|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Q Entertainment, Feelplus||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||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||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Regardless, the game is still a noticeable improvement over the original. Gone are the convoluted guarding units that unsuccessfully tried to inject some strategy into the first games never-ending bloodbath. The leveling up system, item collection and special moves (i.e. the devastating attacks that reduce everything on screen to so many bloody corpses) have all been similarly streamlined, making for a less cluttered design (the HUD is also noticeably less obnoxious or more attractive, depending on your personal taste).
Youre still rated for records you set of consecutive attack chains as well as kill counts, but now all orbs act as currency for leveling purposes. The battles are larger as well, which is either more or less interesting, depending on your level of enthusiasm carbon copy unit types.
The truth is that even with the advanced tech that powers todays consoles, we still havent reached a point where number of enemies on screen should really be a selling point. N3II has no shortage of baddies just waiting to feel the red wrath of your blade, but their high numbers come at a heavy price. The more obvious is aesthetics; although the game sports, for its part, some good-looking graphics (the boss battles in particular are a treat), when you rush headlong into a massive wave of enemies, theyre all one hundred percent identical. What really sucks about the hordes, though, is their woeful lack of intelligence.
Granted, if every enemy was equipped with the smarts and battle tactics of, say, the PMCs in MGS4, youd be fked before you could swing your sword even once; theres an obvious statute of limitations on how dumb enemies have to be when youre so unbelievably, vastly outnumbered. However, these idiots may as well be comatose already. They rush in large groups, but very rarely does any one unit have the pluck and courage enough to actually go forth and slash thee. Instead, you wind up toppling wave after wave (after wave) like a rows of dominoes waiting for the slaughter. I actually caught myself zoning out during gameplay a few times, thinking about other things, only to snap back and realize that Id gone through two or three waves of enemies. (I wonder what Tak would say about that.) Only the bosses, towering enemies (like troll-types), and cheap attacks (which can usually be avoided, even if it means sinking to their tactical level) have any chance of stopping you. This is actually a good thing (probably), since levels can go on for anywhere from fifteen to forty minutes without a checkpoint, depending on your own expediency in dispatching enemies.
Surprisingly, I did end up enjoying some of my time with N3II. Ill go ahead and blame the addiction of level gaining to compare my relative power to how weak I had been previous to leveling up, and it is admittedly fun, if only in very small doses, to watch the screen splatter with blood as you cleave and knock the enemy back with primal force. It certainly requires patience to keep playing, however. One unexpected treat was the online co-op; although little more than a glorified survival mode (at least theres some different types of level variety) playing together with a stranger online really made gutting the hordes that much more fun and engaging (bonus: experience earned in this mode transfers to single player). Theres also some pretty brutal challenges in this mode that far surpass the single player campaigns difficulty (even bordering on the completely unfair), so if youre up for a challenge you might enjoy this one.
Otherwise, you could probably take it or leave it.
CCC Freelance Writer