Tag: Video Games

Review – XCOM: Chimera Squad (Part 1)

I haven’t done a game review in a while, mainly because I don’t play games close to their release dates any more. They’re just too expensive and I’ve had too many disappointments in the past. However, I not only bought XCOM: Chimera Squad soon after it was released, but I also feel qualified to comment on it, given my history with the series.

(more…)

XCOM 2: Mod Report 1

XCOM 2 has support for a range of community mods via the Steam Workshop. I plan to try out a few of these mods over the coming months and produce these “Mod Reports”, where I will discuss the good, the bad and the downright insane!

For my first Report, I’ve been experimenting with a few simple mods that (mostly) don’t affect the actual gameplay all that much, but which add nice little tweaks to save time, enhance the information available to the player or turn off minor annoyances. But do they work?

(more…)

XCOM 2: First Impressions

I can’t remember being as excited for a video game as I’ve been about XCOM 2, the sequel to Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown (one of my favourite games of all time). I’ve been soaking up all the preview videos and developer livestreams and now I’ve finally got my hands on the game.

So, after a dozen-or-so hours, is it living up to all the hype?

(more…)

XCOM: The Long War – Review

I am a huge fan of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and with XCOM 2 due to launch on February 5th, I wanted to play this modern classic again, but there’s a problem; after multiple playthroughs, the replay value of the game has greatly diminished.

However, there is a popular community mod called “The Long War” which aims to do something about that, so I decided to give it a try.

(more…)

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…

(more…)

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…

(more…)

Video Games as a Storytelling Medium

I wanted to take a break from my usual ranting to talk about something quite close to my heart. As part of the argument that games are (or at least can be) art, I’d like to look at something that I find particularly interesting: storytelling. In particular, I want to try and explain why video games have the potential to be the greatest storytelling medium of them all…

(more…)

Rewarding Bad Behaviour

I like achievements. Achievements are a good way to add some challenge, variety and replayability to a game, as well as to make the player feel rewarded, encourage them to improve their skills and give them a sense of progress. So why do some games give you achievements for playing them badly?

(more…)

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…

(more…)

Review: Guild Wars 2

Blizzard’s MMO giant World of Warcraft is now 8 years old and it is finally starting to lose its players, yet it is still the most successful online game out there. A few contenders have come along, but whether they were not as well-made or well-written or just lacked whatever it is that makes WoW great, none of them has been able to take WoW’s crown.

But finally, we may have a contender; a game that I firmly believe certainly should be able to replace WoW at the top; Guild Wars 2. This game has been out for a year now, so I thought I’d take a look at what makes this a potential WoW killer. (more…)