Catching up on Action Games

Posted on November 26, 2016 by Richard Goulter
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So I recently got a new gaming PC. It’s good to not have to say “can’t play that game, my computer is so old”.

I was able to re-play through Just Cause 3. – I’d played through on a friend’s PS4; but since then the DLC for the game has been released.
JC3 was already very much an action-playground. The DLC added to this: a jetpack (where you get to shoot machine-guns / missiles while flying around), mechs, and a super-action-jetboat (with machine-guns and missiles).
– My thoughs on JC3 remain more/less the same as at the start of the year; I still wish you could customise things (like in Saints Row), etc. – But in terms of “crazy action-man gameplay”, I can’t imagine how Just Cause 4 could possible top Just Cause 3.

I’ve also spent some time catching up on the Call of Duty games. (I was able to get away with playing CoD:Black Ops 2 on my laptop, barely).
– I almost feel the need for a disavowal: CoD is barely more of a game than The Sims is. No serious, enthusiastic gamer would be proud to say they enjoyed playing CoD. (As opposed to, say, The Witcher 3 or Dark Souls or etc.). – That’s fine, but also for the most part refers to CoD multiplayer. Which I don’t touch. (Nor the zombies, for that matter).
– I just play the dumb action campaign, influences of which has somehow come to dominate the FPS genre. – Which is kindof weird; ’cause the CoD games tend to throw in ACTION like the player will get bored if they go for 3 seconds without seeing an explosion or something cool happen. – And games like Homefront which follow the formula pretty closely (albeit with a more budget feel) cop a lot of shit.

That stuff I don’t mind so much.
With CoD you pretty much know what you’re getting.

CoD Ghosts, I recall, caught many bad reviews.
It’s “the one with the dog”.

– I think Zero Punctuation’s review remarked that so much of CoD gameplay involved “hey, here’s a new toy, which you get to use once, and never again”. – I think that’s accurate, and it really limits how good a ‘game’ CoD could be.
Rather than incrementally expanding a player’s tools (& the enemies they face).. fancy gimmicks which get used once leads to the game feeling like Dora-the-Explorer: receiving instructions for when to push which button at which time.

So, yeah, CoD Ghosts does that.
And continues the CoD tradition of having a super-bad-guy who wants-to-get-caught. And who you fight at the end only through a series of quick-time-events.
– So, yeah. You know what you’re getting.

CoD: Advanced Warfare. “the one with Kevin Spacey”.
– Holy shit, I found it hard to tell whether the (pre-rendered) cutscenes were computer-rendered or live-action. I’m fairly sure the scenes must be computer-generated.

CoD:AW at least adds a game-mechanic you get to keep using throughout: you have a new exo-suit. (Kindof like a lamer version of Crysis’ exo-suit, although it’ll be different in different levels).
– There was also one interesting level: your left-arm gets injured, so you’re unable to reload and must continuously pick up weapons (with ammo) from fallen enemies. – It’s a nice example of requiring the player to adapt from the game’s typical gameplay.

CoD:AW was less annoying than CoD:Ghosts. But they’re both the same blob-ish cinematic blur of action, which is fun enough.

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