TESV: Skyrim - review.

I didn't want to play next TES game, I knew that Skyrim is coming out, but I haven't been waiting for it.  Me and TES have very stormy and not-so-romantic history. I haven't been able to finish either Morrowind or Oblivion, but it's time for changes, and the changes has arrived with a nuke. You must forgive me if I will write about something obvious, known from previous games - I haven't played them, I don't know them, I'm a busy man. You must forgive me if that sentences don't have any sense, last few hours I've spent finishing the game and drinking a LOT of coffee.
Game developers surprised me with release. I paid standard (for nowadays games) price and I got, cool looking box (well, they could drop the "Windows Game" bar) with (obviously) game, soundtrack (5 tracks only, make me sad) and an awesome map! I felt like Nathan Drake or Lara Croft.

For a while now I've been complaining about games being released are very short, it takes like 10 hours to finish them. I consider myself as a no-life and hardcore gamer so it's not a very big number. I'm not talking about shooters because they take half that time. I'm talking about RPG games like Witcher or Dragon Age (I intentionally didn't mentioned Mass Effect because that game is too epic to put side-by-side with other RPG games [and it's not fair either]). So playing RPG game isn't quite satisfying, yes of course we have story-like-something but it's only few hours and I expect much, much more. Well, I'm not completely honest because (for example) in Witcher (2) the story is so intense it's hard to expect from developers to write 20-30 hours of epic plot. But new dark lord is in town, and he's angry and he got a big whip. Yes indeed, finishing Skyrim took me 40 hours, and that game is very far from being finished, but later about that.

How did I got so big number? "You can finish main-plot in less than few hours you muppet!", of course I can. I can finish Witcher in 4 hours and Fallout 3 in one and a half. But I always do side-quests, and I always do all of them (or most, round 90%), that's why making main story-line with the most interesting side-quests took me so long. And I must say it now - it was totally worth it. Every single quest I've been doing had a story which was almost as-epic as main quests (except for kill dragon, kill bandits quests - but for them, you could built your own story). At some point despite me being warrior (it's a lie, there are no classes in this game) I've got Archmage title and my own tower - of course after an intrigue and epic battle. Every step we take, we have to make decisions which will change history later on - and THAT is what love in this game. I can't wait to play Skyrim again and make other choices, for example I will be evil to the bone and do everything in the name of destruction. Finishing this game isn't like in any other game. You can't finish it, quests will keep coming, after 20 hours I've realized I can't "finish all side-quest after going to next chapter". There are no chapters, YOU decide how the story goes.

I must stop now, because I can talk about quests all day long. Let's talk about something more mundane - the mechanics. From my few minutes of playing Morrowind I can tell that character leveling has changed, I can't say how big the changes are, but leveling system itself is awesome. Developers don't tell us what we can do (and what we can't), they don't say - "You have to be a warrior so don't use spells, you're a mage, Y U WEAR HEAVY ARMOUR". We decide what we are. We can be a heavy armour-sneaky-fireball throwing fucker and that is brilliant. We develop skills by using them - as simple as that. And if we have too much money we can spent them on trainers which will help us to level faster. Fight mechanics is great as well, we don't have auto-attack or skills. Left mouse button is for right hand, and right for left hand (simple, isn't it?). We decide when to strike, we can either swing our sword in berseker rage and finish on enemy's shield or we can wait for their strike, block it and make fast counter. I haven't been using spells or archery, but from what I've experienced it's as awesome as melee fighting (You can use slow-motion dragon shout just to aim better). Despite that, fighting isn't all that flawless, I don't know if it's console-way-times or just me, but the quick-action menu (Q) is pretty annoying when I have to open it, select spell, use it and then open it again to pick my sword. I don't know maybe you can assign it to numbers, which would be cool.

Game engine feels like being ripped from Fallout 3, because sometimes I had that feeling - hey it's running in wastelands all over again. But I forgot about it very fast. Graphic level isn't Battlefield 3 like, but it doesn't mean Skyrim is ugly. You couldn't be more wrong. I know how people are all like - NAAAAH, I don't care about graphic in RPG game, the STORY FTW! But how much more neatly is it to play nice-looking game. Skyrim shows us cold-nordic places which aren't very colorful. They're dark and mysterious. Many times we enter forest in middle of blizzard, surrounded by snowed trees, and monsters just waiting to kill us. But Skyrim have beautiful places as well. I caught myself few times just standing on top of mountain, looking down the valley and admiring the landscape with epic songs in my ears. Music changes if we're fighting something big and something epic - like dragons. It feels like game changes to Riddley Scott mode and serve us big cup of epic-drink. Furthermore TESV isn't following Dragon Age 2 mistake and don't generate dungeons by copy-paste method. Here every cave is different, every-single-one has it's own story, illuminated by torches, with monsters waiting for us after next corner...or just behind us.

But not everything in Bethseda's newest production isn't all rainbows and unicorns. In my case, I've been often shown that it's mean, dark place which will slap us in the face frequently. I'm talking about bugs and glitches. Biggest and most annoying are crashes, and I don't mean one per two hours I mean crash after crash, like 10 in 30 minutes. It is really, REALLY fuckin annoying. I know Betsheda games are known for their crash-nature, but here it's too much. I had to make quick-save every five steps just not to do something all over again (at the end I quick-saved even in middle of fights). Sometimes quests just bugged out and didn't wanted to appear in quest-log as finished, or dialogue didn't showed up. NPC were also a pain when they got stuck on a rock or in doors. But there is no rock which will resist FUS RO DAH poke.

TESV: Skyrim is fully functional RPG game, which show us that in our times you can make great, long, nonlinear game. But Skyrim takes a step further and give us all that wrapped in awesome audio-visual package. Despite all that great things I can say about this game, the whole picture is broken by crashes which lower final score pretty hard. So for me it's 8/10 but if Bethseda will fix most of the problems in upcoming (today) patch, you can rise it to 9,5/10 and give.


Dragon Age 2 Mark of The Assassin - review

Two days ago a release of new DLC for Dragon Age 2 took place. Of course I couldn't resist myself (or maybe because lack of work to do) and I bought it, recorded it and reviewed my encounter with new "child" from Bioware. How was it? And why BioWare screwed us again? Keep on reading.
Release itself wasn't very pleasant for me, but maybe it's because I'm very impatient and have too much of free time. Anyways, game should show up on 11th of October, and I expected it will show up at 0:01AM so I can waste more time on playing it, but I could buy it at like 5PM GMT +1. But I should turn a blind eye on it, because we all know how is it with game releases. So, straight to the point. I paid 800BW (bioware points) for it  and I counted for as epic as first DLC - Legacy. But I get something different than I expected. To anticipate rumours - it wasn't so bad.
It took me like 2,5h to finish whole DLC if I skip the part when I wondered what character should I play and moments where I died like an idiot. And after that time I was more than dissapointed, but after few hours true emotions showed up and I thought - maybe it's because I wanted to record footage so fast and get over it. DLC sends us to some god forgotten hole, to do god know why for people god know who the hell are from. I will try to avoid spoilers so I have to end telling storyline at this point, but it's pretty much all, no big surprises. So is it more like Legacy or more like Dragon Age 2 itself. Well it's not that hard to guess that it's more like basic game. I felt like I'm doing some meaningless side-quest, which doesn't tell any epic story or involve us into some intrigue - well from my point of view ofcourse.
I should turn blind eye on it, because Bioware for a while now can't make any long-epic-storyline, so why I should be surprised they haven't failed in it again.Not everything in that DLC is bad, there are few (where I mean very few) things that are neat. For example Tallis which was played by Felicia Day - known more by WoW nolifes - is a very interesting character, but sometimes her mimics look like she have some serious-bowel issues. However Bioware still know how to juggle with characters they've already made, so we can meet few NPC which players from Dragon Age Origins should remember. For me, it's an advantage.
After a while I come to conclusion, that maybe I expect too much from DLC. It's not expansion, but one new mission to kill some time (and money in wallet) which shouldn't take more like 3h to finish. Anyways story showed in Mark of The Assassin doesn't impress and don't show anything cool. We go for hunting and play Sam Fisher for a short time. In my opinion Bioware wasted big potential, for example I can mention "Exciled Prince" which costs like 560BW and show us some neat story - and it's not even proper DLC. For me it's 5/10. It's not bad, but it's not good also. If it would costed less, maybe final experience wasn't so bad, but for now I can tell you this - it's boring as hell, but it shows some new environment.

Why Battlefield 3 gonna SUCK

I've played BF3 beta since it came out. So it's like a week and a bit now. My first impressions was - OH MY GOD I MUST HAVE THIS GAME SO BAD. But now? I changed my mind. Why? The reason is very, very simple. As much as I love to teamwork and tactic games like battlefield and as much I hate Modern Warfare (for pointless running and fapping to K/D ratio) I hate this game so much now. Well, not all of them, the game itself is awsome and worth buying but if I think I will have to play with bunch of fuckin retards it makes me not want to buy it.

Of course this game have it's gloroius moments, like Operation Metro. Fine, it's boring after playing only one map for a week, but when I've played it I felt like I make a difference. I could win the map by myself or just grab three random guys, shout at them and then rush MComs to the victory. But when I played for JUST an hour Caspian Border I wanted to cut my wrists and cancel my pre-order. Why? Because every one is running like a fuckin retarded lemming. And if someone is not I'M NOT THE SAME SQUAD AS HE IS, so I can't take an advantage from it! But! It's not the only reason. After I spend 5 minutes running to checkpoint - because my team took all the fuckin tanks, jets, helicopters, jeeps, skijets, bikes, snowboars and rollerblades - I'm FUCKIN ALONE IN THERE. When I've played Operation Metro I felt that someone will cover my ass at some point, here I feel like I'm playing 1 vs 32. NOBODY will spawn on me because my squad is full of fuckin recons who think they're snipers - well good luck sniping tanks idiots. But when I put my hands on tank I can't make a difference because NOBODY will repair me, NOBODY will cover me and NOBODY will make an use out of my killing spree. So why I even bother to do ANYTHING since nobody does give a shit. After I decided with full responsibility to DESTROY all jets and helis, my team MAGICALY took ALL THE BASES, but as soon as flying-pile-of-crap spawned we lost all of them. So I had to ask myself - WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS. And that's I'm saying BF3 SUCK. 

Of course somebody can say - Go play with your friends - yes I can do that, but what's the point of it if I'm not in squad with them and I can't pick squad. The only thing I can hope for is DICE making a patch which will heal retarded players. But as far as I know, that is not going to happen.

From Dust - review

Two days ago, From Dust premiere took place and something in my head told me to get this game. In March this year I've placed this title on my - must have - list and since then I almost forgot about it. I could get well reviewed Limbo or Bastion, but I've decided to get something, that nobody else want to play. Did I made a good decision?
My first impressions after seeing gameplay on my own eyes was something between - It's not Crysis 2 - and - It's neat. All those water effects and shaders are really good looking, but here is the point where audio-visual benefits are ending. I haven't noticed much music in this game, It's not like it's not there it's so neutral you don't pay attention to it, and I like good songs in games. Sounds of environment as itself aren't bad, I've played Black & White a long time ago so it's hard to compare.  But the worst part is that you feel like it's pure port from consoles. you can change resolution and that's pretty much all. I don't know about you, but myself I like all those switches and buttons which allow me to change display settings, but instead you get locked 30fps no matter what PC you got.
Game interface is pretty simple, but your cursor or hand - or whatever this thing is - have that bad habbit to hide somewhere and you have to wave it for few seconds to see where did it dissapeared. I've learned fairly quick basic rules, but after three hours of playing, still some solutions hurts. For example - grabing some material like sand or water take so much time if we compare it to dropping it (and how much amount we drop). Maybe it's only me or it's developer who tried to lock brutal-force solutions. Anyway, if you make sandbox game you can't forbid players doing something, it's just bad. For example - I want to make an volcano, but after five minutes of dropping sand I get small hillrock, and I just give up.
 
Campaign is fairly straightforward if you just want to get to next map. You have to conquer all villages on map - survive in the meantime - and get to the portal. At the beginning I though this game will be easy, and unfortunetly it is. Of course I put myself higher standards and I do all "side-quests" - only if making all map green you treat as quest. So far I've done a bit more than half of the missions (you have 13 of them). From lack of time or desire I haven't finished From Dust yet, but there is no indication that plot is going to change.
As in every sandbox game after a while you catch - "Sandbox Syndrome" - you have no idea or no ability to build something so you desire to turn everything into dust (irony). Unfortunetly although this is a sandboux, you have hands tied. You can't throw rocks, blow shit up or send plauge on your followers. Only things you can do (which I invented) is to flood village - after struggling with water flow or drop lava on it (which congeals in one second and don't spread). It's a big loss.
Last stop - or nail in the coffin - are challanges. Besides campaing you can finish challanges made by developres. There are a big variety of them - from very easy to fairly challenging. Unfortunetly there is no reward from completing them. You can't compare your results with friends - well, you can send screenshot - you don't get popular achievments or other way to share your scores. Of course we can't access all challanges, you have to finish campaign levels (and do all "side quests") to gain access to new challanges.

Developers (or Eric Chahi itself) said that they wanted to implement multiplayer mode and level editor but it depeneds on sales. Personaly I feel like I've been slapped in my face. I paid 15 euros on game which feels like a demo version. Missions are short, you can get back to them and continue but there is no point, because only thing you can do is drop sand. There are no resources system, no leveling, no buildings, you don't gather anything or hunt on anything. From Dust should be much, much cheaper or premiere should be postponed until it will contain something more, because now for 15 euros I can find at least 5 games which give more fun and satisfaction. If multiplayer mode (which frankly I don't know how could look like), making your own challanges and sharing them and most important - any compete system will show up you can rise final note by 1 or even 2. By now it's 4/10, I expected more, I got "demo" version.