Picked up a few more games on Steam’s insidious Summer Sale:
I didn’t buy them to increase my colon stockpile. I was just in the mood for some non-linear shooting and a little space combat. I got none of those.
It might be for lack of trying. I really can’t be bothered when ten minutes into a game I’m not even whiffing any fun. Fans of the above titles, make your pitches quickly, before I go all uninstall-y!
EYE was first on the chopping block. I think this is what people who have never played Deus Ex think the game is supposed to be like. You wander around huge non-linear maps, occasionally shooting people, messing with an overly complicated interface and struggling to figure out the multi-layered plot.
I tend to play games for the story, so EYE was never going to succeed for me. I’m at a loss to describe it. You’re some super powerful angel cop fighting against The Federation but you’re also dealing with factional infighting in your own organization and some kind of power struggle between your mentor and your superior… argh, it’s hard to explain. Imagine a simple dining room with a nice meal on a table. Then someone dumps a thousand gallons of whale guts into the room. Is there still a nice meal to be had? Does it matter beneath the stink of underwater viscera?
Saying it’s a translation from French doesn’t excuse anything. The writing is juvenile, relying on tell over show all the time and giving the player only childishly acerbic retorts. I imagine a 12 year-old French kid watching the trailer for Judge Dredd and The Animatrix and deciding that’s a good inspiration for a game. Maybe there’s exciting freeform gameplay beneath the whale guts, but I can’t be bothered to slog through it.
SOL: Exodus is a rare thing, a space shooter. But it also stumbles right out of the gate, misspelling the word “ship” in its Options menu. Good one, guys! From there, the plot is only marginally better than EYE. You get one of those pointless slideshow introductions, looping through 500 years of history no one can be bothered to remember because the game is about shooting aliens. Then there are some ups and downs. Mostly downs.
You’re immediately thrust into a spacecraft for a tutorial level, which is good. Your character looks like he might as well be named Ace Testosterone, which is bad. There’s a lot of dialog in the beginning, and while it’s better than the nonsense in EYE, it’s still terrible. A Cortana clone from Halo talks to the black guy from Halo. They even do that thing where one character “interrupts” the other, but without the ability for two audio tracks to overlap. The AI requests permission to load her sarcasm subroutine, or something. Then rebel fighters pour out of a wormhole and I turn the thing off, utterly bored.
STALKER could have been better (I’ve played the other ones, so I know a little about how they work), but in the introduction to the game the subtitles don’t match what the voice actor is saying. I ALT-F4 it and wish I was the drinking type.