What did you play this weekend?
Aside from my minor strewth with a PS3 hard drive inexplicably ballooning into a big news story (one comment even used the word ‘reterd’ – handy with a screwdriver, but not so much with basic spelling), I had a relatively good weekend. I even got around to playing Mirror’s Edge, a game which, due to a mixed critical response, didn’t have me spasming in anticipation before trying it. Here’s some thoughts on that, as well as the other games I played this weekend:
I sped through six chapters of DICE’s first-person platformer at the weekend. It’s superb – the mechanics aren’t perfect, but running up the side of walls, performing jumping kicks and disarm manoeuvre makes a great change from constantly getting in cover and operating gun turrets (see below). Mirror’s Edge is a unique product. Many critics’ issue with it seems to be the difficulty, perhaps explaining why the scores for it are all over the place, but I think three or four deaths before you overcome a particular obstacle isn’t too much to ask. It seems that many people are used to games doing everything for you, essentially the exact opposite of what Mirror’s Edge is about. I love it. It’s not the best game of the year in terms of quality, but it’s my personal favourite. They should make a Batman game using this template.
Call Of Duty: World At War
First of all, I have to say this is miles better than Call Of Duty 3. Burdened by drab countryside levels and few distinctive set pieces, it is deservedly regarded as the worst in the series, but still performed very well at retail. When Call Of Duty 4 came out and annihilated Treyarch, however, they were determined to strike back with this effort – they succeeded, in some ways. At times, I thought they made better use of the Modern Warfare engine than Treyarch, especially in the explosion-heavy open battlefield sections. My problem with World At War is the tone – setting fire to Japanese soldiers feels remorseless, in a way that shooting Nazis never did in earlier COD games. The fountains of blood don’t help, either. World At War is an angry game, and since I’ve played far too many FPS titles of this ilk over the past few years, I might forgo completing it.
Sega’s shooter-meets-tactical RPG has bombed, even in its native Japan, but at this quality it’s likely to earn a dedicated, long-term fanbase, à la Skies of Arcadia. The story is simultaneously powerful and weird – sort of a mix between basic dramatic anime and HBO’s Band Of Brothers. The combat is so accessible that it justifies an audience beyond the few that have caught it shortly after release.
Feel free to share what you’ve been playing, old and new.