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Pnumea: Breath of Life

The pretty aesthetics lured me in along with a hefty 85% price cut, though below the surface there's little depth with simplistic puzzles, a heavily linear world and a tedious existential narrative driven story.

3 Jan, 2017 (PC)

Both technically and stylistically gorgeous with an attention to detail of both the world and the character animations that the story is portrayed elegantly without even a word. The gameplay gets repetitive before long but thanks to its short nature and mysterious unraveling tale it's more than captivating until it's impressively haunting conclusion.

2 Jan, 2017 (PC)
Final Fantasy XIII

After 6 years I finally beat Final Fantasy XIII.

It was alright.

16 Aug, 2016 (PlayStation 3)
Outlast: The Whistleblower

Outlast: The Whistleblower. A review by Dan:








The End.

Footnote: I loved it. My pants did not.

18 Jul, 2016 (PlayStation 4)

As a follow-up to Amnesia you could argue that SOMA is a lesser horror game. The scares aren't as strong second time around, there's much less focus on hiding and survival, but it's a MUCH more haunting experience and one that's far more likely to stick with you long after finishing it.

The horror this time comes from the gameplay sure, but it mostly comes from the narrative and the environment. The game (mainly) takes place in a series of stuctures at the bottom of the sea, but this is no rapture and you should definitely expect to get your feet wet.

Without spoiling anything, the games story deals with pretty deep stuff, that'll make you think about what it means to be human.

It's really good. Go play it.

14 Jul, 2016 (PlayStation 4)

Gameplay is super slick, polished to perfection. Every movement is smooth, responsive and predictable. Platforming perfection. The world is gorgeous too, and the audio maintains a good atmosphere (though not quite as palpable as limbo).

But... the...

I have no words...

Hurry up and play this game so you can understand my confusion...

14 Jul, 2016 (PC)
Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Episode 2

A much, much, much better episode than the first. I knew nothing about this DLC so it surprised me from the start and kept up an excellent balance of gameplay and exposition throughout, tying up the loose ends of the Bioshock story, which was a little bit forced in places but came together surprisingly well and was overall convincing. Completed it all in one sitting. Worth playing through and almost made me forgive the dull slog of episode one.

13 Jul, 2016 (PC)
Everybody's Gone To The Rapture

Melancholy. That's the best word to describe Everybody's Gone To The Rapture.

This game is a walking simulator in the truest possible sense. It's slightly more interactive than Dear Esther; you can open gates, turn radios and other things on or off, but that's it. There is very little in the way of gameplay in the traditional sense. Instead you spend your time walking (very slowly!) around a beautifully rendered, fictional village in Shropshire and watching/listening to Radio 4 style audio plays in an effort to understand what happened to everyone.

The story is really well written and features much less purple prose than Dear Esther. I say story, but really it's stories. The game features an overarching narrative about an English apocalypse but also contains a number of (arguably more interesting) mini-stories about the village's residents. These are generally quite mundane, but really hit home due to their realism and fantastic voice acting. Some of them will tug at your heartstrings.

Overall I really enjoyed this and think it's something that'll stick with me for a while. It's definitely not for everyone however.

If you're interested in experiencing a well told story, told in a way only vidyagames can and don't mind walking around taking in the scenery (I took so many screenshots) then I highly recommend giving this a go.

12 Jul, 2016 (PlayStation 4)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine

Blood and Wine's world is absolutely stunning, I've never seen detail and world building like this. The main storyline is not as strong as the other expansion, Hearts of Stone, but it still has some absolutely stunning sequences and the amount of side content makes up for it.

After having played through all of the Witcher series, I now feel somewhat bereft. The way this expansion ends makes it absolutely clear that this is Geralt's last adventure, and sets the scene for how he will live out the rest of his days. He got a happy ending and I was so pleased for him.

The most amazing thing about the game is how well I feel I know Geralt, how he thinks, what he values, his relationships and point of view on the world, and how he feels about his friends. And I also feel I know his friends well, and hold great affection for them and will miss them. They are the most fully formed characters I've ever encountered in a game and actually, the heart of the whole series is all about relationships - family relationships and close friendships, and that it expresses it all so well and so touchingly is testament to the brilliance of the developer.

It's a big time investment, but the game and both expansions are some of the best writing and adventuring you can have in a game, if that's your sort of thing. It has something of a soul. I highly recommend it.

11 Jul, 2016 (PC)
No Time To Explain

Simple game, but fun and with a wacky sense of humour. The premise and graphics do little to keep you engaged, however the pace is fast, and gameplay regularly changing. I think I grabbed it on a humble bundle, but I'd certainly recommend it if you have an hour or two knocking about.

11 Jul, 2016 (PC)
Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea - Episode 1

A dispiritingly dull re-visit to Rapture that only goes to show how brilliant the first game was due to its atmosphere, story and set up. Turned it down to easy in the end, rushed through not giving a fuck. Hope episode 2 is better although I'm not bovvered.

10 Jul, 2016 (PC)

This game does everything it sets out to do and it does it brilliantly. Superficially it's very much like LIMBO. Similar character, similar controls, similar everything. However the tale it tells is very different, the locations you visit and the things you do are what makes this game special, so I won't spoil it here.

This game is a masterclass in efficient design. The game NEVER explicitly holds your hand, yet you instinctively know what to do and where to go 95% of the time. That's a very hard thing to achieve (and probably explains the 6 year dev time...).

Anyway, it's brilliant. Please play it.

8 Jul, 2016 (Xbox One)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

First off, an admission; I've had this game since launch and it's taken me until now to finish it. The main reason for that is the fact that it's not the Metal Gear Solid sequel I wanted. It took me a while to get over that and play it for what it is.

When I finally did that it all clicked.

The mechanics in this game are sublime. The core gameplay loop of sneaking, fultoning and shooting is sublime. The fact that I played 40odd hours doing essentially the same thing over and over wthout once getting bored says it all.

However, one of the main things I play MGS for was lacking - the story. It's clear this game was unfinished and that's really sad.

That said, if you can ignore it and focus on the gameplay, you'll have a great time.

Oh and the F2P inspired time-to-build-stuff on motherbase was bullshit.

7 Jul, 2016 (PlayStation 4)
Tom Clancy's The Division

This game does so much right yet manages to fall short of greatness.

The campaign is dull on your own, but pretty fun in co-op. As a loot shooter it falls short in comparison to something like Destiny, the guns all feel very VERY similar, with the 'realistic' setting limiting Massive's ability to put in cool things that you WANT to own, like lightning guns!

Every enemy is a bullet sponge too, which makes matters worse and makes you feel less powerful when levelling up than you should.

The PvP stuff is interesting but the only time I really dipped my toe into it Reece ended up getting me killed by other players. ¬_¬

The world, art design and sense of place is great though, and it's got the best snow storms this side of the real thing.

6 Jul, 2016 (PC)
Sleeping Dogs

Not a bad game, nice to have an open world fighting game rather than shooting, and refreshing to have it in Hong Kong rather than the US as usual. Had lots of nice little touches and was good fun and mechanically sound, with some good characters and writing. Was glad to finish it though.

2 Jul, 2016 (PC)

Volume is a solid stealth puzzler... Though perhaps a little on the slow side, and lacking in challenge. The dialogue and story failed to reach its full potential, but just about kept me engaged enough to grind through the 100 or so levels. There's nothing new here, but what it does it does pretty well.

There's also the whole user-gen level thing, but after the main story I doubt I'll have the patience. Worth a look if it's your sort of thing and you see it on sale... but there's better options available.

29 Jun, 2016 (PC)
DOOM (2016)

This is a glorious, unapologetically vidya-gamey slice of gory, double-barrel shotgunned awesome.

First and foremost this is a sequel to Doom and Doom 2. Not the (admittedly great) foray into survival horror that was Doom3.

That means BIG guns, BIG demons and BIG guitar riffs. It means Fast gameplay, brutal combat and a high level of maneuverability. It means combat arenas, sneaky secrets, complex level design and fuck-off BIG bosses.

It means this is one of my favourite games of the year so far.


26 Jun, 2016 (PlayStation 4)

Well that game is nails hard. I will fully admit that I didn't complete it, but then you'd have to be a time-bending ninja on speed to beat this one. Fun for a few quid for a few hours, but it's no masterpiece.

22 Jun, 2016 (PC)
The Silent Age
A bite-size point-and click with a simple but intriguing story. With no context menus (single-click input only), puzzles pose a minimal challenge, but more crucially they don't feel arbitrary (no use-x-on-y guesswork). The pace is fairly fast, keeping you engaged, and scenes are accompanied by an eerie (and sometimes groovy) soundtrack. Visuals are simple but nice. I'd thoroughly recommend to any fans of the long-dead genre. Play in one sitting.
15 Jun, 2016 (PC)
Bloodborne: The Old Hunters

From Software once again show how to make the best dlc/expansions in the business.

This slots seamlessly into the main game and gives you a load of additional areas to explore, enemies to maim, NPCs to distrust, trick weapons to discover and bosses to be killed by.

It's really good stuff and can't recommend it enough if you're a fan of the base game. It's as essential as the Artorias of the Abyss dlc for Dark Souls 1.

It also has the hardest (non-chalice dungeon) boss fight in the game.

Oh and it goes off the deep end into Lovecraft in a big way.

If you've any intention to play or replay Bloodborne you should buy this.

14 Jun, 2016 (PlayStation 4)