Cyberpunk 2077 is arguably one of the most hyped video games since Grand Theft Auto V back in 2013. The success of The Witcher 3 on PC and all major consoles left big boots to fill when it came to CD Project Red’s (CDPR) next adventure. Fast forward to December 10th 2020, and after Cyberpunk’s multiple delays the gaming universe was finally graced with the release. Sadly that release has fallen flat on its face and us gamers are not happy. Cyberpunk 2077 has been branded “a buggy mess” and even more so on base Xbox One and PS4 consoles. It warrants the question; why did CDPR bother releasing such an ambitious game on base consoles? Why not exclusively release on the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X? I believe money is the most obvious answer. Not everyone has been able to acquire the latest generations’ consoles which would have meant a very large portion of the market not being able to play Cyberpunk 2077.
So here we are, two days after launch as I write this! I have been live streaming Cyberpunk on my PS4 Pro. The textures seriously lack, rendering takes quite a few seconds (especially on vehicles), the city feels drastically empty and the combat is very lethargic. In summary, I completely agree that Cyberflunk is a broken mess. Gamers unable to see the console performance prior to launch too. All previews and reviews showcased PC footage. CD Project Red also provided reviewers with the actual review footage. That’s right!! The embargo did not allow reviewers to capture their own gameplay. That is a red flag right there. I would go as far to say that this is very misleading in the marketing of Cyberpunk for console gamers. To cap it off Cyberpunk 2077 is rocking an eye watering and painful Metacritic score of 2.3 on PS4 as I write this. For a game studio as big as CDPR this is unacceptable. In fact I believe it is heartbreaking for gamers that are trying to play on base consoles. With most other game developers I would be worried that the game would be broken forever but as we know, CDPR are a dev team that show long term support for their games.
Hot Fix 1.04 launched yesterday which cleans up a lot of the issues around stability and bugs. There is definitely a long way to go before Cyberflunk truly becomes the enriching Cyberpunk experience we were led to believe in. Besides from stablity and bug fixes here is what I would like to see evolve in Night City:
On the plus side it seems like my six hours playtime has not been anywhere near as bad as some gamers. I’ve strangled invisible enemies, witnessed a police car appear before my eyes and noticed ten second freezes mid-scene. This seems like nothing compared to what other gamers have had to battle.
This is not acceptable. However, I have every faith that CD Projekt Red are going to fix it. I am choosing to stand by the game and I will continue to live stream my ventures throughout Night City and beyond. Afterall, lets not forget how Hello Games pulled back No Man's Sky.
Blog post by: Gemma @ Juicy Game Reviews / TheGebs24
Days Gone is much more than a game to me. Days Gone is my perfect escape from reality. Survival is a concept that we live by everyday. Most of us do our best to look after ourselves in order to survive the strongest way we can. Days Gone is no different. Survival takes a different notion in Days Gone and in particular Deacon is guided by finding his one true love amidst a Post Apocalyptic, Freaker infested world. This is not a review of Days Gone so if you are here for a review then I suggest you read no further. If you’d like to hear about why Days Gone is an important game to me then read on.
A Dilapidated look
Days Gone’s world is immense. Broken bridges with nests flailing out of them, overgrown plants and vines consume the cemetery, tunnels that are so packed full of broken down cars you have no choice but to go slow and sketchy NERO checkpoints that lurk on corners! Days Gone delivered a vivid world that I become immersed in each time I played. I felt captivated the rain hitting the broken tarmac of the long roads! I enjoyed traveling the dangerous roads in different towns, taking risks to stop for gas at the gas station pumps whilst hearing a Freaker make ground behind you. Days Gone executed the environments in such a way that I felt continually immersed.
It’s not all gritty though. Extremely late on in the game Days Gone starts to deliver some new weather fronts that I was not expecting. Snow capped mountains produce equally as much danger as the lower broken roads that hug the riversides. The key here is the timing though. I felt intrigued by Bend Studio’s decision to introduce a more varied weather system so late on in the game? For me Days Gone was the gift that kept on giving which is one of the reasons I could not stop playing it.
Deacon was both trapped and free at the same time; bound by his mission to find his wife yet freed by the open road being able to travel between various settlements. The more missions Deacon completed the XP we could spend on improving the experience. For me I found that fine tuning my bike was rewarding!
Man of Medan seems like a long awaited title from Supermassive Games; developers of Until Dawn. Like Until Dawn Man of Medan is an interactive horror game that forces players to make timed decisions. Each decision impacts the proceeding storyline, characters and more. Man of Medan is the first chapter of Supermassive Games' Anthology series (The Dark Pictures). Supermassive Games are set to release a new chapter within 6 months of the previous. The next chapter is called Little Hope which seems to ooze Silent Hill Vibes. Once you beat Man of Medan there's a sneak peek in to Little Hope pegged for a 2020 release. It looks brilliant!
Building up to Man of Medan's release I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. Horror games with nautical backdrops don't really float my boat. In fact the ending of Resident Evil VII felt flat to me as we were stuck on that damn ship! Dark, damp and dreary ships! I can think of much scarier settings for a horror game. The question remains though: did I enjoy Man of Medan? The answer is: not as much as I enjoyed Until Dawn; which for me had a much more appealing backdrop, more characters and a longer story. Man of Medan is slow to kick off. A group of upcoming divers hire a boat, which includes a confident female tour guide. With a crate of beer the five of them set sail in to the South Pacific Ocean. Without spoiling the story the five of them find themselves in a hostage situation and end up slamming directly in to a missing Ghost Ship from the 1940's The true horror seemed to start from this point in the game which was already over one hour in.
If you've played Until Dawn you will be familiar with the choice based narrative of the game. Choices or there lack of will impact on the bearing of the next stage of the game. I found the opportunity to make decisions somewhat slow and frustrating. Frustrating in a sense of there only being three choices each time. I would have preferred to have more options to choose from as this would have increased the pace a little.
Man of Medan had some surprising jump scares. Could there have been more? Absolutely. I felt that the balance was tipped in favour of Man of Medan feeling more like a Walking in a dark ship simulator rather than a pacey horror game. I would have loved to have had more jump scares, however trivial.
What is better than a game that drenches you in bone crunching nostalgia vibes that instantly transport you back to your childhood? Five games that drench you from top to toe nostalgia right?! I recently picked up the July copy of Retro Gamer Magazine and checked out a new game called 198X by a Swedish dev team; Hi-Bit Studios. What immediately struck me about 198X was just how stunning the pixel art looked. There's a luscious blend of styles ranging from steam punk to a Blade Runner-esque, Ghost in the Shell type vibe sprinkled with some Outrun on top. I reached out to Tobias Bjarneby (writer and director) and he sent me an awesome insight in to 198X the game.
198X is an ecliectic mixture of the best gaming genre's from my childhood. We have The Beat 'Em Up, The Shoot 'Em up, The Racing Game, The Ninja Game and The RPG. Let us dive deeper in to the world of 198X.
Why do you think there remains so much nostalgia for arcade games?
"Arcades used to be these magical places. There you’d find the coolest and most impressive video games, with futuristic qualities far beyond what you could play at home. These towering machines were more than just games – they were portals to other worlds.
To me, this is the perfect setting for a 1980s coming-of-age story. Of course, 198X is hardly the first game to be heavily influenced by 80s arcade games – but what we’re doing is to put those games into context, capturing the atmosphere surrounding them.
We tell a story about discovering an arcade and finding new worlds in its games. 198X is a video game about falling in love with video games."
Where did the idea for 198X originate?
"Before all this I’d been working as a video game journalist and editor for 25 years, producing hundreds of magazines and several books. The core of our development team also founded Stockholm Museum of Video Games in 2016, so you could say that 198X is an extension of our previous work with preserving and celebrating video game history."
What challenges have you faced through making 5 distinct different games?
The big challenge was defining the essence of these games and their distinct era. Why do I love Out Run so dearly when I couldn’t care less about modern racing games? How come the opening stage in Final Fight, the first deadly slash in Strider and the initial boss encounter in R-Type had such a huge impact on me?
We found the answers not merely in graphics, sounds and core mechanincs, but in the context, presentation and gameplay variation. Visiting an arcade in the 80s was all about finding new experiences, swiftly moving from one world to another. Driving your Ferrari under the blue sky, then cleaning up the streets of Metro City, suddenly soaring over the rooftops of 2048 Moscow and further out in space to face Dobkeratops. This is what 198X is all about. We are not making just another beat ’em up or ninja game – we are using these games to tell a bigger story.
Left 4 Dead made its mark in amongst gaming fans, casual players and critics alike. Left 4 Dead 2 released 10 years ago on the Xbox 360 and PC and since then the game held up pretty well. Left 4 Dead held its appeal and value… until now.
Last week Saber Interactive launched World War Z on to the PS4, Xbox One and PC. World War Z has been heavily compared to the Left 4 Dead series on the Xbox 360. I’ve been live streaming World War Z on the PS4 and I am hooked.
What is World War Z (Game)?
World War Z shares similarities to Left 4 Dead. The campaign cane be played both online and off-line. If you choose to fight the undead offline; you will be in a squad with 3 other AI characters and then online with actual humans (friends or randoms).
There are 5 initial difficulty settings (or rather skulls). Put simply the higher the skull count the higher the difficulty! I started off on two out of five (normal) difficulty. Playing through the campaign online is much easier than offline. I found the offline AI to be slow and clunky so I would highly recommend playing online. If you’re an unfortunate soul who has no friends then rest assure that there are plenty of other players to be randomly team up with.
There are currently four countries to meander through when it comes to slaying the zombies: USA (New York), Israel (Jerusalem) Russia (Moscow) and Japan (Tokyo). There are three levels to each city except for Tokyo which has two. Each country offers players the same in that there are literally hundreds of thousands of zombies to kill at anyone time. You can expect the undead to to rather quick though, same as they were in the World War Z movie. Saber Interactive obtained the movie license which is pretty neat! The frightening movie scenes in which the zombies climb up one another to penetrate walls is also in the game! You can expect tense moments, high adrenaline and an absolute load of laughs!
If campaign is not your thing then you may enjoy jumping in to multiplayer! World War Z serves up game modes such as Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill and more. Teams of four players are pit against each other but it does not end there. This is not a Call of Duty game! Expect waves of angry zombie hordes to flow through every multiplayer game! This adds a lot of tension and a lot of reward. Experience Points can be gained by killing zombies. In turn these can be spent to boost your weapons and your class levels. We’ll talk more about that later.
Please note: This review will contain dramatic and experimental prose, irony and cynicism for comedic effect and the entertainment for you, the reader.
It’s a cold winters day and probably an awful day at work -the one that pays, yet ultimately destroys spirit and humanity- when I check my mobile phone for to see if I have any messages regarding the death of or dying family member; the only time I ever get a message. To my astonishment I had received an email, though not my typical email of a refund from organization I’ve never dealt with, or the gold mining company in Beliveau that need £1000 transferred to their account, so they can set up their business and pay you back in millions; an offer no idiot can refuse. This email was from the publisher Digirati and the opportunity to request a review code for Pipe Push Paradise. Pipe Push Paradise is a 2D puzzle involving, you’ve guessed it pipes.
You have arrived on an island your uncle lives. Your uncle being the islands plumber has been out of action for the pass few days and the island needs running water. It’s up to you, a silent protagonist to fix the islands plumbing problem.
It was about a week later when I received the code. When I got in I rushed to my switch and typed the code in. ‘This Product is not available’, but it is available, I can see it on the store, it’s right there. I email the contact at Digirati explaining the situation and… Nothing.
Very few games capture the essence of being on vacation somewhere exotic quite like Pipe Push Paradise. It’s bright or tropical colour pallets mixed with this simplistic childish character design that seems to be popular in warming climates just sets that tone. If the visuals do not do that for you, the relaxing guitar melodies will. It’s freeform style of play only heightens this relaxing nature, the guitar playing is free, and taking its time, and just going nowhere in a hurry, it says “Hey relax, you’re on holiday, just chill out”.
After a further two weeks, with no contact out of nowhere I received another email. “Sorry for the delay, it has been crazy here, please find new code below”. I had not been forgotten. The anxiety, the worry of feeling that the developer may think I’ve done a fast one had subsided. Once again, I rushed home to enter the code.
In theory, Pipe Push Paradise is simple. You have one section that has water coming out, and using the surrounding spare pipes you must put them together so the water flows into the exit pipe (or is it entry pipe as the water flows in?). However, the talented developer Corey Martin takes this concept and develops it extremely well.
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
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
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
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