The Xbox One, Microsoft’s Newest iteration of their gaming console. A serious upgrade in regards to processing power, graphical ability and connectivity from its parent, the Xbox and the Xbox 360. Launched in 2013 it has seen gamers from all around the world take their online gaming to a new level with social media and streaming options now open to their disposal.
Click on the title image or the Name of the game to be taken to the full review.
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.
Based on a comic book that no one I know has heard anything about, Blue Estate has very little to do with either the colour blue, or the socio-economic struggles of the housing market. I would say it’s about mafia boss Don Luciano’s prized horse, the titular “Blue Estate”, and the Pulp Fiction-esque kerfuffle that ensues in trying to rescue it, but really, Blue Estate has very little to do with anything other than daft, over the top madness. That’s not to say there isn’t a plot as there is, and it’s silly, but essentially, as with most on-rails shooters, the plot simply exists as a crutch to guide the player from one encounter to the next, whether that be a Korean nightclub, the warehouse of a fast food establishment or a golf course populated by Eastern European goons using grenades as balls.
Another day, another zombie outbreak in the Dead Rising universe, and it’s time for a new protagonist to step up and realise his destiny as a psychopath killing, zombie slaying, conspiracy uncovering badass of awesome. It’s a bit of a shame then, that Nick Ramos is somewhat of a charisma vacuum in comparison to Frank West and Chuck Greene, but that’s not the only shame here. We’ll get to that. Taking place in the fictional city of Los Perdidos, you step into the shoes of mechanic Nick Ramos, 3 days into the latest zombie outbreak. Initially only concerned with just surviving, a news report reveals that the army plan to firebomb the city in a few days.
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).
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.
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.
FIFA 14 (Written by Danny)
Yes we finally have fifa on next-gen and it looks absolutely stunning the graphics really have taken a leap into transformation with the new consoles. And one thing that helps this the game face of most of the clubs in the game. It’s great to see that EA finally got their act together trying to create the most realistic football game possible. They took the time to go around to many football clubs catching pictures from footballers faces and putting them into the game which is outstanding. Even the stadiums look spectacular I love watching the intros to a game getting the full view of the stadium in about to play in, this really draws me in and at some points makes me feel like im actually at the game.
Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast And Furious (Written by Ashley)
When I first heard about this unexpected collaboration, my initial thoughts were of this effect: “I’d have thought this would have been more of a Need for Speed thing”. Squeaky-clean simulated racer Forza, working with the brash and ostentatious Fast and Furious series for gaming purposes? Even though the Horizon sub-series sees Forza take to da streetz (Ash’s Mind: Never say that again, EVER), it’s still a crossover of two completely different styles, but now I’ve had chance to play it, I think that’s the point. Strap in, turn the nitrous to full and let loose as we find out if Fast and Furious can add to an already very popular racing series.
Geometry Wars 3 Dimensions Evolved (Written by Ashley)
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…
Goat Simulator… I mean, who in their right mind would think this is a good idea for a game? I’d love to know how it was pitched: “Um… so in this game… you play as a goat.” “A goat?” “Yeah, and yo-…….” “NEXT!” But Coffee Stain Studios, undeterred by a lack of faith in goats as a gaming protagonist, decided to follow their dreams and create Goat Simulator, and to be fair, made a huge amount of success from it already, before it was ported to the Xbox One. Not bad when you consider that the game itself is basically the same joke told a thousand times over. Okay, let’s take a step back. This isn’t necessarily a game, not by any conventional sense of the word. Sure, it features game elements, like a score and combo system, plus a series of objectives to achieve.
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.
Middle Earth: Shadow Of Mordor (Written by Julius)
Talion, a Ranger of Gondor, stationed at the Black Gate, is killed along with his family. In the form of a curse, he is banished from the afterlife and bound to a Wraith, for what purpose, he doesn’t know. But the only way to remove the curse is to kill the one who set it upon him; The Black Hand of Sauron. While Talion’s story and the Wraith’s story is pretty damn awesome – especially when you find out the Wraith’s history – it kind of dulls as it progresses. You know the goal from the start, kill the Black Hand. And while the missions were quite interesting, and some boring, the real fun is in the world itself. Truth be told, I finished this game a while back, but only now have I formulated the right words to how I feel about this game. I like it, I really do.
Mortal Kombat X (Written by Ashley)
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.
GET HEISTING, SON! Simple math: (Dark Knight bank heist – the ensuing string of betrayals) X that shoot-out from Heat + 4-player co-op = Payday 2: Crimewave Edition. An analogy I am sure has been done to death already, but once you’ve experienced the thrill of boosting $1 million in gold from a National Bank and barely escape the almost overwhelming D.C. Police force, you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to. Unless of course, you’ve never seen The Dark Knight or Heat, in which case this will all be new to you. In fact, depending on what version of Payday you’ve previously played, a lot of this may or may not be new to you anyway. The Crimewave Edition brings the Payday 2 console experience in line with the current PC version, including all the updates, new heists, characters, gear and other luxuries that us console luddites weren’t afforded.
Peggle 2 (Written by Gareth)
PopCap and EA return to the world of Peggle with 60 brand new levels, new wacky power ups, a vastly improved multiplayer and some new faces arrive in this at one point Xbox One exclusive. Peggle 2 plays almost exactly the same way as it’s predecessor. Your aim is to hit every single orange peg on the board with your ten balls you fire from your cannon. Your only guide is an arrow that shows the trajectory of you ball and in a pin ball style it bounces off of other pegs and obstacles making its way to the abyss below. Each peg you hit on the way down disappears in the next turn and scattered amongst these are pink score multiplying pegs and green power up pegs that make overcoming the level slightly easier.
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.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first: Q.U.B.E looks like Portal, plays like Portal, and if we’re all being honest, it was likely inspired by Portal. But make no mistake about it, Q.U.B.E aims to be a whole different beast. If Portal is the comedy of puzzlers, Q.U.B.E seems to be the dramatic equivalent. Q.U.B.E’s puzzles involve manipulating different coloured blocks to either traverse the environment or move objects from A to B. Red blocks can form towers of up to 3, 3 yellow blocks can form staircases and blue blocks can launch you across the map. Though simple at first, the game is constantly throwing new concepts at you, yet Q.U.B.E a fantastic job of easing them into the puzzles.
It must be hard being somebody important in the Resident Evil universe, as once you become embroiled in bioterrorism incidents or zombie outbreaks, they seem to follow you around everywhere. A simple walk to the shops can turn into a fight for survival, or a family visit can inexplicably morph into a sudden mutation extravaganza. Or maybe this happens… At a TerraSave conference with Moira Burton, daughter of series favourite Barry Burton, Claire Redfield is basically loving life and being appreciative of the fact she isn’t involved in another horrible freak show of bioterrorism, experimentation and all-round abject horror…
Let’s open with a bold statement: There aren’t enough games that utilise the full extent of the Roman Empire, outside of the Coliseum. Literally exploding right out of the gate, Rome is in flames, with the aforementioned barbarians ransacking the city. As Marius, our one man wrecking crew of a protagonist, you save the Emperor, Nero, by locking yourselves in a hidden vault. From here, things turn into Jet Li’s Hero, as Marius recounts the tale of his life which led him to that moment. This being a videogame, however, you can expect your usual mix of death, death, death, some slight betrayal sprinkled around the side, and then back to your regularly scheduled death. And oh my, it’s certainly an exquisite looking death.
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!
Let’s all be honest with ourselves: we love playing rollercoaster games, as we love seeing coaster cars filled with hapless victims being flung from rickety contraptions at high velocity, but no-one can really be bothered with maintaining the upkeep of a theme park. Sweeping generalisations about gaming habits aside, what about a game that just cuts out the middleman? A game that sees you either creating amazing rollercoasters with sixteen different loop-de-loops and a jump or five and then test riding them, or destroying said rollercoaster and the array of buildings located in the immediate area. Basically, this game is ScreamRide, or Health and Safety Violation Simulator to give it a better title.
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, an eventual PC release and the announcement of free DLC updates in the future, we arrive at today: Shovel Knight is finally here on Xbox One and PS4.
If there was ever a game that could be described as the embodiment of black-tar heroin in videogame form, Spectra might be that game: dangerously addictive and almost hazardous to your health are both accurate descriptions of a typical Spectra experience. “Good fun” would be another, along with “only in moderation”. The premise couldn’t be simpler: you pilot a ship down a platform floating in space. Avoid obstacles and going off course, and survive a time limit. Sounds easy enough, and it is in the beginning, but you’ll soon find yourself facing Turbo Tunnel levels of sheer insanity. Mercifully, you only receive a game over once you’ve gone off course; the amount of barriers I’ve collided with is enough to make me an insurance nightmare.
Sunset Overdrive. “The Chosen One”. This, is what we Xbox “fanboys” held as our pinnacle of exclusivity in some trying times. “Dude, Xbox One sucks!” “No matter, Sunset Overdrive will deliver us to a new Golden Age. Behold, the Messiah!” Of course, talking like that is what gets you sectioned under the Mental Health Act, though at least you’d fit into Sunset Overdrive’s world. But is worth escaping the Asylum to try and nab a copy? Whilst the gameplay is fun, you can’t help but feel that Sunset Overdrive is trying its darnedest just to be “cool”. The story is suitably maniacal for a game which, like someone’s embarrassing dad, is attempting to make themselves look “down with the kids” and whatnot.
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.