Dark Souls III – Review

by Jordan Murphy Dark Souls III The Lords of Cinder have left their thrones meaning that it is up to you, the undead warrior, to link the first flame and keep it More »

DiRT Rally – Review

by Stacey Ewart DiRT Rally AMATEURS, BEWARE. I am not really all that good at any sort of racing game (except Diddy Kong Racing; I kick ass at Diddy Kong Racing. DiRT More »

Fallout 4 – Review

by Stacey Ewart FALLOUT 4 A PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING In the first week Fallout 4 was realised, I managed to rack up eighty hours of gameplay. This may seem both ridiculous and More »

 

Dr. Strange – Review

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The marvel cinematic universe has branched out into the Dr.Strange comics. A movie that I imagine more than a handful of viewers will deem unknown territory. Along with Guardians of the galaxy I think its safe to say that Dr. Strange is one of the lesser known super heroes in the Marvel world currently on screen and if this movie is anything to go by a delightfully welcome one.

The story of Dr. Strange is primarily about an egotistical and genius brain surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange, who due to a bit of texting while driving gets his hands smooshed. It’s not unusual for people who are driving recklessly in movies to get spun off the road like one of those spinny hour glass looking things circus school students use and this is no different. The key plot point here is that Dr. Strange has, up until now, had incredibly deft dexterity making him the most legendary brain surgeon in the world. Since his entire identity revolves around him being better than everyone else at brain surgerising he becomes quite the mopey-martin and pursues a rumour that brings him to Asia. Rumour has it some interesting looking buddhisty kind’ve of characters have the ability to heal all kinds of issues using the spiritual realm.

This part of the movie is actually quite a well written drama about a man struggling to deal with an identity crisis after a horrible accident, and would almost be worth watching on it’s own if not for the misalignment he would suffer amongst the rest of the avengers. The trip to Asia that leads to him studying kung fu and various magical arts is reminiscent of every martial arts movie with a white lead character there has ever been. Due to Strange’s scepticism (and Cumberbatch’s performance) it’s even interesting up to the point where something actually happens, unlike every other origin story ever.

Saying that, I do think the film suffers a little from Origin-story-itis, in an unusual way. Traditionally the problems with origin stories are that two thirds of the film is seemingly wasted getting the the point where a traditionally unimportant man or woman, in the eyes of the audience, develops the abilities that make him/her interesting. Though this happens in the film, Dr. Strange’s life story is so compelling that it is never a bore, and that seemingly inimitable sense of humour (see Suicide Squad for how inimitable it seems to be) makes the journey completely fascinating. The issue, I think, comes when the ‘comic book’ story line occurs, and when the ‘final battle’ has to happen it seems a little forced and has a shift in tone, though I think it is handled as well as it could have been which brings me to the most important point.

This film NEEDS to be seen in 3D preferably in IMAX, I have never (as far as I’m aware) said this before neither about James Cameron’s Avatar nor Christopher Nolan’s Inception. The visual element in Dr. Strange is a delight by itself and forgoing the trip to the cinema for this is something that may be regrettable in the future. Some times the visuals are necessary plot points and sometimes it’s just fancy showing off, though unfortunately it covers up for some slightly more vapid story telling in the third act. I know some of you aren’t able to see 3D so I hope you don’t interpret this as a hate crime, for everyone else though if you feel like you are going to care about this character in the future, go see it as soon as you can in the biggest screen in the best 3D.

This is the best origin story film Marvel have done, I am very excited to see Stephen Strange in the Avengers and the other movies he ends up in and even if you know nothing about him, as I did not, I urge you to see this (in 3D) if you are a fan of comic book movies.

The Nice Guys

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If you haven’t had the opportunity to go to the cinema lately, or you have but you’ve just been disappointed by a plethora of uninteresting movies I severely suggest you make the time to go and see The Nice Guys, directed and co-written by Shane Black, the guy that directed Iron Man 3 and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I think he wrote Lethal Weapon as well, or something. He was definitely involved in it in one way or another.

Shane Black has absolutely no shame in parading around his love for film-noir which I also share. I loved this movie more than most movies I’ve seen in a while and certainly would put it on par, comedy movie wise, with the likes of Deadpool. I might be over selling this a bit, do you ever watch a film and it happens to tick all the boxes of the exact movie you wanted to watch, even if you didn’t know what that was? Well for me that was The Nice Guys, a neo-noir film based in the 70s starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. Russell Crowe looks like he wouldn’t even need the phone from a Hotel to knock the shit out’ve you and Gosling, who still sits in my head as a rom-com guy, has an incredible comic timing. In fact the whole film is just made up of small moments of fabulous comic and dramatic timing.

Gosling plays a private eye who is so lazy that he is only one step up from a grifter, Russell Crowe plays an aggressive man who punches people for money, like The Punisher but less violent and more fiscally motivated. As it is Film Noir there is a dame/broad that has gone and got herself killed, there are a handful of storylines going on at once and they all meet up beautifully and yet messily throughout the movie. It’s stylish, faithful to the genre in my opinion and the best thing Shane Black has done by far. I’m not sure about you but I know a lot of people who wouldn’t go and see this movie because of

a) Ryan Gosling
b) Russell Crowe
c) Film Noir

but try and talk everyone out’ve their prejudices and take them to the cinema. Do yourself a massive favour and go and watch it immediately on my recommendation and avoid all trailers, the comic and dramatic timing can be somewhat ruined by a trailer designed to tickle your interest gland and this film deserves a blind viewing.

It feels like it could inspire a resurgence in great neo-noir and could be a great introduction for people who aren’t ware of it as a genre, and for everyone who is really into it there has been a tie-in book released on the Hard Case Crime label that is worth diving into for the rest of your life. In lots of respects it is to Film Noir what The Kingsman was to Spy movies, except you can tell there is a lot more respect for the genre with The Nice Guys and I think everyone you know will love it.

Dark Souls III – Review

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by Jordan Murphy

Dark Souls III

The Lords of Cinder have left their thrones meaning that it is up to you, the undead warrior, to link the first flame and keep it burning, by hunting them down. Or you could plunge the whole place into darkness depending on which way you swing.

To delve into and explain the story of Dark Souls 3 is a much larger task. There are fans who have dedicated their time to doing it and doing it well so I recommend the Youtube channels of VaatiVidya and EpicNameBro. I’m also waiting for the day that the story and lore of Dark Souls 3 becomes a college course on its own.

Coming after Bloodborne, it was always going to be interesting to see what influence, if any, that game would have on the next instalment of this popular, yet punishing series. The art direction is the first noticeable influence as early on we encounter architecture similar to that of Hemlock Charnel Lane along with pitchfork wielding enemies not so unlike the villagers of Yharnam. The detail can be incredible and everything looks fantastic, while remaining intimidating. Gone however is blood drenched, gothic stylings and claustrophobic alley ways as we explore towering, ruined old castles, courtyards with patrolling knights and yes, in good old Dark Souls tradition, a fire spewing dragon. Now we are home and now we are ready. With our shields up we begin clumsily running past enemies we are too scared to fight, rolling out of the way of incoming archer fire and no doubt falling off of roof tops to our inevitable death.

Stepping back a little before all of that the game also introduces us to the controls of the game before throwing us up against the game’s first boss in the form of Iudex Gundyr. Removing a sword from his chest, the giant knight in armour starts whirling his lance/spear with devastating fury. Half way through this fight, and of course the many others that lie ahead, we again see in the influence of Bloodborne. His form changes as a venom/symbiote like snake creature takes over and expands his attack range asking the player to rethink their strategy. The multi-stage boss fight is a great way to switch things up and prevent them from becoming predictable and tiring (not that the boss fights in Dark Souls games ever have been). Not only are the individual fights more varied than before, but the bosses themselves have a greater range than the often complained about “another large knight in armour with massive weapon” encounters that were too frequent in Dark Souls 2. Boss fights in this series are often the most talked about aspect and provide markers throughout the game as to how you’re progressing through the game, how skilful you’ve become and how strong your character is. The journey between each encounter will equally leave you gripping your joypad wondering what you will come up against next. Other warriors, undead villagers, giant enemy crabs, the returning black and silver knights are just a few examples of the enemies that will hunt you down and force you see the words “You Died” on your screen over and over again.

Everything from combat to movement feels slicker, faster and more impactful. A new Focus Point/Mana bar gives a new tier of attacks depending on your weapon. This bar also limits the amount of time you can use spells forcing you to rebalance your Estus flasks between healing and mana replenishment. There’s a little more management involved depending on the type of character you’re building. I’ve been favouring dexterity/mage builds in order to attack fast and more frequently while being able to damage enemies from range with fire and sorcery. Timing is everything. Enemies can be relentless in their attacks and casting a spell or trying to take a swig of Estus to replenish your health at the right time will often be the difference between surviving or dying.

With every death lies learning. Death teaches you to be patient as always. Learn the enemy patterns, as frantic as they are. Look for the windows of opportunity to strike and upon releasing you can’t do enough damage… quickly run away and rethink the whole damn plan. I’ve found myself skipping a lot of enemies on first encounters because I was just not strong enough or skilled enough to fight them. Its all part of learning and exploration that is the real heart of Dark Souls in my eyes. The surprise, the unexpectedness, the exploration with no information of what lies ahead. This game nails it perfectly. From NPC side-quests to the optional areas and boss fights, there is a lot to miss in this game if you follow a straight line and don’t look around. This is the reason I have already started the game three times because I missed so much. Even on my third character, I ruined another character’s side quest that I had no idea about! Why did I give the Tomes to Karina of Carim? Why did I spells from her? How was I to know?

Going back over old ground in this game opens up other surprises. You jaunt through the earlier areas of the game with more purpose and confidence than before. You lose less souls because of an avoidable death before you recovered your previously dropped souls. The boss fights that once sent fear coursing through you are now an inconvenience. Your reason for adventure is different as you explore an NPCs side quest from start to finish. Dark Souls 3 is a game, like its predecessors, that keeps you coming back and it never gets old. The familiar sounds and locations, the safe haven of a bonfire up ahead and I haven’t even mentioned the music in this game. Grand, operatic themes that make the bosses more frightening and the encounters more strenuous. This game obviously looks better as it was built for the current generation, but everything else is better too. It is punishing and perhaps more so than any of the previous games (don’t get me started on Pontiff Sulyvahn), but you knew that before even starting and it’s part of the reason you picked this game up.

The community aspect of the From Software games is something I’ve never delved into so I can’t comment on that. With a larger range of invading/helper summoning signs able to be placed however, it seems that there may be more ways for other players to ruin your day. When you see a sign that tells you to jump though, be wary of liar.

DiRT Rally – Review

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by Stacey Ewart

DiRT Rally
AMATEURS, BEWARE.

I am not really all that good at any sort of racing game (except Diddy Kong Racing; I kick ass at Diddy Kong Racing. DiRT Rally has, shamefully, no option for hovercraft), so excuse me while I write this review with thinly failed contempt at how useless this has made me feel.
DiRT Rally was announced a year ago, and slid onto Windows in December, before making it to Xbox One and PS4 at the start of April. While it has not exactly been long awaited, die hard fans of Codemasters’ last rally game offering (Dirt: Showdown, 2012) have been clamouring for the bloody thing.

First up, there seems to be an awful lot of questions before they’ll let you play anything. They asked for my nationality, which I thought was a bit intrusive, but it turns out it’s just for the little flag that goes beside your name in the career rankings. So, don’t pay too much attention to that, let your imagination go wild. Briefly become Jamaican, follow your dreams.
The menus are not easy to navigate, but I was able to launch myself right into career mode, because it seemed like the most logical place to start. The initial choice of vehicle is extremely weak; the cars are arranged by decade, so you start in the sixties and gradually ‘earn’ more modern cars. I don’t know anything about cars, so I picked the cheapest one, secure in the knowledge that it would make absolutely no difference, because I am rubbish at this. It seems weird that you earn cars in chronological order, I mean, I know next to nothing about cars (mine is blue!), but I was under the impression that classic cars are, in fact, more expensive than something churned out in 2005.
Am I wrong? And is this review making my gender far too apparent?

The game itself is, admittedly, beautiful. The landscapes are lush and detailed, and there is a realism to the backgrounds and the cars themselves that draws the player in. Everything moves the way it is supposed to – cars skid on dry ground, dirt flies up in stunning, lung-destroying clouds, branches snap as you inevitably roll into a ravine. Each track looks very much like it is in the country that it says is in, which again, feeds into the realistic tone that is the highlight of the game; the point of rally racing (according to Google), so the rough terrain and that it generally takes place on public roads, so it makes sense that so much effort would be put into making this the focus of the game. When making a rally simulator, it makes sense that it would simulate rally driving, no?

The actual gameplay is tricky to master; it took a good ten races before I was able to move the car in the right direction for more than ten metres. The co-driver directions are good, if you understand what’s happening. The game itself is harsh – the time penalties for losing control of your car are downright mean (and it happens, a lot), the cars overheat and blow tyres…finishing a race at all is a test of your mental endurance. If you’re looking for a challenge, awesome, here it is.
Although, you do get an achievement for rolling your car, so that’s nice. It took all my willpower not to use the phrase ‘rally quite nice’ just now.

Anyway…
If you are a fan of the whole genre, I’m sure that this is some hell of a rally game. It’s challenging, great to look at and there’s a lot of things you can play about with (cars, engineering, leagues, online options; none of which I even attempted to nibble at). It’s a fan pleaser, that’s for sure. On the other hand, if this is your first crack at a rally game, you are going to be screaming obscenities at your television and enjoying the immaculate physics of car rolling much more than admiring the stunningly generated glory of nature that surrounds you.

Fallout 4 – Review

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by Stacey Ewart

FALLOUT 4
A PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING

In the first week Fallout 4 was realised, I managed to rack up eighty hours of gameplay. This may seem both ridiculous and unhealthy, but it was made even more so by the fact that, in this time, I barely dented the actual storyline.
Do you know why, gentle reader? Settlements. One of the main changes introduced in Fallout 4 is the inclusion of settlements that the player can build and customise. A creative little extra for regular people; a curse and a plight on those of us with even slight OCD. I spent nearly eighty hours trying to make nice little neighbourhoods for ungrateful survivors of the apocalypse, before I realised that they were never going to be happy and I wasn’t getting anywhere at all.

So, after this delayed and stuttering start, I set of to explore yet another post-apocalyptic landscape; this time, set in Boston (as opposed to Fallout 3, which was set in Washington, The Capital Wasteland– close enough for a few recurring characters and references to pop up without it seeming overly contrived). Mind you, anyone with internet access over the past four or so years knew that this was exactly where it was going to be set, because a) there are unsubtle references to Boston in Fallout 3, and b) Bethesda were really not stealthy enough when they were out and about scouting the area.

To be honest, there are extremely few differences between this chapter and the last – you’ve lost a family member, so you go looking for them. You encounter Super Mutants, feral ghouls, raiders, mercenaries and the odd Deathclaw. You get Power Armour, increasingly interesting weapons and a choice of companions. 
I felt like some of the favourites from the last game made appearances a little early. Like, Bethesda were showing their hand early on, hoping the shiny new features would keep us all gripped further down the line. Power Armour is as easy to come across in the greater Boston area as matching Adidas tracksuits are in the greater Belfast area. The first Deathclaw appears so early on, and is killed so easily, that I wonder why they bothered dropping him in there in the first place.
The companions are good fun, each leading you on their own little missions and adventures, although let’s be fair – most people are going to stick with old reliable, Dogmeat. Although, I am confused. Is this the same Dogmeat? Unlikely, given the number of times I watched that mutt croak in the last game (rather happy to say that companions can no longer die – a welcome change). The new companions come with their own achievements and romance options (alas, nothing graphic), but be warned – choose carefully. I spent hours working on my relationship with Macready, just to discover he’s married with a kid. Men, huh?
The map is also crawling with cats. I’m not sure of the purpose of this, but I appreciated the addition all the same.

While the plot starts off a little similar to past jaunts, it branches out in all sorts of strange and twisting directions. Another new feature of the game is the inclusion of factions, which make it immediately apparent that, at some point during the game, you’re going to have to plead your undying loyalty to one of them and forsake or betray the others. The Brotherhood Of Steel are back in all their shiny, heavily armed glory; determined to wipe out the mysterious creators of all things robotic and terrifying, The Institute. Meanwhile, The Railroad are fighting for android rights (which seems a strange battle to pick, in a world where a Super Mutant could very quickly eat your face off) and the Minutemen are…well, the Minutemen are rumbling along in the background, doing whatever it is that they are meant to be doing.
While I like this ‘chose your side’ sort of gameplay, I derived absolutely no pleasure from doing so, mainly because, the second you approach any faction, they all smack their foreheads to the ground and beg you, a total stranger, to be their powerful and formidable leader. I mean, come on. Fallout 3 had charm, because you were mentioned occasionally as being a lone gunmen, roaming the Wasteland doing good and/or evil things. Now…you’re instantly awesome and raised to legendary status merely for being there. Speaking of the internal battle of good and evil, I hope you didn’t like the moral judgement that Fallout 3 cast on you, because that’s gone. You’re neither good nor evil. You’re just…doing stuff. Karma is no longer a bitch, ladies and gentleman. Do as you please.
On the plus side, the factions and the choices you make regarding them definitely seem to alter the ending of the game, so there are huge variations in the story line, meaning this might be infinitely re-playable. 
Furthermore, along with the loss of the morality system, there is a certain sense of loss regarding character commitment. In Fallout 3, you chose your face and your SPECIAL points at the character building stage, and you were stuck with them. Now, with the appearance of plastic surgeons and a new levelling up system, you can alter your character as the fancy strikes you. I for one think you should be stuck with the face and the characteristics you chose. Your early choices should have consequences for your gameplay, or else what is the point?

Of course, these are just niggling little things, that by no means destroyed the game for me. I’m two hundred and fifty six hours in at this point, and only just approaching something that feels like the beginning of the end of the main quest line. The side quests are, for the most part, welcome distractions and very good fun (I was very briefly a superhero), but then there’s also Preston Fucking Garvey popping up every five minutes, asking you to go do some tiny mundane job that he could probably do himself. I am the leader of the Minutemen, Garvey, perhaps you should think a little harder about who you should be delegating jobs to. Oh, what’s that? Another settlement needs my help?

The music remains, truly, one of the best things about this game, the usually chipper and upbeat sounds of the ’50’s contrasting so well with the ruined world you find yourself stumbling through. While the map lacks the sense of sheer size and scale of the previous game, there is plenty to explore and discover. Rumour has it, if you head underwater, there’s a lot to see, but I haven’t tried that just yet. I’m scared of stumbling across some half-mermaid half-Deathclaw.

By way of a final warning – yes, this is a game with faults, but it is addictive. It can’t be dipped in and out of, dabbled with or played with the TV on in the background. Do yourself a favour; take a week off, immerse yourself and enjoy the thing. Don’t get caught up in the little odds and ends. And for heaven’s sake, avoid Preston Garvey.

Dead Funny – Review

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by Dave Roberts

I always thought that the first book I ever really enjoyed was at 12 years old when I first got my hands on the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy but this was untrue. I recently discovered that my previous favourite and the epicentre of my fear of being buried alive was three years earlier, in the shape of R.L Stine’s ‘One day at Horrorland.’ I genuinely believed that my love of media rested exclusively in the ‘comedy’ camp. It is only recently I’ve discovered it was equally divided between comedy and horror. So it was inevitable I would discover and enjoy ’Dead Funny’.

Dead Funny is a collection of short horror stories edited by (horror fiction authority figure) Johnny Mains and co-edited by (comedian, actor, writer and broadcaster) Robin Ince. The stories are written exclusively by comedians and though some of them will make you laugh briefly, (I’m fairly sure Richard Herring’s is an amazing story I heard him mention on a podcast) they are horror stories and not comedy.

Right out’ve the gate Reece Shearsmith writes a story so visceral that I remember it every time I go to a park, but it also had such a specific blend of dark humour that you would’ve known exactly who had written it even if it hadn’t been clearly stated. It made me feel very uneasy many times, such as making me want to kick a blind child into a fire. Sara Pascoe creeped me out so much I re-told her story to everyone I met for two days. Charlie Higson’s story is really satisfying and has a slightly higher quality that reeks of ‘I do this for a living now’. Robin Ince has a great twist on a thoroughly explored horror genre that has the hallmarks of a workaholic comedian who sits around thinking up horror stories every time he is left alone without a microphone. Al Murray does the equivalent of a creepy documentary and Michael Legge utilised his infamously bottomless well of frustration and rage to craft one of the most satisfying stories in the book.

For at least a couple of the authors I know this is the first time they’ve attempted to write anything like this. Some of them didn’t really work for me though some of the stories I loved really irritated other people. Dead Funny has resurrected my love for horror stories, and made me want to go mad so I can write some. It is a satisfying read with a lot more authors than I’ve stated, I can’t imagine you are going to be crying yourself to death after reading them but I enjoyed them a hell of a lot.

I have genuinely had nightmares for the whole week I was reading Dead Funny, though that’s probably a lot more to do with my decaying mental stability and impending breakdowns than with these stories. Except Sara Pascoe’s story A Spider Remember which creeped me out permanently and has supplied me with a semi-permanent twitch. Copies of Dead Funny, at the moment at least, are available in a very physically attractive small format hardback book, and there’s a sequel collection on the way so you should buy it even if you just want to look more interesting to other people.

Tom Clancy’s The Division – Review

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by David Roberts

Tom Clancy’s The Division
PS4/Xbox One/PC
Ubisoft

Back in E3 when this was announced everyone went crazy with anticipation with the promises they were making, about controlling air strikes and tactical moves from an iPad so you didn’t have to alienate your friends entirely considering how huge the game was gonna be. Though they took that bit out.

The game is a lovely big open world that you can run around in and complete missions with anyone you feel like , you can invite friends in the usual fashion, or approach strangers in underground bars and ask them if they want to go and kill hundreds of cleaners with you. Which Incidentally is how I got fired from the bar in the janitors union. I know that isn’t funny.

The intro of the game is a very close to the bone news montage of real events such as Black Friday shoppers crossed with Bird Flu and Ebola reports, it seems the virus in question has been released at a shopping mall on Black Friday through the money and has destroyed the world. One of the major story selling points for me is that lack of mutations, a much more believable infectious disease than would be found in Resident Evil.

You can also, if you’re looking for direction in life, just press a button that causes someone who needs a hand at a random mission to teleport you practically into their pockets so you can just shoot misguided people in the face, something that you can do to each individual about five times before it affects them more negatively than a common cold. Something about Ubisoft games ,that I’m not sure is particularly negative ,is that every single thing available to come across on the map through exploring is highlighted making the possibility of adventuring essentially redundant. There is no need to go anywhere that doesn’t have a big glowing sticker on it, it feels like training wheels for adventuring. It’s like tricking stupid people into thinking they are adventuring around a map when all they are doing is the digital equivalent of fetching sticks. For people like me who like to complete things it makes it easier though as I’d probably have a strategy guide on my lap anyway when it comes to finding all the things on the map. It’s also perfect for anyone you might know that enjoys tidying. Like Jon Richardson.

In the book world Tom Clancy is the adult version of Andy McNab, in video game world Tom Clancy’s The Division is a less cerebral right wing version of the Last of Us. I didn’t feel particularly propelled by the story line in this which is basically that there is a virus of some respect that has almost but not entirely ended the world and everyone is very angry and most of them are killing each other. Because of these events a group of highly trained mercs called The Division have come in to Judge Dredd everyone into chilling out.

There’s a section of the map called the Dark Zone where you can get a lovely collection of powerful weapons that can assist you with killing the A.I and rogue agents. The element of the rogue agents that I like is that there would be absolutely no Rogue Agents in the dark zone whatsoever if people weren’t complete wankers. If we could all work together and play nice the Dark Zone would be clear and acceptable for people to live in in a matter of weeks, but of course take away rules and give people guns and they are gonna kill you and steal your stuff.

Most of the game can be completed by yourself but it is a lot of fun playing with other people and the different skill trees that you can equip in real time add a real fast paced dynamic to any battle. Ubisoft with Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry have made, what I consider to be a vital mistake which is that they have saturated the player with so many quests and quests within quests that you never feel like you are progressing but just performing a collection of meaningless and near identical side quests, which leaves such a large gap between story cutscenes that I find myself forgetting what is going on and losing investment. It is also a record breaking game that everyone is playing, so if you like Destiny or Rainbow 6 or just killing people then give it a look.

3/5 –

Far Cry : Primal – Review

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Do you remember a time before smart phones? Seems ages ago doesn’t it? How did anyone survive before then? It certainly feels like thousands of years ago as opposed to just ten or so. Well, twelve thousand years ago people used to have to communicate by speaking a language that you wouldn’t even understand. They did still have emojis of sorts though and their parents didn’t yell at them for drawing on the walls because wallpaper hadn’t been invented then either. Also it was more than likely that your parents would have been eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger before they got home to find out. It was a simpler time.

I am talking about Far Cry : Primal, a very adventurous game in some respects about a man called Takkar who sounds like Adam Jensen from Deus Ex trying to learn dutch without any augments to help him. As the game began I found myself in control of a slightly freaked out Takkar who was having some problems of Mammoth proportions, and I had to throw a spear at said Mammoth which a helpful bit of text reminded me was my last spear. Takkar, it seems, is a very under prepared mammoth hunter. I launched the spear right into the mammoth’s snuffloesophagus and peeled another from a recently deceased, mostly naked, companion and kept throwing. Everything seemed to go to plan until a cat the size of an ice cream van decided it wanted the cuddly elephant corpse and killed everyone I knew. This leads to the plot which is primarily about expanding my social circle of Wenja (my tribe), and fighting off dangerous animals and other clans in an attempt to survive, and though I am in charge of all these people at no point do I feel like a megalomaniac with sights on world domination like you might in Saints Row or something.

One of the braver parts of game design is the complete lack of English language. Everything is subtitled. This is world cinema for AAA games, what Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon was to the film market in 2000 A.D (the year of our lord, not the home of Judge Dredd comic books). Considering the sheer quantity of people who won’t watch films with subtitles and won’t begin to entertain the possibility of playing a game that doesn’t have a thousand different kinds of gun in it, this seems like a brave move. Aside from this particular decision the game isn’t wholly original as much as it is a clever use of the best things of games up to this point, the game owes a lot to Dying Light for example, I think.

There is a nice element where they have integrated possible superstition and legend involving human sacrifice and blood rituals. As well as these, the ability to tame and communicate with animals as a way to make the game something just a bit more than semi-naked people running around in a field waving sticks at cats of varying sizes. There isn’t a lot that stands out as particularly memorable though at this point it still has my attention and I have put about fifteen to twenty hours into the game where normally I would only put in somewhere close to five to ten before attempting to review it. It may not be groundbreaking but it’s certainly fun and a slight breath of fresh, twelve thousand year old air.

As an experiment it certainly seems to pay off, and I’m sure there are a lot of people out there getting angry that they don’t speak english, (bloody immigrants coming over here from the past, getting into our digital vast mountainous landscapes) and I’m sure there are people who get annoyed about the lack of guns aside from the fact that there is a near infinite amount of games out there to scratch that particular itch (at least five of them with Far Cry in the title). I really enjoyed this game and it would suit fans of Dying Light and Far Cry, as well as the Elder Scrolls games, despite not being a masterpiece.

4/5

ACTION HENK RACES ONTO XBOX ONE AND PS4 WITH A BRAND NEW MULTIPLAYER MODE

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BUTT-SLIDE TOGETHER: ACTION HENK RACES ONTO XBOX ONE AND PS4 WITH A BRAND NEW MULTIPLAYER MODE
RageSquid’s phenomenal “Toy Story meets Trials” PC speedrunning platformer to make console debut in March, thanks to Curve Digital.
February 1st, 2016 – London, United Kingdom

Get ready to run, jump, butt-slide and race your friends as highly anticipated title ‘Action Henk’ from the talented RageSquid team races onto the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One digital stores this March – complete with a brand new local multiplayer race mode.

Action Henk is an intense speed platformer set in a toybox world, where a cast of classic action figure inspired characters compete to see who is the fastest toy in town. Often hailed as a cross between Sonic, Toy Story and Trials, Action Henk challenges players to shave milliseconds off their times by running, jumping and butt-sliding across stunning environments in a game which revels in supersonic action.

DiRT RALLY® CONSOLE EDITION NEW CONTENT DETAILED

DiRT_RALLY LEGEND_EN P4Contents 1

Tuesday 2nd February (1pm UK) – Codemasters & Koch Media today released a new gameplay trailer for the acclaimed DiRT Rally® and confirmed the additional content that will be added to the game when it launches on PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC(DVD) on April 5th 2016. The trailer is available to watch now at www.dirtgame.com

In addition to the wealth of game content added during DiRT Rally’s Steam Early Access programme, console and PC players will be able to enjoy substantial new additions to the game in April. New Classic Mini and Super 1600 series will introduce the thrills of rallycross racing from the start of the game and 21 advanced rally driving video guides will help gamers maximise their rallying performance. Players will be able to drive the vintage full gravel surface at Pikes Peak for the first time in the game and three of Colin McRae’s most iconic liveries will enable them to relive the exploits of a legendary rally champion.

The DiRT team have also added seven extra cars, including some much-requested fan favourites:

· Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak
· Renault 5 Turbo
· Renault Alpine A110
· Opel Corsa Super 1600
· Peugeot 207 S1600
· Renault Clio S1600
· Mini Classic Rallycross

Available to pre-order now is the limited run DiRT Rally Legend Edition, which includes the full length feature documentary Colin McRae: Rally Legend. The film tells the full story of the rally icon that inspired the DiRT series from the man himself and charts his career from the earliest days, through to his domination of the rallying world and his involvement with the famous Codemasters games.

Also included in the Legend Edition is the Fully Loaded MINI Pack, which unlocks and fully upgrades the MINI Cooper S from the start of the game, gives an exclusive livery for the car and provides a unique team mechanic with perks.

Gamers pre-ordering the digital edition of DiRT Rally will receive both the Fully Loaded MINI Pack and the Fully Loaded Rallycross Pack, which unlocks the Mini Classic Rallycross and provides the same benefits as the other packs.

DiRT Rally is now available on Steam and will be powersliding onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC(DVD) on April 5th 2016.