Garrett is back, and he's ready to steal and loot... a lot.
What I really liked about this game is that the main objective isn't to kill anyone or neutralize a certain individual (I'm looking at you, Dishonored), but to steal, anything and everything, from hairbrushes to pens to pocket watches.
The game looks beautiful. The characters' faces are amazing. The environment needs a little more work but other than that it was great to look at.
When I sat down to play the demo, which I was told was a couple hours into the game, the first thing I noticed was that the controls were a little jarring. There is no jump button. I kept pressing A or Y (X or Triangle) expecting to jump only to realize it was futile. One very cool addition to the control scheme was a mechanic I call "parkour master"--holding left trigger sort gets you into a free running mode reminiscent of Mirror's Edge. This is where the jumping takes place. Jumping onto ledges, grates, and ladders all while sprinting. Although, multiple times when I was using this sweet mechanic I got stuck in a wall and had to restart the mission. Hopefully this gets fixed in the final product.
Pressing Y puts the game into "focus mode," which is a lot like "instinct" from Hitman Absolution. You can see enemies' footsteps from behind walls, ledges, and other environments that are available for grappling, but the coolest part was that it somewhat opens parts of the game. Such as when I was picking this insanely hard lock and the mini-game played and looked a lot like Elder Scrolls or Fallout (although your lock picks never break, Garret knows when to stop forcing it). The developer saw I was having trouble and told me to go into focus mode. I pressed Y, and voila, the camera had gone inside the lock and I could see where the pins needed to be set. I wondered what other parts of the game can be made available by going into focus mode. The developer teased that it was a mechanic that can be used throughout the game.
In terms of level design, it's like Deus Ex as there are multiple paths to a single objective. But hand to hand combat is a last resort, and stealth is king. If you want to leave bodies in your wake, picking guards off with your bow and assortment of arrows is your best bet.
Another awesome addition to this game is that there is no health regen. Health packs (salted meats) can be bought and used. As with focus, it does not regenerate.
Overall, beside a few bugs I am excited to reunite with Garrett. It's been far too long.
The game will be released on PC, PlayStation 3,PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on February 25th, 2014.
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