BlazeRush Review

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Back in’t olden times we used to have only 16 bits in our consoles, times were tough but we were ‘appy. We got through the long internet free days by playing games on our Super Nintendos, one such game which I happily played was Rock N Roll Racing. Rock N Roll Racing was a futuristic racer played from an isometric view point, with a cracking soundtrack and even more cracking gameplay. I am among those who are unfortunately old enough to have fond memories of this often forgotten masterpiece. It seems that BlazeRush developers, Targem Games, are among the small but vocal supporters of Silicon and Synapse’s game.

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BlazeRush saw initial release on PS3, Windows and Mac at the tail end of 2014 and has just been ported to the PS4. Players take control of 16 different players each with their own vehicles to race and loads of different tracks spread over 3 planets. Each character has differing stats and at the end of each race you will have the opportunity to change your character. This game is all about your individual achievements, changing up characters to maximize your chances of success, there is an absolute ton on trophies and achievements to unlock as well as new vehicles and characters.

BlazeRush has 3 different modes, Survival, King of the Hill and Race. Survival sees you racing against your opponents all the while trying to escape from a massive steam roller which chases you around the track, the racer with the least number of deaths wins. King of the Hill mode is won by being the racer who spends the most amount of time in 1st position and Race is your average 3 lap race to the finish.

 

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Each mode will come up randomly through out the 1 player career mode, with each race having certain criteria to fulfill in order to progress or to earn upgrades. BlazeRush also offers 8 player multiplayer, but there was no one online at the time of playing and so this mode could not be tested. Whether this was because no one is playing the game or a server error, I’m not sure.

BlazeRush plays brilliantly and you will not be flying off the track due to over steering etc, the weapons system is great fun as weapons only slow down your opponent and only coming off the track will see you lose any significant ground on the rest of your opponents. This leads to some really tightly contested races and I’m sure Blaze Rush will be an even better experience against human opponents.

BlazeRush is a real fun experience and fans of games such as Rock N Roll Racing will lap it up, if you’re looking for something a little different to play over the festive period you could do worse than giving BlazeRush a crack.

seven/10


Blaze Rush is out now on PSN for £7.99

In order to complete this review we were given a Review Code.

Rainbow Six: Siege Review

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After a small hiatus, Rainbow Six returns. Can it keep up in this new gaming landscape?

Rainbow Six: Siege has come along at just the right time if you like your military simulators to be more real world. This year has been the year of fantasy FPS, and some even in a galaxy far far away. So it’s a nice refreshing change to bring things back down to earth. But how does Siege stack up?

The last time we saw Team Rainbow was some 7 years ago with the brilliant Rainbow Six Vegas, a strange hybrid of first person tactical shooter and third person shooting. Since then all we’ve heard of Rainbow Six is the mysterious Rainbow Six: Patriots. Until now that is, Rainbow Six is back and it’s gone right back to its roots. Almost

First and foremost Rainbow Six: Siege isn’t very good value for money, there are only two multiplayer modes for you to choose from, and a slightly run of the mill single player mode which plays more like training operations rather than full-blown story led missions.

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The main game you’ll be playing is Hostage Rescue, a game based around a handful of rounds that see teams of five players either defend or rescue a designated target. It’s up the terrorists to bunker down, reinforce positions, set traps and generally make hard work for the incoming rescuers. On the flip side if you’re on the counter terrorist team, you can use your remote control robots to scout the area and find entry points that may have been missed. The levels are certainly small and claustrophobic and have atmosphere dripping from each of them. It’s quite horrifying being a terrorist, sitting there, waiting, hearing the smashing of glass the thud of footsteps from all over, never knowing which direction they’re coming from, it’s very tense.

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What adds to the tension is the destructible scenery, usual reserved for a gimmick in most games. In Siege it really adds to the gameplay. You can blow a hole or shoot through any wall that’s not a load-baring wall, if you know what I mean, ceilings, floors, walls, furniture, nothing is really safe to hide behind. It’s an intrinsic part to the cat and mouse gameplay and if you don’t think about it, you’re surely a dead man.

Each of the maps you play has randomised locations so you can’t just find the best spot to hide to protect the package. It’s different each time, essentially making it a new map, so they may be small in size but the replay-ability is right up there. What lets the game down, and it’s not really the game’s fault is the people who play it. Rainbow Six Siege works great, really great if you have a team of friends who are all talking. As is the case these days, if you’re in a team of strangers, no one talks leaving just a random un-tactical mess, ruining all the hard work Ubisoft have done to make this a team game.

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Anyway, if you’re in a chatty team or not there are a bunch of different ‘operators’ that you can play as, all having their own unique weapons and equipment. There’s a hammer type guy who can smash through things, a dude with a riot shield, a medic and so on. Of course these all have to be unlocked, which you can do my levelling up by playing either the multiplayer or single player but does take a long old-time. Horrifically though, you can level up as quickly as you like via fucking micro transactions! Vile.

The other multiplayer facet is Terrorist Hunt, which is more you’re run and gun mode and a much-needed release from the tension of the hostage rescue.

The single player, as stated are a collection of what feel like extended tutorials, 10 levels in total increasing in difficulty the more you complete. These levels are perfectly entertaining, if unforgiving, the AI is inconsistent and the terrorists can nearly always see you first even if you’re not in their line of sight. Your shooting also needs to be pin point, because there is no aim in the general head area and hope for a head shot. Oh no, you need to get the head or you miss. Not helped by what seems like recoil that is out of control. I’ve never handled a real gun so I don’t know if this is realistic or not, but seems to be a little on the crazy side. Also, the aiming is a pain in the arse. Although I think this is more down to my DualShock 4 rather than the game, a slight nudge and your reticule is miles off where you’re trying to aim. There are settings to adjust sensitivity so I’m sure there is something there to fit your needs.

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Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® Siege_20151212204603

Rainbow Six can be a lot of fun if you’re looking for a realistic military sim and have a collection of players that actually want to speak to each other while playing. For the rest of us who are looking for a shooter that’s not set in the future or in space, Siege is perhaps not the one. Not because the game is bad, when it works its great fun, but because it’s not very good value for money for a casual gamer. The game costs around £45-50 with only two multiplayer modes and a short single player experience. Add in the micro transactions and a further £25 for the seasons pass and you’re spending a lot of money on not much of game. I enjoyed Siege, it’s tense claustrophobic and full of atmosphere. For the hardcore you’ll have some awesome squad fun. For the casual gamer, there is little here I can recommend that will warrant the purchase(s).

Seven/10


RAINBOW SIX SIEGE

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft

Rainbow Six: Siege is available now on PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One and PC

Disclaimer: In order the complete this review, we were provided a copy of the game from the publisher.

 


All Announcements and Trailers from The Game Awards 2015

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Tonight saw Geoff and the gang take to the stage for the second annual Game Awards show. It was full of Doritos, Mountain Dew and commercialism  appreciation for this years biggest and best games, their developers, a genuinely touching tribute to Iwata and there were a few “world exclusive” game announcements made too. We sat through this marketing video thoroughly enjoyable show so you didn’t have to. Here are all the winners, losers and “World Premier” game announcements of The Game Awards 2015 in one handy post.
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République coming to PS4

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Fancy pants mobile stealth-em-up République is getting a  swanky retail version that’s coming to our beloved PS4

And being a retail version, all episodes that were previously released on PC and Mobile will be available in on tasty package. Although that will set you back $24.99 (about £15)

In République you take control of Hope who is trying to escape from Metamorphosis, a shadowy totalitarian state ruled by the omnipresent Overseer. Just so happens Hope is a master of hacking and stealth which should help you out some what.

Hacking Gameplay – Throughout the game, Hope will seek the player’s support to help her escape and protect her in the process by gaining control of any network-enabled devices and overcoming puzzle scenarios along the way. Players can hack into security cameras, power down lights, wiretap calls, summon elevators, and slam doors on Hope’s pursuers.

Engaging Story – République is more than a stealth-action game. By creating a gameplay system that drives the symbiotic relationship between Hope and the player, players become more engaged as Hope’s protector. Aside from the main story, players can help Hope collect banned books, cassette tapes, and other unique items that will further immerse players in this futuristic dystopian world.

Developer Pedigree – République is developed by a team of veterans in the industry who worked behind AAA games such as Metal Gear Solid, Halo, F.E.A.R., and cutting edge videos such as the Skyrim television spot and iconic iPod “silhouette” ads. Players will also be able to eavesdrop on interactive developer commentary while playing the game.

“With nearly a quarter-century of experience working with retailers to bring games to the masses, we are eager to lend that expertise to République and Gungho Online Entertainment America,” said Tim Pivnicny, vice president of sales and marketing, Atlus USA. “The mystery and excitement in the stealth gameplay of République is so unique, we’re certain that gamers would love to have a physical copy in their collection, and we’re honored to be able to bring it to them.”

Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut Review

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Our review of Wasteland 2 Director’s Cut on PS4:

Good post nuclear apocalypse RPG’s are like buses. We wait years for one and then they all arrive at the same time. While most people are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Fallout 4, developers inXile and the producers of the original Fallout have ported their own radiation fueled strategy action RPG called Wasteland 2 to PS4 as the Directors Cut. And it is bloody great.

Before you set out into the Wastelands, you get to create your own team of four fresh-faced Desert Ranger recruits. You can choose to use a default set of pre-made law men and women or customise your own group. The depth of options here is incredible. Appearance, attributes, skills, abilities and knowledge can all be tweaked and changed to tailor your players to how you want to play.

After your team have been assembled, they are off into the nuclear wasteland to investigate the murder of veteran Desert Ranger Ace. This is where the game let’s go of your hand, the tutorials stop and you wander head first into a difficulty spike that will make or break your experience with Wasteland 2. You see, it has a depth of play that is quite rare these days. The myriad of Stats and figures all count for something, defining how you can progress and unless you have at least a rudimentary understanding of everything, the learning curve will turn into a rage quit within seconds. Doors won’t open, Safes will remain shut, the creatures of the wasteland will tear you limb from limb. I know this because I had to re-start the game 3 times after watching my squad get killed by giant rabbits and my auto-save had left me in a less than desirable position.

wasteland-2unity-5aIn all my years of playing games, experiencing a plethora of end of the world RPG’s along the way, I have never come across a game that is as imposing as Wasteland 2. Every single action you take has a cost. The plot is full of decisions that have no right choices, when the lesser of two evils is still Pol Pot riding a hell-hound. Even tiny decisions you make have consequences. Take a risky pot shot and you might regret it later on when you are running out of ammo. Try kicking over a door that’s a little too tough and you could end up seriously injured. Think you’ve found a short cut? It’s probably lined with boobie traps and mines. Everything in Wasteland 2 is risky. Everything.

While the game gives you the opportunity to upgrade skills that let you negotiate and talk things out with potential adversaries, the first third of Wasteland 2 is very combat orientated regardless of how diplomatic you want to be. You will end up cutting a bloody swath in the turn based combat mode that is reminiscent of the recent XCOM games for the first 10 hours of the game and apart from some quirks, it’s a very enjoyable system. Go toe to toe with an enemy and the area gets overlayed with a grid. Each characters speed attribute allocates their AP, or Action Points, which determine how many actions can be performed during each turn. Moving, shooting, reloading, crouching, unjamming or swapping your weapon all cost AP and once each of your squad has spent up, your enemy gets to respond. On the surface, this combat system seems really simple but the character statistics have a huge influence. If a squadie has high strength or better armour, they receive less damage. If they have a higher perception, they can spot enemies further away. Better weaponry delivers higher damage. It’s deceptively deep.

There is one very irritating aspect of the combat in Wasteland 2 that doesn’t seem to follow any rhyme or reason. While shooting, a percentage appears above every enemy that’s in range. This appears to correspond to how likely it is that you will score a hit but seems to defy simple mathematics. Shooting 4 time at an enemy who an 80% chance to strike and missing with each of them happens all too often. Maybe I’m just the unluckiest man alive but losing a Ranger because he unloaded an entire pistol clip at an enemy at point-blank range and hit nothing but air is rage inducing.

There are a few other quirks that aren’t game breaking but are still mildly frustrating. A lot of the maps that involve multiple levels of elevation make it quite difficult to select the exact place you want to direct someone to. The cursor sometimes bolts off with a mind of its own and sometimes characters end up doing a Dynamo impression, floating in mid-air. Then there is the text size. It’s a little on the small size which can make important information easy to miss.

For a game called Wasteland, its interesting that the game includes a number of detailed lush environments to accompany the desert landscapes. While other apocalypses seem to render the world in brown and grey cough Fallout Cough Wasteland leverages the nuclear aftermath, presenting giant vegetables and monstrous plants in certain areas of the game. The visuals are pretty impressive if not breath taking but the variety of environments is refreshing for this type of game and means you don’t end up feeling overphased by all the stereotypical beige. The PS4 version runs smoothly without any noticeable slow down or judder too.

Wasteland 2 – Directors Cut is a deep, intricate and imposing RPG. Exploring, fighting, looting and even talking all have a deceptively detailed system propping them up. The game free’s you of its tutorial shackles very early on and remains at arm’s length throughout offering hints in the dialogue box but relies on your own intelligence to get you through. It’s plot meanders through a ravaged world telling some interesting and occasionally humours tales that tie into an overarching story line with a few twists thrown in for good measure. Wasteland 2 isn’t perfect, it has a number of mild annoyances that start to stack up and detract from the high quality it presents in other areas but even with these faults, it’s a joy to play.

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Is it worth a double dip? If you own the original wasteland 2 on PC, there isn’t a great deal that has been improved here. The graphics have been overhauled and new lighting added, there are more voice tracks for characters which add to the existing quality performances and a few annoying aspects of he original have been removed – having to loot every body after a battle for example. In the Directors Cut, you just have to loot one and every body in the nearby vicinity will also be searched. This might sound like a small improvement but it does make a vast difference – not enough to buy the game twice through. There are also 2 new camera settings, neither of which I find to be an improvement on the original and default setting on the PC version.

Calvino Noir Review (PS4)

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Calvino Noir is as dark and brooding as its movie influences but hasn’t fared well on its transition from PC to PS4. Our Review;
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