CtheIronblooded commented on Nancyfly's review of Evil West
@Nancyfly I am honestly liking Midnight Suns way more than I expected I would. The character interactions, friendship system and dialogue choices combined with the light/dark paths give me a big classic BioWare vibe mixed with a bit of Persona due to the mundane slice-of-life social events and just hanging with the various heroes is a lot of fun. Love the mixture of XCOM and Slay the Spire gameplay for the combat as well.
20 hrs ago
CtheIronblooded commented on Nancyfly's review of Evil West
Great review. I am very excited to play this one when I get to it after Midnight Suns. I really miss the old school era of gaming especially the X360/PS3 era since I was a teenager around that era and it is some of my fondest memories as a gamer. As soon as this game was first revealed and I saw the very first gameplay trailer I knew it would be my kind of game. God of War (2018) mixed with Devil May Cry and wrapped up in a Castlevania style story? Sign me up!
23 hrs ago
CtheIronblooded commented on ICQB45's review of God of War Ragnarök
2 days ago
CtheIronblooded completed God of War Ragnarök
First let me start this review by saying that while I thought God of War (2018) was a very good game and liked it a lot I was never of the opinion it was a masterpiece or one of the greatest games ever made like a lot of people claimed. However I truly believe God of War Ragnarok is a genre defining masterpiece that only comes around once in a generation and improved upon God of War (2018) in genuinely every way imaginable. Ragnarok is the kind of game that even when I wasn't playing it because of work and other things all I could do was think about how much I wanted to play it and I know it is an experience that will stay with me until the day I die.
Like all good sequels God of War Ragnarok only expands upon what its predecessor set-up making everything bigger and more grandiose and turning it up to 11. The action and set-pieces (Seriously some of this stuff is so over-the-top it could give DMC or MGR a run for its money), the cast of characters, the bosses, the references to Norse myth, the side quests and most importantly the scope and stakes of the narrative, there's just so much more of ALL of it.
Speaking of the narrative, it is just simply incredible and not an exaggeration to say this game has some of the best writing in all of video games. Picking up 3 years after the events of God of War 2018, we see Kratos and Atreus trying to survive through Fimbulwinter in Midgard when Thor and Odin give them a surprise visit asking for peace in hopes of staving off Ragnarok and from there on things spiral out of control into a massive adventure across the Nine Realms with a complex narrative about prophecy, fate and war tangled in a web of character threads that span multiple families and all their interpersonal drama which slowly unravels and at the heart of it all is a story of a father and son with a bond so strong they would do anything to protect one another even if it means pushing each other away in the process with the hope of defying prophecy and fate itself all the while inadvertently slowly causing that very same prophecy to come true with every action they take to so desperately avoid it. Honestly never thought I'd see the day that a God of War game would make me cry, but Ragnarok got me not 1, but 3 different times. One of the most emotionally charged narratives I've experienced in awhile.
However a great narrative is meaningless without equally great characters to support it, but thankfully Ragnarok has them in spades. From the protagonists and heroes to the antagonists and even the side characters, every single one is written fantastically with realistic personalities and relatable, human goals they strive towards. Also not a single character feels underused, every one has their own arcs that give them time to shine and the sheer amount of character development and growth everyone in the game goes through is just staggering.
You simply can't talk about Ragnarok without mentioning its stellar blockbuster acting performances that are every bit as impressive as any movie. This game without a doubt has some of the greatest voice acting performances I've ever heard and they're paired up perfectly with the hyper realistic character models and animations that show just as much raw emotion as the voice performances themselves. From Christopher Judge and Sunny Suljic as Kratos and Atreus to Danielle Bisutti as Freya, Alastair Duncan as Mimir, Richard Schiff as Odin and Ryan Hurst as Thor among many others, every single performance is masterfully acted and genuinely any character on the screen at any given time has the ability to steal a scene and make it their own because they're just all that talented and captivating.
Now I could talk about how much I love the narrative themes, characters and acting performances all day long, but since I want to keep this review relatively spoiler free lets talk about the gameplay now and it is rare a big budget AAA game has gameplay as captivating and enjoyable as the story because they usually focus more on the story, but Ragnarok manages to have its cake and eat it too so to speak because the gameplay is just as amazing as everything else.
Combat feels vastly improved upon having access to two weapons that have expanded move sets and skills right from the start of the game and eventually getting a new 3rd weapon adds so much more diversity and depth to the combat system allowing for chaining together much more satisfying combos than in 2018 that during my entire 45 hour playthrough I found the combat consistently enjoyable and entertaining.
One of my biggest complaints about God of War 2018 was the unnecessary pseudo RPG elements and I figured they'd be worse in Ragnarok, but somehow they are much better thanks to being expanded upon (Including a better and more in-depth crafting system) and right from the beginning of the game you have more choices available to you since you have both your weapons from God of War 2018 immediately at the start alongside a decent size skill tree for each weapon, 3 different types of armor and a shield and new mechanics and skills that are slowly unlocked and added on top of all that. One minor nitpick for me is that your level is still determined by your gear instead of actual battle experience and stat allocation so it's still not a true RPG, but it is very close to it in every other way.
Another minor complaint about 2018 I had was the lack of enemy variety and re-skin troll mini bosses, but Ragnarok also improves on that adding so many new enemy types, various creatures from Norse myth and fun mini-bosses and of course the main bosses which are without a doubt some of the coolest spectacles I've ever seen in a game.
Finally my biggest major complaint about God of War 2018 was the boring open world segments and despite having much heavier emphasis on exploration and more open world segments in Ragnarok they were consistently more enjoyable thanks to the beautiful and stunning art direction and incredible graphical fidelity that breathes so much diverse life into all of the Nine Realms and actually incentivizes you to explore them more. Also the fact the exploration is much more linear at first and slowly opens up as you progress further through the story unlocking various things reminded me of a Metroidvania style design and encourages you to backtrack to previous areas to find new secrets and thanks to heavier emphasis on platforming via grapple points and Uncharted-like climbing and there being legitimate dungeons to explore in the overworld with valuable loot to find exploration is both fun and always feels worthwhile. I also can not express how much I love that all your weapons are utilized as tools for puzzle solving and platforming as well enough because it makes for some super creative design choices which also helps to always keep exploration fresh.
I have to mention the side quests as well because they are much better compared to 2018 since they actually add to the world-building or provide extra detail and depth to characters. Honestly some of the side quests in this game are better written than most games main story, that's just how great the writing is in Ragnarok. Even side quests that you think are probably pointless busywork usually end up revealing some small detail about the world, a character's backstory or even just give you a meaningful interaction between Kratos and Atreus or other various characters so it is always worth doing aside from the quest rewards (like new gear or crafting materials) you get which are quite valuable in their own way.
Bear McCreary's score deserves to be mentioned as well because it is simply masterfully composed and from triumphant to melancholic it and just about everything in between it adds so much more emotional weight to every single scene that I just can not imagine the game without it.
God of War Ragnarok is the big budget Sony Blockbuster formula at its best. A true masterclass in both storytelling and game design that everyone deserves to experience. Ragnarok is one of those rare games where every single thing about it is just as perfect as possible, from the narrative and characters to the acting performances, gameplay, art, visuals and score there is simply nothing about this game I would change and when it all comes together it creates something truly special that will stand the test of time for decades to come and be remembered as not only one of the best games of 2022, but one of the best games of all time as well.
2 days ago
CtheIronblooded commented on AaronElWhite's review of Quantum Break
10 days ago