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Category: Impressions

Previews

Five For Five – Odyssey

Five For Five – Odyssey

Every now and then I come across a game that surprises me in a good way. Usually these games are ones that I’ve had a brief glance at, said “Ooh, that looks cool” and then eventually got round to playing even if that has been months down the line. Odyssey is certainly in that category but this time rather than ‘getting round to it eventually’ I was lucky enough to get hands on with the demo so that I could let you all know just how interesting a game it really is.

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Have At Ye, Mechanical Malingerer!

Have At Ye, Mechanical Malingerer!

I don’t ask for much in life, but if you gave me the option I’d probably ask for robots and swords. Probably some other stuff as well  (like world peace and an end to hunger), but mainly robots and swords.

Rather conveniently, Doborog Games’ Clone Drone in the Danger Zone offers both; a third person arena-combat game featuring human minds in robot bodies facing off against robot minds in equally robotic bodies.

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FIFA 17 – Demo Impressions

FIFA 17 – Demo Impressions

This year’s obligatory FIFA release is more worthy for attention than any in recent memory. That’s important for me, as I have not purchased a FIFA game since 2013. Simply put, they rarely do enough every year to justify a purchase. They update the graphics slightly, tweak the gameplay slightly and slap the latest footballing superstar on the cover and then release it into the wild. It’s not enough for me to shell out £50. Every year, I play the demo, each time all reaffirming my position.

Until this year.

FIFA 17’s demo is still so very familiar:

  • Roster of fully licensed teams? Check.
  • Mocap from real professionals? Check.
  • Licensed commentary from Martin Tyler and chums? Check.
  • Alarmingly well rendered face of Wayne Rooney and his new hairline? Check.

There are some differences though. This years game is running on the Frostbite engine, the same one used to power Battlefield and FIFA has never looked healthier for it. Bright, smooth animations give players a sense of weight allowing them to move and react to each other’s presence in very believable ways. So far, just a slight fancier update than the usual.

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Then, you look at this year’s marquee signing.

“The Journey” is a single player story mode where you assume the identity of a young, up and coming star and his rise to one of the world’s elite footballers. You play Alex Hunter, the quintessential (he would have a potential rating of 200 in Football Manager) youngster and guide his on and off the field decisions. 2K have done this style of story mode once before in NBA 2K16 and while the basketball game took the first brave steps into the concept, it was lacking in refinement. The Journey feels like EA have worked out the formula, even in the short amount of time you have with Alex Hunter in the demo.

The new tweaks to the football of FIFA 17 are also interesting. A new set-piece creator enables you to choose how a player receives the ball. Be it a long far post cross to the giant centre-back or a near post drill for a first time Sheringham volley. It is a little ambiguous however, yet with a little practice became very effective.

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EA also are championing something called “Active Intelligence System” in which the AI is constantly monitoring its special awareness and the way AI players react and make runs. FIFA’s singleplayer AI used to get lots of negative feedback however, the fact that I didn’t notice any AI failings is a sign that it’s working as intended. Nothing the AI did felt unnatural during my playtime.

Passing can feel a little difficult to be precise with the analogue stick. A fair few times I wanted to pass to one player and it ended up at another’s feet because they were closer. “Be more precise then!” I hear you roar, but it is difficult and is the area that needs the most improvement. Shooting on the other hand feels lovely. Thunderbolt shots have a weight and true thump about them and feel wonderful when they crack against the bar.

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For years I have been begging for a game to have the same feel as Guy Ritchie’s first person Nike Advert “Take It To The Next Level”. Nothing has ever excited me more than the concept of a video game showing the experiences of real life footballer has. Being discovered, getting an agent, dealing with the press, the money, getting transferred all of these things seem to be present in The Journey the demo version was very enjoyable and I cannot wait to experience it fully.

 

The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Open Beta Musings

The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Open Beta Musings

I’ve never spent considerable time with a collectible card game, I tried Hearthstone earlier this year after seeing everyone rave about it for so long, and I didn’t get the attraction. I’m not going to proclaim that The Elder Scrolls: Legends, the new CCG set in the Scrolls universe is going to keep me playing for months on end, but it looks fun, to a newcomer at least.

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The Only Way Is Up

The Only Way Is Up

Sierra adventure games had many flaws – the unpredictable parser that required instructions to be written ‘just so’, the unexpected and seemingly unavoidable deaths, the genuinely insane puzzle logic and not to mention the fact that it was frequently possible to die on the very last screen of the game because you forgot to pick up some innocuous-looking item right at the start of the game.

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Gang Beasts Online Beta – Quick Hit Impressions

Gang Beasts Online Beta – Quick Hit Impressions

When a game is described by the developers as containing “surly gelatinous characters, brutal mêlée fight sequences, and absurdly hazardous environments” with the action taking place in a fictional place known as Beef City, you know it’s going to be fun. This is Gang Beasts, and I’ve got some quick hit thoughts after playing a bit of the online beta.

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Hitman’s Elusive Targets Are All Wrong, And Here’s Why.

Hitman’s Elusive Targets Are All Wrong, And Here’s Why.

I was actually quite late to jump on the Hitman bandwagon. The new one, that is. I’ve played and loved all previous installments of the series, but the news that Hitman 6 (or Hitman(TM) as it insists on being known) would be episodic was enough to put me off picking it up at launch. A few months later down the line and the positive reception of the first two of its sprawling open levels and multiple approaches was enough for me to take the plunge.

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Sanctus Vidi Vinculum

Sanctus Vidi Vinculum

I’m not entirely sure who it was that first coined the term ‘Holy Chainsaw’ – it was either my brother or one of his friends, crammed into the spare bedroom of my parent’s house, huddled around my father’s work computer which contained national secrets, government documents and for some reason a shareware copy of Doom.

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Niffelheim – Early Access First Impressions

Niffelheim – Early Access First Impressions

Niffelheim is a 2D side-scrolling RPG currently in development in Steams Early Access Program. In it you play as a Viking who’s soul has been diverted on its was to Valhalla. You can craft armour and weapons, collect resources, upgrade your home base and defend it against numerous foes. Niffelheim is a true early access game in the sense that there are a lot of features still to be released, but the games developers are hard at work and keep in regular contact with the players via the Steam forums.

To see what the game looks like click the video below where I go through

Niffelheim is cuurently available on Steam for £14.99 link can be found here.

Dovetail Games Flight School – Preview

Dovetail Games Flight School – Preview

Let me first preface this piece by explaining my background with flight simulators. I played Microsoft Flight Simulator ’98 back in the day, I had an absolute blast…but wasn’t actually any good at flying the planes. Since then, my flying experience has mainly come from the Battlefield games, along with a dabble in things like Tom Clancy’s HAWX. What does that all mean? If you are a die-hard flight simulator fan, this isn’t the article for you as I won’t be talking about how accurate the plane models are or other details like that, but please feel free to laugh at my flying “skills” in the videos!

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