Archive for March, 2014

Splinter Cell: Blacklist

26 Mar


Finished playing “Splinter Cell: Blacklist” the other day.

Point one: although traditionally I play 3rd-person action games on the consoles, I bought a Logitech controller, and I bought this one on Steam, and even with my 3-year old video card, the game looks and plays very well. More and more I’m questioning the use of a console (except for exclusives, of course).

This one is the logically extension of “Splinter Cell: Conviction”, which I loved. All good things about the first one are there: multiple paths in missions (stealth all the way, or just shoot everybody), stealth that actually works and it’s not boring (looking at you, MGS) and a nice espionage story (not ground-breaking, but competent).

There’s some glaring balancing issues, in my opinion (missions range from stupid easy to insanely difficult and back to stupid easy really fast), and the emphasis on co-op detracts of my gameplay experience (I’m not a social player, so I don’t want to play with anybody in this sort of games). The co-op becomes mandatory to unblock certain stuff, which annoys me…

Anyway, it’s a very competent game, very well executed (even if you might feel that it’s a little bit “stale”, not enough innovation going on, but to be honest, not all games need to be ground-breaking in that sense).

My major criticism of the game is the stupid Ubisoft UPlay software that has to be installed. This really annoys me, I already have Steam, don’t need to have another game launcher system. Steam gives me a tangible benefit for my usage type, UPlay doesn’t…

So, if you liked Conviction, you’ll like this one, the story even has some surprising moments! Smile8/10

No Comments

Posted in Games


Papers, Please

14 Mar


“Papers, Please” is a game where you are a guard in a border crossing in a soviet-era-inspired fictional country. You have to check the papers travellers hand you, check for discrepancies, validity, etc of documents and approve or deny entrance to the glorious republic of Arstotzka.

Excited yet?

As dry as the game sounds, the description does it no justice… From a gameplay standpoint, it has a very “real” feel to it… You feel like your shuffling papers, checking dates, etc, which leads to a big connection between the game and the player.

Errors are heavy penalized, but you get paid by each person that you let through, so you want to let through as many people as you can, but if you let people in that have mismatching information you eventually get fines and can be judged by high-treason… So, you have the never-ending conflict of letting people pass, and doing your job right.

Add to this a series of moral conundrums (you let the husband pass, will you stop the wife because her passport was out of date? Will you let dissidents into the country so they’ll pull down the corrupt government you know leads you?), and the need to not only support yourself but your whole family, and you have a recipe for a pretty tense game…

I was very skeptical about the game at start, but everyone was raving about it, so I thought I’d give it a try, but even though I started playing thinking “don’t know what’s the big fuss about this”, I ended up feeling very tense every time I let someone through, dreading to receive the fax saying I’d made a mistake and that I was getting docked on my payment.

Finally, the game not only does a great job in gameplay and narrative, but also in the context… it makes you feel oppressed, bordering on the depressed while playing, which might seem weird to exalt when talking about a game, but it manages it perfectly…

Final verdict: It’s a great game to waste some hours (think I spent about 8 hours with it, seeing alternative endings, etc), which for its cost is a great bargain! 9/10

No Comments

Posted in Games