2008 Reviews
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z #

2008

Rise of the Argonauts

Rise of the Argonauts

If you're a WASD player then you won't have any issues with controlling the game like I did. So really the only negatives are some sloppy combat and ludicrously long conversations, but you get a good story, good characters and nice looking game out of it. I might rate it low for it's problems, but I'm still glad I played this game.

Prince Of Persia

Prince Of Persia

Prince Of Persia is a great example of review websites not having a damn clue about what makes a good game - or they're all paid by Ubisoft to give positive reviews.

In fact a number of Ubisoft developed games have been over-rated lately; Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, Assassin's Creed and now Prince Of Persia. Honestly, IGN... a 9.3/10?!

 Tomb Raider: Underworld

Tomb Raider: Underworld

I didn't think I'd enjoy Underworld much; it was almost a chore to begin it. But as the game wore on I realised the levels are much better than Anniversary and the puzzles and difficulty setting is more forgiving, making it a really enjoyable game. The camera and leaps of faith need to be worked on, and it's still a very linear game, but it is without a doubt the best Tomb Raider to date (unless you like more of a challenge then you may prefer Anniversary).

Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge is a good game. I look forward to the sequel. But it's not something I'd want in every game, it's just something a bit different that makes a nice change from the constant action shooters. It's high point is the design and running high above sky scrapers. Low point; combat.

Call Of Duty: World At War

Call Of Duty: World At War

Design? What more is there to say. Same old engine, same old looks. It is a good looking game packed with detail, and lots of variety in themes. But you'd expect above average from one of the biggest selling video game franchises of all time. And excluding The Sims and Wii Sports, the biggest that's been introduced in the last 15 years.

Legendary

Legendary

Legendary was a game I was really looking forward to in 2008 from Spark Unlimited. Then reviews came; IGN a 2.5/10, Gamespot 3.5/10, Eurogamer 2/10. The game was completely rubbished and, as such, barely sold. How could this happen when the graphics and monsters all looked so great in the promo material? Clearly, Spark hadn't paid the top review sites enough for positive reviews because this is the single most under-rated game I've ever played.

Secret Service

Secret Service

This game is created by Cauldron HQ, based in Slovakia. They first came to recognition with the 2003 shooter Chaser, built on their own engine, which was a good, underrated effort. However their History Channel games have received negative reviews and the third Soldier of Fortune (Payback) was a messy flop. Secret Service is no different, in fact worse, than Payback. Cauldron have since given up on PC games to focus on consoles. Not a big surprise, and they won't be missed with the sloppy efforts they've put out after Chaser.

 The History Channel: Civil War - Secret Missions

The History Channel: Civil War - Secret Missions

It's quite a difference going from the huge open-'universe' and gameplay possibilities of The Precursors to this game... a small, linear, extremely basic shooter. I just hope it wasn't at a full game price. Even City Interactive's crappy Russian shooters of 2008 were more fun than Secret Missions. I'm pretty sure this will be 2008's worst first person shooter.

The Royal Marines Commando

The Royal Marines Commando

There's really not much more to say about The Royal Marines Commando (hereby TRMC) that I didn't already say in my reviews of SAS and Operation Thunderstorm, both 2008 shooters from City Interactive. It's the same Lithtech (F.E.A.R.) engine, almost the same enemies and guns, just with a slightly different story and different settings.

Operation Thunderstorm

Operation Thunderstorm

You can't expect perfection with a game that's only 2gb installed, and it's over in well under three hours. City Interactive should probably just give this game out for free now as a digital download to garner attention for their future titles, but if you can find a copy to download then it's probably more fun than wasting two hours watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster. It's not really worth any money though.

007: Quantum of Solace

007: Quantum of Solace

No less than five diferent developers worked on this game, so it's no surprise that's it's a short, rushed and a bit unfocused. Treyarch were the main developers of the game. Short rundown of Treyarch - the studio was merged with Gray Matter in 2005. They set upon the Call of Duty franchise, sharing the duty mainly with Infinity Ward to flood the market with the same old realistic shooter every year.

Fallout 3 (GOTY Edition)

Fallout 3 (GOTY Edition)

As a reviewer, I can probably be quite harsh on some games. Not so much the budget, less-heard of games, but the popular titles that everyone loves and rave about. I find much of time they're not as great as the industry makes out.

For the whole of 2007 and 2006 I only rated five games above an 8/10. Admittedly, I missed some of the RPG's like Oblivion. But Fallout 3 is not over-rated at all, it deserves all the praise it gets and I'd say it's certainly in the top 10 games I've ever played.

White Gold: War in Paradise (Xenus II)

White Gold: War in Paradise (Xenus II)

There isn't that much more wrong with White Gold, apart from it's ridiculously sensitive vehicle control. Unlike the similarly ambitious S.T.A.L.K.E.R., also mixing action/RPG which even with huge player mods still has way too many things that need fixing. Which game is better? S.T.A.L.K.E.R. quite easily. But White Gold was far less frustrating and a bit easier with less combat. It's much more of an RPG than S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is, and does the RPG elements better. I'm just not quite patient enough and need a bit more action in my gaming.

Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Overall, according to the in-game statistics I played Far Cry 2 for 14 hours. Which seems quite short, I guess that doesn't take into account all the reloads (and there were a lot!), so I'd say more like 20 hours at least. Even then, at most games I'm bored and just waiting for it to finish by the ten hour mark, but with Far Cry 2 I still wasn't bored by the end. I could easily play some custom missions now. So that's something. But it's also telling that the best part of the game (for me) was the last few missions where you're on foot, there's no damn vehicles around and it's gone linear.

Left 4 Dead (Game of the Year Edition)

Left 4 Dead (Game of the Year Edition)

To be honest, from a single-player perspective, this is a bit average. Average graphics and design for 2008, but it does have some very fun, although repetitive, gameplay. Like I said above, this is a game made popular for multiplayer, not single-player. I might like the sequel better...

Saints Row 2

Saints Row 2

Overall, SR2 is a decent game. The story is interesting, I loved being able to customise my character. There's tonnes to do, but most of the activities are sadly not that fun and too inconsistent. Forcing me to do them to proceed with the many main missions was a bit of a chore. But school kids with all afternoon and evening to play games might not mind so much. The city was massive, but nothing much to marvel over it's beauty. It looks a few years older than 2008. So, it's JUST a decent game.

Dead Space

Dead Space

Overall, a pretty great game, just let down by it's massively horrendous PC movement. This game would be much better on console. I gave it an 8.5, but it probably deserves less than that because of the controls, so I'm struggling to have it that high. But I'll leave it for now.

SAS: Secure Tomorrow

SAS: Secure Tomorrow

So overall, below average design and extremely short length, but it's generally kind of fun. If you can find it for under $10 and have absolutely nothing else to play, then it's perhaps worth a few hours of your time.

Crysis Warhead

Crysis Warhead

This is a tough one to rate. Do I rate it compared with full length games, or do I take into account that it's half price and half length? It's easily good enough for a 9.0 if it was full length, but I'll knock it back to 8.5 since it is only a mission pack.

Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway

Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway

Overall I enjoyed BIAHH much more than it's predecessors and more than I was expecting. The graphics are great, the cutscenes and story are decent, though not as good as has been made out. The only weak point is the repetitive combat, but it's been improved since last time out. Gearbox is currently working on two more BIA games and with the success of Hell's Highway I can now actually look forward to playing them.

Mercenaries 2

Mercenaries 2

I'd definitely recommend the average Saints Row 2 over this game. I like the Venezuela settings, I like that it's a bit shorter and has more action, but like many console-based games there's too much playing missions over. And don't get me started on all the silly little bugs you'll come across or every character in the game repeating the same line over and over again line a broken record.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky

I was left disappointed with S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. I strugged to give it a 7/10 with it's shortcomings and tediousness. But, I figured a second playthrough I'd probably enjoy much more as I'd know what it's problems are. So a sequel (or prequel to be more exact), I should be able to enjoy. Sadly, not so.

Alone In The Dark

Alone In The Dark

Well I should have known with a score on Metacritic of 5.5 that there must be something wrong with this game, despite the screenshots and cover looking quite good. What is wrong are the controls and gameplay. I rage-quit around the end of chapter 2 (of 8) so only 1/4 of the way through the game. But it was too much to bear. While I don't like to miss out on even the average games, AITD is a game I'm just better off never experiencing.

Mass Effect

Mass Effect

Overall, I have to give it to BioWare for creating such a large, complex game. It wasn't long ago that games were really just walk-and-shoot for under 10 hours. But BioWare creates a rewarding experience, with a fantastic story, a mix of RPG and shooting. But I can only wish the shooting and combat was a bit better. The level design needed a bit more detail close-up, to feel more like a real world. But I'm sure the sequel will fix that issue because not much looks plain in 2010.

Dark Sector

Dark Sector

Overall a good looking game, despite there not being anything too epic, but the gameplay could have been a lot more fun but just became monotonous and annoying by the last quarter of the game.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2

Overall Vegas 2 is just an okay game. The combat is fun most of the time, though it can be challenging. This is a game that doesn't test your speed like Painkiller or Serious Sam, it tests your patience. The design, however, looks pretty average. Halfway through the game I remember thinking this is very similar in design quality to Soldier of Fortune: Payback. And that's not a good thing. It's certainly not as good looking as Vegas, released two years prior.

Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty

Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty

I recently reviewed Legendary, another 2008 shooter from Spark Unlimited released several months after Turning Point. It was a massively under-rated game, only let down by it's short length and buggy last episode. Thus, coming into Turning Point I was expecting more of the same. At least this game got more average reviews, with a 40% aggregate on gamerankings.com. That's still well below the par with a score not likely to warrant many purchases outside of hardcore shooter gamers - like me.

Frontlines: Fuel Of War

Frontlines: Fuel Of War

Frontlines is one of only two games by Kaos Studios (the other Homefront in 2011) before being shut down. However they were previously known as Trauma Studios and collaborated on Battlefield 2. So it's no surprise that Frontlines is a bit of a Battlefield clone, only not so good.

Conflict: Denied Ops

Conflict: Denied Ops

Overall a pretty average game. Nothing really wrong with; it just gets repetitive with it's two dominantly used weapons, both of which needed tweaking, and design which looks about '2006' not '2008'.

Turok

Turok

Overall Turok is just a good game. The gameplay was interesting enough, the dinosaurs done very well and weapons were all fun to use. The looks were good enough, certainly better than plenty of other Unreal Engine 3 games. I'd certainly recommend it. It's a shame Propaganda shut down because they had a sequel in development and a Pirates of the Carribbean action/rpg.

Devil May Cry 4

Devil May Cry 4

Wrapping up, DMC4 needed to back off on the repetition in replaying levels, needed at least half as many boss battles and the player control was awful. But the great looking levels and design, the fast pace hack and slash action and good story telling make DMC4 a solid game in the end. New developer for the reboot coming next year, which might not be a good thing. But at least there's another title in the franchise coming soon.

Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed

There's been many a positive review for AC. It's not as well-received as it was on the consoles, despite being an extra six months worth of development Director's Cut. The best summary I've seen was probably EuroGamer - it's a 9/10 for graphics, 6/10 for gameplay. Actually, that's being generous. The 9/10 for graphics is right, but I think the gameplay is almost worth a 5/10. I didn't even get halfway before I threw on god mode and instant kill on any enemy that got close to me. That's how little I was enjoying the actual combat. I only played on to see the story and visuals. I do hope AC2 improves on this thing.