I have had a great deal of fun with co-op games in the past few years, with highlights being the Covert Ops stuff in Call of Duty, the Gears of War series in campaign, and most recently with Saints Row: The Third.
When it comes down to it, I find that I would rather play a game that way than just about any other, so my lazyweb request for today:
Recommend to me an Xbox 360 game that has an amazing co-op experience.
Not a Gears, Halo, or CoD title.
Not being a first-person shooter makes it better in my eyes but not required.
Has to be for Xbox 360.
Can’t be 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand (already covered and because it’s too awesome for mortal man).
That’s right; I backlogged a game! In between Gears 3 and MW3 and everything.
This is going to be brief, as there’s not a lot to be said that hasn’t been already. The tl;dr version is that if you find a cheap copy of this and you like Mass Effect 2-style RPG action titles but aren’t picky about a riveting story, you should give this some time.
Things I liked:
Neat ideas like putting conversation options on a timer to force you to choose
Consistent attitude-based conversation options were easy to understand
Conversation and mission choices actually had a noticeable effect on the game later
Espionage is a great idea for an RPG setting
First story twist was delivered early enough that I didn’t see it coming
Things I didn’t so much like:
Bad script, disjointed story, good voice talent, but bad voice direction = meh overall story impact
Every character is a striking archetype; there are few surprises
The main character is barely likable
Final story twists come all at once and make the endgame a total disaster
Suffers from typical Obsidian half-doneness
Things I hated:
Game design lets you make decisions that you might not want without any kind of warning because of bad level design
I don’t think I ever saw a character smile, except maybe that one time
Combat is uninspiring (even broken a lot of the time) and pistol proficiency is an “I win” button for boss fights
It’s an RPG with boss fights
Alpha Protocol is an espionage-based RPG, which was enough to get my attention when it was in development (I think this is a logical RPG setting). However, it hit some pretty rough reviews when it was released, so I tabled the idea and certainly wasn’t going to drop $60 on it. I had the opportunity to snag a copy for about $12, and I’m pretty happy I did.
The game does a very few things right but mostly throws out a few promising ideas that don’t seem to have been given enough time to bake. At first I found the game to be really exciting and novel, but as it wore on I realized that it was falling back on old ideas and in the end wasn’t particularly engaging. The characters were memorable enough and the stable of voice actors was pretty great—it’s too bad that the words they said weren’t as memorable, nor was the voice direction solid. A lot of the story came across as flat.
The largest sin that it committed in my eyes was that it tried to take the story threads and characters from the first three missions and then weave them together in the final mission as some kind of cohesive story. It didn’t work and just served to cheapen the impact of the choices that were made earlier. It felt like the writers ran out of ideas and had to stretch beyond their abilities.
That said, I did manage to enjoy it pretty well in spots and put in a couple of pretty long play sessions with it, so something was going right. At less than $20, it’s a decent buy if you like action RPGs. Just don’t expect anything revolutionary. I think it would have been a decent franchise to revisit in a sequel with some additional polish, but as it didn’t sell very well that’s not likely to happen.
It gets a “hm, this was interesting yet flawed” from me. Honorable mention goes to Nolan North’s turn as Steven Heck, which was one of the better parts of the game.
Pay what you want. Frozen Synapse normally costs $25, but we’re letting you set the price! The Frozen Synapse soundtrack is also included with your purchase (normally $6). Plus, if you pay more than the average price, we’ll throw in the entire Humble Frozenbyte Bundle — a $45 value!
All of the games work great on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Lutz returned to the table and Bear proceeded to pitch her on the painting hanging directly behind her head.
“Yeah, Cherie, so, we’ve had this idea for a long time, umm, a marionette, and you use your hands like this, and you’re a skeleton cowboy,” Bear said. “I was lying my ass off, and Mike was just sitting there backing me up.”
Microsoft loved it, and work on what would come to be known as The Gunstringer began almost immediately.
An awesome story about how perhaps one of the best Kinect games yet came to be. Twisted Pixel is one of the most creative dev shops out there right now. If you haven’t bought some of their work, you really should.
We’re happy to report that iOS gamers will soon have the chance to experience the magical little game that is Glider in Calhoun’s upcoming App Store release of Glider Classic. I recently had a conversation with Calhoun, who left Apple after 16 years this past summer in order to bring Glider to iOS, to find out more about his coming release.
I spent a lot of time playing Glider on my LCII back in the day and I’m thrilled to hear that it’s coming back. It’s an inventive game design and idea and should still be fun to play.