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TMA 218 – False Starts

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On this week’s TMA, Mat has more reflections on Ace Combat 7, and has for the most part been loving Dragon Quest Builders 2 on the Switch. Tom’s been playing some Samurai Shodown, as well as Golden Axe: The Duel on the Saturn and Fast RMX on the Switch. Beside games, the boys talk The Switch Lite and bargain basement prices of the PS1 Classic. Oh Joy!

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TMA 216 – Reserving Final Judgement

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On this week’s TMA, Mat has naturally spent a lot of time playing Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s newest game, Judgement! Between watching Evangelion, he’s also exploring rare Tetris titles and sorting out his PS2 games. Tom’s been buying a few bits here and there, but also philosophising on the future of the ‘HD Remaster’. Join us as we get into all that and more on Tom and Mat Attack!

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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II - Playstation 4 Review

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Just a few months after The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel was released on PS4, the sequel has now had the remastered PS4 treatment setting us up for the much-anticipated release of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III this fall.

Trails of Cold Steel II is a great addition to the franchise which continues to build on the original, it continues straight after the events of the first game which makes playing it a necessity. The story begins with a mission to reunite all you beloved classmates. With such a huge mass of characters and even more being added it’s easy for cast members to fade into the background, however this game manages to not only keep all the characters involved in the story, but to continue to build their character arcs and bonds throughout the game whilst tying all the components of the story into a neat little bow by the end of the game.

The overall heart and soul of the Trials games remains true with cold steel II with some very welcome additions (except the snowboard minigame, I am terrible at that).

So what are these additions? The sequel offers much more freedom as you are no longer tied to the academy as your base of operations and you are not forced to have a set party for your assignments, instead allowing you to handpick your party before disembarking on story elements.

You begin the story at level 40 with all crafts being carried over from the first game, initially I thought this would be an issue as it wouldn’t allow for character growth, however I was pleasantly mistaken as each character learns new crafts as well as upgraded versions of previous crafts. With the level increase comes an increase in difficulty, making using tactics during battle all the more important.

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The battle system still maintains the combat link system but this has been expanded with the ability to now overdrive with your link partner allowing you to take 3 turns there and then, this can completely change the tide of battle. This feature is only available once you have searched out and completed the trial chests for the relative characters which features defeating some difficult enemies.

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The battles with Valimar are very much still rock,paper,scissors but a new element has been added with your party members linking up with the ashen knight to take part in the battle too.

There is a slight issue with the framerate at times when the battles get a little bit hectic, but overall The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II is a solid addition to the franchise and is Falcom continue to build on this for Cold Steel III, I for one will be pretty pumped for its release.

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COOK, SERVE, DELICIOUS! 2!!' OUT TODAY IN PS4 EUROPE TERRITORIES

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Following SIEA Release, Intense Restaurant Management Sequel Expands Into SIEE Regions

What a treat!

Vertigo Gaming Inc. announces its restaurant management sim Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! is now available in PlayStation 4 SIEE territories! Nintendo Switch and Xbox One editions are also in development for launch in 2019 -- with other PS4 regional releases in the works for later this year as well.

Follow this Delicious link for even more information!

Immortal Redneck Out Now on Xbox One and Playstation 4 Pro

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Play as a mummified redneck with over 50 weapons with three playable different classes on three pyramids levels, in this Egyptian-themed FPS shooter. Sounds like your type of game? See the trailer below and look out for our future review on Immortal Redneck!

Graceful Explosion Machine PS4 Review

To summarize G.E.M (which is one hell of a great acronym by the way) would be to say it’s a side-scrolling shooter, played out in a continuously scrolling environment where the goal is to take down the on-screen enemies before they take you down. This however would be selling G.E.M short as it does this with a finesse you don’t always see in games of this genre.

At first, I thought a good comparison would be Fantasy Zone, a Sega classic with a similar gameplay style, in reality G.E.M probably has more in common with the Arcade classic Defender, albeit functioning on a completely different level.

The layers of strategy at play here, coupled with precise and responsive controls result in nothing short of pure Arcade-style gameplay bliss.

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Rather than just doing away with your enemies with just a simple laser, G.E.M provides you with a range of different offensive options and depending on the situation, or enemy type, you’ll want to vary your strategy accordingly.

Weaker enemies can be done away with quickly just by using the standard laser. If they swarm you however there is no need to despair, as you have your Energy Sword, which can provide a swift swipe around the vicinity of your ship to keep the marauders at bay. A stronger foe giving you trouble from afar? Fear not, as you can always rely on your Sniper Beam to take them out from a safe distance. There’s also a barrage of missiles at your disposal, if things get a little too hairy.

In the midst of battle be mindful however, as your standard laser can be prone to overheating if you get a little too trigger happy, in which case, be sure to switch to another weapon in your arsenal to keep providing the firepower, if you have enough gems to power the weapon that is. As an enemy is destroyed it will leave behind a yellow gem, once collected these will provide the fuel for your additional weapons. This is where G.E.M’s strategic side comes into play.

Another tool which goes hand in hand with gem collecting is the ‘dash’ move. While dashing your ship becomes invulnerable and you can easily dash through waves of enemies in order to create distance between you and them or just simply to collect those precious yellow gems that have been dispersed from fallen foes. When your special weapons have run out of juice, collecting these gems is imperative.

When I worked out how to balance these different aspects everything about G.E.M fell into place and I began to ‘feel’ the game as opposed to having to spend too much time ‘thinking’ and thinking is a luxury you simply won’t have when challenged with the amount of on screen enemies G.E.M delights in throwing at you after you’ve enjoyed the honeymoon period provided by the game’s first few stages.

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There are 4 worlds in total with 9 stages in each world, which will keep you busy for quite some time, with a new world opening up upon completing a predefined number of stages. The game’s difficulty curve is welcoming to players not familiar with this type of game and coupled with its eye catching visual style, G.E.M is a very inviting experience for casual players. While I played the PS4 version, I can see the game being a great fit for the Switch audience in-particular and also one that works well in short bursts making it well suited for a portable platform, however I wouldn’t like to play it on a screen any smaller than that of the Switch due to the size of the objects on screen and the frantic nature of the gameplay.

The game also boasts a ranking system and gives you the option to upload your score to a leaderboard at the end of each stage. The ranking system will give you a rating based on several performance criteria, such as time completed, combos acquired and also reward you for the style you’ve displayed during the battle. It’s a great extra incentive for giving stages another go especially since your skills will develop the more you play.

My first impression of this game was of a well-executed arcade style shooter with it’s own unique ideas, I initially saw it as nothing more than good simple fun but felt is was lacking that must-play factor. The more I played however, the more I appreciated the subtleties of the gameplay and quickly found myself entering a state where I became enveloped in the action, suddenly I could take down the waves of enemies with Grace and Purpose, knowing exactly what to do in often hectic the situations. It was at this point everything ‘clicked’, I’d become hooked and found it very difficult to stop playing.

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For those who try this game once and walk away thinking ‘that was good…but, something is lacking’, I’d urge you to stick with it a little longer, take the time to learn the mechanics of the game and before long you’ll really appreciate what a blissful experience Graceful Explosion Machine really is and how it is one of the best examples of Pure Gameplay around at the moment on any system.

In summery, Graceful Explosion Machine is a finely tuned and addictive beast of game, if you enjoy shooters, especially those with a strategic edge then this game is a must-have. I’d also say even if you’re new to the genre, G.E.M is just a great Arcade style experience where the more you play, the more you’ll ultimately get out of the experience and like any great arcade game you may just have a hard time deciding when it’s time stop playing…

Graceful Explosion Machine for the Playstation 4 was provided to us for an honest review and is available now, as is a Nintendo Switch and PC version of the game. For more information on the game and and where to buy it from, head over here.

- Tom Parry

The Deer God Available Now on Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita

The Deer God Now Available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita

SYDNEY - 25 April, 2017 -The Deer God, the lush 3D pixel art adventure from Blowfish Studios and Crescent Moon Games, launches today for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita as a Cross-Buy title. 

Downloaded more than 1.5 million times across Xbox One, PC and mobile platforms,The Deer God tellsthe story of a hunter who learns what it means to become the hunted. After setting out to bring home a large trophy, the protagonist meets an untimely end and comes face-to-face with the Deer God, who in an act of karmic retribution reincarnates him as a fawn.

Journeying through stunning, procedurally-generated pixel art landscapes, players rely on their platforming skills and wits to protect the young deer from ever-present dangers while solving puzzles to unlock new skills and abilities that will aid the pursuit of continued survival. 

Deer can also go down a dark path and acquire destructive powers to unleash upon hunters and other creatures of the forest, but this could result in the eventual reincarnation as a life form lower than a deer.

Inspired by classic titles, including Metroid, The Legend of Zelda and Ecco the DolphinThe Deer God also draws from childhood experiences enjoying the peaceful experience of immersion in the great outdoors. 

"As games have evolved as an art form we have seen them address everything from heroics on the battlefield to war crimes, but we have not seen many games that show an appreciation for the environment," said Ben Lee, CEO, Blowfish Studios. "Whether you have a love of nature or not, The Deer God will provide an experience that is as rich and rewarding as it is entertaining."

Get puzzled with Death Squared on March 14th

Love puzzle games? Team up with a few friends and conquer Death Squared for PC, MAC, Playstation 4 and XBOX One on March 14th.

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Does anyone actually read these descriptions? They do? And there's someone reading right now? Well, in that case: Death Squared is a cooperative puzzle game for 1, 2 or 4 players, best enjoyed with loved ones who don't mind a little arguing for the greater good.

Prove your teamwork skills in Death Squared as you solve puzzles together or die trying! Each player needs to guide a robot to a colour-coded goal, but the path is beset with deadly traps and hazards. Teams of players will need close observation and communication to keep each other alive and discover a solution together.

Complete the main campaign in single player or with two players, then take a group into four-player Party Mode for the ultimate teamwork trial! For those that can't get enough, head to the 'Vault' to find extra experiments recommended only for the brave.

Features:

 

  • a micro-journey of: surprise > discovery > mastery > success

  • All players on the board share in that collective journey as they each play a vital role in the discovered solution.
  • 2 Player Story Mode
  • 4 Player Party Mode

Gryphon Knight Epic spreads its wings over PS4 and Xbox One

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Cyber Rhino Studios, cool name huh? Gets ready to set flight with Gryphon Knight Epic. After a successful PC launch via it's Kickstarter, the game is becoming available for the first time on consoles.

You Beat the Dragon, Rescued the Princess and Got your Treasure. Time for The REAL Adventure!

Florianópolis, Brazil, March 24th, 2016 – We’ve been told the same tale many times: A knight who defeats all the odds to beat a maleficent beast and snatch the princess from its claws, and then comes back to the kingdom with his pockets full of shiny coins. But what happens next? Not all epic stories have this “Happily Ever After” at the end!

Brazilian developer Cyber Rhino Studios is bringing its medieval 2D shoot’em up Gryphon Knight Epic to PS4 on March 29, and to Xbox One on March 30. The story of Sir Oliver, a former glory challenged by his past, became a reality in PC thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign and has been awarded as Best Indie Game in Brazil by IGN. Its enchanting visuals, easy gameplay and progression mechanics take us back to the golden age of shmups. As Cody Dietrich, Modvive, said, is “Mega Man and Gradius having a son” (we will leave that image in your mind).

“We are happy to launch GKE on consoles! It has been 6 months of polishing and fixing the game using input from reviewers, gamer community and play testers. We are confident that this version fixed all flaws present at the day of PC launch”, says Sandro Tomasetti, Game Designer of Gryphon Knight Epic.

Both PS4 and Xbox One versions will be available in digital format for $ 9,90.

 

Features
  • Fight your way as the brave knight Sir Oliver, riding your gryphon Áquila, through 8 hand-crafted, eye-candy levels
  • Duel with challenging bosses, get their weapons and level-up your skills
  • Explore the stages to find equipment and hidden items, and discover the ancient lore of the world
  • Laugh with hilarious dialogues, widen your eyes in epic moments, and have tons of old-school fun!

Villains Of The Week #1

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.

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 Robotnik

 

As Sonic has soared through the decades with regular game and TV reboots, one thing is for sure, he isn't going anywhere soon. And where Sonic treads, his arch nemesis Robotnik is never far behind (there are a few other Sonic villains but Robotnik is king here.) He has certainly changed with the times, most recently with extra long legs to match Sonic - I am still not a fan of that - but his top heavy wobbling form with his outrageous moustache is one of the most recognisable. He chooses sidekicks even worse than himself, I'm sure he may have caught Sonic at least once properly by now if he'd done the legwork himself, but what can I say? He is a very lazy, pompous villain.  Mad and most definitely bad, Robotnik has been villainous since the 80's, terrorising Sonic and the gang every step of the way. His attempts at humour fall flat, and I love him because of that, with his bumbling form looking ridiculous but bizarrely matching his warped sense of reality. An old school bad guy who always falls guilty of talking too much, resulting in Sonic escaping certain death more than once because of his need to explain himself. He may not be successful but you can't say he isn't stubborn (even if he is easy to beat) and game after he game he resurfaces to try all over again.Yes he loves a tantrum and yes he fails at almost every turn - but I can't help it, he's almost lovable.

He might be a villain - but his failures make us remember him fondly, and I can't see him dissapearing any time soon.

 

Dave says "Some villains simply don't stand the test of time. They may, for a while, prove to be worthwhile adversaries but eventually grow tiresome.bNot so with Sonic's main arch nemesis, the infamous Dr Robotnik! (Or Eggman as he is now being known as). Creator of the badniks, various traps and owner of a flying...egg shaped platform that gains various upgrades just in time to challenge Sonic to boss fights, his looks and personality makes him one of my all time love to hate villains! SEGA keep trying to broaden the Sonic titles by throwing him into various scenarios, but his classic battles against the Doctor prove that sometimes the original baddies are best.
He'll get you eventually, you spikey rodent!"

Over and out! 

Mel

Until Dawn - Every action has terrifying consequences

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Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?

Will saying something now spark a heated argument in an hours time?

Can one tiny action ultimately lead to a horrific series of deaths?

The Butterfly Effect, as explained by everyone's favourite chaotician Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, is the concept that each and every action and decision you make can have massive repercussions via a chain of events that you could not have possibly seen at the moment of action. The Butterfly Effect is the driving force behind Supermassive Games' terrifying horror story Until Dawn

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A year after a cruel teenage prank went horrifically wrong, 8 friends end up spending the night at the scene of the tragedy - a remote cabin in the mountains. When things take a turn for the worst, they are left frantically fighting for their lives and hoping to survive until dawn...

I don't want to give away too much about the plot, as it really is one of those games that you need to play with as little prior knowledge as you can. Needless to say, if you are a fan of horror films then you will enjoy the ride. Influences touch on everything from Saw to Scream and even The Descent paired with a finely crafted atmosphere and sense of dread. Jump scares will cause your heart to jump out of your chest, but it's the tangible terror around every shadowy corner and that makes you want to hold your breath and steel yourself for what is to come.

Regulars will know that I'm a huge fan of horror games, and I rank Outlast as one of my favourite games this generation, but Until Dawn is probably one of the scariest games I have played for a long time!

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Suermassive have done excellent things with this PS4 exclusive, the facial animations in particular are phenomenal! While still not completely lifelike, at times they get very close - and the uncanny valley effect of these computer drawn emotions pays off in particular with the character of Doctor Hill, a psychiatrist who periodically probes your mental state throughout the cause of the game. Equal parts creepy and intriguing, he has probably the best facial animation I've seen in a game.

The score is also great, with strings jangling the nerves and adding to the whole interactive movie experience. It hits the beats perfectly and manages to replicate the kinds of soundtracks heard in the films this game drawns so many of its ideas from.

Voice acting is mostly top notch, a few misses but the majority of the cast (Including Hayden Panettiere from Heroes and Brett Dalton from Marvel's Agents of Shield) manage to tap into the slasher movie genre and create characters that seem realistic, some likable, some you just want to punch in the face. This mix of character types creates some of the difficult choices created by the Butterfly Effect System

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What could have been a retread of the type of gameplay seen is Heavy Rain is given more substance through the much hyped Butterfly Effect System. The game will track what decisions and choices you make over the course of the game, and each of these will play out differently depending on what you do. Do you follow a path cautiously taking the safe route rather than rushing ahead blinding? Do you sneak a peak at someone else's phone? Do you sacrifice your life to save someone else? Would you kill a friend in order to save another? These are all choices you will have to make and will all alter the story that unfolds.

On my playthrough I managed to finish the game with 5 of the initial 8 friends alive. Not a great run through but each agonizing decision made me want to save them all, even those who annoyed me, and felt genuine regret when I made the wrong choice! It's like having to face one of Jigsaw's games, and sadistically you will want to carry on to see it through to its conclusion. Next time I'm going to try and save them all, next time I wont make the same mistakes! While not the longest game in the world, clocking in at about 10 hours, it does have lots of replayability to try and see each and every possible outcome and find all of the hidden clues. I genuinely believe that each person who plays this will do things different and get a unique experience. Each chapter consists of an hour of the companions night, playing out between different characters until that hour is over. These are preceded by TV Series style "Last time on Until Dawn" segments that keep you up to date with what decisions have been made so far.

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If you have a PS4 and are a fan of horror then you really need to pick this game up! I finished it in two sittings, with the game drawing me into its world as the hours flew by, and at the end of it I already wanted to go digging into other corners to see what was down paths of fate i didn't take. Yes, it is QTE and talking heavy, and its probably more an interactive story than a true game, and this is something that will not appeal to everyone, but it is something that has to be experienced! I give it a spooky Buy it Now award!

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Until Dawn by Supermassive Games is out now for PS4

Tom + Mat Attack 101 – Finally Got Megaman!

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tma This week the boys are back to their regular shinnanigans. Tom’s picked up some more Worms, Mat bought some Gameboy games, and they’re both talking nonsense! Tom’s been knee deep in some Monopoly on PS3, as well as some Towerfall Accession & Surgeon Simulator on the PS4. Mat has purely been playing Shenmue and as a result, is about to loose some street cred with the Dreamcast Crowd…

Listen here.

P.T Demo FaceCam Scare Moments on PS4

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SilentHill The Blast Process team play through P.T a playable teaser demo for the Playstation 4, that turns out to be a adverting for the next Silent Hill game, Silent Hills.

Can you solve the puzzles and stay alive?

Checkout the best of our scare moments and let us know what you think.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYv6XmGK_Xs?list=UUCERSZUuT0xFi1OMaqpbNQQ&w=560&h=315]

Daylight - Randomly Generated Scares!

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736263_10152410249443966_1291647025410780755_o Daylight starts promisingly with a haunting soundtrack which leaves you feeling unsure what lies ahead, though the suspense is destroyed a little bit by the fact it takes a very long time to load. This is no doubt because of the randomly generated maps

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You play as a character called Sarah who awakens in a darkened room, unsure of where you are with a voice telling you that ‘you must succeed’. You have a mobile phone which acts as your map and is primary light source. It appears as though you are in some kind of abandoned building.

Quickly into the game you stumble across some glow sticks which do offer some light and also highlight objects you can interact with. These sticks also show where you have walked so that you can retrace your steps if you need to double back because you have got lost in the labyrinthine corridors. Unfortunately, the glow sticks are entirely pants at lighting the surroundings and offer none of the security of Outlast’s night-vision mode. Even with glow stick in hand, you are stumbling around aimlessly in the dark. Clearly Sarah isn’t the most physical person in the world as she can only carry 4 glow sticks at any one time before her inventory is full. Surely, if you are stuck in an abandoned asylum you would be shoving as many glow sticks as you could into your pockets.

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The objective of the game is very similar to that of Slender, in which you have to find 6 fragments of memories hidden around the stage before you can make your way to the exit. All the while, trying to not be killed by sinister supernatural witches. These will kill you if you look at them too long, not entirely unlike the Slender Man. Your ways of combating these are either running for your life, or igniting a flare which for some reason destroys the paranormal threat. Unfortunately, like the glow sticks you can only carry a limited number of these.

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The levels are randomly generated each time you play which keeps the game fresh on multiple play-throughs. However, this does make the layout of the stages a bit chaotic and without all the charms of Outlast’s lovingly crafted asylum. Another downside to random levels is that the game can get a bit laggy as it is generating the environments at the start of each stage. That is not to say the game isn’t scary, the music and sound design is very well done and there are still jumps a-plenty. It is just lacking that little ‘je ne sais quoi’ that other horror games on the market have. On a second play through we encountered an entire area much different to that of our first play through. This gave the game a distinctly different feel and kept up the tension as we couldn’t head through on auto-pilot. This is one element where the game does beat Outlast, but only if that level generates.

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Interestingly, this is the first game to be released using the brand spanking new Unreal 4 engine. Disappointingly, it is hard to tell the difference between this and a last gen game and it certainly doesn’t use the console to its full potential.

As you are walking though the deserted environment the atmosphere becomes more tense when you hear the distant sound of running feet and the glimpse of a paranormal terror. Strange sounds and unsettling string do make this a creepy game, with strange moans and phones which ring as you pass. It is just a shame that the rest of the game isn’t as polished as the sound design.

The game would be better for the user if you were given a little more illumination. I understand why they wanted the game to be difficult to navigate, however, I do think just a touch more light would allow you to see more of the creepy set pieces. The fact that it has been released so close in time to Outlast means that it can’t avoid any inevitable comparisons to Red Barrel’s fright-fest.

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“What the Hell is this?’ asks Sarah as she walks into a room filled with crazy markings on the walls. She experiences some kind of freaky flash back and is transported to a room with un-nerving photos on the wall. Not to forget the battered teddy which she is clutching in her left hand. No explanation is given, just that this is a key artifact in escaping the terror she is living through. Unfortunately, when holding said bear, you are unable to use glow sticks or flares. This does increase the terror as you are left with minimum vision.

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At points in the game you feel like you are wandering aimlessly as you encounter dead end after dead end with nothing occurring in between.

If you are a fan of horror it’s definitely worth a play. Especially as there is currently a discount for PlayStation plus subscribers, however, in all honesty, your money is better spent on the truly terrifying Outlast and it’s recent expansion, Whistleblower.

Daylight is available on PlayStation 4 for £10.25 (£8.20 for PS+ members)

It is also available for PC on Steam for £11.99