This was one of the two games I got free from Sony by way of apologising for letting evil internet terrorists have access to my personal details. Sadly, it’s not that great.
For the first three or four hours, I just couldn’t shake the fact that this was just Crackdown in slightly ill-fitting clothes. Then, as I realised that going vertical and running across rooftops was a better way of playing, I found myself comparing it to Assassin’s Creed as well. It’s nowhere near as good as either of those games.
The main things I disliked were the repetitive missions and Cole’s gluefingers. The former due to having to do sewer substation run after sewer substation run, or “find this thing – oh wait, find 4 more”, or “blow up X – hang on – there’s 3 more of them”, and the less said about the repeated side missions the better. It doesn’t help that all three islands in the game look virtually identical, and there only appear to be about 6 different buildings in the entire game, all copied and pasted across the map.
The other issue was how Cole grabs everything – poles, overhangs, cables, windowledges, trees, phone boxes – all the time. If you’re trying to get away from a baddie, or even just veer slightly in the wrong direction when jumping, you’ll grab something. Or, as it feels more like, it grabs you. And holds you. Still. So you’re a sitting du–oh look you’re dead. Having a button to hold down to say “yes please, I want to grabs things” would be much better.
Bizarrely, there are some things you’d think you could grab (like market stall roofs or some windowledges and shop facias) that you can’t.
Thankfully, it wasn’t all this bad. As the game progressed, and more powers were unlocked and others upgraded, it became more fun. With the rail grind and glide moves, leaping around the rooftops and chasing things down became brilliant rather than tedious, although if you ever drop to ground level (as you often need to for objectives) the climb to the roofs again is jarring and slows the game down.
There were minor complaints (controls, mainly due to the controller as usual, inconsistant framerates, texture pop-in at close range – especially on the big tower in the middle of the second island, and the overall easiness of the game), but nothing gamebreaking on their own. My only other major complaint is with the twist at the end – it’s rubbish. It’s like they got to the end of the writing and pulled it out of thin-air. It doesn’t help that it’s now created a paradox. Sigh.
Overall score: 3/5 Must Try Harder.