Average User Score: 7.4Mar 26, 2013It's a wonderful sight to see another indie game shoot up to the top of the gaming industry, and Minecraft is no exception. This is a definiteIt's a wonderful sight to see another indie game shoot up to the top of the gaming industry, and Minecraft is no exception. This is a definite buy for any gamer, as it provides something unique to the open-world RPG/ adventure genre. The sky is the limit!
Off the mark, most people will know Minecraft for its unique graphical style. Blocks make up every object in this game, and the simple, yet brilliant art-style ties straight into the core gameplay. Running Minecraft is easy- the requirements are extremely low, and with a good gaming PC, I've run this game at well over two-hundred frames per second (that's fast). However: Minecraft is not brilliantly optimised due to its low budget, so expect some very major slowdown when you crank up the settings. 9/10
In the way of story- there is no definite experience. Your story will be personal to you alone, and nobody's adventures will be quite the same, although there isn't a way of tracking what you've done so far by means of recording gameplay, a feature which many people would enjoy. 9/10
The game has a very distinct sound design, which delivers around five or six memorable tracks that play at random intervals. An introduction of some new pieces would be nice to hear, though, as the repeating soundtrack can begin to go stale after a while. Sound effects are also good, but their repetitiveness sours the aural experience a fair amount. 7.5/10
But where Minecraft excels the most is in gameplay. When a player first starts their Survival Mode world, they'll have to chop down trees, craft a crafting table and quickly get to work crafting objects and tools to keep them alive, and safe from the evil enemy "mobs" such as exploding Creepers or bow-wielding Skeletons that attack at night. From here on in, the player is left to do basically anything they want, mining underground for better resources with crafted tools, farming plants and animals to eat and pet, and creating almost anything imaginable with blocks. Minecraft is a completely open world, there for players to explore and adore. 10/10
And if the stellar singleplayer wasn't enough, a multiplayer mode is also available too! This holds the most issues in the game, but will last you even more time. All the servers in Minecraft are private, meaning that you'll have to look up which games are free, type in the IP address of the server, and only then be able to play games. The process is frustrating, and so is making a server (which is free, but needs downloads and looking up to be able to make one), but it pays off when you finally get a game. There are varying player versus player and co-op gametypes that will keep you and your friends entertained together, and all can be found on the Internet. The addition of voice chat would be welcomed, and it isn't yet in the game as of the time this review was written, but a chat bar is sufficient enough. Overall, though, Minecraft is a stand-out multiplayer game. 8.5/10
Altogether, Minecraft is a brilliant must-buy for gamers of any age, and really brings something new to the table. Updates are common, and they give definite improvements every time, the art style is great, the gameplay is unique and the game can literally be played forever. Minecraft easily earns a 9/10.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.7Mar 3, 2013As you tear open the box, your meager Xbox 360 gasps, horrified. That could only mean... yes, another Crysis game has been released! Not onlyAs you tear open the box, your meager Xbox 360 gasps, horrified. That could only mean... yes, another Crysis game has been released! Not only that, but it's a very good game.
To start, let's talk about what Crysis has always been about: eye-melting graphics. Oh my... you're all in for a treat, as this is quite simply the best-looking Xbox game (at least during gameplay) ever. This is a truly stunning show of just what can be achieved with the low-specs that the 360 has to offer. However, during a very short time in my first runthrough, a massive stutter with the framerate occurred, but stopped around two minutes later. This is a minor hindrance when in every other moment of the game, the framerate is very smooth. Overall, I give the graphics 9.5/10.
Next is the sound, another testament in the game. A memorable soundtrack, punchy weapon sounds, and (for the most part) great voice acting bring Crysis 3 to life. 9/10.
Gameplay in Crysis 3 is slick, tactical and rewarding, especially in the campaign. Here, there is a brilliant, replayable and flexible set of seven levels which promote thinking through the situation. Go in guns blazing? They've got you covered. Sneakily stealth around with the new Predator Bow? Check. Speaking of that bow, it's a beauty, even if it's slightly overpowered. You will carry it with you at all times, can fire it cloaked, and use a variety of different arrows to rain death on your foes. However, this brings too much of a stealthy aspect to the game, as there are not enough heavy weapons to counter the 'I can do everything' bow. Generally, though, it is a good, creative aspect of a game, and a radical change from the typical guns-only gameplay from the likes of many recent FPSs. With the flexibility of the Nanosuit (letting you use armour to absorb plenty of bullets, the cloak to turn invisible, and your speed to storm past enemies) and locales, intelligent AI and interesting, customisable weaponry and abilities, the gameplay is an excellent, enjoyable tactical experience worthy of lots of credit. 9/10
A surprising element to this game is the emotional, exciting plot that grips you, stitching you to your seat. The campaign is (as I have explained) a gameplay masterpiece, but you will only be drawn in more by the characters. Psycho in particular is a wonderful creation, with a good backstory and some of the most memorable lines in gaming history. Also, the sheer number of collectibles make the game stand out, as each one holds a short story of its own.The only drawback to all of this is just how short the campaign is, namely: extremely. On Easy and Soldier difficulties, the entire campaign will only last you five hours or so. This is made up by the replayability, collectibles and five difficulties, which save the package from suffering significantly. Crysis 3's campaign gets an 8.5/10.
The most disapointing part of the game comes in the multiplayer, but that doesn't go to say that it's bad. The variety of gametypes, unlocks and maps bring a fun, balanced experience, but it doesn't try to do anything that hasn't been done before. Crysis's multiplayer could have been phenomenal, however, the lack of innovation holds what is still a fun part of the game back from greatness. 6.5/10.
All in all, the package holds best-in-class graphics, a stellar campaign and great, fluid gameplay, with only the multiplayer losing marks for the overall game. Crysis 3 earns 8.5/10.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Dec 19, 2012The zombies... are coming... with... bobsleds? No, these aren't your normal, scary, brain-eater variety, this game is Plants vs. Zombies, andThe zombies... are coming... with... bobsleds? No, these aren't your normal, scary, brain-eater variety, this game is Plants vs. Zombies, and it's about time you sat down, picked up your Xbox controller and played this darn game!
The beautiful art-style in the game is striking and elegant, with a colourful cartoony feel. Couple this with an HDMI cable and you'll be loving the crisp animation.
Sound design in this game is quite honestly perfect. The gratifying "pop" of a Peashooter, the chuckle-inducing speeches of Crazy Dave, and the soundtrack. Oh the soundtrack! If, after your first day of playing this, you don't start singing the entire musical score off by heart, there must be something wrong with you. It really is that fantastic.
Now for the story, "Adventure Mode" as PopCap call it. Well, there isn't a whole load of story here, but from the little strands of narrative that there are, we are told a comprehensible origins story of the zombies, whilst defending our garden lawn against them. Our friend, Crazy Dave, helps us to defeat the zombies by teaching us the art of gardening and speaking complete and utter gibberish (however, speech bubbles inform you of what the nice man is telling you). The gameplay throughout the adventure is brilliant, in which we collect or produce sun in order to place plants. But these are no ordinary plants. These are plants which explode, shoot flaming peas and munch on zombies, making the best defence around. You will place plants in lanes, where zombies will appear and walk along to your house, and if you fail to defend it, you will have to depart with your beloved brain. The zombies vary heavily, and many of them are quite funny to encounter for the first few times. The environments vary greatly too, with about seven or eight different gardens to play through, each stage having several new zombie varieties to protect yourself from.
One would think that this could make a full game just on its own, but PopCap have created Survival mode (in which players create a defense with a limited amount of sun and must survive for as long as they can), Mini Games (several twists to the gameplay make great four-to-five minute levels) and Zen Garden (no zombies here! Just grow your plants, nurture and sell them for upgrades and powerups. This is great for people who like to collect... there are so many plants!).
Overall, this is one of the best games on XBLA. It has a good control scheme, some fantastic gameplay and art-style, and the most mesmerising and addictive music you will ever hear. 9/10… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Dec 18, 2012Ah, Halo, how I love you.
Master Chief has returned in the new installment of the explosive blockbuster franchise, and I (like so many) am asAh, Halo, how I love you.
Master Chief has returned in the new installment of the explosive blockbuster franchise, and I (like so many) am as happy as Larry to see that this game is so fantastic.
Graphically, this is one of the best looking games on the Xbox 360, and in the first cutscene, I did mistake the CGI for reality. Honestly, it's that good-looking. Although textures are sometimes a little on the dodgy side, and explosion effects are rarely just not exciting enough, this is undoubtedly a graphical triumph.
The sound design is almost flat-out the best you will ever experience. Buy a good pair of headphones and you will drool at the sound of the DMR punching holes in enemies' faces. I actually start shouting "Pew, pew, pew!" in some sections of the campaign, in which voice acting (for most characters) is brilliant. 343 Industries took a leap of faith with an entirely new musical score, and let me tell you that on the way down, they grew a pair of wings and flew up high into the sky! The music sometimes doesn't complement the situation perfectly, but for the most part it was great.
Let's think about the campaign for a second. This time around, I really began to care for Cortana and John 117 in a way that I never originally had before. Their bond grew so much stronger in the game, and it brought out who Master Chief really was, and what he thought of himself and others. Story-wise, this game is very memorable, with a good (if slightly under-explained) villain. Some of the secondary characters get lost in the thick of it, and the commander of the ship Infinity has some completely unjustified orders, which make you question his competence as the captain of the biggest human spaceship ever. These minor gripes do not affect the overall product, which is a beautiful culmination of everything Halo. A saddening (but definitely satisfying) ending ties things up perfectly, making this one of the best stories ever told in a Halo game. Gameplay-wise, the campaign retains the sandbox mechanics of previous Halos, but only widens the possibilities with the new enemies: Prometheans. These are fun new enemies to fight, as they employ new tactics to keep you on you toes: Crawlers climb around, pounding the player with light arms fire, Knights bring the heavy weapons and blast though Covenant and UNSC personnel alike, and Watchers (spawned by Knights) float about, spawning more Knights and Crawlers, and giving your forcefield something to think about. After a while, the campaign begins to get a tad repetitive, but the objectives can differ enough for it to stay almost perfect throughout, with the last mission putting a wonderful spin on the classic Halo Warthog run. The campaign is, in every sense of the word, incredible.
A welcome change in Halo 4 is to the multiplayer, which allows players to create their own custom classes, with various weapons, armour abilities and armour mods. This creates the fear of unfairness in multiplayer, but that fear is crushed by how balanced the game seems. Gameplay is now faster-paced, with sprinting now a default for all players, letting the maps get bigger and bigger- some too big. Most maps in this game are enjoyable to play on, but the good-old medium-sized maps have almost completely disappeared, spare two or three that you could class as such. New gametypes arrive, however, such as Dominion, Regicide and Infinity Slayer, which bring the best kind of change to multiplayer, whilst catering to the sizes of maps and mixing things up perfectly. Altogether, multiplayer is wonderful.
And now, the newcomer: Spartan Ops, an episodic series of missions, updated weekly for insane cooperative play, but replacing the much-loved Firefight. It's great, but there are several flaws. The maps are recycled several times (but are used for different objectives), the story is very basic and hardly exists outside of the eye-popping CGI cutscenes, and some of the characters are completely unlikeable, though to counter that, there are some that you'll like a lot. This was a very bold statement for such an anticipated game, and, overall, it is a blast to play with people online as well as friends.
Forge remains relatively untouched, but with new (if smaller) Forge environments, making the possibilities for map design even more exciting.
That just about wraps the review up. This game is an absolute must-buy for all Xbox 360 owners, as it pushes the system to its limits, delivering one of the best games on consoles!… Expand
Average User Score: 3.3Dec 18, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Call Of Duty formula is very overused these days, and it appears in several different clones of the mightily successful franchise. This is a pretty decent use of that formula, and fans of the series will enjoy this game thoroughly, even if it is very reminiscent of previous installments.
The most obvious thing to start off with is the graphics, as they are the first thing one sees in the game. All in all, they are good, but suffer from some abysmal textures and mild graphical glitches. The motion capture is extremely detailed, but facial movement is very basic.
The sound design is excellent in this game. As you fight through the streets of Paris, jets soar by, machine guns blast away and explosion rattle in your ears. Although the music is not particularly memorable at all, there are points in the game when the score complements the mass destruction around you, giving you a chill down your slouching spine.
Now, the campaign. The story of Captain Price, Soap, and Yuri is a reasonably enjoyable romp through various linear set pieces. There is, however, a terribly scripted howler thrown in to make you cry, but amounts to absolutely nothing emotionally. This spoils what would otherwise be a fairly enjoyable, if very cliched campaign, with some of the most excellent linear levels you will ever play. For example, where else can you have a zero-gravity, sub machine gun shootout in a crashing jet? The linearity may annoy some players, with almost all commands to be "kill this, run here, collect that, get to the chopper." Overall, a silly, if enjoyable, Russian-filled rollercoaster.
The attraction to many people is the multiplayer, where the Call Of Duty formula mentioned above normally shines. It is surprisingly disappointing. Though levelling up is addictive and exciting as per usual, it always seems as if people of a higher rank are at a strong advantage to a newer player, which undoubtedly can be justified by the "if I level up then I get all of the guns" system that the multiplayer is based on. The maps are usually just messy, everything-dies-in-this-bit fighting arenas, but they provide enough of an interesting set piece to be enjoyed. Killstreaks also return, in even more powerful and impossible-to-defeat forms, such as the Osprey Gunner, Predator Drone and the Mother Of All Bombs. These can make matches very frustrating, but when you score a killstreak, it is satisfying nonetheless.
Game modes are almost exactly the same as before, but Kill Confirmed, a newbie, can provide a jolly distraction for half-an-hour or so.
Spec Ops is a cooperative mode for Call Of Duty, and returns with missions and Survival, a wave-killing (if unoriginal) joy. The missions vary in length and difficulty, but only give you the incentive to play through them a couple of times. Survival is a COD-ified version of Gears of War's Horde Mode, in which players level up, buy new items and defend themselves from endless waves of enemies, which span several different classes. These Survival mission vary in difficulty and are all maps played in multiplayer, making it feel a little like a cut-corners job, but it is fun played with a friend.
Altogether, this is a good game, the highlights being the campaign and the cooperative modes.