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3.5 stars

Average score of 117 user reviews

As inconsistent as they come, there's still schlocky fun to be had here if you can stomach its issues 0

Standing on a rooftop in Harran is surprisingly serene. This fictional Turkish city is not your usual post-apocalyptic playground, after all. Beyond the burnt-out vehicles clogging up its highways and the bellowing black smoke ascending on the horizon, there’s beauty to be found as I gaze out upon its deserted streets from my elevated perch. The clear blue skies, glistening waters of its harbour and the orange hues a setting sun casts upon its ramshackle storefronts and cobbled together li...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

With a lack of reinvention in its aging mechanics and tired mission design, Unity has more problems than a few bugs 0

I’ve had a scattershot relationship with Assassin’s Creed: Unity. I played through its first half during the initial week of its release before opting to put it down and take a self-appointed break. That lasted for roughly three weeks until I went back and finished it just a few days ago. Now, some of you may be wondering why the gap in-between, but if you know anything about Ubisoft’s latest neck-stabbing opus you can probably hazard a rather accurate guess as to why I felt th...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

With nebulous activities aplenty, Far Cry 4 is overwhelmingly tiring when not wowing you with its absurdity 1

Being a stranger in a strange land has always been one of the core conceits of the Far Cry series. As a foreigner in an unfamiliar country, you explore the landscape and learn about its varying cultures just as the protagonist does, helping to ground you in their shoes, the world and its story with a first person viewpoint that remains a constant throughout. With Far Cry 3, a dollop of insanity was layered atop this concept, one which Far Cry 4 brashly continues with a villain Ubisoft desperatel...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

As rigidly structured as ever, yet the exosuit freshens up a predictable formula 0

In a year where the biggest shooters both feature some sort of assisted double jump, it’s fitting that Call of Duty (the biggest of them all) should join in on the party, strapping on its technologically-advanced exosuit to dash and double jump its way to mobile parity. Call of Duty is no stranger to near-future warfare, of course; both Black Ops II and Ghosts meddled with such futuristic tomfoolery, but Advanced Warfare takes the series a step further with a leap to the 2050s. Any pretenc...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

While archaic and occasionaly clunky, The Evil Within is still a tense and memorable survival horror experience 0

“You have an odour of blood about you” chimes the nurse, but she doesn’t know the half of it. I’m safe now, though, in this… place. I’m still not quite sure what to make of it yet, drawn to its whereabouts, as I was, by Debussy’s Clair de lune – the Frenchman’s stirring composition acting as a beautiful beacon amidst this violent chaos.The aesthetic is that of a mental hospital – all locked cells; sterile, “smells like medicine&r...

4 out of 5 found this review helpful.

With the fearsome intelligence of its xenomorph and smart, stealth driven mechanics, Isolation is a harrowing triumph 0

HR Giger’s alien has often been dealt a disservice by videogames. Described as the “perfect organism” in Ridley Scott’s original movie, the videogame xenomorph has been anything but. This intelligent and merciless killer is regularly depicted as idiotic cannon fodder to be handily dispatched by a burst of plasma rifle fire, with videogames adopting the gun-toting marine approach of James Cameron’s Aliens over Scott’s cat-and-mouse struggle against a singular, ...

3 out of 4 found this review helpful.

A weak ground game and opaque control scheme mean EA Sports UFC is better to look at that play 0

EA Sports UFC certainly nails the look and atmosphere of a big UFC fight. As the camera circles the infamous octagon, Bruce Buffer takes his place in the centre and bellows his familiar introductions with all the verve and intensity you would expect from the big man. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg’s commentary is suitably excitable, too, reacting to brutal uppercuts and flying knees with manic enthusiasm along with the ohhs and ahhs of a deafening crowd.Just look at that beard techEach punch,...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The hacking differentiates it somewhat, but Watch Dogs is still a bread-and-butter open-world game with an abysmal story 0

Ever since its eye-opening debut at E3 a mere two years ago, Watch Dogs has been heralded as the true arrival of next-generation gaming. Ubisoft itself has done little to discourage this notion, barrelling full steam ahead on an unrelenting hype train, but the game that steps off at the end of the line isn’t the revolution many were hoping for. More than anything, it’s a reminder of generations past rather than gaming’s future. It borrows concepts from other Ubisoft franchises ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Hyperviolent old school shooting and a story worth caring about make The New Order a welcome surprise 0

Wolfenstein: The New Order opens with a turret sequence, an egregious use of modern action game’s most tired cliché. You’ll shoot Luftwaffe out of the skies as series mainstay B.J. Blazkowicz, leading a barrage of allied aircraft as they converge on General Deathshead’s ominous sanctuary. With a name like that he’s as obvious a villain as you’re ever likely to see; a disfigured and torturous Nazi scientist, Deathshead now leads the vile fascist regime in an a...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Derivative, predictable and exceedingly boring, Daylight is as cookie cutter a horror game as you're likely to find 0

The horror genre has experienced a revitalisation over the past few years, due in no small part to the high quality of games emerging from the independent scene and their popularity with shrieking YouTubers. With its Twitch integration and penchant for constant jump scares, Daylight feels like a game designed with the Pewdiepie’s of this world firmly in mind, delivering a platform for rigorous screams at a constant clip. Zombie Studios partly succeeds with this scare-a-minute approach but ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Titanfall gives us a new way to shoot the living hell out of each other in the most enjoyable way imaginable 0

On foot I am a nuisance. A pilot on the space frontier, I use my exceptional mobility to clamber from street level to rooftops in a matter of moments; my jet-boosted belt and wallrunning proving useful tools to escape the barrage of death awaiting at the hands of the Titans. These heavily armoured robots drop from orbit on a whim, armed to the teeth with explosive weaponry ripe for killing. But atop the rooftops there’s little these hefty mechs can do unless I’m careless. So I keep m...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Heinous stealth, bad writing and wasted potential. This is not the sequel anybody wanted 0

You are Dracula. The Prince of Darkness, the dragon – Dracul. A villainous vampire lord turned moody anti-hero in Mercury Stream’s follow-up to the surprisingly enjoyable Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and its less enjoyable handheld sequel Mirror of Fate. With a trusty whip in tow and a slew of vampiric blood-sucking abilities at your disposal, you’ll go toe-to-toe with Satan’s demonic horde, battling his cronies and gargantuan monstrosities alike as they invade the haples...

2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Its final act may be a dud, but Octodad's brand of wacky hilarity can't help but raise a smile or two 0

That Octodad: Dadliest Catch spells out its premise in its catchy opening theme song should come as little surprise – this is a ridiculous game. You wouldn’t expect developer Young Horses to evolve this absurd concept much beyond a simple, wacky tech demo, yet here we are. With a move so bold as to take the antics of a wildly gesticulating octopus and build an entire game around it,Octodad is so gutsy, so stupid and so utterly charming, that you can’t help but let it sweep you ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Banner Saga's gorgeous visuals draw you into a grim world full of tough choices 0

The sun no longer sets and the old gods are dead. As your caravan of men, women and giants trudges across another desolate speck of land they feel insignificant against the backdrop of this harsh climate. Looming, stark-white mountaintops swallow the sky above, while an ice cold wind carries snowflakes scurrying in its path, sweeping through a blazing inferno on the distant horizon. As you edge closer to the charred remains of a forlorn village a group of fleeing warriors come upon your caravan ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

There's a lot of fun to be had with Rivals but it also feels like it wastes its potential 0

Need for Speed: Rivals is the Dark Souls of racing games. Now I know what you’re thinking but just bear with me for a moment. In the fictional open-world of Redview County illegal street racing is king and the cops fight back with supercars of their own. Playing as a racer you accumulate “speed points” as you compete in various events, escape the attention of an unrelenting police force and cruise the world.As a next-gen showcase for expensive cars, Rivals doesn't disappointThe...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

While the series' dated mechanics are still wearing thin, the injection of more naval combat is incredibly enjoyable 0

Hands up if you’ve grown tired of the Assassin’s Creed franchise over the past few years. There’s probably a lot of you.After progressive sequels in the shape of Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood, the yearly cycle of historical hood-wearing and neck stabbing began to grow stale. Revelations didn’t introduce the kind of refreshing changes seen in the previous two sequels and Assassin’s Creed III was a dull, glitchy disappointment despite the occasional thrill...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

After Black Ops II, Ghosts can't help but feel like a step back in a series in need of some new ideas 0

When you sell as many units each year as Call of Duty you can make the argument that change isn’t needed. After the branching, futuristic narrative and occasional shift to a multi-approach combat model in Black Ops II, however, it wouldn’t be foolish to expect this sudden series progression to continue or at least maintain parity, especially with a new generation of consoles ripe for the taking. Instead, Call of Duty: Ghosts is made to look the fool, squandering its chance to evolve ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Stanley Parable's tangled narrative is full of laughs, creativity and subverted expectations 0

In The Stanley Parable you play as Stanley. Employee #427 is your designated title; another cog in the workforce machine at a big, drab office building. You sit at your desk day after day, week after week and year after year, hitting keys on your keyboard as the directions on your monitor instruct. You have no prospects and no options, while your employer demands much of you. You’re a mindless office drone, yet you’re content with this dreary life.From the mundane to something else e...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Beyond is Quantic Dream's best game to date, yet it's still a clumsy disconnecting experience the majority of the time 0

With Beyond: Two Souls, Quantic Dream has achieved the most realised version of its distinctive form of interactive storytelling yet. This is a vision the French developer has spent the past decade trying to perfect, cutting their teeth on both the deeply flawed Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain in an attempt to bridge the gap between movies and videogames.Beyond pushes the PS3's ageing hardware to its limitsLike their previous efforts, Beyond still indulges in the studio’s bad habits, with hokey s...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Shadow Warrior's frenetic pace and fantastically gory melee combat is refreshing, though it still eventually loses steam 0

Shadow Warrior is the type of game that gates level progression behind colour coded pairs. Destroy the green shrine to break the green seal, pick up the red keycard to open the red door, and so on and so forth. It’s a homage to both its namesake and 90s shooters, adopting old-school game design and imbuing it with a modern flavour that strikes a balance between two eras. It’s bound to polarise audiences but the mesh of old and new mostly works, carried by rewarding melee combat and a reimagining...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

That The Bureau is as enjoyable as it is despite its troubled development is a triumph, but muddled ideas clog it up 0

The feeling is that The Bureau: XCOM Declassified doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. It began development as a first person shooter, 2K seemingly choosing the most popular genre of the time to try and revive their strategic alien sci-fi series with a contemporary hook. Before long, however, that idea was scrapped and The Bureau became a cover-based third person shooter before eventually adopting a tactical focus after the success and popularity of Firaxis’ excellent turn-based strategy game...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

There's a lot to love here but its novel combat is hamstrung by an inconsistent control scheme, among other issues 2

With its brazen palette of vibrant colours, a hokey storyline and energetic cast of superheroes clad in ridiculous outfits, The Wonderful 101’s inspirations are fairly obvious. From Voltron to Kamen Rider, Ultraman and of course, the Power Rangers, Platinum Games’ latest feeds off of the Saturday morning TV show with loving panache.Your team of heroes starts small but it doesn't take long to expandDon’t be fooled by its whimsical surface, however. This is still a game born from the sprightly min...

3 out of 7 found this review helpful.

Blacklist isn't a revolution for the series but a refinement of all that has come before 0

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell series was once the number one choice for stealth aficionados, but with each subsequent success has come a desire to attract new audiences. Splinter Cell: Conviction was the most recent and exceedingly bold attempt to appeal to a more action-oriented crowd, abandoning the carefully structured and methodical pacing of series highlight Chaos Theory, and adopting a frenetic style where bullets reigned over the auspicious use of shadows. With Splinter Cell: Blacklist, newl...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

It may not be as instantly accessible as originally intended but Divekick is still brilliant fun for all 0

It’s all about that one moment. Everyone who’s ever played or watched a fighting game knows it. It’s the final round, both players have a slither of health left and the next move is pivotal; the difference between success and failure, win or lose. Whether it’s playing against a friend, competing in an online ranked match or watching one of the many tournament streams of the fighting game community, everyone knows that one moment. It’s the veritable height of tension, excitement, elation and angu...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A unique control scheme leads to a heartfelt binding of storytelling and mechanics like no other 0

Swedish developers Starbreeze Studios are certainly known for their creativity and lauded penchant for taking risks with established genres. A single-player co-operative story based adventure, however, is one innovation you probably wouldn’t have expected from them, or anyone else for that matter. It’s certainly a curious direction and one that gives Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons an inherent inquisitiveness. But it’s the accomplished elements that surround its core mechanical conceit that will dr...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Deadpool's comedy misses as much as it hits and its brand of button mashing combat is too safe to sufficiently enjoy 0

A delusional anti-hero with a love of casual misogyny, a serious case of ADD, multiple personalities and a constant habit of bulldozing straight through the forth wall. Deadpool is not exactly your typical run-of-the-mill Marvel superhero. You either love his brand of puerile, off-kilter humour and zany antics or loathe his annoying in-your-face demeanour; the Merc with a Mouth polarizes comic book fans quite like no other. Whichever side of the fence you fall on will dictate how much enjoyment ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An average ARPG made worse by unnecessary MMO elements and an egregious free-to-play model 1

From Star Wars: The Old Republic, to Rift and The Secret World, subscription-based MMOs transitioning to a free-to-play model has become a common occurrence over the past few years. With so many options and little variation between them it’s no wonder fewer and fewer people are willing to fork over a monthly fee. Marvel Heroes, on the other hand, has adopted a free-to-play model from the initial launch, but its MMO elements are more questionable than most. With David Brevik at the helm it’s more...

4 out of 7 found this review helpful.

A mixture of traditional survival horror and modern action, Revelations is a relative success for a dwindling franchise 0

The SS Queen Zenobia is a peculiar location for a modern Resident Evil game. Tight, claustrophobic corridors line the confines of this desolate vessel. Stranded at sea with no communication with the outside world, those aboard are trapped, alone and with no means of escape. Letters and documents are strewn throughout the ship’s vast interior, from the bridge through to its glorious casino and the depths of its hull. They tell tales of crewmates living their last days and of conspiracy theories s...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Builds on the Mortal Kombat framework to create its own identity, sharing a welcome parity of extensive content 0

When NetherRealm Studios revived Mortal Kombat, they not only aided games likeStreet Fighter IV in bringing about the fighting genre’s resurgence, but also offered a breadth of single player content the likes of which the genre had never seen. From the ingenious conceit that carried its lengthy story mode, to multifarious challenges and mini-games that numbered in the hundreds; all of it bolstered by an approachable fighting system that was easy to pick up and play but difficult to master.With I...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A continuation of fantastic annual refinement 0

Sony’s MLB: The Show series has become as synonymous in the build up to the upcoming baseball season as pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training. It rolls around every March, satiating fans of America’s favourite pastime with the best approximation of the sport available, adding new features and refining its mechanics year after year. With MLB 13: The Show, the focus is purely on the latter, foregoing vast new additions in favour of implementing smart new tweaks and redesigns to its g...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

God of War: Ascension struggles to find interesting situations for its refined, button-mashing combat 0

God of War: Ascension feels like the by-product of a generation that has gone on for far too long. After God of War III wrapped up the trilogy, Ascension attempts to bleed the well of Greek mythology dry even further. The third prequel in the series - and first not on a handheld device - Kratos’ latest violent adventure could be best described as unnecessary without causing too much fuss. With Zeus and his holy pals put on the backburner till later in the timeline, our angry antihero feels less ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An awfully banal corridor shooter that probably only exists because it carries the Aliens name 0

Aliens: Colonial Marines has been a long time coming. After suffering through development hell for a number of years and eventually cancellation, Gearbox Software leaped into action and took the reins to finally see this troubled product through to completion. A few years and numerous delays later it’s finally available to play, aping the similar path Duke Nukem: Forever took to release. Unfortunately, however, the similarities between the two games don’t end there; the lengthy development culmi...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Bringing relevancy back to an inconsistent franchise 0

When it comes to rebooting a beloved franchise it’s probably best to go all out, balls to the wall. The Internet’s furore may cast doubt over any such tactic, but in the case of Ninja Theory’s reimagining of Devil May Cry it’s a chance to breathe new and exciting life into an inconsistent franchise. A Western take on an inherently Japanese genre, but one that injects its own ludicrous style to proceedings, maintaining only the broadest character traits as it shakes the foundation of Dante’s demo...

1 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Dramatic changes offset any sign of diminishing returns 0

Ever since the groundbreaking success of 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Activision’s flagship franchise has maintained a familiar formula for prosperity, selling gangbusters year after year despite a lack of substantial iteration. Going from Infinity Ward to Treyarch, its annual release cycle has relied on an expansive multiplayer suite and a campaign geared towards linear paths and constant, bombastic set pieces. The Call of Duty series is the archetypal blockbuster video game, but its ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Striking imagery and evocative words make this one to play 0

Kentucky Route Zero’s visual splendour draws you in from its first scene to its last. As the opening title screen fades from black, the striking imagery revealing an abstract gas station doused in the setting sunlight cannot be overstated. As the orange hues disappear beyond the hilltops this moonlit tale begins in earnest; a mysterious and dream-like journey along a pastoral path deep in rural America. It’s beautiful vector art style and traditional point-and-click trappings invite an audience,...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Solid entry, but uncharacteristic issues hold it back 0

Leaving the Old World behind and moving the action to 18th-century America,Assassin’s Creed III’s setting is a clear indication of the forward progress the series has decided to take after two years of retreading old ground. The relative side stories of Brotherhood and Revelations were great games in their own right but ACIII is the first full sequel since the series became an annual fixture. It’s big, ambitious and final, concluding the overarching tale of Desmond Miles while telling the story ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The BFG Edition makes little sense as a PC game 0

As a console game, Doom 3: BFG Edition makes perfect sense. Not only does it come complete with the seminal Doom and Doom II, expansion pack Resurrection of Eviland the newly-released Lost Mission, but it updates Doom 3 in the process, providing console gamers with a release more akin to its PC brethren than that of the downgraded Xbox port. Look at it purely as a PC release, however, and it can only be described as superfluous at the very least. A misguided venture that will do little to help r...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Incremental improvements, but more Borderlands is always good 0

9! 24! 58! 100! 500! 1000! Critical! Is there a better visual barometer for satisfaction in videogames than damage numbers popping out of an enemy’s bullet-riddled head? The original Borderlands revelled in this instant gratification, complementing this core conceit with a ‘bazillion’ guns, tight shooting, addictive loot and a droll sense of humour. There’s little wonder why it was such a surprise hit back in 2009, and just as unsurprising that we’re back on the bombastic world of Pandora for Bo...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Builds on its predecessor, but not always in the right way 0

It wouldn’t be hyperbolic to suggest that Transformers: War for Cybertron is the best Transformers game to date. That doesn’t necessarily speak of its quality since the popular robotic toyline and multi-billion dollar movie franchise doesn’t exactly have the strongest line-up when it comes to video game tie-ins, but that’s also not to say War for Cybertron is purely the best of a bad bunch - there’s just definite room for improvement. Fortunately High Moon Studios is back with the sequel,Transfo...

2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Simple and derivative, yet web slinging remains a constant joy 0

Nine months after the release of Spider-Man: The Edge of Time and Beenox has already developed the latest in a long line of Activision published Spider-Man games. This quick turnaround and the justified animosity surrounding movie tie-ins leavesThe Amazing Spider-Man little hope of avoiding apprehension and a glut of disdain for what should be another forgettable entry in the superhero franchise. So it comes as a genuine surprise that the overworked Beenox should be commended for their effort he...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.