Reviews by Bokoblin23

99

Dispondant or tired of military shooters? Play. This. Game.

Bokoblin23 | Dec. 15, 2013 | Review of Spec Ops: The Line (ANZ)

This game is essentially the "Apocalypse Now" of Video Games - both figuratively and literally.

In the literal sense, the game is a loose adaptation of Joseph Conrad's "Hear of Darkness", of which the film "Apocalypse Now" was also based.

In the figurative sense, this game has the same gravitas in it's depiction of war, violence and humanity as many classic anti-war films of our time.

Try not to spoil the plot before playing this game, though, as the narrative beats and use of choice to impact the player is exceptional.

The game play isn't perfect, but that doesn't matter, it's an intense experience that will draw you in and mess with your head.

If you consider games an art form, you owe it to yourself to play Spec Ops: The Line

100

On PC with mods? This game is basically perfect.

Bokoblin23 | Dec. 10, 2013 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Nexway

If you have a powerful PC and run Skyrim with mods, this immensely fun and exciting open world adventure is opened up to new and exciting possibilities.

That's what Skyrim on PC is about. We all know Skyrim is, broadly, an exciting open world fantasy adventure. We know the setting is extremely rich full of lore and quests. We know that this game gives you amazing value with hundreds of hours of content.

On PC, Skyrim is special, it takes Bethesda's philosophy of "do what you want, where you want" to the next level. Change things from the lighting systems to the companions you meet. From the dungeons to new lands - all of this new content and customization for free in user-created mods. All of this is thanks to Bethesda supplying their toolkit they used to construct the game and this is what makes the experience truly special.

I cannot recommend a game more when the creators are willing to encourage and facilitate the creativity and ingenuity of their biggest fans. Bethesda has done this with their (already amazing) game and I therefore give this game 100 on principle.

Keep in mind modding your game can take some time and can become addictive, it may also corrupt your saves or glitch your game, so please take care - it's often recommended you do one character without any mods, just to see what the vanilla game is like. It's pretty brilliant.

Steam Workshop is an easy-to-use source of mods, just beware a lot of content in Skyrim and in mods are NOT suitable for children. Please do the necessary research before buying this game for someone under 18. REMEMBER: Individual mods are not endorsed or supported by Bethesda, these are creations from random people online, please take precautionary measures when exploring the modding scene.

80

Fighting Orcs: Fun with Friends

Bokoblin23 | Nov. 23, 2013 | Review of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

The first Mature rated LOTR game, not for children, but for mature adults: gory orc killing fun.

This game is a side story to the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, following a trio of heroes fighting against the dark lord's minions in the North of Middle Earth.

The gameplay is simple, but effective and feels like a hybrid between the original LOTR console action games and a loot based RPG.

Chose between three difference classes (Champion, Ranger and Loremaster) and jump online with 1 or 2 other friends for rhythmic action experience as you fight orcs and other foul creatures to stop Agandaur, one of Sauron's generals.

The game doesn't feature any original voice cast from the movies, but the new characters and the stand-ins are perfectly fine. Laura Bailey and Nolan North provide the VO for two of the main playable characters, a highlight for myself as a fan of both their work.

The tone of the films is kept pretty faithful in this game and the new locations are fun to imagine within the broader context of the setting.

You might not be playing the fellowship in this game, but you definitely feel like a hero in middle earth.

There is also a simple, yet effective set of cooperative tactics players can use to help eachother in battle to defeat more difficult foes, and this keeps the game engaging.

You can upgrade your characters, and if you chose the right trees, the combat becomes more and more fun as you play.

I initially played through singleplayer, and I enjoyed myself, but the game really deserves such a high score for the very easy coop play.

If your looking to have a fun time with other LOTR fans, you should definitely pick this up.

96

The Most Relentlessly Exciting Game of 2013

Bokoblin23 | Nov. 23, 2013 | Review of Tomb Raider

Not for children, but for mature adults, this very well executed action thriller is absolutely worth playing for the pitch perfect gameplay.

While other games in 2013 may surpass Tomb Raider in certain areas, there is no game more exhilaratingly fun and exciting released so far this year.

The kinaesthetic experience of playing this markedly more mature, dark and grounded Tomb Rader is so good that even the simple act of jumping feels right.

The premise is simple, a young Lara Croft is shipwrecked on an island and sets out to survive, find her friends and uncover the secrets of the mysterious island inhabitants along the way.

Lara is a fully realized character, smart, intelligent, strong and part of a greater social dynamic, the story is certainly engaging, but don't expect to be confronted by huge moral conflicts or political themes seen in other recent releases.

It would have been nice to see such a violent game confront itself more frequently than the few acknowledgements we see amongst this theatre of blood and gore, but ultimately the story can be boiled down to a captivating thriller, rather than anything more deep - a missed opportunity, maybe.

However, if you are willing to forgive the indulgence in blood soaked content ultimately, the action adventure game play that sets a new standard for the genre.

The new cover system is revolutionary, the animations are smooth and responsive without feeling weightless, the gunplay is frantic and the set pieces are perfectly paced amongst light puzzles, traversal and atmosphere that drips off the screen: all of this is satisfying enough to keep the controller glued to your hands.

There is no PC game this exciting, period. The PC version is also very solid with added effects and details, it is recommended you use a 360 controller to play though, as with most 3D action platformers.

Pros: Literally everything except the cons

Cons: Such a violent game should have addressed Lara's morality in killing hundreds of human beings more seriously.

88

Impeccably Designed Stealth Action

Bokoblin23 | Nov. 21, 2013 | Review of Dishonored

This game is absolutely not suitable for children, but for mature adults who want a strong stealth action game with an absorbing world, this is for you:

Dishonored is a masterpiece of design in both game play and aesthetics.

Set in the pseudo-steam punk, fictional city of Dunwall you play as Corvo, a disgraced royal guard set out to clear his name from a conspiracy against the royal line.

The core story may be par for the course in premise, but it absolutely facilitates the best game play for this kind of title. You are never bogged down by too much exposition, instead the game leaves a lot up to the player in how much you absorb..

And this is absolutely a world you want to take in. The complete originality of the setting is one of Dishonored's best assets. Beautiful rich color tones and exaggerated character designs are gorgeously realised making even the foulest of levels in this grim scenario inspire awe.

Stealth gameplay is complemented well, in that eavesdropping, stealing and other sneaky actions allow the player to both experience chunks of story, while keeping on their toes on-mission.

Sneak around large open levels and uncover secrets about the city as you kill or spare your enemies with a large variety of gameplay features. Corvo, the player, is able to harness magic abilities early in the game, which can be upgraded as the game progresses. This opens up the large levels even more with teleportation, posession and kinetic powers both reward the player for upgrading and intensify the experience.

The best thing about this game, is that skilled players can leave their enemies alive and despite being hired as an assassin for most of the game, you can avoid killing virtually everyone, which is a nice touch - especially given how grim and graphic the games violence is.

There are different endings as a result of the morality of your actions, so the more difficult pacifist playstyle is also rewarded in this respect.

The game is split up into levels, with the player returning to a hub area between them. This allows for more story heavy moments, but, again, I rarely felt overwhelmed by exposition - either that, or I enjoyed the setting enough to absorb it easily.