First Person Tagged Articles RSS Feed | First Person RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Infinite Warfare is Finally Out....But Did it Beat Battlefield 1? Tue, 08 Nov 2016 07:40:46 -0500 Timothy J. Ralston (TehMadCatter)

Now that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is out, it is finally time for us to get past all the debate about whether Battlefield 1 or Infinite Warfare was better. Although the question will spark once again as next year's annual installments start gearing up for release, for right now we can definitively say which 2016 shooter took the cake for the year. 

Let's consider...

The original hype for Infinite Warfare fell fast after the release of the first trailer showed at E3 2016, and had fans of Call of Duty feeling bored with the new concept for the game. Fans said it felt too much like Destiny or Halo rather than a Call of Duty game, and complained to no end.

That was until the trailer for Battlefield 1 was released later that day. At that moment, all of the hype that was originally meant for Infinite Warfare went towards DICE’s Battlefield 1. Fans of Call of Duty turned to Battlefield 1, leaving Infinity Ward in the dust.

But now that Infinite Warfare is out, did it somehow manage to beat Battlefield 1?

While review sites and reviews themselves say different things, it does seem like the fans really had good things to say about Infinite Warfare. Major review conglomerates like Metacritic and GameSpot gave it a 7.5 -- a much different score compared to the other entries they reviewed.

Battlefield 1, on the other hand, was given praise and fantastic reviews upon release, and is still given the credit the game earned. Looking over the ratings from GameSpot and Metacritic shows that players and critics rated the game higher overall than CoD fans rated theirs. 

Ratings aside, launch day issues are something else to consider. And while there were some glitches in gameplay for Battlefield 1, nothing compared to the compatibility issues Windows 10 buyers experienced with Call of Duty's multiplayer. Players who had bought the game through the Windows store were unable to connect with players on Xbox Live servers, and were even barred from playing alongside other PC gamers who'd purchased the title on Steam. For that reason and the slew of bugs that players reported at the outset, Infinite Warfare took a serious hit. 

And while people say the multiplayer is as fun as they've come to expect in a Call of Duty game, many fans are having a problem with the forgettable campaign and “silly” zombies mode. 

Taking all the reviews and launch day issues into account, what did players really get for the price tag of these two games?

Infinite Warfare gave us the remastered Modern Warfare in addition to its base game, but it felt as if Infinity Ward was trying too hard to make players purchase the game at a higher price (and extra $20 tacked onto the normal $60 AAA price tag), rather than giving players the option to purchase Modern Warfare Remastered separately in case they had no interest in the new installment.

But that doesn't mean EA is off the hook just yet. The company is known for having unreasonable amounts of DLC, making games like Battlefield 4 and Star Wars: Battlefront feel incomplete. But at least EA is giving its fan the option to purchase DLCs for Battlefield 1 separately.

On a related note, the sales for Battlefield 1 were incredible. But the sales for Infinite Warfare didn’t do as well, selling only 50% of what Black Ops 3 did in the UK. This could be quite a problem for Infinity Ward going forward.

All in all, it seems like Battlefield 1 truly won the fight this time. But that doesn’t mean Infinite Warfare is the worst game this year by any measure. This entry in the long-running Call of Duty series could just be a drawback that will be learned from as Infinity Ward goes on to make more games in the franchise's future. Perhaps something like the (fictitious) cover above...?

If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more on Infinite Warfare or Battlefield 1, check out GameSkinny for everything gaming!

Clustertruck Review: Trucking Chaotic Fun Wed, 28 Sep 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Clustertruck is a first-person 3D platformer, and the latest game developed by Landfall Games, and published by tinybuild. It is a fast-paced and challenging platformer, with controls and high-speed pacing akin to a 3D Super Meat Boy, where you jump between moving trucks whose fated actions are wholly unpredictable, all without touching the floor or walls even once. And people say there are no new ideas.

The bread-and-butters of Clustertruck  

Clustertruck is a prime example of easy to learn but hard to master. The base mechanics are jumping, running, and not running when necessary. There are also a variety of purchasable abilities that will make the game easier, as well as deepen and drastically change up the gameplay, all available for purchase between levels using the points you earn for performing tricks and beating levels. These range from basic yet helpful additions such as a double jump and a brief slow-motion power, to ridiculous overhauls of the gameplay, including one that changes the gameplay to imitate the recently released Superhot, making it so time only moves when you do.

Super. Truck. Super. Truck.

But regardless of what abilities you may use, no matter how you play Clustertruck, you will need to fully learn it's basics in order to master the art of flying through the air and hopscotching across the sea of speeding trucks.

Clustertruck is a game that is purely about gameplay. There is no story of any kind, or any context as to why you are jumping between the seemingly never-ending supply of trucks, let alone how they got where they are. You're just given a basic tutorial at the start, then you're let loose into the fast-paced and nonsensical world of truck-jumping laid out for you, and expected to adapt under pressure as the game gradually becomes more difficult over time.

There are 9 worlds in the main campaign, all in vastly different locations with different obstacles, with 10 levels per world, totaling at 90 levels. The difficulty is real in Clustertruck, with precise jumps and split-second timing constantly being asked of the player, but as with any game, your mileage may vary. I for one found the game consistently challenging with a solid sense of progression, only getting truly frustrating in the last two worlds, and ended up beating the main campaign in about 5 hours. 

However short the game may be, it's packed with variety, and rarely ever repeats itself with level structure, theme, or any obstacles. Some worlds will have giant hammers knocking the trucks off of cliffs, while some have missiles or lasers coming from various places, and some even have tractor beams that push and pull the player. Sandy dunes, slopes, and icy surfaces will affect the trucks movement as well, so even the changing terrain will change up the platforming, even if the player can never touch it.

A common, yet still exciting, occurrence in Clustertruck.  

In addition to this, it's rather difficult to play the same level the same way more than once, due to the variables of the game's physics. Both the trucks and the player character operate on a physics system, which causes terrain to affect the trucks' movement, as well as making memorizing patterns next to impossible due to numerous variables. This forces the player to act quickly under pressure and get creative with their solutions. It also allows for the player to manipulate the trucks a small amount, depending on where they land on them, or where they stand on them. This keeps the game consistently fresh and surprising, alongside the new, and frequently added, obstacles in each level. 

Aesthetically speaking, the game is quite pleasant looking. The graphics aren't pushing boundaries by any means, but it all looks very distinct and smooth with solid colors and clean shadows, and just the right amount of motion blur during the fastest and most intense sections. The music is fitting as well, but while I would call it good music, I didn't find it very memorable. I simply wouldn't be able place most tracks with the worlds they belonged to. 

So, what's here in terms of additional content?

Clustertruck's content aside from the main campaign seems to have the intent of creating a well-supported community. The game features a level editor that allows players to create and share their own levels, as well as an online leaderboard for the best time on each level, and built in Twitch-integration for online streaming purposes. There is also a ghost racing mode, where the player can attempt to beat a developer ghost player to the end of a level. As well as achievements to unlock, including one for beating the game using no abilities for those seeking a true challenge.

What kind of game is this really, and who will enjoy it?

What you see is what you get with Clustertruck. If you go in expecting a slew of challenging and creative levels about jumping across trucks, that's exactly what you're going to get, but if you aren't the kind of person who cares to replay levels for a better score, you should look elsewhere. While Clustertruck is certainly a very fun and exhilarating game on the first play through, it is also clearly a game with replay-value and in mind; where any additional content will come from the player's own experimentation, or the community's user-made content.

Aside from this, there's little to complain about in Clustertruck, as what it brings to the table is done rather well. Just understand that it can be truly difficult at times, with the final level taking me over 30 minutes and many deaths to complete.


At just $15, Clustertruck has just the right amount of content and creativity to join the ranks of other inexpensive indie hits, and the unique premise and teeth-clenchingly tense gameplay alone make it worth the purchase. If you're a fan of 3D platformers, and want to see a rare example of a first-person platformer done well, or just a really good platformer in general, then you owe it to yourself to play Clustertruck. It's fast, intense, and off it's trucking rocker.

You can watch the official gameplay trailer for Clustertruck down below:

Review copy provided by developer, Landfall Games.

Physics-Based 3D Platformer ClusterTruck Currently in Free Alpha Thu, 08 Sep 2016 10:01:45 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

ClusterTruck, an upcoming first-person 3D platformer being developed by Landfall Games, and published by tinyBuild, currently has a free alpha build available for download.

ClusterTruck is a storyless physics-based platformer based solely around jumping across moving trucks in order to get to the end of each level without touching the ground once. The movement and the behavior of the trucks is altered slightly based on where and how you land on them, which creates a system where pattern memorization in order to get to the end of a stage is not an option. This makes the game a fairly unique take on a challenging platformer.

The free alpha build of ClusterTruck can be downloaded from Alpha Beta Gamer, and the game can be wish-listed on Steam as of right now, with a planned release for PC, Mac, and Linux coming soon.  

You can watch a recent trailer for ClusterTruck right here:

No Man's Sky Review: The Illusion of Depth Wed, 17 Aug 2016 21:13:25 -0400 Clayton Reisbeck

 After two years of anticipation and secrecy, No Man's Sky released to the public on Tuesday. A game that started as a labor of love project by a small team from England, turned into a gaming juggernaut after being funded by Sony. Sony took this indie game and marketed it as this AAA blockbuster that would be one of the defining games for its console. People ate that all up. The hype train for this game has been one of the largest I've seen in my time playing games. So does it live up to the hype? In my opinion, it doesn't.

No Man's Sky is a first person, procedurally generated, open-world, crafting and survival game. You play as a no-face, no-voice explorer who regains consciousness after crash landing on an alien world. From there, the game shows you your multi-tool (gun/space-pickaxe) and sends you on your way to collect items to fix your ship. While wandering around, you may run into relics from one of the three alien cultures. Of course you'll find a series of different elements that you can mine to craft items from the inventory menus. You may find some plants and animals that you can scan with your analysis visor to 'discover' that plant or animal and get paid to do it. You even get to name it! Its possible you'll stumble across some outpost that one of the species has set up at various points on the planets you land on. You can even find distress signals that lead you to a new ship that, should you repair it, can wander off back into space to continue that journey to the galactic core. 

That is quite the list of things to do. My issue with them is that they all feel so menial. In my experience with the game, I felt like I was never able to be satisfied with what was going on. It was a constant push to get to the next landmark.  This may be what some are wanting out of the game. For me, it felt like I was just gathering resources to craft upgrades for items that would allow me to gather resources to upgrade items etc. It's a never-ending loop and that loop got pretty tedious to me after a few hours. 

I think the biggest issue on why I just couldn't break from the tediousness of this game is that there is no narrative or substantial objective to follow. The only real objective you have (which is honestly a pretty soft objective) is to get to the center of the galaxy. I would have really been more intrigued with this if there was some real reason that is made clear on why you need to get there. There are some things that talk about that journey to the galactic core but it's never anything really engaging.

Inventory management is a huge component in this game. At the start you have very little space to work with and it stays like that until you find some upgrades to your suit and finally acquire a larger ship. To help combat this, there is the ability to transfer items in your exosuit's inventory to your ship's inventory. Unfortunately, that space is also limited and was still a hassle to deal with.

The real struggle with the inventory system was that I would be finding all these cool new technology upgrades n that I would have loved to install, but when you install a new piece of tech, it takes up a precious inventory space. Early-game, this is a real problem because you're already struggling with keeping inventory space open so sacrificing a slot for a suit upgrade usually isn't worth it. If they want to keep it a limited upgrade space, they can take the Dead Space route and have a technology upgrade grid where you only have so many slots to upgrade and leave it separate from the inventory. 

The game also has a problem with feeling kind of lifeless. In this galaxy of 18 quintillion planets, there are only 3 races of aliens that you can interact with (4 if you want to count the sentinels), and all of them feel like they are just reskins of the same thing. Each interaction with them feels like a choose your own adventure scenario. All interactions with aliens are a text-based conversation that give two or three options for response. This leads to all the interactions blurring together. I've even had instances of running into the same interaction with multiple aliens.

I will say that learning their languages is pretty cool. Littered on the planets you discover are these alien relics. Each one usually gives you a new word for one of the three alien races in the game. Sometimes, you will get an item or some other boon that can help you in the game. I found that most of my time with the game was hunting down the different alien relics so I could better talk with the aliens. The issue with this is that you only learn one word at a time from a word giving source. Even the big monoliths, plaques and ruins only give you one word. I think that it's fine for the knowledge stones to give you one word a piece, but I feel like an opportunity was missed to make the bigger relics mean something more.

The lifelessness also stems from the procedurally generated galaxy that you play in. 18 quintillion planets is quite a large play area, but when you hand over that play area to a complex algorithm that only has a handful of resources to build things from, it starts to look pretty same-y after a while. It was supposed to be that no two things will look alike. While technically this is correct, I still ran into many things that looked familiar. After a while, you'll just be landing on planets that are just a re-skin of a planet you had visited earlier, possibly with a minor variation in terrain. That and the fact that the pool of resources you have to collect is actually pretty small. The same key elements are on all of the planets. There are some unique elements that you can find, but that's really the only difference. The biggest difference between new worlds is what kind of damage you are having to keep an eye on while wandering. 

Ship travel is a pretty good part of this game and, thankfully, it feels pretty good. I did have an issue at the very start of the game with ship-flight feeling pretty sluggish, but either I adjusted or the very next ship that you upgrade to gives everything a much better feel while flying. The only time I ran into issues flying was while I was in combat. To me, ships move too slowly to feel like I'm really in the middle of an epic space battle. I spent more time trying to get behind the enemy ship or even in front of them to get a decent shot off. I think if some in-flight defensive maneuvers were able to be put in, it would feel a little more balanced. 

Combat as a whole really needs help. On-planet combat is a real hassle. Should you do something that alerts the sentinels (the planet's security force), you are thrown into a combat with them where the easier solution is almost always to run away. The gunplay feels pretty bad to me. And again, I understand that this isn't supposed to be a combat-centric game, but if you're going to put in a mechanic where combat is something you wish to pursue, I feel that you should have it be worthwhile. There is no aim down sights. The closest thing you get to that is using the analysis visor which just zooms in the screen leaving your gun off to the side. You can still fire and it makes things a little more tolerable but it all around feels bad.

The biggest selling point of the game was the ability to discover and name things you found in the game. Your discoveries and names would be saved to a global database that everybody else's game would be linked to so if they came to a planet that you discovered, the names you gave everything would be what they saw. They also couldn't name anything that you had found. This is cool for a little bit, but after a while it too falls in to the realm of the tedious as constantly thinking of original names to give everything gets to be a hassle. At that point you just leave it with the name the game gave it. 

I would be remiss to not talk about the stability issues I ran into while playing. For a good while, everything ran pretty smoothly. The biggest complaint I had was the ugly haze that would appear as the game was generating the terrain as you saw it. But then I started having issues with the game crashing. At one point, I was trying to warp to the next system and the game crashed four times before finally deciding to load the new system. I've also seen my roommate not be able to start up the game on a few occasions. The game just gets to the title screen then crashes. Now this was just in my experience and may not be what you encounter should you play the game.

In conclusion, I feel like this game suffers from the illusion of depth. There are a lot of things to do in the game yes, but when it comes down to it, they are all shallow. There is no deeper life to the game, in my opinion. The only thing that kept me vaguely intrigued and active were the languages of the different alien races. This even got tedious after a while. I feel that this game could be the basis for something much bigger in the future. Heck I think it would be great if this team was brought on to something that could give it a substantial story that could take place across this giant galaxy and it would feel fantastic.

If you're into the whole crafting/survival scene right now and are looking for something in that vein, this game will be right up your alley. But if you're looking for something with some depth and is engaging, I'd have to recommend looking somewhere else. 


Developer: Hello Games

Publisher: Sony

Format: PS4 (reviewed), PC

Released: August 9th, 2016 (PS4), August 12th, 2016 (PC)

Copy purchased by reviewer's roommate

Travel to Castle Drachenfels in Warhammer: The End Times Vermintide's newest DLC Thu, 26 May 2016 05:05:47 -0400 Joshua Potter

It's been a great month for the Warhammer Fantasy franchise. New updates for their successful first-person action game Vermintide have been released just a few days after the launch of strategy franchise Total War's own contribution to the universe. After a lengthy countdown, players are now being treated to the full details of the patch released today.

Warhammer: The End Times - Vermintide is taking its heroes to a new realm, far from the Ubersreik where players have been staving off the invasion of the vicious ratfolk known as Skaven. This new realm brings all sorts of goodies to revitalize the game, including new weapons for two of the heroes, as well as new maps, mechanics and achievements.

The two new weapon types will be an Elven glaive for the Wood Elf Kerillian, and a semi-automatic crossbow for Victor, the Witch Hunter. These weapons will only drop in the new levels, so you need to pick up the DLC to add them to your collection.

The three new maps all have a correlating story, taking the heroes on a journey to find out what it is the Skaven are planning to do in this new realm. Players will venture through the hollowed Castle Drakenfels, prevent the Skaven from opening new portals at Summoner's Peak, and venture deep underground in the Dungeons of Drakenfels.

These will also require players to use the new item torches, which will require one hand to hold to allow you to better navigate the deep darkness introduced in these maps, as well as help keep an eye out for deadly spike traps also added in the new areas you will have to explore if you wish to gain new riches.

The most exciting aspect of this update is developer Fat Shark showing a willingness to add entirely new components to their game. Not satisfied with just adding weapons to the game that will scale the player, they have also added newer challenges in the form of darkness and traps to keep challenging us. This has us asking...what can we expect in the future? Will they ever add new races for us to fight, or new enemy Skaven types? There has always been a demand for a multiplayer addition as well, similar to Left 4 Dead's survivor vs. zombie gameplay. What matters for now is that the game is getting a much needed update. One that hopefully portends to a bright future for a well made game.

No Man's Sky launches next month - Prepare to get lost in space Thu, 12 May 2016 03:18:42 -0400 Eric Levy

No Man's Sky will be launching on PlayStation 4 and PC on June 21, 2016 -- just over one month away.  Let that soak in for a second. In one month, we will be playing what is arguably the largest and most ambitious game of this generation -- if not all time.

Just in case you have been living underground or just returned from an alternate dimension where games cease to exist, No Man's Sky is a first-person open world survival game set in space. Well, it's set everywhere really. The "goal" of No Man's Sky is to make it to the center of the universe -- and that requires a lot of space travel, planetary exploration, and adaptation to your surroundings.  You could land on a planet with sub-zero temperatures and need to burrow your way underground in order to find shelter from the cold. You could land on a planet inhabited by carnivorous lifeforms hungry for their next meal.  Hell, you could not land on any planets and rob space stations across multiple galaxies and become the most notorious space pirate in all the galaxies.  

The possibilities No Man's Sky presents the player with are nearly endless, with 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 (that's 18 QUINTILLION) planets to explore. Any players hoping to make it to the center of the universe may need to devote a bit of time to the cause. For more fun numbers and statistics regarding No Man's Sky, check out this article by Red Bull.

No Man's Sky launches June 21, 2016 for PlayStation 4 and PC.  Will you make it to the center of the universe?

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Closed Beta Begins Next Week Thu, 14 Apr 2016 14:22:52 -0400 MrDanielPrice

The upcoming closed beta for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst will begin on April 22, DICE have announced.

Design Director Erik Odeldahl wrote the following in a blog post on the game’s official website:

“It’s an exhilarating feeling, being this close to the launch of Mirror’s Edge™ Catalyst. The team here at DICE has made a true leap of faith, and with the upcoming Closed Beta we intend to make the landing as smooth as possible.”

The beta will last for five days, ending on April 26, and will include “several” main missions, side missions and “other optional content.”

Odeldahl notes that the closed beta is not representative of the final product and is intended to gather player feedback on the first-person action game, in addition to testing its Social Play and online systems.

Those who are lucky enough to be selected to participate in the beta and signed up to be a Frontrunner should expect their code to arrive via email on April 22, while others will get theirs the day after on April 23.

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is set to release on May 24, 2016 in North America and May 26, 2016 in Europe for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Hardcore Henry, the videogame that you watch (film review) Thu, 07 Apr 2016 15:01:17 -0400 QuintLyn

My first introduction to Hardcore Henry was the official trailer released several months back. At first glance I thought I was looking at a new game -- perhaps something along the lines of Mirror's Edge. It took me a few minutes to realize it was not. Once I realized what I was looking at I was intrigued -- the film looked like it could be fun. But like many gamers who lived through the first person perspective scene in DOOM -- and the myriad of shaky-cam films of the late '90s - early '00s, I was a bit skeptical.

Hardcore Henry is filmed entirely using a GoPro camera attached to the actor playing the game's titular character -- something we're really only used to seeing in minutes-long parkour videos on YouTube. Let's face it. This could be amazing... Or really bad...  I wasn't sure what to expect .


The plot is interesting enough, without requiring too much effort on the viewer's part to follow. There are a few things that keep you guessing -- and even one thing that never actually gets answered. 

When Hardcore Henry starts, you're looking at three teenage boys doing what teenage boys do -- being jerks -- specifically to you (Henry). It's a short scene that rolls immediately into the credits, and ten to one you're going to forget it in all the action... At least for a while. The thing is... Don't. Because that's the only glimpse of Henry as an ordinary human that you're going to get. Once you get past those credits and Henry wakes up in a vat with his wife telling him that he's a cyborg with super human abilities...oh and by the way, no voice modulator...things are off and running with no real stop.

What's up with this Jimmy guy?

What's up with this Jimmy guy?

The facility Henry is located in is attacked almost as soon as he's up and able to walk around and it doesn't take long for he and his wife to have to make an escape. Once out, he runs into one of the oddest allies anyone has ever had the pleasure of having -- a somewhat questionable Brit by the name of Jimmy, played by Sharlto Copley. He has the incredible talent of showing up at just the right time and seems to get around quickly. He's also the best character in the film. Then again, there are really only four main characters and he's one of the two you spend the most time with -- and, well... the other one can't speak.

No voice

Speaking of which, Henry's lack of verbal ability is definitely an interesting choice. Obviously a play on the silent protagonist of FPS games, it's designed to further seat the viewer in the persona of the character. This works and doesn't work -- and it's for much the same reason that you don't necessarily see yourself as Booker DeWitt when playing BioShock Infinite. This person you're supposed to be has a name, and a specified gender, and in the case of Henry some really nifty tattoos. So, there's not really the VR sense of, "this is me," as there is the sense of, "so I'm this guy for a while." That's okay though, because from everything we see Henry's pretty cool. He's the kind of guy that does things most people wish they were bold enough to do.

From a narrative perspective, the decision to make Henry a mute results in him being in positions he might have not found himself in, had he only had a voice. 

Good vs Evil

The funny thing about Hardcore Henry is that there is one obvious bad guy, Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) -- who also happens to be the Russian. All the other characters, Henry, Jimmy, Estelle (the wife Henry spends the film trying to save), are not as clearly defined. Sure, Henry seems like a good guy, but what was he like before? He did just wake up as a cyborg today. Jimmy... There's something a little off about that guy from the start. Estelle, the damsel in distress? She's also a very intelligent scientist who is apparently in charge of this cyborg program and Henry can't even remember her. 

But as stated, what we do know is that Akan is one seriously bad dude. He is deliciously evil in the psycho super villian kind of way. He doesn't aspire to David Tennant as Killgrave levels of sympathetic villainy -- where you might actually feel a bit sorry for him despite what a psychopath he is. Instead, he just takes sheer joy in being evil for the sake of evil. It makes him fun to hate.

It's the eyes.

It's the eyes

Doesn't take itself too seriously

Hardcore Henry's story doesn't try too hard. It's not about being an "artsy" or a "serious" film. If anything, it's centered around just being fun. With that in mind, the writers threw in several scenes that may not have been necessary to the overall plot but that the film was definitely better for having. They gave the viewer a minute to breathe and laugh before going on to the next high octane action scene.


When I went to view the film for this review, I ended up viewing it more from the perspective of a gamer than that of a film buff. Since the film was shot entirely in the first person perspective, I situated myself dead center in the theater -- the logic being that this would allow me the best experience and not give me a skewed perspective. It's also pretty much where I'd be sitting if I were playing a first person game. I think it turned out to be a fairly wise decision.

The biggest draw of this film is likely going to be the decision to shoot it all in first person -- essentially letting the viewer see everything through Henry's eyes as he spends the hour and a half of the film going from one series of high action events to another. Unfortunately, this may also kill the film for some.

Because of the use of GoPros to shoot all the scenes, some of the more high-action areas exhibit motion blur. For someone who experiences motion sickness with FPS games, this could be a problem. There were a few scenes that had me feeling a bit queasy before they were over. However, this was minor and only occurred when there was a lot of whirling around on Henry's part -- like multi-person fights. 

That said, the general visuals of the film itself were great. The majority of Hardcore Henry was shot in Moscow and the surrounding areas, and they did an excellent job of capturing the environment as well as the action -- even slowing things down at just the right time to allow the viewer to take it all in.

It's graphic

From the opening credits -- which are a bit like James Bond credits if they ever let Quentin Tarantino direct one -- to the closing scenes, this film is filled with highly detailed violence of all kinds. Once Henry gets going, he -- with the help of Jimmy -- shoots, stabs, and bombs his way from one end of the film to the other. By the time he's done, I'm pretty sure he's racked up a higher kill count than The Governor did during his time on The Walking Dead.

Not all of the violence is depicted in full detail, but a lot of it is. The most brutal of deaths are definitely shown in all their glory.

Rated R for a reason

The film is rated R... And for good reason. Aside from the violence there are other scenes that parents might find particularly inappropriate for their 10 year old kid. A rather significant group of scenes take place in a brothel -- that seems to do pretty fair business, and there are themes related to rape.

It might be a little frustrating for gamers

The one real issue I had with this film was a bit of an, "It's not you, it's me," issue. Watching Hardcore Henry can be a bit like watching your friend play a video game. You see all these things happening. You see Henry, who is basically an avatar, do something and you're sitting there wishing you had a way to redirect what's going on. It's similar to seeing your friend make that move that's totally the opposite of what you would have made.

That perspective.

General consensus: It's stupid fun

Based on my viewing of the film, I think there are going to be two main sets of opinions on it. You're either going to really enjoy it or you're going to hate it. I enjoyed it quite a bit. No, it's not thought provoking, the plot isn't going to keep you wondering for weeks -- well, except maybe that one thing, and it doesn't make any kind of statement. 

That said, it is fun. It's well-filmed, full of action and humor, and is really a fantastic and cathartic way to spend an hour and a half before checking back in on reality.

(Disclosure: The writer was given a review pass for this film.)

Something stirs in new Syndrome trailer Fri, 25 Mar 2016 15:28:36 -0400 ESpalding

This week, developers Camel 101 and Bigmoon Entertainment released a new trailer for their latest first person shooter horror game, Syndrome. The trailer contains a briefing from Captain Sven T. Marius, the commander of the SPS Valkenburg. It seems to have been recorded before the events in the game unfolded. While the audio indicates a happy and harmonious crew, the images we see tell a different story. You can watch the trailer below.


The game is set in the future onboard a spaceship on which something has gone horribly wrong. Players wake up with no recollection of what has happened. The spaceship is drifting, the majority of the crew is dead, but there is something strange still on board with you. Syndrome is a real battle to survive. The enemies hidden in the game are powerful and numerous and there is a shortage of ammo, so you have to use your wits and skill to try and avoid as many encounters as possible.

Syndrome will be available on Windows / Xbox One / PS4 / Mac / Linux and will be released in the second quarter of 2016 -- price to be confirmed. It is also going to be available to play via the Oculus Rift.

The game will also be appearing at EGX Rezzed in London on April 7 - 9 for those of you wishing to have a play.

Grab Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition on sale this week! Wed, 16 Mar 2016 10:30:08 -0400 Eric Levy

Dying Light:  The Following - Enhanced Edition is officially DRM-free and on sale at  For the next week, you can buy a copy of the game 17% off retail price, for $49.79.  

Dying Light, an open-world first person survival horror game, was originally released on January 27, 2015.  The game's focus on close-quarter melee combat and parkour traversal helped make it a critical and commercial success.  Not only was it the best-selling game of January 2015, but it also broke the record for first month sales of a new survival horror IP.  A Season Pass was announced, and all throughout 2015, we received new content for Dying Light -- including a gladiator-esque arena mode (co-op recommended, trust me) and challenge missions for dedicated players.  

The most recent DLC drop, The Following, is story-based, taking place after the ending of Dying Light.  The Following was released on February 9, 2016, alongside the Enhanced Edition of the game.  The Enhanced Edition includes the original game and ALL the DLC released up to this point, along with a host of improvements to the game itself --better graphics, improved gameplay mechanics, and enhanced enemy AI (to name just a few).   

You can buy the definitive version of this fantastic game and dropkick zombies off buildings at a discounted price on

Bethesda director addresses "new" combat and player freedom in Fallout 4 Wed, 16 Sep 2015 05:40:41 -0400 Andrea Koenig

In a new video, Fallout 4 director Todd Howard speaks out about Fallout 4's open world gameplay and Bethesda's decision to call in id Software for weapon combat.

Player Freedom

The idea of player freedom in an open world is a concept of rising popularity; build the world and immerse characters in it. In a franchise like Fallout, with such a large player base, this fan favorite is a must for the fourth installment.

Howard describes it as the world being the main character of the game, and devs want to show that world to you. To do that, they must think like the player. He says:

"What would I do in that circumstance? Who would I want to be?

And that makes it much more personal to you, and much more of a different experience. And in the end, it's what we would want to do the most as players as well. The more we can say 'yes' to the player, the better we are."

As for Fallout 4, he describes it as "Saying 'yes' in a better way." 

There won't be a lot of new things to do, but there will be some, and the old world exploration things that long-time fans have already done are improved upon.

Calling in id

It has been used in earlier hit games like DOOM, Wolfenstein, and Quake. Those who have followed them for many years know that id Software is part of Bethesda.

As such, they've been called in once again for Fallout 4 to improve gunplay. When questioned about it, Howard states:

"If you were to pick it up and play it, it does feel like a modern shooter. I won’t say anything bad about Fallout 3, but we wanted this not to make any excuses for the fact that it’s a role-playing game, for how the action felt."

If you were looking for more than the old RPG combat feel, you're in luck. The team behind DOOM has your back.

In case you're still worried, Todd also mentions that the team is starting from scratch for their combat, so there's a high chance that the id team has more control in the combat that we realize.

To hear more about what Todd Howard says about Fallout 4, you can check out the video above. The video also has examples of gameplay in combat for those itching to get a glimpse.

Firewatch is a low key gem we shouldn't sleep on Fri, 19 Jun 2015 12:11:04 -0400 Manisha Hossain

At Sony's E3 205 showcase, Firewatch was announced for the PS4. Firewatch is being developed by Campo Santo, an independent studio coming straight out of San Francisco. It's a quirky, suspenseful first-person adventure taking place in the Wyoming wilderness of 1989.

If you missed the trailer, we've got it for you right here:

You start off the adventure as Henry and you're a fire lookout. Henry is in charge of guarding this watchtower in the wilderness.  Fun fact: Henry is voiced by Rich Sommer, from Mad Men. Throughout the game you are being guided by your loyal companion Delilah, however it's not physically Delilah, it's her voice being echoed out to you via walkie talkie. Delilah, voiced by Cissy Jones, sends you out on jobs and guides you through the wilderness with playful dialogue. 

The narrative is human and natural

Firewatch has many natural, human instinct elements throughout the game. You'll often find Henry shielding his eyes from the sun as he travels through the forest, just how we would in real life. Henry's back story is something I've found to be very relatable. You've had a crappy year, and have been going through a lot. Your marriage is on the verge of ending, so you take this job on in order to find some peace and solitude. Sort of an escape from your troubles. Just a little adventure to shake things off and do some soul searching, or to serve as a big distraction; look at it as you will.

Not only that, the dialogue between Henry and Delilah is so well-written and natural, it does not sound forced or awkward. Throughout the game, the relationship between Henry and Delilah is developed with playful dialogue. The witty remarks, playful jokes, make the duo very endearing. It's all lighthearted, which is nice because of what Henry is dealing with. That being said, I'm sure it has serious moments too. As Delilah said in the trailer, she doesn't talk to the other lookouts like how she talks to you. 

The art is stunning

The abstract take on the Wyoming wilderness is breathtaking. The art is crisp, fresh, and delivers the essence of summer to the audience very well. Whether it's the red-orange sunset hues or the bright blue skies in the morning, Campo Santo nailed the art. 

Furthermore, in a tweet by @thatJaneNg, an artist at Campo Santo working on Firewatch, she states how the turtle featured in the trailer is an "Ornate Box Turtle which is native to the Great Plains of the US." This shows how the art team is sticking to realistic elements by including animals native to the locale.

 Dun dun may not be alone

The end of the trailer ends on a cliffhanger. You travel out to a site only to find some wire cut clean through. What's worse? Delilah notices someone at your watchtower, when you're nowhere near it. This quick scene took this lighthearted adventure down a suspenseful road. Suddenly, you don't feel alone in the wilderness anymore, but it might not be company you wanted in the first place.

Firewatch is an independent title we shouldn't sleep on. With all of these wonderful elements, it makes for a unique title. Stay tuned for a release date, gamers, you'll be able to explore this title soon!

Lemma: A First Person Parkour Game Now on Steam Tue, 12 May 2015 06:27:33 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Lemma is indie's answer to first-person parkour, it blends freedom of creation with a linear story. You play as Joan Emerson, a physics grad student. When one of her colleagues makes a discovery of a new world, called Lemma, you follow him into it; think of the C.S. Lewis Narnia books.

As you run through levels, you can create walls and surfaces for parkour actions on the fly. It's not simply "press-a-button-to-create," you have to be moving in real time in some way. When you want to create a surface you just need to be moving in the corresponding direction and anything you create needs to be attached to a preexisting surface, be it a wall or some other type of structure. You won't be able to create floating walls to run along, or magic beams to run across.

The entire story is told via text messages through a phone Joan is carrying, and yes you get to interact with the phone by replying to the texts, but it does look like there are only set responses. This gives Lemma four possible endings.

The creator of Lemma, Evan Todd, made a Kickstarter, but it was unfortunately not funded. Talking on why he wanted to create this game Todd said:

I love first person games, there is just a distinct lack of first-person parkour in the world, and I want to fix that.

When asked to describe Lemma in four words, Todd said:

Lemma is available now on Steam, and has 10% off till May 19th. You can also buy it from

If you want to know more about Lemma, take a look at Evan Todd's YouTube channel.

What If We Could Stop Killing Enemies in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided? Fri, 01 May 2015 11:02:47 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Often times, with even the most flexible games like Deus Ex, we are faced with a situation in first person games where we must choose to kill a fellow human being in-game. Sometimes it's because the game is scripted that way. Other times it is because they caught is sneaking around a corner. But there's a problem with this traditional "stealth or kill" dicotomy that so many first person games depend upon.

What if there's an alternative to that?

You see, in real life, killing is meant to be the final option. You don't go into an arrest with guns blazing and you don't stop a man from running by headshooting him. Yet, in our shooters, we rarely consider the fact that the act of shooting itself doesn't have to be lethal. We're so used to this "no matter where you shoot, the guy just dies" mentality that we've diluted what real life shooting is like.

Take for instance, the example of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. If you shoot a man in his leg, he doesn't even stumble. All it does is register to the game that you have delivered "X" damage to him. It won't matter if he's a regular human or a cyborg; the reaction is always that of a machine, not a human.

Nope, can't be bothered to just stab/shoot your hands.

Do you know what would happen if you shot a man in the leg in real life? He'd probably lose his footing, maybe grab it in pain, and/or hastily shoot back but has a much higher chance of missing. If you shot him in the arm, he might not be able to even hold a gun properly. He'd be incapable of being a serious threat, and be more busy struggling to survive. He might even beg for his life, if he isn't brave.

So why is it we don't have this kind of "death state" for games? We can simulate an enemy being taken out quietly in a non-lethal fashion, why is a loud and painful means only available in a handful of games, and even then, be limited to essentially the same as a non-lethal takedown. A knockout in Arkham City is just as much a kill as in a shooter, it's just painted differently.

What if instead, in Deus Ex Mankind Divided, we could choose to wound or cripple enemies? For once, a non-lethal playthrough does not require you just use the most overtly PG means of disabling opponents. Instead, you walk the line between protector and vigilante. If Daredevil, Batman, and more can all have a no killing rule, why can't Adam Jensen or any other role playing shooter protagonist do it too?

Given the choice, players finally have to face the reality of what shooting their opponents would mean. 

It lets us frame the concept of taking a person's life as a much more personal and visceral thing, rather than simply taking out an PC. Sure, you can just pop headshots and not ask questions, but you actually have a middleground now. You can be the ghost, or you can be the non-lethal John Wick.

For some, that might be a fun new challenge all to itself. To be so talented that you don't even need to get a killshot could be as enticing and rewarding as to slip through unnoticed. The kinetics and speed would be something brand new yet fit the pacing Eidos' Deus Ex prequels have always aimed for.

They could take a note from Dead Space as well, and make enemy design that emphasize certain weaknesses and strengths in their armor and augmentations. Maybe one guy has armored arms but his knees are exposed. Another is a walking tank, but you can break the armor on his gauntlets and make him drop his gatling gun. The potential offered here would be quite intriguing all on its own.

Now, is this actually going to happen?

Sadly, probably not; but that doesn't mean the notion should be dropped. As our games try harder and harder to be taken seriously, we need to recognize the simpler things that we experience in the real world but not in games.

A bullet sponge enemy is fine for something like Gears of War, but for more sophisticated games, we aught to have more depth and believability to them. Personally, I really look forward to the day I can go through a shooter and not have to kill everyone, but still use my favorite guns. Until then, I'll keep using my stun gun, tranq rifle, and stealth takedowns.

[Image Source: Blogspot, Gamerfront, The Controller Online]

Titanfall: My Lesson in Patience Wed, 25 Mar 2015 07:29:01 -0400 Daniel R. Miller

I like to think of myself as a generally patient person when it comes to new game releases and one who has a good eye for quality.  I like getting surplus value out of my new acquisitions, and that has to do a lot with price.  Granted, I will make an exception if I am 100% certain a game will be really good.  Skyrim, The Last of Us and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are a few of these games.  But I must admit a moment of weakness, and its name is Titanfall.

The Pre-Release Hype Train

No, I didn't fall for the hype train during E3 2013 when Titanfall was first unveiled, but in the weeks leading up to the game's release.  You see, I originally had no intention of buying Titanfall on Day 1.  I wasn't overly impressed when Microsoft insisted that this was what next-gen was supposed to look like.  Sure, it had giant hulking robots and fast, fluid movement that echoed shades of Modern Warfare 2 (the last great Call of Duty IMO). But it just felt like there was something missing. 

But I must admit a moment of weakness, and its name is Titanfall.

I saw style but didn't feel substance.  I also like to play just about everything that I can get my hands on, so that I can rationally formulate some opinion to give to people.  So my original plan was to wait it out.  EA Games get cheap quicker than most, surely Titanfall would be the same.  Then the Beta happened.

Ultimately, I ignored my gut feelings after playing the Beta, which I thought was pretty good, but not amazing.  I chalked it up to me being spoiled and hard to impress (which I am, especially the latter).  I ended up caving into the hype around me and pre-ordered the game on Amazon for full price, ignoring everything I was feeling on the inside and my "right game, right price" inner mantra that I carry.  

I told myself, "I keep coming back to Modern Warfare 2.  Titanfall will just be my next-gen version of that."  Now here it is, one year later, and the online community of Titanfall, the life blood of online-only games, is a ghost town.  Not only that, Titanfall doesn't even come close to sniffing Modern Warfare 2.  And I feel like an idiot.

Post Release Deflation

Don't get me wrong, Titanfall is nowhere near deserving of the label, "bad game."  It's a good game; it's just not a great game.  Instead of a 9.5, it's more like a 7.  In other words, it wasn't quite worth the full price of admission.  A lot of people who write about the failures of multiplayer-only games tend to chalk it up to emotionally cliched ideals like "people expect more from their games, so treat your players with respect."  Yes and no.  

I unabashedly lean towards single player, narratively driven experiences, but I was never naive enough to believe that there would be a true merger between the realms of single and multiplayer that would be "unlike anything I had ever seen", a phrase uttered far too often during Microsoft's E3 2013 press conference (Seriously guys, is your friend).  Titanfall had to be played as a multiplayer game, that was common knowledge.  But I wanted it for nothing more than a competitive multiplayer shooter and expected nothing past that.  And that was exactly what I got.  So why have I had difficulty returning to the game over the past year?

Titanfall doesn't even come close to sniffing Modern Warfare 2.  And I feel like an idiot.

Is it because none of my friends had or wanted Xbox One and couldn't play with me?  Not really.  That never stopped me with Modern Warfare 2.  Was it the lack of a real single player experience?  While it was true that the "Campaign" was little more than slightly dressed up sets of Team Deathmatch and Control Point modes, it was exactly what I expected.  Titanfall still had weapon unlocks that were made famous by Modern Warfare's merge of Role-Playing progression into the heavy action of multiplayer shooters.  

It's hard for me to put my finger on it and lay out a series of concrete reasons why I just didn't fall in love with Titanfall like I did Modern Warfare 2.  I've just never had an instance with Titanfall where "just one more round" turned into three more hours of me saying that to myself.  "Just one more round" has always meant "just one more round."  Sorry Titanfall, I guess we're just going to have to be friends.

Alien: Isolation Sells One Million Copies Fri, 23 Jan 2015 18:08:49 -0500 Ciara Guibault

Sega's newest action-horror game, Alien: Isolation, has officially sold one million copies worldwide, according to the publisher. Released on October 7th, 2014, Alien: Isolation was in competition with Bethesda's The Evil Within, as both horror games were released around the same time. 

In Alien: Isolation, you play as Amanda Ripley, a woman desperately on a mission to find the truth behind the disappearance of her mother that occurred 15 years earlier. As you can assume, the alien is the main enemy in the game, but it is also joined by rogue androids and scavengers, all which pose as a major threat to you navigating the ship safely. Anytime you sprint, enter into combat, or breathe heavily while hiding in a locker, the alien can find you. While you're aboard the Sevastopol, you're trapped in one giant hunting ground; a hunting ground that the alien can navigate better than yourself.

Alien: Isolation starts out slow, as you don't even have your first encounter with the alien until four missions in, but once the alien makes its appearance, the difficulty of the game is automatically increased. Ripley always has a motion tracker on hand, giving you the ability to determine how close the alien is, but the alien can hear the beeps being produced through the device. Since you lack the ability to kill the alien, your only option is to hide. There are many places to hide throughout the Sevastopol, such as lockers and under beds, but breathing too heavily in your hiding spot will blow your cover immediately. 

If you enter into combat, be prepared to hide soon after, as combat attracts the alien. Use the shadows to creep along to a hiding place, or make a distraction in order to escape. Since Alien: Isolation is in first-person perspective, the overall experience is very frightening. You are seeing everything through Ripley's eyes, rather than seeing everything around her, making it difficult to tell if anything is sneaking up on you. 

Alien: Isolation still isn't the game that the fans were wanting, but it's one step closer to becoming a great horror franchise. The announcement of reaching one million sales is proof that the game is finally getting the attention it deserves, and hopefully we can expect to see another Alien game in the future. 

Ultraworld: Surreal First Person Explorer Comes to Steam Greenlight Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:18:04 -0400 Auverin Morrow

Ultraworld is the brain-child of one artist: industry veteran James Beech. After working on AAA titles such as DC Universe Online, Crysis 3, and Half-Life 2 mod "Weekend Warrior". Beech left his previous job to start his own company, Neon Serpent, LLC. Neon Serpent is dedicated to creating interesting, artistic games. All of the resources that went into making Ultraworld came straight out of Beech's pocket. 

A first-person explorer, Ultraworld takes the player into a series of fantastical, self-contained environments. The player must explore the areas and solve puzzles in order to help a lonely video game character face his existential crises.

Ultraworld was created using CryEngine. It boasts minimalistic textures and polygons paired with bright colors and interesting layouts. The overall effect is surreal and strangely inviting. According to Beech's write-up for the game, the visual schemes were inspired by his own acrylic paintings, his father's watercolors, and his great-grandfather's etchings. Its soundtrack is also very eccentric, featuring ethereal, electronic, ambient sounds. 

Players can expect a casual, relaxing experience with Ultraworld. The story takes about 2-4 hours to complete, though there is extra post-story game time for players who are interested. The official website made a humorous list of what players should and should not expect from Ultraworld:


exploring, relaxing, and thinking


jumping, shooting, crafting, survival, Nazis, zombies, space marines, fetch quests, high scores, co-op, multiplayer, microtransactions, DLC, or DRM

Judging from this list and the game trailer, it looks like this game is shaping up to be a philosophical, narrative-heavy adventure. It is currently available for purchase straight from the developer's website. You can also vote for it on Steam Greenlight.

Impressions from E3: Alien: Isolation Fri, 13 Jun 2014 14:13:12 -0400 onpv3rtigo1

Whether you are a fan of Aliens, Predator or both, the games that have tried to capture these two franchises over the years have been hit or miss. The previous titles revolving around the Aliens franchise have tried to mimic the feel of the James Cameron movie. They capture some of the tense moments, always giving you the weapons and tools to succeed and kill the xenomorphs. That is about to change with the newest installment, Alien: Isolation.

In space...

Published by Sega and under the development of Creative Assembly, Alien: Isolation aims to bring back the horror of Ellen Ripley's fight for survival in the original movie. Shown off at E3 as a playable demo, Isolation takes place 15 years after the events of Alien. You play as Amanda Ripley as she searches for answers to the mystery surrounding her mother's disappearance following the destruction of the Nostromo. The game takes place on the decommissioned space station Sevastapol as you try to survive against, not only a small band of looters, but a single relentless alien.

This title is being categorized as a first person survival horror game but has a few glowing differences from other games in the genre. First off, this game actively discourages combat. You can forget having easy access to weapons. The developers have stated that a pulse rifle will not be in this game at all.

Secondly, other than the small band of looters aboard the station, the game only gives you the one alien to worry about. Just like Ripley's cunning adversary in Alien, the xeno will be constantly hunting you and haunting your every step. Considering that the xeno hunts by sound, it makes stealth the primary way to go. This is what will set the game apart from the others. Rather than a series of bad guy encounters you have this intense game of cat and mouse going on the entire time.

Thirdly, unlike other stealth based games like those in the Splinter Cell or Metal Gear Solid series, you aren't tying to break in somewhere. Amanda is trying to get the f@#k out of dodge! The whole game is just you attempting to get off this station and away from this monster that just wants to kill everything. It adds this sense of desperation as well as the fear of death around every corner.

The alien is death. From that, that’s where the game play comes from. That’s where the tension comes from. It gives it a different feeling from everything else out there.- Will Porter, game writer Alien: Isolation

What's new?

For the first time at E3, Creative Assembly announced a Challenge mode for Alien: Isolation. They basically throw the player into a sealed off section of the station. You then have a goal that you need to complete in a fixed amount of time with a xeno hunting you the entire time. So not only are you fighting the clock but also trying not to get killed by the xeno. Reports from people who tried this mode were positive, however very few people survived the mission. I'll bet that with all the noise on the show floor, no one heard the players' scream.

In my opinion, this is an excellent way for the franchise to go. There have been some good entries like the original PC Aliens vs Predator, as well as some bad ones like Aliens: Colonial Marines. None of these games succeeded in capturing the terror that was portrayed in the original 1979 movie. That movie is what set the bar and I think that is where this game is going. The more I see from this game, the more I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Alien: Isolation will be launching on October 7, 2014. It will be available for PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Playstation 4, and Xbox One. Until then, remember to stay frosty.

Titanfail -- The Problem with Titanfall Failing to Meet Its Own Hype Sat, 19 Apr 2014 11:59:13 -0400 Elijah Beahm

You needed to be sleeping under a sound proof rock to not hear about Titanfall before launch. A full PR blitz from EA on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC exclusive title had us all ready for the creators of Call of Duty to bring us the next generation of multiplayer. Now, just roughly a month later, and some gamers are starting to ask themselves why they don't want to play Titanfall that much. Whether you're a hardcore pro multiplayer gamer or just the average shooter fan, there's been an awful lot of concern recently to the game's longevity.

Surviving the Longhaul

Despite including 20 maps, five modes of play, an experimental multiplayer campaign, a highly touted amount of accessibility, and a near universal praising from game critics, Titanfall is already showing its age in some gamers' eyes. Features missing such as private matches, clan tags, custom lobbies, and improved matchmaking are just now being included. Other aspects such as new content and unlocks are left uncertain as the only planned DLC we know of is the extraneously overpriced $10 USD Expedition map pack, which only adds three new maps for a sixth of the price of the game.

Pilots, we are going to Yavin IV. Our mission: find Luke Skywalker!

Additional content is coming for the game besides the map packs, but it's unclear if it will just be the new fixes fans have requested or more guns and abilities as well. So far basic Titan customization is confirmed in addition to a beta for private matchmaking, but these feel like features that should have been included out of the gate. What's worse is that despite these new inclusions being free, the fact they were not available at launch almost puts the cost of the $60 USD game at a level with most Season Passes. Instead of a guaranteed product, you're investing in the idea that the product you wanted will eventually arrive at a later date.

It also doesn't help that the modes are all fairly limited and repetitious as far as objectives go. The only stand out modes of play that are distinct to the game are Pilot Hunter and Campaign, with everything else fitting as Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Conquest (from Battlefield and Battlefront), and Arena (a.k.a. Last Man Standing, or in this case Last Titan Standing). The modes all work fine but there is no variation between them other than the maps. All objectives exist in the same locations even when map spawn positions flip mid-game. Each mode is statically isolated until the rounds are done, something that even Killzone 3 was able to avoid with its Operations and Warzone modes before next-gen consoles even had their names.

When the Titan hits your eye, like a creepy ogre guy, that's a bad day...

A Tale of Two Titans

When you first get your hands on the game, you can tell it was tested to the greatest extent without prejudice. This is good, but that laser-focused approach to trying to make the gameplay perfect hurt any chance for distinct modes and clearly resulted in the half-baked story campaign. Without spoiling anything about the plot, the game takes a sudden jump ahead to the future with completely new character developments that happened without so much as a moment to catch your breath. The sudden new focus of the story in the final mission comes out of nowhere and doesn't even fit the gameplay. Earlier missions have nothing to do with the final plot focus and entire important cutscenes have nothing to do with the modes you are playing.

As absurd as it sounded to Respawn, many gamers wanted a single player campaign. The lack of any story-focused offline mode, and the act of leaving most of the key narrative portions before and during shootouts, means the game itself tunes its own story out. Titanfall would not have worked well as a purely linear affair, but even a story-focused botmode similar to Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag's Wolfpack mode's Discovery missions (with a few more cutscenes) would have been better than what was produced. Blocking off the Stryder and Ogre mechs through campaign has also had mixed results; it seemed like a good idea, but upset some fans.

What's worst of all though is that there's just nothing to aim for in the game. You get a Titan in two minutes regardless of your ability as a player. The levels and story never change based on your actions. There is no ongoing conflict progression between the IMC and Militia through player matches like there was in the hybrid PS3-Facebook metagame for Resistance 3's competitive multiplayer and Facebook app. There's no added story content for continuing to play like in Bioshock 2's multiplayer that gave you audio diaries providing a narrative for each playable character.

There is even a small count as far as guns and gear unlocks are considered, meaning it doesn't take too long before you have every piece of gear you need; something that hurt Brink as well. What guns are on offer are all fairly standard save for the smart pistol, most anti-Titan weapons, and electricity guns.

"Excuse me sir, do you have time to talk about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?"

Titan Tunnel Vision

Despite being developed by one of the most highly lauded dev teams for multiplayer shooters, they seem to have bet all their hopes of keeping an active player base on one single aspect: the gameplay. None of its modes are what set it apart, and you could easily remove Pilot Hunter without so much as a blip of notice on most players' radar. It's true innovations come in the form of the grunts/spectres to add scale, evening the playing field for new gamers, Titans as a new take on becoming a juggernaut-style player, and the pilot movement system that finally gave us a first person multiplayer platforming system that works without a hitch.

While these mechanics are well tuned for a multiplayer experience, it's hard to argue that most of these design decisions should be what every multiplayer game should follow. A lot of the ideas on offer are exclusive to Titanfall, instead of the fairly maliable ideas Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare had. Instead, Titanfall is very much its own thing, and judging by both the hype and final response, players were expecting this. They were expecting the game that would kill Call of Duty. The game that would put an end to gritty military shooters (irony, considering Titanfall's fairly generic gritty sci-fi warzone setting) and give us something new. Respawn seems to believe that more than anyone else, but that faith could be misplaced.

"And that son, is how Pilots are born."

Greatness Shouldn't Be Taken For Granted

To be clear, this is not a review of Titanfall, but a retrospective on the game since launch. Having dropped below #20 on the most popular streamed games on Twitch.TV, a relative lull in big news for the title, the critical panning of its campaign mode, the open questioning of the game as to whether it will stay relevant as the year rolls on, and the notable but confusingly divided post-launch support all leave the fate of the game in question. Whether it will defy detractors and show that all you need is solid gameplay or be an early fumble in an otherwise promising franchise won't be clear until we reach the holiday season. With new competition releasing from October to December, we'll finally see how truly endearing Titanfall's standing is.

Betrayer the Renaissance of Roanoke Wed, 26 Mar 2014 05:45:05 -0400 Andrei Manolache

Blackpowder Games brings us a one of a kind indie game that will revolutionize the future gaming industry. Betrayer is a first person Action-Adventure game that takes place in the New World in the year of 1604. You find yourself alone and castaway on a beach trying to put together what happened and where is everyone. From this point forward it is up to you where you go and what you do.

Black and White

The first impact the game has on us is with its monochromatic (noir) graphics, with a tint of red color. Why would anyone choose these colors for a game, you might ask!? From a very early age, kids tend to get scared by black, white, and red colored items, this having a deep psychological effect since our brains associate them with danger. If you can't take the pressure, you can always fiddle with the game settings until you get a balanced colored environment.

The User Interface (UI) is not as user-friendly as we would like and sometimes gets confusing to browse through, but it is fairly rich in options and, with a bit of time, easy to adapt to. But this is not a drawback, since you spend very little time accessing the inventory for helpful notes and organizing your gear.

Betrayer concentrates on every sound you make, thus offering a very advanced stealth mechanism. Having to crouch and move silently or to run only when the wind blows (through the vegetation so you don't get spotted) are a few of the nice perks the stealth provides in this game.

Even though it is daylight, the horror moments are always tense through growling, whispering, and creepy music, which keep you alert and make you feel unsafe anywhere you go to explore.

What Now?

As you may have noticed, you are all alone and have to make your way to the colonies to find out what happened there. The trail that you explore will offer clues, but the game itself won't give you any quests or markers indicating where to go. This is a clever development, as you have to do everything on your own, based on your judgment and by putting together the clues and notes your acquire.

To make the action even more controverted, while exploring the open-ish world, you will have to take care of crazy Spaniards, who seem possessed by some sort of dark force which makes them attack anyone they see. The AI combat is diverse and sometimes overpowered--that is if you are not agile enough to avoid their shots. Best approach to get rid of them is to stealth very near, taking advantage of the environment, and head-shot them with one of your atypical weapons.

Betrayer has an arsenal of weapons that take a long time to shoot at your opponents. If you miss your target this becomes troublesome, as you turn from hunter to hunted very easily. Ammunition is plentiful and you can buy new weapons and upgrades at shops spread around the map. One of the more unusual weapons that you will have to rely on will be the bow as this versatile weapon is easy to shot and has little reload time.

To make matter worse, you will have to travel between worlds. What seems a bizarre reality is nothing compared with the noir undead land, inhabited by unrested Indian spirits, which you'll have to traverse to reach unseen places that will help you solve confusing puzzles.

If you manage to die, you will drop most of your belongings on the ground, making you go back (to the X marked on the map) and retrieve them. If you manage to die a second time while you are going to the designated place, you will lose those items for good. This effect makes players choose carefully what attack strategy they will apply, as you can't berserk into a number of foes and hope to get out alive and unscathed.

The Dark World

As you progress along the plot, it becomes very clear that Betrayer is a focused reference to the Roanoke Colonists event. It is a clever story with a static yet very vivid, creepy atmosphere, which twists our imagination and encourages us to explore the unknown.

Betrayer is one of the best indie RPG game of the year, which places you in a scary atmospheric world filled with morbidity and paradoxes. The stealth and combat mechanics are refined to the point where you have to think twice if you want to engage or avoid bloody encounters.

Noir environments suppress your fear emotions deeply, as the stunning graphics are the masterpiece of this game. So gather you strength and courage to start your own adventure to discover what really happened in 1604 to the first colony in the New World.