Develop amazing superhuman powers;
Technical problems keep it from being great
Advent Rising was announced a few years ago as the first in a trilogy that was epic in scope.It has all the workings of a great project as well.The original story began in the director's mind and he knew it would be such a grand story that he enlisted the help of notable sci-fi scribe Orson Scott Card to help work the script.Card worked on the script, getting the dialogue right and also assisted with the overall story.On top of an excellent author, they employed an orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to perform.All of these should spell out to be a recipe for sucess.And it does, sort of.
What holds this game back from glory are the myriad of technical issues.To begin with, the game is beautiful.Graphic-wise, it reminds me of Halo 2.Halo 2 had no loading after the initial load and the graphics, while nice, suffered at times from having to be rendered quickly.The same goes for Advent Rising.In fact, while you are watching a cutscene, the game is busy loading the next sequence.What this does is put a tremendous strain on the engine.If the engine is strong, it shouldn't pose much problem.But, unfortunately, this sometimes spells disaster for Advent Rising.
The first 40 minutes of the game did not give me a great first impression.During the training sequences, the game locked up three times.I had to replay the same sequence about 4 times to get through it simply because I did something the game didn't like and it froze.The game auto-saves onces you hit certain check points and if you have to reset the game, you're starting back over from the beginning of the checkpoint.Things became much better as the game progressed and I don't remember the game freezing again.
Added to the lock ups, the game stutters when there's too many things going on at once.I don't mean when little things are happening, I mean when you have a squad of 3-4 people on your team shooting at 4-6 enemies and there's two drop ships coming in and launching missles that explode with huge flames.When that happens, the game's audio begins to "click," the frame rate drops very noticeably and things become a bit annoying.But again, this only really happens when there's a ton going on.
Unfortunately, more technical issues abound.Namely in the sound.With the beautifully orchestrated music pounding, the screams of people fleeing certain destruction, the explosions, the lazers tearing apart buildings, you'd expect to have a lot of sound.Unfortunately, in the cutscenes the sound tends to be muted.To give you an example, on my surround sound receiver (which the game supports by the way), I usually keep the sound at 10-11 for a decent, full sound that doesn't also piss off my neighbors.For this game, generally I have to have the sound on at 16-17 and it's still muted.I know the reason is probably because the game is loading the next scene and the engine is faltering because of it.
A love it or hate it device is used for targeting.Called "flick targeting," you use the right stick to change between your targets, effectively "flicking" it in their general direction to lock onto them.For those who use their right stick to change the camera constantly, like me, this can take some time to get used to.But, if you can train yourself not to change the camera as much will find it works pretty well.Where it can get into a problem is when you are trying to run from the enemy to get to cover.When this happens, and you try to reorient the camera to find some place to run, it can become frustrating to continually lock onto targets.Also, when you receive your power to levitate objects, this becomes even more of a hindrance as you not only lock onto enemies now but also moveable objects.Click the right stick (R3 button) helps with this problem because it releases the camera but it still causes moments of annoyance.Honestly, though, it's a great system to handle more than one enemy at a time.
At the heart of the game, past all of the technical problems and targeting woes is a great story.The beginning of the story with the Seeker's attack of your home world reminded me of what Halo 2 was missing.Here we saw devastation on your homeworld, we fought on the homeworld and it generally stressed the feeling of your world at risk.From there, it's an epic event after epic event as the seekers cause untold problems, a few plot twists occur and a few deaths propel our protagonist toward his goal.It's a great story and the dialogue is terrific, bring to mind movie quality.The voice actors are a charm to listen to, and there are a couple funny moments.Card's influenced can be seen everywhere.In fact, I was waiting for the main characters to break out in a discussion of Varelese and Ramen in terms of aliens (read the Ender's series if you didn't get that).
For all that's good in this game, and there's plenty do not get me wrong, I feel semi-disappointed.This game has been pushed back countless times.Mostly, it's been pushed back to help fix the frame rate issues, and other technical problems I've noted.And so when the game was finally released I was shocked when the very things that made it miss release date upon release date were still causing problems.What is most annoying is that we are this far in the Xbox development cycle and bugs abound.We are currently waiting for Xbox 360 to come out and countless games have been made that are more beautiful and less buggy than this game.It's disappointing to see that even this far into the Xbox life problems are still occuring.Maybe the game was too grand for the Xbox and should have been an Xbox 360 launch title.Whatever the case, this game is really good, regardless of the problems.If you can overlook the technical issues above, you will find not only a good game, but a good game with a heart.And that's hard to find today.
A Fun Epic Sci Fi Shooter ,Flawed But Fun.
Advent Rising is a third & first person shooter that is a fast pace Sci-Fi Epic like gaming experience that is best desribed as a star wars/halo2 mix. But Advent Rising is still a unique game in its own right. You play in 1st & 3rd person which can be changed while playing. There are about 11 different weapons ranging from ballistic to the alien variety & they all have great response,sound,& power. You are able to equip & fire from both hands by using both triggerssimular to halo2 ,&most weapons have alternate fire modes. You can perform Melee attacks & will get advanced melee's as you progress in mastery levels 1-5.The Mastery Level is a reward system ,as you use a weapon or power you will automaticly gain level ups such as more damage or better accuracy,also it'll open up alternate fire modes on special power & weapons you can gain up to 5 levels on all weapons & powers.You eventually will aquireSpecial Powers simular to force powers in star wars games. These powers include LEVITATE ,which gives you the ability to levitate enemies & shoot them in mid air ,also liftinanimate objects &you can also throw enemies off cliffs, SURGE which is a type offorce push to damage enemies & if you hold trigger for a stronger surge blast,NEGATE which gives you the ability to make a shield & its advanced stages you are able to put up multiple sheilds ,4 when maxed out,alternatly you can carry a shield ,AEON PULSE which gives you the ability to shoot pulses from your hands in which damages the enemy, TIME SHIFT which gives you the abilty to warp time & attack enemy at a great speed which causes alot of damage to enemy,it basicly looks like a quick sprint into the enemy ,kinda like a running charge at a blurring speed,& finally SHATTER which you can shoot ice shards, which look more like blue spheres on screen, & its advanced stages can freeze an enemy. All Weapons & Powers also have (alternate) modes of fire & powers in which becomeavailable as you advance in mastery levels 1-5. All powers use energy but as you gain mastery levels you will use less energy.You automaticly are awarded the power ups as you fight or use powers,you can look in your weapons & powers menu to see there effects.You have different vehicles to drive that resemble halos warthog, & there is an enemy alien tank that looks quite good. The land vehicle (scythe) 4x4 ,is very responsive & has verystrong boost power. You can also operate anti-air turrets when available.For the most part your on foot.This game is a pure 1st & 3rd person shooter with an added very helpful force type super powers, these powers arent thrown in just for fun or looks you'll definalty use them & need them alot, I found myself prefering to use the force type powers more & morein the later stages ,because in Advent Rising the more you use anything the stronger it gets with the mastery level up system.You can equip a power to one hand & a weapon to the other hand for an endless array of good combinations ,or you could just use the powers ,whatever works for you.The graphics are good & they get better as you advance in the game, but I do have a "S" cable so keep that in mind.Overall Advent is a very fun game ,but could use some polishing up on a few things. The targeting system is a little herky-jerky .You use the right analog stick to change & hone in onto targets . Adversly you also use the right analog for the camera pan & tilt. Things makes things a little unbalanced when in a firefight as sometimes when you are trying to look into a certain direction the targeting ring will lock onto a different target than you intended. But I had no serious problems that hampered my game experince with the targeting system . I think it would have been better to have a cleaner smoother targeting system or even a free form target system like most first & third person shooters have. But you can adjust the Targeting systems sensitivity in the options menu.There is also alot of slow down when the screen gets full & on one occasion the sound got messed up. But even with these game flaws Advent Rising is still a very fun shooter with nice level detail which is 95% linear but still very EPIC movielike in design. I noticed there are some simularities to halo2 in the design of some of the levels in Advent,with vast open spaces & the like.But dont let me mislead you Advent shouldnt be compared to HALO2 .Id say Advent is a loose mix between a star wars type game & halo2. The cutscenes are nicley done with Greatstory content & good voice acting & there are a ton of clips to be seen. Advent gameplay is good but when the framerates slow down ,which is often,is gets stiff. And the camera could be a little smoother,but your still able to see in (3-d) all directions like other 1st & 3rd person shooters. But even with all of these flaws Advent is still a very fun shooter.I beat the game on Normal difficulty in 3 days ,the story was very good ,just make sure to watch the entire CREDITS because at the end there's a surprise Boss battle with another ending & it definatly opens up for the sequel. You have 4 difficulty settings Easy,Normal,Hard,& Ultra. Its a fairly challenging game thats not too easy ,& not too hard ,but you can change difficulty while your playing to suit your needs.Its a very good start to a game series ,hopefully with some fine tuning ,sequels to this game will take note of gamers comments & improve on it. In a nutshell Advent Rising is kinda like watching a very good Epic movie storyline while you get to partake in being the star.Advent Rising is a fun overall Sci-Fi gaming experience regardless of its flaws. Definalty Worth Playing.Im looking forward to the sequel.
Advent Rising- The Beginning of a Legacy
Advent Rising is the first in the Advent Trilogy. This is a great start for a franchise that is sure to have people talking for a long time. The game does have it's glitches, but they seem small and unimportant compared to the game's great aspects. I am really suprised by the low scores that have been given by IGN, GameSpot, etc. I think this trilogy will be a compelling, original experience, that will have it's fair share of glory before it is through.
First, I want to state that Tommy Talarico Studios has done a phenomenal job with the music. The music was what really brought together the whole experience for me. When the humans started to be attacked, I got a real sense of tragedy that only great music can deliver. Throughout the entire game, I was drawn in by the simple, yet effective, melodies. Advent Rising has some of the best audio of this year.
The next thing I want to talk about is the story. You play Gideon Wyeth. The younger brother of renowned captain, and playboy, Ethan Wyeth. The story is that you and your brother are to escort an ambassidor onto an alien shuttle, so that your races can become allies. The aliens, who are called Aurelians, warn you that the Seekers are coming to destroy the humans. The story draws you in so quickly, that you will find it hard to put the controller down, even to go to the bathroom. Some of the cinematics are very long. Advent Rising compensates for this by letting you pause during the cinematics, and letting you skip them, or restart it, but I digress. Back to the story. Very early in the game, you are faced with a tough decision. Both your brother Ethan, and your fiance Olivia are injured. You can only save one. It makes little difference in the end who you choose, but I found the outcome very sad.
Next comes the gameplay. This game is very interesting, because it is kind of a Third Person Action Shooter RPG. Let me explain. There are a variety of elements in the game, that keep it diverse and fun. The RPG element comes into play, when you have used a weapon or ability so much, that you become more proficient in the skill. Later in the game, you learn from Kehlem, an Aurelian, how to levitate objects. You gain different unerthly skills throughout the game, which you can become more proficient in.
Overall, Advent Rising is amazing. It is an original, fun, and extraordinary experience. The stunning visuals, beautiful music, and compelling gameplay, come together to deliver a refreshment from the same old games. This is a sure contender for game of the year. Advent Rising is the first in a trilogy that will take the gaming world by storm.
Good Game, but has a few bugs
I am a 24 year old gamer and feel this game is truly unique.It is nothing like Halo except that you are human killing aliens.The game is beautiful constructed and the storyline is captivating--it vaguely reminds me of star wars.I recommend at least renting this game if not buying it.
The only problem with the game is that at certain times your character jams.For example:You use one of your super powers and you float into the air, but then never come back down.It can be very frustrating.Plus the aimng system is very touchy and at times you lose where you are shooting.
With all said, It is a great game and should not be over looked.Rent it at least.
A little buggy, but tons of fun!
I was mesmerized by my first glimpses of the game and had been waiting patiently for Advent Rising to come out.I was overjoyed when it finally hit the shelves, but became bit worried when when I read a few reviews before the fact, and found their verdicts to be mediocre at best, poor at worst.Undaunted, I bought the game to see for myself, and personally, I wasn't disappointed.The storyline, which pits humankind as a race of myth, destined to save the universe against the Seekers, a race that is bent on destroying them(and written by the great Orson Scott Card, no less) keeps you riveted, wondering what is going to happen next; the music is a top-notch orchestral work of beauty, and the gameplay is fast, intuitive, and pulls you in. However, the negative points will severely turn off some more nitpicky gamers, in that there is a major bug in the realm of frame rate.Some areas of intense battle slow down severely, and subtract from the experience.
Also, there is a problem with the targeting system in that it is EXTREMELY tricky and twitchy, switching from one enemy from another at the drop of a hat, and losing sight of the main character in intense combat moments.This can be frustrating, but like the frame rate problem, can be overlooked.Also, the sheer amount of obvious work and love put into the game makes up for these problems.
As it is the first in a planned trilogy, those problems hopefully will be addressed in the later games.All in all, Advent Rising is a game well worth its money, and plagued by overly harsh reviews.I say give it a try; if you're a bit nervous about it, rent it first and see.Aside from the framerate and targeting system, the game is a masterpiece, and like other reviewers have said, NOT to be compared to Halo.If its two major problems had been addressed properly, however, I believe that reviewers would have been kinder to it.But it is a game not to be snubbed for its shortcomings.It's tons of fun and a worthy addition to anyone's Xbox library.
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