Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I review demos to bad games

I love it when game developers release demos. Not only can I try before I buy but I can also harshly scrutinize their game without spending any money on it. All the marketing/PR smoke and mirrors disappear as soon as you actually play their game, even if it's a carefully selected portion of it.

My first victim is the demo for Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days, the sequel to an excessively advertised third person shooter I've forgotten about already. This is a another “duck for cover” shooter their has been 1000 like this since gears of war and and this one's no different other than a somewhat inventive presentation. Now the action looks like a YouTube video (the loading screen even says "buffering"). Also like an amateur YouTube video it's hard to see anything and that includes people with guns. Apparently the word “readability” meant nothing to these guys. between blurry video and dark lighting  I couldn't see a thing. I got so frustrated with this that I didn't bother to finish the demo. this game has the worst "readability" I've seen since Call of Duty.

And speaking of pretentious calls to fake duty Activision recently released a demo of its megahit Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Letting the experience how boring this game is for free is a very kind gesture from one of gaming's most sociopathic companies.

The first thing that's wrong with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is that I'm playing it on a console. Despite Infinity Ward's efforts to refine their controls they still, and likely always will, feel robotic and it is still impossible to be quick and accurate at the same time. It was deftly smart to use what passes for a stealth mission: hide the player in a blizzard. The problem is the players ENEMY'S can't be seen very well (except for a little radar map that doesn't do much) making a direct confrontation almost inevitable. Eventually stealth is given up on it for a James Bond-esque snowmobile chase that was pretty boring to. But before you do that you had to shoot someone off a moving snowmobile exposing bad controls for anyone with a functioning brain to see. And while this happens a bit of a story plays out I can only describe as Absolute drivel fit only for fan fiction. My time with this demo was absolutely joyless, the last thing I should say about a game whose financial performance has been directly compared to Titanic and Avatar.

And finally there is Joe Danger which for some reason doesn't suck even though its title character looks hideous. It arrived me a lot of excitebike  except you are a stuntman impressing a crowd by performing tricks instead of racing dirt bike. Unlike the last two this one has clean graphics,  is based off a decent game and a slightly charming I don't know what else to say.

Even though I turned out to like Joe Danger I'm still not changing the title of this post, I'm just too lazy to do it.

( If you're curious what I mean about “readability” in a game read this article)

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