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Damnation Review (Xbox 360) June 1, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Review, shat, Xbox 360.

Piece of shit

Terrible, in a word. From what I understand, this started off life as some sort of Unreal Tournament mod. It should have stayed that way but you’d be forgiving for thinking it has, given how shoddy this game is. Upon starting it up, you might instantly notice that the menus are pretty much copied straight from Gears of War and the difficulty levels are labeled exactly the same. It gives you the idea of the laziness the game has in store for you.

It’s been touted as a steampunk western, but it’s really nothing of the sort and it’s derivative looks make it seem like any generic Unreal Engine game. A lot has been made of the platforming gameplay and “verticallity” aspect of the levels. While the platforming is decent, there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done better by Prince of Persia: Sands of Time back in 2003 or, going back further, the original Tomb Raider games. Despite this, the levels are certainly impressive in their sense of scale, and looking down hundreds of feet on areas you have previously traversed gives a good sense of achievement. However, this does all come at a price. The levels are massive and go on for far too long, often leaving you bored to tears by the end of them. The developers have tried to alleviate this by introducing vehicle sections to break up the tedium, but these become boring very quickly and are poorly done.

The combat is pretty dire. The selection of weapons is surprisingly small and pretty much all of them feel very weak and pathetic. The shooting mechanics feel very twitchy and imprecise – it’s often hard to tell if you are hitting the enemies and they seem to take too much punishment before dying. Thankfully this is balanced out by the frankly shit AI. Enemy soldiers will happily stand in front of you doing nothing, inviting as much free hits as you want. Throughout most of the game you are accompanied by friendly AI who are just as rubbish as the enemies. If they do actually bother to help you fight, they couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a bloody cello, let alone a banjo. You are also randomly given some sort of X-Ray vision power which lets you see all the enemies in the area. It is pretty helpful, but it reveals the cheap trick of enemies suddenly teleporting into areas which were previously empty.

Now onto to the bugs and glitches, then. Texture pop-in, flashing textures, floating enemies, enemies spazzing-out after dying, enemies stuck in scenery, weapons vanishing from your inventory etc. I could go on but you get the idea. The game is very unpolished and unfinished. Although I can totally see where they were trying to go and what they were trying to do with the game, it seems like a case of the developer has bitten off more than they can chew, and that the original concept was just too ambitious for them.

Surprisingly, this game has both online co-op and multiplayer deathmatch. I didn’t have the pleasure of trying out the multiplayer, but I’m assuming it’s equally as awful as the singleplayer – that’s if there is actually anyone playing the bloody thing.

To summarise: worst game I’ve played this year, and arguably the worst I’ve played this generation – it gives Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad a run for it’s money. I traded it in as soon as I finished it and I think I even broke my personal record for fastest trade-in ever after buying (previously held by Assassin’s Creed). I’d certainly not recommend wasting money on Damnation, or possibly even renting it unless you have a thing for lemons like this.




1. Damnation Review (Xbox 360) « He Got Games | Download xbox360 games Ceter - June 1, 2009

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3. Adam - June 1, 2009


“If they do actually bother to help you fight, they couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a bloody cello, let alone a banjo.” lol are banjos actually melee wepon in the game?

The pic reminds me of SW: Bounty Hunter. Course, that had a jetpack…

4. Colin - June 23, 2009

Reminds me of that last dire UT game on the xb1

5. Game Of The Year Awards 2009 « He Got Games - January 5, 2010

[…] Started off as a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004, and evolved into this shitefest. It tries to be a mix of Gears of War (to the extent of outright copying its menu system and HUD) and Prince of Persia. The scale of the levels is impressive, the scale of its awfulness is astonishing. Reviewed HERE. […]

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