Crushing girls to death using only your mind! Giant robot suits! A rocket launcher in each hand! This shooter is the stuff dreams are made of. Manly, manly dreams. So why is it so disappointing?
Perhaps because the PhysX card this FPS was supposed to showcase hasn't exactly set the world on fire. It simply wasn't worth making the much-delayed CellFactor anything more than the glorified tech demo it still is.
It feels dirty to kick this given it's sort of free (the whole thing only unlocks if you've dropped £120+ on a PhysX card), but though it attempts to scratch just about every next-gen itch, it's barely a game. The singleplayer campaign is a string of dismal bot matches against AI that's horrendously unfair and brain-dead by turns, using atrociously unintuitive controls. It's pepped up by clunky but fun UT-style vehicles and some amplified variations on the gravity gun theme, but it's still cheerless skirmishes on an infinite five-map loop.
Multiplayer, ludicrously, is LAN only. The odds of finding several friends with PhysX cards are only slightly higher than the Yorkshire Ripper being made the next Pope, though three maps can be played without one. Still, no online = ultra-fail.
Superficially it looks spectacular. Walls spray a fountain of chunks when shot, grenades and psi-powers send dozens of boxes and barrels flying across the landscape, and bodies are ragdolled up to the nines.
Yet it's all implemented so indelicately. Objects are weirdly weightless, ping-ponging crazily even if only nudged. It's distractingly unrealistic rather than joyously cartoonish. The constant torrent of things flinging across your vision or getting in the way quickly becomes irritating. A complete game using the ideas and futuretech here with more discretion could be a wondrous thing, but this is just an overzealous proof-of-concept.
Doctor Physics' latest prescription only makes us feel sicker