Demo Day

18 05 2008

My XBox 360 came back from the hospital a few days ago. It has been about two weeks since it originally broke which was a lot faster than I thought it would be. Not having any new games for it I decided to try out a bunch of demos.

Bourne Conspiracy
Follows the events from the Bourne movies/novels. Matt Damon has not lent his likeness nor does it look like anyone else who were in the films will be showing up. Bummer. The game plays out like a movie with very scripted layouts complete with short interactive cut scenes. The hand to hand combat is decent but shallow. Some breathtaking motion capture has been used for special takedowns. The third person shooting mechanics were average and the driving section was pretty terrible. Graphically it looks about average.

It never felt like I was playing Bourne that we all know from the films and the Bourne feel that the game gives is pretty bleh. It looks to be an average game once it comes out falling somewhere between 80 – 85.

Condemned 2
The visuals are very sharp with some amazing animation. I was most impressed by the simple act of how realistic climbing a ladder looked. Despite what I have heard the combat didn’t feel extremely deep but I think this is primarily due to the lack of any tutorial. Definitely captures the horror feel. I definitely enjoyed my time with the game but am not a huge fan of the horror genre so I may skip it.
81 on metacritic

Eternal Sonata
This game looks beautiful! What appears to be a typical Japanese RPG quickly proves itself to be much more. Enemies are visible in the world (can be avoided) but are fought in a separate arena upon encountering (much like a turned base RPG). The company behind Eternal Sonata has a done a fantastic job of combining turn-based and real time combat. You can move around and attack during your turn but using abilities, or doing anything for that matter, depletes your time gauge. On top of this you have entirely different spells based on whether you are standing in the light or in shadow.

I immediately loved all the characters/monsters and the level of detail in the village. This will definitely be a game that I play sometime this summer.
79 on metacritic

A mix of action/adventure and real-time strategy. You have some power with simple hack/slash and spells but most of your work is performed by your minions. Controlling them is fairly simple (one button in a direction or control the group with the right analog stick). I quite enjoyed having a bunch of evil creatures (5-10 is the number I could control) at my bidding and it worked quite well. The minions will perform all of your actions while you kill a someone trying to escape or light a wheat field on fire. The game tries to portray itself as pure evil but it really felt no different than a heroes quest. This definitely should have been made into a mature game. Graphically it decently captures the Lord of the Rings style of fantasy but is nothing worth praising over. The minion mechanic was enough for me to possibly give it a rental if I get bored.
76 on metacritic

A standard shooter with the bonus ability of being able to control time (rewind, play, stop, fast forward). Unfortunately the time control mechanic is not enough to save this shooter from breaking being classified as an average shooter. 71 on metacritic

Turning Point
Yet another alternate WWII game where Winston Churchill did not survive and the Nazi’s invader New York. Terrible graphics are combined with an utter lack of polish to create a gameplay experience that feels like it was shipped during Alpha.
39 on metacritic

Dinosaurs should automatically make any game awesome but unfortunately Turok sucks. You can’t get anymore stereotypical shooter than this. Turok comes complete with a horrible mercenary story, shotty graphics, and terrible level design.
69 on metacritic




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