Reviews > Xbox Reviews
Category:

Xbox Reviews

While long-term friends Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell might not have imagined that their first Evil Dead movie would have been so successful without the help of horror writer legend Steven King,  The Evil Dead has become a cult hit, with three movies, a TV show, and even video games now.

The only downside to this journey is that until now the games haven’t been all that great, thankfully Evil Dead: The Game has changed that, offering us an exhilarating asymmetrical multiplayer horror game that does justice to the source material.

I’ve played many horror games where the games itself is let down by either poor graphics, or a lack of attention to detail on the maps and environments, but while Evil Dead The Game currently only features one map, that map is packed full of detail that adds a very real sense of eeriness and feels much like the set of an Evil Dead movie.

Graphically, Evil Dead The Game is much better than I had initially anticipated it to be, which also helps to create a much more intense game, with my ultra-wide monitor, it felt as though I was actually in the woods fighting Deadites at times, which as a life-long fan of the Evil Dead franchise is incredible.

Table of Contents

Evil Dead The Game Single Player

While Evil Dead The Game is primarily a multiplayer game, there are several single-player missions that explore different stages of the Evil Dead franchise, and even unlock more playable characters once you’ve completed each of them.

The single-player missions in Evil Dead The Game, unfortunately, feel strapped on, with so much source material to work within the Evil Dead franchise, they feel a little underwhelming and at times repetitive.

Even though I enjoyed the first couple of missions, I found I soon started becoming bored of them, and just wanted to get through them as quickly as possible to unlock the likes of Pablo, from the TV show.

But, without any checkpoints, there were several times where I found myself wasting between 15 to 30 minutes of my time, having to start the entire mission over again, almost making me wonder if unlocking these characters is even worth the trouble.

While you can play the main game against AI, or even with a team of AI, playing the missions can serve as a great way to get to know the game, and its mechanics or just have a little target practice before playing with real players, and of course, will have the added bonus of unlocking new material when doing so.

If you are looking to play the single-player aspect of Evil Dead The Game for its story, sadly there isn’t much, and what story is offered up is done so with a brief image and some text, instead of cutscenes, which in honesty I had really hoped for.

Survivor Vs Demon

Now that we’ve got the negatives out of the way, we can focus on the game’s positives, and for the first time in an Evil Dead game, I can honestly say there are a lot of positives here.

Evil Dead The Game’s strengths lie within its asymmetrical multiplayer horror aspects, much like Dead By Daylight, the game sees a group of survivors trying to survive a horrifying monster, but the guys from Dead By Daylight weren’t lucky enough to have Ash J Williams on their side, a gun-toting, chainsaw-wielding maniac, that at times is honestly scarier than the monsters he faces. 

Each survivor have their own passive and active abilities that make them all unique, and even have a skill tree that can be level up, improving your chances of survival.

While Ash and Pablo are clear favourites from both the movies and the TV show, having these abilities and a progression system gave me a reason to try out all of the characters, not just the ones I love.

Playing as the Survivor

When playing Survivor Vs Demon mode, you can choose between playing in a group of four survivors, not only trying to survive against the demon, but ultimately attempting to banish it, or you can try your hand at being the demon and reaping havoc on the team of survivors.

The game has been split into two vs players modes, two vs AI modes, and a private match setting, which really does make it easier to find a game to suit your playstyle and experience.

When playing as the survivor, much like other multiplayer games, you are at the mercy of the skill and competency of the other players, in a game where the demon is constantly trying to stop you from progressing, I found myself getting frustrated at players that often ran off to do their own thing, not working as a group, and putting themselves at danger of being singled out by the demon.

But, when you do get a good group, or play with friends, playing as the survivor can be an extremely intense but fun experience.

Scavenging, working as a team, and ultimately managing to defeat the demon is extremely satisfying. 

Winning isn’t the only satisfying part of Evil Dead The Game as a survivor, as you grab the nearest chainsaw, hammer, or machete and proceed to kick Deadite butt, you have the chance to perform various special attacks that actually feel as powerful as they look.

When you find yourself in a good group, with everyone sticking together, the constant stream of special attacks sending blood flying in every direction possible can be  just as much satisfying as winning a match.

The Goal of Playing as a Survivor

When playing as a survivor, the aim is to banish the demon but to do that, you must first fight through several stages.

  • Find three map pieces
  • Find the Kandarian dagger
  • Defeat the Dark Ones
  • Activate the Necronomicon 

Of course, while this might sound simple, it’s a lot harder than you might think when you have either an AI or player controlled demon on your back, laying traps and even possessing some of your teammates, and even vehicles.

Between completing objectives, fighting hordes of Deadites off, and trying to loot, you also have to keep an eye on your fear levels, if this gets too low, the demon will be able to possess you, controlling you and making you attack your teammates.

You can keep your fear levels under control by lighting one of the many fires around the map, but you will need to collect matches first.

Playing as the Demon

Playing as the demon in Evil Dead The Game is what keeps me coming back for more, while playing as a survivor is great fun, there is something devilishly satisfying about reaping terror as a demon instead.

There are nine demons to choose from at the time of writing, each of them with their own unique abilities and ways to cause the survivors to regret not playing as the demon.

Playing as the demon is by far the most fun you can have in Evil Dead The Game, as you fly around the map collecting energy, there is nothing more satisfying than watching the survivors panic as they stumble across one or more of your traps, sending them into a panic as they fight the Deadites there pour out.

While there are some advantages to playing as the demon, such as knowing the map pieces and dagger locations from the start, you still need to plan ahead, placing traps where you think survivors might go, while managing to obtain enough energy to wreak havoc, which can often be more challenging than it sounds. 

While running around the map setting as many traps as possible is as delightful as it sounds, I often find myself stalking the survivors, waiting for them to trigger a trap, and cracking up laughing as they open a chest just to be attacked by Ash’s hand, which is one of the highlights of Evil Dead The Game for me.

Summary

While Evil Dead The Game does have its flaws, it is easily the best game to have come out of the Evil Dead franchise to date, with intense gameplay, stunning graphics and an addictive leveling system, I have to admit, it is by far better than anything I had hoped for in an Evil Dead game.

Although the lack of unique maps can often make the game feel a little repetitive, I found myself wanting to keep coming back for more, simply so I could level up and do better in the next map, even after playing for extended sessions.

Evil Dead: The Game is an incredibly addictive game that is only going to get better as more content, DLCs and updates come out,  and will likely be one that I will be returning to for a long time. 

No matter if you are a fan of the Evil Dead series or not, if you love horror games, or asymmetric multiplayer games you won’t regret purchasing Evil Dead: The Game.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

As someone who grew up playing Monkey Island and Simon the Sorcerer, Beyond a Steel Sky returned me to those days, minus the point and click gameplay and with better graphics.

Video Credit: IGN

Is Beyond a Steel Sky a Sequel?

Let’s get this question out of the way first. Yes, it is a sequel to the 1994 hit game Beneath A Steel Sky, which was most definitely considered a hit.

Both games center around Robert Foster and the events that unfold around him in Union City. However, Beyond a Steel Sky is based 10 years after the original game, and things have changed somewhat at Union city.

Beyond a Steel Sky Review

Beyond a Steel Sky’s Story

Robert has been living in the Gap since the events after the first game and is quickly drawn back to Union city after witnessing a child being kidnapped by a giant machine.

But everything is not how Robert remembers it. Since leaving the city with his pal Joey in charge, instead, the city is now run by the council, and Joey is nowhere to be seen.

Beyond a Steel Sky Review Joey

The city has clearly thrived, with residents seemingly being super happy. But as Robert finds his way into the city, under the stolen ID of a man called Graham, it doesn’t take long to see that all this happiness might just be an act.

Citizens are being measured by a metric called Qdos. Their health, work, happiness, and every aspect of their lives are ranked and used to measure their social standing in the city.

Beyond a Steel Sky’s Gameplay

While Beyond a Steel Sky has moved away from the traditional point and click style of gameplay from the original, it’s of course, still very puzzle orientated, throwing you into some pretty difficult puzzles pretty much from the start of the game.

As Robert makes his way back to Union City, players are almost immediately thrown into puzzles. They must work out how to open the bridge and sneak their way into the city, from the parking lot of a guarded vehicle entrance.

Beyond a Steel Sky Hacking

Many of the puzzles involve hacking machines, changing how they operate to work in Robert’s favor. While some of these aren’t too complicated, the majority of them can be real headscratchers.

Most of the time these puzzles are an absolute joy to work out, but sometimes, on the odd occasion, they have felt a bit too random and even left me wondering how I was meant to work that one out.

The cel-shaded art design of Beyond a Steel Sky is an absolute visual delight and having the ability to move around more freely than a traditional point-and-click style game gives plenty of opportunities to take in the cyberpunk-styled city.

How Long Does it Take to Complete Beyond a Steel Sky?

In most games, it’s fairly simple to give an estimated completion time, but with games that feature difficult puzzles, it can be a little harder to predict.

For most people, the game should last between 9 to 10 hours. But if you are not used to puzzle games, or find puzzles a little harder than others, it could obviously take you longer.

If you’re an achievement hunter or someone who is easily distracted by the scenery or other aspects of the game, that could slow you down too.

Personally, I would say not to rush Beyond a Steel Sky. There are tons of nods to the original game, and plenty of other things to see and do, that you could easily miss, should you rush the game.

Summary

Beyond a Steel Sky made some bold choices for a sequel that has been awaited for so long. The game just goes to prove that sometimes bold choices can pay off.

Right from the start, I could see that Beyond a Steel Sky was going to be something special, and almost immediately into the game’s interesting story, I found myself getting drawn in, wanting to push further.

I did stumble across a few technical bugs when I was playing, but most of them were minor graphical glitches, annoying at most, but nothing at all game-breaking.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

For some time now, Youtube has become a major part of our daily lives, no matter if that’s looking for game reviews, or catching a peek of an upcoming game, but now gamers can catch a peek of life as a premium content creator.

Straight away, some people will feel the need to avoid this game like the plague, just because they do not want to be associated with the Youtube culture, while others will be drawn to it.

Youtubers Life 2 Character Customization

As well as the obvious aspects of the game, making Youtube videos, the game also features a Sims like feeling too, with certain life sim aspects of the game evident straight away from the start, including the impressive character customizations.

Players are able to add detailed customizations, choose the character’s name, and of course choose their Youtube channel’s name, which I found actually took me as long as if I was creating a real Youtube channel.

So far, the game looks promising, there’s plenty of customization, I can build a Youtube channel, which unlike real life, might actually have a chance of success.

Making Youtube Life 2 Content

This is where the game trips over a little bit, having not played the first game, I didn’t really know what to expect, but when I started creating my first video, I must admit I was a little disappointed.

To create content, you simply choose an activity, such as playing a game, or making a Vlog, and choose a series of events and styles, which seems rather limited.

I was hoping for so much more than this, the ability to be able to actually place some fake game footage, if I was doing a game video, add some facial reactions, or some other strokes of personalization to the videos, yet this just isn’t present in Youtubers Life 2.

As you progress further into the game, you do get some more options though, such as the ability to add effects to the videos, which does give you some layer of customization, but it simply wasn’t enough to make the game enjoyable for me.

Youtubers Life 2 Gameplay

As I mentioned above, the game also has some life sim aspects to it, and these are far more enjoyable than the content creation side of the game.

Once you start gaining subscribers and earning some money, you have the ability to purchase new items and improve your house, some of the items can also be useful to your content career too.

Players are also able to walk around the open world of NewTube city, which is a nice touch, but again can become a little repetitive and boring before too long.

The game features an energy system, where each video you create uses energy, and must be replenished by either eating or sleeping, but it didn’t take me long to get fed up with this, as creating just one video takes up tons of energy because playing games is so tiring!

Youtubers Life 2 Review Summary

I’m not into following Youtubers, I’m not a massive fan of the culture that follows them, so in that respect, perhaps I’m a little biased, but there’s something about playing a game that revolves around being popular online that just doesn’t appeal to me.

That being said, I understand that it will for some people, be appealing, but even then, the content is too thin, the gameplay is too repetitive, and the entire game feels like such a missed opportunity.

In some respects, the game almost feels singular minded, the devs wanted to create a game about being popular, and that’s all they have achieved, although even with the already thin concept, this could have been pushed further, into something better.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Since the release of Doom back in 1993, we’ve seen a massive number of games follow a similar design, making the first person shooter genre one of the most popular in the gaming market.

Bullets Per Minute has tried to shake that genre up a little bit, or rock it should I say, by not only adding an awesome rock soundtrack to the game but also having the player play in time to the soundtrack’s beat.

But does the genre need changing? Why change something if it’s not broken and is the developers behind Bullets Per Minute really on to something here?

What Makes BPM: Bullets Per Minute So Different?

Bullets Per Minute forces the players to perform actions in time with the beat, which means you cannot rely on reflex like you could with other FPS games.

Even tasks like reloading, double jumping, and firing your weapon are required to be to the beat of the music, something that admittedly took me a while to get to grips with.

Bullets Per minute Audio Timing

Such high adrenaline FPS games are not unusual, but the way that Bullets Per Minute has managed to combine FPS action with intense metal in a way where the music controls the intensity of the game, as well as the player’s actions, is truly unique.

It is a truly unique experience that takes a steep learning curve, at first I wasn’t fond of BPM, but before I gave up on it, everything suddenly clicked, I made sense of the rhythm and the unique game mechanics, and suddenly what was frustrating had become fun.

Bullets Per Minute’s Setting

Another unique feature of Bullets Per Minute is its setting, which is based on Norse mythology, with the first few stages being set in Asgard.

As someone who loves Norse mythology, it’s always great to see games based on it, although the one area that lets Bullets Per Minute down is its graphics, which unfortunately make the gameplay suffer somewhat.

Bullets Per Minute Contrast

The game feels like its graphics are somewhat ruined by the overly high contrast that makes it hard to see enemies at times, while this is annoying, you do kind of yet used to it after a while.

Each run generates a completely different map, which keeps things interesting… to be continued.

Bullets Per Minute Gameplay

When I was given BPM: Bullets Per Minute to review, it came with a note, warning just how difficult the game is and how much of a learning curve is involved in playing the game, they weren’t kidding.

At first, I found the difficulty annoying, but I carried on, if not for anything else, then just because of how much I was enjoying the soundtrack.

Before too long, I started noticing that I was managing to make it further and further through the maps, clearing more rooms, collecting more keys and coins, and obtaining new weapons.

You can change the settings and make the audio cues easier to work with, but don’t do that, while dying over and over again might sound annoying, the procedurally generated maps keep it interesting, and before long you will pick up the complex and unique gameplay.

Once you finally get to grips with the game and start enjoying yourself a bit more, you face the next challenge, dealing with more difficult enemies, such as Draugr, and the dying starts again.

Just like the game itself, the bosses and tougher enemies are just a learning curve, one you can overcome and start to enjoy, once you’ve worked out your rhythm.

Unlike similar games, such as Returnal, there are no permanent items, when you die, you lose everything, without the opportunity of ever binding anything to you after death.

Summary

BPM: Bullets Per Minute is a challenging game, but one that just needs to be learned before you can start to progress.

The game itself challenges you to forget everything you know about FPS games, as no matter how seasoned you might be, the game is so unique that previous FPS experience isn’t going to help you here.

Once you’ve mastered the game, it immerses you into the game with its stunning soundtrack that of course plays a massive part in the game, and how you play it.

Bullets Per Minute is a truly unique experience, that I feel is going to have a real marmite effect on the gaming community, players are either going to love it or hate it.

But, that being said, with such a unique heavy metal approach to the game, I can see BPM: Bullets Per Minute having a cult following behind it before long.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Far Cry 6 Review

by Kegan Mooney

I’ve always been a big fan of the Far Cry series, ever since the first Far Cry games were released. While the games have had some mixed reviews, especially the spin-off games, I’ve always appreciated the tried and tested format of evil villains, vehicle chases, explosions, and carnage.

Far Cry 6 had me hooked within minutes. Although I didn’t feel the same impact from the initial meet with Castello that I did with Vaas, Pagan Min, and Joseph Seed, Far Cry 6 soon makes up for that in abundance.

Yara; Far Cry 6's Vast & Beautiful map

The first thing I noticed about the fictional island of Yara is just how big it is. While other maps in the series have been sizeable,  they’ve clearly gone all out on making Yara.

But it’s not just the size that’s had a noticeable upgrade. The island feels alive, more than any other game I’ve played before. From beaches filled with tiny crabs to giant planes crop dusting fields, you never feel alone on the island.

For the sake of this Far Cry 6 review, Ubisoft kindly provided us with copies of Far Cry 6 for both PS5 and Xbox Series X. Even with such high levels of detail, and so much life in Yara, both consoles perform amazingly with no signs of struggle or stutters.

Yara is split up into several areas, all of which are massive and unique. It’s to the point that it almost feels overwhelming trying to get around the whole map and explore it in detail.

Yara is the perfect idyllic holiday island, sand, sun, palm trees and a egotistical dictator that want's to turn paradise into a 'Yaran Paradise' through tyranny and oppression.

Anton Castillo Far Cry 6's Dictator Antagonist

Every Far Cry game since the introduction of Vaas has featured a primary antagonist. These antagonists have become more of a selling point in the game than the protagonists themselves.

For Far Cry 6, Ubisoft stepped up their game a notch, taking on Giancarlo Esposito to play the role as the Yaran president Anton Castillo.

Farcry 6 billboards
Yara propaganda

Antón’s son Diego also plays a large role in Far Cry 6, as you watch the emotional battle between father and son on a grand scale.

As expected Giancarlo Esposito gives an amazing performance, as he slowly watches his country defy him in his attempt to bring ‘true Yaran’s’ together to create the perfect paradise he promised them.

Far Cry 6 Gameplay

While there have been some changes and new additions to Far Cry 6, much of the gameplay feels the same as the previous games in the series. Not that that’s a bad thing necessarily.

Some of the new features include:

  • Gear Perks: Gain special perks for completing gear sets
  • Resolver upgrades & weapons: new improvised weapons, and upgrades
  • Supremos: backpacks that shoot out missiles, these can range from explosive to gas clouds
  • Customizable Vehicles: You can now add weapons, or even new parts to your vehicles as well as being able to paint them
  • Cock Fighting: Collect chickens and pit them against others in the new Street Fighter style cockfights

While the new features are a welcomed addition to the series, the game does mostly follow the same tried and tested formula, which works well.

As with all Far Cry games, there are a number of impressive weapons in your arsenal. This includes both old ones making a coming back, and newer, more whacky ones, like the CD launcher that subjects its victims to The Macarena before they die. 

Far Cry 6 continues to deliver high-octane action, deep and immersive storylines, and tongue-in-cheek fashion.

My only real gripe with Far Cry 6 is that I miss having a human sidekick with me. Having the animals as amigos is great, but it doesn’t compare to having a sniper or even Nick Rye and his air support from Far Cry 5.

It’s not a huge issue that would put me off playing the game, but rather something that I wish would have been included as an option to choose between some human or animal companions.

Summary: Is Far Cry 6 Worth Buying?

I could use a ton of fancy words to express why I feel Far Cry 6 is worth the money, but instead, let me just answer the question with a picture.

Look at that face, how could you not want to wander around Yara with this adorable puppy distracting your enemies while you stab them in the back.

As well as winning me over with what’s clearly the cutest puppy ever, Far Cry is a solid entry to the series that continues to deliver and excite.

There are clear political messages within the game, but at the same time, Far Cry 6 doesn’t take itself too seriously, creating the perfect balance.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Embr Review

by Georgie Peru

Ever dreamed of being a fireman? Knocking down doors with a giant axe and saving people from burning buildings, all the while, running through the house in slow motion and looking amazing.

Well, with Embr, you can do just that, kind of, without the slow motion and with more of a silly, Moving Out vibe to it. This game is clearly not meant to be taken seriously.

Embr Tools and Customizations

As a firefighter in Embr, you have plenty of tools to help you fight your way through fires, save people and also their belongings. Some of these items are pretty standard, as you would expect, however, some are also on the crazy side.

As pictured above, there are whacky tools that you can unlock, such as the throwing axe, to break objects in your way from a safe distance, and the scuba set, which apparently saves you from poisonous gasses, somehow.

As well as being able to purchase new equipment, you can also purchase new upgrades too, which give your existing equipment new features, such as the upgrade to the fire hose, that helps it to send a more powerful blast of water out, smashing everything out of its way better than the standard hose.

Every time you run a rescue mission, you can earn money. The more people that you save, the higher your rating, and therefore the more money you make.

You can also make money by getting items out to the safe point too. Each item you pick up will have a set value, which will then rack up your overall total and can be used to purchase more items such as:

  • Tools
  • Clothing
  • Vehicles
  • Upgrades

The more people and items you manage to rescue per job, the more money you will earn to be able to spend on these items and upgrades.

Embr post-rescue rating and payout

Embr Gameplay

The gameplay in Embr is pretty straightforward. It’s easy to learn the controls through the tutorial, but if you choose to skip it, you won’t be too hard done by.

This house is on fire!

As time passes by, the fire will spread throughout the house. It’s your job to clear the path in order to rescue each “client”. There’s a minimum number per level, but you can rescue more than the minimum if you wish.

Returning a man I let die

As I quickly discovered, you can’t just throw people out of windows. If this happens, they’ll turn into a crumbling skeleton – not so good! You’ll need to carry each person and their possessions to the Rescue Zone which is located just outside of each house.

Embr rescue zone

The Many Dangers of Being a Fighfighter

Of course, being a firefighter comes with tons of dangers. In the first few minutes I thought to myself, this is only a small fire, no problem, I can have this out in no time.

Well, as it turns out, fire spreads quicker than I thought, and of course, the people who own these houses that are currently flaming infernos all seem to like keeping flammable gas barrels in their houses, which doesn’t help to stop the spread either.

As the building burns, it doesn’t take long for wooden supports to start falling down and blocking your safe exit out of the property, which is where tools such as the ladder come in handy.

But it’s not just the fire that you need to worry about in Embr, there are dangers around every corner. Examples include live wires that will that can electrocute you if you’re not careful and gas leaks that will need to be vented with either ventilation or by breaking windows.

Playing Embr in Multiplayer Mode

Embr is simply a fun, couch co-op game that you can’t take too seriously. If you’ve played games like Overcooked and Moving Out, you’ll have a lot of fun with Embr.

If you’re in search of a casual multiplayer game that you can play with your kids, friends, or family, it’s time to get your hands on Embr! I’ve honestly enjoyed this game way more than I had anticipated to and genuinely hope you enjoy it too.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

The Ascent Review

by Kegan Mooney

For those of us that grew up on games like Diablo, The Ascent is a great way to sink 16+ hours into mindless twin-stick shooting, hoarding XP, and farming for gear and weapons to spice up ways to take on hordes of enemies.

The Ascent’s Story

You are one of the thousands to flee to planet Veles in search of a better life. Transported by mega-corp The Ascent Group, you agree to work in order to pay off your debt. This is the case for everyone else who is offered this ‘better life.’

The only issue is you must not perform extremely dangerous jobs in order to pay off this debt. You soon find out this will likely take the rest of your life to pay off. But the good news is, you probably won’t live till old age.

As you begin your new life as a slave, or an Indent as The Ascent Group prefers to call them, things start to go a little wrong for the company.

The Ascent’s story does also branch off occasionally. The game has you make several choices that can alter the game, inevitably, the story alters slightly to account for these choices.

Video Credit: IGN

The Ascent’s Gameplay

The first thing I noticed about The Ascent is just how amazing it looks. While the Steampunk theme is dull and rusty, even without Raytracing on the console versions of the game, the lighting looks stunning.

I normally find with these types of games that more attention to detail has been placed on the gameplay over graphics. The developers behind The Ascent clearly have put some serious work into making a near-perfect-looking Steampunk world.

The Ascent Graphics

Character Creation

The Ascent starts off by walking you through the game’s detailed story. Shortly after, you can create your own character, in a lot of detail. In fact, much more detail than I’m used to in these kinds of games.

For those of you like me, that have no flare when it comes to creating a character, don’t worry! There is also the option to create one at random, which will also randomize if you are male or female too.

Enemy Encounters

Once you’ve gone through a short tutorial, it doesn’t take long before the killing starts. Tons of rat-like creatures will start to descend upon you.

While it’s helpful to have some easier creatures to help you get to grips with the game and its controls, it does feel like The Ascent takes a little too long to throw some better enemies at you, excluding one giant rat boss near the beginning of the game.

Just like any good RPG, there are player customizations that you must loot. This includes primary and secondary weapons, grenades, and augmentations.

Augmentations give the player new abilities that can help overcome hordes. To some degree, they are more important than choosing the right weapon. Having the right augmentations in your build can provide you with abilities that can help you easily wipe out some enemies.

There are tons of weapons, augmentations, and skills that you can obtain in The Ascent. Each of them can completely change the pace of the game, and how you tackle the hordes of enemies coming your way.

In some way, the chosen build affecting your playstyle somewhat reminded me of Deathloop. With some builds, I would be able to keep my distance and go at a slower pace, while others promote a faster more shoot and run feel to the game.

Summary

Sci-Fi and Steampunk have never really been my thing. When playing games I find myself happier going back in time, not forwards. Sometimes, just occasionally, a futuristic game comes out and changes that. The Ascent has been one of those games for me.

The simplicity of the twin-stick style shooter, combined with the detailed and game-changing augmentations makes The Ascent a lightening quick RPG that can be picked up easily and immerses you into its vibrant world.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Deathloop has quickly become a contender for game of the year, with its impressive visuals, revolutionary gameplay, and ultra-stylized, with a splash of 60’s decor design, what’s not to love.

What is Deathloop’s Story?

One of the things that makes Deathloop a masterpiece is the complexity of both its story and the game’s extremely unique and intricately designed features. Individually, these features and stories have been done before, or at least to a similar design, but Deathloop weaves together so much, in a way that doesn’t overcomplicate things.

After waking up on the beach, you soon realize that you have no recollection of how you got there, what you’re doing, or even what your name is.

Before long, you start to receive messages, from an unknown source. This source is seemingly helping or encouraging you, at times even giving you warnings or information, such as your name, Colt.

Before long, you realize that you are stuck in a loop. Die and the loop will start all over again, sending you back to the beach, with nothing. Make it to the end of the day and the loop will still kick in, sending you straight back to that cold beach.

Before long, Colt realizes that he must break the loop, and in order to do so, he must first kill 8 visionaries before the day ends, or before he dies. Sounds easy, right? No, firstly, the visionaries are all in different districts at different times, which makes it impossible to kill them all in time, without some tactical maneuvering.

Secondly, Julianna is out for Colt’s blood. Julianna is one of the key components that make Deathloop so interesting. She is often controlled by other players online. While you are able to turn this feature off, it creates a challenge that makes the game much more interesting as well as deadly.

Break or Protect The Loop? Deathloop Multiplayer

As I mentioned above, Deathloop has an interesting feature, which is the ability to play as Julianna and attempt to stop another player from breaking the loop.

Before you are able to take the reigns as Julianna, you must first complete the lengthy tutorial. But to be honest, I would go a bit beyond that before taking on other Colts in the hunt mode.

When you’ve played a couple of games as Julianna, you will start racking up points and levels. This will allow you to unlock new skins that can be used in the game’s main Break the Loop mode for Colt.

If you are playing as Colt, and you’re up against a skilled player, you can’t just exit the area and get away that easily. You need to physically get close to a signal jammer that is blocking your exits, hack them and then escape to the tunnels.

This makes things very hard, as most Julianna players will know to stay close to the device to stop Colt from leaving.

Having this extra layer of difficulty really has bumped the score up on this game for me. While it’s still an excellent game when playing with human opponents off, having that extra threat and difficulty really does making it an edge-of-your-seat experience.

Deathloop Gameplay

One of the things I love about Deathloop is the ability to truly play it the way you want. Many games state that they are stealth or brute force, but by design somehow push you in one direction. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the band, nothing could push me to them!

With Deathloop, you really do have the option to be sneaky, set traps, stealth kill, and stick to the shadows. Alternatively, you can go in guns blazing.

There’s nothing stopping you from playing how you want to play. Well, apart from an angry, potentially human-controlled lady who’s out to murder you, that might shake up your playstyle a bit.

Thankfully you save your own ass…Confusing, right?

Slabs are another item in-game that really helps you to shape the game how you want it to be. As you progress through the game you will start unlocking new slabs, these will provide you with new abilities that will help you play the game your way, through teleportation, disguises and even the ability to pick up and slam opponents around.

Once you have passed through the extremely large tutorial, you will be set on a mission to learn how to keep objects through each loop.

As you progress through the story and start to learn some of the game’s mechanics and weapons, you will begin to find trinkets and slabs that enhance both your weapons and gameplay, making it even easier to play exactly how you want to.

Deathloop PS5 vs PC

For the purpose of this review, I tested Deathloop both on a PS5 and Steam. Both had their own pros and cons. When I say cons, I’m more pointing towards advantages that the one system has over the other.

In both tests, I never really stumbled across any major issues with the game.

Deathloop on PS5

If you’ve been lucky enough to get the latest next-gen system, there are some real advantages over the other versions of the game.

I used to be an Xbox fanboy, but since the PS5 was released and the awesome features of the new dual-sense controller, I seem to find myself swinging towards PS5, and Deathloop highlights why this was a good idea.

Deathloop PS5 Pros:

Deathloop is a stunning game, with both incredible audio and visuals. The PS5 does everything within its next-gen power to amplify the sound and make it even more incredible.

  • The controller has individual haptic feedback and sounds for each weapon in the game, making each one feel truly unique
  • Radio communication comes through the controller, making the game more immersive
  • Deathloop sounds amazing on the PS5 Pulse 3D headset, this is espcially handy in the Julianna game mode
  • Adjustable graphics settings that allow raytracing, dynamic resolution or performance modes

Deathloop PS5 Cons:

While I do highly recommend playing Deathloop on a PS5, there are some drawbacks For example, a console, next-gen or not, is never going to match the power a solid gaming PC can offer, especially not with services such as Nvidia’s GeForce Now service.

  • With raytracing enabled I had a few frame stutters, this was most evident when waking up on the beach in the morning
  • The overall graphics still doesn’t match that of a top gaming PC
  • Occassional issues with disconnecting from the network during online play

Essentially the choice is between stunning graphics, which cannot be beaten, by playing on the PC version of the game, or immersive audio, which makes the game much more exciting on the PS5.

The level of detail that has gone into the PS5 version really has taken me by surprise. Each weapon in the game makes its own unique sounds and vibrations with the controller. I could genuinely tell which gun is being used without even looking at the screen.

Deathloop Review Summary

It’s not often we review a game and give it a perfect 10 out of 10 score. But when I do get that chance, it gives me a warm tingly feeling, just like the feeling you get when you obtain information on Deathloop and know that information takes you a step closer to breaking the loop.

No matter how many times you are killed, each time you learn something new, it never gets old. It doesn’t get frustrating, it just empowers you, knowing that the next time around, you will know a bit more than you did on the last loop.

Throwing the threat of a human-controlled Julianna into the game makes things much more interesting as well as difficult. The constant fear that once you’ve finally made some progression that can all be thrown away by another player killing you, is so much more exhilarating than I had imagined.

The map of Blackreef is one of the most detailed and cleverly constructed game maps I have ever seen. At first, I thought many of the game’s districts were too small, but before long I realized that there are tons of buildings and alleys that lead to entirely new areas, often even tucked away by tunnels, making it feel like an achievement when you find them.

Deathloop ‘Doom’ Arcade Machine

Deathloop is a game that will be marked in history as one of the few games to take several complicated mechanics and roll them together so neatly without screwing it up, something that seems to be rare these days.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

For years Mortal Kombat had started to go a little stale, that is until the last few installments, in which the game suddenly started building momentum, Mortal Kombat 11 continues pushing the series to be the true king of fighters.

Mortal Kombat has always been known for its gruesome gameplay, which over the years has evolved, becoming more graphic and violent with each release.

Mortal Kombat 11 continues this trend with multiple fatalities and brutal special moves, which often decapitate enemies in some of the move innovative ways possible.

Mortal Kombat 11 Jax Fatality
Jax Briggs's Ultra-Violent Fatality Finisher

While you would expect Mortal Kombat 11 to be a quick fighter, its actually quiet the opposite, with combos and special attacks which require some practice and a good memory to master.

This removes the old button mashing way of playing, in favor of a much more skill based game, but thankfully they have included one of the most detailed training modes I have ever seen in a fighting game.

The training also includes a fatalities tester, which shows you how to do all the fatalities for each character, including where to stand and which buttons to press.

Having a slower and more combination based gameplay feels rewarding, actually learning the correct sequences to attack makes you feel like you have achieved something, not just pressed the buttons on your controller quicker than your opponent.

Mortal Kombat Game Modes

As Mortal Kombat has evolved over the years, it has developed more fun and exciting game modes, with each installment including much more to do than the last.

Fight Mode

The standard fight mode lets you play against either a local player, AI, or against an online opponent, this is your standard Mortal Kombat fighting experience.

Of course, once you have unlocked some new fatalities and skins in the other modes, you can use these in the fight mode.

There is also a huge selection of new characters which can be bought from expansion packs and used in fight mode, these include external fighters from outside of the Mortal Kombat universes, such as Rambo and RoboCop.

If you’re not too bothered about new characters, wait until there is a kombat pack sale on, where you will get the characters a little bit cheaper.

Krypt Mode

The Krypt mode allows players to explore Shao Kahn’s island and open chests, each of these chests contains items that can be used inside the other game modes.

The Krypt game mode isn’t the most exciting game mode to be honest, but at least you can unlock some new skins and other items.

Tower Modes

The Tower Modes are the most exciting game modes in Mortal Kombat 11, and with the latest installment seeing a new tower mode, there is, even more to do now.

The classic tower number faces you against a different number of enemies, depending on the difficulty you choose.

  • Beginner – There are 5 enemies to defeat
  • Warrior – There are 8 enemies to defeat
  • Master – There are 12 enemies to defeat
  • Infinity – This mode features a continual wave of enemies, and keeps on going until you decide to quit
  • Survivor – In survivor, you must take on 25 enemies, and after each fight your health remains the same, making this the hardest of all tower difficulties

As well as the classic mode, there is also a new Towers of Time mode too, the new tower mode works much like the classic mode, except that the characters, objectives, and attributes shift per tower, making it a truly unique experience.

Story Mode

The story mode is simply a series of fights, split into several acts, during each of these acts, you will play as a character and face multiple opponents, one at a time, until you move onto the next act.

Mortal Kombat’s story mode includes fan favorites such as Cassie Cage, Shang Tsung and Liu Kang, and many more.

My only issue with Mortal Kombat 11 is the lack of story in the story mode, each fight starts with the character saying a line or two, but with no real backstory behind it.

I understand that its a fighting game, but considering Mortal Kombat has had several movies behind it, they could have made a detailed story to accompany this mode.

Summary

Mortal Kombat 11 has taken the series to the next level, making it a brutal and entertaining ride, for a series that should have great difficulty evolving, Mortal Kombat seems to be doing just that, with ease.

The game has been subject to recent review bombings, but it’s very unjustified, with reviewers on Metacritic making some very odd political reasons for their poor reviews, which have little to do with the actual game itself.

Many of these poor reviews have been around the Micro-transactions, which have only cosmetic effects on the game, and in honesty, do not harm the gameplay in any way, and therefore shouldn’t really warrant a poor review.

Mortal Kombat 11 has brought back some of my passion towards fighting games, with a unique blend of classic fighting and some new modes to explore too.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Both Assassin’s Creed and Vikings are two things that I have always been a big fan of, so you can imagine how excited I was to find out there was going to be a Viking version of Assassin’s Creed, AC Valhalla.

The first thing I noticed with AC Valhalla was just how stunning it is, playing on an Xbox Series X I have to say, it is one of the most stunning games I have played to date.

The level of detail in AC Valhalla is unlike anything I have ever seen before, you notice this more so when you land on the shores of England and see the lush environment.

AC Valhalla Gameplay

The first thing to note about AC Valhalla is that the game is long, extremely long, in-fact with most games I try to be a completionist, but I have given up with this on Valhalla, due to its overwhelming size.

Not only is the game huge, at around 40 hours, if you don’t stray from the game’s main story. The map is massive too, which explores the UK landscape and changes the further up north you go.

Having a game with so much to do has been very welcomed this year, especially with Covid restrictions in place. Games like AC Valhalla have been a great distraction from the world.

The side missions are remarkably entertaining too, so I wouldn’t recommend skipping them. I’ve had some genuine laugh-out-loud moments with some of these missions.

A good example of these “lol” moments is a random Dane, ironically named axehead, due to, well the giant axe in his head. The only thing this missed, was Axehead stating “Tis but a scratch” to make it the perfect gaming scene.

Assassins Creed Axe Head

The combat in AC Valhalla is incredibly fun, and while you can obtain better gear and add new skills to make combat easier, there are plenty of challenges to knock you back down a peg or two.

As with older Assasin’s Creed games, there are outposts you can conquer, many of these will also offer books of knowledge or new gear, making capturing them not only fun but beneficial too.

When talking on a heavily guarded outpost, you can choose your approach, either stick to the shadows and kill like an assassin or go full Viking and defeat them head-on.

Assassins Creed Valhalla Crepelgate Fort

One thing that I was a bit disappointed about within AC Valhalla was the lack of ship battles. I loved taking on enemy ships in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and was hoping to see more of that in Valhalla.

Don’t get me wrong, there are ships, and sailing them across the rivers all along the UK is great, but you don’t bump into other ships for battle like you did in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

The skill tree in AC Valhalla is another great improvement to the series, with so many perks to choose from, which seems to expand all the time with updates.

Assassins Creed Valhalla skill tree

You can choose to auto-assign skill points, but personally, I find it pays off to look at the skills in great detail and plan routes to skills that will readily aid your particular play style.

Each skill that you spend increases your overall power, which can be used to identify how easily you will be able to defeat certain enemies.

As with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, there are also cult members you can take on, many of these will have their own power level, so you can identify what level you need to be before attempting to safely take them on.

Customizations in AC Valhalla

The level of detail to customization has always been impressive in the Assassin’s Creed series, this was pushed further with Odyssey giving us the ability to choose between a male or female protagonist, but now, AC Valhalla has pushed it even further.

You can now customize your character by adding tattoos, these can be added all over your body and face, you can even pick up more by finding designs out in the world, or buying them in Reda’s shop for Opal.

Assassins creed valhalla tattoos

But your body isn’t the only thing you can customize, there are also tons of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla ship designs you can purchase, either with in-game currency or real money.

It wouldn’t be a modern Assassin’s Creed without a companion, and there are so many to choose from, and with more that can be added from either Reda’s shop or with real money.

If you have the patience, you won’t need to spend any real money to obtain new customizations, each week Reda obtains new tattoos, companions, weapons, armor, and ship designs, if you can save your Opal and wait, you can get anything for free.

Finally, you can also customize your town, AC Valhalla is the first Assassin’s Creed game to include a customizable settlement, which you can decorate and expand as you play.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Seasonal Events

Another way that Ubisoft has managed to keep the game’s already massive content expanding, is with the addition of seasonal events, such as the upcoming Sigrblot Festival.

Each of these events offers new and exciting ways to unlock new skins or gear, and include new content and quests to expand your Viking experience further.

AC Valhalla Roadmap
AC Valhalla Roadmap 2021 – Image Credit: Ubisoft.com

You will also find these events often offer new customizations and statues for your settlement, which can really help to make it stand out.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla River Raids

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Viking game without river raids, and while I still don’t get those ship battles I crave, they do offer a slice of Viking mayhem and brutality which more than makes up for it.

AC Valhalla River Run

There are two types of river raids, the random towns, monasteries, and outposts, which you stumble upon while you are out and about in England, and the mission-based river raids, which take place in a dedicated instance.

At first, I found these river raids all a little too easy, but don’t worry, they become much harder as you progress through Valhalla, with some of the games later river raids being extremely difficult.

Summary

AC Valhalla was a game I was already excited about before launch, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was one of my all-time favorite games, so I had high hopes, it was nice for once not to be disappointed.

I have never felt so dedicated to a game before, pushing myself to become a completionist, trying to get every single piece of armor, book of knowledge, and side mission completed, while also working hard to purchase statues and expand upon my settlement.

The seasonal events keep me coming back for more, in fact, there have been a few times I have taken breaks from playing AC Valhalla, but before too long, I get an email about an upcoming seasonal event and I’m straight back into it again, getting drunk and having a fistfight with some fellow Vikings.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla settlement

If all this isn’t enough for you, there are weekly and daily quests, legendary animals to track and kill across several countries – there’s never a shortage of things to do in AC Valhalla.

I might be a little late to my AC Valhalla review, but that has been down to having so much to explore, and enjoying the game so much, that I wanted to play it to its fullest, before committing to a review.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
Newer Posts