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May 24, 2018

Detroit: Become Human - Review

As a game maker, David Cage has created some pretty divisive content, for some people, they love it and for others, it is annoying, but with his latest game here, in which direction does will the content swing?

The overarching story is that of three android, Kara, Marcus and Connor, each with their functions in the world and their own masters to obey and as you move from on part of their existence to another, things become quite complicated for them. Connor is the one you will know the most, thanks to the demo that was also released, he is an android, designed to basically be a detective and the opening part of the game, has Connor attempting to talk another android down, from killing a little girl, the scene from the demo. The choices that you make here, don’t impact a lot on the rest of the game, it’s about the only time this happens, but it still helps shape who Connor is. Kara is an android, whose purpose is to assist people around the house, basically a maid, but when she is brought back from the store, having been repaired, things don’t work out the way she expects.

Marcus is a carer android, his goal is to assist his elderly owner with living and it is this relationship that feels the most real, while Marcus is a machine, his owner Carl sees the potential for more. A touching scene early on has Carl attempt to get Marcus to paint something and after producing a perfect shot of something he saw, Carl has him try again; The results of which shock them both. This is really the core of story, what defines a machine and what defines a living being and as the story moves forward, you will discover that the line, you might think is easy to see, is harder to grasp than you thought. Each mission has multiple outcomes, for Connor, befriending someone now, can result in a completely different ending later on, or if you refuse to play the role of cop properly, people will lock you out.

This is the games strongest point, each choice you make, no matter how minor or seemingly insignificant, can have a reaction down the line you may not expect. Choosing to be violent at times can turn an ally away from you and the opposite is true, be too soft and others won’t respect you, balancing your choices is going to prove the most demanding thing in the whole game. Thankfully, each android character has a few human allies that they can work alongside with, in order to move forward, the best example of this is Connor. He works alongside Hank, a very grizzled and out of sorts Police Lieutenant, who has spent years working to get to where he got, but he has a hatred for all androids and refuses at first to work alongside one, but as the two work together, the choices I made, helped break through that hardened shell, to find out why he is that way. While Marcus and Kara have less to do with humans, they still interact with them and the results of which are interesting to say the least.

The games biggest problem is the gameplay though and considering that it is a game, gameplay is the one thing you want to get right, sadly there are more times where it is wrong or frustrating than anything else. A lot of the game comes form quick time events, which means pressing buttons, holding buttons or rotating the right stick, in order to interact with the world. When the game is in a slower moment, this system has no significant issues, the problem is the game picks up its pace quite quickly and does not slow down a lot. The issue stems from the fact that missing a button press, or simply not holding a button down long enough, can result in a completely different outcome than what you may have been hoping for. I could over look it, if there was a way to simply undo an action or two, but there is not, you can replay chapters, but that replaces all the work you may have completed after that point, so going back can give you a better outcome or a worse one.

The other issue with the game, is that it is all about choice, do you want to be an arse or someone who is compassionate, perhaps you want to shoot someone when prompted, but save the next person. Each choice you make raises and lowers how other beings perceive you and with everyone having their own agenda, it can be a balancing act at times, which makes the lack of choice at times frustrating. There are a number of times when the game refuses to move forward, should you refuse to make a choice, only for it to give you 30 seconds or less, to make a crucial choice moments later. For a game that is all about choice, when the game forces you into a decision that you don’t want to be apart of and if only gives you a single option, it is frustrating to say the least.

Control is also an issue that the game has, both camera and character, with the character control being simply pathetic. Yes, you play as an android, that I get, but why the controls have to reflect that robotic nature is beyond me, there were multiple times that I would be just off to the side of the area I needed to be in, in order to interact with whatever, I had to. The problem was that moving a single step in any direction was like trying to run underwater, the character would turn, but then would begin to walk a moment later, walking right past where I wanted to go. There were times when I would be looking around a space, only to find myself hitting invisible walls, which was made even stranger when the game would throw up random red walls, telling me I could not go places other times.

The camera was also strange, rather than giving a complete camera, it is broken into two parts, the first is that with the right stick, you can pivot the camera around from its current location, but it generally stays locked to you to some degree. In addition, pressing R1 will swap the camera from whatever view point you have, to another and while it works for the most part, there are times when the game will put it in a strange place. The problem with the camera system is that it uses the same stick as a lot of actions require, which results in you having the camera move around when you wanted to open a door; When you combine that, with the fixed points, things can become a little frustrating.

One aspect of the game that is hard to refute, is just how impressive the game looks, from the characters themselves, up to the design of the world, each element looks stunning. The world itself is perhaps the one aspect that I loved the most, Detroit as a city, still looks a lot like it does today, a lot of older brick buildings dot the cityscape, but even more so, the influx of new tech, is everywhere, showing how the old and new can still work together. The futuristic items, like cars and busses look great and are not to dissimilar from what some car companies have floated in the past, helping them feel grounded still. The characters though, which visually impressive, do suffer from a lot of animation problems, mostly when it comes to lip sync, but other things do appear from time to time. When the characters mouths are in sync with the audio, the results are wonderful, but far too often, they fall out of sync and what we end up with, is the bad Hong Kong movie dub effect and when it happens in emotionally heavy scenes, it detracts from the impact of the scene.

The games score varies, mostly in part to the different scores that play, depending on which character you are in control of at the time. With Connor, Marcus and Kara all having their own scores, from the music alone, you will always know who is on the screen, even if you are not in the room. Connor’s goes through the most evolution, thanks in part to the investigation he is working on, but Marcus’ does change as well, for Kara though, the themes stay pretty consistent from the get go. There are a few radio stations you can listen too at times, but those tunes are just your average soft jazz melodies, so nothing to special happen there.

The voice work is great, as long as you stick to the dozen or so main characters, once you get into the second tier or even third tier characters, it falls apart fast. Some performances feel more like they were given at a sound booth in a shopping mall, by the first random person the studio got their hands on. The issue with that, is they only appear when there are large crowds, and having a character give a passionate speech, only to hear some generic, yeah’s or boo’s, just feels out of place. The main characters don’t suffer from this, thankfully, but the androids do tend to start out very robotic and within moments, they lose that tone and speak like you or I would, which would not be a terrible thing, if the story took place over months, but as it happens over the course of a few days, it makes no sense.

Detroit: Become Human tells an exceptional story, with fun characters and a beautiful world to explore, but with a frustrating camera and controls that feel like moving molasses at times, it falls down. Choice is a massive part of the game and discovering how a single action could change the course of everything, the restriction of having a number of choices removed from you, undermines the games entire being.


Review copy provided by PlayStation Australia

The Banner Saga 2 comes to Switch this June


Stoic and Versus Evil are not resting, having only released Banner Saga 1 onto Switch last week, they have announced today, that the follow up will hit on June 7, leaving the final chapter to come in July as planned.



Banner Saga 2 is an emotionally charged sequel as you shoulder increasing responsibility for the survival of your clan in the face of immense grief. As others look to you for guidance, your choices continue to count and bold leadership decisions, wise use of resources, and skillful battle tactics are vital to ensure your survival. Banner Saga 2 also introduces a new race to the series, the legendary horseborn, a centaur-like race which enhances combat and adds another layer of intrigue to the story.  It also releases with a brand new evocative soundtrack composed by grammy nominated and BAFTA winning composer, Austin Wintory.

“We are proud to announce Banner Saga 2 is coming to Nintendo Switch, hot on the heels of the launch of the first game, The Banner Saga earlier this month. There has never been a better time to get into this awarding winning series. Strategy and RPG Nintendo Switch fans will get the opportunity to play through the entire saga, from start to finish, this Summer when the third and final chapter Banner Saga 3 releases. Playing this game on the Nintendo Switch is truly a joy, allowing you to play whenever and wherever you can.” said Steve Escalante, General Manager of Versus Evil.
The final chapter will hit Switch, as well as other platforms on July 26



Star Trek Bridge Crew expands with Next Generation content


Ubisoft has announced that Star Trek Bridge Crew, the VR game that literally places you onto the command deck of the Enterprise, has expanded today, with the release of The Next Generation expansion.



On board the Enterprise-D, players are introduced to a new command role, Operations. The Operations officer is tasked to strategise and assign NPC crews throughout the ship. By allocating these crews, Operations will have the opportunity to modify the ships’ capabilities, activating features like Shield Modulation, Precision Targeting and additional abilities to combat cloaked ships.


Additionally, the Star Trek: The Next Generation expansion introduces two new modes to Ongoing Voyages, Patrol and Resistance. Patrol mode provides players with opportunity to openly travel through space while experiencing unpredictable battles and objectives for endless hours of adventure. In Resistance mode, even the most experienced crews will be put to the test, completing a series of challenging objectives in preparation for a final showdown against a deadly Borg cube. 


The expansion is out today for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR, but for those on PC, you will need to wait until July 25 to get the experience there.

My Hero Academia goes Pop this August

Funko has announced, that in honor of the Japanese adventure anime series and its protagonist, Izuku, a line of My Hero Academia Pop!

Meet the world’s greatest hero, All Might, in both his heroic form and weakened state. All Might’s protégé, Izuku Midoriya, (also known as Deku), gets the Pop! vinyl treatment, highlighting his determination to become the best

Hero-in-training Shoto Todoroki, fellow student Tsuyu Asui and their teacher Shota Aizawa (also known as Eraser Head) all get the Pop! vinyl treatment.

 Shota Aizawa comes in his normal look, but also in a special variant, which will be available at Hot Topic in the US.

These figures will be in store from August

God Wars The Complete Legend drops a shiny new overview trailer


NIS America has released a new overview trailer for the upcoming Switch release, God Wars: The Complete Legend, which gives new players a chance to learn about the game and returning ones to see what has changed.



With refined gameplay mechanics and a Nintendo Switch version exclusive character named Orihime, you'll want to relive Japan's legendary tale of war, valor, and friendship.

The game is set to release on Switch, on August 31st, the game was released as God Wars: Future Past on PlayStation 4 and Vita in 2017.

Meet the squad in Valkyria Chronicles 4


Sega has released a new trailer for Valkyria Chronicles 4, which shows off the squad that you will be fighting alongside. So get ready to meet the troops.



Your squad will feature the ever-determined leader Claude Wallace, brilliant inventor Riley Miller, and brave rescue dog Ragnarok. Join the Ranger Corps' Squad E in Valkyria Chronicles 4, where intense battles, bitter snowstorms, and tales of sacrifice await you on the East Europan Imperial Alliance borders.

Sega has also announced that a collectors edition will be released as well, featuring the below content, including a cool model tank figure.


The game is due out this Spring, just no word on exactly when.

Warhorse Studios releases Kingdom Come: Deliverance DLC Roadmap


Warhorse Studios has announced the roadmap for Kingdom Come: Deliverence, outline the next 12 months of content for the game, including the addition of mod support.

Not only will players get 4 new expansions, the first of which is called 'From the Ashes' and will be out sometime this Winter, but two more, 'The Amorous Adventures of Bold Sir Hans Capon' and 'Band of Bastards' will hit by years end. The final DLC pack, 'A Woman's Lot' will release early in 2019.

While those are going to be paid content releases, there will also be free content releasing, including a Hard mode, Tournament mode and modding support.


Celebrating this, the game has some discounts right now on Steam, but they will only last for a few days, so check them out soon, if you want to save some money.

Battlefield V announced - out this October


Electronic Arts and DICE took the covers off Battlefield V this morning and while it was not the Vietnam game many, myself included, were hoping for, it does look good nonetheless. The game will feature the classic Battlefield multiplayer, that fans have come to love, but making a return again, will be the War Stories, the single player experiences, that tell small stories, from across the war.



The acclaimed single-player campaign mode from Battlefield 1, War Stories, returns for Battlefield V. Witness the conflict through the eyes of men and women of World War 2 and experience untold stories of human drama, filled with Battlefield moments. Experience the freezing Norwegian landscapes as a young Norwegian resistance fighter or come ashore into the desert heat of North Africa - and more.

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“Battlefield V is a homecoming for DICE as a studio—a return to the era that came to define the Battlefield franchise. But as nostalgic as we are about World War 2, we wanted to challenge the preconception of the era with an unexpected portrayal of this familiar setting. Our vision with Battlefield V is to let players explore new and untold sides of the conflict that shaped the modern world,” said Oskar Gabrielson, General Manager, DICE. “The scale of each battle and level of immersion is unlike anything we’ve done before in Battlefield and players are in for an epic journey.”

Battlefield V multiplayer will deliver the most immersive gameplay of the franchise in a sandbox environment that portrays the battles of World War 2, allowing players to feel the force of the fight and truly shape the war as the war shapes them. Players’ soldiers can now tow stationary weapons, build fortifications and repair war-torn structures to turn the battlefield to the player’s advantage. Whether dragging a squad mate to safety or shooting a grenade out of the sky, players will forge a deeper connection to the ever-evolving world around them and achieve victory against the toughest odds. With the freedom to adapt and evolve the battlefield in new and unseen ways, the battlefield will never be the same.

In new and classic multiplayer modes, player can lead their own unique Company to victory in a dynamic multiplayer experience where every battle is unique. The Company allows players to create and deeply customise their soldiers, weapons and vehicles that will evolve as they progress, covering everything from the way they look to the way they play. Fan favorite modes like the 64-player Conquest return, with the game’s multiplayer culminating in Grand Operations, an all-new live, event-based experience within Tides of War. These multimap, multi-mode dynamic events take players through vast historical battles to relive moments of bravery and desperation while fighting to the final objective.

Battlefield V will be released on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on October 19






May 23, 2018

Competition: Five copies of Portal Knights on PC to win!


Portal Knights recently update on PC, consoles and mobile still to come, adding in a host of new features and content to, what is already an expansive game.

Thanks to Keen Games and 505 Games, we have 5 copies of the game to giveaway for PC, via Steam. To enter, you simply need to complete one of the methods below and you are in, you can use all three, if you want to increase your chances at winning.


Portal Knights Giveaway


The competition will close at midnight on May 29, so you have time to enter. Good Luck

The Overwatch Anniversary Event is now on


Blizzard has announced that the Overwatch Anniversary Event has kicked off and from now until June 12, players can join the game to experience the event in full.



The anniversary will bring in a host of new content, including over 50 new cosmetic items and the new Deathmatch map, Petra! Additionally, the event will bring back all seasonal cosmetic items, as well as all the past seasonal brawls which will rotate on a daily basis.

During the event, the main game is on sale, dropping by 50% and if that was not enough, there is an all new Legendary Edition for purchase, $60 on PC, $65 on console and if you already own the base game, you can purchase the Legendary Edition content for a small fee. All the details about what is included can be found here.

The new map of Petra will give players a new location to explore, with a few hidden things to discover.




Here some of the customisation items you will be able to get, during the event.







 
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