First impressions: Dead Island, Skylanders, War in the North

It’s not often that I do a “first impressions” post for three separate games. But two Gamefly arrivals in one week and my decision to pick up Skylanders, and here we are.

Dead Island – It’s much more of an RPG than I expected, and much prettier as well. I do wish I had picked the firearms expert, because being the sharp weapons expert means I have to be in the thick of the zombies all the time. This pretty much means I die constantly. Also, damn those weapons degrade fast.

Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure – I’ve only played a few levels, with the basic starter set of three figures, but it reminds me a lot of the Lego games. That is, if the Lego games were one big commercial and had you swap your characters out with physical objects that you buy with real money. It’s fun, but it’s also incredibly sinister and brilliant in its marketing savvy. I’m hoping that as I unlock more levels the combat gets a little more complex. I know it’s a kids’ game, but at the moment it’s a cakewalk. Also, my local Target has a ton of Prism Break and Drobot. I don’t see much point in getting a second tech-type, but I might pick up Prism Break sometime.

Lord of the Rings: War in the North – This game is pretty charming. The movement is a little sluggish and the combat doesn’t feel as fluid as I’d like, but it’s a good use of the license and not a bad action-RPG. I’m playing as the female mage, because magic is awesome. It could have used a bit more time to bake, but it’s a good way to keep me sated until Kingdoms of Amalur comes out.

  • Eden wasn’t my favorite of the PixelJunk games, but it sounds like Q made some nifty new features for the PC release.
  • I was ambivalent towards the word of Mass Effect multiplayer. Not on-board, but not a hater either. After seeing this trailer, I’m actually sort of looking forward to it. I like the plot motivation, and you can play as a Salarian. Sold. Now just let us play as an Elcor.

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