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And the more I think about it, Emergence does have a lot of things to like. Certain enemies, like the heavily armoured soldier and the guys who buzz around on Jetpacks, work brilliantly to keep you on your toes. The pounding soundtrack lends the game that appropriate blockbuster feel, and the rest of the audio has a dynamic, action-movie clarity that holds you right in the appropriate zone. Later on, the game even seems to find its own feet visually, with some lovely detailed textures in the skyscraper and some beautiful hallways bathed in light. This isn’t a game of gritty sci-fi realism like Half-Life 2, but one of larger-than-life comic-book characters and glossy futuristic scenery. And on those terms, it actually works quite well.
Still, it helps that this first episode doesn’t outstay its welcome; with around six hours of gameplay, you could easily demolish it in an evening, let alone a weekend. However, that’s the strength of the episodic model: you don’t pay much for each episode, and so you actually get pretty good value (particularly as the original game is currently bundled in). It remains to be seen whether future episodes can maintain this one’s momentum, but – for all the game’s crass big-breasted sexism and meagre, unadventurous IQ – I can’t wait to find out where Blade is going next. Perhaps this time Ritual might give us something more to remember than a cleavage….
Hatefully dumb, yet utterly enjoyable, Sin: Episodes is the FPS you’ll be slightly embarrassed to love. This could be a great series, provided Ritual can keep up the pace.
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