The parallels to other common (and some not so common) games rear their heads early on. It's like Gears, meets Doom3 (minus the closets), meets Crysis 2, meets AvP's wall crawling/leaping Aliens, meets Singularity ("Shell" shield is SO like Deadlock), with a touch of Dead Space art design, stomping and New Game Plus all rolled into one. The structure you destroy to get into the underground early on is like a cross between Dead Space's "Marker" and the alien spokes you sabotage in Crysis 2. I swear, playing this game was an experience like that of watching the movie Drive Angry. It has you thinking about half a dozen other's ideas being copied while you're engaging in it.
It's also very linear and scripted. Bad enough that there's no open world sandbox play this time, they have to as well cramp us further with several missions that are like a TV game show host taking you by the hand and telling you to "stand here", or it's game over because you "abondoned mission".
I actually said WTF a few times with the abandoned mission thing. They hit you with it out of the blue and it's hard to tell whether you're to stay back and defend the APCs, dash to the objective, or attract the monsters to you like bait. Then I realized the timer starts if you don't stay within a confined spot to clear the area. Yet on another similar objective, I was staying back shooting hoardes of bugs only to find I was supposed to move forward and destroy some structures. Fortunately, there was no timer on that one.
IMO story wise it's inferior to RFG as well. In this game they tell the fairly shallow story primarily via cutscenes, and during gameplay leave you hangin at times. They also don't have much backstory or addon missions like RFG had to tell you how things got started (Sam's Marauder days).
The gameplay is not only shallow, but due to the level design and AI locations, quite chaotic at times as well. They put you through cramped structures one after the other, only to struggle to get to a piece of solid ground with which to use as a predictable, uncollapsible base from which to dispatch enemies heaving exploding masses at you. Thus you inevitably end up repeatedly falling through structures, repairing them, then drudging onward again.
This leaves the otherwise cool repair feature feeling rather tedious. At first I was really digging the sheer destructive nature of the game, combined with the fairly powerful weapons, and the repair as you go thing. My first annoyance with it was the mini boss you're introduced to early on in a semi large room with crates, where the game actually suggests you repair them to take cover behind as the enemy is exploding them to bits. Yeah right, I thought. It was far better and quicker for me to just stay on the move using a fairly powerful weapon against it. At least there it's an option you don't have to use though.
Other nit picks include sp campaign less than half the length of RFG, an FOV that feels too narrow, delayed response to hitting the sprint key with only about 12 steps worth of sprinting, no stamina meter to accompany the now limited sprint duration, you can rush right past AI and they often aren't keen enough to react to you or follow, most upgrades cost the same, and the art design, particularly the neon looking creatures, is just too cartoonish and doesn't fit the dark mood. On the latter, the same can be said for Halo and Crysis 2 though I feel. When the unlockable novelty weapon is a pastel colored unicorn, it's a hint that it definitely has an immature theme.
I would rate rate this game about 7.5/10, compared to 8.5/10 for RFG.
Edited by Frag Maniac, 14 June 2011 - 10:20 AM.