I'm sure all of you have at least seen that The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt has recently been released on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Well I have sunk some time into it, and I'm ready to give you my initial impressions of this titan of a game. Don't worry if you haven't picked up the game yet, or have just bought it, I won't be talking spoilers in any way, just talking about characters, mechanics etc. I will only say this before I get into the specifics; Welcome To The New Generation!
Okay so theatrics aside this game is the most Next Generation game I have played so far, and the folks over at CD Projekt Red sure have set the bar very high, and I strongly believe that this new found bar will not be toppled for at least a year, if not two or three! I obviously can't speak for Projekt Red, but to me it feels like they haven't made a game with a world in it, rather they have made a world within a game; if that makes sense to you! I won't spoil the introduction obviously but let's just say you get introduced to the Wild Hunt very soon into your time with the game. The Wild Hunt is a mythical group of raiths who seem to want to bring about the end of the world. Nothing major then. These monsters are after our protagonists ward(adopted daughter) Ciri, however you want to protect her, and need to find her, Thus the story begins. I believe myself to be in the same metaphorical boat as many people at least on PS4 who are picking up The Witcher 3, I haven't played any of the previous game, nor had I paid any particular attention to the series prior to The Witcher 3 being announced. I did a tiny amount of research before picking up the game, which consisted of reading one article bringing me up to date with the series, however in my 15 or so hours with the game so far, I don't feel in any way like I don't understand what is going on.
You may or may not have heard that this game sets you free into a prologue area first, before the "main world", this acts as an incubator to let you grow into you new found Witcher skin(or remind if you have played previous games), it introduces you to the combat, bosses and other important mechanics that you will rely on later on the game. Having also never played any of the souls games(which was the loose inspiration for the combat in this game), the combat was a little hard to get to grips with. I never felt like I was being cheated when I died, just that there was a new area for me to focus on improving.
Despite what you may have heard other players say, I do not believe that this not 100% perfect, though it is closer than I have grown to expect from AAA games today. There are a few things that bug me while I'm playing, firstly there are unfortunately frame rate issues, these affect both cutscenes and gameplay for me, it can get quite severe at times, and I have had to reboot my PS4 to try to resolve the issues, this only occurred after I had been playing for a few hours and had fast travelled numerous times, though it is pure speculation on my part as to what caused the issues. On a quick side note of technical issues after most games of Gwent(A card game I will talk about another time) at the end of most matches the whole game crashed and I need to relaunch it, which is only a problem because the auto-save frequency is super far apart, and I keep on forgetting to save my game manually so it usually sets me back quite a way! Then there is the size of the world and the side quests that occupy the world. I am always an advocate of a large world that is filled with many side quests, however there are many, many quests which are a much higher level than me, this leaves me wandering around somewhat aimlessly at times when I don't want to carry on with the campaign for a bit, but don't have any side quests on my level!
All of those bad things aside, this is a game that I will be playing for a very long time, and it has enough content in it to keep me going even longer than that! The characters are probably the deepest I have ever seen, rivalling the likes of Dragon Age or Mass Effect(Bioware basically) in terms of character involvement. These impressions have touched on a few of the brilliant things The Witcher 3 brings to the table, and that is before I have talked about the deep crafting mechanics, the huge quantity of potions and general alchemy at you disposal, the mini campaign like side quests or the amazingly crafted cities and towns. This is a game that everyone should at least try playing, it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it will delight many, with its tales of witches, trolls and monsters from the deep.
Thank you very much for reading, my apologies for my absence recently my work has demanded more time from me, though that is at and end now, so expect some great things from me in the coming months!
I have now had Advanced Warfare(or AW as I will be referring to it as) for a few days now, and have put a good number of hours into the game, so I thought it was time for me to bring my initial reaction of the game to you, though I will only be talking about the multiplayer side of the game today, you will learn about what I think of the rest of the game in my full review later this month! Also I have played AW on the PS4 so that is what I will be referring to. Let's start with the most obvious change in the CoD series history, the exo suit, for from reading about it or watching some footage of the multiplyer you will not fully understand what a difference that the exo makes. I know going into playing for the first time I was quite anxious that the movement would be hard to control, and I wouldn't be using it much, however within a few matches I came to the realisation that this game really is the comeback for CoD. The movement, I find, is fairly easy to pick up, as long as you remember that you can only exo boost every 3 seconds, and you have 2 boosts, so you can boost twice, but then wait 3 seconds for one to regenerate, and another 3 seconds for the other boost to regenerate. Any time you are in the air(quite a lot) you can press sprint in any direction and you will boost in that direction. While you are on the ground you can boost any where in the 180 degrees behind you, so left, right and behind.
With all of the new movement, how are the maps? Well, they are just as amazing as the movement, you never feel like you are to far from the action, this feeling is amplified by the fact that you can traverse the map very quickly. There is a lot of verticality to all of the maps, but I haven't come across many if any people camping in hard to reach spots. The rate of progression is very nice, and though I have played in 2XP I am already at level 30! There are the new supply drops, which though very fun when you earn one, they are too random to be anything more that a side fancy. Which is a real shame because the system of random loot, is a very appealing one, especially as you can do just as well, with the standard weapons, they just maybe aren't quite right for you, but there is probably a variation out there to suit you!
Moving on to the weapons, they are all highly satisfying to use, from the 12 hours or so I played of Ghosts, all the weapons had no personality to them. Where as in AW there are so many weapons which feel like they do something different from the rest, you have the BAL-27(OP? Yes!) which shoots the first 5 or so bullets at a slower rate of fire. You have the AK-12 which is a nice all round weapon, but doesn't exceed at any one thing. You have the HBRA3, which has a rather slow rate of fire, but you feel like each bullet is packing a noticeable punch, but don't try to take it into a close range engagement. Moving on the the SMGs, I have only really used the KF5 and the ASM1 a little, the KF5 really does feel like a pole apart from the ARs, and though all SMGs need a buff they are still usable in the right scenario now. With the increased rate of fire and approximately 10% increase movement speed while holding an SMG, you feel totally different from when you are using an AR. And the ASM1 is a modern take on the Tommy Gun, which is an absolute blast to use.
You then have the most diverse create-a-class system to date, the Pick 13 system, it is the same as BOII's pick 10 system, but this time score streaks count as one point, so for me(someone who doesn't go on many kill streaks) I am running with a UAV and Carepackage, and going into the fray with one more perk. Speaking of score streaks, you can now tweak your streak to how you want it to be, there are about 6-7 modules you can attach to a score streak, each of which adds to the score you must earn before you earn said streak, so for me I am running UAV with player direction and support(progress towards the streak carries on after death) and a Care Package with Better Odds and Support. This means that I am guaranteed to earn at least 2 score streaks per match. The depth with which you can customise your streaks to be how you want them to be is really amazing, and don't worry, you can only add support to a hand full of streaks, and non of the high streaks!
Now we have talked about all the awesome things in the game, let's talk about the few things that I don't like with AW. It really boils down to two things, firstly there are some pretty bad spawns, I have spawned in the line of sight of enemy players, I have spawned on the exact spot on which I just died, though this hasn't annoyed me as much as I thought it would. The game is just so fun to play that these occasional free deaths don't really bug me. The other annoying thing I have found(though you should note again that all my thoughts are before any patches have been released) is occasional severe frame rate drops and extreme lag, these bouts last for between 10-20 seconds, in which time I reckon I was getting about 5 frames per second! Such instances occur too often for me to dismiss them as nothing, but it is possible that the issue was fixed in the patch on 11/11/14. One last note, the reason I haven't spoken about the new game modes in AW, I due to the fact that I have only been playing Hardpoint, so you will know my thoughts on Uplink and Momentum in my full review!
That just about wraps us my impressions of Advanced Warfare, it is very very good, I would highly recommend anyone picking it up, whether you are a CoD veteran or new to the series, this is the time to get into it!
Thanks for reading,
I hope you have all had a brilliant Christmas and a smashing New Year! One of the games I got this Christmas was Dragon Age Inquisition, and today I will be giving you my first impressions after spending about 20 hours with the game. I have played as an Elvish Warrior which is impacts your style in a nice way. When you boot up the game you will be prompted to select a class, race and difficulty, I went for Warrior, Sword and Shield, Elvish and Normal, though there is a very hard difficulty setting for those looking for a real challenge! You then get to customise the character who will embody your journey, I spent about 40 minutes creating my character which is more than I have ever spent on customisation before, this being due to the fact that the creation tools given to you are very detailed. I know from previous Bioware games I have played that I will grow to love my character, hence why put in the time to make my character just how I wanted her! Once that is complete you will watch a few cut scenes and then be released into the first mission with your first few companions. This mission will come to a crescendo with a boss battle which was highly enjoyable, but the fun really happens when you are released into the fully explorable world. Don't worry about being overawed by the size of it, you are given certain sections of the world to explore, then as you progress the story/explore more you will unlock new hubs to work your way through.
Bioware has done a stellar job in making both the world and characters feel believable, in what time I have spent in the game I have already grown attached to specific characters and most importantly taken a disliking to certain groups, I say most importantly because you will make desisions which will affect certain groups in good and bad ways. So having a mild dislike towards certain groups made some of my decisions easier to make and then live with. Within your inquisition you have advisers and companions, what is really nice to see is that non of the characters in those two groups are annoying, though I have gravitated towards certain companions to come on my journey with me.
This game does have it's fair share of glitches, and does give throw back memories to Skyrim, in more ways than one! However none of these glitches ever massively affected my gaming experience, the worst one I have had was when I booted up the game one time and found there was no sound, however I only had to exit the game and relaunch it and I was fine. Randomly catapulted enemies and glitched characters in cut scenes aren't all that rare, but as I said, they are never more than amusing! Whilst we are on minor flaws of the game, I don't like the emphasis the game puts on Power. If you haven't played the game yet, or are indeed playing the game but are in the infant hours of your adventure, then you won't really know what power is, let me explain. Power is earned by closing rifts, recruiting agents, completing requisition orders and setting up new camps and a handful of extra missions. That may sound like quite a long list, but I feel like more quests should give Power as a reward, and maybe for every five locations you discover in one hub, you get a Power point. My problem is that Power comes to, at least personally, me quite slowly, and when some of the "main missions" need 20 power to unlock them, I feel like the game is forcing me away from those missions, in favour of exploring the world. I have no problems exploring the world, it is just that the choice of doing the main missions isn't in my hands all the time.
Moving on from that slight niggle, let's look at the combat! This is ludicrously fun, it feels incredibly satisfying when you co-ordinate your teams strengths and weaknesses to come out of a battle with a victory. Even when all four of your squad die,(which doesn't happen frequently unless you take on enemies above your level) I have never felt like I was cheated into death. There is about a 50-50 split when my squad dies as to if I want to just walk away and come back to those enemies later, and sometimes I go back into the battle more prepared and actually nearly always beat them!
Tying into the combat are the classes in the game, at the beginning of my voyage I got annoyed every time I would get a weapon or piece of armour tied to another class, such as rogue or mage. Then I realised that the people who fight with you aren't just there as AI, but they are fully controllable! With each character having the ability for you to equip any peice of armour of weapon you acquire! This means that no matter what mood you are in there is a class, and probably a character with you to suite. Whilst we are on the topic of combat, I feel I should mention the tactical camera. I personally don't like embarking on aggressive engagements solely using the tactical camera, but it does give you an opportunity to take a breath mid battle and maybe re assess where your players need to be, it is also very useful to work out how many enemies you are about to fight before you go into that battle.
All in all from what I have played I would highly recommend this game to anyone, especially if you are an RPG fan! It is shaping up to be one of if not the best games I have ever played and I can't wait to play more of it.
If you live in the US then you might have already got your hands on Borderlands The Handsome Collection, and if you live in Europe you will have to wait until tomorrow for the launch of the game. It got my copy today and I have been playing the heck out of it, and I thought I would bring you my first impressions of the first ever Borderlands game to be released on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One!
I have worked my way through the first quarter or so of the main campaign, basically killing time until I could get my hands on the new content, which is advised you start at level 15. I have only played the head hunter pack how Marcus Saved Mercenaries Day, which if you didn't know ends up with you fighting a rather large snow man as the final boss. I knew they were short sections of gameplay but I got to the boss section after only about 20 minutes play time. However there are side missions I can go on and do now, and I can honestly tell you all that the boss fight at the end is incredibly enjoyable, and there are another 4 headhunter packs still to go through!
I have been waiting for the release of this game even before the game had been announced, ever since The Pre-Sequel was released last year I have been waiting for the inevitable next-gen release of the Borderlands games. I am very glad to say that it is living up to expectations. I have only ever owned Borderlands 2 before, and I never had any of the DLC for it, so going into this game I knew there was a lot of content I had never played before. Unfortunately I could not bring my saved character from my PS3 playthrough over to the PS4 due to the fact that I no longer own a PS3, this was a little disappointing, but I have found that starting again has been a rather nice experience!
As you can see above I have already earned my first Legendary weapon, it was earned totally randomly from the one side-quest I have done today, unfortunately this weapon is now far to under levelled to be on any use but I did appreciate my luck in getting it! The games runs at a smooth 1080p 60fps, which means that this game looks gorgeous, all the explosions and enemies have been rendered in stunning detail, in the time I have spent with the game I haven't noticed any drops in frame rate, though it would have to drop below 30fps for me to actually notice it!
I am yet to touch any of the 4 main DLCs for Borderlands 2, any of the Pre-Sequel or the Claptastic DLC which is getting some amazing reviews from the community. I have gone with the same class I had back on the PS3 who was Gaige, the Mechromancer and it is a delight to be back with that character, even if I have lost the weapons I had before. This is a game that will be taking a lot of time from me, even just going once through all the content will take an age, and that is before I get into working towards getting some of the rarer legendary items in the game. I highly recommend you pick this game up either now or when it releases in Europe tomorrow, it is a truly great experience that everyone should know. Expect a lot more content here in the future relating to Borderlands!
Thanks for reading, pick this game up now!
Friends of The Games Critic:
My name is Ed, I write everything here, covering all kinds of games, but I only play them on the PS4!