|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Artificial Mind and Movement||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: 505 Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 29, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (2+ Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Sub-episodes attempt to add variety to the mix by functioning differently than the normal episodes. These sub-episodes give players a secondary objective to complete or constraint they need to adhere to while they are exterminating the other bears. There are seven different types in total, but they all just serve to make the game more difficult, which certainly doesnt make the experience more entertaining. Trying to make it through a level within a specific time limit or failing a mission because you take any amount of damage are simply awful ideas and make progressing through Naughty Bear a painful experience.
Because of the way missions and mission progression are set up, these sub-episodes are made even more offensive. There are absolutely no checkpoints in Naughty Bear, meaning that if youre on the third leg of a multipart episode and fail, youve got to start over again from the beginning. Making matters worse, not all of the games levels are accessible from the beginning of the game. Instead, players earn trophies based on their scores in episodes, which are required in large quantities to unlock more missions. This ensures that youll likely need to replay many episodes in order to get higher scores as well as have to partake in several sub-episodes that seem to delight in your aggravation.
While almost everything this game does, besides the killer bear part, is stuff weve seen before, there is one aspect of Naughty Bear that seems fresh and interesting. The way bears in the game interact with the things around them and react to what youre doing is commendable. Bears who find things youve broken or sabotaged in the world will become suspicious, or perhaps even frightened depending on how many theyve seen. If another bear hears or sees you attacking others, they will freak out and flee, sometimes hiding in closets in an attempt to escape your wrath. A frightened bear may even gather others and attempt to barricade the doors of a house, or simply make their way to a boat or car and attempt to escape. These kinds of reactions made the game feel, if only the slightest bit, more realistic and involved.
Unfortunately, while the first hour or so with the game was entertaining, the repetitive objectives, environments, and gameplay make you feel like you are in some sort of insidious gaming Groundhog Day loop. The addition of sub-episodes attempts to vary the experience, but it largely fails to do so. Instead, this makes the game even less desirable due to simply adding ridiculous and infuriating constraints to missions that have no checkpoints. Naughty Bear is truly a disappointment, especially considering how good all the trailers preceding the game made it look. In the end, this game had a ton of potential but failed to turn any of it into a good title. If you still feel the need to check this one out, I suggest waiting for it to hit the bargain bin.
CCC News Director