March 3, 2012
Finally, I hear some of you say. It was only 18 months ago that Joe Danger was released on the PSN so it’s good to see its release on Xbox LIVE. I have to be honest and say I’d only played a little bit of the game on the PSN and enjoyed what I saw. So I was definitely interested in getting my hands on it again when I heard the Special Edition was being released on Xbox LIVE.Continue reading »
January 13, 2012
Our old friend Ezio Auditore is back for one final romp, and this yearly dose of conspiratorial frolics is getting somewhat perplexing. Surely such a hasty turnaround should result in shoddy and rushed sequels? But I think it’s safe to say last year’s Brotherhood proved us all wrong, with a healthy measure of new content and logical improvements. The question is, as we close Ezio’s chapter of the story, has Ubisoft’s army of international studios pulled it off once again?
Revelations is the first game to tie all three existing protagonists together, exploring both the twilight years of ancestors Ezio and Altair (the 12th century Syrian assassin), and fleshing out present day Desmond’s troubled past. Now here’s where I have to blurb the “previously on Assassin’s Creed..”, but to tell you the truth, it isn’t exactly straightforward. Not that the esotericism is necessarily detrimental to the franchise, but it does make it a tad impenetrable to newcomers.Continue reading »
December 20, 2011
Along with the release of the Joe Danger Special Edition on Xbox 360, Hello Games are throwing out some free, yes that’s right, FREE, festive DLC from 21st December. In case you weren’t aware, it’s nearly Christmas so in keeping with the festive season, you’ll be able to download the Santa DLC which includes a Santa costume, new Quad bike and, when selected, it will snow whilst you’re performing some sick tricks throughout the game.
Not only do you get a new vehicle in the Quad bike, but the controls are slightly different to the bike in that the ATV is faster and more bouncy. So if you’ve already mastered some tricks on the bike then you’ll have to ho-ho-hone your skills once again and try the new Quadbike across all the courses in the game.Continue reading »
August 30, 2011
Deus Ex: Human Revolution has a hefty weight on its shoulders: the expectations and apprehensions of thousands of fans of the original Deus Ex released in 2000, a highly acclaimed RPG whose levels of complexity in both gameplay and narrative are a force to be reckoned with. But in another respect, it’s almost a new franchise that needs to win over a new generation that doesn’t necessarily remember PC games of a bygone era. Either way, half-baked isn’t going to cut it. Fortunately, the game has spent at least four years in development, showing Eidos is committed to giving the franchise a prequel it deserves.
You play as Adam Jensen, a former cop who works as a security specialist for a bio-mechanical augmentation company known as Sarif Industries in 2027. These augmentations are the powerfully divisive preoccupation of the age, raising tensions in society and exposing the disparity between the have’s and have-not’s. The corporations bill them as the next stage of human evolution and a chance to better ourselves, while anti-augment groups are concerned over both philosophical issues, such as playing god, and inequity problems.Continue reading »
June 30, 2011
F1 finally came back to the PC and major consoles last year in the form of Codemaster’s F1 2010 video game and, the occasional AI and pit-stop bug aside, it certainly lived up to the hype receiving widespread critical acclaim including a gaming BAFTA for best sports game.
However, whilst the game created a solid base there was still much room for improvement and so this year’s version of the franchise aims to build on the successes of last year whilst learning from the mistakes, and all indications suggest that there have been some substantial leaps forward in F1 2011.
The first major change in the game mirrors those occurring in the sport in real life: the rules. DRS (which stands for ‘Drag Reduction System’) and KERS (‘Kinetic Energy Recovery System) have both been introduced into the sport this year as a way to increase the excitement of races; the former opens a rear-wing flap reducing drag (and thus increasing speed) whilst the latter gives a speed boost from a battery charged under breaking. Both of these technologies along with the new Pirelli tyres have proven very effective at creating interesting races in real life, and there is no reason given that they are present in the game that they will not do the same.Continue reading »
June 22, 2011
It’s been a while since Deus Ex was first released. 11 years in fact, and I never actually played the original but I did hear that it’s quite an impressive game. Well now the long awaited action-RPG sequel is upon us which has pricked up my ears and made me pay attention. Just see what we thought of it when we were at E3 2011 in our Day 2 review.
From what I’ve seen of Deus Ex: Human Revolution so far, I’ve been quite impressed and I’m looking forward to seeing some more of the gameplay footage. The story follows an ex-SWAT specialist named Adam Jensen in the year 2027 who is hired to defend a biotech firm in America. Jensen is then badly injured during an attack on the biotech facility and is augmented with cybernetic technology against his will. Jensen then travels the globe trying to unravel to truth to a major conspiracy and not knowing who to trust.Continue reading »
June 1, 2011
L.A. Noire. The game that promised so much, the hype almost became unbearable, and the wait even more so. Having pre-ordered the game a couple of months back, May 20th just couldn’t come fast enough for me and as I scampered home on that bright spring afternoon, carefully peeled away Amazon’s stress-free packaging, and with bated breath waited for the seemingly eternal installation. There was only one question on my mind: How good will it be, being the good guy?
This is new territory for Rockstar, with previous esteemed titles such as GTA and Red Dead Redemption providing hour upon hour of sometimes hilarious criminal escapades and proving so popular, it’s certainly a bold step to adopt the same system with a complete role reversal. The problem is for me, that whilst street shoot-outs, car/horse-jackings and driving motorcycles from the top of the empire state building is unquestionably entertaining in the aforementioned titles, sprinting through the streets of LA armed with not a lot more than a pencil and a little black book isn’t quite so enthralling.
But, what we’ve got with L.A. Noire is quite the mixed bag.Continue reading »
May 30, 2011
Yet another first-person shooter (FPS) game hits our shelves. It seems to be that the majority of big titles released these days are FPS, with none of them really standing alone with something slightly different to make it stand out from the rest. But does Brink break that mould and bring us something new?
Most FPS games allow you to be pretty much a solo player, running around and doing your own thing, killing anyone that stands in your way. There’s been plenty of times when I’ve single handedly won a Deathmatch on Call of Duty doubling my entire teams score (I’ve also been on the other side) as you can work individually. This isn’t the case with Brink however, as it’s vital that you work as a team to achieve your goal, otherwise you’ll find it rather tricky to achieve any objectives.Continue reading »
May 17, 2011
Back in July of last year Steelseries announced two headsets specifically designed for Xbox 360 gaming: the Spectrum 5xb and 4xb, and over the last couple of weeks we’ve had our hands on the former of these to see how well it matches up not only to the pretty good pedigree that Steelseries have created for themselves but also against the competition.
The SteelSeries Spectrum 5xB Gaming Headset is their first (or more correctly, the better of their first two) headsets specifically designed for gaming on the Xbox 360 which means that not only do they come with the usual headset paraphernalia but also a neat little box that allows you to adjust the audio from your Xbox to ‘optimise your gaming experience’.Continue reading »
April 4, 2011
Because I was born in the eighties, I’ve always loved Ghostbusters. I was too young to see the first film at the cinema, but did manage to see the second film on the big screen as well as watching the cartoons. You can see from my review of Ghostbusters: The Video Game that I was impressed with the game, so I was hoping for something to match it. The game starts, the eerie Ghostbusters theme tune kicks in…but that’s where the fun stops. Unfortunately Sanctum of Slime falls short.
The story follows on from Ghostbusters 2 with Janosz Poha being sent to the nut house after his possession by Vigo, and in there he meets another minion to a wanna-be God. He then gets duped into collecting a stone for the bad guy. So in come the Ghostbusters to save the day.
The time then moves forward to the present day, but it’s not the original Ghostbusters this time around as they’re too old and tired with all the ghost catching they’re having to do. So they take on a group of rookies to help out, one of which is the nephew of Janosz Poha.Continue reading »
March 13, 2011
In the school playground of shooters, Bulletstorm is the sailor tongued big kid whose motivation for the next wedgie lies more in the prospect of beating his personal record, than in any angsty hatred. People Can Fly’s new shooter is brazen and unabashedly brutal, but does the sci-fi butcher-fest successfully make its retaliation to the ubiquitous Call of Duty and its wannabes, and more importantly, is it the romp one hopes it to be?
Bulletstorm follows the exploits of space pirate Grayson Hunt and the, well, storm of bullets that ensues when a bid for a revenge against his former general lands him and his friend Ishi, in a giant, vicious-alien-filled, torn and ruined resort on a strange planet.
Development and marketing (see Duty Calls) has been keen to show the world that this is no run of the mill, stale first person shooter and perhaps the most prominent feature is the points system, which overtly awards the player for “skillshots”, flares of creative execution, in big flashy letters. This arcade-inspired reward system essentially underpins the main premise of the game, which is expertly calculated hyperbolic violence.Continue reading »
March 12, 2011
Well it was pretty obvious that the Xbox Kinect would be a huge success for Microsoft, but just how successful was the cause for much skepticism. Pitting itself against the PlayStation Move primarily, but also the Nintendo Wii, in terms of functionality, it faced stiff competition from day one, back on the 4th of November last year.
However, Guinness has now announced that selling 10 million units since then, places it as numbero uno when it comes to sales figures in it’s book of world records.
The infrared camera for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has also encouraged a huge increase in game sales for the 360, according to Microsoft, with again, 10 million being the cited figure of Kinect games.Continue reading »
March 3, 2011
Whilst there have been quite a few COD: Modern Warfare 3 rumours flying around, today EA and DICE released the first actual gameplay trailer for Battlefield trailer today, and to put it succinctly it looks nothing short of amazing.
Of course it does look a little too good for real gameplay footage from a game about 10 months away from release, but if the finished article looks anything like this it will put some serious pressure on the more established shooters out there.Continue reading »
March 2, 2011
Here on Zath we’ve been interested in Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect Sensor/Motion Controller ever since it was first announced as Project Natal at E3 2009, the idea of Wii-style games without the need for a controller interested us greatly, however it was the potential for truly different kinds of gaming that this gaming accessory could provide us with.
One specific example of this was demonstrated by Peter Molyneux’s Milo artificial intelligence concept, which although the concept won’t see the light of day as its own game, the technology will no doubt be used in future games.
Anyway, you’ve probably had chance to read our recent Kinect review in which we asked whether you should buy one, and also found out what we thought to Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports, well now we’re going to give you the chance to win an Xbox Kinect motion controller for yourself in our latest competition here on Zath!Continue reading »
February 25, 2011
It was only last week that we reported that Team 17 were in the process of releasing Worms merchandise to the masses, but now there’s more news coming from the Yorkshire games company.
This week, it’s been announced that Team 17 will be releasing the reboot of the Alien Breed Trilogy as a boxed game with all three games on one disc. It was back in 2009 when the first game of the trilogy was released on the Xbox 360 via Xbox LIVE and was titled Alien Breed: Evolution.
Since it’s original release, it was renamed Impact for it’s release on the Playstation Network and PC via Steam. Since then Episode 2 (Assault) and Episode 3 (Descent) have been released with the PSN version of Descent only being released this week.Continue reading »
February 24, 2011
Sports games seem to be the generic release game for motion controllers. The Nintendo Wii had Wii Sports, Sony had Sports Champions for the Playstation Move, and now Microsoft have Kinect Sports for Xbox Kinect.
Because of that very fact, I wasn’t really expecting a great deal from what Kinect Sports could deliver and although it’s a fun game, it still an average one at best. A few years ago, I would have found a game like this to be well worth the money and it would rarely leave my console as I’d always be playing it. But because of the way games have progressed over the years I need more of a story.
Maybe I’m just becoming a moaning old bugger in my late twenties, or just lazy. This is definitely a party game which is where the majority of the fun is. But as you may have already read in my review of Xbox Kinect, my living room doesn’t have the space to allow 2 or more players unless I do some major shifting of furniture.Continue reading »
February 23, 2011
As you all know by now, Microsoft have released their Xbox Kinect motion sensor ‘controller’, and bundled with the peripheral is Kinect Adventures.
Nobody expects amazing things from release titles, let alone one that’s part of a bundle on release, but occasionally you can hit oil. Unfortunately, this time around, Kinect Adventures is a good, but average title for your Kinect-equipped Xbox 360.
I saw this as merely a game that would get you used to how Kinect works and to help players get used to playing games without a controller in your hand. Don’t get me wrong, the game works well and is enjoyable, but I found myself getting a bit bored after 20 minutes or so.Continue reading »
February 22, 2011
I was quite excited when I first starting reading about Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect. A motion controller gaming system without the actual controller sounded like futuristic stuff and ever since it was first announced to the world as Project Natal, it was something I just had to have, it really came across as actual future technology that until then you’d only seen in sci-fi movies.
I was excited when I did finally got my hands on Kinect after we’d already seen a Xbox Kinect/Project Natal Preview, even more so through the setup as it felt strange not to be using a controller apart from my very own hands to lead the way.Continue reading »
January 19, 2011
It feels like Final Fantasy day today, what with the announcement of Final Fantasy XIII-2 and the new gorgeous looking Final Fantasy versus XIII trailer. So what’s one more. Square Enix has announced that the previously named Final Fantasy Agito XIII will be re-named to Final Fantasy Type-0.
The reason for the name change was apparently because Square Enix say FF Type-0 isn’t like Final Fantasy XIII. Not only that, but this will be the first PSP game to be spread across two UMD’s which makes me think the size of the game is going to be huge.Continue reading »
January 19, 2011
Now this was something of a surprise. Square Enix has announced that there will be a sequel to Final Fantasy XIII which is aptly named Final Fantasy XIII-2, the second time that a Final Fantasy game has been given a sequel with the last being Final Fantasy X-2.Continue reading »