Tag: Console Games

Mass Effect: Andromeda – First Impressions

Bioware’s controversial Mass Effect sequel released a few months ago. They got a serious – and possibly well-deserved – slating from critics and gamers alike for releasing an “unfinished” game, full of bugs and animation problems. I actually cancelled my pre-order as a result of the media sh*t-storm, which is something that I never thought I would do with a Bioware game!

But now, four months on, someone got me the game as a present and have finally decided to give it a chance. So, now they’ve had time to actually finish the game properly, is it any good?

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The Cost of Gaming

So, apparently Assassin’s Creed Syndicate “isn’t that bad” – which is a great improvement over recent entries in the franchise at least, but that’s a rant for another time – and I have to admit that the idea of climbing around the rooftops of Victorian London has a certain appeal.

However, I find myself unable to justify buying the game. Not only do I know that it will probably be a disappointing experience, involving a long slog through repetitive missions, side quests, pointless collectibles and a bland, forgettable story – and that it will probably be broken and full of bugs – but I just can’t get over the price tag…

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In Defence of Next-Gen Graphics

Quite a lot of people are attacking the next-gen gaming consoles because ‘the only tangible improvements that they will make to games is to the graphics’. I have said before that the launch of these new consoles is badly timed and I do not own either because I don’t feel it is a justified expense, but I also think that people are being a bit harsh about how little improvements in graphics (and processing power) will matter…

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown & Enemy Within

Last year saw the release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a sequel to a popular gaming franchise from the creators of Civilisation. I didn’t expect to become a fan of this game, but (as with Civilisation) I ended up getting sucked in. This month sees the release of the game’s expansion: Enemy Within, so I thought now was a good time to take a closer look at this game…

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Fix your Audio Settings!

This is a rant about something that has been getting on my nerves a lot recently; the fact that that developers (and not just indies, but big ‘triple-A’ studios too) seem to be happy to release a game without seemingly any effort going into the game’s sound design and/or without proper audio settings. Good sound design can tell you a lot about the game world and improve immersion for the player, but not everyone gets this right.

The thing that really bothers me is that it is not only easy to avoid the problem in the first place, but that its simple to provide an adequate solution and yet many studios fail to do so.

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Valve vs. The Next Generation

This week saw Valve (the developers behind games like the Half-life series and the Steam network) announce their new set of technologies that aim to bring the Steam gaming experience into the living room. Whether their intention was to simply expand their empire or to throw the gauntlet into the ‘Next Generation’ of the console war, for me they’ve pretty much already won against the PS4 and the Xbox One. All without any fancy launch events and without announcing any new games or pointless motion-control gimmicks! Here’s why…

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Worms Retrospective

I used to really enjoy playing the Worms games when I was younger, but I feel that the franchise has become somewhat stale in recent years. Last year they brought out a new instalment: Worms Revolution, that finally tried out some new ideas, but it didn’t quite manage to renew my enthusiasm. I thought I would look back the series and see what it was that I liked and didn’t like, and perhaps suggest where there series could go from here…

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Mass Effect Retrospective

The games of Mass Effect Trilogy have become some of my favourite games of all time, but (apart from my discussion about the Mass Effect 3 Ending) I haven’t actually reviewed any of them so far. So this week I thought I would take a quick look these games and discuss what made great, as well as some of the issues that have plagued the series.

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Open-World Games

Lots of video games these days feature some sort of open world, or at least places that you can explore for hidden rewards and the occasional side story. Only a few games, however, seem to integrate these mechanisms properly into the wider game. So, I thought that for my latest rant I would talk about these often arbitrary and pointless features and about one of the few games I can think of that makes good use of them.

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