Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy (2017, PlayStation 4)

Crash Bandicoot cover art

Woah! Crash Bandicoot is back and he means business. That’s right, the 90’s PlayStation 1 star came back with a bang in 2017. Crash Bandicoot was and still is one of the best 3-D platforming game that was ever made. Originally created by Naughty Dog in 1996 who are now known more for their horrific apocalyptic adventures through a clicker infested wasteland than a strange Australian Marsupial, Crash took the world by storm and to this day still has a great reputation, though Activision and Vicarious Visions have taken over the name and the game.

The N. Sane Trilogy was released in 2017 on the PlayStation 4 and later on the Xbox One, Switch and PC in 2018. The game features the first three Crash Bandicoot games which are, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. That’s right you get three fantastic, beautiful and content filled games for the same price you would pay for just one game, which is an absolute steal. So let’s start getting into the nitty and gritty of it.

You’ve been warned!

So we will start as you would with Crash Bandicoot. The first thing that struck me were the graphics and oh my lord are they pretty. The game still kept the cartoony graphics but they are so much more vibrant and colourful and very pleasing to the eyes. The story of the game is a tale as old as time, the evil Dr. Neo Cortex has kidnapped Crash’s girlfriend Tawna, who is also a Bandicoot. The reason they are walking on two legs is that Cortex experimented on animals and wanted to evolve them into an evil army, but Crash escaped and is going back for Tawna.

Tawna and Crash

So Crash has to go on a perilous adventure through dangerous islands and eventually through Cortex’s factory where he created the evolved animals. All the while Crash has to deal with other evolved animals and bosses such as Papu Papu, Ripper Roo and Pinstripe Potoroo. Crash is not doing this alone though as he has the help of a wooden mask named Aku Aku, which allows Crash to take more than one hit, which believe me is needed! Eventually, Crash comes to the man himself, Cortex and fights him on top of an airship. Crash beats him, rescues Tawna and escapes.

Final fight with Cortex

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back opens from the first one when Cortex gets sent plummeting to the earth from his airship. Cortex discovers crystals and believes that they have immense power but he needs 25 of them. To do this he convinces Crash that he has actually turned over a new leaf and is now a good guy and that he needs the crystals to save the world from an impending solar flux.

Crash starts out on his adventure to find the crystals and Cortex keeps in contact with Crash through a holographic projector, but every so often Coco Bandicoot, Crash’s sister cuts into the feed and tells Crash not to trust Cortex! Oh shock and horror!

Coco, Crash’s sister and Aku Aku

During all this another person named Dr. N Brio tells Crash that apart from the crystals, if Crash collects gems that are scattered all throughout the game, he can power up a laser to defeat Cortex. Crash finds all the crystals and defeats N. Gin, Cortex’s assistant. This is where Cortex’s devious plan is found out that he was going to use the crystals to brainwash everyone in the world to be in his army. Crash eventually defeats Cortex but if you only got the crystals, Cortex remains on his ship in orbit and that’s that. But if you also obtained the gems then N. Brio fires a laser which destroys Cortex’s ship and sends it hurtling towards the earth.

Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped

Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped takes up from when the second game ended. Cortex’s crashed ship leads to the release of Uka Uka who is Aku Aku’s evil twin mask brother. Cortex and Uka Uka team up with N. Tropy who is a master of time. Their plan is to come together, collect the crystals through time and enslave humanity and again it is up to Crash to stop them. Crash travels through Medieval Europe, Ancient China and Egypt and even into the future, all the while battling robots and Uka Uka’s minions.

Uka Uka

Crash eventually beats, Cortex and Uka Uka and through all of this destroys the time machine. Uka Uka becomes trapped in a timeless prison while N. Tropy and Dr. Cortex and transformed back into babies. With this, it is the end of the three Crash Bandicoot stories.

Now onto the game play. I am going to begin saying one thing, I am terrible at platformer games, so let’s just get that out of the way. Crash Bandicoot is one of the hardest platforming games I have ever played, it drove me absolutely mad at some points, but I never found it unfair. It was challenging and extremely tough but I never felt like the game was purposefully trying to make me lose.

As with all platformers there is a lot of jumping but in Crash Bandicoot you have to have pinpoint accuracy just to make some of the jumps. The other thing you need is confidence and a lot of it. There are some moments that you just need to go for it, because waiting around will kill you and a lot of things want to kill you in this game. Because of this, the game is quite fast paced, there isn’t a lot of standing idle waiting for things to happen, other than trying to figure out the timing of some platforms.

Running for your life!

In the first game all you have to aid you is a jump and a spin, which is fine it does the job but there a lot of moments where I could have done with more skills. In the second game they give you more such as a body slam and a slide which comes in very handy. In the final game they actually give you abilities to help you on your quest every time you beat a boss such as boots that make you run faster or a bazooka that shoots fruit.

The game works off lives. Crash can take one hit with no power ups, he can take two hits with one Aku Aku, three hits with two Aku Aku’s and if he gets three Aku Aku’s then Crash becomes invincible for a short time and he runs while being able to kill everything he touches. Crash can collect up to 99 lives while going through the game, but the other things he can collect are wumpa fruit (No they are not apples) and for every hundred wumpa fruit he collects it gives Crash an extra life. Once Crash runs out of lives, its game over, but you can click continue and it gives you four lives back and you continue from your last mission. Each level has checkpoints throughout so if you die you start from that checkpoint but if you run out of lives you have to start the whole level again.

Crash with a Wumpa fruit

As I mentioned the game is absolutely beautiful looking and the graphics blew me away. The colourful and vibrant graphics really add to how crazy or N.SANE the game is! Each level whether it was in the air, underwater, in an evil scientists lab or on a tropical island done a great job, from the look of the levels and the music used for those levels, it gave a fantastic ambiance to the game.

The boss fights were a little lackluster. Each boss across all three games had a gimmick and once you knew how to exploit it, you were set to win, unless you yourself made a mistake. The sounds and the music in this game is atmospheric at parts, very industrial at others and a lot of fun just to listen to overall. I listen to the soundtrack casually because it is just so good, in fact I’m listening to it right now, Under Pressure from Crash 3, in case you’re wondering.

Overall Activision and Vicarious Visions done a fantastic job remaking Crash for the modern age and as someone who grew up with Crash Bandicoot, I was delighted to see how well they done with it. Also with the N. Sane trilogy they give you a free DLC called Stormy Ascent which is only one level, but it was so tough they left it out of the original game. Could I beat it? No. Lastly with Crash Bandicoot 4 on the way there is no better time to pick this up and play it!

So let’s get right into the scoring:

Graphics: Visually stunning, cartoony, colourful and fun 10/10

Sound: Ambient soundtrack, voice acting was great and a lot of effort put in and sounds of monsters and general atmosphere put you right into the environment 10/10

Game play: Very tough but fair. Challenging and a lot of hair pulling moments, but it makes you want to beat it even more! 9/10

Worth: Absolutely! Three amazing games for the price of one. They will keep you occupied for a while and they never felt boring! 10/10

Story: The story across all three games is a bit meh. I mean it was okay, engaging enough but not the reason you would play it 6/10

Total: 90/100 A-

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Assassin’s Creed Origins (2017, Xbox One)

Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin’s Creed Origins is an action adventure game with stealth elements developed by Ubisoft Montreal, published by Ubisoft and released in 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the tenth main installment of the Assassin’s Creed series that has been going since 2007. The game is set in Ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic period and it tells the story of a Medjay named Bayek and his wife, Aya, as they struggle against The Order of the Ancients, who are the predecessors to the Templar Order seen in previous games. It also delves into the origins of the Brotherhood of Assassins.

You’ve been warned

As I said, Bayek is a Medjay, but what is a Medjay I hear you ask? Well simply put, Medjay were like desert guardians and they dealt with any issues that may have arisen in their particular region of protection. Bayek was a Medjay of a region called Siwa. While he was showing his son, Khemu, what it means to be a Medjay, they were both kidnapped by masked men and brought to a place called the Temple of Amun. The masked men wanted Bayek to open a vault down in the underground passes by giving him an Apple of Eden, an artifact that possesses great power which was seen in other Assassin’s Creed games. Bayek eventually gets free from the masked men and attempts to kill one of them by stabbing them, but the masked man moves aside and Bayek stabs Khemu, killing him. Filled with grief and rage, Bayek vows to destroy the masked men and kill every last one of them.

Bayek and Khemu

Bayek, eventually gets around to killing the five masked men he thought were responsible for what happened the year previous. But after he killed the final one, he was told there were a lot more than he had previously thought. Bayek discovers an even bigger conspiracy when he meets a man named, Apollodorus. Apollodorus is an advisor and friend to the deposed queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, yes that Cleopatra. Apollodorus introduces Bayek to Cleopatra and explains that the masked men are from a secret order called The Order of the Ancients. They removed Cleopatra from her throne and installed her brother, Ptolemy as the new Pharaoh of Egypt. All they wanted was someone they could control.

Cleopatra tells Bayek to go and kill more of the Ancients while she asks Aya, who is supremely loyal to Cleopatra to go to Sicily and ask a roman general named Pompey for aid to get Cleopatra back on the throne of Egypt. Bayek starts to believe that he is only a pawn to help Cleopatra get back in power and that she doesn’t actually care that Bayek and Aya had their child murdered by the Ancients.

Bayek and Aya

Eventually, Pompey gets killed and Cleopatra says that she needs to talk to the main man himself, Julius Ceaser to secure the support of Rome so she can oust her brother. Aya, Bayek and Apollodorus sneak into Ptolemy’s palace with Cleopatra wrapped up in a fine carpet as a gift. Once inside Ptolemy’s palace the ruse is up and Cleopatra introduces herself to Julius Ceaser who is immediately impressed by what he sees. Ptolemy is removed as Pharaoh and Bayek is on the cusp of getting his vengeance, especially on one of Ceaser’s men, Septimius who killed Pompey. But just as Bayek defeats Septimius in battle and about to deliver the final blow, Ceaser stops it and Bayek is betrayed.

Bayek fighting

Bayek and Aya are removed from Cleopatra’s favour, while Cleopatra takes the throne of Egypt back. Septimius is also made an advisor to Ceaser which is a further insult to both Bayek and Aya. Their thirst for vengeance increases ten fold as they vow to bring all these people to justice. Bayek and Aya realises that to do this they will need support as they can’t take on both Cleopatra and Ceaser on their own. During the game you meet a lot of characters and do side quests for them, these characters are later called upon when the decision to get help is made.

Apollodorus is found dying in the tomb of Alexander the Great. There he tells Bayek about the leader of the order named, Flavius and how he took an orb and staff from Alexander’s tomb and is about to open the vault in Siwa, yes the same one that Khemu was killed over. Bayek goes to Cyrene to deal with Flavius and the Order of the Ancients once and for all. Flavius goes mad with power and develops all these new skills such as teleportation, splitting into multiple versions of himself and so on, but Bayek eventually beats him.

Flavius with the Orb

Bayek and Aya come to the conclusion that what they are doing is bigger than both of them and if they are going to be successful in removing corruption from the world they must do it separately. They create a group called the Hidden Ones which is a precursor to the development of the Brotherhood of Assassins that will come years down the line. Aya eventually goes to Rome and in the senate, Ceaser gets stabbed by the senators and assassinated. This then ends with Aya speaking to Cleopatra and telling her to rule her people well and with fairness or she will be back to kill Cleopatra. And that is the story of Assassin’s Creed Origins.

Now onto the game play. The game play is very different to previous Assassin’s Creed games, it is a lot more focused on the RPG side of things, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just different. Also I feel that the game moved a good bit away from the stealth elements of previous games and was more focused on actual combat scenarios then trying to sneak around and assassinate targets. I found it a lot easier to just go into a place and kill everyone then having to sneak around and try not to get spotted. During combat you can choose to either block with your shield or dodge, but most of the time I just dodged everywhere. One, because I was better at that and two, because you could recover a lot quicker to land some blows to the enemy. Once you kill enemies or complete missions, you gain experience, level up and spend skill points, pretty standard stuff for an RPG.

Bayek kicking ass

The visuals of the game are stunning. I found myself in absolute awe just going around ancient Egypt and I feel that Ubisoft Montreal got the feeling down to a T. From vast deserts to murky swamps. From sprawling cities to dusty villages. Assassin’s Creed Origins makes all the areas feel unique and very different to each other. You will also be encountering different animals in these different areas and the animals use the areas to their advantage. For example if you go into a swampy area, there is a 99% chance you are going to run into a Crocodile, but the Crocodile stays in the bushes or under the water just before it strikes and when it does, you better be ready. Another example would be cobras hiding in vases that you smash and then suddenly you are bitten by a highly venomous snake. Ouch!

Mounted Combat

There is also a fair bit of mounted and ranged combat in the game. You will be spending a lot of your time on your camel/horse/chariot and as you are going along enemy soldiers might want to have a word with you…with their blades. There is also a lot to be said about using your bow to get out of tight situations and for picking people off which is very handy. There are various types of bows like predator bows, hunter bows, light bows and the like. Some of them are really handy and good and suit my play style. Others I just found to be ridiculous, like the Predator bow where you can actually control the arrow once you fire it, that was just absurd.

There is a hell of a lot of stuff to do in Assassin’s Creed Origins. There are loads and loads of side quests that will keep you busy and there are also some mini games such as chariot racing and gladiatorial arenas. The arenas I was fantastic at, the chariot racing I was absolutely rubbish at and I could not even pass the first tournament, but it was nice that they added it to the game.

The game like other Ubisoft games, lends itself to a lot of exploration though there were areas that were completely barren. You couldn’t have a game set in Ancient Egypt without exploring tombs and that is something you can do to collect money and trinkets that you can sell later on. The game is also a collectathon, which comes as no surprise with Ubisoft but in this one you will be collecting Stone Circles which opens up a small mini game, having to basically match dots of star constellations, Finding secret Papyrus puzzles, Finding Hermit Locations around Egypt, going through Ancient Tombs and it wouldn’t be an Ubisoft game without viewpoints/towers or whatever you want to call them and this game is chock full of them.

Just take time to take in the stunning graphics

Assassin’s Creed Origins is a smooth game with very little to no technical issues (that I experienced) and I thought the game was absolutely stunning visually. The soundtrack was amazing, epic and it was used at the right moments to convey the messages the game wanted to. The story was very good, deep and meaningful that had a lot of layers, though a bit far-fetched. I know since the first Assassin’s Creed game that there were more elements to it in terms of magic and all that but I would just rather a game where it was set in the era it was meant to be set in and forget about the magic and other rubbish. I mean there is a modern story line to this game, but have you noticed that I haven’t spoken about it? Because it’s crap and I don’t care about it at all and I wish Ubisoft would forget about the modern story line, but that is just me. Desmond Miles story line from the first three was okay, but that is done now. Just stop trying to force the modern story line on us.

Again, I’ll mention that the combat was fine, nothing great, nothing terrible. But the stealth mechanics were definitely sacrificed and it was a lot more noticeable in this Assassin’s Creed compared to previous ones. The tools in and out of combat such as sleep darts, smoke bombs and other such tools I found to be next to useless. I never used them, or more so I never felt like I needed to use them. Lastly, while there are a lot of areas of bristling towns and villages and temples full of worshipers, there was so much empty space in this game. If you go to the deserts of which there are a good few, there will be nothing but sand, sand and more sand…and the sun. You might find the odd place or character here or there, but otherwise, if you like sand, Assassin’s Creed Origins is the game for you. So yeah, Assassins Creed Origins is a good game, a very good game…just not a great game.

Graphics: Visually stunning 10/10

Sound: Great soundtrack, voice acting was fantastic and general atmosphere was immersive 10/10

Game play: Exploration was good, Combat was good, Other Mechanics were decent 7/10

Worth: Fun game but it drags on a bit and it does have issues 7/10

Story: Very good story but with some silly parts and a boring and pointless modern story line 7/10

Total: 82/100 B-

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Rogue Trooper Redux (2017, Xbox One)

Rogue Trooper Redux

Rogue Trooper, a story about betrayal, brotherhood, revenge and blue skinned genetically altered super soldiers. Yes,Rogue Trooper Redux is a game that is based on the character from the British comic, 2000 AD. Rogue Trooper debuted in 1981 and it tells the story of Rogue, a G.I or Genetic Infantryman who along with his brothers in arms must hunt down the Traitor General. The only problem with this is that his comrades are not alive anymore, well technically that is not true. Physically they have been killed, but their personalities have been downloaded into devices called Biochips which are used when a G.I is killed to preserve their personality so they can be implanted into a new body. The Biochips, three in all are Gunnar, Helm and Bagman and they are inserted into Rogues gun, helmet and backpack respectively.

The game was developed by Rebellion Developments and published by Eidos Interactive for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2006, with a Wii version being released in 2009 called Rogue Trooper: Quartz Zone Massacre. The remake, Redux was released in 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. I will be talking about the Xbox One version today.

Rogue Trooper Redux is a third-person shooter. The story is set on the planet on Nu-Earth which is in the middle of two suns and a giant black hole. There are two factions in Rogue Trooper, the Southers and the Norts and they have been at war for years and years. The Southers are made up of a union between America, Britain, Western Europe and Parts of Africa which all formed the Souther Confederacy. The Norts on the other hand are a combination of Russia and Germany and they formed the Nordland Party which spanned all the way from Central Europe to Asia.

Nort Troops from 2000 AD Comic

The war has caused untold destruction on Nu-Earth due to the use of Chemical and Biological weapons which have killed millions of people. Because of this the air on Nu-Earth is completely toxic thus the soldiers from the Souther and Nort factions have to wear protective suits just to be on the planet. But this is where the Southers changed the rules. Through genetic enhancements and engineering they created the G.I’s. Super soldiers that were modified to be immune to every type of toxin and disease. This gave the Southers the upper hand, this was the plan to finally win the war, or so they thought!

The G.Is

The G.Is commenced an airborne assault from their space station in orbit, this was their D-Day, this was it. But oh no! The Norts were expecting them, this led to an event called the Quartz Zone Massacre. Every single G.I was mowed down and slaughtered, every single one bar Rogue. On the way through the massacre, Rogue watched his friends get gunned down and butchered but he saved as many as he could by taking their biochips. This led to Helm, Gunnar and Bagman becoming Rogue’s comrades in arms.

Rogue comforting a dying friend

Rogue was overcome with grief for his fallen comrades and vowed to get revenge on the Norts. But one thing didn’t make sense, how did the Norts know that the G.Is were going to commence and assault? it was meant to be a top secret mission. Something didn’t add up. While searching for the truth of what happened, Rogue travels through Nort lands and takes out some high value Nort targets including their most high ranking staff members in their armed forces. Through some deduction you figure out that the Southers were indeed betrayed by a man known as the Traitor General.

Rogue’s mission becomes very clear, hunt down the Traitor General and avenge his comrades. Rogue meets the Traitor General a couple of times during the game, one mission even has you shooting down his Hoppa (Aircraft) which leaves him permanently scarred. Later on, Rogue realises he is not the only G.I left as we are introduced to a female G.I called Venus Bluegenes,who is sent to help you take care of the Traitor General.

Traitor General after Hoppa crash

From here Rogue and Venus must continue their travels through the Nort lands until they make their way to where the Traitor General is hiding. Rogue eventually defeats the Traitor General, but just as he is about to finish him off, a Souther bombing run hits the building that they are both in and collapses it on top of them. Rogue gets himself out of the rubble and is encountered by General Covert from the Souther command. He explains that they knew about a traitor but they needed him to be flushed out, so they used Rogue. He then offers Rogue a chance to come work for him and he will bring Rogues comrades back from the dead. Rogue declines and leaves saying that he is not an assassin, but a soldier. The last cut scene is two Souther Infantrymen finding the body of the Traitor General but assuming that he is still loyal to the Southers they run to try and find a medic, which allowed the Traitor General to get up and presumably escape.

So let’s talk about the actual game now. I was very much looking forward to playing this game, I thought the box art looked really awesome and the premise of the story sounded cool, but when I went to play it, I was disappointed. I mean it wasn’t a bad game, it was just a game of its time. The game play was still stuck in that mid-2000’s third-person shooter phase. Everything just felt dated and the controls felt awkward. I never played this game when it was first released in 2006 and if I had I would have been kinder to it. But game play has evolved and moved on somewhat and I just thought that the game still felt like it was stuck in 2006.

Nort Heavy Support Armour

The enemies in it didn’t have a lot of variation. You mostly dealt with Nort infantry and then every so often a power armoured soldier. I found the A.I to be quite intelligent in this game and they kept you on your toes. I didn’t feel like any fight was “easy” but it was manageable and it made you think about what tactics you were going to use. The equipment you are given in the game is absolutely needed also. Some of the equipment are things like a deployable turret and a decoy hologram and these will absolutely save your life during the game.

The gun play was meh. I mean it was fine but I didn’t feel really satisfied using any of the weapons and I thought that some of the enemy health was completely random. There are times I shot a Nort Infantryman with two or three bullets and he went down and other times I used a whole clip and he was still standing and I found that quite infuriating.

The game allows you to upgrade your weapons using salvage that you collect through the mission from fallen enemies or piles of salvage that are just laying around and I have nothing really to say about this, it is fairly standard in a lot of games. But the one thing that did annoy me was constantly having to buy ammo and health packs using the salvage which made upgrading my equipment take so much longer than necessary. I know you could say get better at dodging or using cover, but this game made me feel really heavy and moving out of the way for me was not an option. Also in terms of ammo, look at what I said above, sometimes I would use a whole clip killing one guy.

The graphics were nice. It is hard to bring colour to a world that is decimated but I felt that Rogue Trooper just about done that. Also I liked the sort of cartoon/comic book style which kept it in its roots and I just thought in general that the game was enjoyable and very interesting to look at.

Nort infantry bathed in fire

So my final thoughts on Rogue Trooper Redux. The game was average. I didn’t hate it but I definitely didn’t love it either. While I found some of the mechanics infuriating, I actually did have fun with this game and I was really into the story. I really wanted to bring the Traitor General to justice, but the fact that he escaped at the end left the game open for a sequel which it may get in the future. An okay game that had awkward mechanics that felt dated but with a pretty awesome story. That is pretty much all I could take away from Rogue Trooper Redux. I will give this game a 6/10.

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Outbreak (2017, Xbox One)

Outbreak

Outbreak, a survival horror game developed and published in 2017 by Drop Dead Studios LLC is a hark back to the days of yore in the world of survival horror video games. Truly a contender in the survival horror genre, every bullet counts in this zombie infested hell hole and it is a game that will test your confidence, survival skills and nerve.

You’ve been warned!

The world has turned into a zombie plagued wasteland. Terrifying undead monsters roam the streets and building looking for more victims to feast on and add to the masses of rotten corpses that already swarm the land. You, our hero must choose from a cast of characters that each have their own attributes and take a buddy. You and your buddy must then traverse through these buildings such as hospitals and police stations and even laboratories and complete certain goals to try and escape and leave this tar-man covered world behind.

A dark and grim setting is what this game brings to the table

This game plays from a top down perspective but the horror is very much real. This game left me on the edge of my seat and there was one clear reason for this, you only have one life. Yes, no checkpoints, no save points! That means that if you die, even at the end of a level, then you have to go back to the very start and do the whole level again. There are only six levels in the game anyway, so it wouldn’t take you that long to learn the layout of the levels and what is needed to be done in terms of objectives, so that if you do die at least you have an idea of what is needed to be done and where certain quest items are.

The game tributes our favourite brain munching franchise, Resident Evil in a lot of ways. From the inventory management system which can be a pain in the ass, knowing which items/weapons to bring with you to help you in the upcoming challenges. Do you take the weapons and ammo or do you take the health items? These are decisions you will have to make, though if you ever played a Resident Evil game, you should be used to making choices like this. Also even just the way it does the health system is a nice call back to classic Resident Evil with the way it uses the Fine/Caution/Danger with the heart beat sensor, I thought this was quite cool.

Graphically the game looks really awesome. From the little bits of different coloured lighting, showing you just what you need to see to the darkened corridors and the limited field of vision; these are all things that add to an already tense atmosphere. Not knowing what is around the corner will keep you on your toes and keep you paying attention to whats ahead…or behind you. The dead bodies and blood covered floors and walls will give you an idea of the massacre that has taken place just before you showed up.

You can barely see, but it makes the game super tense

Outbreak, was a really cool little game that would very much appeal to the gamers who enjoyed the old school survival horrors of Resident Evil and Silent Hill, but it would also appeal to modern day players with it’s charm and difficulty which keeps things exciting. The game has spawned four sequels, each getting better in their own right but they are vastly different from the original. I would suggest for horror fans to give this game a go and scare yourself silly. You can pick up Outbreak from Steam and on the Xbox One. Today, I will give Outbreak a 7/10.

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Resident Evil 5 (2009, Xbox One)

Resident Evil 5 (2009)

Resident Evil. The horror series is legendary amongst gamers. From the dreaded halls of the Spencer Mansion from Resident Evil (1996) to the long awaited remake of Resident Evil 2 (2019), Resident Evil has always been at the forefront of gaming. Resident Evil 5 is another chapter in Capcom’s survival horror franchise. While silly at times and the horror being a lot to be desired, Resident Evil 5 is still a very strong game which is a lot of fun to play.

What that said

Resident Evil 5 is set in a fictional African country of Kijuju. BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance) agents, Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar are sent to investigate and apprehend a black market dealer named, Ricardo Irving before he sells some bio-weapons. When they get there though, all is not what it seems. The citizens of this African country seem to be more aggressive than would be usual. This is when the agents find out that they are in fact infected with the las plagus from Resident Evil 4. Things are going from bad to worse until Chris and Sheva are saved by a BSAA Delta Team, lead by Josh Stone who taught Sheva everything she knows. Irving escapes but Chris finds information on his old partner, Jill Sandwich-sorry Valentine. Chris thought that Jill died while fighting Albert Wesker, the main antagonist of the game. Chris and Sheva go to the marshlands where they find Irving again, though he injects himself with Las Plagas and becomes a giant sea monster. Chris and Sheva defeat Irving and he tells them to head to an area filled with ancient ruins to find their answers. There they find a few things.

Majini and Chris
  1. A company called Tricell is conducting this whole operation
  2. There are special flowers that are being used to create the virus
  3. There are hundreds of bodies in capsules, waiting to be tested on
  4. The new strain of Las Plagas is called Uroboros

Chris and Sheva find out that Wesker wants to load the virus into missiles and launch them all over the world with the help of Tricell CEO Excella Gionne. When Chris and Sheva finally confront Wesker, he has a hooded partner which turns out to be none other than Jill Valentine, though she is under some mind control device. Chris and Sheva remove the device and Jill tells them they must stop Wesker.

Excella as the monster

Chris and Sheva make it onto the ship that Wesker is on and they find out that he has betrayed Excella and she too becomes a massive sea monster. After defeating her, Wesker then tries to fight you himself, but seeing that its not going to well, he tries to escape on a plane. Chris and Sheva bring down the plane in a volcano which leads to the final fight. Wesker infects himself with Uroboros and fights Chris and Sheva but eventually falls into the lava. Josh and Jill fly in on a helicopter and rescue Chris and Sheva but just as they are about to escape, Wesker launches one last attempt to bring down the helicopter. Chris and Sheva both fire a RPG at him and that is the end of the game.

Wesker in his final form

Resident Evil 5 is played over 16 chapters, some long, some short. The game is a third person shooter that is full of action from the get go. So much so that it loses a lot of the horror element. From being surrounded by weak but numerous enemies to dealing with the tough and strong ones, you really have to change your strategy depending on the situation.

The game has an inventory management system which allows you to carry 9 items into a mission, this includes weapons, ammo and health, so have a good balance of each. There are a wide variety of weapons and the gun play is pretty good. You can upgrade your weapons with the gold you have found and turn that dinky pistol from mission 1 into a lethal handgun capable of literally blowing enemies heads off.

An example of the inventory

The game is the first in the Resident Evil franchise to do co-op play and boy is co-op fun. Don’t worry though, even without a player, Chris or Sheva become AI which you can use as a mule to carry 9 more items you need which is very good as space becomes limited very quickly. But as I said the co-op was a lot of fun, tactical and enjoyable and it is up there as one of my favourite co-op games. The only thing is, you and your partner need to watch each others backs. If one of you die, you both die, which can get annoying. Also you need to share resources which at times can be tough to decide who gets what.

The graphics were crisp and clear and had a lot of detail which I found nice. Some of the landscapes looked beautiful, even though they were filled with creatures wanting to eat my face. There are some additional modes to the game such as Mercenaries which was trying to score the most amount of points in a set time by killing enemies. Slayers which was another mode to kill Majini and other enemies to earn points and lastly Versus, which was PVP.

Resident Evil 5 is a game that I have a long history with. I have completed it 5 times now but each time it’s becoming more of a slog. The game is enjoyable and the story line is strong but I find that some of the missions just drag out too long. The environment changes from an African Village to a Marshlands to Ancient Ruins and more, so at least the background changes. Overall a fun game, but one that I find doesn’t have a lot of replay value unless you REALLY enjoyed the story/action of the game. As far as I am concerned, Resident Evil 5 gets a strong 7.5/10 from me.

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (2015, Xbox One)

The Cover Art for Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (2015)

Wolfenstein, a game that has always been at the forefront of the FPS genre, the granddaddy of all FPS games. This is the Old Blood, a game released by MachineGames and Bethesda Softworks in May of 2015. The game is a stand alone prequel to the events of the 2014 game, ‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’. The game is an Action/Adventure FPS game and boy does it have a lot of action.

You’ve been warned!

The game is set in an alternative 1946 in which the allied forces are losing the war to the Nazi empire. The games protagonist is the much loved B.J Blazkowicz, a tough, kick-ass no nonsense soldier, sent undercover into castle Wolfenstein to obtain the location of the highest ranking SS officer, Wilhelm ‘Deathshead’ Strasse. The main antagonist in the game is Helga Von Strabbs, a Nazi archaeologist obsessed with finding the tomb of King Otto I and the secrets that hide within it.

Castle Wolfenstein

After B.J gets captured, he is put into a Nazi prison where he is to be interrogated by Rudi, Helga’s second in command and his mechanical hound, Greta. B.J eventually gets tortured himself before breaking free, killing Greta and escaping prison. Blazkowicz eventually makes it to a village and finds help with the local resistance group. Rudi eventually catches up to Blazkowicz again, but this time in power armour, which B.J overcomes and kills Rudi.

Rudi Jager in power armour

B.J eventually goes to Wulfburg where he knows Helga is performing her excavations to find the tomb. Eventually the Nazi’s open a vault which causes an earthquake and allows strange gas to seep on the streets of Wulfburg. The gas turns the Nazi soldiers into zombies…yes, zombies! B.J makes his way through the streets of Wulfburg mowing down Nazi zombies as he goes until he eventually makes it to King Otto’s vault where he finds Helga.

Nazi Zombies

Helga, using a text she unearthed summons what was lurking in the deep all along, a massive monster, not unlike a towering mummy. Helga attempts to control the monster using certain keywords, which looks like it works until the monsters picks up Helga with it’s mouth and flings her away, cue the final boss battle. The monster is aided by zombies and Nazi soldiers, but B.J eventually wins and destroys the monster. B.J finds the location of Deathshead’s compound and the game ends with the preparation of the invasion of Deathshead’s compound which is the beginning of The New Order.

The Monster

The game is played over eight missions which go through a lot of different locations including prisons, villages and ancient vaults. The game is a fast-paced high octane shooter which will keep you on your toes. There is a slight stealth element to the game where you can sneak up on guard and perform take downs which to be very honest in quite useful as setting off one or two guards can lead to a massive firefight, but you do you.

The gun play in the game is fantastic as every weapon just feels nice to use. From the steel pipe cracking heads open to the mini gun which mows down tons of enemies in no time, it would be extremely difficult to get bored of shooting enemies in the game. The enemies are various also which is good and forces you to change strategies a lot. From the bog standard Nazi soldier, to mechanical hounds all the way to zombies and super soldiers, the playing field does change.

Wolfenstein 3D (1991)

Apart from the main game, you have a challenge mode where you try and survive while killing enemies and wracking up points to achieve a gold medal. It was a bit of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I wasn’t great at it. The other nice touch is during the campaign you can find pictures of the original Wolfenstein 3D (1991) game which has a bed beside it. You can sleep in the bed and play a “nightmare” where you play the original levels of Wolfenstein 3D but using The Old Blood mechanics. A nice touch for Wolfenstein 3D fans.

The game overall was extremely fun to play with an interesting story and a nice tie in for The New Order. The graphics were beautiful and soundtrack was really cool and fit in with the game. The game play was exciting and energetic and was moving a mile a minute at some parts. A great game and one I would gladly play again. I would give the game a 8/10.

I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!

Damien Doomslayer’s gaming blog!

My namesake

Hello everybody, I’m Damien Doomslayer and this is my blog. My blog is going to be about games, whether they be video, board, card or role-play. I have been a gamer for most of my life. I grew up with a brother who was and still is really into gaming and that gave me the interest in the hobby.

My first video game memory is sneaking into my brother’s room to watch him play Doom on the PlayStation 1 when I was only about 3 or 4. The graphics and the game play absolutely astounded me when I was a child and to this day, Doom is still my favourite game/gaming franchise of all time

Doomguy kicking demon ass in Doom (1993)

My brother also introduced me to the world of Battle tech, Warhammer 40k and other war game systems. I started playing both Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy Battle when I was about 12. I loved both games but in recent times I have stopped playing them. I have switched over to Kill Team which seems easier to get a game in as I don’t need as many models or time. Other war game systems I have an interest in are Flames of War, Wings of Glory, Blood Red Skies, Rapid Fire, Stargrunt, Full Thrust, Star Wars X-Wing and Star Wars Armada.

The Crimson Fists Chapter of Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000

Card games are probably the first games that most children get involved with. I remember collecting and trading my Pokemon cards in the school yard and then moving onto Yu-Gi-Oh and finally onto Magic: The Gathering, all three which I still collect and play today, though Magic is my absolute favourite card game so that will be the one I will talk about the most.

The five colours of Magic: The Gathering

So this leads me on to why I want to do this blog. As I have previously stated I have a massive interest in the world of gaming and I would like to share this love with the massive and ever growing community that is out there. I will be doing reviews on games that I have played on various consoles and PC. I will be doing the reviews on games when I have played them so they may not be new games, just games I have finally finished. In my current video game collection, I have about 1200 games, 800 or so being physical. I have a lot to get through so there will be plenty to write about. Also, I will be talking about gaming news and giving my opinion on the state of the gaming industry, good, bad or indifferent. So please, join me on this journey. I will be posting quite regularly and I hope you give them a read and enjoy them.

So that’s the end of my introduction. Hopefully this is the start of something good. As always, thanks for reading!