Impressions – Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Closed Beta

For a while now, I’ve been planning to do a piece, or rather a tribute, to the original Mirror’s Edge. Needless to say, I’m a big fan, and am surprised that it took so long for EA to green light a sequel. Well, I guess this isn’t a sequel; it’s a reboot. And even if it weren’t, it definitely has a different feel than the original Mirror’s Edge. Anyway, let’s dig right in. No screenshots, since Origin lacks screenshot functionality for some ungodly reason (and the screenshots I took had other stuff in the background), but just know the game looks amazing. Continue reading “Impressions – Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Closed Beta”

Unravel Review – Pulling at the Heartstrings

Developer: Coldwood Interactive
Platforms: PC (reviewed), Xbox One, PS4
Date of play: 9/02/16 – 10/02/16
Play time: 5 hours

Unravel is more known by this point for how adorable its E3 presenter is than the game itself. From his shaking hands, to his stuttering, to the fact that he brought along a doll he made on a camping trip with his family, the game seemed to represent the opposite of everything embodiment of corporate evil that is EA. But all that cuteness aside, how does the game hold up? Pretty well, it turns out. Unravel is a touching game that, while a little rough in level design, makes up for it with a touching story, gorgeous environments and a beautiful soundtrack. Continue reading “Unravel Review – Pulling at the Heartstrings”

Rise of the Tomb Raider Review – Not So Much ‘Rising’ As Cautiously Moving Up a Step

Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Platforms: PC (reviewed), Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 (not yet released)
Date of play: 29/01/16 – 8/02/16
Play time: 16 hours

As a franchise, Tomb Raider faded from most gamers’ memories in the last console generation. Sure, games released on those consoles, but nobody really cared. And then the 2013 reboot happened and brought Lara Croft back to the forefront of gaming. While controversial for a number of reasons, such as an increased focus on combat over platforming and a grittier story, I liked it. It was pretty, it was fun, it was engaging, and had high production values. Basically Uncharted for those of us who don’t play UnchartedRise of the Tomb Raider is more of the same. While it’s not an outright sophomore slump, I don’t get the feeling Crystal Dynamics are giving it their all after they aced their first year. Continue reading “Rise of the Tomb Raider Review – Not So Much ‘Rising’ As Cautiously Moving Up a Step”

Assassin’s Creed Unity Review – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, Now Stuck in Cover

Finished?: Yes
Play date: January, 2015
Note: I put this off for a while because of uni, so I forgot to record play time and specific dates, my bad.

 

I know I’m late to the party, but I didn’t get a next-gen (hate that word, but nobody uses the actual generation numbers) console until January, so sue me. But because of that, I think I can go into Unity judging it on its merits. I’d heard about all the bugs, the frame rate and the unfortunate implications concerning gender. I knew the problems, but hey, as long as I got new mocap for the protagonist and the fluid gameplay from previous games, I could look past those problems, right? No. Continue reading “Assassin’s Creed Unity Review – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, Now Stuck in Cover”

The Franchise and Me – Assassin’s Creed

I plan on looking at Assassin’s Creed: Unity, but since I recall hearing in the Co-Optional Podcast (great podcast, watch it!) that it’s easier to trust someone’s word when you know more about their history with a particular game or genre, I’ve decided that, before reviewing a game in a franchise that I haven’t covered before (read: any franchise, since I just started doing this), that I’ll first give a brief overview of my history with the franchise: what I liked and didn’t like; and my standing on the franchise overall. That way, it’s easier to see if I have a bias I forgot to disclose in any way, or if someone would even find my opinion valuable. If they thought AC3 was bad and I thought it was good, and they vehemently disagree with why, they know they can’t really trust my opinion. I was going to do this at the beginning of the Unity review, but it got pretty out of control, so I decided to make it its own separate thing. With that in mind, I give you my history with Assassin’s Creed. Continue reading “The Franchise and Me – Assassin’s Creed”