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3.63 stars 3.63/5 Stars Average score of 67 user reviews spread across 0 releases and 0 DLC

Happy New Year 0

Note: The following review contains major spoilers for Bioshock Infinite.In an appropriately paradoxical fashion the ending to Bioshock Infinite both seemed to pave the way for a multitude of possibilities for the Bioshock series going ahead and meant that there were few places for it to go at all. Irrational’s limitless multiverse is a story device that could allow for as many different fallen utopias and hero’s journeys as the developer could possibly imagine, with the caveat that ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Pawn 5

Today's going to be a weird day.Anthony is an average young man who expects nothing untoward when he turns up at the house party of Samantha Graves, but waking up the following morning he discovers himself being toyed with by Vinny, a crazed and furious man determined to inflict his mind games on Anthony and make him earn his escape from the house. Only If is a difficult game to summarise, and not because it’s complex or broad in any particularly intelligent way, but because it has trouble...

6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

Wanderer 0

Note: The following review covers the first episode of Haunted Memories only and does not include the DLC.Haunted Memories is disappointing before you've even started.Before you’ve even booted up Haunted Memories there are already a couple of clues about the kind of time you’re in for. Firstly, the description for the game on the Steam store has spelling and grammar errors and doesn’t really make sense when you think about it. Secondly, and more worryingly, the title of this ga...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Fit for the Slaughter 0

With its focus on disempowerment, a set of mechanics which made you push yourself into frightening situations, and a proof that in many ways indie development was more equipped to tackle the horror genre than AAA studios, 2010’s Amnesia: The Dark Descent helped write the book for low budget horror games over the last few years. Expectations were understandably high for a sequel, but its 2013 successor Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs was not released to the same fanfare. It wasn’t intense...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Let It Snow 0

Gather round the fireplace.I am a bit of a sucker for Christmas cheer. I’m not a fan of everything about the holiday, but the songs, the decorations, and the weather bring out a certain comfort in the season and make Christmas almost feel like a particular emotion as opposed to just a time of year. A truly great piece of media based around the holiday doesn’t just have some a few holly wreaths and elves scattered around, it evokes that seasonal warmth, and despite being about a caref...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Subspace 0

To fully understand the context of Enter the Dominatrix we have to take a look back at the DLC’s unusual and winding path to market. EtD was originally announced on April 1st 2012 as a standalone expansion for Saint’s Row the Third, in which the Third Street Saints would be trapped within a matrix-style simulation ruled over by a ruthless BDSM fetishist know as The Dominatrix. It was soon confirmed that this was more than just an April Fool’s joke, but time wore on and develope...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

En Garde 0

Break out the controllers.Local multiplayer is a dwindling hobby. That’s not to suggest that it’s “dead” or that there aren’t people out there with a major investment in it, but it’s one of those truths of the internet age that a decreasing number of games are offering an offline multiplayer component, and that with more incentive than ever to play online fewer and fewer of us are getting that closer human contact and electric atmosphere which comes with sitti...

5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Life, the Universe, and Everything 0

1:27Glitchhickers is an interactive narrative experience created by Silverstring Media in which you’re put behind the wheel of a car on a sleepy nighttime drive and indulged in a variety of strange phenomena on your journey to an unknown destination. The game is available for free from Silverstring’s website and only takes about 20 minutes to finish so if you haven’t seen or played it yet and this sounds like something you’d be interested in, I’d recommend reading a...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

From the Shadows 1

This time around Gotham is at Warner Bros.'s mercy.As far as I’m concerned the Batman: Arkham games are a manual on how to adapt a work into video game form. To nail the tone and atmosphere of Batman’s modern gothic world and to achieve such success in redrawing the series’ classic heroes and villains would be one thing, but what made Arkham Asylum and Arkham City the masterpieces they were was being able to mould gameplay mechanics which made you genuinely feel like Batman, es...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Genesis 0

Back in 2011 there was entire decade separating the FPS genre from the release of the original Halo, but it didn’t feel like it. Part of this was the way the years naturally fly by, but this phenomenon can also be attributed to the way that Halo feels more like a part of modern shooters than games released just a few years earlier. Legitimising the console FPS, pioneering now standard mechanics for the genre, and playing a crucial role in establishing Microsoft as a contender in the consol...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Death in a Leather Jacket 5

The B-tier of video games which once housed low-budget on-disc titles for consoles is now largely disestablished or has arguably evolved into something else entirely with the explosion of independent games over the past several years. That’s what makes something like Wet such an oddity; it’s essentially a B-tier console-only title, but it was released as recently as 2009. In Wet you play Rubi Malone, a no-nonsense, tequila-swilling specialist in wetwork, a term used to refer to assas...

6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

All In 0

The thing about adapting simple, traditional tabletop or card games into video games is that the experience we have with them is largely not defined by any work on that specific video game, but by the quality of the game it’s replicating. This has its advantages, it means that the developers behind the game need to do relatively little to create something engaging because the engaging components have already been designed and are easy to implement, but when basic implementation of somethin...

6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

A Sense of Justice 3

Legal dramas aren’t generally a genre you’d associate with video games, but as a form of fiction they might have more to offer the medium than you’d think. They provide the same chances for character exploration, relationships, and conflict that you find in other dramas, but here there’s also the mystery of trying to put the clues of a case together, the tension when it looks like the case can’t be won, a feeling of vicarious intellectual empowerment as we see chara...

5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Enjoy Your Stay 0

There are few gaming subgenres which feel quite as exhausted as the niche of the tower defence game. Popular, accessible, and relatively easy to produce, Flash game websites and mobile app stores have runneth over with games about plonking down automated defence systems and letting them go to town on waves of oncoming enemies, but with every great trend in games comes developers who wish to take those trends and use them in whole new ways. This is a big part of the intention behind Bad Hotel, a ...

5 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Of Blade and Spell 0

A crudely-rendered 2D man stands in an old grey suit, intermittently taking puffs from his cigar. He looks like something that could have walked straight out of an Atari 2600 game, but he stands against a more modern backdrop of slick grey and white. He talks of a kind of experimental treatment for “Soul-Sickness” for you, the player. His therapy will consist of dropping you into a virtual fantasy world where as a hero known only as “The Scythian” you will embark on a gri...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Commander in Chief 0

I’m not someone with a huge degree of fondness for the first two Saint’s Row games. While they had something to offer budding action game players out there, they felt more defined by the game they were trying to imitate than any original ideas they had themselves, acting as timid “me toos” to the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Then Saint’s Row the Third happened and all of a sudden the series blossomed into something altogether more inventive, ludicrous, and distinct i...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Hounds of Hong Kong 1

There are a number of subgenres out there which you cannot develop a game in without inevitably clashing with some industry behemoth. For the MMO genre that behemoth is World of Warcraft, for modern military shooters it’s Call of Duty, and for open-world crime games it’s Grand Theft Auto. Seriously competing against these classic titles means creating a game that either outperforms them at what they do best, or adds some new, high quality features of its own to the mix. Sleeping Dogs is an open-...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The Will to Survive 0

It’s hard to ignore the deep impression that the Tomb Raider series and its rough-and-tumble protagonist have made on gaming, but it must be admitted that Lara and her adventures seem closely bound to a bygone era of excess crate puzzles and comparatively rudimentary characters and environments. The series carried on long after its original reign during the Playstation One generation, but it’s felt like it’s never quite managed to find its footing as part of the modern action-adventure genre. Th...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

The Six-Sided Rave 1

Move through the gaps. That's all there is to it.I want you to imagine playing a game of precision co-ordination in a nightclub full of pulsing lights and throbbing music while being repeatedly spun around on a swivel chair. If said fantasy sounds nightmarish and unfair to you then you might want to sit this one out, but if that sounds like a rip-roaring good time then here’s Super Hexagon, an abstract indie game based around reflexes and spacial awareness. Playing Super Hexagon is elegantly sim...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Where the Heart Is 0

In the recent endeavours of interactive entertainment to bring us more human and relatable stories one area has gone significantly neglected, and that’s setting. We can all name a handful of games from the last couple of years in which the characters, plot, or dialogue touched us as people, but I can think of almost none in which the world of the game resembled the one we live in every day. The Fullbright Company’s Gone Home manages to fill this space perfectly, using nothing more than a humble ...

3 out of 4 found this review helpful.

The Might of the Gods 3

Grab your cape and cowl, heroes.After NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat reboot graced consoles to such success, it would have been very easy for the studio to make their next project, Injustice: Gods Among Us, little more than a tweaked or reskinned version of the aforementioned fighting game, especially considering it was a licensed title. Many elements of Injustice, both on the larger structural level and in its smaller details, do bear resemblance to Mortal Kombat, meaning comparisons between the t...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The End is Never the End 1

The original Stanley Parable was a 2011 Source Engine mod dreamed up by USC graduate Davey Wreden. Using minimalist mechanics and a heavy focus on storytelling, Wreden built an interactive fiction which aimed to question the way stories in games are experienced and generate discussion about how the medium conveys narratives. This newer Stanley Parable builds on the foundation of the original, adding more paths to its branching story and an all-round graphical upgrade to its world.Something very ...

4 out of 5 found this review helpful.

Welcome to Sunny San Andreas 0

Considering the absurdly widespread popularity of Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar Games have to be commended for not falling into the standard pattern of sequelisation that many other developers working with extremely profitable games have. When Rockstar want to make a GTA game, they don’t just spit out a slightly more advanced version of something from the year before, they sit down and work on what they want to make for as long as it takes, and at the end produce a game that feels like a rich and f...

6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

There's Life Here Yet 1

Dead Space 1 and 2 may be the two most beloved AAA horror games of the last decade, having brought us hours of sweaty-palmed interaction as we crept through derelict spaceships, desperately battling the horrifying husks of people we call Necromorphs. Dead Space 3 rounds out the trilogy by bringing back much of that manic sense of action from the first two games, but it also leans further towards being a conventional action game than any of the other entries in the series. The game revisits outer...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

An Emotional Rollercoaster 1

You don’t need me to tell you that Telltale’s The Walking Dead is a big deal. Since its release in 2012, the game has received a slew of accolades from gaming press and fans alike, not just because of its ability to tell an excellent story, but because it does so in a way that overcomes many of the narrative hurdles that video games have traditionally faced, and I can honestly say that every bit of the praise it’s received is deserved. In the game you play as Lee Everett, a convicted murderer on...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

A Heartfelt Indie Treat 2

When it’s come to pushing forwards video games as a storytelling medium, a lot of the work in recent years has focused on building deeper human characters who have more nuanced and meaningful interactions with the people and universes around them. I have a huge respect for the developers who are making these endeavours, in fact I think it’s one of the most important things happening in video games right now, but it’s not the only way to create engrossing fiction. After all, if video games are st...

6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

The Interactive Poem 10

Dear Esther is the antithesis of the traditional video game, to the point where it’s debatable whether it’s a game at all. The only player actions are moving through the world and looking around, while the only thing close to a gameplay goal is to progress through the environments until you reach the end. Dear Esther doesn’t aim to engage you through action, strategy, or puzzles, but through mystical surroundings, poetic narration, and haunting music.In many ways the world of Dear Esther itself ...

6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

In Limbo 0

The original Alan Wake was not without its flaws, but it was a game that managed to deliver a compelling story and did what it did with a great deal of creativity. Throwing aside the normal conventions of mainstream game narratives, Alan Wake put you in the shoes of a renowned horror writer, struggling against real-world manifestations of his work, and attempting to rescue himself and his wife from the dark forces that threatened them. This wonderful story was unfortunately never given a proper ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Gets Stale Fast 0

2010’s Doritos Crash Course was a rather unusual experience. It’s traditional for “advergames” to feature their respective licensed product pretty prominently throughout, but Crash Course featured almost no Doritos iconography, and was instead a platformer almost entirely influenced by the TV gameshow Wipeout. Three years later Doritos Crash Course 2 is here, aiming to flesh out the original concept, and once again deliver the heady excitement of tortilla chip marketing campaigns to your living ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Shotguns and Shag Carpets 2

Hotline Miami is a top-down action-adventure game set in the dark criminal underbelly of 1980s Miami. In it you play as an unnamed individual, travelling to specified locations and systemically slaughtering the armed thugs inside at the order of a succession of mysterious phone calls. It’s a game that fascinates me because it utilises a very punishing level of difficulty and strong elements of stealth games, both features that have never been quite my cup of tea, and yet from the moment I click ...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

High Octane Brilliance 0

Platinum Games are a developer with a knack for creating games that are outlandish, mesmerising, and unique, and Vanquish is no exception. The game has you don a space-age DARPA battle suit and take on the role of Sam Gideon, an elite soldier fighting the robot military of an evil Russia, who has devastated San Francisco using an enormous space laser. Wrap your head around that and you’ll get a feel for the general tone that the game is trying to set, not just in its narrative, but also in its v...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A Hidden Gem in its Genre 1

Spec Ops: The Line is definitely more than meets the eye. The game is a third-person cover-based shooter set in the present day, and centred around a group of U.S. soldiers on mission in the Middle East. These surface elements and the general experience that the game provides have probably left many passing it by, thinking it’s just another CoD-like cluttering up pre-owned aisles and selling for cheap online, but it’s so much more than it seems. Dubai is in need of help.The opening of the game t...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A Game of Strange and Creative Fun 0

The game's Biblical references are a nice touch.The Binding of Isaac is a downloadable rogue-like from the minds of programmer Florian Himsl, and the artist and designer behind the acclaimed Super Meat Boy, Edmund McMillen. Bearing McMillen’s trademark twisted art and narrative, the game acts as a loose and bastardised retelling of the Bible story of the same name. In its opening we are introduced to Isaac, a young boy who lives with an abusive mother obsessed with Christian TV programmes. Under...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Disappointment in Space 0

If there was one game of 2011 that embodied the spirit of pure fun, it was probably Saint’s Row: The Third. The game was stylish, ridiculous, and managed to deliver some exquisitely over-the-top experiences in an entirely self-aware manner. It’s therefore a pretty big letdown to see it become another of the great AAA games out there that has been saddled with DLC that feels tacked-on and poorly made.Jenny and Zhen.Gangstas in Space acts as an epilogue for the main game in which, as the boss of t...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A Respectable Nod to Breakout 0

There have been a lot of games based on the classic Breakout over the years, but not many manage to do something as charming with the formula as Wizorb. Available on Steam for £2/$3 and consisting of 65 different levels, Wizorb takes the Breakout framework and uses it as the basis for a unique love letter to retro fantasy RPGs.The classic Breakout gameplay is still plenty of fun.A lot of the enjoyment that can be found in Wizorb comes from the fact that Breakout is just a fun game to begin with;...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A Great Way to Get the Most Out of Your Rock Band DLC 0

Harmonix’s Rock Band franchise has become well-known for successfully pulling off some wonderfully ambitious ideas in the rhythm game space. The commitment of the development studio to never rest on their laurels, and always bring us something new and entertaining has given us some amazing experiences in the past, but after bringing a full band set-up to the living room, releasing literally thousands of different downloadable songs for the games, and even incorporating real instruments, the ques...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

An Excellent New Halo 0

Halo is back and the new developers have everything to prove.When it comes to being a new development studio taking on an existing franchise, your first job can’t get much bigger than Halo. There had been considerable debate up until the launch of Halo 4 over whether 343 Industries could really take the reins from ex-developer Bungie and successfully create something that did justice to a series as influential and popular as Halo, but they have clearly delivered, and provided us with something t...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A Genuinely Interesting Indie Treat 0

FTL: Faster Than Light is a low budget indie game that exists in a strange but rather charming space somewhere between a roguelike and space sim. In it you command a ship carrying data vital to a futuristic military conflict and must travel through seven sectors of space, protecting it from rebels, pirates, and other adversaries wherever you may encounter them. At first glance FTL may seem daunting to newcomers, but it’s surprisingly easy to pick up and play, and it’s one of those games that cle...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

More Than Just Another FPS 0

Judging on first impressions, you could be forgiven for thinking that Bulletstorm is a largely unremarkable shooter, with a couple of unconventional mechanics thrown in for novelty’s sake; The humour is immature, the characters appear generic, and it takes about an hour before the game lets up on it’s plot dumping and simplified gameplay to actually introduce the key mechanics which really make things interesting. However, once you get beyond Bulletstorm’s potentially cringeworthy dialogue and w...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A Disappointing Epilogue to an Excellent Game 0

Following in the footsteps of it's predecessor, Batman: Arkham City stood up as one of the most enjoyable action-adventure games of recent years, and arguably the best Batman game we’ve seen. With it’s fantastically empowering combat system, impressive array of gadgets, and great presentation of its world and characters, anything coming after had a hell of an act to follow. Unfortunately, Harley Quinn’s Revenge just doesn’t reach anywhere near the bar set by the main game, and comes off as littl...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.