Category Archives: Hands-on previews

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

Advertisements

Rocket League Preview | PS4’s hottest new exclusive?

What is Rocket League? Put simply, it’s football/soccer with large remote controlled cars, and it’s kinda brilliant.

I’ve been getting stuck into the new beta and Rocket League is already shaping up to be an essential PS4 multiplayer title. There will be local multiplayer options in the final game, but this beta has focussed on the online matches and is already showing huge potential. Continue reading Rocket League Preview | PS4’s hottest new exclusive?

Wulverblade Preview | The beat ’em up is back

Wulverblade remembers the good ol’ days of playing side-scrolling beat ’em ups with friends on consoles like the Sega Mega-Drive and wants to bring that feeling back to modern consoles. At the Play Blackpool retro gaming expo it’s finding a lot of new fans, as many attendees were brought up on the likes of Streets of Rage and Double Dragon, so have no problem diving straight into Wulverblade.

Unlike many modern titles leaning on the nostalgic angle, you won’t see Wulverblade sporting a pixel art style or looking like it could have run on a console twenty years ago. Instead the art direction shows a stunning cel-shaded style more akin to Castle Crashers. But with additional limb-lopping. Continue reading Wulverblade Preview | The beat ’em up is back

Can Oculus Rift and VR become the future of gaming?

Over the course of the recent Play Blackpool expo, I was able to get my third hands-on experience with the Oculus Rift. It was the first time I’d been able to test the latest Crescent Bay model and earlier today we learned that the consumer model will launch in the first quarter of 2016. But is Virtual Reality ready to compete in the world of gaming? Can it be the next big thing? Let’s look at the latest evidence via hands-on experiences and by examining the VR climate.

With the ever-growing list of headsets being announced, there’s no denying the industry giants believe Virtual Reality has a large part in the future of gaming. In addition to the Oculus Rift, we have Sony’s Project Morpheus and the HoloLens from Microsoft. More recently we’ve seen Valve/HTC enter the fray with Vive, which could possibly arrive later this year, beating Oculus to the punch. Continue reading Can Oculus Rift and VR become the future of gaming?

PREVIEW: Gunnihilation | Bullet Ballet Bloodbath

When playing a game for the first time at a gaming expo, often with fellow gamers looking over your shoulder, you want it to have that essential pick up and play feel where you can settle into that groove of having a great time and looking like a badass all at once. Gunnihilation is that game.

Playable on PC at Play Blackpool, but using an Xbox One controller, this twin-stick shooter has classic retro visuals paired with vitally responsive controls as you combine shooting with platforming to enormously satisfying effect. It’s also playable in co-op, which is even better. Continue reading PREVIEW: Gunnihilation | Bullet Ballet Bloodbath

Bloodborne (Hands-On Preview)

Chances are, you’re either a big fan of the Dark Souls series or you just can’t be doing with their brand of no-nonsense difficulty and downright unresponsive controls.

Me? I’m not a fan and haven’t been since I played the original Demon’s Souls. So why am I the one talking to you about Bloodborne, a game by the same devs and seen as a potential killer exclusive on the PS4 for fans of From Software’s series? Well, after trying out the recent Alpha, I’m thinking maybe Bloodborne will be worth a look after all and those of you that aren’t fans of the Souls games probably shouldn’t dismiss it so soon.

Continue reading Bloodborne (Hands-On Preview)

The Evil Within (Hands-on Preview)

 

Remember: Burn After Bleeding

Today’s session sees our detective leading man making his way through a sinister mansion full of strange noises, tortured sobbing, wet ripping sounds and a host of nasties sporting dead-eyed barbwire couture. Forget any concerns about the ‘haunted mansion’ cliché, this is the sort of nasty setting we’ve missed in recent years. And don’t forget, this is just one stage of Shinji Mikami’s blood-soaked love letter to the genre he helped to define.

It’s also the first decent taste of horror on new-gen hardware and it suitably impresses on the graphical front from the start. It’s the shadows that really put you on edge though. Be it the flickering shards emitted by your gas lamp as you edge down a dim corridor, the light behind a sheet betraying the twitching silhouette or the gradual pouring of light into a dark room as you slowly creak open a door into the unknown.

Continue reading The Evil Within (Hands-on Preview)

Project Cars (Hands-On Preview)

“Try to catch that car in front or just bring it back in one piece.” These are the deflating words of my pit manager when skidding around in last place on the final lap in Project Cars.

Project Cars is tough. With no driving aids turned on for my first play session with the new racing IP, I can’t help but feel the pressure mount as every time I look up in the Bandai Namco offices, I see a Dark Souls II poster – judging, mocking and not helping my blood temperature one bit.

Things improve though and despite the harsh challenge, which comes mainly from the handling rather than the AI (but more on those guys later), I found myself keen to iron out my racing sim wrinkles and lose those pesky kart racer habits. To be fair, it’s not like PS4 is exactly packed with skill-honing racing sims right now.

Continue reading Project Cars (Hands-On Preview)

Opening Scenes: Velocity 2X – 27 Mins of Gameplay

The PS4 offerings for PS+ have been a bit too niche for their own good in recent months, but Velocity 2X is a stone cold classic. This newly released title is available for free to anyone on Sony’s subscription service and is out now on both PS4 and Vita.

Today we have 27 minutes of gameplay footage for you, captured from the PS4 version as I play the game for the first time. Velocity 2X is a hybrid of retro shooter and 2D platformer and works best when played at full tilt. The video shows off how effortlessly the game switches between the two genres to become one of the best releases of the year so far. We’ll have a review for you soon, but for now check out what you’re missing, then go and download it. Continue reading Opening Scenes: Velocity 2X – 27 Mins of Gameplay

Let’s Play… Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition – Adventure Mode

Let's Play... Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition - Adventure ModeThe new Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition has been devouring our time lately. After getting back from my hols I’ve finally been able to finish the campaign mode which, as players of the original version will know, has meant the Adventure mode has finally unlocked.

This part of Diablo III’s end-game sees you tasked with bounties or killcount targets to bring in some seriously fat XP and gold rewards, not to mention all sorts of shiny loot. Blood Shards are rare rewards too and also a new currency that allows you to gamble for some exceptionally rare items. Continue reading Let’s Play… Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition – Adventure Mode

Evolve – Medic Hands On Preview – Is Evolve Bleeding Out Already?

Evolve - Medic Hands On Preview | Is Evolve Bleeding Out Already?

Turtle Rock’s upcoming game puts a team of four players against one player-controlled monster in an intense online skirmish that will require teamwork, bravery and just enough humility to know when to retreat for a while. Earlier this week, I detailed my experience playing as the Kraken monster in Evolve. Today, it’s time to hear what playing on the hunter team is like, specifically in the Medic role. Playing as the monster is a solitary experience, but on the hunter’s team, co-ordination is key to success or at least survival.

Before getting into the details of my medic playthrough though, a little introduction of some general match details. As I detailed in my Kraken hands-on report, the hunter team are dropped into the stage a minute or so after the monster meaning they have to track it down, hopefully before it manages to evolve into later forms.

Maggie, the team’s trapper has a pet Trapjaw, an ‘alien dogbeast’ that can be used to track the monster, providing glowing images of footprints on the ground for the team to follow. Unless, the monster ran up the river like I did.

Evolve - Medic Hands On Preview | Is Evolve Bleeding Out Already?

There’s more to worry about than the monster though as each map is filled with local wildlife that can be just as dangerous. Large creatures like the Megamouth like to lurk in bushes and will pounce upon and trap hunters in their mouth until a teammate shoots them free or they’re devoured. There are meeker creatures that won’t attack you and others that will if provoked. Generally though, you won’t want to kill much of the local wildlife because you’re simply providing ready-made meals for the monster, allowing it to reach its next form even faster as they beef up for the finale.

Getting around the large levels is aided by a jetpack that allows you to climb the cliffs when in pursuit of the monster. The Kraken can fly and climb walls, so be prepared for a few vertical chases. These jetpacks can only go so far before needing an unreasonably lengthy recharge, which can be a deadly issue when defending a generator on a high-up platform as the monster will switch between attacking from above and below, often stranding you below for a while if you don’t keep an eye on the fuel gauge.

Evolve - Medic Hands On Preview | Is Evolve Bleeding Out Already?

Lazarus – The Medic

Lazarus the medic is a player strictly based behind his team. He’s the only character able to revive teammates and as such will be the first target for any savvy player behind the eyes of the monster. There’s no magic gun that fires a persistent healing beam as in Team Fortress 2 though. Lazarus only has a recharging deployable health pack that heals anyone in the immediate area. Player health does not regenerate automatically, so careful use of this Healing Burst ability is key to keeping them in prime condition.

The Lazarus Device is the most important item in his tool belt though thanks to its unique ability of reviving fallen players. Naturally, the monster will lay traps for you by killing teammates and waiting to kick your ass when you appear corpse-side with the device. Thankfully, this version of Evolve’s medic class (there will be at least two in the final game) also has a temporary cloaking device to turn invisible, giving you an extra chance of reviving a teammate without being detected. Your team will also play an important role in helping you revive comrades, as they can draw attention away from you with their weapons and traps.

Evolve - Medic Hands On Preview | Is Evolve Bleeding Out Already?

When called into action to swoop in and save someone, playing as the medic can be fun. Unfortunately, the rest of the time it’s undeniably dull playing as the first-aider while everyone else gets to hog all the monster-slaying glory. Lazarus does have a sniper rifle to attack from afar and supposedly uncover weak spots for the assault class to target for extra damage, but the on-screen feedback of such spots is seemingly non-existent at this stage.

It’s clear that the devs (or at least the enthusiastic 2K rep dashing around behind us giving is advice) wants the medic to stay out of the fight and hang back as much as possible. Well, fingers crossed by the final game the sniper rifle will appear to be more useful instead of a token weapon to make it look like the medic is contributing on an offensive level. On the strength of this playthrough, the medic is the “not-it” character of the team-selection screen, where each hunter team must have one player in each role (assault, medic, trapper and support).

Evolve - Medic Hands On Preview | Is Evolve Bleeding Out Already?

So far, Evolve hasn’t made the best of impressions. The Kraken is a clunky creature to control and it’s frequently unclear what it’s supposed to be doing when the objectives change beyond killing the hunters. While playing as the medic is sadly just a little boring unless you’re diving in under the monster’s feet while wearing your invisibility cloak to revive another teammate who got a little brave.

I can also see how until everyone gets really good at playing the game in the other hunter roles, the medic is going to be the most important player in the team –or the one that clears up their mess and suicidal charges. If you’re going to play Evolve online with randomers, the fact that you may have a moron in the medic’s shoes means you’re also probably fucked from the start.

I want to be more excited about Evolve than I am right now, but the great idea of four players taking on a massive boss character badly needs polish, or ironically given the name, a few more rounds of evolution as it’s currently slipping down the food chain.

Evolve – Kraken Hands On Preview

Evolve – Kraken Hands On Preview | Nom the humans!

Nom the humans!

Turtle Rock’s upcoming title wants to shake things up a notch. The idea of four players teaming up to take on a large boss enemy is nothing new. But having a fifth player controlling the boss? That’s something we can definitely say we want a part of.

During my visit to the recent MCM Manchester Comic Con expo I was able to play the game as one of the hunters and as one of the newly revealed monster characters, the Kraken. Today’s preview is going to focus on the later, because let’s face it, why wouldn’t I tell you about controlling this absolute beast of a creature first?

Evolve – Kraken Hands On Preview | Nom the humans!

While there will be a separate solo campaign mode, most of the buzz around the game has been about the four vs one concept. In today’s stage the hunters were tasked with killing the monster before it was able to feed enough to evolve into larger forms. The monster’s objective though was either to take out all the hunters before they had a chance to revive each other or to grow strong enough to destroy a large generator at a facility on the other side of the jungle. Players are able to choose a perk in the match’s lobby such as faster feeding or tougher armour. I went for faster feeding, as I was keen to max out the monster’s form before trying to take on the hunters.

The monster gets a head start when the round begins before the hunters are dropped into the same location. Rather than wait for them, I was advised to get as far away as possible and to feed on smaller creatures to evolve to the second form to deal more damage and become tougher to kill.

Knowing the hunters would be using a pet creature to track the scent of my footsteps, I decided to start the match by walking up a river, hoping the water would hide my tracks. It seemed to work too as it was a good few minutes before I was discovered. Before being found I was able to eat a few herbivore dinosaur-like creatures after taking them out with a few powerful swipe attacks. Once a feed meter has been filled I had to find a quiet area to enter a vulnerable cocoon state to evolve to the second stage. After what felt like forever, I emerged with a few skillpoints that I was able to spend on boosting some of the Kraken’s abilities.

Evolve – Kraken Hands On Preview | Nom the humans!

After getting out of the surprisingly sticky upgrade screen, I realised that I was under attack. The hunters had found me, and I was surprised at just how puny they appeared. Time to unleash some monster mayhem.

Unlike the Goliath monster, the Kraken is more of a ranged specialist. Controlling the Cthulhu-like monster, I was able to hover in the air and send down multiple attacks. Targeted lightning strikes can be aimed at specific targets from afar, meaning you can pick off members of the hunter team one at a time, while also staying out of the way of the heavy damage weapons like the flamethrower. While the monster’s shield may regenerate, the health bar does not.

Monsters need to know when to fall back, as it’s all too easy to get trapped in one of the trapper domes. Although, if the hunters co-ordination goes to hell, it can be a case you having them exactly where you want them. Let’s just say I took advantage of them not realising they were free to leave the dome.

Evolve – Kraken Hands On Preview | Nom the humans!

The banshee mine attack sends out numerous explosive orbs that are useful for keeping the hunters moving, ensuring they have less time to line up a decent shot. Keeping them panicked and disorganised is going key to victory. The most useful attack I found though was the vortex blast, which acts like a powerful gust of wind that, with careful aiming, can send the entire party tumbling away, which is perfect for giving you some breathing room if the little sods start to get organised.

Sometimes though, you have to move in for some close melee attacks, usually to finish off an opponent and maybe feast on their remains if their team has abandoned them. The melee attack moves feel pretty awful though at this stage, there’s no sense of weight or connection to them and they feel decidedly unresponsive and sluggish. I found myself hammering the melee button and just hoping to see a hunters health bar diminish. It’s even more noticeable when taking on the local wildlife in order to evolve to a new form. The lack of physicality for the melee moves somewhat ruined the sense of being a huge powerful creature and I dearly hope Turtle Rock can beef them up by release.

There were a few bugs during the demo that will hopefully be ironed out by release too. The sound dropped out for most of my playthrough with only the odd muted explosion coming through, not ideal when you’re trying to listen out for signs of the hunter pack. Also, on my final assault on the generator a prompt never appeared telling me I needed to hold certain buttons to initiate damaging attacks, so I just hammered away with regular attacks doing no damage. A big thanks to the 2K rep behind me who didn’t think this would be useful information for me either.

Evolve – Kraken Hands On Preview | Nom the humans!

What has become clear though is that Evolve isn’t going to be one for quick matches. Most matches at the expo took around twenty minutes, which feels a bit too long. Alternatively, the monster could opt to ambush the hunters straight away before they’ve had time to compose themselves and I’ve read reports that matches can be over in less than ten minutes if you get lucky this way. But with queues at MCM being 90 minutes long, nobody really wanted to put this to the test.

Stay tuned for part two of my preview where the tables are turned and I recount my experience playing as a medic on the hunter’s team. [UPDATE: Or click this link to read it now!]

Opening Scenes | Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty – 15 Mins PS4 Gameplay

Abe’s Oddysee was one of our favourite 2D platformers back in the PS1’s heyday, so we’re delighted that Just Add Water has given the game a shiny HD makoever, although we’re not sold, nor see the point of, the new name – Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty. In addition to the new visuals, the separate screens that broke up a stage as you ran onto them from left to right have been replaced with one smoothly scrolling stage. Continue reading Opening Scenes | Oddworld: New ‘N’ Tasty – 15 Mins PS4 Gameplay

Destiny Beta Iron Banner Mode PS4 Gameplay

Play Iron Banner Mode tonight!

With the Destiny Beta finishing tomorrow, we’ve been squeezing every last drop from the game. We even managed to get a few matches on the elusive Iron Banner mode and record a few tasty videos for you. This special mode only unlocks for the briefest of windows, allowing players the chance to partake in a new multiplayer mode where all the stats for weapons and armor are taken into account, meaning having earned the best gear could give you an advantage. Continue reading Destiny Beta Iron Banner Mode PS4 Gameplay

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Preivew – There’s more to space than Destiny

PREVIEW | Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel - There's more to space than Destiny

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes place on the moon of the planet Pandora in the time between the first and second games, with players working for Handsome Jack. Not played any of the other games? Don’t worry; this is a simple place to start and newcomer friendly while giving plenty of nudges to the fans. So let’s dive in and see what 2K Australia has brought to the table since Gearbox handed them the reigns.

Two playable characters were available to choose from in this demo. First time through the snaking queue at the MCM Manchester Expo I tried Athena, a light and nimble character packing a collection of long-range weapons. Her standard mêlée move involves a sweet red katana slash that has a satisfying feel. Athena’s most impressive feature though is her shield ability. A tap of L1 sees her raise her shield in her left hand, leaving the right free to continue firing a gun. The shield can be thrown Captain America style for a devastating attack with a tap of L1. The shield is thrown automatically after the meter has depleted too. It’s a great way to create some breathing room when multiple enemies are closing in. You’re going to be happy to splurge hard-earned skill points on reducing the cooldown period for this one.

PREVIEW | Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel - There's more to space than Destiny

The second character I was able to choose was the imposing figure of Wilhelm. So, it comes as no surprise that we’ve found this Pre-Sequel’s tank character. His default loadout favored more explosive weaponry like shotguns and rocket launchers. Sadly, his melee attack lacked any sort of impact or visual style compared to Athena’s. Why should we be content with a standard rifle butt jab when Athena gets a freakin’ sword? Come on 2K, give him a hammer at least or seeing as we expect mental weapons from this series, maybe a small rabid skag on a stick would be better? Wilhelm’s special ability is much more useful (but again not very unique), a small backup drone that flies around you shooting at will. Frankly, I was too busy shooting to see how useful it was being.

Whoever you play as though, you’re going to have one hell of a time with the latest line of those awesome guns. The new space setting provides the perfect excuse for brining all sorts of lethal laser weaponry to the party. There are burst fire lasers, methodical and deadly rail gun lasers or good old fashioned Ghostbusters-like proton pack lasers. All of which do a glorious job of shedding enemies of those precious hit points. Ice weapons make their Borderlands debut too, allowing you to freeze and smash enemies, not exactly a new concept for games, but then again, neither is lasers, and look how fun they are!

Don’t worry if you prefer traditional gunfire over nerdy lasers though, as the moon is packed with boomsticks for everyone. Of course there are assault rifles and shotguns, but how about a rocket launcher with a semi-automatic shotgun type rate of fire? Yeah, you want that don’t you? Trust me, you do.

There’s a caveat to all this fun though and that is the need to breath. Oxygen is now a depleting commodity that must be maintained so you avoid scenes like those found when stepping outside with Arnie in Total Recall. Enemies, human or skag alike, drop oxygen canisters and there are oxygen stations that deploy large air-packed domes so you can top up your supplies. In the demo I found that as long as you’re near one of these stations or have a regular supply of enemies, you can breathe long and deep.

PREVIEW | Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel - There's more to space than Destiny

However, as soon as you want to explore or take your time between action scenes or, heaven forbid, head in the opposite direction to the objective marker, you run the risk of running on empty and becoming a dusty moonside corpse. As first impressions go, I think the oxygen concept goes completely against one of the most engaging aspects of the Borderlands series -exploring for loot. Hopefully, we’ll be able to upgrade characters to become less reliant on regular top ups.

The lack of oxygen does have one advantage though and that is the low sense of gravity that allows you to leap to epic heights to add a generous vertical angle of attack to the series. It also made the switch from my recent stint with the very floaty Destiny much smoother. Jump pads allow you to fly even higher and will prove essential to passing over larger gorges on the moon’s surface.

There’s also a new stomp attack that takes advantage of the floaty mechanics. Press the crouch button while in orbit and you come thundering back down to the surface. It’s useful for navigating platforms with speed and precision and also as an attack. Later on in the game you’ll be able to add elemental features to these strikes. I have heard that these ground attacks will consume a chunk of oxygen, but I didn’t find this to be the case during my playthrough. Maybe it’s just when you start adding powerful elemental edges to them. As I’ve already mentioned though, we don’t need any further challenges with the good old O2.

PREVIEW | Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel - There's more to space than Destiny

The stage I played wasn’t what you’d called packed with set pieces. Essentially you run from point A-B, kill everything in sight and spin a few valve switches. This almost led to some excitement as the last one unleashed a torrent of chemicals to freeze over a lava lakes so we could cross. Except our jog across the surface was interrupted by a large boss creature smashing through from underneath. Then the demo ended. There’s always an argument for leave the audience wanting more, then there’s mine of shooting a few goons and pressing a couple of switches isn’t enough to warrant braving the crowd of a comic convention. Except I really want to play more. Damn you 2K!

As a showcase of what to expect from Borderlands: The Pre Sequel, it looks like 2K has brought enough to the table to keep us interested, despite how much Destiny is threatening to completely swallow up our time. Athena is looking like the more interesting character from the ones we’ve tried so far, but it will be interesting to see how the claptrap robot handles, or maybe we’ll just trundle the smarmy little git into a giant toaster. The oxygen concept is somewhat troubling given the restrictive nature on exploration I experienced, but if 2K can balance it better in the full game, I’m sure we’ll all be doing co-op moon jumps for joy on October 17th.

A special thanks to MCM Manchester Comic Con for squeezing me into the show at the last minute. Be sure to keep up-to-date with future expos around the UK at their website.

Opening Scenes | Destiny Beta Gameplay – First 15 Mins on PS4

After a successful Alpha test last month, we’ve been itching to play more Destiny and have been all over the new Beta which launched earlier this week. Our first video of the new build includes the opening cinematic and the entire first mission. Continue reading Opening Scenes | Destiny Beta Gameplay – First 15 Mins on PS4

Destiny Could Own 2014… If It Fixes Some Problems

It’s hard to feel bad about England’s early stumble in the World Cup when we’ve been able to play the Alpha test of Destiny all weekend. In short, it’s been tonnes of fun and it looks like Bungie are onto a winner. Naturally, there’s a lot to like about the new shooter (like being able to aim down the sights right, Bungie!), but we’ve also comes across a few things we’d like to see sorted by the time the full release touches down in September.

Continue reading Destiny Could Own 2014… If It Fixes Some Problems

Oculus Rift Hands-On Preview – Say goodbye to your TV

Even as a resolute console gamer, I couldn’t wait to get my face into an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Even with the recent Project Morpheus announcement for the PS4, I was keen to see how the one that got the ball truly rolling for VR again handled.

Was Oculus Rift set to become the future of gaming? Well to look forwards, I needed to look back. More specifically, I visited the Play Blackpool expo, an event that focuses on retro consoles and arcade cabinets. So rather appropriately, I was able to try out one of the earliest attempts at VR in the Nintendo Virtual Boy and Mario Tennis. Who was I kidding though; the main reason I had for attending was for a little glimpse of the future by being able to get my head into an Oculus Rift. Continue reading Oculus Rift Hands-On Preview – Say goodbye to your TV

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – Hands-on Playthrough Video

If you read my hands-on preview of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 a few weeks ago you may be interested to take a look at my new hands-on preview video. Taking place at what may turn out to be the first stage of the game, you’ll see a variety of new weapons in action such as the Void Sword and the Cestus Claws. And you see Gabriel rip a knight into what can only be described as a red splash. It’s messy.

With only Ryse on the horizon, this is one of our most eagerly-awaited hack n’ slash titles. Kratos better come out of retirement soon if he doesn’t want to lose his title.

Continue reading Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – Hands-on Playthrough Video

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Hands-On Preview)

Despite the recent Tokyo Game Show giving players a chance to explore an open world portion of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, visitors to the Eurogamer Expo were stuck indoors in a strictly linear series of combat tutorials. With the combat system being my biggest grievance with the FFXIII series though, this is exactly what I wanted.

So after a cutscene that made little sense without the relevant context, I’m thrown straight into a tutorial. Given that Lightning Returns is making bold steps to move away from the ‘bash X to win’ mentality that has plagued 90% of the battles in the last two games I was certainly keen to get stuck into the lesson.

Lightning fights alone in this game, so forget the notion of parties. Stop! Come back, long-suffering Final Fantasy fan. To give combat the depth of a team you have various Schemata outfits to choose from. If you think of the interchangeable dress-spheres from the divisive FFX-2 on the PS2, you’ll find the concept easy to follow.

Continue reading Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Hands-On Preview)