'Mars: War Logs'
Focus Home Interactive
Microsoft Xbox 360 (PC, PS3)
ESRB rating: Mature
Review rating: 3.0 stars
Download-only console games have come a long way in the last few years. Simple games such as 2-D space shooters have now been replaced with full-blown 3-D adventures such as the action RPG title, "Mars: War Logs." Despite the advanced potential, however, this particular game still misses the mark.
The story begins on Mars as a new prisoner of war is taken to an internment camp, and there it shifts to focus on a hardened POW named Roy. Both the new prisoner and Roy team up to escape the prison through a convoluted plan to steal a train, and additional intrigue is provided by an evil dictatorship as well as a deadly bounty hunter.
Most of the combat is melee-based, with projectile weapons such as a nail gun thrown in for variety. Explosive traps, grenades and magic are also at the player's disposal to help dispatch groups of enemies. Unfortunately, the combat still remains rather simplistic. In addition, it's too easy to "train" enemies around columns and other obstacles to confuse their A.I. and take them out one-by-one.
On the other hand, I really enjoy acquiring new weapons and armor and customizing them to suit my play style. Gathering various items throughout the adventure is required to craft useful attachments such as bone spikes and armor plating. Not only are these attachments highly beneficial, but they also change the appearance of the items on which they're applied.
Even more customization is offered through skill trees and a feats system. Three paths are available to enhance Roy's abilities in combat, survivability and technomancy (magic). Players can choose to focus most of their skills in one path or dabble in all three. In addition, separate points can be spent to increase the experience earned by defeating enemies, enhance Roy's crafting skills, increase loot drops and more!
"Mars: War Logs" is fun to play, but it could have been much better.