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(Game Company)'s (Game): What the critics are saying

A critical reception about (game)! Also, madlibs.

Game Developer, Staff

August 17, 2012

5 Min Read

This edition examines online reaction to Game Company Name's open-world crime drama Game Name, which reviewers describe as "an experience that raises the bar on almost every aspect of the genre." Game Name currently earns a score of 81 out of 100 at Metacritic.com.

EGM's Brandon Justice scores Game Name at 9.5 out of 10. "Once you get past the elements you know you've seen before, you'll quickly realize this isn't just another wannabe chasing Other Game Name's tail," he explains. "Instead, Game Name sets out to be more than just another amped-up hodgepodge of sex, violence, and dudebro humor by delivering an experience that raises the bar on almost every aspect of the genre."

"Much of this is due to the fact that, from the jump, developer Game Company Name strove to avoid the idea of building yet another 'jack of all trades, master of none'-style open-world title," Justice continues. "Instead, they opted to push boundaries and challenge expectations in nearly every aspect, starting with combat."

Justice describes Game Name's combat system as a highlight: "Borrowing liberally from Other Game Name's simple, counter-driven system and offering a hefty dose of environmental attacks to boot, Game Name's melee beatdowns are surprisingly fluid and offer a vast improvement on many of the more simplistic offerings in the genre."

"It may not be as crass or flashy as some of its competitors, but Game Name has a surprising amount of soul for a game of this ilk," Justice praises, "offering a refreshing take on what's possible from an open-world action title -- and more depth than you can shake a tire iron at."

Wired's Chris Kohler rates Game Name at 8 out of 10. "It is almost impossible to play Game Name [...] without doing horrible brutal things to the people you are ostensibly there to protect," he warns. "Game Name constantly reminds you of this by deducting 'cop points' every time you screw up. Love-tap a parking meter with your motorcycle? Lose cop points. Accidentally run over a pedestrian? Lose a lot of cop points."

"Game Name is a Other Game Name clone, and why don't you try driving around in a sandbox game like this while obeying all the traffic signals and staying in your lane," Kohler continues. "Who does that? Nobody, because it's not fun. And Game Name has some damn fast cars. And it's set in Hong Kong's tangle of tiny alleyways and side streets. Why dangle this in my face and punish me for enjoying it?"

The strong narrative makes up for what Game Name lacks in other areas. "It's a gripping drama," Kohler praises. "It feels real. You wonder what's going to happen, whether Character Name will finally go over the edge or what. Wanting to know what was next was what kept me playing. The bite-size, okay-just-one-more missions certainly helped, but I was in large part sticking around to see the next cinematic scene."

"I wish I could recommend Game Name with no reservations," Kohler writes. "The story is excellent, the gameplay has flashes of brilliance and the mission structuring makes it rather addictive. It's hard to ignore all the little problems that keep presenting themselves, but not one of them is troublesome enough to make you stop playing."

Xav de Matos at Joystiq gives Game Name 3.5 out of 5 stars. "It's worlds apart from the developer's first game Game Company Game, but Game Name isn't completely unfamiliar," he notes. "From its narrative to gameplay features, Game Name is an amalgamation of other people's good ideas. It's not inspiring, it's inspired."

De Matos praises the game's nuanced combat system. "Despite being fairly easy once mastered, hand-to-hand combat never got stale for me," he says. "Part of that is because Game Name does a pretty good job of doling out new combos throughout the story."

"Weapons, like guns and melee items, almost act as power-ups," de Matos continues. "The first time you are given freedom to handle a pistol, for example, is hours into the story mode (unless you wrestle the steel from a roaming cop). It's refreshing that many missions don't rely on gunfire as a crutch for action or excitement. But guns become more prevalent by the end and, when you are finally strapped, gunplay feels loose and not nearly as well-conceived as unarmed combat."

"What struck me about Game Name is how unoriginal its major components are," de Matos concludes. "Fighting, driving, shooting, story, characters, sidequests: it has all been expertly sliced out of other media and put into place here. Other games are built on a similar 'borrowing' philosophy, but it's rarely as obvious.

"Thankfully, Game Name only encroaches the line of being completely derivative but -- because it blends so many different ideas -- it never crosses it. It's a good game, but Game Name mostly leaves you remembering the media that inspired it and probably won't remain in your thoughts over time."

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