Here I was alone on my spaceship. Minding my own business. Basking in the bliss of eternal solitude, when all of a sudden I noticed a distress signal coming from a nearby ship ‘The Alabaster’. I took one look down at my control panel and decided “not today my friend”. I turned off incoming transmissions and slowly continued on, not knowing where I was going or what I was doing. Free from responsibility and game mechanics…
Our Five for Five series continues today with our Q&A with the two man development team behind Hevn.My hands on preview went live earlier in week, and I thought it was one of the most fascinating blends of sci-fi and survival gameplay I had seen. I was left eager for more, but for now we have the Five for Five Q&A with Larry Johnson and Mat Matthews from developers Miga where they reveal more about their unique take on agile development and the inspiration they’ve received from games like System Shock and films like Moon. Enjoy!
At EGX, I was fortunate enough to get a chance to go hands on with The Signal fromTölva, the upcoming game from Big Robot Ltd, the team behind Sir, You are Being Hunted. It’s a sci-fi first person shooter/explorer with a wonderful art styleand dynamic AI. I quite liked it. …
“A bloody great slab of sci-fi escapism” is how Big Robot (those fine folks behind Sir, You are Being Hunted) chose to end the blog post announcing their new project, The Signal from Tölva. Interested? Hit the jump to check out the trailer and find out who has been helping Big Robot with their new adventure. …
Deliver Us The Moon is fresh out of a successful Kickstarter funding campaign and after having seen a trailer or two I decided this sci-fi survival/adventure game was due a deeper look. Upon first booting up the game I noticed that for a small indie team based out of Holland, developers Keoken Interactive have done a brilliant job with the visuals. Sure there are the odd optimisation needed here or there but for a demo this rates up there with the standard of many AAA demo’s I have played in the past. Solid mechanically, responsive and easy to control, not glitchy, interesting level design and probably the stand out thing for me in this demo is the lack of hand holding. There are a few pointers here and there but in most cases it’s up to you to figure out how to use equipment and decide what direction you should be heading in.
The demo is a short one lasting about 15-25 minutes and you can find my gameplay/commentary of the demo below.
The Kickstarter campaign might well be over but Deliver Us The Moon is still available to back on the official website and the first episode (of five) is due for release August 2016.
I try not to get excited by Kickstarter projects, I really do. So often they promise the stars, encouraging us to throw piles of money at often unproven developers in the hope that one day their ethereal promises will flourish into something wonderful. But other times I just can’t cope – I watch the videos, read the descriptions and then sulk because I’m probably not going to be able to play the game for at least a year.
Several days ago The Mandate passed its Kickstarter goal after a rather tense fund-raising campaign that at times looked like it wasn’t going to succeed. But it did, and I’m glad, very glad that it did, because this is one of those projects that after reading their proposal it’s very difficult to do anything other than say ‘yes, one of those, please.’
Someone once said that in space no one can hear you scream. It is possible however, to hear the shriek of your mum as she discovers just how much you’ve spent on microtransactions. At the very least your scrapbot will have its own personality now, which is more than most people can claim.
I feel strange for saying this about a game known for its survival horror background but Dead Space 3 is a lot of fun, especially during the intense and largely scripted moments that almost act as boss battles. But is fun really what I wanted and expected from the third installment in the series? Well no, not really. Dead Space 3‘s opening scenes cut a distinctly different atmosphere than that of its predecessors. Instead of dark, blood covered corridors and cramped conditions you traverse through the steam punk style streets of Earth, decapitating Unitologists and ducking for cover behind objects in the street. The last thing we need is another cover based, third person shooter and followers of the series might well be getting worried at this early stage in the game.
So has Dead Space 3 become an action game? Not entirely. Yes, there are action elements in the game that weren’t there previously. Things like the cover system, customisable weapons and wide open spaces for beasts of a gigantic nature all influence the direction this adventure in the series has taken. But at its heart Dead Space 3 is still the same survival horror game, just with a little polish added to keep things from getting stale and repetitive. The amount of production that has been poured into the fine details of the game has gone a long way to making sure that this is the case. The eerie lighting effects, deafening audio and brilliant voice acting all add to the sense of tension and dread that die-hard fans of the series will be craving.
Thankfully (for some) Isaac’s Earthly adventures are fairly short-lived, and It’s not long before he finds himself whisked away into a dark corner of the universe in search of marker technology. It’s at this stage that you progress into the familiar gameplay of creeping around corners and closely watching every vent you pass for explosive necromorph appearances. It’s also at this stage that I began to notice the effect the difficulty setting I chose was having on my experience.
Having not played a Dead Space game before, I opted to go with normal difficulty hoping that it would provide somewhat of a challenge but nothing too strenuous. While the enemies of normal difficulty still provide a challenge for a relative beginner, the fact that every single one drops a health pack, ammo or an item that can be sold takes away from the survival portion of the game. While getting used to the tactics of how to properly deal with each enemy can take a bit of time, being stocked up on twenty health packs means survival is not a problem in the slightest. This in turn seems to make the dark corridors a little less ominous and the waves of enemies a little less formidable. For anyone who has experience with shooters or past Dead Space games, I recommend a harder difficulty if you want to keep a true sense of fear and foreboding in your playthrough.
Aside from the obvious graphical update and the addition of more action styled elements in the gameplay, Dead Space 3 has undergone a number of major changes. Most notable are the changes to the weapons and inventory systems and enemy drops, which have become more complex than previously. Where before enemies used to drop credits with which you could buy upgrades and weapons, they now drop a variety of materials and everything you need can be crafted at a workbench. The sheer number of weapons craftable from these materials seems almost endless. From double grenade launchers, to plasma pistols with acid spewing attachments, to a shotgun and assault rifle combo. Providing you scavenge for the correct materials, the choice is yours to make and trying out different mixtures of weapons and picking your favourite is half the fun of the early stages of the game.
Another major addition in Dead Space 3 is the ability to play the campaign with a friend. Co-op may seem like another strange addition for a game meant to send a chill down your spine, but generally it has been handled quite well. If you want, you can drop in on your friends game, or vice versa and begin the exclusive co-op missions, taking the place of Carver as you discover more about his dark past. These missions along with the optional side missions in the single player, uncover some of the more interesting fragments of the back story, like how others in the areas you travel met their demise at the hands of necromorphs and worse.
They also uncover stashes of materials, upgrade circuits and weapon blueprints that will make a huge difference in the higher difficulties. The only disappointment is, that without a co-op partner you are unable to explore the story of John Carver and his character becomes very bit-part in the main plot alone. He shows face rarely and while his comments and actions feel like they should have meaning and understanding behind them, instead they often end up making little sense.
Finishing off any story arc, let alone that of a trilogy of games with a strong following, is a hard task. I think it’s fair to say that however you do it there will always be someone who is unhappy in certain respects and for me there was one main problem. The ending of Dead Space 3 seemed somewhat underwhelming, the big reveal in the story didn’t seem all that revelational and left me feeling a little flat. Gameplay wise it was great and ended up being a little Final Fantasy end boss, which actually worked really well but might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
In conclusion, while Dead Space 3 may have introduced some action gameplay mechanics such as the open areas of Tau Volantis, or the duck and cover system, at its core it’s still as scary and gruesome as it has always been. The controversial microtransactions and DLC are unneeded and not pushed in your face, and while the storyline is not best handled it is not by any means terrible and is still a good addition to the series.
Verdict – Headshot
Platforms Available – PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Platform Reviewed – Xbox 360
Review based on a copy supplied by EA.
Please check this post for more on our scoring policy.
Welcome to the series of articles that is to hopefully become a record of The Best Of Free Online Gaming*. We here at The Reticule know that not everyone has the spare cash to spend on every AAA or indie release, or to sign up to monthly payments for all the latest MMO’s. Trouble is, if you’re looking for some free gaming there are literally hundreds of games taking up the free-to-play structure nowadays and trawling through them all to find ones that are worthwhile can take up a lot of time. I aim to bring you reviews on a variety of the best free-to-play games the internet has to offer, saving not just your money but your sanity too. Last time we took at look at the award-winning Aion, an MMORPG with it‘s own ideas about combat. Today we take a look at Star Trek Online, a game with probably one of the toughest fanbases around. …
With the release of Startbreeze Studio’s re-imagining of the Syndicate series just over a week away, a new trailer has been released showing us clips of storyline and the innovative chip hacking combat. Syndicate is an overhaul of Bullfrog Productions original tactical shooter series from the 90’s. …