Robinson: The Journey Review – A faceful of dino

When thinking about the games I desperately want PlayStation VR to gel with, anything first-person leads the way. Doesn’t matter if it’s getting behind the wheel in DriveClub, gunning down murderous clowns and wendigos in Until Dawn: Rush of Blood or even aerial combat (I’m not traditionally a fan) in Criterion’s stunning X-Wing mission in Star Wars: Battlefront – I’ll be there, ready to push my face into it.

It can all be a bit manic though, stressful even – I’m just waiting for a good deal on Resident Evil VII, honest. I could do with something I can sit down with for a few hours and just enjoy being ‘there’. Robinson: The Journey may just be that game. Continue reading Robinson: The Journey Review – A faceful of dino

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Until Dawn: Rush of Blood Review – All aboard the fright train!

As a new PlayStation VR owner, I was keen to pick up something to ease myself into using the virtual reality headset, ideally something to play in shortish sessions. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is that game and an essential purchase for PlayStation VR owners.

If you’re coming in fresh, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is an on-rails shooter experience spin-off of 2015’s excellent Until Dawn. While the original game played like an interactive movie, a Heavy Rain-esque slasher movie if you will, Rush of Blood, sits you in a ghost train cart and converts the original game’s locations into a grisly theme park. Continue reading Until Dawn: Rush of Blood Review – All aboard the fright train!

Snake Pass Review – Look ma, no hands (or feet)!

A snake isn’t the most obvious choice of useful characters for a new platformer, but I’m all for trying something new to the genre. Well, until realising this may have been a mistake as I slide off the last section of a lengthy climb yet again and land back at the start like a bundle of wet rope. Continue reading Snake Pass Review – Look ma, no hands (or feet)!

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Review – Best enjoyed online

Single-player fans have enjoyed a number of high-quality open world titles recently, with Horizon: Zero Dawn and Final Fantasy XV leading the way. However, look for open world games to play online with friends and the list next to GTA V is short to say the least. Step forwards, Ghost Recon: Wildlands.

If you’ve recently binged on Netflix’s Narcos series and thought to yourself, ‘Man, this would be great set today as an open world game’ then you’re in luck. Every third word is ‘Sicarios’ or ‘Puta’ and you and your pals are tasked with saving Bolivia from another deluded cocaine kingpin crackpot – no amusing pot belly and moustache this time though – it’s all facial tattoos nowadays. Continue reading Ghost Recon: Wildlands Review – Best enjoyed online

Horizon: Zero Dawn Review – The thrill of the hunt

Horizon: Zero Dawn sees Killzone developers Guerrilla Games move onto fresh hunting grounds with a completely fresh genre and setting. This new world shows humanity going back to basics, but with a neat futuristic sci-fi twist. Humans may be running around in tribes with spears and arrows again, but instead of mutants, zombies or aliens, they’re fending off legions of robotic wildlife.

There’s a whole metal ecosystem to take on, everything from grazing cattle-like creatures, giant stampeding bulls, limo-sized alligators (or Snapmaws as the locals call them), all the way up to laser/missile-firing T-Rex (the dreaded Thunderjaws). As setups go, it’s one of the most original I’ve seen in years. Continue reading Horizon: Zero Dawn Review – The thrill of the hunt

The Last Guardian Review – An untameable classic?

Despite an infamously long wait for The Last Guardian to claw its way out of development hell, it wasn’t long after pushing past the opening cutscene that I began to think it was perhaps released too soon.

While ‘rushed’ might seem like an odd word to describe the game’s torrid journey from PS3 dev kit to living room PS4, there’s certainly a lot of areas that seem to have a ‘that’ll do let’s just release this thing’ vibe. Or maybe that’s unfair. Perhaps it was more of a school exam-style ‘time’s up, pencils down’ type of thing as the game was pried from genDESIGN’s (formerly Team Ico) hands by the powers tired of indulging a studio’s desire to make the perfect game. Continue reading The Last Guardian Review – An untameable classic?

No Man’s Sky Review – Where infinity becomes familiar

The possibilities are endless. Billions and billions of unique planets to discover. That’s how many of us have been imagining No Man’s Sky all these years throughout its development from a small team,  who’s previous games were content to have us rip down a 2D track chasing combos on a motorcycle. It’s quite a leap to say the least.

The reality may not be what we were expecting though, mainly because the game’s core gameplay was only shown off very late into the development cycle. For years, all we really knew was that there would be a lot of planets to discover. Take away the lengthy list of planets though and what we’re left with is rather less appealing – a resource mining and inventory management sim. Continue reading No Man’s Sky Review – Where infinity becomes familiar

Song of the Deep Review – Lost at sea

A little girl’s father fails to return after trying to find a lost civilisation at sea and she’s just had a vision that he’s drowning. Does she radio him? Alert the coastguard? Put some money in the ‘leccy meter and turn on the lighthouse?

Nope, this young lady’s first instinct is to build a submarine and go find him herself. She has a rough idea where he was headed, and seeing as this is a 2D game, she thankfully chooses to set off to the right, which is always a good start. Right and down a bit. Continue reading Song of the Deep Review – Lost at sea

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Review – One last time

The PS4 has been doing pretty good for exclusives so far, but this is the one many of the Sony faithful have been waiting for. Naughty Dog has said this could be Nate’s final adventure, so there’s a lot to live up to, to make sure he goes out on top.

We pick things up a few years after the last game and find Drake working an honest living in salvage. He’s settled down with Elena and is playing it straight. There’s clearly still an interest in exploring lost lands in the hope of finding an epic haul of treasure and the introduction of his thought-to-be-dead older brother is the perfect spark to rekindle his passion for adventure. Continue reading Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Review – One last time

Ratchet & Clank Review – Lombax to the future?

Another HD Remake? Well, no. Oh, a complete reboot for the series? Maybe, but again, no. Not really. No this PS4 release is more of a ‘reimagining’ of the original. Don’t worry though; Insomniac has done a much better job of reimagining the original than Tim Burton did when he ‘reimagined’ Planet of the Apes in 2001. Right, let’s stick the word ‘reimagined’ back in its box before my spellchecker dies of shame.

With Ratchet & Clank finally getting the animated movie treatment, Sony and Insomniac decided to hit the story reset button, which admittedly does make sense considering the family-friendly vibe of the game and the need to introduce the series to the younger generation. 3D platformers are a rarity in today’s climate which is a shame as Insomniac’s stellar record with the Ratchet series (yes, I’m ignoring Q-Force) must not have sold enough to make other studios want to bother. Could this be a test to gauge interest in both the series and maybe the genre itself? Continue reading Ratchet & Clank Review – Lombax to the future?

The Division Review – Trust no one

It was an honest mistake. I’d only just survived a bandit ambush. Adrenaline still pumping, I caught a flutter of movement in the corner of my eye. I spin around and open fire. Realising my mistake straight away, I drag my aim sideways before releasing the trigger. Thankfully I only grazed what turned out to be a fellow scavenger, rather than another indiscriminate and murderous bandit.

I immediately raise my hands, trying to communicate it was an honest mistake and I meant him no harm – hoping he would be happy for us to part company amicably. Despite my immediate ceasefire though, The Division has marked me as a rogue agent. An untrustworthy type who attacked an innocent in The Dark Zone – an area controlled by violent maniacs watching over valuable weapons and armour. Continue reading The Division Review – Trust no one

Alekhine’s Gun Review – Cold War Caper

For all of Hitman’s success over the years, there haven’t really been many impersonators. Sure we’ve had stealth shenanigans from the likes of Metal Gear, Dishonored and even Far Cry, but no other games seem to have attempted the whole ‘hiding in plain sight’ ethos with players stealing costumes to roam around under the noses of the guards before taking out their target. For fans of old school Hitman games though, Alekhine’s Gun craves your attention. Continue reading Alekhine’s Gun Review – Cold War Caper

Far Cry: Primal Review – The cat’s whiskers

If there’s one series we never expected to explore a 10,000 BCE prehistoric setting, it was Far Cry. Here’s a series so accustomed to the FPS genre, it was hard to imagine it doing anything else other than giving us a AK47, some C4, a bloody big map and a long journey to take over it. If you were a gambling man, you’d say this new setting was more likely to come via Assassin’s Creed.

Thankfully, it turns out Far Cry is a worthy brand to give this caveman-sim a shot. Even with the removal of guns, that Far Cry DNA is truly present in Primal. There’s a huge world to explore, irritable locals and the wildlife is so much more than window dressing as it’s purposefully included in gameplay and the game’s crafting and upgrade systems. More to the point, we all know Far Cry has been at its finest when it started letting us play with a bow and arrow. Continue reading Far Cry: Primal Review – The cat’s whiskers

Street Fighter V Review Diary – Multiplayer or bust?

So, I’ve had Street Fighter V for a week. For most games, especially a fighter, that’s usually plenty of time to polish off a review. Except I can’t really do that with Street Fighter V, because I’ve not been able to play anywhere near a finished product. That’s not to say there isn’t lots to say on the game’s single and multiplayer content so far.

We already knew the proper ‘Story Mode’ complete with cutscenes, wouldn’t be coming until Summer, but that was always seen as an extra, something we don’t usually get with an SF game anyway. It was fair to assume a selection of the usual modes would be on the disc from day one, but many are missing or ‘coming in March.’ Once these modes are here, and there’s no denying they damn well should have been on the disc from the start, I’ll be able to give the game a finished review with a score rating, much like I prefer to do with Telltale’s episodic games – not exactly a comparison I was expecting to make. Continue reading Street Fighter V Review Diary – Multiplayer or bust?

Deadpool Review – Marvel’s Mouthy Merc

Of all the Marvel characters, Deadpool is the one you’d expect to shake up, or ditch, the dull origins side of the comic book movies. Things start well, with an amusing taxi ride intro, followed by a slick fight scene on the freeway. But then the movie promptly and obediently falls in line with Marvel’s origins story machine.  To make things worse, the origins story is spliced in throughout the rest of the film, constantly wrecking the momentum. Continue reading Deadpool Review – Marvel’s Mouthy Merc

Spotlight Review – Exposing monsters

Based on true events, Spotlight tells us how a team of journalists at the Boston Globe took on the Catholic Church to expose a systemic pattern of child abuse and cover ups.

Once the Spotlight section of the Boston Globe newspaper are assigned their new exposé, the film’s pace rarely lets up. The majority of the its two hour runtime sees the reporters chasing up lawyers from both sides, interviewing victims and cutting through legal red tape. All while trying not to let the story out too soon in order to maximise the impact against as many offenders as possible. Continue reading Spotlight Review – Exposing monsters

Lego Marvel’s Avengers Review – Smashing and hoarding

“Hasn’t this been released already?” You’d certainly be forgiven for thinking as much. Lego Marvel’s Avengers certainly shares some similarities with 2013’s Lego Marvel Super Heroes. There’s a near identical open world hub based in Manhattan and enough comic book characters to make Sheldon Cooper’s head spin. Continue reading Lego Marvel’s Avengers Review – Smashing and hoarding

FIFA 16 Xbox One instant delivery $28.24/£18.99/€25.89

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EA’s top-tier games are usually tough to find a good deal for, but we’ve found an excellent price for a FIFA 16 Xbox One code that smashes the competition. The code will be delivered instantly as soon as you buy, making it an ideal last minute Christmas present. The added bonus of a digital copy is that you wont have to have Jordan Henderson’s mug on a physical box in your home. Continue reading FIFA 16 Xbox One instant delivery $28.24/£18.99/€25.89

The Art of Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City & Arkham Knight (Book Review)

Rocksteady’s trilogy of Batman games have become gaming legend in recent years. Never before has a studio nailed the feel of a comic/movie icon so well in gaming form. Behind every great game though, are reams of artwork inspiring ambitious mechanics and design. The creative mind’s eye uses the page to provide the provisional jumping off point for others.

This hardback book is a celebration and homage to the journey of the Batman series’ aesthetics from concept through completion. It’s an absolute beast of a book too, a true coffee table piece if ever there was one. Weighing in at 2KG, The Art of Rocksteady’s Batman has 304 pages containing 400 high quality images. Concept art has long been an unlockable feature in video games, but high quality art assets are much better appreciated on the page rather than your TV screen.

Continue reading The Art of Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City & Arkham Knight (Book Review)

Gaming reviews, previews and features by Brendan Griffiths