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...okay, maybe not. But the opening certainly does.

Okay, so for those of you who have never played it, there's this village. When you come across it, you hide behind a tree and look at the zombie-villagers from afar with your spy-goggles. The first time, you think, "hey, I've just been shooting things up until now; let's shoot me some villagers!" However, then you get swamped by tons of other dudes and dudettes and die.

Take two. So now you think this is a stealth mission. You start wandering around the back-alleyways of the village, avoiding the wandering, shouting Spaniards. At one point, however, the game gives you no option other than to be discovered. Only, you don't know it. So you spend a few times reloading the game, thinking that there must be a set path around the village that allows you to slip by undetected. No dice.

Take five or six by now. You decide to get discovered, then run to the village gates. They're blocked by a chainsaw-dude. Okay, kill chainsaw dude. No problem. Now you get to the gates, and open the- ...wait a sec, they're locked! You must have done something wrong, you figure, so you try it again. Nope.

Take eight. You decide to try to hide out and wait for the zombie-villager swarm to subside. Yeah, maybe that's what the game wants you to do. You hide in a building, bar the door. Only, they break through, kill you, and presumably eat your liver with some fava beans and a nice Spanish pinot grigio or something.

Nine. Okay, maybe you need to kill the chainsaw-dude first. You go back, lob a grenade at him, and take him down in a blaze of glory (literally). Then you run around some more. Nothing happens. You run out of ammo and die.

Ten. Repeat process. Finally, you get to the one specific building that the game wants you to go to, and you trigger a cutscene. Another chainsaw-dude appears. You kill him, run out on to the roof, and hide out there, taking down villagers with your newly-found shotgun. Only... nothing happens. You figure you must have done something wrong. Maybe missed another obscure trigger somewhere.

Reload time... again. Take eleven. Repeat process, blah blah blah. After killing second chainsaw-dude, you run all over the village, looking for another trigger. No dice.

Reload. Twelve. At this point, you basically say, "fuck it," and just try to kill as many Spaniards as you can after killing the chainsaw-dudes. Finally, after FAR too long (a lengthy period that would cause anyone in their right mind to think that they needed to do something else to escape the zombie-horde), a cutscene triggers. You breathe a sigh of relief. You're home-free... but you sure as hell don't want to keep playing this damn game.

Now, I'm sure the game gets much better. I even see where they wanted to go with that sequence of events. Done in a more open-ended way, or with more cues as to what you're supposed to do, it could have been a tight, pulse-pounding sequence straight out of an action movie. Instead, it's a frustrating experience in trial-and-error. I've never played such a critically-acclaimed game that gave me such a negative first impression. (Well, not since the Wind Waker's stealth sequence, anyway... shudder.)

So, please tell me the game gets better - and that there won't be another sequence like that again.



"'Casual games' are something the 'Game Industry' invented to explain away the Wii success instead of actually listening or looking at what Nintendo did. There is no 'casual strategy' from Nintendo. 'Accessible strategy', yes, but ‘casual gamers’ is just the 'Game Industry''s polite way of saying what they feel: 'retarded gamers'."

 -Sean Malstrom