Winter Gaming Reviews (Dec ’13 – Mar ’14)   Leave a comment

I thought I’d jot down a short review and final thoughts on a few games I recently completed this winter.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag – Freedom Cry

Freedom Cry is a DLC game that have you playing as Adéwalé: a former slave-turned-pirate from Trinidad and later became a member of the Assassin Order. He was Edward Kenway’s quartermaster aboard the Jackdaw on their adventure during Black Flag’s story. After Edward left, Adéwalé joined the Assassin order and had his own ship. The story takes place 15 years after the events in Black Flag, when his ship was damaged near Saint-Domingue while on a mission to assassinate a French admiral and a templar. He was washed ashore in Port-au-Prince. He was once again confronted with the realities of the slave trade.

What’s different about this DLC is that there are consequences to your actions in the game. In Black Flag, one misstep or being caught will reset the mission or have the enemy go after you. In Freedom Cry, a single mistake would make the enemy take it out on the slaves. There are missions where you take over a plantation and free the slaves and the Maroon. You have to get rid of 20 overseers. No monetary rewards. Freeing the captive was your reward. Overseers would take it out on the slaves when they catch you. Just like in the past, there were black overseers during this time. I had to think about whether I’m doing the right thing killing them or passing them over for others. They were probably forced into being overseers. There was a sequence where  a ship holding slaves on board was sinking. Adéwalé had to free the shackled slaves. The ship was on fire and I had to be quick about rescuing as many people as I can.

These were things that gamers had to think about before performing any actions. Adéwalé himself also was at a dilemma. He wanted to free the slaves. But there were women and children who couldn’t fight with the Maroon rebellion. They were caught in between.

Overall, this was a good 5 hours of solid gameplay.

Remember Me

This was one of the few new games that is not a sequel last year. The story follows Nilin, a memory hunter in Neo Paris in the late 21st century. In this futuristic story, there is a company that can erase and remix your memories to get rid of misery and pain, removing those thoughts and making new ones. They also store memories so people can relive the good ones. This is now the biggest company in the world and have controlled all aspects of life. But there are individuals in the company who are using memories and experimenting on people. Some people now have powers to suck others memories (it’s like a drug… it’s addicting). It’s Nilin’s job to stop this.

As an action adventure game, Remember Me doesn’t add much to the genre: you acquire new skills to defeat your enemies and upgrade them along the way. There are sequences that lets you go inside a person’s mind and remix certain events to change how they think. Too bad you get to only do this 4 times throughout the game. The camera angle gets confused from time to time and blocks your view of the character. I avoided walls most of the time.

This game excelled in the story and the world they developed. It would be been nice if we could explore more of the city of Neo Paris rather than get Neo Paris facts about the people, environment and culture through collectible items.

Tomb Raider (2013)

Lara Croft has had many reinterpretations throughout the years. This latest version of Tomb Raider is the best one so far from Crystal Dynamics, published by Square Enix.

This is the origin story of Lara Croft. Lara didn’t just come into existence guns blazing and leaping across gaps and finding treasure. Lara Croft is an archaeologist at heart. Her father was the original adventurer just like Indiana Jones. On this expedition to find a lost tribe of the Yamatai, they encountered a storm. Lara Croft was separated from the group and washed ashore in an island. She had to fend off for herself and learned to hunt for food and track others. They eventually learn that are people living on the island and wants them captured or dead. This game is how Lara learned how to survive and became the badass that she is.

This game has everything you need in a Tomb Raider. Updated for the new generation, we have a rough around the edges heroine who comes out swinging, surviving… and never looked back.

I’m done.

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