Photo Credit: JP Professional Photography
I've just got back from spending two days at Eurogamer playing some awesome games like Alien Isolation, Far Cry 4, The Order 1886 and a ton more. I posted a video from the two days on my Youtube channel and you guys have been asking me to share my thoughts on the main games I played.
First up was Splatoon on the Wii U. This game looked gorgeous and gave me the feeling I used to get when I went in to a candy store as a child. It played with ease and was happy to report no apparent glitches. The aim of the match was to ink the opposing team as well as the ground. You could transform in to a squid when your ink was low and you'd sink in to your teams ink and replenish your ammo. There were other cool features like being able to use the touch pad to transport to another team members location on the map. Overall, Splatoon looked and felt great. I felt a sense of happiness when playing Splatoon and it's going to be a definite purchase of mine.
Photo Credit: JP Professional Photography
The highlight came pretty quickly for me when I played Alien Isolation. What an unbelievable experience even though the demo we played was in Alpha build. It was scary, tense, sounded perfect and I died so much. The demo was survival mode in which I had to evade the Alien and make it to the other side of the map. I tried hiding in lockers, ventilation shafts and behind various objects. If I made the slightest sound then I was toast! I felt genuinely on edge at these points and believe that I started to shake the controller to make me run faster (like that was going work or something). Needless to say, I died anyway. Oh and the scene when you see a close up of the Aliens razor sharp, drooled covered teeth, it's in there and it's fucking awesome. Alien Isolation is the game I've been waiting for. To cap this, I later sat in on the Developer session.
Photo Credit: JP Professional Photography
The Alien Isolation developer session was phenomenal. As a super fan of the quadrilogy I was happy to learn that Fox had given Creative Assembly access to original sound files, set design plans and character head shots. Most of this was shown in the Dev session. There was a Q&A session at the end and I couldn't resist getting up to pose my question. If you want to know what I asked then leave a comment on the blog and I'll post the question.
Next up was The Evil Within. What a let down this demo was. It was full of glitches that made it seem like you weren't allowed in certain areas. I felt gutted at this and I hope that the final product has more to offer. There was barely gore and no scare factor at all. I saw two undead beings munching on a corpse! Big deal, I saw that in Resident Evil 1 in 1996.
The Order 1886 was a game that I first heard about at E3 in 2013 so I was stoked to finally have the chance to play it at Eurogamer 2014. I was impressed with the graphics because they looked really smooth and polished. The Order 1886 was demoed right next to Bloodborne and I felt that The Order 1886 looked more realistic. The game play was smooth and responsive and the NPC's were an asset to me as opposed to an annoyance. Unfortunately it was too short. After five minutes I'd completed the mission. I was just settling in to the controls and feeling more satisfied with the game. I'm very optimistic that the final product will deliver!
Photo Credit: JP Professional Photography
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare experience: Shit! The queues were two hours long and I got 15 minutes of playtime. I didn't want that much. I was deeply disappointed that nothing felt new or advanced. The game game felt like Call of Duty and I am so over this. I will not be purchasing the game until the price drops and I'm bored out of my mind one day.
On a lighter note, Far Cry 4 was much more satisfying than Advanced Warfare. I got to ride an elephant whilst holding a double barreled shotgun. Not something I get to do everyday! The gun battles in Far Cry 4 felt all too familiar for me. It felt like Far Cry 3 but with enhanced graphics. In fact, it was so similar to Far Cry 3 that I ended the session before the time was up. I'd seen enough. I believe Ubisoft chose a poor part of the game to demo so I'm hoping that the final product will be better.
Eurogamer 2014 was a fantastic experience. I'm sad to hear that the event won't be held at Earls Court next year but I'll be there no matter where it is!! Next stop PLAY on October 11th and 12th then E3 2015.
For now, check out my Youtube video of the event and please subscribe.
I am not here to tell you what you should already know about Destiny. It has been over one week since the global release of Destiny and the gaming world has been littered with information on Bungie's latest release. Instead, I want to guide you through tales of my own personal and planetary massacres of Dregs, goblins and large god damn purple floating orbs of solid stubbornness!
Having played the Destiny Beta I was instantly familiarised with atmospheric music score in the final game. The enchanting orchestral sounds that radiate through the menu systems, loading screens and key battle moments; never before have I felt so impressed with how a musical score can enhance my experience of a game. For me, my perception and anticipation were heightened, particularly in darker closed corridors. I felt satisfied with this but ultimately it became easier to predict a situation. The darker and scarier the score became usually meant that a Knight or a wizard were lurking in the shadows. I've read forums and other bloggers note this point also.
Destiny's mission range is made up of 'Story, Patrol and Strike' missions with a choice to fly back to the Tower to collect messages, bounties and purchase weapon and armor load outs. I naturally gravitated to the story missions over the side quests. Why? I felt that they offered slightly more variation over the Patrol missions. Nonetheless, choosing what type of mission I could tackle gave me the choice I like. I have always said that 'player choice' is something that I find imperative to amplify my experience! I soon learnt that my choice became stifled by repetition. This was because most of the learning about Destiny happens very quickly thus limiting your choices later in the game. The ability to 'choose' becomes stale. Depending on which planet I was in orbit of, I found my trusty Warlock thrusted upon the exact same plains in most of the Story missions starting in the exact same place. There were slight differences in the lighting and overall ambiance however, this did not negate from my head saying "here again!, Really?" Despite this, small detail, I could not help but to dive back in to the beautiful and majestic world of Destiny. Destiny holds a certain luring charm that kept me coming back like a boomerang! I wrote a blog about 'my first 60 minutes with Destiny Beta' and logged how well Bungie made fantastic use of the lighting, shadows and transitions from dark to light. All of this contributes to the 'luring charm' of Destiny.
Returning to the Tower felt like taking a 'day off' to soicalise and shop. In Destiny terminology, however, the Tower was a place to maximise your arsenal before launching back in to orbit. The weapons and armor range seemed comprehensive enough for me to feel spoilt at times. My star picking from the weapon range fell under the 'Special Weapons' category of which was 'The Sniper Rifle'. The Tarjan-C to be specific! I found the Tarjan-C to be the most easy to maneuver and whilst the impact was lower, the stability of the weapon allowed me to be more accurate. I can honestly state that there was nothing more satisfying than slicing through the head of a Dreg from long range. Adding to the advantages, Destiny allowed me to fluctuate between the stealthier modes with snipers and 'running and gunning' approaches with a selection of fully and semi automatic weapons. Result!
What would a blog about Destiny be without a mention to the most important piece of AI, The Ghost? The Ghost provides support for guardians in the form of hacking, lighting darkened areas, illuminating the way/objective and providing data about the current mission. I found the Ghost to be a credible source of help especially when I was forced in to a shadowy area. I'd whip out my Ghost in order to provide a soft, yet pixelated blanket of light that illuminated the path. The Ghost reminded me of Navi from Zelda, Ocarina of time but not as annoying. Slotting this in further, the world of Destiny was littered with dead Ghosts that I was able to revive in exchange for a small amount of XP. I was not motivated to find the locations of these as it felt like a mundane task. Instead, I found myself accidentally stumbling upon them. There is a trophy available for reviving 50 of the 62 dead Ghosts so maybe I'll go back through and find these at at a later date.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Destiny. There was a luring charm that made me continue to play. I don't usually give a quantifiable rating to a game but with Destiny I am going to. For its comprehensive loadouts, stunning environments, flawless music score I'd rate Destiny a 7.9 out of 10. This would have been higher if Bungie had avoided the repetition of missions. I'll do a separate review on the multiplayer aspect of Destiny soon.
Destiny is available on Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
For more from me, you can check out my Youtube channel for videos about retro and current generation gaming.
Juicy Game Reviews
This is going to be a completely fresh perspective! I had never ventured in to a Diablo game until I picked up a copy of Diablo III Reaper of Souls, Ultimate Evil Edition. OH WHAT A GAME!! Furthermore, a little reading has led me to believe that Blizzard have vastly improved on the mechanics, environments and overall experience of the player. Let's take a look!
I was thrusted upon the plains of the demonic baron land, poised and ready as my chosen character class, a Monk, a female monk to be precise. I was relieved to find that I was barely able to customise my character attributes. Instead, I found myself wanting to dive head first in to a mystical world not yet ventured.
At the beginning of the game I was surprised at how user friendly the battle mechanics felt. To be blunt, I felt like I was button mashing as each skill was mapped to one single button during combat. THIS felt great due to a feeling of power being exerted over the enemies. It was this realisation that made me fall head over heels with Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. You know that feeling when you become completely lost in a game? Transfixed on every motion? That was me in the very early stages of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, UEE. Fortunately, this was a consistent feature. As I progressed, I found that the weapon and skill upgrades made for a MORE immersive gaming experience. My favourite skill was The Tempest Rush which created a huge charge of energy to be directed in to enemy territory! BOOM!
I remember the first time I popped Oblivion in to my PS3 and felt dauntingly overwhelmed by the menus and inventory system. I DID NOT feel this was the case as I took my first tour around the inventory menus in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, UEE. Everything felt 'contained' without too many sub menus that would often lead me to getting lost in an Elder Scrolls game. Perfect! As much as I love complex Role Playing Games this was a welcomed break to meander through an easier system. In turn, this meant more time in combat and tackling quests.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, UEE brought me in to contact with a vast array of enemies. Far too many to list but all with a unique sense of power. Despite this, I always felt as though I had the upper hand in battles. My difficulty setting was of a 'normal' level but I plan to replay the game on a harder setting to test my theory. What made for easier battles was the tactile nature of the NPC's. Usually I am skeptical of 'added baggage' but the games 'followers' proved a real asset. My tactic was to evade from direct battle if my health was low. I'd circle around whilst waiting for my potion to recharge. My trusty followers remained with locked swords acted as the IDEAL distraction for my potion to recharge. HIT L1, replenish my health and I was back in combat!
Environmentally, there are a range of towns, dungeons, houses, bogs, crypts, swamps, inns and more. I was reminded heavily of Baldurs Gate on the Game Cube actually. I've read reviews that claim that there is 'not much to do' of which I can completely agree with. Don't expect many side quests or much else. There are small tasks to pertain to such as repairing weapons, swapping your 'followers', buying new armor and weapons and looting chests. I enjoyed the more linear, approach compared to other role playing games. It felt like a rewarding task to repair your inventory, change the colours of your team flag and talk to other locals back at base in New Tristam, rather than feel overwhelmed by huge maps, inventories, sub menus and characters. Here is the crucial factor for me. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, UEE gave me the perfect balance of quests, combat, leveling and open world versus linear monotony.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Ultimate Evil Edition is available to buy NOW on Playstation3, Xbox 360, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. If you want more from me then SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel here
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Juicy Game Reviews
So this week we heard that Bloodborne, FromSotwares Gothic RPG, is penned for a February 2015 release. It's safe to say that I am SO ready to pound the dark streets of the Yharman with my interchangeable melee weapons in one hand and a firearm in the other. Over the last few weeks I have been watching the game play and studying the environments to look for clues about how my own journey throughout Yharman will pan out.
Like Thief, Bloodborne is set against a Victorian backdrop of which I would describe as a plague fueled demonic labyrinth. During the early game play seconds I noticed how well the developers, FromSoftware, had manipulated the use of light by bouncing it off the musky water puddles that were lay along the cobbled streets. This gave me a sense of bleakness as the environment felt even more cold and damp. From the ground up, our main protagonist motioned along whilst often encountering enemies wielding weapons. THIS was another great point that I noticed. The enemies appeared to make great use of their weapons, particularly those that possessed a gun of some sort. I have played many games in which the NPC's have tooled up with weapons for more of an aesthetic purpose than an offensive one. Despite this, I noticed that the enemies appeared slow in their movement which made it easier to launch melee attacks. Conclusively, I thought the game play looked easier than in previous Souls games. I could be completely wrong of course.
There has been a lot of talk about the combat systems in Bloodborne. If you watch the game play closely you may notice that the melee weapon can transform by increasing the reach which inevitably will increase the damage to a group of enemies. This occurs by pressing 'L1' during close quarter combat. This element appeared to enhance the speed of a battle. I watched the game play numerous times and noted that point on every occasion. The game play didn't appear to showcase much use of the 'shotgun looking' weapon. I've always been a player that enjoys a weapon in both hands so this is a positive for me from the start. I am unsure if we will be able to change the gun to another melee weapon or if the gun will be a permanent feature. Either way, the combat looks incredibly smooth, gory and balanced. May I say that the sounds of 'steel on steel' in the CQC and the squelching of the blood as it projectile shot from an enemy after being torn apart by the saw clever were also very satisfying.
Shapes, size and vigour. Yes, the game play spoke volumes to me about the enemy range. Well, it was actually my own perception of the range of enemies, albeit, a reasonable range. The one that caught my eye was the Cleric Beast of which I have since read is a boss in Bloodborne. During battle, the Cleric Beast squeezed out sounds that were reminiscent of a whaling banshee and flung its bustling revealed rib cage in to motion. The sheer size of the beast was intimidating but nonetheless, seemed reasonably easy to attack as slow movements and a slow recovery time were a flaw in its tactics.
I am certain that there is much more to learn about Bloodborne and I will certainly be preordering the game for the February 2015 launch. If you want to preorder today then please click on the graphic below to get great deals on Bloodborne and MANY other awesome games.
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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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