The Sony PSVR will be a whole year old in a couple of months, probably. a good time to get back to launching some big and exciting titles to galvanise the user base. There have been a steady stream of games coming along, mostly Indie, but a few big hitters.
Until now nobody had really touch the Holy Grail of VR – a solid First Person Shooter and a game of decent length.
Not only do Sony come out swinging on both counts they also launch the Aim Controller to back it up. If you thought VR made you look dorky enough, then step this way and be pleasantly surprised.
Farpoint treads some well trodden ground, launching into one of many long winded cutscenes it sets you up as a pilot collecting Scientists from a remote Space Station. Of course things go wrong and it’s all up to you to fix the problem. Ok so far.
Cue a lumpy bumpy ride in a dropship and you are on the surface of a hostile planet, which soon becomes a corridor driven shooting gallery, albeit an immersive VR one.
It was the year the PS4 launched and Tequila Works had a colourful and exciting new game showcased as a Sony exclusive.
That game was RiME, evoking memories of anything Team Ico related even at that early stage it looked serene, enigmatic and had a simple quality that made you want to know it better. Blockbusters teased in that year came and went, blockbusters from following years have been and gone, then it was suddenly now and the time for RiME.
First off this isn’t an easy gig, it really is fair to say the game has delivered in spades and if I had a choice I would leave it right there, smack on 111 words. But, life isn’t like that, life is something else.
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.
Take a couple of fondly remembered puzzle franchises, mix them up with some multiplayer add a party machine like the Ninetendo Switch and what do you get?
Well it’s certainly fun, but sometimes equally frustrating.
The original Gameboy for me was all about Tetris, that grey/green liquid crystal display and the unforgettable theme tune pumping away. Dropping blocks at speed and holding that big heavy handheld up to my nose in bad light. Yes, those were the days. Puyo Puyo, not so much. To be honest it has passed me by until now and while I could happily rank Tetris up alongside the the Rubik Cube or Othello as ‘easy to learn, difficult to master’ cultural icons I have to say Puyo Puyo is new to me.
I’m a purist when it comes to Mario Kart, having experienced many heart wrenching moments at the hands of the characters and many slating moments of joy. Especially sneaking a 150cc win against Luigi on the Rainbow Road. This was all of course a very long time ago on the SNES. When consoles were simple, you couldn’t Tweet or Post anything you did and the gameplay mattered, especially in glorious Mode7 graphics.
So twenty odd years later and here we are with a polished version of the wiiU Mario Kart, a extensive track list, extra modes and a host of characters new and old.
Start your engines.
Sometimes games, even big Triple-A titles, just fail to pique your interest with all their promotion and hype. Meh, another reboot, another sci-fi shooter, another save the planet storyline…. This was Prey, for me anyway.
Then one snippet of commentary about the game hit my ears, ‘a sort of spiritual successor to System Shock 2’. Excuse me?!?
So I quickly watched a short promotional trailer and all of a sudden I was fizzing like a little kid on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa to bring him a new bike. And what a bike it turned out to be!
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.
Nintendo has always been something of a mystery to me, recent years I have been sold by the hardware, but never enough to stick with it. Maybe its the family friendly vibe or just that the killer apps have been just way too cutesy.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve lived and loved some good times with Nintendo, mainly SNES, various Gameboys and the ultimate couch co-op machine the N64. Of course those were the olden days, before things got online and social, before Trophies, Achievements and Coins.
Having been in the wild for a couple of months, we’re late to the Switch party, but that’s often not a bad thing. Continue reading
I love when a great game slips right under the radar and surprises you. Even more so when it is a genre you really enjoy. Vikings – Wolves of Midgard, an action role playing game from Games Farm, has done just that. And having just watched all four seasons of Vikings on TV, I am well primed for this adventure.
Unfolding from a central hub that is your home village, you embark on a series of raids to obtain various goals and to unite the tribes against a greater evil. Once each area is united or conquered you can revisit it in the form of a hunt, with the goal of killing a set number of animals or monsters. It is a format that works and with the ability to return to areas, missing out on gathering collectables during the original raid is no longer a game killer.
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.