Beyond: Two Souls – The Ellen Page Show

Update: Apologies for the changes in scheduling this week, but t’is life and it has a tendency to get in the way sometimes. I think from now on I’ll try to post my articles on Thursdays, although that may change as required. Although I may decide to be a little more flexible from time to time, you can still almost always expect the 3 videos and one blog post a week that I’m putting out now! Also, next week there will be another special event on my humble blog and one that I’m certain you’re going to love, so check back next Wednesday for the big news! Now, on with the review!

Image by eysiojo23

Image by eysiojo23

Beyond: Two Souls is my first Quantic Dream experience and it seems that unlike many critics who reviewed it, I enjoyed it. I’m under no illusions though, it was without a doubt also a very flawed game. I’m all for interactive fiction or whatever you want to call it. I wouldn’t say it’s exactly the kind of game I usually choose to play, but I do enjoy them sometimes. Take The Walking Dead game for instance. As I mentioned in my review of it I absolutely loved Season 1 and am eagerly awaiting Season 2. So my issues with Beyond has nothing to do with David Cage’s choice of genre. My real problem with Beyond comes down to the fact that Cage tries to do too much and the result is that it’s spread too thin and never quite achieves any one thing it sets out to do. It’s a shame, because despite the fact that there were many things I like about Beyond, it’s just not a strong enough game for me to want to recommend to everyone.  Continue reading

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GTA V: No one does open world quite like Rockstar

Image belongs to Rockstar

Image belongs to Rockstar

This review has been a long time coming, but what with Simul-Tober (the month of post swapping with UWG contributors I took part in), I didn’t really get a chance to slip this one in. So here it is! The GTA V review that you probably haven’t been waiting for, because a) you’ve probably already played it and b) you’ve probably already read a thousand and one reviews of it already. Hopefully though, I can still keep this interesting for you. So. I’ve confessed this before and I’ll confess it again. I never really played much GTA at all. I did get somewhat into GTA IV and then sort of just got distracted and never finished it. I didn’t really have anything against it, it just never really hooked me in. Perhaps I just never really gave it a chance. With all the hype surrounding GTA V before it came out, I decided to really give it a shot this time to see what all the fuss is about. What I found is that GTA V is exactly what I want out of an open world game. It’s massive in size and scope and actually has activities to match it. It’s not just empty space to traverse with the occasional repetitive side mission or activity to keep you occupied for a bit. Los Santos is rich and detailed and feels as real as any game city has ever felt. That’s not to say the game didn’t have its flaws, but it’s still one of the games I’ve enjoyed most this year and that’s really saying something considering this year’s slew of awesome games. I obviously can’t really compare GTA V with any of the previous games, but I can tell you that on its own, it certainly knocked my metaphorical socks off. Continue reading

Remember Me Review: The game that almost made it

Image belongs to Dontnod

Image belongs to Dontnod

Oh Remember Me, never before have I had such mixed feelings about a game before. Were you good? Bad? Fun? It’s difficult to even pin down that much, because it was at once incredibly unique, even visionary and simultaneously mediocre. This should give you an idea of how I felt about this game. I went from intrigued in the first few hours to a little bored, at which point I pushed it to the side for a couple of weeks to play Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, then got really into it again, then finally finished it and considered playing it again (although not right away) and then ironically, promptly completely forgot all about it until now. In fact, 2 days ago I was actually  musing about what to write for my weekly blog post today and was considering something GTA V related (my newest obsession), when Remember Me suddenly popped back into my mind. That’s pretty much how I feel about this action-adventure game by French developers Dontnod. While there are so many things for me to rave about, there’s always a ‘but’ lingering on the horizon, waiting to swoop in. Remember Me was a good game, but sadly it never quite lived up to the enormous potential it had.

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Dishonored: Do you really have a choice?

Oh Dishonored, how I misjudged you! At first I thought you were just Deus Ex in Victorian England with slightly better graphics, but I was WRONG! You’re so much more than that! Like Far Cry 3, I found that Dishonored to be the kind of game that grows on you the more you explore and learn about and interact with its world, until you suddenly find yourself completely drawn into it. Dishonored is a first person stealth-action game (or a stealth or action adventure game, whatever you prefer) and was developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It’s evocative visuals, cohesive and fully realised world and intriguing characters are some of what made this one of the memorable games I’ve played in recent times and was what earned it numerous awards. I won’t deny it’s also a flawed game in many ways, but it’s still one of the strongest gaming experiences of 2012.

Dishonored 2013-04-30 00-33-00-65

Look out below!

The story follows Corvo Attano, Royal Protector to the Empress and takes place in the industrial, dirty and rat plague-ridden city of Dunwall, the capital of the Empire of Isles. It’s a city rotting from the inside with power-hungry and corrupt leaders fighting and scheming among themselves to attain ultimate control of the Empire. The real story beings when the Empress is assassinated, her daughter kidnapped and Corvo framed for both crimes. It’s up to him to either restore the delicate power balance or to seek revenge against those who have wronged him.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum – The Real Thing or Just a Shadow?

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BAMAN! Ok now that that’s out of the way, on with my post!

For those not on Twitter, I do realise this is a day late. Believe it or not I had a massive migraine and started having weird visual hallucinations, which I assume is because I had been staring at my PC screen for too long that day or week or month or whatever. I know, right? If you’ve fallen out of your chair with shock I’ll give you a second to recover. Me? A gaming-related injury/illness? Who would have guessed? At least I don’t get those hand cramps anymore… Anyways, since the thought of looking at anything bright and glowing made my brain want to hemorrhage on the spot, I took a bit of time off (even though I ended up playing some Bordlerlands 2 as soon as the pain let up – oy!) Enough of my brain-related problems though, on with the post (again)!

Today I wanted to review a game that I’m ashamed to admit I only played recently – Batman: Arkham Asylum. I know, I know, you’d think that a self-proclaimed Batman nut like myself would have played a multi-award-winning Batman game that’s been around since 2009 and holds a Guinness World Record for “Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever”. Yeah, beat that, right? The reason for this delay? Well, other than the fact that I was saving it for a rainy day, which turned out to be some years later, there was also that part of me that was skeptical. The truth is, nothing that’s come out of the Batman franchise other than the comics has ever truly impressed me. I knew it wouldn’t be as terrible the infamously cheesy 1960’s Batman TV series with Adam West or equally cringey old movies (much as they’re guilty pleasures of mine). However, even the much-lauded Batman: The Animated Series and Christopher Nolan’s recent Dark Knight movies failed to really capture me the way the comics did. Don’t get me wrong, I used to watch the animated series obsessively and watched each of the new movies several times. It’s because I’m such a huge fan of Batman from the comics that I’m so particular when it comes to anything that’s added to the lore. That’s the problem though, really. None of it truly adds to or fits comfortably into the comic book lore and as a comic book fan that’s obviously something I’d be excited to see. Of course, I’m talking about the revamped Batman, the Dark Knight, not the previous versions like the 1940’s Batman who was even campier than Adam West (I confess I even used to read these somewhat terrible comics). Also, of course, there are many adaptations of even modern Batman, for instance Frank Miller’s Batman is different to Jeff Loeb’s Batman. However, although Batman has been revamped so many times, I feel there is a certain overarching look and feel to the modern Batman, who received a major facelift in the ’80’s and whose new look has been built on and adapted ever since. The movies captured the spirit, but I didn’t learn anything new or see another side of Batman that I’d never experienced before from the comics. Also, the movies were amazing, but it wasn’t really Batman in his true form. I loved the movies as a separate thing to the comics, because I just couldn’t reconcile the two of them in my mind. As an obsessed fan of the comics, I wanted something that truly captured the essence of Batman as I knew him. There’s nothing wrong with all the adaptations that have been created and as I said I’ve loved pretty much all of it, but as a Batman comic fan, I wanted that true Dark Knight experience from the comics for myself just once and to be able to share it with the rest of the world as well, so that they could so see why I’m so in love with this dark corner of the DC Universe. Above everything else, this game definitely does that. So, even if it turns out that everyone other than me has already played this game, I’m hoping that it might be interesting reading about the game from the perspective of a fan of the comics who used to creepily keeps busts and PVC statutes of Batman in her bedroom.

The official launch trailer:

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