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  Hamumu Revumu: Of Orcs And Men 11:39 AM -- Sat August 22, 2015  

Of Orcs And Men

TL;DR: A linear action-strategy-RPG, with stealth action... yeah, it's different!

Gameplay Gist: This game surprised me multiple times. From the trailer videos that made me buy it, I expected a normal action-RPG: slash at the monsters with your sword. It is not that, the videos are lying. Rather, the combat is in real-time, but you can slow time waaaayyyy down to issue orders to your two guys. But that's not all. Before you get into a fight, you can sneak up on guys and backstab them in typical stealth-game style (avoid line-of-sight, avoid dogs since they can smell you, the usual things), so there are less guys to fight when you do reach a point where two guys are facing each other so you can't avoid being seen. The entire game is totally linear (minus the ability to take on a few side missions or not), you just play one level after another, where you traverse from one end to the other, killing everything on the way. But it is fun to do that!

Kombat Kuality: The fighting, once I actually understood it (which was not during the incredibly vague tutorial, but rather a few fights later as I pieced it together), is actually quite fun. There's hardly any variety to it, you'll pick a couple of things and really stick to them, but it's satisfying to have the big guy taunting everybody onto him and laying down AOE smacks while the little guy is tossing daggers at specific targets. Even more fun is that the big guy can throw the little guy at enemies for huge damage or to get him up to archers you can't otherwise reach. So, don't go in expecting a hack n' slash like I did, but if you expect a real-time tactical battle where you are giving orders to two different units, you should have fun with that.

Story Stupid? The story was alright. This is an extremely profane game. The writing was not done by a native English speaker, and it shows sometimes as they awkwardly insert F-bombs in places where they really don't belong, but boy do they like inserting them. In the end, I was compelled to find out what would happen. Like I said, it's totally linear so there's really not much to consider, you just sort of travel through this storybook, fighting the words on each page to get through. But it's a decent story, about Orcs having been enslaved for a long time and the underground among them fighting for freedom, and of course various political maneuvers. And it has a nice small, realistic feeling, story-wise. You don't travel the world seeking the parts of the Chalice Of Power to defeat a dark wizard, you really do a small enough thing that it's feasible that two guys could be doing it (and even then, you require the help of a lot of other people), and yet it does have international, possibly world-changing, repercussions. Pretty well-done now that I think about it.

Wrapid Wrap-Up: This is not a AAA game. It shows, with some clunky quality issues, but if you can respect the effort of the indies who made it, it's really actually well-done in many ways. It's almost too good to not be AAA, except it's definitely not good enough to be AAA. If that makes sense. All in all, in many ways, it's not what I expected for sure, but in the end I just kept going because I was having a lot of fun. It's also pretty short, which I totally appreciate. That's what I want in a game.
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  Hamumu Revumu: Wolfenstein 06:48 PM -- Thu August 13, 2015  

Wolfenstein: The New Order

TL;DR: Good nazi-shooting fun, pretty much normal FPS stuff.

Gameplay Gist: This is a story FPS. So you watch a cutscene, then you travel a (mostly) linear path killing everyone in the way, dive behind cover, throw grenades, collect ammo and oddly scraps of armor that you fuse to your body apparently to protect yourself, then you reach another cutscene, and the cycle continues. That's really it. There's a level-up element in the form of "perks" you unlock by accomplishing certain feats (like "kill 15 guys from cover with the pistol" to make your pistol hold more ammo). That's sorta fun, but there's not enough of it. You can pretty much ignore it completely and just play the game. There is a nice element of stealth here, where it's an action FPS so if you fail the stealth, you're totally fine - you're still capable of gunning down everyone in a 3-mile radius, and the stealth gameplay is nicely simplified. I enjoyed stealthing as much as I could and was very disappointed whenever it came to a point where stealth wasn't possible (which was often, towards the end of the game).

Kombat Kuality: Great. As FPS shooting goes, this is perfectly good. The downside I would say is the weapons aren't super interesting. You do eventually get a couple interesting weapons, but 99% of your shooting is just a pistol or machine gun, standard bullet blasting. It's not Borderlands! You have a few tricks up your sleeve like slide kicks and the ability to shoot while sliding which I could never ever do, but for the most part it is point and shoot, well-implemented.

Story Stupid? The story is pretty good. I was interested. It's very silly, but in a way that takes itself so seriously that I don't know, I felt like I was missing a tongue somewhere in a cheek. But it definitely has a lot of characters you notice and pay attention to without really wasting excessive time with pointless dialogue or "journals" or whatever that you wouldn't care about. Or at least I didn't pay attention to those - there are indeed some articles and stuff you can find in the game, but I quickly stopped reading them. The story is quite insane, and it's ludicrous how your character is some kind of unkillable monster in human form, and that they send you personally to do everything, but hey, it works as videogame logic.

Wrapid Wrap-Up: I was happy to keep going in this game. I had fun all the way through... or I did, right up until the stupid final boss. Yep, like so many games of yore, this is a game that has to ramp it up beyond all reason (and far beyond any fun) with the final boss just to make sure you have a challenge, or that it's epic enough. Surely you can make a final boss feel epic without making it ten times harder than everything before it? Prior to the final boss, nothing in this game was hard at all (and that's hows I likes it!). I died a few times total in the entire campaign. But that boss was insanity. Anyway, good game, super melancholy tone totally at odds with the "shooting nazi robot dogs" gameplay, very enjoyable. Very adult as well, not recommended for children.

Super Score: 84/100 Kampfengrupferkriegpanzerdrakken.
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