Our full Warface review is in the pipeline, but to tide you over, here's some video impressions of Crytek's free to play FPS in action. Though graphically very impressive for a browser game, don't expect anything remotely new or innovative. Or any colour. Also I need to learn how to edit videos properly.Click here to read more...
We recently got sent a Leap Motion gesture controller through the post to test out for ourselves, and the results have been interesting to say the least. The small device plugs into your PC via USB and serves as a motion control device that sits in front of your keyboard, allowing for all sorts of weird and wonderful applications. Could thius be what we've been waiting for? Can I stop crying over Windows 8's previously inaccessible useless touch-related features now? Will this really change my world?
In theory? Maybe. In reality? Hmm...
This is the first in a series of videos in which we put the Leap Motion through its paces and reveal what you get straight out of the box, and as we found out, it's not quite as accurate as we might like, even if we can make swirly fireworks with our hands.
WARNING: There's a terrible self portrait of me towards the end, because finger painting in thin air is harder than it looks.Click here to read more...
We're taking a bit of a break from GTAO to bring you something different today, as Carl dives headfirst into Seaven Studio's recently released platformer Ethan: Meteor Hunter... only to learn how devious it is rather quickly. Watch as he learns the basics in the tutorial, then realises knowing them won't prepare him for the dastardly level design, before nearly breaking down while bouncing on a pogo stick. Hit the jump to check it out.Click here to read more...
The Wolf Among Us: Episode 1 grabs us by the throat, shakes us out and leaves us begging for more. A superb detective story with shocking twists, complex characters and meaningful choices galore, brought to life in Willingham's daring and imaginative Fables setting. - The Wolf Among Us Review
I'll be honest. I've never really paid a great deal of attention to DC's output beyond Batman. I've always been rather more of a Marvel man myself, though in recent years I hate to say that I've found less time for comic books and graphic novels. As such, Bill Willington's Fables series sailed past me completely. But I'm so incredibly glad that I leapt into Telltale's latest episodic adventure series, based on the world and the characters that Willington created. I've found myself disappointed by a number of the games that masses of others have been telling me are "masterpieces" of late, and I'm still not done castigating Quantic Dream for Beyond just yet.
But that disappointment in particular is made more stark by the arrival of The Wolf Among Us, which shows that you don't need Hollywood actors or ludicrously expensive motion capture studios or the backing of a major publisher and platform holder to deliver a game that appeals to our hearts as well as our heads and places story -- good storytelling -- at the very forefront of things.
With that in mind, here are five ways in which I feel Telltale comprehensively schools Quantic Dream in the art of delivering an impactful, narrative-driven adventure title.
Do bear in mind that there may be minor spoilers within.
The evidence is there for all to see. Murder mysteries, detective procedurals, tales of intrigue -- these are all adventure game staples. You look at the likes of Broken Sword and L.A. Noire and Sam & Max and Heavy Rain. These are all games with unanswered questions at their core, and The Wolf Among Us is no different. I'm not saying, of course, that you can't have stories that don't fit into the crime genre, that would be ridiculous. But any stories of sleuthing are bound to be able to help counterbalance the lack of interaction and traditional action-oriented gameplay because the unanswered questions are what fuel you onwards. You want to unravel the mystery, find the killer, solve the puzzle.Click here to read more...
Honourable Mentions: Civilization (actually, anything Sid Meier's ever done), Puzzle Quest, Command & Conquer, Halo, Animal Crossing, League of Legends, Solitaire, Angry Birds
Sometimes the most addictive games are the ones you don't really understand. Why am I following the instructions of a talking unicorn? Why have I been flinging balls at coloured pegs for the last few hours? More to the point... why can't I stop?!
Of course, Peggle's addictive charm is simple: it's basic score attack bliss. Besting your friends, those fiendish challenges, constantly praying for a lucky bounce as Extreme Fever grips us, Ode To Joy kicks in, and our screens are filled with rainbows.
Well this one needs no explanation. Year on year, every November without fail, Call of Duty emerges as the biggest event of any entertainment industry's calendar. Criticise its lack of core innovation if you must, but millions upon millions of fans who keep coming back for more year on year can't be wrong. It's safe to rag on Activision's cash cow because it's the biggest, most bombastic slice of online entertainment. But there's a reason for that: we all love it. There are better FPS titles out there, for sure; but few offer the easily-accessible, arms-wide open plethora of online options that COD does.Click here to read more...
Developers: Flix Interactive
The folks at Flix Interactive are making big promises with Eden Star. Touted as an "immersive first-person, survival-creation game; blending unique physics-based combat, destructible environments, freeform construction, resource management and completely dynamic, freerunning navigation", the title is still finding its feet during the early days of a lofty Kickstarter campaign pursuing a pretty large £620,000 budget.
It's a game set against the futuristic backdrop of an Earth running out of resources and seeking new answers for humanity out among the stars. To this end, you step into the boots of a Pioneer -- a member of an advance migration team sent forth to find mineral-rich planets, investigate the potential for terraforming on these planets, and mine them for precious resources that might save mankind's home. One such Pioneer vessel is the Eden Star, which settles into orbit around the planet Pharus 7, once home to a now-lost colony. Your job is to establish a base on the planet's surface, protect your terraforming Eden Kit against aggressors, uncover the mysteries of the colony's disappearance, and retrieve the planet's valuable, rocky loot.
To help you in this task, your Pioneer is armed with a Remote Manipulation Device, which looks awfully like the Powerglove to us. It's so bad.Click here to read more...
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Guerrilla Games know they’re up against it when competing for our time in the busy arena of FPS multiplayer games. How do you encourage gamers to give you a fair shot when Call of Duty and Battlefield are so dominant? How about unlocking all the core features from the start?
All weapons and class abilities will be available without the usual grinding; enabling you to try everything and discover what combination works best for you. This is a great idea and allows for a more even playing field for newcomers against players that have been living in the servers since launch day.
The XP system has been overhauled to reward skill rather than time committed to the game. This involves ticking off a series of over 1500 challenges like using specific weapons for kill milestones, headshot goals and so on. The rewards will come in the form of weapon attachments like extra scopes or secondary ammo, incendiary or buckshot for your shotgun for example.
There’s a big focus on Warzone modes created by the community this time. These editable modes allow players to choose specific settings for matches. For example, you can limit the number of respawns, number of players, how long the spawn waves are, toggle friendly fire, allow or ban cloaking or even choose which weapons will be available. The way players are ranked on the scoreboard can be tweaked too. So if you’ve set up a sniper match you can make sure that headshot kills are given top billing.Click here to read more...
Developers: Kobold Games
Publishers: Daedalic Entertainment
You could be forgiven for rolling your eyes when I explain that Journey of a Roach is a game set in a post-apocalyptic world, where a nuclear incident has ravaged the earth. After all, such games appear to be ten-a-penny these days. But not like this.
A cel-shaded, free-roaming point-and-click adventure title, Journey of a Roach puts you in control of a rather earnest, clumsily charming insect named Jim and sees you questing in pursuit of a very simple ideal: a flower. Something beautiful has managed to survive the nuclear wastes, and Jim and his hapless chum Bud are quite interested in it. Sadly, though, as they're crawling up out of tunnel, a bird mistakes Jim fingers for worms, and startles the duo, sending them crashing back down underground, where they find themselves in an old bunker and have to try and get out.
It's an odd setup indeed, and one that on paper fails to convey the slapstick charm and gentle humour that permeates every frame of this game. The thick, black lines, wacky characters (like an arachnid grandmother who's looking after a bunch of fly-babies), and semi-animated cutscenes lend themselves well to an aesthetic that evokes Saturday morning cartoons and Animaniacs b-sides. The gibberish vocals of the roaches themselves, not to mention the expressive, bulging bug eyes that Jim and Bud both have remind me a little of shows like Pingu and the Clangers. I find myself really wishing that there was a mildly amused Englishman narrating the action at times.Click here to read more...
Finding sea-based success in our previous episode was not enough for our dynamic duo, and so in today's episode of Dealspwn Playthrough Carl and Matt are once again robbing stores and taking to the sea.
The thing is, they decided to up the ante a little by escaping on a motorbike and jetskis, and chaos ensued. See the result by hitting the jump.Click here to read more...
Their first few attempts at robbing a convenience store may not have gone according to plan, but Carl and Matt are back once again to earn some money on the streets of Los Santos.
Only this time, there's a twist.
In today's episode of Dealspwn Playthrough, our brave heroes attempt to liberate some cash and then flee with it to the one place the police can't prosecute them... the sea! See how they got on by hitting the jump.Click here to read more...
I don't like going travelling on my own. I'm not saying that solo travel can't be fun at all, but just that in my general experience, I much prefer going along with a friend or partner. It's not a fear factor thing. I'm a large, imposing fellow; I can muddle through one or two European languages; and I have a relatively decent sense of direction. In short, I'm pretty confident I can handle myself if things go awry. No, it's more to do with anecdotes, camaraderie, and shared memories. It might say something about me on a psychological level, but I find there to be a greater solidity and validity in shared memories.
I say this because I seem to be having much more fun with the broken, botched, bloated beginnings of GTA Online than I had with the singleplayer game.
It doesn't really make a huge amount of sense. After all, there's actually currently less to do in GTA Online than there is in GTA V itself. There are huge chunks of promised gameplay bits and pieces -- *cough* heists -- that are completely absent, and the game gates off certain missions, activities, and interesting ways of making money until you've progressed up the ranks a bit.Click here to read more...
For many gamers, Watch Dogs stood as one of the most exciting and ambitious games of Christmas 2013. The more we see of its expansive systemic sandbox, the more we want it, ever more convinced that Ubisoft's project promises next-gen gameplay as well as graphics.
However, there was a spanner in the works, a fly in the ointment, a proverbial poop on the pizza. Ubisoft stopped the presses by announcing that Watch Dogs had been pushed back to Spring 2014, citing a need for last-minute polish, which raised eyebrows across the industry. Now that the dust has settled and the baying investors have been soothed, it's time to consider a couple of questions.
Was it a wise decision? Could Ubisoft have handled it better? And, perhaps, could it have a profound effect on the upcoming Christmas console war?
Click here to read more...
Beyond: Two Souls has proven to be a divisive and contentious title primarily because many have struggled to find a place for it when it comes to their definitions of what a game should be. When I sat down to write my Beyond review, I had to begin with a caveat because I felt that one's enjoyment of David Cage's latest opus would no doubt depend on whether or not the player was open to Quantic Dream's signature style, though even that might prove to be a fallible basis for investigation:
Your appreciation, or lack thereof, of David Cage and Quantic Dream's latest opus is largely going to be determined by how much you subscribe to many of the controversial statements that Cage has made over the last couple of years, not to mention whether or not you enjoyed his last QTE-'em-up: Heavy Rain.
And even then, given Heavy Rain arguably worked because of its delicately balanced mix of genre, form and function, you might not find Beyond to your liking.
Games are not reviewed in a vacuum, as we've stated many times on this site. Therefore, it's impossible to separate Beyond from the canon of experiential games, large and small, that have surfaced in the wake of Heavy Rain these past three years. The same tricks that worked in 2010 might not prove as effective this time around, and so it seems to have been the case, for this writer anyway.
I promised I'd go into further detail, expanding upon a few of the points I made in my review, and so here's a more personal, expressive take on some of Beyond's failures (in my eyes) to deliver the emotionally-connected experience that David Cage and his team have constantly espoused, and why I'm not sure if the team at Quantic Dream fully understand the enormous capacity for direct, emotional connection that this interactive medium can offer.Click here to read more...
We sometimes deploy a 'survival guide' for the hottest new releases, but after sinking countless hours into Pokemon X & Y, we realised that there isn't really much point. Game Freak's latest phenomenon isn't a game to survive, rather it's a game to enjoy and savour over the course of your playthrough, approaching it on your own terms. Plus, it's not exactly the most challenging of gauntlets.
Never mind, though, because Pokemon X and Y are still bristling with secrets, fun features and ways to get the most out of your time - some of which you might have overlooked! With that in mind, it's time to share some of the niftiest tips and secrets I've picked up along the way.
If you've got anything to add, drop us a comment and we'll credit you!
This handy hint has been doing the rounds since launch, notably on Reddit. When taking on Professor Sycamore in his lab, be sure to use a full party and tell the professor that you can't take the starter Pokemon immediately. Save, then ask him for your new Pokemon. If you don't like your new pal's all-important nature, you can just soft reset (L+R+Start) the game, reload and try again until you get your Adamant Charmander. If you're an insanely competitive player with too much time on your hands, perhaps.Click here to read more...
Pokemon X and Y released worldwide last week, and millions of us have fallen back off the wagon. We certainly did, and have been revelling in the myriad new features that this new evolution brings to the table. There's a lot to love about the Kalos region, but also a few little quibbles that leave us moaning under our breath about the 'Good Old Days' in Pallet Town.
We're still hard at work on our full review and final verdict, but for now, allow us to present some of the features that we both love and loathe about Pokemon X & Y!
Pokemon X & Y goes heavy on minigames, as you'd rightfully expect. There are plenty of touchscreen diversions to enjoy during your adventure, but unlike previous titles, they're actually capable of improving your team on a fundamental level. First up is Super Training: a selection of fun shooting galleries that can actively increase your Pokemon's base stats and make them more effective in battle. Better yet, we can also finally get a feel for how the hidden Effort Value (EV) scores work behind the scenes. About time too, frankly.
Pokemon Amie may be a little bit weird from time to time, but its Nintendogs-style touchy feely minigames are a neat new way of improving your friendship with your team so long as you don't overthink anything. Seriously, don't.Click here to read more...
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is all set to be Traveller's Tales' magnum opus -- the LEGO game to end all LEGO games -- the best that there is. To do that, TT are doing what everyone seems to be doing these days: they're going open world, and stuffing a whole bunch of Marvel goodness into a fictional, and blocky, representation of New York City. You can find out everything that I saw at Gamescom, and my views on how the game's shaping up, in my extensive preview here (there'll be an impressions video rolling out soon), but I had a few unanswered questions.
Who better to answer them than game director Arthur Parsons, a 15-year stalwart at TT, and a man who's had his fingerprints on pretty much every LEGO game there's been. I caught up with Arthur at a preview event a couple of weeks ago to chat about how the team has gone about bridging the console generational gap, what new challenges and opportunities the open-world approach has brought to this game in particular, and how TT went about assembling their 150+ character roster.Click here to read more...
After surviving Matt's virtual treachery, Carl returns to GTAO to conduct an experiment. In today's episode of Dealspwn Playthrough, we watch as chaos unfolds on the streets of Los Santos.
All in the name of science. Allegedly.Click here to read more...
After yesterday's less-than-successful attempts to liberate some money, Carl & Matt try once again with a new and frankly brilliant plan. That said, as you'll see in today's episode of Dealspwn Playthrough, it all escalated rather quickly.
See it all after the jump.Click here to read more...
We're back with more madcap capers from within Grand Theft Auto Online. In today's episode of Dealspwn Playthrough, Matt joins Carl as they begin a life of crime by robbing a liquor store or two.
It doesn't quite go according to plan.Click here to read more...
The Wii U hasn't had a great year, to put it very mildly. Despite a smattering of absolutely sensational first-party software, Nintendo's machine has stumbled and struggled to attract customers thanks to a near-total dearth of third party titles, mixed messages and a release slate that's more gaps than games. With two next-gen consoles releasing next month, along with plenty of multi-platform titles for other platforms, it's tempting to suggest that the Wii U is going to have a lean old Yuletide. Standing outside the foreclosed orphanage, perhaps, clutching its frostbitten teddy bear.
But then again, miracles happen at Christmas.
We tend to see consoles as pieces of gaming hardware, a means to the end of playing fantastic games. That's our perspective as gamers, that's our context. However, in December, they transform into something else entirely, at least for the majority of consumers. Consoles stop being consoles... and become presents. Once you shift your context and change your perspective, barging through the crowds with bags in hand or racing to meet the last postage deadline, things are very different.
Click here to read more...