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Lucien21 gaming journal 2013

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New Year has started so it’s time to start a new Journal.

First game completed

The Black Mirror

I started this replay before the end of the year, but didn’t get it finished before the bells rang so I completed it slowly over the last couple of days.

The Black Mirror was a surprising game when I first played it. Surprising at how much I enjoyed it first time around. Mainly due to the puzzles.

You are Samuel Gordon, youngest member of the Gordon family. Returing home to the family mansion after your Uncles Death you immediatly start investigating.

Soon people are dropping like flies, your families history seems to hide a gate to hell (or something) so it’s up to you to rob all their graves and get some keys.

Unfortunatly I don’t think this playthrough lived up to the promise of my previous enjoyment.

The background and location art style is consistent with the tone of the game and still stands up well today.

The puzzles are still fun (for the most part), they are mostly inventory and dialogue with the occassional logic puzzle.

However I am probably less tolerant of the faults of this game now.

The puzzles are seriously linear and occassionally involve you waiting for an answer from a character, but seeing as you have nothing else to do you end up randomly visiting locations in the hope of triggering the passage of time required for them to give you the info you need.

The animation is painfully slow and there is no way to skip the animation routines when they are triggered.

The main character is a complete dick and his voice is seriously dull to listen to. In fact the “acting” is hideous across the board in this game. The most fun I had was seeing how I could get Samuel killed in the most gruesome way ever.

I think the game had promise, but it is marred by technical inadequecies and shitty voice work.

Plus don’t get me started on the ending Pan

2.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Joined 2004-01-18

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Dead Space

This space Horror Game originally came out in 2008. Gist of the game is Space Miner vs Space Aliens in a 3rd person horror shoot-em up. The hook in this game was always that they best way to kill the aliens was to sever their limbs.

Lots of shooting off legs and arms as you creep around the scary ass space ship. Jump scares, weird alien cultists, a mysterious artifact and a variety of monster types. This game is chock full of scary atmosphere.

I decided to replay it before the 3rd game comes out in February.

Still enjoyed the hell out of the game, mopped up a few more Trophies and blew through the game in record time.

4.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Dead Space 2

Horror games walk a fine line between scary and obvious. Dead Space was the best example of scary to come out for a few year and the sequel carries on that tradition. One man against a hoard of monsters.

3 years have passed since Issac destroyed the Marker and the Necromorph threat. Stuck in a looney bin on “The Sprawl” a mining facility on Titan, Issac once again becomes the centre of a Necromorph outbreak.

They have constructed a new Marker and now everyone has gone batchit crazy, turned into unspeakable monsters and ran rampage over the colony.

Once again it’s up to crazy Issac and his girlfriend to kill the Necromorphs, usually by slicing them into itty bitty pieces with the mining laser. It seems that time in the looney bin has done Issac wonders as he now talks in this game Smile.

“The Sprawl” has a decent array of different locations making it more varied than the previous game. From nurseries to a church of Unitology and a return visit to your old ship (Ishimura)it’s a pleasent change from the ship locations of the previous game.

Overall it’s a great game and a step up from the previous. Better graphics, better story and a whole lot of tight shooting mechanics all add up to a hell of a lot of fun.

4.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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The Cave

Fun little game by Ron Gilbert and the guys at DoubleFine.

Marketed as a Platform Adventure I wouldn’t really argue that definition, other than to say that it stretches the definition of both without really committing to either. The platforming is inconsequential enough to be hardly there, you spend most of the game going up and down ladders and there is no consequences to you dying. The adventure side of it mostly consists of exploration with inventory and logic puzzles, there is little in the way of dialogue.

You are entering “The Cave” a sentient being that seems to hide your fondest desire within it’s walls so it’s up to you to guide 3 characters through the maze of the cave.

You pick 3 characters from a possible 7, each of which has a special ability, and together you set out find those desires. I started off with the Creepy Twins, the Time Traveller and the Knight. However on the 2nd playthrough I had the Adventurer, the scientist and the Hillbilly. (Leaving the Monk unfulfilled)

There are several sections of the journey that are common to all characters, but most of the fun comes from the levels that are specific to each character. My personal favs were the Hillbilly carnival and the Creepy Twins mansion. The art is well done and specif to each level, the animation of the characters and the neat little touches of humour in the art and item descriptions all add to the atmosphere.

Most puzzles can be solved with the use of specific items or by working together with the other two characters you can use multiple items to progress. Sometimes depending on the chacter used the puzzle will have an alternate solution. Can’t get through a gate then use the time traveller to phase through it, otherwise you have to find the power cell to turn on the lever etc.

Most of the puzzles are fairly easy, but some do need some lateral thinking, esp in the Time Travellers level which reminded me slightly of the DoTT puzzles.

Story is fine, but due to the nature of the game it is more of an overall theme of wish fulfilment with each character having their own little vignet. There is an streak of Black humour in the stories that I found funny so I didn’t mind it overall. I did wishj that you got to know more about the actual characters, they were fairly generic and while the little cartoon stories you uncover as you go along don’t really tell you anything about them or why they are after the thing they seek.

The weakest part of the game is actually getting through each level, there is a fair amount of backtracking (not unusal for adventure games), but the climbing and traversal is a bit sluggish which meant that it was never actually that much fun getting around. It was functional, but didn’t add much to it.

Overall it was a fun little game that tried something different. It succeeded in the humour, atmosphere and the puzzle aspects, but failed on the story, characters and platforming.

3/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Dead Space 3

Finishing up the Dead Space trilogy we return to Issac Clarke who is now hiding from the government, getting drunk and trying to stay as far away from Markers and Necromorophs as possible.

As most people with a destiny find out this is impossible. Soon some goons come and drag him back into a final mission to save humanity and finally destroy all the markers before the Necromorph invasion kills us all.

This time he is dragged to a planet rumoured to be the Marker homeworld. Somewhere here is a machine that can destroy them all.

Dead Space started out as a survival horror series. One man against a hoard of monsters, trapped on a derilict space ship. The second game upped the anti and became more actiony, but still retained the single player focus.

The third one throws this all out and is designed to be a 2 player action fest Co-Op game, Even when you are playing single player you are constantly reminded at puzzles and machines etc because there is two of everything. Mostly gone are the jump scares, the oppressive atmosphere and the tension that made the games so great.

This time they arm you to the teeth with weapons, but only if you can find the resources and craft them at work benches. Fancy a shotgun with a plasma cannon welded to it, or a rocket launcher with a machine gun, or maybe even a flamethrower/knife combination. Experimenting with and upgrading the weapons is fun and essential to completing DS3.

Enemy encounters are your standard slice limbs off Necromorophs, but this game throws in human enemies with the unwelcome unitologists. Ranged gunfights with rocket dealing humans is not what Dead Space excels at.

Level designs start off with a bunch of wrecked starships orbiting the planet, but soon change into an icy landscape once you land on the planet. The first half of the game certainly gets the better half of the design.

Story wise this episode completly jumps the shark towards the end. What starts out as a routine find marker - destroy marker story descends into plain lunacy towards the end and don’t get me started on the bonkers last level.

Overall I think the game is fun for at least the first 10-13 hours, but the last few hours it is completly mental and not quite as fun to play. They should have stuck to the horror aspects of the first game.

Not a complete disaster, but not exactly what I wanted out of it.

3.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Black Mirror II

I played the first half of this game wondering what the hell it had to do with Black Mirror, the link seemed fairly tenuous, some mentions of Willow Creek etc.

The bright sunny atmosphere of New England seemed the opposite of the dark depressing atmosphere of the previous game.

It soon changed as the game kicked up a gear and the location switched to the more familiar locations of Black Mirror and it’s surroundings.

The background graphics were good, but the animations of the characters was super slow to the point of being annoying and the scaling felt off. On more than one occassion your character looked like he was about 8ft tall.

Storywise the game started off pretty slow and manial as you are an errand boy for a sleezy photographer, until this beautiful foreign girl sweeps you off your feet and you are drawn into a murder investigation which ends up with you crossing the atlantic to Willow Creek to inventigate the growing mystery and your place in it. There are a number of holes in the plot that seem to be ignored as you swap countries, but overall it seems to fit in the end.

It’s here that old characters and locations make an appearance and where I started to really enjoy the adventure more fully.

Puzzles are a reasonable mix of inventory and logic puzzles. Mgyvering your way out some of the puzzles can feel a bit contrived at times, but they were enjoyable if not believable. I also found that some objects were fairly easy to miss so close attention to the background and sweeping with the mouse is required for those who don’t want to use the hotspot reveal key.

Overall it was an improvement on the original game, but not enough to stand out as a classic.

3.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Richard and Alice

P&C adventure game developed using Adventure Studio. Written by two British Journalists this is less of a game and more of a mature story with occasional puzzles.

Set in a world where the weather has gone nuts (The UK is covered in permenant snow and other areas of the world are permenant deserts). You are Richard, ex-military man locked in a luxurious prison all alone until Alice is moved into the cell across the hall.

The game progresses the story mostly through Alice’s flashback story. She and her son Barney trying to survive in a snow filled ruined landscape.

It’s a mature story that deals with morality in a world where the rules no longer matter, where survival is the only goal.

The game is certainly not a looker with 8-bit retro graphics, poor animations and a basic sprites. Everything about this game is depressing from the sparse ominous music to the mostly white world and wrecked buildings.

Like “To the Moon” it is a character based game with limited puzzles. The ones that are there are mostly inventory based with some dialogue choices that affect the ending. (How much it effects the ending i’m not sure as I’ve only played it once.)

Unlike “To the Moon” I don’t think they pull off the story quite as well. It’s not as elegant or as interesting.

While I enjoyed it, it was very dark and depressing and left me with a downer at the end.

3/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider is a series that holds a lot of memories for me. It was the series of games that I played with my Dad, it got him into gaming and he is psyched for this new one.

When Dude Raider (Uncharted) came out it effectively pushed Tomb Raider type games in a more polished cinematic direction with big huge set pieces in between the combat and traversal sections.

Now Crystal Dynamics is trying to steal their crown back with an Uncharted like reboot of the original Tomb Raider.

Lara is fresh out of college and on her first expedition, but when things go tits up she finds herself stranded on an island trying to survive and save her friends.

So out goes the empty Tombs with challenging jumps and puzzles and in comes big cinematic action sequences with less emphasis on Tombs and puzzles and more on combat and story.

Graphically the game is fantastic on the PS3, but if you are lucky to have a decent PC then turn on all the options including the TressFX hair model and see how far game graphics have come since the simple pologon Lara from the first game.

Story wise the game is pretty impressive with Lara having a real arc in the game from her weepy start to outright survivor at the end. Documents and items that you find in the game flesh out the bcakground to the island as well as the companions you are trying to save. There is a real LOST vibe to the story with you strapped on an island with weird storms, but the story revolves around a Japanese sun god.

Gamplay wise the game starts you off with a Bow and some arrows and then drops you into small to middling areas of the island and allows you to roam around finding collectibles, hidden Tombs and hunt with the bow. Killing deers and rabbits etc give you XP that can be used to upgrade Lara’s skills in a mini-rpg like upgrade system. You can also find scrap that can be used to uprgade the weapons (Bow,pistol,machine gun and shotgun) or climbing axe. You save the game at campfires you find in the world and although the game is fairly linear you can fast travel back to previous areas to find more hidden stuff when you upgrade your gear to rope arrows etc that open up new areas Metroid style.

You quickly start to encounter more animals like the wolves and human enemies. This is where the story and the gameplay start to diverge. Lara seems upset at killing her first deer and her first human, but pretty quickly she is headshotting dudes with the bow by the dozen. I gave it a pass , but it might have been more interesting to have delved more into the hunting for survival and stealth.

The big action sequences and QTE’s are glorious to watch, but it’s worth noting that the failure animations are at time bloody gruesome (Pole through the head being a standout). While it is totally in keeping with the series mythology they are pretty graphic.

Overall I had a fantastic time with the game and can’t wait for a sequel.

5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Hitman Absolution

The fifth in the Hitman series sees them make some changes to the Hitman formula. Some good and some not so good.

Certainly the graphics are a huge step up from the previous games. The environment and lighting is superb. However the character models and animation is a tad wonky. The main bad guy Dexter is creepy as hell and that’s not all on purpose. His movements and facial expressions are just plain odd at times.

Hitman games have always been about sneaking around investigating a multitude of ways to get to an assassinate your target, Disguise yourself as a ice cream salse man or a giant chicken, set up elaborate mouse traps and BOOM. Absolution still allows this kind of variety however disguises are not the invisible shield that they used to be. People with the same outfit as you will pretty quickly see through even from across a room. You can combat this with the new instinct metre. It allows you to see through walls, identify enemies and there patrol paths and more importantly it allows you to diffuse detection as you walk to closly to them.

Levels range in size, but still tend to be be on the smaller size compared to the previous games.

Storywise the game is a personal story for Aent 47 as he is tasked with killing an ally, goes on the run and end up trying to rescue a young girl who has been kidnapped by Dexter.

I enjoyed the game, but the trial and error nature of the game did start to wear thin by the end and I ended up just going the shoot everything in sight route. Sure it meant I got a lessor score, but it had the same effect as sneaking around and dropping a anchor on their head.

3.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Bioshock

With Bioshock infinite coming out next week it ws fitting to replay the original masterpiece.

I can’t believe it has been over 5 years since Bioshock was released and it is still as much fun replaying it today.

Getting lost in the underground city of Rapture was a joy from start to finish. Full of colourful characters that you get to know via the voice messages you find in the environment, radio messages and video screens. You first contact is Atlas who is guiding you through the city and asks you to kindly kill Ryan the city’s founder.

Along the way you are immersed in the period stlyings and music of the 40’s, the utopia that Ryan built under the sea has fractured into the ususal classes and cliches. Infighting for resources ultimatly has been the downfall of the city.

Mostly they are fighting over ADAM a substance found at the bottom of the sea that alters DNA to gove people unique abilities. ALong side the normal weapons the powers granted from ADAM form you defense against the splicers and other enemies in the game. Fire, ice and telekonisis powers all aid in keeping you alive.

ADAM is collected from “Little Sisters” who wander the corridors collecting it. Unfortunatly they are protected by the Big Daddies who are hulking monsters and bettles with them are not to be taken lightly. Once defeated you can either save the little sisters or harvest them for more ADAM. (I saved them all).

Anyone who has played the game knows that Ken Levine has a tendancy for big twists in the middle of his games (won’t be so bad but it’s the same twist as before). First time around it was great, but it has lost little in the replay.

Great action a fantastic story and some of the best atmosphere in any game i’ve played puts Bioshock very high in my all time games list. I can’t wait until Bioshock Infinite.

5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Bioshock Infinite

Ignore Bioshock 2, this is the real sequel to Bioshock.

You play Booker DeWitt, a former pinkerton agent who takes on job to clear his debts. His task is to go the the Columbia and rescue a girl called Elizabeth (“Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt”). When you get there you are caught between a civil war between the Purist Americans and the Vox Populi.

Columbia is a city unlike any other. It floats above the clouds and like Rature it is designed as a dystopia, ruled by a few elite people (Primarily Comstock the Prophet). It’s a city rife with racial segregation, false gods and xenophobia.

Walking throught the city is a delight. Irrational excels at drawing you into a place and a time. Posters across the city scream out jingoistic or patriotic messages (“We must all be vigilant to ensure the purity of our people”), oldy music blares out, the design of the buildings and characters all envelop you in the world of Columbia.

Gamplay is similar to Bioshock. Part shooter, part lite-RPG. Early on in the game you get the ususal pistols, machine guns etc for shooting. You also pick up Vigors that gives you various abilities from possessing machines, fire, electricity or water attacks. (all very similar to the mechanics of Bioshock).

You also get a grappling hook pretty early in the game that can be used for traversal and for combat. Mostly it is used to ride the various skyrails around the city. Zipping up and down these rollercoaster style tracks shooting at the emeny, dropping down on them from a great height or just for getting to those hard to reach places.

One of the best things about the game only comes around when you gain Elizabeth as a constant companion. In what is possibly the best video game companion of all time, she can aid you out in a fight by tossing you health or ammo when needed or by opening one of the many tears around Columbia to pull through aid stations, cover or offensive weapons. She is a constant joy to have around and at no point does she become a hinderance.

Storywise the game is a revelation. Ken Levine certainly has a style of story and you can see his fingerprints in this where he has similar traits in previous games. What starts out as a simply rescue the girl story ends up touching aspects of racism, quantum physics and the nature of time and space.

Absolutly superb and by far my favourite game of this year so far.

5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Man it’s been over 2 months since I last completed a game.

This time of year is my busy period at work with pulling together my works Annual Accounts and then the audit (yadda Yadda boooring)

Anyway even with the reduced time I have bounced between a couple of games without completing any and the one I settled on took me over 90 hours to finish.

Skyrim

Bethesda’s huge fantasy RPG where the world of Skyrim is being overrun by Dragons and you are Dragonborn destined to save the world from their rampage.

I bought this game at launch and tooled around with it, but put it aside always meaning to get back into it. I tend to find with games that are this open and directionless that it takes me a little time to get my hooks into it.

Well that point happened about a month ago and i’ve been neck deep in Skyrim ever since.

The beauty of a world like Skyrim and it’s drawback is that you really can go anywhere and pick up missions. I end up wandering the wilderness doing odd quest here and there, but not really progressing anything. There are hundreds of forts and cave and towns etc to find and explore. The work is varied and vast and the new radient quest system means there is always stuff to do outwith the scripted missions. However these tend to become very samey after a while.

The main scripted missions follow similar lines to the previous Elder Scrolls games. Join one of the guilds and work your way up to the top, do some specially scripted side missions or tackle the main Dragon related quest head on.

I would certainly recommend doing a mixture of these approaches as well as just exploring and working on your skills in other ways to level yourself up or you will end up dying a huge amount.

Syrim builds on Oblivion and changes some of the skill progression stuff. In Skyrim you mainly level up by doing stuff. So if you were like me and preferred one handed combat and destuction magic then you are going to level up those skills more than any other. You could skip magic all together, choose to practice blacksmithing, Archery, sneaking, pickpocketing, illusion spells, maybe conjouring the options are nearly endless.

So for me it was usually Fireball in the left hand and an enchanted mace or sword in the other.

Worked my way up all the main side quests to become the Arch Mage of the Hogwarts, Head of the Thieves Guild, Master of the Dark Brotherhood, Leader of the Companions, Champion of the Stormcloak rebellion and finally Dragonborn saviour of the world.

Now that i’ve done all that I’ve nothing to do but some side quests, the never ending radiant quests and a ton of dungeons to clear out. I think I’ll still play the game now and again, build up my skills to higher levels, furnish all my houses, learn to smith better and cook a decent meal (However the wife makes a mean stew) I may even get some of the DLC (The wife is nagging me for kids), but for now I’m finished with the game 90 hours of my lafe has passed and I have for the most part enjoyed it.

It’s a game with a great deal of depth on the surface, there are a lot of ways that the game can be played or ways that your character can be built. However that diversity and openness also comes with flaws.

I never felt that the missions had much impact on your character or your surroundings. You are leader of everything, but nobody bats an eyelid about it. Join the rebellion and sack the city of Whiterun one mission then come back later and nobody really remembers. Kill characters in broad daylight and then escape from jail or just pay a palty fine and continue.

There is a distinct lack of consequenes.

That aside it is a great world to explore and it’s amazing the amount of stuff they allow you to do and the ways you can play the game. I had a lot of fun with it.

4/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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The Last of Us

Playtime 16hrs 35 mins on Normal.

The last couple of years Zombies have been the IN thing, they are everywhere in movies/TV and video games, and the last 12 months have produced two outstanding examples of the the genre.

Last years game of the year, “The Walking Dead”, and this years favourite for game of the year so far, “The Last of Us”. 

Superficially both games seem similar;
  *  both have male leads looking after a younger female in a post apocalyptic America,
  *  neither are really about the zombies and more about the characters
  *  Both have a similar deviant character
  *  Both are emotional rollercoasters

However they are functionally very different, while TWD is an adventure game that is all about choices, The Last of Us is a faily linear game that is more of a stealth survival game.

The Last of Us throws you into a world where the shit is about to hit the fan in a gut wrenching prologue sequence it introduces you to Joel, the main character of the game. It then jumps 20 years in the future. Mankind is surviving in quarantine zones, guarded by the military and scrounging for ration cards. Cities are overgrown, food is scarce and everyone is paranoid about getting infected. Joel is a smuggler, living on the edge of the law doing what it takes to survive so when someone hijacks his gun shipment he heads out with his partner to get it back. This bring him across the Fireflies (resistance movement) and ultimatly Ellie.

What transpires from there is best experienced for yourself. Needless to say the story is a rollercoaster ride of emotions with extreme highs and lows. The relationship between the characters in the game is superb, especially if you slow down and take in the surroundings and participate in all the chats and optional conversations that only happen if you are paying attention.

The story can be completely brutal at times, but it is paced to perfection. For every survival part or action part there are moments of just taking in the scenery and character development. Look out for the Jurassic Park moment near the end (and no I don’t mean zombie dinosaurs there is just a bit that struck me as similar to a scene in JP).

While the superb graphics, storyline and character stuff are all superb it would have been all for nothing if the gameplay didn’ match the rest of the game.

Fortunatly it does. This is mostly a survival stealth game so trying to play this like Nathan Drake will get you killed very very quickly.

Weapons, health and ammunition is very scarce in this game and some of the enemies are one hit kills. Entering an area you have to be realitivly cautious. Crouching, listening and sneaking past enemies. You can activate a listen skill that highlight where any enemie that is making sound is even through walls. This allows you to see where they are and where they are heading to allow you to go round them or do a sneak kill.

Most low level enemies can be grabbed from behind and either strangled or used as a human sheild. That works for infected and human enemies both, but don’t hold on too long or they will wriggle free. Don’t want to kill them, chuck a bottle or brick away from you to attract their attention and seak round them.

Higher enemies can be knifed from the back but that breaks your shiv so can only be used sparingly. Watch out for the clickers, blind as a bat and use echolocation to find you they can see you if you don’t move, but they will kill you with one bite if they get too close and it requires a shiv to do a silent kill on them. Taking out a room full of these things is very tactical and shit scary. Damn clicking noise is terryfing.

Weapons can be found in the game and range from pistols,to bows, to rifles and even a flamthrower, but there is limited ammo so using them is usually a last resort. Melee weapons can be picked up but break after a few hits. Everything is scarce.

My favourite part of the gameplay was the crafting. You search all your locations for scraps and useful items that can be crafted into a range of items. Usually there is choice involved in what you craft as certain items use the game loot. Health packs and Molotov Cocktails for example both use alocohol and rags. so you need to decide which is more useful to you. Smoke and Nail bombs both use explosives and do you want a shiv for those clickers or do you want to put a blade on that pipe you picked up.

Crafting done in realtime so keep an eye on where you are. In the middle of a firefight trying to craft a health pack before you die is nerve wracking.

The Last of Us is nerve wrecking, brutal uncompromising game that deserves to be played and deserves to join the pantheon of legendary games. A game that is not just a pretty face and a good story, but actually has some gripping and challenging gameplay attached.

Ok the game isn’t perfect. The enemies ignore your AI characters so Ellie can be running around like a loon, but unless they see you then they don’t really react. There are a couple of incredibly annoying Defend this location bits that seem out of place and at least one sniping section where you have unlimited ammo that flies in the face of the rest of the game.

However, Naughty Dog really have made 4 of the best games of this generation and have ended with the best one. I can’t wait to see what they do with the PS4.

5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Leisure Suit Larry Reloaded

Best thing I can say about this is that it is a good remake. That doen’t mean it is a good game in todays market, but that anyone who played the original will instantly feel comfortable playing the game.

I think it is a combination of the passage of time in both myself and the industry as a whole that completly dates this game.

They may have tarted up the graphics and sound, but the sensibilities, design and relevance of this game is about 20 years too late.

What was funny and edgy in the late 80’s, is no longer either funny or fun to play. The jokes are old and the interface clumsy and outdated. It is a chore to play at a time, becasue it takes too many clicks to do anything, there is no onscreen indication of what to look at and next to no indication of where to go or what to do next.

While this was the norm in the 80’s the world has moved on.

I think they had a chance to totally update the series for a new generation, but failed to capitalised on it, by doing a strict remake. Although there are some changes it’s not that material and what they added seemed to be to pander to the kickstarter backers. There are too many nods to the crowd, in game appearances and mentions.

Too short in gameplay and in laughs to be recommended. If you want the nostalgia factor play the VGA remake or the original.

2/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Walking Dead : 400 Days

DLC for an episodic game seems a bit redundant. Why isn’t it just another episode?

PR aside this is a welcome addition to the Walking Dead from Telltale (and it was free). Here it has you speed dating with some potential characters that will be in Season 2.

Set over 400 days after the apocalypse you select one of 5 storylines that each take about 15 minutes and play through the story of how they all interact with a truck stop at one point or another.

Of course it’s a mixed batch with some of the stories standing out more than others. My favourites were the two longest stories, one with the sisters and the Bonnie story. With so little time to get to know the characters I think the writers do a good-ish job of introducing you to these people. It’s not as powerful as controlling the one character for the entire episode or the bond with Clem. Some of the decisions have little weight as you are not invested enough in the characters to care if I kill them or not.

I was disappointed in one of the stories went right back to the prisoner transport during the outbreak cliche, which was already done in Season one.

This is just pure narrative goodness, a vingette of what if’s. I wish we got to see more of the consequences and that each section was longer, but it was free adn was there to tide us over until season two.

I enjoyed it, but it didn’t completly satisfy my appetite for more.

4/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2591

Joined 2004-01-18

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Remember Me

No not the dreadful 9/11 movie with that git from Twilight, but a video game for the PS3.

You play Nilin in 2084 Neo Paris. In this future everyone has a Sensen device that allows you to upload and share memories to a central server as well as use it to remove unpleasent or traumatic memories. Nilin is special in that she is a memory hunter that can steal momories directly from your head, but uniquly she can also remix you memories and reimplant them in your head.

At the start of the game you are imprisoned in the Bastille as a errorist, you memories are mostly erased, but you manage to escape with some help from your errorist buddies.

So begins the game. You mission to retrieve your memories and bring down Memorise the company that controls Sensen.

Remember Me is a 3rd person action game with 3 distinct parts to the game. Exploration of the scenery in a tomb raider fashion, fighting with groups of enemies and finally the memory remixes where you can replay scenes back and forward to subtly change them in your favour.

Although the game is extremely linear the 3 systems are well explained and generally fun to play.

The exploration usually invovled jumping and climbing on well marked platforms and ledges. Luckily enough the environment and graphical style is fantastic and probablt the best part of the game. Neo Paris is well imagined from the slums to the rich zones to the halls of memorise. Everything is tagged with ARG style signs and labels, Robots walk around or perform menial tasks and everything is bright and colourful.

The fighting section tries hard to be Batman, but unfortunatly isn’t as fluid or accessible. The system is built around the concept of combos that you design yourself. Do you want Square,Square,Square to just do damage or do you want it to do some damage and health at the same time. You can clearly see the tradeoffs as you play around with it. Go for all out attack and get big hits, build in some health regen and do less damage.

Usually I would go for different combos for health and damage, switching up when required. You can string them upto 8 button presses, but timing them while doging and fighting multiple enemies can get tricky so you end up with 3 or 4 3 button attacks that are quicker and easier.

Unfortunatly the fighting get s samey and dull pretty quickly and can end up being a drag in some of the longer fights towards the end.

Lastly is the biggest mistake this game makes. The remixes. They are fun to do rewinding and tweaking with points to get the outcome. Unfortunatly they are easier to complete than I had hoped and they are used sparingly (4 or 5 times in the game)

So overall it’s a great setting, fun story and environments, but it hints at something greater that it never gets to and it’s held back by a workable but dull fighting system.

3.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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