Review by diskdocx

"A fun game which falls just short of being a stand-out"

I thought I'd add 1 more review on this solid game. While it is definitely a polished, fun game, it can hardly be the epic that scores of 9&10 would suggest.

Unfortunately it has too many inconsistencies which prevent it from truly being a gem, but even on the FPS rich Xbox system it does rank near the top. This review is intended to focus only on the single player mode.

Graphics 8/10

Overall the ambient detail is amongst the best - every level is well developed, and unique. The surroundings rarely repeat themselves, despite most of the game being in 'corridors'. The CGI cutscenes are absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately the character models, especially on the mutates found early in the game are bland. The first time you see the spider like enemies you will swear this was a PS1 game.

Sounds 7/10

Again, a mixed bag. Some sounds are spot on, like glass shattering and the shotgun blazing. But enemies sound are rather dull, and other guns such as the SMP (likely your main gun) feel a bit hollow - more like a pop gun than a true powerhouse. Duchovny feels a bit wasted as a voice talent, as he doesn't really mesh with the main character, but the other voices are great.

Controls 8/10

Standard console controls which are very serviceable. The only awkward part is the weapon cycling, which should be done better. Also the inability to control dual wielding (ie which guns, and whether you want to dual or single wield) would have been nice. Being unable to reload the 2nd weapon was a bit of a disappointment.

Story 8/10

No complaints here. Detailed, albeit contrived story. Nothing truely earth shattering, but certainly better than most FPS games

Gameplay 9/10

A classic case of the sum is more than the parts. Despite many annoyances, once the game gets going it is very solid. The first few levels against the mutates were amongst the weakest. The squad was better at absorbing your gunfire than anything, and the enemies were more underwhelming than disturbing. It definitely picks up once you start to go solo and battle the Luminites. The 'hidden' files to collect were a neat addition, although they were a bit too easy to find with the use of the scanner. The 'gimmick' of transforming into a mutant was fun, although of limited usefulness. The game could easily be played without using this feature.

In summary, this game is fun, but hardly revolutionary. It draws on many aspects found in previous games, and while it successfully pulls everything together, it hardly forges any new ground. Limited replayability, and lack of hard difficult setting on first play through should mean most FPS vets will find it relatively easy. Definitely warrants a score of 7-8/10, but compared to the glut of excellent FPS games available on the Xbox in the past 6 months, it hardly stands out from the crowd. For PS2 owners, it certainly competes with Killzone for the best FPS available.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 05/09/05

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