Good evening! Many of you know I'm trying to cover a variety of games before the next generation of Xbox and PlayStation systems hit the market. I played The Evil Within, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, and Until Dawn. All three of these games have very different plots and gameplay styles. I have a lot of input about these games with a smattering of positive and negative comments. So, relax and check it out. Even if you're not a gamer, this post might be an interesting way to learn about the stories and characters.
First, I'm covering a survival horror game titled The Evil Within. It focuses on a detective named Sebastian Castellanos who's investigating a mass murder at Beacon Mental Hospital. Reality becomes blurry when our protagonist encounters monsters, undead creatures, and other horrific oddities. Ultimately, Sebastian needs to figure out more than one grim mystery.
I really wanted to like this game, but it's super frustrating. Regardless, I enjoy certain elements. The Evil Within is a legitimate survival horror game with scarce resources and a slew of frightening monsters. It's important to use ammunition cautiously and health depletes very quickly. I actually appreciate that part of the gameplay. It's pleasantly challenging in some ways and faithful to the genre. Also, this game is really scary. Even the environment is creepy.
The plot isn't bad, even though it's kind of weird. It's interesting and spooky with a solid mystery. This game isn't predictable and it can keep the player intrigued for a very long time. The Evil Within could easily make players give up in a short period of time, but the story was fascinating and unusual enough to keep me roped in for several chapters.
That's the end of my positive feedback. Overall, this game is very disappointing. It's unbelievably frustrating! This might not be the most difficult game in my repertoire, but it requires tons of patience and the right strategy. Most players will probably need a game guide to proceed very far. Taking the wrong step can result in instant death and checkpoints are sparse. I wasted so much time dying and backtracking. Don't play this game in a big hurry. Slow and steady is the only way to win.
I'm not fond of the animation either. Bethesda isn't known for having amazing visuals, but this is pretty bad, even for their standards. The graphics are blocky, the characters are unexpressive, and the finished product looks like it belongs on the previous generation of game systems. Basically, the visual elements look cheap and dated. Unfortunately, poor animation reduces part of the scare factor.
The gameplay might be better if there was more music. Most of the time, there's no music in the background. I find it odd for a modern game. Good music can make a survival horror game creepier and more atmospheric, but that doesn't seem to be a factor in this case.
Furthermore, the boss fights are ridiculously frustrating. The regular enemies can be overwhelming sometimes. So, the boss battles are much worse. You'll need the right weapons and tactics to move past most of the bosses. That can be a problem is you're low on ammo or missing specific weapons. You can go back to a checkpoint and purchase more ammunition, but that will probably require a lot of backtracking. After a while, I simply gave up.
Here's my verdict. The Evil Within won't be the right game for quite a few gamers, especially for people who don't play all the time. I think it might be a good choice for gamers who really enjoy difficult settings. For example, fans of the Dark Souls series might like this game. It's also a unique experience, so check it out if you're curious. I don't think it's good enough for full price. Just buy a used copy instead.
I'll give you a general idea of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. It's a compilation with two games; Borderland 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Both games take place on a chaotic planet called Pandora. You'll play as a vault hunter who's searching for rare and valuable alien tech. Likewise, your competitor is a corporation called Hyperion. The main antagonist of the series is Handsome Jack and he's a goofy, sociopathic, business tycoon. It's kind of like a comical version of Mad Max in space.
Both games are quite similar, so they largely have the same pros and cons. The gameplay is a lot of fun with a huge quantity of weapons, ammo, and skills. At the beginning, you'll select a character who uses specific skill sets and it provides many options. For example, some characters focus on melee attacks, others have a bigger emphasis on firearms, or you might find one who uses explosives, and so on. The controls are user friendly and you can customize a skill tree along the way. Enemies are everywhere and killing them is very entertaining.
The Borderlands games are so funny and over the top. Both games are packed with wacky action, witty humor, and other comical elements. One of your companions is a robot named Claptrap and I thought he was a scream. Even some of his gameplay abilities are utterly hilarious.
These games are good for people who are looking for exploration and open world environments. The world building is huge with countless opportunities for exploration and side missions. These games have a linear story, but you don't have to follow it. The player can roam around and customize their experience. There's also a big variety of enemies. Overall, the Borderlands games will never make someone feel bored.
I like the music pretty well too. It fits the gameplay's mood and energy. I'll put it this way. The music is equally wacky and goofy, but that's why it works. It hypes up the player and pushes the momentum forward.
The Handsome Collection is very good, but I have some criticism. These games are really hard for me, possibly because the pacing is really fast and death is just part of the gameplay. Expect an endless number of deaths and resurrections in both games. It's easy to become overwhelmed by hoards of enemies and I got tired of dying constantly. Truthfully, there are very few consequences if the player dies because you'll respawn right away. However, it makes the gameplay repetitive and a little bit annoying.
I always have an issue with leveling up in most games. It's the same situation in The Handsome Collection. You'll never build a great skill tree by killing enemies and grinding away at the main story. It's essential to take as many side quests as possible and finding the right weapons. Many of the side missions are tedious and feel like busy work. I guess these games want the player to earn their attributes.
Leveling up is considerably easier in The Pre-Sequel, but the game is also less interesting. The plot is basic and forgettable. It's also more straight forward than Borderlands 2 and I would say that's a mistake. In general, the Borderlands games work better with a more expansive setting.
Would The Handsome Collection be a good addition to your gaming library? I think it depends. It's definitely a great choice for people who love first person shooters, role-playing games, and super fast pacing. Borderlands 2 is definitely a better game than The Pre-Sequel, but neither installment is terrible. Personally, I find the Borderlands series overrated because it's so repetitive and frustrating, but most gamers really enjoy the franchise. If you don't have this game yet, fear not. I'm still finding this game everywhere, including mainstream stores like Target, Walmart, and GameStop. You can also find cheap, new copies on Amazon. The Handsome Collection has been on the market for a while, so it's not labeled at full price anymore.
Until Dawn is the final game in this post. It's a horror game that uses the choose your own adventure format. The story takes place during an annual getaway for a group of teenagers at Blackwood Mountain. Twin sisters, Hannah and Beth, disappear and never return. The following year, their brother Josh, brings the group together again for one more reunion and possible closure. Unfortunately, they're not alone in the mountains. A mysterious entity terrorizes the group and it's unclear if their villain is a psychopath or a supernatural being. Eventually, the player finds out the answers.
This is probably my favorite game in today's post. It's really scary and a great example of survival horror. Until Dawn is a graphic adventure with elements from the supernatural, slasher, and psychological horror genres. It's a great combination of elements that don't usually go together very well.
The atmosphere and world building is pretty good. It's creepy, designed well, and hauntingly beautiful. I wouldn't want to get lost in those woods. In general, the graphics are awesome. All of the characters look realistic and the motion capture is modeled from the voice actors. For example, Rami Malek plays Josh and it's definitely his physical likeness. By the way, he's terrific in this game. I haven't seen Bohemian Rhapsody yet, but I understand why he was given a lot of praise in that movie. He's a great actor, even in this video game.
Despite having multiple horror clichés, the plot is surprisingly good. It has quite a few layers and unexpected elements. The story is unpredictable and it takes a shocking turn in a few key areas. This game has an original story and I have a feeling other titles will try to copy it.
The gameplay is impressive for the graphic adventure genre. It requires fast reflexes, strong intuition, and your choices alter the story along the way. Making correct decisions if very important and it can be challenging. This game also has quite a few action scenes. The action part of the gameplay is fun, exciting, and pretty smooth for this type of style. You'll have many opportunities to find valuable clues and hunting for them requires a lot of work. Until Dawn is neither easy nor incredibly difficult.
I'm only going to mention a couple of flaws. It relies on horror tropes and redundant jump scares. Many of these tropes are predictable and it reduces some of the terror. This game reminds me of the typical slasher film, especially Friday the 13th and Halloween.
Also, this game doesn't have much replay value. Once you've played the game, the mystery is gone. You already know the basic plot, the ending, and the major revelations. But you can play again to achieve better stats.
Overall, I would recommend this game for most people. It's an excellent and original survival horror game. If you're looking for a break from first person shooters, try it out. I'm pretty sure most gamers will enjoy it except for individuals who scare easily.
That's the end of my triple feature review. Thanks for coming back and reading my work. I'm planning to cover the conclusion of the NBA finals and Stanley Cup playoffs, but we'll see what happens. Next week's post isn't set in stone yet. Keep checking for more posts and I promise to write again soon. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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