Control (Xbox One Review)

The first time Control was teased to be Remedy Entertainment’s next big title, I was apprehensive in my excitement. Remedy has come a long way since creating their hallmark title, Max Payne, but games like Alan Wake and Quantum Break often felt like they were very by the book; the latter feeling more a technical showcase of what was to come. Remedy has taken all these years of creating compelling narratives, deep character development, astute environmental design and condensed it all into what is now Control.
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The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan (Playstation 4 Review)

There’s a part of our brain, often referred to as our reptilian brain, that controls our more instinctual responses. Fight or flight, namely. Developers Supermassive are more than aware of it, in fact many of their titles prey upon it like bird circling its prey on the hot sands of the desert. Dark Pictures: The Man of Medan is no different.
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Remnant: From the Ashes (Xbox One Review)

Every so often a game comes along that looks like a diamond in the rough. We hold out hope its positives will outweigh the negatives, that the days of subpar framerates and poor optimisation are behind us. So, where does that leave Remnant: From the Ashes? Remnant boasts a bountiful basket of do’s and don’ts, pros and cons, that constantly wage war for your attention. Remnant’s duality of technical failures and gripping gameplay is either its undoing or its saving grace.
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Redeemer: Enhanced Edition (Xbox One Review)

Redeemer, Sobaka Studio’s uninspired violent top-down brawler, ticks all the boxes necessary for it to be considered a game. That is to say that Redeemer is functional in its genericism. Doubling down on the basics of the genre in the hope of capturing players’ attention without risks or innovation. However, even with Redeemer’s rather milquetoast exterior, some of its inner workings keep Redeemer from stagnating despite its lack of identity.
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The Sinking City (Xbox One Review)

Cosmic horror is a hard thing to communicate to an audience. A larger than life threat that is too difficult for the human mind to comprehend, something that, if you laid eyes on, would drive you completely mad. But it’s also much harder to articulate this looming threat if you cannot physically represent it. Lovecraft’s short stories are full of descriptors and punctual wording to help emancipate the reader’s mind but developers Frogwares don’t have that same luxury since gameplay usually takes precedence in games. Instead, Frogwares’ focus is on the visual representation of such things, placing the dark and ominous creations in plain sight for all to see. Unfortunately, the grim scenery, hilariously, is the only thing that’s pleasant about The Sinking City.
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Void Bastards (Xbox One Review)

Xbox Games Pass has shown itself to be an increasingly worthwhile service to invest in, especially for those looking to expand their indie game library. Out of the bunch available, Void Bastards takes centre stage here. Void Bastards’ colorfully unique aesthetic, whitty charismatic caretaker, and in house pedigree of talented developers make it one of the best Rougelike shooters this side of the console war.
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Warhammer: Chaosbane (Xbox One – Inital impressions)

There’s a point where genres reach a pinnacle. You can’t see what’s next and lofty ambitions of revitalising whatever mechanics are present find themselves lost to the clouds. When it comes to Warhammer: Chaosbane, it feels like we’ve seen it all.
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Observation (Playstation 4 Review)

It’s hard to stare into the enigmatic beauty of Observation’s spacetime drama between man and machine and not think about ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. It captures the movie’s essence so well that in-game parallels show up all over the place. Much like it’s inspirational theatrical, Observation is full of ambiguity and challenges players to really think through what’s happening. Even then you’ll be mystified throughout, until the credits roll.
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Layers of Fear 2 (Xbox One Review)

When the original Layers of Fear was released, it was met with a modestly good reception. The concept of a painter’s descent into mania as he wanders half-mad around his home struck a chord with audiences, and critics who praised the style. Although there was a clear debt owed to the much lamented, and now lost, Silent Hills demo PT, Layers of Fear built upon that basic premise with a full game, replete with Bloober’s now signature shifting corridor physics, cathartic horror, and morbidly dark tone.
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A Plague Tale: Innocence (Xbox One Review)

So see that thing Thanos did in Infinity War, it actually kinda happened back in the 14th century across Europe, but worse. It didn’t happen in an instant, in fact the deaths of what some estimate to be over half of Europe’s populace would slowly pile up as more grew sick by the day. Panic swept across the continent as civilisation crumbled around. A Plague Tale: Innocence is about that.
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Mortal Kombat 11 (Playstation 4 Review)

Mortal Kombat has figuratively carved its way in to the fighting game genre since 1992 and if it was up to Ed Boon they’d probably have gone for a more literal approach to the aforementioned carving. That is to say that Midway Games and NetherRealm Studios have quite the penchant for violence. Now, 27 years later, Mortal Kombat is ready to amp up its gore to 11 and won’t be satisfied with a simple Spinal Tap.
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World War Z (Xbox One Review)

Left 4 Dead, and its sequel,  are a pair of games that you keep hearing crop up in conversation every other week. They have weight. Created in 2008 it heralded in a new take on surivial horror, one with a focus on fast action and hordes of zombies coming out of the woodwork at you.  Over the years we’ve seen a slew of developers try and imitate that touted formula but to lesser avail. Games like Earthfall to Warhammer: Vermintide range in a spectrum of bad to half decent. After all was said and done, they were just underwhelming. Now, World War Z has entered itself into the arena of zombie shooters but does World War Z stand against the horde or is it just another wannabe?
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Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid (Playstation 4 Review)

There was a point in my youth that “Go, Go, Power Rangers! You Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!” echoed throughout my house and in my wee Red Ranger loving heart. It’s a poignant moment of nostalgia that climaxes with movie and Ivan Ooze – who is sorely missing from the roster. From the word go, it was clear that I was the target of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid and boy did I dress up in my best target shaped frock.
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Outward (Xbox One Review)

It’s almost a given that if an RPG states that your ‘hero’ comes from humble origins they’re most likely a farmer, or some kind of knave, that rises to fame. As far as fantasy tropes go, this would be the pinnacle. So, I thought I had Outward pegged as an unimaginative RPG when its main selling point is that you’re a nobody in a grandiose world. While that may be true, to an extent, Outward alters the facet of your nebbish stature somewhat providing a breath of fresh air that turns stale thanks to a lack of deviation from standard storytelling.
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Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain (Playstation 4 Review)

Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain — much like Earth Defense Force 5 — is setting out to revolutionize the franchise in its own way as a spin off. Iron Rain does away with the cartoonish visuals and whacky enemy stylings, grounding itself in realism. While Sandlot’s sister company, Yuke’s, are at the helm, you can still expect the same level of quality you’d expect from a mainline title within the series, good and bad.
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Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (Xbox One Review)

There’s always an industry buzz around new FromSoftware games. Players and writers alike are desperate to find a new portmanteau to slap on top and pretend that the Action RPG genre just doesn’t exist, there’s even some room to talk about how hard it is compared to whatever the most recent Dark Souls/Bloodborne entry is. Sekiro: shadows Die Twice is no different. Sekiro gives way to both, providing writers with the term “Soulborneros” and mechanics so well refined that the thickest of belly button fluff wouldn’t deter them from endless navel gazing.
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Anthem (Xbox One Review)

Mediocre is a word that is seldom used in the gaming industry today. A game is either the best thing ever to happen to the medium, or hot garbage.  Six or seven out of ten then doesn’t mean a game is notoriously bad, far from it, although you’d be lead to believe otherwise in some comment sections. It may not be a masterpiece, but it’s not anything special either. Bioware’s new IP is one of those games.
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Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove (Xbox One Review)

Toejam & Earl, while not a cult classic, has slowly garnered fandom since its initial 1991 release. For many this was their first introduction to the funky duo’s beat driven adventures. I however, was a little late to the show. Having only stepped into Toejam’s iconic hi-tops in the duo’s least critically acclaimed adventure, Toejam & Earl 3: Mission to Earth, my perspective was skewed by the modern mechanic’s and designs that the original lacked. 3D environments, hip beats and funny characters were all it took too reel me in. While disliked by many, my time with the game was wholesome and humorous – mainly because I was too young to understand the racial stereotypes. Now, with Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove, a glorified love letter to the original, I thought I’d see where the magic and funk came into form.
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Devil May Cry 5 (Xbox One Review)

Dante is an icon, a quick witted legend with a sword. A few years back he was many other things, including hated by those that once championed him as an all-time great. Well you can forget all of that because Dante is back and better than ever in Devil May Cry 5.
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Dead or Alive 6 (Playstation 4 Review)

There’s a stigma that comes with playing Dead or Alive, it’s undeniable and usually it’s just. From the adverts focussing on how high certain female characters kicked to the ability to increase the jiggle physics by setting your age to 99, there’s always something. There’s even that volleyball game that is probably best left in the past. It’s a very obvious barrier to entry and one that has never done the actual fighting game beneath the gloss any justice.
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Control (Xbox One Review)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Control is an Illusion.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan (Playstation 4 Review)

Thursday, September 5, 2019

You better start believing in ghost stories….

Remnant: From the Ashes (Xbox One Review)

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Every so often a game comes along that looks like a diamond in the rough. We hold out hope its positives will outweigh the negatives, that the days…

Redeemer: Enhanced Edition (Xbox One Review)

Monday, July 29, 2019

Redeemer, Sobaka Studio’s uninspired violent top-down brawler, ticks all the boxes necessary for it to be considered a game. That is to say that Redeemer is functional in…