Sunday, November 17, 2013

Game Reviews - November.

Secret Files: Sam Peters
While I remember the Secret Files as a solid but underwhelming series, this spin off is a poor effort.

The game is a classic point and click adventure featuring Sam Peters, the female protagonist from the earlier series. Unfortunately the writers have morphed her into a spoilt and thoroughly unlikeable person who somehow stumbled into journalism and makes constant jokes about her ex-boyfriend throughout the game.

An unlikeable and uninteresting main character certainly detracts from the game play but the games main failing is it's shortness and it's unchallenging puzzles. The game is so straightforward that I found myself wondering over the effort needed to create environments that a player can stroll through in a few minutes. You can expect to get three to five hours of gameplay from the entire game.

Honestly, the game has little to recommend it. But it's not terrible and it might serve to kill a rainy evening.

Rating: 2/5

*****
Runaway: A Road Adventure
The Runaway stands in marked contrast to Sam Peters, featuring an interesting plot reminiscent of a 80s adventure movie and some difficult puzzles. It's one of the few adventure games where I found myself stuck for some time in the opening area. Unfortunately the game relies on hidden objects which is my least favourite feature of adventure games but it does grant a sense of achievement when you finally find the elusive object needed to crack a puzzle. I particularly remember the three pixel wide sanding block used as a door stop that had me stumped for over two hours and five cups of tea.      
Runaway was released in 2001 but doesn't feel too dated thanks to it's cartoony graphics. If you liked the Monkey Island style of games, you'll enjoy this. Recommended. 

Rating: 4/5
*****
Star Wars: Old Republic
Star Wars: Old Republic is a MMORPG developed by Bioware. Fans of Warcraft will know what to expect: talent trees, quest givers, crafting skills, instances, group quests etc. The main selling point is it's voice acting and fully developed class quests which create an immerse narrative and sense of purpose from levels 1 to 50.  

But the Old Republic's greatest strength is also it's greatest weakness. It plays like a single player bioware game and I soon found myself treating it as such and becoming irritated with 'intrusive' players asking me to group for a quest or instance.

The game world is fairly poor, suffering from monotonous planets and restricted area choices.  A player can expect to spend several hours on a yellow desert planet only to move onto a white ice world followed by a gloomy swamp world. Several times I opened my chat window and saw people complaining about the tediousness of their current planet.

That said, the Old Republic is an entertaining game and worth a month or two of subscription fees.

Rating: 3.5/5

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