Until Dawn Review

Until Dawn is a QT based game, which is highly story driven. If you guys haven’t guessed by some of the other reviews I’ve done, I really enjoy this style of game. Telltale is one of my favourite publishers and I am quite surprised I haven’t picked up this game before.

Josh Chris and Ash with a Ouija board

Nothing more spookier than a Ouija board

Until Dawn focuses around a group of teenagers that go to a Lodge on a Ski range where something strange is going on. It is a horror based story with quite a few jump scares but the story is really well told with some good twists and turns. Other scenes can be telegraphed and you can see coming but that just adds to the suspense.

Gameplay wise it has some interesting controls, which add to the emission. There is an option to have the controller in motion mode although through the run through I went to classic. There were still places in the game you had to hold the controller dead still not to move. While adding to emission sometimes it was hard to hold it still enough not to move your character and I do want to do another playthrough to see whether I can improve on that. The other part of the gameplay that is encouraging for a replay, is that all the really important decisions you make it pops up with Butterfly Effect Updated. Such a simple addition and Telltale do say at the beginning of their games, that your decisions affect the story but after that, there doesn’t remind you.

Overall I really enjoyed this game and can highly recommend it if you’re into horror and a high story is driven games. The flaws in this game can be its graphics even though amazing in some scenes others can be blocky. It has replay value after doing some research as well because you can save everyone in the game and that butterfly effect.

The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 1 “Into the Deep” Review

The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 1 “Into the Deep” is the latest installment from Telltale that takes The Walking Dead franchise and focuses on one character and her struggles in the new world that they find themselves in.

The Walking Dead has been a huge hit from Telltale and it would make a lot of sense to be making more games based on the story and although a mini-series it is welcomed. “Into the Deep” starts off confusing but really fast paced, putting Michone the main character into the thick of things while leaving the outside a little confused to what is actually going on. The truth is here there is a character that deeply conflicted, and not unlike other starting episodes of other season’s from Telltale the episode doesn’t seem to move physically along the storyline however it does show a huge focus on Michonne.

Michonne does seem to be suffering from some sort of mental issue because she just doesn’t seem to know where she is and having these visions, really adds dynamic to the game. Sat wondering what she is suffering from and what is real and what isn’t. The other characters show potential and after playing other season’s like the Tales from the Borderlands where the focus is more towards the group as opposed to the individual this is going to be an interesting dynamic that perhaps hasn’t been seen by Telltale before.

The decisions themselves even though they didn’t seem very big at the time while playing through the episode it was easy to see that they mattered. The biggest issue though is the not knowing at the point of the decision, The other thing to note, is the combat it seems that as more and more Telltale games come out they become more hands on with the combat. However, the controls can be a misleading because they show an arch rather than a straight direction and when mimicked on the controller they do not register they just want the general direction.

The Verdict

Into the Deep lives up to its name. The episode is very immersive and throws you head first into the story. It holds to the name of the season as well because the definite focus on the lead character. That can be sympathized with and lends itself to wanting to know more about Michonne and how she is going to develop through the story. The only slight concern coming from it was the controls and just how the bigger storyline is going to unfold because it didn’t show much, but a solid start.

 

Elite Dangerous Review

Elite Dangerous is something different. It combines all sorts of real life jobs and roles it all into one. Stop and think for a second what if we as the human race on earth could travel from Galaxy to Galaxy without any issues? What life form would there be and different groups of people with different beliefs?

Elite brings together all these things because it has the ability to trade and it has different needs for different systems, it has pirates, combat and wars. This was all brought to my attention by playing Eve but this is so different at the same time because the game has the person playing in the first person. The ability to explore is also something that makes Eve doesn’t have, the Universe in Elite Dangerous is so big that it all hasn’t been explored yet.

A week into gameplay and although the game didn’t seem like it would be my kettle of fish I have spent 60 hours playing this game and I honestly don’t know where they have gone. It has given me some real highs and lows while playing this game. The reason for not sure whether I would like it or it wouldn’t be for me is because it has no direction no end goal and that is why Eve lost its interest for me. That said though Elite doesn’t feel at all polished, the tutorials left me wondering and having to go onto YouTube to find out more information about what I was trying to do. Which is no bad thing, the combination of keyboard and Xbox 360 controller is what I am using and for some reason I felt that the tutorials didn’t tell you all the buttons. I tip though is when you go to the tutorial menu start from the bottom and work your way up instead of the top down that you would expect.

In those 60 hours, I’ve taught myself to bounty hunt NPC’s and trade commodities. Having not tried exploration because of not sure which direction to go in and having had a very unfortunate event happen not 5 minutes ago. A fully kitted out Cobra being blown up near a station and accidently clicking on the option to get a free Sidewinder, which has lost me 3 million credits. Thankfully still have my Lakon Type 6 ready to do some more trading to get myself back up to where I was.

The graphics are good, but it is hard to comment on the graphics when you’re in space and most of the time you’re just flying in the dark. The lore or store is a little hard to comment on because I know nothing about it and the game doesn’t really throw it your face so you know exactly what is going on.

Verdict

Elite Dangerous after having my doubts about the game, and its steep learning curve I can’t in good conscious not recommend this game if you enjoy anything to do with space and shooting things. Although that isn’t all the game has to offer they are the major draws to the game and even though certain aspects of the game seems a little unfinished or unpolished once you grasp the basics you can build on that. It should, however, come with the warning that you need to be able to put time into the game to get anywhere.

Here are a few video’s of gameplay that shows Bounty Hunting and Trading tips just to get you started if you have only just picked up the game.

 

 

Minecraft Story Mode Episode 2″Assembly Required” Review

Minecraft Story Mode Assembly Required continues from the first episode “The Order of the Stone” with the team realising they need to work together in order to bring together the group The Order of the Stone in order to save the world.

The Order of the Stone was a promising start, it set the adventure and had some good humour in it, however, this episode was coming up short every time.  Assembly Required only took an hour to complete and the humour that was there has seemingly disappeared and, all in all seemed rushed.  The decisions in the episodes are a bit meh because you just don’t get the feeling that they really make much difference to the game because there are no cliffhangers or consequences seemingly to the decisions.  The reason for this is because you are upsetting some people, but other characters will go around and mop up the situation.

Jesse, Oliva and Reuben in search of members of THe Order of The Stone

The only upside to this episode from Telltale is the authenticity of the environment the characters find themselves in, everything is true to Minecraft so the player can’t complain too much about that and maybe that is what is limiting Telltale a little with the series.  That said however the all the drama that they are trying to put into the story just doesn’t seem to have a bearing on the decisions.  In previous episodes of Telltale games although the combat is relatively easy the player had to be quick on the controls and although this episode had quite a bit of action in it and combat, it didn’t feel like there was an urgency to get the buttons in the right sequences.

The Verdict 

Assembly Required is a huge let down especially after how well the latest Tales from the Borderlands Episode was just two weeks earlier.  The constant arguments the characters have seemed to be about the past and that really doesn’t determine what decisions really need to be made.  The hope is that this quality of episode where the characters feel detached from the decisions isn’t continued and that they maybe take a little bit more time over the episode.

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 5 “The Vault of the Traveler” Review

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 5 “The Vault of the Traveler” has a really good start as in Episode 4 “Escape Plan Bravo” the player had to decide whether or not to take control of Helios or not and from there it added intrigue and a bit of a cliffhanger to want to know what happens next.

What happens next becomes very interesting because what seemed to be a united team towards the end of Episode 4 except for Rhys’s decision to become CEO of Hyperion the story splits between the two main characters.  Through decisions and the way in which the two groups were physically split away from each other, it meant they were on their own path.  Fiona was feeling like Rhys had betrayed her by taking on the new status and as things develop Rhys thinks Fiona has betrayed him, by the way, they escape from Helios leaving him stranded.

Fiona and Sasha trying to escape Helios with Handsome Jack keeping eye

The action scenes were very balanced and kept the gamer intrigued as the story developed it put Rhys and Fiona in more and more combat and this just added to the game.  The way in which the story changed minute by minute with characters coming back into the story whether or not the impression was given they were dead.  The biggest thing though well playing this episode was it brought back nearly every decision the player had made in the game no matter how small and showed that it made a difference to the way the story had unfolded.

The Verdict

The Vault of the Traveler has been thrown around the internet as being the best episode that Telltale has put together to date and this isn’t far wrong.  It was a fitting ending to the series and brought together everything that had happened in the story so far and left the player still with some very important decisions to make.  The balance between how dark the storyline actually is and comedy between the characters was second to none, they could not have balanced it any better.  The major thing though is that feeling that the decisions were all worth it and that it impacted the outcome with a very cool ending meaning that the story is concluded without being annoying but could have a spin off if they really wanted.  This series is a must play.

Minecraft Story Mode Episode 1″The Order of the Stone” Review

Possible Spoilers

Minecraft Story Mode Episode 1 “The Order of the Stone” is the first episode of the latest story to be told by Telltale Games.  They have taken the Minecraft Universe and brought it life in a way that only Telltale can.  The series is available on PS4, PS3, XBOX One, XBOX 360, PC, MAC, Andriod and IOS stores respectively.

Minecraft has quite a cult following already for its endless adaptations and the ability to build an entire universe of your own.  The game itself gives you the ability to take a blank canvas and build a community or a world of the player choosing.  Having this blank canvas however it does give Telltale quite an open goal with the game because the lack of back story or bases means that don’t have to worry too much about what they create, the other point to take from this by being so open and having a relatively open canvas it means Telltale doesn’t have a story to base it’s off like other series it’s done.

The Order of the Stone starts off with a choice between what Jesse looks like which is different to other productions by Telltale as in this case the main character isn’t entirely set in stone.   The point to notice here is the fact the main character can be male or female because the name that has been picked is unisex.  The story begins where Jesse is with a group of their friend discussing the building competition they were about to enter.  The guest star in this competition is one of the group that according to legend had defeated a dragon, while discussing the guest the group goes back to what the group did and gives the player a good idea of the back story.   While at the competition there are a wide arrange of characters that seemingly add depth to the game and makes the community feel a whole load more complicated than it needs to be but leads for some really good dialogue.

 

The Minecraft Group from Story Mode

As the story develops through the episode it becomes very dark and has so many references to the original game Minecraft.  The player comes into contact with the creepers, sheep, spiders, chickens and to top it all off Jesse has a pet pig Reuben along with the need to build swords and solve puzzles.  Although there is quite a lot of help around for Minecraft, although completely open it is a giant puzzle for the most part as players never really know what they can build and cannot build.

In true Telltale style, they have done a really good job with the graphics in the game, although not the most spectacular due to the nature of Minecraft.  The player is really submerged into the game and all its quirky little features.  The one negative to take from this episode is although its action based and the player has quite a few activities there just doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of quick action scenes where there is a need to be that quick on the controls like The Tales from the Borderlands.

The Verdict

The Order of the Stone is a promising and dark themed episode that has really captured the essence of Minecraft.  Even though the plot seems quite dark Telltale has done a really good job of keeping something dark quite light hearted and in keeping with Minecraft’s fun for all the family kind of approach.  The graphics are really good but might not be to everyone’s taste as it is just like Minecraft with a lego effect.  It would be a must play for Telltale fans and Minecraft-alike.

 

SOMA Game First Impressions

SOMA was a game that was gifted to me and I had no idea what it was about.  The problem I now have while trying to give my first impressions I still don’t really know what it is about.  I am torn between the type of game it is, it has given me quite a few scares and although seems very story based, it also seems quite an open world.  Which is something it has going for it, because after an hour and a half I am still trying to find my way around and what I am supposed to be doing.

This game does remind me quite a lot of Fallout New Vegas not because of the story on the genre it’s in but because of the play style.  I didn’t have much success with Fallout New Vegas much to my shame I ended up playing about 10 minutes of the game before I shelved it on my Xbox 360 and never went back to it.  SOMA, however, will be different because it has my interest, I didn’t feel as invested in Fallout New Vegas and the gaming community is probably shouting aloud at me on how can you not like Fallout?  The truth of it is, I like games that have a line to follow and for me Fallout was lacking enough direction at the time.

Overall I would say so far I am still confused about where the game is going, but the intrigue is there and the atmosphere is awesome.  I have taken to playing the game with headphones as opposed to TV Speakers just so that I can appreciate the music and atmosphere they have created and be completely submerged in the world.  As it stands SOMA sits at 7/10, not a must play but that is still just my gut feeling things could change as I get further into the game.

You can follow my Let’s Play from the playlist below if you’re interested in the development.  As always feel free to share your views in a comment below.

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 4 Review

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 4 for me kept the same pace as the others before it with you getting more and more engrossed in the story but other than the huge development at the end, nothing sticks out in my mind.

It could of been because I was playing this episode in some sort of a rush because work or it could, on the other hand, be down to the writing and how well these games are put together, that although I really enjoyed the episode in the series there weren’t really many standout moments for me.

I found it quite funny though the way in which they did the scene leading up to the big trip back to Helos from Pandora, it was done in such away it could of been a reference to most space movies however for me rightly or wrongly it brought to mind Armageddon.  Although there was some action in the episode it took a break from the majority of it and concentrated on the story and developing the characters relationships a little.  You really did have a wide variety of ways you could unfold the story to a certain degree and although these weren’t huge decisions and story-altering they were when it came to the character development.  You could forge greater bonds or destroy them I felt in this episode and for the most part I strengthened them but being in the rush that I was and not quite remember certain decisions in the previous episodes I may have negatively affected one relationship.

The decision that stuck out most for me and could be the one of the biggest factors in the game so far, is the one at the end of the episode and I was quite surprised at it to be honest.  It was well worked because it’s not a cliffhanger in the traditional sense because it’s a definitive answer.  The question now becomes what happens now that, that decision has been made, this character now holds all the keys by the looks of things but as your telling the story being held captive, you know that it didn’t all end well.

Overall I would give this episode a 7/10 it isn’t for me as good as the previous ones because of the lack of standout moments however I don’t believe that it worthy of anything less because the story is so well put together and the sheer amount of enjoyment I got out of following this story with very little background knowledge of the universe.

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 3 Review

Tales from Borderlands Episode 3 just keeps the series going and, to be honest, I am not being let down by Telltale at all.  After a slow start, each episode just engages me more and the need or want to play more gets greater and greater.  I think it’s more to do with the genre, but the story just holds you there.

Tales from Borderlands Episode 3 really did keep up the pace where the action was concerned and even had me failing multiple times where the controls and combat are concerned.  I think its to do with how slow the controls can be it lulls you into a false sense of security because you know that for the most part you just have to pick a decision on dialogue.  Then all of a sudden you have to be quicker in order to fire a weapon or defend yourself.

The story developing and know your building on relationships with each of the main characters, but what amazes me is the way in which the comedy remains in quite bleak circumstances.  This episode they continue to have their backs against the wall with more of Fiona’s past being the biggest of obstacle in this episode, that being said these new villains or forces against you are now becoming everyone’s problem.  The only downside to this episode for me is that the decisions you make don’t seem to have as much of impact as they did in episode 2 in my opinion.

The relationships that seemed to be budding is the Gortys and Loader Bot.  You are also left wondering whether there is something button Rhys and Sasha, as the connection between Rhys and Fiona seems to have simmered down a little.

Overall I would give this episode of Tales from the Borderlands an 8/10 because although the decisions don’t seem to have as big of an impact of the story in this episode as episode 2, the comedy and action scenes were second to none I really enjoyed this episode and I am really looking forward to the next episode.

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 Review

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 continues on from Episode 1 as you’d expect, but I have to say it seemed to fix some of the issues that I had with the series right out of the gate.  One of the biggest problems I had with Episode 1 was the fact that the main character I just didn’t connect with.  The story at that point was showing the main characters Rhys and Vaughn to actually be on the evil side of the game which I have no problem with but with a game like this you want to have empathy for the characters that you are playing and this was fixed in Episode 2 for me.

The main reason for this for me was the way in which they actually used the villains of the story for want of a better word.  The impact that Hugo Vasquez was huge because it gave you a villain and made Rhys more of a likeable character because you can now see the proper battle lines drawn.  On the other side, now you see Fiona’s past catching up with her and that adds another dynamic to the story because now both sides of the universe are actually having the same issues.  Rhys, for example, is from Hyperion the evil within the world as they have kept people in Pandora down and destroyed it from what I can understand.  Fiona is a from Pandora and a Con Artist, but she is just trying to survive.  You see Rhys in another way during this episode he might be part of the higher power, but realistically he is doing the same just trying to survive just in a different set of circumstances.

The action in this episode kept up the pace of the first episode but somehow managed to add the depth to character more than what the first episode did.  The character development was huge for me and I felt that the decisions that I made in this episode had a greater impact to the story and my characters lives.  Overall I would give this episode a strong 8/10.  It’s made huge strides to make me become more engulfed in the series.

 

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