Many of you will know that I played four shooters back to back to back to back. I love the genre and regardless of people complaining about the oversaturation of it, it's one of the best game types around. I beat Rage, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, Binary Domain and started replaying Quake 4, a game I had completed many years ago. Here are the brief quickies in a sort of nod to usagi704's method.
I have a review that explains in full detail how I feel about this game but to save you the trouble: Rage is awesome. The gunplay is the best I've seen in years. It was so fun to shoot enemies that I just kept wanting to go to each new mission. Weapons, enemy AI, level design it all came together to make a badass shooter.
The main problems with Rage is that it has content that's fluff and doesn't add to the gameplay. The vehicle combat? Not important to the gameplay. The sidemissions? They're fun but some involve you going back through levels you already completed. The open-world? Worthless as it basically connects the levels together. But even with those flaws the game plays so wonderfully that you will have fun regardless of the extra fluff. None of that stuff is really integral to playing the game which is a shame because if everything was integrated well we could have been looking at the best shooter of this gen. But for what it is, Rage is a blast to play and that's enough to keep me happy.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
The unofficial winner of the voting, Escape From Butcher Bay is a fantastic shooter. It basically meshes three types of games together: a stealth game, a modern action shooter and a cIassic corridor shooter and mixes up the variety and overall pacing very well. Add an extended prison section that's a bit more methodical and has a quest-structure approach to being completed and you have a shooter that was not only ahead of its time when it released 8 years ago, but also one of the best licensed games I have ever played.
The stealth sections are thrilling. This is better gameplay than any Splinter Cell or Metal Gear I have played. The modern action side has some sterling enemy AI with the human opponents. And that cIassic corridor shooter part involves shooting monsters at point blank with your trusty shotgun. It's a wonderful mash-up of the genres.
Butcher Bay was so good that I wish it was longer, not that it's short or anything, the game is a decent length. But if it there was more I wouldn't have complained. The version on Dark Athena has some prettied up visuals but it isn't a full remake. You can tell by the butt-ugly textures. They may have refined the controls a bit according to TheDuskwalker, but all in all whether you play the new version or the original release you'll be in for a treat.
Not bad for a Gears of War knock-off. Binary Domain is silly, goofy, intense and fun. It's a bit of a shame that we likely won't see a sequel because the game sets up a wonderful premise. In Binary Domain you are out to basically stop a man who has created "Hollow Children." robots that not only look like humans but actually believe they are human. And that potential sequel? An even more thrilling hunt that could explore a gray area of what and who deserves to live. I won't spoil it, but it's damn cool.
Regardless, the highlight of this game are the thrilling boss fights. They are awesome and thankfully very frequent. I looked forward to each showdown against the next gargantuan metal beast. There's some snappy dialogue between your one-liner spewing crew and that's A-OK. Some games pull off the stupid action movie feel that I crave in these games: Crysis, Halo 3: ODST, Gears of War and so on for example. And Binary Domain is no exception. It just helps provide an almost Michael Bay-esque experience while playing while taking some cues from Blade Runner, Gears of War and Resident Evil 4.
If you're a fan of cover-based third-person shooters than Binary Domain is well worth playing! If you're a fan of excellent boss fights than it's worth playing. If you're a fan of Gears of War or Vanquish or Resident Evil 4 (or hopefully all three since they're all aweome) than Binary Domain is worth playing.
I started up my replay of the game and found myself enjoying it more now that my hate-tinted glasses are off. loopy described Quake 4 best as that "fabled B-tier" game. That's really all Raven is: a B-developer. They're like what Rare was to Nintendo, a team that creates new games based on someone else's established ideas. And that's Quake 4. Imagine Doom 3 just without the scares and more of a focus on blasting.
It isn't a bad game, but it isn't a good game. It's playable and fun if you have nothing else to play. But the characters, story, enemies, well, none of it matters. The combat's fun, if a little too old-school, but don't expect much from this shooter outside of gray corridors, some fancy alien lights, a brown planet and plenty of explosions. I've actually stopped playing the game at the moment and am saving the final act for when I simply feel braindead and can point and shoot at enemies. I've moved on to the next game and it's in a different genre entirely.
EDIT- Nevermind, just decided to go ahead and finish Quake 4. I've got like one more hour, 90 minutes tops left. Might as well finish it up and put it to rest. It's fun, but there are better games available. Anyone interested in Quake 4 should consider trying Rage first. Better combat and enemy AI, but both games are fun.
Scores for the four games:
Butcher Bay- 9.0 (via Dark Athena, but I rated the original version, I also rated it by 2004 standards, however it holds up extremely well by today's standards and would have likely scored an 8.5 or 8.0)
Binary Domain- 8.0
Quake 4- 6.5 (I initially rated it at a 5.5, but it's a passable game and pretty good, so I boosted the score by a point on the replay)
Chrono Trigger- 10 (I just realized that I never rated the game. But it is in contention for one of my top five games of all time.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night- 10 (I had it at a 9.5 but that's because I played it in 2007, if I rated by its time it would be that perfect 10 so I opted for that. It's in my fabled top five, placed at #1, along with Halo: CE and Chrono Trigger, I think I'd put Galaxy 2 in there to replace SM64's nostalgia, and of course Metroid Prime, no clue on the order of things though any longer and with more games to play it could change since there's still the eventual matter of the older FF games).