There are too many dings on the chassis, from the constant inability to activate promised features and occasionally glitchy effects of current and standard modes.
The refinements to returning characters, while not quite revelatory, are notable for their ability to subtly tip the scales in favor of the dedicated player in a pinch.
It feels like the work of developers who've have been thinking about the perfect Alien video game since they were daydreaming in homeroom.
Over the last decade, Frogwares has been steadily eliminating the impossibly bad elements from their games, and what remains is the closest anyone's ever come to an authentic Baker Street experience.
This isn't the one game to rule them all, but it's a powerful experience in its own right, one that every fantasy enthusiast should pick up.
Whether you're playing with friends at home, emulating the arcade experience online, getting intimate with the single player story, taking fighting lessons from the computer, or grinding experience, this is the entire package.
This is the kind of old-school experience one expects when you pick up a Dynasty Warriors title, but on the flipside of the coin, the game attempts to inject depth where none was ever needed when it comes to how to upgrade characters and weaponry.
Playing around in Bungie's galaxy for its own sake is still just so undeniable and compulsive a draw that the disappointingly threadbare "why" starts fading into the background.
While there may not be anything new in Curtain Call, there sure is a lot of it. And if you think their games have grown stale, here's proof that at least their music hasn't.
This is the truer definition of a mature title. This is what happens when first-person shooters strive to be more than a vulgar display of power.
The writing remains generally strong, especially when it comes to giving players the illusion of control in their big dramatic dialogue choices.
It's a basic story told in stronger terms than it really warrants, but the game is better for it, and gives rise to the pleasantly surprising sentiment of wanting to see more of Bailey in other roles in the future.
A next-gen playthrough reveals a game that doesn't break new ground, but very much tries to reach perfection with the tools Naughty Dog and the industry as a whole, really, are all very well aware of.
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