Product Type: Codemasters Xbox 360 games
Newest Review: ... on the hardest level because the enemies are so stupid. Blue Omega must have known their game was broken because they added the ability t... more
Hellfire and All That
Damnation (Xbox 360)
Member Name: samueltyler
Damnation (Xbox 360)
Disadvantages: Graphics, level design, voice acting, the game itself
'Damnation' is set in a steampunk/Western world in which the good folk in the rebel camp are rising against a fascist robot army. Player one controls a generic cowboy, whilst player 2 plays a series of allies depending on the level. As a third person shooter/platformer, you take the view point behind your character. The USP of the game is that you get to cross vast levels that appear huge in scale. As a game 'Damnation' throws too many elements at the gamer; shooting, platforming and driving elements. Rather than concentrate on making one area excellent, Blue Omega made all the parts awful.
The shooting feels loose and is made worse by some abysmal enemy AI. Two co-op pals can easily beat the game on the hardest level because the enemies are so stupid. Blue Omega must have known their game was broken because they added the ability to heal your co-op pal from anywhere. This is because you will be dying and reviving a lot. Just make sure that one person stays back to heal the other. The platforming is also pretty bad. The collision detection is flimsy, to say the least, so you have a habit of missing jumps. This is not aided by a dodgy camera that hinders the player. Finally, the mini driving parts are truly shocking. The game engine cannot handle the speed and jerks around far too much to be fun. The only saving grace with the gameplay is that it is easy enough that you may as well complete the game. (2 out of 5)
Perhaps this is one area that Blue Omega could gain some respect as it is not based on technical ability. The idea of a steampunk world with a Wild West mentality is a decent one. 'Borderlands' went on to take the idea to a new level and make a great game; 'Damnation' never did. A confused story, told in a patchy manner means that I had no idea what was going on, nor cared for any of the characters. The only parts that did work were the ever present propaganda messages coming over the loud speakers. At least these gave me a sense of what was going on. (2 out of 5)
I am tempted to say that 'Damnation' is a game that lasts as long as you can stand to play it. However, as someone who did complete it the game is a reasonable 7-10 hours long. (3 out of 5)
Another of 'Damnation's' saving graces is that the game is co-op online. This one element prevents it from being one of the very worst games on the 360. As someone who plays co-op a lot, I can attest that any game is better with a pal. There is quite a lot of enjoyment that can be gained by ripping into a game's failings together. The co-op itself did not really involve having to solve puzzles together, but for one person to always act as a defence, the other attack. The connection remained stable throughout. (3 out of 5)
I have played games for many years and during the late 90s and early 2000s I dabbled in the PC market. The dawn of 3D graphics meant that improving my PC to keep up started to cost too much. 'Damnation' looks like one of the last games that I played on PC around 10 years ago. The textures are poor, the number of glitches and pop ups are unforgivable. The lack of coherent colour palette makes the game harder than it should be as you look for a way out. In truth, there are fewer games that are as ugly as 'Damnation' and still remain playable. (1 out of 5)
An area that should have been the standout for the game is the level design. Blue Omega sold 'Damnation' on the premise that the scale would be huge. This is certainly the case as you pan across each level as you arrive, and they often stretch across a wide expanse. The levels are also multi tiered so you have to work your way up and down, as well as across. This should have worked well, but in fact it is a little poor. For all the options you can have to get anywhere, you end up following the linear path from one end of a level to another. The expanses seem to hang in the air like some sort of fantasy and are more in common with the magical DLC levels of 'Mirror's Edge', than the world of steampunk. (2 out of 5)
Forgettable is probably the best way to describe the sound work on 'Damnation' as that is what I have done. The music is none descript and the voice acting is on par with the low budget nature of the game. There is nothing annoying about anything that you hear, but nothing stands out. (2 out of 5)
'Damnation' is a game that came incredibly close to being a 1 star Sammy Stinker. The graphics, level design and gameplay are all well below what you expect from a modern game. However, for all its many faults one area it did get right was the solid co-op element. This meant that the painful experience of playing the game can be shared with a pal. The numerous mistakes suddenly become a source of amusement and you can play the game knowing that someone will be able to heal you should you inevitably fall. I picked this game up for £5 a copy and for that it was just worth it. (2 out of 5)
Maker: Blue Omega RRP £50
Amazon uk £8.79
Summary: Only play if you have a co-op pal and no other games to play
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