Reviews by Traldera

85

Adding the third dimension to shooters

Traldera | March 20, 2014 | Review of Titanfall

Titanfall is a game that can only be accurately described with one word - different. It takes all the aspects of modern shooters we have had in recent years, and throws in the wildcards that are titans and vertical movement. These small changes add up to a huge difference. The most notable part of titanfall is not the titans, which are just infantry which took the wrong route through a shrink-ray, but the parkour system. When the movement system is mastered, a typical map made of a housing cluster turns into a high paced playground of movement. The player can move quicker than anything else on the battlefield, titans included, and get to their target quickly. The movement system allows you to make your own path through a map. With this, there is no such thing as a boring map. It is quite simply genius.

The game is not without its faults. The dated graphics engine is noticeably worse than the competition, and can sometimes hinder gameplay due to overly opaque smoke effects coming from the nozzle of your gun when trying to aim. The campaign, which does exist but only within a multiplayer setting, is also poor. The story is barely worthy of being called a story. Other problems such as the horrible matchmaking is due to be fixed in an upcoming patch.

If you are a fan of the modern military shooter you will like titanfall. If you are a fan of genre classics such as Unreal Tournament you will like titanfall. If you have an open mind and are willing to fully explore all mechanics this within the game, you will love titanfall.

76

Where art and games collide

Traldera | Feb. 22, 2014 | Review of Dear Esther

Do not have any illusions about this game, it is not an action game, or a puzzler, or an RPG. You simply 'walk' around the game, observing the world around you. Now, this does sound incredibly boring, and I suppose if you want a hardcore gaming experience, it is. However this game is not meant to be for the hardcore players, it is for those that want something a bit different. The world is immensely detailed and beautiful, capable of telling a story through nothing more than visuals and a character narration. Although the world is limited in movement (essentially corridors), you don't notice as you are directed along paths you would normally take anyway. Where lesser games place invisible walls this game places rock formations or walkway fences. You do not feel restricted as you navigate the world. This game is a work of art, with a lovely story and music to complement it. If you're looking for something different to fill an evening, get this game. You won't be disappointed.

85

A good game, but the lobbies are empty

Traldera | Jan. 29, 2014 | Review of Stellar Impact

MOBAs are all the rage these days, but as they all follow the same formula they can get a little stale. Stellar Impact solves this by adding a much more in depth customization system and by adding more elements to the maps. Ships can be customized with equipment, 'structures' including weapons are built on the surface of a ship in a grid system much like RTS base building. There are also different kinds of ships that have different roles. Battles take place on a large map with many different aspects including asteroids and nebulas, all of which have tactical significance. As well as the main base there are stations for each team which act as secondary targets. Losing one can turn the tide of battle. Overall this is a great game, with a fantastic community. Unfortunately, that community is tiny. If you can get into a game, you will most definitely enjoy it. That is however quite a big if. Expect long waiting times.

60

Boring and uncompelling

Traldera | Jan. 29, 2014 | Review of The Lord of the Rings: War in the North

The LOTR universe is full of lore and story potential, yet this game has managed to be nothing more than mediocre. Characters are generic and do not stir any emotions when playing. RPG elements whilst present are limited, so don't hope for an in depth system. The level design is painfully linear, with few choices and lots of 'corridor fighting' as some describe it. Whilst this game is playable with mouse/keyboard I found a controller helps a lot. To summarise, this game is nothing special, and it has aged badly since release. My advice is to spend your money on something more deserving of it.

70

So much potential, ruined

Traldera | Jan. 29, 2014 | Review of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition

Firstly, you should be aware this game is a direct console port, with no graphics overhaul and a controller is REQUIRED. I have a controller so the rest of the review is based on the assumption you also have one. Castlevania is a hack and slash game that requires more skill than most. This is because enemies are not mindless zombies, but well designed, deadly foes. Fight mechanics require that you either block or dodge incoming attacks. Failing to do so causes significant damage. This is not a game for the lazy. Unfortunately, this highlights the main problem with the game, which unfortunately ruins it to the point of the game being too horrible to bother with at times. The game has a set camera. You cannot rotate it. This would not be a problem if enemies couldn't go 'behind' the camera POV, which obviously makes watching them to dodge attacks impossible. The game is HUGE. You will not finish this quickly. From that point of view it is great value for money. Unfortunately they decided to drag this already long game out by 'encouraging' you to repeat levels you have already done. Rather than having purely lore based collectibles such as most games, this one puts your upgrades in hidden locations, and only reveals how many are in a level after you complete it. To add insult to injury, some are only obtainable after you get unlocks from later levels. This is terrible game design, and is just frustrating. This is not however a bad game. The combat is fun and has much depth. The combo list can be expanded through a levelling system of sorts and magic adds modifiers to attacks for different effects. The soundtrack and visuals are quite simply epic and could quite easily be mistaken for a new game release. Voice acting is fantastic, as expected from a Hollywood cast, and the story, whilst not amazing, is still compelling. If you have a controller, and the patience to deal with the camera issues, this game is a must buy. If however you are easily frustrated or are limited to a mouse/keyboard, avoid the game.

90

Another win for the FPS genre

Traldera | Nov. 8, 2013 | Review of Battlefield 4 (EU)

The battlefield series has earned a reputation as being one of - if not the - best multiplayer FPS games on the market. This latest installment is no exception.

The multiplayer closely follows the recipe of previous games in the series. Pitting large teams of players against each other in large open maps that allow for almost any play style. The game has a number of game modes, including old favourites rush and conquest, and also newer ideas such as obliteration, which change the focus of a game, allowing the multiplayer to stay fresh through variety.

Gameplay itself is largely unchanged from previous installments, with FPS and vehicular elements largely imported from Battlefield 3. This however is not a bad thing. The balancing between weapons feels more refined than other launches, although of course they are not perfect, not yet. The main addition at launch has been cosmetic customization. You can unlock camouflage and alternate weapon upgrades through a combination of assignments and RNG based unlock packs. The latter is this games largest failing, and unfortunately shows EA's greed influencing game design once again. There are of course plans to monetize these.

The singleplayer should be mentioned, even though most players do not care for it in the Battlefield franchise. Whilst the campaign is never considered genre-defining, this installment is by far the worst. In fact it is one of the worst of any game I have played. This is not due to bugs, bad voice acting, or a lack of enticing gameplay sequences. These are all in fact done well. The failure comes in the story. The only way to say it is that there isn't one. The campaign seems to have chapters missing, filled in with random dialogue from characters. As for the ending, the game just ends. No closure is given, nor is any real understanding given for why the events of the campaign have even happened. This would all be fine if you could avoid the campaign, but DICE made the decision to lock certain favourite weapons to being unlocks from the campaign.

Lastly, the engine. Frostbite 3 is beautiful. The gameplay is by far the best looking multiplayer FPS in existence. The detail and lighting far outshines Battlefield 3. Despite these improvements the engine is also well optimized. Performance is similar to Battlefield 3, and the gap will likely narrow further with driver patches.

In its current condition the game is, unfortunately, quite buggy. Server lag and client crashes are still common. These will however be fixed in due time, leaving a game that is quite frankly epic. If you like your multiplayer shooters, buy this game. Nothing else even comes close.

88

The pinnacle of tower defense game design.

Traldera | July 8, 2013 | Review of Sanctum

Sanctum provides a well implemented blend of tower defense and first person shooter genres. The game has a very small learning curve so is fantastic for beginners and also has some of the best co-op gameplay around. The variety of classes, weaponry, and towers meant that alone or with friends each level has massive amounts of replay value. If you and some of your friends are looking for something new to do together that doesn't break the bank i cannot recommend this game enough.

95

The casual Marmite MMO....and i LOVE it!

Traldera | July 8, 2013 | Review of Guild Wars 2: Heroic Edition

This game has divided the gaming community on whether they think it is a good concept or not. Most MMOs have questlines following a particular structure, gear grinds, and very difficult end games that take months to clear. GW2 has taken the alternative approach of a completely open world, with no quests (but there is something similar), no gear grind, and no 'proper' end game.

The game is currently undergoing a change - Arenanet have decided that they are making enough profits from the game to not require any paid for expansions. All content will now be released free of charge, on a 2 weekly rota. Whilst these patches are not huge, they are enough to suite the casual play style this game was created for. The idea of this is that rather than feeling like you have to log in every spare hour you have, such as with other MMOs, you can log in for a few hours a week, and have enough new content to fill your time. If that isn't enough, the original game world contains enough content to take around 300 hours to complete per character, plus dungeons, plus the unique server vs server PvP mode - a bit like pvp raiding.

The game has a solidly built engine, which is still receiving optimizations. I have a mid/high end PC and can manage 35fps in all areas at max settings. Due to the painting/drawn art style of the game, even if the graphics are turned down you will still be in awe of the graphics of this game, all you really lose is some of the sparkly particle effects.

All in all this is a very solid game, aimed at those that want something that doesn't require a full time commitment. If you have other commitments in your life, this game is 100% for you. If you are a little short on money and cannot afford a subscription, this game may also be for you. However, if you are looking for a game that provides a huge time sink and requires grinding the same thing over and over then I'm afraid this wont be for you and you should look elsewhere.

68

Good but leaves you wanting more

Traldera | July 3, 2013 | Review of Guns of Icarus Online

On the surface this game looks like a seriously deep, highly tactical team PvP game with a huge amount of game mechanics to learn and perfect your skills in. Totally wrong. The game has very very few features. The three roles (gunner, engineer, pilot) and the types of ships/equipped weapons are the only real variations in this game. Yes you can modify class abilities such as ammo types, but due to poor balancing most of these just aren't used. Don't misunderstand though, this game is not a total failure. The lack of depth means it has a very shallow learning curve (you can learn the game in less than 30 mins), and by having no form of unlock via progression system, you have no addiction factor with this game. Overall this means Guns of Icarus is a very capable casual game, something you can pick up and play if you need a short break from something but want to know you can put it back down when the time comes. Controls in the game are basic, no surprises or annoyances hiding in the cracks. The graphics are beautiful, with a strong ambiance in some levels that gives AAA titles a run for their money. One last thing worth mentioning is that this game is still receiving content updates - free of charge - so if you do find you fall in love with it, it'll definitely pay for itself long term.

60

A good distraction, giving a twist on the TD genre

Traldera | June 21, 2013 | Review of Oil Rush

This game, at its core, is a tower defense game dressed up in pretty graphics. You have bases, which automatically manufacture units, which you then order to other bases for combat and capture. As much as I want to say this game is excellent, its a victim of its own simplistic concept. Rather then selecting specific units, you are limited to a "small medium or large" selection, so if you want to move a specific group you have to jump through hoops to do so. Also, defense in games like this should be based on reactions and quick thinking, but the automation of movement leads to command delays of several seconds. This game is worth a buy, if you are a TD fan. Otherwise you'll likely be disappointed as I was.

95

A game that will make you laugh when you're on a lazy day

Traldera | June 21, 2013 | Review of The Book of Unwritten Tales - Standard Edition

This game is quite simply one of my biggest regrets, but only because I waited so long to buy it. Its a parody of fantasy in general, but concentrates mainly on WoW, which it tears to pieces in humorous galore!. The game itself is a simple point and click. Its not fancy, but its doesn't need to be. As I said, this is for your lazy days, when you want to be entertained rather than entertaining yourself. As much as I'd like to give you some of the epic quotes from this game, I dont want to ruin the surprises, all I'll say is make sure you click on things more than once if you can - that's where most of the gems are hidden!

75

Controls are a little odd, but the game is great

Traldera | June 21, 2013 | Review of Galaxy on Fire 2™ Full HD

This is one of those games that doesn't get the love it deserves. Its by no means an original ground breaking testament to small publications, but it definitely holds its own in the space exploration genre. The story, without giving anything away, results in you finding yourself in a universe of strange beings, trying to find a way home. This involves its fair share of reading, but that's not a bad thing as the dialogues themselves contain quite a bit of humor and are very entertaining. The mechanics of the game are probably its weakest aspect, but they aren't bad. Its a very simple control method, using the mouse to steer, doubling up as aiming. As I said in the title, its odd, but you do get used to it. The game as a whole is well worth the small price asked, its not a long game, but it will keep you entertained for the duration

55

Ok game but...horrible port

Traldera | June 21, 2013 | Review of The Last Remnant

From what I've seen so far, the game itself is pretty good (but its no Final Fantasy), good story, voice acting, relatively good graphics considering its a port. However, if you don't have a control pad, do not but it. The first time I started it up my controller was locked away so I decided to carry on with mouse and keyboard...bad idea. You know those games that put very little effort when moving from console to PC? Yeah this isnt one of those. They changed nothing, its completely unplayable with M&K. The default control mapping is completely nonsensical and to make matters worse, I cant even find how to remap them! If you have a control pad, go ahead and get this, its by no means a bad game, if you don't, spend your money elsewhere.