Should I Buy? – Mass Effect 3


Yeah. Review’s over, roll credits.

OK OK, here’s the real review.

So it’s about a year after Mass Effect 2 and Shepard’s effectively been put under house arrest by the Alliance and the old gang have once again parted ways. So when we rejoin Shep, it’s about five minutes before the Reapers attack Earth. Ah. That could be problematic.

Anyway, you escape Earth with Joker, new squadmate James Vega and whichever person survived on Virmire. For me, that was Kaidan Alenko (former runner up to Jacob Taylor for the prestigious most Bland Mass Effect Character Award). You leave Earth in order to try and unite the fleets of the galaxy to rescue Earth destroy the Reapers once and for all.

A strength of the Mass Effect games has always been in their atmosphere. Not so much in scene-to-scene but in the overall feeling of each game. 1 was a Space Opera with a very positive, Star Trek-esque outlook on things, 2 was the dirty underbelly of the galaxy and 3 does a good job of infusing the game with a sense of foreboding and a general sense that everything is going to hell.

It’s all in the little touches like how Batarians, Vorcha, Volus and even Aria are willingly to straight up help with no strings attached, or the little conversations between various NPCs that evolve over several visits and tell their own stories.

Things are, like they promised, faster, tougher and more shooter-y this time round. The addition of combat rolls, a better cover layout, easier ways of moving between them and decent melee attacks make it a lot easier to be more active in combat. And you’ll need to be because not only are the enemies smarter, but they specialise and work together. Vipers will rush you down in melee combat while a Nemesis tries to pick you off with his sniper rifle when you pop out of cover etc. etc. etc.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to move out of cover when you don’t mean to, and even though sprinting is now unlimited you can’t move the camera while you’re doing it which can be a real nightmare at times.  And your team mates aren’t as smart as the AI a lot of the time.

In terms of squadmates, fan favourites Tali and Garrus return, as well as Liara and the Virmire survivor, with Mr Vega and a surprise character. They seem to be trying to do the Mass Effect 1 thing where each of the six squad members represents a different player class, but having both Vega and Ashley Williams will mean you have two Soldiers and no Sentinel, and you have two Engineers but there’s no Vanguard type unless you get the From Ashes DLC and even then he’s a ranged fighter, rather than a destructive close range bruiser.

This is only really a problem if you have a particular tactic that doesn’t gel with the available squadmates, and they’re as well written as ever. Well, most of them. I’ve never seen the big deal about Liara and I can’t get a proper bead on her in this game. She  keeps that weird new voice from 2, but seems to oscillate between her differing personalities from the two games without ever settling down.

Garrus is probably the best written character after the DLC squadmate because he’s the Goddamn Space Batman. Although basically all he does this time around is bromance with people.

Vega is a character I thought I was going to hate, he looks like a meathead and was designed to be a soldier with little knowledge of galactic politics. And yeah, though he can be pretty ignorant of basic stuff at times, he’s not an uber-macho jock. In fact, he’s pretty serious and well adjusted. He’s clearly a highly competent soldier and if you don’t mind a bit of bluster, he’s a pretty cool character.

I’d also like to give special mention to Kelly Chamber’s replacement, Specialist Samantha Traynor. She’s a civilian who was on the Normandy when it fled Earth and she has her own little arc about adjusting to military life on ship and she ends up being one of the two lesbian options a FemShep can explore.

Oh yeah, only Kaidan can be romanced into a homosexual relationship out of the squadmates, lesbian Shepards have to make do with Samantha or the aggressively bland new reported Diana Allers. Kind of a cop out in my opinion, Dragon Age never had a problem with characters engaging in homosexual relationships. But at least it’s there.

And if you don’t romance either Garrus or Tali, they end up in a relationship together. BEST. PAIRING. EVER.

The bulk of the game is trying to secure the support of the major players in the galaxy through a series of missions. This gives the effect of the game having several self-contained arcs that you move between.

And while I can’t speak for all the romances you could carry over from the first two games, I can tell you that great as it was to see Jack again and see how she’s grown, her ‘romance’ wask rather underdeveloped. Although the fact that the culmination is something as simple as dancing in a club with her, rather than a sex scene is a nice thematic continuation of her character.

Ultimately, I’d say that with Mass Effect 3 having much more bromance than romance that the universe has effectively turned gay for MaleShep. At the very least, Kaidan has.  That’s canon.

All of the Mass Effect 2 squadmates that you’ve still got alive return in some fashion and play into the plot. Although this does bring up another problem I have. While I’m glad that you don’t lose access to content through not having characters alive, it does feel like a bit of a copout to have every single dead character be replaced in some way by an NPC. True, not having the original character alive often means things turn out worse but the Rachni show up regardless of what you did, there’ll be another NPC to fill the dead character’s role, the Council now includes a turian, salarian and asari regardless of your choice etc.

Although this, in turn, leads to a strength. You often can’t get the “best” outcome to a situation by not having the original character in that slot and a lot of the “failure” scenes turn out more dramatic and tragic than the good variations. This game can get surprisingly dark, and sometimes seemingly innocuous choices that you didn’t expect to have any effect can be the difference between  success and failure.

And in the true spirit of the game’s “death is everywhere” theme, sometimes a loss in inevitable. Even in a “perfect” playthrough, you WILL lose certain beloved characters and you WILL mourn them. This just makes the darker, more death-laden “imperfect” playthroughs that much tougher to play. I was playing a game with a brand new character and had the conversations set to full auto and found myself forced to use Renegade interrupts to kill two of my most personal favourites. Yeah. I had to pull the trigger on my own favourite characters.

Not just any two characters, my actual, honest to Shepard, one and two slots on my favourite character list. But let’s move on from all that now.

So, that horrible planet scanning from Mass Effect 2 is all but gone. Instead, you now press a shoulder button to activate a radial scan while moving through a system and any trinkets to collect are highlighted on your map. But too many scans, and the Reapers will find you and swarm the system, forcing you to flee. They leave once you finish a mission, so it can be pretty hilarious to deliberately provoke them into chasing you, only to hop planetside and leave half a dozen Reapers to scratch their heads and wander off.

This does help add a sense of danger and urgency to a typically boring part of the Mass Effect games, meaning that now it’s only the Normandy and the Citadel that get tedious. Though the odd lull between combat and fighting Reapers is nice, a lot of the cutscenes fill that role, so it’s a lot of walking around to see if your squadmates want to develop their character in front of you or talk to another person to update a sidequest.

Basically the Citadel is now the only place where you can wander around and buy stuff, and it like the Normandy has had a redesign. Half the sidequests are “overhear somebody needing something and scan a planet for it to give to them” and the other half are “talk to/use panels in the correct sequence, with the odd choice hear or there”.

Although it is nice when you come across two people arguing about something and you can side with one or another. Not only because one sentence from Shepard can seemingly defuse any situation, but because even these do have an effect, namely in usually making a change in your War Assets.

War Assets and their collection are basically the point of the sidequests, and serve as a tangible abstraction for the effect of your choices in the game. Getting a civilian militia set up on the Citadel may only contribute 5 points, but recruiting the krogan fleet will net you ridiculous amounts like 700 points. And getting to read all the little updates like “because you gave that schematic to a guy on the Citadel, these soldiers have better Medi-gel” is a nice touch.

Getting full War Assets is necessary to being able to get all the endings, and while it’s certainly possible to get enough without playing the multiplayer, it’s certainly a lot harder. See, each area of space has a “Galactic Readiness” rating that starts at 50% raises by completing missions in that area in multiplayer. This means all the points you collect only count for half if you don’t use the multiplayer, making doing all the sidequests that much more important.

I haven’t played the multiplayer because I never do, but apparently it’s pretty damn good. It uses the premise that you’re a Spec Ops member taking on high-risk missions for the war effort and you get to choose a race and class to play as in 4 player missions against NPC opponents. It’s actually pretty tempting for me to try, and that’s saying a huge deal for me.

Now, if you’ve been on the internet once since the game came out, you’ll know that people really didn’t like the ending. I won’t touch on the specifics hear, you can read my thoughts in this article (warning, MAJOR spoilers), but I will say that they don’t ruin the game.

Mass Effect 3 is the epic final trilogy of a serious that’s always had it’s troubles. But for me, this game was its zenith. Although it’s way out of the price range I usually write for, this is a game that deserves that full price investment. It’s fun, it’s emotional, it’s replayable and apparently the multiplayer is good so there’s plenty to be gotten out of it. But if you’re picking up this series for the first time you may not see what all the fuss is about. My, and  I have a feeling most people’s real connection to this story was because of the time and emotion we’d invested in the first two. And although I too have been moddy and criticised the ending, I really do want to say thank you Bioware. Thank you for Mass Effect.

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UPDATED – The Mass Effect 3 Ending Scandal – SPOILERS


Now, to be clear, this is not a case of me straight up ranting over which particular camp is correct. I will voice my opinions on the ending, but I’ll also provide an overview of the various reactions to the ending of Mass Effect 3.

By the way, when I say ending, I’m talking about the very last conversation and choice you get to make, which is about 5-10 minutes.  The rest of it is pretty damn awesome.

So, from here on out I have to throw up a spoiler warning.

SERIOUSLY OH GOD THE MASSIVE, MASSIVE SPOILERS! TURN BACK NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED THE GAME. PLEASE!

*ahem*

So, at the end of Mass Effect 3 you’re trying to fire the Crucible, a superweapon of ancient design that will hopefully stop the Reapers once and for all. Every damn fleet you’ve assembled is there to try to take back Earth and get this damn weapon fired. But the key to firing the Crucible is, in fact, the Citadel, which the Reapers have parked over London. Shepard and Anderson lead a last ditch ground assault to secure it, and on the way Shepard takes a direct hit from a Reaper cannon & survives, and the Illusive Man turns out to have been indoctrinated by the Reapers.

And so it seems Shepard’s journey is over. He sits with Anderson to watch the end of it all. But it doesn’t fire. Shepard tries to reach the console again and collapses. When he wakes, an ancient VI tells him the purpose of the Reapers. Organic life always create synthetic life that then tries to destroy organic like.  And so, the Reapers exist to “save” sentient life by turning them into Reapers, destroying synthetic life and allowing new life to grow.

Shepard is now told that this system has failed because Shepard made it so far. He can choose to destroy all synthetic life, including the Geth and EDI, take control of the Reapers and force them to leave, or sacrifice himself to cause a fusion of organic and synthetic life. But whichever way, all the Mass Relays will be destroyed. So no interstellar travel.

What’s wrong with this conceptually? Nothing. Conceptually. But this isn’t just one game.  It’s a trilogy we’ve been playing over 5 years. A trilogy where we’ve not only chosen, but worked to make our choices to come to fruition. Ultimately, what does it matter if the krogan would start a galactic war with the Genophage cured? The Mass Relays are destroyed. They can’t travel anywhere outside of the Sol System.

What do all those fleets do now they’re stranded on a ruined Earth? Who knows! We never get any explanation about how everything plays out in the end. I have all these problems and more with the ending.  But, at the same time I can see what they’re doing. They’re trying to remind us that this conflict is bigger than just the cycle we’re experiencing. They’re trying to show we can’t always have that “golden ending”. Also, the ending was meant to be memorable and divisive, something we could discuss for years.

And I recognise as the creators and owners of the Mass Effect franchise, it’s their right to end the story the way they want to. But I also think that after five years of investment in this universe, and the choices we’ve made and resolutions we’ve worked at, we deserve more closure. Not to necessarily change the endings, but at least something that says “and then everyone made FTL drives and went home and all the races lived happily ever after and were all very sad that Shepard was dead.”

Hell, I still *want* that Golden Ending. I want to destroy the Reapers without destroying all synthetic life and blowing up the Mass Relays. I want to see everything go back to the way it was, with the changes I’d brought about taking shape. The Quarians reclaiming Rannoch, the Krogan becoming more peaceful, Earth being rebuilt.

But there we have it. That’s the ending and how I feel about it. As for how other people feel about it, I can discern four major opinions that seem to be cropping up.

1) Authorial Control

It’s Bioware’s story. Accept it. You may not like it, I may not like it, but to demand a new one is to be entitled and immature.

2) Death of the Author

It’s not just Bioware’s story though. It’s our’s. Each of us has our own Commander Shepard through whom we’ve experienced and invested in this story.

(I’d like to add an addendum that I feel there’s validity to this, not just entitlement. As an interactive medium where we’ve been given agency to affect the world, denying us the ultimate conclusion of our choices is a choice I think it’s right for fans to take umbridge with.)

3) Defenders

They liked the ending. Mostly it seems by looking past the surface to the themes and recognising the levels of metaphor and philosophy the choices play off of.

4) Fakeout

Aside from those who just write off the last ten minutes as a dying dream before someone gets the Crucible to actually fire, there’s a group that has, with alarming speed, created a rather solid seeming theory that Shepard didn’t really experience those past ten minutes.

Basically, some people think that his exposure to Reapers, Reaper tech and other indoctrinated creatures has been slowly and insidiously poisoning Shepard’s mind, and they force him to hallucinate either everything beginning with the charge to board the Citadel or from the meeting with the Catalyst VI onwards.

It talks then of the choices all being different ways for the Reapers to “win”, by tricking him into one of these things. I can see how “Control” would be a trap and that he couldn’t actually do it, and how “Synthesis” requiring him to jump to his death would be them saying “jump off a cliff!” but  I don’t really see how this explains the “Destroy” ending.

Supporting this are various pieces of circumstantial evidence, like Shepard’s frequent contact with Reaper tech, some audio/visual strangeness in the game’s ending sections as well as an app and some digging into the game’s code.

The last two haven’t been verified,  and the circumstantial evidence looks solid but has nothing conclusive. The audio/visual strangeness, however, is either a series of art mistakes and thematic choices, or a big pile of hints.

Anyways, the app in an non-Bioware piece that, among other things, sends messages from your squadmates as you reach certain parts of the game. Once you complete it, it apparently sends a message from the Virmire survivor, suggesting that you’re in a hospital. This could be because one of the endings implies Shepard is still alive, but I’ve seen a Bioware member declare the app non-canon in the forums. Then again, it’s also been promoted by Bioware themselves. So, that’s up in the air.

As for the code, apparently the game tags the ending with one of three titles, including “did not finish” as one of them. This would seem to correspond to one for each of the three endings. Bioware has hinted we should keep our ME3 files, and that some “great new single player content is on its way” before, but it’s all speculation right now.

If we take that they knew the ending would be a huge, divisive shock and accept the code & audio/visual evidence, it looks like they were playing us all along and planned the ending to be a fakeout.

And I hope so. Not just because I’m displeased with the ending, but I want to see what they’d do if there are indeed plans to expand upon it.

UPDATE: Bioware have since announced that there will be some kind of “story extending single player content” coming out in response to all the backlash. This has, in itself, caused a backlash.

Some game developers, of Bioware or otherwise, have responded to the controversy with sorrow, saying that these are the works of the creator and that fans should accept them and not insist on having things their way.

Also, a lot of professional commentators have responded negatively, seeing this as an act of immature fan entitlement winning out of artistic integrity. I won’t name names because I respect those people and their opinions, but I do have to disagree.

Many of them are acting like this WILL set a terrible precedent, this WILL change the industry, this WILL set the medium back, this WILL damage its artistic integrity. I really don’t think so. Fallout 3‘s ending was changed due to fan complaints about how contrived and illogical it was with the DLC Broken Steel. And editors, producers, writers, actors, directors, studio executives, publishers, test audiences, these have all caused endings or parts of works in pretty much every medium to be changed before or after its release.

Overall, I’ve found the backlash against the backlash to be more annoying than the original backlash, which I personally think has gone way too far. Metabombing was stupid and wasteful, but understandable. The charity drive was nice, but also kinda dopey. The “Retake Mass Effect” campaign and the fan suing Bioware for false advertising is also ridiculous but the point is the people who were angry do have legitimate reasons, and changes are made all the time based on fan feedback. That’s why there’s no Mako after Mass Effect 1. Really, I don’t see this as inherently different from that.

Also, there is a literary theory commonly known as “Death of the Author” that basically states that the creator of a work isn’t a Godlike entity with supreme control of it any more. The fans, the investors, anybody who’s got any kind of stake in it has a role to play in the creation of the work. Not just the actual process of creation, but also in how it’s remembered and interpreted. And I support it. It’s like an academic theory that lets you say “that really stupid episode in that show never happened” or “I choose to believe Snape was never actually evil”, even if a work suggests or outright states otherwise.

To me, I’d say that game developers also need to grow up a little and accept that fans have a real voice, and that taking criticism on board for a sequel isn’t always enough and that there will be times when they have to bend over for their fans to do things they don’t want to, like compromising on their idea of an ending because it won’t be one that satisfies fans. Like fans need to be a lot less rude and learn to properly show the appropriate level of disappointment, and publishers need to grow up and adapt to the rapidly changing game market instead of trying to swindle fans at every turn.

Should I Buy? – Mass Effect 3 DLC From Ashes


OK, so, I got Mass Effect 3. It’s great, buy it. But, I need some time before I can properly review it. There are also other things I want to write about the game, and possibly the trilogy as a whole, so welcome to “Mass Effect time of as of yet undetermined length”!

So. Day one DLC. Surely it must be horrendously evil right? No. It’s basically a pre-order bonus you can buy. At least in this case. See, it’s included as standard in N7 Collector’s Edition but available for everybody else to download for $10USD/£8.50/800 Microsoft Points. And is it worth that much? Well, yeah.

I get that it was probably planned to be full content, but the were told that they had to make something day one DLC, and having played the whole damn game, I can tell you it’s in no way needed to make the game “complete”. It’s a nice addition that nets you an awesome and interesting squadmate and a stupidly powerful gun.

Anyways, seeing as the main feature of this DLC is a new squadmate, it’s best to buy it either when you get the game or when you’re about to start a new playthrough. And when you have it, try to make the recruitment mission on Eden Prime be the first one you play, when given the chance.

So. The DLC itself. It gives you a mission to recruit a new squadmate whom I must now talk about so SPOILERS. As you’ll see from even just looking at the promotional images, it gives you a Prothean squadmate called Javik.

And he’s awesome. He’s got a great look, a great voice and as a character he has a complete range of conversations with you and other squad members. His presence does go largely un-addressed in the game proper by people who don’t even question what he is.

That said, the character as a whole works. He provides a good look into the Prothean culture that we’ve had almost zero information on. Also, his accent is awesome.

Recruiting him will bump your total squad member count up to seven. In combat, he’s a combat/biotic mix who can equip pistols and assault rifles. So he’s kinda filling the same role Samara filled in ME2, and I used him in pretty much all of my missions as my biotic support. But seeing as how this game has a reduced cast list, the only other Biotic characters are Liara and Kaidan, if you saved him so having a good Biotic alternative is also  a good thing to have from a mechanical standpoint. Now, I was on Easy mode, but he did a bangup job.

Recruiting him gives you the Prothean Particle Rifle, an assault rifle that has infinite ammo in the always-recharge sense. And it’s a constant beam that can strip down health, shield, armour and barriers pretty damn easily. And it has awesome range. And enough concentrated fire from these guns can slow down even the OHMYGODITWILLKILLUSALL enemies while they die. And all your rifle-bearing squadmates can equip it.

Seriously, that’s a fucking awesome gun.

Oh, and all the squad members get a second alternate outfit. Aside from being cool, each different outfit gives the squad member  a different bonus like extra weapon damage or increased power cooldown. Which is nice.

I do feel that this DLC really adds to the experience of the game, and I’m damn glad that I bought it. And I almost never buy DLC. Now that I’ve played a game with it, it’s kinda hard to imagine a playthrough without it. But then that’s just a sign that it works and is integrated well.

Yes, you’re losing out on a great experience by not buying it. But your Mass Effect 3 core experience will not be compromised by not buying this. It’s not necessary. But it’s cool as all hell.

Buy it. Buy it now.

Should I Buy? – Captain America: Super Soldier


I’ve been on a bit of a Marvel binge recently, what with all the excitement the Avengers film is kicking up in me. In the past month, I’ve started reading Marvel Ultimates, watched Captain America: The First Avenger and yes, played Captain America: Super Soldier, the tie-in game to the film.

I’m aware this review isn’t exactly timely.

Marvel’s recent glut of great films (and the awesome X-Men: First Class by a different studio) have found their success with lesser known characters by focusing on what really makes that character who they are, building up believable character relationships and finding a comfortable compromise between accessibility and fidelity.

Can Super Soldier  do the same? Not really. The problem is that it’s too indecisive. Oh, by the way, while this game is a tie-in to the film and its design and characters are that of the film, I wouldn’t call it official Avengers film continuity. It seems like it should slot in between the first time Zola & Red Skull encounter Captain America, in that whole montage-y bit of Cap and the Invaders fighting HYDRA.

Oh yeah, so the game has Cap fighting HYDRA in Castle Zemo with the Invaders squad pitching in offscreen. Because the Red Skull is the villain of the film, he’s just a side villain making a cameo while the primary antagonist is Dr Zola. You know, the put-upon, slightly pitiable research guy the Red Skull bossed around.

Obviously, that Zola wouldn’t work, so here he’s much more arrogant and psychotic and has Ubermensch dreams of his own. Normally, this would just make him a fairly generic villain, but it’s at odds with his on-screen persona which I really don’t feel would be that hard to translate.

HYDRA’s forces don’t just use guns now, oh no. They come with stun batons and shields and a few variety of beefy dudes, each with their own counter measures while Cap gets by with a non-lethal projectile and a hit-dodge-counter setup.

So yes, the combat’s ripping off Arkham Asylum. But Batman was almost magnetically drawn to his foes. So long as you pressed attack while being near a guy and pushing the analog stick in vaguely the right direction, he’d strike with bone-crunching accuracy. But Cap’s a bit slippery when moving about, and his shield will NOT auto target people unless they’re pretty much straight in front of you.

Also, the button combinations used for the different counter techniques are often in the fashion of “hold down one button and press another” and more than once I took hits because when I saw a counter icon I got flustered over which move that particular icon meant I should use. Especially when some of the big beasty baddies have follow up button mashing Quick Time Events ad which button it is changes every time and some attacks let you get away with pressing the wrong one first and some don’t…

What I’m trying to say is that in trying to mix up the core gameplay mechanic, it deviated too far from its simple basis and ended up floundering. Really, I could have forgiven the slightly sloppy controls and glut of counters and such if the game had done a better job of teaching me.

It’s too concerned with trying to compete with the First Avenger and Uncharted/Prince of Persia style cinematic acrobatics and Arkham Asylum combat/doodad collection time to slow the hell down. Remember how in Arkham Asylum the Joker trapped you in a room and poured in waves of thugs so you could practice the attack/dodge/counter options before it even told you you had Batarangs? That’s the kind of thing Super Soldier is lacking. The appropriate button presses and what they do flash up at the top of the screen from time to time, but it’s not enough.

Especially seeing as the on screen text is clearly not optimised for a small, non-HD TV like, I dunno, a significant portion 14-20 year olds have. And it’s not like 14-20 is THE single biggest gaming demographic or anything…

Now, while Asylum mixed up its battles with the visceral and enjoyable stealth sequences, Super Soldier only has these limited acrobatics. It’s really just a case of pressing A at the glowy objects until you reach your destination. These have that basically satisfying cool look to them like similar sequences in Uncharted or Prince of Persia, but the only “skill” is in pressing A just as you land so you move faster. This is supposed to be how to avoid snipers, but they so rarely show up when you’re doing it, it’s redundant.

Really, systems only seeming half implemented because there’s such a limited amount of content (seriously, about a 6-8 hour campaign) is a recurring trend. There’s an upgrade system that gives new moves that vary from fairly useful to completely obsolete. And even though there’s only nine, the game’s so short I don’t think I actually bought anything from the third tier.

It can’t even fall back on the gadget-y puzzle thing Arkham Asylum did, because Cap only has access to his shield. Well, there’s two very simple “puzzles” that you use to open doors/blow things up. Now, this shield does work well as a weapon, the CLANG as you whack people is particularly satisfying.

But all there really is is the good-but-not-great combat and style-over-substance acrobatics. The collectable doodads also fall short of the mark, leaving aside the fact that you can find top secret dossiers in the sewers, of Zemo family heirlooms in the mess hall and at one point, a giant ceramic rooster behind the most securely locked door in the game, isn’t what bothers me. What bothers me is that they’re set out really weirdly. You may go several chapters without finding a single heirloom, but then find two or three in five minutes of each other.

Also, if this is Baron Zemo’s castle, and we can collect his family heirlooms to find out his involvement with Hydra, why doesn’t he appear? We get a smattering of what I assume to be other Captain America villains like Madame HYDRA, Iron Cross and Baron von Schrofen, but not Zemo?

Also, the villains fall flat. None of them do anything as memorable as Joker’s speeches or Scarecrow’s nightmare sequences, and if you don’t know who they are, you’ll only get a few brief references to who and what and why they are.

The reason I’m being so hard on this game is because it really did have a solid foundation and could have truly rivalled the Goddamn Batman. But in the end, I imagine the strict time limit imposed on the studio to get it released to capitalise on the film meant they couldn’t make this big, epic game they seem to have planned.

So that’s Super Soldier. It’s short, it’s a bit sloppy, but it has a rough charm and is a fun game. Now that’s it’s a damn sight cheaper than its original full price makes it worth a look, but you’re not missing anything spectacular if you pass on it and if you’re looking for a great superhero game, just play Arkham Asylum or Arkham City instead.

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