The newly released hack-and-slash game BloodForge features Crom, a war-weary warrior who gave up the days of battle to settle down with his beautiful wife. Based around the Celtic mythology, you find references to Gods, deities and folklore of the age.
When you’re introduced to Crom, he’s out on a successful hunting expedition and stops to rest being woken up by the terror his nightmare instills in him. Racing to his village, it is being pillaged by demons sent by the angry Celtic gods.
Since hack-and-slash games are based around fighting, they need combat that flows easily from one enemy to another. BloodForge does this well, making high combo scores an achievable goal. It also doubles as a button masher. As X is your main combat button, it’s easy to spam until everyone is sliced into neat little packages. You also can use the power of the Gauntlet to improve your fighting abilities. While you do have access to a long-range hunting bow, without the ability to aim, it seems pointless to use unless approaching closer enemies.
The most amazing thing about this game is its graphics. BloodForge has dark gritty visuals and when you combine that with the crimson blood that enemies seem to be giving away, it’s a mix of beauty and terror. The floor under Crom’s feet become almost artistic once you’ve finished with a group of foes.
The game is a visual gore-fest and I think that the almost comical use of blood and the art style are trying to make the impact of dismembered bodies and limbs less of a shock. It works to a degree. It’s certainly something I wouldn’t let a young person play even if the violence isn’t made to be realistic.
Celtic mythology is incredibly interesting and diverse, but it seems to be more of a gimmick than anything else and the story seems to be just thrown in. This isn’t a bad thing since I don’t normally play games like BloodForge for the story. These games tend to have a story thrown together and jammed in to make it work.
BloodForge is visually wonderful and fun to play. It feels a little rushed with some glitches presenting themselves at the most annoying times, but they’re easily overlooked when you’ve achieved a 40+ hit combo. Not a game I’d play for the story, but after a hard day at work, this game will scratch the itch that will distress you.

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrLinkedInReddit

I’ve been on a horror games kick for a good part of this month and while I don’t have a lot of knowledge in the area, I’m starting to understand what I like and don’t like about the genre. To me, it comes down to how the game presents its terrifying self. For this post, I’ve got two games lined up to go: Alex Wake and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Both are classed as horror games, both isolate the main character, both are making me scared of the dark. While they share those common denominators, they’re quite different games. Let’s start with Amnesia. (more…)

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrLinkedInReddit

The Sound of Music

There are a lot of elements that go into a game but there are a lot of things that are over-looked because of gameplay or scripting. The thing that I find drawing myself into a game is music.

Games like Bastion and Mass Effect are praised for their musical score and for good reason. You can have amazing graphics, deep characters and amazing scripting but if you don’t have something to tie it all together; your audience may just miss the message. And sometimes, music just happens to take over.

Take the aforementioned Mass Effect. It’s not a secret that I wasn’t a huge fan of the series until lately and even not I’m still not entirely sold on the game but something I adored was the effort that went into the soundtrack. Mass Effect 2 soundtrack was composed by a guy named Jimmy “Big Giant Circles” Hinson and for me, the sound made the game. In addition to the work that made the game, he’s released unused music for Mass Effect 2. (Available here) (more…)

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrLinkedInReddit

For my 21st birthday, my friend from The Netherlands gifted me a game on Steam. From my extensive wish list, he picked Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I’d only played Amnesia once with a friend for about 5 minutes and we were terrified! Amnesia has a long history of being able to make you poop your britches with very little effort.

Samara: The First 3D TV experience

I thanked my friend for his gift and wondered if he got kicks out of the fact he knows I’m a wuss.

In fact, when I was 14 or so, I watched the American remake of The Ring. My mother had forewarned me that it was probably too much for my brain to handle. Being the know-it-all teenager I was, I ignored her, brushing off her attempts to protect me. I’m 21 now and I’m *still* slightly worried that Samara is going to crawl out of the television and mummify me.

I’ve played 42 minutes of Amnesia and it’s fantastic. It’s so fantastic that I don’t want to play it out of sheer terror. The atmosphere is the real winner in the game. You’re told from the beginning that should play alone, have headphones so you can hear all the minute details and the shading on the screen needs to be just perfect. That’s just on the outside. Inside the game, books have fallen; winds have blown through the halls I’m travelling down and I’m yet to see another living soul. There is so much emphasis on the fact that you’re alone and unable to defend yourself that you find doing a 360 turn to survey the room is essential, even if nothing is there.

It’s a game I’m doing to have to finish in the middle of the day, with all the lights on, while clutching my teddy bear, I don’t see myself finishing it otherwise.

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrLinkedInReddit

Here’s an interesting titbit: Telltale Games has announced that it won’t submit a console port of its game “The Walking Dead” to Australian classification boards. A staff member confirmed the decision was due to a lack of R-rating for games in Australia. However, the game is available on Steam; the PC Game distribution company.

Clearly available for purchase in Australia

As it’s been said time and time again, the people who oppose the R-rating say that the medium differs from others due to interactivity, taking control of the main character and making their decisions. I can understand that logic, but since it’s being released on PC and not on consoles, I suspect there’s something else going on here too. I could just be over thinking things too. Australia is in the final stages of getting our long deserved rating and The Walking Dead could be submitted after it’s been achieved.

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrLinkedInReddit

I bought Borderlands on Xbox last month after having it on my PC for a year. I’m pretty much in love with this game and I decided that this would be a good time to do a comparison for my two main gaming preferences: Xbox and PC.
Now, before my friends start bitching at me about how PC is better, I’ll tell you to shut up now. I’m the writer, not you, so lemme do my job, okay? Thank you.
Since this is my first time playing Borderlands on my Xbox, the controls are a little difficult to get used too but that passes pretty quickly and there are a variety of mapping options available for you. I’m using default as it seems to make the most sense. The downside is that it does take more skill to use an Xbox controller to shoot after I’ve been using a keyboard and mouse for so long.
I’ve noticed an immediate improvement in the graphics, strangely enough. On my PC, the colours seem dull and boring and on the Xbox, they’re just brighter and nicer to look at.
What I’m disappointed about is that I’m not enjoying it as much as I do on PC. I’ve got a few ideas about why this could be true:

 

  1. I’m a higher level on PC than on Xbox. My level 49 Siren is a lot of fun to play where as my level 15 Siren on Xbox feels tired. Since it’s on the first playthrough, I’ve done it all before and it’s just got no real replay value on playthrough one.
  2. I don’t have to have Gold status to play with my friends. One of the great things about having it on Steam, I don’t have to pay a subscription. I don’t have the money for another Gold sub.

I think I might need to spend a few hours getting reacquainted with the old girl and find our groove again. We used to have such a beautiful friendship but now we’re not even Facebook Friends ™.

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrLinkedInReddit

I was thinking about the mountain of games I have yet to finish, but all I wanted to do was replay BioShock. My love for BioShock isn’t disguised by any means and this sparked a question, “Why, after finishing BioShock 4 or 5 times, do I want to play it AGAIN when I have a plethora of games waiting to even be unwrapped?”

Replay value is a tricky thing to talk about as it varies from player to player. My friend, Aimee (Hi, Aimee!) has replayed Mass Effect a few times and I don’t see the appeal but she doesn’t see my almost orgasmic desire to replay Bioshock. She’s also said that her favourite game to replay is Dragon Age, another RPG, with what she’s described as clunky controls.

The desire is quite bizarre since Bioshock is a linear game with only two real endings and RPG’s like the ones mentioned are fairly repetitive with some missions.

Trying to analyse what we find fascinating about games we replay is easy, however. The elements that make us return to our favourite games to relive moments with characters with love and cherish (or despise). I’ve found new areas to explore with more exciting loot. There’s a lot that you can miss during your first play-through of game and with the added encouragement of achievements, there’s enough content to go back.

There are games I’m always going to keep because of replay value. I think that’s a merit to the developers. They’ve created a game that you can be so attached too, that no matter how many times you play it, you’re never bored of it.

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrLinkedInReddit

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed a trend emerging within the gaming catalogue. I’m not entirely sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s a thing. We’re going to be inundated with sequels.

In the next 12 months, we’re going to see GTA V, Assassin’s Creed 3, Borderlands 2 and most likely another Call of Duty game.  It’s great to see that these games are so popular that developers are encouraged to make a sequel but there’s also the risk of over-saturating the market and shooting themselves in the foot.

Let’s use a game I mentioned: Assassin’s Creed.  A quick check of the Assassin Creed Wikipedia page says there will be 5 main games (Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Assassin’s Creed 3), 7 other games and 15 forms of other media. That 27 pieces of Assassin Creed related media in the market at the moment. In fact, I’ve typed “Creed” so much that it doesn’t even look like a real word anymore!

My point is that having that much content related to a game can do more harm than good. I started playing Revelations the other night and had a thought, “Assassin’s Creed had so much potential but wasted so much of it on one character.” In a game where so much history could have been explored, it kind of faulted. In no way does that mean that I didn’t enjoy the game, I just feel a little disappointed by the lack of other story.

I suppose I think that too much of a good thing can kill such a good thing. I want something new and different. I miss ingenuity and creative ideas.

Heaven help the day I get my hands on enough money to make a game. It would be the worst thing on the planet.

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrLinkedInReddit

96.5 percent more WUB WUB! 870 gajillion more guns!

Ladies and Gentlemen of Pandora, I present…

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrLinkedInReddit

Have you heard the rumour? If you have a dream where you’re falling and you don’t wake up before you hit the ground, you die in real life… (more…)

Share with:

FacebookTwitterGoogleTumblrLinkedInReddit