The first impression I got after playing the game was "solid". No, honestly, all the aspects of Collapse deliver on its expectations, with a few minor questions. Some things deserved a bit more thought or with a little effort, however the game will intrigue even a fed up gamer.
I’ll start from the tasty and most interesting – weapons, combat and its system, not spoiling the storyline in my review (but the Half-Life lovers would definitely find the game story interesting).
Our hero wields a tool perfectly tuned for sticking, as well as stabbing, slicing and hacking. The sword is not just a supplement for keeping private space violators at bay. It's Rodan's main weapon, and will keep off more than one assault. But the hack-and-slash fans will find not only the single-minded dedication to the sword fighting they are used to here. Collapse's combat system is a bit more intricate than it might seem.
One minute Rodan would be passing though the desolated city of Kiev, trading blows with incoming foes, and then BAM! A squad of gun-totting troopers. Sword collapses and gives way to the firearms, with which to shoot the baddies off. Just as you run out of troopers, monsters are back with vengeance. Time to go medieval on some hell spawn ♥♥♥! Wash, rinse, repeat, with a few variations, until the end of the game.
It's hard to tell which sort of weapon is given more attention in the game. A certain parity was sought for by the developers, wherein the game alternates between challenges that call for different tools. But in my opinion, a lack of focus is in place. A shooter would benefit from a capacity to carry more than two guns at a time. Grenades wouldn't hurt either (well, they would, but you know what I mean). But that is a complain from a gamer spoiled by Half-Life and not used to sword fighting. On the other hand for those who are fond of them, some fencing would likely find something more sophisticated than mashing the left mouse button five times in a row in the hope of executing the combo mapped to this sequence.
Combo system deserves some elaboration, since combo moves are at time the only thing that separates the player from the crimson screen shouting "You're a loser and a pathetic insecure hero-wannabe" in their face. As I've mentioned, Rodan's sword is quite a versatile tool.. Depending on the chosen combo, it can become a great sword, or split longwise into two, or turn into a vicious devastator, which scares off every offender thirty miles across. The question is which combo to use and how fast will you manage to do it.
There are two kinds of combos: basic and super. A basic one is a "five left clicks" kind with optional directional keys held down. They do solid damage but nothing inspiring and thus are mostly abandoned after the first half of the game. Super-combos are just that, super. If you're lucky enough to perform one, an awesome (and deadly) spectacle is guaranteed. But these huge sequences are rather hard to perform. If you are not fast enough then I suggest you to click once, then pause, and then click thrice more to initiate the move.
Living in an area full of anomalies should naturally lead to weaponizing them. The coveted keys Rodan is collecting are weapons in their own rights. One of them creates a circular gravitational blast, another one projects a holographic decoy, the third one electrocutes the enemies, and the fourth one slows down time. Keys have limited number of uses but they recharge in time.. Very helpful in tight spots.
You would ask then how this all plays?
Collapse is not precisely the kind of game where you absent-mindedly roam the ruins, exterminating enemies disoderly, although that is certainly what was foremost in mind when the game was made. But from time a certain amount of thought and planning will be required before you act. Whether it's some bracing to shoot off, or a button to press at a precise moment, at least some semblance of thought process will required to conduct. This doesn't bother me in any sense. Puzzles are not excessive, and it's reassuring. And if you're not into thinking at all, there are helpful prompts placed in plain view that show which way to look.
For additional gameplay variety there are mini-games. For the most part, they consist of fighting with some remarkably original enemies, whom you cannot in all conscience simply kill. A mini-game is a single big fight, where the character acts by himself, and the player must press arrows at precise moments. If you miss it, you get a facefull of grenade. The only problem with this approach is that it's impossible to enjoy the fight itself. The animation is well-choreographed and arranged and would make for a great show. But no, you have to sit and fix your eyes on the space where next arrow will hopefully appear. Aesthetically that doesn't make much sense.
After all the game has a very intuitive gameplay, attractive visuals, and coherent story all add up to an engaging gaming experience. Oh, and least I forget. There's also a girl in a gray skin-tight rubber-plastic suit. She's called Lena. If you don't count that to the game's advantages, then I don't know what game to advise for you.