I often think back to the gaming days of my youth. I thrashed my Atari 2600 and later my Sega Master System for hours, banging my head against the ‘wall of difficulty’ in classic titles… and I loved every minute.
However these days, I am use to AAA games holding my hand and making sure every minute is enjoyable.
When I sat down with DeadCore I was met with the prospect of a pure puzzle game…and I got a bit worried.
Wipeout as a brand is synonymous with Playstation, first spinning up in PS One disc drives back in 1995. Finally some Wipeout love is hitting the PS4, but it’s not a brand new game. Unfortunately it’s a remastering of 2012s ‘Wipeout 2048’ for the Vita and ‘Wipeout HD + Fury’, circa 2008 from the PS3. That said, Wipeout: Omega Collection in 1080p and running at a silky 60fps on the PS4, makes this uniquely Playstation experience….. an absolute blast to play.
Wipeout is a high-speed-arcade-sci-fi-racer based around antigravity ships with shields which use weapon pick-ups to get an advantage on the racetrack. There are a wide selection of ships to be used with different strengths and speeds depending on the race mode being undertaken. Each futuristic manufacturer has a range of ships and these unlock as you level up. There is something along the lines of 50 ships and 25 tracks across all the remasters, with many of the original electronic soundtracks being cleaned up too for the PS4 release.
High fantasy swords and shields combat in video games, is just not my thing…blasphemy I know. Personally I dig Sci-Fi settings, full of mech suits and advanced weapons. So roll up ‘The Surge’ to tick some boxes! It does have to be said, under the hood it is essentially a Dark Souls wannabe, but to actually label it as such without qualification, sells it way short.
After an awesome and pretty disturbing opening sequence, where the main protagonist gets out of his wheel chair and into a new set of robo legs. You are chucked into a partially destroyed factory complex and taken through a few basic combat encounters to learn the ropes. Controls are straight forward and camera controls are great. Some initial audio logs and interactions with a holographic lady lets a plot begin to form.
That being said, after about 5 hours of playing I honestly couldn’t tell you what the story was or who the main characters were. However, that’s not the game’s fault. I was just so focused on gathering gear, tech materials (XP) and opening up shortcuts that I just didn’t care. The star of this game is its combat, everything else just became secondary.
In the open world of shooter games such as the FarCry titles, I am always looking for ways to play the ‘sneaky sniper’ type character.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 has been designed from the ground up to offer this exact experience, with open world situations geared towards an elite military sharp shooter. Unfortunately some glaring technical miss-steps stand in the way of this game achieving its goal of a refined sniping experience.
Anyone who has played an open world shooter in recent years will know what to expect here, as Ghost Warrior 3 walks some very well-trodden ground. That’s not to say the open world design and mission structures are terrible, they just don’t stray far from the norm. Within each large open world region is a safe-house. These are the main character’s base of operations and have the traditional ‘Equipment’, ‘Skills’ and ‘Communication’ stations to help you prepare for each mission.
Skill points are earned by playing in a particular way, so sniper kills earn points in the sniping skill tree. Whereas a run and gun play style, will earn points to spend on assault skills. The skill tree will seem very familiar to most and frankly didn’t alter my approach to the moment to moment gameplay much as I leveled up. Once skills are chosen and gear has been selected, the mission always starts with driving the forever handily parked SUV, to the mission start point.
I would hate to sit down and actually add up how much time I have put into the Mass Effect universe over the years. I could probably make a rough guess and say it would be in the hundreds of hours. And that’s not even counting the series of novels and comics I have also worked my way through.
Lets just say, it is safe to assume that I’m bit of a Mass Effect fan. Now after a 5 year hiatus, Mass Effect: Andromeda has arrived and it is wonderful to be back amongst the Biotics, grumpy Krogan and deep lore, that makes Mass Effect such awesome Sci-Fi goodness.
I’ve always been a fan of stealth games and to my mind, the power of the current crop of consoles has afforded this great genre a bit of a resurgence. Styx: Shards of Darkness is probably best described as a ‘Tolkienesque Splinter Cell’. (Would never have predicted writing that in a sentence) Instead of a burly secret agent at its core, Shards of Darkness has a fowl mouthed, fourth wall breaking Goblin – who is short on stature…. and scruples.
Styx made his sneaking debut in 2014 in Master of Shadows, which I loved… until my 80% complete save file was ‘lost’ and I never had the gumption to start all over again. Master of Shadows was met with mediocre reviews which were in fact fair, due to a lack of polish and a bit of jank. Fortunately, Cyanide Studios have doubled down on Styx: Shards of Darkness and have built beautiful multi-path levels, unique skill trees and thankfully this time, enemies with functional A.I.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is only days away from hitting PS4 hard drives. After spending the better part of 15-20 hrs with it, I can say with confidence and frankly some surprise….it is fantastic. A studio solely famous for First Person Shooters has made a clever and very unique game-world. Somehow they have created a game with the best bits of the open world and beast hunting in The Witcher 3, the tried and true ‘RPG lite’ fun of the FarCry games and also the slick, visceral combat of the recent Tomb Raider reboots.
You will play as ‘Aloy’, who has been an outcast all her life. But when the world is under threat her tribal leaders reluctantly turn to her to for help. This open world 3rd person, action adventure is beautiful, detailed and engrossing. Sony could have easily put Guerrilla Games back on the FPS treadmill, making them churn out another Killzone…..but thankfully they didn’t and we got Horizon! Enjoy the full review!
After spending a good week with the Nacon “Revolution” playing Destiny, Uncharted 4, Steep, Inside and Call of Duty, I have got around to putting my thoughts into a Video Review.
The Nacon “Revolution” is around the $170-$180 mark in Aus and NZ, which for a wired controller is a bit steep. However its suite of features and overall quality is worth the price of entry and makes it a solid alternative to the PS4s Dualshock 4.
Xbox One owners have been enjoying a high calibre controller for some months now, with the release of the first party Xbox Elite Controller from Microsoft. Sony have finally met their user base halfway with two ‘Pro’ controllers, which are officially licensed for Playstation, but are made by third parties. Nacon and Razor have just released two controllers and I have got my hands on the Nacon ‘Revolution’ to put through its paces.
A full review will follow in a few days once I have spent some time with it, but to start with, here are some unboxing pics.
Nice molded box that says: Yep – you have bought quality.