Here is where you will find all the reviews that the JoypadAndMe team have written for the PC. The PC has been a favorite of many a gamer for its impressive modding culture as well as its range of power and keyboard/mouse combo that allow for complex and intense gamegenres such as RTS’s.
With the Assassins Creed Franchise moving on from its instalments with the likes of Altair, Ezio, Connor and Edward, we move on to London to meet Jacob and Evie. Assassins Creed Syndicate is the 7th console full release game in the franchise that has seen a steady release year after year with mixed results. Can the exploits in London make up for the issues in the previous game, Unity? Julius donned his blade and pistol to hit the streets, rooftops and back alleys to find out. Jacob and Evie Frye, ahh this merciless pair of twins both serve as our main characters in the game and we can switch between them as we please, but it is to be noted that during main memory sequences, Jacob and Evie both have their own mission paths and we will have to play as them both to continue.
Assassins Creed Unity carries on from the previous titles in the franchise. With Altiar, Ezio, Connor and Kenway already providing their stories, it now falls to the latest character to be featured, Arno. Set in the bustling city of Paris during the French revolution, Assassins Creed Unity exploits the timeframes brutal way of life to its advantage. Take on your foes with hidden blades, swords, pistols and all manor of weaponry as well as help from co-op partners to better organise and facilitate the perfect assassination. Hide in the crowds and blend in to provide the perfect cover in which to further your position as the master assassin. After a few months of bugs and issues, Julius finds out if all the patches and fixes have made this Assassin’s Creed game a worthy successor.
The tagline for this, the final addition of the acclaimed Arkham series, is Be The Batman, and with the introduction of the Batmobile, it’s fair to say that this is the closest you’ll get to being the actual Batman without being called Christian Bale or Ben Affleck… Or being a smegging billionaire… You know what I mean! And whilst that means a lot of tense and memorable encounters with iconic villains, epic scraps against waves of henchmen and the always excellent “Bat-Stealth” sections, unfortunately “being” the Batman and ensuring the safety of an entire city does include some menial caretaker work… Looking at you, Riddler. And when I say the entire city, I do mean the entire city, as Rocksteady have finally opened the gates of Gotham for the player.
Well here we are another battlefield game but this time it has headed into a different direction. Instead of a normal war-time game, it has switched to a drug war. In my opinion this is a good step mainly because many games franchises never take the risk of changing it up, it’s good to see battlefield took the leap of faith. Danny has been a keen Battlefield player since his article way back when he started with JoypadAndMe on why he switched from Call Of Duty to BattleField. After talking about the Beta for Battlefield Hardline previously on the website, Danny couldn’t wait to try the full game out and give you his thoughts on this step away from the standard Battlefield format.
I have always been a fan of Battlestar Galactica. I grew up watching the original series and enjoyed the newer version and loved the idea of playing a game in that world. I had heard of Battlestar Online a while back but my poor laptop had a few hassles. After cleaning it up and sorting it out on of the first things I did was to jump onto Battlestar Online and give it a go. I thought this would be perfect to write about as it is my first my first MMO. I’ve never been interested in getting involved with games like World Of Warcraft etc with monthly subscriptions and the idea of a free to play game in a genre I like appealed to me.
Point and click adventures are a timeless way to interact with video games. The lack of deeper gameplay mechanics allows a focus on narrative and problem solving that you do not get from other genres. In this way the games live and die by the world that the writers and designers create. At an early stage of the game the mixture of characters is plain to see from Orcs to pirates and enchanted Figureheads the character pool allows a deepening story to be played out. This is made even deeper by the playable Critter from the title. At first you control each one of them through their own sections but as the game progresses you can freely jump between them to solve puzzles and progress the story.
Broken age started life back in 2012 as a Kickstarter project under the name Double Fine Adventure. With an initial development goal of $400,000 it soon smashed that by hitting £3.45 million with 87,000 backers. Broken age became the largest crowdfunded video game project at the time and also proved that crowd funding was a viable way for developers to fund their games and help their ideas and creations come to fruition. It showed that not only was their interest out there for a game still in early development but there was also the people and the funds to back the project. Many indie developers have now taken the crowd funding sites to help with their development and marketing costs with varying results.
Developed by Starbreeze Studios in collaboration with Swedish award winning film director Josef Fares, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons tells the story of two brothers on a quest to save their fathers life. Billed as a single player co-op game, it starts off by showing you that your father is dying, the two brothers are then given a quest by the village doctor who asks you to follow a map to find something that can cure your father. Using the controllers right and left analogue and triggers (KB/M is supported but definitely not recommended) to control the two brothers you set off in search of this cure, along the way you will need to solve puzzles and navigate platforms.
Valve have a habit of encouraging and embracing community mods and just over 12 years ago a mod for the popular Half Life title helped spawn one of the dominant PC shooters of all time Counter Strike. Up until now Valve have kept their flagship FPS firmly on the PC (and the Mac to a lesser extent),but with the release of Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) they have finally taken a punt in the console market. To my Shame I have never played a Counter Strike title before so I decided to really test this title by playing it on its home format the PC. Firstly the download from steam was easy to use and quick to complete even for a novice like me. Although this is not a direct reflection of the title its ease of access is important in enticing new players into what can be a pretty hard core title.
Crouched down, cloak activated, weapons silenced. Watching, waiting, planning. Welcome to Crysis 3, an FPS stealth/action “sandbox” and I use the term loosely as it seems that playing through, you’re given the space to go exploring but never the inclination. Your waypoints are always visible and when the game does give you secondary objectives they turn out to be fetch quests. “oh, some intel is over there, go get it”…yawn. Set 24 years after the events of Crysis 2, New York has been taken over by CELL and a huge dome has been erected over the city, making it a city sized greenhouse where nature has taken it’s revenge and created an urban rainforest, and it is beautiful to behold. You play as Prophet, a super soldier encased in a set of reverse engineered alien armour called a nanosuit.
In the gaming world I have noticed that there are two types of people. Those that like tower defense games and those that despise them. I am in the former camp here. I love them. Theres something satisfying about working out your tower placements and upgrades and being ready for the oncoming wave of devious creatures that want to get past you and take away your precious whatever’s in order to destroy you. I played the original Defense Grid on Steam and loved every minute of it. Sure, it had its points that it could improve on but what game doesn’t. Seeing Defense Grid 2 come to the console meant that this was a no brainer. Come hell or high water, I’ll play Defense Grid 2 but would it actually be any good?
If you have not played any of the Dragon Age games before, you are thrown into a world full of rich lore, so it may be daunting at first, but you will soon understand and love it. Your character is a survivor of a massive explosion at the Conclave – where the Chantry (similar to our own Church) were acting as mediators for the war between the mages and templars. The explosion left a massive tear in the sky (called the Breach) which leads into the Fade (a kind of dream/nightmare-ish realm where demons and spirits reside). Like with other Bioware games, they keep the cutscenes dynamic via the decision wheel, which pop-up in cutscenes and allow you to choose what to say, and your voiced protagonist will portray what you want.
Dragonball has finally solved the age-old question of how you add original characters and plot and then weave them into the path of a well-trodden storyline. The answer: time-changing shenanigans! Unoriginal? Maybe, but it breathes new life into the series, and poses a number of fascinating “What If?” questions. What if you swapped bodies with Captain Ginyu instead of Goku? What if Hercule wasn’t totally useless…? Summoned by Trunks through the power of Shenron and the Dragonballs to Toki Toki City, you play a silent warrior from one of five races: Human, Saiyan, Namekian, or from the unnamed species that Frieza and Buu belong to (Frieza Race and Buu Race are the names given here).
Developed by the same team behind the critically acclaimed indie RPGs Skyborn and Deadly Sin I & II, Echoes of Aetheria is yet another turn-based RPG released by the company making use of the increasingly popular RPG Maker gaming engine used in the development of other indie RPGs such as Chronicles of Dark Lord and Remnants of Isolation. Compared to the two aforementioned indie RPGs, it ranks somewhere in the middle in my opinion; it has charm in most aspects, but not as much charm or as much intensity or complexity as Chronicles of a Dark Lord, but much more immersing and thankfully longer than Remnants of Isolation Reminiscent of the steampunk setting of many of the later instalments of the Final Fantasy series starting with Final Fantasy VI, it features excellent use of 16-bit pixel art, as well as variety in location and enemy design.
Fallout 4 (Written by Julius)
Fallout; one of the most recognisable titles in the gaming industry, and boy do they like to advertise it. Bethesda really go to town with their Fallout games and Fallout 4 is no different. Releasing to the public as one of the most anticipated titles of the year brings with it some very high expectations. Holding up to those expectations has been the downfall of many titles that inevitably fall by the wayside. Can Bethesda push Fallout 4 past those issues and make this latest iteration the stand out title for the Fallout series that will also hold its own while being released in the busiest gaming time of the year? Step out of your secure vaults and take a look at what Julius thinks of Fallout 4 in this review.
This game was made for people like me, probably made by people like me. People who grew up during the 80’s and 90’s when everything was neon light and good guys were able to mow down entire armies without barely receiving a scratch themselves. From the opening helicopter run (with excellent backing track) to the finale and everything in between this is a game that’ll have you grinning from ear to ear, laughing when you see a movie nod, cringing during the 8-bit sex scene and downright WTF’ing when you first come across the titles name sake; the giant laser-shooting eyes Blood Dragons. These monstrosities can be found all over the island and generally don’t like anybody
The introduction is impressive and show cases a lot of the good things about the game. The graphics are nice as is the environment. I enjoyed exploring it and immediately after starting the game it was fun to spend a little while just looking about. There are lots of ways to navigate the world, you can drive, cycle, air glide, swim or grapple hook about. Or, if you invest in a particular development skill tree, which you should immediately and as soon as possible, you can even ride elephants and smash stuff up. Of course if, like me, you’d seen someone riding an elephant in the gameplay and, like me, tried to ride one before investing in that particular skill, you’ll end up on the less friendly side of the elephant smashing.
Hailing from Bergen Norway, developers Henchman & Goon are bringing their 8-bit speed runner title to Steam. Originally created during a charity game jam back in 2012, Henchmen & Goon decided that they should bring this title to the masses via Steam. Flem has been tweeked and spruced up ready for its Steam release at the end of April. Featuring time trials and competitive leaderboards as well as an 8-bit soundtrack to go along with its Nintendo NES inspired graphics. Ryan decided to take a look at this tastefully titled game to see if it would be able to hold its snotty head above the already crowded indie game scene on PC.
Game dev tycoon is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Your role is that of a games developer with a passion for making games. You start off in your bedroom tapping away on your pc with you limited abilities and resources and create the best that you can. If you manage to hit a magic niche then just like real indie developers, you can end up with a roaring success on your hands. The more successes you have and the more money that they bring in then the bigger and better your future projects can be. As the game progresses you are able to expand and grow from a back room indie developer to a full on development studio and even create your own console.
Originally entering this world as an Easter Egg of sorts in Project Gotham Racing 2, Geometry Wars took on a life all of its own. A Smash-TV inspired twin stick shooter, Geometry Wars channels your inner high schooler, and has you declare War on Geometry. Yeah, suck it Maths! I can’t wait for the next round of Algebra Incursions, or Quadratic Skirmishes. After Bizarre went under, people thought we’d never feel the sweet sensation of massacring shapes to the sounds of thumping techno and the sight of some insane colour explosions ever again. So let’s thank our heroes at Sierra for providing us our latest instalment of rainbow-flavoured delirium. For the uninitiated, the premise is simple: you, the Little Spaceship That Could, must destroy waves of evil geometry that hate you and everything you stand for…
Race Driver: GRID was one of the first well-made driving games to come out this generation. Now on the end of a generation it’s up to Codemasters to show what they have learned throughout the years with its other games, such as the DiRT-series. GRID 2 singleplayer is the basic ‘from rags to riches’ affair, starting from the bottom of the food chain and making your way up the list to be the very best. The running idea this time is World Series Racing, WSR. A new sport combining drivers all around the world to compete against each other. You are the series’ new star driver and with your skills, racing around the world and gaining popularity, you will help WSR become the #1 place for motorsport entertainment.
Originally released on Sony’s PSP with a sequel on XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) Half minute hero is completing the rounds by turning up on Steam (also playism). The question is will its fast paced nature be able to fulfill your time and engross you in to playing the entirety of the game. In a word Yes. Its fun, challenging and with gameplay from a mixture of genres its enough to keep you coming back for more. Some games are able to make you smile and drive you to frustration in almost equal measure. Half minute hero (as I will refer to it) is one of those games. The need for quick faultless control and a certain amount of problem solving can make you need and want to replay a level in order to improve your time.
Ironcast is an indie game, developed with the likes of Candy Crush and Jelly Splash in mind, but offer something extremely different; blending it with customisation options as well as turn-based RPG combat. For me, it has been one of the best games released on Steam this year so far, since it goes far beyond the level of enjoyment that a simple puzzle game can bring. Aside from having a fairly decent range of different robots to command with each playthrough, the game is set in an alternative reality, where the English are still warring with the French by the year 1886 and England has taken on more of a steampunk theme during the Industrial Revolution.
I’m going to begin my latest stream of consciousness with a declaration: the title of this game is a damn lie! Between you, the woman you’re following (hardly a spoiler, it’s in the description of the game) and the mysterious force that’s hell-bent on annihilating you at every moment, I’d say this planet has a bit of life on it. Then again, “Sort of Still Got Some Life on It I Guess Planet” isn’t a catchy title, and even though there are other lifeforms, this is still very much a lonely expedition. I don’t think I’ve felt this isolated in a long time when playing a game, even in the face of other life forms and excerpts from Old Russian documents. Normally, you’ll have a constant stream of dialogue with a cast of supporting characters, offering wisecracks and generally being ignorant of the perils around them. Not here.
It’s that time once again, where fighting game players up and down the land begin to display guttural, primal and violent tendencies, so much so that competitors can often be found disembowelled and lacking vital pieces of their skeleton. If you’re a little bit confused, allow me to alleviate: Mortal Kombat X has finally arrived, and oh my, it is a cacophony of blood, guts, and gore. With so much content on offer, I barely even know where to begin, so I’ll start as the game starts, with the Faction War. Upon first loading the game, you’re given the choice between 5 established Mortal Kombat factions: The Lin Kuei, the Black Dragon, Special Forces, the White Lotus and the Brotherhood of Shadow.
Evil has returned. Demonic powers are manifesting themselves as a myriad of dark creatures, fighting over the fates of imprisoned souls caught in Purgatory. Once again, it is up to Daniel Garner, in the unenviable position of being the Curse of Darkness and the Toy of Light, to fight his way past hordes of demons and fiends”. Publisher Quote. The developers at Farm 51 have made a push to make sure we understand this game is an old school FPS. Its lightning quick gameplay is mixed with enemies who rush and if you are not alive to your surroundings you will get boxed in and death is just an axe swing away. I have never played a Painkiller game before a so I cannot compare this title to its predecessors.
More and more games are making the transition from mobile markets to the console market. There seems to be a demand for smaller, less expensive games that have some good, strong gaming mechanics to them to offset the more expensive triple A titles. Developers Yeah Us have decided to jump in on this market opening and bring their title Pumped BMX+ to the PlayStation platforms. I’ve always been a fan of games such as Tony Hawk, Matt Hoffman and Dave Mirra titles so any BMX or skateboarding game always piques my interest. After seeing the trailer for Pumped BMX+ I had to see what it was like. The obvious comparison that will probably be made initially is that to the Trials games one mobile. I can tell you now that its nothing like them. Yes its a linear track game and you control the bike to make it to the end of each level but that’s where it ends.
An indie turn-based RPG developed with the popular RPG Maker engine, the same engine used to develop other indie RPGs, such as Chronicles of a Dark Lord, Remnants of Isolation has a story and an artistic direction different to that of many other games of its kind. Unfortunately, the game does have its fair share of faults and drawbacks, unfortunately making it dwarf in quality compared with some of the great titles of the genre, such as Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger. The most interesting thing about the game in my opinion is the visuals and the conceptual design. Taking place in a mysterious and enchanted prison, it features imagery and characters inspired by a multitude of different cultures and mythologies; most prominently, medieval fantasy.
I think there’s something funny in the water cooler at the offices of Volition, because games like Saints Row don’t come from the minds of anyone rational; they come from the minds of loonies. Maybe their offices are attached to an actual insane asylum, and the inmates enter the premises unattended to create their own vision. It would explain the visible shift you can see the series take during its progression, as the crazies begin to infiltrate the production team. A title that was born out of a potential DLC idea, Volition expanded the idea and created the sequel to SR3. Ashley takes a look at the madcap world that you take on in the sandbox extravaganza that is Saints Row 4!
In 2013. Yacht Club Games, a recently formed studio helmed by a fellow named Sean Velasco, had a hankering to make a game in a similar vein to Mega Man and Duck Tales, as one tends to do. Of course, making games is a serious expenditure, one that Yacht Club needed some help with. Taking to Kickstarter on March 17, 2013 to announce their very first game, Shovel Knight, Yacht Club were inundated with funding from a variety of sources and by the time the campaign ended, their $75,000 goal was smashed and the final total reached over $300,000. Fast forward through some unfortunate delays and the announcement of free DLC updates in the future, we arrive at today: Shovel Knight is finally here on Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Vita and PC.
A year ago developer Curve release a prototype game that was fully free to play and had a great reception with players. That game was Stealth Bastard and now a year on the game has grown up, fleshed out and has come to Steam (now with a small price tag). With 80 core levels ,to well over a 1000 community levels to download from the outset this game certainly gives you value for money in terms of content. The main question then becomes is the game worth playing? Stealth Bastard is a 2D puzzle platformer, where the objective of every level is to reach the exit. This simple task is made more difficult by the need to evade cameras, lasers, drones, robots and other defensive equipment.
Creating a game that works on multiple interfaces is a tricky principle. Games like Killzone 3 have been able to mix the use of a standard controller with the implementation of Playstation Move. The trouble is the game was designed to be played on a controller so the Move just felt like an inferior way to play the game and so it fell out of favour with most players. The developers of Tiny Troopers Kukori faced a similar problem, with a game like this if the controls were broken the game could have easily crashed. Tiny Troopers was originally designed to be played with a touch screen, so a new control scheme would have to be implemented for the game to feel at home on the PC.
Philip K. Dick posed the rhetorical question “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” with his 1968 book of the same title. Gamers are offered a similar query: “Do Gamers Dream of Big Dumb Mech Fights?” I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I love a good robotic slobber knocker every now and again. Nothing like a good old fashioned mechanical donnybrook to really get the motor running… Moving on from my dodgy word play, I present you with Titanfall, a game devoted to pitting Man vs. Man, Man vs. Mech and of course, Mech vs. Mech across a variety of maps and game modes. Normally at this point in my strict reviewing formula, I’d mention the story, but this game has about the same level of exposition and major plot points as a walk to the shops.
There’s a certain formula or recipe that goes into creating Tower of Guns, and it goes a little something this: Tower of Guns (Serves 1) A base of procedurally generated environments, 2 dollops of Unreal Tournament, 1 helping of Ikaruga (another bullet-hell shooter substitute will do fine), A sprinkling of RPG elements. You take Unreal Tournament and your bullet-hell shooter of choice, mash them together, all the while liberally sprinkling your RPG elements, and then pour the results over the biscuit base, made of a procedurally generated environment, and VOILA! One homemade Tower of Guns made just for you. Try not to eat it all in one go.
Wolfenstein: The New Order was one of two sleeper hits of 2014, in my opinion, the other one being Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare if you’re interested. I expected it to be a pile of arse, but came away pleasantly surprised by it all. Great story, interesting characters, fun gameplay, whilst not taking itself too seriously (Nazi moon base. ‘Nuff said); in a nutshell, The New Order was a beautiful game. So I’m sure you can picture my elation when I saw that Machine Games and Bethesda were releasing a prequel, entitled The Old Blood. Over the Nazi moon is the expression I’d use. Unlike the continuous narrative of The New Order, The Old Blood (this might get confusing) is split into two parts.