Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Review

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider tasks you with killing a god, which outright doesn’t look like an easy task. Following Billie Lurk, one of Daud’s assassins and also one known as Meagan Foster in Dishonored 2, the standalone expansion brings players back into the city of Karnaca on a path to kill the Outsider himself. Death of the Outsider plays very much like any Dishonored, although avoids the binary choice system of previous titles by removing the impact of city chaos on the ending. I appreciated this feature, as the game no longer forces you to pick a play style to get a certain ending, but instead, you play whichever way you feel like. Apart from it, Death of the Outsider plays very familiar and I could always go for more Dishonored, with open level exploration and a multitude of approaches to select from. Being a standalone expansion, Death of the Outsider is done fairly quickly, yet playing as a different character with new powers doesn’t get boring by any extent. The game carries similar elements to other Dishonored titles, although there is always something new to discover in this universe, and Death of the Outsider fleshes more about Karnaca with its numerous side contracts. With even more supernatural elements than before, the game really stands out as an excellent standalone title, and for anyone who thoroughly enjoyed previous titles, is well worth playing.

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Volcanoids Early Access Impressions

As I explore a strange steampunk island I’ve just arrived on, the earth begins to rumble, my senses disoriented for a few seconds. Getting back to my submarine, I seal the doors behind me in preparation for inevitable danger, looking out of a handy periscope, only to see the island suffer gigantic volcano explosion, and my vision gets blocked. With the smoke gone, the once green environment is now concealed under a layer of ash, though I’m capable of venturing out yet again. From there on, Volcanoids asks to construct a ship core, setting you up for what you’ll be spending much of your time playing with. An open-world, base building survival game, it sends you out on a quest to reclaim this land for the people once more, and somehow figure out how you’re going to silence the volcano all by yourself.

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Just Cause 4 Review

Playing Just Cause 4, I can’t escape the notion that something went wrong in Avalanche’s open-world series, with a slightly new design direction that doesn’t fit quite as well as fans would hope. I’m still having a blast destroying the multitude of enemy bases scattered across the huge map of Solis, which I traverse with Rico’s trusty grappling hook, paired with weirdly unlimited parachute, and a jet-powered wingsuit you can now use. Blowing up explosive barrels and enemy structures is a usual display of unlimited chaos, which you can now further facilitate by sending a tornado towards an enemy base. Weather effects have a convoluted plot around them, and Just Cause never aimed to have complex exposition, but utilizing them leads to spectacular results. Yet in many ways, the revamped mission structure here feels too restrictive, taking away much of the freedom to do your own thing, where you’d normally be able to progress in the game simply by engaging with its open world. In Just Cause 4, repetitive objective design is now more apparent than ever, and so is its serious lack of improvement over predecessors, though let’s not write the game off just yet.

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Distance Review

Whenever games attempt to combine various genres into one, it always either ends up a complete failure, or a niche success that finds good traction among the adopting player base. Refract studios created something special with Distance – a survival-themed racer where you explore a mysterious futuristic city, having to avoid numerous obstacles scattered throughout each level in an effort to make it through until the end. It mixes in platforming elements of the sort, with jumping, spinning and flying mechanics introduced to compliment traditional arcade racing, and add a unique spin on the experience. It’s quite relaxing, yet intensely gripping at once as you try to navigate the diverse obstacles, and nail those perfect runs to advance in game further. Whether you attempt to uncover what happened to this strange world, grab perfect scores across each level in Arcade mode, or compete online against other players, Distance offers something for everyone with its engaging gameplay mechanics.

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Ring of Elysium Early Access Impressions

The battle royale genre has seen an unprecedented surge in popularity over the course of 2018, spawning countless titles vying for gamers’ limited funds and attention. Whereas the frontrunners PUBG and Fortnite have further established themselves as the kings of the genre, there’s now plenty of alternatives to consider if you’ve tired out from the biggest two. For every newcomer to the genre then, the chief concern becomes to introduce enough unique elements to set itself apart from the heavyweights. It is otherwise impossible to compete with PUBG and Fortnite in the playing field, hence Ring of Elysium throws in a few twists to the standard battle royale formula. Released by Tencent Games, the same company behind the mobile port of PUBG, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve loaded into yet another match of PUBG, although it’s quickly obvious they’re not the same titles despite similarity in graphics and gameplay design. Available through Steam Early Access, Ring of Elysium is a surprisingly polished battle royale entry, bringing a mixture of familiar and brand new elements to the table where it’s hard to capture gamers’ extended attention.

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Sunset Overdrive PC Review – Go nuts in a vibrant playground

The release of Sunset Overdrive on PC in 2018 came as a pleasant surprise, injecting some much needed over the top fun into a relatively tame gaming year. While blockbuster releases certainly delivered hundreds of hours of quality content, nothing in the past year especially grabbed me as an experience purely aimed at unwinding after a long day. With complex storytelling arcs and heavy exposition, the likes of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Shadow of the Tomb Raider offered engaging narratives and superb gameplay design, yet didn’t manage to grab as much of my attention as some of Insomniac Games’ best work. Sunset Overdrive is an exciting and colorful adventure, unhindered by much story development, and takes full advantage of its quirky tropes to deliver a non-stop action experience. It’s a game you could lose hours in simply exploring its vibrant open world, engaging in random events, and come back with far more memorable reflections than any major release of the past fall.

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Darksiders 3 Review

When it comes to moment to moment combat of hack and slash RPG games, Darksiders 3 excels at delivering a fast-paced fluid gameplay experience that few titles can match in its genre. It doesn’t shy away from feeling familiar if you’ve played the previous installments, despite the new overhead publisher, yet its moment to moment gameplay remains some of the strongest in the genre. At the same time, however, this supposed revival of the series plays it much too safe in delivering little innovation, and further stripping down the things Darksiders 2 attempted to experiment with, leaving few things to engage in outside of combat. The series was never known for complex game design or deep storytelling in the first place, but Darksiders 3 clearly shows some wasted potential in its flawed execution. You won’t get the worst action RPG experience, and it’s moment to moment gameplay feels engaging enough to enjoy parts of it, but the simplistic execution ultimately leaves Darksiders 3 unable to break the ceiling of mediocrity.

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No Man’s Sky Next Review – An improvement you’ve been hoping for

The hype surrounding No Man’s Sky was one of the biggest generated throughout the entire gaming industry, but when it released in 2016, it lacked many of the promised features, and underperformed on delivering the expected experience. This resulted in a wide community backlash, where negative reviews encompassed positive comments, but development on the game wasn’t finished. Hello Games spent the next 2 years providing consistent updates to the game, which expanded on what players could do and aligned the game with original design vision. No Man’s Sky gives players a massive universe to explore, filled with a myriad planets, star systems, and space fleets, now enabling cooperative play throughout the entire game. The Next update, coupled with previously released improvements, brings No Man’s Sky to the next level, and while players won’t be able to escape the tedious structure of its survival mode, it provides ample opportunity to create fun moments. With so many elements introduced post-launch, this feels like the game Hello games should have made at the start, although doesn’t feel vastly different from its original build. Thankfully, all the updates came at no charge, enabling early adopters to experience a fresh take on survival in a vast universe.

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Far Cry 5 Review

Playing a new Far Cry game at this point feels like slipping on a familiar pair of shoes, and despite minor token innovation throughout each release, extensively feels like going through the same motion. Far Cry 5 may be the biggest step away from the series’ usual tropes so far, yet I can’t escape the feeling I’ll be doing precisely the same stuff in a different setting. It’s a new region to explore, a new story, a new villain – yet feels very much the same as the games that came before it. Retreading familiar ground, Far Cry 5 throws players into an isolated region, tasked to liberate it from an oppressive cult. It’s wearing a new coat again, although this time Ubisoft made some welcome changes to make the experience less redundant. Don’t expect full blown progress, however, as we’re still playing by the same rules established in Ubisoft’s sandbox titles back around when Far Cry 3 came out. That said, there is a reason many enjoy the series, and won’t leave that comfort zone for innovation. Far Cry 5 is a solid entry once more, but four games in, the magic of its experience is starting to wear off no matter what Ubisoft attempts to change for a new release.

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Assassin’s Creed: Rebellion review

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Developer, Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment

Released: September 26th, 2018

Reviewed on: Razer Phone, Android 7.0

Available via: Google Play

Fall tends to be a good time for video game releases, and the mobile market is not an exception. Ubisoft have added a surprising hit to their Assassin’s Creed franchise with the recently released Rebellion title, which is unexpected after the disappointing Identity. Rebellion not only stands out as a much better title, but also does so in the least expected format possible that brings a strong game design to the table. Presented as a side scroller, Assassin’s Creed: Rebellion is a free-to-play title that you might overlook because of its visual design, but it packs in extensive depth to make for an interesting experience. I never expected to like its cartoonish graphics style, nor the way it presents the experience, but Rebellion grows on you after a few play sessions. Among the spin-offs, this is easily the best Assassin’s Creed game I’ve played, and the 2D design works surprisingly well here. Despite its free price tag, Rebellion packs in a lot of high quality features to like, and leaves little to be disappointed in, although expect to see common features found in free mobile titles.

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