The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
After a string of tragic events on Christmas Eve 2012, New York City
finds itself enveloped by the Babel's massive tentacles in an incident
known as the Sacrifice. This sets the stage for CTI agent Aya Brea's
return to the Big Apple, as her altered genetics make her the only one
resilient enough to rid the city of the macabre Twisted and ultimately
bring down the Babel.
One year after the Sacrifice, Brea uses the
CTI's Overdive machine to deliver her mind to the past and hijack the
bodies of soldiers. This will not only help her complete her
world-saving mission, but also uncover the secrets of her own blurry
history. This backdrop makes for compelling plot points, and use of
Overdive creates opportunities for unique gameplay, however the shooting
gallery feel and repetitive mission structure makes this
action-oriented approach fall flat rather quickly.
tutorial stage the player is introduced to a variety of Overdive
abilities. These techniques allow Brea to quickly hop between the bodies
of soldiers on the battlefield, assuming their position and weapons;
jump inside weakened enemies for an Overdive Kill that causes them to
implode; turn the aim of all allies toward a common enemy for a critical
Crossfire attack; or go into a berserk state called Liberation that
gives Brea incredible firepower and agility. Brea's impressive party
tricks are all available from the beginning and would have been better
served if they were unlocked over the course of the game. Though
satisfying at the outset, the novelty quickly wears thin after executing
these stagnant moves ad nauseum.
Whether you're battling
through the streets of New York or a dilapidated concert hall, you're
typically trapped in an enclosed section that requires you to Overdive
and safely position your allies, then blast the constantly respawning
foes with firearms and Overdive abilities, all the while destroying
surrounding red orbs to open up exits. You're then free to
begrudgingly move on to the next section, rinse, and repeat. To add
insult to injury, gameplay imbalances make some combat sections a breeze
and others downright frustrating even on normal difficulty. There are
weapon upgrades and options to manipulate Brea's DNA with Over Energy
chips collected from enemies for support abilities that help improve
your capabilities, however this light RPG element doesn't reveal its
full potential until you've maxed out your upgrades toward the end of
Once you near the cusp of the roughly 15 hour
experience, Brea will not only have fully powered weapons and an arsenal
of helpful support abilities, but she'll also have access to tanks
and helicopters once the game breaks out of dull corridor shooting
sequences, adding a much needed dose of variety. Battling through the
lulls early on will reward your patience with spectacular boss fights
and cinematics leading up to the grand finale.
Parasite Eve fans
may find themselves turned off by the frenzied action-oriented approach
of The 3rd Birthday, and the execution certainly has its ups and downs.
Even though The 3rd Birthday may not be one worth celebrating, we're
hoping Square Enix can get it right if it decides to someday bring the
franchise back to its console roots.