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Reviews

Beyond Blue – The Verdict

Beyond Blue – The Verdict

I adore the ocean, so whenever a game like E-Line Media’s Beyond Blue pops up, I’m right there. The video-game is an ideal medium for ocean exploration, capable of creating the illusion of a vast expanse of blue and its uncharted depths and evoking feelings of utter isolation, which can be felt as either peaceful or terrifying, depending on your inclinations.

For me, it’s often both. So, before I get into Beyond Blue itself, I’m going to dig a little into why video-games helped nurture those twin feelings of love and fear.

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F1 2020 – The Verdict

F1 2020 – The Verdict

Right or wrong, Formula 1 came back this past weekend with a stonking good race in Austria, and this week Codemasters also return with F1 2020, a tour-de-force of a racing game.

It’s been a few years since I last delivered my Verdict on one of the F1 titles, but with a raft of eye-catching new features lined up for F1 2020 I had to take a closer look. Normally I would have been playing this on the PC, but the new splitscreen mode made my choice of platforms for me, PlayStation 4 it was.

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Hardspace: Shipbreaker – The Verdict

Hardspace: Shipbreaker – The Verdict

Hardspace Shipbreaker is certainly not the first game to concern itself with reducing spaceships to their component parts, but it is certainly one of the most methodical in its approach. The usual method generally consists of flying around high intensity combat situations, dodging missiles and lasers and to be honest, sometimes it can feel like a bit much.

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West of Dead – The Verdict

West of Dead – The Verdict

“This is not how death is supposed to be.”

So intones the recently deceased William Mason upon finding himself in purgatory and not…where, exactly? Collectively, we’ve lots of ideas on what the afterlife – should there be one – has in store for us. But we don’t know. It’s what makes this mortal plane of ours such a terrifying thrill.

Not so with video games. We know where death leads us: back to the last checkpoint or a swift return to the previous quick save. Death is a momentary impediment to progress, which is just as well because there’s often a shitload of baddies determined to scrub us from existence.

Weep for William Mason, then, who certainly didn’t bank on the afterlife being chock full of gun-toting ghouls and monsters. But then he probably hadn’t expected to look like a stylish cross between Ghost Rider and Overwatch’s McCree, either. You could do worse. Swings and roundabouts ‘an all that.

Slipping into Mason’s dusty boots I push my way into an empty saloon, which serves as the gateway to purgatory: a waiting room within a waiting room. I’ve little idea of what’s in store for me. I came here for West of Dead’s striking cel-shaded aesthetics, which create a world that often feels like a thick layer of ash caught in a time loop – forever frittering away without losing an inch. There’s farms and mines and towns, but in the words of one of our latter day cowboys, they’re more like someone’s faded memory of farms and mines and towns.

And that’s it as far as my knowledge is concerned. I was just excited to play something new.

The saloon’s sole occupant, the barman, doesn’t give any hints. He might have said “roguelike” and provided a definition, but instead seemed merely content to muse there’s east and there’s west.

East for the good souls.

West for the bad. Of course.

I’ll be going west, then.

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Behold The Kickmen – The Switch Verdict

Behold The Kickmen – The Switch Verdict

I first reviewed Dan Marshall’s Behold the Kickmen in 2017 on the PC, and absolutely loved it. Kickmen has now landed on the Switch, and with that I am re-publishing my original review with a few tweaks to take light of the changes for the Switch port.

I’ve talked at length about Behold The Kickmen in the past, and it’s finally here, on the Switch as well as the PC! You can pick it up on the Switch for less than the price of a pint at a real life football match…not that we’re ever going to be going to one of them again. But who needs to go to the football when this truly majestic little game exists, one that perfectly simulates the game of football*

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Command & Conquer Remastered Collection – The Verdict

Command & Conquer Remastered Collection – The Verdict

In my Life in Games feature, I talked about my experience of playing demo of the original Command and Conquer as a kid, but that it was Red Alert 2 where my true love affair with the series started, a love affair that led me to create my first site. But I still fondly remember those missions in the demo of the original and seeing them again in Command and Conquer Remastered Collection is a joy.

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