Doom Marine sent here to slay every game, one by one!
Author: Damien Doomslayer
My name is Damien and welcome to my blog. On this blog I will be reviewing games, movies, music, books and comics and maybe more. Also I will be discussing the lore surrounding Magic the Gathering, Games Workshop games and some other stuff I am interested in.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog.
As always, thanks for reading!
Welcome to a new feature of my blog called MTG Mondays, where I will be discussing the lore surrounding the immensily popular and best selling card game of all time, Magic the Gathering. Magic the Gathering or MTG for short, is rich in lore, but for a game that’s being going for 28 years that is not really a surprise. I will discussing the heroes and villains of the Magic universe, plus the locations, factions, storylines and some special characters that turn up here and there, just to give people a little more background on what is going on in the MTG universe.
But where does it all begin? Well we will start with the physical worlds of MTG and where the weird and wonderful spells and creatures come from. The MTG universe is actually a multiverse as there are multiple different worlds that are seperate from one another called Planes. A plane is its own universe that has its own nature, creatues, people and magic. Most of the planes are spherical, so in a way they are almost like planets, though those spheres could be infinite and have their own space, laws of physics, moons, suns, stars, planets and whatever else you may have. Planes can vary from nothing inside to a vast universe, there is no common law to govern each plane as they are their own seperate entities.
So, how many planes are there in the MTG universe? Well the answer is that there are infinte planes. The thing is, most people do not know of other planes and they think that their universe is the only one that exists or has ever existed. The only people who know any better are called Planeswalkers. Planeswalkers are individuals who have the power to travel to different planes by moving through a void in space called the Blind Eternities. The Blind Eternities is an area that is full of chaotic energy, aether and mana, which is where the planeswalkers draw their power from to cast their spells and deadly creatures.
To really boil it down, planes can be considered as dimensions that exist in their own right, seperate from each other and the only ones who can visit the different dimensions are planeswalkers. There are two types of planes that exist: Natural and Artifical. Natural planes are planes that came into existance naturally over time and from them, planets, people, creatues and everything that comes with a universe in formed. Artifical planes are planes that are created by immensily powerful planeswalkers that I will be covering later on in my blog. These planes usually serves the planeswalkers will but they are unstable due to the fact that they have to be constantly sustained. Eventually an artifical plane cannot or simply isn’t sustained anymore and is eventually destroyed by the Blind Entities.
So that is a bit of background for the worlds and planes of Magic the Gathering. I hope you enjoyed and I can’t wait to talk about more of the lore and stories of this vast universe.
I hope you enjoyed and as always, thanks for reading!
Lara Croft, One of the most recognisable names in gaming history. Mentioning her name or the games she is famous for, being Tomb Raider, stirs up feelings of adventure, danger, mystery and the need to explore. Ever since Lara Croft made her debut in 1996 with the original Tomb Raider, she has been an absolute powerhouse in the gaming industry. So, back in 2013 Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics decided to reboot our heroine and what a job they done.
Tomb Raider as I have said is known for its exploration and adventure and the reboot is no different. The game takes place on an island called Yamatai, off the coast of Japan. Yamatai and the surrounding area is known for being battered by storms, so exploration was never really an option before. This didn’t stop Lara and her crew. Saying that, during the game you will run into evidence of Portuguese traders, United States Marines and Imperial Japanese Army all being on this island at some point in history, though how they got there is a mystery you will have to uncover! The island was once ruled by a woman named Himiko. The tribe of people she ruled called her the Sun Queen because apparently she could control the weather. Himiko ended up dying which started a lot of crazy events on the island of Yamatai.
Lara sets out for Yamatai with her crew aboard a ship but along the way the ship is hit by a deadly storm which ends up capsizing and destroying the ship. Lara eventually washes up on a mysterious beach. Lara sees her crew on top of a hill and calls out for them before being punched and knocked unconscious by an unknown assailant. Lara awakens in a cave dangling in the air though she eventually escapes the cave to the outside, where the storm has calmed.
Lara eventually starts to wander around the harsh landscape of the island and finds a walkie talkie and a camcorder that shows Lara and her crew talking about the upcoming expedition on board the ship. After some more gameplay and scavenging, Lara finds her friend, Sam and a new person who calls himself Mathias. Mathias is injured and he uses a crutch to walk around. Sam, Lara and Mathias all sit around a campfire while Sam tells the story of the legend of Himiko. During this Lara goes to sleep, probably from exhaustion.
Lara wakes up to see that both Sam and Mathias are gone, but she eventually meets up with the rest of her crew but not before Lara nearly gets her foot amputated by a bear trap and eaten by a pack of wolves. Lara explains about Sam going missing and the group come to a decision that Lara and another crew member, Whitman, will go looking for yet another missing crew member called Roth while the rest of them go looking for Sam and Mathias.
While Whitman and Lara are searching they find a temple of sorts devoted to the worship of Himiko which confirms that they are indeed on the island of Yamatai. Inside they encounter what looks to be mercenary type men, and while Whitman has his gun pointed at them, he eventually drops his gun saying that he only wants peace, which ends up with Lara and Whitman becoming hostages to the mercenaries.
The group attempts an escape which forces the mercenaries to go after them, though Lara still has ropes around her hands which make her effectively useless. Lara has to sneak around all the mercenaries who are on the hunt for her and her group until she eventually gets caught by the head leader of this mercenary group. Lara and the leader have a bit of back and forth blows, the attacker drops a gun which Lara has to use to kill him. After trying to escape and killing some more mercenaries, Lara eventually finds her friend and mentor, Roth who is wounded.
Lara helps Roth to a safe location and Roth tells her that she needs to go and contact the outside world to get help. After some more camcorder watching to give more a background on the crew, Lara sets off on her travels. She eventually finds an old bunker that she hopes still has a way of communicating to the outside world. Lara, after killing a few more mercenaries makes it to the control room of the bunker, but nothing is working. Roth tells her she will have to climb the mast and manually communicate with the outside world through a radio on top of the mast. The mast is two things, extremely tall and extremely rusty, but Lara makes the climb anyway nearly killing herself once or twice. She eventually contacts the outside world and a plane comes to rescue them. But just as the plane gets close to the island, a storm brews up and lightning hits the plane, making it crash almost killing Lara in the process.
Lara tries to make her way to the crash site where she finds the pilot battling with mercenaries. Lara makes it just in time to see a mercenary stab and kill the pilot. Another pilot contacts Lara through the walkie talkie but he can’t hear Lara on his end. The pilot deploys smoke which Lara can see and she makes her way towards the pilot, though it ends up being a trap by the mercenaries, who are lead by Mathias, also they’re not mercenaries at all, they are a devout cult who worship Himiko and they call themselves, the Solarii Brotherhood. As Lara gets punched and almost knocked out, she witnesses what looks to be samurai slaughtering Lara’s attackers while the men scream about the Oni being there.
Lara wakes up hanging from the ceiling by her hands and surrounded by dead, rotting corpses all around her. Lara gets out of the ropes and falls on the ground and realises that the Oni are the ones who brought her here, and they are still here. Lara has to sneak around to escape the Oni, which she does. Lara makes it to a room with a few murals on the wall detailing how Himiko has to use a ritual called the Ascension to transfer her power from one vessel to another. While this is going on, the Solarii brotherhood catch up to Lara and chase her before alerting the Oni which ends up chasing all of them.
Lara eventually escapes from all the danger and is contacted through her walkie talkie by Sam who explains to her that she stole her walkie talkie off a guard and she is being held against her will and that the guards keep talking about fire rituals, when it dawns on Lara that Sam is to become the next vessel for Himiko. Sam tells Lara that she is locked in a Japanese temple which Lara says she is close to. Lara struggles to make herself towards the temple, even injuring herself on the way. Lara makes her way to the bridge of the temple but it is covered with guards. Roth tells Lara that he will cover her with a sniper rifle while she makes her way across the bridge, which she eventually does.
Inside, Lara sees that Mathias has Sam tied up with a stack of wood built around her. Mathias is about to perform the fire ritual in front of the cult. Lara attempts to free Sam but gets captured while Mathias lights the fire. The fire doesn’t hurt Sam though and a divine wind swoops down and puts out the fire. This proves to Mathias that Sam is indeed the chosen one, meant to be the new vessel for Himiko. Lara gets taken away by the guards where she sees that her crew are also captured.
Lara sees Whitman walking around the temple who explains to her that when the Solarii didn’t see him as a threat they didn’t bother with him and let him do his own thing. He said he knew the other members of the crew were captured but he couldn’t do anything for them. He told Lara to go and free Sam while he stays on lookout.
Lara rescues Sam but as they are leaving the temple, they see Whitman tied up who tells them to run as Mathias and the Solarii chase after them. The temple starts to break up in the ensuing battle and Sam and Lara get separated by a collapsed roof. Lara has to fight her way through all the guard in and outside the temple where there is a helicopter on the way to rescue the crew, to Lara’s horror. Lara sees that Roth is already on the helicopter, but she has no choice to jump from a platform onto it where she begs Roth to land the helicopter as the island won’t let anyone leave. The pilot refuses to land which leads to Lara drawing a gun on the pilot forcing him to land, before a lightning strike hits the helicopter and downs it anyway.
Roth realises that Lara isn’t breathing and almost dies before reviving her. Lara is standing and hugging Roth before Mathias appears and throws an axe which Roth takes in the back to save Lara. Lara tells the rest of the crew to get to the wreckage of their former ship, the Endurance which washed up on the beach and she will meet them there. After some more exploring, Lara eventually meets up with the group who have found a boat that needs repairs. Suddenly, Whitman runs out of the forest screaming and shooting behind him, though no one is after him. Whitman says he was running for ages but Lara notices he is not even sweating.
Lara goes to the wreckage of the Endurance to find the tools needed to repair the boat. There, she is ambushed by more Solarii. She finds one of the crew members, Alex trapped under some wreckage which she can’t lift. Alex tells Lara to run while he shoots the fuel tank and kills himself and all of the Solarii attacking her, which she reluctantly does. Lara makes it back to the remaining crew with the tools but tells the crew that they can’t leave because the island won’t let them and that they need to face whatever is on the island. The crew bar Sam said they are leaving with or without Lara.
Lara goes to find out what is the problem on the island and sees a samurai who committed ritual suicide or seppuku. Inside the samurai’s sword hilt there is a note which tells the story of his failure to Himiko. Himiko’s vessel killed herself with Himiko’s soul still inside, so Himiko is trapped in a dead body looking for a way out. Because of this Himiko’s anger is causing the storms on the island. While Lara is making her way back to the crew, Sam contacts her that they are under attack by the Solarii. When she gets there, the crew tell her that Whitman took Sam back to Mathias.
When Mathias, Whitman and Sam get to the temple they see that it is guarded by samurai. Mathias tells Whitman to get and talk to the samurai and see if they will let them through, knowing full well the samurai will kill Whitman, which they do. Mathias uses this to run past the samurai with Sam. Lara sneaks her way in while having to contend with samurai and the divine wind of Himiko trying to stop her from making it to the temple. When Lara is inside she realises that Himiko is not transferring her power to vessels but transferring her soul which means she destroys the soul of the previous vessel.
Lara makes her way up to the top of the temple where the ritual is about to commence. There she in confronted by another Oni which she kills. Mathias begins the ritual and Lara gets into a fight with him which ends up with Mathias being killed by Lara repeatedly shooting him with two handguns as a tribute to the old Tomb Raider games. Lara stab Himiko through the heart which destroys Himiko and calms all the storms on the island and also, in turn saves Sam. Lara carries Sam back to the boat and the crew and Lara leave the island. END OF STORY.
Now to the game and all its qualities. This was an excellent action/adventure game. I had serious fun playing this from the moment I picked it up to when I left it down. There was so much to do from survival, hunting dangerous animals, crafting cool weapons and items, exploring captivating and interesting locations to fighting in tense and thrilling combat. The story really pulled me in and while some of it was quite obvious and done to death such as me knowing that Mathias was the bad guy from the get go and that Sam would have something to do with Himiko, the story still felt fresh and it done a really good job of pulling me in and keeping me interested.
The graphics were absolutely astounding. The landscape changes so much in this game from thick, dense jungles, to snowy mountain tops and with each place I was in, I felt like I was there. The dark, murky, water filled caves and the divine wind blasted mountain tops really came alive for me and just added to the excitement and wonder that was the locations in this game. The character models looked really excellent too with some of my favourite being Lara herself and the samurai. Graphically there is nothing bad I can say about this game.
The sounds themselves are fine, nothing to really speak about. Guns sound fine and the action scenes are top notch. The voice acting is really on par. Camilla Luddington does a great job of voicing Lara. She has a compassionate and caring voice, but can be strong and fierce at the same time. I also have to mention that Robert Craighead done a great job voicing the antagonist Mathias.
The soundtrack, composed by Jason Graves, whose work includes Dead Space, Until Dawn and the Man of Medan, really knocked it out of the park with the soundtrack. There are some very soulful pieces of music in it, to action packed and exhilarating tracks that are used at the right time to convey what is happening. The soundtrack isn’t too in your face either and it allows you to enjoy it without becoming the main thing you’re focusing on in the cutscenes or gameplay.
Tomb Raider also has a multiplayer mode which seems to stem away from the usual tropes of death match games. The multiplayer seems to rely more on exploration, traps and picking your opportunities to strike.
Overall a really remarkable game and an outstanding reboot to the series, which done so well that it lead on to two sequels which I will be covering at some point. A well though out story story, beautiful locations and graphics, tense combat and action and an absolute thrill to play from start to finish.
So after all of that I think it is finally time to get into the scoring of the game:
Graphics: Fascinating and captivating locations. Characters and other assets look great: 9/10
Sound: A very interesting soundtrack and one that knows when and where to be effective: 8/10
Game play: Good exploration, a bit of a collectathon which can go on a bit, tense action. Overall very enjoyable and appealing gameplay: 9/10
Worth: Yes! An excellent and very faithful reboot. 10/10
Story: Good story, not great though with the twists being quite obvious, but it’s still interesting. 7/10
I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!
The Call of Duty franchise is one of the biggest, if not the biggest franchise of first-person shooter games in the history of video games. From a World War Two shooter made in 2003 to modern combat, the Vietnam war and futuristic sci-fi story lines, Call of Duty has done it all in the first-person shooter genre. Back in 2007, Call of Duty changed the world of first-person shooter gaming with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare raised the bar for what other first-person shooter games should play like and a lot of games followed suit. The Call of Duty franchise eventually became very stale with the same old, same old being done with every game and nothing changing. But in 2017, after thirteen main installments in the Call of Duty franchise, there was new life with the release of Call of Duty: World War Two. People were excited again for Call of Duty and I think that Activision, the publishers of the Call of Duty franchise has seen that people wanted more Call of Duty games that were in the same style of the older games, so Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot came around in 2019 and boy, what a game it was.
The game is set in 2019 and it starts with you playing as a CIA officer named Alex. Alex and a squad of marines are trying to seize a shipment of dangerous chemical gases headed for Urzikstan. The marines find enemies which turn out to be Russian soldiers and after killing them they eventually find the gas, but as they’re leaving the compound, unknown assailants ambush them and kill the marines. Alex is staring at the assailants and one of them realises that they weren’t shooting at Russian soldiers like they thought, but American marines. The assailants panic and escape with the gas when they find out Americans were involved.
Alex’s handler in the CIA, Station Chief Kate Laswell realises that this situation is bad and the Russians are annoyed that their soldiers have been killed by Americans so to de-escalate the situation, she brings in an expert and veteran soldier, SAS Captain John Price.
In London, while the SAS are moving through the streets in a vehicle, suicide bombers blow themselves up all around Piccadilly Circus, killing a lot of innocent civilians. The Suicide bombers were from a terrorist organisation known as Al-Qatala. SAS Sergeant Kyle Garrick, along with Captain Price travel through the streets of London killing terrorists insurgents who are gunning people down in London. Price is impressed by Garrick and wants him to go to Urzikstan with him. In the mean time while all of this is going on, Alex is sent to Urzikstan to meet with the rebels who are trying to overthrow the invading Russian army lead by General Roman Barkov. Alex meets Farah, the leader of the rebels and she agrees to help Alex track down the missing chemical gases as long as Alex helps to take out the Russian army and remove them from Urzikstan.
A main member of Al-Qatala becomes exposed, Omar “The Wolf” Sulaman after a raid on a house led by Garrick and the SAS. They find out that the location of The Wolf is in a hospital in Urzikstan which Alex and the marines raid. They find and apprehend The Wolf, but with this another piece is put onto the chess board with Jamal “The Butcher” Rahar, another member of Al-Qatala. After The Butcher realises that The Wolf is in American custody in the American Embassy, he launches an all out attack against the embassy. Though the SAS, American and rebel forces try to hold onto the The Wolf and keep him in custody, they fail to do so and he is broken out.
While Farah and the rebels set up an ambush to recapture The Wolf on a highway, the Russians attack both the rebel forces and Al-Qatala. It is here that it is revealed that Farah’s brother, Hadir was the one in the beginning of the game who ambushed the American marines and stole the gas. He told Farah that he wanted to use it to drive away the Russians and Al-Qatala. Hadir sets off the gas and kills all the Russian and Al-Qatala soldiers in the area but he almost killed Farah and Alex also. Hadir then escapes.
The game then goes back to 1999 and it shows Farah and Hadir as children when Russia invades Urzikstan. The streets were bombed and their mother was killed in the bombing. Farah was trapped under a pile of rubble but she was rescued. The Russians then start the invasion properly and Farah’s father brings her home, where Hadir is waiting. A Russian soldier breaks in and kills their father leaving Farah and Hadir to fend for themselves. After a game of cat and mouse throughout the house, the children eventually kill the Russian soldier and attempt to escape through the streets of Urzikstan. They eventually make it outside the city where they see a Russian truck with a few Russian soldiers standing outside it. Through teamwork, Farah and Hadir deal with the Russian soldiers and make it to the truck, but as they enter, Barkov catches them and imprisons them for ten years.
Farah rises through the ranks in the rebel forces while in prison and with the help of a younger Captain Price, Farah and Hadir break out of prison. Back in the present, Hadir with seemingly nowhere else to go joins forces with Al-Qatala to fight the Russian invasion. Farah and Price find out where The Wolf is hiding, infiltrate his compound and they end up killing him once and for all. Alex is told by Kate that because the gas is still out there, the rebel forces are deemed a terrorist organisation by the American government. Alex is absolutely outraged by this and vows to stay in Urzikstan to aid the fight with Farah.
With Intel that Russia is about to be attacked by Al-Qatala and Hadir, the SAS lead by Price heads to St. Petersburg in Russia. While there they meet up with an old acquaintance of Price’s named, Nikolai. Nikolai has information on The Butcher which eventually leads to his capture by the SAS. The Butcher refuses to cooperate with Price, even under interrogation so Price uses The Butchers wife and child as leverage and eventually he complies. The Butcher tells them that Hadir is on his way to attack and kill General Barkov at his estate in Moldova. Price and Garrick find Hadir at the estate and he tells them about the gas factory that is owned by Barkov, but Kate Laswell drops down and tells Price that Hadir is wanted by the Russian government. Price hands over Hadir but keeps the Intel on the gas factory.
With everyone together including help from Laswell, they all converge and attack Barkov’s gas factory. Nikolai brought explosives to use to destroy the gas factory but in the battle the detonator gets damaged and the explosives have to be set off manually. Alex volunteers to stay behind and set off the explosives. While all of this is going on, Barkov attempts to leave the factory by helicopter but Farah catches up with him and eventually kills him, finishing this once and for all. After all of this, Farah, Price and the rest of the allied forces leave the factory as Alex, sacrificing himself detonates the explosives.
At the end, Barkov was disowned by the Russian government. Captain Price meets with Laswell and tells her that he wants to set up a new task force for called Task Force 141 to deal with any future problems and one in particular called Victor Zakhaev. Price shows Laswell some profiles of people he wants on this task force and they are as follows: Garrick, John “Soap” McTavish and Simon “Ghost” Riley. Zakhaev along with Soap and Ghost are all characters from the previous Modern Warfare games. END OF STORY.
So onto the game, the game was developed by Infinity Ward, who developed all the other Modern Warfare games. The game play itself had me feeling strange. In one way it felt like every other Call of Duty game I ever played. It was fast, a lot of fun, very fluid and an enjoyable experience, though done to death. But in another way, it felt like Call of Duty upgraded. The atmosphere was a lot more tense, the combat felt more dangerous and threatening and because of all of that, the game play felt a lot more exciting. Some of the missions such as “Going Dark” and “Clean House” were some of the most intense first-person shooter missions I have ever played in a video game and they had the hair on the back of my neck completely standing. I was on the edge of my seat and totally immersed in the missions and trying my hardest not to make mistakes and kill innocent civilians. This level of intensity and detail are some things that I definitely feel are needed in a modern combat war game setting.
Graphically the game looked absolutely stunning. The character models were beautifully and very highly detailed. A new engine was used for this game which allowed better lighting, more detailed environments and ray tracing. The landscapes were great looking especially Piccadilly Circus in London. During that mission, with all the chaos and noise, explosions and other things going on, it gave me a slight idea what an actual attack like this would be like, not that I would want to know, but it seemed eerily realistic.
The music in the game composed by Sarah Schachner is absolutely incredible. I loved the soundtrack from the first moment I heard. Their is an element of seriousness and sadness to the main theme song of the game which I feel Call of Duty was sorely lacking over the last few games. When you hear the main theme in this game it gives you the feeling of “take this seriously because it is a serious subject matter” and I did and from taking it seriously I enjoyed the game a lot. I got all this just from the main theme song, the rest of the soundtrack is equally as epic and thought provoking and something that I thoroughly enjoyed while playing the game or just doing my own thing.
Apart from the main story there are also spec ops missions which is a multiplayer cooperative objective based game mode. It follows on from the death of The Wolf from the main story and it’s all about a new leader taking over Al-Qatala and how a combined force of the best fighters around the world called the armistice are coming together to stop Al-Qatala. Other than that, there is the multiplayer mode with Death match, Domination and other such game modes, the bread and butter of Call of Duty games. It’s fine, it’s fun and it is pretty enjoyable but still very same old, same old.
So after all of that I think it is finally time to get into the scoring of the game:
Graphics: Beautifully detailed, very realistic and amazing lighting 10/10
Sound: Fantastic soundtrack full of thought provoking tracks and the sounds of the game are pretty awesome too. 10/10
Game play: Good gun play, fast combat, fun and quite tense but still nothing new 9/10
Worth: Yes, it is worth it even just for the Modern Warfare story line. If you’re looking to play online any other COD game would do the same job. 8/10
Story: Pretty good story with an interesting ending, leaving me wanting more. 7/10
I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!
Bioshock, one of the best first person shooter/role playing games of all time was released in 2007 to an overwhelming critical acclaim. The hellish underwater city of Rapture is known far and wide throughout pop culture and the iconic character of the fearsome big daddy has become one of the most recognisable and popular characters in video game history. Bioshock changed the face of gaming and gave us a memorable story line, gruesome atmosphere, exciting action and so much variety that two peoples play styles are rarely ever the same.
Bioshock was created by Irrational games and 2K Marin and was published by 2K games. The story was written by Ken Levine, who previously worked on Thief: The Dark Project and System Shock 2, two more excellent games if you get a chance to try them out. As I mentioned, Bioshock was released in 2007 but a remastered collection was released in 2016 which I will be talking about. The other games in the collection are Bioshock 2 and Bioshock: Infinite. I will be talking about each game separately.
The story of Bioshock is set in 1960. The name of your character is Jack, and Jack was just in a plane crash in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. As Jack is drowning he notices a giant lighthouse in the middle of the ocean. As you reach the lighthouse you notice a submarine which takes you down underwater to the sprawling and beautiful city of Rapture. Rapture was built by Andrew Ryan during the 1940’s as a break away city from societies constraints. No more religion, no more ethics when it comes to science, no more government telling you what you can and can’t do. It was meant to be a paradise to people who wanted to break away from the norm, it was meant to be a Utopia.
As Jack reaches Rapture he starts to realise there is something very, very wrong with this place. The citizens of Rapture have all become drug addicted genetically altered mutants called Splicers. The drug that is going around Rapture is called ADAM. It was taken from sea slugs and it was found that it had properties that gave people fantastic powers such as setting things on fire, creating electricity from their finger tips and sending people into an uncontrollable rage.
A criminal named Frank Fontaine found a way to harvest ADAM by putting the sea slugs into little girls which were transformed into ‘little sisters’. These little sisters could around to dead bodies and with a special needle they would extract the ADAM from the corpses. Frank Fontaine was making money hand over fist doing this. Andrew Ryan did not like this at all, so he launched an all out attack on Fontaine and killed him. Ryan took over the whole operation, but he also made some genetically altered freaks and stuck them in diving suits, this would be called ‘big daddies’ and these would protect the little sisters through the horrors of Rapture.
From the ashes of Fontaines empire a man came about named Atlas. Atlas is a down to earth, kind Irish man who stirred the working class folk of Rapture to rebel against Ryan. Ryan became worried and created the splicers to protect him and his city. During this, Atlas’s family gets kidnapped by Ryan and this is where Jack comes in, he must get them back.
As Jack makes his way through the depressing and doomed city of Rapture he meets all kinds of people who have completely lost their minds and need to be put down. There are voice recordings left all over Rapture which were recorded by the people while they still had some semblance of sanity and they paint a bleak picture of Rapture going from a Utopian paradise to a depraved and degenerate hell, full of freaks, lunatics and vile people and what’s worse, they have no restraints.
Atlas keeps asking Jack would he kindly carry out some missions, as I said he is a very polite man. These missions go from killing super powered splicers to getting certain objects and opening certain areas. During the game Jacks also speaks to Doctor Brigid Tenenbaum, one of the founders of the ADAM. She begs Jack not to hurt the little sisters, which you have a choice to do during the game. If you kill a little sister outright you get a lot of ADAM which can be used to buy more powers for Jack or you can choose to let them live which gives you less ADAM but at some points during the game you’re given presents by the little sisters in the form of ADAM or other useful stuff.
Later on in the game Jack finds Ryan. He is in his office playing golf without a care in the world. Ryan tells Jack that he’s his illegitimate son and that Atlas had him mind controlled to kill Ryan. The phrase “would you kindly?” was the trigger phrase that but Jack under Atlas’s control. Ryan tells Jack to kill him by constantly saying “A man chooses, a slave obeys!”. Jack kills Ryan and Atlas reveals that he is actually Frank Fontaine. He tries to kill Jack but Tenenbaum saves him. Not only does she save Jack but she removed some of the mental control that Fontaine has over him.
Tenenbaum tells Jack to go and deal with Fontaine and take him out once and for all. As Jack reaches Fontaine he finds out that Fontaine has injected himself with a cocktail of powers and he is now a complete genetic freak. The fight does not last long and Jack is helped by the little sisters who rush Fontaine and stab him to death with multiple needles. Jack takes the little sisters and leaves Rapture for good. The good ending is where the little sisters get to have a nice normal life. Get educated, find love, find happiness and on Jack’s deathbed they all come to him to say thank you for giving them the chance of a normal life. The bad ending is Jack takes over Rapture and unleashes the splicers on the rest of the world and it leaves with an ominous ending focusing on a nuclear warhead. END OF STORY.
Now onto the actual game itself. Bioshock, when I first played it, blew me away, I mean it completely caught me off guard. I thought it was going to be another bog standard horror game, which don’t me wrong I love horror games but some of them are very, paint by numbers shall we say. Bioshock was not like that at all. The story was exciting and interesting. I loved the fact that the bigger picture is told through voice recordings and conversations through out the game. There is a whole world underneath the ocean and some of the tales you hear and very human. Lost love, problems with the boss, people feeling very worried about their looks, just common every day problems. I think this was amazing because it showed Rapture as a lived in city before everything went tits up.
The combat in this game is fluid, exciting, sleek and tactical. You will be dealing with a whole myriad of enemies that all have different ways of dealing with and different weaknesses and strengths and you’ll be fighting them all at the same time. This means your combat and the way you fight has to change and evolve all the time which keeps the game interesting.
The plasmids also change the combat up big time. The plasmids are just another name for powers and as I said earlier you can set enemies on fire, you can freeze them, shock them to death, throw insects at them and so, so, sooooooo much more. This keeps the combat versatile and can make it quite exciting.
Onto the graphics, listen I’ll put it to you this way, I was impressed with the graphics back in 2007 so in 2016 with the remaster I was still bloody impressed. The game looks absolutely beautiful from the 1940’s inspired decor to looking out a window and literally seeing the vast ocean and everything in it absolutely blew me away. The monsters and enemies were stylish and creepy looking and big daddy has got to be one of the coolest looking enemies in video game history. The dark, dreary halls and the utter chaos of broken pipes and destroyed places really adds to the atmosphere and gives you a taste of the chaos that choked and ultimately killed Rapture.
The sound, again my word is the sound good. You can hear old music throughout the game and the soundtrack is made up from real bands and groups from that era. Also listening to the sounds of big daddies walking through Rapture and the sounds of the ocean in certain parts really adds to the atmosphere of the game. The casual conversations of some of the splicers really gives you a look into what they think is going on and some of them even sound normal, if not a little messed up…well maybe a lot messed up.
So with that I’m onto the scores now:
Graphics: Impressive, fantastic styles and design and messed up monsters and atmosphere 10/10
Sound: Amazing soundtrack from the era, humorous but dark conversations that compliment the overall story and eerie ambiance throughout 10/10
Game play: Fast game play, fun, destructive and ever changing 10/10
Worth: Bloody hell yes! If you’ve never played Bioshock, go now and play it. 10/10
Story: Amazing story from the start to the finish! Utterly fantastic story telling that keeps you wanting more 10/10
I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!
In 2020 the world of gaming got what they asked for, a remake of the third Resident Evil game. Yes, Capcom released the remake for Resident Evil: Nemesis, the one that has you face off against one of the most badass tyrants in Resident Evil history. You play as Jill Valentine, our heroine from the first Resident Evil game as you try and survive a zombie outbreak on the streets of Raccoon City. With the help of Umbrella security agent, Carlos Oliveira, Jill must succeed against hordes of the undead and Nemesis who throughout the entire game is always hot on her heels.
Resident Evil 3 is set around the same time as Resident Evil 2. Jill Valentine is in her apartment still traumatised after the events of the first game. Suddenly and out of nowhere, Jill is attacked in her apartment by a huge creature called a tyrant. The specific designation of this tyrant is Nemesis and it’s job? To hunt down all the S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) members in Raccoon City and Jill is one of those members. Jill has to run through her apartment building and try and escape from the frightful monster that is Nemesis. Jill eventually escapes trapping Nemesis in the apartment building and from here she meets Brad Vickers, another member of S.T.A.R.S.
As Jill and Brad make their way through Raccoon City the reality of what is going on really sets in as there are zombies all over the place and people are in a panic. Jill and Brad make it to a bar but zombies are trying to get into the building, while trying to barricade the door, Brad gets bitten by a zombie and tells Jill to leave, which she does reluctantly. Jill finds a car on top of a parking garage, but Nemesis shows up again. Jill uses the car to drive herself and Nemesis off the roof of the garage. Jill wakes up to see that Nemesis is starting to pursue her again and this is where Carlos shows up with a rocket launcher and hits Nemesis a number of times rescuing Jill.
Carlos brings Jill down into a subway where there are other Umbrella agents, Mikhail, Nicholai, Tyrell and a group of civilians. The Umbrella agents plan to use the subway to escape from Raccoon City but the power for the subway is shut off. Jill has to make her way through Raccoon City to turn the power back on and plot out a route for the subway, which she does while trying to escape from Nemesis. Jill makes her way back to the subway station only to realise that she is still being pursued, so Jill tries to buy the Umbrella team some time by going down to the sewers.
Jill has to make her way through the sewers while dealing with zombies and other sewer monsters that have massive mouths that can kill you in one hit. As Jill goes to escape the sewers through a hatch, Nemesis catches her and almost ignites her with a flamethrower. Jill has to run through a building site to try and escape Nemesis as he tries to burn down the entire building site. Jill eventually has to fight Nemesis on top of the building site and when she defeats him, she makes her way back down to the city streets. As she is making her way back to the subway, guess who shows up? Yep, Nemesis! Jill must dodge a rocket launcher wielding Nemesis. Jill again escapes and makes her way to the subway which starts to leave with everyone on board bar Carlos and Tyrell who have another job to do. As the subway is moving, Nemesis attacks the subway killing all civilians on board. Jill tries to escape but Nicholai locks the door behind him, locking Jill and Mikhail in with Nemesis. Nemesis pulls Mikhail out of the carriage almost killing him but Mikhail sacrifices himself, blowing himself up destroying the carriage that Nemesis is on but causes the carriage that Jill is on to crash, knocking Jill unconscious.
From here you play Carlos looking for a doctor named Nathaniel Bard, who is rumoured to have the vaccine for the T-Virus. Carlos and Tyrell make their way to the Raccoon Police Department where you see Lieutenant Marvin Branagh (Yes, that Marvin) getting bitten by zombie Brad (Yes, that Brad) which explains how Marvin is bitten when Leon meets him in Resident Evil 2 Remake. Carlos and Tyrell have to make their way through the Police Station looking for Dr. Nathaniel Bard until they come across a video call where Dr. Bard explains that he is actually in a hospital surrounded by creatures and that Umbrella are killing all the researchers and doctors.
From here you take control of Jill again and she is underground, from here you kill a few zombies until you make your way above ground where you have to fight who again? Who was it? I can’t seem to remember his name, something beginning with N I believe…oh right, Nemesis. You defeat Nemesis for the 50th time so far but not before he hits Jill with a stinger which infects her. As Carlos makes his way to the hospital, Carlos spots Jill and brings her to the hospital and it is swarming with zombies and other nasty creatures.. Going through the hospital Carlos has to kill a lot of zombies, and I mean a lot to find Dr. Bard. Carlos eventually does find him, dead! Yes, Bard was murdered and it is here that Carlos finds a video of Bard saying that Umbrella developed the virus and wanted Bard to make a vaccine, but then they done a complete turn around and wanted to destroy the vaccine and all research for it. Carlos finds the vaccine and gives it to Jill. Tyrell bursts through the door where he shows Carlos a news broadcast that says that Raccoon City is completely overrun and the city will be destroyed by a missile strike in the morning. While this is happening a horde of zombies break into the hospital and Carlos has to defend Jill.
Jill eventually wakes up and realises Carlos is gone. She meets Tyrell who tells Jill that Carlos is gone underground because Dr. Bard stockpiled a lot of the vaccine. Jill realises that Carlos needs help while Tyrell will try and contact someone to stop the missile strike. Jill makes her way underground where there are a lot more zombies to kill. As she makes her way through, Tyrell eventually follows her down and explains that he got through to the government. He tells Jill that if they can deliver the vaccine to the government then they will call off the missile strike. As Jill and Tyrell go to find the vaccine, a heavily mutated Nemesis attacks both of them and kills Tyrell.
Eventually Jill finds the vaccine but Nicholai appears and takes it off her, Jill pleads with Nicholai not to take the vaccine but Nicholai says that he wants Jill to fight Nemesis and he will record it and sell the footage for the combat data and if she puts on a good enough show, he might give her back the vaccine, forcing her to fight Nemesis again. Jill beats Nemesis using acid and basically dissolving him. As Jill chases Nicholai, the final form of Nemesis is shown as a massive tentacle monster. Jill must defeat Nemesis one more time, but this time with a rail gun. Jill beats Nemesis, for good! and both Jill and Carlos catch up to Nicholai who is just about to leave on a helicopter. Carlos and Nicholai get into a fist fight and Carlos restrains Nicholai which gives Jill a chance to shoot him. Carlos and Jill eventually leave on the chopper and Nicholai is left in the city where the missile strike is just about to impact.
So now onto the game play. The game play is pretty good, but I felt it was missing the atmosphere of Resident Evil 2 Remake. The openness of the game just made fighting the zombies a lot easier I found and with that the zombies became less scary and threatening. Now don’t get me wrong, I still had a ton of fun with the game, but there were a lot of sequences where I could just walk around things and that would be that. Also Nemesis. Nemesis. Nemesis. Nemesis. What can I say? Was he as scary as Mr. X? That’s a big no. Nemesis was more of an annoyance to me than anything. I never found him that threatening throughout the game, just another obstacle to get through and that is very disappointing seeing as he is pretty much the hook of the entire game.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some sequences that I found deeply chilling, such as going back to the Police Department and the Hospital. Both those chapters were pretty nerve wracking because I was enclosed again in narrow corridors and tight rooms, which made every zombie fight pretty exciting, but other than that I pretty much walked though the game.
The game keeps the same inventory management system from RE2: Remake, which was fine with me because I liked that system. Again you also had to find hip pouches to increase your inventory slots. The combat was fluid and fun and exciting when I did decide to fight enemies. The zombies were quite tough again, no one shot to the head on these zombies, so the game made sure that you used bullets wisely. Overall I did have an enjoyable experience playing it.
The lighting! Oh the lighting! The lighting was so incredibly atmospheric. There are scenes where you are running through alley ways and you would see a hard shadow of Nemesis behind you chasing you. The dark empty streets lit up by some street lamps and burning cars and barrels, like RE2: Remake really add to the impact of what is going on, but in some cases it does a better job because you are outside a lot more in this game. The game is full of beautiful, realistic and very fluid graphics and atmospheric lighting. Definitely one to play with the lights off.
The soundtrack, same as RE:2 Remake is absolutely unreal. From unnerving, depressing and stark songs that really drive home that you are in a city full of the undead to peaceful soundtracks that have a melancholic undertone to tell you that while you are safe now, you still must go outside. The boss soundtracks are really exciting too and really add to the urgency of trying to defeat Nemesis, but knowing in the back of your head that you are only going to slow him down, that he can’t be truly stopped.
So let’s get into the scoring:
Graphics: Realistic, fluid and overall supremely impressive 10/10
Sound: Varied and exciting soundtrack. Everything fits and the right music is used at the right times. 10/10
Game play: Great game play but I found it too easy at parts. Still very enjoyable. 8/10
Worth: Oh yeah! A very enjoyable horror experience and especially for those who love zombies. You also get Resident Evil Resistance free with it, which is a 4v1 online multiplayer game. While it’s not my cup of tea, it’s still nice to get an extra game. 10/10
Story: The story was good, not great. Nemesis felt like a bit of a filler to be quite honest and overall I enjoyed it, but it is forgettable. 7/10
I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!
In 1998, the masters of horror games, Capcom gave the world the masterpiece that is Resident Evil 2. 21 years later, like the undead, they return and with them comes Resident Evil 2 remake and my word did they do a great job with this game. From the unrelenting hordes of zombies and other nightmarish creatures, to the dark and atmospheric hallways of the Raccoon City Police Department, Resident Evil 2 is genuinely one of the creepiest games I have ever played, and I have played a LOT of horror games.
Resident Evil 2 is set in the year 1998 and almost two months after the events of Resident Evil. Leon Kennedy is a rookie cop that is on his way to his first day as a Raccoon City police officer, but on the way he stops off at a gas station. While there he runs into his first enemy of the evening, chowing down on some good old cops. Leon deals with this threat and on his way out of the gas station he runs into college student, Claire Redfield. Claire is the sister of Chris Redfield, one of the main protagonists from the first Resident Evil.
Claire has come to Raccoon city to find her brother so shes tags along with Leon to see what is going on in Raccoon City. As they head into the city they realise that not all is well and they dead have come back to life to feast on the yummy innards of the living. After a car accident, Claire and Leon become separated, but they agree to meet at the Raccoon Police Department.
The game is played through from both Leon and Claire’s scenarios so I will briefly go into the story of each of them. Both have a lot of similarities, but some differences.
As Leon makes his way through the RPD he runs into a fellow cop named Lieutenant Marvin Branagh who was bitten earlier in the evening. Marvin explains to Leon what has been going on and gives him some missions to do but eventually perishes to his wounds. During all of this, Leon encounters more zombies, lickers, infected dogs and the now infamous tyrant, Mr. X. Leon is helped by a woman named Ada Wong, who explains that she is an FBI agent. While Leon is searching through the parking garage under the Raccoon Police Department he finds a man in a holding cell by the name of Ben Bertolucci. Ben explains that he is in the holding cell because the chief of police, a man named Brian Irons has put him in there for investigating a company called, Umbrella.
Umbrella, one of the most famous “evil” corporations in gaming history was a medicinal company that went into weapons development. Through this path they came up with the bio-weapon, T-Virus. Unfortunately the T-Virus is the thing that is turning Raccoon’s brightest into brain dead rotten corpses.
Back to Ben, Mr.X bursts through the cell wall and crushes Ben’s head. Leon escapes with Ada and they head to the sewers where they are encountered by a woman named Annette Birkin, wife of William Birkin, the creator of the T-Virus. Annette shoots at Ada, but Leon takes the shot for her. Leon and Ada agree to find a sample of another virus called the G-Virus to prove that Umbrella is corrupt.
Leon eventually catches up to Annette and finds a sample of the G-Virus in an underground secret lab called NEST. While in the lab, William Birkin appears as he did numerous times during the game. As I said, William was the creator of the virus, but Umbrella wanted him to hand the virus over. Umbrella sent in a crack team of special forces, lead by a man named Hunk to retrieve the virus. William refused to hand over his work and he was shot. In his final moments, Birkin injected himself with the G-Virus and mutated into a hideous monster.
Annette tries to stop William but she ends up fatally injured. Leon defeats William and while he is comforting Annette in her last moments, she tells Leon that Ada is actually a mercenary not an FBI agent. Annette tells Leon that Ada only wants the G-Virus so she can sell it. Leon runs into Ada who eventually confesses to all of this, but she still demands that Leon hand over the virus. Annette, who still isn’t dead yet shoots Ada in the shoulder and the bridge that Leon and Ada are standing on starts to collapse. When Leon goes to catch Ada, he drops the G-Virus into the abyss below along with Ada moments later.
After all of this Leon goes to escape from Raccoon city until Mr. X shows up in his final form. While on a lift going towards the train that will escape the city, Leon must battle the super tyrant. It is revealed that Ada didn’t actually die and she tosses Leon a missile launcher which he uses to finally and once and for all defeat Mr. X/Super tyrant. Leon makes it to the last train out of town and this is where he meets up with Claire and a child named Sherry Birkin.
Claire’s scenario plays out pretty much the same, having to go through the police station and what not at the beginning. Claire finds the child Sherry being chased by William as a monster. Down in the parking garage sequence where Leon means Ben Bertolucci, Claire runs into the chief of police Brian Irons. Irons kidnaps Sherry while pointing a gun at Claire and he brings Sherry to an abandoned orphanage. Irons rings Claire and tells her that Sherry has dropped a very important pendant and if Claire doesn’t retrieve it, then Irons will kill her. This is where you play Sherry, trying to sneak around and escape the orphanage yourself.
Irons eventually catches Sherry trying to escape but father of the year, William Birkin comes in and implants Irons with a G-Virus larva, saving Shelly. Claire eventually comes and rescues Sherry. Claire and Sherry attempt to escape, but who shows up? That’s right, Mr. X. Mr. X chases Sherry and Claire into an elevator but William Birkin puts his big meaty claw through Mr. X. This is where it is also revealed that William Birkin is Sherry’s father. William transforms again and charges the elevator knocking it down into the sewers and knocking Claire unconscious.
Claire wakes up to find Sherry gone. Annette finds Claire and explains everything about William creating the G-Virus and how he wanted to sell it to the military. She also explains how he got shot and injected himself but through this you find out that rats ingested the virus and that is how it got out into the streets of Raccoon City. Annette explains that because Sherry is the William’s daughter she is the perfect host for the virus.
Claire finds Sherry is a trash compactor and realises that William has already infected her with the virus. Annette tells Claire to bring Sherry to the NEST lab where a vaccine is stored. Claire uses Sherry’s pendant to unlock the vaccine and Claire fights William while Sherry is being cured by her mother. Annette tells Claire that Sherry is free of the G-Virus before succumbing to her own internal injuries and passes away. Claire and Sherry attempt to escape before being confronted by William for the final time. Claire defeats William and boards the train where she meets up with Leon.
William returns one final time while Claire and Leon are on the train but this time he is a massive, horrid creature. Claire and Leon fight him while trying to unhook William’s carriage from the main train. As they do this, William descends back towards the NEST lab where a self destruct sequence has been initiated. NEST explodes, killing William and any other grotesque mass living down there. Claire, Leon and Sherry leave Raccoon city and never look back.
Now onto the game play and my, oh, my is the game play great. Don’t get me wrong, Capcom have went down the third person route long before this with Resident Evil 4 back in the year 2005 but in this game it is absolutely seamless. The third person view really adds to the claustrophobia of the Raccoon Police Department, not knowing what is around every corner and realising how tight the corridors are and how little room you have to maneuver.
You have to do a lot of item management in the game but believe me when I say, it is a lot easier then the original Resident Evil 2. During the game you will find hip pouches which increases the amount of stuff you can carry in your inventory. Also through out the game there are safe rooms where you can save your progress, each safe room has an Item Box which you can store items until you need them, which makes things very handy.
The enemies in Resident Evil 2 aren’t the most diverse roster of enemies in a video game but they are some of the most intense you’ll ever meet. You have your typical zombies, which are actually really hard to take down. No more one bullet to the head nonsense, you could empty your entire clip and the zombie will still be walking, this really brings in a fight or flight aspect to the game on whether you waste ammo to kill a zombie or try and avoid it but it could be trouble later. Also you can’t dodge the zombies, so if a zombie attacks you, unless you’re lucky you are going to be bitten. Lastly, zombies can follow you through doors, which makes it even more terrifying.
You will also fight lickers which are grotesque monsters that crawl around with their brains hanging out. The reason they are called lickers is because they have a giant tongue that they attack you with. These lickers make for some really intense moments as they are blind and you have to be super quiet to not attract them. Getting into a fight with a licker is something you must avoid as they are tough enough to deal with. Other than that you have zombie dogs which are what you would expect, fast, agile and hard to hit but they aren’t too strong. Finally you have the bosses, Birkin and Mr. X. William Birkin will show up every now and again to further the story, but Mr. X will show up again and again and he is absolutely unrelenting on how much he chases you throughout the game. You can outrun him if you’re quick enough and there are some safe places but otherwise he will pursue you through this whole game which makes it even more intense.
The lighting in this game is so atmospheric from the dim streets lit only by the fires of burning vehicles and whatever street lamps survived the catastrophe to the couple of bulbs still working in the Raccoon Police Department and sewers the game done a great job of looking really dark, but in a good way and in a way that definitely added to the all round creep factor of the game.
The sound track to the game is something you wouldn’t want to listen to in a dark room, alone at night; or maybe you would because you’re mad. The hair-raising and spine-chilling sound track is enough to send any RPD rookie and college student screaming for their mammy. Between this you have epic boss battle music that really makes what you’re doing come alive and makes it very exciting and draws you into the game even more than you would be with the incredible visuals and anxiety ridden game play.
So let’s get into the scoring:
Graphics: Incredible, dark, atmospheric, claustrophobic and horrifying. Superb job. 10/10
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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
I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!
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.
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, 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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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
I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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!