Category: Games

  • ๐Ÿ“‚

    Thoughts on the Final Fantasy 7 Remake

    Y’all have to look at the big picture here. Nothing worth fighting for was ever won without sacrifice.

    — Barret Wallace

    It felt like I had a weird mental journey through playing the Final Fantasy 7 remake.

    It started with me absolutely loving the opening scenes — the slow aerial shot into the mega-city of Midgar; the beautiful re-imagined image of Aerith down the alleyway.

    It ended too with me absolutely loving it — despite the fact that it covers only about the first 10% or so of the full FF7 story!

    But there were a couple of moments within the story of remake where I just got a bit bored with it and stopped playing it for a couple of weeks.

    However, on the whole I was not disappointed with the remake. Despite having waited about a year or so after its release to play it.

    All the vibez

    The vibez in Final Fantasy 7 Remake were on point. I found myself getting emotional just through the opening cinematic. Being able to see close-up the people living in Midgar, before the infamous entering of the train at the reactor station, just filled me with the best feelings of nostalgia.

    During that opening game play segment I was pumped up and ready to take it on. Everything was as i remembered — except for the game’s battle system. The games battle system I did not care for much, but I wont dwell too much on that.

    As I mentioned above, there were the odd times I became a bit bored. But these tended to be around side quests and extended sections of certain parts of the story. Although in retrospect perhaps I was just in a rush to get the story moving forwards.

    My boredom never came during story beats taken from the original game.

    In fact, many of the moments that had been remade were even better in my opinion. The whole of Wall Street had been elevated into a place much bigger and brighter. And the characters too — Don Corneo especially was developed far more in this one, with his character being much more creepy.


    You never heard the voices of the characters in the original Final Fantasy 7, so they pretty much sounded like how they did in your own head.

    But once I heard Barret’s deep voice bouncing off of Cloud’s indifference in the remake, I knew the developers had captured these characters perfectly. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but Barret sounded exactly how he had in my mind — cloud not so much, but the way in which their relationship develops was as nicely done as I recall.

    Tifa had that same hard edge as I’d remembered, along with the slight vulnerability. I didn’t often control other characters during enemy battles, but Tifa was one I would sometimes — punching an enemy before using a whirling uppercut was so cool.

    And when it comes to Aerith, not enough good things can be said. She is perfect in this game. Her character is just so pure and you can’t help but want to protect her, despite her being just as strong, if not more so, as the other members of Avalanche.

    As it was in my mind’s eye

    As a result of my extensive hours playing the original while I was a child, I have most of the original locations permanently etched into my mind. As such, I could always imagine how it would look from the characters perspective — the original being a top-down perspective for the player.

    And this remake again absolutely nailed it. Many areas of Midgar that I remember fondly had not only been remade and enhanced, but were perfectly as I remember imagining them.

    The Seventh Heaven Bar; Aerith’s House and garden; the park that Cloud and Aerith pass through. These were all places I remembered well and they all felt instantly recognizable when coming to them in the remake.

    One place that I felt was without a doubt far superior in this remake was the Shinra headquarters. The entire building was utilized so much more — and it looks absolutely stunning. New areas of Hojo’s testing areas were added; the ascent up the tower was much more streamlined and with new and very engaging moments added in.

    Glorious music

    The music was very nostalgic for me and yet had not just been ported over. The score was absolutely beautiful and stirred all the same feelings as it had done many years ago. Only now the orchestral scores had a much higher production value.

    The moments when the Shinra theme kicks in. Or Sephiroth’s iconic music fills the headphones. These moments were special back in the late 90s, and they felt special now.

    I liked the inclusion of the collectable music discs in the game too. Hearing familiar final fantasy 7 pieces of music playing from a nearby jukebox was a nice touch. It was a good way of bringing in later aspects of the original game — the Costa Del Sol theme is one that immediately springs to mind.

    In Summary

    At the risk of sounding soppy, Final Fantasy 7 holds a very special place in my heart. It was one of the very few games I grew up playing in my formative years — others being Resident Evil 2 and Metal Gear Solid. So remake this I was more skeptical than excited by the prospect.

    In fact it took me a year or so to actually play the game. I just didn’t need a new version of the story — the classic is perfect enough for me. Plus I don’t believe they are going to get all of the story into the planned 3-part arc I believe this remake is planned to be.

    However with that said, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a loving re-imagining of the classic RPG. I would have liked to have kept the static turn-based battle system as in the original. Something like how Persona 5 did their battles would have been the icing on the cake for me, but I guess you can’t have it all.

    I realize that pretty much all of my critique and opinions on the remake are going to stem from a place of comparison to the brilliant original. But I also can’t help but feel that this game is best experienced with having all that nostalgia tied up in one’s brain and heart.

    Despite it feeling a little drawn out for me in some places, I still look back on the story of remake, on the whole, as being a good one, and one I will probably revisit soon.

  • ๐Ÿ“‚

    God of War

    I had such a great time playing God of War.

    I very quickly got drew into this world and felt myself being channelled through Kratos’ immense power. For a large percentage of this game I was Kratos. I think this was due largely with how the game never once took me out of the immersion. I don’t remember ever seeing a loading screen, save for the initial loading of the game.

    The relationship between Kratos and his son Atreus was an emotional and thoroughly entertaining one to see unfold. I went into God of War without knowing anything about any of the previous games. So Kratos’ character was completely new to me; any references to previous events, or any moments that he goes against any previous perceptions of him, would have been lost on me unfortunately.

    I kinda wish now that I’d held off and played those earlier games first now.

    But nonetheless, this game still hit me right in the feels at multiple times.

    There isn’t any prerequisite to have played those earlier games either, as the story is self-contained, and is really about a father and his son going on this journey together — both literally and figuratively.

    More widely speaking, I think the game is about family and parenthood in general — about what it means to be a family and what we would do for them, and what we would be prepared to give up to see our children safe.

    The First 3 Captures

    The World is stunning

    The world in God of War is so beautiful. And the sense of scale it has is just breathtaking.

    I can still remember the first time I saw the world serpent and just how massive it was. It’s body can be seen wrapping around most of the lake of nine (the game’s central area). Whilst it’s head can be seen out in the distance, blocking a portion of the sky off.

    There is a variety of areas that must be passed through in order to reach your ultimate destination: Mining caverns through mountains; Wide open expanses of water to be fully explored; dangerous forests and ruined temples; and the highest peaks in all of the realms.

    The game lets you decide at many points whether to continue along the game’s main story or go out and explore. I chose to explore a lot of the time and am glad I did. The world has many secret areas to discover and puzzles that when solved, will give you items that will greatly help you on your quest.

    I found the inclusion of a “realm within realms” which you must run through when “fast travelling” between areas was actually really clever. As a developer I can imagine this being a neat way of loading in the next area whilst running this small path.

    The combat is insane

    The combat in God of War is mental to say the least. Your main weapon is the Leviathan Axe which can be thrown and then summoned back to your hand at will — exactly like Thor’s hammer.

    Not only does Kratos’ Axe open up a whole manner of creative ways to take out enemies, but it is used often in the puzzles you will encounter. It has the ability to freeze what it touches, which can be used in certain places to gain access to otherwise inaccessible places.

    Not only is there Kratos though, but his son also. By pressing the “square” button you can command Atreus to fire an arrow in battle. You can leave him to fire as he likes, but you’ll find that there are many opportunities to create clever strategies when using both characters to their fullest.

    As you gain XP you will be able to unlock many skills for both Kratos and Atreus, as well as upgrade and enchant armour to help you in battle. I wont lie, I found all of the different fight moves a little intimidating. In fact, I found myself button-mashing through most encounters of more than three enemies.

    I found the difficulty challenging too (in a good way). I started the game on “normal” but had to downgrade it to “easy”. And even on easy the game was a challenge for me. I dare say if I’d committed the time to learning the moves that are possible and getting them in as muscle-memory I would have found it a bit more easy-going.

    In Summary

    If you enjoy action-focused games with a deeply emotional tug, then you need to play God of War. Every person I’d spoke to before playing it told me about how good it was and that it only gets better as you progress — and they were all correct.

    Not only does this game get increasingly good the further through the story you get, but I have a feeling it will get better with age too.

  • ๐Ÿ“‚

    Welcome to Hanwell — first impressions

    I picked up Welcome to Hanwell for a few quid in a recent PlayStation Store sale. On first playing it has a good creep factor. Waking up in a morgue and taking your first steps in the dark, dank blood-splattered underground is a great introduction to any horror game.

    The opening had me walking through a couple of corridors into the adjoining rooms and office, as it taught me the basic game controls and mechanics. One of these mechanics was looking behind you as you run — this can only mean bad things ahead.

    I love the atmosphere of the game so far — despite having been unable to escape this basement area for about 45 minutes or so. The idea of an open-world horror game does tickle my fancy somewhat, so I really hope I can get past this first challenge.

    And no — I’m not going to spoil what that challenge is. ๐Ÿ˜€

    One draw back for me

    I have to mention one thing that has me a bit miffed. I can not find any option to invert the Y axis. ๐Ÿ™ . This may seem like a petty thing, but I find it super jaring to play any game without the inverted Y axis. I think this can only be due to the many many hours I spent playing Ace Combat 2 on the PlayStation as a youth.

    I have tweeted the developers in the hope that it could perhaps get added in an update. Not sure if this will happen, but if you don’t ask you don’t get.

  • ๐Ÿ“‚

    Thoughts on Resident Evil 4

    It’s felt like the longest time to get into the swing of things with Resident Evil 4.

    When I first tried it about four or so months ago, I didn’t get the appeal – at least not now in a post – RE2 Remake world. After my first failure and struggling with the control system I didn’t think I’d ever go back.

    But I did go back — months later — and I am so so glad I did.

    Resident Evil 4 has become a favourite of mine. I would put it alongside RE2 Remake in terms of enjoyment and replayability.

    The Controls

    The control system felt entirely foreign to me on that first play months before. I went into it expecting similar fluid controls of the recent RE remakes, but instead was greeted by something half way between that and the old tank controls of the originals.

    The aiming felt so constricted — having to stop running, begin aiming, and then slowly move the gun’s reticle to where I needed to shoot.

    However, after an hour or so of playing something happened — I noticed that I was just moving along and playing the game. I was no longer forcing anything.

    What I first thought to be constricting was in fact what was helping to give tension to the game play. The fact I couldn’t walk and shoot meant I had to choose my moves more wisely.

    Castle corridors

    The Setting

    The Eastern European setting is absolutely gorgeous. And the excellent soundtrack really helps tie the whole thing together.

    The game never lost its claustrophobic feel for me either. Despite the early parts of the game being in relatively more open surroundings, the levels are designed in a way that leaves many corners to be surprised from. There were many times when I would hear a shuffling noise and not be able to fully pin point it.

    Later on, the setting takes on a more Gothic tone in a huge, decadent castle — before leading you to it’s final location, which I’ll leave you to discover. The castle is a really stunning level and some great, sometimes over the top, moments in it.

    I especially enjoyed a no-combat section where you have to control Ashley to get her to Leon safely. Some truly spooky moments in that little section.

    Overall, the game was much longer than I was expecting. Just as I thought it was moving towards a resolution a whole new chapter would begin. Despite the 16 or so hours of play time I spent, the experience felt so much longer — and I mean that in a good way.

    Approaching the Castle

    The Enemies

    The game really throws you in at the slightly deeper end. I thought I would never get past the first village encounter — it felt impossible with just too many enemies coming at me at once. But after persevering and reaching the end of the first chapter, it felt like it was all coming together.

    The early part of the game sees Leon fighting off the village’s residents who have all become victim to a mind-controlling parasite. Controlled by some unseen entity they run at you before slowing to a walk just a few metres away. This gives you that time to aim the weapon and fire — so they don’t just all run at your face at once.

    Later on you’ll meet creepy cultists and flying bugs, before working your way through the game’s hierarchy of main villains.

    There was one enemy type in particular that was equal parts inventive and terrifying. But I’ll leave you to discover those for yourself, should you dare to play. ๐Ÿ˜›

    The Graveyard and the Church

    In Summary

    Resident Evil 4 went from being a game I couldn’t stand — just down to it’s controls — to one I couldn’t do without now. After getting past the initial confusion over the half-tank/half-fluid control system, it really is a blast to play.

    The village and Gothic setting make me even more excited for the upcoming PS5 “Resident Evil 8 (Village)”. Taking what they learnt and developed with RE7 and applying it to this kind of Gothic setting, Capcom could be making something really special to experience.

    I can’t recommend RE4 enough. For it’s crazy story, hideous and tough monsters and often cheesy dialogue.

    Leon needs you.

  • ๐Ÿ“‚

    Thoughts on Days Gone

    Bend Studios’ Days Gone took a while to grow on me, I wont lie. The main reason for this was a couple of blue screen crashes I experienced during the early hours of it.

    However, fast forward a few months to my restarting it and it quickly became a favourite game of mine.

    As replayability goes, this is up there as one of the best for me — I literally jumped straight back into New Game + after the credits had rolled on my first playthrough.

    What is Days Gone about?

    Days Gone puts you in the very capable boots of Mr Deacon Saint John — a biker from Farewell, Oregon. The story opens on day zero of a mysterious outbreak that sees people devolve into violent none-thinking animals.

    After his wife Sarah is injured, they are separated as he manages to secure her a place on an outbound medical helicopter — Deacon must stay behind to make sure his best friend, Boozer, makes it out alive. However, that is the last he sees of her.

    Fast-forward 2 years or so and we join Deacon and Boozer riding through the Oregon forest roads in pursuit of someone. From here you take control of Deacon’s destiny and must survive a world that is literally always coming for you.

    One of the main threads throughout the story is whether or not Deacon will ever see Sarah again. That story and his undying love for his beloved is beautifully told by not only the writers but the people portraying those characters too.

    An unfolding story

    One of the biggest criticisms I see for Days Gone is it’s narrative structure and how it almost feels like it could be ending, before introducing a new set of characters. But I found this to be one of its biggest draws for me.

    The story felt more like a novel at times than a typical video game narrative. And I loved that story.

    Instead of a simple structure like:

    1. Setup characters
    2. Setup conflict
    3. Work to resolve conflict

    It was more like:

    1. Setup main characters and the world they live in
    2. Drop into their lives at a given point
    3. See how their lives unfold from there

    Our own lives are rich and we meet people at different points in those lives. We don’t just get introduced to all the people we will ever know at the start and continue to the finish line.

    Days Gone does a great job at actually telling an unfolding story where different characters enter and exit at various points. It gives it that extra piece of realism for me and it’s a story that just keeps getting better.

    The World

    The World of Days Gone is fucking stunning. That’s the only way I can put across my complete love for this world. The weather effects look incredible — especially in the heavy rain and blizzards.

    The towns, outputs and lake houses dotted all over and hidden amongst the wilderness beg to be found and explored. I can’t really put across the feeling I get whilst just wandering about the world finding new houses and farms.

    I could spend hours just riding the broken roads — circling the entirety of the map — just for relaxation. Of course that relaxation is quashed when you accidentally run up against a horde of freakers.

    Oh and I haven’t mentioned the wildlife yet!

    I remember one instance after completing the game’s main story where I was riding around looking for the collectables. I kind of got lazy in my diligence and before I knew it, as I was getting off my bike, one of the world’s many huge bears attacked me from out of nowhere. I literally jumped out of my skin.

    And then there are the pack-hunting wolves and later, the crows.

    The world of Days Gone is brutal and unforgiving, and I love it.

    Freakers and Hordes

    Freakers are the “zombies” of Days Gone, except more fierce, fast and agile than traditional zombies. Although one on one isn’t too much of a challenge — in fact the AI can be very easy to get around at times — as soon as you pull more than a few freakers, things can escalate… very quickly.

    One of this games technical achievements that made the press was the concept of a Horde of freakers: literally hundreds of enemies on screen and running at you at once. That feeling of discovering your first Horde — the world has many of them — coming over the brow of a hill or feeding in a pit, is a hard feeling to beat.

    The freakers are often found dotted around the world in most places — especially at night — but Hordes will travel in a large pack between a water source, a feeding pit and their daytime refuge — a nearby cave normally. Choosing when and where to attack will depend very much on your confidence and fighting preferences.

    One thing I will say is that these Horde battles can get unbearably tough at times (and long) — especially on higher difficulties. Being chased by hundreds of freakers often means that more will be pulled into that group as you pass by the other freakers just wandering the world.

    I had one fight recently on my new game plus that lasted just less than an hour, and I barely made it out alive.


    Days Gone is as beautiful as it is deadly. With many of the familiar parts of a traditional open world game — bandit camps, collectables, side quests and varying storylines — this game still manages to carve out its own niche within that genre.

    It’s in a league of its own. And although it can be very occasionally buggy, the amount of stunning moments this game holds, greatly outweighs it’s very few flaws.

    If you like Open World games and Horror, you need to be checking out Days Gone.

  • ๐Ÿ“‚

    Resident Evil : Project Resistance CLOSED BETA — my thoughts

    I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to open my email two weeks ago and find an invitation to the upcoming multiplayer game Resident Evil: Project Resistance. I had heard it referred to as “Resident Evil but done like Dead by Daylight”. But I’m here to tell you that it is so much more than that.

    I’ve always loved the classic Resident Evil games (from the original through to Code: Veronica – I haven’t played any more till Resident Evil 7: Biohazard). Resident Evil 7 rekindled my love of horror games and the Resident Evil 2 Remake rekindled my love of Raccoon City specifically. So when I had heard about an upcoming multiplayer game set in this world I jumped at the chance to enter into the closed BETA access ballot.

    I still can’t believe I got in.

    What is the aim of Project Resistance?

    You choose from one of two sides when entering into a game โ€” you can be either one of four survivors, each with their own unique traits, or the Mastermind, who is trying to stop them from escaping. I found both sides fun in their own way, but the clear winner for me was playing as the Mastermind โ€” especially when I got to jump into the skin of the Tyrant twice in each game (more on that later).

    Survivor goals

    As one of the four survivors your goal is to make it out of the match with your allies. This means fighting your way across three separate areas of the game map and out of the exit gate, all while the Mastermind throws everything at you from Lickers to Zombie Dogs.

    Each time you deal damage or complete objectives you get additional seconds added on to your team’s time to escape. And believe me when I say that every second counts. Each area has a simple puzzle to solve, which essentially involves exploring the environment for each part of a puzzle to unlock the next door.

    The survivors enter the last area

    Each area has a safe room where you can buy extra weapons, ammo and herbs with credits found within the map. These safe rooms can also be used as breathing spaces โ€” The Mastermind is unable to send enemies in there after you.

    Mastermind goals

    As the lone Mastermind, your job is to stop the four survivors from making it through those three areas and out of the exit. You can throw anything at them that you have at your disposal, but there is a slight caveat.

    The Mastermind builds up a points gauge, about 1 point per five seconds I think. Those points can then be spent to play “enemy cards”. You see, each enemy you can place down in the map is represented by a card within your “deck”. Decks can be chosen before the match but the BETA was limited to a single selection. Those cards then become available on a rotation, allowing you to build up a good varied selection of enemies for the survivors to fight through.

    A Zombie dog for example takes 2 points to place down. It is a weaker enemy, but more can be placed down in succession. A Licker on the other hand is worth 7 points but is much stronger. So it will take slightly longer to build up to the points to place one of those down. So it’s all a bit of give and take.

    Downtown map view

    Another power gauge that builds up over time, separate from the card points gauge, is the ultimate weapon metre. The only Mastermind that was available to play in the BETA was “Daniel”, whose ultimate weapon is The Tyrant from the Resident Evil 2: Remake. The Tyrant card pops up once its metre is filled, after which you can place it for free. Once placed, you actually take control of the trench-coat-wearing machine!

    If you manage to keep the survivors occupied enough through the match, and their timer runs to zero, a gas will be released killing them all. If this happens then you have won the match.

    What I liked about Project Resistance

    I have to say that I pretty much liked everything about this game. Even though it was a BETA test, it felt really polished and I noticed absolutely zero bugs whilst playing. Capcom are one of the leaders of the pack when it comes to video games right now, at least in my opinion. I think a lot of what made this game feel so polished for me, was the use of their proprietary engine introduced in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and continued in Resident Evil 2 Remake โ€” the “RE Engine”.

    I felt there was a good push and pull between the survivors and the Mastermind. Some games I would absolutely destroy the survivors, whilst in others they would escape with 8 minutes or so remaining. It will be interesting to see how this game gets altered, if at all, after they have sifted through all of the feedback from the testing weekend.

    An example of the cards to put enemies down

    What I disliked about Project Resistance

    As I said above, I pretty much like everything in this game. If I’m honest the only thing I found slightly frustrating, albeit only occasionally, was the enemy intelligence. I would sometimes see enemies just standing there whilst survivors ran around ahead of them. This happened rarely, but I assume it is one of those things that will get reviewed after testing. That’s what BETA testing is for, right?

    What I’d like to see in the Full Release of Project Resistance

    This was one of the questions on the feedback form and it really got me thinking about what I’d love to see in the final game. The DLC options here are almost limitless, but here are a few things I’d love to experience:

    Lots of maps.

    I’d love to be able to play through a bunch of locations from the Resident Evil universe. Even the Baker House would be a cool one for me. I think you could probably get about five or six maps from each Resident Evil Game.

    Some of my absolute dream maps would be:

    • The Baker’s Guest House from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.
    • Raccoon City Police Station from Resident Evil 2 (both versions? :))
    • Different areas of the Spencer Mansion from Resident Evil Remake
    • The Guest House from Resident Evil Remake
    Mr X watches as the dog attacks a survivor

    Lots of enemies

    Different enemies from across Resident Evil’s history would be so awesome. I could imagine putting a bee hive in the corner of a room, with the lights turned off, to be very annoying to survivors. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Some enemies I’d love to be able to place down:

    • Bee Hives from Resident Evil Remake
    • Moulded from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
    • Giant Spiders from Resident Evil Remake
    • “Possessed” Mia Winters from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard as an ultimate weapon
    • Jack Baker from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard as an ultimate weapon
    • Maybe the ability to place enemies outside of windows that would burst through when passed?

    Different Skins

    I think the idea of each survivor player having to choose a different character is an interesting one. But what I’d love to see would be for players to earn, or maybe purchase?, skins. So they still play the roles as either tank, damage, hacker etc but each person can go in looking like characters from the Resident Evil universe.

    Some characters I’d be super hyped to play as:

    • Leon Kennedy
    • Jill Valentine
    • Chief Irons? LOL
    • William Birkin (Imagine having a team comprised of the whole Birkin family :D)
    • Mia Winters

    In Conclusion

    I absolutely loved playing this game over the testing weekend and can not wait for it to be released in full. I will be buying it on its day of release.

    My first thoughts when hearing about its asymmetrical structure was that it would basically be Dead By Daylight but in the Resident Evil universe. But I am happy to say that this is not the case. Project Resistance is a game that sits on its own, taking interesting elements from different games. It has the puzzle solving aspect from its own world, it then takes the asymmetrical nature of other multiplayer games whilst putting its own spin on it. Mix those with the card point system from games like Clash Royale and you’ve got an interesting game that I’ll be playing the hell out of when it’s released.

    I’d like to also take this opportunity to thank Capcom for accepting me on to the BETA testing weekend. I managed to make a few friends jealous, as well as having some of the most fun moments I’ve had on the PS4 for a while.

    Gameplay footage โ€” playing as Mastermind

    Me playing as Mastermind

  • ๐Ÿ“‚

    First steps into No Man’s Sky

    I am absolutely loving No Man’s Sky. The planets I’ve visited are absolutely stunning!

    My first base is on a snowy planet I discovered. I called the planet “Ice Bonga”. The cold storms get pretty nippy on there.

    Getting shelter in my space ship on Ice Bonga

    After warp driving to a neighbouring star system, I found another new planet. This is probably my favourite planet yet so have decided to set up camp.

    I have named this new planet “Plush Bonga” and have begun the base building.

  • ๐Ÿ“‚

    Statik on Playstation VR

    Statik is one hell of a fun game to play. Lasting only a couple of hours, depending on whether you solve the puzzles of course, this game never got boring. Despite the fact that you spend the entire time with your hands locked in a box.

    Locked in a box

    Your hands are locked in a box within its VR world for the whole game, whilst in reality you take a hold of the standard PS4 controller. That controller is used in very inventive ways throughout the game to try and solve each puzzle.

    Each level gives you a new puzzle to solve, which become increasingly tricky and mind-bending as they go on. Each button, whether it be the directional buttons; the shape buttons; triggers; or analogue sticks, will control individual parts of each box.

    There are some puzzles that require you to hold the control bindings of a box in your mind all at once, with one particular box being on a timer. This gave me just the right level of stress to warrant fighting back against being put back a step or two.

    It’s not just a box

    A lot of the game must actually be solved by using the environment around you. Parts of the room and certain objects around will very subtle guide you through the cryptic puzzles. I found myself at times just dumb-founded without a clue on how to solve something. Until I would make a really clever connection between my box and something around me and I’d end up with a great big grin on my face.

    My personal favourite was taking control of a small remote control camera buggy. As you move around to otherwise-inaccessible areas to solve its particular puzzle, you get live feedback to your box. It felt so trippy to be inside a VR game controlling a remote control car that can show you a live feedback of yourself in that chair.

    So frickin cool.

    A quick game that feels just right

    Even though each game involves you solving a different box that has your hands locked within, the game never felt repetitive. Each puzzle was so different from one another that I ended up feeling like I’d been on a real test of the mind to get to the very end.

    I completed the game in about two to three hours and that felt just right to me. I’d had my fill of that particular world, but could probably have played just one more level.

    I guess that’s one of the marks of a really good game – leaving the player wanting just that little bit more.

    In Summary

    If you want a challenging mind-bender of a game with truly ingenious uses of what the PlayStation VR can do, please do check out Statik. This game was a random recommend on a list of “best PlayStation VR titles” I stumbled across, and I’m so glad I picked it up on the PlayStation store.

  • ๐Ÿ“‚

    Until Dawn Rush of Blood on Playstation VR

    Until Dawn Rush of Blood is so much fun to play. The concept of being essentially trapped in a roller coaster cart adds a new dimension to what is possible with a horror game. You have no option to just stand in a corner and catch your breath before moving on. You are either fighting for your life or being moved ever forward into the increasingly hellish world.

    Remains true to the original

    Until Dawn is a stand out game and still stands up to this day. It was nice to see that the look and feel of the original was maintained with Rush of Blood. Riding gently around Blackwood Mountain and the surrounding forest was just as atmospheric as I remembered.

    With Rush of Blood

    I actually felt the uphill pull

    I was amazed when the cart I was in started up a steep climb, that I actually felt the pull back that you would normally expect from gravity. I know that it’s not gravity but instead probably just me tensing my own muscles in the same way. But it really is such a genuine feeling that the horror that I knew was coming had even more of a degree of terror to them. If going up a roller coaster climb felt real, what the hell will it be like when I was getting killed by hoards of killer mannequins and clowns.

    I was soon to find out.

    In summary

    This is a completely different game to Until Dawn. Although the locations do take you through certain set pieces reminiscent of the original, the style of game play is far removed. Until Dawn Rush of Blood is an all-out arcade shooter. And a bloody fun one at that. But don’t be fooled by its premise – this game has moments of true terror. Even though there were moments when I could predict what a particular jump scare was going to be, it was no less effective.

  • ๐Ÿ“‚

    Life is Strange: Before the storm episode 3 (Hell is Empty)

    It doesn’t seem like too long ago since Life is Strange Before the Storm was first announced. Now here I am writing up my thoughts on it’s heart-felt, bittersweet conclusion.

    In this final episode we follow Chloe as she works to uncover the truth, and whereabouts, of Rachel Amber’s birth mother. As she does so, she manages to uncover some dark truths about certain characters. As we’ve learnt from previous events in this game, most things can’t simply come down to just good or bad; right or wrong. It tends to be dependant on a given character’s perspective.

    I’m a little sad that this game has come to its end. However, we do still have the bonus episode with Max and Chloe to look forward to early in the new year.

    Everyone has good and bad

    Life Is Strange Before the Storm is a game that is great at showing how all people have both good and bad sides. All the characters here are as fully fleshed out as we have come to expect in Arcadia Bay. We’ve seen Chloe do bad things and let people get hurt – but for her love of Rachel. We’ve seen David and his militarist approach to parenting – but then in episode 3 we actually see him soften somewhat to meet Chloe on a middle ground.

    But the characters I found perhaps most interesting in forms of their actions and moral compasses, are Rachel’s (birth) mother and father.

    Rachel’s father goes through many different guises through Chloe’s eyes as the more she uncovers, the more she learns of his actions and motives – motives that are perhaps ill-advised at times. Meanwhile her Mother, who is initially painted as the bad guy, gets a chance to speak for herself later on. She is a woman who has made mistakes, sure, but who is now willing to give up everything for what she feels is right.

    You will have a hard choice to make at the end of this episode, which will hinge on whether you want to do what’s right, or what’s good.

    The world of Life Is Strange is well known now for its ability to show us fully fleshed-out characters. People who at first appear one way, but later – after the peeling back of layers – show us that there is so much more beneath. In good ways and bad. Before the Storm has continued this tradition with flying colours.

    So much more than a prequel

    Life Is Strange Before The Storm is just as good, sometimes even better in my opinion, than its predecessor. The focus in on Chloe and Rachel’s blossoming relationship has been an absolute joy to watch. I think now, after seeing their meeting and subsequent story together, that playing through the original game will be a fresh experience. Rachel is no longer just a face on a missing persons poster. Rachel is a complex young woman whose very presence seemed to bring out the best in people – not least of all Chloe Price.

    What impressed me also about the developer’s approach to this story, is that it is not just a prequel that is heading towards what we know comes later. These three episodes are completely self-contained and serve their own narrative, which is done extremely well. I love how there is still enough time between the end of this game and the beginning of the original. Maybe we will see some more stories in the near future?

    P.S. Stick around till after the credits

    Make sure you stick around till the end of the credits on this one. Where in previous episodes there would have been the next trailer, we are instead shown something entirely different. Something that still makes my skin crawl now, just thinking about it.

    Damn you Deck Nine!