Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Child of Light review

From Assassin's Creed, to Rayman, Ubisoft almost always deliver not just ground-breaking visuals, but fantastic storytelling, and have brought us countless unforgettable worlds. Their latest game, Child of Light (which was developed using the same UbiArt Framework engine utilised in the development of the more recent Rayman games), is unlike anything we've seen from them before. Can they strike gold once more, with a brand new IP? Read our full review below to find out. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Octodad: Dadliest Catch (PS4) review

Modern games, more often than not, task you with killing. Whether it's humans, animals, robots or aliens, your main objective is to wipe them all out. That's not even a bad thing, it's just we've seen it all before. The situation and characters are different, but the core gameplay is exactly the same. Imagine a game in which you kill nothing at all, and must simply complete mundane, everyday tasks. Thanks to the creative geniuses at Young Horses, Inc., that's exactly what we have, but with a twist. You play as an Octopus, or Octodad, masquerading as a normal human man with a wife and two kids. It's one of the most bizarre concepts ever, but does it work? Read the full review below to find out.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Hitman GO review

The Hitman series is one of the longest running franchises in modern gaming, and has graced our games consoles for well over a decade, but it never really took off like some of the others. Tomb Raider and Assassin's Creed are a couple of examples that come to mind that achieved a higher level of critical and commercial success than Agent 47 ever did. That's not to say they are bad games though, the gameplay just didn't feel quite as polished as it could have done. Now, Square Enix have released a spin-off, mobile game, and it's unlike any other game in the series. Read our full review below to find out why, and if it's worth your time. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

OlliOlli (PS4) review

Ten years ago, skateboarding games were at the height of their popularity. A string of hugely successful Tony Hawks games defined the genre, before they unfortunately became stale. Then, EA brought us Skate, a much more realistic approach to the sport, but both of the sequels lacked the quality of the first, and it seems like it's game over for those too. Thankfully, years of skateboarding silence have been broken, with a little indie game by developers roll7, called OlliOlli. It's a departure from the skating games you're used to, as it's 2D, but don't think that makes it a lesser game. It's probably the best skating game since Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2, which if you aren't aware, was kind of a big deal. Read our full review below to find out why!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Surgeon Simulator: A&E review

By now, you've definitely heard of Surgeon Simulator. I loved it (check out my review here), so obviously I was intrigued by Surgeon Simulator: A&E, the anniversary edition. It includes everything from the original game, plus the extras from the iPad version. So how does the bizarre control scheme translate to the PS4's DualShock 4 controller? Is it worth re-buying the game for a few extra surgeries? And will one of the greatest games on Steam become just that on the PlayStation Store? Read on to find out...

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Pure Pool review

Pub game fans can rejoice! The first pool game for Playstation 4 has arrived, bringing the classic game to the new generation with Pure Pool. It's a game that can't be altered too much, so is it worth buying? Read on to find out. 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Golf Club (PS4) review

From HB Studios comes The Golf Club,  the first golf sim for the Playstation 4. Instead of an arcade-style title, with power ups and colourful characters and whatnot, The Golf Club is a fairly realistic title, with a huge emphasis on creating courses. It has no career mode, no mini-games, and no extra clubs or players to unlock. Yet despite the lack of modern features and mechanics that we're used to, The Golf Club is a great game. Read our full review below to find out why. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Valiant Hearts: The Great War review

Over the past year, Ubisoft have treated us to a few wonderful games using their proprietary UbiArt Framework engine, the most recent of which was the phenomenal Child of Light (read our review here). Valiant Hearts: The Great War, a 2D adventure/puzzle game set in and around France, tells the intertwining stories of a few brave individuals in World War I, and is the latest title to utilise the aforementioned engine. Does it live up to the ridiculously high standards set by the previous UbiArt titles? Read our full review below for the verdict.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Concursion review

Concursion is the first game to be released from the indie developers Puuba, and it's kind of impossible to define the genre, as the whole basis of the game is an interlocking mix of 5 different retro styles. Throughout the game there are platforming sections, hack and slash levels, side scrolling space shoot-em-ups, as well as both jetpack and Pacman-esque maze segment. On top of this, boss battles include elements of even more classic genres, such as turn based RPGs and 1v1 beat-em-ups. It's a solid idea for a game, and produces some truly challenging and inventive gameplay.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Monochroma review

Monochroma is a puzzle platformer from Turkish developers Nowhere Studios. 9 months ago, the game was successfully crowd funded on Kickstarter, and now the results are revealed. Was it worth the $84,644 that the developers raised, or should they have held on to their money?

The game is set in a bleak world, where two young boys must stand alone against a giant corporation who have a dark secret that they want to keep hidden. At least, this is what the Kickstarter page declares. There's no dialogue at any part in the game, so any plot is simply implied through what you see on the screen. While the game doesn't do a terrible job of explaining everything, it's quite easy to miss details if you're not paying full attention to what is going on in both the foreground and background.

The focus of the game is on puzzles. As you progress through the world, you will come across a number of obstacles that you are required to navigate. These are all very well done, and there is great variety to keep you going right to the end without getting bored. It could be argued that the majority of the puzzles are a bit on the easy side. Only a few pose any real challenge, requiring a bit more thought than just simple platforming ability. But at least it doesn't alienate players new to the genre, while not being too easy for those looking for a challenge.

The world is bleak, but gorgeous

Early in the game, your brother gets injured, requiring you to carry him throughout the levels. This adds an interesting mechanic to the puzzles, as carrying him hinders your movement. With him on your back, you move slower, and cannot jump as high. As such, to progress you must leave your brother behind, however he can only be put down in well-lit areas, which often put him in harm's way. Trying to solve these puzzles while keeping him alive can be a tricky task at times, but very rewarding when you succeed.

On the platforming side of things, Monochroma does well, without really excelling. Some of the controls feel a little awkward, especially when ladders or ledges are involved. Climbing a ladder and jumping uses the same key, which can make jumping off a ladder, or even just jumping near a ladder infuriating, especially when trying to complete a puzzle where you're racing against time. On top of that, there is a frustrating delay after each jump or drop, or when picking up or putting down your brother. While it fits in with the slow tone of the game, it can be a bit annoying. This aside, the controls are very simple, and don't require remembering a long list of inputs to complete the game.

You must protect your brother whilst simultaneously solving a puzzle

Monochroma is absolutely stunning. The game is mostly greyscale, with little bits of red here and there. This looks absolutely beautiful, and mixed with a very sombre soundtrack and minimal other sound effects, perfectly portrays the dystopian world the game is set in. The only real complaint is that the character models look a little off, but this is a very minor discrepancy in a game that looks as fantastic as this does.

All in all, Monochroma deserved the funding it received. At only 6 hours, it is a little short with no real replayability outside of finding a few hidden flowers, but the puzzles are challenging and well designed, and it is one of the most aesthetically pleasing games to be released so far this year.


by Mike Aitchison