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PC Reviews: Chrome

What? Another first person shooter I hear you groan. Well mister sulky, I am pleased to tell you that Chrome rocks pretty hard and that's coming from a guy who gets to play these games for a crust. It is yet another FPS in an ocean of them, but combine that with some great gameplay alongside gorgeous graphics and you know that you are onto a winner.

The game is set in the future and Chrome is one of the most precious materials that exists. It's not the metal that we are talking about, but another mineral that is precious and in demand to the point that people are prepared to kill over it. You play the part of a mercenary by the name of Logan who is assisting  whoever is prepared to pay him the most. The world is run by two dominant corporations (and when isn't it?) and Logan does their dirty work when called upon. His skills are well known and he is in demand.

The game is spread over a number of planets and 14 levels that are interspersed with a number of missions per level. Your job naturally enough is to make your way through it all alive and well and do whatever you are told to. In an ocean of these shooting games, this in itself wouldn't be reason to get excited about the title however the developers Techland have seen fit to actually incorporate a number of gameplay elements to the title including manning vehicles and using other pieces of machinery that take the mundane out of blaster titles and takes it into a league of it's own.

Logan is augmented and has superior speed, sight etc.. However and this is the nice twist, if you use them, you do expend energy that you can ill afford to waste. This energy does get restored, but it can make a situation tense if you are using augmentation to get out of strife and over do it and Logan blacks out from the exertion. Yes you heard right, your hero could drop to the ground and there would not be a thing that you could do about it. You also have skin that is more resistant to attack and the ability to aim more accurately than your non augmented opponent, though Techland have thought this one through and you won't find it easy to run and blast effectively. Aiming comes at a price and that price

is simply that you must drop to your knee in order to take advantage of this special ability. It takes a moment does slow down the game a lot when in the middle of a fully fledged firefight, however it does force you to act more strategically and take cover before taking on the masses. The intelligence of your enemies is a bit hit and miss though and it seems that unless you are firing at them or very near, at times there doesn't seem to be any response. Once they are on the go, they are out for blood so be prepared to mow down quite a number of enemies.

Adding to the strategy element is the fact that you can only carry a limited number of weapons at any one time, and to take on more means leaving stuff behind. Players who choose carefully will still get through with ease, although I did find it easier to pick up stuff from fallen soldiers on the field and by hanging about the area, I could use the weapon I got from them for a short amount of time, drop it and return to the default weapons that I preferred. These are the weapons that you will become most proficient with and it makes sense to stick to them unless the mission calls for something different.

Environments look superb in the game and will fully draw you into the storyline as there is very little to complain about graphically. There are a number of effects used to give us a feeling of realism including some very nice bump mapping and particle effects thrown in for good measure. There are some areas that are too dark for no good reason, but this is something that is shown very rarely.

Character animations are a little bit iffy at times but I can tell you that nothing was finer that the exaggerated sequences your enemies go through when hit by your fire. It was like something from an action movie to see characters go flying through the air, or sprawled against walls with even mild weapons used. A lot of fun and something that I mucked around with a lot.

Level design is good and plays well, in fact I was far more impressed with the single player experience afforded us than the multiplayer which seemed a bit futile at times. The engrossing storyline of Chrome added to some very nice cutscenes give you enough information about the game that you are keen to get started in on the next mission. This title is a cut above your standard shooter fare and I'd be very interested to see what else Techland have to offer us in the near future after this great release. I recommend this game to all and sundry for a very good gameplay experience that should last the average gamer about 12-15 hours.

Good Stuff!

- Tory Favro

The Final Say!


 reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Score: 8.5/10
Not based on an average 
Distributor: Take 2 Interactive

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