When God of War was released on the aging PS2 back in 2005, it was immediately hailed as one of the best action games of all time, going on to win numerous accolades and game-of-the-year awards. But the videogaming landscape has changed significantly in the past two years. The big three (Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft) have released their "next-generation" consoles, and player expectations have risen accordingly. So how could God of War II, designed on the now-ancient PS2 hardware, possibly live up to the expectations of its fans?
Game Description: God of War II continues that thrilling and bloody tale of Kratos, the mortal warrior who challenged the war god Ares for his throne. He succeeded, but his journey does not end there. In God Of War II he rules over war, far more ruthless than Ares ever was. To end his continued torment, Kratos must journey to the far reaches of the earth and defeat untold horrors and alter that which no mortal, or god has ever changed, his fate. God of War II sets an epic stage for a devastating mythological war to end all wars.
Dan says that Crackdown isn't an unmitigated disaster—I disagree. For a game that received crazy amounts of hype prior to release and was even granted the coveted honor of being host to the Halo 3 beta, it's an embarrassing, incomplete, and hopelessly botched attempt by a developer that either has no idea what they're doing, or lacked the time, talent, and/or resources to bring their concept to fruition.
In my review of Mercenaries, I wondered if it wasn't time to drop the plots entirely from open-concept action games. Let the player run around with a gun, going nuts. I'll be the first to admit that it was a terrible idea. In my defense, though, it was meant as an ironic comment about the poor quality of videogame stories, not an honest call for their removal. Realtime Worlds seems to have run with the concept, though, and the result, while entertaining for a little while, is for the most part an awkward, incomplete mess.
Game Description:Crackdown pushes the action-driving hybrid genre into the next generation with the first ever truly 3D playground. Gamers will enforce justice by any means necessary in Pacific City, a crime-ridden urban center built to encourage the exploration of the full width, depth and height of the city. Coupled with highly innovative co-op gameplay—a genre first—and an interactive world where nearly anything can be used as a weapon, gamers will be able to create a volatile cocktail of judicial oppression as they clean up the streets.
Comic fans will geek out at numerous points (none of which will be spoiled here), but even newcomers to this alternate reality will find things to love thanks to a richly crafted story courtesy of a group of former X-Men writers. Because of this, the game genuinely feels like an X-Men story instead of just generic videogame plot #32654 with X-Men characters in the mix.
Game Description: The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants has freed their leader, the diabolically intelligent Magneto. An unprovoked attack on mutant-kind by a secret Sentinel army compels Magneto to plan his most maniacal scheme yet. He intends to use his mutant superpowers to shroud the Earth in cosmic debris, blotting out the sun and plunging the globe into eternal winter. From this chaos the Brotherhood will emerge to reign supreme over humankind. As the Sentinels continue to wage worldwide mutant genocide, the X-Men must confront Magneto and save the earth from certain destruction.
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