Vice-Captain Hammer
Feb 9, 2008
Congratulations on reaching your 20th review on the site. Hell, it's more than I've managed, and I appreciate what you're trying to do with this review series in particular. So... consider this a well meaning anniversabump.

It's a perfectly solid review. I quite like the approach you took, focusing on describing the game around the extravagant violence. Doesn't cover all the bases, but this approach doesn't need to. You manage to describe your experience of the game just fine without adding customary sections about the graphics, music, longevity etc.

I've always been of mixed views on reviews with a conversationalist tone. I wouldn't call it a problem here, but there are instances that undermine it. Parts like :

Whether we're willing to admit it or not only a very small fraction of games actually exclude violence and most of the rest prominently feature it as their main gameplay mechanic

headshots while side-diving a la Max Payne even more and you'll get even more than that when you do it several times in a row

There's reasons to fight, no matter how contrived or thing they may be

All have reason to derail a conversational tone, whether it's an awkwardly long sentence, one that's hard work to read or an meaningless word choice ("or thing"?). Ease of reading is, imo, more of a priority with this style, so awkward phrasing or particularly demanding sentence structure etc is something to try and eliminate.

Also, the paragraph about the game's major control issues seemed inconsistent with the rest of the review. While all the others seemed to try and capture the spirit of the game (the third paragraph doing that best, imo), that one just listed problems and could have been talking about any of millions of action games.

Hope that helps somewhat. Or even, to be optimistic, a great deal.