Monday, October 14, 2013

First Impressions - Game Reviews: "Beyond: Two Souls" and "God of War: Ascension"

I just came back from my uncle's place and am excited to talk about two bad ass games for the PS3 that I checked out as demos and looking forward to assimilate into my collection in the future!

         Beyond: Two Souls  / God of War: Ascension



Beyond: Two Souls is a new type of game for me. I've seen the commercials and was intrigued, but never paid attention to it until I got to play the demo. What I found out was how brilliantly crafted it was, it really blew me away. The story is phenomenal and the game play is...well just like a story.

Jodie Holmes, your escapee, poltergeist wielding avatar
Meet Jodie Holmes.  Jodie has a special gift. Ever since she was born, she has had a strange connection to an entity named Aiden.

Her foster parents couldn't handle her after an incident occurred, leaving her to the government and their interest in her strange, paranormal capabilities. What are those you ask? Telepathy, short-time human possession, and being able to move, toss, and break things without lifting a finger.

Jodie's bizarre skill set is tested in the very first part of the game where you get to play with the questionable Aiden. Long story short, your little telepathy session turns into a chaotic smash and bash after a while causing your volunteer on the other side to scream in horror.

So now that we talk about the story a bit, lets go on with the game play. The game play is more interactive/cinematic that I have experienced in a game before. It really is hard to tell sometimes when you are in a cinematic sequence and when you are playing in the game. I kind of like it that way. It makes it feel more involving when you have to make all of these decisions rather quickly.

William Dafoe? Is that you?
Yes, unlike most games, you have a time limit on how you want to handle each situation or the game will make a choice for you. Just like real life. Its really fascinating and fun at the same time. Running from policemen, swat team members and literally everyone else that is chasing you, you can run through the woods, hop over logs, climb cliff sides and have a wide range of techniques you can use with Aiden when you are in a jam. The game play is brilliant in how fun it can be, especially when you are using Aiden.

Lets discuss a little bit about movement and control. Here is where the game fails for me. The controls are a bit hard to get use to. Aiden is easy to control once you figure out how to possess people and things, but Jodie in combination is a bit messy. Moving characters seems to have a time delay that is present in the game. You hit the stick..your character takes a second to pace forward. I don't care for that even if it is more realistic. when I hit the stick, I expect my character to move rather instantaneously.

The real life Jodie, AKA: Ellen Page [Juno, Inception]
Maybe I am not use to this type of game, but the controls took me quite a while to learn how to interact with when moving her or other people around. Luckily the game helps you out a bit by providing balls of light in the directions you need to either look or move toward.

Blue lights indicate you can possess the object or person with Aiden. White lights indicate you need to hit your view stick in that direction. All of this is present within the speedy confines of the game play itself. I'm sure if I was playing the actual game I would have more time to learn the controls compared to hitting all the cool parts of the game where I had to make faster decisions.

Either way, I have to admit the movement of the characters themselves are incredibly realistic. I was marveled by the way the 9 year old girl moved as it was identical to a real child. It was obvious they used some motion capture software with real people to translate for the game. It was still cool.

I smell a come back of epicness on the horizon!
So as far as I am concerned, hands down the best looking game I have seen in a while. I really want to get a PS3 just to play this and tis the season for people to expel all of their PS3s for a PS4! I am in luck!

This is a definite buy for the season if you own a Playstation 3. An amazing game, realistic textures, movements, powerful storyline and really interactive game play [when you get use to the controls].

DnD 'First Impressions' Score: 9/1O



God of War has been one of my all time favorite series. The rebellious Spartan General, Kratos, has charged his way into my heart again with a new storyline with the Furies and Orkos.

Joke of the Year: Furies think chains can hold Kratos
 This is your starting point. You are Kratos, the bad ass that dished out hell up at Mt. Olympus. Son of that manipulative asshole, Zeus and the biggest balls on the block. Your mission is to escape the grasp of the Furies and invoke your vision of revenge on the Gods.

After you bust free of your prison, you go on a crazy adventure chasing a Fury that chucks every creature against you. But that's OK. You are going to handle it by sword slaying, chain smashing, shit kicking, and brutally beating your way through the levels. Which are, as always, crazy as shit right from the start. You are fighting off everything from a swarm of large beetles, to possessed soldiers, to this weird thumb monster with scythes for hands. Every level is intense as you smash your way through while chasing the Fury down.

Its pretty much very typical and similar compared to the past games. And for that, I'm not as impressed as I usually am. The game is definitely fun and Kratos does the coolest shit like kick doors open and chain slinging enemies around. Your final moves are pretty exciting to watch, but the thing I always hated about God of War was in the middle of a killer final move, I'm forced to think and press the square or triangle button. WTF man. I just want to see him wiping his ass all over Mt Olympus. Is that too much to ask?
Kratos jumps after Gandalf in the Balrog fight

The demo was definitely long enough to see there are some pretty crazy shit situations you get in which make the game exciting on a visual level. As usual, God of War is part blood and destruction and part puzzle. Puzzles are fun for me. It was the reason I was attracted to the game in the first place.

I think this would still be a good play even if it doesn't bring any big surprises out. My love and fascination with Greek Mythology really comes to life playing these games. This one will be no different. I still think its worth a buy, mainly because the games have been solid in their story telling and game play. I at least know it will be a fair purchase and a hell of a lot of fun, even if it doesn't have any extra impressive game mechanics to it.

DnD 'First Impressions' Score: 7.8/1O

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