Would it be wrong for me to start a review by saying this may be one of the worst games I've played in the past three years? Usually I'll put together some spiel with a background and introduction that eventually leads into the review. But in this situation, I'm afraid there's really no introduction to make. This is comically bad. I mean, I previewed this game last December and was actually really looking forward to playing it after reading the fact sheet Codemasters had sent us and watching the footage. But upon playing this, I, quite literally, burst into laughter out of awe.
I was in awe because I couldn't believe that a game like this would actually pass through quality and assurance and even more in awe that Codemasters decided to ship this. The story of Damnation revolves around the United States after a civil war between two rivaling factions that eventually depleted the economy of money and found themselves short on cash, willpower, and able bodies. The factions collapse and anarchy breaks out allowing a new power, the PSI, to take control. The PSI takes control of the east, and make their way to the western territory, which was not affected by the civil war. And so to prevent the PSI from taking over the west (sing it with me), 'here you come to save the daaaay.' While you don't get to control Mighty Mouse, you do take on the role of Rourke.
One of the Damnation's appealing aspects was that you could run through the stages in a variety of ways. If you wanted to take the lower path, you could. If you wanted to climb up high and make your way through a section from the top, you could do that too. Unfortunately for Damnation, the moment you pick up the controller, you won't care or want to do any of those things, because the gameplay is absolutely terrible.
By holding down L2 you enter the shooting mode, and hitting R2 fires. If it was only that simple. Where as countless other games have managed to get the Gears of War mechanic down to a tee, the developers of Damnation must've skipped their classes on how to create a normal shooting mechanic. Instead what we have is this clunky, inaccurate, and utterly useless shooting system that makes it almost impossible to play this game. Worst of all, you have A.I. that is so bizarre and just downright stupid, it really leaves you baffled. I have often shot at an A.I character numerous times, only to witness him stand in one place doing absolutely nothing until many seconds later. On top of that, it takes way too many shots to kill someone, and I can never tell if my bullets connect or not.
Those few aspects right there absolutely destroy any chance or potential this game once had. It is broken beyond belief, and that's a shame, because this could've been something worthwhile had Blue Omega actually put some more time and effort into this. Additionally, as far as value goes, the multiplayer suffers tremendously because of the dreadful shooting, and the overall adventure is no more than just a few short hours in length. What really irks me is that it also took like 15 minutes for this game to install.
The visuals are surprisingly not as bad as the gameplay, but still nothing worth writing home about. Texture detail is downright dreadful in some areas, looking smeared and ugly close up or far away. There's even some unusual pop-up that occurs right in front of you. Character detail is certainly something that looks like it was born in the last generation and had a resolution bump for the PS3, PC, and X360. Actually, seeing as how Damnation originally started life as an Unreal Tournament 2004 PC mod, that could be a plausible theory. Because the game doesn't have any stages and is just one giant, seamless environment, the draw-in distance is pretty far and you do see some nice scenery here and there. Moreover, the framerate is surprisingly decent, all things considered, and the picture quality is smooth too. But ultimately, Damnation is still a pretty dated and sloppy looking game.
The audio is made up largely of voice acting, a soundtrack in the background, and some sound effects...none of which have one remotely appealing trait to them. The voice acting is awful, in particular the voice actor behind Winslow has one of the most painful accents I've ever heard - his dialogue constantly changes from no accent to having an accent. The sound effects are pitiful, and the soundtrack is completely uninspired.
And thus we arrive to the conclusion, and what an easy one this is. Just stay far, far away from this game. If someone offers it to you for free, punch them in the nose repeatedly. If said person insists and says you could use it as a coaster for your drinks, once again, pummel him. Target practice for your shotgun? Nope. Setting it on fire? Nah, not worth the waste of fire. You get the point, right? Okay.
If someone offers it to you for free, punch them in the nose repeatedly. If said person insists and says you could use it as a coaster for your drinks, once again, pummel him. Target practice for your shotgun? Nope. Setting it on fire? Nah, not worth the waste of fire. You get the point, right? Okay.
Still a 3.9...but that was really funny.
Don't worry Arnold, good review - very insightful and this will be taken down a major notch on my "try" list. I don't follow tons of reviewers out there because they don't like games I like, but I can say that your's I can follow.
Shadow, please give this man a break. A review should not be rated on how many "typo's".
When did a 60's era batman quote go from being funny to being a d***-move? I'll say it again, the post wasn't meant to be harsh it was meant to just bring the two mistakes to your attention. I've seen typos before and posted it in the comments, without any such backlash. It's common for that to occur on every other site I visit. Prior to the comments section's existence I believe I tried to email you guys that there were several random typos and they were never fixed. So I guess my question is... is the sudden downpour of hate directed at me because I pointed out two completely irrelevant errors or the fact that my post apparently read opposite of how I intended it to?
Last edited by SHADOW on 7/23/2009 1:51:21 PM
You've gained a reputation on this site for having little to no value in your comments. You don't moderate but rather entice ignorant discussion. If you truly wanted to inform Arnold of a few MINOR typos you could have messaged him privately. By posting within his review you simply advertised the mistakes and made yourself look foolish.
PSXE why on earth is Shadow a Moderator?!
Shadow is nothing more than a jerk. He offers ZERO insightful information and adds fuel to any flame war. He does the exact opposite of what a Moderator should do.
Good review Arnold, I've always enjoyed reading your experience on a particular game. I'll gladly accept a few minor typos in exchange for quick feedback.
Congrats on lacking any sense of professionalism Shadow!
Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 7/23/2009 3:33:44 AM
Shadow you gotta think...he write reviews all year round...i think he's entitled to a few typos you know!!
Good review...i went around my mates house and he's lil brother had this game...i played it..for like...5 mins...i was not impressed lol
have to agree, damnation is the worst video game i have ever played.
makes me wonder what they did with those extra 7 months of development time.
the only good part about this game is it has offline co-op.
which brings me to.
why every single 360 game ive bought (im at 13 now) has offline co-op, every single one.
but out of the 40+ ps3 games i have only resistance fall of man has offline co-op.
sony really need to get onto their developers and start enforcing this and some of there other features.
thats why microsoft will allways be better in the features department, because they actualy force things upon devs.
achievements FORCED on release.
trophys forced 1 year later.
music support in game FORCED on release.
the ps3 has the capebility to play music in game but still a year and a bit after the update 99.99% of games dont support it.
the ps3 has the ability to take in game screenshots and use them as your wallpaper.
again 1 year and a bit after said update and still 99.99% of games dont support this feature.
i could go on for days.
sony needs to grow a pair, and start forcing their devs, no all devs to add these improvements.
because lets face it devs are lazy, there only going to do the maximum work they have to.
untill sony forces devs to include those features they never will.
Last edited by ___________ on 7/23/2009 5:02:33 AM
I didn't even know this game existed... Guess it doesn't really matter anyway.
But the chances of me picking up anything like this is slim to none in the first place...
But thanx Arnold for steering me clear of this one...