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Crysis 2: Limited Edition
2 New from
One step forward, two steps back is how i would relate Crysis 2 with the huge success of Crysis.
Crysis 2 has changed in many ways. We now have a city to play in, no more tropical island, and, sadly, no more vast expanse of explorable land. Instead, we've been given a claustrophically linear shooter, that prides in cinematic experiences.
Not sounding too good so far? Alright, the game offers some incredible scenes - roads crumbling beneath your feet in real time, and sky scrapers collapsing as you run down the high street. Some of them really are quite breathtaking.
However, this doesn't occur often enough for it to be Crysis 2 saving feature - the remainder of the game leaves quite a lot to be desired. I know its been said countless times since the release of the demo, but Crysis 2 is very much a console game, on a PC.
The combat is fairly satisfying, and although stealth gameplay is much less tactical than in Crysis, it can still be very rewarding clearing out a bunch of enemies without gaining any attention. In terms of weapons, nothing to really shout about - guns feel a bit plastic, and there isnt exactly a wide range to choose from.
The main thing that really shadowed this game for me; it just doesnt feel anything like a Crysis game. Gameplay has scavanged a load of Call Of Duty style, and lost a lot of the realtime-tactical play that really made Crysis stand out from all other games - even today.
Graphically, its been built down to the ground for Xbox360 and PS3 hardware, so dont expect to be blown away like you were in 2007!Some nice use of lighting, and some decent enhancements like 'nano-vision' which is essentially thermal vision.
In terms of story, the worlds under attack from aliens. It seems they're different aliens to the robots of Crysis, and now look and act more like 'Predator'. Its a very loose fitting story other than that - and it would've been nice to have felt a bit more under threat from these things - the trailer made it look very promising, but the game, not so much. You'll spend a lot of the time fighting humans and wondering why the hell they've decided to attack you.
This one gets a 3 stars from me, mainly because of the cinematic achievment, and some of the moments that get your heart racing. Other than that, expect yet another fairly generic shooter, that doesnt really boast much special (except fantastic graphics on games console, which ofcourse, is very important to me... .... )
Graphics: 7/10Weapons: 6/10Gameplay: 4/10Atmosphere: 4/10Sound: 7/10Storline: 2/10
Overall: 5/10 Average!!!
On the following setup:Phenom II x4 @ 3.2Ghz4GB DDR3 RAM460 GTX 1GB DDR5
At 1920x1080 with No Vsync
'High' = 66FPS'Very High' = 52FPS'Extreme' = 40FPS
(Note: by default, you cannot adjust settings manually, only the three choices)
Hope this helps, thanks for reading!
Dragon Age 2 (PC & Mac)
4 New from
When i first started playing DA2, i really wasnt feeling it. There were only one or two posotive differences from the first one, and many negative ones.
Now however, im glad to say im completely won over, and in my humble opinion, Bioware have given us another classic game.
So thats my opinion, now i've got to convince you! But i'll start by taking a neutral slant on it, and just tell you what's changed, and what to expect this time around.
First off, let me start by saying DA2 has been streamlined substantially since the first one. Im sure a lot of people will not be happy with some of the stuff thats been taken out (like me at first!), but the flipside is, a lot of people will be thrilled about the changes.
When the first one came out, there was a whole load of complaints that gameplay was clunky, and combat quickly got boring (although i personally disagreed, but then im easily pleased!), and its clear that they have listened this time around.
Combat is now completely thrilling, and so much faster paced and more dramatic. The animations of people fighting have been dramatically improved, and you get a huge array of some seriously cool spells and attacks.
Characters seem to have stronger personalities this time around aswell, you'll find yourself having arguments with them, and dealing with their issues a lot more than the first one (aswell as making friends ofcourse!).
The voice acting is as good as ever, if not a little forced in places. One annoyance of mine was the main male characters voice, the actor was so painfully bad at this, i went back and restarted as a woman after 2 hours of playing!
Its clear that the entire game has seen a lot of reworking after the first one. This one is a much darker game, mages are now under oppression and looked down on, and a new race of people is introduced, who will play a big part.
If you've been caught up in the bad reviews on various forums, take it from me, if you liked the first one, you will like this one - it may take you some time to adapt to, but the 'action' pace of this one is much more entertaining to play than the first - and i was in love with that game!
Admittedly the storyline isnt fantastic, but theres plenty of quests to absorb you individually, and its going to take you atleast 25 hours to complete, but i prefer to play as much content as i can!
Although scripted, there's a lot of decent fight scenes in this one (as with the first one), and you'll be taken by suprise frequently! Theres a real emphasis on graphics this time, and some really nice Dx11 tech to wow at!
Overall, i'd say to fans of the first installment, have patience with this one, and take your time to appreciate your surroundings, and the smaller details that weren't present in DA:O. To those who've never played a Dragon Age, i'd suggest playing through in chronological order - its a fantastic series to get into.
Graphics: 9/10Storyline: 7/10Characters: 8/10Combat: 10/10Quests/Variety: 8/10
It will take some time to get used to, but its worth persisting, excellent game.
Quick graphics note:
On the following system, here's some rough performance guides:
Phenom II x4 @3.2Ghz4GB DDR3 RAM460GTX 1GB DDR5
(No vsync, no ambient occlusion)
Dx11 - High settings - 0xAA - 0xAF = 78FPS AverageDx11 - High settings - 8xAA - 16xAF = 55FPS AverageDx11 - Highest settings - 8xAA - 16xAF = 22FPS Average (ouch!)
Hope thats helpful
Thanks for reading!
World In Conflict: Complete Edition (includes Soviet Assault Expansion Pack)
1 New from
All round fantastic game.
Starting with the single player; you probably already know its a Red Alert type story, with Russia going crazy and attacking the world. You play an American army general, but you also take control of Nato troops in Europe which was nice. The campaign really is top stuff. Its really engaging, and you'll play it over and over since theres so many different tactics to choose from.
Another single player element - that really suprised me, was the cutscenes, they're brilliant!! I suppose the devs were taking a leaf out of Red Alerts book here, the effort involved in the cutscenes is very clear - adds a really nice story element to the game. (if not a little cheesy in places!)
Now onto the multiplayer. This is really where this game shines. You'll find it stange however, that not that many people seem to play this anymore - enough for you to be able to get involved 24 hours a day, but with a game of this calibre, i gotta say i would've expected thousands online.
Its class based, so your class is going to be strong against one thing, but weak against another. The classes are made up of Air, Armour, Support (AA, artillery and such), and Infantry, and each one is equally as fun to play. You will find yourself relying on team mates a fair bit - which is great if you got like minded team mates, and hugely frustrating if you havent!
Units will rank up over time, making them much more efficient the higher they get - this is one of my favourite aspects of RTS's like this - having a high ranked sniper is ace :)
Graphically, this game really does satisfy. Honestly, if you zoom into ground level, you could quite easily be playing a decent looking FPS - its excellent. The level of destruction is brilliant aswell - you can call in huge airstrikes to level entire towns... endless fun!
Overall, this is a brilliant game in my books, and one i keep returning too, hours on end. If you liked Red Alert 2, you'll thoroughly enjoy this. One thing it might be worth mentioning is, its an 'action-based' RTS, so no building, just all out war!
This games worth the price and much more, definitely one to invest in! :)
Graphics: 10/10Gameplay: 10/10Storyline: 9/10Voice acting: 9/10Replayability: 10/10Multiplayer: 10/10
Overall: 10/10 MUST BUY MATERIAL!!!!!!Just a quick graphics guide:
Ran with an average of 33fps on the following:
Processor - Phenom II x4 @ 3.2GhzRAM - 4GB DDR3Graphics - 460gtx 1GB DDR5
Hope this helps, and thanks for reading! :)
3 New from
Brilliant game. Its basically Bejewled on speed. You only get a minute per round, which sounds bad, but the games built in a different way to your regular bejeweled.
Great for competeing against mates aswell, can really bring out your competetive side ;)
Excellent game, simple but effective, would recommend buying to anyone - even non gamers!
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition / 3.2GHz / Socket AM3 / CPU / Processor
Pretty much defining the phrase "Bang for your buck" with this one. This is a seriously good deal, seems like they're about to bring in a whole new load of processors, never the less, my advice would be to not miss out on this.
For this price, the Phenom 955 will definitely have you smiling. I play a lot of games (check my other reviews), do some programming, have several demanging app's running at once and do a lot of transferring across hard disks, and this processor is faster than i am.
On the gaming front, i've still yet to find any game that will exhaust its 4 cores, i've even stress tested by running both Bad Company 2 and Metro 2033 at once, the CPU was sitting comfortably at around 70-80%.
In terms of overclocking, i've had it nice and stable at 3.8Ghz, im aware it can be pushed up to 4Ghz, but i personally wouldnt bother.
It comes with the usual AMD stock cooler, if your oc'ing it, you might want to invest in something a little chunkier.
For a mid to high range processor at this price, look no further. This is a bargain, a must have for anyone with anything less. Fantastic peice of kit at a dead cheap price!
Thanks for reading
8 New from
For me, this game has possibly the best atmosphere and presentation of any game. It feels more like an immersive film than a game. I've never been so impressed at how a game presents itself. Every section is so well crafted, the sound, the visuals, the atmosphere, it all really starts to get in your head after a while of playing.
As you probably know, its another post apocolyptic thing, so expect the same kind of feeling - mutants etc. However, this ones different to the rest, mainly down to the atmosphere, its incredibly original - and a commendable effort from these developers.
Being Russian helps a lot - no cheesy "USA all the way" voice acting - helps the whole thing feel a lot more gritty and real.
The graphics are mindblowing, some of the lighting effects are really cool, and seeing most of the game is set in small spaces, you get the impression tonnes of effort has gone into each space.
Metro 2033 is really what it is because of the feeling it creates. Its about as immersive as your going to get with todays games - even checking your objectives (usually press esc to a seperate menu or something similar), is lighting up a lighter and holding it against the clipboard your carrying!
Admittedly the guns arent all that fun - theres a few really cool weapons, but the sounds for the regular weapons (AK47 etc) could be a little stronger. The AI is also a little weak in places - the enemy shooting at you before your even round the corner (again, dont let this put you off, its a minor problem!) Another sound related issue - voices often drown each other out, if your somewhere busy, you often have to strain to hear plot sensetive stuff, but its a minor problem.
Metro 2033 feels entirely claustraphobic, even going up onto the surface, you need to keep an eye on your gas mask - filters only last a certain time up there, and without a mask, your lungs are fried within a minute or so.
Beware: You may already be expecting this, but theres some damn scary moments from the begginning onwards, so brace yourself for it!
Overall, fantastic game, beautifully put together, stunning presentation with exciting cutscenes, and HUGELY original. Would definitely recommend.
Graphics: 10/10Storyline: 9/10Guns: 7/10Combat: 7/10Atmosphere: 10/10Voice Acting: 10/10
Overall: 8/10 MUST BUY!!!!!!!!!!!
A note on video and graphics performance:
Metro is demanding, and you'll need a top, top end PC to max out. Here's how i managed:
Dx10 - 4xAF - 4xAA - High Settings - 1920x1080 - Av: 40fpsDx10 - 4xAF - 4xAA - Highest Settings - 1920x1080 - Av: 30fpsDx11 - 4xAF - 4xAA - Highest Settings - 1920x1080 - Av: 25fps
AMD Phenom II x4 @3.2GhzDDR3 4GB RAM460GTX 1GB
Hope that helps.
Far Cry 2
2 New from
I know reviews are generally pretty sceptical about Far Cry 2, but after playing through, i think this game is spot on!
Pretty much all of the negative views on this game are based on the fact that it becomes repetive - i can understand that, but, if you are thinking of getting Far Cry 2 but are worried about the repetetive aspect - i've got a few pointers how to avoid it.
The game gives you the option of catching a bus to get to destinations around the map - this avoids the unfortunate repetive side that Ubisoft mistakenly added to the game: getting attacked by the same bunch of people on the road when driving.
The bus system works like fast travel - generally speaking i try and avoid fast travelling in games - it takes away from the persistance of real time etc, but in Far Cry 2, it keeps the game interesting, and varied.
So with that out the way, whats to like about the game?
Firstly, let me start with the conbat. Its brutal, really brutal. I've not played a single player FPS that feels so real in a long time - the guns feels raw and real, and shooting people sometimes even makes my stomach turn a bit. The attention to detail in this aspect is spot on. For example, you'll shoot someone in the arm, they'll dorp to the floor screaming, then try and out their side arm, firing random shots at you - whip your pistol out and finish them off - satisfying and harshly graphic!
Guns work more like a multiplayer - you unlock them by completing tasks.
There are land, water and air vehicles to keep you happy for ages, and going on foot can be equally satisfying.
If your fortunate to be able to crank the graphics up to maximum, you'll be dead impressed - the bloom effects are brilliant.
Next posotive aspect is - the map is huge!! i mean huge! There's desert, jungle, swamps, towns and outposts, again the attention to detail here is brilliant. The game also comes with a sandbox style map editor - another excellent feature.
The characters and voice acting are good, and animations are even better. You can earn the trust of friends who will come and help you out when you get into a tight spot in battle.
As for the story - good, but not great, its a case of doing loads of little quests for different people, working your way towards the main goal of taking down the big bad man!
For those who are into immersive, realistic shooters, you should definitely get this one, i for one think Ubi have done a great job here.
Knocked off one star because you need to actively avoid the repetive side, but dont let this put you off - its easily avoided :)
Graphics: 10/10Storyline: 7/10AI: 8/10Weapons/Kit: 10/10Combat: 10/10Vehicles: 9/10
MUST BUY!! :)
Ran great on the following setup:
AMD Phenom II x4 3.2Ghz4GB DDR3 RAMGeforce 460gtx 1GB DDR5
3 New from
What a great game! I was hesistant to get this when it first arrived on the shelves due to a lot of half hearted reviews, but now its so cheap, i couldnt resist.
So i've played through the whole thing and done quite a lot of time trials and what can i say! Its excellent! You'd expect a new game from Dice and EA to be spot on, and this doesnt dissapoint.
The main thing is just how fun it really is, the fluid movements of free running are really captured well as you jump from building to building. The controls are very easy to pick up which allows you lots of room for being creative, and although there arent loads of different paths to choose, there are hundreds of different ways of going about getting places using different techniques.
The two key fun things for me are the time trials (everyone should enjoy these!) and beating friends and other players times, really challenging; therefore really addictive! And working out the best routes to take in the story mode - navigating your way up to the top of a huge shopping centre from the ground can take some thought!
The graphics are outstanding, textures are really details, objects really defined and long distance veiws are also stunning. No marks off here.
I should also mention the colours, the whole game is so vivid, and it really works, bright whites reflect the blue sky and bright sun, dazzling oranges and reds, really nice on the eyes to play!
The style of the game is another plus, the cutscenes are done in a Anime style, as is the general feel to the game, its just a shame the characters are American and not say, Japanese!
There is an element of combat in Mirrors Edge aswell, its only brief as running is nearly always the most effective option, and its itsnt a bad thing as the combat is a little weak. Thats not to say there's still loads of guns and the disarming feature is pretty cool.
Helping towards the adrenaline you'll get when making big jumps whilst underfire is the soundtrack, whilst ambient when not under attack, and picking up when the action starts. Sounds reminicent of the old Wipeout games for those who remember!
The only fall down (hahah) this game has is the storyline, yeah its there, but just a bit to vague to care whats going on! Personally i really dont think that it is important though, as the gameplay itself is brilliantly fun.
Overall i'd really reccommend, fun, fast and beautifully built. Dont think twice!
Graphics: 10/10Storyline: 5/10Gameplay: 10/10Combat: 7/10Soundtrack: 10/10
Overall: 9/10 MUST BUY MATERIAL!!
Very good frames on the following (all maxed out)
AMD Phenom x4 @ 3.2GHz4GB RAMNvidia 8800GT
Dragon Age: Origins
3 New from
Well, here it is, finally torn myself away from Dragon Age to attempt to persuade everyone who hasnt bought this yet, to BUY IT!
I think theres quite a lot of deluded gamers out there at the moment i think, and i dont blame them. Theres a strange idea at the moment of what an RPG is. What it is not, is a game where you play through a bunch of quests and have persistant scoring and stats. Borderlands (yeah ok i know it was labeled a 'Role playing shooter') falls into this category, and (you'll hate me for this...) so does Fallout 3.
Personally i dont think collecting things, progressing through quests and talking to people makes up an RPG. I argue that these games are first person shooters with some depth!
My point is, you are bound to get kids who spend their time playing these games, and other intense, bubblegum shooters like Call of Duty, then when it comes to something like Dragon Age: Origins, become bored, unsatisfied and demanding some run and gun gameplay! (dont get me wrong, im guilty too!)
All of this brings me to suggest that this game is a TRUE RPG!
This personifies through the whole game, as you'll find out as you play through its vast content (and i mean vast). A great example to demonstrate what i mean is, combat usually consists of pausing the game before you begin, assessing the room you've just walked into, working out the enemies you have to tackle, the possibilty of triggering a trap sending shards of metal into your mates!
This thoughtful proccess that occurs for combat to be successful admittedly is not for some, and if your feeling tired, or possibly had a bit to drink, you might tend to find it too much hard work - but see that as a posotive aspect, rather than negative.
Millions of weapon and skill variants help keep Dragon Ages' combat consistently entertaining, forcing you to use your imagination when a plan isnt working - perhaps you need to mix up a few poisness bombs to dispel the line of archers ahead, or just send in your two knights with your crossbow weilding rogue providing covering fire.... you get the idea!
In terms of the story, i cant emphasise enough how perfectly its put together, and would make a good book its so well done! Admittedly its a bit of a spin off at times from Lord Of The Rings, but not enough for it to be a problem. I was overjoyed to find that the storyline is so shapeable to your choices during conversation, possibly the best factor of this game for my tastes.
The cutscenes are fantastic, some are even breathtaking, battlescenes fit for one of the LOTR movies, truly epic stuff. The same can be said for conversations you have with people, the same engine as Mass Effect used to expect nothing but brilliance in this area.
I really cant cover all the bases in this review, this game truly is sheer brilliance, and expeirience you can only benefit from through playing it yourself.
I ought to mention graphics, even though with gameplay this good, graphics take a serious back seat. However the developers have polished this aspect of the game off brilliantly, similar graphics to Mass Effect, but higher quality textures and no film grain, also a bigger variant of areas to see.
So, to conclude...
Graphics - 9/10Storyline - 10/10Gameplay - 10/10Characters - 10/10Dialogue - 10/10
Overall - 10/10 A proper RPG for proper RPG lovers!
Ran perfectly, no issues whatsoever on the following:
Quad Core 3.8GHz4GB RAMWin7 648800GT
6 New from
Bioshock is obviously a cleverly designed, intricicately thought out and amazing well planned. From the word go the game is original, and thought provoking, theres no room left for imagination at all.
You crash into the sea and enter what gradually turns out to be an underwater city, that has ruined itself by abusing a revolutionary drug that allows supernatural powers to be harnessed by the user.
For me, stuff kicks off way too fast. Withing 10 minutes of playing, as an ordinary guy, your firing electric bolts out of your hand. Although this is exciting, it really is drop in at the deep end sort of stuff, and i never found a moment when i could reflect and have things put into perspective.
This makes Bioshock a dreamy kind of atmosphere, and (annoyingly) as the radio comm's with your directions and objectives are muted out by the sound effects, i found myself not sure what to do a lot of the time.
The combat again, i really wasnt too impressed with, although using Plasmids (the drugs) to do various malicious things was always fun.
Graphically, and Bioshock ticks most of the boxes. The water effects are fantastic, fire and ice again, brilliant, but i generally found Bioshock to have that cartoony style that certain games do.
The highlight for me in Bioshock was coming across the infamous 'Big daddies' - the huge bio-mechanical creature on the front cover. Scrapping these monsters is a barrage of light and sound, and really needs to be expeirenced first hand to appreciate it!
Overall, i'd admit that the design, idea's and construction behind this game is flawless, and very immersive. I just didnt find the gameplay enough to keep me hooked. For the price - its worth getting, purely to experience what i think is a fairly big landmark in gaming history.
Graphics - 7/10Gameplay - 4/10AI - 8/10Storyline - 6/10Weapons - 6/10Overall - 6/10
Worth buying, but slightly over hyped!
Ran fine on maximum settings on the following
AMDAthlon 64x2 4600+Nvidia GeForce 8800GT1.5 GB Ram
NOTE: If your using a Widescreen monitor, be sure to manually patch bioshock with the latest patch from TK's website.