Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
With the consoles gathering so much momentum, the only hope PCs have anymore is the modding potential. If the game cannot adapt to any situation, then it fails. Why do you think Unreal Tournament has been around for so long? Pure luck? Or because it's so addictively aggressive?
Probably the aggressive thing.
Anyway, the reason for my rant will become clear (hopefully before this review is over)
Pariah for the PC I wouldn't say is a bad game, but also not brilliant or revolutionary. However, it is a solid FPS and a game of decent worth.
Let's start with the best bit: the graphics. Wow, this game looks brilliant. Sure I had to turn down a couple of settings in order to run it, but it still looks top-notch. Nowhere near Halflife 2, but still great. Pariah uses the Unreal engine, the same as used in UT2004, so good graphics were to be expected. These graphics really come into their own later in the game, when you're fighting on walkways over flooded corridors.
And you'll be fighting with some kick-ass firepower. Although the weapon number is low compared to most other FPS games, totalling around 6 or 7, they can be upgraded 3 times each using these hidden weapon energy cores. These upgrades range from simple decreases in reload time and recoil, to the ability to stick grenades to people and lock onto 4 targets at once.
Or vehicles. Like UT2004, the game this one got it's engine from, this game features the ability to drive vehicles. Although, unlike UT2004, there are only vehicles. There is a trike with a machine gun, a hovercraft with lasers, a small jeep with a small cannon, and a large tank with a large cannon. Not very complex, but they are still very powerful.
The major difference between this game and UT2004 is their 'aspiration' of sorts. What I mean is that while UT2004 is focused on online play, with a weak single player campaign, Pariah is the opposite. Pariah has a strong single player campaign and a weaker online aspect.
However, the one major flaw of Pariah is that is isn't that much different than UT2004. So much so that, in fact, some of the ambience sounds and such used in Pariah are taken directly from UT2004. I found myself quite often walking around thinking that this game felt less like a stand-alone title and more like a UT2004 mod.
This feeling actually started before I installed the game! While I watched the game install, I noticed that one or two of the files were of the same type used in UT2004. Before long that one or two had become one or two thousand. This is kinda good news, as this means that Pariah is compatible with UT2004, and as such inter-modding (ie bringing UT2004 to Pariah and vice-versa) will hopefully be a lot easier. Especially as the Pariah editor is UnrealEd re-labeled.
And so I conclude this review on the best UT2004 mod yet. But, when you're reminded that this is a standalone title, then it doesn't seem as good.