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February 16, 2016

Homefront: The Revolution ‘Closed Beta’ First Impressions

There is one word that describes Homefront: The Revolution’s beta perfectly, janky. The graphics harken back to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the framerate is jerky at the best of times, and the collision detection is just pathetic. To put it bluntly, this game in its current state would have only just passed as triple-A on last-gen consoles. Now, you may say “beta is beta”, but frankly, even for a ‘closed’ beta this lacks polish. It is rough, and that makes it hard to play.

However, that does not mean it is not fun. The game has some interesting ideas and mechanics. I like the squad based interactions, the stealth aspects, the hacking enemy vehicles, and I even like the [...]

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February 10, 2016

Unravel EA Access Trial First Impression

Unravel by Coldwood Interactive was a huge surprise for me. While the hype was certainly a contributing factor, what grabbed me and led me to download the EA Access 10 hour trial was the simplistic beauty I had seen in gameplay trailers. If you take one thing away from this first impression, let it be that this game is gorgeous. Strangely, I found myself absorbed by Unravel to a similar degree as full priced triple-A titles, despite stylized sidescrollers being one of my least played genres.

For the trial (and I imagine the full version of the game), you start out watching an extended version of the story trailer cutscene before being introduced to Yarny, an adorable [...]

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October 30, 2015

Star Wars Battlefront Beta First Impressions

To say I was keen on playing the Star Wars Battlefront Beta would be an understatement, I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan since I was a kid. I had it forced upon me as a child and then went on to grow a greater appreciation of it during my mid to late teens.  I’ve played countless game tie-ins with KOTOR being my favourite and the original Battlefront games coming in a close second. I approached the beta with a lot of scepticism,  the same scepticism I am holding for The Force Awakens when it releases later in the year. For the most part, my cynicism was unneeded as the Battlefront Beta is awesome, but it isn’t without its problems.

The first thing that [...]

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October 29, 2015

Deus Ex: Revision Refreshes an Old Favorite First Impression

The original Deus Ex for me has always been a beloved craving. Nearly every year or so I am reminded of the classic FPS RPG title and I must reinstall and give it a play-through less the itch for the game scratch at me. Like a comfortable old pair of shoes I install the 2000 classic and arrive on Liberty Island and I’m home. The itch came scratching again about a week ago again, this time in the form of the mod Deus Ex: Revision. 

Deus Ex: Revision takes the original game and gives it a fresh coat of paint while maintaining the old retro feel. Each level is redesigned but still mostly maintains the general layout of the original map. For gamers like myself who has played [...]

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September 27, 2015

EGX 2015: Just Cause 3 First Impressions

This is probably one of the few big games I’ll preview at EGX as the queues are pretty bad. A three-hour wait to play the division? No thanks. I did however swallow my pride and wait in line for Just Cause 3, After a forty-five minute wait I was ushered into a small square area in which two Marketing & PR graduates shouted jokes at our group, whilst trying to sell us Just Cause 3. Rather than just let us play the game and you know, actually gage whether we like it. After a further twenty minutes of shouting and being forced to watch videos, we were finally allowed some actual Play time with Just Cause 3.

So right off the bat, the game world was completely open to me. I [...]

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August 25, 2015

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 Beta First Impressions

It’s that time of the year again: the new Call Of Duty is on the horizon. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 releases in November and will be one of the last big releases for the year.  Soon we will be bombarded with pre-order advertisements and Mountain Dew promotions. I took a break from Call Of Duty when Black Ops 2 ended up being pretty terrible. I came back to the franchise last year and ended up pleasantly surprised. Advanced Warfare was a breath of fresh air for the series, even if it wasn’t the complete overhaul players wanted.

It’s only a few months until Activision’s annual cash cow makes its appearance and dominates the market — thanks to Amazon and [...]

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July 14, 2015

Lost Dimension Preview

As the PlayStation 3 enters its twilight years, the number of big name games for it has slowed to a near standstill. But fortunately for RPG fans who have yet to invest in a next generation console, there are still plenty of titles coming down the pipe that promise epic quests and dozens of hours of cut-scenes and monster slaying. While most of these games are new entries in franchises — that are decades old at this point, such as Persona 5, Star Ocean 5, and Tales of Zesteria, a handful of original games yet remain in the  PS3’s near future. Today we will be talking about just such a game in Lost Dimension, a tactical RPG developed by Japanese game company Furyu and published [...]

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June 21, 2015

E3 2015 Hands-On: Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play on a level of the upcoming entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. While I was playing, a developer from Ubisoft walked me through the level and pointed out the design changes and new features they added to the game, which were numerous and readily apparent.

The preview level was shown at the Ubisoft booth, which was arranged in a semi-circle of large displays, PS4s, and headphones. I have played all the previous Assassin’s Creed games on the Xbox, so adjusting to the feel of the controls on the PS4 was a small challenge, even though they’re very close to the same. Once I got a [...]

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June 20, 2015

E3 2015 Hands-On: Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash

Buried in the far corner of the Nintendo booth this year was a gem I hadn’t heard about – Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. Mario Tennis has always been a fun, casual entry in the Nintendo lineup, and I was intrigued if they’d made any significant changes to the Wii U version of the franchise. Nintendo did not disappoint!

I played against another convention-goer as Bowser, facing off against his Mario. Ultra Smash has thrown in the addition of power-ups to Mario Tennis, and while there was only one on display in this version of the game – the mega mushroom – it was still a nice quirk of the gameplay. Occasionally a mega mushroom would be thrown into the court from the side, and it [...]

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June 1, 2015

First Impressions – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

I simply could not let another day pass without talking a little Witcher 3. A full review is coming! I swear it! There’s a whole lot of game to dig into, though, so this First Impressions article will have to suffice for now.

The Witcher 3, for those who aren’t aware, comes from the lovely lads over at CD Projekt RED. They are, in short, a series of open-world fantasy games in which the player assumes the role of Geralt of Rivia. He is, by trade, a hunter of monsters, wraiths and all sorts of baddies. He inhabits the world that is full of all the kinds of sights and sounds one would expect from a fantasy tale. Life isn’t easy for those in the lower classes [...]

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