12/12/2013

flash bang action quota

Done and done. Completed Killzone Shadow Fall last night and the final verdict? Well in the spirit of truth and honesty its not a bad game, its somewhere between okay and good,  often threatening to get great but then  rarely making good on its promise. Its absolutely, resolutely somewhere better than adequate.

Not a definitive enough verdict there? Well that's the story of this game and really the series as a whole. Frequently infuriating and gratifying, only those with the patience to deal with its regular foibles will see it through to the end. Shame too, its a good end. A shadowy web of lies, espionage and betrayal, in fact the game almost gets all Call of Duty Modern Warfare for a moment there. Eighties Action Thriller stylee. Then it ends, dang.

Killzones 2 and 3 also saved the most interesting story bits for the end and I'm not sure why that is. It's like the writers suddenly got struck by performance anxiety and panicked at having to live up to the stratospherically high standards of better than mediocre storytelling. Like my perpetually low standards are way too much for them.

Visually and technically its a success story, a showcase even for the shiny new tech that powers it. So its probably delivering what it set out to do, however much that is or isn't. Its makers still can't crack the nut of good storytelling with nothing remarkably smart or entertainingly stupid to be found here. It's the very definition of 'it'll do' entertainment.

So Shadow Fall was worthwhile even if didn't exceed my subdued expectations. Had it not come bundled with the console I could have happily waited a while before picking it up cheap but ultimately it fulfulled its flash bang action quota. Damning with faint praise yes but I disengaged my brain and enjoyed it for the most part. A middling recommendation at best. Shame though, all the pieces are there they just can't make them fit together. 

Think I'll go give multiplayer a whirl though. That's still a satisfyingly robust experience. See how long it takes before the novelty of having my brains blasted into the next post code wears off. Then I might give Battlefield 4's single player campaign a once-through, or maybe I'll just jab my brain with pointy objects for all the good that'll do me. I obviously hate my brain.