March 24, 2013 1 Comment
Imagine a game centered around quick-time events where pressing the correct button doesn’t always work. Sounds fucking terrible, right? But wait, what if I told you that if you fail (or if the game determines you fail even when you don’t), the load times can take anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds before you get a chance at restarting? Or what if I told you the frame-rate can stutter right as the enemy that will touch-off the quick time event draws near you, causing the quick-time-event to only appear on-screen for a small fraction of a second? What if the graphics are choppy and the enemies have issues clipping when interacting with your character? What if your character moves as slow as a snail encased in liquid nitrogen? What if the text was so small that you have to physically get out of your chair to read it, even when you possess a television large enough to cover an active volcano? What can you say about a game where nothing seems to have gone right?
It’s really strange because the first Dead Sea was not God awful or anything. I ultimately didn’t recommend it, because the gameplay was boring and repetitive. But I think with some work, the concept of being stuck in the middle of the ocean with sharks out to turn you into the catch-of-the-day might be a good one. When I heard the guys at Brave Men Games were working on a sequel, I was hoping they would try to mend the concept, which I think is salvageable. The developers seemed to disagree with that assessment, because Dead Sea II is completely different from the original, with no real connection besides starring the same chick. Actually, I think the “mutation” part refers to the girl, because that’s the only explanation for why she has the spray-on-tan from Hell, making her look like the love child of Courtney Stodden and Hulk Hogan. How did she get that tan? Didn’t she just spend, like, days bobbing around the ocean? That wouldn’t have bronzed her. That would have had her peeling a human onion. A pickled human onion.
My biggest disappointment with Dead Sea 2 is that the original was a bad game merely because the mechanics were not fun. It did give me hope that the developers were on the right track. Instead, the sequel is broken to the point of being nearly unplayable. Being attacked by giant mutant-shark-people-things might not be the worst idea, but the execution here is awful. I searched around for viable pathways to make stealth kills on the enemies, but couldn’t find any without being detected. When an enemy charges you, you have to perform a quick-time-event to escape. However, sometimes I would push the correct button almost immediately and still die. It seemed completely random when it would work. Combine this with excruciating load times and I didn’t really feel the urge to press on. I tried to finish one floor that had two mutant dudes for a good solid hour, but a combination of stuttering frame rate, broken quick-time-events, and demoralizing load times made me give up. Maybe without technical hangups, Dead Sea 2 could have been decent. Instead, it’s dead in the water. Ba-ba-baaaaaaa.
80 Microsoft Points said this series has jumped shark in the making of this review.