Thursday, August 23, 2012

Groupees Be Mine 4

I'm going to cut to the chase here. The new Groupees bundle looks like crap.

It's got five games, right? Zero Gear, Revelations 2012, Guns of Icarus, Metal Drift, and Laxius Force. So okay, let's start with Zero Gear. See this trailer?

The voiceover guy is doing the "Epic Voice" and they're smashing words like "Awesome" all over the screen, but I can see the gameplay right there, guys. It looks blander and duller than Wii Sports. There's no way I'm playing this. Sorry.

And this Revelations 2012 game? First impression, the whole "2012 Apocolypse" [sic] theme is idiotic, and I don't like FPS games, and the hell are those weapons supposed to be? But hoo boy, look what pops up on Metacritic.

That 15 there is the top score. Wow. Geez.

As if that weren't discouraging enough, even without looking at any reviews, in the best case it would just be a random Source-mod FPS, a wannabe Left 4 Dead. And I didn't even like Left 4 Dead, which, I am told, is an actual good game! Why would I ever want this?

And then there's this Laxius Force game...

Are you kidding me? Is this a joke? They want money for this cheap low-budget schlock? Bullshit. I can't possibly take this game seriously. Sorry.

Then we have Metal Drift, which...

...uh..., it's not doing anything for me. Some sort of vehicle-based arena combat game? I don't even know. This is not something I care about or am interested in at all. I got nothing.

Lastly, there's Guns of Icarus. And I actually like this game. I think it's a really fun concept. It has a lot of problems in its execution, but the big ones are that its learning curve is too steep and the replay value is plbbbbt. (That's the noise of a deflating balloon.) It takes significant practice to get into it, but the game is so short that there's no payoff once you do, and the missions are locked into a strict, overly-rigid chronological order.

See, you can replay a mission, but if you do, it resets all of your upgrades and forces you to use only the stuff you had back when you first played that mission. Worse, this is enforced even in the multiplayer mode, so there's no real point in playing multiplayer with any of the levels except the very last ones.

The difficulty is a problem too. It's extremely unforgiving. Enemies attack in preset waves. If you don't kill all the enemies in the first wave, they'll still be there shooting at you when the second wave comes. Can't kill all of them? Well that third wave is here now too, and the fourth wave is on its way. If you slip up, it compounds, and things spiral out of control quickly.

On the upside, the time-management aspect is actually really cool. Various bits of the airship get damaged and need to be repaired. Do you go fix the engines to try to get to the goal faster? Do you repair the cargo hold for better rewards? Should you prioritize the rigging and just keep yourself from blowing up? And can you afford to leave the gun turrets?

Also, nailing hits on those enemies is supremely satisfying. They start smoking when they take damage, and there's a lovely explosion when you deal the finishing blow. There's a strong sense of visceral thrill, and because of the skill involved in aiming, you really feel like you earned those kills. Hell yeah!

In general, it's just basically an appealing concept that's reasonably fun with some rather glaring flaws that dampen it somewhat. But for me, this is all moot since I already own Guns of Icarus.

So, bottom line, I'm really disappointed in this bundle.

On the upside, though, World of Goo added to the Humble Android Bundle! So that's nice!

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