Game

Villain of the week #3

 

Due to the exciting news about the potential film "Murder House", (our favourite horror stars resurrected and being studied for their murderous traits) I'm in the mood to delve into our very own favourite baddies of the video game world.

Saboteur Nazi Soldiers

Saboteur Nazi Soldiers

Now, these are villains of the week for a very specific reason: how terrible they are.

Throughout the game Saboteur, you play as the main character who slowly releases France from Nazi occupation, destroying key weapons and killing any officers you see. The game is very clever in design, the world starting off as black and white, colour slowly returning as you rescue Paris and the surrounding villages from Nazi rule.

These are not the best villains, not by a long shot. They're almost the worst (almost!)

They are practically useless at their job and there are hundreds of them, spread out over Paris like parasites. They are convinced by the flimsiest of disguises (you play as a strong Irishman with a broad accent) and they just don't pay any attention to...to...to just about anything. You only have to run about 100 feet and they forget you ever existed, and no matter how much you blow up, or how many you kill, they just switch off. They can't even shoot straight, and when they do on the off chance manage to shoot you, it's barely a flesh wound. They're bullets, they're at least supposed to do some damage. Right?

They also have no sense. Zero. This is why I love them, I mean - Gun turrets facing trees, no space and no people in the middle of fields, miles from anywhere. Cannons with nowhere to shoot but the sky, surrounded by tall trees. Unguarded guns.  Watchtowers by more watchtowers with nowhere to look.

Seriously?

No surprise it's is an easy game to complete!

Villain Of The Week #2

Due to the exciting news about the potential film "Murder House", (our favourite horror stars resurrected and being studied for their murderous traits) I'm in the mood to delve into our very own favourite baddies of the video game world.

GLaDOS

GLaDOS

She is a tough and vengeful AI who will stop at nothing to get what she wants - this villain from Portal has etched herself into the minds of many as an ultimate man made bot turned nasty (although we can never forget Wheatly.)

GLaDOS constantly reappears throughout Portal, with snippets of advice teamed with heavy sarcasm and wit. Her job is to explain and guide you through the game to the end that she desires, but as long as you fight back (checking every corner for clues and titbits of course, in this game leave nothing to chance.)

The ultimate robot queen demands your attention and your fear. But she'll offer you cake, and even the companion cube can't help you when her demeanour descends into full attack mode (and when that happens - run!) I love her because she's twisted, her intelligence driving her slowly insane as you make your way around the game teamed with her conviction that you are the one going mad and not her. As AI characters go, her personality is well developed, she genuinely seems to care about you and your training to start off with and her character development through the game is fantastic. It changes as her motivation shifts, and evil robots normally end up with no personality at all, making her stand out even more.

For most people, it's the famous quote "the cake is a lie!" That rings with the game Portal, and GLaDOS' insistence of cake makes her seem that little bit more unhinged; especially since the cake is a lie phrase is repeated through the game.
Maybe it's the slow but steady transformation into madness that makes her a favourite...Maybe it's the sweet voice that tricks you into submission...all we know at Blast Process is she is one our firm favourites.

Matt C:
"My favorite villain is everyone's favourite psychotic experimental AI: GLaDOS! Passive aggressive, sarcastic, totally unhinged and a complete bitch, but she is what makes the portal series so damn good! Plus I hear she bakes a great cake..."

Foody fun with Video Game Bread

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There's a game currently in design which is accumulating crazy levels of support over every media outlet going, it's been a while in the making and what is you might ask this eagerly anticipated story?Making a sandwich. Realistically mind you - that's why it's taking so long, on various posts the creator have stated they want it to be as realistic as they can make it from the way it falls to the ground and every other aspect of simply making sandwiches. Intrigued, I stopped by to ask a few questions.

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First of all, what was your inspiration for creating a game about bread? Why making sandwiches?

The idea came on a lark. The original idea for this game was much smaller & limited. It was gonna be a game where you'd play out the life of a sandwich until it's untimely demise.

What has been the easiest and most difficult aspects of creating the game so far?

The easiest part is making all the art. The hardest part is programming, I'm trying to learn how to code so that's the hardest obstacle haha.

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What gaming platform are you planning to release it on when it's complete?

I'm currently aiming for PC, but I'm considering other platforms too.

Have you created any other video games apart from Video Game Bread?

Well. I've worked on a couple of games for game jams, but they're not that great lmao.

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Finally, when do you think it will be released?

That's really hard to say. I'd like for there to be something done some time this year.

With over 30,000 followers on Video Game Bread on Tumblrthe mere idea of this currently unfinished game is taking the indie gamers by storm, after all, who doesn't love a good sandwich?

Over and out, Mel

Shurican - the epitamy of ninja fun!

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If you want fast paced action with addictive simplicity Shurican ticks all the boxes. Tap your way through difficult courses filled with crushing spikes, lethal turning cogs and a lot of fire. 20150101-202038-73238990.jpg

Firstly, ninjas! I personally love anything to do with ninjas. Everyone at some point has wanted to be a ninja, I just love them. They're fun and cool with neat little outfits, and in this game awesome facial expressions (of what you can see that is).

Secondly, speed. You are sat in a shop waiting for someone to come out of the changing rooms and have some free time to spend, I can guarantee by the time they exit you will have died umpteens times (if you are as bad as me) and certainly progressed a few levels. If you only have a minute or half an hour, you can play this game and can enjoy it to its full extent.

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Thirdly, ease of play. It's beautifully easy yet addictive at the same time. You constantly tap to keep your ninja airborne, but tap too much and you will go too high, straight into an evil ceiling of fire (that's how I mostly die) or whatever nasty contraption you are trying to avoid that you are guaranteed to hit on your way back down. If you stop tapping - you plummet to your death. If you tap too much - you are probably going to die anyway! It takes time and patience but it's addictive quality begs you to come back for more, no matter how many times you die.

Fourthly, graphics. I really do like the graphics, they are uncomplicated cartoons and full of character with bright colours, especially with the blood splatter that you accumulate. Every time you die you leave a new blood splatter which marks your demise and a point to aim past. The background isn't too busy and distracting and you do feel like you're in some secret training dojo hidden underground with the brick walls and fiery outlines.

20150101-204532-74732887.jpg Those blood splatters are like my badges of honour!

It's an easy to play tapping game that you can play anywhere with a variety of levels and even a leaderboard (should you want to share your progress). You eventually run out of turns and are offered the option to view an advert to get more lives. I was greeted by a quick advert which I soon clicked off and boom - back to playing once more. You don't have to look if you don't want to and can easy come back later. But I have to stress I died a lot before I even ran out of lives (and you don't have to pay anything to buy more lives like some other games I have played - win!)

I would definetly recommend this one, it's bright and fun with colourful explosions that greet you every time you die with a healthy blood splatter too. Just be warned, you will get addicted!

Check them out on twitter here or on their website

Game available for android and IOS

Over and out, Mel

Salvaged ramps up production - support at kickstarter

salavged big logo

salvaged logo Salvaged launches on Kickstarter! You can see Dave's article right here surrounding our thoughts on the game, along with our video interview that was filmed at this years Gadget Show Live.

Opposable Games ramps up production on dual-screen IP Salvaged following positive showing at GDC and EGX Rezzed

Monday 7th April 2014, Bristol, UK. Experienced indie development studio Opposable Games today announces that it is stepping up production of its dual-screen original IP Salvaged, following a highly successful showing at GDC and EGX Rezzed in March. The real-time tactical action game for PC is set in a deadly sci-fi universe and features unique dual-screen play, powered by Opposable's proprietary OneTouchConnect technology. Preview builds are now being made available for the first time.

Described by GameZone as “one of the smartest tactical action games we've seen since X-COM” and by Eurogamer as “a cool, multi-screen take on the tactical action genre”, Salvaged is now slated for an Early Access release in June 2014 and a full release in Q4 2014. The game lets players take command of a Remote Interstellar Salvage Crew (RISC) as they explore and fight their way through abandoned space hulks in a procedurally generated, infinite universe. As the RISC Commander, the player directs the action using their tablet or smart phone while experiencing the impact of their orders through the eyes of their squad on the main screen. This unique dual-screen control system is the core of the game experience, combining the flexibility and intuitiveness of a touch screen with the intensity and immediacy of a modern PC title.

The game idea was originally conceived in 2012 following the release of Opposable's award-winning dual-screen racing game Clockwork Racers. Driven by the belief that multi-screen gaming can be a powerful and engaging experience, the studio has taken a disciplined and focused approach over the subsequent two years to build a team with the size and experience to tackle development on Salvaged. Running in parallel, it has also used its successful work-for-hire portfolio to fund creation of its cross-platform device connection technology OneTouchConnect.

Late in 2013, Salvaged won out against stiff competition in the IC Tomorrow second screen contest run by the Technology Strategy Board and backed by Sony. This initial injection of funding and support is enabling comprehensive user testing and the integration of face tracking technology to hone the gameplay, ensuring that both screens play an integral role in the player's experience.

Committed to sharing their learning through development and encouraging others to embrace multi-screen games, Opposable have worked closely with a number of developers and have also made OneTouchConnect available via the Unity Asset Store.

Recent feedback from the press and public has shown a strong interest in both the game concept and the technology, as MD Ben Trewhella explains: “The response we received to the game at GDC and Rezzed was overwhelming so we're confident that the time is right to ramp up production. We've believed in the potential of multi-screen gaming for many years but it was really rewarding to see so many of the public so enthusiastic about both the technology and Salvaged itself. We're looking forward to sharing the finished game with our fast-growing fan-base.”

opposable gamesCommitted to sharing their learning through development and encouraging others to embrace multi-screen games, Opposable have worked closely with a number of developers and have also made OneTouchConnect available via the Unity Asset Store.

Recent feedback from the press and public has shown a strong interest in both the game concept and the technology, as MD Ben Trewhella explains: “The response we received to the game at GDC and Rezzed was overwhelming so we're confident that the time is right to ramp up production. We've believed in the potential of multi-screen gaming for many years but it was really rewarding to see so many of the public so enthusiastic about both the technology and Salvaged itself. We're looking forward to sharing the finished game with our fast-growing fan-base.”

To support its new development schedule and to enable more of the team to move their focus away from work-for-hire, Opposable are also announcing today that they're launching a crowd-funding campaign for the game on Kickstarter which will go live on Monday 14th April.

For more information on Salvaged, please visit www.SalvagedGame.com, or follow the game via social media at: Twitter: @SalvagedGame, Facebook: www.facebook.com/SalvagedGame For more information on Opposable Games, please visit www.OpposableGames.com To support the Salvaged Kickstarter campaign, please visit the official campaign page here: salvagedgame.com/pledge

inFAMOUS Second Son Review

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inFAMOUS Second Son is Sony’s first console exclusive game since launch. It is a game that has been raised high on the hulking shoulders of the Playstation 4. It promises a ‘next gen’ experience that will make the naysayers of this new generation of consoles, part with their hard earned pennies and shell out for Team Sony. But is this game truly the second coming of video gaming? Or like a second child, forced to play with the previous generations hand me down mechanics?

inFAMOUS Second Son follows Delsin Rowe, the titular Second Son, a graffiti artist delinquent, who like most super heroes, has greatness thrust upon him after discovering that he is a Conduit. Conduit is the term given to those in the inFAMOUS universe with powers, though the easiest comparison would be ‘mutant’ from the Marvel universe. Much like Marvel’s X-men series, ‘Conduits’ are treated like outsiders by society, who have labelled them ‘Bio-Terroists’ and assembled a department to track down & capture Conduits called the Department of Unified Protection (or D.U.P).

Despite how clichéd this story may sound, it brings about what is perhaps the most impressive thing about Second Son: the game’s interesting dialogue that actually matches the motion capture beat for beat. Even when characters say lines that sound somewhat forced, the facial expressions exhibited by the character anchors meaning to them, making them not only forgivable, but even believable. 

But even these flourishes of next generation narrative aren’t without their thorns. The game’s characters are interesting, but are painted with such broad strokes of cliché, that their flashback stories sometimes undermine the believability that the actors performances strive so hard to achieve. If the game exhibited a little more show than tell on character motives and histories, Second Son’s story could have raised the bar for storytelling in Triple A titles. 

Instead like a weight lifter with one arm weaker than the other, the game’s storytelling displays a muscular imbalance. Where the stronger arm of the game’s storytelling and facial recognition is ready to push things forward, the weaker arm of convention and its need to impart information on the player quickly holds it back. 

The game’s karma system leaves a lot to be desired however. While it was a key selling point of the original games, it falls into the Fable trap of not having so much impact on the game, other than visual aesthetics and slight changes in dialogue. There is no moral grey in the stories key choices; it’s always a polar opposite ultimatum of good or evil. The game even colour codes these choices, for those who couldn’t tell that ‘turning yourself in’ was the ‘good’ thing to do, over ‘sacrificing your tribe’ making you seem a little bit bastardly. Though perhaps if you’re in need of colour coded assurance of what you’re doing is right or wrong, there are bigger issues for you to tackle.

In terms of game play, short of an impressive representation of Seattle that is close to fully formed, inFAMOUS never really feels more like very well made, late  Playstation 3 title, rather than the next gen opus some had hoped for. 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing however, as the game is fun to play for the most part. Combat is fluid and balanced. Even as the game progresses, you neither feel overpowered or nor completely outgunned, as the game’s Conduit powers offer a way to turn the tide. While these powers are upgradable, apart from the elements their composed of and some small changes to the amount of damage dealt & animation, each new power is based around the idea of a melee & ranged attack, a dash, a powerful attack and a special that can be triggered by using the game’s karma abilities, offering little varieties or reason to switch between powers. 

However, the game requires you learn each of these new powers in turn, forcing you into sticking with each of the individual powers for an extended period, rather than allowing the player to simply revert to an older power until later in the game. By the third power unlock, the ritualistic regaining of each attack after receiving a new power takes a lot of momentum out of the game. The game’s final boss encounter is even bogged down in the tedium, forcing you to play the game how Sucker Punch would like you to, rather than how you feel you should, shattering the illusion of player free will in service of the narrative’s natural conclusion, souring the games conclusion slightly and making it feel a little rushed.

The game also suffers from other minor irritations. NPCs will cheer at you one moment, and then the use of a power will make them freak out and run away. The game also punishes you for careless mistakes in combats very heavy handily. While trying to clear out the city of D.U.P agents to gain fast travel, the player can encounter large parking areas full of enemies. If you’re unfortunate enough to clear the whole building, a good 10 to 15 minutes of work, but get killed by the last, more powerful enemy, you’re sent back to the last checkpoint, sometimes at the other side of the city. It could be argued that this is the game attempting to balance risk vs. reward, but can leave Second Son prey to biggest cardinal sin of gaming: making the player feel like they’re wasting time.

Exploring the city is also a blessing and a curse. Traversing a large city that is fully at your disposal feels as next gen as console gaming has got. Running up walls and bouncing up walls is thrilling, but when mixed with poor climbing mechanics & the inability to swim, Delsin feels a lot less super than he should. 

But it must be noted - standing on top of a tall building and seeing a city move all around you is really a sight to behold. For a second, you could be forgiven in thinking that Second Son’s Seattle wasn’t the real thing.

It’s not until you get down on the street that this is abolished. There’s not the feeling of life a next gen city should have. While cars drive & NPC’s shout random lines of dialogue based on your character’s moral choices, there are no background noise, no fleeting whispers of conversation, and the distinct hum of traffic isn’t there but an occasional car horn, making the game’s Seattle a city without soul. The city is also for the most part, also indestructible. You can’t bring down buildings or destroy walls, other than DUP structures that are removable from the environment once districts are freed, adding to the feeling the city is no more but a sandbox. 

While there is little replay offered rather than freeing the districts, the gimmicky graffiti mini-game or taking part in the 6 part, weekly mission cum transmedia campaign in inFAMOUS Paper Trail, there’s not a lot to keep you coming back on Delsin’s story is done.

While Paper Trail is a fun experiment into using an external device & your own detective skills, to solve a murder both at the console & away from it, these extra missions won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. The post-story city is also more for those aiming for trophies than a rewarding end game experience. You could always replay the game from the opposite karmic stance, but this offers less variety than you would expect.

So is inFAMOUS worth playing at all? Absolutely. While this review is perhaps rather scathing of Sucker Punches’ efforts, Second Son is a glimpse at the future. It’s a solid game by the standards set in the last generation that gives Playstation 4 owners a look at things to come. It’s vast open world, fast and enjoyable combat, combined with a competent story & incredible character performances makes Second Son perhaps the truest experience of this console generation so far. It’s problems lie in the expectations of what it means to be a game on a new console, instead of defining them, it only theories at what an Xbox One or Playstation 4 game should be, rather than what one is. 

inFAMOUS is one of the first games of the generation to hint at what’s to come. If you own a PS4 and are curious about Second Son, by all means pick it up. While the game perhaps shouldn’t be the reason for shifting consoles that it undoubtedly will be, it’s undoubtedly Sony’s best offering. But be warned - like the game’s karma system, you need to take the good with the bad. It’s not a flawless experience, but it’s story, cool powers & artificial sense of freedom make inFAMOUS Second Son a game that, at least in this point of the console generation, a worthy addition to your games library.