Bioshock Infinite

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0

I was thoroughly enjoying Bioshock Infinite, then it ended.

Welcome to Columbia.
Lets take a few steps back first though.
I remember the first time I played the original Bioshock, I enjoyed that game, however something about it made that game left what could only be described as a really bad aftertaste.
I skipped Bioshock 2 after half an hour or so of play because I simply didnt enjoy it.
So along comes Bioshock Infinite, a game which I initially had no interest for, my interest was perked however after hearing a friend’s thoughts on the game, which was swiftly followed by a metacritic score of 96.
The first thing I have to say about the game, is that its gorgeous.
Columbia is a bright and colourful place filled with interesting and unique locations and crazy weather which makes exploring and progressing through the game a joy, even most of the indoor sections are brighter and feature more variety in styles than similar games in this genre.
I wanted to spend all day at this beach and its arcades.
On multiple occasions (particularly in the first 1/3 of the game) I found myself frequently taking breaks from combat to admire the scenery. Changes in time and weather further add to eyecandy, along with the special attention which has been given to lighting effects – the shadowing, bloom, and glow from lights really adds to the overall atmosphere of the game.
On a very few occasions during the game, the presentation style completely changes, this is a pretty neat effect I havent really seen in games much, and is usually something reserved for films, but I feel Bioshock used the effect well to enhance the atmosphere of an area.
Its worth noting also that the PC version is pretty well optimised, I was able to play on Very high settings at 1080p and maintain 60 fps for most of the game, even on my ageing PC.
Not sure if atmospheric buildup, or Doom 3 reference.
 The game, functionally, is an FPS with powers, similar to previous games, the gunplay is mostly solid, with majority of the guns feeling impactful (though some balance issues seem to prevent half the available weapons from being used at all unless you fancy seeing yourself outgunned). Aim down the sights is present, as are headshots, heavy armored infantry, and ‘specials’ – the latter two being the replacement for Big Daddies or similar threats.
There are 8 powers in the game, each with their own perks, however they are mostly relegated to utility  effects – I only actually found myself using 3 or 4 more more than a few times (Even though Im playing on PC which gives you easy access to all 8 powers – you have to use a wheel and quickslot system on controlpad). Weapon power, ammo and enemy health are mostly fine until you get towards the end of the game, where enemies begin to turn into bulletsponges and max ammo/found ammo quickly become insufficient.
If you thought big daddies were bad…
The game features an almost RPG style random gear system along with options for upgrading powers, weapons and player stats, the gear provides perks whilst playing (for example, faster shield regen, more ammo drops, double damage when critical low health, etc) and are an interesting addition to the game, whilst the weapon and power upgrades are mostly damage upgrades or ammo boosts – its worth pointing out that the price of these gear upgrades are very high compared to the amount of money you will scavenge through the game – likely resulting in you speccing into certain weapons or skills more, this becomes a problem when mixed with the low ammo pickups mentioned earlier, as during intense firefights you will often be forced to pick up whatever weapon you can get your hands on, like a shitpiece you havent been upgrading, which can make certain bossfights very difficult and result in ‘corpse zerging’.
Cute heroine Elizabeth deserves her own paragraph, its a nice change for a pseudo escort character to not die in firefights and actually sort of be an asset to the player, she is pretty much constantly throwing money and salts at you during combat, and is a joy to travel with. From the dance scene near the start of the game, it became clear to me that Lizabeth has been designed to be loved by the player, particularly towards the start of the game, she has many little quirks and interactions with the environment as she explores much the same as you – I was shocked when she sat down to rest on a bench as I was looking at something nearby, or when she waited outside the male restroom for me.
Liz, heres a lockpick, it might be useful if you, the master of unlocking, take it.

The story…. is trippy. It is a solid story for the most part, and progresses the plot well enough and moves you from location to location, however towards the end I feel like it tried a little bit too hard to replicate something similar to that of the end of Bioshock 1 – Obviously an attempt at making the game deep/twisty, I feel as though it doesn’t explain itself enough and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Many elements in the story are also left unexplained, like the giant mechanical bird or certain enemies (or why the fuck there is so many bottles of ‘salt’ laying around when nobody seems to use vigors but you).
Whilst im complaining about stuff, a design overlook I found at a particular point in the game left me without any ammo, facing a horde of enemies, with nowhere to be able to pick up items and with the respawn being in a dangerous location – I had to corpsezerg into the room, kill a guy with melee, die and repeat about 8 times to clear the area, losing all my money in the process (gotta remember also that enemies regen health when you die).
A similar sort of encounter with a boss in a graveyard had me without ammo facing seemingly endless waves of enemies from all sides, perhaps its because I was playing on hard, but these sections just seemed badly made (artificial difficulty) rather than actually being challenging.
I LOVE the colours in this game.
Im almost surprised there is no multiplayer segment in this game, considering Bioshock 2 had multiplayer, and even the recently released Tomb Raider has multiplayer. With the gunplay in infinite being so solid, I feel like DM/TDM would have been pretty fun, particularly with gear/weapons loadouts, limited upgrade points for loadouts, and then putting Vigors (powers) on the map as pseudo powerweapons, and awarding salt for kills and assists…. Maps could also use skylines for movement/flanking or CTF style stuff…. I should work in videogames, someone hire me already.
Verdict:
Bioshock Infinite is an amazing FPS adventure set in an beautiful locale, its small cast of well crafted characters help to pull the game’s complex story together. There were few complaints to be found whilst playing through, and I found myself struggling to pull myself away once the game started moving.
Approximate Game Length :  13.5 Hours on Hard difficulty.
Actual Worth / Shop Price :  £30 / £28 = 1.07
Should you play it : Without a doubt, this is likely the best single player FPS game released this console generation.
Rating: 5/5

Resident Evil 6 PC

posted in: Games, Games Review, rant | 1

Now, i’m going to start off by saying that I did not play this game for very long before passing judgement on it. In fact, I played 3 out of the 4 modes, and probably only really spent 2 hours on it total.

That said, the reason I did not play this game for very long, or indeed, even pass Act 1 of any of the scenarios I played, is because the game is borderline unplayable for anyone who has any taste in games.

At least the game looks alright while its being shit I guess.

Resident Evil 6 might just be the sum of everything that is wrong with video games this generation – horrific design choices, an exhausted franchise and uninteresting and reused ideas.

Right from the get-go the game is filled with seriously questionable design choices and as you sit through and play more of the game, not only will you get a headache (like an actual one, due to the camera) but you will likely suffer from mental exhaustion from how often you find yourself wondering how such a high budget game could be so bad.

Instead of the traditional ‘review’ stuff I do, I’ve decided to just list everything that is wrong with the game – and bare in mind this is only the stuff I ran into in the first Chapter or 2 – If Resident evil keeps true to the series and the continuing trend of the past 2 games, then no doubt you can add in ‘Frustrating Boss mechanics’, ‘Unfair enemy type’ and ‘Cutscene QTE which kills you’ to the list.

Major / Design Flaws:
1) Menu system is complicated and inconsistent
This is particularly true for those trying to play with a Mouse and Keyboard, where you have to mix and match the two to be able to carry out certain functions. In addition, the menu is just too cluttered to be put to efficient use – Its hard to believe that they have gone back in such a way that the menu stuff in Resi4, or even the simplified menu stuff in Resi5 looks simple and well presented.

Use Keyboard to do the below, but you need to use your mouse to select the item… (oh but don’t hit Right mouse button or it’ll just exit out of the whole menu, genius.)

2) Difficulty Scales based on damage done to the player
This might be partially wrong and enemies may take longer to kill as well, but the main gripe I had with  playing on Hard mode was that instead of increased enemy AI, additional enemies, more scarce ammo etc – the only thing that happened was that zombies took 66% of my max health per hit, compared to 16%. In a game where half the time you will be getting hit due to other bad design choices in the game, this seems to render the game near unplayable in itself, and leads nicely into…..

3) Forced encounters still do damage
There was a scene where a zombie would be triggered as I walked past a door, it jumps straight onto you and you have to quicktime it off – the problem lies in that as soon as it jumps onto you, it takes 33% of your health and is seemingly unavoidable (so help you if you fail the QTE as well)

The bits of the environment which arent obscured by Leons back are sort of nice looking I guess. (I wouldn’t know)

4) The fucking Camera
Is horrible. HORRIBLE.
The only reason Resident Evil 6 qualifies as a Survival horror game instead of a straight action game is probably due to the difficulty of trying to survive any encounter due to the horrific camera.
4a) Its too damn close – It actually gives me a headache every play session, also the back of your character takes up 30% of the screen.
I actually did some math based on some screenshots, when moving around and playing normally, the playermodel takes up 529k/2010k pixels, equal to 26.3% (Over 1/4 of your screen at all times), when aiming or in a combat scenario this goes up to 644k/2010k, or 32% (1/3 of your screen real estate).
Imagine your friend comes to stay over a weekend, and brings enough shit to fill up 32% of your room, you would tell him to FUCK RIGHT OFF.
4b) The FOV is too small – Again, leading to headaches. I know its survival horror but is it so much to ask to be able to see more than 30 degrees in front of me (again, thanks to my character model taking up so much space)
4b) It clips on walls, floors, and just about anything else you dont want it to clip to – This leads to the camera feeling ‘bumpy’ or behaving oddly when moving around corners, and let me tell you, there are a lot of fucking corners in this game. If a house is constructed of bricks, this game is constructed of corners…. This leads nicely into 5)

May as well be playing on a goddamn 4:3 monitor.

5) Autorun, and excessive collision on walls, and poor character cornering 
Im controlling a character that has seen more zombie scenarios than frank west and yet this motherfucker cant do a 90 degree turn round a corner properly?
Autorun almost makes sense, in a game where previous installments would have you holding down sprint at every opportunity anyway, sure. But when your character cant turn corners properly when running, and is always running? Oh boy. Did anyone playtest this shit?

6) Quicktime events
Really? We still have quicktime events in 2013?
And this game makes you press buttons for everything, I think I was forced to focus harder on cutscenes than the enemies whilst playing, because even mundane shit like abseiling from a helicopter, or looking accelerating in a car requires a button press or two.
Its almost like they saw that Heavy Rain was critically aclaimed and decided to make it an elaborate in-joke for Resi6 by filling the game with button-for-action bits at every opportunity possible.
This is made even worse in the PC version where the game will present you with such classics as [SPACE+R] or [Mash A and D]

Seriously? like… Seriously?…… Seriously…?

7) Nonsensical instant death traps
There is a particular scene in Leon A1C3 which this is directed at; this section takes place in an underground rail system, at one point there are 2 train tracks, with a chain link fence in the middle of the two, zombies begin chasing you from behind – On my first attempt I ran left, where my radio-helper lady tells me a train is coming, I get hit from behind by the train, no QTE, no nothing. Now anyone with half a brain would assume ‘okay, I just picked the wrong track’, So i retry and sprint down the right side this time, zombies still at my rear, “a train is coming Leon “, the train light approaches – I get hit from behind again. I literally quit the Leon campaign there and then, and no doubt there are other sections like this in the game which I simply havent encountered yet.

http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/1axhr6/ive_never_been_so_confused_by_a_quicktime_icon_re6/

Minor / “who thought this was a good idea” flaws
1) The control scheme
Its too complicated in general, but certain things bug me – for example the button for reload is the same as the button for ‘pick up item’. Becuase you obviously wouldnt want to have absolute control over when you are reloading, being an action horror game and all – there were a few occasions where I would have to mash the shit out of reload to first pick up all the items in the immediate vicinity before the game would let me reload to finish off the zombie stabbing me for 66% of my health each hit.
1x) I’d also like to add that the PC control scheme is probably worse than Hitler.

2) Zombies with guns that stagger you
Really? We’re still using the stagger mechanic? Zombies now get ranged weapons which are capable of knocking you down? are you serious?

3) Lipsync is off in cutscenes (as expected?)
Minor, but c’mon guys, its 2013, there are characters on the internet where we don’t know if they are CGI or not but you guys cant get lip sync right?

4) Its boring and uninspired
Remember when Resi games were about exploration? Even Resi 4 had some element of exploration in it, but Resi 6 from what i’ve seen is full of corridors guiding you down a very expectant path filled with enemies to stop and kill, they may as well have just released another sequel to the ‘Resident Evil Survivor’ on rails lightgun games of the 00’s
Final Fantasy 13 is almost an open field compared to this game.

5) Set Scenes where you have to follow an NPC who moves really slowly
Enough said.

6) PC Framerate can be inconsistent
The game would switch between running at flawless 60, and jittery 60 (as in, smooth 60 but with 0.1s hitches every second or so). Weird.

Verdict:
I tried pretty hard to play this game, I really wanted to be able to say that I gave it a chance before slating the shit out of it, But I couldn’t. The game is that bad.
Life is too short to waste on media like this, I’ve wasted the time doing it so you don’t have to.

Approximate Game Length :  ????
Actual Worth / Shop Price :  £4 / £20 = 0.2 (For online co-op)
Actual Worth / Shop Price :  £1 / £20 = 0.05 (If playing Solo)
Should you play it : Avoid like cancer.
Rating: 0/5

This is the best part of the game right here, and i’m not even joking.

The Shake Up

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So, I feel like a new subchapter in my life will be starting soon, those who vaguely follow my life will know that I have been working in a restaurant for the past year or so part time, and work at an Payroll/Bookkeeping agents.
I’m about to quit both jobs.
Not particularly because I hate them both (though I do) but because I am terrified of being stuck in a dead end job which I dislike, particularly true for my waitering job.
I do not have a job in reserve, or any form of backup, other than my own personal savings, I hope my JET application will be approved and hopefully that will give me something to occupy the next 1 or 2 years of my life (and i’ll be hearing back from that in early April), however should I fail this, I may indeed be in some trouble.
This isn’t really made much better by my mum apparently wanting to kick me out of the house soon because i’m not taking work seriously.
*sigh*

Red Bull Red/Blue/Silver

posted in: Food | 0
Red bull’s recently released new flavors seem to have taken a leaf out of the average Pokemon gameboy release.

I Tried them all so y’all dont need to waste your money on this shit.

Blue / Blueberry
Actually tastes worse than standard red bull, and has a very faint blueberry taste with a bitter aftertaste.
Probably the worst of the 3.

Red / Cranberry
Sweet – and doesnt actually taste like cranberry, but rather like a drink attempting to taste like cranberry (but fails)
Best tasting of the 3
Silver / Lime
Tastes like cheap energy drink mixed with cheap lemonade.
Not fantastic really, but it was alright.
tldr: If you’re gonna buy any of these, buy the Red one. I still think Monster Regular or Monster Ripper are better though.

1998

posted in: blog, Games | 0

I remember when I was young, around 1998 (which would have made me around 9 or 10) I would need to go to work with my father sometimes as there was nobody at home, My dad is an accountant, and let me assure you, there is fuck all for entertainment in an office other than paper, pens and thankfully, computers.

I had an old PC games magazine demo disk, I only really remember 2 games that were on the disk – ‘Baldurs Gate’, which would go on to become somewhat of a PC gaming bioware classic (The same people that now make Dragon Age, Mass Effect and KOTOR), and ‘Commandos’, which – in retrospect, is a fucking absurd game for a 9 or 10 year old to be playing.

It was no surprise then, that I hold fond memories of both games to this day, even though, when I think about it, I made little to no progress in either of them. My memories of Baldurs Gate consist of (and this will be hilarious to anyone that has ever actually played Baldurs Gate) getting to the inn at the start of the game [Which you spawn outside of] and then trying to burgle the place, getting caught, and then dying to a watchman, I think once, I maybe actually made it out of the city and partied up with the girl, thief and necromancer, however I am 100% sure, I never saw the Friendly Arm Inn.
Im playing through Baldurs Gate enhanced edition, and the first 5 minutes of the game are a complete nostalgia trip – because the starting area is the only bit of the fucking game that I know, Im pretty sure 10 year old me didn’t know how to save the game, or equip items/weapons (because even today, as a grown ass 24 year old, that shit is complicated as fuck to figure out).

I don’t even want to try installing commandos, because I can already tell im not going to be able to beat the first level. Those older style games are so ridiculously difficult that playing it today will only make me realise what a crazy child I must have been – but then hey, I guess these things build character.

Sniper – Ghost Warrior 2

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Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 is a sequel to the fucking abysmal ‘Sniper Ghost Warrior’ which came out in 2010. I was initially pretty excited for the first game as I love the concept of sniping, however that game was plagued with horrific design choices – Safe to say then that I was expecting the sequel to be a  complete pile of shit as well, which is thankfully not the case.

The game is roughly divided into Stealth, Skirmish and Overwatch;
Stealth: Obviously they couldn’t make a FPS where you don’t move at all, as such you will have to relocate between segments. The game has some ‘forced’ stealth bits where you will need to actually concentrate on being unseen and silent, and then the ‘you should probably be quiet about this’ bits whereupon  the game becomes more difficult if you fail. I verymuch appreciate that the game doesnt gameover upon being found, ever – I’d rather be outgunned like crazy than forced to restart.
Skirmish: The skirmish segments are small scale sniping bits, usually a small outpost with 3-8 guys that you will need to take out prefably in an order where they wont notice each other dying. This makes up the core of the game, and is usually pretty fun.
Overwatch: These segments are the super long distance sniping bits, possibly providing cover, or having a sniper battle with a boss. These bits are the most fun as I believe the primary fun factor in this game is the satisfaction of landing a 1000m shot to the face after judging bullet drop and wind.

Shit is about to get real (aka. Overwatch section)

The game starts VERY strong, I thoroughly enjoyed the first act and was excited for the rest of the game, the first act is set in a jungle/farcry paradise area and is filled with long distance sniping sections. Sadly the game goes downhill after Act1, with Act2 borderline turning into Call of Duty style run and gun quickscoping in an urban area. Act3 brings it back somewhat, being set in tibet and with a fair mix of close and long range fighting.

This is gonna sting.

Sniper GW2 looks gorgeous thanks mostly to being on Cryengine 3, some lovely lighting and shadow effects make the world look lush and colourful and provides the long draw distance required for this genre of game. Sniping is satisfying, and the AI is tolerable now compared to the original Sniper GW and is arguably better than the AI in Sniper Elite V2 – What I mean by this is they do not automatically all alert and know exactly where you area and shoot you from 1000m with crazy accuracy when you miss a shot.

This was a headshot, dat bullet drop and wind.

The game HAS TO BE PLAYED ON EXPERT for any satisfaction to be had, this is the only mode which removes the red dot indicating where the bullet will actually hit (which I imagine would take away most of the fun to be had from bullet drop gauging), however playing on expert results in other problems, in particular difficulty in seeing enemies or objectives due to lack of hints – on multiple occasions my spotter would say “hit the bell to distract them!” and I would spend the next 5 minutes searching the area for a bell hiding in the distance (I presume the bell would be highlighted or something on normal), similarly it can be very difficult to find enemies in areas where you are not provided the thermal goggles (they are swapped for NVG on certain levels), apparently on normal the enemies are highlighted on radar or in some other way but on expert look forward to spending 3 minutes to find an enemy sniper (not to mention there is no lens shine or tracers from enemies)

This guy took me 3 minutes to find, despite knowing he was in a tower somewhere
Thermal vision. Apparently a sniper’s best friend.

The Verdict:
Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 is the most enjoyable sniping game yet, whilst it lacks the ‘OHHHH’ factor that Sniper Elite V2 provided, it has a more fun AI and great sound and visuals. Be aware however that the only difficulty worth playing is Expert, and that the game lasted me 4hrs 19mins and there isn’t much replay value until some inevitable DLC comes out or something.
If you can pick it up on the cheap, or if blockbusters is still a thing somewhere I would recommend giving it a try, or if you don’t want to buy it, its defo worth a download.

Approximate Game Length :  4.5 hours
Actual Worth / Shop Price :  £12 / £23 = 0.52
Should you play it : Play the first Act
Rating: 4/5

Antichamber

posted in: Games | 0

Antichamber is an interesting experience, I went into the game with almost no prior knowledge of what the game was – and to some extent, even a few hours in, I still don’t really know what the game is.

I feel like explaining the game, or describing what occurs in it too much would ruin the experience, so I can only recommend the game and tell you to play it.

One thing I will say however, is the ‘special effects’ that the game uses, are very creative and something I havent seen in a game before. Parts of the game will definitely make you “wooaaah” out loud.

Note: the eyeball thing you can see twice here? Its the same one…

One thing I will say however, is that the RRP on this one is pretty steep at £15, I personally would value this game at around £8 – a price point the game will likely drop to come sale period.
There are maybe 3 hours of gameplay here, but little replayability.

Metal Gear Rising : Revengeance

posted in: Games | 0

Metal Gear Revengeance might be one of the most enjoyable games I’ve ever played.
Its no secret that im a massive fan of Platinum Games, and its games like this which remind me why – MGR is everything a game of this genre should be, fun, stylish, challenging and fun; the latter and former of which seem to be a dying quality in games of late, many games try so hard to be edgy or controversial that they forget the core aspect of why people play games in the first place, fun.

MGR is short, without the cutscenes it gets reduced to ‘really fucking short’ with my first playthrough taking only 4.5 hours – However every minute spent playing the game is frantic fun, and for this reason it feels substantially longer – there is hardly any downtime between scenes, no ‘travel to this location’ or ‘head to extraction point’, the whole game is ‘kill these guys’ ‘now kill these guys’ ‘kill these guys too’ which sounds boring in words, but killing guys is soooooo good. Combat flows smoothly and there are enough moves to keep you occupied (but if you just wanna mash X over and over and pretend its dynasty warriors, that’s fine too), well timed parries are rewarded with zandatsu – which can be roughly translated to ‘turn this guy into swiss cheese’.

Due to the combat mechanics of the game (recovering full health from finishing an enemy with zandatsu, and instant kill abilities), they have chosen to balance the game out by making the enemies hard as fuck – the special enemies you face are easily harder than those found in Ninja gaiden 2 or other similarly hard games, with a variety of attacks and some with unblockable grabs and such.

The music and setpieces in the game are probably the most memorable, ridiculous cutscenes followed up with angsty rock music and a multi-part boss battle, with the music building up to a climax as you slowly whittle down the bosses ridiculous health bar, every boss fight truly feels epic (a word i like to try and avoid using, but it seems fitting here), and the final boss is one that will be remembered for a long ass time.

If you get a chance to, I strongly recommend giving MGR a try, Games of this genre don’t tend to stand the test of time in terms of pricing, so in 6 months or a year, be sure to buy this one when it falls in price.

Tomb Raider 2013

posted in: Games, Games Review | 0
The facial animation and subtle head movements will go mostly unnoticed, but help add authenticity to the experience. nothing says last gen like protagonist who doesn’t give a shit about his surroundings.

So Tomb Raider is a game i’ve been looking forward to since I played it at the Eurogamer expo mid 2012, the demo I played put heavy emphasis on the survival aspect of the game, hunting and foraging for food and find a safe place to sleep. I kind of expected the main game to have a little more of this style of gameplay, however in the full game, literally straight after where the eurogamer demo ends, is where the hunting/survival aspect ends, There is no need to aim at an animal, find food, or visit a campsite for the rest of the game, which felt like somewhat of a wasted opportunity – but at the same time perhaps I would complain about it if it were the other way round.

Too much clothing imo.

The game mechanically is divided into 2 core parts, shooting and platforming – the former being a VERY typical current generation shootout in an enviroment filled with chesthigh walls and corners for you to take cover behind, the game at least attempts to spice things up towards the later half of the game by having enemies fire napalm and dynamite at you to try and keep you from sitting behind the same wall for the entire gunfight. The gunplay feels fairly solid, with shots feeling powerful and mostly satisfying, recoil is present and not too excessive and magazine sizes and reload times feel about right, the game also lets you take advantage of the environment for kills, for example shooting people sliding on a zipline will make them fall to their death, or a shotgun blast can knock an enemy off a cliff for an easy kill. Stealth can play a fair part in fight initiation – your instinct vision can show enemies able to be picked off who wont alert others of their death, and bow headshots provide silent ranged kills, this kind of stealth gameplay is never actually forced however and is purely up to player choice.

The platforming side of the game has you traversing the parkour playground that is the island, the world starts off fairly calm with forest and cave environments – before scaling up to suspended craziness, massive vertically scaling shanty towns and mountain ranges. The world is of course littered with collectibles, secrets and optional ‘tombs’ – the tombs play a minor part in this game (despite being called Tomb Raider) and comprise an environmental puzzle followed by an ancient treasure chest containing a weapon upgrade (because video game logic), the puzzles presented, whilst short, are usually pretty clever and will require a little thought to be completed, its a shame there aren’t more of these tombs or that they aren’t more of a core part of the game.

Graphically this game is fantastic, playing on PC with most settings maxxed the island looks stunning with lighting effects, fog, and massive draw distance giving the world some actual size and weight – which is always a good thing when half of your game is based upon moving through the world and exploration. The camerawork/direction is also very well done, with a dynamic and cinematic camera shots being used as you play to further help accentuate the world that crystal dynamics have so lovingly created. Im not much of one for spectating single player games, but I imagine watching someone play some of the platforming/chase sections would look like a movie in progress. (All screenshots taken in this blog post were ingame playable sequences)

One of the minor gripes I have with the game is specifically pertaining to the slightly volatility of the PC version (which I hear other people have been having more trouble with, it ran mostly fine for me with the exception of this one bug). The quicktime events on the PC version are fucked, there is simply not enough of a visual cue to let you know what button you are supposed to be pressing, the action is centered in the middle of the screen and presented beautifully, yet the icons which appear on screen is seem to have no clear indication of what I should be pressing – only by looking at the very bottom of the screen will it say ‘MASH E’ or ‘PRESS F’ , the problem with this is that the quicktime events need to be timed well, press too early and you fail, press too late and you fail – hence quicktimes end up with you staring at the bottom of the screen and flopping your head up and down to try and match the buttons to the cutscene. I died to certain cutscenes multiple times just because of dumb shit like this.
Oh also, there is a bug where in certain events (like the one below) the game will not tell you what button to use at all – I had to enlist the help of my friend twice to find out how to use rope arrows or use the rope ascender purely because it wouldn’t let me progress until I used the new item I had just found , and yet refused to tell me how the fuck to use it.

Clockwise? I dont think I have a clockwise button on my keyboard… I even tried swirling the mouse around for this one

Verdict:
Tomb raider is a very solid action/platformer game, and lasts about 6-12 hours for the main sgame. It features a fair storyline, great graphics and good mechanics. It is defo worth a play, probably worth whatever they want in the shops, and will likely find its way into the bottom half of my ‘Best of 2013’ at this rate.

Ingredients:
1 Part – Above Average third person shooting
1 Part – Assassins Creed climbing up towers
1 Part – Batman Arkham City gadgetry and puzzle solving
Whisk until shiny and polished.

Approximate Game Length :  6-12 Hours for main storyline
Actual Worth / Shop Price :  £25 / £25 = 1.0
Should you play it : Yes! One of the few reboots that work well
Rating: 5/5

Oh, I couldnt end this review without using this picture.

Extra pictures below: