It has been a while since I posted a video game review so today I'm going to make up for that by posting not one, but three. Enjoy.
First up is Infamous Second Son for the PlayStation 4. I wasn't planning on getting any of the new consoles. None of them really seemed all that appealing to be honest. But I got a surprise gift of some AMEX gift checks and thought I'd give the PS4 a try. I had a PS3 but honestly didn't play it much. Not that I didn't like it, but I only had a few games for it. The games I did have I enjoyed quite a bit. The new XBox was more expensive and had features I didn't quite care about. The PS4 was cheaper and seemed like a better fit, so I took the plunge.
Outside of the UI being a bit weird to me as I'm more used to the 360, I really like the console. Once I got over how awkward the UI seemed and figured out how the PS does things, it felt more natural and streamlined than the 360. The first game I picked up was Second Son, an open world game set in Seattle. To me, there are two types of open world game. The simple, more directed ones, like Saints Row, and the more complex, deep games like GTA. In general, I prefer the simpler type and Second Son really matched that well. The graphics are great, but not some huge leap over the 360. If I had to peg it I'd say it is about 50% better. (To be clear, I'm talking about 50% better than 'top of the line' 360 games.) I enjoyed the chaotic nature of the game and the story was fun. The powers you pick up over the course of the game are cool and I'm pretty happy I picked this up first.
Conversely, Watch Dogs was a very frustrating game. It's definitely more the GTA model. My introduction to the game was incredibly confusing. Time and time again I'd fail something because I did something wrong without even knowing what I was doing was wrong. Like GTA, there's about 200 different activities you can do as opposed to playing the main missions and I find that distracting as hell. Maybe it's the OCD in me but I see all these minigames and feel like if I don't do them, I'm somehow missing out on something important. I'm not... but it's a hard feeling to shake.
I did keep at it, and eventually the frustration went away. The story is very well done, certainly better than Second Son, and at least some of the minigame distractions are pretty fun. In particular, Spider Tank was so incredible I wish I could have purchased it separately. I discovered that the main missions were pretty simple and the story got me hooked enough to play through the entire game. In the end, it was worthwhile, and I'd probably recommend it over Second Son, just be prepared to have a rough start of it and try to be patient.
I don't want to spoil it, but there is one mission towards the end that is awesome as hell, mainly because of the music they play in the background. When you get to it, you will know what I mean.
Finally a 360 game - Dishonored. This was a gift from someone, and if you are that person, please let me know. It arrived while I was out of town and my wife didn't keep the receipt. I didn't know anything about this game and I don't even remember when I added it to my wish list, but what a surprise. The setting is incredible - a mishmash of magic and steam punk set in a vaguely European industrial revolution setting. You play as an assassin, but can choose when and where to apply stealth. I typically suck at stealth games so I'm glad Dishonored made it optional. Everything about this game just really worked well for me - the setting, the gameplay, the story. I definitely recommend it and if this is the last 360 game I play, I'll be happy to end on such a high note.