Friday, 25 September 2015

Destiny: The Taken King - Legendary Edition Review.

By Sam Coles:

If you’re familiar with my blog you’ll know that my impressions of Destiny when I reviewed it this time last year were a resounding meh. After 1 year of the game being out and the release with The Taken King with the Legendary Edition it’s the game it should have been and my opinion has completely changed. So what do you get in this Legendary Edition? Well you get Expansion 1: The Dark Below, Expansion 2: The House of Wolves and The Taken King in on package.

The story of the Taken King revolves around the antagonist called Oryx who is the son of the previous villain from the Dark Below Crota. He has started take different races such as the Fallen and the Kabal to turn them into the Taken which are a phantom like being that can teleport all over the place which are very annoying in battle. You must stop Oryx before he can take over the galaxy. The campaign for this expansion is interesting enough to keep you playing through it because it’s what the Destiny campaign should have been because the characters are interesting and it doesn’t leave you twisted in the wind with the context of the fights it actually tells you.

The gameplay hasn’t changed all that much so if you’re familiar with Halo gun play then you’ll be right at home with this game because it is very similar. You get a new sub class in my case as I am a Titan I got the Sunbreaker which is a hammer that is on fire which shoots fire balls with each swing which causes a huge amount of damage. The way I look at this game with its genre I think of it as 
Diablo but in first person, bear with me. It has the same chaotic looting system where you slowly upgrade your armour and weapons coupled with the great multiplayer co-op where you can take down harder enemies and bosses. This gameplay really hooks you because it has that just one more level factor to it because you want to discover rarer and rarer weapons and amour.

Big disclaimer though make sure that you’re a certain level before you even think about tackling The Taken King because you have to be at least level 30 because otherwise it will kick your arse and repurpose you as a paint brush with your blood. So what I would recommend is taking on the first two expansions first because they’re fairly low level expansions and make sure you’ve finished the vanilla Destiny content as well. Another thing you have to take into the mind is the raid I would recommend being level 40 before you even touch it and make sure you have 7 hours to spare because it’s longer than the House of Wolves raid.

But overall this expansion has given me a reason to give this game a second chance and I love it now, so if you’re still unsure about getting Destiny then buy the Legendary Edition because it actually feels like a complete game now.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Gears of War Ultimate Edition Review - How a Remaster is Done.

By Sam Coles:
With the sudden emergence (no pun intended) with the lazy remasters where they just slap 1080p and 60 frames a second, there are a few that aren’t lazy Gears of War Ultimate Edition is a great from the ground up remake that shows what you can do when you put in some effort. This sort of remake/remaster is great because the game visually hasn’t aged well as it is 10 years old next year, so the Collation made this to get ready for Gears of War 4.
So story of Gears of War is about a war between the humans and a race of creatures called Locust that live underground, which have now emerged to claim the surface for themselves. You play as Marcus Fenix a veteran from the COG, but he has been locked up in prison because he is a traitor. He is later pardoned for his crimes and his comrade Dominic Santiago comes and busts him out to once again pick up his Lancer and fight the Locust Horde.
The gameplay of Gears of War redefined how third person action games should be designed with elements such as a simple, but useful cover mechanic to a stable over the shoulder camera. It’s easy to learn the gameplay in Gears but it’s tough to master because this game requires very quick reflexes in the singleplayer and multiplayer. In order to succeed in this game you must perfect the headshot especially in multiplayer and in singleplayer on Hardcore difficulty and above. When start getting headshots you get into a rhythm almost and you get them consistently.
You have a variety of weapons that are unique such as your main primary weapon being the fun Lancer which has a chainsaw bayonet which it never gets old sawing enemies in half as your character roars in rage. The gnasher shotgun which if you’re smart especially in the multiplayer this will always be you’re number two weapon because it is great for those tense close quarter battles which is so satisfying when you land a headshot or blow them to pieces. Other special weapons are more exotic and you don’t get too much ammo for such as the Torque bow which is an explosive bow and arrow type weapon and the Boomshot which is a grenade launcher type weapon use them wisely because ammo is scarce for these weapons. You also get access to two side arms the snub pistol which is more or less useless so I would immediately recommend ditching it for the much better boltok pistol which is a powerful hand cannon which is good for nailing headshots or blowing enemies to smithereens.
Graphics have been given a fresh coat of paint and completely overshadows the original game, they have redone the cutscenes by reshooting the mocap and the redoing the faces on the characters so they actually look as if they’re reacting to the situation rather them looking like they have too much Botox in the face so they can’t move their mouth. The singleplayer runs at 1080p and 30 frames per second, but the multiplayer runs at 60 fps which does baffle me because it feels so good at 60 and it’s just a bit bizarre and jarring when you switch between the two because of the frame rate difference and I don’t know why they made it 30 fps with the singleplayer.
The multiplayer has been fine-tuned and is acutally playable because it runs on dedicated servers and not the painfully laggy peer to peer servers from 2006 and remember the internet was still somewhat slow in the year 2006. You have a variety of modes such as Team Deathmatch I don’t need to explain, King of the Hill where you have to capture and hold annexes, 2v2 gnashers where two teams of two fight it out with shotguns, Warzone where you only have one life and you have to eliminate all the players in the space of four rounds and execution where you have to kill players with executions only.
Gears of War Ultimate Edition is a great remake and is a great way to get ready for Gears of War 4 and it also comes with access to the Gears of War 4 beta. If you haven’t played Gears before this a great place to start and if you play from now to 31 of December you get the other Gears games for free when the backwards compatibility launches. If you own an Xbox One pick this game up if you want some good old fashion hardcore violence.