Mass surveillance is a hot topic at the moment, after Snowden’s leaks what was previously thought of as conspiracies actually turned out to be true. Next thing you know anal probing and alien abductions will be proven as well! Crazy stuff, all that sexting, private information and flirty calls you have are all passing through the NSA; it’s all highly controversial and quite alarming, but that’s a whole topic for another book or two! Now, what if someone was able to access that information? Enter Aiden Pearce. Set in Chicago where everything is controlled and monitored by their very own Central Operating System (CtOS). Fuelled by the death of his daughter, à la Splinter Cell: Conviction, Aiden manipulates CtOS for his own purposes which have some devastating effects. From what I understand Aiden gets himself in this mess during the opening scenes, so technically it’s his own fault, but maybe he has motives for cyber-attacking a Baseball Stadium. All is forgiven though when you see those damn coat physics! My oh my Newton would be raising the soil above his grave a few inches.
Watch as the police hopelessly collide in to all the traffic like a scene out of The Italian Job (2003). It’s even more spectacular when you use road blocks, and oh boy those coat physics! Did I mention the coat physics? Speeding away from a chase on a motorbike with your coat tails flapping in the air, my oh my there hasn’t been a more beautiful scene since Casablanca. If there’s one area I would have liked to see improve would be the free running, I know most people would say it would have made the game too Assassin’s Creed-esque but it just feels a little bit limited in that respect, although I’m a massive fan of the stealthy aspect of the game. Love me a bit of creeping around, those Pjs go really well with your bed sheets. Wait what?Back to the game… There’s a lot of room for development of Aiden as well with the skills broken up in to Hacking, Driving, Crafting and Combat. You go from playing around with traffic lights to raising bridges to creating city wide blackouts #Escalation. One part of the game that doesn’t impress me is the driving, it feels very rigid, it could definitely do with a pinned connection to give it that extra degree of freedom. Now I don’t know whether this is to do with each specific car but a lot of the time when I’m driving and looking to turn it’s similar to driving on ice, and then suddenly my car turns sharper than my own jaw line. Which is pretty damn sharp, I once sliced an apple on it. Forza this game is not, but I’d expect a similar driving experience to GTA V at least.
I’ve tried multiplayer and by far my favourite mode is the online hacking (1v1). You’re inserted in to another players game and you have to stay close to them while you download their data and avoiding them profiling you. It does make for some hilarious moments. In one particular game I circled the block pretending to be an Non Player Character (NPC), and in the final 20% I turned in to the wrong lane and was ultimately caught and killed. Other games have seen the hacker continuously run past me as I blend in with the crowd, it’s really high risk and plenty of fun, and does make you feel like you a real pro, when you don’t get caught.
I’ve dedicated a whole paragraph to the digital trips because they are 50 shades are pure awesomeness. Not even my ex-girlfriends have got that sort of paper real estate, to be fair this sentence is giving them just that so I’ll end it here. There are 4 different modes, the first I tried was some sort of psychedelic music mini game whereby you bounce through the city flying from plant to plant, I had no idea what was going on but it seemed pretty cool and it was a little different from the story mode. The next was a stealth game whereby you need to light up the city, I quite enjoyed it and you get a separate set of upgrades for each mini game. EMP grenades kill the special guards you’re hiding from which is awesome. I never got to play the driving mini game, but I think the idea is that you run over zombies to gain energy and rack up combos. A good stress reliever I imagine. Now on to the best one, Spider Tank. Just let that set in, Spider Tank. Yes, Spider Tank. You control a Spider Tank. You simply wreak havoc on the entire city, climb up the side of building like a huge spider? Check. Crush cars like you’re The Hulk? Check. Jump from rooftop to rooftop like, well like a huge spider? Check. Complete challenges like killing cops, bringing down helicopters and destroying hordes of people? Check. Check. Check. This mode is awesome, did I mention you get to upgrade your spider tank? Check. I don’t know who came up with this mode, but give that man a medal!
The achievement list is less than impressive, a lot of collect this and complete that. There’s always going to be those types of achievements but have some damn imagination! In Fallout 3 they had a brilliant achievement where you pick pocketed someone and replaced their coins with a grenade, it was called Psychotic Prankser. Ah, those were the days, roaming around a wasteland taking the small money people had replacing it will hilarious death. Now that’s my sort of achievement. The price of the game is something that caught me off guard a little bit, I was going to buy it off the Xbox Store but they tried charging me £59.99! That’s £16 more than I got it for at Tesco. So they reckon that £16 is the cost for me to walk to the shops? Ha! Walk to the shops I did, after a 5 hour journey to South London to get a cooker, which saw me get a ferry across the Thames? Seriously, who puts a ferry crossing on the Thames? Build a damned bridge, Budapest can show you how it’s done! Kebabs as well, have I told you about the Budapestian Kebabs? Another time friend, for now go forth and liberate another supermarket by buying this game and bringing down Spider Tank destruction on Chiacgo’s citizens.