As sure as the Bible has Adam and Eve, construction for the non-qualified architects of us and children alike will always have the comparisons of LEGO and Minecraft to refer to. But is it actually a realistic comparison? Mojang have dominated the world of gaming for the past four years due to their originality in the video game world with the massive sandbox title Minecraft, but should this not have been LEGO territory all along?
Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you: LEGO Worlds.
Within minutes of launching LEGO Worlds I could already feel the comfort I had carried forward from playing previous LEGO titles such as Batman or Star Wars; the movement, the feel and the knowledge of controlling my little plastic 3rd person character was already intact. It's as if I had played LEGO Worlds many, many times before... at least, at first.
LEGO titles are brilliant in so many different ways, but the one that sticks out for me the most is stud collecting. It should be deemed a legitimate medical condition! Take LEGO Batman for example, as you find yourself throwing your weight about and beating up the bad guys, sounds pretty sane right? But then upon defeat you find studs tossed around the screen, insert player insanity as you find yourself running around the screen like some kind of crazed bat eager to collect these blue studs before the inevitable fate of disappearance, we need those studs to unlock items.
LEGO Worlds is no different. You hit an item it drops some studs, then exchange said studs for items such as characters to play, vehicles or Lego structures. It's a brilliant and addictive addition to the already established sandbox genre.Click here to read more...
Batman: Arkham Knight is only a couple of months from release and we couldn't be more excited. Rocksteady are set to bring the caped crusader into the new console generation with a vegenance, delivering enhanced freeform gameplay, driving and combat on top of gorgeous visuals.
If that's not enough for you, though, Warner Bros have announced a new season pass that will offer a trickle of extra content into the game. You'll get "new story missions, additional super-villains invading Gotham City, legendary Batmobile skins, advanced challenge maps, alternative character skins, and new drivable race tracks." for the bargain price of only...
That's it. Season passes have been getting progressively more insane over the last few years, but they've now crossed the line into literally insulting our intelligence.Click here to read more...
Don't take that title as a slur on Rocksteady's excellent work on the Arkham series of Batman games, or as an ill-judged prediction that Arkham Knight is going to be anything other than brilliant. Far from it. Batman: Arkham Knight could be the crowning achievement of the trilogy, the realisation of years of hard work and the culmination of efforts and ideas that were finally allowed to exist as gaming hardware caught up to Rocksteady's lofty ambitions.
So why so keen to see them let the Dark Knight go after June 23rd (well, after the inevitable expansion packs at least)? Rocksteady have proved themselves to be an excellent studio and it would be cruel to tie them to making one franchise over and over again. Let's see them and Batman go out on a high, before ideas become stale and before the studio becomes fatigued trying to come up with fresh ideas in order to better their own impossibly high bench marks. They've been working on Arkham games nonstop since 2007!
Rocksteady have earned enormous respect with the way they've handled the Batman brand and it's been great to see them not rushed into annualising the series for a quick buck regardless of quality (hello, Assassin's Creed). So as much as each delay for Arkham Knight has hurt, we've known that it's been for the best as it was with their delays on the first game.Click here to read more...
Dying Light is an odd game. Its story is rubbish, and its scripted missions are even worse, frequently railroading you into combat against men with machine guns when all you have is a bloodied table leg. But there's something to be said for the systems underpinning the game's world. Ignoring the script and going off-piste and just having fun with all of Dying Light's bells and whistles is actually a lot of fun. Ignore the clunky framing, and there's a wonkily brilliant sandbox to much around in, stuffed with the undead and things to climb.
Not that you see much of that in the game's opening scenes. Let's just say that it takes a little while to get going.
Nonetheless, here's a look at the game's introduction and the scene setting and instruction that comes with Dying Light's first half hour or so. The video above is bereft of commentary, but you can click here to see and hear me take on the game's first hour too if you like.
As foretold yesterday, ShopTo have dropped the price on the current-gen versions of LEGO Batman 3. Coming in at under the £30 mark, it will save you around £6 compared to the next cheapest offer.
In our review, Jon felt that LEGO Batman 3 was a bit of a step backwards in terms of gameplay, which is a shame considering how much attention love and attention to detail the DC universe was given. Still, it's a LEGO game, so if you're after more of the same it will be right up your alley. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
Gamersgate have a massive 75% sale running right now for a number of Batman titles, and you can pick up the Batman Arkham Collection for just £20.
You can bag the individual titles from just £3.75, and if you want to throw the LEGO games into the mix as well you can click here to pick up the Batman Complete Collection for £27.50, though do be warned that it doesn't include the latest release, LEGO Batman 3.
Batman: Arkham Origins can't hold a candle to Rocksteady's two original games, but it's still an enjoyable open-world BatRomp now that the technical issues have been all but ironed out. GAME's exclusive steel pack Heroes & Villains edition is currently only £9.99 on last-gen consoles, which boasts beautiful presentation. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
LEGO Batman 3 promises to go "Beyond Gotham," but TT Games are thinking bigger. Sure, the Justice League's bid to stop Braniac from abducting major cities takes our heroes around the world and even outside Earth's atmosphere, but at its core this is nothing less than a love letter to DC's entire sprawling universe. It's an attempt to cram in characters from throughout the most obscure parts of the canon, comics, Elseworld stories, the films and everything in between; from the snarling antihero we know today to Adam West's legendary 1960's romp.
And Batcow. And The Condiment King. And Mister Mxyzptlk. And... Kevin Smith?!
It's a veritable DC fan's dream crossover, but fans of the LEGO series can also expect some new gameplay features, enjoyable stud-collecting adventures and the gentle yet anarchic humour you'd expect from the Manchester-based studio.Click here to read more...
It's all in the name. LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham takes us beyond the iconic city on a quest to save the entire world, drawing on a massive pool of characters from every part of the DC universe, fan favourites and Elseworld stories.
I recently sat down with TT Games producer Matt Ellison to discuss how they approached development, what new features to expect and how LEGO Batman 3 promises to be a DC superfan's dream crossover. Not to mention a blast for aficionados of Adam West: the one true Batman.
In my opinion. Watch it all above, including what Ellison other classic franchise TT Games would love to give the LEGO treatment if they could get hold of the license.
It's make or break time for Carl in the final episode of our Shadow of Mordor mini-series. After an age of killing Orcs, bodyguards, and himself, we're here - the final Warchief has arrived, and he's got a taste for ranger blood. See how the fight ends in the thrilling* conclusion to... THE HUNT.
*Your definition of "thrilling" may vary.
So here we are - the final Warchief of our four targets, and it's the toughest one yet. With no immediately obvious weakeness, this could be Carl's greatest challenge yet in our Shadow of Mordor mini-series. Of course, he'll have to deal with the bodyguard first, but then it's a case of luring out his final target... but that could be easier said than done. See for yourself in our latest episode!
Stay tuned for our final installment of... THE HUNT.
With the Hobbit movies proving to be one of the longest train wrecks in recent memory, it’s a relief to see developers looking elsewhere for inspiration of doing Tolkien’s world justice. So, to fill the gap between the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we find ourselves deep in the heart of Mordor.
Enter Talion, a ranger working on the Black Gate who, along with his family, is killed almost immediately by invading Uruks. Luckily (sort of) for him, an Elven Wraith spirit invades his body just before death. Meaning that a short while later he is resurrected and will continue to do so each time he is killed.
Throughout the adventure we’ll learn more about life in Mordor for humans before the orcs and Uruks invaded and Sauron took over and we’ll even learn how the One Ring was forged and how Sauron betrayed the nine. The time setting and location are ripe for gaming territory and Tolkien nuts should definitely take a look.
Shadow of Mordor brandishes its base influences with little shame, but in fairness, Monolith has chose some of the best brands to initiate, namely Assassin’s Creed and Rocksteady’s Batman titles. So expect an open world where you can climb any surface and find lots of side-missions and collectibles to keep you entertained between story missions. These distractions also help to fund your numerous combat upgrades, so it rarely feels like time wasting. The climbing mechanics are solid and the animations have a pleasing weight to them too.Click here to read more...
With two Warchief now slain, Carl sets his sights on his third target as we continue our Shadow of Mordor mini-series, the Hunt. In today's episode, Carl interrupts an execution, unleashes some bees, and generally causes plenty of havoc on the path road to assassination glory.
Stay tuned for the next installment of... THE HUNT.
One Warchief has been slain, but the second target proved that the numbers game can be more than punishing in Shadow of Mordor. So, in today's episode of The Hunt, Carl dusts himself off after a rather fruitless effort and starts again out new bodyguards whilst trying to avoid yet another embarrassing defeat.
Stay tuned for our next episode of... THE HUNT.
So, the first attempt to take out a Warchief didn't go to plan.
Still, Carl returns with a taste for revenge in our second episode of our Shadow of Mordor mini-series... THE HUNT. With the board now shaken up thanks to enemies rising through the ranks, Carl tries again in his attempt to take down Sauron's Warchiefs, before looking at his next target.
And things get messy. Quickly.
Stay tuned for our next episode of... THE HUNT.
Taking out the big players in Sauron's army is the main objective in Shadow of Mordor, guiding Talion as he slaughters the Warchiefs. It's made all the better by the Nemesis system, which generates enemies unique to your playthrough. Seeing as he has reached a point in his playthrough where he is tasked with killing them all, Carl has chronicled his adventures in taking down the Warchiefs in a new mini-series we are calling... THE HUNT.
In our first episode, Carl gathers intel on the 5th Warchief, before taking out some bodyguards and striking his first target. Do be warned - this episode contains moments of light jazz.
Stay tuned for the next installment off... THE HUNT.
The Nemesis system within Shadow of Mordor helps to create an emergent personal narratives for each player, but it doesn't stop there. When a player is killed by one of the enemies in their game, a Vendetta mission type is created for others to deal out some belated vengeance within their own game. To highlight this, Carl takes on one such mission in our latest look at Monolith Production's open world Orc-slaughtering simulator.
Stay tuned to the site for our upcoming Shadow of Mordor mini-series, The Hunt.
Following my preview session of it at Gamescom, my feelings towards Shadow of Mordor had been that of cautious optimism. Yes, the gameplay looked incredibly familiar, but the Nemesis system had the potential to elevate the game to something special. In fact, at the time I even stated it could perhaps even generate anecdotal gold. All I needed to know now was that it felt satisfying to play.
Well, I've finally got hold of a copy, and while the review won't be landing on Dealspwn until next week I can say that my first steps have been rather entertaining. You can see for yourself by watching our latest episode of First Contact, as I assume the role of Talion and go get some ranger-like justice on some dastardly Uruk.
Stay tuned to the site, as we'll have more gameplay footage ahead of our review next week!
Warner Bros are throwing this weekend's Steam sale, and it's exactly as you'd imagine: some decent if unspectactular savings on Batman, Bastion, LEGO, FEAR and Lord Of The Rings. Though we've basically just dropped down to typical 'deal' prices, such as we've seen on GMG and other retailers recently, the LEGO discounts are particularly worthy of note. £5.74 for The LEGO Movie Videogame is seriously good value, as is the similar price for The Hobbit - even if the game was clearly rushed out.
Anyway, click here to browse the selection on Steam... and be sure to thank jaystan @ HUKD!
There are a number of reasons to get a current/new-gen console right now. Destiny is almost here, The Master Chief Collection is just over the horizon, and there is a now a decent backlog of launch titles to pick through. The thing is, as good as all as those games may be I haven’t had the feeling of “OH DEAR GOD I NEED IT RIGHT NOW” like I have done in previous generations. At this year’s Gamescom that all changed, and it’s all down to the hands-on session I had with Arkham Knight.
Actually, I’ll be most specific – it was the Batmobile.
I was given the opportunity to sit down with a small section that take place near the start, as Batman is sent into the ACE Chemicals Plant to rescue some hostages and see who’s up to no good. Unfortunately this meant I didn’t get a sense of how big the city of Gotham is this time around – one of my biggest queries about the game – but I did get to see how the Batmobile can be an asset to the Caped Crusader when face to face with the bad guys. The short of it is that’s incredibly satisfying, but I’m guessing you more want details so let me tell you story all about how Batman & the Batmobile kicked some ass.Click here to read more...