DAY 2 – CHAPTER 2
TIME SPENT: 2 Hrs+
ACHIEVEMENTS EARNED: 5 (Car Thievery. Never Leave a Key Here, Wired, The 10 Mile Race, QUESTIONS)
The second chapter finds you teamed with a girl named Sarah as you attempt to escape the building (er, ALONE in the dark?). You’re on the ground floor now, but walking out the front door is apparently not going to work. You also get your first real taste of combat, as well as some of the enemies in the game. First are what the game calls Humanz, which are essentially zombies (fast kind) that have been infected by whatever the monster is. You also encounter some small facehugger type things that are a real pain to kill due to the poor control of shooting (you can only shoot in first person mode, and aiming when they are standing still is pretty difficult, let alone when they are scampering about and attacking you). You also meet another guy who claims to have some of the answers you seek, but in true gaming tradition he won’t actually tell you anything until you do some more puzzles and combat.
This level also includes the first of what I hope aren’t too many driving sequences. After playing GTA for two months, it’s almost refreshing to control a car that doesn’t really follow real world physics (meaning turning while going 75 mph isn’t that hard), but the problem is the car gets stuck way too easily. At one point I had to restart a part of the level because the car got stuck in a place that kept me from progressing. However, I did like the little minigame process of stealing a car. Cumbersome window smashing controls aside (see Chapter 1 for details), it’s pretty awesome to check under the visor for a key, turn on the radio, and hot wire a car in first person mode (as opposed to the scripted, “out of your hands” style of GTA).
After this initial driving sequence comes what may be the most frustrating game segment of all time. You are finally outside of the building, but the entire city is under attack. Your task is to drive to Central Park as the city crumbles around you (not to mention the tentacle monsters attacking from all sides). It’s an amazing sequence visually, and the score that accompanies it is also well above average for a video game. Unfortunately, the aforementioned tendency for the cars to get stuck on other cars (or nothing at all in some cases) makes this entire sequence much more of a chore than it should be. It becomes a series of memorization and trial and error gameplay, so coupled with the bugginess of the whole thing, you can expect to make several attempts before finally reaching the end. I actually got an achievement award for driving 10 miles in the game, which is the type of achievement that you probably wouldn’t get until the very end of the game if you were playing it “right”, and yet I got it on what was essentially my first driving level. Kind of suspect.
Luckily everything else about the game is solid fun, and I look forward to playing through the rest. I just hope that the bugginess phased out or simply outweighed by the good.