Re: SiN Episodes: Review, right and wrong (SPOILER
Quality review there, Quitch. I feel you were dead-on on a lot of likes and dislikes of the game. I just finished the game, taking three nights to finish. I'm a hard-core gamer turned casual because lack of time, so I got three nights worth of play, averaging 2-3 hours per session.
<Spoilers ahead> I agree that the first 2/3 of the game is stronger than the last 1/3, in terms of gameplay (not high difficulty which I enjoyed). The last 1/3 sequence in the tower seemed a bit too straightforward, and lacked some spark. Just a simple climb up the tower from the lobby, and not much in the way of surprises or puzzles to figure out. Unlike the first 2/3 where you had to skulk around, figure out which path to take, and play with the world, the tower part was just an all-out action-fest, which normally I would think would be great, as this is the hallmark of this franchise, but maybe it was the level design was too real-world and didn't use much creativity to create fun action sequences.
I think of Nintendo's Resident Evil 4, a modern classic, and its gothic tower sequence, while you travel up and up, had some really creative level design, and Ritual could have taken some cues there on how to spice this kind of scenario up. Add some really deliciously evil choices to player, like in Resident evil 4, you had choices like do I take the stairs and dodge the flamming barrels coming down, or do I use the courtyard elevator and face being shot at all around me?
Maybe in Sin you could have made it you could climb up or down one of those huge banners outside on the ledges. Or maybe have one sequence where you shoot a jetguy only to steal his jetpack so you can get to a higher ledge.
I agree when Jessica is thrown out the helicopter, it seems a bit awkward storywise as I also questioned what to do next, as she doesn't say anything, unless you "use" her and she doesn't say much. Maybe the lack of dialogue from Blade is especially noticeable here, as he could have said something to drive the story forward, and give reasons why he's just leaving Jessica there.
At the helicopter sequence, I too, wasn't sure when I had incapicitated it. Unless that's by design to purposely perplex you, I figured the new form of the helicopter was just another attack, instead of a single that I'm supposed to approach it to finish the game. The simple fade to black didn't really leave much of a cliffhanger or good note to leave the viewer with a desire to see what happens next. Maybe something, like the helicopter door opens, and you hear a scream, or an evil laughter, or just something that gives some resolution at the sametime makes you say "I gotta see what happens to Blade next..."
It was a bit weird that Jessica was invulnerable, but gameplay-wise it was very key for me to get through the tower. I let her fight most of the chaingun guys in the lobby and offices, while I hid. I'm not sure if I liked from a realistic standpoint, but the tower was very difficult so I was happy to take advantage of Jessica in "Terminator" mode.
I still enjoyed it, and looking forward to the next game however. While I'd rate it a bit higher than Quitch, I do think there could be some improvements.