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The final chapter in The Council has a lot to live up to. Amazing endings are talked about forevermore around a water cooler on an afternoon coffee break, so with The Council wrapping up its enigmatic and absorbing story - one that I've generally loved this year - the question is can it really deliver on all that it has promised?
So here we are with the penultimate episode in the deeply political and highly intriguing saga which is The Council. The writers and developers have an even trickier job this time round than with the last episode, which was the complicated middle chapter. Here they have to set up most of the exposition and narrative to let the finale fully blossom. So how does it fare? Does it get the taste buds wet with anticipation or is it like a vegan sausage... alright, but a bit of a disappointment?
It’s always hard when it comes to the middle chapter of an episodic game. The writer and game developers have a tricky job to do; keeping the story going, ensuring the audience is still interested, but at the same time making sure they don’t waste their best material and are able to save it for the big finale. There are times when this middle chapter comes across as the weakest entry, as the familiarity of the settings gets a bit tired and the characters don't seem to surprise you anymore. But does The Council Episode 3: Ripples suffer from this problem? Or does it elevate matters and take the franchise to new highs?
So, here we are again, placed back into a world of mystery, intrigue, backstabbing, literature, and art. A sort of action-packed Antiques Roadshow, mixed with murder, sex, and world domination. I loved the first episode of The Council with its storylines, characters, design and brave refusal to dumb down to its audience. Can Episode 2: Hide and Seek keep my level of interest up or is it like the terrible second album?
The point and click story-driven adventure game has come into its own over the last decade, starting with Telltale’s "The Walking Dead" before developing and morphing into the latest “Life is Strange" series. This genre has shown how games don't shy away from death, gore, adult themes or how moral decisions can affect the world around you. The Council is a new game from this ever-growing genre and it hopes to tell an original story, and like Telltale who are plundering the DC and Marvel universes, it is also using some very famous faces indeed.
This could have been Life is Strange: London and we wouldn’t have bat an eyelid. And that’s where the greatest disappointment derives from: Virginia was so proudly and ebulliently unconventional, yet Last Stop hues so closely to convention. It’s an episode of The Twilight Zone; a more committee-created Quantic Dream game. There’s no doubt that it’s enjoyable and has wonderful, memorable moments, but its biggest crime is that it doesn’t emerge with a voice of its own.
If you haven’t played Mass Effect before, the Legendary Edition provides the perfect opportunity. If you are a veteran, you owe it to yourself to play through them at least one more time in this collection.
Occasionally there are gameplay experiences which you take in, but then require a nod to not just the asking price, but the size of the development team. Sanity of Morris on Xbox is one of those games; a game that at times feels like a triple-A title in scope and ambition.
Mail Mole on Xbox does the job of offering a ‘00s-era platformer - nothing more, nothing less. There’s no innovation here, not even capitalising on the fact that you’re a mole, and you may well groan at the landslide of cliches. But as we came to the end of Mail Mole, we kind of dug it. Aside from the odd control molehill, Mail Mole is a smooth ride and it may well scratch an itch that you forgot you had.
Ultimately, there is a deep sense of regret from playing Waking on Xbox One because I feel there is something brilliant and life-affirming underneath all that is presented. The meditative sections and use of your personal details are unique and something I enjoyed, and there are certainly some great ideas within. However, Waking will divide gamers, with some loving this intriguing premise and others being put off by the overly long, randomly generated areas.
The story, the characters, and the relationships that grow between those you meet will make you want to continue playing Miden Tower on Xbox One. If you don't like retro styled JRPGs it’s unlikely to sway you, but for everyone else, this is a game that needs to be played. In fact, it’s the best KEMCO game of recent months and you really should give it a try.
Farmer’s Dynasty on Xbox One a solid and interesting addition to the farming sim market. I like the repairing elements of gameplay (probably more than I should), and you can easily invest hours and hours playing the game, especially when going deep with the RPG elements. The actual farming moments don’t innovate enough though, and there is no getting away from the fact that it is a big old grind.
This is a game that you can pour hundreds of hours into, and still find rewarding gameplay and new strategies. Not to mention, it’s dangerously addictive. Clear your schedule for this one. Multi-hour gaming sessions have never gone by so fast.
In Pawarumi, cyberpunk meets Aztec as pilot Axo rebels against the Council - a superpower of the local universe. Axo pilots a powerful battleship, Chukaru, and employs the weapons at its disposal to put an end to the Council's rule. If you're a fan of cyberpunk and shoot 'em ups, then fasten your seat belt because you're in for an action-packed, albeit brief, ride.
I'm a sucker for a turn-based strategy game, so a new entry into the market always gets me excited. I loved the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars games back when I had my Gameboy Advance, so seeing that 6 Eyes Studio has taken Fire Emblem as one of the inspirations for Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark had the old gaming juices flowing before I even turned it on.
During my time with Darksiders 3, I couldn't help but constantly compare it to the Dark Souls games. Both now share a lot more beyond the mere word "Dark" in their titles. From challenging combat, an interconnected world and collection of souls, the third entry seems to have drawn an ample amount of inspiration from the Souls series. Even certain boss battles summon a sense of deja vu, but with all these similarities, does Darksiders 3 stand on its own and, more importantly, serve as a worthy sequel to its predecessors?
Should you be one of the many who has spent some time with The Council, then you are no doubt sitting back patiently waiting for the release of the next chapter. Today, that chapter has got itself a release date and details.
It’s time to return to Lord Mortimer’s mysterious private island mansion and uncover more secrets, as the third episode of The Council arrives today for Season Pass holders on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Roguelike is a genre that seems to have crept out of the shadows over the last couple of years with titles like Spelunky, Enter the Gungeon and FTL: Faster than Light all garnering solid sales. Once the kingdom of only the most hardcore of players it is a genre that requires patience as you die over and over all the while grinding away to progress a little further. Some roguelikes have now been dubbed roguelites because they cushion the player with engaging progression systems or gameplay mechanics making the frustration a little more bearable. Others will crush you until you sit in a corner blubbering to yourself. Wizard of Legend tries to straddle the fine line between the two and almost successfully manages to do just that.
When Focus Home Interactive decided to deliver an episodic storyteller into our lives, we didn't really know what to expect. I mean, only Telltale Game do that well, do they not? Well, no, and it seems Focus are on to a bit of a winner with The Council as today we see the second episode arrive.
Sometimes all we really want is to become immersed in a stunning story, void of any shooting, combat and the like. The Council, which debuts today with its first episode - The Mad Ones - is just that.
The Xbox is right up there in and amongst the most popular choices in the console market, so it’s rare that Xbox One players miss out on a game that seems to hit most other consoles. Back in 2015 however there was one title that hit nearly every console in the market - even the Ouya - yet still happened to avoid a trip to the land of Xbox. Now though, things have changed, and Mystik Belle has arrived on Xbox One. Is the arrival something we should all be shouting about?
Hello, and welcome to a very special meeting of the Wizard's Court. As you may all be wondering, we've come together to talk about the Mages of Mystralia, and particularly about a little redheaded girl by the name of Zia. She accidentally set her house, or rather her uncle's home, ablaze and was exiled from her village. Cast out and afraid - for the inquisition that controls these lands particularly despises mages - she is found by an older mage who takes her in to refine her skills and allow her to become a true mage.
Constructor was first released 20 years ago on the PC, being somewhat a favourite for fans of the genre, but now it’s had a complete revamp in order to bring proceedings up to modern day standards. Will this gritty city builder thrive in the current market, or could its stock drop quicker than a lead balloon?