Alan Wake American Nightmare

April 14, 2012 at 2:32 am | Posted in Articles, Xbox 360 Reviews, XboxLiveAddicts | Leave a comment
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Click here to read full review.

Second in line at the Xbox House Party was Alan Wake American Nightmare, this ‘not quite sequel’ see’s everybody’s favourite writer deal with more darkness in the town of Night Springs.

http://www.xboxliveaddicts.co.uk/forums/topic/59535-review-alan-wake-american-nightmare/page__pid__327821#entry327821

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Eurogamer ’11 – Ghost Recon Future Solider

December 8, 2011 at 3:36 am | Posted in Articles, Eurogamer Expo, Events, Preview, XboxLiveAddicts | Leave a comment
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Click here for full preview.

Finally, Ghost Recon Future Solider in a playable form. I don’t know about any of you guys, but as good of a game as Splinter Cell Conviction was, I’m only really holding onto it because of the promise of the beta for this game. It’s a little saddening to say we probably wont ever get round to that beta, but it’s about damn time we got to get our hands on this title.

Gears Of War 3 Multiplayer Beta

December 8, 2011 at 3:34 am | Posted in Articles, Preview, XboxLiveAddicts | 2 Comments
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Click here to see full review

Two weeks in and the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta is booming with customers. With the VIP’s and Bulletstorm code owners having chainsaw’d, shotgunned and executed their evenings away for the past two weeks, those of you who pre-ordered a copy of Gears 3 will now be allowed to join in the masses and try out the beta for yourself, so what’s new in the world of Sera and what can you guys expect from one of the Xbox 360’s biggest trilogies ever?

Gears of War 3 was originally planned to hit us this month however due to the dates being pushed back to September, this gave Epic the perfect chance to try out the new additions to the gears competitive multiplayer to make it as balanced and iron out any bugs ready for day one. The beta has been going for a few weeks already but as the beta progresses, more and more game types and maps will become available, currently only Team Deathmatch, this standard game type is familiar to all, however the Gears take on it gives teams a pool of lives, once those lives are depleted, its one life left for each on that team, bringing back those tense moments of being the last man standing from Gears 1 we all knew and desperately wanted to avoid. The other game types are Capture the Leader, a game type similar to Assassination and King of the Hill, a territories based favourite from Gears 2 fandom.

007 Blood Stone

March 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Posted in Articles, Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews, XboxLiveAddicts | Leave a comment
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Click here for full review.

Transformers: War for Cybertron

October 31, 2010 at 2:22 am | Posted in Articles, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Lost Planet 2

October 11, 2010 at 4:28 am | Posted in Articles, Events, Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews, XboxLiveAddicts | Leave a comment
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Click here to read the review.

Army Of Two The 40th Day

March 5, 2010 at 5:40 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Click this link to see the review

The 40th Day was a sneaky release. EA had kept rather quiet about the sequel to one of the best co-op shooters there was, until dropping the info about it about 6 months before its release. But was this launch a little rushed? Or is this a welcome return of EA’s favourite two buddies?

40th Day follows a little while after the first game where war vets and best friends Rios and Salem have started their own privatized contractor company Trans World Operations. Cunningly known as T.W.O. and are in Shanghai, China to perform a routine contract that was planned to be quick and painless when the city is taken a siege by an unknown force. Buildings are torn apart and the whole city is nearly leveled with our two favorite contractors caught up in the middle of it.

Regarding main story, that’s about it for The 40th Day. The games very shy on really letting up on why PMC’s have banded together for a full on assault of the city. Little is known or uncovered throughout. And your still left rather clueless as to why after you complete the game and our characters are also a little numb to the events. It’s a little sad to have such a game in the story but it’s something we can only hope for in some future DLC.

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The game plays main mechanic is still the agro tactic. Where one character decides to take the full brunt of the enemy attack and acts as a distraction whilst our other player sneaks around undetected and takes out enemies with ease. Whilst our Friendly A.I. is still some of the top-notch to want to have as a team mate, the Single Player way is usually to let the A.I. take the work load as you Solid Snake your way around enemies and pick them off quietly. It’s not until you play the game with a friend that you can really experiment.

Something which was praised for within Army Of Two was its in-depth, and quite frankly awesome gun customization options. Turning that measly pea shooter into a fear-inducing, pant staining weapon of doom was always something you couldn’t wait to do. The crazy amount of after market parts you could transform your guns into was brilliant and it was always fun to show off the big guns to your co-op buddies. The 40th Day, customization is not so much a step forward on that. Or a step back. More of a…side step.

A majority of the weapons you may have turned into something totally unrecognizable in the original now have rather limited, or somewhat tame additions. Most gun parts for assault and sniper rifles only have to be bought once and can then be added to all weapons. There’s also a fair lot less uniqueness to it. I can purchase all upgradeable M4 rifle parts. Then add them to the body of an AK47, basically just making it look more like an M4. Rather than the doomsday device you’d brandish in the original. The pistols have taken the biggest knock with only having the options for a silencer or muzzle enhancer which doesn’t really invoke as much fear as before. Other than that, you can only paint it. The paint, HAS improved however. It used to be plain old stock colours, or pimping out with some chrome, gold and platinum weapons. Now, a lot more designs are available including a series of impressive and varied camo designs all the way to some fancy rainbow colours and rather bright and in your face interesting designs. You aren’t going to mess with a guy with a pink gun with hearts on…are you?

Keeping with what AO2 was really properly known for, more Co-op features have been added, sadly, it’s at the expense of the original ones. Classics like Back to Back are only in the game about 2-3 times, things like co-op snipe is incredibly difficult with an A.I. partner, co-op shield has grown a little redundant unless playing on harder difficulties and things like swapping weapons and utilizing step up shooting have been completely removed. In its place is the new fake surrender, which allows you pretend to surrender yourself, you can either allow a partner to take out the enemies at a distance, or surprise them yourself with a quick draw from your pistol. This move however is not usable whenever you like. Whilst it gets more times to use than other moves, it’s still only at predetermined areas.

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The game also jumps on the morality wagon with hostage situations and ‘consequence situations’ where gamers are given a choice at certain points in the games story. Both choices are of extreme morality with one good and the other bad. After making these decisions, were given an animated sequence following what happens after this decision is made which usually involves a non playable character that the decision was about. Whilst its cool to get all these, of both good decisions and bad, the final decision (obviously being the main ending for the game) doesn’t really have that much of an impact and well and truly confused me as to which ending was actually cannon. Puzzling me as to whether there could possibly be a sequel or not. Which, as being a fan of the AO2 characters, I’m seriously hoping there will be.

The game just about manages to keep the friendly banter between the two characters going. A lot of the funny moments between the too like in the first have been removed and most of the friendly digs and banter are now purely verbal. The beating each other up is still there but only has a couple of animations now and is a lot more awkward to perform, as is the new rock paper scissors game you can play between you. Where it’s only really playable when combat is at its quietist, or just before/after a checkpoint.

Thankfully, EA thought better of themselves and decided to open the Versus mode to all regions. Hooraaay! And instead, the decided to place the new multiplayer mode, which plays a lot like the co-op favorites Horde (GOW2) and Zombie Waves (CODWAW) on a timed exclusive for those who re-ordered it specially. Sigh. EA when will you learn?

With all that, the game still manages an impressive visual feat for each level. Unlike the first, the game is set all in one place, so we’re swapping the Aircraft Carriers and exotic locations for Skyscrapers and building complexes.

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Unknown to my knowledge until playing this sequel. Nolan North is pretty much everywhere these days. And why the hell not. He’s voiced some pretty iconic characters in some heavy AAA titles, most notably Playstations Nathan Drake (Uncharted 1/2), Assassins Creed’ rainman Desmond Miles and even your male character in Fable 2. Suffice to say, North also voices that of loud mouth Salem, brining yet another great character to life, delivering one half of a friendship you can really believe in.

Again, like the original AO2, the campaign is relatively short. Around 40-50 minutes for each of the 6 chapters. Replayable for the multiple morality decisions/ending. Plenty of kill related achievements and just playing it in co-op of course, despite its issues, it’s always good to play with a friend. There is also DLC Chapters in the works.

Whilst AO2…2 doesn’t hit the mark in the ways of groundbreaking sequels, the games not an avoidable title. For the Salem and Rios fans out there, it’s a good continuation of the series. For the new guys out there. Buy the original first. If you like it, then you’ll enjoy this one. Which by then, you can probably get hold of this one relatively cheap.


7.0

<!– Now having to hide this as the quote does not fit in with the current design – I will redesign and then this can go back in!!

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Review – Wet

November 3, 2009 at 3:48 am | Posted in Articles, PS3 Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews, XboxLiveAddicts | Leave a comment
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Link to review

So lets face it, if your a fan of the Grindhouse style of film (Planet Terror or pretty much anything Tarintino has ever made) I’m sure your pretty much in the know on Bethesda’s new freestyle shooter title WET. Its packed with all the tell tale signs of Grindhouse, from the over the top acrobatics, to the cinematic style its presented in, this games pure Grindhouse right to the grain…y filter which fills your screen whilst your slashing and shooting your way through the game. Ah, see what i did there?

Gamers who may have played John Woo’s Stranglehold a year or so will be familiar with how the game works, as Rubi, your given the ability to run, jump, dive and slide your way through the entire environment however you please whilst clearing enemies as you go. Whilst Wet isn’t as environment rich when it comes to diving o and off stuff, there’s still plenty of ways you can mix things up to keep the combat fresh.

Now here’s something’s you wont get from just playing the demo. Whilst the demo is fun and has examples of all the game types available to play throughout the story of WET, the combat does get a little stale. Now, with your new found Exp points, you can upgrade Rubi to allow her to do more attacks and vary up the stylish ways you dispose of your enemies. Varying from just being able to shoot whilst hanging, wall ride shooting and running up people like vaults not to mention all the weapon damage and fire rate you can do for all your firepower available. THIS, means the combat does get a lot more fun and varied in what you do. But it means your going to have to keep on through it until you get them experience points.

The game is broken up into segments of different game play, you have your simple Point A to Point B, get from here to there as stylishly as possible with your kills, there’s the rail segments which include a balanced addition of QTE’s (more on those later) there’s the, ‘locked in a room and must kill everyone to get out’ sections and the Killer7 look alike ‘rage mode’, sadly the transitions are painfully obvious and the game soon becomes repetitive and you’ll begin to lose interest, which means playing this game sparingly is a must!

Fitting in with the Grindhouse theme the games fitted with a grain filter that’s a little more than say Silent Hill 2’s but added to the point to get across an ‘old projector film’ esc style, if this feature gets a little distracting, its available to turn off, which i shortly did to enable myself to e better, whilst the filter isn’t a hindrance its certainly not missed when removed.

With Eliza Dushku at the helm of voicing our vixen of over the top carnage your guaranteed a voice over to fit the character, although the script writing could have done with a bit of a once over since majorities of her voice time is usually one word abuse’s and it feels a little wasted. Its also hard to judge Rubi as a character as her personality is a little bit…well all over the place, one scene she’s talking with old affiliates the next she’s getting a little bit gruesome with someone, but then maybe its all just to fit with the whole over the top scene the game so definitely portrays. The game also fills in with some indie…punk…jargon music that suits the mood.

The game has a mixture of difficulties which will keep you gunning away for those harder achievements, when that’s done, you also have new game modes and the challenges to complete around Rubi’s hideout. The game itself is a fair length though a bit disappointing in the final ‘boss battle’. The game sparingly includes a few QTE’s which are no real problem, it makes them work and its not horrific. BUT. I uses them on every boss including the last. Where’s the effort? Might take you a couple of goes t remember the sequences but seriously, a QTE for every boss? Shame on you Wet, was hoping for a bit of a challenge.

With that said, the game DOES have its gruelling moments, but are then overlooked at how easy the boss is, and is definitely a bit unrewarding in the sense of accomplishment for bringing the story to its climax…well. Buy watching it at least.

In the end WET is an interesting idea and has its fun moments (memories include a sky diving shootout!) but the games predictability, tedious ‘sectioning’ of game play and general attitude towards being something like a Grindhouse production warrants a cheap buy or at the worst a rental.

6

Link to review

Damnation Review

August 13, 2009 at 1:47 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Link to review

There comes from time to time games which lay low in the flurry of big game media and promotions. Some slip through the medias radar until release, and some like Damnation reveal very little about the game, but what they do give out is promising and leading. Damnation was exactly the kind of game which fed us small but impressive shots and videos, but upon release was it as good as we were hoping?

Damnation follows the story of Hamilton Rouke, in his mission to bring down a military complex, Prescott Standard Industries that plans to restore order to a Civil War torn America by crushing anyone who stands in their way, the tyrannous company have no real means of bringing true order, but something of their own…

There alone, is as about as much of the story as you’ll follow as sadly, not only is it predictable and done before, but poorly told as you’re instantly thrown into the middle of it, as if you’re expected to know what’s really going on. Sometimes, this technique works, however when done in ways as such as you only just know what the deal is and not much about anything else, you instantly don’t care for the characters issues or what as a group their trying to achieve. What IS interesting is the setting the game is put in. Rather than a WW2 or futuristic setting, were ‘Steampunk’ is the general era, where steam powered machines are a major source of power yet there’s still a hint of advanced power behind a lot of the creations in the game.

When first playing, you’ll instantly recognise a familiar sight that is Gears of War. The game does use the Unreal engine and perhaps does lean from the Gears tree a little too much, mainly in visuals, weapon selection screens and other things including HUD screens and the way the screen would pan out and around a new area which you’d have to sit through every time.

The game, whilst closely resembling that of Gears is one of the first few Third person shooters I’ve played which doesn’t include a cover system, which in its own way is good, it’s not a complete Gears rip, and it makes a change.

What IS good about the gameplay is that gun-play can be seamlessly entwined with running around and throwing yourself like a lunatic, at one time I can be sniping my enemies from a rooftop, then throw myself through a window, grab hold of a flag pole and hang off the side of it whilst shooting the remaining enemies. Its this kind of run and jump off things and shoot people which makes the game fun and playable, not to mention creative in how you kill your enemies.

The climbing and usage of the environment isn’t far from that of Assassins Creed, yet more implemented in the game. It would be wrong to say that Damnation is JUST a shooter. As gunfights are just a third of what this game is split into. Whilst gunning your way through the crowds is a big part, the adventure side is also a key point, where gunfights are often broken up by the use of adventurous areas in which you must use your acrobatic skills to find your way out or through a certain area.

Bikes also play a large role in the game as bridging the gap between areas further away than normal. Whilst it’s rather strange there would be such kind of vehicle lying around just when you need it, the bike sections are very tacky and not really necessary as each section usually consists of drive, boost, run over a few enemies, jump with your boost and then ride along a wall. The whole driving feels plastic and rather unpolished. Thankfully these sections are over quickly, and your soon back to running and jumping around, like the nutter you are.

The game does come complete with Co-op. If you can find a friend to play through it with you, then brilliant. If not, your really not that hard done by with the game due to the fact the game isn’t terribly difficult. Enemies can be overwhelming at times but never outsmarting. The enemies are quick to move but like you cannot take obvious cover and will often stop to shoot or just stop to…actually I’m not that 100% why they do stop at certain times, but its great if you’re a rookie sniper or are trying to catch that last guy. The larger robot enemies are also a pain but for the wrong reasons. Due to some of the designs of the indoors areas, I often found my running and jumping around almost confused the enemies causing them to get stuck on the environment whilst trying to get to me. Whilst this is an easy win to progress to the next area, it’s still a bit of a hollow victory.

As mentioned before, here are where a lot of Gears resemblances are made, the game in no way is the best of looking games such as Gears 2 or even Gears 1, but its still in no way the worst of lookers. The game is still happily playable even if you may find yourself cringing at the repetitive skinned enemies and those driving sequences.

The games story isn’t the longest of games, yet there is a online multiplayer, a co-op for the campaign and of course, whilst the game isn’t the greatest, its still a little bit of fun if you can buy it on the cheap, its great in small doses, the story requires little to no effort attention wise, depending on if the game catches you in the first level.

Sadly, with the games lack of promotion to begin with, my curiosity got the best of me here, and whilst I was hoping for a fantastic game to enjoy, I still got something I’d come to every so often and have a blast with the free running shooter. Even if it’s only till the next new Third person shooter comes out, if you see it on the cheap and you’re waiting out for your next favourite release, give it a go.

6.3

Resident Evil 5 Review

August 13, 2009 at 1:27 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Link to review

Capcoms zombie survival turn Action Adventure finally takes on the number 5.

Welcome back an old friend Chris Redfield, last seen in the Antarctic labs of CVX (Or Russia for any Wii Chronicle owners) Chris has continued his endeavour to halt Umbrella’s secrets, but now with Umbrella supposedly gone, the BSAA (which Chris and Jill are now apart of) travel the world in aid to halt all bio-logical weapons which have now fallen into the hands of terrorists, a smuggling deal down in Africa, brings Chris to a small town of Kijuju in search of chasing some leads on his age old nemesis Wesker, a new BSAA agent, Sheva Alomar joins him on his journey and soon realises Chris is here for more than she knows.

Most familiar with Resident Evil 4, the game play from RE4 is basically the same this time round, much of the control schemes are the same as is the way the game works. Changes in inventory slots and the more obvious addition of the co-op factor are what RE 5 really plays on this time around.

The majority of co-op features is allowing character to reach higher areas and more importantly, just having someone to have your back when you need it, or even just someone to throw you a spare clip of ammo when your guns run dry it makes some of the hurdles you encounter in RE5 a lot more tactical and more manageable than just with a lone ranger. The ability to swap items around with your partner easily with the inventory windows make sharing and lending out to each other a lot more easier than imagined.

Having Sheva around will be both a great addition to your team and also a giant curse. Whilst for a majority of the game she will be quite often your saviour the later chapters will soon start to show Sheva’s A.I for what it really is. Terrible.

To begin with, Sheva is really helpful, she’ll have your back, she’ll hand out ammo happily and basically carry anything you can’t. However once we reach around the half way point in the game, Sheva seems to turn on you.

She’s not a bad person, we all know that but you cant help but realise poor Sheva will be the brunt of much abuse from many players who experience her ‘low moments’ In the later parts of the game some of the boss battles are a lot more co-op orientated, often involving one character having to restrain or perform one action to an enemy whilst the other (almost always your AI) will have to perform an attack. Whilst this isn’t something hard to grasp, whilst your struggling to keep your enemy restrained waiting for Sheva to take that all important attack it will often be in vain, only to find Sheva not even looking in the right direction, wasting some health herbs or even just not running to the right spot, this flaw in her ability to really be a team player when it really counts on even just progressing through the game is what really damages the game as worth playing through on your own. Your first venture into wondering whether you’re AI partner can even tie her shoe laces will be in an early level including a dark mine and a lantern, when you get there, you’ll know what I mean.

As the game draws closer to its end the combat becomes more shooter based, which also complicate things for our AI friends as on certain occasions the mixture of weapon based enemies and biological melee based creatures was too much for Sheva to handle, ending with Sheva face down in her own body parts and me face down on the floor after having shouting abuse at Sheva. My progression past this stage ultimately ended in me taking all her weapons off her and doing it all myself. First times a charm and I let her have her guns back shortly after.

Having said those past 2 paragraphs of how useless Sheva is, its good for the most part, she’s relatively good to have on your side come the early missions and when you have your bearings around the game, its time to bring in a friend online to make the game a little more fun and interesting.

So one thing the game has received a lot of flak for since the demo is the controls, many shun the game for being slow, which baffles me personally considering Dead Space a game with the same game play elements did so well? Whilst most people see not being able to shoot and run at the same time as rubbish, should be seen as something which requires more tactics and finesse. This isn’t Gears of War. Resi 5 isn’t all about running and gunning the hell out of everything, you need to work together, keep your distance and take your shots carefully to ensure you AND your partner get out alive, having to stop to take shots is not only more realistic, but also really gets your heart pumping during shoot outs. Nothing gets pushes the panic buttons more than a half empty handgun carefully aiming to get those crucial headshots on a crazed lunatic running towards you screaming and swinging a chainsaw above his head.

Following from RE4 style of weaponry there’s a vast amount of weapons available in RE5, each weapon again like RE4 is customisable (not visually) and other weapons are unlocked via purchasing and fully upgrading your previously purchased guns. These are a lot more expensive this time around, meaning you’re going to have to find a lot more treasures and gold laying about the place if you’re to afford all those pricy but great extras.

RE5 is an impressive game throughout, with a game which pulls off both explosions/fire and water effects sometimes even in the same area, RE5 is a beautiful game to push your television to its HD limits.

Unfortunately the game can suffer greatly from screen tearing, for those of you who live in the world of 1080i/p you may find yourself having to tone down to 720p to rid yourself of the pain of broken lines scaling your screen occasionally.

The games sound as always perfectly accommodates for all settings and moods the game wishes to create, though as a RE fan who spent many an evening on the 4th instalment, a lot of sounds from there have been almost completely imported straight over, which, in some cases isn’t bad, but surely its not too much trouble just to enhance them? At least to make some of the pistols a bit of an oomph when you’re firing away at some ‘zombie’ attackers.

Voice acting isn’t bad either which is good given Resident Evils history, one little nag would be Sheva’s voice, as her accent seems to shift from English, Australian and American during sentences, she just doesn’t seem to decide on one throughout.

The game is only 6 chapters long, shorter than RE 4 in fact and wont take you very long to get through, something which I personally find shortens lifespan even more is the addition of things like Unlimited ammo to any difficulty once you’ve finished the game just once. As well as this, the fact that your weapons carry over upgrades included regardless of difficulty. (RE4 had separate weapon stuff for each difficulty meaning you’d have to start from scratch making it both more difficult and challenging from the beginning.

Upon completing the game you’ll unlock the popular mini timed mini game Mercenaries complete with characters and levels to unlock as well as the rest of all the figurines to collect with the BSAA emblems hidden around the Campaign levels to unlock more cool rewards.

Coming soon in a PDLC pack will be a 4 player online multiplayer Versus mode, so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks.

A fantastic instalment for the Resident Evil series, whilst not pushing out to new things the game delivers something of that on the same level of Resi Evil 4 without the drastic impact RE4 had on its game play change. Still a great story to continue the ever giant franchise complete with enough surprises in the game to keep you playing through. The co-op and soon to come online multiplayer will aid in making RE 5 a must have for 360 gamers.

9.2

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