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INSIDE
Animal

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.

9.0
8 Jul, 2016 (Xbox One)
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Animal

Rise of the Tomb Raider has a number of flaws; the story is fairly shite, the characters are dull and the game assumes you're an idiot with far too much hand-holding.

Despite this, it still ends up being awesome. The world is fantastic, exploring the snowy wastes, hunting animals and basically being The Predator doesn't get old. The graphics are phenomenal (Lara's hair!) and it all canters along at a rip-roaring pace.

Optional Tombs (eurgh, why are Tombs in Tomb Raider 'optional'?) appear in greater number than the previous TR and some even contain actual puzzles. Well, they usually contain one puzzle. Some of these make up the best parts of the game and it's a shame Crystal Dynamics don't or can't seem able to make a Tomb Raider game in which raiding Tombs is the central premise.

Gameplay wise it's all fairly familiar. Mechanically everyting works as you'd expect and running, jumping, climbing and rope swinging all combine to create a nice flowing zen-like experience.

Combat wise it's more of the same from TR2013. Third-Person shoot-bang with a variety of guns and of course a bow and arrow. The big feature this time is stealth and the ability to fight guerrilla stylee. Which is very satisfying; setting booby-traps, silently dispatching goons and then shooting everyone in the face when it inevitably goes tits up is great fun.

I can't think of many 2015 games i've played that are better than this. Highly Recommended!

I also hear really good things about the survival mode 'Endurance' dlc, so i'm going to pick that up too!


9.0
30 May, 2016 (Xbox One)
Quantum Break
Animal

For better or worse this game reminds me of The Order 1886. They're both hella pretty, they both have cinematic (or TV-show) aspirations and they're both guilty of not letting you play as much as you want.

That said, I had a really good time with this. The time powers are awesome and basically turn you into a superhero, the gunplay is tight and the moment to moment gameplay is solid with a fairly standard combination of shoot-bang, platforming /exploration and cutscenes.

The story is a bit of a mind-fuck. Time travel makes my head hurt in general and this yarn is no different. It all seems to make sense and watching it unfold is jolly entertaining.

The live action 'episodes' I could take or leave to be honest. They don't detract from the experience, but there's nothing in them that couldn't have been done using in game assets and actual gameplay.

The game could do with some additional enemy types - there's nothing you've not seen a hundred times before; SMG dude, Shotgun dude, Sniper Dude, Heavy Machine Gun dude...

Oh and the combat is great but the game never really feels like it takes the gloves off and forces you to use all the abilities at your disposal. It's screaming out for challenge rooms or some form of arena mode.

But yeah, it's good. Much Enjoyment.

7.5
26 May, 2016 (Xbox One)
Life is Strange: Episode 5 - Polarized
Johnohno

This episode left me slightly disappointed after the awesomeness of the previous episode. It reminded me a lot of disc 4 from Final Fantasy VIII, when everything just goes bat shit crazy and doesn't make much sense. The overall conclusion was pretty satisfying though. I recommend people play through this series if they're into the Telltale styled episodic games, it's definitely one of the better ones.

7.0
21 Dec, 2015 (Xbox One)
Life is Strange: Episode 4 - Dark Room
Johnohno

What an episode. The opening act was probably the first time I've ever been emotionally moved by a game (Last of Us and Walking Dead did nothing to me). There's a choice were I spent a good 5-10 minutes thinking about what I should do and I've never experienced that in a game before. The entire episode takes you on a bit of a rollercoaster, sadness, happy, scared, angry, then the inevitable twist to set you up for the final episode.

10.0
21 Dec, 2015 (Xbox One)
Halo 5: Guardians
Animal

More Halo. Campaign is good, new mechanics are good. More Halo is good.

8.0
21 Dec, 2015 (Xbox One)
Life is Strange: Episode 3 - Chaos Theory
Johnohno

Great episode. Lots more story progression and character building. Just when you think you know how the plot will go, a massive curve ball presents itself.

9.0
20 Dec, 2015 (Xbox One)
Life is Strange: Episode 2 - Out of Time
Johnohno

Felt like a bit of a filler episode with just some story enhancements and not much else. Still really enjoying the game though.

7.0
18 Dec, 2015 (Xbox One)
Life is Strange: Episode 1 - Chrysalis
Johnohno

I started the game expecting to be disappointed due to the crazy amounts of praise it gets on sites like neogaf and from word of mouth. However, I really enjoyed this opening episode. For some reason I'm getting massive Alan Wake nostalgia when playing, what with the lighthouse, the creepy goings on, and the small town setting, even if the game plays massively different. The choices you have to make are all quite grey so far and I've rewound a couple of times whilst weighing up my decisions. The soundtrack is also great. Looking forward to episode 2.

9.0
6 Dec, 2015 (Xbox One)
Game of Thrones: Episode 6 - The Ice Dragon
Johnohno

One of the more frustrating Telltale games I've played, but for good reasons. The feel of the game matches the TV show a lot, with a lot of grey choices to be made that you don't really know how they'll effect the overall story. The character development was great and I found myself really hating some of the bad guys. Note: I can't be bothered reviewing the other episodes individually as I played them a long time ago and never bother to update here.

8.0
22 Nov, 2015 (Xbox One)
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Johnohno

One of the best games of the year for me. The newly improved tombs from the last iteration were a welcomed improvement, with some of them probably being longer than all the previous games tombs combined. Also the addition of a crafting system, requiring you to hunt for resources to make your upgrades, added to the games longevity. I enjoyed it greatly and look forward to the next one.

9.5
21 Nov, 2015 (Xbox One)
Game of Thrones: Episode 2 - The Lost Lords
Animal
Getting better, but still feels like a budget version of the TV show. Introduced some more characters, most of which could be interesting. Lots of guff. Will play more in the hope it gets better. 
6.0
15 Nov, 2015 (Xbox One)
Pnumea: Breath of Life
Johnohno

As a fan of Myst like games I realm wanted to give this a go, and with it being free on this months Games with Gold I finally got that chance. The game is stunning for the majority of the time, with the only poor art being present in the final epilogue chapter. The puzzles are generally alright but some suffer from being far too simple or far too random, requiring trial and error. At only an hour or two long there's not really much to it, and the narrator of the story didn't really fit in the world that was being created.

6.0
1 Nov, 2015 (Xbox One)
Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 5 - The Vault of the Traveler
Johnohno

I won't review the other entries, as mainly I can't remember them, but I think the Tales from the Borderlands series has overtaken The Wolf Among Us now as my favourite Telltale episodic series. The character building throughout the episodes is the best its been and the dialogue is on point with the already established Borderlands humour. I wish they'd upgrade the engine though as the second half of the final episode was marred with hitches every few seconds which completely detracted from the overall experience. Also, Gortys is awesome.

9.0
1 Nov, 2015 (Xbox One)
Halo 5: Guardians
Johnohno

Gameplay improvements and level design are top notch. I imagine the story will be somewhat difficult to follow if you don't read / watch / listen to any of the extended universe lore but what was there was quite self contained. The improvements to the Forerunner enemies was pretty good, with much better hit detection and weak spot identification. I do have one major gripe with the game but it borders on spoiler territory so I won't mention it here.

9.0
25 Oct, 2015 (Xbox One)
Tomb Raider Definitive Edition
Johnohno

Had another playthrough of this in preparation for Rise next month although it's my first time playing the Definitive Edition of it. Game looks gorgeous and handles really well. Having not played any previous Tomb Raiders other than a demo of the original, I liked the overall presentation and the lack of noticeable Tomb / Puzzle sections didn't really bother me. There are some slow points, such as the Shanty Town bit, but other than that I felt the pacing was fine.

9.0
18 Oct, 2015 (Xbox One)
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments
Johnohno

Great detective game but suffers the same fate as all those in the genre - there's 0 replayability. Some of the crimes were pretty clever and the fact that it doesn't actually tell you by default if your conclusion was correct or not is quite cool.

8.0
14 Aug, 2015 (Xbox One)
The Walking Dead
Johnohno

A great story with interesting characters and relationships is somewhat tarnished by the shoddy TellTale engine they seem persistent on using. I didn't expect much improvements for a next-gen upgrade due to the nature of the game but what has changed is minimal at best. Still a great game though.

8.0
6 Jul, 2015 (Xbox One)
The Walking Dead: Season 2
Johnohno

I played this for the first time straight after my replay of Season 1 and it felt like a lot of what made the first game good was completely absent in the latest entry. The characters weren't as memorable and the situations they found themselves in were repetitive. Clementine is still awesome though.

6.5
6 Jul, 2015 (Xbox One)
Child of Light
Johnohno

Don't really remember much about the game other than it having beautiful art and being a competent turn based RPG. It was enjoyable but not something I'd necessarily revisit. Had quite an easy 1k GS if that's your bag though.

7.5
6 Jul, 2015 (Xbox One)