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Kingdom Come: Deliverance review

After a very successful campaign on Kickstarter, Warhorse Studios were given the final piece to their medieval puzzle and the financial push they needed to see their vision realised – a medieval romp that wasn’t diluted by tales of dragons and magic. I fell for its charms, backing the project in the early days of its campaign. Now, three years after launching that Kickstarter, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is out in the wilds, but will the promises of adventure and chivalry hold true…

There are many adventures to be had in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, each one can be tackled in a variety of ways and often stumbled upon. While tracking down some nightingales that had escaped from the nearby town of Rattay, I stumbled across a bandit camp. As far as I could see it I was faced with three options: a) Go steaming in with my sword raised b) Wait for the cover of night and sneak into the camp and kill the bandits in their sleep or c) Sneak in and poison their wine, letting them die a horrible death.

Your answer will almost certainly depend on what skills you have (and whether you have learnt how to brew poison). Each choice must be carefully considered and it’s this level of thought that goes into each encounter that drew me into Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s charms. This is no Witcher or Skyrim. You aren’t Conan the Barbarian. You are a simple Blacksmith’s son trying to learn the ways of Bohemia – and for the most part – Kingdom Come: Deliverance plays out like one huge tutorial, learning from your mistakes and gaining insight into new ways to tackle the situations before you.

This game is so much more than your typical stat based RPG. Every skill, every trait is earned – or rather – learned. Keeping on top of personal hygiene, eating periodically and sleeping all play a role in not only how the world perceives you, but also how you perform in that world – from socialising to combat. You even need to stay on top of wounds, treating cuts and replenishing health are essential if you want to see Henry’s story through to a conclusion.

At times it can be quite the juggling game and while it’s a far throw from a survival game – should you not keep on top of your wellbeing and tend to broken armour, you will soon be no better than the beggars that line the streets, although at times this can work in your favour. Looking like you just stepped out from a brawl means people will think twice before arguing with you.

There is no complex skill tree to navigate. Skills can be improved upon simply by using them. This can be open to manipulation and while I found a few ways to force my abilities to increase, it boiled down to practice makes perfect, although lockpicking… it’s like trying to pat your head with one hand and rub your tummy with the other.

While you won’t go marauding through the countryside, there are times where you will need to draw your sword and the combat is extremely tight. It is most reminiscent of the early Fight Night titles, where you accurately land blows to specific areas. Medieval dances of the sword are a lot more deadly, but the same principle applies. Choose an attack, pick an opening, and strike. Just like Fight Night, timing is key – especially with block and parry. A stamina bar holds you back from going full on button mash. Archery is initially hard to grasp, especially as there is no crosshair to help, but I persevered and became quite the dab hand at getting my shot on target first time.

Armour, while giving vital protection, can hinder your movement or worse, your field of view. Thankfully full-face helmets don’t impede your vision when you take up a bow, but your armour choices need to be carefully considered. In other RPGs, gear was usually discarded at a whim, based on whether it had better stats, but with Kingdom Come: Deliverance, you need to consider much more. Better armour is hefty and expensive to maintain – let that maintenance slip and it will eventually become useless – and lighter armour allows enemies to cut through to your health more easily. It all boils down to your playstyle and what you are currently questing.

While there is no magic, the craft of alchemy is prevalent in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, providing health and ability buffs. Potions work over time rather than giving an instant increase and there is no pausing combat so you can top up either. Just like your armour, your potion chugging also needs careful consideration.

The world itself, which in places is based on real locations, is wonderfully designed. It begs to be explored. It begs to be lived in and it begs to be believed. The land of Bohemia looks lush and vibrant, with great attention to detail; unfortunately the same can’t be said of the character models, which at times look vacant and robotic. They also have a plastic quality to skin textures, which is unusual when compared to the level of detail in clothing.

The story is your standard fare of revenge, so I became far more interested in the relationships Henry forged with several of the characters. The early story with Hans Capon has some hilarious moments, as do many other tales, which are neatly told. Despite the greater story, I was far too busy enjoying playing at knights on gallant quests!

The game isn’t without its bugs and texture pop in is a real issue. Distant textures fail to load making buildings look like a blurry mess, NPC’s clothing suddenly pops in as you get closer and sometimes their heads even fail to load. NPCs will also engage in conversations while they have their back to you, while others float above the ground. The most annoying bug is when quest markers fail to appear or items simply vanish. But bugs in open world games is nothing new and we have all seen far worse from some other well established titles…

The biggest issue I had with Kingdom Come: Deliverance was the save system – if you suffer a crash, or haven’t hit an auto save recently, hours can be lost and despite the developer’s reasoning for restricting the save system to sleeping in a bed or using an alcoholic drink called Saviour Snapps, it’s bloody annoying.

The biggest accolade I can give Kingdom Come: Deliverance is that at just over 100 hours of gameplay, I can hardly believe I’ve played it for this length of time. I have been on many adventures, sat through many cutscenes (and loading screens) and explored the vast countryside, yet I feel there’s so much more to be discovered.

While many games have dipped into history, few have done so with such tenacious appetite for being historically accurate, often falling victim to temptations of including magic and fantasy. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a brave step into producing something more akin to a period piece that manages to create enough action to keep you from wanting a more fantasy driven experience.

Indeed, Kingdom Come: Deliverance may be likened to a Bohemian life lesson rather than a fantasy RPG adventure – a sim if you will – but I for one, reveled in this new experience.

Thanks to Koch Media for supporting TiX

Kingdom Come: Deliverance gets new Gameplay Video

Warhorse Studios and Deep Silver have released a new gameplay video for the upcoming RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance which launches on 13 February 2018 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Following a day in the life of Henry – the games protagonist – the new video gives an extensive look on all key features of Kingdom Come: Deliverance including the detailed combat system. To survive fights in a country which is torn apart internally and invaded by foreign forces, evening the odds is key when rushing into a battle and the game offers plenty of more prudent approaches for players who keep an eye open.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a story-driven open-world RPG that immerses you in an epic adventure in the Holy Roman Empire. Avenge your parents’ death as you battle invading forces, go on game-changing quests, and make influential choices. Explore majestic castles, deep forests, thriving villages and countless other realistic settings in medieval Bohemia!

· Massive realistic open world: Majestic castles, vast fields, all rendered in stunning high-end graphics
· Non-linear story: Solve quests in multiple ways, then face the consequences of your decisions.
· Challenging combat: Distance, stealth, or melee. Choose your weapons and execute dozens of unique combos in battles that are as thrilling as they are merciless.
· Character development: Choose your equipment, improve your skills, and earn new perks.
· Dynamic world: Your actions influence the reactions of the people around you. Fight, steal, seduce, threaten, persuade, or bribe. It’s all up to you!
· Historical accuracy: Meet real historical characters and experience the genuine look and feel of medieval Bohemia.


DAKAR 18 announced for Xbox One and PS4 in 2018

Bigmoon Entertainment and Deep Silver/Koch Media have announced a global distribution and co-publishing agreement for DAKAR 18. The cross-country rally racing game is aiming to be one of the biggest open worlds ever made in a racing game, coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2018. Based on the world famous annual rally – organised by Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) in South America – DAKAR 18 is a realistic simulation of the biggest cross-country rally in the world, featuring a variety of vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, trucks, quads and SxS. Players will compete in fierce online multiplayer battles as well as playing offline to harness and grow racing skills.

“We are proud to be partnering with A.S.O and Koch Media in order to bring a truly realistic DAKAR racing experience to players worldwide,” said Paulo J. Games, Game Director of Bigmoon Entertainment. “As the official developer of the project, we are sure that DAKAR 18 will be the finest representation of real life DAKAR in a video game.”

DAKAR rally is known as the biggest cross-country rally, so BIGMOON is creating one of the biggest open worlds ever made in a racing simulation. DAKAR 18 is focused on the realism, promising stunning visuals faithfully represent every vehicle and driver of the DAKAR 2018 rally. The game includes the major official Dakar manufacture teams, vehicles and pilots, the 5 racing class categories (Cars, Bikes, Trucks, Quads and SxS), and much more. In addition, the game will feature a single player, online and offline multiplayer experience.

Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Koch Media states ”We are delighted to work with Bigmoon Entertainment’ on this promising title and look forward to bringing all our expertise to the project: Beyond that we look forward together to establishing the Dakar franchise in the racing community.”

”Dakar will not be a 2 weeks adventure anymore, the fans will have the opportunity to live it all year long by playing at this new game,” said Marc Coma, Sporting Director of Dakar.

Metro Exodus coming Autumn 2018 and a new trailer releases

There were a plethora of new game announcements and trailers at The Game Awards 2017, and one of these was a brand spanking new trailer for Metro Exodus. Deep Silver and 4A Games also announced that Metro Exodus is set for release in Autumn 2018, on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Revealed during The Game Awards, The Aurora Trailer offers a glimpse of post-apocalyptic Moscow – a hostile world locked in an endless nuclear winter. The desperate survivors who cling to existence beneath the surface in the ruins of the Metro have long given up hope of a life beyond Moscow… all except for one.

As Artyom, you must flee the Metro and lead a band of Spartan Rangers on an incredible, continent-spanning journey across post-apocalyptic Russia in search of a new life in the East. This thrilling story-line will span an entire calendar year through the changing seasons.

Inspired by the internationally best-selling novels Metro 2033 and Metro 2035 by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro Exodus continues Artyom’s story in the greatest Metro adventure yet.

“We were overwhelmed by our fans’ reaction to the announcement of Metro Exodus at E3” said Andriy Prokhorov, Creative Director and Co-Founder at 4A Games. “We’re sorry to have kept you waiting so long for further news, but you’ll be hearing a lot more from us in the months ahead.”

Yakuza Kiwami review (PS4)

Yakuza Kiwami retells the story of how the series began in all the beautiful pixels that the PS4 can deliver. Yes, Yakuza Kiwami is a remake, so all gameplay issues remain from its original PlayStation 2 outing. I say issues… I mean this in that gaming has moved on a long way since 2005. It’s surprising just how much has changed over the years and by retreading old ground with remakes, you can see just how much developers have changed and fine tuned, thereby changing what we come to expect from games.

Set in 1995, you play as Kazuma Kiryu who is busted at the scene of a murder. Time then spins back 24 hours to witness the events leading up to the crime. Inevitably, Kiryu is taking the fall for the murder and spends 10 years in prison. Upon his release, the city of Kamurocho has changed greatly, his childhood friend is missing and a mysterious young girl has come under his protection. The scene is set for a thrilling story that takes place underneath the wonderful backdrop of the Yakuza.

The story is without a doubt the best thing going for Kiwami – it’s full of intrigue and has many changing plot lines – although it is also interspersed with some rather dull fetch quests that serve as a way to push the story along and add additional mileage to the game time clock. Once you’ve wrestled with the clumsy movement and navigation, you will spend most of your time on the streets of Kamurocho engaging in random thug fights and the many side stories that are waiting to be uncovered – most of which have a morale at the end of their tale.

While the city is an open world, scenarios keep you penned in and herd you towards an objective, either by blocking Kiryu’s path with invisible walls or by simply having Kiryu make an odd remark about how he shouldn’t go that way. The city is wonderfully rendered with neon lights reflecting from incredibly realistic puddles and the many characters have some impressive facial models that render skin pores and facial blemishes that show off an almost eerie quality.

The core fight mechanic centres on using one of four fight styles, which may be upgraded via an XP wheel of skills. Fighting can feel wonderfully brutal at times but is victim to a whole host of issues that lets the title down – combos can flail with Kiryu throwing a flurry of punches into thin air, thugs and bosses turn the tide of battle too easily and there is a whole plethora of graphical issues with connecting punches and kicks.

The Boss fights are also an utter chore. They aren’t just tough, but laboursome. If you miss an opportunity to negate a boss’ healing by matching your fighting stance with their weakness then they can drag on even longer. The game will even patronise you by suggesting a temporary switch to easy when you fail to beat a boss after numerous attempts. One saving grace in the combat is the chance to fight Majima, who pops up to fight you, often when you least expect it, opting to ambush Kiryu at the most inconvenient of times. At times his attempts at lying in wait by blending in are utterly hilarious.

Yakuza Kiwami has a compelling story, that should undoubtedly keep you hooked for its 30+ hour play time, although you could easily spend hours more exploring the world and completing the many side tasks and basking in the casino night life, although to be honest, I had a hard time keeping up with the different families and how everyone was ‘related’.

Boss fights are easily the worst part of this game. The combat shows its age with clumsy footing, highlighting a system that has aged terribly when compared to modern releases. Random bouts of unblockable moves spring from nowhere with little warning, turning the tides of battle against Kiryu and rewarding me with a bout of anger – I can categorically state that I hate these fights – which puts a dampener on an otherwise fine gaming experience.

Yakuza Kiwami is a cool, hard, Japanese gangster story and while the Japanese language is lovely to listen to, there is a lot to read – so beware if you have an aversion to subtitles. If you missed out on seeing how Yakuza began, then this game is a fine way to witness the birth of a series. Anyone with an ounce of interest or desire to step foot into the world of Yakuza should make Kiwami their first port of call.

Thanks to Deep Silver for supporting TiX

At last the Shenmue III teaser trailer is revealed

After years of fans pleading for a sequel to Shenmue, a kickstarted was launched that smashed its goals to reach a whopping $6,333,295 and break all previous Kickstarter records in the video games category. Since its announcement at E3 in 2015, all has remained quiet for Shenmue III.

Published by Deep Silver for PS4 and PC, Shenmue III has (at last) something for us to see. This is the first teaser released for the game and is built from a ‘small slice of an in-development build’, offering sneak peak at characters both new and old, and a look at how the world is coming together.

Agents of Mayhem review

Set in the Saints Universe, Agents of Mayhem is the newest IP from Volition and it takes far more from the Saints of Row series than just the universe but also manages to craft its own identity – it’s no mere clone – but I do feel it borrows more heavily from Crackdown, which is no bad thing.

Comedy, action and super powers, what more could you want from an open world game?  The ability to fly would certainly be top of my list, but rather than give the agents the OTT powers of the Saints, Agents of Mayhem is more routed to the style Crackdown – there is even a central ‘agency’ and team of agents.

Agents of Mayhem’s band of miscreants are far from good, instead, they are the lesser of two evils – it’s the ultimate tale of bad vs. evil – and together as part of three man teams, their bad habits and terrible jokes are the world’s best chance at stopping LEGION.

Set in Seoul, South Korea, the city looks great and while it isn’t large in size, there is a lot of verticality to it. From exploring skyscrapers and building sites to beating the many underground LEGION lairs. There is plenty to explore, but unfortunately it all looks the same. Underground lairs follow very similar layouts and the city is soulless and lacks any district identity. Instead, the game has its sights firmly set on giving you an experience that changes purely based on the agents you use.

This does mean that Agents of Mayhem can become very monotonous should you jump in with the same three agents. Missions follow similar routes and objectives, it’s only the boss battles that provide any deviation from the rinse and repeat formula. It is fun though and like the many characters in the game, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, which helps Agents of mayhem stand out from some of the other open world games that pride themselves on giving you a huge playground to explore.

Tagging three agents in and out is the main strength of the game. Essentially giving you three lives, the squad mechanic also allows you to bring in a diverse team of skills should you wish. Each character has a unique style, weapon loadout and various abilities to choose from. You can even embark on a story-driven mission for each of them. As each character levels up new skills become available and your only consideration is which skill to choose. This makes the progression of characters very ‘lite’ when compared to other character driven games – there is no complex XP tree to explore or branching choices to choose from, which I feel is a real missed opportunity.

Another missed opportunity is the use of gadgets, or rather, the lack of using them. As you play, resources can be collected from fallen enemies and can be used to craft gadgets, which can be slotted to the LB button. Each gadget may only be used up to the number you have crafted and to slot a new gadget you must go into the inventory screen, not really ideal when you’re in the heat of battle. I instead relied on my team’s abilities, missing out on the many zany gadgets you can craft. This doesn’t mean resources are completely useless. Once discovered, LEGION tech can be crafted and slotted onto each agent’s abilities essentially providing an additional buff to their attacks.

With a great cartoon cel-shaded edge, the action of Agents of Mayhem is slick. Levels are full of explosions and there are plenty of characters to recruit and choose from. While the game does sway a little too close to racial stereotypes and lewd humour, I really enjoyed playing as part of my own Thunderbirds come Ben 10 cartoon show. It’s just a shame that Agents of Mayhem doesn’t have any real online functionality beyond cooperatively completing contract targets – taking a squad of three agents into Seoul with your friends would have been an absolute blast.

Thanks to Koch Media and Deep Silver for supporting TiX

Kingdom Come: Deliverance releases February 13th 2018

Warhorse Studios and Deep Silver have announced that the release date for Kingdom Come: Deliverance will be the 13th of February 2018.  The player assumes the role of Henry, the son of a blacksmith, whose peaceful life is shattered when during a mercenary raid, ordered by King Sigismund himself, his village is burnt to the ground. Henry is one of the few survivors of this massacre, after which he takes fate upon himself to help fight for the future of Bohemia where he will be dragged into a bloody conflict and a raging civil war.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a story-driven open-world RPG that immerses you in an epic adventure in the Holy Roman Empire. Avenge your parents’ death as you battle invading forces, go on game-changing quests, and make influential choices. Explore majestic castles, deep forests, thriving villages and countless other realistic settings in medieval Bohemia!

Originally a Kickstarter project, and backed by TiX’s own Rich Berry, this new announcement reiterates some of the games features. It boasts of a “massive realistic open world”, “historical accuracy” and the studio also states that quests can be solved in a myriad of ways!

Kingdom Come: Deliverance – Kickstarter Smashed In Just 48 Hours

Saints Row Favourite Johnny Gat Returns In Agents of Mayhem

Saints Row fans love him, Saints Row fans want to be him, and now they can.  Johnny Gat returns as the 13th agent in Agents of MAYHEM!

Agents of MAYHEM is an single-player, open-world, third-person action game which will be released on August 18th. Fun, funny and full of high-action moments and laugh-out-loud scenarios, in Agents of MAYHEM, you run a no-holds barred operation against the shadowy super-villain organisation, LEGION, fighting to take back the world after the horrors of Devil’s Night.

The “Have God recreate the Earth and retcon the entire world of Saints Row” ending of Gat out of Hell means that the dead don’t stay dead. Johnny is back where he was born, Seoul and he’s a cop; the events of Devil’s Night left Johnny in a coma. On waking almost a year later Johnny discovers that all of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency have been wiped out and replaced with C.O.P robot units. Johnny hates robots but loves guns and his reputation for wanton destruction makes him the perfect fit for MAYHEM. Exclusively available to those pre-ordering Agents of Mayhem at retail, Johnny Gat will be the 13th Agent of Mayhem. Featuring his unlock mission, his personal mission, vehicle and character and weapon skins, and the unmistakable voice of Daniel Dae Kim, that’s a whole lot of Johnny.

For those that prefer to pre-order digitally, the 13th Agent will be Lazarus. A brand new and exclusive character, Lazarus is a merging of woman and machine; the top rung of the evolutionary ladder. As an agent of MAYHEM, she encounters an endless stream of competitors ready to challenge her for that distinction. While she’s evolved beyond her own humanity, she still has a great love and respect for humankind as a whole. MAYHEM allows her to watch over those quirky human beings whose flaws and peculiarities continue to fascinate her to this day.

But that’s not all, pre ordering Agents of Mayhem at retail or digitally will also secure the “Legal Action Pending” skin pack for Hollywood, Hardtack, Fortune, Braddock, Yeti and Daisy.

More details on Agents of MAYHEM can be found at www.aomthegame.comYouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Dreamfall Chapters gets a new trailer

Red Thread Games and Deep Silver have released a new trailer for the upcoming 3D adventure title, Dreamfall Chapters, which is due to launch on Xbox One May 5.

The video introduces the two heroes of the game and summarizes their adventures from the previous title, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, giving a glimpse into the deep story of the game and allowing new players to follow up on the events that led to its epic finale in Dreamfall Chapters. Beside the look back, the video will also be featured in the upcoming game as an introduction to the two diverse worlds that build the foundation of the The Longest Journey saga.

Dreamfall Chapters is a 3D adventure set in parallel worlds: one a dark cyberpunk vision of our future, the other a magical fantasy realm. The game follows two unlikely heroes on their journeys across worlds to save the very fabric of reality from falling apart. Dreamfall Chapters is a mature, emotional, dark, magical and heart-breaking adventure that will take players by surprise.

The Xbox One version of Dreamfall Chapters comes with numerous enhancements over it’s PC original: reworked character models, improved animations, lightning, and special effects, plus an expanded in-game soundtrack as well as improved sound-effects.