Login | Signup

Loot grinder

Destiny only £31.48 on PS4 at Zavvi with new account code

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Bungie, Destiny, Loot grinder, PS4 games

Destiny only £31.48 on PS4 at Zavvi with new account code

Destiny | Zavvi | £31.48
Starter GuideReview | Voucher Code: WELCOME (new accounts only)

Zavvi are hopeless at fulfilling pre-orders on time, but now that Destiny is out, they're willing to sell you a new PS4 copy for £31.48 if you use a new account and the 'WELCOME' voucher code. Be aware that Destiny is quite fun, but basically consists of endgame content with no strong story or memorable campaign to keep you invested. Only loot. Still, if you want in, this is one of the best prices around. You'll have to wait until they get more stock in, mind.

Thanks to donthasslethe & oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!

The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II Review | Lives Up To Its Name

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
ARPG, Dungeon crawler, Games reviews, Indie Games, Loot grinder, Neocore Games, PC games

The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II Review | Lives Up To Its Name

Platforms: PC (£11.99)

Developer: Neocore Games

The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing is a guilty pleasure and a great idea. It's a full-fat Action RPG delivered in three meaty parts costing £11.99 apiece, but packing the personality of a rambunctious B-Movie adventure. The floppy hatted hunter rampages through a bestiary of classic movie monsters and mad science experiments, swapping banter and gear with his sarcastic yet faithful companion Lady Katarina. It's a hoot, a real honest-to-goodness rollicking romp that doesn't take itself seriously, yet delivers solid Diablo-esque shenanigans for less than the price of Blizzard's expansion pack.

After seeing a great deal of potential in the first game, my faith was rewarded by a host of post-launch updates that added massive replayability and new features into the package, after which NeoCore set to creating a sequel with much more ambition. They succeeded. Barring a few bugs and some questionable writing, The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing 2 punches well above its weight and ends up as a markedly superior game.

The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing II Review | Lives Up To Its Name

Seriously, even the optional tower defence sections are good enough to be a standalone game in their own right. Let alone the 12-15 hours of slaughtering supernatural beasties wrapped around them!

Click here to read more...

The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing 2 Preview | Vamp, Vamp!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
ARPG, Games previews, Indie Games, Loot grinder, Neocore Games, PC games, The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing

The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing 2 Preview | Vamp, Vamp!

Platforms: PC

Developer: Neocore Games

I can't wait for Van Helsing's next adventure.

Neocore Games came out swinging with a fantastic idea: a massive loot-grinding RPG delivered in three episodes, each lasting 12-15 hours apiece with save file compatibility. We therefore get an enormous slab of gunslinging, swordswinging, swashbuckling and teh phattest of lewtz delivered on our terms, allowing us to test the waters for £11.99 apiece and buy the whole thing for the same price as Diablo III's expansion pack. The first episode was solid, versatile, challenging and off-kilter; a real rip-roaring adventure that didn't take itself too seriously yet was deadly serious about its gameplay.

Now the legendary monster hunter finds himself defending a city under siege by the villainous General Harker, who throws an army of steampunk horrors at the grim defenders. It's time to don the floppy hat, grab our ghostly companion and unleash our inner Van Helsing... with a little more strategy this time around.

The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing 2 Preview | Vamp, Vamp!

Click here to read more...

Platformines Review | Borderconky? Contralunkerlands?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, Loot grinder, Magiko Gaming, Namco Bandai, PC, PC games, Platformer

Platformines Review | Borderconky? Contralunkerlands?

Platform: PC (£7.99)

Developer: Magiko Gaming

Publisher: Namco Bandai

It's here! It's finally here!

Excuse my excitement, but Platformines has been on our radar for years. Halfway between Spelunky, Contra and Borderlands -- Borderconky, perhaps? -- this retro-themed platformer has been in development for an eternity, promising us seed-generated mines full of traps to overcome and enemies to blow up with enormous guns. Looting, shooting and exploration beckoned to us way down in the depths, and I've been beside myself with anticipation. We covered Platformines extensively since 2011 until it fell off the radar, only to be reborn and finally playable on Steam. I feel giddy and silly like a kid at Christmas.

Ooh, actually, Contralunkerlands might sound better.

The problem with excitement, though, is that it can lead to unrealistic expectations... and Platformines has a lot to live up to. Maybe a little too much as it turns out.

Click here to read more...

Diablo III Console Review | The Hell Of It

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Activision, ARPG, Blizzard Entertainment, Diablo III, Dungeon crawler, Loot grinder, PS3 games, PS4 games, Xbox 360 games

Diablo III Console Review | The Hell Of It

Platforms: PS3 | PS4 | Xbox 360 (reviewed)

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

Publisher: Activision

Diablo III is now available on consoles, but I still can't work out exactly why.

There's no denying that it works, that it functions. Last year's dungeon-crawling experience has been faithfully recreated here in its entirety, save for the real money auction house and always-online connection requirement. The former of which we literally couldn't care less about, while the latter forced us to laugh and cry in equal measure. Blizzard should be congratulated for managing to successfully introduce a click-heavy dungeon crawler into a traditionally hostile ecosystem, but can it thrive away from its beloved mouse and keyboard?

Unless you're a Diablo fan who couldn't (or refused to) play Diablo III last year, you'll be thrown into a generic fantasy world with no attempt to explain where you are, what's going on or why you should care. Sanctuary has two games' worth of lore behind it, but the console version makes no effort to bring new players into the fold, making the setting feel flimsy and irrelevant. Still, this probably won't matter for many players, because we're here to get on the loot grinding conveyor belt as quickly as possible. For, dare I say, the hell of it.

Diablo III Console Review | The Hell Of It

Click here to read more...

Diablo III Console Hands-On Preview | Hell's Bells

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, All the loot, ARPGs, Blizzard Entertainment, Diablo III, Games previews, Gamescom 2013, Loot grinder, PS3 games, PS4 games, RPGs, Xbox 360 games

Diablo III Console Hands-On Preview | Hell's Bells

Platforms: Xbox 360 (tested) | PS3 | PS4

Developers: Blizzard Entertainment

Publishers: Blizzard Entertainment

This isn't the first time that we've seen Diablo on consoles. The first game popped up on the original Playstation back in 1998 and delivered Blizzard's delicious dungeon crawler to a new audience, albeit with one or two little hiccups along the way. Developed in conjunction  with Climax, the console version had players taking direct control of the central character, and dropping the online multiplayer in favour of couch-based co-op.

Much of the same can be said of this revival of Diablo III on home consoles. The swift accuracy of the mouse is replaced with twin-sticks now and a collection of face-buttons, and I'm not giving anything away by saying that the console version of Diablo III is a rather different beast than its PC predecessor.

Diablo III Console Hands-On Preview | Hell's Bells

Direct control makes a big difference. On PC, the mouse does everything, and does it well, allowing players to give an array of commands in a single second. Drinking a potion, powering up a buff, moving out of harm's way, and delivering an attack takes four speedy clicks: action is almost as swift as thought. But that's simply not possible on consoles. Now, for example, we have an all-new Evade mechanic. Flick the right thumbstick and your payer character will roll or dash or teleport (depending on your class) out of harm's way. It costs nothing, can be used in repetition to escape large clusters of enemies, and it's essential to your survival on any remotely challenging difficulty level. The Evade does a single point of damage too, so it can be used to trigger traps for enemies or just for a bit of wanton barrel smashing should that take your fancy.

Click here to read more...

The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing Review | Diabolical Delight

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
ARPG, Indie Games, Loot grinder, Neocore Games, PC games, The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing
Discuss:
The Incredible Adventures o... | PC

The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing Review | Diabolical Delight

Platforms: PC (reviewed) | XBLA version TBA

Developer: Neocore Games

Suggesting that The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing shares similarities with Diablo would be like saying that La Tour Eiffel looks a bit familiar after a trip to Blackpool. It's a click-heavy isometric action RPG with an emphasis on combat and loot. Health and mana are represented by red and blue gauges. You'll click on enemies to attack them, hold shift to deal damage without moving, identify items and assign skill points... in the game, not Blackpool Tower. Forget that analogy now. There's nothing wrong with taking inspiration from a good place, but at first glance, the word 'clone' and other slightly less charitable phrases spring dangerously to mind.

Look a little deeper, however, and you'll discover a game that breaks the mold in a number of exciting ways. The studio behind the King Arthur series haven't just honed the loot grinding mechanics to an enjoyable tee, rather they've used it to support a rip-roaring, rollicking adventure with an upbeat tone, likeable characters and truly excellent combat. All for £11.99.

That low price point belies what promises to be a very divisive approach to game length and replayability, but in terms of fun/£, Neocore's ARPG effort is an absolute belter.

The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing Review | Diabolical Delight

Click here to read more...

Torchlight II Is Four Times Bigger Than The Original

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
infographic, Loot grinder, RPG, Runic Games, Torchlight II

Torchlight II Is Four Times Bigger Than The Original

Infographics For All!

Torchlight II may still not have a release date, but Runic Games have pushed out a nifty infographic that shows just how much bigger their upcoming loot grinder will be compared to the original. It will have four times the number of assets, double the number of unique player skills, 529% more unique areas, 87% more loot and quadruple the playtime. Hit the break to witness the graphical information overload in all its glory, or head over to Runic Games for a more detailed breakdown.

Balancing this huge amount of content is proving to be extremely time-consuming, hence the delay. Naturally we'll keep you updated with the latest.

Click here to read more...

Runic Games Explains Torchlight 2 Delay

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Delay, Loot grinder, RPG, Runic Games, Torchlight 2

Runic Games Explains Torchlight 2 Delay

"It's Hard Work To Balance"

Runic Games has taken to the forums to explain why Torchlight 2, which was originally slated to release before Diablo III, is taking so long. Apparently it's all in the balance.

Click here to read more...

Heroes Of Ruin Review | Heroic Multiplayer, Ruined Potential

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
3DS Games, Loot grinder, n-Space, Nintendo, Phat lootz, RPG, Square Enix

Heroes Of Ruin Review | Heroic Multiplayer, Ruined Potential

Platform: 3DS

Developer: n-Space

Publisher: Square Enix

The 3DS has been crying out for a dungeon-crawling RPG, and n-Space answered the call with sensational style. Not content with providing a full-fat loot grinding experience (featuring four classes, dozens of skills and over 80,000 loot drops) on a handheld console, they set about developing a new portable multiplayer benchmark: drop-in support for four online players complete with voice chat, clans and daily challenges.

To call Heroes Of Ruin 'ambitious' is an understatement for the ages, but amazingly, I'm delighted to report that it works - perfectly.

However, there's a fundamental problem. If n-Space actually managed to deliver on their heroic remit, how have I managed to find plenty of time to review Heroes Of Ruin in the first place? Read on to find out.

Heroes Of Ruin Review | Heroic Multiplayer, Ruined Potential

Click here to read more...

Diablo III Review | Devil In The Details

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Activision, Blizzard, Diablo III, Error 37, Loot grinder, RPG
Discuss:
Diablo III | PC

Diablo III Review | Devil In The Details

Platform: PC (reviewed) | Mac

Developer: Blizzard

Publisher: Activision

Diablo III is possibly the most and least ambitious game to have released in recent years. Following up the beloved, glorious and seminal dungeon crawler Diablo II was always going to be a tall order, and as the years marched on, our expectations swelled to potentially insurmountable levels. But the end result is superficially the same: yet another isometric click-heavy action game... this time with a controversial skill system and DRM sent from the bowels of hell itself. First impressions can be damning, and Diablo III's horrendous launch tainted our relationship with it from day one.

Look a little deeper, though, and you'll discover that Blizzard hasn't spent the last ten years sitting on their laurels. The new boss may look much the same as the old boss, but he's got a whole new way of doing business.

Diablo III Review | Devil In The Details

Upon choosing from one of five classes – the classic brawny Barbarian, tricksy trap-obsessed Demon Hunter, nuanced Monk, 'glass cannon' Wizard or riotously eccentric Witch Doctor – players are thrust into the final battle against the forces of hell. By which, of course, I mean delving through an isometric set of dungeons and overworld levels, clicking on enemies until they die, and grabbing their sweet phat lootz as your weak hero gradually evolves into a menacing powerhouse. It's a ruthlessly compelling formula that still feels relevant and aggravatingly compelling today, and it's absolutely intact. Though the pleasingly detailed new 3D graphics engine literally adds a new dimension to the visuals, and the powerful physics modelling delights in sending enemies and objects flying, a cursory examination reveals little in the way of truly new features. Diablo has always been a loot grinder, and Blizzard have ensured that the fundamentals are locked down nice and tight.

As mentioned, however, a cursory examination isn't enough. After a couple of hours, Diablo III shows its true colours, mainly thanks to some sensational new features running behind the scenes.

Click here to read more...

Torchlight II Hands-On Preview | Max Schaefer On Mods & Magic

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games previews, Loot grinder, RPG, Runic Games, Torchlight 2
Discuss:
Torchlight II

Torchlight II Hands-On Preview | Max Schaefer On Mods & Magic

Runic Games is a tiny studio with big ideas and even bigger talent. Max Schaefer and the team delivered a stunning and streamlined loot grinder with Torchlight and its subsequent Xbox Live Arcade port, so I was rather excited to sit down with the ex-Blizzard developer and a cooperative LAN preview build in order to see how the sequel is shaping up. As it turns out, Torchlight II is going to improve on its capable predecessor in every conceivable way.

Not only that, but it's going to ship with full mod tools that will let fans change and add anything they're skilled enough to model and skin. This is going to blow the community wide open.

Torchlight II Hands-On Preview | Max Schaefer On Mods & Magic

Click here to read more...