I'm 6 or 7 missions into the campaign and it's "ok". I've been struggling to articulate why I'm not enjoying the bombast as I usually do with CoD games. This one is obviously different - what with the setting and such, it looks amazing as usual BUT the gameplay doesn't quite work for me. The standout exception so far was the infiltration mission (where you play a female character from the resistance who is infiltrating - in disguise - a giant german-occupied building in France..it's sort of a command center/officer club). I'm not sure if this is what's bugging me the most, but I'll try...
a. I've run into multiple moments where I hit an invisible checkpoint at a really bad (low health and ammo) moment such that when I die later on, it's much harder to make progress because the checkpoint reloads with low health and ammo (and sometimes even under fire?) This has happened enough times that I've noticed.
b. I've been able to "peek-behind-the-curtain" way too many times in ways that have been immersion breaking and disappointing. The standout one so far was a mission where you have to attack and take over a church. As I was about to exit on the opposite end - having fought soldiers and whatnot, I look left and see a staircase going up. I wonder if I can go up, but I can't because there's some furniture and stuff blocking the way. So, I continue (2 meters?) towards the door which triggers a cut-scene/dramatic moment with explosions and NPC instructions to head up the stairs to the belltower or something. I had JUST looked there and it was blocked, but when I turn to look now - it's magically cleared! I noticed this in a few other places which is a real drag...
c. The level/fight design seems to favor rushing in and hoping for the best. If you stay back and cautiously move forward enemies just keep magically re-spawning. Agh. It's a drag - especially because the enemies respawn pretty much right there.
d. I've run into many, many firefights where I just keep on dying and dying until I'm able to luckily make it through... these include firefights with internal checkpoints that are also a bit awkward.
Overall, it seems like the pacing is often "off" for me?
I have enjoyed the NPC characters - you can call on them for ammo and health!
I really, really enjoyed a lot of things about this game - it's sort of what I had hoped Dead Rising would be when I first played it: an open world zombie game where, for the most part, you're pretty safe. There's a ton of rpg-lite elements in tha tyou gain XP, level up, unlock perks but also have to manage equipment. Weapons break (really quickly), need repairing, and can be upgraded. There's tons of side missions where you find things, find people, deliver things, kill zombies, etc.
There's also driving.
And the game (still) looks pretty amazing. It's all set in a resort/holiday getaway island so pretty much all the zombies are in swimwear.
I stopped playing mostly because I did not understand (or appreciate) the combat. It's mostly close combat and it feels really hard to gauge successful hits and such (it's in 1st person). When attacking two or more zombies the whole thing is a mess - most hits don't land. But sometimes they do. And you take hits all over the place. It wasn't really an issue in that I was dying all the time. Rather, it felt like it mas more of an exercise in frustration than fun.
So, back on the shelf it goes!
Oh, there was a game design/UI element I thought was really cool. There's a few missions where I had to get gas from a gas station or get some juice packs. It was recommended that I take a car (pickup truck) and when I found the items I had to carry them to the car and place them in an outline in the back of the truck. The truck has 4 spaces where you can place items that are carried around. It was nice touch I thought - much more interesting than simply adding stuff to an inventory, especially since carrying the things around meant that you could not wield a weapon and where thus temporarily vulnerable (so, parking close matters!).
It's the same as all the other mama games I've played!
I'll admit I don't have too much patience for this, though the different theme was fun. I had problems with a few of the "swipe this way" steps when planting bulbs or whatever so I wasn't as enthused for this game as I might have otherwise been. So, played a few hours and that's it - moving on.
Weirdly the "is this a bad Japanese accent?" that many of the characters have still rubs me the wrong way....
I've decided to pull the plug ten hours in. While I'm enjoying the writing and the characters, the combat system has started to become somewhat tiresome (and I'm not enjoying random fights either). It's not that they take too long it's just that the system is not all that interesting. It's intriguing, but never feels fully realized.
So, there's a planetary system (with planets that move around that's based on gameplay time). When a planet is in a certain location (think pie slice of its orbit), any character associated with that planet gets a boost. This also applies to enemies who can have skills/spells aligned to planets. So, some characters might be brilliant one time, but not so good later on. There's also a rock-paper-scissors relationship between different planets as well. So, it's neat - BUT you can't really plan for it or do much about it. It feels "random" in the sense that I never know if a character will be all that great or not - and I don't want to wait around for that to happen.
There is a power/spell that lets you move the planets along (which I've used when an enemy is boosted so that they're no longer boosted), but it feels like a one-off thing that you use rarely because it's really expensive in terms of magic points.