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Category Archives: Reviews

Murdered: Soul Suspect Review

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Having seen the trailer and read through the original concept for Murdered: Soul Suspect, I was immediately excited. It reminded me of the old school point and click adventures I grew up with; just grown up and matured. Most gamers (and I still use the term loosely) think a modern title needs bullets flying, robots stomping, half naked female characters and enough swearing to even turn the cast of Channel 4’s Shameless red in the face. But the truth is, gaming is still more than that to some of us, and little gems like this are breaths of fresh air.

The story of Murdered: Soul Suspect centres on Ronan O’Connor, a detective from Salem; Massachusetts. His past was a rough one filled with crime and prison time but was able to turn things around with the help from his wife and brother-in-law. The story starts as Ronan is confronting who seems to be an intruder and after a small scuffle falls from a second-story window to the ground. Just as he begins he’s shoot multiple times in the chest. After the final curtain goes down, so to speak, Ronan comes round and realises he’s a ghost and after a short sequence resolves to solve his own murder.

Investigations are the central point within the game itself as it is split between investigating different crime scenes and locations and exploration using existing police skills and new found abilities that come with being a ghost. When you first start out as Ronan you only have a few ghostly abilities, walking through walls is one of them but as the game progresses you’ll quickly learn how to possess animals, people, read minds, influence conversations and thoughts, interfere and cause disruptions with electrical equipment, and teleport around certain locations.  Using these new » Continue Reading.

Valiant Hearts Review

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During E3 then one presentation I was looking forward to was Ubisoft’s, there were some great games revealed and as ever the show ended leaving me feeling very excited about my game collection growing, little did I know that Valiant Hearts would be one of those games that would hold a special place on my virtual gaming shelf.

Valiant Hearts is a side-scrolling adventure that tells the tale of five characters journey through World War One. You begin the game playing as Karl, a German national living in France with his family, only to be deported from France to serve for the German Army. You’ll also play as Karl’s father-law, Emile, who is also enlisted by the French army. Both men have a shared aim of getting back to their family as quickly as possible. As the story unfolds you’ll also play as an American called Freddie, who just reminded me constantly of Mr T and Anna who is a medic helping those in need. There is also a dog who acts a loyal member to everyone and is on hand to help out when needed, he is able to get through small gaps, distract guards and collect items out of reach from humans.

Throughout the game you’ll meet up with certain characters only to be separated again, sometimes geographically while other times you’ll need to solve a puzzle to reunite. I found the puzzles to be well thought out and fun to work out, some were easier than others and there times where you may have retrace your steps to find missing items such as a key or a brick to throw to re-connect a gas pipe. Some puzzles have time limits on them but the majority of them allow you to solve then in your own good » Continue Reading.

Sniper Elite 3 Xbox One Review

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Rebellion and 505 Games deliver the third instalment in the Sniper Elite series that puts a greater emphasis now on the gore-fest slow motion bullet kills than anything else you’ll see in-game. As a prequel to Sniper Elite V2 from 2012 which in itself was a remake, the mind-set of maybe being third-time-lucky in an attempt to produce a decent solid and satisfying shooter has failed. Sniper Elite 3 is the all dancing, brighter, shinier version of the other Sniper Elite’s with continued distinguishing shit AI and visual pop-ins the franchise could be famous for. You may not be able to polish a turd, but Rebellion has proved you can at least roll it in glitter!

For next-gen consoles the bar was raised in terms of expectations, but unfortunately the game falls flat in its face in being anything remotely exciting as far as WWII shooters are concerned. Starting out with the positives that are most noticeable from the graphical improvements – Sniper Elite III on Xbox One now appears to look exactly how you would have expected it on Xbox 360. With Sniper Elite V2 being completely basic in its visual capacity it is nice to see a more developed and fancier version of Sniper Elite on Xbox One, but still not “all-that” in the way of what you might be expecting. If anything, the best visual display is in the slow motion bullet kills with a much more refined impression of internal body parts that come crashing and smashing out as you perform perfectly timed and aligned shots to head, lungs, heart and other organs. If you are not familiar with Sniper Elite, in slow motion the bullet tears through the air before forcefully impounding itself into the body, and you get to see organs tear and » Continue Reading.

Outlast Review

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When it comes to games with any sort of horror in it I can’t help myself and get as sucked into the atmosphere as much as possible, I then jump and shudder at the slightest thing, so, how would Outlast fare on my ‘games that scare the crap out of me list’? Pretty High!

Outlast, developed by Red Barrells snuck it’s way onto Xbox Live a couple of weeks ago and it’s set as theme as you’ll be sneaking round lots in this game. Outlast begins with your character driving his car up a winding driveway, it’s dark, it’s pouring with rain and eventually you come to a stop outside a security gate. There is no one around so you’ll need to make your way in on foot. You pull out a video camera and check the batteries for heading past the security gate to find a way in.

It’s clear something isn’t right, but that’s why you are here to investigate, you play as Miles Upshur, a freelance investigative journalist, receives an anonymous tip from a source identified only as a whistleblower. This whistleblower tells you that there have been all sorts of horrible experiments taking place at Mount Massive Asylum. As you finally find your way in you can see the devastation that has taken place, you come across and impaled SWAT officer who tells you to get out while you can. There is plenty more to story so I won’t spoil anymore of that for you now!

One of the first things you will notice about the game is the fact that there are no weapons, you won’t be fighting any enemies on this gamer, instead you’ll be running away or hiding behind doors, in lockers or under beds. It’s quite a refreshing change and certainly » Continue Reading.

EA Sports UFC Review

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I love a good EA Sports title, FIFA 14 has been great as has Madden, and I always enjoyed the Fight Night games, and so as the gigabytes wizzed their way down my telephone line into my Xbox One I wondered what would come of EA Sports UFC. When Dana White, president of the UFC announced the partnership they had formed with EA we all waited to see what would be produced.

I don’t know masses about UFC apart from the fact that if I ever attempted to do it in real life it would be a very short career. What I do know is that through my time playing the game I have learnt there is an awful lot to it, the popularity, the different fighting styles and the awesome slow motion shots of huge blokes hitting the deck. The game settles you in by taking you through a tutorial of the basic moves in the game, kicks, punches, blocks. It then moves on to showing you how to clinch your opponent, how to take them down and deal with them on the ground. When you have completed that you’ll take part in your first fight. By this point I had forgotten most of what I was shown, but got the win eventually.

The basic controls are simple enough with the face buttons used for punches and kicks but unfortunately that is where the simplicity ends. The shoulder buttons and triggers introduce modifiers to the punches and kicks, and then the analog sticks controls movements and different transitions. Then you need to defend yourself with blocks and takedowns, for the novice it will take a age to get used to, if you ever do. I’m still struggling with transitions and clinches, but with time I’m getting better and » Continue Reading.

Sixty Second Shooter Prime Review

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The ID@Xbox program for Xbox One has already produced some outstanding development work from indie developers with many arcade style games already available on the marketplace and some impressive master pieces still yet to come. As part of the program to aid developers with their gaming ideas for the latest Xbox console about town, Jamie Fristrom’s indie videogame studio, Happion Labs has dropped a bombshell with Sixty Second Shooter Prime!

Sixty Second Shooter is a twin-stick shooter that (drumroll) takes sixty seconds to play – so it’s been rather aptly named. You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have in a minute; not only because it is a challenging race against time, but additionally because it feels a little inspired by the massive 360 arcade hit (in its day) Geometry Wars. Fristrom, a developer who (according to his blog) has previously worked on Spider-Man 1 and 2, Die By The Sword, Tony Hawk, and more – originally developed Sixty Second Shooter in 2011 for the Chrome Web Store, a Deluxe edition later hit the Playstation Vita and Playstation Mobile store and now it is available on Xbox One as Sixty Second Shooter Prime.

The whole concept of surviving a twin-stick shooter with a techno-future backdrop setting feels extremely old-school arcade – only without the money to keep filling the machine up. The time limit and the increasing enemy count on screen adds intensity to the mix with the feeling that you just do not want to be outdone by the enemies. Having sixty seconds and just one life is a bitch, but without that constraint the game wouldn’t work so well because it’s the increasing difficulty level and challenges that keep you addicted. You can only move to another Level once you have cleared all enemies on » Continue Reading.

Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha Review

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I’ve had a bit of mixed history with Dead Rising, I played lots of the first game despite the fact it took me a long while to get into it. When Dead Rising 2 came along I tired and failed to get into it at all. When Dead Rising 3 released on the Xbox One I decided to give it another chance, I’m enjoying it much more this time around, though thanks to all the other games I have it’s fallen down the list.

When Capcom announced Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha (points for remembering that each time) during E3 I instantly thought of Far Cry Blood Dragon, the bright colours, the nostalgia, it looked like a lot of fun, and it is.

In fact I’d go a far to say this is my favourite DLC in a really long time, I’m struggling to remember the last DLC I bought that was this much fun. The game gives you the choice of four characters to play as, Chuck, Nick, Frank and Annie. They come with their own unique style of fighting and each have a special power up that can be earned by killing zombies. They also have outfits to unlock, that will change their fighting style completely, take Annie for example; in her normal outfit she fights at range with an assault rifle, but when she put on the Chun-Li outfit, she becomes a close quarters combat fighting machine, it’s great to see the characters mix up their styles, and keeps things interesting for the player.

There are Twenty missions in total, spread across four districts of increasing difficulty. Within each of the levels you’ll be set different tasks to complete within a certain amount of time. One minute you’ll be » Continue Reading.

Blood Of The Werewolf – XBLA Game Review

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Developed by ‘Scientifically Proven’ and released during E3 week, it would be easy to not notice the release of ‘Blood of the Werewolf’ to XBLA on Xbox 360. This throwback to the very olden days of the 2D Platformer is looking to howl at the full moon to get the attention of gamers hankering for that touch of old school gaming. But does it succeed in bringing such nostalgia to 2014?

‘Blood of The Werewolf’ tells the story of Selena, a werewolf who narrates the story during the voice-over scenes in-between the ten levels that make up the game. Selena was enjoying a peaceful life with her husband and baby until they were attacked resulting in the death of the husband and kidnapping of the child. The game will see Selena go on a quest of vengeance against the attackers whilst trying to win back her child.

Visually the game uses a cell shaded cartoon style which does work well but also looks very generic after only a short time. Gameplay consists of Selena switching between human and Werewolf forms whenever the action moves from inside to outside during a level. In human form, Selena is able to fire a crossbow to take out enemies and can jump longish gaps by holding A and can climb ladders to reach higher and lower platforms. In Wolf form, Selena can double jump to reach higher platforms, can dash attack using RB and has powerful claw slash attack. Both forms can obtain new abilities and upgrades as the game proceeds, most of which are automatically awarded as you progress through the levels as the challenge in enemy increases.

The main issue with trying to bring a little nostalgia from gaming styles of yester year to modern gaming is that » Continue Reading.

Trials Fusion Review

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Anyone who has played one of the Trials titles over the past few year will probably have the same cracks in their controllers as I do. The pure frustration of missing that jump for the 499th time will have been experienced by many and mastered by few. It was not surprising to see that Trials Fusion would be heading to the Xbox One and despite knowing what I was letting myself in for a clicked on the buy button as soon as the game hit the Xbox Store.

Once you get past the awful title music (really awful) you will be able to start your career. Those of you who have played Trials before will be comfortable with the controls and concept straight away, but for this that aren’t Trials involves taking on different levels with your bike in the quickest time possible, without falling off. Each time you fall off you’ll go back to the nearest checkpoint.

There are 4 difficulty levels of track, ranging from easy to extreme, which as you would expect is a real test for your skills and patience. The different levels all look great, whether you are riding through an Industrial estate, the cactus filled desert or the Artic Open. The controls are simple right and left trigger act as your accelerator and brake while using the left stick will help you keep your bike balanced. Your rider can now perform some impressive tricks in the air such as the superman or the proud hero, they all look cool but you need to be quick to balance the bike back out for a good landing. There are opportunities to pull these tricks off during normal levels but you don’t get anything special for doing then, there are special levels just for tricks though, » Continue Reading.

Bound By Flame – Xbox 360 Review

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Bound by Flame has had my attention for some time during its development and road to release. It is the second game by developer, Spiders Game Studio, the first being the ambitious but rubbish XBLA title Mars War Logs. That game suffered from trying to be bigger than the budget and capability of the studio allowed and ended up being a messy poor gaming experience but did feel that with a bigger team and budget it could have been much better. Could the developer get it right with a big AAA title in ‘Bound by Flame’?

Well the short answer is, no. The same problem that plagued ‘Mars War Logs’ for this developer sadly makes a return for ‘Bound for Flame’. The story is set in the fantasy world of Vertiel which has been taken over by Seven Ice Lords and their armies. Their power has swept across the land leaving on the Red Scribes still fighting for the people and its people. The Scribes are searching to even the odds by performing a ritual that could return an old and ancient power capable of taking the fight back to the Ice Lords. The game places you in the role of ‘Vulcan’, a mercenary working to protect the Red Scribes.

The main character can be customised before the game begins but limited to choosing the preset hair styles and faces provided to shape your hero. You can choose to have a female hero however the dialogue in the game fails to take this into account with game characters still referring to you as a male even if you have picked a female player model. The Customisation is not very inspiring, especially in the very limited options if you want a female character, but does allow you to make » Continue Reading.