27 October 2005 | PlayerSS
Had the potential to be good, but didn't quite make it
Whenever I played and beat the first Suffering. I thought a sequel to it would be much needed and great. As I thought about it. I realized that the first Suffering didn't really need a sequel and that it would be pointless and probably tarnish the first one.
Then the sequel news came out. I was against a sequel, but still got it since I was a huge fan of the first. I didn't expect much from the sequel, but had high hopes that it would prove me wrong.
Everything in Ties that Bind seems like it goes opposite of what the first built up and was about. The first game was about Torque a silent inmate in abbott state penitentiary. During his stay there, some horrific events are unleashed on Carnate island. Leaving Torque with his anger problem to fight through Carnate and its monsters to find answers about his possible murdered family.
Any fan of the first game knows there was three paths you could take with three different endings. This game has the same, but also has three different beginnings. Depending on what path you are going on good, neutral, or evil. That's a nice touch. Carrying over the old saved game data from the first game is also neat.
Now the story in Ties that Bind is just one of the things I have a problem with. In the first game Torque was a man who had a major problem with anger and used that to get through Carnate island. In this game Torque has another disorder which was lightly touched upon in the first game and his anger problem seems to be on the back burner. By lightly I mean so light that some people probably don't even remember it being stated in the first game.
The story revolves around Torque and Blackmore. The Blackmore character has a twist reveal at the end of the game. A twist that seems like a typical Hollywood derived idea. If the game wouldn't have been centered around that twist idea and character it would have been better. All I can say is that the Blackmore character is poorly written and its hard to believe that the same writer from the first game wrote this game and that character.
There is also another character called Jordan. She is completely forgettable and pointless. She could have been left out of the game and it still would have been fine. My only guess is that she was written in as an excuse to add another Hollywood voice to make the game sell.
The gameplay has been tweaked. Now you can only carry only two handguns and a shotgun/machine gun on your back. I don't have a problem with that much. Except that it seems every action/third person shooter game seems to be doing it now. The camera has been tweaked too. It seems to have been pulled back and not as close to Torque. Which ultimately makes Torque seem five foot two sometimes. The guns are weak. I found myself using the two sawn off shotguns and the twelve gouge pump action shotgun through the whole game or at least until they became available. The rest of the guns are unbalanced and to weak.
Torque's monster forms are back. He has three monster/rage forms. Good, Evil, and Neutral forms. Like I said earlier though. His rage problem seems to have been forgotten about and on the back burner, so his forms are null and void.
The enemies in this game are really the only thing that saves the game from being a total mess. There are some old enemies and new enemies in the game. There is two sub-enemies that take the place of Horace and Hermes. One is Copperfield a ghost/demon of a former slave driver. He is bland and there really isn't much to him. The other is The Creeper. Who is a ghost/demon of a former pimp. He is what "makes" the game for me. He is demented, crazy, and has a lot of good lines to say. The voice for him is perfect. He really fits into the Suffering world nicely.
The voice acting in this game is sub-par compared to the first game. Most of that blame is on Michael Clarke Duncan who bogs the game down a lot. First off Midway seems to be trying to sell the game off of his and Rachel Griffiths name. It even says on the back of the box "starring Rachel Griffiths and Michael Clarke Duncan." Clark Duncan is a fine movie star, but he has no range in his voice and his a terrible voice actor. He voice seems completely out of place in the Suffering world.
Now my biggest pet peeve with this whole game is that Surreal gave Torque a voice and a personality. In the first game he was this kick ass silent killer who observed and reacting in a subtle, but effective way to everything. He didn't need to talk to get his point across. He was the emotionless man of mystery. I feared that this game would give away way too much about him and take away all the things that made Torque interesting in the first game. Which they did. His appearance was also very neanderthal like in the first game. The first game never tried to distinguish what his race was: black, white, hispanic. It never told. By giving him a voice in the game it ultimately kills that neanderthal like appearance and shows strongly what his race is. Torque was given too many lines to say.
I think I've said enough about this game. It's not a terrible game. Glitchy at times, but it could have been a whole lot better and had the potential to be good. Here's hoping that a third game is out of the question.