Monday August 20, 2012 the daily aztec
‘Darksiders II’ Don’t let ‘Sleeping Dogs’ lie cheats death aztec gaming
Jordan Pollock Aztec Gaming
Two years ago, Vigil Games released “Darksiders,” a game fusing elements from “The Legend of Zelda,” “God of War,” and “Devil May Cry.” Despite being a solid game with decent game play, “Darksiders” was dismissed as nothing but a hodgepodge of other games. Thankfully, the wonderful developers at Vigil heard the praise and complaints of the original game and improved and expanded them in the sequel. In “Darksiders II,” the player takes control of Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and brother of the original protagonist War. Because War was tricked into starting the apocalypse and was subsequently imprisoned, Death sets out on a quest to clear his brother’s name by resurrecting humanity. The journey proves to be much more difficult than Death initially thought.
can use a large variety of secondary weapons. With an expanded inventory system, Death can switch between heavy, sluggish weapons, such as giant maces and axes or light and fast arm-blades, gauntlets and claws. All add more depth to the already extensive combat system. This time around, players aren’t limited to only buying their skills from vendors. Death is given a skill tree that allows players to emphasize either offense or defense, although the player is free to mix and match skills they want. Also, don’t fret if you accidentally put skill points into the wrong skill—a quick trip to Vulgrim and a 1000 “gilt” with let you reset your skill points. The world of “Darksiders II” is much more expansive than its predecessor with much more hidden items, chests and events scattered around the world. Side-quests and extra dungeons add hours to the game and serve as a welcome distraction from the main quest.
Death takes on an ice giant in THQ and Vigil Games’ “Darksiders II,” where giant monsters are commonplace.
The player traverses a variety of scenic locations including the lush “Forge Lands” and the desolate “Land of the Dead.” Along the way, Death meets a variety of characters, each with their own motivations for either helping or hindering his quest. The gameplay from “Darksiders II” feels familiar, but remains different. Just like its predecessor, “Darksiders II” takes puzzle solving and exploration from “Zelda” games, lightning fast combat from “Devil May Cry” and execution attacks and finishing moves from “God of War.” Additionally, the developers at Vigil also included collectable loot from “Diablo” without the grinding. Combat is more fluid, complex and varied than the original “Darksiders.” Death is an extremely agile and versatile fighter who wields double scythes, which can be combined into his trademark single scythe. Unlike War, Death has no qualms with using any weapon he can get his hands on. His primary weapons are scythes, but Death
courtesy of thq and vigil games
These extras often result in awesome loot that will assist the player out during upcoming troubles in the main quest. Final Thoughts “Darksiders II” is a combination of all the best parts of successful games and it mixes them all together extremely well. That isn’t to say that there aren’t a few hiccups here and there. In fact, players should be warned there are some bugs in the game that may ruin the entire experience. For example, there is an auto-save system that may lock a player into a point-of-no-return and force a complete restart of the game. All in all, though, “Darksiders II” will reap hours and hours of fun.
REVIEW game: Darksiders 2 developers: vigil games release: august 14 rating:
Wei Shen looks over neon-lit streets of Hong Kong in Square Enix and United Front Games’ “Sleeping Dogs.” Players must choose to take the path of the righteous as a cop, or fall prey to the perils of mob life.
courtesy of square enix and united front games
awesome detail. Although the console version isn’t quite as beautiful—given the constraints of the now-elderly current generation of consoles—the PC version takes full advantage of many of the latest features of DirectX 11 and other developments. Faces seem to be the only area where the developers had trouble, particularly on females. I was pleasantly surprised to see many UI and graphical options— a rarity in games—ported over from consoles. Though it might seem a minor detail, the mouse has separate sensitivity for both aiming and camera and is further separated by X and Y-axes. This level of attention to the tiniest customization PC gamers love is something you don’t often see, even in games designed solely for
However, the game seems to have a slight auto-aim present, which Cody Franklin can make getting headshots more Head of Aztec Gaming of a chore than it should be. “Max Payne”-style slow motion really Kung fu, fast cars, explosions, adds to the experience, especially beautiful women, barbaric when you’re trying to shoot gangsters and undercover cops: enemies from your moving car or there’s never been a Hong Kong boat. The mechanics of shooting quite like the one portrayed in from vehicles are easily the best in “Sleeping Dogs.” The new open the industry so far. world crime drama video game Speaking of cars and boats, from United Front Games is a “Sleeping Dogs” also features spiritual successor to the muchsome of the most thrilling racing beloved “True Crime” franchise. imaginable. Cars and bikes It’s everything this writer has ever perform at speeds most games wanted in a crime and kung fu never dare to hit with near-perfect adventure, minus a few ninjas or handling. However, it might take a samurai. while to get used to driving on the The story follows Wei Shen, “wrong” side of the road. There an undercover police officer are plenty of racing side-games infiltrating the Sun On Yee, a major to keep the speed demon in every Triad gang in Hong Kong. As Shen player occupied works his way for hours. up the power Every moment structure, he of the 16 hours it struggles with It sounds fairly cliché, but without spoiling took to complete just how far he’s a few things, it takes a few grizzly paths is a thrill ride, willing to go to except for the keep his cover, that most players will never expect. end. Although and whether certainly not his cover has anywhere near become his true the level of disappointment found self. It sounds fairly cliché, but the PC. When it comes to gameplay, in “Mass Effect 3,” players will without spoiling things, it takes a few grizzly paths most players will “Sleeping Dogs” has some of the likely find themselves expecting a best hand-to-hand combat. Fans bit more bang for the big finale. never expect. Final Thoughts The balance between cop and of the current-generation Batman Overall, “Sleeping Dogs” is a gangster plays a big part in Shen’s games (“Arkham Asylum” and progression, as every mission has “Arkham City”) will feel right tour-de-force of blood-pumping a score for both factors. Hit a at home with “Sleeping Dogs.” excitement. If you like kung fu, pedestrian or a light post and you’ll The kung fu flows with ease from mesmerizing graphics, adrenalinestart losing cop score quickly. This Shen’s fists and feet, as he delivers maxing racing, solid shooting and can be annoying at times when powerful blows that are almost a top-notch storytelling, there’s no Shen has to hurry across the map guilty pleasure to behold. Breaking reason not to wake up the dogs of or escape enemies; with 30 Triad the arms and legs of an opponent war in “Sleeping Dogs”. gangsters chasing and shooting foolhardy enough to mess with the REVIEW at Shen, does it really matter if best has never been so fun. Shooting, although not a major he bumps into civilian cars a few game: Sleeping dogs part of the game, is polished times? “Sleeping Dogs” is visually whenever it does pop up. Players developers: united front games gorgeous, portraying everything will have a blast shooting down release: august 14 from the glitz and glam of the gangster after gangster with a upper class areas to the down- variety of weapons, such as simple rating: and-dirty slums of the gangs in pistols or automatic shotguns.
Aztec Gaming Giveaway!
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Volume 99, Issue 1