I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
I had high hopes for Shred It!
I first thought it might be a Sim style experience where you find yourself in charge of shredding machine factory. One in which you have to deal with selling said shredding machine in a highly competitive market. Sadly my dreams have been crushed and this game isn’t anything near my brilliant concept. Instead it’s a snowboarding Temple Run type cross over. But instead of snowboarding on snow you’re sliding through a paper world. Got it?
I didn’t get Dark Souls.
But something was always nagging away at me, some devil on my shoulder, telling me that I was missing out on a fantastic experience. All the hype, all the reviews and awards the franchise has gained means people can’t be wrong can they? Maybe it’s me; maybe I’m just a gaming idiot who hasn’t got the intelligence to play a real game. So I did. I played Dark Souls 3 and committed myself to playing the hell out of it. And after the pain, the glory and the deaths, I think I’ve seen the light and it is bright…praise the sun
I’ve found myself recently starting new games like an elderly gentleman in his late eighties, who can’t remember where his trousers are and why coffee is not food. The game experience in Cobalt is no different; where I confusedly find myself suddenly jumping in the air, punching, cracking safes and listening to space music all within the first ten minute of playing. I’m all for not holding your hands when starting a game and following a trail path etc... but please just a little push is all I ask of you. This though is Cobalt and it’s all about packing as many different punches as possible, with a heady mix of platforming, shooting, puzzles, slo-mo and gadgets. Catch up grandad.
I have two terrible and horrific fears that keeps me awake at night. The first is living in a post nuclear holocaust world where civilisation has collapsed and I am frantically surviving amongst the rubble, the decay and the chaos. The second fear is that I have two kids, who I don’t like very much because they have ruined my life by crushing all my dreams and ambitions.
Sadly for me, Sheltered has both of my fears rolled into one, but comes with the added complications in the form of domestic chores, hunger, cannibalism, murder and radiation sickness. Welcome to my new hell...a hell that is a very addictive and interesting premise.
I always remember as a child eagerly watching cartoons, just before the News at Six. My absolute favourite were the Roadrunner cartoons where Wile E Coyote would devise insane stupid ways to kill the roadrunner, where he used all manner of equipment and weapons. 101 Ways To Die reminds me very much of the spirit of that cartoon with its deathly traps and complex killing machines - except with one difference. Unlike Wile E Coyote, the methods used in this game are very, very, successful and that’s where all the fun begins.
McDROID made me feel very old.
Don’t get me wrong I know I’m ancient, but the first hour of this game made the heavy partying I did in the 90’s weigh heavily on my gaming shoulders. As I started the game, suddenly I didn’t know what was happening or what I was seeing. I remember there were a lot of noise, a lot of colour, and then some more noise and I was left planting strawberries for some unknown reason. Confused? Welcome to my world.
The Ubisoft team have gone all rogue with the latest installment of Far Cry. They have shed the guns, vehicles, amusing radio stations and all the fixtures usually found in one of their modern day titles. Instead of a new country. they’ve gone back in time, but not by a few decades, but by a few millennia.
This isn’t a pretty game and that’s me pulling my punches. It’s as pretty as five men on a stag weekend in Blackpool, who have been drinking for 18 hours straight and then decide to go on the rollercoaster. It’s as pretty as Vinnie Jones doing a one man show of Hamlet in the west end. It’s as pretty as…you get the idea. This game looks like a Playstation 1 game. But you know what…it doesn’t matter because Factotum 90 has deeper, hidden beauty that more than covers its ugly outward appearance.
Dying light arrived early in 2015 and took the world by surprise. We all thought we needed another zombie game like we needed spray on hair in a can. But when we experienced the infected streets of the imaginary middle-eastern city of Harran with its mixture of parkour, survival skills and fighting combined with a kick ass story, our preconceptions were squashed. It is a very brilliant, enjoyable, highly inventive game and over the year it has had pieces of downloadable content to help make your time in Harran more enjoyable. But now in it’s new guise it’s taking you somewhere else.
Rise of the Tomb Raider was one of the best games of last year. I loved it and played it constantly over the Xmas period. You can read our review on the site and we loved it too - so much so that we gave it top marks. It’s dynamic, beautiful and exciting, creating another fantastical story in the new Lara Croft timeline.
There are two kinds of people in this world. The first are those who love wave-based shooters. These people find pleasure in nothing more than defending their bases as multitudes of creatures fly at them, killing them all while setting up their defenses for the next wave. Then there are the other kind who would rather cut off their own head with a rusty fork and feed it to a bunch of wild boars. You might hazard a guess which camp I lie in.
So lets take five American teenagers. Done. Lets put them all on an island for the night and make sure they can’t leave until the morning. Seems okay? Did I mention that the island used to have a military base that was used to perform strange science experiments linked to radio frequency’s and other dimensions? No? Well anyway, what’s the worst that could happen?
Imagine you go out on a blind date with that special someone. The date is a huge success, it’s much better then you ever imagined and you really are having the best of times. Then the next day comes and you hear nothing; the date doesn’t ring back, text or communicate in any bloody way what so ever. A week passes, a month passes and you’ve forgotten all about them, until six months later you bump into them at Tesco’s, they wink at you, and you forget the last six months of waiting to jump straight back into the adventure. I’m mixing a lot of metaphors there but that’s exactly how I feel after the lengthy wait between chapters one and two of Kings Quest.
I’m in space…again.
Don’t get me wrong, space is a wonderful place with many mysteries, wonders and aliens. But this year I have reviewed so many spaceship games it feels pretty normal to be back in a ship, blasting my way around. It’s like I’m commuting. I even started to take a book with me on those long space journeys between worlds. So how does Starpoint Gemini 2 tackle space in a way different from the other contenders? Does it innovate and bring in a new audience to the space sim market?
This is the hardest review I’ve ever had to write and I once had to review Ride to Hell on the 360. Now that was tough because it was just a terrible game - the worst, and this game isn’t anything like that. It’s good in fact. The dilemma that I find myself in is this…I just don’t think there’s an actual game here in Three Fourths Home. There’s an experience, a narrative and a journey, and it does all these things very well. But is it a game? I really can’t decide.
Currently in Early Access on PC, Merge Games have announced the full release date for their teeny tiny open-world multiplayer survival game - Smalland: Survive the Wilds. And as they do so, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions are confirmed.