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Summer Gaming – A Kingdom of Boredom

The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – To chop or not to chop?

Here I am deep into the summer with one major problem. There  has been nothing of enjoyment to play. Honestly, it’s the time of the year where I seem to have the most free time, yet no games are out. I played the next chapter in The Walking Dead but beyond that its slim pickings. So, what I’ve been trying to do is play games which have been on awesome summer deals that I skipped over during the busier times. I’m going to talk about them, and mostly how I’m happy I didn’t pay full price because I simply cannot get into anything. It’s becoming frustrating, but I’ll give some impressions on things anyway.

I’ll start with something positive and also something that is actually somewhat of a new release. I played The Walking Dead: Episode 2 in one sitting last week. I chose not to review the game because it’s so story driven I felt my review of Episode 1 is enough to see my thoughts on the actual game. Also, I didn’t want to spoil anything. If you enjoyed Episode 1 at all, you’re in for something special in Episode 2. It was just amazing. What an emotional toll that had on me. I honestly haven’t been that on the edge of my seat with a game since Heavy Rain. The story is captivating in a way to get a lot. It took about 2 hours to get through, but felt so much quicker. I was on the edge of my seat for the last hour. This game is so well written and the choices you make are honestly scary. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this series. I’m stoked for the next episode.

So far the summer for me was on a role. I loved Max Payne 3 and thought Spec Ops: The Line had an amazing story. Then, The Walking Dead: Episode 2 blew me away. Now , however, my troubles begin. Here’s the rest of the crap I played.

First up I’ll talk about a purchase I was super excited for, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. This is a game I skipped over even though it looked like it was built for me in every way. A lengthy action RPG which promises awesome combat with a crazy amount of Skyrim-level content, count me in. Sitting around bored one lazy summer night and I notice its %50 off online to download on the PC. What a find, I thought. Thrilled, I downloaded it right away. I jumped right in after a lengthy download. At first, I was really feeling it. The combat was truly great for this type of game. I played around 2 hours straight and ended on a high note. I was feeling good about my purchase. I don’t really know what happened in my next play session, but I haven’t touched it since. I sat down a second time to play, lasted again around 2 hours, and found myself skipping dialogue and avoiding side missions. Why you ask? It honestly felt like an MMO without the online. I was running long distances, taking somewhat similar quests over and over, and was starting to get sick of the enemies along the way. Not only was I running all over the world, there were enemies around every corner making it even longer. I haven’t touched the game since. I have no desire to go back. What a disappointment. It was sadly boring and extremely repetitive. Unfortunate.

This picture alone gave me hope for The Secret World

I also played The Secret World. A new MMO from Funcom, those guys that made Age of Conan. I didn’t pay for the game; I preordered and was given a code for early access prior to being charged. Lucky I got that early playtime, because I would have truly regretted that purchase. This game really has an interesting premise. Finally, an MMO not set in the traditional fantasy type world with the same beats as everything else. Instead, it’s set in a more modern setting and real locations like New York and London. Also, they promised a break from the traditional leveling seen in every MMO out there. There is no number next to your name, instead you’re gaining skill and ability points to deck your character out with powers and abilities.

The game also has fully voiced cut scenes. Practically every mission is voiced. They are well done too, and the story is definitely interesting. Sounds all good so far, right? To get back to my negative article I’ll start discussing the bad with The Secret World. It isn’t fun to play. Yeah, that’s right. It’s a game that really isn’t fun to play at all. The combat is dull and the movement just feels off. It has your regular hot bar type button presses found in other MMO’s, but your hits don’t feel like they are connecting, and combat really just feels like a chore. The games story is interested and you’ll quickly find yourself rushing through the actual gameplay to see it. For me, it simply isn’t worth the asking price plus the monthly fee on top of that

Next game I picked up on a nice sale was Prototype 2. I was a fan of the original game. It gave you some interesting powers and it felt great running around the city. My main problem with the first game was it was infuriatingly frustrating. Meaning, I broke controllers fighting bosses that seemed unbeatable. Without me getting angry by thinking about the stupidity of boss battles in general, let’s talk about Prototype 2. You play as a new character that is infected just like the guy from the first game. So all the powers where there, and just like the first, running around the city felt awesome. The game was fun, but just like KOA: R, it got old real quick. Every mission was the same! I’m not kidding either. You need to sneak into a base, destroy something, and escape the bad guys. Over, and over, and over, and over again. So that’s Prototype 2. It’s repetitive beyond belief.

Darksiders 2 can’t come soon enough

Now here I sit with no idea what to play. I’m playing Tony Hawk’s HD remake on Xbox Lives Summer of Arcade and I’m enjoying that a lot, but find it doesn’t hold my attention for long gaming sessions. It’s bringing me back to a younger me, but I find myself playing for about 20 minutes then putting it down. I need something more. I’m anxiously awaiting Darksiders 2 and might even check out Sleeping Dogs. Also, the next game coming to XBLA looks interesting. It’s called Deadlight and it looks kind of like Shadow Complex with zombies(or some zombie-type things). Also, I’ll most likely pick up Hybrid which is a multiplayer shooter coming to XBLA. These are Summer of Arcade titles which are usually of high quality. Plus, if I get at least 3, which as you can see I’m doing, I get a free 400 Microsoft points. I’ll take it. For now, I’m slowly getting back into Battlefield 3  on PC simply out of boredom. I purchased some stuff during Amazon and Steam’s summer sales including Binary Domain and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare. I’m having trouble trying to even start those though. I don’t know what to do, but I wish the summer had more games. It seems from like August on is going to be stacked with games. Hopefully my nights with nothing to enjoy is coming to an end. June and July were scarily thin on games for me.  Time to start enjoying my favorite hobby again, because from this week on things are starting to pick up.

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