* Falling to your death is un-fun.
* Falling to your death happens a lot.
* Combat is occasionally irritating.
* Checkpoints instead of a proper save system? What is this, a second-rate console port? Oh wait.
* Runner vision (red = interact with me) is sometimes not implemented well. It's not always present, and sometimes it's downright misleading. For example, there's a bit where you're running away from ninjas and a wall highlights red, inviting you to wall-jump up it. I was killed by ninjas several times while trying to follow that instruction. Turns out it's a lot easier (and less lethal) to just climb onto one of the structures next to it and then jump across. The only reason to ever use that wall is if you're on a speedrun, IMO.
* Quicktime Events. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY? Does anyone actually like them?
(For the uninitiated, a QTE is when you're viewing a cutscene and a cue flashes up "press the button now!" and if you fail to press the button immediately - which you will, because the fact that you were watching a cutscene lulled you into a false sense of security - then you are judiciously punished by having to watch the whole boring cutscene again. Because you deserve it. So sayeth the game "designer".)
* Notable lack of pirates, despite suitable dock level.
* Striking visual design; good aesthetics and theming of environments, nice artistic uses of strong colours, realistic character design. I'll put in a special mention here for Jacknife's swaggering cutscene animations; they sell the character very effectively. (Also, in his final scene, I honestly wouldn't have remembered who he actually was if not for the animations! Seriously. I forgot who Miller was in his final appearance, and his design is fairly striking, up close at least. Though it didn't help that he'd only been seen in cartoon cutscenes before that point.)
* Parkour is fun. When you're not (A) flailing around like a moron or (B) falling to your death.
* Really nifty falling-to-your-death visual effect, and the most gruesome bone-crushing impact sound I've ever heard. (Which, although extremely well done, makes falling to your death even less fun than it would otherwise be. But I'm supposed to be talking about good things here.)
* Checkpoints are actually reasonably well-implemented, and you do get an enhanced feeling of accomplishment after beating a checkpointed stage. The roof area in the Shard chapter with the snipers comes to mind.
* I honestly applaud the AAA industry for trying something this innovative.
Total points made: 14
Total good: 7
Total bad: 7
Final score: 50%
I enjoyed it anyway. When I wasn't unbearably frustrated.
(Like my scoring system? I made it up on the spot. Hardcore.)
Feb 4 2009, 4:57 am (Edited on Feb 4 2009, 5:31 pm)