Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Top 10 Games of 2014

The year is once again coming to an end and it's time to let you guys know what games I enjoyed the most this year. And what a year this was... batshit insane titles like Goat Simulator that I never thought could exist, mixed in with a lot of older games being re-released such as Strife and Eradicator. It's been a hell of a ride. So without further ado... let's get to it.

10 - FAR CRY 4 (PC)

It's not always I orgasm over graphics in games but Far Cry 4 is definitely one of those times. This game is drop dead gorgeous and I found myself incredibly immersed in it. It's one of those games you want to explore simply because the world is so lush and beautiful and inviting! The lighting in this game pretty much makes the entire atmosphere. It's far from a perfect game though as I had to do some tweaking to get it running smoothly, the mouse controls were pretty wonky at first before I tweaked my settings as well and to be honest, gameplay wise this game is just Far Cry 3 with a new coat of paint. But that's okay with me as I absolutely loved Far Cry 3. The story is great too with Pagan Min serving as a perfect substitute for Vaas. The game also supports co-op which is a huge plus for me. Definitely worth checking out if you loved Far Cry 3 and want more of the same. If not, you can easily pass on it.

9 - VELOCITY 2X (PS Vita)
Velocity 2X is one of those games I fear fell under the radar this year, and undeservedly so. Being on PS4 and PS Vita, the game mixes elements from several genres, being both a horizontal and vertical shooter with a beautiful electro soundtrack that will make you orgasm (seriously)... There's a twist though as the game uses the element of teleporting to give it a bit of a puzzle feel as well, so you definitely have to think a bit 4-dimensionally to be good at it. The graphical style is entirely unique and very appealing with a lot of great use of lighting and very intense colours, looking hand drawn but futuristic at the same time. I've found myself playing this game a lot on my Vita this year and with two DLC packs already released, it offers a ton of play time for those who want it. Definitely check this out if you're a fan of oldschool 2D shooters and need more Vita or PS4 games to play.

While it technically released last year, the final episodes of Wolf Among Us came out this year, completing the game and I didn't buy it until very recently and I'm very glad I did. The Wolf Among Us is one of the best adventure games I've played to date and as someone who has read the Fables comic it was interesting to get a prequel to the whole thing. The game had me really invested in the story in a way only TellTale can do and I couldn't help but love the unique graphical style of the game, the strong characters and just the entire noir atmosphere. Seeing such a sleazy hard-boiled take on something that we associate with our childhood is amazing to me and I can't recommend this game enough. It has some unique gameplay elements as well, time being a factor and the choices you make shaping the story so each playthrough has a chance of being different from your last one.


This is easily the best RPG this year. Offering an experience that is both oldschool yet innovative at the same time, it gives an entirely unique co-op experience where the two players can interact in a way that I've rarely seen done in co-op RPGs and actually reminds me more of a proper tabletop RPG experience. It's a LOT of fun to play with great atmosphere, music and all around a very good story. The combat system is the crowning achievement though as it is turnbased but has a gimmick of giving you the ability to "save" action points for your next turn. Highly recommend this if you're a RPG fan and want something to play co-op cause that is in my opinion the only way to play this game.


Speaking of oldschool RPGs... Wasteland 2 finally came out. Yeah, in 2014 of all years. Wasteland of course is pretty much the grandfather of the Fallout franchise, and you can definitely tell the connection is there. Wasteland 2 feels like it was made in the 90's and to me that's not necessarily a bad thing. The character customization is extremely good and offers a lot of specialization which is good when building a strong party. The combat reminds me of Divinity: Original Sin but with guns so if you play these games back to back, it'll come as second nature. The story isn't all that good but the post-nuclear atmosphere is thick as oil and the gameplay is rock solid. Worth checking out if you're a fan of oldschool RPGs or Fallout.


Watch_Dogs is not an amazing game and definitely doesn't live up to the insane hype that was built up around it. However, I do find it to be a pretty fun and solid experience with a story that isn't epic or big, but doesn't need to be. It feels relatable and touching, and to me that's perfectly acceptable. Not all games need big epic storylines, sometimes it's okay to have a more soap-opera'esque story in my opinion. And the game still looks pretty gorgeous, making the city of Chicago come to life in a way few games take time to do. People react very realistically to the things you do and I can't help but feel like my character actually has an impact on his world in this game and that's an amazing achievement to me. Like I said, this game is not amazing, but what is there is solid and offers an experience for those who give it time to grow on them. If you get past your initial expectations, you might actually come to enjoy it like I did. It's definitely not something for everyone, but it depends on what you are looking for...


I am probably one of the few people who enjoyed Aliens: Colonial Marines. But while I did enjoy that game, this game... this game is in a league of its very own and doesn't AT ALL compare to Colonial Marines. Comparing the two games is unfair because they are in entirely different categories with entirely different inspirations and goals. Colonial Marines was a shooter. It was based on a movie that took the franchise in a more action oriented direction. It made sense to be a shooter and in my opinion, Colonial Marines did a good job of offering a simple alien shooter experience. Isolation however takes its inspiration and influence from the first movie. It takes the franchise back to its hardcore sci-fi horror roots and focuses on the very core of what Alien is meant to be. Facing a creature that is invulnerable and superior and surviving against the odds. Alien: Isolation is one of the most terrifying games I've played and does its job perfectly. The atmosphere is spot on and makes me feel like I am actually inside the first movie. Attention to detail is stunning and nothing is left to coincidence. If you're an Alien fan, in any way shape or form, get this game. Believe me, please believe me when I say this game GETS IT. This game GETS what Alien is meant to be. If you are going to get ANY Alien game, it HAS to be this one. This is a MUST OWN!


To me, Advanced Warfare is the best Call of Duty game in a long time. It mixes the core CoD gameplay with new and fresh elements and focuses on the most important thing: being fun! I haven't had this much fun with a Call of Duty since I got into the franchise with MW3 and to me that is an amazing feeling. The story is solid as well with amazing performances from everyone involved, especially Kevin Spacey who does a wonderful and memorable role as the villain. I can't recommend this game enough if you're a Call of Duty fan, this is easily a must have. And if you want an entry point for the series, this is in my opinion the best game to choose so far. Everything is rock solid, the amount of customization is INSANE and the exo suits give the series a new dimension that makes everything 10 times more intense, but at the same time 10 times more fun.


Borderlands being pretty much my favourite franchise, I was insanely hyped for this game. And boy did it deliver. It's actually hard for me to go back to playing the earlier games now since this game makes a lot of improvements to the franchise and adding new elements as well with the low gravity environment and more mature writing. The music reminds me a lot of Mass Effect, which fits the more space-oriented theme very well. Gameplay wise it's just more Borderlands but if you're as much of a fan as I am, that's not necessarily a bad thing.


Wolfenstein: The New Order is arguably the best game in the entire franchise so far. With an amazing story with characters that you will never forget, with the best graphics since RAGE, with an intense musical score that creates an unsettling and mechanical atmosphere, with gameplay that mixes oldschool and new school flawlessly, with an insane amount of attention to detail, this game is in my opinion flawless. It gets EVERYTHING right and is one of the most awesome experiences I've had in a long, LONG time. It's to this day one of the only games on my blog I've given a perfect 10/10 score and I proudly stand by that. It's the first time I've seen a game that takes the Wolfenstein name seriously and does something unique and memorable with it, something special that will live on with me forever. And that's why it's my game of the year.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

[PC Game Review] Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Platform: PC (Steam)
Released: 2014
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Sledgehammer Games, Raven Software
Publisher: Activision
Buy on Steam

It should be firmly established by now I am a huge fan of this franchise, having been so ever since I played Modern Warfare 3. The consistent quality, high production values and solid gameplay keeps me coming back to each new iteration. So it's about time I give my thoughts on the most recent one, Advanced Warfare, which promises to reinvigorate the franchise with some new tricks. Is this truly a game changer, or just advanced bullshit? Let's take a look!


The campaign in Advanced Warfare sets up a story in a near future where Jonathan Irons (played by Kevin Spacey) offers a new chance for Mitchell, a soldier who loses his war buddy and best friend as well as his arm in a sabotage operation that goes horribly wrong. Armed with a new robotic prosthesis and working for the biggest PMC in the world, Atlas, he becomes part of Iron's closest elite. However he soon finds out that there is more to Irons than he first realizes and becomes part of an intricate plot to stop Irons from committing mass genocide of innocent civilians on American soil.

The campaign lets you upgrade your new Exo suit's abilities between missions, as you earn points for certain objectives, such as enemy kills and gathering intel. It gives the campaign some replayability as you can replay earlier levels to unlock more upgrades, offering a sort of New Game + option.
The Exo suit is introduced in full force during the campaign and you are introduced to all its concepts, including boost jumping, slamming (buttslam!) and dodging, so the campaign works as a nice training mode before jumping into multiplayer in that sense. 

Several missions focus on driving vehicles as well which gives a nice variety to the action. Riding a hoverbike, piloting a combat jet and manouvering a giant combat exoskeleton are just a couple of the sweet toys you get to play with in the campaign. You also get some stealth missions that actually manage to feel like proper stealth missions and using the exo suit to enhance them in a very interesting way.

Night vision balls... I be trippin' them...


Multiplayer is probably more expansive than ever in Advanced Warfare. The mode features more customization options than ever. You can now fully customize your appearance in the game, choose your gender, head, shades, helmet, gloves, pants, jacket, loadout, you name it. You can customize your guns in a much deeper fashion than before, re-using the slot system from Black Ops 2, as you now can customize your attachments and choose between more skins than ever. The variety of weapons is also through the roof as you have laser weapons to add to the mix now, as well as more akimbo weapons than before, which I absolutely love!

A new feature is that each round of multiplayer you play has a chance of giving you a loot drop crate. These crates contain entirely random loot, ranging from temp bonuses to unique clothing items and even unique gun variations with special attributes. I often found myself getting these loot crates when I was doing particularly bad in a round and it's nice to have incentive to keep playing despite not doing too hot.

Hiiiiiiighway to the DANGER ZONE!

You can also choose between several special Exo abilities, such as getting a temporary speed boost, getting temp health regen boost, hovering in the air or getting a shield. You're also equipped with a grenade launcher, meaning you no longer have to specifically throw grenades, you can just launch them from your arm which I find much more satisfying. There are also several new more tactical grenade types, including the Threat grenade which lights up enemies wherever it hits. 

In addition to all the classic modes you've come to expect from CoD, there's a new uplink mode that plays out pretty much like a futuristic handball match with guns. Grab the ball, get it into the enemy's goal without getting shot. The first team to score 10 points wins the match. It's a mode where it's not so much about getting kills but just getting the ball. Otheriwse you have your standard TDM, KC, Hardpoint and Domination matches.

Surprise, motherfucker

The levels are now fully designed with the exo suits in mind and this results in a lot of levels offering very vertical gameplay and encounters. It brings a new certain intensity to the franchise that definitely makes this a much more hardcore experience in multiplayer, especially if you play with people who are skilled with the exo suit boosting. Be prepared to spend a lot of time on rooftops...
The emblem editor is thankfully available within the game again so editing your emblem no longer needs to be done via an app like in Ghosts. Your clan and clan tag still needs to be edited via the app though...

In addition to the standard multiplayer there is a new co-op mode called Exo Survival, which I sadly found a bit disappointing. The mode, which is pretty much just another co-op horde mode, doesn't really offer much reason to play it other than for practice since you can't really do much other than choosing what class to play and then upgrade guns as you play the match. It doesn't get boring though as you always have secondary objectives to do and it does get really intense on higher difficulties. However, for me the mode is too barebones to offer much in comparison with the main multiplayer.

One technical issue I'm suffering a bit from is that I get some bad client lag during the start of matches. Not sure why but it seems to be a sync issue. Nothing that ruins the experience but it is a minor annoyance.

Tearing up ALL the shit!


Advanced Warfare might just be the most gorgeous Call of Duty yet! The new engine truly is capable of some spectacular graphics and the facial capture in the cutscenes is near uncanny valley levels of perfection, giving the cutscenes some true cinematic flair since the actors can be very expressive with their models. The game also just looks really pleasing to look at, with popping colours and lots of nice lighting effects.

Especially during the single player do the graphics come to their right, offering tons of eye candy during the grand scale set pieces and the game feels enormous in scale. Detail on the guns is splendid and I adore their futuristic style that fits perfectly into the game.


Voice acting is absolutely superb, especially Kevin Spacey as Jonathan Irons. His performance is bone chilling and emotional, all at the same time, giving the character he plays a very much needed strong presence in the game. The guns all sound very good to use and have a nice punchy sound to them. One thing I noticed is that the game has a lot of high frequency metallic sounds which does get a bit annoying to me after a while but I tend to just get used to it. It's nothing that makes the game worse, but I couldn't help but notice it. The only downside is that much like most high value productions nowadays the music isn't much to speak of and is rather forgetable and I mostly keep it off.

Imma firin' ma lazooooor!

All in all, Advanced Warfare is the most fun Call of Duty so far and feels the most complete. It offers a new take on the franchise and taking a note from Titanfall, gives it much more vertical gameplay. I strongly recommend picking it up, regardless if you're a fan or not. It might not do as much innovation as most people are looking for, but what it offers is the same solid CoD experience with new toys, and to me, that's all I wanted.

STORY: 10/10

SOUND: 8/10