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Average User Score: 8.3Aug 29, 2015Of recent I have enjoyed Life is Strange and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture - two games of which use an extensive narrative viewpoint inOf recent I have enjoyed Life is Strange and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture - two games of which use an extensive narrative viewpoint in their own unique ways, coupled with varied elements of gameplay to stunning effect. It has been up to this point that I have wondered how would it turn out if such stunning effect were applied to a game in the horror genre (Life is Strange is largely fantasy, and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is largely science fiction)? Until Dawn answers this question.
In the game you follow a story that is pure classic horror, recalling such masters as Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Sean Cunningham, George A Romero and many more. The story sprawls between a number of main plot threads with you controlling a series of characters and partaking in decisions to situations that may not only have immediate ramifications, but may and will alter the outcome of the game as a total. Control of the characters is kept to a strict limit, with them effectively being a 'cursor' or 'guide' in the gameplay segments, solving simple puzzles and being involved in action sequences that use quicktime events.
The presentation is outright stunning, the graphics detailing amazing facial reactions to the characters - a lot of the game is spent in conversation and if the graphics were not up to the task, it honestly would have suffered. Also of note are the lighting effects and the improvised 'camerawork' to action sequence and tense moments - someone's clearly done their homework and it shows, for this not only reveals an understanding of the horror genre, but in how movies work. If anything does suffer, its the occasional framerate stutter or slip, and its a (very) minor slip.
Sound also excels with a stellar arrangement that whilst not providing any signature melodies, piles on the tension and pressure when it needs to. The voice acting is of a really high standard, and there's only an occasional bad dialogue (this is extremely rare).
The gameplay has to rely on a combination of good plot and enough involvement to keep the player going, and thankfully it more than gives in this area. The plot sprawls and never fails to enthrall, whilst the execution of tense and action moments is beautifully executed. Then there's the added fact that the choices you make in the gameplay affect the game greatly - I'm on my second playthrough currently, and honestly there are a HUGE amount of differences in the plot.
This of course will come down to your enjoyment of the genre, and how the game plays-out (it is effectively an interactive movie). For me, I loved the sheer offset nature of the whole game. On one hand, I am being led on a path in which I make choices to affect future actions, but on the other hand I am presented with a wide range of choices I have to make in order to try and keep everyone alive - and that also includes how I react and perform when I am asked to, with no exceptions if I get it wrong.
A superb game that may not appeal to action junkies, but for veteran horror fans and anyone who enjoys the 'interactive movie' style of game, this is definately for you.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4Jul 26, 2015I first played Journey on the PS3 back when it was first- released and it blew me away - That Game Company kept their promise to delight andI first played Journey on the PS3 back when it was first- released and it blew me away - That Game Company kept their promise to delight and yet not pander to anyone expecting a repeat of Flow or Flower, and delivered yet another Unmissable experience.
An important thing to know right now if you haven't played Journey before; it lasts 2 hours from beginning to end, 3 if you go hunting around for extra elements, in a single playthrough. But to simply say 'oh, it lasts 2 hours in a single playthrough' means NOTHING - that two hours are the most densely, stylishly and althogether most gobsmacking 2 hours of gameplay you'll experience now, or in a long time. Its not an intense 'guns to the max' experience, its a sensory overload of neat moments and breathtaking pauses that make you forget that you're playing a game. And as for replay value, it has it in spades - you'll go back again because you'll want to perfect the way you play it, and then there's the brilliant online mode that gives so much to Sunday afternoons and cruising through the game with someone else, and helping each other out.
Forgive me, I'm probably raving insane about this game, but its at this point that overall I only ask one thing - that you even just try it, just once in your life.
Presentation is paramount of course, and the simple graphical style is beautiful of course. Then there's the soundtrack which is beautiful - bare in mind that its so good, that after all this time I've come to realise that there really aren't any sound effects throughout the game, but the game does not need them, the superb soundtrack answers for every moment.
The PS4 gives players 1080P 60FPS which is really rather nice, and if you like me bought Journey on the PS3 then the PS4 version is free (very awesome). In short, if you've never played Journey before, open your mind, give up an evening (or a fair few!!) and be prepared for the ride of your life.......… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Jul 18, 2015I first played God of War 3 upon its first release just over 5 years ago, and at the time I was slightly disappointed truth be told - theI first played God of War 3 upon its first release just over 5 years ago, and at the time I was slightly disappointed truth be told - the first game was a heck of an introduction, the second game is still probably one of my favourite games of all time, so you can see that God of War 3 had a lot to live up to - and it couldn't quite do that.
Looking back now as I'm enjoying it again, I perhaps was being a little too harsh - God or War 2 took the series to some amazing extremes, and God of War 3 had the unenviable task of not only closing everything off, but taking the one thing left everyone wanted - the only remaining thing!! - the big scrap, and somehow looking to stretch it out into a full game.
Thankfully the change of pace was always a welcome one, and the fact that it stays firmly in a couple of set locations as opposed to the first two may seem forced, but it makes perfect sense. Also, packed with the sheer amount of enemies that the game throws at you, hundreds of neat moments, and boss battles that extend and contort under the sheer weight of their expectation, only make for a decent closer to a damned fine trilogy.
In all, God of War 3 is a decent game.
Now onto the remaster, I did wonder at first why Sony only sought to remaster this title in the series? I mean, why not ascension as well (and do the release as a double-package?)? The package is really barebones for the money too, so loading the game up does serve to put those reservations away. The game now runs almost all the time at 60 FPS, 1080P, and as a result what looked looked lovely before is outright stunning now. There's a photo mode to make screengrabs, but in all honesty its superfluous. Something like Driveclub is made for photos, not this game really.
I'd question spending over £30 on this remaster, but if you want something stunning and extremely playable then this is worth the money. There isn't that much out like it at the moment and even if you're lost on the plot (and you haven't played the first two!!) you'll have a blast.
Pricey, but really good.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.5Jul 12, 2015Psyonix, the developer of Rocket League had previously delivered Supersonic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars on the PS3. It was exactly the samePsyonix, the developer of Rocket League had previously delivered Supersonic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars on the PS3. It was exactly the same concept as Rocket League, but the delivery ultimately and sadly could never match the ingenuity of the concept.
Roll-on to 2015 and the spiritual sequel (perhaps redux), Rocket League arrives, and to say its a step in the right direction is perhaps understating it!!
A host of different single-player and multi-player options should cover everybodys tastes, and this perhaps is the icing on the cake to the gameplay. The concept of football using cars is taken to its most fun and competitive and even if you think that you can't play this, you will, thanks to really well-thought controls and presentation that doesn't confuse the player, rather it assists whilst delivering all the necessary punch.
The only negative point right now is the online (server issues), but they are improving, and in this weekend just gone I've spent a fair few hours playing this online.
Rocket League is perhaps a game that is devoid of words to elevate it anymore or debate it: for if you are then you're missing the point. Play it for goodness sake, enjoy it, and see you online!!… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Apr 16, 2015I loved Dark Souls 2 when it first arrived a year ago, and even though it clearly had faults (too much in it and a very scant plot) there wasI loved Dark Souls 2 when it first arrived a year ago, and even though it clearly had faults (too much in it and a very scant plot) there was also the genius parts to it: the game was hard already, but by the player's own decision to take-on tasks non-essential to the plot it suddenly became tougher and the new game+ additions were by far the most rewarding of all the 'Souls games so far.
I don't think I really need to explain myself - I loved Dark Souls 2 upon its arrival, and spent too many hours playing it.
A year-on from the PS3 version I played, I now have indulged in the PS4 version. For the uninitiated, here are the additions:
-60 frames per second 1080P graphics.
-The whole game has been reworked, with more plot, new characters, enemies shifted across the spectrum of the whole game, and gameplay has been given a major overhaul.
-Up to 6 players (online players and NPC's) in a single summoning session.
The graphics are lovely and smooth, in fact they are better than the PC version of last year!! Yes, the game is a year old (and it has aged a little in terms of graphics) but trust me, the enhancements do work and it just looks about the best it can. The sound has not changed, but it didn't need to and its the same awesome music combined with the breathtaking sound effects that are the norm for FROM soft.
In terms of gameplay, to say this is tougher than the first Dark Souls 2 incarnation is perhaps not fair - 'different' is certainly a fairer term. Enemies haven't been just 'swapped around' to try and mix things up, they've been intelligently placed, meaning that whereas seasoned players cannot be complacent, newcomers will enjoy the experience a great deal too. Of particular note is the fact that certain events are not easily reachable now and you will have to work for them (but please note, its dealt with fairly). Coupled with the new strains of the plot, this makes for a very compulsive experience.
I've kept this review short as I've reviewed it once and this time I'd like to express the following: this is well-worth the purchase if you enjoyed it first time around as much as I did, or if you feel like a challenge. The changes effectively null-out the complaints from last time and coupled with the overhaul of presentation and gameplay, make for a severely addictive game.
On the PS4, Scholar of the First Sin is arguably the best remaster you can buy currently and more than worth the price of admission (or re-admission). Buy this as well as Bloodborne, and be prepared to lose yourself!!… Expand
Average User Score: 8.9Mar 29, 2015I don't think I need to explain to anyone how the 'Souls' games work, as everyone is already aware. From the outset you should be aware thatI don't think I need to explain to anyone how the 'Souls' games work, as everyone is already aware. From the outset you should be aware that Bloodborne first and foremost takes the template from before and puts it into a new 'set of clothes' as it were, whilst twisting it, and inventing some ingenious new rules.
Presentation is a little bit of a mixed-bag; the issues that plagued the previous games (wierd ragdoll physics and a slightly iffy framerate at times), coupled with slightly long loading times, and a need to drop the player into the game without a proper explanation of the mechanics, can turn potential newcomers off. And for a moment there at the beginning, you may just wonder if this is what the power of the PS4 is all about?
Okay, that's the bad points out of the way - now lets focus on the good!!
The world you are in is MASSIVE, and is clearly the star of the show!! It is by far the biggest world in any of these games, and there is so much to discover that it becomes the biggest antagonist of the game by far. Its a beautifully created world, so staggering in its detail and devastating art, that you forgive the loading times and the framerate, because its clearly apparent that the power of the PS4 has been used not for dynamic gimmicks or 'showboating', but genuinely for the purpose of realising a vision, and not compromising. Coupled with enemies that are equally as well thought-out, you
The music is beautiful, and the sound effects are breathtaking, not only in how they relate to the atmosphere (and in ways you'd never expect - I'll never turn my back on a rat EVER AGAIN!!), but they telegraph events to you, providing a dimension that I've mentioned before, and no doubt has been criminally overlooked - the fact that the sound provides the extra dimension, as it were.
The gameplay on the surface has been overhauled too, and the combat is different in its implementation, but has a satisfaction all of its own. The game also harbours a depth that was last seen in Demon's Souls, that like an iceberg is much more under the surface than you'd think. Its gripping in the ways of an action game, yet the strategies and the adventure/role play elements infect enough to provoke dare I say it - an addiction to the game? Certainly!!
Bloodborne should not be approached if you think that you're going to be washed in the latest greatest technical masterpiece to be lauded-over, it is not that game. What it is however is a game that if you let it, will grip you from the very beginning, and will probably never leave you.
For the count, I say give it a chance at the very least, it deserves that. If you missed Demon's Souls (and many did), give it a chance, it will suprize you.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Jan 24, 2015Having played Saints Row 4 on the XBOX 360 and enjoyed it immensely despite the issues with presentation, I looked forward to what was comingHaving played Saints Row 4 on the XBOX 360 and enjoyed it immensely despite the issues with presentation, I looked forward to what was coming with the next-gen versions, but felt a lot of trepidation as well - would the vibe be lost, and would it add anything to an enjoyable if undemanding game?
Presentation-wize the graphics and sound are almost exactly the same bar a slight touch-up, but I really wouldn't expect wonders here at all. So I'm extremely thankful then that Deep Silver decided to do the decent thing and publish Saints Row 4 on the PS4 and XBOX One not only with all the DLC that has been released (and there is a heck of a lot!!), but also the Gat out of Hell Standalone game as well!!
Both instalments play extremely well, and if they do seem the same old Saints Row episodes with even more ludicrous twists and turns, then its to their credit that they can laugh at themselves. The gameplay is gripping enough to keep you coming back for more, and there's enough to make this a long-laster in your collection.
If you want a revolution in gameplay and presentation, please, move on, this isn't for you. If however you want a good laugh, and lots for your money, then look right here!!… Expand
Average User Score: 6.3Dec 14, 2014My first experience of Driveclub was only three weeks ago, and after the initial stories of a game woefully unfinished, disgruntled gamersMy first experience of Driveclub was only three weeks ago, and after the initial stories of a game woefully unfinished, disgruntled gamers trading it back early and warnings that it really was not very good at all, I couldn't help but wander what I had let myself in for?
Well, thankfully, these fears were all unfounded, and I will come back to them I promise. Driveclub is the latest title from Evolution, the people who gave us the wonderful chaos of Motorstorm and the sequel, Apocalypse. Both of those titles still stand out not only to myself, but anyone who wanted something different from their racers.
Starting off, I have to go to the presentation. Menus are clean and fast, you really don't get lost anywhere, and this is a major plus. Perhaps in some of the more complex gameplay options they can be a little limiting, but for the most part they're designed so that you can go back to the most important part (the racing!!) as soon as.
Graphically, the game is probably the best-looking racer out there (certainly it is the best looking racer I've ever seen) - at any point in the game there are endless racers hammering it around the track, complex textures on cars and the track, with sublime lighting - and it doesn't ever jitter ONCE. If you wanted one graphical reference title for our PS4, something to make your friends jealous, make it this one.
The sound is disappointing though, and perhaps made all the more disappointing by the wonderful graphics. The engines sound meaty, and the sound effects are good, but there isn't anything that involves you. If you doubt my opinion in any way, go and play Need For Speed Shift on either the PS3 or XBOX 360, and drive the Ford Escort Cosworth - THAT is WHAT a racing game should sound like!! The music is okay, but its not there really for incident, and is just as part of the presentation, to fill in a necessary space, and immediately forgettable.
So onto the gameplay then - Driveclub's car feel is odd, and the somewhat chunky handling that merges just a little arcade with a good portion of sim (similar to Need for Speed Pro Street) really does take a while to get the hang of, but once you're there, then the really annoying nature of some of the tracks (designed to really involve might I add!!) changes to compulsion to master them, to beautiful effect. Its to the games benefit that it plays differently from say Codemaster's GRID series, and in kind of a way the game feels influenced from say Sega and Namco's later racers, in that they concentrated on the one pure thing, and avoided the gimmicks. There is no upgrading cars as such, the main meat of the game is purely on the racing, and later the social ascent of the racing. In a way, Evolution should be congratulated - this game cannot compare to the Gran Turismo's and the Forza's of this world and if you did, you'd be missing the point entirely. This is a racer not only built for veterans, but for newcomers after a change too.
Of the modes in the game then, it has to be said that the campaign mode is woefully short, so thankfully the online modes (now fully working by the way may I add) compensate, and also prove remarkably involving, but with one major stumbling block - to actually play an online race you require a PSN+ subscription, which I think quite honestly is a bit of a con. This game for the most part costs £50 on average, and the campaign's short length eventually forces you to try the game online for some racing, and then you have to pay - what gives? Still, provided you pay, the online stuff is now solid and really unmissable.
For my gripes though, I have to give massive kudos to Evolution for their constant updates on the game (the weather patch, released last week, really makes for some stunning racing through harsh weather!!), and releasing a lot of the early game packs for free as an apology for all the early issues is a good deed.
Overall, Driveclub is by no means the the ultimate driving game, and if you look at the separate components, then you're going to question whether this is worth playing. However, if you look past the flaws, and play it for what it is, and enjoy it the way its meant to be enjoyed, then you are going to have a lot of fun.
A different and slightly flawed racer, but all the better because it is different.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Oct 19, 2014Sega's reputation for the Alien series has been very patchy up to now, so I expected to be let down by this game - only to have my backsideSega's reputation for the Alien series has been very patchy up to now, so I expected to be let down by this game - only to have my backside kicked!!
First, some really important details - the 360 version comes on two DVD's, the first one is the installation disc and the second one the game disc. You need to ensure that the 360 is connected to the network upon first running, as there is first a download patch of 896 megs, and following this 5.4 gigs of data is installed from the game disc onto the hard drive. I'm warning you of this, as it takes around 45 minutes to install, and with that you can clear drive space if you don't have much!!
The presentation is largely wonderful - the graphics occasionally have a mite frame slip-up here and there, and occasionally have a slightly 'odd' texture, but they catch the atmosphere of the movie Alien down to a tee. The music is utterly wonderful, the new arrangements fitting seamlessly with Jerry Goldsmiths's classic score, and the sound effects are some of the best I've heard this year. May I say in the presentation stakes that the developers studied it seems not only Alien, but also elements from the other Alien movies (in terms of sound effects Alien 3 certainly) to painstaking detail, and it shows. There is a slight period of say 20-25 seconds to load between sections, but this doesn't take you too far out of the action.
The gameplay is first-person survival horror, and there is one thing that you really need to get used to fast: you are going to die, a LOT!! From the off, the plot reveals multiple hazards along the way, in addition to the titular creature, you will come to find that death comes all too easy. Couple this with the lack of 'handholding' that the game provides and the fact that you really can only save at manual save points, you may think that this may seem really irritating (think the first time that people played Demon's Souls and realized what they were in for and you're close!!) but once you 'get' into the spirit of the game you come to realize that you aren't succombing to 'cheap' deaths, but in fact you need to get your head around things and understand where you are. This perhaps smacks of a weak tutorial to some, but it really doesn't take that long to find your bearings. Once learnt, the gameplay is truly satisfying in its depth, even if it does call for a lot of patience.
With all of this then, its left to the last question - how is the Alien handled? Only one word can sum it up really - WOW. The Alien from the off is treated sparingly, but the scripting to its appearances are wonderful - again, the team that put the game together obviously are fans, and everything gels so well. The first time the creature appears your heart will be in your mouth, it is that good (and dare I say, vastly more effective than the entirety of Alien Resurrection and the Aliens vs Predator movies!!). Later encounters push the tension even more, and prove above all, that with true understanding of the subject matter, the desired result can be achieved.
This will not appeal to all and I can see that many will hate the initially unfair nature of the game - this is not the game for them. But if you want something that's deep and atmospheric, and is more than just a tribute to a classic movie (although it does a stunning job of that too), then you should at the very least give this a try.
For this man though, its brilliant, and worth the tension.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.7Sep 13, 2014I really thought not to buy Bungie's latest on release day - I expected a half-hearted cut-down 'realisation' of their 'dream' on 360, II really thought not to buy Bungie's latest on release day - I expected a half-hearted cut-down 'realisation' of their 'dream' on 360, I expected server issues, and most of all I expected a mass of letdowns and issues typical of games of this wait. What I didn't expect was the following, so please, do read on.......
.......The game installed, and for the first 2-3 hours I played the game on the 360 without a single hitch, technically - but I felt cold, disconnected from the game's narrative, and I felt that I was missing something, and that the game was effectively a 'bag' of components that didn't really fit together that well - yes, I was underwhelmed. However, 6 hours-in, things changed dramatically, and I realized that although this game isn't the epic many may expect, in other areas it not only surprises, it also concentrates hard on the small things.
Destiny plays much like Halo, with mechanics from Borderlands, and also structural influences on the gameplay also coming from such disparate titles as Dark Souls and Burnout Paradise (note: influences - this game plays directly, differently, to those titles!!). It focuses directly upon a campaign linked with other gameplay modes, and a severe dose of online gameplay too. And for all that, it succeeds admirably. The "levels" sprawl and alternate in alarming patterns, and although they may be repeated for the campaign as such, the events update dramatically on a major scale - some of the opening missions I've found often change and prove to be wonderful excuses to just lose it and wonder around, picking up and being dropped into events that are randomly selected. At the start, those 2-3 hours of weathering the initial game, you'll feel like its an uphill struggle, and that big enemies take an age to kill. After that, things will suddenly change, and you'll feel at one with the events of the game.
The presentation is very good, with very pretty graphics detailing some wonderful imaginative worlds, and the sound is amazing, really eerie sound effects complimenting the stellar soundtrack. And thankfully, loading levels doesn't take that long.
Back to my opening, Bungie I feel are master craftsmen of this kind of game, and this game excels in dragging the player into the conflict, and yet the game has also hidden strengths. Being able to just drop-in for a 30 minute play is wonderful, as is the fact that although the gameplay doesn't vary, the often random events that crop-up mid-level and the other little touches serve to involve the player on a greater level.
I am enjoying this game greatly, and whilst I feel that it is generally very very good, I am aware that Bungie are working on a lot for this game, and that in 6 months, or even a year's time there may be a lot more in the game. Heck, there's even another level arriving on the 16th of September!!
This review may just read like a collection of thoughts right now, but I hope that it serves to prove that I am genuinely delighted and surprised by Destiny, and although I was initially underwhelmed, this gave way to discovering the true strengths of the game.… Expand