New Year, New Blog.

It’s been ages since I have written anything and this is due to a number of things, the main ones being time and not quite knowing what to really write about.

I think I have this issue at least half solved though, how about I write about the things that makes me so busy? Publishing games.

I kinda figured that it should give me plenty to write about, just going to have to find the time to jot it down!

So that’s the plan, from now on this little blog will be populated with text about my life in video games publishing and general talk about the industry.

Let’s see how it goes…

Completed: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

Completion time: 11 hours (all minor missions done)

Platform: PC

There has been alot of talk about The Bureau, most of it not being that great so I was interested to see if it really was as bad as people were saying…

Nope, its not that bad. It’s not a great game but its competent enough… just about.

 

Gameplay

For a 3rd Person Shooter it does the basics right, shooting feels fine and cover works pretty well for the most part. However for a team based shooter its AI lets it down, your two team mates seem to jump in and out of cover like they sat on an ants nest often getting themselves downed by enemy fire. They also sometimes just run off to the other side of the level right into a nest of enemies just to die again. On the plus side slow-mo battle focus allows you to direct them and order them to use their special abilities and they tend to do this as ordered.

(Me running through one of the story missions about 2/3’s of the way through the game.)

Graphics

The Bureau is a pretty nice looking game on PC, well the actual in engine stuff is. The cutscene movies are a shocking resolution which can only mean they are direct from the console versions 🙁

A lot of love has clearly gone into the 60’s setting of the game, this mixed with the sci-fi elements makes it a really nice world to shoot stuff in.

 

Is it XCOM?

This is a good question, and at first I thought it was a pretty tenuous link to the series but on reflection the answer is Yes.

Squad members can die for good, you can hire new members and train them by sending them off to do missions alone. Enemies, weapons and tech is all from the XCOM world… although would of been nice to see some more variation for enemies. You have a base… although its actually quite an annoying place to be!

If you play it as an XCOM origins story then you can see it fitting into the universe but I still much prefer the strategy games.

 

Final Thoughts

If you love the XCOM universe you can probably forgive the games faults, but even then I wouldn’t suggest picking it up until it was at least half price in a sale.

 

Dream is now available on Steam Early Access

It has been a busy few months (when isn’t it I hear you say) and the result of this is one of the games I have been working on being released on Steam today, via the Early Access program.

Dream is a first person exploration game set, well in the main characters (Howard) dreams 🙂

Made my 3 great guys at HyperSloth the game will launch on Early Access today with Act 1 of the game available to play.  More content will get added as it gets completed.

Here is the trailer we created for the launch:

Dream has alot of great things going for it, it looks great and has a great soundtrack.  I am really looking forward to player feedback to help make this a really great game!

 

The Chaos Engine – The Chaos is Back!

Another game that has been taking up my time at work is a (if you like) remastered version of the Bitmap Brothers game, The Chaos Engine.

http://www.thechaosenginegame.com/

This version will be coming to Steam later this year, including on-line co-op for two players amongst all the usual Steam features you would expect.

The game will be playable at this years Rezzed show, which is going on this weekend.

Come play if you are there.

 

Montague’s Mount – Arrives on Steam Greenlight

One of the games I have been working hard on for months now has finally appeared live on Steam Greenlight for people to hopefully vote ‘yes’ for.

Montague’s Mount is a first-person psychological rollercoaster ride through isolation, desolation and one man’s tortured mind, set against the bleakness of an isolated Irish island. Created by one man development team Matt Clifton aka PolyPusher Studios.

You can see the trailer here:

You can vote here (please?):

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=146521424

Enjoy!

 

WiZZy Ponders – The completion of Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider was a series that needed a reboot, there has been so many games in the series now that it was long overdue, and from the looks of this game it is a great future.

Torch!
Torch!

I am quite happy to admit that I have never been a huge fan of the Tomb Raider series, the pin point level traversing and puzzles never really did it for me.  This meant once the reboot came around I assumed it was a game in the similar vein so didn’t really pay much attention to it until the reviews started to come out… Then is appeared it was a game that should be played, so I did.

Boy I was glad I did, this turned out to be one of the best games I have played in the last year.

Plane!
Plane!

Yes, its pretty linear. Yes, there is a lot of quick time events. Yes, it feels a lot like Uncharted meets Lost. Yes, Lara turns into a raging killing machine a little too quick.  However despite these things the game is still great, and also stunning! The PC version running at maximum settings is gorgeous and runs really well so is another great PC port by Square Enix, well nixxes anyway 🙂

Ouch!
Ouch!

If you have played an Uncharted game you will feel right at home with Tomb Raider, the movement and combat feel familiar with the exception that the combat never seems like a chore like it did in Uncharted 3! Mix that in with collecting salvage to upgrade your weapons and tools and raiding the odd tomb and you have a great mix of gameplay.  Although I would of liked alot more optional tombs to raid, it feels like these were an afterthought and there should of been plenty more and larger ones at that.

Tomb Raider is a origins story that delivers… That’s the best way I can sum it up anyway. Go buy and enjoy!

 

Completion Time: 15 hours, 100% completion.
Purchase or Rental?: Could get away with renting it but wouldn’t hesitate to buy it.

 

WiZZy Ponders – The completion of The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead game is a game about choices, not just now and again… Like all the time.  This is however a good thing and one of the games strongest points.  It also makes it hard to talk about in a couple of ways, a) its a story driven game so its easy to spoil and b) the choices you make change how the story unfolds so different people will have different stores to tell.

Your decisions can sometimes decide who in your group lives or dies.
Your decisions can sometimes decide who in your group lives or dies.

I do wonder how many of the choices really effect the outcomes of the stories you play through, but I don’t really want to read about them or look them up on YouTube as I have ‘My Story’ now anything else is just wrong :p

At the end of each episode you get a summary of the main choices what percentage of players made what choice, this gives you some idea of how other people are playing it but ultimately I don’t think it makes a difference as it seems like your story when you are playing. I can’t remember the last game that actually made me care about the characters like this game does, for that Telltale Games have done an amazing job.

This tends to happen a lot in a world full of zombies.
This tends to happen a lot in a world full of zombies.

Not really going to waffle on about it, as I can’t say much for the above reasons but I will say anyone who looks at screen shots and thinks its not for them please think again and give the first episode a try as you will enjoy it no end!

Completion Time: about 10 hours.
Purchase or Rental?: Buy it, I would be surprised if you regretted it.

 

Raptr Windows 8 Tile

Since installing Windows 8 a few months back I have been going through and swapping the default icons on the new start screen with better looking full sized images using OblyTile.

There are a few sites out there that have a great selection of tiles already made but after ages hunting I couldn’t find one for Raptr… So I made my own and thought I would share it in case anyone else needs it!

Raptr Windows 8 Tile

raptr

Serious Sam Double D XXL – Cooperative Madness Trailer

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As ever here in the Mastertronic world of which I work in I have been a busy little bee getting our next Xbox LIVE Arcade release ready for release to the lovely gamers of the world.  This game is of course Serious Sam Double D XXL as you can see from the post title and video above.

This is the first announcement trailer for the game that went live today, introducing the other playable character in the game… Huff, isn’t he just adorable?

Serious Sam Double D XXL will be hitting Xbox Live Arcade on the 20th February 2013 costing only 800 of your lovely Microsoft Points.

 

WiZZy Ponders – The completion of Far Cry 3

So I have finally finished Far Cry 3 and I figured it was probably time I wrote something on here as its a game that warrants being spoken about, as I am sure everyone is aware.

I think it would be safe to say I would of probably past this game by if it wasn’t for all the great reviews that suddenly appeared before launch, after Far Cry 2 I really wasn’t expecting the 3rd title in the series to be any good at all.  Glad to say I was wrong 🙂

From the moment you are dumped on your own to do your own thing Far Cry 3 grabs you, grabs you with its lush island freedom!  You can do various things like hunt animals for inventory upgrades, capture outposts to reduce enemy resistance and provide fast travel points around the island, supply drops, people hunting, racing or just have a wander around to explore.  Of course you have the story quest to also get one with but at no point are you forced to do this, just rock up to your next story mission marker in the world when you actually want to move it forwards.

Unlike a lot of open world games the story is interesting to play through, some of the best things you can do is during these missions. Highlights include burning down fields of weed with a flame-thrower (to what seems to be some kind of dubstep track, complete with hazy field of view if you get close to the burning weed) and all missions that have interaction with Buck.  Don’t really want to give story stuff away, its not the best story in the world but it allows you to have a lot of fun along the way!

Now in my above tweet I mentioned it was a bit of a slog, and on reflection I think this is probably down to how I was playing it towards the end. I had left the story for a long time and had gone off capturing all outposts and hunting all the animals for the upgrades for so long that each of them started to become a little repetitive.  If I had mixed them a bit better with the story I think this wouldn’t of been a problem.

All in all Far Cry 3 is an excellent game, probably my favourite game of last year, its not perfect but it does make me very excited about what kind of DLC will be added and also how good the 4th title in the series could be…

If you haven’t already, go out, buy and enjoy!