Review by RetroBytes

"This is a case of: Graphics over Gameplay"

Let me start by saying I feel I gave this game a fair chance. I read the reviews. This game is being heralded as - XBOX 360's "Killer App". So I thought It'd only be fair I give it a shot. Even though from all early gameplay movies the gameplay didn't wow me at all.
Now that I've played it. I've realized I should have trusted my initial feelings, and remembered that not all games given high scores, deserve as such. I will breifly review the different aspects of the game. .

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GRAPHICS - 8.5
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This is DEFFINATLY the nicest looking game you will be playing this christmas. I'd even bet that not even Playstation 3 games will look better than this. Highly detailed textures, lots of action, BUT. The actual settings these graphics take place in aren't the nicest I've seen. There's a high contrast level between bright and dark so it's hard to sometimes stare at a nice texture and admire it, like I sometimes like to do. Because of the large amount of bright AND dark levels in the same picture, it's hard to focus on some of the nicer textures. As for the setting. It's very gothic type architecture and I personally prefer to look at rivers and trees in very bright outdoor sun areas. Plus, the characters look inhumanly large and have such large bulky armor and faces that it detracts from my immersion in the game. So that takes graphics down to what could have been a (10).

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GAMEPLAY - 5.0
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This is where the game suffers. They spent so much time on graphics that they forgot what makes an FPS fun. Halo this is not. The characters are large, bulky, and slow. And feel like they would fit more in a splinter Cell type game. But even in that game I could swing the camera around and admire the graphics. Either make it first person or give me camera control if I wish it. I compare this to other "duck and cover" type games like Rainbow Six and Call of Duty where the control is alot more fluid and allows for quicker movements. This is what makes FPS fun. Now I realize this is not a FPS per say. But if it isn't, what is it? What is it trying to be? Whatever it is it does not succeed because the control just feels too slow and clunky for me to have any fun in controlling my characters.

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SOUND - 8.0
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This part of the game is very well done. Great gun sound effects, great voice acting. And some of the voice acting in the game helps it to feel more immersive. Like playing an "action movie". The music is really nothing special though, and there isn't anything more memorable.

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OVERALL - 6.0
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The game has some things going for it. The cinematic feel, I love how you can press the Y button and see interesting things happening. Like a helicopter flying overhead. But overall, the gameplay is the ultimate factor. The clunky controls really suffer this game. And I can't help but feel I'm playing in a level a programmer made instead of "man this feels like it's really here" like in a game like Call of Duty 3's woodslands levels. Having more action going on, like more helicopters more aliens, larger outdoor levels would have helped. I feel the levels are confined and there is not a large enough scale to really draw me in. That is part of the reason why, in this day and age, I beleive the levels should feel more larger and feel like they have alot more action going on around you. And that's why it feels "confined" and how I can think of a programmer sitting down and creating this level for me. Instead of being able to immerse myself in it. The levels are small and not realistic. This game is good. But I feel bad I wasted $70 on this, instead I feel this would be a good game to own if you can purchase it later in it's life when it will be available for $30.

Ask yourself this. If this game had PS2 graphics and came out a couple of years ago would you still say this such a great game? Because if you take away the graphics, you are left with a very dull game. .


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 11/09/06


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