Warframe in 2018: One of the fastest growing free-to-play games on the market

Warframe presents one of those rare cases where extensive community support not only lets a free-to-play game remain afloat for extended periods of time, but also enables developers to continuously add an expansive array of features. The game has grown dramatically since its initial release in 2013, though my first experience of Warframe occurred further in 2016 when it had a fully cohesive narrative, as well as the Archwing missions among other features. Consequently, looking at the game at the end of 2018 makes Warframe almost unrecognizable, since its growth over the last 2 years added an unprecedented amount of new content and improved existing features. Playing it just two years ago, I didn’t see either of the open world zones, half the currently available gear and a share of about 10 new quests I’ve yet to experience. Warframe is the fastest growing free-to-play shooter you can currently get, and oozes triple A quality throughout its striking game and visual design, which paired with its addicting progression make it a game you could easily sink hundreds of hours into.

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No Man’s Sky Next Review – Doesn’t fix all of the launch issues but finally brings the game in line with original vision

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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Life is Strange Android port impressions

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Developer: Dontnod Entertainment, Publisher: Square Enix

Released: July 18th, 2018

Tested on: Razer Phone, Android 7.0

It’s always exciting to see a fully-fledged game release available on your mobile device’s marketplace, especially if it is a port of the game you’ve enjoyed on PC throughout the last couple of years. There’s something remarkable about being able to play a PC release in the palm of your hand, even more so if there was no downgrade in the process. Life is Strange marks one of these rare cases where the mobile port is so good, I may never go back to the PC version, as the platform is more adept to play action-heavy games on. If I want to relax and game on my phone, Life is Strange offers a compelling story-rich experience that will be engaging throughout long stretches of time. With fluid controls, excellent graphics and rewarding story content, Life is Strange arrives on Android in shining colors, and delivers the quality few mobile titles can match. And the fact that it’s one of the best episodic adventure games on the PC and consoles makes it even even more sweet.

Note: this is not a full-feature review but my impressions with the Android port of the game, which released a few months ago.

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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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Gangstar: New Orleans Review

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Developer, Publisher: Gameloft

Released: March 15th, 2017

Reviewed On: Razer Phone, Android 7.1

Available via: Google Play

The lack of open world releases on mobile platforms has created a considerable gap in the genre ready to be filled by an exciting new release to break up the stale market. Gameloft’s Gangstar series has long served up competition to numerous Grand Theft Auto ports on mobile, and while it sadly isn’t a better franchise, it stood out well with its unique settings. Gangstar: New Orleans brings the franchise to the next level of quality, offering an exciting open world mayhem at a free download price. It isn’t without faults, but considerably improves on its predecessor, and New Orleans captures the essential fun of a crime city sandbox. With plenty of activities to offer, it works pretty well, although the free to play design drags the game down somewhat. It’s still a solid experience, you just wouldn’t find the same level of quality as the numerous Grand Theft Auto games. At the free price though, Gangstar: New Orleans is certainly worth a try, and packs a lot of features into its open world to offer a compelling experience.

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Subnautica Review – Take a tour of an alien ocean

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Exploring the beautifully crafted underwater world of Subnautica is an experience that’s both awe-inspiring and absolutely terrifying. The vast expanse of the ocean planet you crash land on just begs you to explore its biomes and venture out further beyond safe shallows, but is quick to remind you that this world can also easily kill you. Subnautica is the most approachable game in its genre, and it doesn’t take much to survive, although deeper layers are woven into the experience and hide just underneath the surface. The mystery of the ocean will keep you coming back to explore its biggest depths, all the while crafting better survival gear to tackle its various challenges. The game never gets stale, and I kept coming back for more and more without burning out on its survival genre tropes.

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