Assassin’s Creed Origins (PlayStation 4 Review)

Ubisoft were well aware of the fatigue caused by their flagship series, resulting in an extra year for the publisher/developer to reflect and redefine Assassin’s Creed. We’ve had our break, and now it’s time for the series to return. Does it manage to break from the shackles of its rather formulaic predecessors, or will it continue to conform to the franchise’s flaws?
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SOMA (Xbox One Review)

Stealth and horror genre go hand in hand, like Samuel L. Jackson and Tarantino movies. It just works, regardless of the setting. With the player’s ever building stress levels from trying to remain undetected and the pressure to hold your nerve, SOMA forces you to play it by ear–literally. Laying eyes on the accursed creatures of SOMA’s rapture harms the player, encouraging a stricter form of stealth gameplay while elevating the player’s anxiety: a form of stealth gameplay that is harder to overcome.
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Black Mirror (Xbox One Review)

The Black Mirror series is one that will likely have passed by all but the most hardened of adventure game players. The original trilogy of games were released between 2003 and 2011 and spun the tale of the strange and unnatural evils that emanated from Black Mirror Castle: a towering Gothic keep in England, where the Gordon family had lived for generations. Within those dank halls, unspeakable practices and madness abounded from the hellmouth-like portal below the foundations.
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Hello Neighbor (Xbox One Review)

As children, we all had one house, a bad house that we would all avoid. We’d chatter among ourselves about the missing children, strange murmurs, and the vacant star of the occupant. Were they a vampire or a victim of childhood intrigue? These rumours would go largely unexplored and thankfully forgotten. Although Hello Neighbor poses the question; what if there really was something going on and dare we pursue the twitching curtain and muffled screams of our youth?
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Titan Quest: Ragnarök (PC Review)

It’s often lamented that games come with far too much damned DLC these days, and not just too much, but too soon as well. You’d be hard pressed to find a triple-A title these days that doesn’t launch with two or three slices of fresh DLC for you to spend extra money on or obtain via pre-order or console exclusivity.
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Dear Esther Live

Dear Esther Live is a night combining a playthrough of Dear Esther along with live narration, and a live orchestra performing the score of Dear Esther, composed by BAFTA winner Jessica Curry. Originally performed in October 2016 in London, it was reprised in April 2017 for the London Games Festival. The Chinese Room, in conjunction with Music Beyond Mainstream and the Arts Council England, are now taking Dear Esther Live on tour in the U.K. and was performed as part of the Sonica Festival 2017.
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It’s Quiz Time (Playstation 4 Review)

The minds that brought you Buzz! have been busy putting together the next big party quiz game with It’s Quiz Time. Now I’m pretty sure this is currently one of the biggest quiz games out at the moment with over 4,000 categories and just under 30,000 questions– enough to play potentially hundreds of games without any of them repeating.
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Let Them Come (Playstation 4 Review)

Being stuck between a rock and a hard place has never been as stimulating as Let Them Come, a pixel art tower defence game that see’s players wipe out wave after wave of alien menace. With a surprising depth to gameplay and customisation, Let Them Come feels fresh hours deep, especially for a game that only needs the player to press one button… for the most part.
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Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon (Playstation 4 Review)

Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon is an action/fantasy RPG dungeon crawler from the Japanese developer Gust, probably best known for their Atelier series which they’ve been publishing for well over 20 years. Bride of the New Moon is a fairly direct sequel to the original that came out in 2015, expanding and streamlining some elements of the previous game while firmly holding onto its magical anime girl aesthetic.
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Star Wars Battlefront II (Xbox One Review)

There was a point in 1977 where the galaxy was unfettered by the ever sprawling menace that is corporate interference. Star Wars, latterly rebranded as Star Wars Episode IV:A New Hope, was full of hope incidentally. George Lucas was bursting with ideas after THX 1138 and American Graffiti and sought to chase an unbridled vision. Although Lucas was not quite free from the shackles of big business, he managed to create something not only for himself but everyone. So, it’s unimaginable that Star Wars has now reached a point that it could be described as a machination of greed, but here we are.
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Final Fantasy XIV Online Starter Edition (PC Review)

With two expansions now under its belt, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’s success has continued to grow since its 2013 release. At this point, it’s pretty clear that we believe the expansions are strong additions that bring some improvements, but what about the actual game itself? It’s worth remembering the title’s history. Final Fantasy XIV was originally released in 2010 when it failed abysmally, leading to A Realm Reborn being developed to rectify that mistake. Taking advantage of the recently repackaged Final Fantasy XIV Online Starter Edition, we’re going to take a look at the base game—something that should be far more relevant to players that aren’t actually subscribed to the title. Without the expansions, is it actually worth playing?
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Outcast: Second Contact (Xbox One Review)

More like exiled.

Outcast was once praised for its open-ended gameplay structure. You could explore a fully crafted 3D world, freely choose which objectives to take on first, hailed for superb sound design — amongst other remarks. It wasn’t perfect, but critics praised it. However, that was then, and this is now. Outcast may have been a superb adventure game for its time, but the ‘remaster’ Outcast: Second Contact’s attempt to revive that sense of accomplishment doesn’t quite hit the mark this time around.
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Ashes Cricket (Playstation 4 Review)

Released a week before the Ashes series starts in Australia, Ashes Cricket is the latest attempt by Australian developer Big Ant Studios to create a cricket game that matches up to the success of the Brian Lara Cricket series from over a decade ago. Cricket games since then have become a cumbersome, enthusiast series with a very steep learning curve and an extreme lack of anything in the way of licensing. Ashes Cricket is a first in the latter regard, with both the ECB and Cricket Australia fully endorsing the title. Unfortunately, whilst the game does deliver the best cricket game available on modern consoles, the end result is one that, hopefully unlike England’s Ashes campaign, is tinged with disappointment.
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Need for Speed Payback (Xbox One Review)

There’s a reason why we use ‘high octane’ as a descriptor for excitement. It’s the peak of speed, adrenaline, and exhilaration. But what we don’t usually equate is the exponential threat of it blowing up and damaging the core of an engine. If high octane fuel is left unchecked long enough, there will be irreparable damage. Now, why are we discussing this in relation to Need for Speed: Payback? Well, that’s obvious isn’t it?
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Demon Gaze II (PlayStation 4 Review)

Taking the soft reboot approach, Demon Gaze II aims to make the dungeon-crawling genre more accessible to mainstream audiences than its predecessor. While this may have been the intention behind the original Demon Gaze’s release on PlayStation Vita back in 2013 (or 2014 for those of us in the west), the title wasn’t as successful as hoped. Instead, Demon Gaze II looks to attract a broader audience with a new focus on the story. Is that enough, however?
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Sonic Forces (PlayStation 4 Review)

“I’m an optimist… but I’m also a realist”; that line of dialogue from Silver in Sonic Forces was very much my sentiment towards the title prior to its release. Could Sega manage the seemingly impossible release two great Sonic titles in the same year? Three months after the Blue-Blur’s grand return, Sonic Forces unfortunately drags the star back to mediocrity.
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Elex (PC Review)

Let’s take it from the top: Elex is an open world role-playing game set in a world that combines magic and advanced technology. This combination is fuelled by a mysterious element called Elex that crash landed on the back of a meteor in Magalan.
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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Xbox One Review)

First Person Shooters have recently suffered from an unbearable on strategic gunplay and cover based shooting. Visible life totals were a thing of the past, replaced with the near imperceptible bloodied eye HUD, and health was now recouped by catching a breath as opposed to picking up a health pack. Then Wolfenstein: The New Order crawled out from beneath the decaying temples of FPS past and revitalised the frantic designs of the past. Yet, Wolfenstein: The New Colossus seems to be a deviation in the path set out by its predecessor.
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Our BlizzCon 2017 Highlights

Blizzard went all out this year. While on paper the content was more or less what we expected, the sheer grandeur of BlizzCon really blew me away. We got spoiled with some incredible cosplay: the best of which in the competition verged on actual witchcraft, with Hogger, Raynor, Velen and (my personal favourite) Zagara highest among the coven. The community night in general was pretty entertaining; combining raw talent, cringe factor, and a heartfelt fanaticism that is so identifiable. There were some shake-ups in the competitive scene as Europe cleaned house in the World of Warcraft Arena Championships, and European teams very nearly managed to knock esports deities South Korea from the top spot in Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm. Most importantly, though, were the announcements for each franchise in the coming year.
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Numantia (Playstation 4 Review)

Numantia, Reco Technology’s latest release, is a historically accurate turn based strategy game set during the Celtiberian War. It tries its best to make learning fun while teasing those who are roped into games where the slightest mistake can cost you your life.
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UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe:Late[st] (Playstation 4 Review)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The saying “better late than never” is one you might have to become familiar if you’re a Western fan of French Bread’s Under Night In-Birth series. The long…

Mutant Football League (Xbox One Review)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ain’t no penalties here.

The Red Strings Club (PC Review)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

What is the nature of existence? What is the price happiness and the cost of freedom? These are the fundamental questions that drive much of the cyberpunk literature…

Beholder: Complete Edition (Playstation 4 Review)

Friday, February 2, 2018

When eavesdropping becomes a hobby.