Monday, 28 November 2011

Trine 2 preview


The original Trine, released in 2009, was a 2.5D, side-scrolling, adventure and puzzle game. Telling the tale of three unlikely heroes, Zoya the thief, Pontius the knight and Amadeus the wizard, it was an awesome game, which was well received by gamers and critics alike. There are puzzles, platforming, combat and magic, so there's something for pretty much everyone, and the gorgeous visuals gave it an edge over some other similar indie games. So the announcement of Trine 2 was excellent news, and the recent launch of the Beta was the icing on the cake.

I played through the beta, which contains three short, introductory levels, and the following full level. Starting with a short, solo level for each character, you must play as each of the three characters, which tells us what the characters are doing after the events of the first game, and also acts as a tutorial for each of their abilities. Amadeus is living a quiet, wizard's life in a cottage. Surrounded by potions, trinkets and glorious artefacts, he seems at peace, until he is rudely interrupted by a magical visitor, the Trine. Pontius is on another adventure, living up to the title of a knight by cleansing the land of evil. It seems like he is about to meet his end when the Trine shows up, and saves him. Zoya, the thief, is doing what she does best. Silently making her way across rooftops, seemingly about to break into a wealthy looking castle, when the Trine shows up again, and takes her away with the others.
Amadeus

The first thing you'll notice is the graphics. If you thought the graphics were impressive in the original, Trine 2 will blow you away. They look amazing, with an incredible level of detail, and some fantastic effects, which are easily on par with some of the AAA, high budget titles. The lighting and shadows, which feature quite heavily in Amadeus's opening level, are mesmerising. The light creeps in realistically through the windows, and through treetops, casting shadows of every single object, no matter how big or small. The first time the light flooded the room, and the shadows danced around, it was literally the most impressive thing I've seen in a game, for a long time. As well as top quality shadows and lighting, the water is also pretty damn good. The fluidity, movement and reflections are all perfect, but it's not just eye candy; water is also used quite cleverly in a number of puzzles. One of these puzzles sees a seed, waiting to be watered. To the right, there is some water, cascading through a log. You must direct the water to the seed, using whichever abilities you can, to make the plant grow. There are multiple solutions to pretty much all of the puzzles, which is great if you prefer one character over the others. Once you get the water to the seed, huge mushrooms grow, allowing you to climb them and progress through the level. 
Pontius

The gameplay in general is very similar to the original Trine. The characters have the same starting abilities, with the option to upgrade and improve. A welcome change is the removal of mana. As you needed mana to solve some of the puzzles, it could be annoying if you were out and couldn't find any, so the lack of it is a good thing. In the beta levels, there are enough situations to fully showcase all of the abilities and gives a great glimpse at what the full game will contain. Another great new addition is the online multiplayer.
Zoya

There are two online modes, which each allow three players to work together through the story levels. The first mode is Classic. Each of the three players controls one of the characters, so the full line-up of characters is used. You cannot switch, unless there are only two players, but you will never see the same character on screen more than once. This mode is definitely the best for a serious, story playthrough, and really shows how well the characters' abilities compliment each other. The second mode, Unlimited, is more suited for having a bit of fun. This mode allows each player to switch between all three characters, regardless of who is already being used. So you can have three Zoya's on screen if you want to. This mode is incredibly hectic, generally a lot faster, and so much fun.
Just one of many solutions for a puzzle

Fans of the original should start to get excited. Trine 2 takes everything from the original and makes it bigger and better. It really is a wonderful game with creative puzzles, great platforming, and fun combat. The addition of online multiplayer modes just makes it even better. Trine 2 is another game that proves that indie games are often better than AAA titles, and could be Frozenbyte's best title yet. 

Trine 2 is due for release in December, and will be available for download on PC, PSN and XBLA.

by Louis Gardner


Friday, 11 November 2011

The Sound of Skyrim and Behind the Scenes of the Making of Skyrim

 Check out these latest trailers for Skyrim, showcasing the work that goes into making such an epic game, from making the game, to the voice acting, music and sounds.

The Sound of Skyrim

Behind the Scenes of Behind the Wall: The Making of Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is due to release worldwide on 11.11.11, for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Avatar items available now!

Good news, Elder Scrolls fans! Bethesda have launched a collection of new Skyrim items on the Xbox Live Avatar Marketplace, plus a new premium theme. This is what everyone has been waiting for, since a few Skyrim items were made available a few weeks ago. Details of the full range and prices below.
The Skyrim Launch Collection includes the following:
·         Dragonborn Armor – 400 MS points
·         Dragon Bone Armor – 400 MS points
·         Mage Robe – 320 MS points
·         Dark Brotherhood Armor – 400 MS points
·         Dragon Bone Helm – 240 MS points
·         Dragon Prop – 240 MS points
·         Elder Scroll Prop – 240 MS points
·         Magelight Prop – 240 MS points
·         Stormcloak Helm – 240 MS points
·         The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Premium Theme – 240 MS points 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is releasing worldwide next Friday, 11.11.11, and will be available for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Insert Coin Clothing T-Shirt Giveaway!

The guys at Insert Coin Clothing have given us two t-shirts to giveaway to two lucky winners!

To enter, either Tweet the following message:

"I want to win an awesome t-shirt! Follow @SubspaceReviews and @InsertCoinTees for a chance!"

Or you can visit our Facebook page, Like and leave a comment.

Click here to go to the Subspace Reviews Facebook Page

Winners will be chosen on Friday 4th November.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Forza Motorsport 4 review

The racing sim of the year has arrived. Forza Motorsport 4 brings the ultimate racing experience exclusively to the Xbox 360. The previous three titles in the series were all received amazingly well, and with a host of new features, modes, cars, locations, an updated engine and state of the art graphics, there is no reason why this one should be any different. Saying that though, there is also a lot to live up to. A successful back catalogue always adds extra pressure on the development team, and fans will always compare it to previous titles in the series; not so much a problem for debut titles or series that were never really good in the first place. So Forza Motorsport 4 approaches the finish line. Is it in pole position, or dead last? Read on to find out...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Gears of War 3 review

Gears of War 3, the first big game of 2011, has arrived. There was no doubt in anybodies mind that this was going to be great; the two previous installments have both been fantastic, and with the story coming to a close, this was bound to be something else. So how is Delta Squad's last adventure? It has highs, lows, revelations and lots of Locust and Lambent to fill with bullets. Marcus, Dom, Cole and Baird are joined by some newcomers to bring the best Gears of War yet. Read on to find out why...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

An Interview with...


Insert Coin Clothing are purveyors of fine quality gaming t-shirts and hoodies. Since they started last year, things have gone from strength to strength and they have secured exclusive deals with the likes of Ubisoft and Sega. Not bad, considering the the company was founded by a couple of gamers, disappointed at the state of the gaming apparel on offer.

You see, what makes Insert Coin stand out from other companies is that they don't sell typical designs. You won't see Mario, Ezio or Sonic, but you will see subtle designs that the hardcore fans will appreciate, such as advertisements for the Afterlife Club in Mass Effect 2, or Moa Burgers from Halo Reach. This is why Insert Coin have become a household name in the world of gamers. They sell desirable, top quality designs that are far more meaningful than the norm, and fellow gamers will appreciate the modest references far more than just a character's face.

We have been lucky enough to have a chat with Dan Long from Insert Coin Clothing, to find out a bit more about the company, their new-found fame and what lies ahead.


First of all, I'd like to thank you for this awesome opportunity! Could you introduce yourself/yourselves and briefly describe what you did before the conception of Insert Coin?
No problem! The two main folk at Insert Coin are us two - Jon Rhodes and Dan Long - two creatives with a shared passion for gaming and cool tees. We're both from creative backgrounds and we worked together for about 5-6 years before we started thinking about Insert Coin.

How did you come up with and get Insert Coin Clothing off the ground?
The idea from Insert Coin was actually from a really bad experience we had with gaming tees. As a gamer, it was really tough to find good tees, although a lot of people were trying. We used to try and find cool ones, but one particular tee just pushed us over the limit. It's as if they thought 'you're a gamer, you'll buy any old rubbish we print'. We found one design we liked from this company and it arrived and it was terrible. The tee was thin and cheap - but they were charging a premium price. It had just been screwed up and thrown in the envelope. When there was a problem with it too, there was no number to call, no way to sort out what went wrong. It was just poor all round... we thought we could do better tees that put a smile on the face of every gamer, print the best designs on the best tees and give them the best service possible. We knew we could do it, so we just got our heads together and created Insert Coin.

You often get well known figures in the gaming community endorsing your products and a huge fanbase. Did you expect that after just a year, you would be as well known as you are? 
Not at all, no. We were confident we could create something people would like, but we have been absolutely overwhelmed by the amazing support we've had. In just over a year, we've become one of the world's favourite geek clothing companies. It's amazing. We're genuinely touched by the response... and to have gaming's great and good wear our clothes it awesome. It's incredible... and we never get tired of seeing our tees out 'in the wild'. It's amazing every time.

You have some amazing designs, from some of the greatest games of all time. How do you decide which games should get a shirt?
Aww thanks so much! The approach is always the same, it starts off with us talking about the games that we love. From there we talk about what we love about the game experience and that leads us on to the people, places and things that make those worlds so fantastic.



What is the process once you have an idea? 
The general process is that we will have our chat about what we like and then we start drawing up scamps and sketches to see what will work and what won't. From there we start thinking about colours and - if it's a licensed design - we will chat to the crew from their character/brand teams to work out how far we can push the boundaries. Then it's a case of making mock ups, getting samples and generally just making it all perfect.

So year one has been absolutely amazing for Insert Coin, what does year two have in store?
Well, we have a lot of things up our sleeve. We've got a lot of licenses in the pipeline and we are planning on expanding our range even further - watch this space! We have quite a lot of stuff happening between now and Christmas though. It's gonna be a busy few months!

Thanks for answering my questions! I sincerely can't wait to see Insert Coin expand, and I wish you all the success you deserve!
Thanks so much - it was our pleasure!

You can check out all their t-shirts and hoodies at http://www.insertcoinclothing.com/

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Assassin's Creed: Revelations Gamescom trailer

Trauma giveaway

***** CONTEST CLOSED *****

Krystian Majewski has given Subspace Reviews FOUR Steam codes for Trauma!


To win one, you can either Tweet the following message:

"I'd like to win Trauma from @SubspaceReviews! #SRTr"

Or you can visit our Facebook Page, Like and leave a comment:

Click here to go to the Subspace Reviews Facebook Page

Open to everyone, everywhere! Ends Sunday 18th September

***** CONTEST CLOSED ***** 

The winners have been chosen!
From Twitter we have:
@Opialm
@mysticfail 

And from Facebook:
Ryan Michael Swithenbank
Chris Hofer

As always, I'd like to thank everyone for entering! I appreciate all the support. Stay tuned for future contests!

Trauma review

Trauma is a point and click story. I say this because whilst it presents itself as a game, and the developer would certainly call it a game, but it's hard, as an experienced gamer, to refer to Trauma as one. That's not to say it's bad at what it does though...

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Gameplay Demo

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is shaping up to be game of the year. Not convinced? Check out this full gameplay demo, showing the game running on the Xbox 360, and your mind may be changed...

Part One

Part Two

Part Three
 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Driver: San Francisco review

John Tanner returns in the latest installment of the Driver series, San Francisco. The game has an optimistic start; your nemesis Jericho is about to be thrown into prison, rendering the streets of San Fran safe once more. It wouldn't be a very fun game if it all went swimmingly though, and Jericho is busted out of the transport van. As you chase him down, you're involved in a huge crash, and Tanner slips into a coma. This is where the real fun starts...

Friday, 26 August 2011

Bastion giveaway!

***** CONTEST CLOSED *****
 
Supergiant Games have given Subpsace Reviews two Steam codes for their masterpiece, Bastion!

To win one, you can either Tweet the following message:

"I'd like to win Bastion from @SubspaceReviews! RT and follow! #SRB"

Or you can visit our Facebook Page, Like and leave a comment:

Click here to go to the Subspace Reviews Facebook Page

Open to everyone, everywhere! Ends Tuesday 30th August

***** CONTEST CLOSED ***** 

The winners of Bastion have been chosen!
 From Twitter:
@_CMJanes

And from Facebook: 
Justin Redmon

Thanks for entering, and keep your eye out for more contests!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Races

The Elder Scrolls games are known for their epic customisation options when it comes to your character. Race, hair, eyes, and skin tone all depend on you. With this in mind, check out these screens, showing the races on offer. Click on the images for high resolution versions.


Argonian

Khajiit

Dark Elf

Nord

Orc

Redguard

Wood Elf

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim releases 11.11.11

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Bastion review

Bastion hit the Xbox Live Marketplace last month, and many PC users wondered how long it would be before they were able to sample the game which took the gaming world by storm. Fortunately, it wasn't long. A few short weeks passed and the definitive version of Bastion hit the Steam store, and had the same effect on gamers that it did a month earlier. Here's our verdict on the PC version.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Brawl Busters Beta Key Giveaway!

Subspace Reviews and Rock Hippo have teamed up to give 50 lucky people a Beta Key for the upcoming online fighter, Brawl Busters. Entering is simple! Just do one of the following:

Follow @SubspaceReviews on Twitter, and tweet the following message:

"I wanna be an original Brawl Buster! Show me the beta keys, @SubspaceReviews! #SRBB50"

Or you can visit our Facebook page, Like, and leave a comment:
Click here to go to the Subspace Reviews Facebook Page

Contest is global, and winners will be selected and notified in groups of ten, starting Sunday 28th of August

Good luck everybody!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Brawl Busters preview

Brawl Busters, a third person beat 'em up, entered the closed beta stage this week. As it's only beta, not everything was available. What was available was the single player tutorial levels, and online battles. Was it any good? Read on to find out!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Bethesda at Gamescom!

Bethesda have been showing off all their latest games at Gamescom. Check out all these screens from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Rage and Dishonored. Click on an image for a full resolution version.

The Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim








 Rage




Dishonored



 

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Limbo giveaway

***** CONTEST CLOSED *****

Playdead have provided THREE Steam codes for LIMBO

To win one, you can either Tweet the following message:

"I'd love to get stuck in LIMBO. Win with @SubspaceReviews #LimboSR"

Or you can visit our Facebook Page, Like and leave a comment:

Click here to go to the Subspace Reviews Facebook Page

Open to everyone, everywhere! Ends Tuesday 23nd August!

***** CONTEST CLOSED ***** 

The winners of Limbo have been chosen! From Twitter, we have:
@Malty86
@He110Ne0

And from Facebook:
Andrew Lee

As always, thanks for entering! Keep checking back though, there is a HUGE contest coming very shortly.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet review

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (or to save time, ITSP), sees the solar system of a friendly alien species overrun by evil. Their serene planets are turned into black, awful, mechanical wastelands, complete with dark creatures out to kill you. It is your job to get to the bottom of the problem, and hopefully put an end to the darkness. Is it a fun adventure? Read the rest of the review after the jump to find out!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Toy Soldiers: Cold War giveaway!

***** CONTEST CLOSED *****

Signal Studios have given us THREE XBLA codes for Toy Soldiers: Cold Wars!


To win one, you can either Tweet the following message:

"I wanna blow up toys in the 80s! Follow @SubspaceReviews for a chance to win! #SubspaceColdWar"

Or you can visit our Facebook PageLike and leave a comment:
Click here to go to the Subspace Reviews Facebook Page

Open to everyone, everywhere! Ends Wednesday 17th August

***** CONTEST CLOSED ***** 

The randomly selected Twitter winners are:
@garrettyu
@Elle180 
And from Facebook:
Brandon John
Thanks for entering everyone! There are more contests lined up, so keep your eyes peeled!

Toy Soldiers: Cold War review

Toy Soldiers hit the Xbox Live Marketplace last year, and was a huge success. A mix of strategy, tower defence and vehicular combat, it had something for everyone. So how can the sequel, Cold War, improve on the stellar original?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Beat Hazard Ultra giveaway!

***** CONTEST CLOSED *****


Cold Beam Games have given us two Steam codes for Beat Hazard Ultra!
To win, you can either Tweet the following message:

"I want Beat Hazard Ultra to melt my face! Make it happen @SubspaceReviews! #BHUSR"

Or you can visit our Facebook Page, Like and leave a comment:
Click here to go to the Subspace Reviews Facebook Page

Open to everyone, everywhere! Ends Monday 15th August


***** CONTEST CLOSED *****

The winners of Beat Hazard Ultra have been chosen!

From Facebook we have:
Zed Mort

And from Twitter:
@Halorach

Thanks for entering and good luck for next time!

Friday, 5 August 2011

MCM Expo at Manchester Central!

On the 30th July, MCM Expo came to Manchester for the first time, bringing the cosplay, anime, manga and videogame show to the North West. As it is the first time that MCM has been to Manchester, nobody really knew what to expect.
The venue, Manchester Central
First, the venue was a lot smaller than it's Southern counterpart. Taking up about a third of the Manchester Central venue, it was quite tight. There was a lot to see though, considering the size. First and foremost, the cosplayers. Arguably the highlight of the day, there were so many amazing costumes. From Team Fortress 2, to the Legend of Zelda, to Naruto. They were just a very small fraction of the costumes there. There were amazing, hand crafted outfits, to professional quality ones, and they all looked amazing. My personal favorite was a John Marston. The outfit was completely perfect, down to the dust on the bottom of the legs, and the scars on the face. The guy had even shaved the area where John Marston has scars. It was pure dedication and looked awesome. 
The force is strong at MCM

The stalls were weird and wonderful, stocking merchandise for all wallet sizes. There were hats, posters, shirts, figures, props, books, comics and DVDs, to name a few. Some of the items were a bit pricey, but walk to the next stall and you could find things equally as good for half the price. Shopping around is always a great idea, as is waiting to the end of the day, when some stalls will lower the prices to clear the stock. 
 The Assassins came in droves

Alongside the stalls, there were videogames, live shows and celebrity talks and Q&As. Nintendo Unleashed were there, allowing the public to go hands-on with Super Mario 3D and Mario Kart 3D. It was a great opportunity to try out the games, and the queues were not too big, giving everyone a good chance to play. The Nintendo reps were also conducting surveys, and upon completion were giving out Zelda keyrings. Some people were also given Ocarinas, very similar to the ones in the legendary Ocarina of Time. Luckily, I knew the answer to the secret question and was rewarded with one. The one problem with the Nintendo booth was that it wasn't very clear that it was there. No big Nintendo sign, just a small pillar with four 3DS consoles. I actually missed it the first time around, and luckily caught it as I made my way around for the second time. Next to the Nintendo booth were a few Xbox 360s, set up with Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon. This area was busy all day as the gamers jumped at the opportunity to play these new games. 

 The Twilight Princess Wolf
One of the bigger events was a small Robot Wars arena, giving a small demonstration of what happens at the bigger, nationwide tour. It consisted of 3 rounds, with the light, medium and heavyweight robots taking it in turns to brawl. I didn't think I was too bothered, but it was surprisingly entertaining, as robots literally ripped parts off the others. The medium sized robots flipped each other 6 foot into the air, and the heavyweight ones had amazingly strong punches. One of them, Mantis, had his face punched straight off. If that's not entertainment, I don't know what is. 
 The Engineer and Scout from Team Fortress 2

There were a few celebrities of the nerd world at the show, making many fans very happy. Signing photos, having photos taken and answering questions were Craig Charles (Red Dwarf), Kenny Baker (Star Wars) and Warwick Davis (Harry Potter). For the children, there was Anjli Mohindra (Sarah Jane Adventures). It was a great opportunity to meet the stars, although some of the photographs for signing were ridiculously overpriced. 
 The celebrities

Overall, it was a great day. The cosplay was fantastic, there were so many freebies, the stalls were packed with so much merchandise, and it was awesome to see the celebrities in the flesh. The main complaint was the size of the venue, which can easily be fixed for next time, as only a small section of Manchester Central was used. Perhaps MCM didn't expect such a huge turnout, which surely implies that to bring it back next year is a no brainer. We can only hope. Until then, we have MCM London, in October and May, and Birmingham in November. See you there!

  Manchester was transformed into Wonderland

M. Bison and Chun Li


Some of the outfits were amazingly detailed


Images provided by Tony Curtis ZiemiaƄski
www.tonyotimes.com