speed dial

Here’s a new series of articles i’m starting. It’s Getb. Good enough to beat. Because I don’t have the attention span to spout gushing praise over a game I don’t like, which I won’t beat. Basically not reviews, but me fangirling over what I loved and what held it back from higher ratings. These aren’t objective reviews looking at design. This is me going by feeling. Reviews are usually held like
1 — Gushing (aneurysm)
2 — Chub (good enough to give you a lil chub. Without many flaws, just doesn’t grab you)
3 — asterisk (good with caveats)
4 — Potential
5 — Shit (Thoroughly mediocre.)
6 — Crap (It takes something special to take a crap. This is excessively bad.)

Ghostrunner (3)

Image courtesy of All In! Games

I find it a difficult recommendation, as the concept for this game kicks ass. I’ll quickly gloss over some small issues, and if you find these palatable, then pick this up.

Some enemies have no counterplay besides cheese tactics. suicide enemies just suck in this game.

Combat can feel shallow. There are avenues to express creativity, but with only one attack move (the cost of having all attacks be one-hit kills I imagine) makes the combat feel not terribly engaging. Paired with defensive options that feel a little too punishing to even attempt (strict parry timings), most encounters end up being avoidance and just attacking them once to finish them off. 4 abilities are present, and only 2 feel useful. 1 is situational, and the last feels like it belongs in another game entirely. Platforming is excellent though.

Story is passable, though I’m sure you’re not here for the story ;)

tldr; this is a tldr review already, go reread

Prodeus (4)

Image courtesy of Humble Games

As it stands, this has a lot of potential, meshing both the old school boomer shooter goodness and embracing modern game design. But small flaws here and there, possibly fixable as it’s in early access, bog the game down and prevent it from being fantastic.

Weapons
Weapon wheel (Or rectangle) is unintuitive, and as an extension we know little about the weapons we have. More cool descriptions or personality given to these tools of destruction would have served well.

3 of the currently 8 available weapons use bullets, creating ammo scarcity and really restricting the weapon swapping potential we have. As a result we have an overabundance of other ammo types in comparison to the dry reserves for the Shredders, Pistol and Minigun. Speaking of shredders, as much as i love dual-wielding two assault rifles, there isn’t an interesting decision between firing either the left or right, as both use the same ammo clip when you fire. Rattle off all your bullets with the left one, and you’ll reload both. They don’t have their own individual clips, so the tradeoff of picking one side over the other isn’t there, no interesting decision to be made, I ended up just single firing the left one every time i needed accuracy.

Visuals
Minigun creates way too much blood. I like the blood effects otherwise, but visibility is impossible with the minigun vs large enemy groups. I ended up using it on single large enemies instead of mowing down hordes as a result.

The depth of perception is a big issue in Prodeus, with the colours and all, which made timing the remote detonation mod for the otherwise orgasmic rocket launcher pretty pointless. Which leads me to talk about levels.
They feel very samey. Save some exceptions with cool concepts like snipers pinning you down in a crater as they perch on their tower, the environments and levels don’t do enough to stick out in your memory, both visually and mechanically.

Game Design
I really do like the reloading aspects, as they force you into encounters where you have to decide which enemy to prioritize and with what weapon, since reloading can cost precious time. Do you reload the dual rifles or swap to the minigun that doesn’t need reloading but has a long windup to get there? Do you risk your health and melee weaker enemies to save ammo or do you shoot them? Right now the ammo economy is scuffed and i have way too many shotgun shells and way too few bullets. Everything else so far seems about right in terms of max capacity you can carry and the amount you get in the levels. If they decreased ammo across the board to make these on the fly decisions vital, it would be cool. If they’d like to maintain their current combat loop, which is still good, i’d like to see a significant uptake in bullet capacity and drops.

There’s a checkpoint system i’m iffy about, where you respawn with full health but enemies stay dead. I found it made deaths less tense, and walks back to the fights where you pass older rooms of dead enemies pretty boring since they stay dead.

nitpicking because i care
And a minor complaint, story wise it really doesn’t give you a whole lot for someone glancing over it. I don’t particularly look for it, but it adds to the experience when present. I’d like it a little more on the nose.

Cyberpunk 2077 (3)

Image courtesy of CD Projekt RED

This is basically Fallout 4. if you can put up with some jankiness (though not nearly as exaggerated as the internet says in my experience), I think you’ll find a good to great game in here. Which is disappointing given the context of how people were saying this would revolutionize gaming. From what I’ve seen, it’s a decent cog thrown in, but another cog in the machine of open-world games nonetheless. 6~/10

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store