by Sergio Brinkhuis
reviewed on PC
Staying in character (cntd)
A good loot system would make up for a lot of the shortcomings in the game’s regular gameplay but I am sad to report that there's not much to… well err… report. The items that you will find either consist of Ikarium (can be spent at the rare merchant that you will encounter), stronger but incredibly similar versions of the same weapons and armor that you own and uninspired upgrades to modify them into something a little less generic. On top of that, your inventory is so small that you can only bring a very small percentage of the loot that you find along to the next merchant.
A serviceable skill tree adds some variety to the gameplay but it holds nothing particularly interesting, let alone spectacular. An early skill is a frag grenade that will likely stay with you for a long time before switching over to something else. Your character's main attributes such as health, shield and energy can be improved as well but this goes so slowly that you hardly notice its effects. Selecting a skill upgrade or attributes is a one-click affair. Yes, you can take that literally. Click once and your choice is set in stone. There’s no undo, no way back. Half the time you’re wondering what you clicked and then opt to live with whatever it was as its role is probably not all that significant in the first place.
Feeding the hunger
Cannon fodder comes in limited variety. The developers have chosen to use the age old system of making slight changes to one design to create numerous different versions. In their defense, the changes are usually not only cosmetic. Attack type and defense are altered along with the outside appearance of your foes. Unfortunately your enemies all behave the exact same way: without exception, they will move in to attack you as soon as you step into their line of sight and don’t give up until they’re dead or you have ran away. There is no cooperation or communication between them whatsoever.
If GREED’s gameplay seemed archaic, its graphics endeavor only to confirm this impression further. Both textures and design are crisp but unimaginative. There is a marked repetition in the number of items and objects in the game (if you’ve seen one locker, you’ve seen them all) and you will rarely step into a room that it has any unique properties at all. The game’s lighting makes up for some of its lack of variety by adding warm glows in a wide range of colors and intensity. This is done so well that the lighting is probably the most significant contribution to the game’s well created dark ambiance.
Hack it, slash it
Unfortunately, great lighting does not necessarily make a great game. Even at its low $20 price point, it is hard to find value for money in GREED: Black Border. Repetitive gameplay, uninspired environments and enemies, restrictive weapons… there’s just so much here that is of this day and age. The sum of the parts combines into a rather lifeless game that you can play for a while when you are bored but will not rid you of your boredom. If you are looking for a quick hack&slash fix, GREED may provide you with a couple of hours of light entertainment but if you look elsewhere there are better experiences to be found.
Lives up to its low price point.