I've been toying with how to write this review for some time now, partly because I had so much hope that this game would succeed, I didn't know where to start talking about my sheer disappointment with it. I'm not one of those people who expected the world of the game, just loved the look of what the game was, and exploration game set in the biggest world ever known to a console gamer. I wasn't expecting features that were never shown or talked about, I wasn't expecting the hand crafted brilliance of a Naughty Dog game, nor the open world adventures that can be found in Bethesda's games. I just went in excited for the game, exactly as it had been shown before. Even then I couldn't have anticipated the level of disappointment that would slowly creep up on me during my 20 or so hours with the game.
I will admit that I did have one expectation going into the game, that I would be playing this for tens(dare I hope hundreds?) of hours to come, I never occurred to me that after merely 20 hours I would feel that I'd seen everything this game has to offer, and then some. Maybe I was just slow of the mark in seeing the game for what it is, tiny. You may feel like with over 18,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets that the game couldn't possibly be tiny, but I assure you it is. Within maybe a dozen hours I had found and bought my way to a maximum slot inventory and Multi-Tool, at the time I thought that would be the true start of my adventure! It turns out that it was as close to the end as I am ever like to get. I have earned and crafted all of the Multi-Tool and Inventory technologies that I want, my mining laser is so fast that even the largest of Crystals can be harvested with the smallest of taps of R2. So after as little as 12 hours every Multi-Tool station I saw was 100% redundant because it was a fact that I'd learned all the technologies. If you want to fly over the surface of a planet then you will see a wide variety of small bases set up by aliens(almost too many considering how largely empty these planets are of NPSs) but these rarely house more than a Multi-Tool upgrade, maybe it's an observatory you land at, well you're in luck as this will allow you to discover a Ruin which when located will teach you a new word for the aliens that inhabit that System. This is a problem in itself, the languages in this game have been designed in such a way that once you learn enough words(again something I have done in the time with the game) you don't really need to learn any more, at least to achieve what the languages set out to give you. I think they set out to allow you to gain new and desirable rewards from foreign alien races. In reality it doesn't take long for you to learn enough words to know exactly what the alien is seeking, then selecting the option feels empty, almost like I didn't really earn the right to speak with these unfathomable aliens.
At the end of the day I was hoping that No Man's Sky would be a game to look back on for years to come as the defining moment in procedural generation, the spotlight was undeniably squarely on the small UK development team forming Hello Games. This was going to be a game discussed for years to come, about the aliens you met, planets discovered, and space explored. Instead people will, for the large part, simply remember that game that had so much promise yet behind the curtain of development seemingly fell at every hurdle without letting on. I think this game will still cause debates, but not the ones everyone was expecting, there will be few discussions about the beauty and majesty of the game. In this place will be discussions of how everyone felt they had been mislead by a developer to the point that their game was arguably the most anticipated game so far of the generation.
It is a saddening, not enlightening, experience to fly from planet to planet, with little to no anticipation of what you will find on the next one after an all too short period of time. I know this review is both shorter and very different when compared to my other reviews, this is largely because I always like to focus on what I like, but also what I don't like whilst suggesting ways that these issues could be improved. However I find myself with this game in the very rare position of believing that this can't can't be tweaked to anywhere near perfection. It can maybe get a little less repetitive, but at its core this is just quite frankly not a good game. I feel there is a real debate to be had over the price point, and whether many people(myself included) would consider if such a failure if we had only paid £15-20 for it. This is a debate that I passionately want to have with you all so do check back soon for my thoughts on that. At the end of the day however, I am here to review the product in front of me, No Man's Sky is clearly a game that thinks its self a AAA game, but fall so far short in both quality and quantity that it is staggering. While I have been thinking about how to write this review, I have obviously also been considering what I will score it. So it is time to finish my review of No Man's Sky, not as an excited space explorer, but as a crestfallen gamer. I give No Man's Sky
Thank you very much for reading, I will be back soon with my thoughts on Battlefield 1!
It is finally here, No Man's Sky is one week away from release. To celebrate this fact I wanted to spend some time talking about the game, interspersed with some of the amazing trailers and screenshots we have seen!
So while we don't exactly know how the game opens, we do know that we all start with a basic ship, exo suit(don't worry it isn't like Call of Duty) and a starter weapon. These three aspects of the game will form the core of your upgrading with better ships offering a better hyper drive, letting you warp to planets of a greater distance away. You will be upgrading your suit, to allow you to brave harsh planets, such as those with radioactive rain, or perhaps extreme temperate both high and low. There are also toxic planets, which should be taken no less seriously than some of the hostile creatures that inhabit them. These fearsome foes will be part of the reason you will want to upgrade you weapon, and also to gather more materials. These materials will in turn feed back into the upgrading process, so from what we know, it might be a good idea to upgrade your weapon first, so you can collect more natural resources from the planets you visit, which will then make upgrading your ship and suit easier; in theory.
So the main selling point of No Man's Sky is that it is procedurally generated, this means that every time you get close to a planet, it will randomly make that planet based on a series of factors. However you may not know that this procedural generation applies to nearly everything in the game. The developers at Hello Games have made a series of different types of animals, such as birds, lizards, sea animals and more, they have then fed this information into their game engine, which generates a near infinite different number of animal variants. The same theory has been applies to the weapons and ships in the game, so while upgrading your ship will get you so far, you will probably also need to buy a new one at some point, so you are almost guaranteed never to see the same ship twice!
Next I want to talk about the trading in No Man's Sky, this won't operate anywhere near to what you are used to from other games. There are different races in the Universe of No Man's Sky, and each one of these races has a unique language, by learning languages of specific races you will be held in higher favour. As a result of this increased favour, you are more likely to get better deals on buying and selling, as well as a greater number of items for sale. You can learn these new languages one word at a time by scanning Monoliths(pictured below) and over time you will be able to get the best possible prices from the different races. I don't know if it will be possible to focus on one of these languages at a time, or whether each Monolith you come too could have a new word for different languages. That isn't to say that learning a language via these Monoliths is the only way to increase favour with specific factions and races, though this hasn't been touched on much by Sean Murray(Lead Programmer), he has hinted that actions such as intervening when a faction is being attacked in space will increase your favour. Only time will tell the lengths we will be going to in order to gain a closer bond with the different races in the Universe!
To trade resources, you will need to be able to craft them, and for this you will require gather and craft them. From what we have seen I believe that your weapon will have two firing modes, one which is for the combat against hostile creatures etc. and also a laser beam firing mode which allows the gathering of planetary materials. In some of the early gameplay shown simply shooting an ore would make it disappear and the materials appear in your inventory, but as the game development has progressed the ores now shatter into little pieces and those pieces are pulled towards your weapon, and thus your inventory. Now these ores are not simply the ones you might find on our planet, no there is a whole new periodic table that has been designed specifically by the Hello Games team for No Man's Sky. So while we have seen more recognisable elements such as Iron or Plutonium, there are also elements specific to the game such as Heridium or a twist on a known element, Oxycen. I am assuming different elements will have different densities, so that will be something we can upgrade our weapon to be able to destroy stronger elements, so if I'm right there will be a progressive order in which some of the elements can be gathered. This is pure supposition so, it is possible that mining upgrades only effect speed and other factors like that. In one of the recent trailer we are shown a weapon upgrade that will allow you to mine two ores at once if they are close enough together.
So there you go guys, the cores bases of the game covered, No Man's Sky is a game I have been excited about for years since it was announced. So to be writing this only a week away from release in incredibly exciting! Be sure to check back soon for more coverage of No Man's Sky once I have my hands on the game, exciting times ahead!
Thanks for reading
With E3 2016 just around the corner I thought I would bring everything together that we have seen so far, here are my favourite trailers and rumours that have surfaced so far!
First up we have the announcement that XCOM 2 will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in September this year, the highly acclaimed strategy game is finally coming to console and I personally couldn't be more excited if I tried. Take a look at the trailer announcing it:
Next we have the Injustice 2 trailer that has just been released, it features Batman, Superman, Flash, Aquaman and Superman. Although the trailer is spectacular, it doesn't really excite me due to the fact that I personally don't enjoy 2D fighting games such as this one will be. Regardless check out the trailer:
Next we have the incredible looking Horizon Zero Dawn, with a new Story Trailer to feast our eyes on, I am very excited to see more of this during Sony's Conference!
So they are the trailers that have caught my eye so far, now let's take a look at some of the juicy information that has been leaked so far.
First up we have the Rise of Iron, this is something that has had the above artwork leaked, as well as Bungie trademarking the name Rise of Iron, so I personally would put money on the next expansion to Destiny being called Rise of Iron. The picture doesn't tell us much, and while speculation is very fun, it is even more fun to consider that Bungie are hosting a stream on Thursday evening to show us the future. I will be tuning in, and if you are a fan of Destiny, then I would recommend you do to! I will be hosted over at Bungie's Twitch Page.
Last but very much not least, this is by far the most rumoured game on this list. It has been leaked from several sources. This is something that I would welcome with open arms, the idea of being able to go back to the world of Skyrim, to revisit the characters, locations and enemies that I can remember, would be incredible. I really think that this is something that Bethesda would do, and if this is revealed during their conference, I would reckon that it will be released later this year, similarly to how Fallout 4 was revealed last year!
There you go guys, a recap of the trailers and rumours that have peaked my interest for one reason or another, all the conference are just around the corner, so check back soon for more coverage of the games that we get a better look of!
Thanks for reading,
Today I want to talk to you about some of the small things that I think would make Destiny a generally better game. I wouldn't say these are as small as quality of life, but they aren't DLC sized changes, let's get into them!
So first there are a few bounty related additions that I would like to see, firstly is a weekly Vanguard Bounty, I would like it to operate similarly to the Crucible Bounty, but instead of Nightfall tier rewards, the reward is instead a reward similar to a Vanguard reward. I think this would be a nice additional thing to offer PvE players, and perhaps it could only be available to complete in the same window that Trials of Osiris is open. My second bounty related thought is to do with Raid bounties, these could be handed out in the Tower and are there to encourage a different approach to the Raid. My thoughts were ranging from the simple, "Kill 150 enemies in a Raid" or "Get 20 consecutive headshot kills in a Raid", up to Challenge Mode style bounties such as having different gaze holders on Golgoroth, or something personal like don't get hit by a sniper during the Daughters encounter. Then a bigger bounty that is rewarded for going through a whole raid without deploying a Ward of Dawn, using a Tether or activating Self Revive. I think it only fair that these bounties give good rewards so I was thinking that for the simple killing bounties you get 5 Mouldering Shards, for the encounter specific bounties a guaranteed item from that encounter. Then for the biggest bounty, two guaranteed higher/maximum light level items from the whole raid. So it could be a helmet, sniper, hand cannon etc. This would be a nice addition to make playing the now 8 month old raid still relevant to play(aside from the ability to earn 335 light gear). My last bounty request is just to have more daily bounties in rotation, very few new ones have been added since the game launched, and they are really quite repetitive to achieve. So my thoughts were:
Hit 10 enemies with a sparrow whilst on Patrol
Get 5 double kills with Scatter Grenades
Get 5 shoulder charge kills in 90 seconds
Tether 10 or more foes with one single tether
Deal the killing blow to a boss with a Super
I can think of others but for the sake of time, you get my point. There could be so much more diversity to bounties that would require so little involvement from Bungie to implement.
Two changes I would like to see in respect of Nightfalls are matchmaking at character locks. So firstly I see no reason what so ever that this shouldn't be in the game, there is matchmaking for Heroic strikes, so Nightfalls should be made easier by implementing matchmaking! My other idea for Nightfalls is that the rewards are moved from 3 per week per character to 3 per week per account, basically the same change that has also been made to Heroic Legendary Mark rewards. So if I choose I can do all 3 nightfalls on one character, as a Titan player who doesn't mind a Hunter and can't stand playing Warlock this would be a nice increase to loot!
Next we have difficulty scaling for patrols, this was something that was promised for patrol on the Dreadnaught, but as soon as you hit level 40, it was no longer a challenge to simply walk around these areas. I think it is stupid that Bungie has made the huge sections of the 5 worlds, but there is no incentive to go out and explore them, partly because the node bounties are boring and yield tiny rewards, but also because you walk all over the enemies. I suspect that the reason this hasn't been done is because it will make seeing other players rarer, as there are more matchmaking restrictions for finding you a patrol. To this I say that you see few players already, so what is the harm in reducing this further, and also even when you do see other players, you rarely interact with them, as there is nothing to be gained from doing so!
Lastly I would like it if Sparrow Racing League(SRL) was a monthly occurrence. If we could get this, and put it in a good place in the month, we could have SRL one week, a week off, then Iron Banner another week off then the cycle repeats. This would be such a welcome addition to the game for me and many others who miss SRL. I left this until last because it could be done with little effort from Bungie, by simply bringing back the two existing maps and putting it in rotation every month. While this would be acceptable to me, I would like to see more maps added into the playlist to increase the variety.
There you go guys, my largely simple additions to Destiny that I think would bring a welcome change of pace to the game until the leaked Rise of Iron launches in September. Let me know what you think of these ideas either in the comments of this post, or on Twitter.
Thanks for reading,
Uncharted 4 has just been released, and while I haven't played Uncharted 4 yet(that comes in a few days) I want to look back at my time with the series just before I embark on the last iteration. I will say know there will be spoilers of some nature for Uncharted 1, 2 and 3 but absolutely none what so ever for Uncharted 4.
So let me lay the ground work first, I played Uncharted 3 first back on the PS3, loved it but never got around to playing 1 and 2. Then the Nathan Drake Collection was released on the PS4 with all 3 in and I picked it up, and since then I have played 1 and 2 as well as replayed 3, so without further ado, here is my history with Uncharted.
So this first adventure sees Nate team up with Sully and at times Elena to find El Dorado. I enjoyed this game, but wasn't blown away by it, the environments were pretty similar throughout and the set pieces weren't as big as I'd been led to expect. Where this game did excel for me was the combat, I haven't played it in a month or two know but I hold the shooting in Uncharted 1 above the other two. I liked the way it felt, and that with accuracy I could just use my pistol and go for one shot kill headshots. There was one particular segment in which Nate and Elena take to a Jet Ski to traverse the island which is a really, really bad point for the game, none of it works well and it was a chore to get through. Other than that the climbing was fun, the traditional Naughty Dog cinematography was clear to see and enriched the game ten fold. Although I think Uncharted 1 had its flaws, I do see how at the time is could spawn a franchise that has come to represent the PlayStation name!
Now Uncharted 2 is where things really start to get going for me, the environments are gorgeously diverse, the set pieces are far, far better than in the first, and just generally it is a superb game. The opening to this game with the collapsing train is as breath taking and exhilarating as you could possibly ask for. There is intrigue about what led him to be in this position, and there are more of the amazing cinematic camera angles. The finale(which I won't spoil just in case you haven't played it) is a super intense fight which I will remember for a good while to come. Obviously Uncharted 2 is possibly most famously known for the train sections, which are impressive today, never mind about when it was released! The scenery changes and speeds by you creating some of the best moments of the game. As I said the shooting was, for me, at its best in Uncharted 1 and that does detract ever so slightly from this one, but nothing big at all. There are some amazing plot twists which I also won't mention, and while the characters are generally better in Uncharted 2, for some reason I can't stand Chloe. I would have infinitely preferred if Elena had been in a more prominent position compared to Chloe, but that is personal opinion.
Here we go, this is the pinnacle of an action adventure game, this has it all. The best set pieces of the series, the best puzzles, environments, characters it really does have it all. There are so many iconic and intensely memorable scenes and action. There is more character development of these characters that you have grown to love, and even playing this as the first one is my series I still could grow attached to these characters very quickly. While the shooting isn't as comfortable for me as Uncharted 1, it does feel more realistic here, with all of the weapons feeling more hefty. There is of course the section of the game where you play as Nate as a child which is a superb way for you to feel more attached to your friends, and further apart from your enemies.
There you go guys, my two cents on the Uncharted series up to now, I will of course have coverage of Uncharted 4 in the coming weeks and months, there may even be a gallery in there! That being said I do have a very busy personal time approaching, so content on here may not be as frequent as it has been. Rest assured though that I will be back soon with new content for you.
Thanks for reading,
Today I want to talk to you about my first 15 hours or so with Dark Souls 2 on the PlayStation 4. I can truly say it is a game like no other I have ever played, that isn't to say it will be everyone's cup of tea, I myself have avoided the series for a long while as I thought it wasn't what I was looking for in a game. However I bit the bullet, so to speak, and here I am, an enlightened man, someone who has come out the proverbial tunnel and seen the light. Dark Souls 2 took my by surprise(and continues to do so) like nothing I was expecting. When I hear that a game doesn't hold your hand, I usually expect no tutorials, or a game that makes it hard to discern where to go next. However Dark Souls 2, really doesn't hold your hand, even after 15 hours of playing, I don't feel much more enlightened about the "story" than after I watched the intro cutscene. I thought this would be something that I wouldn't like, however I don't think a game like this would suit a traditional narrative story line, instead what you will fill your hours with is exploration and trying new theories of how to achieve something. Again I thought I would find this hands off approach from the games narrative annoying, however it just works. I know as a games journalist I should be able to put my finger more on why it works, but it just does. You will, as I have, lose hours into the same environment progressing bit by bit, until your heart lifts at the sight of a Bonfire. These act as the fast travel points in the game, and also resting at them refreshes you health and Estus Flasks(the games main source of health regeneration), but also resets the enemies. So if you want to explore further into an area but are out of Estus Flasks, then you need to weigh up your options about whether you go back to a bonfire at the cost of resetting all the enemies, or continue on and risk death in a hard to reach area.
I wish to put forth to you a fly-less ointment, so to speak, this game does have its problems, namely how damned hard it is, I don't mind dying to an enemy stronger than me, I don't mind making a mistake that costs me my life. What I do occasionally get frustrated with, however, is the fact that death doesn't merely set you back to the last Bonfire you rested on, no. It takes away some of your health bar so you are weaker, it will take all your souls off you and leave them on the spot where you died, and you will not get back any items you used in your previous life. It is perhaps this last point that I have the largest gripe with, as I have never liked a game where it feels like you collect all these resources, then risk losing them every time you want to use them. What I would like instead, is your health still goes down per death, you still drop your Souls on the place of your death, but any items used since your last Bonfire visit are replenished. This would mean that if I haven't used any Throwing Knives in a few hours and have built up a dozen or so, if I want to experiment by trying to take down a boss from a safe distance with said knives, those few hours of collecting aren't lost if I die to that boss. That is the only thing that I would like to see implemented to make the game a touch easier and also a tad more enjoyable I might think.
The environments and level design are some of the features of the Dark Souls series that I had heard most about. This also has lived up to expectations, there is one area, which I won't spoil other than to say it is Pirate themed, which upon first discovering, I didn't like going to, this was due to the fact that I felt very uncomfortable there, it is a dark environment(as many of them are) and enemies would leap out of said darkness and scare the living proverbial out of me. However as I have conquered this area, I now feel perfectly at ease with my environment. I have explored every nook and cranny, and defeated the boss that is lying in wait. I have triggered one of the secrets which has made the area much more pleasant to wander around. So now it is a the stage where it is one of my favourite places in the game so far, because the ambience of the area has been totally nailed by the developer, From Software. So far, I have defeated 7 bosses, and I am aware of the location of an additional 3 bosses, all of which have been very unique, and the environments they are in, are simply wondrous. There have been 2 boss encounters that I have come across so far, that I am aware of the fact that by exploring the surrounding locale, you can make the plain of engagement a notably easier one. However some, or even most people may not find these features, and that goes to show how the game feels about exploration, it is necessary, without the game telling you this.
Don't get me wrong, despite the fact that I have been gushing about this amazing game, it is still a brutally hard one, at the time of writing I have died over 200 times in those 15 hours! The learning curve is so steep that I wouldn't think less of someone for leaving the game because of it. Within the first 4 hours along, I went from thinking, this is a really good game, onto thinking it had been a mistake to buy the game, then sure it had been a mistake to buy the game, then after 4 hours, and I had defeated the first boss on my second attempt, I was hooked. There may be ups and downs in the game, but I believe on balance Dark Souls 2 is an amazing game, that I would recommend anyone at least trying. These are my impressions after 15 hours with Dark Souls 2, I do hope you check back in the future to read more coverage as I play through more, and eventually leading to my full review.
Thanks for reading,
Okay so the Bungie stream just finished, and I want to talk to you about what was announced, then what I like and disliked. First of all there will be a new Light Level cap of 335, which is something that will divide players, I personally don't mind this, it is a big enough raise to keep me busy for a while. At the end of the day, we are getting one new "Raid" like encounter, 1 revamped Strike and 1 new Strike, so they could have made 350, but items would drop at higher level. So to achieve the new Light Level Cap, there is a revamped Prison of Elders, which is made up of two versions, a match made light level 260, and a 320 light level non match made version. In the 260 version, you no longer need a Key for the big chest in the loot room, instead you can complete it as many times per week as you want, opening that chest as many times as you want. Deej mentioned briefly that Legendary Marks would be earned in the 260 version, along with Engrams will drop, and Vanguard Bounties can be completed in this version. The 320 variant is where the meat of this update rests, you must buy a ticket to gain entry to the Challenge of Elders, and it features 3 bosses, which must be killed along with additional enemies, this being because all enemy kills earn you and your fireteam points. These points are added up on your Ticket and will reward you accordingly. So the first reward that can be earned is for gathering 30,000 points in one match(containing 3 rounds) so it will not be as simple as rushing in and killing the boss, quite the opposite, you want to make sure the boss lives, in order to spawn more enemies, to earn your bonus. This will award you with a weapon, which in the stream was dropped at 335 light, though I would assume it is not a guaranteed 335 drop. Then there is the other point tally, for which you must earn 90,000 points, though this can be done in multiple games, with multiple different players. This will reward you with an armour piece, which I again will assume can drop up to 335. I would be a bit disappointed if they are guaranteed 335 level drops, as this would make getting to the new cap fairly easy, but on the flip side to this, 3 guaranteed high end weapons per week, would bring be back to see if I can get something interesting. You will also be able to do Kings Fall at new light levels, with normal mode dropping 320 gear, and hard mode dropping 330 gear, you can then get a 335 artifact from the Court of Oryx. On top of this there will be the afore mentioned new Strike, which will see us taking down Malok, we didn't see any gameplay from this strike, just clips of the boss and arena.
So there is your recap, now I want to talk about how this makes me feel. Generally I like the additions, the Light Cap is lower than I would have liked, but it couldn't and shouldn't be higher without extra new content. Which is my only real problem with the reveal, I don't feel that they have put that much effort into this update, new armour and weapons sure, but the new bosses seem to be Taken reskins of existing enemies, and as far as I could tell the Prison hadn't changed aesthetically. The only truly new content is a new Mission and Strike, the Mission we know nothing about, and the Strike is a totally new boss, that we will sadly be fighting in an arena we already know. Now this all means that future content is getting more attention, and I am okay with this, especially as they have just done enough to bring me back to Destiny. Though I'm not sure there is enough here to bring people back who are less devoted to the game, and I'm not sure it can keep me engaged for more the a couple of weeks. Which is fine, especially considering this update is being given to everyone totally free of charge as long as you bought The Taken King expansion. Lastly I want to talk about what I think I would like changed from what we saw, firstly is an endless mode, where by wave after wave of enemies with more health, and who also appear in greater number are thrust at you. This could open the possibility for a third point tally, that would require something huge like 1,000,000 points earned in a week, and guarantee a 335 Exotic. Seeing as they earned 30,000 points in maybe 20 minutes, with a polished team I think 1,000,000 could be done. I just feel like I could earn 90,000 points in an hour or less, and then that is the new content finished on one character for the week.
Anyway, all in all I am happy with what is coming to Destiny, there isn't tonnes, but it will bring me back to the game, and for that I am grateful to Bungie. However I'm not sure they have done a good enough job to bring anyone but the diehard fans of the game back, only time will tell if I am right!
Thank you very much for reading,
I come to you today with some personal news that I am very excited about. I will start streaming on Twitch, on what will hopefully be a daily basis. You can find me over at Twitch.tv/multish, my shedule will be approximately 3:15-5PM GMT every Monday to Friday, the Weekends may be a bit different, but I will keep you up to date with when I will be streaming. I really do look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there to talk about what I'm playing, as well as general gaming. If you have ever wanted to ask me questions about any reviews I've written, now is your chance. I will be starting my stream tomorrow for the time listed above.
Thanks for reading, hope to see you there!
Firstly apologies for not posting in quite a few weeks, had a bunch of stuff to take care of, but I'm back now! I wanted to kick-start new content here by talking about the hardware flavour of the year, Virtual Reality. Recently the price and release window for PlayStations very own Virtual Reality headset was revealed, weighing in during October of 2016 and setting you back £349 or $399. This now means that Sony has the cheapest VR headset in the mass market, with big competitors Vive and Oculus Rift costing notable more. It has been said that between the release of Sony's VR headset and the end of 2016 there will be 50 VR titles released. This is quite the launch line up, though it seems unclear whether many of these games could be considered AAA titles. So we have the basics of the VR scene at the moment, now I want to talk about what I think about the latest technology trend. I will say now that I have not used a VR headset yet, and I know many people who have used them, say you need to use one to full understand it. However here are my thoughts as one of the many people who are yet to get hands on with Virtual Reality.
One aspect of the headset that will be interesting is the games, although we have had a look at a decent number of the games that will be releasing alongside the headset, it is hard to say whether the release line up will have some big hitting games that you know you will be able to play a lot of. Or whether it will more be along the lines of quite a lot of games released that won't hold your attention for long. Also I have been wondering where VR games will stand in the PlayStation Plus monthly line up. Are we about to get even more games per month of a possibly lower quality? Maybe a separate service will be offered just for monthly VR games, only time will answer these questions, but I will be intrigued to know how
Virtual Reality is not the future of the gaming medium in my opinion, though on the flip side to that, I wouldn't describe it as a gimmick. Different members of the industry and player base will react to the release in different ways, I think PSVR could turn into a niche thing that a decent number of people have. Though I can not see it ever getting to the stage were big budget AAA games are being solely released on VR. For example I can't imagine Call of Duty, or maybe Assassin's Creed shifting even slightly towards VR. At the end of the day, I believe the typical gamer just wants to relax with a game, not have to keep on looking round and interacting a lot with the environment. I think the problem with Virtual Reality could be the launch, if there isn't a convincing line of launch titles(or within the first few months) then sales won't be as good as they could be, therefore more people will be less inclined to buy it, leading to fewer developers putting time into VR games. That being said it could be the opposite, where launch and Christmas sales do very well causing more developers to put time into creating VR games. Only time will tell, though I strongly believe that because of the fact that the headset can't stand on its own feet(as it needs a PS4 to play from) the launch will make or break Sony's latest venture. What do you think will happen when the Virtual Reality headset for the PlayStation 4 launches in October of 2016? Let me know in the comments section, or on Twitter.
Thanks for reading,
I'm sure most of you are aware that this weekend is the Beta for Tom Clancy's The Division and today I want to bring you my review of this Beta! Firstly I would like to say that by the very nature of a Beta, this is not the finished product that will go on sale on March 8th. Without further ado, let's get stuck in!
First let's look at the combat of The Division, this is an area of the game that some people will like, and others not so much. I fall into the latter camp, I think it stems from the very nature of a Third Person Shooter, you don't get a close look at the guns while shooting. For me this means that even when you pick a new improved weapon up, it feels almost like the same gun you just stopped using, but with better stats. I think that basically sums up the combat, and to an extent the game, it is very statistic focused, as long as you are using gear that maximises your attack stat you will be fine. That being said the recoil on some of the weapons is absurdly high, though this is something that I think may be confined to the Beta, because once the full game is out you will be able to better customise your weapons as well as generally get better quality weapons which may handle the recoil to a better degree.
Ubisoft has somewhat of a track record with showing a gameplay demo at E3 on a very high end PC that runs amazing graphics, and while the downgrade with the Division isn't as bad as something like Watch Dogs, it is still there. However I think the graphics are perfectly fine, and some of the weather effects look very nice. No, it isn't how the world looks that is the problem, it is how it feels where the problem lies for me. The world feels baron, now this may be what they were aiming for, to capture the semi-apocolyspe vibe, but in my opinion the world just feels like it is there to have some scenery to pass on the way to your next objective. I have found no pleasure what so ever to just walk around the City and see what happens, because nothing does happen. There have been too many occasions where I have clicked L3 to sprint, and just held the analogue stick in one direction for a minute and a half while I run down long streets with deserted cars dotted around, but too few enemies. Although some of the buildings can be accessed, the vast majority can't which means that I felt like I was running past bland facade after bland facade. The colour palette used is something that doesn't help the situation, with most things being very dull colours, one thing that really struck a cord with me was when I was looking down the people I follow on Twitch, and I could instantly tell who was playing The Division because the thumbnail of the stream was largely grey, unless they were in the map; which is similarly devoid of most colours. This may be something unique to the are we have been given in the Beta, though I suspect that is not the case!
The story is something I can not comment on, due to the fact that we are given one mission to play in the Beta(which I rather like as it doesn't really spoil anything for the full release). The RPG mechanics in The Division is one place where is seems to be rather good at, with a detailed inventory and customisation options for the appearance of your clothes. One of my slight concerns is that there are only a small number of perks to unlock, though they do seem to be unique from each other, I worry the range may stifle the game in the long run. That being said, there are things called Talents, that we aren't allowed to look at in the Beta, so there may be more options to delve into there!
I'd like to finish of my review by talking about the Dark Zone, this is the area where PvP(Player vs Player) is enabled, and all of the loot you may collect(from some still present AI) must be extracted. By calling in an extraction helicopter you show up to all players near by, and you are given a 90 second timer in which you must defend the place the helicopter will collect your loot. This is a fun mechanic that gives a feeling of threat from other players that is lacking in other games. However although most of the mechanics implemented in the Dark Zone all work well, the fact that people can go "Rogue" by shooting other players takes most of the fun out of it. I would seriously warn anyone from going into the Dark Zone either solo or even with one friend, because I have already come across numerous groups of four players(the maximum in a party) whose sole intention is to go Rogue and collect loot that other players have earned. I know that this is kind of the intention of the Dark Zone, but I really, really didn't enjoy my time in there, even when I was in a full group of four people(we chose to not go Rogue). This experience wasn't helped when I came across someone who I can only assume was either hacking or glitching, as when they entered their "Last Stand" position, they could move at incredible speeds to the point where we couldn't even sprint after them to catch up. My dislike of the Dark Zone wouldn't be quite such a problem for the game as a whole if it weren't for the fact that Ubisoft have been hinting that most of the End Game content will be within the Dark Zone, therefore this will not be a game for me. Even if there is End Game content outside of the Dark Zone, the whole game feels to bland and empty to warrant my picking it up on March 8th. I want to know what you all think of the Beta, let me know in the comments below or on Twitter!
Thanks for reading,
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!