Combat: I really like the
customization feature of being able to select different moves (Pressens)
with different benefits (power, regen, chain, and cooldown) and pick
what combos are most comfortable for you personally as a player to pull
You will learn additional moves as you go along, however the way
this is done here is far from rpg-style gameplay; so do not expect that
going in. You cannot button mash your combos as the game requires that
you properly time yourself from one hit to the next. This, I think, has
lead to a perception that the controls are unresponsive because the
timing window from one hit to the next is very small. But, once I got
the rhythm of a combo down I rarely had a problem finishing it. You
fight a lot of multiple enemies, placed in arena-like portions of the
map. Enemies tend to group up and their attacks will break your combos,
so it is important that you plan ahead, gain space on individual
enemies, dodge, and look for vulnerable openings. Sometimes, this is
easier said than done as some enemies can leap from walls, block
attacks, and so forth. If you just jump into a big group and start
swinging or get yourself cornered, you’ll get floored pretty quickly on
any difficulty. Your special S-Pressens and your arm-mounted Spammer
can also be great assets in the right situations; allowing you to turn
robots on their masters and stun enemies for periods of time. All in
all, the combat requires you to pay attention, be creative, memorize the
rhythm of your combos, and think.
The World: NeoParis is an
atmospheric and beautiful place. It really is a sight for the eyes.
Familiar Parisian landmarks and architecture are spread throughout a
world of flying drones, cables, slums, and futuristic skyscrapers. It
is, unfortunately, linear. Not a great deal of open-world happens here.
However, your objectives are always clear and helpful orange arrows
give you tips on where to leap or climb to next. The game does hold
your hand when it comes to directions and some gamers may feel it
insults their intelligence which I can completely respect. I found the
directional prompts useful largely because I didn’t want to spend
forever hanging from a pipe wondering where to go or what to do next.
The non-enemy, non-essential NPCS do not interact with you very much.
Some are busy in conversation with other NPCs, others talk to
themselves, and some will give you a “I don’t have time to chat” in one
version or another. As long as you don’t have a strong desire to be a
social butterfly with NPCs, this means very little.
Like them or hate them, there are a few different collectibles to find
in the game. Some, like the Mnemist Memories, give you information and
backstory. Others, like SAT Patches, boost your health after every
group of five that you find (which you’ll occasionally get hints for via
holo-screens). Despite being a linear game, collectibles are cleverly
hidden around piles of trash, in building crannies, and sometimes behind
shutters that you can open with your Spammer. I personally love to
find stuff so having multiple collectibles was a great experience for
Voice Acting/Characters: Overall, not bad. The only hiccups
I noticed is that Nilin’s lips don’t always sync properly when talking
to Edge over the comm in her ear. The dialogue itself wasn’t
Shakespearean, but it was pretty well done, clearly heard, conveyed
believable emotion for the most part, and suited it’s purpose. Nilin is
the only person in the game that really gets fleshed out as a
character, but the devs did a nice job of making her a complex
individual that is both driven yet also conflicted. It doesn’t help of
course that she has lost her memory right from the get-go and has to
slowly work it back; forcing her to question herself and her decisions
particularly during cutscenes.
Memory Remixing: This is a truely
unique feature. You are able, at set parts of the game, to change the
events recorded in someone’s memory….or even accidentally glitch-out
their memory. It basically works like a puzzle: You have to find the
right things to change in the right order to get the desired result and
complete your objective. Though you don’t get these opportunities often
enough, as has been one of the recurring criticisms, it’s a very
enjoyable part of the experience.
Achievements: If you’re an
achievement getter, prepare to be challenged. As a forewarning,
snagging all of the achievements does require multiple play-throughs.
But for the size of a game like this, it’s not all that taxing.
this is my favorite IP so far this year and I love the theme. Though
the game is certainly not without it’s shortcomings, it’s a unique
experience with a unique protagonist. If they ever made a sequel and
added a bit more gameplay depth, remixing, or maybe some flexible
decision making here or there, I could see this becoming one of my
Third-Person 3D Action
June 4, 2013
Capcom USA, Inc.