PC

Review: Borderlands 2 - A Vault not worth hunting

I believed if I collected enough junk shields and single shell shotguns that I eventually wouldn't be so bored with Borderlands 2. Only about an hour in, scepticism to whether I would even finish, let alone begin a second playthrough, already began to develop. All the positive and glowing feedback said up until and after the release, made me question whether or not I failed to see the brilliance. But I know of that brilliance - I dumped over 50 hours into the first Borderlands and all of its DLC. After 25 levels as a Siren, the unsettling familiarity and the unsatisfying reward for the patience the progression requires ruined any desire to ever play more Borderlands

Review: The Walking Dead: Episode 1 & 2 - Tough decisions

When people first spoke of Telltale's The Walking Dead, I immediately dismissed it and whatever ties I thought it had with the television show. Telltale's latest adventure game is an episodic guided narrative surrounding the idea of a zombie outbreak, which seems like the worst combination that any developer can build a game around. The AMC series is carried by a lot of action and flesh eating zombies, but the game is carried by the ethical and moral situations that require your best judgement to make multiple, increasingly difficult decisions. An emphasis on cinematics has led to many ignorantly dismissing it as another "interactive movie" as it lacks the level grinding, loot collection and combo chaining that a more traditional game has. Aside from a few annoying bugs and limited variety of traditional video game mechanics, Telltale's The Walking Dead Episode 1 and 2, provide some of the most engaging survival stories in video game form. 

Review: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty - A desire to compete

Spending a decade doing anything is a very long time. May it be writing a book, getting a degree in school or developing a video game; you could do many different things during that duration. The nature of the real-time strategy genre and its heavy reliance on the fair balance of each unit is probably the reason for StarCraft II's lengthy development. The perfection of each unseen number calculation is all done in respect to the multiplayer portion of the game. During the development of an RTS, values and attributes of units are constantly adjusted; different scenarios are proposed and the game is extensively tested. And since so much attention is given to multiplayer, the solitary portions of RTS games are usually slapped together half-heartedly.  StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty will impress with the amount of effort that went into creating an equally enjoying campaign. But if you lack a strong desire to learn the competitive aspects of StarCraft, it will be difficult to eliminate the feeling that you are only getting a taste of the whole experience.

Review: Mass Effect 3 - Something greater

This is the game Mass Effect fans have been waiting for. All of the time spent reading the codex and following Commander Shepard's story of the battle against the Reapers, comes to a close. What makes this trilogy different from others is the personal involvement each player has; the moral decisions they have made and the ramifications that follow. We carry over our story and character from game to game, to see how events correlate and if the decisions we have made led to the desired results. But for a new player, they don't have that connection and won't quite understand why Mass Effect 3 is such a big deal to fans. If you are part of that group that has no desire to play Mass Effect at all, there is nothing that the third instalment in the franchise will provide to change your mind.

Review: Batman: Arkham City - Gliding through the night

 

The problem with making a game so amazing the first time, is following up that game with an even better sequel. Room for improvement is small, forcing the developers to dig deep into their creative wells, to introduce new concepts or ideas to impress the players.

No one expected Batman: Arkham Asylum to be as well executed as it was; dismissing its existence was the common attitude towards it. Rocksteady delivered an experience so contrary to what we believed, pushing Batman to the forefront of quality video games in 2009. With our expectations now set high and our attention drawn in, it would be impossible for Batman: Arkham City to duplicate such a lofty achievement. Batman: Arkham City won’t wow its players like its predecessor, but the fluid melee combat and wide cast of stellar characters that populate Arkham City, are enough reasons to slip on the bat suit once more.

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