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Author: Michael Johnson

Hotline Miami – The Verdict

Hotline Miami – The Verdict

The synth beat kicks in as I kick open the door, narrowly missing the thug stood by the toilet, I swing my fist and he flies into the wall, a swift kick to his face and his head explodes into a geyser of red, I pick up his hammer and I’m into the next room, I swing once and a man explodes, but I’m gone before he hits the ground, as I charge on through to the hall I throw the hammer now, knocking a thug over, so I lean down to paint the floor with his brains and pick up his shotgun, bursting into the room next door and letting loose four of my six shots, the room’s decor transformed from garish to grisly in the blink of an eye, the beat still pulses, and I’m yet to exhale, but a sentence only lasts for so long before it needs a full stop.

The Walking Dead: Episode Two – The Verdict

The Walking Dead: Episode Two – The Verdict

Zombies are everywhere. Not in the literal shambling around eating your loved ones sense perhaps, but in terms of popular culture they’re ubiquitous. Comic books, films, TV series and of course games are rife with the bitey buggers. One zombie brand in particular has made the leap across multiple formats, from comic books, to TV and most recently to games.

AMC’s The Walking Dead television series, adapted from Robert Kirkman’s comics at first promised to be a breathtaking serialisation of the zombie apocalypse. We watched in our millions as that bloke from This Life and Teachers did his best silly American accent, all the while wielding a giant handgun that gaming’s finest zombie-killer (Barry Burton) would be proud of. It’s inevitable in zombie fiction, that the tale becomes not about the zombies themselves, but the breakdown of human society and the collapse of morality in an ailing world. It becomes about humans being human and humans turning in monsters of a different sort. Sadly, for the Walking Dead TV show, it also seemed to be about sitting around on a farm, awkward love triangles and silent black men standing in the corner, their only form of communication; the frantic look in their eye that screams ‘please, just give me one line this episode, just one! I promise I won’t mess it up’ It’s a show that frequently fails to deliver on the compelling premise and becomes mired in melodrama, though it sprinkles enough Zombie thrills that we yet retain some hope that it will eventually come good.

Dark Souls – The Verdict

Dark Souls – The Verdict

Dark Souls is not the kind of game you can slap a score on and send people on their merry little way. For me, Dark Souls is something beautiful; I feel richer for having played it and having lived through the wretched lows and giddy highs. For others it is a short-lived exploration of extreme frustration, akin to battering one’s head against the wall. The game’s slogan ‘Prepare to die’ isn’t mocking you, it isn’t challenging you to do otherwise,…

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Dead Island: The Verdict

Dead Island: The Verdict

Dead Island has not had the smoothest of launches. From released developer builds, to the already infamous ‘Feminist Whore’ line of code discovered over at the Steam forums – the murmurings around the game have been somewhat controversial, destroying much of the goodwill earned by an astounding early trailer.

Games made me do it

Games made me do it

The following article is intended to be a satirical look at newspaper coverage that quickly leaps to find a scapegoat for any social ill, with gaming near the top of their list. The events taking place in London are deeply shocking to us here at the Reticule and we hope all those affected are safe and well. Please take this article as intended.

I want to be God

I want to be God

From Dust, Eric Chahi’s return to game design has seen the revival of the so-called ‘god game’. But with large sections of the game dedicated to more of a caretaker role, what if instead of these single-minded approximations of god, we had a true God Sim?

Impulse buys – paying the price

Impulse buys – paying the price

The annual Steam sales have a habit of cruelly forcing me to part with money for games that I don’t need (and yes, I’m aware that technically I don’t ‘need’ any games) . One by-product of this is that my steam account now has more than a dozen games I’ve never played.

Shadows of the Damned – The Verdict

Shadows of the Damned – The Verdict

Shadows of the Damned is a strange, strange game. For example, you’ll soon grow accustomed to gates with the heads of crying babies on them, opened only by eyeballs, brains and strawberries; even more bizarrely though, other gates forgo screeching infants for the luminous purple pubic hair of demons. Indeed, by the time the end credits roll, you’ll have witnessed all manner of weird goings-on: you’ll have tittered each time you pass by a checkpoint and a small flying demon…

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LA Noire headed for PC

LA Noire headed for PC

Rockstar have announced that LA Noire will be making the leap to PC, with their Leeds studio heading up development on the title. Rockstar are promising improved fidelity and graphical improvements as well 3D integration and support for mouse and keyboard. You can read Ben’s verdict on the Xbox 360 version of the title over here. This is good news for PC gamers who may have feared that Rockstar had abandoned the PC as a platform, here’s to hoping they…

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The latest trailer for Mass Effect 3 goes live action

The latest trailer for Mass Effect 3 goes live action

E3 kick-started Bioware’s Mass Effect 3 marketing campaign, with a trailer that met with mixed responses. From “really? a turret sequence??!”, to “I want this game now!!!11”. But if you thought that was a slightly odd trailer to start out with, wait until you see this. Fake newsreels, terrible sneering English scientists and not overly convincing CGI overlays are all featured. Although there was one shot that made me think of Battlestar Galactica, I had to quickly banish that from…

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The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – The Verdict

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – The Verdict

The Witcher 2 sees us returning to the world of Geralt of Rivia, an amnesiac albino monster hunter, who seems to have a habit of getting caught up in world-shaping events he wishes he could avoid. One of the key strengths of the first Witcher game was how it handled important choices, with consequences often coming back to haunt you, hours after you made the initial decision. It was almost unique in an RPG (or any game for that matter)…

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