Saturday, December 6, 2014

Arrow: Escape from Lian Yu (2012, PS3)

The Arrow game in question.
Rating: 4 out of 5 People Who Have Failed This Island

Plot Synopsis:  Oliver Queen is a rich, entitled frat boy on vacation with his brothers and friends when they skydive onto an island filled with pirates, drugs and human traffickers.  This game follows a young Oliver Queen as he transitions from rich asshole to plain bad-ass.

+ The island of Lian Yu is huge and beautiful and teeming with life.

- The island is much different than the depiction of it on the TV series.

- They take great liberties with the lore of the TV series.  For starters Oliver is stranded there with quite a large group of people, hardly the lone survivor depicted in the show.  There's no Deathstroke or Shado or Ivo.

+ They replace the usual Arrow rogues with this guy named Vaas.  Vaas is colorful, fascinating to watch and totally insane, a very worthy successor to the best of Arrow's rogues.

- On the other hand we have the biggest bad Hoyt who isn't much of anything.  They keep referring to him as a super bad-ass but there just isn't a whole lot to back that up.  I don't really see why Vaas just doesn't usurp him.

+ The bow is quite awesome.  But for an Arrow game:
Yep, that's the one
The bow only has a couple of attachments (2 different sights, one for close up and one for farther away), another perk (providing faster draw) and a couple of custom arrows (fire and explosive).  But the bow handles pretty solidly and the arrows arc in a realistic manner.  I just wish there was a few more bows to choose from or some limb upgrades that allow you to increase the power of the bow

+ One memorable experience I had was when coming up against a heavy gunner, an enemy mostly immune to arrows, I lured him into a hut home to run behind him and melee him.  I forgot I had fire arrows equipped and shot an arrow at him to soften him up and make him stumble, give me some more time to flank him.  What happened instead was the whole hut went up in flames and collapsed on the gunner, killing him.  That was pretty great.

+ There is quite an arsenal in this Arrow game and they all handle pretty well.

- There's a real mystical bent, one that the Arrow show, that this game is based on, has tried to avoid.
This game, the one clearly based on the Arrow tv show
+ There's a ton of stuff to do on the island of Lian Yu.  Hunting missions that help you craft epic gear, plants to make a series of buff syringes to help with everything from healing to hunting and the all important special arrows, exploring ruins to find relics, recovering lost letters from Japanese encampments and just helping the locals.

+ The game empowers you to take a multitude of approaches to conflict.  You can utilize the bow, the sniper rifle and stealth takedowns to eliminate the enemy before they even know you exist.  You can arm and armor up and take them out with very uncharacteristic heavy machine guns and explosives or find a nice middle ground.

Final Thoughts:  The game is addictive even if it only loosely follows the premise set forth from the show, that show being Arrow on the CW.
Although Lian Yu is known for it's impressive bear population
  I have sunk hours and hours into seeking every relic, liberating every camp, hunting every animal and killing every pirate in an attempt to free the island from evil and save everyone I can.  If you like Green Arrow, if you like bows in video games or if you just want a really good first person shooter not comic related in anyway, add this to your list.
It's hard to escape just how "comic book" related this Arrow game is though

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