More of the Good and the Bad on Xbox

AC Brotherhood

Good – Best storytelling of any of the games so far, most varied mission design, brotherhood powers are so badass, still very fun to stab people.

Bad – Online way more chaotic than strategic, modern day characters as unlikeable as ever, overall gameplay starting to get tedious, brotherhood powers trivialize so many things.

Far Cry 2

Good – Great African rural setting, open world feels large and varied, malaria effects are a good attempt at adding random elements.

Bad – Insane amounts of travel time, nonexistent characterization and storytelling, uninteresting scenario design typical to open-world games.

Darksiders

Good – Zelda-style gameplay without the slow first several hours, brings the Warhammer aesthetic to life with a new world, competent and consistent gameplay.

Bad – No good puzzles, combat doesn’t have much new or fresh, no character development, demons vs angels isn’t as badass as it should be.

Mass Effect 2

Good – Better combat, better acting, better characters, better graphics, first 90% of the game is pitch perfect.

Bad – Storytelling fails when trying to get to the highest stakes, last boss is weird and lacks personal drama, the survival of your crew is way too easy to guarantee, seeing all the side missions guarantees the most drama-free ending.

Splinter Cell Conviction

Good – Stripped down main character, stealth aspects aren’t the typical pass/fail frustration for much of the genre, innovative “Mark and Execute” gameplay that makes you feel like an assassin stalking your targets.

Bad – Foes eventually get so strong that all the cool stuff goes out the window, hard to follow the storyline.

Fable 3

Good – Large world full of humor and variety, fun RPG action, unusually well implemented online features.

Bad – Storyline feels forced and unrelated to the exploration, final act has really weird pacing that enters point-of-no-return with no warning, never challenging except when really cheap and frustrating.

Alan Wake

Good – Great cutscenes, cool new light-based fighting elements, awesome trees.

Bad – Combat drags on really badly as story progresses, ending is way too meta and lacking in drama.

Portal 2

Good – More Portal! ┬áBoth single player and co-op have great variety and humor, excellent expansion of the setting, perfect ending.

Bad – Nothing in particular, but lacks the shocks of the original.

LA Noire

Good – Unbelievably good facial animation that actually serves as the basis of the gameplay, well-executed setting, satisfying plot that starts with a slow burn, some of the story turns are well integrated into game mechanics, decent combat and action.

Bad – The fundamental system for judging truth/doubt/lie with witnesses is only barely good enough due to unclear separation of doubt and lie.

Mortal Kombat

Good – Surprisingly excellent story mode full of great cutscenes and big surprises for fans of the series, basic gameplay is as good as MK’s ever been, impressively disgusting fatalities.

Bad – Fighting games are still full of weird gameplay that make it poorly suited for casual players.

Shadows of the Damned

Good – Hot start with funny dialog and cool characters, gameplay is basically RE4 which isn’t bad.

Bad – Side modes are all bad, love interest character is awful, story evaporates halfway in, gameplay feels like a bad slog once dialog runs out.

Vanquish

Good – Huge explosions, sliding around is fun, takes place in real time, decent shooting.

Bad – Especially short, obvious plot twists, boss battles look great but aren’t fun.

Alice: Madness Returns

Good – Cool setting with fun cutscenes inside and outside Alice’s mind, solid combat, crazy looking worlds, great setup for unraveling Alice’s crazy memories.

Bad – Plot and gameplay both give out about halfway in, ending could have been more insane.

Bulletstorm

Good – Skillshot system properly awards doing insane feats, crazy guns, some really ludicrous lines.

Bad – Yet another FPS.

Deux Ex: Human Revolution

Good – Solid stealth action merged with useful RPG elements, can approach areas in many different ways, good rewards for playing well, cool dialog system, great setting, nice variety between open city zones and tighter mission areas.

Bad – Trial and error gameplay endemic to stealth-based games, hacking mini game is too random to be truly great, really lame boss fights that penalize stealth-based characters, especially bad final boss, really bad endings.

Enslaved

Good – Mostly just the rad ending, great voice acting.

Bad – Completely by-the-numbers Prince of Persia gameplay ripoff, all the enemies are personality-free robots, chemistry between the cast is mixed quality, no cool powers to learn or weapons to find, throwaway RPG elements, hoverboard sequences are punishing.