The narrative spent more time telling me all about how much I care about the characters rather than developing them so I’d care about them.
At first, the interactions with potential love interests seems flat. If you give the love interest of your choosing time, though, you’ll have some sweet scenes with them. I liked having them and Miller come with me to fight the Fallen Angels. Hunting them down, sneaking my way into their base, the gun fight, and then fighting Phoenix hand-to-hand was really entertaining for me. (The character dies from a sting ray barb to the neck. That’s awesome.)
The character of Phoenix was probably the most interesting of them all, while most others seemed… predictable. I didn’t expect to have such trust and friendship with them, since they were assassins. I think I would have preferred a more paranoid work environment to have to navigate through. We’re assassins, we kill people for money, there are other rival assassin companies–wouldn’t you be super paranoid about being betrayed? Also, why do I have an office? I asked myself “why would I need one?” in the very beginning, and as it turned out, I never even used it. Weird.
Also, I saw the plot twist coming a mile away. I mean really? Why couldn’t I, a trained assassin, notice that Boris was hearding us en masse into these locations that just so happened to become dangerous? Why didn’t I notice that Boris concludes Dante and Marie are dead just from a missed phone call he was expecting from them? How else would the Fallen Angels know where we are and when to strike? And my character’s intelligence stat was quite high!
What I liked most about the game was the missions. It felt to me like my choices mattered in how a mission turned out. I thought the writing was solid, the settings were captivating, and the methods of killing were varied and fun. The only gripe I have concerning the missions is how my character and other characters repeatedly referred to people they were targeting as “evil” or “innocent.” I don’t believe in such black-and-white morality, and besides, I’m an assassin. Because someone else decides they want a person dead, the person will die. Doesn’t that make them evil, too? And am I not also evil for killing people for a paycheck? It didn’t make sense for my character to come to that conclusion. Just because I didn’t kill innocents on purpose doesn’t mean that I’m a good assassin or that I care about the people whose lives I’m ending.
As for replay value, I think I’ll replay a couple times to find more extreme kills and to see what a romance with Phoenix is like, but there’s not much more in it for me. The initial playthrough was fun–I ended up naming my new firm The Black Lily, isn’t that rad?–but there’s not much to keep me coming back again and again.
Anyway, that’s my take on the game. I ultimately enjoyed it and recommend for if you’ve already narrowed down the CoG selection for yourself.
TL;DR: 4 stars. I got what I wanted from the game.