Friday, 30 January 2015

Mortal Kombat X: Ermac Revealed

By Sam Coles:
 
Trailer Source: IGN
 
Netherrealms keeping rolling out new characters and fan favourites for the upcoming Mortal Kombat X and the new character that was revealed was the mind binding and multiple souled ninja Ermac. Ermac's move set looks to be completely telepathic and does seem to engage his opponents with any physical contact which looks intriguing. Netherrealms have come out with a statement with the recent reveals that the characters have not been wearing the default costumes and rather their alternate styles. Mortal Kombat X releases April 14th on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Who's next?

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Mortal Komat X: Reptile Revealed.



 
By Sam Coles:
 
Trailer Source: IGN
 
The infamous green ninja from the original Mortal Kombat game Reptile has finally been revealed for Mortal Kombat X. It shows off his fast paced fighting style and I have to say he has proved to be the most brutal character out of them all especially with the X-ray moves his Fatality. His character type looks to be nimble and quick which would suit someone who likes more speed and agility rather than power. Mortal Kombat X releases on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on April 14th. Who’s next?

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Top 5 Emotional Games.

By Sam Coles:
Games can produce powerful emotions even pushing you to the brink of tears thanks to fantastic acting and motion capture we get in video games here are games that have emotional moments. One more thing spoiler alert.
 
5. Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 gets a lot of flak because of its ending and yeah it wasn’t a stellar one with different colour explosions with the same outcome, but it’s when you see Commander Shepard with his last breath dragging himself to save the universe and you keep thinking “come on Shepard you can do it”. Coupled with the musical score you really feel the strain on him and it made grip the controller hard.
 
4.The Last of Us
From the beginning the game hits you with the emotions and does not pull any punches throughout the adventure, in the first 20 minutes it hits you with Joel’s daughter being shot by the military and then she dies. Troy Baker’s acting in this scene is so convincing it made me shed a tear and I had to pause the game for a couple of minutes afterwards. If you haven’t played The Last of Us then pick it up if you have a PS3 or PS4.
 
3. Halo 4
The Halo games never really had moments that were hard hitting so I went in with that attitude when I played Halo 4, but oh boy. Halo 4 continues 5 years after the events of Halo 3 and Master Chief and Cortana are drifting in space awaiting rescue. Cortana is reaching her life span as an AI and is slowly fading and is losing her mind. The further you go through this campaign she becomes more insane and is broken by the end. By the end of it John 117 says good bye to her and she feels his heart beat for the very first time, this is the only time that Master Chief shows any emotion and it caught me off guard and made squeeze a tear out.
 
2. Max Payne 3
This is another game that gamers are split down the deck about, but I really enjoyed it and I feel that it is underrated in my book. Yes the plot is simpler and don’t give me the thing about him being winey because can you blame him, in the first game he had his wife and child murdered and the second game his lover was killed so you can see why he’s pessimistic. You feel the strain from the start when he is boozing thinking about his family with mixed emotions of anger and sadness and that scene alone gets you hooked in this plot of betrayal and intrigue.
 
1.      Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots
 
My favourite franchise ever gets the number 1 spot with Solid Snake’s final days in his final mission. The story of Metal Gear Solid 4 is that Snake is suffering with accelerating aging which he thinks it is the Foxdie virus’s doing, but he was designed to age rapidly to stop the enemy from stealing him. This game really got to me because I’ve played through the entire series to that point and then seeing my character slowly dying and is almost lost all hope by the end really makes you think that he’s going to make it. The ending is the truly emotional scene when Solid Snake and Big Boss put aside their differences and forgive each other and then for him to die in your arms.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Do people know how to have fun in the video game industry?



By Sam Coles:

I’m not one to do editorials like this unless it really gets to me, but the past two years the video game industry and community have almost forgotten how to have fun. I only started to take notice of this back in late 2012 with the release of Resident Evil 6 and the start of a new show on Gamespot called Feedbackula which is no longer running. The community got up in arms because Resident Evil 6 was rated a 4 out of 10 because it was a poorly designed game, and then Gamespot took the juvenile comments and made a show out of it. Yes it was a funny show the first few times but it did make me think are Gamespot adding fuel to the fire.



Anyway to the meat of the problem in the present and the last year. Games back in the in the 90’s and early 2000’s never had any of these political opinions get in the way such as gamergate or feminism it was all about having fun no matter how old you were and what gender you were it was all about fun. Now we have these groups interfering with games development saying “Why isn’t this protagonist female” etc. but what you have to realise that it’s their vision and not yours and maybe a female may not fit the context of the setting such as the French revolution in Assassin’s Creed. You shouldn’t judge game on the character’s gender you should judge it if it’s a good game.



Another problem that makes my eyes roll every time I scroll down to the comments section on Youtube or any gaming media website is the crusader like attitude when people are talking about the different consoles, yes I do own the Xbox One and PS4 but I can acknowledge the two systems flaws because they’re not absolutely perfect as some people think. I don’t mind discussion and comparing each others systems, but the way some go about it by acting like children as they did with the Snes and Mega Drive, yeah it’s fine when you’re a kid, but when you’re a full grown adult it’s a bit sad. Let’s not have these petty arguments and just have healthy discussion along with constructive criticism I know I’m just a small tadpole in this massive ocean of the games industry but I just want to see the industry to get out of the fog and into the clear and just have fun.

I just want to get back to a time where there are no politics or any other views that interfere with the gaming community and just get back to having fun together and not let politics get in the way.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

GTAV PC: New Release Date, First Screens and System Specs



By Sam Coles:

Grand Theft Auto V has been out for a year and a half almost now and yet some gamers are still waiting for the PC version to come out. Originally the game was going to come out near the end of this month, but unfortunately Rockstar Games have announced that they’ll be delaying it once again. So you PC players will have to wait until March 24th until graces it’s presence on Steam. In the mean time here are some screenshots and the specs you’ll need to run the game.

PC Specs:


Minimum specifications:
OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1, Windows Vista 64 Bit Service Pack 2* (*NVIDIA video card recommended if running Vista OS)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
Memory: 4GB
Video Card: NVIDIA 9800 GT 1GB / AMD HD 4870 1GB (DX 10, 10.1, 11)
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible
HDD Space: 65GB
DVD Drive

Recommended specifications:
OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1
Processor: Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.2GHZ (4 CPUs) / AMD X8 FX-8350 @ 4GHZ (8 CPUs)
Memory: 8GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB / AMD HD7870 2GB
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible
HDD Space: 65GB
DVD Drive

Screenshots:






 


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Halo 5 Guardians Multiplayer Beta Impressions.

 
 
By Sam Coles:
So the Halo 5 Guardians beta has been available for the press for quite a while but finally became public to those who own Halo The Master Chief Collection since the 29th of December. So what is the gameplay like with this small taster of the games multiplayer does it stray away from the normal Halo gameplay? Let’s find out.
The two gamemodes at the time of this published impression are Team Slayer which is the standard Halo team deathmatch and Breakout which takes queues from Counter Strike and Call of Duty where it is in the style of “Search and Destroy” where you don’t have any respawns so the rounds are quick due to the fast nature of this game.
Breakout is new to the Halo franchise how works is that you have 4 players on each team and you have six rounds, you’re first launched off a ramp into battle which is awesome and you have very less power with your shields. Be careful because when you die that’s it for the round and you’ll just have to sit on your hands waiting for the next one, this game type focuses heavily on team work and communication so I wouldn’t recommend playing it on your own.
 
The gameplay has been tweaked to fit a more modern control set where you can now aim down sights in a Halo game and some people would consider this as a negative, but it works on the other hand though if you aim down the sight of your weapon you lose the use of your radar so it’s a double edge sword. When I started to use the dodge movement thrusters my first thoughts were “Call of Duty Advanced Warfare” and now before you go and throw your pitch folks at me it’s not a bad thing because it’s fun to jump dodge sideways or slam down on your enemies with your “butslam” ability, it adds more verticality to the game.
 
Performance and visuals I didn’t really have a problem and considering that the game isn’t even finished yet it performs at a flawless 60 frames per second for the most part, the only time I got frame rate drops is when your team are introduced at the start of the match which makes the game drop to about 30 besides that there wasn’t any problems with frame rate. Visuals are fantastic, but there are a few oddities with some blurry textures, but again that can be over looked due to the fact that the game isn’t finished yet.
What I’ve played of this taster has got me excited for the latest instalment for the Halo series when it releases at the end of this year and if you have Halo Master Chief Collection give it ago because the beta ends soon.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Top 5 Games of 2014.

By Sam Coles:
Another year has come and gone so it’s time to tell the world of the internet my favourite games of the year. Remember these are my opinions so don’t take it to heart if your favourite game is not on the list and be mature about the situation with the feedback.
 
 
5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
After the colossal disaster that was Call of Duty Ghosts our expectations were very pessimistic when Advanced Warfare was announced, but when the first trailer made from gameplay footage was shown it was clear that this was a truly next gen COD game. Sledgehammer games first proper stab at the franchise was a valiant effort it really felt that they put all their heart and soul into this project, by ditching the overly done setting of the modern day and taking it into the far future. This game let them have more creativity with the weapons because they could include weapons that don’t exist or are in prototype in the real life army. The stand out was the exo suit which gave the series a sense of mobility in the multiplayer and it really felt like the old school shooters where it’s about map control and not necessarily about your loadout.
 
4. Halo The Master Chief Collection.
Yes this game had a very rocky start where the multiplayer didn’t work or it took up to two hours to wait for a game, but I didn’t pick up this game until Christmas because I got an Xbox One for Christmas. To be fair the game is packed with 4 Halo games and includes the multiplayers in each game so you can’t blame them really, but they should have waited a bit longer if there were problems. Halo 2 got a massive make over with its anniversary edition the guys at Blur Studios who did the cutscenes for Halo 4 re-made all the scenes for Halo 2 and it looks absolutely beautiful and made it a joy to play through again. If you own an Xbox One you need this collection.
 
3. Far Cry 4:
Yeah sure I did call this Far Cry 3.5 and it’s the same gameplay more or less with its mechanics and engine, but it fixed some of the small problems that Far Cry 3 had and plus with the power of the new gen consoles it packs in so much detail in the new Himalayan setting with it’s beautiful forests to the blinding white snow in the mountains. The main villain Pagan Min although he does disappear for most of the game he is a fantastic character with his charming personality where he can flip out at any minute, but he has an old fashioned gentleman approach to conversation.
 
2. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.
When Shadow of Mordor was announced in early 2014 everyone was stating that it’s an “Assassin’s Creed rip off” and yeah it takes elements from that series with its movement system not so much from its combat because you can actually lose fights in this game compared to the Assassin’s Creed series. What stood out with this game was the nemesis system where you shaped the Orc tribes in Mordor and sometimes it’s not even you sorting it out because they all fight among themselves and this organic system makes the world in this game feel alive.

 
1.      Wolfenstein: The New Order.
 
Wolfenstein The New Order is a very pleasant surprise because I was geared for another cookie cutter and mediocre FPS with one id’s titles slapped on the front cover. Machine games however took pride with this ip and produced a beautiful piece of interactive media with the latest game and arguably the best in the series. The generic character BJ is shown as a worn out and tired soldier that starts to question his own actions even though he is killing Nazi’s, but the game isn’t serious all the time it knows when to lighten in places. It brings back the old school feel of having health instead of regenerating health and you can wield two huge weapons at the same time to blow chunks out of your enemies. If you have a last gen or new gen console you owe it to yourself to play this game.    

The Crew Review - Time for a Road Trip.

 
By Sam Coles:
The Crew has a few great ideas with its huge miniscule version of the United States that you can drive across with your friends, but on the other hand it has a few flaws that stop it from being amazing, but it’s not a terrible game.
 
What sets it apart from most racing games is that it has a story although it is a very clich├ęd story, but it has a basic hook to keep you invested in the lengthy campaign. The story is that you play as Alex voiced by Troy Baker because what character isn’t these days, you are a wheelman who likes to win races and drive fast. Your brother is in a gang called the “510’s” who are involved in illegal activities such as street racing, drugs distribution and guns. You are then framed for your brother’s murder and sent to a federal prison and given a second chance by an FBI agent to take down the real murderer and a corrupt FBI official. Yeah it’s something you would expect from a Fast and Furious film or CSI but it works for a basic frame work for your motivation.
The game strides to be a “CARPG” bear with me about this sub-genre its set in a massive open world while you have other players driving about and sometimes colliding with you on the motorway, but the main question I ask is why multiplayer? The reason I propose this question is because the game feels like a singleplayer experience because it’s structure with missions that don’t really require any outside help from the community. Don’t get me wrong the game isn’t bad, but it I feel that the multiplayer isn’t necessary unless you want to faff about around the open world with friends.
 
Gameplay wise it does feel like an MMO that you’ll be grinding for hours to gain in game currency to get a decent car and trust me when I say hours I literally mean hours because it’s designed like this so you might give in to micro transactions which is despicable in a full priced game. The car physics are not simulation if you are worried about that they’re very arcadey with its handling it reminds of the driving from Watch Dogs so you can floor it and throw your car around the corner like a madman.
 
You have your standard slew of races from 8 player races to 1 on 1’s which is all good and fine but you can hire allies to help you out in the races and as long as one of your team mates comes first you’ll accomplish the mission and yet the game still acknowledges you won as if it were a singleplayer experience. There are not only races there are chases which can very frustrating because they always seem to be faster than no matter what car you’re in or the person you’re chasing. When you drive across the open road and trust me you’ll be on the open road a lot you’ll have little mini game distractions to help you earn new parts for your car such as jump challenges or breaking targets.
You’ll have the choice of three different cars at the start of the game and you can upgrade them slowly over time such as engine parts and breaking systems. You’ll have access to different classes of vehicles that you can equip onto your car for different situations. You’ll start off with the basic class the Street class which is designed for general street racing, then have dirt and beyond which you’ll unlock as you go through the lengthy campaign.
 
The graphics which a lot of people have been shooting down they’re not terrible as some people seem to think, yeah they’re not anything mind blowing but they do their service. Bear in mind that this game’s open world is huge because the map is 80 miles across so you can’t blame it for having a few graphical oddities with the visual aesthetic and plus it’s constantly online.
Nit-picks that I have is that it is far too expensive to buy a new car in this game and it takes forever to make a substantial amount of money and there are micro transactions which have no place in a full priced game because it is not a free to play. What’s up Ubisoft is £40-£50 not good enough for you?
The Crew is a fun game although it is marred by a few problems such as the lack of focus because it shoots to be a multiplayer game but the main campaign feels like a singleplayer experience with co-op which you don’t need. Is it a terrible game? No I’ve played for hours and couldn’t put it down, it has that addictive hook where you start playing and realise that 4 hours have passed.
If you are looking for a new racing game that is not Driveclub or Forza Horizon 2 then check this game out, grab some friends and go on a road trip. It’s available on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC now.