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Friday, December 22, 2006

My Opinion: SiN Episodes: Emergence

SiN Episodes: Emergence
This is a game I got off of Steam to help pass my time while I'm recovering. I had already read that it was fairly average and that it had scored just that in PC Gamer. But at $15, it was a good download. It was a choice between this and Prey. However, Prey is $50 for a non-boxed download. I think I can grab the boxed DVD for $40 by now... Either way, I'll get around to Prey eventually.

Upon first loading the game, I could tell that the developers were at least putting a great deal of effort towards the presentation. There was a theme song complete with words and a decent sound, swift menu setup, and an easy to understand difficulty metering system. Once I start a new game, I'm greeted by... enormous breasts? No, not bare breasts, just plain daggum enormous breasts. Unnaturally large breasts. Unlike most males, I care not for large breasts.. especially when they are made of polygons and well mapped, high resolution textures.

The opening dialog leaves the main character, Blade, being injected with an unknown substance by the busty villain. Blah, blah, blah, sidekick comes in, blows crap up, and the story is fairly thin. I didn't really expect it to be on the same level as FEAR or Half-Life in terms of story quality. It's challenging, fast paced, and frustrating. Not always a mad sort of frustrating. Usually I'd fall to the ground dead and just wonder "was my health really that low?"

The dynamic challenge metering is pretty vicious. One minute you're dropping bodies like it's body dropping day, and the next you're getting dropped by a mob of three minigun soldiers. Reload last save and it might be just one minigun soldier. Reload again (if you die to just one too) and it just may be a couple of standard soldiers. There is no variety to speak of. There are soldiers with no armor, soldiers with a little armor, and soldiers with a lot of armor and a minigun. One grenade type and three weapons (pistol, shotgun, and assault rifle). Though limited, it proves to be fun at times. The physics are tweaked to be a bit closer to an animated action movie, with shotgun blasts throwing enemies into walls and objects. Cool stuff.

All in all, it's far too short. I had this beat in 3 hours. That's all. Would've been less than that had the challenge metering not flipped out on me. If this episode had been about 4 hours longer and a lot more variety in weaponry and enemies, it would've been great fun. By the standards of my opinion, I give this a sub-average rating of 60%.

Good: Fast paced action, good sense of things going boom.

Bad: Grab the nearest piece of paper and analyze its depth. Yes, the plot equals the depth of paper.

Ugly: Crude in the way that the villain enjoys wearing shirts far too small for here planet sized globes.
Currently Listening To: Evanescence - I Must Be Dreaming - Not For Your Ears - 2003


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