Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

Any fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies will love this game! I will admit I was already a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean but playing this game just made me want to see all the movies again (preferably with Lego characters instead of the actual actors).

Lego games have already become very popular around the world due to the likes of Lego star wars, Lego batman; Lego Indiana jones and even Lego harry Potter. So what makes this game different to any of them? Well in all honesty not much. This Lego game is pretty much the same apart from it being pirate rather than wizards or batman etc.

Lego Pirates of The Caribbean Cover Art

Lego Pirates of The Caribbean is available on X-Box 360, Playstation 3, Sony PSP, PC and Nintendo Wii

The Lego “movie clips” like previous ones are rather comical, for example, before the menu comes up on the screen you get an opening movies sequence which like the start of the movie is Will being pulled on board the ship and Elizabeth realising he is a pirate. In the Lego sequence she punches his parrot, throws away his eye patch and throws away his hook whereas in the actual movie she just hides his pirate medallion. After this opening movie sequence you get taken to the main menu which gives you the option of Story Mode of Free Play (unfortunately you can only play the Free Play once you have completed story mode since the Free Play mode allows you to go back over the levels you have played).

Story Mode takes you through the movies from the start with a lot of added comical movie sequences. Of course if you don’t want to watch the movie sequences you can just skip them and pay the game but I personally would recommend watching them as they are very funny.

For those of you who have played the Lego games before the gameplay is exactly the same. You can change between the characters around you to get different parts of the task done and build up broken Lego models around you too.

My favourite thing about this game was the way they have made the Lego Jack Sparrow just as brilliant as the actual character from the movies (the Lego version even walks the same as him). Clearly a lot of thought has been put into this game to keep the little Lego characters as close to the real characters as possible.

Lego Pirates of The Caribbean Screenshot

Graphically impressive regardless of it being a Lego game

So why play this game? Well really it is for anyone who is a fan of the Lego games and/or a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean. If you enjoyed previous Lego games I would really recommend playing this one too as it kept me hooked from the start.

This game deserves a high score for the thought of characters and because I really enjoyed it but for the originality I will be making it down as it is the same gameplay as previous Lego games (the only difference is the storyline).

If you haven’t played any Lego games or are still a bit unsure if you would enjoy it then download a free demo of the game now from the PlayStation Store, from Xbox Live or you can go on the Lego Videogames website to download a free demo for your PC (not available for Mac).

Game Score: 8/10

Review stolen from a bilge rat and soaked in rum by rainbow

Buy Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (Wii) from Amazon.co.uk

Buy Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (Xbox 360) from Amazon.co.uk

After months of saying “No, I’m not going to review Killzone because everyone is” I got handed a copy of the Killzone demo and hence this review.

Let me first say this, I have never played any of the Killzone games, I found them to be either juvenile or games that juveniles would play. And me not being a juvenile I thought that this game would not get a fair review, so I went into this review with the clear and indefinite thoughts that I would not enjoy it.

The last first person shooter I played was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and even when I played COD I never played it for too long because I found it fairly boring. I can safely say that Killzone doesn’t have this effect on me, yes you read right, doesn’t. “But you said you were going to hate Killzone 3” I said I was going to try to, but playing this game made me realise what I possibly have been missing in life.

Killzone 3 Screenshot

With graphics that are this good, it;s hard to wonder why I didn't review it before now

The gameplay was fantastic, took me a while to get used to it, but my god when I did get the hang of it, It was awesome. The graphics are absolutely amazing, graphics that, in my opinion would give LA: Noire a run for their money.  And whilst the in-game graphics rival anything in its field, the cut scene graphics are out of this world. I cannot actually give the graphics its comeuppance because they are just a delight to look at. The control system, whilst not easy to just pick up and learn along the way, has buttons for everything. I mean seriously there is probably a button to make my tea; I just haven’t found it yet. Some may be put off by the thought of too many buttons, but after playing it (And dying quite a bit I must admit) for fifteen minutes you understand how it all works.  It also has compatibility with the move controller, unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to review that, but you can almost guarantee that it’ll be similar to every other shoot ‘em up game that uses the PS Move (There’s also a 3D version, but knowing my love for everything 3D why don’t we skip past that).  The game also comes with a co-op mode, which I’m quite sure may get people to stay in on a Saturday night and have a Killzone party. If I had friends I too would probably do that.

Killzone 3 Inlay / Cover Art

Killzone is available now on Playstation 3 Only

Obviously the game does have a rating of 18 which is understandable considering all the blood and gore that is complimentary in the game. Not to mention the fact that your killing….things with big guns and you actually get complimented on your shooting by your “Partner” (I can’t see many parents saying well done to their son or daughter for shooting someone in the head with a big machine gun can you).

If there was going to be a con it was that the control system, at first is very sensitive and has too many buttons and actions then are genuinely needed. That’s it, I can’t think of any other cons, this game is absolute genius, and I’m not a person who is known for playing games like this, that have “teh big guns”

So for what has to be the first time since starting to review games, I can fairly say that I was wrong to criticise this game. Whilst the storyline seems rather farfetched, the gameplay, and even to a certain extent the control system, more than make up for it. So if this game is criticised for being juvenile, then I too must be a juvenile. Just makes me sad that I haven’t played the first two, but I am happy in the knowledge that if I want too they are going for really cheap on the regular auction sites. This will be going on my shopping list, definitely.

Score: 9/10

Review done whilst riding a black swan by: parkergordon

Buy Killzone 3 – Move Compatible (PS3) from Amazon.co.uk

Buy Killzone 3 in 3D with Dual Shock 3 (Jungle Green) Wireless Controller – Move Compatible (PS3) from Amazon.co.uk

The Gears of War series and I have a strange relationship. I was badgered into buying the first two by an ex, mainly so we could play in the Xbox online. Now I did enjoy playing the games, but I didn’t get as into it as most of its fans. I barely played the online multiplayer, since every time I did I took two steps and was shot in the head from behind. So I had a tendency to RageQuit, and avoided the online mode like a growling bulldog. When I pre ordered the third game (again, persuaded by an ex) I received a code to try the multiplayer beta for a limited time. I thought, ‘it would be a waste to not use it, and it might make for a good review’ so I decided to keep it and jump right in. Do I regret it? Let’s find out…

Gears of War 3 Screenshot

Gears of War 3 promises to be one of this years best selling games

Upon starting the game, I had a quick browse at the multiplayer options. At first, you only get access to four characters. Two of those are the COGs (the good guys); Marcus and Dom, two guys who couldn’t be any more butch if they had testosterone for sweat. The other two are Locust, the bad ‘Guys’. I use the term loosely, as I cannot tell them apart.  You can also choose what two weapons you wish to take with you on your quest to perforate anything made of flesh. Your primary weapon can be either the trusty lancer (assault rifle with a chainsaw on the end… Not over the top at all), the hammerburst (A machine gun that fires as fast as you can pull the trigger), and a new addition to the weapon roster; the retro lancer. The different between this gun and the lancer used in the previous games is the retro version has no chainsaw attachment. Instead it’s equipped with a bayonet, meaning you charge forward and impale your target. The secondary weapon is your spread shot gun. This can be the gnasher (from the first two games) or the newcomer, the sawed off shotgun; an incredibly powerful but slow gun.

I’ve used all these and they all handle very differently. This is good as you can cater your weapons set to suit your own play style or tactics. As a rule of thumb, if you’re new to the Gears series, I recommend using the default lancer/gnasher setup. The lancer has a good rate of fire and accuracy, and the gnasher holds 8 rounds per clip, so you can unload a few shots if you need to be up close and personal. More advanced players are better adept with the hammerburst and retro lancer. The retro lancer is stronger than the regular gun, but the bullets are less accurate, and charging with the bayonet is a big risk since there’s a chance your adversary can empty a clip into your face before you even graze him. The sawed off is the hardest to use, as you need to be so close to the enemy you can see the whites of their eyes.  Additionally, there is an option to customise the look of your weapons; instead of everyone using guns that look similar, you can apply skins to change the visuals. For example, my lancer has the Gears logo painted on, and I’ve seen other players using lancers with a flame skin. It might not seem much, but imagine this; slicing someone with a lancer is all well and good, but picture slicing someone open with a lime green or a hot pink lancer. To me, that brings a chuckle or two.

Once I had a play around with the menu, I opted for the team deathmatch game, to see what Gears3 will be like. While waiting to jump into a game, I was anxious, since my experience with the last two Gears played out like this:

“OK, I’m ready. Let’s do it”

*Takes 3 steps forward*

*BOOM!*

*Shotgun from behind… Dead*

“OH YOU SON OF A-”

*RageQuit*

This happened a lot. Even when I kept close to another player and tried some strategy, I just couldn’t manage a single game. This time, though, I ran for cover, and started to find the nearest enemy. I popped a couple of shots in before my character was killed. I thought about quitting there, but I carried on regardless. Second attempt went a bit better; I managed to down an opponent, and even killed them. From then on, I scored a good number of kills before I was blown to bits by a sawed off. I wasn’t so disgruntled, since I did manage to score a few points, so I kept going. It wasn’t until the third round, however, that I had an epiphany… I was having fun playing online. I… enjoyed it. This came as a huge shock to me, and even when I was stabbed by a retro lancer, I laughed it off. I was having too much fun to care. Now, when I scored a kill, I didn’t think ‘Oh thank God for that’ I thought ‘Oh Hell yeah!’.  I even gave myself a pat on the back when I snuck up on someone and impaled them on a retro lancer. RageQuit is now a thing of the past.

The beta handles very well. For a multiplayer game that’s still in development, I saw no problems at all. My character moved and handled smoother than the previous two games, and there was never a hint of lag anywhere. They’ve kept the controls from the previous titles, which is great, as the layout was always simple to memorise and become accustomed to.  What I found surprising was another new feature; the ability to share ammo with other players. All you do is aim at a teammate and press the Y button. This is handy in cases like playing Horde, or if you don’t have time to scavenge for ammunition.

Gears of War 3 Cover Art

Gears of War 3 is available for the X-Box 360 only from the 20th of September

So far, there’s only been 4 maps available to try online; Checkout, Thrashball, Trenches andOldTown. Each map is completely unique, in terms of looks and layout, and all have a different style of play. Checkout is set in a ruined shopping centre, with debris littering the floor, and opportunities for cover everywhere. This one is quite confined, as the debris covers most of the map. There’s little chance to move about, so you will end up going toe to toe with an enemy frequently. The gnasher here is your best friend. Thrashball takes place in a stadium for the fictional sport… well, Thrashball. Sports equipment and other objects are turned into walls for COGs and Locust to hide behind. This is more of an open map, which can see the opposing teams on either side of the map taking part in an old fashioned shootout. This is my favourite map, as there’s little place to hide from the mayhem. OldTownis based in an old town (surprisingly).  It’s a broken market town, with the main square in the centre, and alleys on either side, for flanking opportunities. This is the biggest of the maps I think, so finding the enemy will be difficult, particularly if they’re down to their last few guys.  Trenches drops you in a mining outpost, littered with mine carts.  The gimmick of this map is the siren that sounds off at random times. When you hear it, ten seconds later a thick layer of dust settles rendering visibility to nil for a brief period of time. Also, on the hill in the lower centre of the map, there is an incredibly powerful sniper rifle, called the Longshot. It’s basically a Barrett M82 which has been given the Gears workout. One shot will obliterate anything. No bodies collapsing; they just burst like a watermelon. Smarter players will seize this gun and stay hidden, taking potshots at everyone. This is the only map that has the opportunity for someone to ‘camp’; staying in one spot and taking out the enemy from a distance. I hate campers, and I’m glad the method can only be achieved in one out of the four maps.

The beta gives you three games to try out; team deathmatch, king of the hill and capture the leader. I’ve played the first two, and I can say both play out very differently. Team deathmatch is a new addition to the Gears franchise, and each team has a pool of lives. When a player is killed and respawned, that team loses a life. Once they are depleted, it can get quite tense when both sides are down to their last few teammates. It soon turns into something from theAlamo, and if the weaker team wins, it gives you a real sense of victory. Not many games can pull that off, and I play this mode the most. King of the hill is a points building mode. Teams must seek out and capture floating rings that appear in different locations. After a certain amount of time the ring moves somewhere else and must be recaptured. This mode focuses on defence and tactics, since I’ve seen teams bunch up on threes to defend rings. Team deathmatch can see you in a full on assault, but king of the hill sees you planning a surprise attack or an ambush. They’re really varied modes, and I was surprised to see that. My impression of online gaming was everyone either shoots everything that moves, or just camps somewhere, no matter what type of mode they are playing. But Gears makes you think about problem solving.

Now guns and grenades are all good, but most of the time they just make your target drop to their knees and crawl around. In the previous games your character crawled around until they bled out and died, or if someone revived them. This time, it’s a little different. When you fall to the floor, you can mash the A button to crawl away and find a team mate to give you a pick me up, or if you’re really lucky, you revive yourself and carry on. Kind of a Monty Python ‘Tis but a scratch’ deal. This must be because players were getting annoyed about bleeding out with no means to get back up. It means the game can last longer, and in turn, be more about fun. That doesn’t mean you have to leave an enemy bleeding on the floor, you can ‘put them out of their misery’… with executions. They vary depending on what weapon you have equipped, and how long you press a certain button. Tapping the Y button delivers a satisfying curb stomp to the victims head. It might be wrong to enjoy it, but it is a lot of fun. Holding down the Y button lets you carry out a more brutal execution. The retro lancer makes you stab the jugular, and gnasher is used like a golf club, and the head is a golf ball, and so on. It’s only a small feature, but it’s worth mentioning for its humour factor.

In conclusion, I am thoroughly engrossed in this game; more than I though I would be. It doesn’t feel as serious as the other two, and it’s much easier to handle. I cannot wait for the full game to be released.  A full review of that will follow.

Score: 10/10

Review carved into a Locust’s chest by: Satchel

P.S. One more thing I must want to add… Carmine must die. Those who have read the Gears of War website will know what I mean when I voice this opinion.

Pre-order Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360) from Amazon.co.uk

There are shooting games that are for the serious gamer; every shot must be perfect, and anything less is failure. There are those that take you on an experience with a gripping story and deep characters. And then there’s Bulletstorm; a game that puts the ‘laughter’ in slaughter.

Before I go on, I would like to point out that I am aware the game is not even released yet, so I am writing this review purely on what I gather from the demo on the Xbox 360.  So be calm my reader (readers, even?).

Bulletstorm Cover Art for PS and X-Box 360

Bulletstorm is due for release on PS3 and X-Box 360 in the UK on 25/2/2011

Upon starting the demo, you’re treated to a video giving you a brief description of the game’s premise… and I really mean brief. The games main character, Grayson Hunt, talks about how his ‘pirate crew’ crash landed on a different planet, and must somehow escape. That’s pretty much it for plot. Hunt (who I should add looks like he went to the Wolverine School of style and etiquette) then goes into vivid detail about what the game was really made for; “Kill with Skill”.  Whenever you kill an enemy you receive points, depending on how skilful you took the guy down. A simple flurry of bullets is worth very little, so running around running around going, “Bang, bang, bang, you dead” is not the recommended approach.  You need to be clever with your kills; give the enemy a kick to the chest, stick a grenade to them in mid air, shoot them in the head, and let his corpse blow up, taking out his comrades… That will get you a whole heap of points.  And that is the essence of Bulletstorm.

From watching the video, it’s immediately apparent the game is focused more on the game play and the points system, than any actual story; it’s basically, “Blah, blah, blah pirates.  Blah, blah, blah new planet.  Blah, blah, blah… Now shoot that guy in the face and send him flying”.  The video comes across as no nonsense and over the top; and I have to say I always smile when I see the video, just for this crudeness.  It makes a nice change to all the serious First Person Shooters, like Call of Duty.

Now after the video you get to play the Collapsed Building level; a nice little playground to test out the controls and game play.  The detail in the scenery is amazing; vibrant, crisp, and rather atmospheric.  Clearly, there’s been some real effort has been put into this game.  Once you’ve taken in the view, you come across some enemies, and the game play really shines.

You can blast away with as many guns as you like, but your two best tools are the leash, and your boot.  The leash can be used to drag enemies towards you, Scorpion style, and leave them dangling in mid air for a few seconds.  This gives you ample time to have your fun with the helpless goon. Head shot? Go ahead. Bullet to the baby makers? Be my guest. Boot them into spikes with a grenade tied to them? Nothing stopping you. It’s very easy to be creative with your killings, which is what makes this game enjoyable.  While most games make you think about tactics, like how to flank an enemy and avoid snipers, Bulletstorm makes you think how a giant man eating plant can be used to your advantage (yes, there’s a man eating plant. Watch the video at the end of the level).

Bulletstorm makes no bones about what it is; it’s crazy, crude, doesn’t take itself seriously, and ultimately, a lot of fun.  Even when Grayson insults you at the end of the demo (“Hey Dick-tits, This Game isn’t going to pre order itself) you get a taste of how blunt he is. The kind of guy that’ll use fists before words… then more fists.

If you need to have your shooters to be always realistic and humourless, then look for another game (which I’m sure Grayson would say, plus extra coarse language), but if you want something that’s the equivalent to kicking a giant glowing ragdoll around, I highly recommend this game when it comes out.

Score: 9/10

Review hastily written on a napkin by: Satchel

Buy Bulletstorm (PS3) from Amazon.co.uk