All posts under Review
Sniper Elite 3

By on July 1, 2014 at 10:45 am

I share a longstanding joke with a colleague where every single Nazi-themed game instantly fails if you do not get the chance to kill Hitler. Hitler can be in any sort of form: Robot, Zombie, Art Deco, whatever. He just needs to have the iconic mustache, short stocky stature and a strong dose of facist dogma in order to meet the grade, and provide that most excellent of releases that video games were designed for.

The problem is that World War 2 was, frankly, a World War, and Hitler couldn’t exactly be in every theatre at once. So, unfortunately, in Sniper Elite 3 you do not get to kill Hitler.

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GRID Autosport

By on June 25, 2014 at 9:47 am

Fans of Codemaster’s 2008 release Racedriver: GRID and its 2013 sequel, GRID 2, know what to expect from the series; beautiful graphics, a mix of real-world and fantasy racing tracks and a lengthy career progression system. Had 2014′s sequel, GRID Autosport, been released just a few years earlier, it might have easily delivered a top of the line racing experience. But in a market brimming with high-octane content, can this title fire on all cylinders and stay ahead of the competition?

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murdered_soul_suspect

By on June 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Murdered: Soul Suspect feels hollow, and that’s not just because you’re a ghost. Remember the good-looking but detached dalliances you might’ve had with Asura’s Wrath and/or Beyond: Two Souls? This is like that. It has that exact same inconsequential feel of having been intended as a movie, but made by people who ended up in games.

Which sucks even more in this case, because MSS’ narrative is only compelling in so far as it’s a mystery. Every well-worn cinematic cliché and dramatic device of the afterlife is good and accounted for here…

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ubisoft_game_1

By on June 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

By now we’ve all heard of Ubisoft Game, and if you haven’t, then you’ve been living under a rock. Ubisoft Game is the latest in a long line of titles from Ubisoft, and with a bigger budget than ever before and no less than 75 of Ubisoft’s 193 global studios working on it, there’s no doubt that this year’s Ubisoft Game is going to be the big one.

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Wolfenstein: The New Order

By on May 27, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Wolfenstein: The New Order is pleasantly straightforward. That’s not to say it’s boring, or uninteresting, or shallow, but rather that, much like the blunt instrument to which main character BJ Blazkowicz is likened, Wolfenstein delivers maximum punch with zero pull, and doesn’t really give a toss whether or not you think that’s a good idea. It’s rare in the year 2014 that you get to fire up a game and literally just blast robot Nazis away with gloriously automatic twin shotguns, and Wolfenstein delivers that in spades while, somehow, managing to remain interesting.

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Transistor

By on May 21, 2014 at 1:30 am

Atmosphere. Bastion had it in spades, and it’s hard to imagine a reality in which Transistor—the next game from Supergiant Games—would deliver anything less. As Red, a famous singer mysteriously left mute and somehow embroiled in the mess her home city has become, players will find themselves drawn into Transistor as key information about the world is carefully and precisely meted out over the course of six or so hours.

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Child of Light

By on April 29, 2014 at 1:30 am

Child of Light is a patchwork of old-world devices loved to deathly new life (you what?). Scroll to the side, jump up and down. Shove a box over here and nab some floating orb things there. A hideous spider! Kick its ass in turn-based combat. Level up with XP and climb mad skill trees. Puzzly platforming turn-based RPG gaming? What is this, Soviet Russia where the games play you?

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Dark Souls 2

By on April 25, 2014 at 8:10 am

The Souls series is like weight training, callisthenics for the thumbs. You work at it, trying, failing, and trying again, gradually building toward a grace and confidence can only come with practice. You raise your hands triumphantly at vanquishing a troublesome boss, casting about for a high-five in what you suddenly remember is an an empty room, and your joy fading as you realise that the very next step in your journey is to progress from the known to the unknown. Effectively, you are constantly expected to trade-in your confidence for another chance to fumble in the dark. Dark Souls 2 continues in this vicious tradition, delivering an experience that is more about managing background anxiety than it is about chasing the carrot on a stick upon which so many other games rely.

I approached my time with the PC version of Dark Souls 2 with trepidation.

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Reaper of Souls

By on April 17, 2014 at 4:23 pm

I’m not ashamed to admit that I ragequit over the state of Diablo 3 at launch. After finishing the game once, I’d had enough. The regular and inconveniently-timed-for-Australians server maintenance, latency, and the fact that I couldn’t choose to play offline all led to me coming away from one of my most anticipated games of all time with a sour taste in my mouth. I was frustrated that the sequel to a game that I had played almost exclusively offline came with a whole slew of features that I didn’t care about, which explicitly precluded me from playing the game the way I wanted to play it: offline, with no latency, and with local network multiplayer only.

Not quite two years later came the release of Reaper of Souls, the new expansion to Diablo 3. I was drawn in by the conversation surrounding the new content, I was tempted. Nearly two years of learned lessons, patches, and improvements to a game that I had so sorely wanted to love. Perhaps this was the time for forgiveness, for a second chance? The news that Australian servers had been rolled out was enough to push me over the edge. I was going back to Sanctuary.

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Betrayer

By on April 10, 2014 at 11:00 am

The year is 1604. Washed up on a beach after the (presumed) crash of your ship, you expected to find a thriving colony on the edge of the new world. Instead, what you find is an island full of ghosts, demons and a mysterious cloaked woman on a quest to locate her twin sister. Betrayer is easily one of the more ambitious indie titles I have seen in a while, with an opening so ominous, confusing and daunting it put me instantly on the back foot. Soon you’ll find your first “base” of sorts, Fort Henry — but from there, the mystery only deepens as the game forces you to evaluate your surroundings and discover clues to what has occurred. Why are there human remains solidified in place? Why does this bell create instant darkness? Why are these souls begging me to find their loved ones?

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The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot

By on March 13, 2014 at 1:44 pm

It’s been an interesting road for The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot, Ubisoft’s first true F2P experiment — a sort of Dungeon Keeper-meets-Diablo with a side of Netstorm: Islands at War — from its first, hilarious, announcement trailer back in 2012 to the rocky balancing of “Pay” and “Play” during the closed beta. It’s a tale of two games: on the one side, we have a hack and slash grinder that offers what’s on the box — oodles of loot, tons of gold, creative mobs, traps and other nasties. On the other, the game forces you to defend your existence in the game’s floating plan, building up your own castle with the very same mobs and tricks that you’ve struggled through already, albeit with the advantage of creative placement and a touch of your own skill and prowess.

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Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall

By on March 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Dragonfall sucks, because it’s awesome. Hey, what-who? It does. You know why? It’s so much better than the base game that it should be the base game. It is what everyone’s introduction to Shadowrun Returns should be, such is the intensity with which Harebrained heard the critique and used it to affect improvement in just about every area that needed it. It if does anything wrong, it’s that new players aren’t able to play it straight up, ‘cos it’s DLC.

And what DLC. My goodness.

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South Park: The Stick of Truth

By on March 4, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Obsidian Entertainment is RPG royalty. It makes sense, then, that any content provider would kill to task such an esteemed team of designers and developers to produce a game worthy of their precious licences. With this in mind, it is easy to reconcile the double and triple-takes exhibited by any and all that heard that Obsidian would be producing a videogame based on, of all things, South Park.

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Loadout

By on February 6, 2014 at 5:03 pm

As life goes on, you get bored with the surface of things. Things that are pure aesthetic, like Michael Bay movies, lose their luster. Immediacy is not that fun anymore. There is no realisation to divine here, only a headstone to spitfire youth and choices made under the duress of $5 jugs. The depths of things are where your mind goes now. You start to see the subtext in great art – in movies, books, graphic novels with assassin nuns – where before it was something that stretched you, required your head to hurt. Now it is just plainly there: “This is actually about Ronald Reagan’s hair.” It is one of the joys of aging past the 24/7 boner stage. Then you play a game like Loadout.

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

By on January 21, 2014 at 10:04 am

This game is not for the faint hearted. This game is not for people who give up easily. This game is not for people who find using tactics and analysing the subtle movements of their opponents in a brawler entertaining. This game is not for people who like getting their hand held. So, now that I’ve scared off a sizeable chunk of the possible readers for this particular review, let me be honest straight off the bat — Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a great tactical brawler. It’s bloody, brutal and features all of the fantastic dialogue, music and fan service that stalwarts of Konami’s iconic series are used to.

The only caveat is, really, is that you understand the fantastic pedigree of its developer — Platinum Games — creators of awarded technical brawler Bayonetta. God of War this is not, my friends, as button mashing and wall jumping have been replaced by pin point accuracy and careful move analysis. You have been warned.

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walkingdeadclementine01

By on January 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm

It was with a heavy sense of trepidation that I launched episode one of The Walking Dead: Season 2 (TWDS2). While I felt that enough time had passed since I last gazed into the grim reflection on humanity that is Telltale’s adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, I was concerned that seeing the world from Clem’s eyes may once again cause me more anguish than I can bear. What I found, though, was that taking on the role of Clementine didn’t make the experience as uncomfortably personal as I had expected. In fact, it removed one of the most interesting things about the game.

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DarkOut

By on December 12, 2013 at 7:47 am

The latest title to take a leaf from the Terraria-side of the family almanac is DarkOut, a thoroughly ambitious indie darling that has been shuffled through an extraordinarily long 2.5 year development period. But there’s been a lot to show for it — the game has a gorgeous art style, randomly generated environments with tons of biomes, bunkers with AI survivors, vehicles and a host of other goodies shoved into every algorithm that spawns a brand new world. This world is also notoriously creepy too; if you’ve ever seen Pitch Black, well, so have the developers — this planet is dark, dank and teeming with creatures primed to make your skin crawl.

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