Despite the game’s attempt to prevent me from finishing, via crashes that required jumping through hoops to avoid and a patch that reset my progress on the next to last bit all the way to the start of the level, I finished it the other day.
What a ride. Loved it. Now, I fully get why some folks will not like this game, or even hate it. It is not a pure shooter. It’s sort of a weird comic-book political tract movie crossed with a linear if viscerally satisfying shooter. The combat was much easier than in the previous game, especially the lack of boss fights (hated those anyhow), and the situations fairly predictable, but I thought they were carried off quite nicely.
But what really sealed the deal for me is the metagame. I love it when a developer goes all in on a concept. Win or lose, it shows conceptual integrity and a willingness to lay it all out there knowing you’re going to get pretty much extreme reactions on either side. The choice to deliver an uncompromising, some would say over the top, harangue about fascism, contemporary American culture and politics, as well as race and gender issues was gutsy, and to me at least the cutscenes–which in most games bore the hell out of me–actually delivered the goods. I’ll never forget a few of them, for damn sure, and the language–rough, horrible so sometimes–fits perfectly with what they are trying.
It’s ludicrous in spots, hilarious in spots, terrifying in spots, and overall just a lot more of an experience than most games. One can legitimately argue it is less of a game per se and more of a media product, but in this case that’s fine with me. I definitely feel my 16 hours was worth the price of admission. And I usually would not say that about a shooter, where sixteen hours in the past has seemed short to me.