Category Archives: Platforms

God of War Review: Gods and monsters

God of War’s long-overdue venture into the Norse wildlands gives Kratos and the series a chance to leave the blood-soaked ruins of ancient Greece behind. And after the patricidal events of God of War III, you would expect Kratos to have found some peace.

And it would seem things were going to plan for a while, but the new God of War game starts with signs it’s all falling apart for the Ghost of Sparta once again. Years have passed, it’s never said exactly how many, but we find Kratos has a new family and has a young son, Atreus. Continue reading God of War Review: Gods and monsters

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The existence of Knack 2 is a brilliant and ridiculous thing

Seriously? Knack 2? How are you a thing?

When Sony announced the game towards the end of 2016 the internet and its dog was a little confused to say the least. The original game was the whipping boy of the PS4’s launch lineup with repetitive, overly tough gameplay and lengthy checkpoints whetting the knives of critics and players alike. Continue reading The existence of Knack 2 is a brilliant and ridiculous thing

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

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

Should you buy a Nintendo Switch just for Zelda?

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a little bit late. Nintendo originally planned to have a brand new Zelda title on the Wii U not long after launch. Instead, the game eventually launched this week on both the new Nintendo Switch and the now discontinued console, the Wii U.

Nintendo Switch pre-orders sold out a few weeks ago in the US and launch stock has been all but impossible to get a hold of. With no indication of how much stock was allocated in the first place, it’s hard to gauge just how popular the new console is. By contrast, stock still seems available at a fair few online stores here in the UK. Continue reading Should you buy a Nintendo Switch just for Zelda?

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

A Bloodborne convert plays Dark Souls III

Back in 2010 I had to review the original Demon’s Souls on PS3. We did not get along. While I appreciated it trying to stand out from the crowd with its bastard hard difficulty and measured approach, it wasn’t for me. There’s a fun to challenge ratio I find acceptable in games and the unresponsive combat and miserly checkpoints just didn’t sit personally.

By the time Dark Souls appeared, I was relieved to see another member of staff take it on instead. And that was the last I saw of the series until From Software released Bloodborne in the PS4. Our Souls-friendly staffer was yet to grab Sony’s new machine, so I found myself handling the beta and review. Then something strange happened, I started to like it. Continue reading A Bloodborne convert plays Dark Souls III

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?

Hitman Beta Impressions – Agent 47’s job interview

“Just drink the damn wine, you swine!” I mutter murderously. I’m dressed as a member of the cabin crew and am running out of glasses to clean behind the bar while I awkwardly wait for my target to pick up the glass of wine dosed with rat poison and save me the bother of getting throat flesh on my cheese wire. Aaaaand he’s walked away without taking his complimentary drink.

While rushing to follow him, I barge into some plantation owner-looking fossil, he alerts the guards which ends in me getting shot to shit while staggering down the gangway. This must be how Wile E. Coyote feels all damn day as he fails to murder the roadrunner. Welcome, to the Hitman beta. Continue reading Hitman Beta Impressions – Agent 47’s job interview

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