Need for Speed: Rivals

Need for Speed: Rivals

With another title being added to the already expansive list of EA’s Need for Speed franchise, you could be forgiven for thinking Need for Speed Rivals will be another chip off the old block. However Rivals is the first driving game in a while that really excites me. The Need for Speed franchise really captures

Devil May Cry

Devil May Cry

DmC: Devil May Cry is a reboot in the ever so popular Devil May Cry franchise and it did not disappoint. 

Developer:      Ninja Theory  
Platforms:       PS3, Xbox 360, PC  
Release:          January 15th  

 

DmC is a hack and slash game which revolves around the ever so popular character Dante. Capcom first released the character Dante in their original Devil May Cry game all the way back in 2001 and has been a favourite character of many ever since. When Ninja Theory announced this reboot however, it was met with a lot of hostility for two reasons. First being that Ninja Theory were taking the reigns of the reboot opposed to Capcom and that Dante’s character Design had been altered from a long-haired blonde (Very Anime) to a short dark-haired cut (Very American). To put all worry to rest however, Dante’s character design plays no negative effect on the game and Capcom made sure that they were a part of the gameplay production to keep its old school feel. 

Review: Afterfall:Insanity

Review: Afterfall:Insanity

Developer:  Intoxicate Studios
Platforms: PC, XBOX360
Release: Dec 3, 2012 (steam)

 

Afterfall: Insanity calls it self a horror game and to an extent it is justified in that description, the narrative explores madness, bizarre creatures, the world after the world has ended and makes a valiant attempt to be epic and to keep you guessing as to what the real intentions of anyone are. It calls itself a horror game, has close quarters combat in dark corridors against nightmarish monsters. It calls itself a horror game and with a little more thought and polish I think Afterfall: Insanity could have really scared the crap out of me, but what we’re left with is what could be considered a mess of bad design choices, below average writing and uninspired combat. But through it all I realized this is a marvelous B-movie of a game with the total being greater than the sum of its parts. Gosh darnit, Afterfall is fun.

Review: LIMBO

Review: LIMBO

Developer: Playdead
Platforms: XBLA, PSN, PC, Mac
Release: 21st July 2010

 

Limbo has been given some rather lavishing praise, especially upon release. With most outlets being pretty much unanimous in their admiration for the game, I thought this would be a wonderful little interlude at the end of a hard day. So, like a terrified accountant going to my first bungee, I jumped. Am I safe and tethered to the bridge only to bounce around in a joyous high? Or did I go to one of those dodgy ones where they may have forgotten to properly affix me and send me careening into the rocks below?

Review: Tomb Raider

Review: Tomb Raider

Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Platforms: Xbox360, PS3, PC
Release: 5th March 2013

 

Tomb Raider as a series started out with not only a memorable protagonist (not necessarily for the best reasons) but also a memorable journey in the depth of Tombs looking for treasure, fighting animals and people, and puzzling your way out of a room. Then things started to take a downhill slide, as development periods got shorter and shorter to get the next one out, subsequent games saw only the most minor upgrades and the critical and public reaction began to slide and eventually everyone sort of gave up on Lara Croft. Since then Crystal Dynamics has taken up the torch with an attempt to reignite the flame of Tomb Raider and bring us back to Lara’s roots. Have they succeeded in bring her back to the forefront of gaming?

Mr Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage – Borderlands 2 DLC

Mr Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage – Borderlands 2 DLC

Developer: 2K Games  
Platforms:  PC, Xbox, PS3  
Release:     20th November 2012  

 

Mr Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage starts with off with some of the most randomly cut scenes I have seen in a AAA title. Mr Torgue is the boss of the Torgue Corporation and announces that yet another vault has been located and the only way to open this vault is having the biggest badass of Pandora, spill the blood of a coward on the vault. So Mr Torgue decides to run a tournament to decide who is indeed the baddest badass in the land. 

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 – Campaign

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 – Campaign

Developer:  Treyarch  
Platforms:   PS3, Xbox, PC, Wii U  
Release:      November 13th  

 

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is the latest release in the ever so popular, Call of Duty (or better known COD) franchise. The main campaign missions in the subsequent releases of the different COD games have really taken a backseat to its success online as it leads the stats with the most played online multi-player game on Xbox Live. As soon as you put the disk in to play Black Ops 2 however, you are confronted with the story, pre-menu. The emotional tale the story provided by the pre-menu cinematic jumps you straight into learning about the characters and drives you to discover how the story unfolds. I was glad to see a bigger emphasis on the story in this COD and Treyarch, with Activision have out done themselves in delivering an amazing game-play experience with an addictive and well written story. 

Hitman Absolution

Hitman Absolution

The ultimate silent assassin is back and he is ready to kick some serious ass.

Release Date 20/11/2012
Developer IO Interactive 
Publisher Square Enix 
Platforms PC, Xbox, PS3 

Hitman Absolution is a great game, centred around a vivid story that is actually quite easy to follow, compared to a lot of the previous games. There are a few hiccups that had to be overcome quite soon after the release of the game but I feel it has passed the test as an all round good stealth shooter. There are a few aspects of the game that make it down right impossible, but if you want to be the perfect silent assassin you have to really be patient and think outside the square. All in all it is a great game that stays true to the franchise and provides classic Hitman action.

Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2

Shootin’ and lootin’ has never felt this good.

Developer:      Gearbox Software  
Publisher:       2K Games  
Released:        Sept 18th 2012  
Platform’s:     Xbox 360, PS3 & PC  

 

After managing to create such a fantastic game with the first Borderlands, the Gearbox Software team faced the dilemma of how to improve the game with the sequel. Borderlands 2 has followed the same premise as the first game. As the saying goes if it’s not broken don’t fix it,  well the Borderlands game play is as fun as ever. They have fixed the minor glitches in the last game, improving most of the game engines and extended the effectiveness of the plot.

Transformers Fall of Cybertron

Transformers Fall of Cybertron

 

Transformers is back bigger and better than even before, with the latest edition Fall of Cybertron.

Release Date: August 29, 2012

     

Platforms: Xbox, PC, PS3

     
Publisher: Activision      
Developer: High Moon Studios      
Genre: Third-Person Shooter      
 
 

If watching plenty of action is what you want then this is your game. There is plenty of explosions and metal mashing action for all the senses. Your eyes and ears will be absorbed in the sights and sounds of the latest Autobot battles. There seems to be an overemphasis on the cinematic rather than captivating game play.

You are exposed to glimpses of character powers but never really stick at any character for too long, with what seemed short bursts of action. This can be good as the game is never repetitive, but bad as you never become truly involved in a single character. You basically just test drive each Autobot. Towards the end levels there is a sequence where you are in control of one Autobot after another creating a fast-paced and exciting gaming experience, unfortunately this is not throughout the whole campaign.

Fall is a third-person shooting game, and during the land based scenes you rely heavily on cover. Although your allies seem to be fine in the middle of the open, even giant metal machines get ripped to shreds if you do not protect yourself from incoming fire. Which I found interesting, but also important to add value to game play. This really adds merit to the smaller Autobot’s, being nimble are lighter on their feet they are often more enjoyable to control. The clever spin on mechanic’s is matched with the typical cover-based shooter game play to give Transformer Fall of Cyberton the  metal-on-metal high-powered spectacle.

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Dishonored

Dishonored

 

From the outset it is clear Dishonored is not your average stealth fps

 Platforms Xbox, PS3, PC 
Developer/s   Bethesda Softworks, Arkane Studios
Price AUD$69
Release Date 10/10/2012

 

I first heard about Dishonored about a year ago, at the time it was described as a steampunk-esk victorian stealth game where you had magical powers. The concept sounded cool and other than the fact that it was a stealth game (I love me some stealth games) nothing really drew me in. Then a few months ago I saw the latest trailers and tv spots on youtube. It really started to whet my appetite as there was now had footage of the combat system, the stylised scenery, and the fact that it was a quasi-victorian but somewhat futuristic in nature, and the fact that all this is actually set in some magical other world/realm didn’t hurt either. You play as Corvo Attano, a legendary bodyguard to the Empress who is framed for her murder and forced to become an assassin to seek revenge on those who conspired against him. Attano is aided in his quest by the Outsider, a powerful being who imbues him with magical abilities. Stealth is the preferred method of gameplay, I personally believe, but if assault is more your thing you can just as easily charge in all guns, and magic, blazing.

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Assassin’s Creed

Assassin’s Creed

 

Assassin’s Creed is a visual masterpiece and the start of something special.

Assassin’s Creed is one of those game that you talk about for years to come. This single player game is set in Jerusalem, 1191 AD, with the medieval backdrop provides a beautiful setting in which to tell the story of nine influential assassination’s. Assassin’s Creed tells the story of Altair and the start of the tension between the Templar’s and assassin’s. At the start he seems like a rogue assassin and breaks the assassin’s creed. But as a consequence he is stripped of his ranks and therefore all of his assassin abilities.

As you complete one of the nine key assassination’s, Al Mualim the assassin leader restores some of your abilities to make you a more fluent killer. The abilities start off as new weapons like the short blade that has an attached throwing blade ability which was a sweet weapon my favourite for sure, you could just lock on from a distance and take the guards out one at a time. From there they went to things like throwing enemies and grabbing ledges whilst you are falling. After that it seemed like they ran out of things to give you and just started giving health and weapons upgrades.

Assassin’s Creed 2

Assassin’s Creed 2

Following up the great success of the first game Assassin’s Creed 2 brings everything great and expands on it.

Assassin’s Creed 2 is just a massive improvement on what was already an amazing game. The amount of work that went into this game and the franchise direction as a whole in the process of this games development is clearly evident. In Assassin’s Creed 2 the player is introduced to Ezio, who is the ancestor Desmond hooks into via the Animus, and main protagonist for the next few titles in the series. All of the little kinks and niggles about the first game were worked out in Assassin’s two.

Crash of the Titans

Crash of the Titans

This is another Crash Bandicoot platform game and is heavily based on combat.

As you proceed through the game you travel through tricky platforms sequences, progressively getting more difficult. Crash of the Titans has no real strategy however, you do have to mastering large combat scenes and face battles heavily outnumbered. The game is too focused on combat and does not have enough variety even for a platform game. There is an old school feel to it, especially with the way the game is laid out, and most of the menus have been left basically unchanged since PS2.

At the start of the 20 episodes you pick one of three difficulties to choose from easy, medium or hard. The episodes are setup with multiple arena’s in each level and hover board surfing. Although these are often random in length they provide a nice mix up of game play. So as you advance through the platform’s you hit the arena stage for a fight sequences.