Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Shadowrun Returns – Dragonfall

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Genre: RPG

Out Now

Publisher/Developer: Harebrained Schemes

This offering from Harebrained Schemes and the original creator of Shadowrun, Jordan Weisman, is a lot more than it first appears. With an in-depth storyline a rich sci-fi/transhuman/fantasy mash up ethos comes this Shadowrun Returns. It is a return to the heyday of RPGs. With a beautiful interface, graphics and fluid turn-based single player gameplay. It is a real treat for anyone is seeking a return to the RPGs of old.

As one would expect, this sci-fi/fantasy universe role player has all the elements needed to engage the player and allow almost total immersion into its world and the story. This is not an easy feat in today’s environment of “no scopes” and “headshots”.

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Warning if you’re not a fan, then avoid this one. The game offers heavy story interaction, complete and party character development. But also, turn based tactical combat. You will die a lot. For those new to games like this, be warned there is a huge chance that you will rage quit and give up all today. Running and gunning is not an option nor is aim wasting.

Not to get too in-depth, as the story is a huge part of what makes this game, but the world is set in post-2012 world that has been ended as part of the Mayan prophecy and reborn from the return of magic to the world and a huge dragon. This new magic has merged with the technology of our world giving birth to the Matrixa network. Think the internet but directly accessible by the human brain. There is also a healthy dose of dystopian lore. i.e. all governments are replaced by megacorporations that seek to feed off the general populous.

This playable world is alive with humans, elves, dwarfs, orks, mages and so on. It is a standard by the numbers RPG character roster. But the cool thing about this is that you can upgrade and fully customize the appearance, stats etc. of your protagonist. You play as Shadowrunners. These are pawns of the megacorporations carrying out hits and other missions that are outside the law.

There is a huge learning curve and that threw me at the beginning; although this is something that plagues RPGs it is really unforgiveable here as you need to play it to experience the story. They go hand in hand and isolating a non-hardcore gaming audience is both annoying and dumb.

The grapics are really lush overall, but the combat events are the poorest aspect of the game and were it fails down. They play like Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic II and that was nearly a decade ago. I understand that it’s a PC RPG and that no matter what they could do, on this scale, the game’s combat would always look ropy and it does.

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Shadowrun Returns has been hailed as one of the best stories of recent years, even ranking beside Dragon Age and KOTOR, I wouldn’t go that far. But it is a very enjoyable game. If you’ve a few hours to kill and want to explore, kill and scout a magical sci-fi future then this is for you.

Rating: 7.5

Review: Fez (PlayStation Vita)

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If you’ve followed the adventures of the developer behind Fez over the past year, it would a viewing on par with a soap drama; well, maybe not but it certainly was dramatic. After a sequel to Fez was announced, eventually a few online spats led to the developer Phil Fish cancelling the game and saying he’s leaving video games. While, nothing has really been said on the matter since, at least Fez has made its way to other platforms since and now the mind-bending platformer has made its way to PlayStation Vita and, after some time with the game, its rightful place.

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Review: Towerfall Ascension

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It was the talk of the Ouya, its saving grace a lot of people said. The insanely tense Towerfall was the only good thing most people had to say about the Ouya upon release saying that it’s the one game that will drive sales. It wasn’t took long before news broke that Towerfall will be coming to other platforms, essentially putting an arrow into the Ouya and diminishing any reason to own the system any more. Now, Towerfall Ascension has come to the PlayStation 4 to ruin friendships with its multiplayer mayhem.

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Review: Dead Nation (PlayStation Vita)

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Dead Nation launched on PlayStation 3 in 2014 and eventually made its way to PlayStation 4 earlier this year as an upgraded version of the game titled “Dead Nation Apocalypse Edition” that was mostly visual upgrades with some little extras. For a while now, a PlayStation Vita version has been talked about and now suddenly its available and the results are rather good, even if its possibly the weakest version of the three.

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Review: Killzone Shadow Fall – Insurgent Pack

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Killzone Shadow Fall has decided to take a different route with how it handles downloadable content. Rather than charge for map packs, Guerrilla Games and Sony have decided to make all the map packs free and instead charge for extras like new weapons, classes, and little extras. However, due to the current state of online multiplayer, the Insurgent Pack isn’t quite up to the potential it could have.

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Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

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Blizzard have been on the receiving end of hate being sent their way ever since Diablo III launched in May 2012. From the always online, to the real money auction house, fans have felt as though Blizzard forgot about what makes Diablo great. To their credit though, they haven’t been ignoring their fans, or their criticisms. Over the past two years, the team have been tweaking everything to make the game it seems fans have wanted. The result of that back and forth is Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, the first expansion pack for Diablo III. The package is more than you may expect from an expansion pack and the result may be the Diablo III game you’ve always wanted.

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