Submerged is a third-person combat-free exploration game set in a mysterious open world flooded city, made by Australian studio Uppercut Games, whose earlier work included the Bioshock franchise for 2k and the Epoch franchise on mobile. You control a girl called Miku, who has brought her injured brother to the city with the hope of patching him up and leaving for pastures new.
You arrive in a small fishing boat which you explore the city by sailing around in, collecting rudder upgrades, hidden objects, landmarks, wildlife and for the story progression, supply drops which are around hotel roofs, collecting these will help you get your brother back to full health. (more…)
Made by developer “The Astronauts” formerly of People Can Fly (Bulletstorm), The Vanishing of Ethan Carter prides itself on no hand holding, tutorials or action segments instead focusing on first-person exploration with a horror vibe, super natural elements and puzzle solving on occasion.
The protagonist is detective Paul Prospero who has come to Red Creek Valley after being summoned by a kid called Ethan Carter to investigate the strange going ons in the area. Paul has super natural abilities, as he finds clues and evidence he is able to visualise what happened in the form of flashbacks.
These flashbacks are triggered by finding certain events, very early on you find a train carriage, a persons legs and soon after a body by investing the carriage you find an item is missing and a vision appears that gives you an idea of where the item is. Once you find and return the item it to where it should be and moved the train, going over to the dead body and interacting with it will spawn some memories which you have to organise in the correct chronological order, once you’ve done that the scene will play and show you what happened.
Alongside the exploration this puzzle solving is a core part of the game that’s fun and interesting, it promotes exploring and once you get going in the game and know what you’re doing it flowed well between sections. (more…)
I really enjoyed Interstellar, I thought it was great and possibly even one of my favourite films, it was so good that I actually bought the Blu-ray with the art book which is unusual for me! Thats how much I liked it tough and I was always disappointed there wasn’t some of proper story focused planet space exploration game to go with it (anyone who mentions the iOS game will be blacklisted!).
Enter Lifeless Planet: Premier Edition, which I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced for Xbox One at E3 2014 . It really scratched that itch of exploration and discovery for me, it’s not an action game with big explosions or an RPG with a deep level of progression its an adventure platformer which allows you to experience what it would be like to seek life on another planet, before finding an abandoned Russian town on it that is.
The Wolfenstein series made a hugely triumphant return last May when Machine Games début effort was an incredibly well received and sold good numbers, it was great to see a classic franchise return in such a way that kept aspects of the “retro” design where it made sense whilst also feeling modern and relevant, it was a game I greatly enjoyed and immediately raised Machine Games to a top-tier developer status in my eyes.
A year on and they have been busy plugging away on a standalone two-part prequel The Old Blood and spoiler alert, its pretty awesome.
Dual-wielding is where its at
Undead Labs debut game comes to Xbox One via Year One Survival Edition which is a definitive edition of the original Xbox 360 and PC game including the two DLCs Breakdown and Lifeline with a host of technical and gameplay improvements to tempt new and old players into upgrading.
I reviewed the game at its original release and then Lifeline last year and the same great game I enjoyed so much comes with a few new additions so I want to focus on whats new and how the game has transitioned to a new platform. I will be following up this review with more extensive thoughts on each campaign and then the future of the franchise.
State of Decay for new comers is a single player zombie survival game set in the open-world of Trumbull Valley (and Danforth city in Lifeline), your aim is survive the zombie apocalypse; build up your community, provide enough resources (food, building material, medicine, gas and weapons) to support them, complete missions and work towards escaping with your survivors in tow. State of Decay and Lifeline are story based campaigns and Breakdown is set in Trumbull County and is an endless campaign which removes the story elements and focuses exclusively on survival as you aim for high scores and progression will increase the zombie threat to provide a bigger challenge. (more…)
We Are Doomed is a twin-stick shooter from developer Vertex Pop, it’s a high-score chasing game with a colourful and distinctive art style which really stands out as it looks great.
It’s a very simple game at its core, right stick for shooting your energy beam and left stick for moving your white little ship around the grid and your aim is to shoot the polygonal enemies which appear in many varieties. As you play blue/purple coloured squares appear on the grid and are also dropped by killed enemies, collecting these increases your multiplier and your super beam charge once you have enough you can unleash the super powered weapon on your enemies, which will help you clear the board and gain a very short amount of invisibility to help you out of a tricky spot too. (more…)
Ubisoft’s flagship franchise has taken an interesting spin-off route with the Chronicles series the first of which is set in China and two others set in Russia and India due for release later this year developed by Climax Studios.
The games are set on historical backdrops with 2.5D side scrolling gameplay focusing on stealth and verticality with multiple layers to the gameplay and as someone who feels a bit burnt out on the Assassins Creed formula this seems like something that is still quite interesting to me. (more…)
We Are Doomed by Vertex Pop is a colourful twin-stick shooter where you shoot baddies with a laser beam! Its bright and jovial in nature which some people will like, it has two modes: Waves (with 30 waves of levels) or Endless which is based on zones to ramp up difficulty.
The aim is to get high scores, beat your friends and then go and beat them again, there’s plenty of variety in the polygonal enemies you are battling against and you can collect blue square which tally up to charge your super beam which will add massive firepower to help vanquish the enemies! (more…)
Im a huge fan of dinosaurs, and to me there is a criminal lack of media featuring dinosaurs, its absolutely criminal as I think they offer a large amount of potential in the freedom of representation and variety in gameplay but particularly on PC there are a few games around.
Primal Carnage Extinction is one such game, its a class-based online first person multiplayer shooter of humans vs dinosaurs, developed by Circle Five Studios (more…)
Based in the south of England like myself Splash Damage are a studio well-known for multiplayer shooters such as Brink, Enemy Territory and soon Dirty Bomb as well as the multiplayer for Batman Arkham Origins, they’ve worked with a range of publishers including Activision, Bethesda, Warner Bros, Nexon and now seemingly Microsoft.
Whilst I was doing some searching on Linkedin recently I noticed that a Splash Damage employee Gordon Biggans listed Halo The Master Chief Collection March 2015 Content update in his profile, this was particularly interesting as Splash Damage were not one of the original studios workings on the game – Ruffian Games, Saber Interactive, Certain Affinity, United Front Games, 343 Industries and Blur Studios, so to see Microsoft had added in another studio was quite interesting and perhaps shows that they needed a studio with significant multiplayer experience to finally get the game up and running as it should do. (more…)
Matias Myllyrinne, CEO of Remedy Entertainment tweeted today to announce that the Alan Wake Franchise has sold 4.5 million units since its release on Xbox 360 in May 2010, since we’ve had two DLC episodes, a PC port which was successful and Alan Wake’s American Nightmare which released in February 2012 on XBLA (May ’12 for PC), unfortunately the initial sales weren’t enough for Microsoft to fund a sequel and instead after American Nightmare Remedy began work on Quantum Break which is currently due for release this year although may get delayed. (more…)
Supergiant Games come back for their second title after the impressive Bastion released on Xbox Live Arcade in July 2011, and Transistor is a similar title in some ways. Both games are action RPGs, Transistor retains a beautiful colourful art style, a narrator and it features an upgrade system although Transistor to me felt like it was a deeper RPG than Bastion in my experience of both and is set in a sci-fi background.
The story of Transistor is about Red, a singer (with red hair) who has lost her voice and an unnamed man who she finds dead by the hands of the Transistor sword but his consciousness and soul is trapped within the sword is able to talk to Red through the sword. Her voice is also trapped within the sword too so she is unable to talk back to him except for typing on some screens that are littered throughout the game. (more…)
This generation the availability every title from day one at both retail and on the console stores will mean that the regular methods of checking NPDs, Media Create and PAL charts is not the entire story for sales of games in a way that is great for consumers, publishers and developers.
The benefits of digital distribution are obvious for both consumers and publishers: pre-loading means the game is ready to go the second its unlocked, non-refundable pre-orders before launch and reviews for publisher, patches will be installed in the background so you won’t even notice, games that become rare at retail are always available on the store, obviously you don’t need to go scrounging around for your disc, lack of reselling available and you don’t need to leave the house to buy them! Whilst these aren’t mind-blowing benefits they are nice extras for both parties.
Pricing has always been seen as a major reason for using digital distribution, no packaging for boxes or manuals etc, no brick and mortar retailer taking their cut should mean a cheaper game?! Well, no that didn’t happen although the reason for that is obvious: publishers get a much bigger cut of that $60 pie on the digital stores than they do the traditional retail outlet which means that they should theoretically need lower sales to break-even and make more profit. (more…)
I love tycoon games and management games, I love the grind towards success and digging deep to get there, I put an ungodly amount of time into these sorts of games, my Steam account is not going to be pretty reading on my death bed:
- Banished – 275 hours
- Game Dev Tycoon – 245 hours
- Prison Architect – 97 hours
- Rollercoaster Tycoon Deluxe – 73 hours
- Football Manager 2015 – 761 hours
Mad Games Tycoon is somewhat similar to Game Dev Tycoon although rather than just one relatively small team, you can hire many employees, make multiple games at one time, license out engines for extra money and buy much larger studios for your employees to work in. You can also have a marketing and customer support departments, produce your own games with disc printing pressers, host your own server rooms for MMOs and in the future the game will open up with music, graphic studios, quality assurance and motion capturing studios. (more…)
LA Cops is an isometric twin-stick shooter set in the background of 60s cop TV shows, its cheesy, light hearted, brutal and fun, the art style is simple with flat (not a criticism) looking surfaces, its minimalistic and really does well in conveying the era its representing.
There are 8 story missions with 5 side missions to complete, the levels are short and some can completed in 3-5 minutes on normal and hardcore with Nightmare taking a bit longer and needing more thought but in order to stand a chance you need to replay levels, get better scores and earn more XP to improve the stats of your team.
Replaying and retrying each level is a key part of the game and thats not a problem although I found I had to do a fair amount of grinding at the beginning to get my stats up before I felt I could really do well in the levels which seems a bit unbalanced. (more…)