Dying Light: The Following – Review

So you’ve played Dying Light and you’ve thought to yourself, “you know what this game is missing? Buggies!” Well, you’re in luck – Dying Light: The Following adds exactly that and more in the series’ first story-based DLC. But that’s not all. Techland also decided to improve their game even more with some major improvements that they’ve dubbed the “Enhanced Edition” and they’ve given this away for free. Among some of the new features is the introduction of Legend Levels, which allows players to progress a Legend skill tree after maxing out one of the base skill trees, and provides improved AI, bounties, and a whole lot more. If you own the base game, the “Enhanced Edition” is just a patch and is available now, while “The Following” is standalone DLC and either needs to be purchased separately, or can be downloaded from the relevant digital store if you own the season pass. (more…)

Dying Light – Review

Dying Light was developed by Techland, the same studio behind the Dead Island series of zombie slaughter. With the announcement that Dead Island 2 would be developed by a different team, I was curious to see why Techland had decided to branch out and release a similar game under a different name. Once you’ve played Dying Light for half an hour, it becomes pretty clear why they decided to break away from their established franchise – Dying Light is one of those rare games that takes a chance and tries something different. It would have been easy for Techland to stick to their tried and true formula for zombie smashing fun, but I’m glad they didn’t. The result is a brilliant blend of parkour, coherent story, and zombie genocide. (more…)

Splatoon – Review

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A kid in a special suit that can turn him into a paint swimming squid has to fight an underground group of evil octopuses to regain some electric fish that power his city. That, in a nutshell, is the plot of Splatoon, Nintendo’s first new IP in a very long while. (more…)

Tomb Raider (2013) – Review

The 2014 release of Tomb Raider is a gritty reboot of a popular game franchise that has become one of gaming’s biggest icons. Set on the remote Yamatai Island, you take on the role of Lara Croft as she tries to save her friends and escape to safety. Despite the simplistic framing, the story is actually a detailed origin story about Lara’s personal development in the face of danger. I like what they were trying to achieve and think the series was in dire need of a reboot. Unfortunately, I felt the “Hollywood moments” and ludonarrative dissonance were prominent, and my ability to suspend disbelief was constantly challenged. Fortunately, the game also had plenty of positives, so I was able to garner some enjoyment from the experience. (more…)

Assassins Creed: Unity – Review

Assassins Creed: Unity is an experience much like you’ve come to expect from Ubisoft – high flying, user friendly, and entertaining in its sweeping, loosely historical narrative. On the other hand, it’s unpolished, careless, and somewhat insensitive to veteran players of the series. Although impressed with the wonderful visuals and sprawling recreation of Paris down to every last interesting citizen, I was somewhat perturbed by the heavy handling of the performance, not to mention the presence of a number of bugs that detracted from the overall experience of one of my favourite franchises. (more…)

Super Smash Bros – Review

Back in 2000, when the original Super Smash Bros. was released for the Nintendo 64, my sister and I would refer to it as simply “that game where Mario beats up Link”. Now, 14 years later, the core gameplay of the Super Smash Bros. franchise remains largely unchanged. However, the additional features that have been added since make for one of the most casual, yet surprisingly in-depth, fighting games of this generation. (more…)

The Last of Us – Review

It seems like the zombie genre is here to stay and The Last of Us is Naughty Dogs take on the Zompocalypse. For those of you who don’t own a PS3 and are wondering who Naughty Dog are, they made some pretty successful action adventure games in the Uncharted series. (more…)

Firewatch – Review

Although it may, at first, appear to be a game about a man named Henry, a woman named Delilah and the Two Forks lookout in Shoshone National Park, Firewatch is actually a game about morality, isolation and the fragility of human emotions – how easily they are constructed, and how easily they fall. Firewatch was on a lot of ‘Most Anticipated Games’ lists prior to release, and its stunning visual polish, first-rate voice-acting, and intriguing narrative co-operate to prove that the wait was worth it. Firewatch is a beautiful game which provides a level of immersion I simply was not expecting to encounter. I had anticipated a beautiful, exploratory adventure, but I was not prepared for Firewatch to affect me psychologically. It left me ponderings the game’s mysteries for a long time following completion. (more…)

Mortal Kombat X – Review

First things first – I’m a fan of fighting games, specifically the Mortal Kombat series, so I do have certain influences going into this review. Still, Mortal Kombat X is by far the best Mortal Kombat game to date, and a very solid example of a competitive fighting game. (more…)