The world is a circuit. Everything is connected, if it’s by handheld devices, home appliances and the cloud space. Whether you think it or not, we are all being accessed, evaluated and being led down a path by a marketing machine; if you like this, comment, share… Slowly we are losing our free will and we don’t even know it. People fear the machines taking over but they are unaware it’s happening right now, we are monetised. The game is question is Dex, developed and published (published physically by Bad Land Publishing) by Czech company Dreadlocks Ltd. Dex is an Action RPG, 2D side-scrolling platformer focusing on non-linear gameplay, exploration and conversing with NPC’s.
Set in the future, you play as Dex. A young girl who has been targeted by The Complex, an oppressive security organisation controlled by corporations. Hacker; Raycater, informs you The Complex are coming for you. Upon speaking with Raycaster he tells you that you are the Fragment of Kether whom is a supreme Artificial Intelligence developed by ‘The Complex’. You join the resistance in stopping The Complex oppression other Harbour Prime, the games location. But there maybe more to yourself than you originally thought…
Dex also features many side quests that really build Harbour Prime as a living location. Like many RPG’s, it’s these small contained stories that end up being more impactful than the main quest. Stories such as a young male drugged up working as a sex worker against his will, reuniting two long lost lovers or dealing with a stalker of a famous singer; it’s in these side quests that Dex’s narrative and world building really shines.
As a cyber-punk title, Dex art direction is heavily inspired by the pop culture reference within that genre such as Blade Runner, Akira and Ghost in the Shell. Light pollution merged with the grit of a contaminated cityscapes drench your screen like a layer of dirt. The team did a nice touch of each area having its own economic class, the further you leave the main city the more gentrification and depravity you come across.
The games art style is that of old 90’s PC’s adventure games as well as graphic novels, adapting a more hand drawn aesthetic than your typical pixel art sprite. It’s that hand drawn aesthetic that lends to the games polluted atmosphere and mature tone, providing a level of detail and depth pixel art cannot provide.
In Dex you’ll have main quests that will take place in Harbour Prime and locations outside of Harbour Prime just designated to a singular mission. Yet there are many side quests within Harbour Prime by conversing with NPC characters scattered around the various areas. Both main missions and side quests have various ways of completing them be it by stealth, speech -usually with various speech choices- or other means; example using a radio signal to shut down a formidable foe’s augments. Completing the quests will grant you with experience points that help you level up your skills, items and weaponry to use and money to buy augments. Augments provide you with powers to help your certain type of play, you want to be stealth well then how about a camo upgrade, you want to go in all action then how about body armour or if you want to play save go for the regen augment. You can equip several augments, but certain augments take a slot on your body part. It’s surprising how well and refined the RPG mechanics are in this game, as it is an indie title, the game can hold it own against some of the heavy weights in the genre.
Combat is either stealth approach by silently taking down foes by the good old sleeper hold, a good old fist fight or using the right analogue to aim with firearms. As the stealth and gunplay aspects work very well, there is much to be desired of the hand to hand combat as your sprite moves forward making you sometimes punch through and past your enemy.
You can also Hack with the mini-game being that of a twin stick shooter segment. Once again, exploration in these segments help as there are XP bonus to be found.
This game is exactly the definition of a hidden gem. As the main story may lack certain punch to it, some of the mission were enjoyable but it’s the side quests that are the real hero in this game. Watching my decision play-out -for better or for worse- in these missions really give the illusion that you shaped that entirely. You’ll meet a rich cast of characters along your journey and as the voice acting could be better, it certainly harkens back to those early PC games it is paying homage too.
Exploring Harbour Prime to find secrete areas, loot and other quests is a blast. The game world isn’t massive, yet it has the depth that so many open worlds games lack; this is the size of a puddle but deep as an ocean.
Though the game isn’t perfect, Dex more than makes up for it with polished RPG mechanics making it one of my favourite RPG experiences on this generation. Dreadlock pure absolute love into this game and it really shows, this is a game made by people who wanted to make this game.
As for you collectors, the physical copies for PS4 and Xbox One come with manual and CD soundtrack.
In short, Dex is worth your time.
Guest Blog Post by Jack @ThePnutbean and YouTube
Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the most anticipated games of 2018. Alongside triple A titles like God of War; Red Dead Redemption 2 was hyped to a monumental level. Unlike God of War; Red Dead Redemption 2 is cross platform on the PS4 and Xbox One. At this stage we know that PS4 players will be privy to exclusive online content before Xbox One players. My personal view on this is one of disregard simply because I've focused more on the main story over, say GTA V Online. Naturally, we can expect a big following for Red Dead Redemption 2 online though; the question is, will it ever be as big as GTA V Online? For now we won't be able to deliver a definitive answer. For now we have around 60 hours worth of main campaign in Red Dead Redemption 2 to become accustomed to.
So far I've streamed every second of my Red Dead Redemption 2 experience. As I write this I am approximately 20 hours in. First impressions of this new Wild West Adventure are overall positive. There's an element of mystery surrounding Arthur Morgan and his gang as Red Dead Redemption 2 kicks off. Literally, it's a mystery. That's because the entire plains are covered in snow. Snow that continues to fall as the early missions play out. The entire first chapter is a snow showered tutorial that was steadily drip fed to us. From this we can conclude that Red Dead Redemption 2 cannot be judged on his beauty, draw distance or wild west appeal. It is not until the snow starts to thaw that we really start to see the beauty that is Red Dead Redemption 2.
Arthur Morgan is part of a gang. A gang that is led by Dutch Van Der Linde. Whilst other NPC's in the camp have key roles to play in missions, robberies and such like; it is clear that Arthur Morgan is the breadwinner of the camp. The Camp becomes an essential place to heal, rest, laugh, re-supply and obtain crucial missions. If anything I would encourage you to get as many upgrades in to your camp as possible. With each upgrade, stalls become more effective at stocking food, medicine and ammunition. Oh and let us not forget the all important Fast Travel. We'll talk more about that later.
Red Dead Redemption 2 takes no prisoners. Well sometimes it does if there's a bounty on your head and you get caught. Joking aside, Red Dead Redemption 2 can seem harsh at times. What do I mean by harsh? For some RDR2 is not interesting at all. Endless horse rides across baron landscape can feel laborious and meaningless. The mini map and large world map gives very little sense of scale so what seems like a short ride cane often be a 15 minute horse ride. Herein lies that little issues of Fast Travel. You must upgrade Arthur's wagon be unlock fast travel and as of yet (a mere 20 hours in) I have only been able to fast travel from camp. As soon as you're out in the wilderness, you're on your own. You might think this is a trivial point! Of course the Wild West is baron. Of course it can seem monotonous at times but you'll be surprised at how many people in my chat have disliked Red Dead Redemption 2 because of this.
On the whole Red Dead Redemption 2 is a stunning game. I've found there to be a variety of missions and a decent level of challenge to suit all play-styles. Be warned though the combat mechanics are AWFUL. I found then when trying to run in to cover Arthur sometimes stutters and resists! Additionally, the Dead Eye ability is not seamless at all. I've died unnecessarily far too many times due to clunky combat controls. Here's to hoping that Rockstar patch this.
The towns in Red Dead Redemption are breathtaking. There's nothing better than after a long horse ride; approaching St Denis and seeing the large industrial chimney's bellow out smoke. It's in these moments that Red Dead Redemption 2 really shines. Every town is different in terms of social class, wealth, opportunity and looks. Take Valentine for example. Valentine is one of the first towns you come across once the snow thaws. It's a typical Western setting with muddy roads, two saloons, a stable, a bank, a grocery store and a gun smiths. The outer skirts are predominantly farm land. Compare this ti St Denis which has a lot more diversity in social class, shops and more. Now I'm no Western historian but I think Red Dead Redemption 2 contains some of the deepest environments yet.
Another key feature of Red Dead Redemption 2 is the dialogue. Rockstar have always put a lot of time and effort in to delivering a fantastic storyline to their games. Red Dead Redemption 2 is no exception. Of course the familiar character; John Marston returns but there's a wealth of other new characters to. During missions Rockstar cleverly utilised the travelling as key moments to tell story. Arthur and whomever he was travelling with (usually mid-mission) would break out in to conversation for the entirety of the trip. The excellent script coupled with a catchy soundtrack made Red Dead Redemption 2 ooze charm. Charm is something I believed the first game lacked.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is fruitful experience and you need not have played the first before diving in to this. It falls down in the shoddy combat mechanics. Will Red Dead Redemption 2 be 2018's Game of the Year. I do not believe so. Should you buy it now? 100% yes.
Blog by Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
As he looked around and lay witness to the chaos that had fostered by his very own doing, he began to understand something he had not yet perceived. That piles of bodies that were only moments ago the undead, that these carcasses were once living people… like him. These now empty shells before him start to show remnants of their past; Doctors, Teachers, Bankers, a Secretary, a Police Officer are now just fragmenting of a world that once was. It was at this point, he decided to get ice cream.
Yakuza over the years has turned from a niche darling to a flagship title, with remakes of the first two games and now PC ports, the eastern answer to Grand Theft Auto has finally broke the western market. And rightly so. Yakuza is a sweet and sour type of game; two opposing flavours combine as one delicious whole. Sandbox design with arcade brawler, dating sim and arcade classic collection, melodramatic story meets self-aware camp comedy genre; the designers want you to be absorbed in the story and world but they -like Kojima’s team- know why you are here… too have fun.
All video game series have black sheep in the family. A game that may have been misunderstood at the time or just didn’t have the right dance moves to stand out from the crowd, leaving it to walks home alone… with a kebab for one. That game is Yakuza: Dead Souls.
Yakuza: Dead Souls is developed and published by Sega exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Initially schedule for release in Japan March 2011 only to be pushed back to June 2011 due to the earthquakes and Tsunami that hit the country. Here in Europe and the folks in North America wouldn’t see the release until the following year in March 2012.
Acting as a spin off/alternate timeline succeeding the fourth game, Yakuza: Dead Souls uses the established sandbox action adventure with RPG elements gameplay but this time adding the genre of Survival Horror with the inclusion of zombies and monsters acting as the threat instead of rival gang members.
Quantic Dream are a game studio with a difference. See choice is everything! That’s also true in life too. So why not make a few video games that perpetuate the notion of choice determining the direction? Easy! Actually the concept sounds more logical than easy. Quantic Dream games like Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls and Fahrenheit provide challenges like no other. The latest edition to the Quantic Dream library is Detroit: Become Human. A story that allows players to take control of three main protagonists in a world which views artificial Intelligence both an asset and the enemy. In Detroit: Become Human we play as, Connor; an upcoming aid to police enforcement. Markus; a hired hand (or butler of some kind) to some savvy rich chap and finally, Kara; a maternal type who is hired to be a maid/baby sitter/cook by Todd. You get the picture. The three all have very different backgrounds and motives within the rebellion. I found it enriching to watch each character progress through Detroit: Become Human.
In essence Detroit: Become Human is whatever you want it to be. As I just completed the game on live stream, I tried to play the bulk of Detroit: by making decisions I would make in real life. You may choose a completely different path; to which different outcomes would occur. All three protagonists have very different personalities but at times their traits are tested. Early on in the game Kara has to make decisions on how to deal with her human owner. Without spoiling too much of Detroit: Become Human, Kara not only has her own A:I wellbeing to consider but has to consider Alice’s safety too. Alice is Todd’s daughter and it is clear from the opening this relationship that Todd is not the best role model for Alice. He drinks too much, smokes too much Pot and clearly does not know how to keep a neat house. Alice is scared of him as Todd often flies off the handle; unprompted. What is Kara’s role within this dysfunctional father/daughter relationship? Well A:I done have feelings right? They don’t feel sympathy, empathy, fear, anger or love do they? The short answer is: you are wrong. In Detroit: Become Human Artificial Intelligence; it could be argued, is the wrong term. What we realise very quickly is that Kara is able to question Todd’s approach. Kara has to make decisions on how to help (or not help) Alice. The rift between humans and Artificial Intelligence is what drives Detroit: Become Human’s foundations. The rest is up to you.
Detroit: Become Human is a game that will push your decision making. At times your decisions are forced to be made within a certain time limit which adds to the pace of the game. Be prepared for your palms to get sweaty! Ultimately I enjoyed the connection between the game and myself. Detroit: Become Human got my heart racing and at times I felt the devastation of knowing that I made the wrong decision within seconds of making it. By then it was too late. Detroit: Become Human does not give you a second chance so every decision has to be made with certainty. This is not a bad thing. Arguably it makes for great replay value as Detroit: Become Human can be played multiple times with multiple different endings. I believe Heavy Rain had over twenty different endings. It is reported that Detroit: Become Human has over forty different endings!
Does Detroit: Become Human surpass previous Quantic Dream games? I would say that it is not as good as Heavy Rain but it is much deeper than Beyond Two Souls. If you have not played either of those two games then all I can say is that you really will enjoy Detroit: Become Human. If you have played Heavy Rain and beyond Two Souls then I firmly believe Detroit: Become Human will give you a run for your money.
For the most part Detroit: Become Human flows. The pacing can easily slow down at times when the script becomes stagnant. At times certain scenes seem awkward, with stale lines of dialogue. This is a minor detail and perhaps it is something you might not experience when playing. In addition, I found that some tasks did not have a big enough purpose. When Markus played the piano in the mansion it seemed to serve no purpose other than to extent meaningless dialogue. Ultimately these small gripes do not detract from Detroit: Become Human being a fantastic addition to the PS4 library. It might not be on the same gripping level as Heavy Rain but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Is Detroit: Become Human worth buying? Given the replay value alone I would say that it is a must own PS4 game. Even if you chose to play Detroit: Become Human only once you’re going to get an experience that stems much further than the crippling generic woes of a, say a Battle Royale game. If you don’t buy Detroit: Become Human then I believe you are truly missing out. Happy gaming!
Post by Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
It all started with an explosion in a jail. Now I’m not talking about an Alcatraz style jail breakout. No! This is Red Dead Redemption 2. Rockstar released a brand new insight in to the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2 which is set to launch on the PS4 and Xbox One (sorry PC fans) on October 26th 2018. Set in 1899 during the rise of the Modern World; the life of outlaws is dying. Making way for a brand new experience in the hands of Arthur Morgan. Red Dead Redemption 2 promises a “living world” that is “deeper and more interactive and detailed than ever”. Rockstar showcased some new details of Red Dead Redemption 2 that makes us pray October 26th will come fast! Both the shooting and fighting mechanics have been redesigned to give us players a sense of immersion. Primitive actions such as hunting seem like a standard activity within Red Dead Redemption 2. Camps can be created, interact with many characters, bond with your horse, choose your path and watch the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 unfold. Don’t be fooled though. Red Dead 2 will make us work for our share of the venison. Hunting and killing wildlife will enable us to sell and trade for worthy goods. All of this set across gorgeous new backdrops of forests, desert, mountains, towns and more Red Dead Redemption 2 could potentially be a Game of the Year contender.
Red Dead Redemption 2 has been available for pre-order for a while now. With the new Red Dead 2 trailer dropping I predict even more pre-orders. In fact at the end of this trailer the narrator stated that the second gameplay trailer would include a look at missions in Red Dead Redemption 2. Don’t just take my work for. Check out the NEW Red Dead 2 Trailer here:
The Indie gaming community continues to stun gamers with unbelievable games like Tanglewood; a Sega Mega Drive 2018 release, the critically acclaimed FEZ, Unbox and a thousand more games! Today I received an email about an upcoming Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC game that looks to be a promising entry to the first person shooter indie titles this year. The following is an unedited press release which gives deeper insight in to the upcoming Polygod.
London, UK — 19th July, 2018: Indie studio Krafted Games today announced its much anticipated minimalist, rogue-like, randomly generated FPS, POLYGOD which features a brutal difficulty curve, epic boss fights with arena-shooter style online multiplayer/co-op and local multiplayer modes, will launch worldwide for Xbox One, PC Steam and Nintendo Switch on 17th August, 2018 for £16.19 / $14.99 / €16.59.
“It's been a long road to release and we're super excited to finally get the game into the hands of our community” commented Dominic Obojkovits, co-founder, Lead Designer & Programmer at Krafted Games. “ We firmly believe PolyGod offers a unique take on the FPS genre and are confident that our ideas and game direction will strike a chord with the hardcore fans of the genre worldwide ”
POLYGOD features a different gameplay experience with each play session, the studio have implemented randomly generated level system that will challenge even the most hardcore of the hardcore! With incredibly deep weapon customisation and extensive multiplayer features including online and local multiplayer modes, Krafted Games believe gamers will find elements to keep them coming back for just one more run, over and over again.
POLYGOD has already attracted a legion of fans at Early Access on Steam with its distinctive, bold visual style and solid gameplay mechanic. Now poised for launch on XboxOne, Nintendo Switch as well as full launch on Steam for PC, POLYGOD is ready to challenge even the most refined FPS guru.
Our brand new announcement trailer can be found on YouTube here.
It’s is fair to say that I love retro games. In fact when you’re done go and take a look in my games room to marvel at some of the many thousands of video games lurking in The Lady Lounge. Now recently The Sega Mega Drive Classics (Sega Genesis Classics) was released on the PS4 and Xbox One which bundles in 50 classic Sega Mega Drive titles such as the Streets of Rage trilogy, Sonic 2, The Golden Axe trilogy, Altered Beast and more. Sounds great right? Well a lot of gamers have echoed disappointment at Sega’s latest revamping of the 16bit classics! This is mainly down to the lack of Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles (which are both playable on the Sega Mega Drive Collection on PS3 and Xbox 360). I totally get why gamers are frustrated at this but let’s try to focus on what the Sega Mega Drive Classics is rather than what it is not. Albeit I predict more games will be added in dlc bundles in due time.
Upon firing up The Sega Mega Drive Classics for the first time you are greeted with a really cool pixelated intro showcasing many characters from the Sega Mega Drive classics. From there we are launched in to an old 90’s looking themed bedroom which acts as the game’s portal in to the Sega Mega Drive games themselves, challenge logs and more. This is super cool and really pulls on the nostalgia element of my heart. What really matters though are those 50 amazing Sega Mega Drive games. How well do they actually play?
There’s no denying the awesomeness of the Streets of Rage trilogy soundtrack. I played all three games on my PS4 Pro and was astonished that there were a lot of audio glitches. At times the sound stuttered a lot and this increased when there was a lot of on-screen action. There’s nothing much more to say here really. Perhaps it will be fixed in a future patch?
Far Cry games have been a prominent feature within the gaming world since the last generation of gaming. I often hear gamers talking about the immersive jungle environments of Far Cry 2 or first being able to fly a helicopter in Far Cry 4. I could type for days on the intricacies and beauties of the Far Cry Games.
Far Cry 5 is set in present day Montana and has a dark cultist backdrop which has drawn significant parallels in to the current climate of certain portions of the U.S. Is this a mistake some ask? Of course not. A source of at alphr.com explain how Far Cry 5’s director “is based on how real-world cults spread their roots”. In this article the author went on to quite the Far Cry 5 director in his efforts to explain the link between Far Cry 5 and the controversial cult setting: “Imagine that you own a farm and a good portion of land. One day, you realise that the neighbours have sold their land to a bunch of eccentric people. The day after, hundreds of eccentrics are settling down. Their presence impacts the nearby landscape, your farm too. Business is going south and the presence of the eccentrics has devalued your property. Nobody wants to purchase it anymore, except the eccentrics who will buy on the cheap. That’s an example of how some cults have operated to acquire a targeted area and spread.”
It is understandable at how Far Cry 5’s current social relevance can be offensive to some people. In the terrible light of numerous gun tragedies, racism, bigotry and in fact all forms of discrimination; the notion of Far Cry 5’s social relevance can seem a little brutal. Ultimately there is no denying the link between certain climates seeming parallel to Ubisoft’s latest Far Cry adventure. How do I feel about it? I believe relevance to be a wonderful thing and social relevance can be displayed in a video game then surely that is down to the gamers themselves on whether they want to play it right?
Back in 2017 The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild was coined Video Game of the Year based on the people’s choice. Super Mario Odyssey secured the second spot. The Nintendo Switch had an amazing launch year in 2017 and at the time of writing this the Nintendo Switch sold over ten million consoles world wide. For a video games console that hasn’t one been out for 12 months that figure makes my head spin. 2018 is set to be just as good of a year for the Nintendo Switch with some prominent Nintendo Wii U games launching on the console within the first six months.
Having spent a lot of time with Super Mario Odyssey over the last couple of months I feel I’ve got a lot to say about Mario’s latest adventure. In fact I would go as far to say that Super Mario Odyssey should have taken him the title of Video Game of the year (2017). You might not agree but I urge you to read the remainder of this blog then let me know your final thoughts in the comments. Now before we go any further we have to note the Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece. I am a huge fan of it despite initially feeling sceptical. In fact I was also sceptical about Super Mario Odyssey. Some of the earliest footage I saw was with Mario running around a city approaching business men! “This is not a Super Mario game!” Fast forward to now and I can honestly say that I was wrong to judge. Super Mario Odyssey serves up a beautiful 3D experience of ploughing through bustling kingdoms and moon hunts. Odyssey offers up a tasty menu of new characters too with Cappy being the most notable. Cappy amplifies Super Mario’s abilities within the kingdom’s enabling him to jump higher, morph in to enemies and leap to the highest ledges. Super Mario feels more super than ever before. Again I was apprehensive about Mario’s new top man but Happy really does add a lot of value in to Super Mario Odyssey.
It has been a great year for the survival horror genre. What with the explosive Resident Evil VII and now The Evil Within 2; the sequel to the 2014 release of The Evil Within. Currently Resident Evil VII is my game of 2017 as I was mighty impressed with the new atmosphere of the mansion and the Bakers really added a creepy twist the campaign. Could anything beat Resident Evil VII? Could there be a video game that surpassed the fright, horror and sadistic nature of the RE VII? My answer is simple: no. Or at least not yet.
The Evil Within 2 is nowhere near as enticing as quest to find Mia in Resident Evil VII. Here’s the thing; The Evil Within 2 is not supposed to be. The Evil Within 2 is its own game which brings a whole new level of horror compared to the first game: The Evil Within. Now we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s explore what really shines about The Evil Within 2.
The Evil Within 2 is nowhere near as gory as the first game. Perhaps Shinji Mikami’s role as Producer rather than director had something to do with the change in vibe in The Evil Within 2. The game serves a plethora of tense moments rather than scary moments in my opinion. I didn’t expect this either as I was hoping for many more jump scares but sadly The Evil Within 2 didn’t provide it. Shelve that and what we have here is a desperate father trying to find his daughter whom he previously believed to be dead from a house fire. It turns out that she is indeed alive after Mobius faked her death. Lily was exploited by Mobius in their efforts to create a new STEM core in a simulated town called Union. Union forms the foundation in The Evil Within 2. Sebastian is recruited by Mobius to try and save Lily after contact was lost. At various points during The Evil Within 2’s story is drip fed through the interactions between Sebastian and other characters. We soon come to realise the wrath of Stefano Valentini too. The plagued and extroverted photographer obsessed with death. Stefano's characters added some vert tense moments in to The Evil Within 2 but I won't spoil the surprises too much for you. Ultimately, I think the pacing of the story is perfect and not overloaded with lengthy cut scenes or dialogue. I am usually put off by lengthy cut scenes and excessive dialogue but the pace of the story really worked in The Evil Within 2.
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We're well in to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One and more recently the Nintendo Switch eras of gaming. Graphics had never looked so smooth and gameplay had never flowed so fluently. Let's not forget the triumphant last Generation of gaming with the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii; all of which I have a lot of time for.
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