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Hearing the broken bones, skulls and watching the most over the top fatalities done by some of the most iconic characters in gaming history again is an awesome feeling. Mortal Kombat X is finally here and it looks and plays better than ever.

The game starts of by introducing you to the new faction wars mode in which you will be given 5 factions to choose from. Lin Kuei, Black Dragon, Brother Hood of Shadows, Special Forces and White Lotus. I chose the White Lotus, A secret organization with powerful martial artists formed by Raiden and Shaolin. Faction wars is an online experience in which everything you, do whether it is in the single player or multiplayer will earn you faction points, rewards and will improve your leader board position.

The first thing you will notice is how beautiful the graphics are. The fighters themselves look impressive while small touches such as the sweat, blood and the way they move makes the fighting feel real. The varied of levels are done with a lot of care. Everything around you is moving. Each of the 13 levels is like a theme of its own such as the Kuatan Jungle and the refugee camp in which you fight as caged refuges helplessly watch.

You can use your environments to your advantage such as throwing an innocent person at your opponent or using objects to jump to the other side. Getting to know each level will give you the advantage. Mortal Kombat X is filled with content. The single player includes the story mode, towers, single fight and test your luck mode.

Test your luck is one of the most entertaining challenge modes where 1 to 7 of the countless modifiers can be chosen such as dashing disabled, infinite timer, and lighting strike that will force you to use different strategies to beat your opponent. This mode is so exciting that I just came back for more because each fight felt different.

The traditional towers are back; however, what I spent most of my time on was the living towers that are divided into 3 sub modes. Quick towers, is like the classic towers from previous Mortal Kombat games but with extra conditions that improve on the experience. These conditions are always updated, so each fight might have different conditions than the previous fight. Daily tower changes every 24 hours and offers new challenges and then there is the premier tower that offers the most challenging fights. I enjoyed playing the living tower mode because it added tons of reply value.

The Krypt mode makes a return. The more you fight the more koins you earn which allows you to unlock rewards and secrets.

When it comes down to the gameplay, Mortal Kombat X does a great job. I was impressed by how solid and deep the game mechanics are. You get to choose from 3 variations for each fighter. Each variation has different abilities and attacks. This helps in choosing the strategy you prefer depending on your opponent. For example, choosing Ninjutsu for Scorpion gives him deadly swords that he can use during battle.

You will fill up a super meter that is located on the bottom left every time you execute a normal attack or special moves on your opponent. The better you perform your combination the faster the bar will get filled. The first bar is the EX bar that allows you to do powerful moves when activated. Once the super meter is filled the X-ray becomes available. The X-ray is the strongest and most devastating move in the game.

Learning the different techniques during a fight is key because each move counts. Delaying your character to get up after a knockdown is a useful technique as it confuses your opponents timing.There are also training rooms to do fatality practices and improve your skills. The controls are easy to pick up to perform all sorts of combinations and fatalities.

The story spans 25 years following the last game and it is split into chapters that are filled with fights. Each chapter focuses on a single character. For example, chapter 1 focused on Johnny Cage, chapter 2 on Kotal Kahn and so on. It was interesting to see how the story unfolded; you really get to learn more about the characters as you feel each one has a unique personality. The elders have lost power to Kotal Kahn and it is up to our heroes to take back control. During the journey, you will come across many characters from previous games and you will also be introduced to new ones as well.

The cut scenes are very good with many quick time events that allow you to interact with the game. The cut scenes were a bit long but I never felt it dragged on, as they were entertaining. I was hoping that the main campaign would be longer as I completed it in only around 5 hours.

The roster features 25 old and new characters so far; each of them feels different with their own personalities. The new characters such, as D’Vorah and Erron Black are great but my personal favourite was Ferra/Tor; 2 different characters but fight together during battle. Ferra is the small warrior who sits on the back of Torr, a beast who shows no mercy.

The fatalities are back with more blood and gory than ever. There is something so fulfilling about performing a fatality, it just feels satisfying. There is a new easy fatality feature that allows players to do a fatality much easier.

With solid soundtrack and excellent gameplay, Mortal Kombat X reminds us of what made the series so captivating in the first place. Whether you are a veteran or a new comer, Mortal Kombat X will not disappoint.

Quarter mile at a time

Microsoft struck gold with their exclusive racing simulator, Forza Motorsport. If that wasn’t good enough, Forza Horizon then pushed the boundaries of what we expect in an open-world racing game, but it didn’t end there. With a new console looming, Turn 10 would go on and define the franchise on new-gen consoles with Forza 5. You must be thinking it ends there, right? Wrong, Forza Horizon 2 recently released and just like an actual Horizon, the sky was the limit for this racing game franchise. With that said, here comes Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious, a free downloadable expansion based on the popular movie franchise. But, is it any good?

With the release of Furious 7, Playground Games and Turn 10 have released a downloadable expansion based on their popular open-world racing game sim, Forza Horizon 2. FH2: Presents Fast & Furious brings together Forza Horizon 2’s open-world atmosphere, flashy open road races and the smooth gameplay we’ve come to expect from the Forza series, but aside from voice over from Ludacris’ character Tej and some nods to the movies, there’s not much here to warrant the Fast & Furious name. There is however, some fun to be had in the streets of south France.

There’s not much of a story here. Tej Parker has tasked you with collecting the cars required for the team’s next job, that’s really it. You race, you acquire the car, and you move on to the next race. It’s really that simple. Of course, you could heighten the difficulty by altering the controls and changing the difficulty, but playing the game without changing anything will yield about 2-3 hours of gameplay. And speaking of gameplay, you’ll be sure to get the Forza experience here; emphatic engines and all.

FH2: Presents Fast & Furious features the realistic gameplay we’ve come to know and love with the Forza series. The cars feel firmly planted to the road and driving requires a certain degree of skill akin to most racing simulators. Difficulty can be increased and decreased both in the level of the opponents and the altering of controls and options. Forza’s fantastic sound design can also be heard here. The screeching of tires on pavement and the roar of muscle car’s engines would surely make Dom smile in appreciation.

There’s definitely fun to be had here, but keep in mind, the game only offers a fraction of what Forza Horizon 2 offers. There are about 15+ races, a few collectables, some speeding challenges, a handful of cars, and a piece of the Forza experience. If you haven’t played Forza Horizon 2 or any other for that matter, this is the perfect time to do so. It’s also the perfect game for achievement hunters, as the games achievements can be unlocked for simply completing all of the races and finding the hidden barn car.

The sound of the police

When you go to play this game, keep in mind that it's battlefield in name only, the focus here is on fast paced claustrophobic intense gunfights versus spectacular large-scale open combat. Having said that, Battlefield Hardline tries to do something different and it mostly succeeds, from it's campy but well polished campaign to the overhauled multiplayer, it's a very different game than 4 was. Some people might think this is a bad thing but personally as someone who's played hundreds of shooters in their lifetime, I appreciate the new direction. It keeps battlefield from getting stale, although if you're looking for the more of the same, you probably won't like it, in fact you might hate it.

I always thought part of the problem with the way games are received by their audience is that player's expectations skew and tarnish the experience, for me I was expecting a reskinned BF4, what I got was a game that maintains the same general tone, of the series, but the mechanics are just different enough to feel fresh and new to me. Most notable is the sound design and the chaos of indoor gunfights, everything from the default pistol to the light machineguns has a rich hearty boom to it that's unsettling when you're in the middle of a gun fight and the environment reacts to bullet impacts in a satisfying way throwing debris in the air while you hear muffled shouts from your assailants. The difference is the focus on the single player game is more one of stealth, and while it's completely optional, it's the fastest way to unlock bonus items, and there's also an evidence gathering scavenger hunt thrown in as well.

The battles are like well-choreographed scenes from a TV show or movie, and the entire plot is presented like a binge session of a show on Netflix. Levels are "episodes" and if you quit to the main menu, scenes from the next episode are played as a teaser. It feels mostly polished and in a few levels the designers get away from the linear scripted campaigns that have become so popular lately. The open levels are reminiscent of the multiplayer maps, which are a really nice touch, since this series is known for its multiplayer, and it flows at a quicker pace than the other games.

When I booted up multiplayer, there are a lot of noticeable changes, the progression system has been overhauled, and unlocks are done mostly through cash earned through play. The XP bonuses have also been changed to only grant bonuses for specific actions, such as team actions or assists, or vehicle support. It seems complicated and bloated and unnecessary, and both sides of the law have specific unlocks that you can only use when you're on a certain team.

My first few games were amazing, the default classes were all set up to be enjoyable right off the bat, except maybe the professional, and the game ran perfectly. In Hardline, it's all about close combat though, and time to kill seems significantly quicker than the previous games. The other issue is the spawning system, you have a sort of kill cam showing your attackers next few moves, then a cool down timer that seems to increase your time out depending on how well you did prior to being killed. At first I liked this idea, however it became aggravating when the game spawned me on top of a grenade, then I watched my killer, then it made me wait on the timer.

If I haven't even spent a second playing the game, I shouldn't have to wait another 10 to respawn, on top of watching the kill cam, it seems like a poor design choice to me in that sense. Also the hint system is horrible. Obvious things are pointed out repeatedly and you have to close the hint to proceed, but non-obvious things are never explained in the new game modes and you're left wondering how to play a specific objective while the enemy team rushes you and kills you.

When it works though, it's amazing. It reminds me of counter strike, and the emphasis on secondary weapons reminds me of modern warfare 2, the pacing is fast and the close quarters battles are adrenaline pumping. It's not perfect, and I do have a few gripes about it, but it's playable and enjoyable enough that I'm glad I picked it up.

Bottom line is if you want a different style shooter in single player or a counter strike style experience in multiplayer, pick this up. It fills a weird niche in the shooter market, but I feel like it might not stand up well enough on its own for people who aren't up to date on the series or are looking for the next copy paste game.

Refined, not remastered

In 2001, gamers were treated to a one-of-a-kind experience from Capcom that featured a rich, atmospheric world, some mind-bending puzzles, great enemy designs, and some truly impressive weaponry. All of this was topped off with gameplay that married that of Resident Evil and Onimusha and put us in control of a white-haired, trenchcoat wearing badass named Dante. Gamers fell in love, and I distinctly remember playing into the wee hours of the morning, fighting my way through Hell until I exacted my revenge on Mundus.

Fast-forward 12 years, and Capcom has decided to recapture the magic the first DMC had with their Ninja Theory-developed reboot, DmC: Devil May Cry. Some of the series staples were gone...lock-on disappeared, the 60 frames per second benchmark was removed in favor of a stable 30 frames per second, and the styles that reinvigorated the series with DMC3 and DMC4 were noticeably absent. It was with extreme skepticism that I placed the disc into my Xbox 360, crossed my fingers, and prepared for the worst. Instead, after roughly 15 hours, I had finished the game and couldn't help but feel I just played something incredible.

DmC: Devil May Cry Definitive Edition is two things: a fresh reimagination of the DMC franchise and characters, and a love letter to fans of the original Devil May Cry. Whereas DMC3 and 4, while great games, became purely focused on the combat and stylish aspect of the series, DmC returned the series back to the explorative, puzzle-oriented gameplay of the first while still retaining the flashy combat the series has become known for. Unlike DMC3/4, which had enemies that were (at times, quite literally) mindless ragdolls littered around the area for Dante to abuse, DmC returned the feeling of hostility and danger that was absent in the series since the first entry. In DMC1 I wasn't sure of the horrors that faced me but, when push came to shove, I knew Dante was plenty powerful enough to fight back. In DMC3/4, Capcom had made Dante so ridiculously overpowered that I couldn't help but wonder why demons would even attack him in the first was a surefire loss on their part. In DmC, Dante feels vulnerable and relies on the player to tap into his power to make it through each stage.

Once you do, and you begin to learn the intricacies of Dante's fighting abilities, you're in for some of the tightest, most fluid combat I've experienced in a video game since the release of Ninja Gaiden Black on the original Xbox. Each swing of the sword has a great feeling of weight and momentum behind it, and the enemies react accordingly. Animations are smooth with no noticeable hiccups or skips, and the crisp sound design accents the feeling of "oomph" behind each blow. The varied weapons add to the complexity of the combat, and Capcom made sure to integrate easy controls as to not detract from the flow of combat. Pulling L2 or R2 to equip different weapons became second-nature, and not once did I have to fight the camera as I did in DMC3 and DMC4.

In the original release of DmC, the game had a few decisions I wasn't exactly fond of: color-coded enemies, a 30 FPS cap, and the disappearance of lock-on. All of these problems were remedied in the Definitive Edition, with the framerate bumped back up to 60 FPS, the use of color-specific weapons on certain enemies eliminated, and lock-on reinstated. As in the older games of the series, the lock-on cursor displays the enemy's remaining health and keeps the enemy squared in your sights. To adjust for this, Capcom tweaked the controls to make some moves executable whether Dante is locked-on to the enemies of not. A nice touch that I greatly appreciated.

The Definitive Edition comes with all DLC weapon skins included, as well as additional costumes (including a DMC1 costume...a very welcome addition for diehard fans of the first like myself), the Vergil's Downfall add-on campaign, the return of the Bloody Palace mode, and two new difficulty modes. For £25, DmC: DE is a steal, and a welcome addition to the next-gen games lineup.

london town

This is why we cannot have nice things.

Here is a new IP that takes existing stories from legend and history, wraps them up with an interesting spin that looks and plays wonderfully. Yet is getting blasted by criticism from all sides.

Yes compared to some games it is short. But then some games have a massive amount of padding to increase their length. I have yet to finish Skyrim’s main campaign as I lose interest, there is too much to do and the focus is lost. I recently got Dragon Age Inquisition and although I am enjoying it immensely, I do wonder if I really need to wander or ride about the Hinterlands collecting shiny shards or drawing pictures in the sky.

Compared to others though the length of The Order is comparable or even longer. It took me longer to finish this story than any of the Call of Duties. An unlike the Call of Duties and their ilk I found myself engaged throughout the entire story.

Yes, there are QTE's but those do not bother me. People complain about QTE's but what is the alternative? They provide interactivity to what in the past has been just a cutscene and when you think about it really an entire game is really just one long QTE, i.e. you press a number of buttons in sequence to progress. God of War titles use QTEs excessively and those games are always well received why does this game get dragged over the coals for them?

Additionally I will always prefer a well-crafted QTE than "shoot the inexplicable weak point until it dies" mechanic that even now developers fall back on.

I really enjoyed this game. I found the story interesting and it was provided in an engaging way. Visually this game is stunning. Characters are well crafted, yes they are based on existing tropes, but they are tropes that work and slot into the setting well. The voice acting is brilliant and the music matches the pace and tone of the scenes perfectly. I liked the weapons, thoroughly enjoyed zapping enemies with the arc gun and found the thermite gun to be a very interesting take on the remote explosive weapon.

Perhaps if this game had a multiplayer option it would have been better received. Perhaps like many recent titles it is a victim of hype.

If you want a nicely presented story with nearly all the chaff cut from it, if you like short, sharp gunplay sequences that do not out live their welcome and even a nice little stealth section thrown in for good measure, then get this game.

If you judge the value of a game by the length of time you spend playing on it or if you prefer your action to be non stop with the story taking a back seat to battling enemies then you might want to give this one a miss. It is likely not your cup of tea. But that is OK, there are plenty of games that are.

if it bleeds we can kill it!

Ever played games and wondered what it is like to be that huge hulking boss with multiple stages and takes a finely tuned strategy and skill to take down? EVOLVE finally gives players the opportunity to not only play as the human heroes trying to save humanity by killing that disgusting monster but the chance to FINALLY be the bad guy, and OH DOES IT FEEL GOOD!

Evolve is an experience that can be described by the phrase "Easy to learn, difficult to master". There is a learning curve, mainly that deals with proper movement management for the Hunters and Monster, as well as teamwork. It is absolutely necessary that the hunters work together, at least outside of fights with inexperienced monsters.

Chasing down the monster and working together with a team of four unique hunters that have synergy in hugely varying ways is fun and exciting. While playing as the monster is a completely different and unique experience ranging from paranoia and fear of being caught early at stage 1 to evolving to stage 3 and feeling like a god raining down rock and electricity on unsuspecting humans, and its FUN the whole time.

The first available monster is the Goliath who is all about jumping in and pummeling as many humans as possible before making a quick exit. The second is the Kraken, which is my personal favorite of the three monsters floats above the battlefield dishing out electric shocks aplenty but once it is pinned down it is relatively weak. Finally we have the Wraith with its toolbox of tricky and stealthy tactics makes this monster extremely difficult to pin down and deal damage but with its weak armor is the easiest to inflict maximum damage.

Each of the hunters has their own fun bits of dialogue, and their designs are fantastic. All characters have a distinct personality. Lazarus is a stubborn, grumpy old man; Markov's a jolly, optimistic man who's obsessed with dying a glorious death in battle; and Cabot's the optimistic, great leader of the group.

The game looks beautiful because it runs on Cry Engine; the art is very well done. Occasionally the maps seem a bit too similar, but they each have defining features that make them unique. The monsters and hunters all look great.

The sound is clear, and is essential to finding the monster. The voice acting is excellent and witty or relevant lines will be keeping you on your toes the whole time. The sound also functions as cues for the players on both teams.

Evolve is an amazing game, a unique masterpiece that deserved all of its awards at E3 etc. The progression system manages to be enticing without feeling too grindy. You will not get bored of Evolve anytime soon.

They mostly come at night mostly

Have you ever wanted to play in a zombie-infested wonderland? No? I have. Techland gave me exactly what I’ve always wanted in an open-world zombie game: streets filled to the brim with zombies, loot everywhere you turn, terrifying zombies that only come out at night, a fun upgrade system, and an enjoyable story that explains why the zombies are where they are.

Dying Light’s story is a fairly simple one. You play as Global Relief Effort (GRE) undercover operative Kyle Crane, who’s on a mission to recover some important data somewhere in the fictional city of Harran, which happens to be overrun by zombies. This of course doesn’t give you a whole lot of reason to care about what’s going on, as you don’t know what the “important data” actually is. However, throughout the first few missions of the story, due to the GRE acting stupid over the radio and Crane figuring out that there are still humans in Harran that need help, he decides to take matters into his own hands and help the people instead. Players will see the gradual change in Crane’s heart as the story progresses, making them actually care what happens to many of the characters surrounding him.

It also doesn’t hurt that Techland’s writing has vastly improved since their previous games in the Dead Island franchise. While I did enjoy those games for their zombie-killing fun, the writing always felt bland and just there to move things along. Kyle Crane’s personality was shown beautifully through the writing and excellent voice acting. Players get to see him struggle with the reality of what’s going on in Harran, mourn the loss of new friends, grow to hate one of the local faction leaders, all while still keeping his sense of humor in tense situations.

What really surprised me about the storytelling in Dying Light was not its main story, it was the level of detail in some of the side quests. Of course, just like many other games, Dying Light has its fair share of vague fetch quests that are only there for the sake of keeping players busy. But if you can look past those, there are some truly amazing and sometimes even hilarious side quests available.

Dying Light also showed a huge leap forward in Techland’s graphics. Gone are the days of blurry, poorly textured environments. It looked beautiful throughout the entire game. Their experience shows even more if you have played Dead Island when you realize that there is literally no slowdown. Dying Light constantly throws hordes of 20+ zombies at you, requiring you to either swing your weapon or run like a mad man to get away.

So how is the gameplay? Good news! Dying Light’s gameplay is incredibly fun! I really mean that too. All joking aside, Techland’s decision to add parkour into the game was a fantastic idea. Dying Light sets itself apart from every other zombie game by giving players the ability to sprint, vault, jump, swing, roll, etc. to their heart’s desire. This made traversing the huge city of Harran extremely fun, and made me not even care that there wasn’t a fast travel option.

Aside from the parkour element being fun, Dying Light’s combat was also very satisfying. While it’s a simple system, I never got bored. The slow motion kill cam and the deep upgrade system made every bout with my undead enemies very enjoyable. Dying Light was also one of the few zombie games that come to mind where staying as quiet as possible is extremely key to staying alive. So what if you have a kickass police rifle? The second you fire it into a crowd of zombies, you will have alerted the strongest and fastest zombies in the area to swarm to your position. This made the “Zombie Experience” feel as real as I’ve always imagined it would be.

The day and night cycle is another interesting feature in Dying Light. Traversing Harran during the day is a cakewalk compared to doing it at night. Zombies become much more aggressive and special “super zombies” called Volatiles only come out at night. Volatiles can take an extraordinary amount of damage, even from the highest level of weapons, and they are able to deal out damage really fast, so it’s better to just never be seen by them or never let them catch you.

Dying Light is the zombie game I’ve been waiting for.

red vs. blue

Before getting my hands on the Halo 5 beta, like many others, I was sceptical. The videos of gameplay I watched didn’t look like the Halo I loved to play, there was aiming on all guns, parkouring, boosts and all around faster paced action. I really wasn’t excited for it, until I played it.

I’ve been loving and playing Halo since Halo 3 and I’ve enjoyed each game, some more than others. As a confident and avid Halo player, I can safely say this faster paced FPS still feels like an awesome Halo game.

Although people can hop over ledges, boost and sprint, map and weapon control is still the most important aspect when it comes to winning games. Locking down certain areas of the map and working with your party is still necessary, even if you can go from either side of the map in a matter of seconds.

The aiming seen in the game play videos isn’t a problem. It has been said all over the place, firing from the hip like in traditional Halo games for most weapons is still a way you can use the weapons. It may be off-putting, knowing you can aim an assault rifle but it really isn’t bad, I think it’s an improvement. Being able to kill someone with the AR with a little bit more accuracy isn’t bad and it allows for kills at medium-short range.

So, the Halo 5 Beta is a lot of fun and it runs pretty well but Its a Beta for a reason, it has some issues but judging from what I’ve played for about a week now, Its going to be a great game overall.

The Halo 5 Beta is more stable than Halo: MCC ever was in its first and second month. Finding games is relatively fast. The current matchmaking works great, I’m finding games within minutes, solo or in a party of 4. The matchmaking seems to be OK when placing you with enemy players of an even skill level but it could certainly do with improvements.

There are unfortunate but expected issues within the Multiplayer Beta, expected because it is a Beta. Occasionally my party and me were getting trapped in the searching for players lobby every 3-5 game searches. Pressing ‘B’ doesn’t give the option of backing out and we won’t find the game. It happens occasionally but it isn’t game breaking, a quick dashboard and quit does the trick.

One major thing I’m worried about when it comes to the full retail release later this year is how this fast paced, running and jumping action that is focused on E-sporty competitive play will fit in with the casual players and the more casual Big Team Battle game types.

I’m a gamer that likes to get drunk a lot but I’m also a gamer that loves to play competitively and climb ranks to show off how awesome I am and how much free time I have. Mixing both of my beloved habits isn’t a great combination, and usually leads to frustration. I’d love to see a less competitive playlist much like Halo 3’s Social playlist so I’m able to play without the fear of dropping rank. Overall, any long-term Halo multiplayer gamer will most likely enjoy the Halo 5 beta if they have not already downloaded and tried it themselves. The Halo Beta runs smooth without many problems. The competitive play reminds me of climbing for my 40 Highest Skill in Halo 3 and the Multiplayer seems to be an improvement on what I enjoyed for a time on Halo 4.

Violent Honey Badger

Far Cry 4 is a good game that continues in the same spirit and style of its predecessor but is letdown by a few disappointing flaws. Far Cry 3 was one of the biggest surprises of the old gen as it delivered a fantastic and vast FPS experience against very competitive games within the genre but this outing struggles to deliver the same impact in quality and gameplay.

Firstly, the game looks absolutely fantastic. The visuals, draw distances and effects all look superb and mold the beautiful and thriving world of Kyrat on a grand scale. The island itself is massive but it often feels too cramped with narrow paths, tons of trees and elevated surfaces boxing you in on the ground - it's not as open as the island seen on Far Cry 3 and this may disappoint even die-hard fans. There is a greater focus on elevated gameplay here and scaling heights through climbing which can become a bit of a chore when reaching difficult areas. Despite the size of the map; everything feels more claustrophobic and the general layout of Kyrat and the map seems poorly put together.

In terms of the gameplay; this outing utilises the same infrastructure of Far Cry 3 which isn't a bad thing. The skills, crafting and general mechanics are all the same which is fantastic as the structure is familiar and works incredibly well.

There are animals galore to hunt and avoid plus vehicles to move around easier once again. Guns are aplenty with full customisation options and there is plenty of loot to hunt.

Sadly, despite its familiar style and stunning backdrop; Far Cry 4 just lacks in a few key areas. The story is rather bland and boring, most of the characters are dreadful along with the acting plus the core gameplay just feels rather uninspiring. Everything on offer in this game may ooze Far Cry 3 but the overall execution is not quite up to par with that game and the above issues really hit home.

Overall, Far Cry 4 is a good game that follows in the footsteps of it's predecessor but fails to shine in some key aspects. Fans of the series will probably enjoy the experience but may be left a bit underwhelmed with some lackluster features.

In the Club

Driveclub has been shown off ever since the debut announcement of the PlayStation 4, but does it live up to what was promised? Well as many complaints go they're along the lines of no customization, there's no dynamic weather as of yet (which has now been realeased), and how it's not Forza Horizon 2. Anyways getting back on track (pun intended), this game offers everything that was promised and shown so if you're looking for something that wasn't shown, you best look elsewhere for a racing game.

The driving and handling feels like somewhere between a sim and an arcade racer which is great for those that want a semi realistic yet fast paced racing game. The graphics are stunning and probably are the best on any next-gen console. However, some maps don't particularly look "stunning" during certain times of day where they might look ravishing at another time of day. This game really is all about the little details though. When I was driving in a race when the other cars went past some leaves on the ground they actually flew upwards and back. The headlights and taillights also are very impressive as they capture so much detail. The cars are arguably the best looking feature of this game but the environments are also gorgeous, especially around sunset.

The AI in the offline mode is also very fascinating. In the Forza entries that I've played, the AI was very weak and the other drivers never seemed to be trying all too hard or they were psychotic at times. Here with Driveclub, the AI is very consistent yet unpredictable. Many times in a race I would find myself having cars trying to get ahead of me but not in a programmed way, almost as if it were another player playing as them making human-like decisions.

The soundtrack is lackluster since it's not diverse and it is solely performed by the electronic artist "Hybrid" who have created some of breakbeats best albums. The soundtrack isn't bad by any means but if you're looking for a multitude of genres and artists, you're not in luck here. The presentation to the game is good, not great, but good. I wish to see more models for your characters and I hope they'll add more American and Japanese cars as future DLC.

The only major problem I have with this game is that the controls aren't explained very well. They're self informative but I wish they would've added some sort of training or practice mode that would you become better at the game instead of using trial and error to learn new techniques to better your driving. I also wish the courses were more diverse blending city and countryside versus it being all countryside. I hope to see in future DLC a United States or United Kingdom location to race in offering cities and countryside. Other than that, those are my only problems with the game that actually make me not enjoy the game as much. The hype level wasn't high so it wasn't disappointing for me as I knew what I was getting into days beforehand. This game is meant for more of a casual racer and those who just want to have some fun while racing.

For those of you who are worried about no split-screen, worry not because the developer said they would add that feature if enough people asked for it, so just keep your voice heard. The menus are slick and easy to control and the interference and loading times are quick and responsive.

Despite all the above the game isnt for everyone, I would recommend testing out the free version if you're even slightly interested and judge for yourself, because who's opinion matters more on what you think of something, yours or everyone else's?

EXO Changes Everything

A cinematic summer blockbuster spectacular delivered in videogame form. Call of Duty Advance Warfare advances the action of the game just enough to inject something new and fun while still maintaining the familiarity of the Call of Duty franchise.

Year in, year out I see the Internet haters comment on franchises such as COD and BF, where people's main criticism is 'more of the same'. Whilst this is an entirely valid comment, I'm not sure what people expect from a well-established franchise that sells millions of copies every year. If the formula is kept the same - people complain about repetition. If the formula is changed too radically - people complain that the game is no longer the series they know and 'love'.

This is where Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare get's the balance spot on without straying too far from the well-trodden path of the COD franchise, there isn't much wiggle room for a new developer to innovate. However, Sledgehammer games have found the gap and exploited it beautifully with the new movement mechanics of the EXO suit.

Make no mistake, the new changes in movement style results in a much harder FPS experience for the standard, casual gamer. The pace of the game is fast, and mastering the dashes and boots to effectively traverse maps and areas is difficult to become accustomed to. But with some persistence, the game becomes very rewarding, but most importantly FUN.

I find the word 'fun' to be the key one here. For me COD has not been at all enjoyable since Black Ops, with the disappointing Ghosts being the lowest troughs the series has seen. AW on the other hand, drags the series out of the muddy valley and at least onto the hillside of a peak, if not quite the apex.

Note this game is far from perfect. Still Activision have decided not to provide dedicated servers for the franchise, cue issues with lag, connectivity and the much-hate 'bendy-bullets' persist. Sadly, this seems to have become somewhat of a trademark to the COD series.

There are some odd implementations from the developer, which are being patched such as equipment that can only be used for a limited time, and incredibly hard to acquire camos but overall, many of the new implementations work.

You may have noticed that I have been almost exclusively dedicating my writing towards multiplayer here, however, I have completed the campaign and there's not much to say here. It's the standard story line of most COD and modern FPS games, with token missions and segments aplenty.

The game looks gorgeous visually, and the character performances allow you to become immersed in what has been, a coherent narrative. The "Advanced Warfare" also helps keep missions fresh, providing new toys to play with and experiences that aren't exactly identical to previous COD's. 

The game as a whole looks nice, but this is to be expected of a AAA title nowadays. The sound and music are solid and fairly immersive; especially when in an intense battle online or solo.

In spite of the glitches, mild gripes and standard online issues COD: AW is a well-built FPS with a new edge for the series. Don't be fooled, this is not a revolution in gaming in any way shape or form. But it does what it says on the tin, it's Call of Duty, and all in all, AW is fun. For me this is the most important thing; after all, isn't that what games are meant for?

Leave your Limits

One of the things that continues to blow my mind every time I am playing this game is just how deep the game is, the way the cars handle, the attention to detail in everything and the incredible physics all play a part into just how much fun this game is.

Why, oh why has it taken developers so long to realize that there is absolutely a market for a game like this? As I mentioned, the handling in this game is geared more towards simulation than "arcade" handling and as a result, you have an incredibly deep "easy to learn, hard to master" approach to this racing game. Each of the cars feel truly unique, especially if you are racing them at their stock settings and upgrades. I can feel every detail in the in the cars (of which there are more than 200 of) and how they handle and it's easily one of the most fun driving games out there.

The setting of FH2 is based on the Southern European area of Italy and France, the world feels fresh and large due to the new and unique setting, and the activities are plentiful with more than enough in the single player alone to keep you busy for more than 80 hours. There many types of races to keep you busy and even the killer Showcase Events, which put you up against jets, trains and even hot air balloons, and then there are the out of race activities. There are billboards to smash, RPG Elements, old run down cars to find and restore, and so much road (and off-road) to explore.

Graphics should always come after gameplay, but in this game it is incredibly hard not to talk about how beautiful it is. The car models themselves are impressive, with each and every single one of them featuring a beautifully detailed cockpit, but the biggest difference I have noticed with this game and it's new generation of visual effects are just how much love has gone into creating every single last detail and making it beautiful. The paint has depth and detail, each individual rain droplet is beautiful, even when you go into photo mode and zoom in, it's obvious it's not just a low res texture, the chrome on the cars sparkles beautifully in the sun and when you are driving off-road, the dirt kicks up and goes all over your car and wheels in a way that's beautiful and realistic, and then the rain can actually wash it off and make the car clean again.

I could go on and on about the features and details of this game and I haven't even mentioned the incredible player based AI and the online component yet, but I need to wrap this up.

This game is one of, if not the best racing game I've ever played, I will be coming back to this for years to come. If there is anything left to be desired, it's more open-world, more cars and more activities, not because there is not enough, but because I cannot get enough.

Lock and Load

Sunset Overdrive is a furiously fast take on the open world third-person shooter that delivers high-quality gameplay and good times through all of its excessively loud silliness

You are meant to traverse around the city as fast as possible by using your super human ability to turn an entire Metropolitan city into your own personal skateboarding park. Enemies move at you very quickly, so you have to use your physical talents to zip-line, grind-rail and bounce to both escape and attack enemies. The action is almost like a rail shooter, except you still maintain control of your character at all times.

It did take a little longer than normal before I really got into the swing of the game and some people will be turned off because of that. The game feels like it controls a little stiff and difficult out of the gate, but as you become more and more familiar with the game mechanics, you soon realize that it always handled amazingly and you just had to work on technique.

The campaign and side quests don’t take that much time as I completed them in less than 20 hours and there’s nothing that really makes me want to go back and play any of the missions over. The game does have replay value, but it comes from going after the collectibles hidden throughout the open world. Because of how much fun it is to move through the city like a superhero, collecting scraps of toilet paper and stinky shoes becomes more fun than tedious.

There is multiplayer, but it didn't do a whole lot to make me want to play it for very long. All you do is complete missions while working together with 8 players while also simultaneously competing against them for points.

Most of the humor in the game comes from breaking down the fourth wall and simultaneously pointing out the foibles and absurdity of Sunset Overdrive and all videogames in general. This is not the first game to do that type of humor, but they are one of the better ones at it, as most of the time the jokes land.

Overdrive is a game that above all knows how to have fun at all times and just like the poisoned energy drink in the game that turned everyone into mutants, it's contagious.

It is your destiny

Here is the thing about Destiny; it’s like a Strawberry Daiquiri. Sure you have people that love fruit and don't drink, and then you have people that drink but don't like fruity cocktails. But there are whole bunch of people who like their booze blended with fruit and served with a little umbrella. Hell, sometimes the people who only like booze or only like fruit try a Strawberry Daiquiri and realize they've been missing out this whole time.

To that end, much like Strawberry Daiquiri’s, if you have enough of Destiny, you are going to have a great time (even if you don't remember all of it).

I will admit that Destiny has repetitive aspects to it but what FPS or MMO doesn't? Now a crowd of people who viewed 'Destiny' as a 'game changer' are probably stamping their feet and howling at the cracked moon about it not being radical enough. Destiny is not a game changer but what it is, is a gatekeeper to a new land of games. I have never seen a game that has blended so many elements from so many different game genres to create something of its own.

Now at this point I should be getting the digs about this game is copying Borderlands or copying Mass Effect or yaddya yaddya yaddya rabble rabble rabble. Well you guys must hate cars because every game borrows elements from others to create their own somewhat unique version. What Destiny does is take some of the best elements from those other games and mashes them together in a wonderfully diverse package. Many will point to the loot diversity and say Borderlands, others look at the MP and say Halo, some point to the RPG elements and say Mass Effect and yes, its fun to point at origins and go 'Simpsons did it!' but the bottom line is those other games don't have all the elements together and that is what makes Destiny such a strong offering.

In the end, Destiny will create its own fan base much like Borderlands and Mass Effect did. It may not be as broad or as far reaching as Halo, COD or BF because if they wanted it to be that far fetching they would've just made another shooter. What Bungie did, was raise the bar for the level of depth and content that we should expect from FPS games moving forward.

No, its not that revolutionary, its not a totally new experience or idea but its something we've never seen available for mass consumption with such an interesting mix of ideas and gameplay."

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