‘Remember: In paradise they’ve lost all of desires, pity, love- they are the blessed, with their imaginations surgically removed (the only reason why they are blessed)- angles, the slaves of God….’
We- Yevgeny Zamyatin (first published in 1924).
The story of Kromaia Omega (PS4) is ambiguous, upon awaking your father who tells you about four gods who must be defeated to break the circle. Everything else in the story and narrative design is left to speculation. Conversations with your father feel more like poetry, purposefully left to interpretation. Playing the game, you feel there is something more going on, from the biblical use of language, the tribal totems and architecture; you don’t play through the levels but you transcend through the spiritual landscapes. My brief knowledge on religious text, I couldn’t help but think of the Fallen Angels perverting humanity.
Aesthetically, the game is gorgeous. Clearly inspired by wonderful ‘Rez’, using simple geometric shapes, ancient iconography and a neon colour pallet. However, Kromaia Omega drops the digital, opting for an organic look with each level having its own colour scheme and identity. Though it’s when you are battling enemies and racking up a combo your screen becomes a spectacle, with colours, shapes and light filling your screen; it’s very close to simulating the visuals of being on some strong narcotic. At times you need just get lost in the spectacle of it all, only to be snapped out of your meditation by your significant other saying “So?”, naturally you respond “Yes” and then get shouted at because ‘Yes’ doesn’t answer if you want Chinese or Pizza takeaway.
Furthermore, the sound design and music compliment the visuals. The electronic soundtrack is more nuanced than you may think, with elements of Krautrock, glitch, rock and ambient drives the atmosphere of the game. It’s the change from delicate music to energetic that establishes if you are cruising or blasting through the level.
The sound design really bursts you with energy and sometimes makes your hairs stand up on edge. The emulation of sound in zero-gravity makes the explosions sound meaty that erupts from your television the higher the combo. At times its all overwhelming yet is part of the reason you just zone out due to it synchronizing with the visuals.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 was hailed a success by gamers and critics alike. What with a revitalising and stable Battle Royale mode that took the majority of us by surprise; Black Ops 4 seemed to take the Call of Duty multiplayer vibe back to its roots: simple and effective at its core gameplay mechanics.
At the time of release there were no micro transactions. Reviewers like myself happily sang Black Ops 4 joyful praises whilst tucking in to a few rounds of Kill Confirmed. Little did we know that Micro Transactions were conveniently due to appear early Nov in the form of CoD points. What else should we come to expect of Video Game publishers like Activision who so famously tainted the shit out of Destiny 2 with content pay walls, micros transactions and more. Thanks Activision. Perhaps one day Bungie will once again rise to its former glory of the Halo days? Now here we are in to 2019 and the Black Market of Black Ops 4 is well in to fruition. In fact the mere term of Black Market is shady in itself. We know that the Black market resembles the tier system of the Fortnite Battle Pass. The more you play the more you unlock. In Black Ops 4 you can, you’ve guessed it, pay to unlock tiers in order to look super cool in front of you friends with your florescent new gun skins. Now there’s a Reddit user who calculated that it would cost approximately $200 in order to unlock all of the tiers OR you’d need to pump in over 200 hours of grind. Now we know that there are gamers out there who would pay and that is okay. But on top of paying for a full price game AND then paying approx 4 times the game value to unlock al tiers seems preposterous to me. Now let’s talk about the red dot:
Over the last two days conversation had been circling about the red dot reticle that had appeared in Black Ops 4. It’s unbelievable at how much scandal a red dot can cause within the gaming world. The reason for this uproar is that this red dot reticle costs $1. That’s right gamers! You have to pay to access the dot. On top of the red dot and your CoD points Activision also installed another pay wall call the Black Ops pass. Currently any owner of the Black Ops Pass will have access to 2 additional multiplayer maps and a new battle Royale character. So now we’ve paid full price for the game, we’ve spent money on CoD Points and we’ve paid over $40 for the Black Ops Pass?
In 2019 I have to ask myself if the gaming industry cares about its fans at all? Luckily there are pockets of the community where these types of scams and pay walls do not exist. Even Fortnite is a free to play experience.
Posted by Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
It's been a rough start for Bethesda's Fallout 76. What with a current Metacritic user score of 2.5 it seems fair to say that Todd Howard blatantly lied about the new technologies going in to Fallout 76. Fallout 76 as it stands today is a total mess. The lack of any qualitative quests, shallow NPC dialogue, poor graphics (even on an Xbox One X and high end PC's), stuttering frame rate (as low as 9 fps according to Digital Foundry) and feeling like a skeletal RPG, at best; Fallout 76 leaves a lot to be desired.
Since launch Bethesda updated Fallout 76 to include some improvements. These include C.A.M.P Crafting Improvements, overall stability fixes and more. Even after these arguably mild improvements Fallout 76 feels like a broken mess across all platforms which have led to many gamers questioning whether Fallout 76 will ever redeem its status within a decent Fallout library. More importantly will fans ever trust Bethesda Game Studios again?
Now rest easy wasteland wanderers; Bethesda issued this statement claiming Fallout 76 will be getting a mammoth update very soon. The new Fallout 76 update will include "new Vaults opening, a new PvP mode, Player Vending and much more".
The question now is what will that look like? We've heard Bethesda Game Studios make their promise of greatness prior to the release of Fallout 76 and sadly they did not deliver? As if they did not learn anything from No Man's Sky's Hello Games! So now we wait. We wait to see if new features like Player Vending will be flexible enough to allow gamers to set their own prices? Here's to hoping that the Fallout series will once again become great.
Posted by Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
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