Video Games / Platform / PS4

Rocket League Is Not The Game We Asked For, But It Is What We Needed

Rocket League Is Not The Game We Asked For, But It Is What We Needed

Rocket League is nothing short than utter brilliance. It’s simply, it’s efficient and god damn is it fun. For the most part, we tend to look at Nintendo for ‘pure’ video game experiences, but Rocket League has propelled itself into that very same space. The Auto-football video game is a gentle reminder that simplicity will always have a place in the industry, even when every other games are overproduced and bloated. Breaking Rocket League down in order to see why it works is a curiously enjoyable process. Marveling at how basic the game is, yet how deep the game can be, it’s all part of the enjoyment. While a average person can sit down and understand the core game within a few moments, there’s a extra level of ‘flair’ underneath the basic concept of ramming a ball into a huge goal. Mastering the art of perfectly timed jumps, the craft of a well timed defensive power slide, the thrill of scoring a fancy goal. Rocket League is exactly the game the 2015 market has needed. The cult following around the game has already taken hold of social media and Twitch. The core concepts lend themselves perfectly to reliving the old days of ‘fun’ multiplayer, rather than competitive. The cynical side of me can’t help but think that Rocket League would receive more acclaim if was developed by Nintendo. Rocket League deserves to be a huge success, both commercially and critically. It strikes me as a game that has the potential to become ‘that’ game a group of friends/players return to for a quick blast of pure video game thrills, much in the way people return to Timespillters 2, Mario Kart or NBA Jam. Rocket League is simply a joy worth experiencing, giving even the most jaded of video game players something to smirk about. Psyonix, who are also credited for the fantastic Nosgoth, have struck gold with their mash up of driving and football, and here’s to hoping they supported it with a decent stream of DLC and events.   P.S, welcome back Split-Screen local multiplayer our old friend.   *Rocket League Ranked stream each night at 7:pm GMT over on our Twitch    ...

Bethesda Goes Big At E3, Doom Emerges As Potential Game Changer

Bethesda Goes Big At E3, Doom Emerges As Potential Game Changer

It’s beautiful, it’s gorey, it’s Doom. The gameplay shown was pretty much exactly what most die hard Doom fans wanted. It’s literally a jaunt through various corridors making a utter mess of the various hell spawn the Marine encounters. Gun porn was also included, as too was some cheerful chainsaw footage. It started violently, and ended violently. Doom, much like the original, is a complete package. Single player, old school multiplayer (power ups, rocket jumps, no dial up internet), editing tools. This is a modern Doom in every sense. Snapmap could the difference between the game being a flash in the pan, or online power house. Doom showing closed with a showing of Hell, it’s as grim as you’d expect. The smoke effects seemingly went unappreciated, but they do set off the environment perfectly. Overall, Doom maintains it’s classic DNA, while splicing it with modern day features and more open levels. Personally, I find Doom to be a much more interesting prospect than most other games we’re aware of. One slight concern, Doom’s old school approach may be jarring for the modern day console player. They’ve come to expect cinematic story driven games, blitzed with QTAs and cut scenes. Doom says ‘fuck that’ and throws you a shotgun. Battlecry is one of those games that has never truly felt like it’s doing anything ‘big’. There’s still questions over exactly what it is, even with a decent amount footage being out in the wild. It’s going into world wide Beta, it still looks like it could be fun, but nothing that’ll set the world alight…even more so given competition in the same space. Dishonest 2′s big reveal was ruined after they ‘accidentally’ mentioned it during a stream that was ‘accidentally’ broadcast. In truth, Dishonored feels like it came out years ago. With the Thief franchise all but dead, Dishonored fills the gap nicely. One of the new leads is a female, so Polygon will surely be creaming themselves before ranting about the character not being conflicted enough about her gender/sexuality. The penis bearing character option still exists, so don’t worry. Elder Scrolls Online takes front and center. It’s boring, as in truly boring. Think of all those MMORPGs that came out in 2001-2002 that had no quality of life features, awful questing mechanics and no real reason to party up for the most part, that’s Elder Scrolls Online. The flower picking system is good however. But brutal honesty aside, it’s a decent enough experience now it’s gone free to play, but there’s much better on offer in terms of MMOS both on PC and console. Elder Scrolls Card game (Legends), because you know, Hearthstone and Magic The Gathering are making card combat ‘cool’ again. Hard to see them knocking off Hearthstone from the Card Combat throne, but what ever, the more the merrier. Fallout 4, the game we all knew was coming (at some point), then all acted surprised when it was announced. Even after the years of wanting Fallout 4 to be real, people still moaned when it became reality. Concept art was shown, there was a ghoul pirate which looked pretty radical (get it? RADical?). Fallout 4 goes into the unexplored Pre-war, which feels a little off , mainly due to the showed content feeling like fan service. The complaints about the visuals some people had come off even more silly, Fallout 4 looks beautiful, the art style fits the tone perfectly. All the characters are fully voiced, with dynamic dialogue. Pip Boy is all fancy, mini games, holotapes, 3rd renders of items, it’s like the Iwatch with a actual point. There’s a collectors which will no doubt sell-out, and be sold on e-bay for five times the RRP. Fallout Shelter, a mobile game for people who love the Sims, love Fallout, and cramp riddled necks. Micromanagement with a Fallout twist. It’s free, no pay wall, no internet connections, it’s almost like free-to-play actually exists. The most interesting feature of Fallout 4 is the ‘re-building’ feature. The player can build settlements, which attract other NPCs to live in, which in turn increases the size of the settlement. Build defences, market stalls, caravans. This is how you add infinite replay value. The crafting systems scope carries over to weapon customization, the sheer amount of options at hand is staggering. Power armor is fully customizable, it’s almost like Bethesda want you to give up your social life…and job. Fallout 4 looks like the next step in the franchise, genuine progression for the series, and the industry. If the Devil is in the detail, Bethesda are covered in virgin blood and blasting out Swedish death metal. The release date is this November, but there’s always a hint of cynicism when it comes to release dates and E3.     So Bethesda started off the E3 showings with a bang. Doom is setting up to be the dark horse of their line up. The gameplay won’t be to everyone’s taste (history shows this on consoles) but the Snapmap feature could place Doom as a long term success, and not just a flavor of the month. Fallout 4 is Fallout 4, it’s going to sell well, the hype is already there, people want it. The scope of the game is insane, the release date is still a little suspect but either way, it’s Fallout 4. Dishonored 2 was only shown in trailer form, and it’s oddly went under the radar across social media. The market needs Dishonored 2, the lack of stealth games is hugely apparent, and the recent demise of the Thief franchise has left the door open for Dishonored 2 to take it’s seat of power. Bethseda paced their showing perfectly, moving from game to game. They gave facts, and not promises, smaller reveals were covered quickly and precisely, never out staying their welcome. Fallout 4 will obviously be the game on everyone’s lips, but Doom is the game to watch, purely down to Snapmap, that feature could change the console scene for the better.                ...

The Best So Far, But Not Yet Great – Game of Thrones Ep4: Sons of Winter Review

The Best So Far, But Not Yet Great – Game of Thrones Ep4: Sons of Winter Review

TellTale’s Game of Thrones series has been their weakest work since Jurassic Park, but there’s always been a since of hidden potential just waiting to burst through. The firs three episodes have plodded around, often looking for a real direction, with the intention of setting the pieces into places. Episode four, Sons of Winter, marks a turning point for the series, welcoming back TellTale’s ability to tell a story while engrossing the player, but it’s not without it’s faults. By the time Sons of Winter rolls around, the core cast of characters all have their defined goals, traits and ideals. Each story arc has a distinct tone in keeping with themes often covered in both the books and the TV show. Family values, honour, responsibility, tradition all continue to play key parts in each respective character’s story. The theme of revenge remains prevalent throughout Sons of Winter, only this time it comes into conflict with the concept of a ‘the greater good’. Sons of Winter is much more direct episode in the series, with the action coming at a steady pace. The constant small talk of the previous episodes is replaced with action scenes and plot progressing interactions. This new found flow allows the episode to feel much more compact, never allowing the player to settle into a lulled sense disenchantment. The storyline around the Forrester/Whitehall stand off benefits most of the change of pace, becoming a much more engrossing tale. The conversations between key characters carries much more weight than initial episodes. The lack of small talk frees characters, allowing them to command a presence in their respective scenes. Both Mira and Rodrik Forrester’s once staggered stories are now a interesting mix of political intrigue and intense tension. Rodrik in particular shines thanks to a number of intense stand offs and decisions. Mira’s section is a much more subtle affair, akin to her character. Her weapons are not physical, but verbal, as she adopts to the game of lies played across Kings Landing.   Asher plays a pivotal part in Sons of Winter, presenting some genuinely interesting back-story and filler during events shown in the TV series. His continued tale of avenging his family leads him to running into Daenerys Targaryen on the even of her conquest of Meereen. While the TV series featured the outcome of her conquest, Sons of Winter shows the beginning with Asher and Beskha on the front line. The simmering tension between the two friends continues to boil, with Beskha growing increasingly frustrated with Asher’s willingness to obey others. The relationship between the two characters becomes to focal point for the episode, with one of them revealing some genuinely interesting back story. As ever, one story is sacrificed in terms of how much spot light they receive. Gared’s exploits at The Wall are significantly cut down, leaving his story to be left in the dust. His section mostly consists of quick time combat events, with one or two minor interactions in between. In truth, the Gared storyline was starting to lose it’s momentum during episode three, that momentum is essential dead by the close of Sons of Winter. Telltale have almost written themselves into failure with Gared’s quest to reach the grove. His story feels slightly hoakey when compared to the deadly game of wits and brawn present in the other Forester family tales. The main issues Sons of Winter suffers can be found in the shape of the inclusion of the Queen of Dragons. Her demeanor is jarringly hostile, nothing like her appearances in the TV series. Her inclusion in the episode feels slightly like fan service more than a means to drive the plot. Emilia Clarke’s wooden acting does not help things, but does suit the robotic nature of the character models. TellTale’s engine is seriously showing it’s age now, muddy textures, robotic animation and some utterly bizarre facial movements are the main issues to be found. Sons of Winter is easily the best of the bunch so far, suggesting the series is finally ready to hit it’s hot streak. Compact story telling, interesting revelations and some top notch pacing results in a hugely enjoyable experience. While the games are starting to look aged, the core elements all work together neatly. All of the pieces are in place, with three of the four stories at boiling point, episode five is already looking promising. Engaging, intense and utterly enjoyable, Sons of Winter is everything the last three episodes failed to be....

Why Ask For Female Led Games Only To Ignore them?

Why Ask For Female Led Games Only To Ignore them?

The last few years has seen a huge push for more female representation in video games. A number of video game journalists, pop culture critics (still not sure what that exactly entails) and industry figures demanded to see well rounded female characters leading video games. It’s a admirable stance, but the issue of practicing what you preach quickly reared it’s head. A small Brazilian indie developer, named Swordtale, recently released a game by the name of Toren, a puzzle adventure that explores gender roles and the concept of growing up. Toren was reviewed on this very site, and slated for it’s poor mechanics and dated gameplay…but not it’s attempts at exploring a female character. Toren’s main character is a young girl named Moonchild, her role throughout the game is the find her place in the world. Moonchild is neither objectified, sexualised or portrayed as weak. Moonchild, for all intents and purposes, is exactly what a number of people have been asking for…so why have they ignored the game? It’s hard to pin down exactly why Toren was ignored. Press releases were sent out, both big names and little names were offered review codes along with a link to the trailer. From the small site that is PixelGate.co.uk, to James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd), Toren’s PR did a good job of offering codes for review across the board. As they say, ignorance is bliss, and that certainly seems true in Toren’s case. For a game that provided what many were asking for, there sure wasn’t a whole lot of support from the people you’d expect. Toren may not be packing the ‘big’ names behind it, but Swordtale are undoubtedly contributing to the library of female led video games, a library not as small as some would have you believe. The method in which Toren explores it’s character is organic and well woven into the context of the story. There’s no misplaced attitude, no ‘issues’ that some people feel is a requirement for any female character. Moonchild’s journey from young child, to mature young women, happens before the players eyes in well crafted manner. Perhaps Toren wasn’t promoted in the right way. If Toren was thrown out into the public space and marketed as a game with the main selling point being a female lead, then perhaps social media would of buzzed with interest. Torren was marketed it as a video game, a video game with interesting themes and art style, and not just a vehicle for a female character. It’s a shame that a game like Toren fulfills the wishes of a vocal majority, yet receives barely any of their backing. Denying the scent of hypocrisy is a hard feat. When people are making a living off bemoaning the lack of female lead games on the market, should we really be shocked when they chose to ignore games like Toren?    ...

Bloodborne & Splatoon Prices Drop, Hard To Resist

Bloodborne & Splatoon Prices Drop, Hard To Resist

One of the finest video games in recent years has been given a healthy discount. From Software’s Bloodborne is now available for a mere £33.95. Given the quality, and the amount of content, £33.95 is a fine price. With the new generation of systems lacking ‘must play’ games, Bloodborne came about at the perfect time. Nintendo’s experimental title, Splatoon, is already being discounted. Gameseek has the standard version up for £22.50 when using the code SPREE5. The recent play tests resulted in a spike in pre-orders, a price drop would surely push Splatoon further towards the levels of success Nintendo may quietly be expecting. David Cage’s Beyond: Two Souls was the definition of a love/hate game. Left to rot in the bargain bin pretty early on, Beyond: Two Souls remains as one last gens curiosities. For £5 you’d be hard push to feel out of pocket, even if Ellen Page’s soulless performance kills your enthusiasm.  ...

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, The Order 1886 & FF: Type 0 HD Made Cheap

Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, The Order 1886 & FF: Type 0 HD Made Cheap

It’s hitting the end of the month, and a lot of people are skint…or least near skint. Fear not, there’s still games to be had at £20 or under, some are even new(ish) releases.   Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin (PS3/360) £19.99 -   While Bloodborne dazzles and frustrates the masses, Dark Souls 2 has crawled out packed with all of it’s DLC. The buzz around From Software has never been so hot, making it the perfect time for them to re-release their past work, even if it’s not as good as their previous creations. £20 buys you a lot of content, the core game will last most people well over 25-30 hours, with the DLC adding even more. Sure it’s hard, sure it’s kinda ugly to look at, but much like a cheap takeaway, it gets the job done.   Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – Xbox One £18.35   We all love last generation remakes, but Square went one step further and remastered a PSP game. The Final Fantasy brand has taken a utter lashing these last few years, mostly due to the bizarre dedication Square had to making Final Fantasy 13 ‘work’. Type-0 is one of them odd little spin offs in the franchise, but does supply a nice breath of fresh air. Think Final Fantasy crossed with X-men, and a dash of awful textures, and Type – 0 HD is a pretty decent deal…but most people just want that damn Final Fantasy XV demo. £18.95, down from the £40 quid it launched with a mere few weeks ago, what a drop.   The Order 1886 – £19.95   The game that the internet just can’t stop arguing about. At this point, The Order 1886 has went beyond just being another video game, it’s now a actual focal point for discussion on the topic of modern game design. The game looks, and performs, fantastically, but the gameplay is a little less impressive. It’s a decent game, that most forum posters will either praise as the next coming, or label it the devil. For £19.95 you can play the thing yourself, and make your own mind up.   P.S Buy it, just to spite Angry Joe    ...

The Order 1886′s Price Drops Even Further

The Order 1886′s Price Drops Even Further

The PS4 exclusive, that apparently everyone hated so much it still gets talked about to this day, is finally at that magic £20 mark. The graphic novel/Adventure/video game movie The Order 1886 boasts some of the best visuals that modern video games has to offer, unfortunately it also boasts some of the most engaging gameplay 2007 has to offer.   It’s short length had people debating across the land, does size really matter? Is it all about quality over quantity? Does anyone else think Ryse was actually not that bad? What ever camp you subscribed to, the chances are you tweeted about how The Order 1886 was the perfect example of modern video games being shallow. At a mere £20, you can jump into the not-so-full-of-monsters-street of London. The cobbles are covered in blood, piss and foul language, and in The Order 1886 they’re no different, apart from the lack of Starbucks and Halal Sub Way.   The Order 1886 isn’t as bad as some people make out, it’s a fair game trapped under the burden of expectation, high production costs and lack of ambition (gameplay wise anyway). While Angry Joe may want you to think the game is awful, the truth is it’s just okay…a little bit like Joe himself. £20 is a decent price for a short, but enjoyable, slice of action…or you could just put another £20 in your budget and get the brilliance that is Bloodborne....

Bloodborne Becomes Even More Of A Bargain

Bloodborne Becomes Even More Of A Bargain

Bloodborne is simply amazing, but how do you improve it? How about making it £34.99? New customers who use the code WELCOME over at Zavvi can earn themselves a decent discount, resulting in Bloodborne costing a sweet £34.99. The sheer amount of quality content packed into Bloodborne is staggering. By further bridging the gap between the masses and the ‘hardcore’ stylings, Bloodborne is a must buy. Even those who fear the challenge would do themselves good by picking up a early contender for game of the year....

Decent, But Laboured – Game of Thrones Episode 3 – The Sword In The Darkness Review

Decent, But Laboured – Game of Thrones Episode 3 – The Sword In The Darkness Review

Telltale have been praised for their story telling ability, leading them to take on more ambitious projects. From the emotionally charged The Walking Dead, to the dark crime drama of The Wolf Among Us, Telltale know their craft. Game of Thrones represents Telltales biggest challenge yet, a challenge that Telltale are struggling with. After two episodes of Game of Thrones, the series is still trying to find its vein of form. Episode three, The Sword in the Darkness, signifies a defining point in the series in which the games true faults become clear, and it’s success project.   The Sword in the Darkness begins with Asher’s exploits in Mereen. Still on the run from The Lost Legion, Asher and his crew are forced into taking refuge in a cave, which just so happens to be the make-shift home of one of Game of Throne’s most famous creatures. This connection to the TV show is the first of many, mainly as this episodes catches up to the TV series. Asher, while still possessing a whiff of ‘main character’, is demoted to the supporting cast of episode three, with the main focus being squarely set on The Wall. Gared Tuttle continues to progress on his path to becoming a brother of the Nights Watch, with more ethical and moral dilemmas emerging with each step. Both Asher and Gared walk a similar path, with their stories feeling almost like they’re mirror images of each other, but with their own unique situational issues.   It is fair to say that the respective story lines of Asha and Gared are where the game shines. Both characters offer unique, yet familiar, tones and themes that feel distinctively Game of Thrones. The life of a Crow is is just as bleak here than it is with the show, with both forms conveying the twisted sense of family and loyalty. While Gared is a much more shrewd and humble character, Asher is a brazen and bold force. TellTale have created the same ‘ying-yang’ feel that typifies family relationships in both the book and show, while maintaining a truly organic feel. Politics is one of Game of Thrones primary themes, and episode three revels in this. The Forrester/Whitehill storyline finally starts to pick up momentum. Mira continues to come out of the shadows, earning her place as a pivotal, if not slightly annoying, cog in the overall tale. Most of her time in episode three is spent either being yelled at, or being questioned. While the character does have a true sense of progression, the whole episode feels like it’s taken directly from any given Sansa Stark scene from the TV show during seasons one and two.   While the cloak and dagger may be endearing, there’s often times where the pace just stops dead, only to be picked back up in a clumsy manner. By the time Mira has said played her part, she feels progressed, but limited, arguably the worst character of the core cast. In all the aspects Mira falls short in, Rodrick excels. The Game of Thrones series may only be three episodes in, but so far the choices have felt rather limited and dictated, Rodrick expels this. The crippled, down trodden, but proud, Lord is the series best character. Episode three plays to each and every strength Rodrick possess, with decisions feeling like they genuinely matter, and most importantly, feel like something Rodrick would say or do. Unlike the other characters, Rodrick feels much more original, resulting in his story becoming a unique Game of Thrones experience. With his house in tatters, his lands occupied and his pride battered, Rodrick could be, and should be, the main attraction of the series, and episode three provides a fantastic platform for a brilliant story arc.   Game of Thrones has had a running theme in terms of it’s issues. Technically, the game struggles. The visuals look muddy, animation jolty and the audio tends to bug out. It’s a confusing issues, other TellTale games, mainly Tales from Borderlands, perform and look decent, yet Game of Thrones struggles with each episode. TellTales game engine is showing it’s age, with Game of Thrones exposing all the weakness. Game of Thrones episode three – The Sword In The Darkness is a solid entry, but still not the entry the series needs. Both episodes one and two set the scene, episode three is putting things in motion…but still not providing anything to get all that excited about. Game of Thrones is at crossroads, it needs to start ‘getting to the point’ instead of slowly progressing. Telltale are visibly struggling to craft four different entwining stories, the pace of the game is all over the place, and while episode three may be a slightly better paced, the issue is still present. A good platform for the series to mature into something great, episode three feels like it could be the spark the series needs, but this could all be in vain if episode four turns out to be yet more ‘slow burning’ build up. TellTale will need to be at the top of their game to pull Game of Thrones off, with the flashes of brilliance comes a number of struggles. Episode four could be make or break.        ...

Bloodborne Gets A Little Cheaper

Bloodborne Gets A Little Cheaper

Bloodborne may have only been out for a week, but that hasn’t stopped The Game Collection from knocking £7 off.   By using the code MARCHSALEDAY6 , customers can save a little bit extra on the first ‘must have’ game of 2015. The unforgiving nature of Bloodborne doesn’t mean you have to be unforgiving on your wallet!  ...

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