Reviews by PrimalHunter779
Phenomenal game, extremely memorable.PrimalHunter779 | Oct. 18, 2014 | Review of Alien: Isolation
Alien: Isolation is the highly anticipated sequel to the original film from 1979, 'Alien'; it's made by Creative Assembly, the developers responsible for the Total War franchise. After a slew of disappointing games based on the Alien franchise, it was about time for a game to do the franchise justice; I can happily say that Alien: Isolation goes above and beyond my expectations and delivers a phenomenal game unlike any other. The player steps into the shoes of Amanda Ripley, who is still searching for her mother 15 years after the disaster aboard the Nostromo. A representative from Weyland-Yutani informs you that the black box recorder from the Nostromo has been collected aboard the Sevastopol space station, and is ready for collection. You set off with your team to discover what happened to Ellen Ripley and the Nostromo, and get more than you bargained for with the presence of the Alien from the original film. Right from the start, Alien: Isolation is an image of dedication and love for the source material. Locations in the game have been designed with a low-fi 70's aesthetic in mind, and the result is mind blowing; the Sevastopol and the Torrens are increasingly reminiscent of the Nostromo from the film, and the attention to detail is astounding. The game is graphically fantastic, and you'll find yourself amazed by the sights on numerous occasions (if you have the time to enjoy them, that is). The gameplay is startlingly innovative, and is memorable for a number of reasons. You'll spend most of the game in stealth mode, avoiding humans and synthetics, and of course, the Alien. The Alien itself is terrifying to encounter; it's smart, and it will kill you many, many times. You can use flamethrowers and molotovs to avoid it in direct combat, otherwise it's an instantly gruesome death. You can also use flares and noisemakers (crafted via a simple but satisfying crafting system) to divert the Alien's attention and sneak by unnoticed. Combat with androids and humans is standard fare, however you are able to use your numerous gadgets to focus the Alien's attention on them, and thereby clearing the way to get through. The game puts heavy emphasis on flight over fight, and you'll feel a gratifying sense of accomplishment by completing sections quickly and quietly. The Alien itself is one of the many highlights of this game. Just like the creature from the film, it can sense your movements if you move too quickly and clumsily, and will kill you in seconds if you become too careless. You can use your motion tracker to detect the Alien's whereabouts, but the beep emitted by the device can also give away your position and again result in death. All of these factors make you feel like you're fighting a genuine enemy, and is a refreshing change from the run and gun fare of recent years. The developers have also put a great deal of care into the sound design of the game. Every creak, groan and beep emitted from the Sevastopol space station puts you on edge, and this in combination with the fantastic score makes the experience feel as authentic as it can get. Encounters with the Alien are filled with atmosphere, as you can hear the creature moving around in numerous vents and airducts. There's also a large amount of content included in this game. The story mode took me roughly 20 hours to complete, and there is also a Survivor mode challenge map in addition to the two preorder DLC'S. Anyone who pays $50 for this game will certainly not be disappointed. Aien: Isolation is the Alien game fans have been waiting for. As a huge fan of the film, I was extremely impressed by the game's ability to recreate what made the film so great, in addition to carving it's own niche in the survival horror genre. A solid game through and through, Alien: Isolation will remain memorable for years to come, and is a must-play for any survival horror afficionado. 9.5 / 10
Two spectacular games.PrimalHunter779 | Sept. 8, 2014 | Review of Borderlands Franchise Pack (AU)
Excellent value - two games that give you a combined total of at least 150 hours, thousands of in-game weapons, huge game worlds, and both with their own unique story and characters. This bundle would cost well over $200 separately, so it is well worth the money. For more details on each game, please see my individual reviews. In short, two excellent games with all their expansions for a very affordable price. 10 / 10
Masterpiece.PrimalHunter779 | Aug. 1, 2014 | Review of Metro: Last Light Complete Edition
Metro: Last Light is a post apocalyptic first person shooter based off a series of novels written by Dmitry Glukhovsky, which follows the exploits of a man named Artyom in a world rife with mutants and the after effects of nuclear war. The first game, Metro 2033, was an enjoyable game despite its flaws, and a sequel was highly anticipated. This game improves on everything in the first game, including graphics, story, characters and overall gameplay. Metro: Last Light is a linear first person shooter, with occasionally large, open areas. The player will use a variety of guns and other tools to survive in both the metros, and the surface of Moscow; you can use standard sub machine guns, light machine guns, assault rifles, and pistols, all of which come with a surprisingly large range of customisation options such as different sights and silencers. There are also items such as throwing knives and grenades, and you'll also have to scavenge high military grade bullets in order to use as money at vendors and stores. You'll find throughout the game that careful scavenging is often the key to survival, and the amount of bullets you have can mean the difference between life and death. Stealth has been highly emphasised in this game to great effect; you have a wrist watch that tells you your detection level by the enemy, and you can use silenced weapons and throwing knives to take out the enemy without being detected. The stealth sections were very, very fun, and were way more polished and refined than the stealth sections in the first game. When not using stealth options, you'll engage in standard gunfights against both humans and mutants, which is also a lot of fun, as gunplay is far tighter and responsive this time around. The graphical capability of this game is downright amazing; the lighting, level of detail and overall polish reflects highly upon the game, and it is easily the best looking game of 2013, if not the best looking game on PC. Without spoiling anything, the story has its fair share of interesting plot twists, even if they are a bit difficult to follow at times. Your choices throughout the game dictate the ending you recieve, and this quite difficult to achieve, which makes for a nice challenge in a game. Many of the characters are also quite interesting to interact with, and the voice acting (only in Russian) is quite good. Through and through, Metro: Last Light is a brilliant game, and it was hard to fault this game. If you can get over a mildly confusing story and poor English voice acting (I recommend changing to Russian), then you'll find this game well worth the purchase price. Utter brilliance. 9.5 / 10
Not the greatest, but not the worst.PrimalHunter779 | Aug. 1, 2014 | Review of Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem: Forever is the sequel to Duke Nukem 3D, a classic game from the 1990's that inspired hundreds of games, mostly due to it's entertaining gameplay, well designed levels, and humour. Duke Nukem: Forever had big shoes to fill, and while it doesn't live up to the hype surrounding its release, it's definitely an enjoyable game despite the flaws. This game has you once again playing as the Duke, living life as a celebrity after crushing the alien invasion in the previous game. The intro of the game has you reliving an awesome fight from the previous game before navigating your house and heading to an interview. While you'll notice the dodgy animations and skewed voicework, you'll also notice the astonishing amount of interactivity and abundance of items in the environment. Numerous posters and various memorabilia concerning Duke Nukem is scattered around the levels, and displays an enormous amount of fan service. You can interact with a large number of items in the environment, including pool tables, telephones, DVD players, toilets, vibrators (?), food, arcade games, weights, basketball, frisbees and even an actual turd (?). This lends itself to the novelty and humour of the game and was definitely one of the standards. While the actual combat in the game isn't awful, it does feel clunky and dated by today's standards. Many of the weapons lack punch, and end up feeling as if you're firing a glorified water gun. The only satisfying gun in the game is the shotgun, which is relatively to find and locate ammunition for. The rest of the guns are clumsy and spongy to use on enemies. Unfortunately, the level design is also quite linear. There's little exploration to be had, and it's relatively easy to find objects like ammo pickups. The constrictive and repetitive level design gets repetitive pretty quickly, and the blandly grey environments don't help this very much. The boss fights in this game are surprisingly solid, and reminded me of old school games like Doom 3. These fights are entertaining and bombastic, but frustrating in that you can only damage them with a single weapon type. This limits the players style and actively forces you to play the game in a specific way. The game's real problem is the lack of creativity and restrictive mechanics, which contradicts the content found in Duke Nukem 3d. The best way to experience Duke Nukem: Forever is the same as a popcorn action movie; turn your brain off, play it once, and don't look too carefully into it. The fun moments in this game make up for the bad ones, and the nostalgic value of this game probably elevated my score slightly. 7 / 10
Not amazing, but still a good ride.PrimalHunter779 | Aug. 1, 2014 | Review of RAGE (AU)
Rage is a game from Id Software, one of the most iconic game developers of all time; Id is responsible for classics like Doom, Wolfenstein and Quake, and are a household name amongst the gaming community. Rage was pretty highly anticipated before its release, and the game itself created a pretty divisive fanbase. Rage is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland as a result of a meteorite collision with Earth. This makes for an environment made up of rocky canyons, dusty valleys and dark caves. This setting has been done quite a few times before, but the various gameplay mechanics and impressive use of visuals means that the world is rather nice to explore. You navigate a moderately open world, similar to the first Borderlands. Using a wide array of guns with various ammo types, you'll collect quests from a hub, find the location in the world, complete the quest; rinse and repeat. The missions don't really have much variety as you'll often be completing the same tasks, consisting of killing mutants and bandits to get some item or pickup. Despite this however, the game will make up for it with some surprisingly solid shooting, and enjoyable racing mechanics. The variety of guns definitely works in the game's favour. There are revolvers, assault rifles, shotguns, bazookas, plasma rifles, wingsticks, remote-control bomb cars, grenades, crossbows and sniper rifles. Not many games give you this many guns and I commend the game for doing so. The shooting itself is quite tight and responsive, with all of the weapons handling quite well. Enemy AI is also rather excellent; the enemies leap and sidestep around the levels to avoid your attacks, and it made the shooting really enjoyable and entertaining. The game's best asset is probably the racing. With different tracks and game modes, Rage allows you to use modified racing cars to face off against other foes from around the wasteland. You can upgrade your cars with missles and machine guns, and this made for genuinely interesting moments of the game. The 'Mad Max' feel the game was obviously aiming for was really noticed her, and was one of the more addictive/memorable parts of the game. Rage is a fun experience due to the sharp visuals, polished shooting and awesome racing. With little to no story and unmemorable characters, it is difficult to get invested in this game. If you enjoy mindless shooting and racing with visual flair, Rage will probably satisfy you. 7 / 10
Enjoyable game.PrimalHunter779 | July 31, 2014 | Review of Aliens vs Predator
If you were burned or disappointed by Aliens: Colonial Marines, then I'd highly suggest picking up a copy of this game. Aliens vs Predator is a solid, polished shooter reminiscent of the original game from 1999, and is guaranteed to thrill and surprise you. The player experiences three different campaigns; predator, alien and marine. Each campaign has a different playing style, and I'm very impressed by the way Rebellion has managed to polish each style so efficiently. Firstly, the marine campaign. Probably the best of the three, you use classic weapons from the Alien films and comic books such as the pulse rifle, smartgun and double barrelled shotgun. The shooting is surprisingly tight, and you'll get into a nice rhythm of blasting and reloading. The darker levels are great at creating suspense, and the xenomorph models are beautifully animated. They take you by surprise and can swarm you very quickly, which creates moments of panic that I haven't felt in a shooter for a long, long time. You also fight other enemies like Weyland Yutani androids, who are unsettling in their own way (probably those creepy voice recordings and expressionless faces). You can also experience classic movie moments like blasting the Alien Queen out of her egg sac, which is awesome to just about anyone who has seen Aliens. Secondly, the predator campaign. As the Predator, you'll attempt to stay stealthy and pick off enemies using the range of tools at your disposal. You have a plasma caster, a spear, throwing discs and of course, the classic wrist blades. Much like the Batman: Arkham games, you'll navigate high vantage points and isolate enemies with x-ray vision until you are able to safely dispatch them. However, the game will also make you fight Aliens in close combat, which is frustrating and clunky; this consists of repeatedly mashing buttons while aliens continuously leap at you, which makes for a frustrating experience. Also, while the execution animations are quite awesome, they also take a long time to complete and make you vulnerable to damage, which is extremely annoying on harder difficulties. Finally, the alien campaign. Playing as the alien also focuses on stealth, and you'll climb over different surfaces while attacking with your claws, teeth and tail. The wall climbing mechanics mostly work, though they can be confusing and hard to use at times. The constant movement of the alien is also quite dizzying, and is especially noticeable when traversing the inside of buildings. Whilst this campaign is still fun in its own right, the confusing wall-climbing and lack of interesting attacks means that this campaign is the least interesting of the three. The game looks fantastic visually, but all three campaigns take place in the same location, so it can get quite repetitive due to the re-used locations. Despite this, it is fun to see where the other species has gone after completing each campaign. For example, when playing as the Predator, there is a level where you find the dead Alien Queen after the Marine segment where you kill the Queen yourself. Overall, Aliens vs Predator is an awesome game that doesn't disappoint. The three entertaining campaigns are immensely satisfying, despite odd design choices and irritating game mechanics. 8 / 10
Ridiculous 80's fun!PrimalHunter779 | July 31, 2014 | Review of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a cyberpunk shooter that combines elements from 80's flicks such as Predator, Aliens, Blade Runner, Commando and much, much more. If you liked one or more of those movies, you will absolutely love FarCry 3: Blood Dragon. The gameplay is exactly the same as FarCry 3, but reskinned more or less. You have a smaller island to explore, complete with lazer-dinosaurs, lazer-tigers, cyber sharks, and yeah, you get the idea. There are new guns, like a plasma mini-gun, a lazer assault-rifle, the pistol from Robocop, a purple bow, and a giant flamethrower. Prepare for huge amounts of awesome one liners and puns during combat. The soundtrack is pretty awesome too. Experience a synthesized-tech beat while you slaughter your way through cyber commandos and other ridiculous variations of the local wildlife. If you like or love any of the things I've just mentioned, buy this game right now. Do it. Overall, FarCry 3 : Blood Dragon is a reskinned version of the main game, with 80's extras. The great music, awesome cutscenes and ridiculous gameplay will keep you hooked (and wowed). 10 / 10
Amazing.PrimalHunter779 | July 31, 2014 | Review of The Walking Dead
This will be a short review, because there's not too much about this game I can say that will not spoil this game. Based off Robert Kirkman's critically acclaimed 'The Walking Dead' comic book series, this game is a point-and-click narrative adventure; you control a character named Lee, who has to fight to protect a young girl named Clementine in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. Told over five episodes, TWD is played out like a typical point and click adventure; click on items, click on dialogue bubbles and click on areas to make Lee move. You'll rarely be in direct control of the action, but this is a strength rather than a weakness. You're a viewer of a cinematic masterpice, along for the ride, who chooses Lee's every word and makes every decision for him. The decisions you make will affect your relationships with other characters and ultimately affect the way Clementine views you and acts the way she does. The voicework and visuals is phenomenal, and allows you to experience the game just the same as a film or a television series. The story is brilliantly told, and you'll find yourself genuinely caring about the characters as events unfold, which is a damn marvel in today's gaming industry. The Walking Dead is a unique and entertaining game, with emphasis on narrative and character development unlike any other game I've ever played. You'll remember the ending long after you finish the game, which only serves to demonstrate the quality writing exhibited by Telltale. 10 / 10
Silly and fiendishly fun.PrimalHunter779 | July 31, 2014 | Review of Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition
Dead Island was pretty hyped before its release in 2011, partly due to the phenomenal and emotional trailer released in the months prior release. While the game doesn't contain the kind of emotional content depicted in that trailer, Dead Island is definitely no pushover. The game is set on a tropical island called Banoi, where you can choose to play as one of four survivors, all with their different strengths and abilities. Each class is catered to a specific weapon type, so the player is rewarded for using their playing style. You can sprint, kick, and bash zombies whilst running through abandoned resorts, defunct hotels and bloodied swimming pools. I liked the location and the silly/humorous approach to a zombie game. The trailer made players expect an emotionally rich game with focus on characters. While I did like this game, there is little to no story, and the characters are little more than cardboard cutouts for different abilities. The game plays out like Dead Rising, and the silly yet gratuitous gore is nothing like what you'd expect from the trailer. Speaking of Dead Rising, the game allows you to craft all kinds of weapons; spiked baseball bats, flaming axes, electric knives, electric fisti-cuffs, enhanced assault rifles and much more. There are loads of weapons to make using the game's crafting system, and it was really enjoyable to make/buy new weapons and test them on the zombie horde. There are also different types of zombies to fight, all of which require different tactics and weapons to defeat. The island itself is fairly large, and quests range from tasks such as collecting supplies, wiping out zombies and rescuing survivors. The XP system and rewards bonuses gives the player incentives to complete missions, and you'll also end up finding a fair emount of loot on missions. The best way to describe this game is Borderlands with zombies. The game is quite solid and is okay visually, but there are fair amount of bugs, especially with AI and quest markers. I've encountered zombies that completely ignore the player or even get stuck in terrain. Quest markers are also quite dodgy, meaning you'll end up going the wrong way and missing your objective completely. Overall, Dead Island is a solid and enjoyable title. It provides similar action RPG fun reminiscent of Borderlands, but could be improved with a great story/characters as well as additional work on bugs and glitches. This is definitely worth a playthrough either by yourself, or with a few friends via the great co-op mode. 7.5 / 10
Buggy, uninspired.PrimalHunter779 | July 30, 2014 | Review of TAKEDOWN: Red Sabre
It's a dreary afternoon in Canberra, Australia, and I have nothing to play. I have an idle $2 remaining in my Steam wallet, and on impulse, I buy a game I notice is 90% off; the game is Takedown : Red Sabre. I download the game and finally press the play button. I navigate the menus, and select the Biolab mission from the Singleplayer menu. I wait intently through the loading screen, feeling excitement in my fingertips. I'm in game! My character is hefting an assault rifle and a pistol, both deadly weapons in capable hands. I walk down the stairs, and no enemies are in sight. Despite this, my character falls on the ground, dead. In a room that is empty, except for myself. 3 minutes in Takedown : Red Sabre. A game with great potential, reduced to a freakishly buggy and uninspired shooter. 4 / 10
Disappointingly mediocre.PrimalHunter779 | July 30, 2014 | Review of Assassin's Creed III
After playing previous games in the Assassin's Creed series, I was hoping for a game that breathe fresh life into the franchise, instead of rehashing old mechanics. This is not that game. Assassin's Creed III has series protagonist, Desmond, entering the Animus once again to don the boots of his Native American ancestor, Connor. To be frank, Connor is a boring character. He lacks the charisma of Ezio, and he just doesn't feel relatable to the player in any way. His scenes feel like a rehash of Ezio's revenge story in Assassin's Creed II, and it feels clumsy and uninspired to start off his character in this way. His voicework is serviceable at best, and is a disappointing stepdown from Altair/Ezio. Connor's father, Haytham, (who you play as for the first two hours of the game) is FAR more interesting; he's sassy, he's got swagger and he's a a complex character. I know why we can't play as him for the whole game, but it's pretty disappointing to go from him to a generic action hero like Connor. The story meanders from one historical moment to the next, doing nothing for the plot except catapaulting Connor from one memorable historic moment to the next. It's as if the developers were so keen to imply Connor had been a critical part of history, that they had forgot to weave a convincing story in between. The gameplay barely differs from previous games. The few additions (tree-climbing, and hunting) feel tacked on and aren't really necessary for the main game. Hunting is useless and unrewarding, and lacks the depth found in games like Red Dead: Redemption. Also, while it's nice to be able to climb through trees in this game, the developers have not made it easy with a mouse and keyboard. With that said, Connor is more mobile than the characters in previous games, and the movement system is much better. Combat is also a bit better this time, but it's nothing more than mashing the same button to stab one foe to the next. Variety in sword-play would be much appreciated. The only worthwhile addition to this game is the naval combat. These quests were genuinely thrilling, and were the only truly breathtaking moments of the game. I'm more keen to play Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, which seems to make more use of this innovative game mode. Graphics/visuals in this game are solid, but it lacks the colour and vibrancy that were prevalent in the Assassin's Creed games set in Rome. While I understand that the location for this game is not exactly a vibrant environment, it would be nice to see a bit more creativity shown with the visuals. Assassin's Creed III is not a bad game. It simply fails to be interesting due to the rehashed mechanics, generic story/characters and lack of innovation. Naval combat was thrilling and new, but this series needs something more if it's going to thrive along with other franchises. 6 / 10
Solid entry in a solid series.PrimalHunter779 | July 30, 2014 | Review of Sniper Elite III
Sniper Elite 3 is the highly anticipated entry in the Sniper Elite franchise. I am a big fan of this series, and I even enjoyed the somewhat repetitive Zombie Army titles. I was hoping for an enjoyable romp through a slightly larger world with improvements to the stealth and sniping mechanics. Rebellion certainly doesn't disappoint. You play as Karl Fairburne, a US Sniper dropped into Africa during World War II to combat the Afrika Korps stationed there. You'll navigate through gorgeous rendered canyons, valleys and deserts to complete your objectives, and Rebellion has done an excellent job in the graphics department. I was never once disappointed by the visuals in this game, and was wowed at every opportunity. The levels are also quite large, and there are also optional objectives to complete during a main mission. These include tasks such as assassinating a visiting colonel, sabotaging a German fuel depot and eliminating enemy tanks. While not particularly original, these objectives are fun to complete and provide a nice XP boost. Gameplay has a number of mechanics designed to create a good sniper game. You have items such as stones and flint that you can use to distract enemy soldiers, as well as a silenced pistol to kill enemies discreetly. You can loot these corpses for items before moving their corpse to another location, which is a relatively unseen feature in modern shooters. Another stealth mechanic is the ability to create noise with other items so you can fire your rifle without being detected. On the subject of sniper mechanics, this game excels. The gory x-ray kills are back, and you can witness your bullet shattering bones and puncturing organs in fantastic HD glory. Bullet drop and wind speeds are an added factor to sniping, which makes each kill that more satisfying. Despite being a solid game overall, Sniper Elite 3 has a number of flaws. Enemy AI is fairly inconsistent, and will go from spotting you easily to being blind to your movements and visible corpses. The amount of bugs in this game is quite baffling, but most have been fixed due to frequent patches. Not a game breaker, but definitely frustrating if you're not a fan of bugs and glitches. Overall, Sniper Elite 3 is a solid entry in a solid series. It improves over its predecessor, but still has the dull story and characters retained in the series. Despite this, I'd recommend this game for the huge levels and enjoyable mechanics. 8 / 10
Immersive and entertaining.PrimalHunter779 | July 30, 2014 | Review of LA Noire
L.A Noire is a game set in Los Angeles after World War II, during the "Golden Age of Hollywood". You play as Cole Phelps, a detective who must work his way through the LAPD, solving cases and making arrests. This is one of the best games I've ever played, and I sincerely congratulate Rockstar on their fine work. Firstly, it should be known that the voicework and character animations in this game are fantastic; without this, the game wouldn't work half as well as it did. The characters move and interact seamlessly, due to the innovative use of motion capture technology. During interviews, the player has to read into facial expressions and determine whether a suspect is lying or telling the truth. Due to the impressive animations on display, you can read every eye twitch, uneasy posture and downward glance. These interview sections are the highlight of the game, and it was genuinely entertaining to complete them using evidence and intuition. The basic game mechanics function just like any other Rockstar game; a large (beautifully made) open world, in this case, the grime and glamour of 1950's Los Angeles. You can roam the city on foot or in a vehicle, resolving street crime cases and responding to pleas for police intervention. During a case, you'll often have to travel around the city to meet suspects and other characters, so you'll easily notice the size and attention to detail put into the open world. Additionally, during a case you have to analyse different pieces of evidence, and you'll quickly learn how to integrate these pieces of evidence into the case. It was truly immersive to act like a proper detective, and fans of old crime shows will be delighted here. Without giving anything away, the story is quite investing, and you'll find yourself truly interested in Cole Phelps' story. I don't want to spoil anything, but Rockstar really knows how to make a decent narrative. The only flaw with this game is the horrible optimisation for PC; the graphics are high quality and very consistent, but the port is not well optimised at all. I can barely maintain an acceptable framerate throughout the game, but I persisted due to the quality of the game content. This may be my own error due to using an AMDD Graphics card. Overall, L.A Noire is a highly worthwhile and entertaining experience. The immersive story and gameplay really held me right to the end, but the poor optimisation is the only thing holding this game back from a 10. Well crafted, and I'd love to see a sequel to this one. 9.5 / 10
The return of the first-person shooter.PrimalHunter779 | July 28, 2014 | Review of Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order is a follow up to the mediocre Wolfenstein game from 2009, which didn't really stand out against other WWII games and just generally failed to innovate. Coming from the team responsible for games like The Darkness and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, I had very high hopes for a polished shooter with a riveting story. I can happily say I was not disappointed; from start to finish, Wolfenstein: The New Order is expertly crafted and memorable in every way. You are BJ Blaskowics, US soldier and steadfast killing machine, tasked with the elimination of General Deathshead. Standing out from previous game, BJ's character is extremely well characterised and likeable, supported by strong voice work and character movement/modelling. All of the characters in this game have excellent voice acting, and this really supports the role of the villains in the game; characters such as Frau Engel and Deathshead were memorable because of the terrifying non-combat encounters reminiscent of scenes from Inglourious Basterds. Gameplay generally borrows from thw work of Quentin Tarantino, with plenty of gory explosions and dismemberment. The shooting mechanics are tight and refined, including a wide range of weapons which can all be dual wielded for maximum carnage. This works fairly well and allows the player to mix up the gameplay whenever it is desired. You can also take cover and peer over obstacles. You also have a mostly non-regenerating health bar, and there is more empasis on old school mechanics like health-kits and armour pickups. The refinement of somewhat simple mechanics means that this game is a successful blend of old and new age shooters, meaning the game never grows boring and even breathes fresh life into the genre. The levels are less restricted than other games of the genre, and you are actively encouraged to explore in order to find new weapons and unlocks. New features of the game such as perks (new upgrades unlocked by performing specific tasks) are not necessary to the game, but provide an interesting addition for completionists. The visuals are also quite polished, and the game is often stunning to observe. However, there are occassionally texture pop-ins and slow loading textures, which can get distracting over the course of the game. Despite this, most of the game retains decent visual quality. Overall, Wolfenstein: The New Order is an entertaining, over-the-top shooter that surprises you with a quality story and characters you'll really invest in. The high quality of the game ensures a definite return for the series, and has given me high hopes for both this franchise as well as DOOM; Machine Games has lived up to their reputation and delivered a fantastic game not unlike The Darkness and Riddick. Excellent and surprising. 10 / 10.
Highly addictive and over-the-top.PrimalHunter779 | July 28, 2014 | Review of Borderlands 2 (ANZ)
Borderlands 2 is the bombastic sequel to the original Borderlands game; it offers improvements over its predecessor along with a new story, characters and environments to provide a game that is bigger and better in every way. Firstly, the story consists of the villain, Handsome Jack, attempting to access the Vault in order to control the all-powerful Warrior, which will allow him to eliminate any resistance on Pandora. You play as one of four Vault Hunters, who are tasked with defeating Jack and bringing peace to the planet. Axton (the Commando), Salvador (The Gunzerker), Maya (The Siren) and Zer0 (The Assassin); these four classes offer different sets of abilities and perks, and all catered to suit different playing styles. The different skills possessed by each character means you'll definitely want to attempt multiple playthroughs to get a grasp of the 4 characters. Many of the characters are quirky and entertaining to interact with; this is because of the smart dialogue and strong voice work of all characters involved in the game. Handsome Jack is especially entertaining, as his dialogue stays funny throughout the entirety of the game. The gameplay is intended to be a blend of RPG's and traditional shooters, dubbed the action-rpg. You'll play in first person and use iron sights just like any other shooter, but there are RPG elements such as inventory management, skills/perks, levelling, and the obviously large in-game map. There are plenty of things to do such as side-quests and even exploration, to allow the player to level up as well as accessing new kinds of loot. There is a large amount of content included in this game, meaning that the player will devote 50+ hours if they are keen on 100% completion. There is a ridiculous amount of guns to collect, all with differing statistics and appearances. The sheer amount of guns constantly varies the gameplay, and you'll be constantly looting new weapons and exchanging them for your old ones. I liked how the game encouraged you to actively search for new guns, and it would reward you for doing so. Finally, the game looks and runs great. The stunning environments and large colour palette made the game stand out amongst other games released in the same time frame; this was a much-needed improvement of the bland arrangement of colours included in the previous game. Overall, Borderlands 2 is a ridiculously satisfying game. The sheer amount of content in addition to the polished game mechanics, story and graphics means that this is a game you'll have no problem putting hours into. Heavily recommended for fans of first-person shooters and standard role-playing games. 9 / 10.
Repetitive and somewhat of a let-down.PrimalHunter779 | July 26, 2014 | Review of Alan Wake's American Nightmare
I am an absolutely massive fan of Alan Wake; it's one of my favourite games of all time, I've finished it countless times on the Xbox 360, and I have a blast every time I play it. With that said, I found this standalone sequel to be rather disappointing in comparison to the brilliant first game; bear in mind that I do not think this is a bad game, it just falls rather falt and disappoints after the first game. Alan Wake's American Nightmare is intended to play out as an episode of the fictional TV show called Night Springs, and is narrated by Lloyd Floyd, who provides an interesting narration to the story.The game has Alan Wake trapped in a sparse desert area, and who must find a way to escape the recurring nightmare he is stuck in. And that leads to my first problem with the game; because Alan is stuck in a nightmare which repeats itself, you are forced to endure the same hour of gameplay THREE TIMES in a row until you finish this game. The exact same missions and locations, repeated three times. The first time is fun, the second time is kinda uninteresting, and the third time is downright boring and repetitive. This is a lazy way to repeat locations in a game, and it also reflects the poor writing skill of the writers. The story is rather weird and disjointed. Throughout the entire game, you do a lot of things for unexplained reasons which aren't apparrently clear when you do them or even at the end of the game. The whole story is weird and quirky, but not in a good way, as it barely makes sense. The characters, apart from Alan and the absolutely BRILLIANT Mr Scratch, are boring and are just as quirky as the story itself. However, I found the live action cut scenes rather good, which was a surprise for me. The gameplay is exactly the same as the first game, except that you can use new weapons like sub machine guns and nail guns. That's it. Zero changes made to the gameplay. There's also a survival mode, which is actually quite fun. It's intense, challenging, and a fun way to compete on the leaderboards with your friends. I found this mode better than the campaign to be honest. Overall, this is certainly not a bad game; it merely fails to innovate, and doesn't capture me the way the first game did. I still love Alan Wake, but this game disappointed me quite a bit. If you don't mind an extremely repetitive story, even with the game's shining parts, then pick t up for $3 on sale. 5 / 10.
Not XCOM the way you're used to, but still a solid game.PrimalHunter779 | July 26, 2014 | Review of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (ANZ)
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a third-person tactical shooter set in the 1960's and allows the player to take control of Agent William Carter, a washed up agent with a haunted past. This game is different to the other entries in the XCOM series in that the game does not play like an RTS game or feature an isometric view, and is instead played as a standard cover shooter with an over the shoulder view. Does this make it a good game? Yes. While hardcore fans will of XCOM will find this change of formula jarring, I personally found this formula to be a unique technique and a fresh flavour specific to the XCOM series. While the game plays a bit more like Mass Effect this time around (you can pause the game and command your team mates via a command screen, such as ordering them to move or use special abilities, etc) , it still feels like XCOM, as you still have to take strategic care in how you enter combat situations. I liked how you had to be strategic in how you placed your team mates, and how you must constantly adapt to combat as enemies flank you and draw you out of cover. This made for a tense and enjoyable gameplay experience, and is definitely a must on the harder difficulties. Unfortunately, the AI of your squadmates leaves a lot to be desired, and you will definitely get frustrated by their lack of competence. You will also get frustrated by the generic and often boring characters as well as the lacklustre plotline; this is standard alien-invasion fare, and anyone else looking for a riveting science fiction story will need to look elsewhere. I rarely find moments of the plot interesting, except for the rare dialogue encounters with the aliens themselves, which were a joy to behold. However, none of the other characters offered much in the way of development and voice acting, and I found them bland and uninteresting. The graphics are quite nice, and lots of love and care have been dedicated to the lighting and detailed environments in the game. Many of the details in this game are quite nice, and this game looks extremely good when cranked up to max settings whilst running on DX11. In short? The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is a unique yet unusual entry in the XCOM franchise, and is a reward to fans of tactical shooters in general. Despite the occassional stumble in gameplay, incompetent team-mate AI and a lacklustre story, The Bureau is a solid game and I recommend it highly despite its flaws. I give this game a 7.5 / 10.
A solid entry in a fantastic series.PrimalHunter779 | July 26, 2014 | Review of Batman Arkham Origins
Batman: Arkham Origins is the third installment in the Batman: Arkham series of video games; it serves as a prequel to both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City and provides an insight into the early days of Batman's career. This is the first game in the series I have played extensively, despite owning the other two titles. This game follows Batman/Bruce Wayne on Christmas Eve in Gotham City; the villain Black Mask places a significant bounty on your head, meaning the best and brightest villains flock to Gotham on Christmas Eve to take down Batman. I thought this was a great way to provide diversity in the villains you'll encounter, each with their own characteristics and different fighting styles; Bane, Copperhead, the Joker, Deadshot, Mad Hatter, Deathstroke, Electrocutioner and the Penguin are all villains that Batman will encounter in one way or another. The voice acting and motion capture of these characters is absolutely brilliant, and it was very enjoyable to face off against them. This game is a sprawling open world brawler; Batman has a number of tools and gadgets to navigate the vast environments such as grappling hooks, glue grenades, smoke grenades and batarangs, all of which come in useful in a variety of ways. You can glide across the cityscape uninterrupted; this is one of the best features of the game, as the player is allowed to navigate the world as you choose without limitation. Gameplay in Arkham Origins consists of engaging in fist fights with goons, sneaking around areas, solving puzzles and gliding around Gotham. Like previous entries in the series, Arkham Origins uses the freeflow combat system; as Batman, you can fly around a punch up whilst delivering hits and countering attacks. Different enemies require different fighting styles and techniques, and the enemy diversity as well as the range of tools means the fights are always entertaining and challenging. The stealth sections are equally entertaining, as you can use your tools and the environment to eliminate enemies undetected. You'll also come across challenging puzzles within the game, such as bypassing traps and blocked areas as well as solving puzzles left by Enigma. Video and sound design in this game is also very good. Excellent attention to detail in combination with a highly appealing graphics engine, this game looks absolutely stunning on high settings. Voice acting and sound design is also fantastic, and feels like a highly authentic Batman experience. This game was very enjoyable due to its highly polished gameplay and compelling story. Without spoilers, the scenes concerning the Joker and his early meetings with Batman provide a unique take on the story that I found extremely interesting and riveting for the game. If you enjoy action packed brawlers in an open world setting, I highly recommend this game. Loads of replay value and excellent value for money, Batman: Arkham Origins is an epic game for fans of Batman and action games in general. 9 / 10
Silly yet satisfying!PrimalHunter779 | July 26, 2014 | Review of Warhammer 40000: Space Marine
If you're a fan of Warhammer 40K, then get this game. Right now. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is a third person action game set in the mythical Warhammer universe; the player takes control of Titus, a Space Marine tasked with assisting in the eradication of an Ork invasion on an Imperial Forge world. Chaos quickly ensues, the situation grows out of control, and Titus soon realises there are far worse enemies than Orks on the planet. The gameplay in this game is freakin' awesome. You can use a variety of guns, such as bolt pistols, heavy bolters, plasma weapons and other assorted ranged weapons; all of these weapons feel satisfying and lethal, and they all sound and feel the way they should. Melee weapons such as chainswords, hammers, and axes are made available, and this feels undeniably fun; you can wade into massive hordes of enemies and slash your way through gallons of blood and gore using nothing but your melee weapon. You can also replenish your health by executing enemies, which offers you a brutal and bloody finishing move that plays on screen while your health bar refills. It's safe to say that the combat in this game is highly enjoyable, and you'd be nuts to not enjoy yourself. However, many of the environments look very similar and you'll find yourself getting a little tired with the repetitious level design as the game progresses. The game really shines when it plunges you into massive areas and removes all training wheels and allows you to fully exploit the various aspects of combat the game has to offer. Visually, the game is quite stunning. The level of detail and graphical polish is fully faithful to the Warhammer universe, and the truly epic moments of this game (such as standing on the shoulders of a Titan) look truly amazing with this games' graphical capability. Since the campaign is fairly short, it's good that the developers included a multiplayer mode to plunge into after completion of the main game. There are a variety of game modes, all of which are a lot of fun, and the customisation for your online soldier is also quite solid. A lot of effort has been put into crafting a multiplayer mode that'll keep you going for quite some time. However, servers are rather dodgy and you'll find yourself dropping out of games more often than you'd like. Overall, this is a bloody awesome game, and I recommend it highly. It's a lot of fun, and I can't describe how much sheer fun I had with this! 9 / 10
An underrated gem in the stealth genre.PrimalHunter779 | July 26, 2014 | Review of THIEF
Thief is the fourth installment in the classic "Thief" series of video games. The franchise has been known for its outstanding contributions to the stealth genre and is favourably remembered by the majority of the gaming community. Thief, rather than serving as a sequel, is a reboot for the series. This is a new start for the series, and it should be stated that the purpose of this game is to reinvent the series for the new generation, rather than build on the successful formulas used in Thief, Thief II and Thief: Deadly Shadows. This game shouldn't be compared to previous titles; with that said, in this review, I will treat Thief as a completely new game and will not judge it based on earlier titles in the series. Thief lets the player play as Garrett; Master Thief and one-liner delivering badass. He's been in the trade of stealing goods for years, and the game opens with Garrett on a job that almost immediately gives him a "bad feeling". This provides a set-up for the events of the game, most of which doesn't make a lot of sense from a writing point of view, and leaves the player feeling confused and a bit disappointed with the lacklustre and muddled story. Fortunately, the actual gameplay in Thief is far better. You can crouch, sprint, walk, scale wales, climb ropes and peek around corners, all of which feels really fluid and genuinely makes you feel like a trained thief. Hiding in the shadows gives you the best advantage over roaming enemies like Guards, and you can also use the 'swoop' ability to fly from one shadow to the next without being spotted. You can also climb walls and certain objects to obtain a higher vantage point over your enemies. These enemies can also be distracted with a variety of tools such as water arrows, fire arrows, rope arrows, smoke bombs, and small breakable glass objects. This all makes for a diverse stealth experience and really sells the role of being a Master Thief. However, the level design of the game often makes it difficult for the player to fully embrace these options. Level design is often linear and constrictive, and often misleads the player by being inconsistent with climbable and non-climbable objects. The level design is repetitive and somewhat bland, and doesn't really allow the player to be adventurous or explorative. The only exploration to be found in the game is the constant scavenge for loot, which while fun, doesn't make up for the overall limiting design. Additionally, enemy AI is also quite poor. Guards sometimes spot you from a fair distance away, and sometimes they fail to spot you even when you are two feet away. This kind of inconsistency feels frustrating and lazy, especially from developers who are known for producing excellent games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which didn't feature any of this laziness or inconsistent level design and technical flaws. With that being said, I really did enjoy this game. It has beautiful visuals, and the lighting effects look fantastic on any graphics setting. The game was a very enjoyable stealth experience, despite the lack of innovation, and offers loads of replay value and additional challenges beyond the short 7-hour campaign. Pick up this game if you like a decent stealth game reminiscent of Dishonored, although lacking the polish. This game deserves a solid score of 7.5 / 10.
A brilliantly executed first-person-shooter.PrimalHunter779 | July 26, 2014 | Review of The Darkness II (ANZ)
The Darkness II is a phsycological horror first-person shooter sequel to The Darkness, a console only game released back in 2009. The original game was interesting despite its flaws, and was a highly enjoyable game in terms of story and gameplay. Its sequel, The Darkness II, goes above and beyond to deliver an absolute gem of a gaming experience, and a masterpiece of the art form. You play as Jackie Estacado, the head of a feared crime family, who is the host to an ancient evil known as The Darkness - this evil resides inside Jackie and gives him supernatural powers. Jackie constantly wrestles for control, and The Darkness forced him to stand by and watch as his girlfriend, Jenny, was murdered. Jenny's murder is the driving force of this entire game. Throughout the game, Jackie experiences hallucinations of Jenny, and interacts with her as she if she never died. These moments are the soul of the game; Jackie and Jenny are beautifully acted, and you can genuinely feel the emotion in these scenes. This made the story a compelling and enjoyable one, and I felt personally compellled to stick this game through to the end. In between cutscenes and interaction with Jenny and other NPC's, Jackie will engage in numerous combat situations. This game uses a unique and innovative combat system, in that the player is able to 'quad-wield'; the player is able to dual wield one handed firearms in combination with the demon tendrils produced by The Darkness. These tendrils let you rip, slash, throw, tear and stab your enemies in a variety of highly entertaining ways, but be warned that these kills are extremely gory and not for the faint hearted. In fact, the entire game is extremely dark, and contains very dark subject matter beyond the usual video game. The player also has to avoid street lights and other artificial lights and shoot them out where possible, as you cannot regenerate health or use Darkness abilities whilst in the light. This game is beautiful in every aspect. The game engine employs a distinct comic-book inspired aesthetic like the Borderlands games, and it really helps make the game look and run nice at the higher settings. Substantial effort and polish has gone into the production of this game, and it really shows; character models look and move realistically, and environments are dazzling to look at. In addition to the perfected single player campaign (which I have been careful not to spoil) there is a mini co-op campaign, which allows you to play with 3 friends and use a wide range of guns and abilities to kill enemies. This mode emphasises fun and action, and lacks the depth of the single player campaign. However, it was certainly fun, and I didn't feel like it detracted from the campaign in any way. Overall, The Darkness II is a masterpiece of the gaming industry. A brilliant, well constructed tale of love and loss and eventually redemption, this is a game for the ages. I can't recommend it any more than I already have, which is why this game earns a 10 / 10.
An edge of your seat thrill ride!PrimalHunter779 | July 26, 2014 | Review of Doom 3 (AU)
Doom 3 is a no-holds barred, adrenaline pumped thrill ride; I've never played a game that's kept me quite on the edge of my seat or has had me gripping my mouse as tightly as this one. Doom 3 is scary, fast paced and frantic, and I highly recommend it. This game is a first person shooter that has the player taking control of a Marine on Mars, who is forced to confront demons from Hell itself as they launch the space station on Mars into complete chaos; the story does not get much more complex and this, but hey, this is a Doom game, and I've never played the Doom series for story. The game plays like many other games of the genre, with the player using guns to survive through each level; a simple premise, but effective, and shooting is well crafted here, considering this is what the Doom series is known for. All of the guns handle well and each kill feels satisfying and earned, and each fight will leave you feeling oddly relieved. The atmosphere and sound design in this game is also quite good. Rather than hammering the player with an over the top musical score, this game prefers to use ambience to set the tone; creaks and groans of a decaying space station is far more effective at keeping the player on the edge of their seat. I found the dark environments great, as they left me in confusion as to where the next enemy would appear. My only complaint would be that this game is rather short, and the multiplayer is non-existent nowadays. These are small complaints in comparison to the immeasurable quality of gaming that Doom 3 provides, and I recommend it highly to both novices and veterans of the first person shooter scene. 9 / 10
Lacklustre and disappointingPrimalHunter779 | July 26, 2014 | Review of Aliens: Colonial Marines
Are you a fan of the Alien franchise? Are you one of the many gamers that eagerly awaited the release of this game since it's announcement in 2004? If yes to the above, prepare to be severely disappointed. Aliens: Colonial Marines is a first person shooter that acts as a sequel to the 1986 sci-fi classic, Aliens. The game follows a USCM Marine named Winter, along with his utterly boring and unmemorable companions. The plot has Winter and the Marines of the USS Sephora returning to LV426 to investigate the disappearance of Ripley and her companions from the original film. The story of this game is a senseless mess, and at times, makes no sense whatsoever. A character that was explained dead in the film makes an appearance in this game ( his magical reappearance isn't explained at all by the way) and ridiculous events will occur to keep the game moving at Michael Bay pace. None of the characters are remotely likeable or memorable, and they certainly frustrated me to the point of turning the game off. All of these problems could have been fixed if more attention had been paid to the writing process of this game. Or the whole game for that matter. The gameplay doesn't fare much better than the writing of this game. Most of the guns feel like airsoft equivalents, and the shooting in question feels tedious and lacks tension. The enemy AI is woefully poor, and most of the time you'll face off against human enemies rather than the xenomorphs themselves. The level design is boring and linear, and all the indoor locations feel like the same grey corridor you went through just a few moments ago. The outside levels impress you at first, until you realise they are just as linear and restricting as the indoor ones. This game's only saving grace is its multiplayer mode. There are a variety of game modes, many of which are creative and innovative for the FPS genre; but although these are alot of fun, they're let down somewhat by the overall poor gameplay mechanics. It's a shame this doesn't provide the quality that'd easily help it compete with the likes of Natural Selection 2. As an Aliens fan, I am very disappointed. Save your money eveyone, there's an awesome Alien game coming out in 2014 called Alien: Isolation. Save your money. 4 / 10.