Video Games / Platform

Legends of Persia Release Date Revealed

Legends of Persia Release Date Revealed

Legends of Persia, a indie RPG that’s been creating quite a buzz within circles, has finally got a release date window. The action adventure, Diablo-esque, title from Sourena Game Studio will launch in January 2014. Legends of Persia will includes all the traditional features of the genre such as item usage, character building/progression along with a storyline. The plot focuses Keykhorso, son of Persian prince Sivavosh, who in the name of his father’s blood seeks to take revenge upon Afrasiab, the king of Tooran…who just happened to kill Keykhoro’s father. The indie effort boasts over 8 hours of singe-player action with 5 locations and more than 200 weapons and items to use. Players will have access to 18 unique types of magic across 3 different hero classes, all of which are customizable. Interestingly the game is built for modders, and will receive regular free updates.   The Steam Green Light page for Legends of Persia can be found here....

Need For Speed Rivals Made A Fan Out Of Me

Need For Speed Rivals Made A Fan Out Of Me

The fast speeds, the crazy crashes and special gadgets that you’d see in a future-based cop movie. Need For Speed Rivals is a wonderful installment in the Need For Speed series and it made me a faithful fan that will eagerly await the next installment into the series. I’ll be honest with you, before Rivals the Need For Speed series was never on my radar. I’ve never been a big fan of the whole racing genre and NFS was just another fish in the pond.  I had been told that Rivals was a solid game, but again I usually stay away from racing games of any sort. It almost seemed like fate. I didn’t go into GameStop looking to buy the game, hell, I didn’t go in to GameStop to buy any games at all. I was simply looking to just trade in my Xbox 360. Once I traded it in and was rung up the cashier tells me I would get around $150, but if I were to buy something, or put money down on something, I would get just about $211. I racked my brain thinking of what to buy. I was handed a list of PlayStations 4 games and having most of them, I was scanning it to find a glimmer of hope. I eventually got to NFS Rivals and decided since it was worth the “free” price tag. I brought the game home, popped it in my PS4 and started my career as a cop. From that moment on I have been a huge fan of everything that Need For Speed Rivals has had to offer. First off there’s the cars. As a cop, once you level up, you get a new car. These range anywhere from Lamborghinis to Ferraris . Once you get into the higher levels you really start to feel like a bad ass cop, busting criminals at insanely high speeds. That brings me to my next point, the high speeds. This is something that has my hooked and keeps me coming back to NFS Rivals. Seeing the scenery whiz past me and the speedometer rise provides a rush that very few video games can do. The controls are also a highlight of Rivals. This is the sort of game that would be destroyed by sloppy handling and yet the folks behind it nailed the controls. Every little shift of the analog sticks feels like you are moving the steering wheel just the same way and doing so makes drifting and 180 degree turns an easy task. The overall fun factor of this game is just high. There isn’t a whole lot of substance in terms of story, but this isn’t the sort of game that needs to be story driven. The real fun that is to be had in Rivals is when you’re just driving around and something randomly happens. Whether it be a Racer speeding by and starting a pursuit, or another human driving by and challenging you, the fun is really found in the game play. So I encourage you to give Need For Speed Rivals a chance. If you’re in the same boat I was I really think you won’t be disappointed. This game is well worth the $60 price tag and since there is a lack on next-gen titles on the market right now, why not pick up Rivals if you have the money?...

SoulCalibur II HD Online – Review

SoulCalibur II HD Online – Review

I have fond memories of playing SoulCalibur II back in the day on my Nintendo Gamecube, and having it really be the fighting game I sunk multiple hours into (other than a little foray with MK2 on Sega Genesis, and Primal Rage also on the Genesis). I loved everything about SoulCalibur II, having it be the first game in the series I had played and upon popping the disc into my console I was instantly hooked, and would soon waste multiple hours with the game, and try and learn how to play every character. You can probably imagine my excitement when I saw that the game was getting an HD/Online remake on Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 and I immediately wanted to check the game out, and get it in my hands. The nostalgia train was ready to leave the station, and I was pumped to get back into some fighting game action (after having only played the new Mortal Kombat when it released). I already knew how the singleplayer stuff worked out, and dabbled with that for a few moments to relive some experiences, and check out the two guest characters I never got the chance to play as (Spawn, and Heihachi). To me, Spawn felt too much like another character already in the game, Astaroth so he didn’t really do much for me where as Heihachi felt exactly like he did in the earlier Tekken games, and I dig that. So, aside from Spawn being underwhelming and me missing Link desperately (obviously he wouldn’t be in this remake) I relived some great memories from my days playing this game alone without anyone else. The online multiplayer was the meat, and it’s what I wanted to sink my teeth into. I played a couple of matches, with none of them ever finishing as I’d always get a message of the other player disconnecting, which would then usually follow with being sent a harsh message from said player calling me out for being a sore loser, etc. I was bewildered, as the game had blatantly told me the other player disconnected, so I shrugged it off. I checked my NAT, network connection, and even my router to make sure the issues weren’t on my end, and sighed of relief when they weren’t. I decided to give the game a rest, and hop on the following day to see if the servers were more stable. Yet again, disconnections with every match I tried to play. So, I have yet to get a chance to experience the online component of the game in full, and that’s really disappointing as that’s the part of the game that had gotten me so excited. I tried again today before writing this review and have still had zero luck with getting into a match, and actually staying in said match. When I would get into much in earlier tests they would be incredibly laggy, and I felt like there was a huge delay between me pushing a button, and the character on screen actually doing the moves, which is a shame as the online feels like it is the main selling point of this game. For someone who hasn’t delved into this game before there’s a decent amount of content, even though there’s been issues with the online portion of the title (could be an isolated incident, but I’ve had nothing but trouble). There’s quite a meaty roster of characters, with each of them feeling unique in their own little way, and the guest characters don’t feel too out of place like future titles in the franchise. Here’s looking at you Darth Vader, and Yoda. Soul Calibur also feels like you can’t really win by being a button-mash style of fighter. I’ve played some fighting games where you can just mash the controls and usually come out on top, but there definitely feels like there’s some need for strategy to this series, and it helps to learn the combos of characters. Plus, it always feels good to apply a series of combos, and make the character you’re controlling a ruthless, killing machine. There’s also some stuff for people who like customizing, and collecting. There’s a Weapon Master mode that allows players to traverse through a world, do challenges, and win money which can be used to buy weapons & costumes for the characters in the game. This is where I spend most of time as it’s what I did with the original game back in the day, and it definitely brings back some lovely nostalgia collecting those weapons, and costumes. The game definitely holds up to today’s standards, and should bring some joy/nostalgia to fans of the series who played the game when it was originally released. However, standing at around $15 it’s sort of difficult to recommend the title when there does seem to be issues with the online portion of the game (from what I’ve encountered) unless you’re a huge fan of the series, and can handle having most of your time invested into the single-played content like Weapon Master Mode. Then again, it’s still a fun game all these years later and if you do have some friends to play with in person then I’d say pick it up, but if you’re looking to buy it for a solely online experience then I’d say avoid it for now, or until these issues with the netcode have been fixed. SoulCalibur II HD Online: 6/10  ...

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Review

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Review

It could be a safe thing to say that the franchise has been dipping as a whole in the past couple of years, and ultimately many people were let-down with Assassin’s Creed III, myself included. And, that let-down led me to be extremely skeptical of where Assassin’s Creed IV was going, and what it was going to be in general. I lost faith in the developer, and ultimately had the mind-set that the game was going to be a pile of wank from day one. It’s a really uplifting feeling to be wrong about a game, and especially for a game to smash the stereotype/stigma that yearly releases are complete crap, and rushed puddles of mess. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is quite possibly the most surprising game I’ve played this year, as well as one of the only games I’ve played that’s proven that yearly releases in a franchise doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When I popped my copy of the game into my console (playing on my Xbox 360; so this is from a last-gen standpoint) I had immediate feelings of bad memories of the last game in the series (III) and was worrying that everything I disliked from that game would transition over to Black Flag, and weaken the experience as a whole. However, it seemed that my mind & opinions pulled a complete 180 within the first few moments of the game, and I was immediately pulled into the world and its characters. Something that no Assassin’s Creed title has done before, and I have to praise it for that. The environments are extremely vivid, and gorgeous especially on a last-generation console (however, I can’t see much of a difference on the Xbox One, or PS4. I’ve seen both in action). The water, vegetation, and the all around aesthetic of the game is the most visually appealing in any Creed title yet, and that could be the main reason I’m so drawn to this game then the past iterations. I always felt the environments in the series were stale, and boring but they seemed to change everything with that in Black Flag, and it feels like an actual world. Complete with aquatic life, and jungles filled with predators, and other animals (I realize Assassin’s Creed III had wild-life, but everything involving that is a step-up in this title). It’s just an experience in itself to explore these remote islands, jungles, and shipwrecks just to see the wildlife, and of course…avoid man-eating sharks. Which these moments being extremely tense, and terrifying. There’s nothing like swimming through seaweed to avoid detection from sharks, and quickly running out of air and having to make a dash for the surface, all while avoiding being eaten. It’s scary tense. We’re also given a character with Edward Kenway who has turned out to be my favorite protagonist in the series thus-far, and a major improvement over Connor Kenway in the last game. Edward is the grandfather of Connor and is just an all-around more enjoyable, and better written character than Connor. Edward is a pirate, and he isn’t a kind soul by any means. Doing whatever he can for a bit of coin, but he also deeply cares for those he loves and that’s commendable. He still has a human side, behind the dark demeanor. There’s a lot of character progression in the game with Edward, and towards the end it starts feeling like he begins to accept that his way of life is bad, and is working towards changing it, and becoming a better person for the sake of those he’s lost, and wronged. I have to applaud the developers on this one as he may just top Ezio on being the best protagonist in the series, and that’s saying a lot. I like Edward so much that I’d really like to see him make a return in Assassin’s Creed 5 (if we get one), and considering how Black Flag ends (I’m pretty much an hour or two away from finishing it). However, he’s so well-written and enjoyable as a character I wouldn’t want the risk of more games possibly weakening his story, and experiences in Black Flag. Just a small concern I have, and that I had in the past regarding Ezio, but luckily his stories and what-not turned out okay even though Revelations was also a slight disappointment. Everything feels improved this time around, with a few minor exceptions that I’ll touch upon later. The combat definitely feels better this time around, and everything seems to transition much more smoothly then past iterations, even though I feel like the counter-system is a little more difficult to use, and I usually just end up mucking up the counter, or throwing the dude to the ground where as in past-titles I’d just counter everything, and dispatch enemies with relative ease. I imagine this was done from a development standpoint to make the countering not so over-powered which would make sense. I just find countering to be a bit more difficult to do this time around, or I’m just rubbish at the game. Naval combat also feels improved than what we had in Assassin’s Creed III. The ships control much better, and it doesn’t feel like a chore when I have to battle an enemy ship in the open sea. I love those moments, and it makes me feel like a true pirate. Especially boarding a ship, and wiping out the crew after immobilizing the ship. But, it’s a neat little feature that once you defeata ship, and wipe out the crew you can repair your ship using parts from the defeated ship, lower your wanted level, or even add the ship to your armada to complete “Naval Missions” where you send out ships to complete missions, and bring back money, or loot. Similar to the Brotherhood missions in the previous games. That just feels completely bad-ass, however some stuff in the ship related side of things is a bit of a letdown, mainly having to tail ships for some missions (boring as knobs) and upgrading your ship for some missions. I’m all about upgrading, and making you the best you can be, but for some reason having to upgrade my ship to complete some missions really bums me out as for me, making money in this game feels like a bit of a grind. If anyone has tips, let me know. Whaling, and hunting seem like good alternatives! From a plot stand-point, the game feels disconnected from previous titles in the series, and more-like Ubisoft wanted to try to make a pirate game (which they succeeded in, mind you) and isn’t as strong as previous games in the series, but still offers up an interesting tale, with interesting characters. Quite possibly the most interesting characters in any Creed game yet, but again just feels detached from previous games in the series, except for a few key points. On the plus side, it makes the game feel like the perfect stepping stone for people who want to get into the series. Now, don’t get me wrong. I can’t completely praise the game as there are a few hiccups that really bother me, and I’ve mentioned a few already. The other thing that really sticks out for me, and bothers me quite a lot is how repetitive some of the main missions feel to be. Now, I know this is to be expected in the series, but when I have to tail a target every few minutes (kind of an over-reaction) it just gets extremely stale, and I’m rushing to get through it, and get back to the fun, meaty parts of the game. Sure, you’re playing an assassin and have to tail your targets, listen to their conversations, and then kill them but I’d just like some alternative methods in taking them out. Maybe, give bonus points or something to players who do tail, and the like but also give the players the option to take them out how they see fit. Don’t want to tail that prick for five minutes? Take him out from a distance using pistols, or kill a guard, take their disguise, and murder them that way. Give variety to the ways we track down, and kill targets, not just the boring “tail this dude” method. In the end Black Flag is quite possibly the strongest game in the series, and as it stands right now it’s my game of the year for 2013. We have brilliant characters, an extremely gorgeous, and captivating setting, fluid & enjoyable combat, and just wonderful environments to explore, and some very tense moments during ship battles, and shark attacks. This game is extremely fun to play, and is the perfect stepping stone to get someone into the series even though it’s sort of disconnected from previous games in the series, and that could probably bother some people if they hadn’t touched the other Creed games, but for someone like me I would of felt perfectly okay not playing the other games, and just getting my hands on this one. It does have flaws like I mentioned, with a some-what weak storyline, and lots of repetitive tasks but the good of the game outweigh the bad, and for me it’s quite possibly the best Creed game yet, and in the end completely washed the bad taste out of my mouth that Assassin’s Creed III left and proved to me that a yearly release for a series doesn’t have to be shit, and can be quite good. So, go pick up Assassin’s Creed IV. It’s a great game, and everyone who calls themselves a gamer needs to play-through this game. Definitely a great swan-song for the Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 but also a great game to bring in the Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Whichever platform of preference you have, the game will deliver. Especially for people who have never been big on the series before, like myself. The game delivered, and is one of the best games I’ve put in my console. But, if you’re one of those people who prefers a number rating then I’d give Black Flag: 8.5/10  ...

A History of Call of Duty: Achievement, Progress, & Decline

A History of Call of Duty: Achievement, Progress, & Decline

Call of Duty is one of the more curious franchises in today’s videogame landscape. The series itself was the product of a stagnated and dried out series of games that left a number of developers frustrated and bored. When Call of Duty first hit the masses, its set pieces and intense action were met with praise and admiration. Even then it took heavy influences from popular TV and films, much like it continues to do now, but back then it was more than welcomed. But when did people become tired of the CoD staples? Did people really have enough of a good thing? Or are people just being too critical? The first entry into the Call of Duty franchise was nothing short of brilliant. Its high production value and intense set pieces created some truly wonderful gaming experiences. There was nothing else on the market that matched Call of Duty‘s intensity and well-crafted singleplayer campaign. Infinity Ward raised the bar–and they expanded on it even further with the sublime expansion pack United Offensive. Vehicles, new redefined multiplayer, truly stunning set pieces, a fantastic singleplayer, a truly great expansion, which was also the last ever expansion that would come out for a Call of Duty title. With all that being said, however, there is still a problem: most of the modern Call of Duty fans never played the first game or the expansion due to it being a PC-only title.   Call of Duty‘s transitions to consoles was a bit of mixed bag with the likes of Finest Hour and Big Red One being rather average. The big step forward came in the shape of Call of Duty 2, a title that sold a number of people on the 360 when it launched alongside the system back in 2005. While it didn’t do anything new compared to the PC versions, it did deliver the first true Call of Duty experience on consoles. Its quality brought in a huge new audience to the franchise and signaled the beginning of Call of Duty‘s rise to power. Unfortunately, it was also the start of the yearly release rota. The new yearly Call of Duty format led to the franchise being outsourced for the first time (excluding spin-offs) with Treyarch creating Call of Duty 3. The game was met with a positive reaction thanks to its solid singleplayer and decent multiplayer offerings. One of the more refreshing elements of the game, though, was the returns of vehicles and the addition of playing as the Polish and Canadian military. Things like this made sure there was a noticeable difference in how the game felt, but it was hardly a bad thing. Treyarch proved they could create a more than decent Call of Duty title, but remained in Infinity Ward’s shadow at the time.   The biggest entry, and arguably the best, was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Departing from the World War 2 setting (which. by 2007, had become heavily overused), the game was set in the present day, along with the biggest enemy of said setting: terrorism. To put it simply, Call of Duty 4 redefined the FPS genre in ways that are still felt to this day. Its campaign was brilliant and even more cinematic than anything that came before it. Also, Modern Warfare‘s multiplayer became the jewel in Call of Duty‘s crown, setting the standard for all entries that would come after it. The class set-ups, the fast-paced nature of the gameplay, the perks, the kill streaks, all elements that have since become almost standard in the industry. Call of Duty 4 brought in the masses in a spectacular way and catapulted the franchise into becoming a pop culture icon. But it also proved to be the last big step forward the franchise, and also the last Call of Duty game to be loved by almost everyone. World at War‘s release in 2008 was when things started to get a bit dicey in terms of people becoming sick of the franchise and its success in general. While the game was decent, it felt too similar to what had already been experienced in past series entries. The competitive multiplayer felt more like a mod rather than a new game due to it sticking a bit too close to the core values of Modern Warfare‘s multiplayer; vehicles did return but felt considerably more forced; and kill streaks started to creep outside of the lines of acceptable balance. However, Treyarch managed to provide a fresh experience in the shape of Nazi zombies. A limited mode that was both small and well rounded in equal measure, it tasked players with holding up in a bunker against waves of zombies. The mode would become eventually Treyarch’s signature, and would be expanded on in great depth in their later works.     World of War may have had some critics, but for the most part, it entertained people and was seen as rather harmless. The next entry, Modern Warfare 2, however, hailed the start of Call of Duty becoming the poster boy for genericism. Released back in 2010, Modern Warfare 2 heralded the start of the detractors started to grow in numbers and make their voices heard–and it was deserved. Its singleplayer may have been solid but its straight-laced, by-the-book nature began to wear heavy on people. Go here, blow this up, kill these guys, repeat. Things became extremely limited and uninspired. Also, the set pieces were overused and took away from any sense of awe or spectacle. In fact, its set pieces became something of a joke–a joke that would continue to run and run. And outside of the campaign, the multiplayer didn’t fare much better. It may have been popular but its sporadic and unbalanced nature turned off a lot of former fans. The Kill streaks became ridiculous, with a number of them supporting camping and various other annoying play styles. It felt like the multiplayer was crafted for those with short attention spans and not much else. 2011 then saw the release of Treyarch’s Call of Duty Black Ops. The supremely set piece-heavy singleplayer did nothing to suggest the franchise was heading towards any progression any time soon. It may have been decently made on a technical level, but at its core it was merely just another Call of Duty experience we had already become overly familiar with. Though the story was at least trying to depart from the generic modernity of the franchise, with Treyarch going for a flashback-heavy story that allowed Treyarch to explore various areas of the Cold War, albeit with slight science fiction undertones. Multiplayer, on the other hand, was slightly more controlled compared to its predecessor but still suffered from too much emphasis on overpowered kill streaks. Black Ops‘ biggest positive, on the online side, was Zombies, a mode that continued to grow in depth and character as it went on, even beyond Black Ops. And on that note, Black Ops 2 released in 2013 but did little to progress the storyline. It, again, was flashback-heavy with sci-fi tones, and the mulitplayer was pretty much the same. Zombies also continued to get bigger and bigger, though whether that was as good a thing as it may sound is open for debate. The game was, at its core, overly similar to Black Ops, and thus not entirely worth focusing on in detail.   And in the game of Ping Pong known as Call of Duty, we move back to Infinity Ward. Released back in 2011, Modern Warfare 3 is is often perceived to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was the very essence of the typical Call of Duty experience: set pieces at every turn; levels that felt uninspired; little to no improvements; plenty of repawning enemies; and so much more. It was all there to hate. Modern Warfare 3 felt lazy, forced, and lacking any creativity whatsoever. In essence, it was just a full-price expansion pack. As for the multiplayer, it had a few tweaks which ultimately did nothing to really improve or change the established formula. The series has always had decent sales figures, especially so at the time, so perhaps the term ”if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” was applied to almost every part of Modern Warfare 3. The general opinion of videogame fans was changed by Modern Warfare 3; people were becoming entirely fed up of same old, same old. This brings us to the latest entry, Call of Duty: Ghosts. Its release last month was the first time a Call of Duty game was not met with such a hungry audience. The release was very low key compared to past entries. It was slightly hushed, with no appearances on any TV news shows (which happened with the release of MW2 and Black Ops); instead, there was a lot of internet advertising and short TV adverts. Ghosts just went by on its own, with the only real discussion of the game being found on CoD fan boards or people condemning the franchise across various forums. People just did not seem to care about Ghosts in the slightest. As for the game itself, it’s still packed with the same overused set pieces, plot twists, and environments. It’s nothing new or even all that interesting. The production values are still high, but what does that matter when it’s the exact same game people have been playing since 2010? Ghosts produced low sales figures that would be respectable for other franchises but not for the behemoth of Call of Duty, which suggests that perhaps the age of the series is nearing its end. Perhaps it’s fitting that a game called Ghosts is the beginning of the end for the franchise. The future of Call of Duty will heavily depend on how the games use the PS4/Xbox One/PC systems going forward. Can the next entries really afford to be exactly the same as past titles? Will the franchise ever experience another leap in progress like it did with Call of Duty 4? The next few years could be interesting for both Call of Duty fans and its detractors....

Where Does The Wii U Fit In?

Where Does The Wii U Fit In?

With the holiday season fast approaching, as well as the next generation of gaming hardware, people are digging deep into their wallets. Whether it’s parents buying for children or people buying for themselves, Christmas always marks a rise in hardware sales. The big hitters this year will undoubtedly be the PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo’s 3DS/2DS. The question, however, is where does the Wii U fit in? As an owner of a Wii U since launch, I’ve had plenty of time with the system. I love the Wii U Pad, I love Miiverse, and I’ve had some great times with some of the Wii U’s games (Zombi U and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate being highlights). The problem with the Wii U is trying to maintain a sense of relevance in a changing market and industry. Since the Wii U was fully detailed, there have been questions over how it would fare with the arrival of the next generation systems. Would people be willing to invest a decent chunk of money into a system that would be expelled from the bracket of next generation? Sure, the Wii U has various interesting features, mainly the pad, but beyond that it doesn’t offer a whole lot–and that’s an issue. It’s not like the games are bad. That’s very far from the case. The issue with the games is that most are either ports (often being released much later on Wii U than their counterparts), or HD remakes. Wind Waker HD is stunning and maintains every quality it did back in 2003 (it even makes decent use of the Wii U pad), and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate works fantastically well thanks to its online features and excellent DLC support, even if it does look quite ugly at times, but most people aren’t willing to pay large amounts of money for a system that hosts mainly ports and remakes. Bayonetta 2 and any new entries into classic Nintendo franchises will surely entice some people, but not as many as they once would. It’s not that I dislike Nintendo; they played a large part in my childhood thanks to their early home systems, and I’ll cherish them forever for that. I simply worry for the Wii U. Even as a fan of the system, I struggle to see where it will fit in next to the likes of the PS4 and Xbox One. There’s still plenty of time for Nintendo to work wonders with the Wii U, but in such a competitive market, time runs out a littler quicker than normal. Price cuts, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, new IPs, and niche games could easily help the Wii U forge itself a identity helping it coexistent with the next generation of systems.    ...

Review: Avatars In Grave Danger — Xbox Live Indie Game

Review: Avatars In Grave Danger — Xbox Live Indie Game

I was browsing the Indie Games section on Xbox Live today and came across a game that piqued my interest. The first being my love for zombies, and the second being my curiosity in avatar games where I can play as my Xbox Live Avatar. Sadly, the latter always seems to lure me into play poorly designed games, which is what this game is. Grave Danger is an odd type of waved-based survival game developed by Pixel Psyche. You’re essentially on a fixed point, in a cemetery and can only strafe from side to side to shoot the zombies and prevent them from crossing the cemetery gates. So, in essence it feels more like a “tower defense” game in that aspect but when you get down to the nit & grit, it really isn’t all that captivating. You start off with a Pistol that’s incredibly weak, and slow to shoot. Not only do the shooting mechanics feel sluggish, the aiming system is a tad atrocious too. You can’t aim from a distance to shoot a zombie on the far right of the map, so you’ll have to strafe all the way over, and shoot the zombie. The problem with this is that the accuracy of the weapons are atrocious, and you’ll have to shoot well before the zombie gets to where it’s headed (for the zombies that run horizontal) where as the zombies running straight at you are way easier to kill, and rarely prove to be much of a challenge.  The game also has an unlock system where you can buy upgrades for weapons, and your character. The only upgrade I really found useful was the Strafing Speed upgrade considering how slow your character moves on their own, so buying this upgrade can be really useful as later waves have ridiculous amounts of zombies, and are impossible to stop from passing the “line” without the proper speed. The game doesn’t even have a multiplayer, or local co-op mode which I feel would benefit this title greatly. Instead we get a really bare, and boring singleplayer experience that doesn’t offer up much re-playability. It’s a really cheap game if you’re curious ($1.00) but you could probably put your money into some way better indie games out there on Xbox Live. Again, there’s a trial out there to see if this game is for you, but I imagine that’s all you need. Sure, you’re only paying $1 for this game, but the end product just isn’t fun in the slightest. It could captivate you for about ten minutes or so, but that’s all you’d probably need with this game. Avoid it.  ...

Rise of The Triad Review

Rise of The Triad Review

Some games want to challenge the player, to make them feel emotional. Some games want to answer the question of “can video games be art?” And some games, like Rise Of The Triad, say “f**k that, let’s have some fun.” Rise Of The Triad is a remake of the ’90s cult hit of the same name. At its very core, the game is a ’90s-esque first-person shooter in both its gameplay and attitude, and this isn’t a bad thing by any definition. Fancy cinematic sequences, quick-time events, and a grounded story are all thrown out in favor of fast-paced action, big guns, and cheesy one-liners, bringing the genre back to what it once was. The singleplayer proportion of Rise Of The Triad is one of the most enjoyable, yet challenging, experiences of the year. In terms of design, levels have a distinct old-school feel to them thanks to various secret areas, weapon placements, and shortcuts to be found. The design of each map feels like a hand-crafted product with attention paid to each nook and cranny; this is especially true in levels that consist purely of puzzles and pitfalls. Elsewhere, in the gameplay department. Rise of the Triad is fast, intense, and full of rocket jumps resulting in hideous smirks being slapped on the faces of players. A scoring system encourages the player to explore each level in order to find various methods of finishing it in the most efficient way–assuming the player is after a high score, of course. Rise Of The Triad doesn’t force the player to try and rack up a score, but that’s where the most fun can be found. Rise of The Triad has a refreshing approach to weaponry; bigger is simply better and often more insane. The weapons on offer are over-the-top tools of destruction that produce a blood-stained spectacle that is often hilarious to behold. Modern video games contain maybe one or two big weapons, whereas Rise of The Triad is full of them–and it’s wonderful. Also, power ups make a welcome return to a genre that has all but forgotten about them. There are one or two power ups that make the player feel untouchable, while others create such an hilarious impact that it has to been so be believed. But the question is, how long will you be experiencing all of these hilarious shenanigans? Well, the singleplayer campaign is a pretty decent length, coming in at around 6-7 hours with countless more on offer for those seeking to perfect their scores. The story may be lacking somewhat, but this is more than forgivable given the nature of the game. For instance, there is a decent amount of humor embedded at the heart of the campaign, with various cheeky one-liners and jokes–as well as some fantastic Easter eggs and references–thrown in to make the story’s failings less of a concern. Away from the singleplayer. Rise of the Triad has a nostalgia-infused multiplayer. In an age of multiplayer being populated with perks, weapon sets, and custom bits and bobs, Rise Of The Triad rolls things back to its classic roots. Maps force players to keep on their toes, and to keep them moving in order to hunt down their enemies, and also to command the map via weapon spawns and power ups. It’s a nice change to play a game that comes down to skill and reaction strength rather than relying on knowledge of the best setups and killstreaks to succeed. It’s because of this that it’s hard not to jut smile when getting in the midst of the action in a full deathmatch server. One of the nicest features of Rise Of The Triad‘s multiplayer is the inclusion of CLASSIC capture the flag. When I say “classic,” I mean no modernized rule sets, no stalemates, and no camping–just straight up CTF paradise. Elsewhere, the game’s other multiplayer modes on offer are various tweaks on deathmatches, all of which are insanely fun. Better still, the maps feel like they were designed by a team who actually appreciates multiplayer games of yesteryear, increasing the fun to be had as a result. Rise Of The Triad may come with a cheap price tag of £11.99, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on its production value: Unreal Engine 3 is put to good use, with environments coming off as detailed and well lit; character models are solid and match their environments, even if their only purpose is to be eventually blown up; and animations are decent enough, even with a few bugs, albeit humorous ones, sprouting up here and there. In the soundtrack department, Rise of the Triad is nothing short of awesome, with its glorious guitar rifts and drum sections being particularly impressive. It’s a modern take on the ’90s Rise Of The Triad soundtrack, and it works perfectly. On top of that, the soundtrack allows the player to replay levels numerous times while still enjoying the tracks attached to each level, never once feeling repetitive. At times there’s almost a synergy going on between the pace of the gameplay and the tempo of the track that’s playing, resulting in an enthralling experience. Rise Of The Triad is one of the most refreshing video game experiences of this year so far. Its attitude is something to admire, its gameplay is something to adore, and it’s faced-paced twitch-reaction nature may not be to everyone’s immediate taste, but it will surely lure in anyone who gives it time. It’s hard to see anyone not producing a smile or two while playing through Rise of the Triad‘s brilliant singleplayer and multiplayer. And for the price, it’s hard not to recommend Rise of The Triad to absolutely everyone. But there clearly hasn’t been enough awesome already, because Rise Of The Triad is an even sweeter deal considering the fact that the game is 100% DRM-free, 100% moddable (with a toolkit coming soon), and free downloadable content has been promised in the future. This is a rare thing indeed in the modern market. However, no game is perfect, but fortunately the only issues Rise Of The Triad suffers from are a few bugs and glitches. There is, of course, the potential problem of the game being seen as  too niche, but this is more of a problem with the modern-day video game player than anything else. There’s a clear message at the heart of Rise Of The Triad, and it’s a message that has seemingly been forgotten by some developers and players alike. It’s the message that video games are supposed to be fun. No gimmicks, no cheap elements, no modern over-used tricks–just pure fun. Rise Of The Triad is an utterly unmissable slice of nostalgia that reminds us all why we liked video games in the first place, and it comes with the utmost recommendation....

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