Weeks after my first night in Yharnam, it’s time for a verdict on my adventures in Bloodborne. Well, a number for the experience so far at least. Fresh tales about From Software’s new title are appearing online every day. This is a game that nobody can really claim to have mastered yet. Secrets are still being unearthed, much of the lore has yet to be agreed and rumours whisper through the net about everything from werewolf modes to hidden boss fights.
One thing’s for sure though, Sony has done very well for themselves by nailing Bloodborne down as a PS4 exclusive. As enjoyable as Infamous, DriveClub (eventually) and Killzone were, they never rode such a continuous wave of hype after release. Bloodborne’s appeal won’t be a surprise to fans of From Software’s Demon’s Souls or the Dark Souls series, but what is surprising, is that it’s pulling in people who aren’t fans of the Souls games. People like me. Continue reading Bloodborne (Review) – Hunt. Die. Learn. Grow.
Capcom and Ninja Theory’s DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition is essential for two types of gamer. Those who have never played Ninja Theory’s reboot and those who have and adored it but crave an extra challenge. I’ve already seen this going from as little as £20 during launch week. Considering the content, the telling tweaks, extra modes and the DLC being thrown in too, that’s a bargain.
First, a little on the base game itself. DmC (or Devil May Cry) is an origins story for Dante, the son of a demon father and an angel mother. His mere existence is a threat to the Demon lord, Mundus, and as such Dante is public enemy number one. Mundus controls much of the human world through debt and has demon minions running everything from soft drink companies to news networks, making it easy to track Dante down and make him out to be a menace.
Continue reading DmC: Definitive Edition (Review)
So, here it is: Sony’s first brand new IP blockbuster for the PS4. Needless to say, the pressure is on for developers Ready at Dawn. We’ve seen them work wonders with the God of War series on PSP, so let’s see how they handle creating something from scratch with the grunt of the PS4 behind them.
The Order: 1886 is a third-person single-player shooter set in a steampunk vision of Victorian London. You are Galahad, a Knight of The Order, sworn to protect the realm from everything from rebellion to half-breed werewolves. Continue reading The Order: 1886 Review – Gameplay takes a back seat
Playing Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham after Lego Marvel does little to hide the comparative paucity of star power in DC’s lineup. Beyond the Batman and Superman universes, you’re almost constantly left shrugging your shoulders at the characters on your screen.
This is notable from an early cutscene with a selection of naughty Lanterns messing about in space, which will have all but regular DC readers shrugging their shoulders with indifference until the Joker and Lex Luthor show up to add a bit of class to the villains stable. Continue reading Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Review)
Brought a Knife to a Gunfight
Assassin’s Creed Unity marks the series’ true ‘next-gen’ debut as the game is only available on the newest consoles (and PC). With Black Flag performing so well on all formats last year, you’d think that Ubisoft were set to hit the ground running with their latest title that sees the series make the jump to Revolutionary Paris.
The modern day part of the story plays a back seat this time, which is a shame after the interesting Abstergo mole activities of Black Flag. In 18th century Paris, you play as Arno, one of many Parisians without the faintest trace of a French accent (everyone’s moved from Yorkshire and Gloucester apparently), who is suddenly thrust into the life of an Assassin with very little explanation at all. To be fair, Ubisoft is probably sick of setting up new Assassins by now.
Continue reading Assassin’s Creed Unity (Review)
Oh Monster Hunter, why hast thou betrayed us so? After starting life with PlayStation, Capcom’s hit series has gone on to become a huge seller exclusively on Nintendo platforms, particularly the handhelds, leaving Sony desperate to come up with a similar winning formula for the PS Vita.
Last year Soul, Sacrifice made a valiant effort and in many ways succeeded, although it was a little too niche for its own good. And boy was it all sorts of brown. So step forward Freedom Wars, a futuristic take on the genre that sees players trying to work off larger chunks of a 1 million year prison sentence by slaying monsters and harvesting resources for ‘the greater good’. The world is ravaged by war and hunger and broken up into separate cities or Panopticons, with any child born beyond the strict family quotas imprisoned to earn their way back into society via this obscenely long sentence.
Continue reading Freedom Wars (Review)
With the Hobbit movies proving to be one of the longest train wrecks in recent memory, it’s a relief to see developers looking elsewhere for inspiration of doing Tolkien’s world justice. So, to fill the gap between the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we find ourselves deep in the heart of Mordor.
Enter Talion, a ranger working on the Black Gate who, along with his family, is killed almost immediately by invading Uruks. Luckily (sort of) for him, an Elven Wraith spirit invades his body just before death. Meaning that a short while later he is resurrected and will continue to do so each time he is killed.
Continue reading Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (Review)
Console-based action RPG fans are generally an underserved bunch, so when Diablo III was announced for the PlayStation and Xbox consoles, those of us with an unquenchable thirst for loot were certainly excited.
But then Blizzard had to go and announce that in addition to the PS3 and 360 versions, the game would eventually make its way to the next generation on PS4 and Xbox One. Then began the waiting game, in which I would have had plenty of time to pick up the PS3 version of the game to whet my appetite. But no, it’s shiny or nothing.
Continue reading DIABLO III: ULTIMATE EVIL EDITION (REVIEW)
It’s a little sad that I begin most of my platformer reviews by stating what a shame it is that the genre has all but disappeared from modern console line-ups, with only Ratchet & Clank doing their best to keep it alive. But with Insomniac aligning their studio closer to Xbox nowadays, it may be a while before the duo return. Let’s not talk about Knack either.
So, when browsing this week’s releases I was pleasantly surprised to see a new IP amongst the PSN releases and a quick trailer search later revealed it to be a new platformer. One download later and I’m in the world of The Last Tinker: City of Colors.
Continue reading The Last Tinker: City of Colors (Review)
Grimlock deserves better
It’s always amused me just how much people hate Michael Bay. I mean, it’s a film about toys. Of course it’s just robots hitting each other and stuff exploding. Don’t like it? Well stop paying a fortune to watch it at the cinema thus encouraging him to make more. Seriously, I had to delete one person from facebook because they were complaining about how awful the film was despite them paying to watch it twice.
Personally, as an effects fan, I quite like the films (not seen the new one yet though), but wish they were about 45 minutes shorter. I approached the latest tie-in game with low expectations, but with a willingness to be pleasantly surprised, despite High Moon Studios -whose Cybertron series has been widely praised by critics and fans alike- not being at the helm. Fingers crossed they get to work on a brand new entry to the series once they’re done with helping out on COD: Advanced Warfare.
Continue reading Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (Review)
Better than a bullet in the nads
Sniper Elite III has opted for a change of scenery for its latest long-range melon buster and visits the sandy vistas of Africa during World War II. Unlike most WWII games, there’s a surprising lack of Nazis, instead you’re generally shooting Italians with ze Germans apparently not being fans of the searing heat.
Scenery change aside, it’s business as usual, shooting Axis soldiers from oh-so far away, with gruesome slow-mo detail accompanying most shots. The series’ stable gore looks more grisly than ever on the new consoles. Skulls explode, teeth smash from jaws, bones snap, insides are ripped through and of course testicle shots are back. On the default settings, I soon tired of these slow-motion killshots that follow the bullet from your gun right up to its messy destination. I’d advise dipping into the options to turn down the frequency of them as they lose their impact by the end of the first stage otherwise. They also make it difficult to keep track of nearby enemies between shots.
Continue reading Sniper Elite III (Review)
Watch Dogs is a game based around exploiting the possibilities made available by hacking our increasingly digitally reliant world with an exceedingly smart phone.
There is a story, based around revenge and private company conspiracies, but it’s simply filler material between missions. The lead character, Aiden Pierce is a moody git with a gravelly voice where you might usually find a personality and he comes across as rather unlikable. Thankfully, the supporting characters, including his sister and the (Lisbeth Salander rip-off) hacker Clara, do their best to give you someone else to listen to occasionally.
Continue reading Watch Dogs (Review)
Grudging Through Another No-Flair Witch Project
Horror games have seen something of a resurgence in recent years on the PC platform, while the genre has slowly bled out on the consoles. But with the renewed indie focus on the PS4, perhaps the things that lie in the shadows and lurk under our beds are set to make a return.
Recent PS Plus freebie Outlast may have been a repetitive effort, but there was no denying that its first-person viewpoint, jumpy moments and sickeningly foreboding atmosphere were excellently put together. You’d certainly be forgiven for confusing it with today’s game, Daylight. Hell, until this arrived on my desk, I’d mentally absorbed it into the same game as Outlast. However, despite the hospital setting and first-person perspective, this is a very different game. And not in a good way.
Continue reading Daylight (PS4 Review)
Webbed Wonder or Missed Marvel?
Developers have been left fruitlessly chasing the ghost of 2004’s excellent Spider-Man 2 tie-in, with each of the releases since fixing and breaking things in equal measure. We’ve had cool cel-shaded art makeovers, noir and future settings to change things up, but we’ve also seen devs knacker the web-swinging and flush us down more sewer pipes than we’d care to remember.
Despite the numerous letdowns, I’ve been cautiously optimistic about Spidey’s next-gen debut, although this is more of a port rather than something purpose built for the new machines like Infamous: Second Son.
Continue reading The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PS4 Review)
Traveller’s Treasure or Witless Worm?
Yes, this is a review, not an advanced preview for a game which (with any sense) wouldn’t see a release until December when the final Hobbit movie hits cinemas. Instead, this Lego title encompasses the first two films with the third to be added as DLC later this year.
It would take the most upbeat of optimists to suggest that WB will do the right thing and release the add-on (the rest of the game) for free, but my cynical nature tells me to expect something around £15.99 –an oddly specific guess I admit. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see this game re-released complete with the remaining content in December for the same price it is today. So, I guess the only real question left, is how many Lego games do you need in your life? With Lego Marvel and the Lego Movie tie-in released just five and two months ago respectively, you have to wonder why WB didn’t wait.
Continue reading Lego The Hobbit (Review)
After not getting around to finishing the final version of the original Vita release late last year, I was delighted to see that Blackgate was making its way to the main consoles in a similar manner to Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD. Keen to fill the long gap between now and Rocksteady’s next-gen Arkham adventure I dove in with both feet -but sadly without a cape.
Blackgate takes place three months after the events of Arkham Origins, making its original simultaneous release a little odd. But now we’ve had time to finish the console game, we don’t have to worry about spoilers; although I’ll not give any away today.
Continue reading Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Deluxe Edition (Review)
Sony’s Invizimals series has been through some changes since its inception on the PSP and has finally made its way to the PS3, ditching the augmented reality features to bring a traditional action platforming experience to the console.
As expected, it doesn’t threaten the genre dominance of the Ratchet & Clank games, but is worth a look for younger gamers. Parents, older siblings, or other family members of young children should take a look at this one instead of settling for the usual movie/TV licensed guff.
In Magenta Software’s game, you control Hiro, a teenage secret agent who has been sent to a distant world populated by the mystical Invizimal warriors to help them fight a robot army. It’s all very child-friendly and features enough bright colours and energetic characters to keep them entertained in short bursts. It’s is an easy game to play thanks to basic controls and a gentle difficulty curve. Some players may find it similar to the Skylanders games, but parents will be glad to hear that they won’t have to succumb to pester-power for new toys to play with in-game.
Continue reading Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom (Review)
TowerFall Ascension is all about traditional local multiplayer. So much so, there’s no point even reading the rest of this review if you’re not likely to invite friends round to your house to play with you. Still here? Did I mention it would help if your friends were regular gamers with a fondness for pixelated sprite-art games that could have run on a Sega Master System without breaking a sweat? Try not to make too much noise on your way out. Ok you two, thanks for staying.
This multiplayer-focused game features screen-sized arenas to duke it out against each other in 2-4 player deathmatches / team deathmatches or you can play 1-2 player co-op against waves of monsters over multiple maps.
Continue reading TowerFall Ascension (Review)
The first massive exclusive on the PS4 since launch day’s Killzone: Shadow Fall is finally here. The adventures of the lightning-powered Cole in the first two games were well received by PlayStation gamers, so it’s fair to say the pressure’s on for Sucker Punch’s debut PS4 game.
The story is set in a world that’s been reeling since Conduits -people with super powers – started appearing seven years earlier, causing widespread destruction and paranoia across America. Since the events of Infamous 2, Conduits have been branded Bio Terrorists and rounded up by the DUP -the Department of Unified Protection. The DUP is run by a sadistic turncoat Conduit Brooke Augustine, who has an ability to create concrete structures or painful torture spikes at will. This earned her a feared reputation amongst both Conduits and regular citizens. There are dark shades of McCarthyism and the similarities to the early X-Men movies or TV’s Heroes are plain to see.
Continue reading Infamous: Second Son (Review)
Way short of the full Belmonty
Hundreds of years after Gabriel Belmont’s journey began; we’re here to witness the grand finale as we see him return as Dracula, to take on Satan and his acolytes one last time in the hope of finally finding peace and an escape from his immortal torment.
If the events of the original Lords of Shadow, the expansion DLC and Mirror of Fate are a little faded in your memory, there’s a summative cutscene early on to bring you back up to speed. Robert Carlyle and Patrick Stewart reprise their roles from the first game, attempting to add as much brooding and grandiosity respectively as possible. And lots of hammy dialogue so cringe worthy, it’ll give you a sore neck.
Continue reading Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (Review)