Tag Archives: zombies

Metal Gear Survive review

After many minutes of cutscenes, several hints at gameplay without, in fact, participation, followed by mere moments of interactivity before the next slew of dialogue and exposition kicked in, I knew I was playing a Metal Gear game. Indeed, despite the apparent departure from the tried and tested formula, Metal Gear Survive has all the same elements you might expect from the series, making it a pleasant surprise after what the open Beta suggested it would be.

As the title suggests, Metal Gear Survive is focused on survival, and this mixes up the usual stealth play and action quite well with expanded mechanics that we saw hints of in previous Metal Gear games. You must now manage your thirst and hunger, which are frequent concerns, especially early on. This involves finding food and clean water and regularly consuming them, which in turn affects your health and stamina. Allow hunger or dehydration to get the better of you and your physical abilities suffer considerably, reducing your combat effectiveness and movement therefore putting you in grave danger against your foes.

These foes take the shape of zombie-esque characters; ferocious, animalistic adversaries that mean to tear you apart. They’re called Wanderers and inhabit a dimension called Dite, a world where you find yourself after an attack on Mother Base from the end of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. You’re not alone in this strange world however, other survivors are scattered around the large, open play area, and they can be found and recruited to help build and maintain your own base of operations, as you seek to discover the fate of a previously deployed unit to this dimension and a ways to escape it.

Managing your immediate needs of thirst and hunger make up only a small part of the overall management system. Your health is threatened by raw meat and dirty water, so medication is required to treat illness, while upgraded facilities are required to prevent illness in the first place. Meanwhile, every scrap of material is precious. This scrap is essential, allowing you to build new crafting stations at your base, new equipment and weapons to aid you, and defences to help keep the Wanderers at bay. This amalgamates in building up your base and outposts to be safe, self-maintained havens for you and the other survivors. And indeed, they soon become just that, with farms growing the all-important food you need and the other survivors even helping maintain it all as well as allowing you to send them on missions of their own. It’s gruelling, desperate survival initially but eventually gives way to rewarding progress and order.

Then there’s the story, which is surprisingly deep and intriguing. The Beta gave the impression of a cooperative survival game with equipment upgrades measuring progress, but in fact there’s a lengthy tale of political intrigue with plenty of twists and turns and pleasant links to The Phantom Pain. This is so much more than just a survival game that means to encourage emergent gameplay, there’s a story here worthy of the series. The multiplayer offering of teams of four protecting an area against swarms of Wanderers is but a small part of the experience, an optional part for more resources.

The meat of Metal Gear Survive is in the single-player offering, of searching for information about the lost unit, the Charon Corps, and figuring out a way back home while enduring the harsh environment. It’s a different kind of Metal Gear, and a riskier one at that, but there’s also something refreshing about it. Newcomers are likely to find this to be a survival game that’s challenging with a surprisingly heavy handed slice of exposition, meanwhile, Metal Gear fans may find something gripping and different about the experience. Post Kojima Konami may not be entirely without hope after all when it comes to this series. There is, of course, the £10 save slot debacle, and indeed that’s anti-consumer, over-priced nonsense, but the rest of the micro transactions are less offensive, allowing you to buy additional load-out slots and unit slots to send on missions. They are entirely optional extras that most will never feel the urge to indulge in.

While Metal Gear Survive is surprising in its single-player offering and story, it still suffers some missteps. Defending against waves of Wanderers and fetching data from computer terminals are the primary missions on offer, with side missions merely pointing you towards additional resources you can gather. It all gets a bit repetitive, especially once you devise a few winning strategies for dealing with the Wanderer hordes. Meanwhile, despite the lengthy story and its twists, character development is a bit lacking. Your character is fully customisable but mostly silent with no real personality beyond the one you imprint on them, and those that are explored come across as dull and uninspired. There’s no Kojima magic here for zany characters. Certainly there’s enough intrigue here to help keep you playing to see how it all comes together but it’s more supernatural than military sci-fi this time around.

Metal Gear Survive isn’t what it appeared to be. This isn’t a multiplayer mode stretched out into a full release, instead it’s an experimental title in the series with the same single-player dedication but some new and expanded survival mechanics running the show. As a survival game it’s a fun and challenging experience, whether played single-player or multiplayer, as a Metal Gear game it’s one of the weaker titles but certainly not without its charms.

Thanks to Xbox and Konami for supporting TiX

No campaign co-op in Dead Rising 4

The hotly anticipated forth entry in the Dead Rising series is due to release in a mere few weeks, and fans are giddy with excitement. However, that giddiness might take a bit of hit with news that you won’t be able to play through the story of Dead Rising 4 with a friend after all.

This information comes fresh from a Twitch stream on the ExpertZone_Community channel, where members of the development team at Capcom Vancouver confirmed that the story of Dead Rising 4 will be single player only.

Instead, the co-op multiplayer will allow up to four players to experience an entirely separate mode with different characters. Here you’ll play short objectives, in the style of mini-games, rather than free roaming through the mall.

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It certainly feels like we were all misled about the co-op content on offer here, and with other series staples like the time limit, survivor escorting, eating food to regenerate health, and Frank West’s voice actor changing, this latest entry in the series is sounding less a less like its predecessors.

And what might be the final nail in the coffin for some fans is the news that a time limit based single player mode is coming as DLC. Indeed, making people pay extra for features the series is known for that are otherwise missing, isn’t the smartest move.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme powers it’s way to Xbox One

Do you like cars? Do you like guns? Do you like racing? Do you like explosive action? Do you like cars shooting guns while racing and blowing things up? If you answered Yes! or Hell Yes! to any of those questions then the perfect game for you just made it’s way to Xbox One.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme is a high-octane racer from Iceberg Games. You start with a bog standard car and race your way to an armed to the teeth epic motor. Gas Guzzlers Extreme is set to offer massive explosions, the ability to upgrade your beast and a ultra fast racing experience…oh and Zombies, lots and lots of Zombies. What’s not to like.

 

  • Combat racing at its best, featuring a blood pumping single player campaign with over 12 hours of gameplay.
  • Fast-as-lightning multiplayer tournaments with 7 different modes (classic race, power race, battle race, knockout, deathmatch, last man standing and capture the flag); with up to 4 teams available in team play mode.
  • 350+ miles of road across 40 tracks, 8 arenas and 7 different environments.
  • 12 unique weapons, on-track bonuses and power ups.
  • 18 customizable cars (12+ upgrades, color, rims, stickers, etc.).
  • Multi-path tracks and sponsored events.
  • Instant play with vicious AI Bots populating your multiplayer match while other players begin to join in on the fun.
  • Beautifully displayed high definition visuals with extensive vehicle damage, motion blur effects and custom paint jobs.
  • Full force feedback controller support as well as keyboards, joy pads, joysticks and racing wheels.
  • Packed with tons of unique humor and personality.

You can purchase Gas Guzzlers Extreme now on the Xbox Marketplace HERE.

Dead Rising Triple Pack review

Dead Rising can be a difficult game to enjoy. Peculiar design choices, especially in the first outing, alongside an odd personality make the series challenging, occasionally unfair, and cringe worthy to experience. However, these same traits are also part of why the series is so beloved, and this triple pack provides a terrific selection to appeal to your nostalgia or introduce you to the strange zombie shenanigans.

This triple pack enhances the resolution of the three titles – Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, and Dead Rising 2: Off The Record – as well as increasing their framerate, but are otherwise faithful ports of the originals. That is except for Dead Rising, which is further enhanced with a few additional save slots, which come in very handy in seeing the several ending the title has in store. As such, if you struggled to enjoy this trio of zombie slaying action games the first time around, then this re-release won’t have anything new to entice you. Furthermore, the standalone Xbox Live Arcade titles, Dead Rising 2: Case Zero and Dead Rising 2: Case West, are also missing in action, which is a bit of shame as the collection certainly feel incomplete without these bite-sized gems.

In Dead Rising you pay as Frank West, photojournalist looking to uncover precisely what’s going on in the sleepy town of Willamette that’s now overrun with zombies. The homage to George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead is obvious, with the entire adventure taking place within a mall, but Dead Rising spins an original and intriguing tale that serves to keep you engaged despite its challenging difficulty.

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And indeed it’s very challenging. The sheer amount of zombies that litter the mall’s halls and stores is staggering, and they attack aggressive and forcefully, knocking your health away with ease in the early game. But this is a big part of its design; you’re supposed to feel overwhelmed and desperate, and it encourages you to scavenge for weapons and use whatever you can find to defend yourself.

This is the crux of the experience and it’s delightfully silly and satisfying. Grabbing a carousal and ploughing into the horde of zombies is amusing and effective at clearing a path, meanwhile, grabbing baseball bats, knives, swords, tables, and even lawn mowers, allows you to gruesomely decapitate, smash, slice and maim the undead obstacles in ever more creative ways. It’s compelling stuff that can easily keep you entertained for hours on end.

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However, time is forever marching forwards, and in order to uncover what’s going on you’ll need to complete objectives before their time limits expire. These involve meeting people at certain locations and times within the mall, saving survivors that are trapped by the undead, and defeating psychopaths that have completely lost their minds and are on a rampage. Completing them all is difficult, in fact completing them at all is difficult, due to how restrictive the time limits are and how easy it is to die.

And when you do die, which you most assuredly will, you’re given the choice of re-loading the last save you made – which can only be made manually in safe rooms or toilets – or starting the game fresh with your experience carrying over. Indeed, Dead Rising is Roguelike is this way, allowing you to restart with your current character level and all the perks that level brings, including a more varied and effective move-set, damage modifiers, and more health. This makes the very difficult early game more manageable, although still frustrating, but after a handful of deaths, you’ll be better prepared to crack open the mystery of the zombie outbreak.

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However, as competent as you may become at slaying the undead and managing your objectives to fulfil them within their strict time limits, the friendly AI is dumb as a rock. Saving the survivors in the mall is a Herculean task, with AI path finding often completely failing and the survivor’s combat skills being poor or in some cases entirely absent. It’s hugely frustrating trying to save them and is a task best left until you’ve levelled up your character entirely and are willing to start again from the beginning with your complete set of skills and knowledge.

Dead Rising 2 fortunately makes huge improvements to the AI. In the second outing the survivors of Fortune City – a caricature of Las Vegas – are savvy enough to follow you and strong enough to fight off or dodge the many zombies. Furthermore, Dead Rising 2 improves the controls significantly, providing you with more responsive movement and better combat.

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This time around you play as new protagonist Chuck Green, who is trapped in Fortune City with his infected daughter, and must find daily injections of Zombrex for her to prevent her from turning completely. Whilst you can still use whatever objects you can find to fight off the hungry undead, you can also craft magnificent weapons from everyday items. Find a rake and a car battery, tape them together and you have an electrified rake. Find some gems and a torch and you’ve got yourself and light sabre, of course. It’s a terrific evolution of the original outings combat system.

The third outing takes the setting and core story of Dead Rising 2 and adapts it to fit returning protagonist Frank West. It’s a fan service title for those who missed the original protagonist but smart changes are made to make it feel new enough to justify the return to Fortune City.

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Indeed, the Dead Rising games don’t have the most consistent or clear cannon to its overall narrative, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. The twists and turns take you on quite the rollercoaster in a TV soup style that’s hard not to enjoy. Individually, each game’s story is a well-paced mystery that feeds you a great mixture of questions and answers to keep you engaged until the end. And as a set you can certainly feel that a bigger picture is being painted outside of the characters you’ve met. It’s corny and the psychopath’s special brand of insanity is utterly over-the-top, but it’s thoroughly entertaining.

The Roguelike aspect of dying and retrying makes each title’s early game very difficult, and at any level the psychopaths are a bit of a nuisance to fight, but the delight you get from massacring the many zombies is a wonderful reward, and the story is engrossing despite its corniness. The improvement in resolution and framerate are subtle but the fun is timeless, making this triple pack a joy to play.

Thanks to Xbox and Capcom for supporting TiX

7 Days to Die review

7 Days to Die is marred significantly by technical problems, poor porting to console and amateur presentation, which is a real shame, as the minute to minute struggle to survive is actually quite compelling, especially with other players. But unfortunately its potential isn’t enough to redeem this terrible title.

7 Days to Die follows the familiar formula of placing you in a harsh world where you need to gather resources to equip yourself, build shelter and survive against nature and the zombie horde terrorising the area. It’s a clichéd setup, but one that can be exciting and entertaining in the right circumstances.

In this case, the right circumstances are during either local split-screen or online multiplayer. With other players involved, their intractable nature opens up wonderful opportunities for emergent storytelling. Working together to build an impregnable fort is rewarding come night when the zombie horde is most vicious and laps up against your walls and traps in their frenzy. Meanwhile, skirmishes with other players over resources are equally enjoyable. However, the fun is all too fleeting; 7 Days to Die’s many faults easily overshadow the fun.

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The poor visuals are immediately obvious. Muddy, low detailed textures are draped over everything, including characters and zombies. Meanwhile, the presentation disappoints even further due to poor, repetitive animations. This becomes even less forgivable when the draw distance is revealed to be extremely limited, with the world shrouded in fog a mere handful of steps in front of you.

When you start moving around you’ll notice terrible dips in frame rate randomly occurring, and the game even freezes for a second or two every time it quick saves, which is often. A cluttered, unintuitive menu system for crafting and inventory management makes the core gameplay suffer, along with a feeling of little to no impact when you swing weapons, and no difference between them; whether you’re swinging a stick or a sledgehammer. But of course you may not experience these issues at all as 7 Days to Die frequently crashes whilst loading a save. Indeed it’s a poor offering both technically and mechanically.

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However, what’s worse is the fact that this title has seen a full release on console whilst its PC counterpart is still in Steam Early Access. It’s baffling why they’d port the game in its current PC state over to the Xbox One, especially with the Xbox Preview Program as an option. It screams a lack of investment in the game’s future and comes across as feckless from developers The Fun Pimps and Iron Galaxy.

And there’s just so much potential clearly bubbling below the surface. A vast crafting system allows for some impressive structures to be built. Furthermore, the scrounging for resources, weapons, food and water is rewarding and simple. You need to eat and drink to survive as well as manage your comfort by wearing clothes to stay warm or staying in shade to stay cool. Animals roam the countryside and can be killed for their pelts and meat, that’s if they don’t eat you instead. During the day the zombies are shambling threats to be avoided but at night they are fast and ferocious foes to flee from. Meanwhile, the aforementioned human interactions through multiplayer open up even more threats and opportunities for adventure.

Indeed, 7 Days to Die has so much potential, but for every neat idea there’s a game-breaking flaw that completely overshadows it. On PC it still has a chance to blossom into a great survival game, on console we’re stuck with an embarrassing, awful port.

Thanks to Xbox and The Fun Pimps and Iron Galaxy for supporting TiX

Dead Island Definitive Collection review

Punching, kicking, striking and stabbing zombies on an island paradise is an attractive concept, and even with Techland refining this experience for Dying Light, their original outing with Dead Island still holds some appeal. However, it’s still a victim of bugs and other issues, making it less enticing than it could be.

The island itself is the most appealing part of Dead Island, and it looks great with its Definitive Collection polish. The increased anti-aliasing has smoothed out the majority of the jagged edges, meanwhile the new lighting engine and vibrant colour pallet makes everything looks stunningly bright, wet, decayed and shiny. It’s a great looking title on the face of it. Unfortunately, character models are less convincing. Whilst the zombies look menacing and gruesome, the NPCs look more detailed but still wooden and emotionless. Their lack of lip sync certainly doesn’t help, with characters flapping their mouths when they speak to no rhythm or accuracy. Furthermore, a new motion blur effect completely pulls you out of the experience.

Fortunately the majority of Dead Island is spent exploring the island and engaging zombies in melee combat, and this still proves thoroughly entertaining. Finding health pickups to keep you going and gathering materials to craft make-shift weapons, or using whatever you happen to find lying around as an immediate weapon, offers a satisfying feeling of desperation, exploration and varied combat. Weapons will break with relative ease, forcing you to use whatever you can find in order to survive, and this encourages you to experiment with what you pick up, preventing the combat from ever feeling stale.

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Additionally, the quests on offer are also varied and interesting. The main missions steer you towards ensuring the survival of you and the uninfected denizens of the island, pointing you towards more survivors that need rescuing, provisions that need securing, and locations that need to be made safe. The side missions vary wildly, from emotional journeys where an NPC will ask you to put their infected family out of their misery, to requests for you to find personal items. Moreover, you can approach these missions at your own pace, concentrating on side missions over the main ones, or ignoring all of it to explore the island yourself. It’s terrifically open once the prologue is over and it’s easy to get caught up in your own emergent story.

Unfortunately, as enjoyable as the core experience can be, and as lovely as the new visuals are, old issues are still present under the surface. Bugs that cause zombies to float in the air or fall through the ground are fairly frequent, as are moments where you get stuck in doorways and geometry. The vehicles are still unresponsive and the first-person platforming is clumsy. It simply hasn’t received the gameplay tweaks it really needed.

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Riptide, Dead Island’s standalone expansion, is also included with the Definitive Collection, adding a few new perks and weapons, but ultimately offering more of the same in a different but far too similar environment. Bringing your Dead Island character over to Riptide is now easier than ever, but the expansion’s re-tread of the original’s experience makes it feel rather tedious. The Definitive Collection also includes Dead Island Retro Revenge, however, it’s currently locked until August.

Being able to play cooperatively with up to 3 additional players is still a great feature, and one that helps elevate any of the issues present. Here is certainly where Dead Island shines, and it’s supremely enjoyable slaying zombies and completing missions as a crew as opposed to alone.

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Dead Island Definitive Collection provides a great looking zombie slaying title, but one with many of the same flaws of the original. Engaging zombies in melee combat is still entertaining and the bursts of adrenaline you get when zombies attack from all angles and you barely have a chance to ready your weapon is frighteningly fun. However, Dying Light does it all better, making this a difficult recommendation overall.

Thanks to Xbox and Deep Silver for supporting TiX

Dead Rising 4 to be revealed at E3

Capcom Vancouver’s Twitter feed has been a buzz with Dead Rising promotional material for a couple of months now, showing off classic moments from the franchise as well as directing us towards the upcoming second live action instalment. However, it seems this buzz wasn’t just about nostalgia but also about getting us in the mood for a new game in the zombie slaying, open-world series.

Dead Rising 4 leaked art

Yesterday, ThisGenGaming reported receiving images showing some art from Dead Rising 4 as well as the title screen and an in-game image. This is after the site initially reported on the rumours of Dead Rising 4 the previous week based off information coming from NeoGaf user Ekim. This leaked information was then confirmed by Kotaku News Editor, Jason Schreier in a Tweet as well as a post on Kotaku.

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Ekim went on to say in a Tweet that Dead Rising 4 will be a remake of the original title, this time set at Christmas time and will allow you to explore the surrounding area of the mall as well as the mall itself. Furthermore, Dead Rising 4 will feature four player coop.

Dead Rising 4 leaked gameplay

There’s also been speculation that Dead Rising 4 will once again be an exclusive for Microsoft, launching on Xbox One and possibly PC. This rumour has been further strengthen by PlayStationLifeStyle whose source has said that the title will not be coming to PS4.

The evidence is certainly building for Dead Rising 4’s reveal next week during E3. Our money is on it featuring within Xbox’s conference on Monday, and we can’t wait.

Dead Island Definitive Collection is out now

Techland’s Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide, published by Deep Silver, are now out for Xbox One. Furthermore, buy the Definitive Collection and you’ll get both aforementioned titles and the new Dead Island Retro Revenge for free.

These remastered versions include all previously released DLC, and are running on Techland’s next generation engine, affording them higher quality textures, a new and improved lighting system, physically based shading, image enhancement through anti-aliasing, improved game models and geometry, motion blur and ambient occlusion effects, and an updated user interface.

Furthermore, the classic four player online coop experience returns, alongside the fan favourite PC mod One Punch Mode.

You can check out the launch trailer below:

Dead Island Retro Revenge isn’t released until August but will feature classic side-scrolling/endless runner action, melee-based combat, leaderboards, power-ups, super attacks and a combo system.

Dead Rising: Watchtower released on We Are Colony

It’s that time of year again where monsters pretending to be children ring the door bell and threaten to brutally maim you and your family… or they want sweets, I don’t know. I lock door, turn off the lights and watch a scary or gruesome film, ignoring the outside world entirely.

Well this year digital streaming site We Are Colony have a new release that’s ideal for Halloween watching, Dead Rising: Watchtower.

We reviewed Dead Rising: Watchtower when it hit Blu-ray and DVD and found the gory and energetic videogame adaptation to be an enjoyable if slightly flawed zombie flick. Now you can see for yourself whether it’s your kind of undead delight, by renting it through We Are Colony. Even better, We Are Colony also have some behind the scenes content for the film – including interviews, stills and making of documentaries.

With videogame to film adaptations so regularly missing the mark, Dead Rising Watchtower is absolutely worth a watch to see how tantalisingly close this adaptation gets to cracking that problem. The authenticity of Watchtower to the videogame source is excellent, giving fans of the games a great new chapter to the story and new comers an ideal introduction.

Dead Rising Watchtower releases today on We are Colony and can be rented for £4.49 or bought for £9.99.

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Grab three hours with Dying Light’s playable demo

Are you yet to step into Techland’s world of zombies with Dying Light? You must have missed my review then… it’s a must buy for any zombie fan, even more so now that there’s going to be a sizeable piece of DLC dropping. The new content is called Dying Light: The Following and includes dirt buggies, a huge new area to explore and a brand new progression system.

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Need more convincing? Then why not see for yourself because there’s now a demo available that will let you explore the first ‘Slums’ area of the game. There’s three hours of unique content – so quite the demo – and includes one story quest chain, some side quests, challenges and random encounters.

With online co-op for up to four players and the full day/night cycle, if you aren’t hooked after playing this  this demo, then there’s no hope of enticing you to this superb parkour survival zombie romp.

 

 With the demand for Dying Light still high after more than half a year on the market, we wondered what else we could do to help players decide which game to buy. Then we thought: demoes were pretty much a standard in the previous generation, but suddenly they’ve become few and far between. So we decided to use some of our resources to release a demo now and let everyone experience our game first-hand.

says producer Tymon Smektała.