BioShock is one of those game series’ that you really must play, you might not like every aspect of the game, but there is always something about them worth having a look at. The latest title is set in Columbia, the city in the clouds. There has been some very valid criticisms of the title, Leigh Alexander’s piece being a must read while I for one really quite enjoyed it despite the issues. After the break you can read the thoughts of a few of us here from The Reticule. …
The words you are about to read might read like one of our Verdicts, but it isn’t. I don’t think I would be comfortable granting SimCity my Verdict just yet, and I might not ever grant it one. Thanks in part to EA and Maxis’ decision to make it an always-online game it has been one of the most controversial releases in recent years. Server issues, high price and in-game bugs have all contrived to damage the reputation of the franchise. …
My experience of the StarCraft games has long been limited to the early levels of the first game, I don’t think I even got a quater of the way through the campaign. I was always more interested in titles like Red Alert 2 and so the different style of Blizzard’s seminal title didn’t quite grab me. I missed out on the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty for reasons unknown to me now, but I decided to grow up and take the plunge into the latest part of the StarCraft II journey with the Heart of the Swarm expansion. …
A Pacific island with history from World War Two and ancient cultures. Old tombs and ruins to explore. Skills and weapon upgrading system. Wild animals to hunt. Fast travel between camps. Am I talking about Far Cry 3? No, this is the new Tomb Raider which while it might share a few ideas with Far Cry stands on its own two feet and heralds a new beginning for Lara. …
Tombs and Cities are the theme amongst gamers this week with the release of Tomb Raider and SimCity dominating proceedings, with EA’s city builder being the star of the show for all the wrong reasons. I’ve not personally had any issues with it so far, but I know that lots of people have, please let us know your thoughts on the game, the server issues and EA’s response in the comments.
There is something else I want to briefly touch on, and it is another issue away from SimCity which has been cropping up on my Twitter feed this week, and that the topic of AdBlock and other ad-blocking extensions in your web browser. There are two blogs I would recommend everyone read about this issue, the first is from indie developer CY Reid and the other is on Destructoid. Again, I would like to know what people think about ads, ad-blockers and the ads we run here on The Reticule, leave us a comment, Tweet us, leave a comment on Facebook or even email us. Enough serious business though, on with the games. …
There are few things I do well, and cry with dignity is certainly not one of them. The mess, the noise and the looks of sheer terror on the faces of the people around me as I dissolve into my own salty puddle is never good.
I played Richard & Alice over the weekend, and my house is now empty. *Sniff*
Guest writer Andy Robertson takes a look at the upcoming third installment of the Skylanders series; Swap Force. The toy/game hybrid has seen growing popularity recently and the genre will soon expand with Disney Infinity.
Skylanders Swap Force is the third iteration in the franchise and works hard to overcome its perceived shortcomings. Not only are there new adventures for your old characters (toys) but it also adds an impressive 56 new figures. These take the form of 16 Swap Force, 16 Core, 16 Series 3 and 8 Lightcore characters.
The question in all this is whether this is a video-game that uses toys to access content, or a toy that uses video-games to sell more figures. The truth is probably somewhere between the two. Beyond this dichotomy though there is enough novel gameplay to attract even more serious players.
For instance, the new Swap Force characters allow you to mix and match the tops and the bottoms to create 256 different combinations. At first this sounds like a gimmick, but in the game it actually works like an RPG party system – only here you can instantly swap things around by adjusting the physical toys on the portal. Perhaps this is something we could see Final Fantasy or Mass Effect embracing in some future iteration.
This is all well and good, but there is a price. The figures are quite expensive (around £10) and if you get into collecting them all Skylanders Swap Force could cost a lot. The thing to do here is to focus on just those characters you really need, rather than expanding your collection too much. Also note that you can finish the game with just the figures in the Swap Force Starter Pack…
As you can see in this video, the biggest tension this year is that you can no longer use your Portal peripheral from with Skylanders Giants or Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure. This means that everyone will need to buy a new Starter Pack. This will include the new Portal, the game disc, one Series 3 figure and two Swap Force characters.
It will be interesting to see how much these Starter Packs costs, particularly with Activision coming under some pressure from Disney Infinity, a similar toy-meets-videogame offering from Disney. In fact it is this competition that is likely to drive this genre into more cost effective territory, and in our book no bad thing.
The key thing will be for Skylanders Swap Force to get the pricing spot on. This is something that Activision has not currently commented on.
Andy Robertson runs Family Gamer TV and writes about games and families.
This is Chris Evans’ story about trying to make a custom database for Football Manager 2013 with a very strong hint of A Game of Thrones. This is the third part of his blog charting his progress.
Would I have started this project if I knew quite how much effort it would take to get it to the stage it is at right now? I most certainly would, it is going to be so rewarding to play a long-term game in the Game of Thrones-themed world that I have created within Football Manager 2013. It isn’t all the way there, I haven’t played in-game with this version of the custom file enough yet to make sure everything is working as intended, and I haven’t touched any team logos yet which is going to be something which I might struggle to sort out. Anyway, the latest update on where things are is as follows. …
Medal Wars: Keisers Revenge is a new isometric action shooter from one man development team Retro Army, based in Scotland. Set in World War One it assumes the gameplay style of an action RPG not to dissimilar to that of Diablo. Of course in World War One they weren’t able to shoot lighting out their fingertips and instead you have an assortment of guns and explosives to help you complete your missions.
You take the place of a soldier serving in the Green Army as you come under attack from the enemy. Black Army has invaded your territory and it’s time to make a stand. You start off the campaign with a humble pistol and some very basic instructions given to you by busty Betsy your commanding officer, who soon becomes one of the more featured NPC’s in the early game. You’re mission should you choose to accept it, is to face the enemy as a daring lone soldier and take back the land that is rightfully yours. …
So here it is, the final four in our countdown to 2013’s most anticipated games. This year is certainly jam packed with some brilliant releases, but with so many which are the top games to look out for? Read on to find out our final four countdown of the ‘Top 10 Games To Look Forward To In 2013’.
4. Bioshock Infinite
The game environment of Bioshock Infinite just looks utterly stunning. Columbia may be floating in the sky but still has all the trademarks of any large city. Towering sky scrapers protrude through the clouds, dozens of giant hard carved statues can be seen on buildings and in parks and even shops are visible on the cobbled streets. All this is amplified by the fact that below each towering building, every street and cinema there are hundreds of meters of air and a very long fall to your death.
Bioshock Infinite leaves the cramped surroundings of Rapture and explodes into the open air of Columbia with all the intricate design and originality that made the first game so brilliant. An entirely new array of enemies have been developed, new characters and a seemingly in depth story and dialogue to rival that of the first Bioshock.
3. Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs took everyone by surprise at E3 2012. Ubisoft took the choice to gamble on a new IP when almost everyone else was creating sequels to previous games or at the very least playing safe in a genre they were known for. Along side the announcement at E3 was a gameplay trailer which showed the stunning visuals of a city that looked very much like New York and a setting that rings true to the modern day lives of the average person.
In the world of Watch Dogs people are becoming ever more dependant on the technology that they use without ever really knowing who controls the information they input into certain devices and the accessibility to it. All it would take is one person who knew their way around that technology and a lot of disruption could be caused with relative ease. In the trailer Aiden Pearce, the stories antihero, can be seen blocking mobile phone signals, hacking traffic lights and listening in to peoples phone conversations and also seems to be pretty handy with a gun.
2. The Last of Us
The last of Us is a post apocalyptic city based adventure epic set in a world where living is a daily struggle to survive against the odds. From the media released so far by developers Naughty Dog, it’s clear to see the game world has been very well designed and is so intricate that it makes me believe that every building is accessible and has an elaborate interior of crumbling brick, usable tools and all the basics needed to survive just that little bit longer.
While the list of post apocalyptic games, especially those set in large cities is certainly not on the short side, what interests me about The Last of Us is the possibility for unique interactions between you the player (playing as Joel) and your AI controlled partner (Ellie). Solving puzzles, dealing with combat situations and exploration could all be made a lot more interesting under these circumstances.
1. Grand Theft Auto V
The fact that Rockstar have released very little information about Grand Theft Auto V, yet it seems to be one of the most talked about games among my friends and fellow gamers shows just how big this game is going to be come release day. The slow drip feed of screenshots that have been released recently are all that’s needed to whip people up into an excited frenzy over the smallest detail and possibility of what might be included. I think I would be fair in saying that when that first trailer was released on November 2nd the internet almost imploded.
In Grand Theft Auto V the player will be able to take control of three characters with heavily interconnected storylines, much like GTA IV did with its Ballad of Gay Tony and Lost and Damned DLC packs. This time however, the characters stories will be heavily influenced by each other instead of just passing connections.
There are many details that can be speculated about from the released media but one things for sure, GTA V looks downright beautiful. And with a game world larger than Red Dead Redemption, GTA IV and San Andreas combined Rockstars well earned credentials will no doubt fill this virtual space with masses of quality content.