Call of Duty Advanced Warfare review

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare is brought to us from Sledgehammer games for their first entry in the three year cycle of the Call of Duty franchise. With the newest entry Sledgehammer games have gone out of their way to deliver an interesting first run for their time with the franchise and has honestly left me to beg the question where should you start with the game. Taking us away from the traditional spiral of boring campaigns and empty promises Sledgehammer games steps out for their time in the sun with great pride and an amazing accomplishment.

Usually Call of Duty games draw a fine line between the two key components they offer, often this comes down as an average single player campaign to play then often the usually great fun multiplayer. It is rare that the single player campaign presented in this franchise does anything more then be a small distraction you play simply because it is part of the game. I am proud to say though that the single player campaign is honestly well worth your time.

For the full review of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare please click here.

 

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Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag review

Yo Ho a pirates life for me

Assassins Creed 4 left a lot to be expected after playing through Assassins Creed 3. The previous game really was the black sheep of the entire franchise, suffering from so many issues and just overall not being much fun. It is not just me that thinks that, many a fan of the Assassins Creed franchise agree that 3 was not as good as it could have been, and that Black Flag had to be the game that redeems the franchise. While I will say that Black Flag has many issues of its own it does redeem the franchise and turns out to be a good new entry.

The first matter of business in this respect, was ensuring the main character wasn’t as boring as Haytham or Conner. The person you play as, is often very important in whether you will enjoy a game or not, that was half of Assassins Creed 3’s problem, it had pretty boring characters, for Assassins Creed 4 we see an entirely different character to what we have seen before. Edward Kenway is not out to do things for honour or even revenge, all Edward wants is money, and throughout the entire length of the story he often goes on about money and the right price, but still this doesn’t make him a bad character his dedication to the pirates and his ambitions are what help to drive the game.

For the full review of Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag click here.

 

 

 

The Last of Us Remastered review

Platform: Playstation 4

Developer: Naughty Dog

Score: 10

A great game becomes even greater for the next gen

 With the Last of Us recently released on the Playstation 4 what better time then to talk about the game and share my thoughts. I will let you know before this that I am talking about the game as a whole and not just this version of the game. I know what you are most likely thinking – why should I care about the Playstation 4 version of the game when I have already played the Playstation 3 version and still own it? Is the game worth playing again on the new console? The answer to that is yes.

The story of The Last of us is a story of love and loss in a world thrown to the brink of chaos because of creatures known as the infected. This threat has made the world dangerous and has crumbled society right down to its core. Fear and evil are truly the only things that characterize this tale and the story of desperation is literally noticeable through the Last of Us. You play as Joel, who gets tasked with helping smuggle a young girl out of the city of Boston and transport her to a group known as the Fireflies. At the start of the game this seems like an easy task but things happen and the journey becomes a challenge that ties together the destinies of Joel and this young girl Ellie. These two characters that draw you into the game, as we see them struggle through their awkward relationship and go on a cross country journey. They work together to prove there is hope for a dystopian society.

The world of the Last of Us is certainly not a peaceful one. This is evident from the moment you first start properly playing, but it gets even more real as you continue to make your way through this world. You see struggles and things that truly make you think about yourself and how you would react in these characters’ situations. The world is no place for a kind heart and it is kill or be killed. For some this may be a turn off but it is in these themes that the Last of Us shines as it forces you to face your morality and carefully consider how far you are truly willing to go. This mainly comes down to a sense of responsibility you are tasked with caring for Ellie. Naughty Dog has finely crafted this idea of these two characters and their growing bond as the games main premise to urge us on even when things get tough.

For the rest of this review please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Octodad Dadliest Catch review

Ordinarily how a game controls can be a big decider on whether or not we might find enjoyment in a game, if a game controls badly we fail to find a proper level of enjoyment because we struggle with how we play our game. Having a good control system is key to our enjoyment as we find ourselves being able to properly associate ourselves with a character or play the game that works for us. But what about when a game is a combination of both an excellent control system and an awful one, this is exactly the case that we find with Octodad Dadliest Catch a clever yet frustrating game.

As the name suggests or at least you could at least possibly suggest you are an Octopus who has been living on land posing as a human (which in itself proves just how stupid some of these people are). What is your biggest fear, well it is none other then being discovered and your life being torn apart and as such when your wife tells you that your family is taking a trip to the aquarium obviously you’re less then thrilled and concerned about being discovered. With this being the main premise other early parts of the story see you having to get married and deal with daily life as a family man or shall I say Octopus.

Obviously since you’re an octopus getting around is not easy particularly when you are trying to seem human, so clearly you are not going to have an easy time getting around in fact it is highly challenging. Because of this what would ordinarily be a simple task in real life becomes a struggle and due to this we find a good amount of patience is required. So people lacking patience will probably want to steer clear.

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In one of the first levels you are tasked with doing a series of house chores and activities and these quickly prove to be harder than we would have originally thought.  There are countless obstacles to maneuver around and the clumsy control system just makes things even more difficult, though that is not to say it is bad, on the contrary in these points the control system is brilliant in showing us exactly how this character would move around if it was real. We struggle to grab milk out of the fridge and then pour it into a bowl, we have a hard time mowing the lawn as the system controls and moving Octodad around is a struggle and getting him to go the way you want is not always an easy task constantly requiring heavy thought and concentration in order to succeed.

Most of the levels in Octodad are simple chores of life and activities that can take place in our own life, where the game starts you out getting married and struggling around the chapel to find your clothes, you are then facing down family chores as I previously mentioned. Then as well as this visiting an aquarium and not being noticed as a aquatic creatures and of course doing your families shopping is quite a chore requiring the use of your abilities as it can be called to get some of the items. Through each level it was hard not to have fun even if I was frustrated by my attempts to get to higher places and take my time to get to the right point.

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Of course as fun as the game is and enjoyable as the control system was it does struggle to be enjoyable in small parts, namely throughout boss sections. These come down as small sections revolving a chef who is trying to cook Octodad and as such he is always trying to stop him in a wide variety of ways. These boss sections while interesting in theory often require you to run away from the chef and because of how awkward it already is to control Octodad it is a struggle when trying to beat these sections and at no point was I ever having fun during these points I was frustrated by how hard the system was in trying to avoid obstacles while moving quickly.

To put it simply Octodad is a challenging game but this character’s own style is what leads to some really fun gameplay on top of relying on solving your own body control issues there are also a series of puzzles to solve and complete. There aren’t many but there are points where you have to use Octodad’s contortion type abilities to get into small gaps to get to your objective. Of course in these moments where you must try to grab something or get through small spaces are where some of the games biggest struggles are. There are many points where I have found myself all tangled up and struggling to even move anywhere at all but finding my way out of these accidentally self caused situations was always satisfying because of the control struggles.

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The best version of this game is definitely the Playstation 4 version. The controller matches the required skills perfectly and balancing each of Octodad’s limbs works incredibly well with each button having a specific use. The R2 and L2 buttons each control a leg and tied to how you choose to move the joystick is exactly how you get around. Now you can choose to take the gentle approach and just do small steps at a time but this gets annoying fast and full enjoyment is truly given when you are struggling to get to where you are heading to. Likewise it is also a struggle to grab things as maneuvering the joysticks in sequence with your arm to get to what you want, simple enough to say the control scheme presented on the Playstation 4 and the joysticks do at least deal with some of the games potential issues and frustrations and dealing with trying to achieve whatever objectives come your way is challenging with ensuring correct positioning but that is part of the fun.

Octodad is that game that hits the perfect spot between hating and loving the controls as essentially we are not meant to love or hate them, it is part of the game and what makes the game to be played. Octodad Dadliest Catch is a cheap download and a great game that I highly recommend giving a go to if you ever get a chance. Sure the controls are going to annoy you but a great game is a great game and it is hard to deny just how much fun Octodad is. It is possible to beat Octodad in a couple of hours but there are plenty of options for replaying levels and they are well worth it and really fun. If possible I would be very interested in seeing a follow up and seeing more challenges and obstacles to face

Toy Box Starter Pack announced for Disney Infinity 2.0

Disney Infinity 2.0 is set to be big we already know that with some of the worlds biggest characters stepping out into figurines ready to jump into a videogame that might actually be fun. When Disney Infinity launched last year I believe it was the toybox mode that stood out above all else that people wanted to get their hands on and make their own own world instead of the more scripted playsets. Disney Interactive has now announced that Disney Infinity 2.0 toy box adventure pack is coming and is set for release this November. Even though the game won’t include any of the games playsets this version of the game will still remain 100% compatible with all of the 2.0 playsets.

By purchasing the Toy Box Starter Pack, consumers can experience the most popular mode of Disney Infinity, unlock Disney-themed content, and buy additional figures and Play Sets separately.

The Disney Infinity: Toy Box Starter Pack will include the following:

  • The Disney Infinity (2.0 Edition) video game – The Disney Infinity: Toy Box Starter Pack and Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack both include the same video game disc
  • Disney Infinity (2.0 Edition) base
  • (2) Disney Originals Figures (Merida and Stitch)
  • (2) Disney Originals “Toy Box Game Discs” – Stitch’s Tropical Rescue and Brave Forest Siege
  • (1) Web code card
  • (1) poster

Disney Infinity: Toy Box Starter Pack (2.0 Edition) will be available on November 4 for $59.99.

Source: Disney Interactive PR

Sony wants to be cautious about releasing too many HD remasters

These days there seems to be a number of people calling for HD remasters of their favourite games with the recent announcement of Resident Evil remastered on top of other potential games in the future but Playstation Europe boss Jim Ryan has his own thoughts on HD remasters which he has said as:

“One of the things we’ve seen this time around is that people have transitioned from a competitor platform last generation to PlayStation 4 this time around, and to allow those people to be able to experience a game like The Last Of Us, which they weren’t able to last time because they were playing something else, that’s just common sense.

“But I think it’s got to be looked at very holistically, you can’t have too many of these things otherwise next-gen just looks like rehashed last-gen and we certainly don’t want that.

“I think the balance is just about right but you know, there are other games that could be looked at, but there’ll come a point where next gen will have moved on and rehashing old-gen will have passed its sell-by date.”

I think this isn’t a bad thing as people might get sick of seeing old games remade almost constantly and perhaps while doing HD remasterings from time to time to provide the experience of a game to those who missed it they should constantly try to build on new experiences and between maybe two or three times a year create an old game to keep fans happy.

Watch Dogs Review

Platform: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, PC, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Developer: Ubisoft

Publisher: Ubisoft

Score: 8

When games are highly publicized or even a follow up entry to a major franchise they bring with them a lot of expectations, due to these expectations we come to often expect a certain level of quality and enjoyment particularly if we look at the history of the developers. With this example we must look at Watch Dogs for the past two years at least Watch Dogs has been on a little thing called the hype train where the developers and gaming community talk the game up and in the end often result in unrealistic expectations, the way Watch Dogs was spoken of by Ubisoft it was set to be a perfect game that should have scored perfect 10’s all around of course this is not the case and Watch Dogs has resulted in actually being not as good as possibly intended. The reason this is a problem in a sense is just how well Ubisoft has done with other games of a similar style to Watch Dogs such as the Assassins Creed franchise and unfortunately it seems Ubisoft’s flare is not as great as it could have been in this game.

One of the key things that Ubisoft has done in the past is develop fun and interesting stories for their games that the player can follow with quite a lot of enjoyment. The big red flag immediately is present from the very beginning of Watch Dogs story, essentially trying to play on an idea that a wrong can be amended by another wrong which essentially leads us to the plotline of Watch Dogs where you as supposed protagonist Aiden Pierce are performing a further wrong to deal with the second wrong. The plotline never gets very deep and while at the start it is somewhat easy to follow the events presented within the game leave the story of Watch Dogs with very little appeal. But to at least give an idea of what is going on, after messing up at a job trying to steal money from people Aiden is attacked by a gun for hire who kills his niece. One year later you are on a revenge streak to find the people who killed her using your selected skills of hacking and the story just becomes much more convoluted and tricky from there.

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The story really falls short and does not provide a reason to stick with the game but at least at this point the gameplay jumps in and really gives you a reason to keep playing. Watch Dogs follows the standard tradition of Ubisoft franchises dropping us in a big and enjoyable wide Open World for you to explore, the city of Chicago is evolved into a futuristic area that is ripe for exploration and plays primarily into the incredible gameplay. Although the world of Watch Dogs primarily is set a few years in the past it still seems so futuristic and the abilities play into a future that seems not to far away in this modern era. As phones and other technologies are built up and more of our identity is transferred across the internet this is primarily where Watch Dogs comes in, the city of Chicago is essentially a playground of technology and the identity’s of people that plays into how the world is changing, and in a way this is what Watch Dogs does it carries over a view into where the future is going and the capabilities that a selected group of people could have on the world.

Ordinarily I would not find it interesting to know who people are particularly in a game that these characters are meaningless but in the case of Watch Dogs this is one of the best parts about the game. Watch Dogs plays into the idea of a connected world and this constantly evidenced with every person I met along my way, seeing the profile of every person specifying who they are there age and even a key little factoid good or bad about them was quite interesting . This also them played into some of my decisions on how I obtained money from, through the game there are several opportunities to obtain money from a selection of people around the city by hacking their bank account and often to make the decision of whether or not I got money from them. If they had high ambitions and had good intentions I would leave them alone, however if they were known drug enthusiasts or any other bad  sort of thing I never saw the harm in ripping money away from these bad people. Likewise due to these people you can also receive new cars to drive and also new music to listen to based on what some of these people like making the city feel even more real with every person you come across.

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The city of Chicago is a playground under your control, you have the power to control the balance of activities within the city and actively mess with the world as a whole, essentially saying Chicago is your world and you have the power to control. The world is certainly changing and Watch Dogs paints a picture showing how the world is going to be and the control technology has over events, from the changing of a set of traffic lights to the power to open a garage door the power to control this world is what makes things interesting and carries you through the game. For me personally the idea of controlling the world is really the draws in point to Watch Dogs and freely making choices and causing mayhem in the world is highly satisfying. Racing through Chicago the world is literally littered with things that can be hacked to cause mayhem and somewhat enjoyment, it is often that I would find myself standing on a street corner setting off traffic lights just to see cars crash into each other for amusement, likewise I would also enjoy hacking bridges to mess with cars.

Throughout the story of Watch Dogs there are countless uses and opportunities for the hacking ability and often through the story hacking traffic lights and unlocking barricades are key parts of stopping enemies in chase sequences whether you are the chase or the chasee. Hacking also comes as a key part of combat and escaping enemies, there are often situations surrounding combat that allow you to take out enemies such as often sitting in the shadows you can find places to hack in order to cause explosions or even distract enemies in order to get past them. The same tricks are often carried over to missions that require you to go undetected and ensuring you make use of these different abilities and places in the environment becomes key to survival, this is mostly because you can’t take many shots before dying. Often because of this weakness it means the cover system while good does not always allow gun play to be a good option unless you know how to quickly line up a shot, in a sense this is where the hacking ability forces you to get creative and use the environment and the people to your advantage.

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As you go through the game you slowly unlock skill points and these can be used to further your own skills and make use of the pretty cool skill tree, it is only small but the skill tree has four different branches with a small selection of different abilities that can be unlocked. The points of the skill tree include the evolution of the hacking abilities, driving skills, weapon crafting and combat, I enjoyed further extending my hacking abilities with the skill tree allowing me to break into cars without alerting the police as well as allowing a small selection of other abilities to be used in order to make better use of my control in the city and better complete missions.

Extending on the game is the many side missions that fill Chicago, all throughout the city are little investigation missions, criminal convoys, gang hideouts and plenty more. These missions actually extend interest into the game and keep a reason to explore the city from beginning to long after the game is finished, these also keep things going even through the less than satisfying story.

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While I have argued that the story of Watch Dogs remains less then satisfying throughout, the basic gameplay does at least keep things interesting throughout. Ubisoft’s usual flair for storytelling one of the few reasons why I liked Assassins Creed 3 fails to ever be present in Watch Dogs and while is an issue the brilliant ideas in the game help keep things fun and entertaining, as well as this Ubisoft’s history of great game mechanics are seen and enjoyable in the game. On a side note I find the language, nudity and other themes unjustified in the game and pointless and I don’t understand why they had the insistence to include these in the game as they do feel irrelevant.

 

Donald Duck is coming to Disney Infinity 2.0

I am sure many of us were probably wondering when Disney would choose to release a good portion of their classic character lineup, and by this I don’t mean things like the Disney interpretation of Snow White I refer to the classic lineup of characters from the classic cartoons. Disney’s major starter Mickey Mouse has already had his time to shine in a sense but what about other characters, Donald Duck, Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Pete, Pluto and several others. Well I can at at least confirm that Donald Duck is going to appear in Disney Infinity as Disney Interactive announced today that Donald Duck is coming to Disney Infinity 2.0.

Though you should not expect a play set of any kind as Donald Duck is coming as a toybox exclusive and will have the ability to tos objects and sweep up enemies with his broom.

A new Donald Duck themed Power Disc will also be available for players to use in the Toy Box mode to customize and enhance the experience. Players will be able to use the “All for One” Power Disc to change their Donald character into a Three Musketeers costume.

Hopefully this is the start and we see more of Disney’s original characters appear in Disney infinity in the future as well as other parts of Disney’s Library of characters, we just have to wait and see for more and here is Donald’s trailer:

Journey and The Unfinished Swan coming to the Playstation 4

The Playstation 3 has had some absolutely amazing games over the years and there are several that probably deemed as must plays and these games are the ones that ordinarily would make people buy a Playstation 3 however these days it does not seem to matter to have missed out on getting a playstation 3. As we know there are several games from the Playstation 3 platform currently arriving on the Playstation 4 and even more in consideration to come such as the Uncharted games but it seems even major releases are not the only things coming to the Playstation 4 as today new games from the Playstation store for the Playstation 3 have been confirmed for arrival on the Playstation 4. One of these games is Journey which is highly regarded as one of the best, most beautiful and most emotionally driven games to ever arrive, it was a journey into the unknown presenting several different interpretations for the many players of the game.

On top of Journey there is also the Unfinished Swan which I have no idea how to describe but I do recall it being a interesting game. Here are some quick details about he upcoming releases.

Journey

Out later this year
– Ported by Tricky Pixels
– 1080p
– More details are in the works for future announcement

The Unfinished Swan

– 1080p
– Ported by Armature Studio
– Armature went back to the original art files and regenerated higher resolution versions
– Out on August 20

Tearaway coming to the Playstation 4

The Vita certainly isn’t doing well and Sony has pretty much done nothing to really suggest it should be much to play games on, while the technology is interesting and the games certainly have ideas that benefit the platform, Sony continues to seem bent on using the Vita as just a simple extension of the Playstation 4 and as it seems more evident know any of the games that truly seem interesting are worth waiting for to arrive on the Playstation 4. At the end of last year Sony released Tearaway on the Vita and it looked like a very interesting game but not enough to warrant purchasing a Vita for, now during Gamescon Sony has announced that an updated version of Tearaway will be arriving on the Playstation 4. The updated game will be called Tearaway Unfolded. It’s been re-imagined for the big screen, will have new environments, and new ways of interacting. Check out the debut PS4 trailer above.