastically changed several game features: First of all, everything plays now on a “hex” map. Secondly, stacking up units is not allowed any more. Most importantly, politics has changed. This is actually the part that bothers me the most. Since Civ 1, choosing your nation’s political affiliation resembled known types of political structures we’ve seen in recent history. You wanted to focus on trade, surely you could choose to lead your nation as a Republic or Dictatorship. Civ 5’s political system feels extremely dumbed down.

So, that being said: the game’s graphics, music and general presentation are top-notch as always. To get the most out of the game, you would probably need to get a PC that has more than 2 cores and an extremely capable graphics processor. Anything lower than a third generation i5 or i7, will most likely feel a ‘grind out game’. Turns generally seem to take longer (compared to Civ4). At the launch of this game, Firaxis claimed that their Civ 5 engine was their most scalable game engine, able to use multiple cores: If you have the time for it, witness Meier’s presentation. Upon release, however, the game was buggy as hell. Only 4 or 5 months after release, Civ 5 sort of became playable. Add to the fact that the DLC “Gods and Kings” finally added Religion and Spying mechanisms, you can say that Civ 5 is sort of turning into a classic: Mind you, a reluctant classic if you compare it with Civ 4.

Civ 5, however, does battle pretty well. Battles now feel sort of ‘real': You’ll need to plan the location of your cities so you can take advantage of the terrain and force possible bottlenecks upon your enemies. To conquer cities, you’ll find you have to push your cities to max to generate a steady stream of cannon fodder. Additionaly, cities now have basic defence mechanisms.

Would I recommend it? Reluctantly, but only if you get the “Gods and Kings” DLC: Besides adding religion and spying, it changes several core game play mechanisms. It seems to be a lot more playable in higher levels as well. My frustration score is obviously higher: I’d rate a solid 6. God, the game so obviously needs more peddles. But besides the frustration, winning the game is absolutely rewarding. With the release of Steam Workshop, people can now even create their own mods for Civ 5. “A+ would plai agian”, as they’d say on the Internet.

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown

I have never played the original XCOM game (nee UFO: Enemy Unknown), back in the mid 90s. The famous turn-based-squad Microprose game obviously took the gaming world by surprise and people have been talking now for ages to recreate the experience of XCOM. Open-source? Check. Check. Check. What can you say?

So Firaxis (Of Civ fame), just released their interpretation of the famous XCOM game, XCOM: Enemy Unknown and too much critical acclaim, with a current average rating of 89. Many reviewers praise the difficulty of the game, paired with high levels or re-playability. And to be honest, 20 hours in, it is good, with some side remarks.

First of all, the game is using the Unreal engine and thru the first gameplay, I think the game scales fairly well. I’m running it on a high-end computer, but I think I would have been able to play it on my older P7350 machine. Secondly, the game is unmistakenly hard and unpredictable at times, even on the Normal level. The premise is this: you lead and train a team of combat personnel in a varying (but fixed amount) of missions. Successful missions in regions will lower ‘panic rates’. If panic rates are going through the roof, countries can and will withdraw support for your XCOM organization. What makes things worse is that some missions (Abduction missions, typically) will require you to make decisions WHICH region is going to be the focus of attention. I’ve not even talked yet about the tech-tree. Sadly, the tech-tree is not really dynamic and neither are the maps.

Here is where the problems start with XCOM: The tech-tree and the non-dynamic maps. The tech-tree sort of give you options to focus on: it’s far from indepth and generally speaking, if you keep your focus on researching armor, you should be able to keep up with the scaling of the game’s AI (yes, it will get harder gradually). Secondly, the maps don’t seem to be random enough for me. There may be like 50 or so unique maps, and sure, aliens look like they’re placed randomly on the map, but after 10 or so missions, the maps look the same.

That doesn’t mean it’s no fun: listen, this is a turn-based strategy game with the focus on (tadaa) strategy. Every mission is a careful exercise of slowly moving your forces tile by tile, turn by turn and attack by attack. Early in-game, you learn fast to adopt to the strategy of the AI: move your troops out of harm’s way because, that’s what the AI does as well. I don’t really care about how Firaxis has set up the financial part (yep, you need money to keep your organization running) nor do I care about the ‘scanning’ and ‘flight combat’ portions of the game. Both remind me strongly of the Mass Effect approach: they add no real value to the game.

So, to summarize, XCOM can be frustrating and rewarding at the same time. During the 20+ missions I played, it’s extremely exciting to finish a mission without any casualties. However, more often you lose extremely valuable team members. That’s just another reason to do better do the next time. Highly recommended. See images underneath.

10/21/2012: I finished the game in Normal difficulty mode. It’s pretty much an unforgiven game, that requires you to use every weapon and defensive tool in your arsenal (reddit on difficulty of the game). The very last battle, the Temple ship assault, I managed to finish by using three psi-enabled soldiers. Tip: smoke grenades and rush your assault team as close as you can to the Uber Ethereal. If you can, mind control one of the Mutants as that will distract one Ethereal (there are two of them). Let your sniper keep the other Mutant at bay. Do not (NOT) kludge together.

10/12/2012: Only 14.5% of Steam players beat the game on any difficulty. That is not a lot.

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Mount and Blade: with Fire and Sword

Earlier this year I decided to give Mount and Blade a try, only because Wikipedia describes the game as a “medieval, single-player nonlinear action role-playing video game”. For the first time, before buying the game, I decided to watch the typical “Lets play” videos, to see if I would (sort of) like the game.

Before I start going on that review-tangent: There are a couple of “Mount & Blade” games around. There are: “Mount & Blade”, “Mount & Blade: Warband”, “Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword” and (just recently released) “Mount & Blade Warband: Napeoleonic Wars”. Today: I’m mainly going over the third game (Fire & Sword), as that version seems to be universally despised by M&B fans. While concepts between all the games are generally the same, Fire & Sword introduced firearms to Mount & Blade. The firearms aspect is what M&B hardcore fans mostly despise as apparently it’s rather easy to be killed by bullets than by arrows (the main projectile weapon in the original M&B series is the bow). Additionally, Fire & Sword appears to be sort of a mod on top of the original Mount & Blade, which does not include several game enhancements introduced by ‘Mount & Blade: Warband’, significantly, the option to build your own empire.

Surprisingly, since I started out with Fire and Sword, I find the game’s mechanics actually better than ‘Warband’. Certainly, if someone fires a bullet at you, you’re either dead or barely alive. However, during battle mode, Fire and Sword forces you to strategically position your troops particularly when the odds are against you. In Warband, while it does provide the option, I’m able to singled-handedly commit genocide even when the odds are 1 to 5. Anyway.

So Mount & Blade is indeed an ‘open-ended RPG slash strategy game’. You mainly move your band over an iso-metric map, collecting as much money as you need and taking on tasks from different factions. In Fire & Sword, the factions seem to resemble factions from Russian history books (Cossacks, Moscovites and Polish). When you cross the path of other warbands, you can either attack or run away. In the case of ‘attack’, the game puts you in a 3D map, where (from a third-person perspective on your horse) you can start attacking or defending yourself against a horde of enemies. There’s an additional aspect to combat: when you’ve collected enough experience, you can actually lay sieges and attack fortresses and strongholds.

On the overall, the combination of combat (sword, firearm) and RPG elements make ‘Mount and Blade’ a compelling game to play. As a matter of fact, I’ve not had so much fun as the combat and strategy elements are unique: there is no other game around where you can ride your horse and squash people with your sword or firearm, not to mention, laying siege and attacking fortresses and that all in first person. Surely, it’s not typically an easy game and it can go on endlessly, making you (mostly) forget about tasks you were assigned by your factions and friendly commanders. You don’t get punished for missing tasks. On my famous frustration scale (if you forgot) it’s a solid 7.5. Graphically, “Mount & Blade” is not a demanding game either (and to be honest, it does look outdated) so I think you should be able to run it on yer faithful Duo Core computer with a lower-end-ish Nvidia 96xx graphics card. If you’re into sandbox games with RPG elements and you love horse riding (haha), you should probably check out the game. If you’re not into ‘one bullet can kill you’ games but like horse riding, you may want to check out “Mount & Blade: Warband”.

Pictures below the fold.

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Eye of the Beholder/Grimrock

This is not going to be a review of sorts: However, I bought ‘Legend of Grimrock’ (producer) the other day, which is an old-style hack-and-slash dungeon crawler a la “Dungeon Master”, or, rather, more to my experience, “Eye of the Beholder”. I’ve only briefly mentioned “Eye of the Beholder” before on this site (here).

The game has been a resounding success, if I may say so: It looks like the Finnish developer has already recovered the cost of producing the game. This is surprising: Back when I played EOB (and EOB2) I always thought the introduction of games from Id Software (you know the 3D FPS) basically replaced the trusty dungeon crawlers: from one day to the other, these crawlers became ‘out of date’ technology. No matter how you turn it: Quake, was the turning point for PC-gaming.

While playing Grimrock, I run into frustrations as reported by many others on the Internets: however, most of them are actually neglectable if you think about the type of game Grimrock actually is: It’s a dungeon crawler. You’re supposed to take the time for it. For someone who finished both EOBs, like ages ago, the puzzles are what make these kind of games enjoyable.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

While I’m at it: I haven’t had time to put any thoughts on games. Not that I spend my hours on playing games all the time: however, 2 or 3 months ago, I managed to finish ‘Skyrim’ (product page, wikipedia page).

I’ve played but never finished ‘Oblivion’ (review here) or its predecessor, ‘Morrowind’ (never reviewed): Actually the latter I actually played on an XBOX before but I can’t recall I actually finished it or not. Regardless, while I loved Oblivion, like anyone else, I despised the game’s ‘level scaling algorithm’. Good news first then: in Skyrim there appears to be no level scaling happening. I believe I was able to finish the game in 120+ hours and generally, it wasn’t too hard, combat-wise.

Right: Skyrim is an FPS-based open-world RPG. Technically you can do anything what you want to do in this game: while there are main quest lines (and the dozens of sidequests), you could venture out into a town, kill anybody and walk away from the onslaught. I think in one case, I refused to do a specific side-quest for people of a particular town and since I refused it, I decided just to kill all of them. The beauty of the game is that it detects people have died and (in my case) killed storeowners were replaced by unnamed assistant-shop keepers. Not bad, Bethesda.

Combat is still sort of clunky: Switching from magic to swords (and vice versa) is tedious. Bethesda provided keyboard short cuts, however the amount of available short cuts is not enough. If you’ve selected a combat-like character, there’s no point to try to get ‘magical points': you might just as well find or create the very best armour/shielding there is. There are (and I won’t reveal too much) specific quests to find these items.

Technically and graphically, the game is not too far off from ‘Oblivion': the engine is pretty and scales fairly well (I ran this on my 3-year old P7350 laptop). I don’t recall experiencing ‘slowdowns’ during hectic combat. I believe Skyrim auto-detects your graphical display capabilities: I would recommend to ‘notch it down’ a bit.

There’s so much more to tell about Skyrim: in my 120 hours, while I’ve discovered a lot, I can tell for sure that I’ve not seen 100% of the world. It feels humongous and the changing weather patterns (and northern lights!) make Skyrim feel truly a world of its own. Highly recommended.

See below for screenshots.

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X3 and Elite

It probably doesn’t surprise anybody that I’ve added “X3: Albion Prelude” (Egosoft) to my collection of playable games. This is supposed to be an expansion to “X3:Terran Conflict” (earlier on xsamplex), but to be honest, it doesn’t feel like that: from what I can tell is that some of the X3:TC features aren’t there. It feels more like a stand-alone game than an expansion, which makes the $9.99 price it sold at initially a very reasonable price. Alright: this is not supposed to be a review of sorts, so,

The reason I bring up X3 is that the joy playing this game stems from the initial skirmishes I had in the MSX version of Elite, like, way back in the late 80s (earlier). At one time I showed someone some X3 gameplay, and I was asked what ‘the point is of travelling for hours without doing anything at all’. Which is true: the game doesn’t have real goals (besides the missions). The only goal in the game is whatever the player wants to make out of it. On your own pace.

This is also what set Elite apart, 25 or so years ago, and it was indeed one of the most successful games ever made. I wish X3 would get the same attention as I believe Egosoft is doing something remarkable here.

Oh noes

Earlier this week, Friday to be exact, Kerebos Productions released their much anticipated sequel to “Sword of the Stars”, “Sword of the Stars II”. The game was originally distributed on Steam: however, this ended up being a (so it was claimed) a ‘beta version’ which indeed did not work. Later that night, Kerebos uploaded the ‘real version’, which ended up being a version that a) did not work as promised and b) did not appear to be feature complete for the price of a 40,- a pop. Fans on Steam raged over this as: witness the threads (“Serious problems at Kerberos”, “A new letter from Kerberos”, “5 hours??” and “Patch incoming shortly”).

In summary: it appears that Kerberos could not meet the expectations of releasing a full product. I can’t get over it how the product was hyped and (at the end) a not-working game was released at the full price. Shoddy and genuinely unprofessional. I don’t know what really happened at that company (exodus of developers perhaps?) but releasing beta software and then playing the victim card doesn’t make me want to play their video games.

Earlier I bought FIFA 2012 (no, really) after pondering if I could live with EA’s new Digital content delivery mechanism called ‘Origins’. Origins is still beta, I believe and at the moment, I wouldn’t even dare to compare it with Steam. However, competition is good: Steam has now been at it for what… 8 or so years and hopefully this will keep the Valve team on their toes. What about FIFA 2012? It is fun to play and I don’t really have trouble running it on my 3 year old Duo Core 2 laptop. I do find it annoying that in this age, software companies have decided that their software should only run when there’s an online connection. Shame.


I‘ve always been hesitant of trying Crysis (2007) mainly because of the fear my current hardware wouldn’t support the notorious system requirements and other related video graphic cards tweaks that are needed to get this to run nice and smooth. Worse yet, Crysis is currently (still) the litmus test how good your high-end PC can run this game. All the hoopla out of the way: I, however, had no problems getting Crysis to run on my laptop. I had to tone it down to a 1280 x 800 resolution and all settings set to medium. The result is actually not too bad and at least it seems very playable (without any lag, that is). The proof is in the screenshots.

Now, I haven’t really played FPS games recently and upon starting up a new game in ‘normal’ mode, during the initial runs, my skills were obviously lacking to say the least and the game does not forgive you for that. Like any other FPS, it’s very fast paced and running into hectic situations has two outcomes: you get either killed or get your butt kicked by the AI. This is also when you learn to rely on the specific nano-suit skills the game provides to you: using a short cut you can adjust to focus on Shield (max. protection), Speed, Strength and Stealth. If you prefer to lay down and scout the environment before attacking a heavy-guarded base, you can do so. However, nothing stops you from ramming a vehicle in a guard post, jump out of it and “run and gun” your opponents. The game flow is so fluid and so dynamic, that it doesn’t matter what route you choose or which approach you use (by vehicle, food or water) as long as you make it to your checkpoints, from where the cut-scenes and main story line will continue. In that sense, Crysis is indeed a typical linear FPS game, make no mistake about that. However, the open-world and the excellent AI, will most likely make every new game a different challenge.

So without a doubt, I highly recommend this game. It’s a game that doesn’t punish you when you take the wrong short-cut. It is demanding though, skills and computer wise, but the freedom of movement in this game and for an FPS, it is magnificent. Truly, magnificent.

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Mass Effect 2

I was going to write a rant about the current state of video games, but I just happened to finish off ‘Mass Effect 2′ (wikipedia) after 25 hours of (clocked) gameplay. That should tell enough.

Back in the early 90s when Origin Systems released ‘Wing Commander 3′ (wikipedia), the game was generally lauded as the first ‘Interactive Movie': the game featured (beside the normal flight combat model) full-motion video cut-scenes and introduced an ‘interactive’ story line. Why do I bring this up? Everytime I play a Bioware game, it reminds me of playing WC3. From Knights of the Old Republic to Dragon’s Age (on xsamplex), each Bioware game is a game that features a linear combat system on top of an interactive story. And like the other games, Mass Effect feels extremely ‘boxed-in’ or ‘rail-roaded’ as some people prefer to call it: You cannot get lost and at all times combating enemies feels like a turkey-shoot fest. While the maps are gorgeous, I felt myself dragging my heels to get into combat just to get enough squad points (“what?”) to make it through the final missions (“huh, already”). And that’s basically the game: make enough squad points (“grind-grind”) so that the right story-line (“win! kerching!”) pops up at the end. Just like Wing Commander 3.

However, the storyline is incredibly compelling: there are the cliches and the ‘corny’ conversations, but generally speaking, the story is extremely well packaged. The story writers did extremely well at the end of the game despite the ‘run over the mill’ boss fight against the Reaper/Larve. The last fight can be described in the following words: “Hey, you’ve got to hit the eyes LOL”. Boring.

Is the game good then? Would I recommend it? Yes: sure, but only if it’s rental for consoles (Xbox, PS3). For the PC: I don’t know yet. If you’re into Bioware games you wouldn’t care about my words. If you’ve never tried Bioware games before, don’t let other games reviewers fool you: this is not an RPG nor is it a true third-person shooter. However, if you love interactive games, this game is definitely for you. You’re going to love to click the blue or orange texts or press the left and right buttons at the right time.

11/30/2010: Orange and Blue, via Reddit.

A couple of images after the fold.

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Just Cause 2

So yeah, I finished the main storyline of “Just Cause 2″ the other day and generally the game left a good impression: after you finish up the main line, “Just Cause 2″ goes into “mercenary mode”, a free-as-you-will mode to explore Palau and environs.

But before I go into the game specifics, the game’s makers (Avalanche Studios) had a hit in their hands the moment they released the game: this “sandbox game” is so large that it dwarfs anything else (see Kotaku for size). This is also the feeling that creeps in the moment you start and what makes this more delighting is that there are many ways to go out discovering the country, using cars, bikes or boats. And planes. So once in a while you get subtle hints that you should check out the main story line (“Agency missions”), but you’re not really required to do these as there are many other missions from other factions to take care of. The general consensus is that you should be able to finish the main storyline in some 50+ hours.

The point of the game being? As a free-ranging CIA agent (“Rico”), your job is to cause as much chaos in Palau as you can (using as many tools that you have) so that it will eventually take down its leader. In your arsenal of tools are the grapple hook and the parachute, your stunts and weapons (which you can buy from the local black market dealer). The more things you blow up, the more ‘chaos’ points and the more missions open up. However, besides the main missions (8 or so?), there is a limited amount of faction missions (40+?). This is probably the weakest point of the game: while exploring the country seems like an endless cool adventure, knowing that missions are finite is not really a comforting thought. I think Avalanche should have either concentrated on adding missions instead of throwing DLC of (unnecessary) extra vehicles and weapons. Additionally, it’s ‘checkpoint’ save thing is completely flawed. There were complaints that this game didn’t have multiplayer, but, I personally think multi-player co-op (for example) would be a tad too boring: after all, I never had troubles taking over bases on my own.

So yeah, an excellent game with fun and over-the-top features (the grapple hook mostly) and physics: if you like sandbox games, Just Cause 2 is probably of your liking. It’s easy to get into (the “boss monster(s)” are actually not too hard to defeat) and its silliness is so unique that I wouldn’t dare not to recommend it. This. Is. Fun. Really.

Images after the fold:

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