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Watch Dogs 2 Review – Is It Worth The Price? [PS4]

In this post I’m going to be reviewing Watch Dogs 2 for the PS4.

My Experience

I played Watch Dogs 1 when it came out. I played it on the PS3 though, so the whole graphical downgrade controversy didn’t affect my opinion of the game. I didn’t hate the first Watch Dogs like many people did, but I didn’t love it either. I thought it was okay, although I felt it was quite short and the story left a lot to be desired.

When I heard that Watch Dogs 2 was coming out, I wasn’t interested in the slightest. After a few people requested I play it on my streams once it came out I decided to look into it, and from the gameplay footage that was out so far I thought it looked fun.

Is Watch Dogs 2 fun though? And is it worth its asking price? In this review I’m going to try to answer those two questions.

Gameplay

Hacking is front and centre in Watch Dogs 2. You could try to play this game like a third person shooter with hacking elements, but that would sap the game of most of its fun factor.
Distracting guards with fake texts, sending a gang hit squad after a pesky NPC and setting fuse boxes to blow up when someone walks past are some of the ways you can use hacking to take out your enemies.
But you don’t have to take out your enemies. Most of your objectives consist of you getting into some restricted place in order to hack something or steal something. You could sneak past guards without engaging them at all if that’s your thing. Unfortunately, the are no rewards for either playing stealthy or playing aggressively. Perfectly ghosting a mission nets you the same reward as mowing down every enemy you see with an assault rifle – followers.
Every mission you do in the game gets you followers who download your DedSec app, giving you access to their processing power and that means you get research points to buy upgrades. It’s basically a progress bar that fills up and gives you a bunch of skill points like when you level up in an RPG. The upgrade tree is pretty cool as by the end of the game I felt unstoppable and had way more options to tackle my objectives than I did when I first started playing.
The upgrade system does require you to participate in a little busy work though. In order to unlock the later skills in the skill tree you have to find Key Data somewhere on the map – this is just something that you need to pick up which is usually in a restricted area. At first I thought this was a good way to get players to explore the city and I had fun doing it until I went to locate some Key Data for an upgrade I really wanted and it didn’t spawn. I walked around the area the key data was located in using my detective vision (yes, this game has it too) and it was nowhere to be seen. This bug has thus changed my opinion on the way this part of the upgrade system works. If it was working, I think it’d be good (although some people may disagree). However, with bugs present, it’s terrible.
Stealth plays a large part in this game and it is evident that it’s meant to be played that way. You die very quickly, and if you try to have a wraith up gunfight the enemy can call in ever lasting reinforcements. You can play aggressively if you really wanted to though, killing people or distracting people who try to call for reinforcements and staying behind some good cover make it a viable option, not to mention the large arsenal of weapons you can buy from a 3D printer located in your hideout. The stealth, however, is fun, but finicky at times. For example, if you shoot your stun gun at someone and he’s looking at you for a split second, the whole area may go on alert. And if your enemy goes on alert, the AI all of a sudden becomes psychic and hones in on you. The guards don’t shout or alert everyone else in any visible way that gives you a chance to prevent the full on alert mode either, so as soon as someone sees you it’s like a switch is flipped and the area turns into a war zone. On the flipside, the distraction ability is very OP. Guards will pause mid firefight in order to check a text or a funny video – it’s crazy and very unrealistic. Also, there’s no crouch button which in my opinion is a cardinal sin when it comes to stealth gameplay.
If you’re looking for realism, you won’t get it here. However, if you want to create chaos and take the dumb AI with a pinch of salt, you can have a lot of fun.
The side missions have some stories and writing behind them. A little dialogue goes a long way in terms of motivating the player in my opinion. I had loads of fun completing side missions and diversions.
The parkour is mediocre compared to Assassins Creed’s parkour as it’s very limited. This is understandable, however, as having the ability to scale buildings with parkour would stop you from needing to use your hacking abilities in order to get to hard to reach places. I would have preferred a jump button to be honest.
Using your drone and RC to complete objectives while you operate from a distance is quite fun. They can also be used to scout the area and aid your stealth which adds another layer to the gameplay.
The seamless multiplayer has been down since launch and almost a week later at the time of me writing this review it still isn’t up. You can play co-op with people on your friends list, but these co-op missions are limited to a few randomly generated side missions without much context which eventually got boring for me. You can’t play through the whole game with a co-op partner unfortunately. Seeing as games like Saint’s Row have given you the opportunity to play though the entire story with a friend, it’s very disappointing to see that feature missing here.
You can also buy clothes and paint jobs for your weapons and drones to customise your character which is nice touch.

Glitches

While playing the game, I have experienced a few bugs and glitches unfortunately:
  • I was unable to move at all at one point when I was on a roof. However, I eventually got it working by using my gadgets and it never happened again.
  • I fabricated evidence on someone and the police just stood there with the guy for ages. Later I called the police on another guy and then killed him and the police just stood there not doing anything so this seems to be common.
  • I hacked a junction box to attract a guard. He looked at it, noted that it was acting up and then went the other way continuing his patrol.
  • Sometimes your car just stops out of nowhere and you have to let go of and press R2 again to make it work. Maybe this is just the car stalling in an attempt at realism, but I’m unsure.
All in all, the gameplay in Watch Dogs 2 is very fun. Some of the stealth mechanics need some work, but once you get used to them you can get a lot of enjoyment here. The driving and shooting are both mediocre, but the hacking – which is the cornerstone of the gameplay – is great. There are so many opportunities to get to your objective and you can play however you want. The new and improved pipe puzzles are also a cool addition. However, they make you think enough to feel smart, but not enough to feel truly challenged.

Story

In Watch Dogs 2, you play as Marcus a young intelligent hacker wrongly flagged as a criminal because by ctOS. After you delete your public records, you’re welcomed into DedSec a hacktivist group populated by 4 other 20-something year old hackers.
If you’re looking for an amazing story you won’t find one here. The story in Watch Dogs 2 just serves as an excuse to make you infiltrate parody versions of real life companies such as Google and Facebook and have fun with your wide range of abilities.
The story is serviceable, the characters are okay at best and the pay off at the end is anti-climatic but not completely terrible.

Graphics

The graphics are very good, but they’re nothing mind blowing. The new colour palette and bright colours is vibrant and eye catching – way better than in the first Watch Dogs.

Is it worth the price?

Pros

  • Hacking abilities are fun
  • Side missions are fun
  • Lots of content
  • Co-op is fun
  • The gameplay loop is fun
  • Customisation

Cons

  • Bugs
  • The stealth is iffy
  • The story isn’t that strong
  • The seamless online still isn’t working
  • No crouch button

Watch Dogs 2 is currently £39.99 on Amazon. I had a bunch of fun playing this game for well over 20 hours, so in terms of the amount of hours of fun you get for your money this is worth the price. However, since the seamless multiplayer is not out yet, I’d suggest that you wait until that has been fixed and is actually part of the game. The bounty hunter and invasion features look like they’d be pretty fun, but I also cannot condone these publishers putting out unfinished games. So, if this sounds like a game you’d enjoy, wait until the multiplayer is back up to buy it and I think you’ll have buckets of fun.

Also, if you want to buy Watch Dogs 2, please use this link to support the channel. This is not a sponsor, it’s an Amazon affiliate link and I’ll get a couple pennies if you buy anything on Amazon using that link.

 

Hitman 2016 Season 1 Review [PS4] – Is It Worth The Price?

In this post I’m going to be sharing my Hitman Season 1 review for on the PS4.

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My Experience

I have loved the Hitman series for years. I first played Hitman 2 Silent Assassin, which was way too hard for me at the time and I never got to complete it unfortunately. I did, however, complete Hitman Contracts, Hitman Blood Money and Hitman Absolution. I also bought and played the Hitman HD remasters a few years ago and I loved it, but I still didn’t complete Hitman 2 Silent Assassin as the controls and systems didn’t age very well in my opinion. My favourite of the Hitman series up until this point was Hitman Blood money unsurprisingly.

Does Hitman Season 1 live up to the high points of Blood Money or is it another step in the wrong direction like Hitman Absolution? Well, let’s get into the review.

Gameplay

The Hitman formula you know and love makes a return here in this new Hitman game. You are given a big open area to explore and find interesting opportunities to take out your targets. You have the freedom to tackle your mission any way you want, but silently getting in and out while taking out your targets without anyone knowing you’ve been there feels super satisfying and is definitely the way you’re supposed to play. This is reinforced by the way you’re punished for deviating from this path via the score system that gives you a ranking at the end of every mission. Things like killing people other than your target, being spotted or recorded by security cameras will decrease your score.

You could go guns blazing if you’re competent enough, but your health is so low and you no longer have the mark and kill everything ability that you had in Absolution so it is often the most difficult path and the least rewarding. Shooting your way to your target and leaving with a load of collateral damage doesn’t seem like something Agent 47 would do, and it will also prevent you from getting that coveted silent assassin rating if you care about that sort of thing.

I’m disappointed that they haven’t brought back the money system from Blood Money as that would give players much more incentive to play a level again and again in order to upgrade their gear, get new gear and buy new suits. I think that would have been a great addition to the game.

You are expected to play a level again and again. Getting a higher mastery level on each level by completing different challenges is how you get new gear. Not adding a money system seems like a terrible oversight here. It would have accomplished the same goal, but it would have felt more rewarding to me to see my bank balance increase – especially if they included a nice number of cosmetic items for you to purchase.

The initial episodic release of the games leads me to believe that the developers wanted you to spend a long time exploring each and every nook and cranny of each level in this game and replaying the level over and over. Replaying a level is something I prefer to do after I’ve completed the game so that doesn’t appeal to me personally. Each level is filled to the brim with different ways to get into places and different opportunities to use to get to your targets. Also, each level has at least 2 targets and one of them has 4 targets, giving you 16 targets to take out overall, which is good but expected since there are only 6 levels here.

The disguise system that, for me, defines the Hitman series makes a return here. I am very happy with the way they’ve balanced the disguises this time around. Instead of everyone wearing the same clothes as you being able to spot you, which is a shit idea, a few people scattered around the level will have the ability to see through your disguise. This gives you the freedom to use disguises again while not making disguises so overpowered that you don’t need to worry about being discovered. I think this is the best iteration of the disguise mechanic in the series so far; you are always made aware of any actions that may blow your cover and you’re also notified of anyone with the ability to see through your disguise.

Regarding stealth, people no longer open fire immediately when you do something suspicious. If you do something small like trespass in an area you’re not meant to be in, you’ll be asked to leave. If you’re spotted by someone who can see through your disguise, they’ll become suspicious and try to see who you are, the great thing is you’re able to run and or sneak away, preventing a shootout from occurring.

The AI is pretty good, although your stealth abilities are quite limited. You have the ability to see through walls like most games these days; I think Batman’s detective vision started the trend. I’m not bothered by this, although some purists may hate it. You also have the ability to throw an object as a distraction, however this doesn’t always work. You have no real idea who exactly is going to be distracted and sometimes no one pays any attention to the distraction at all. Maybe that’s not a bad thing though, maybe that’s more realistic, but nevertheless I would have liked a few more options to separate my enemies. You can of course do stealth takedowns and you can throw objects at people to knock them out from a distance.

You also have an opportunities tab in your menu which allows you to see the various different ways you can take your target out or create an opportunity to get alone with them. I really like this feature as it allows you to make a plan ahead of time, look at all the different ways you can complete your objective or give you a little help if you’ve almost completed an opportunity but are unaware of the next step.

The controls here are the best in the series without a doubt. Controlling Agent 47 feels smooth. 47 now walks when you push forward on the left analogue stick, which allows you to look much more natural when moving through the level.
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Story

The story isn’t really the focus in Hitman games, and it isn’t the focus here either. I am intrigued to know what is actually going on as the story doesn’t come to a conclusion is Season 1, but we’ve seen this type of story in the Hitman series before – there’s nothing really new here.

Graphics & Sound

The training missions in Hitman looked like PS3 era graphics which seemed to have been ripped from the beta. However the graphics improve vastly in the first episode, Paris, and continue to be good from there on. The cutscene visuals are very good and the in-game graphics are cool too, nothing groundbreaking but not nearly as bad as the cutscenes in those training missions would have you believe. Unfortunately, the AI animations are incredibly stiff at times. There’s not much fluidity from task to task, but there are so many simulations running at the same time with different NPCs on different schedules that I can forgive some of the janky transitions from walking to turning or completing an action.

I don’t usually talk about sound in my reviews, but I wanted to touch on how much I liked the sound in this game. When you kill a target that inception style horn plays and you feel like a boss – I really like that. There are some issues with the sound though, namely the voice acting. I didn’t hear any bad voice acting, but in all of the locations you visit in this game – France, Morocco, Thailand, the only voices you hear have American and English accents. This isn’t a big problem for me, it’s just a little weird and it breaks the immersion a little.

Modes

In addition to the main story missions, there are a few other modes.

There are Contracts, Escalation and Elusive Targets. All of these modes prohibit saving and take place in one of the story levels.

Contracts mode allows you to play through any of the available story sections and mark your own targets to create your own mission that others can view and play. You can also view and play other people’s Contracts.

Escalation gives you a target to take out within one of the sort sections and places some restrictions on you. For example, you might have to wear a specific disguise. There are 5 levels to each Escalation mission and more restrictions are added with each level. I played an Escalation mission that required me to wear a security guard outfit to take out a guy. After I completed that mission successfully, the next level added the restriction that I was only allowed to wear the disguise for 60 seconds.

Elusive Targets is the best of these three modes in my opinion. These are timed opportunities to take out new targets created specifically for this mode. In this mode, you are not allowed to leave the mission once you start it or restart if you die or begin completing objectives. You are given limited clues and your targets do not show up on the map. This all adds to the tension of trying to pull off a perfect hit and get out clean, but this is interesting content that can only be experienced once and if you miss these missions for the limited time they’re live you can never play them again. I think this is a bad decision as I would’ve loved to go back through the Elusive Targets that I never got to play. They could keep the restriction that you could only play these once in order to get any rewards, but I think they should definitely make past targets available again. However, I do understand the reasoning behind making these targets a one time only thing, it encourages people to come back and play within the limited time slot instead of waiting until they feel like it. It also adds more tension to these tasks, but it’s unfortunate that a number of people will miss out on some of this extra content.

Is it worth the price?

Hitman Season 1 is available for £44.99 on Amazon and the same price on the PSN store. The intro pack which includes the first mission, Paris, is £11.99.

I had a bunch of fun playing this game and I will go back to replay missions and experience different opportunities and ways to kill targets. However, one play through of each mission would take you about an hour and a half each – that’s about 9 hours if you’re just here to play through the story and that is not worth the price for me. You’re better off waiting until the price drops or checking out the intro pack to see if the game is worth it for you.

However, if you’re a Hitman fan and you’re willing to replay levels in order to master them and become the best silent assassin you can be then this is more than worth the price.

This is in my opinion the smoothest and best feeling Hitman game yet. There are a few features missing that would’ve made this game even better, but this game truly lets you feel like a genetically engineered assassin made to deliver death.

Let me know what you thought of Hitman Season 1 in the comment section below. If you want to check out the rest of my reviews, you can find them here.
Also, if you want to buy Hitman Season 1, please use this link. This is not a sponsor, it’s an Amazon affiliate link and I’ll get a couple pennies if you buy anything on Amazon using that link.
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Dragon Quest Builders PS4 English Review – Is It Worth The Price? [GAME REVIEW]

Get Terraria here: http://amzn.to/2eCzCdO
In this post I’m going to be reviewing Dragon Quest Builders for the PS4.

My Experience

Now, I have never played a Dragon Quest game before. I mean, I didn’t even know what Dragon Quest was before I heard about this game, so any callbacks or references in this game were definitely lost on me. That being said, I don’t think you have to be familiar with Dragon Quest at all in order to play this game.

Gameplay

At first glance this game looks like a third person Minecraft spin off and I wouldn’t fault you for thinking that. There are a fair amount of similarities; the terrain is built up of blocks like in Minecraft and the bulk of the game will have you finding materials in order to craft new things. However, while in Minecraft you look for materials and craft new things for your own personal reasons, Dragon Quest builders is much more focused on NPCs and quests. NPCs give you quests and ask you build things, craft things or bring people to come and live in your town. This makes the game quite a structured and story focused experience, which I like. You can build to your heart’s content if you want to when you complete a chapter, there are 4 by the way, and you are able to Freely build within the islands used in that chapter.

The chapters are quite considerable in length, it took me about 25 hours to complete Chapter one and about the same amount of time to complete Chapter 2. I haven’t completed the game, but I feel I can offer a reasonable overview of the game, seeing as each chapter basically uses the same gameplay mechanics while introducing new materials, enemies and things to craft. After you complete a variety of quests, build your town into a respectable habitat and fight about 9 combat instances with 2 waves of monsters each, you get to fight the boss of that chapter. After you do that, you save the land and move onto the next chapter.

There are some great features in this game that other games in this genre don’t have but definitely should. For example, you can send the items you pick up while exploring back to your “colossal coffer” which is a massive chest that you can craft and put in your base. This encourages exploration and allows you to go far and beyond to pick up materials without fearing that you’ll need to return back to your base in order to pick something up. You can also change the materials of your buildings very easily using an item called cladding. For example, if you build your base from dirt, but then you gain a lot of wood and you want to make things look a little nicer, you can create wooden cladding which will allow you to change those dirt blocks into wooden walls. You can also do this with flooring. Every game that makes you create a base should have these features.

There are a few cons though.

The combat is super easy. I didn’t die once in my whole time playing the game and there isn’t much depth or strategy involved. You just hit your enemy, then jump to the side, maybe do a spin attack here and there and rinse and repeat.

The building can be very awkward at times. The camera in this game can also be really annoying and it’s sometimes difficult to place blocks where you want due to the camera and the third person perspective.

I’ve also had a fair few quests that tell me to go to some general area, but don’t provide a quest marker or any reliable directions. This has led to me spending hours not knowing what to do or how to complete the next quest, only to find an answer online because it wasn’t presented to me in the game.

Story

The story of Dragon Quest Builders is nothing special. It does enough to give you a reason to play the game, but nothing more. Basically the big bad guy the Dragon Lord shrouded the land in darkness a while ago, and since then everyone forgot how to build things. However, all of a sudden you – the legendary builder – awake from a long sleep and you come to build stuff and bring light to the land. There is no voice acting in this game at all, but the dialogue and writing is pretty funny and cheeky at times; I found myself chuckling on multiple occasions.

Is it worth the price?

Dragon Quest Builders is currently £36.99 on Amazon. I had a bunch of fun playing this game and I  got over 40 hours of play. I did start feeling burnt out when I played the game hours at a time, so I’d suggest you play this game in short bursts. I think it’s well worth the price as the value is definitely there. So, if you like this sort of game, I’d say go ahead and get it. However, be warned that there is no multiplayer in this game at all though. And if you don’t like these sorts of games, this might be a good entry into the genre, but honestly, there are much cheaper options out there E.g Minecraft or Terraria.

Mafia 3 Review – Is It Worth The Price? [GAME REVIEW]

Buy Mafia 3 here.

In this post I’m going to be sharing my Mafia 3 review for the PS4.

My Experience

I played Mafia 2, but I never got to play Mafia 1. I enjoyed Mafia 2 when I finally got around to finishing it and I thought the story was great, while the gameplay was okay. The focus in Mafia 2 was obviously the story but you were able to drive around the city if you’d like, it was kind of an open world, but there was nothing much to do in that world.

That’s very similar to Mafia 3.

Gameplay

If you get Mafia 3 looking for an open world game like GTA or something in that vein, you’re going to be disappointed. Mafia 3’s strength is the story, the open world only serves as an addition to that story. Other than the collectibles (which include Playboy magazines, Vargas paintings and album covers just to name a few), there’s not much to do in the city of New Bourdeux outside of the main and side missions.

As stated in the promo up until Mafia 3’s release, everything you do in the open world feeds back into the story and has a purpose.

The main gameplay loop of Mafia 3 consists of talking to two contacts within an area of the city who then tell you to go and interrogate some scumbags to gain more information on the two rackets being operated in that section of the city. After that, you’ll attempt to do damage to that racket through robbing stashes, destroying property, killing VIPs and killing enforcers. Once you’ve done enough damage to a racket, the racket boss will emerge in their hideout and you can go and kill them or recruit them. Recruiting them adds more money to the racket profits while killing them nets you a small amount of immediate cash which was never worth it. When you recruit or kill both racket bosses in a section of the city, you then get a story mission to eliminate the boss of that section of the city. These missions are generally quite interesting and provide a nice change of pace. After taking the boss of that section of city out, you then have the choice of which of your lieutenants you want to hand that district over to. All 3 of your lieutenants offer you different perks and unlocks, so you can hand over more districts to whoever you find more useful to gain access to their perks and unlocks more quickly, but neglecting your other lieutenants will piss them off. I handed out the districts evenly amongst my 3 lieutenants and that turned out pretty fine.

You can raise the loyalty and earnings of your lieutenants by completing the side missions they give you, which are okay but definitely nothing to write home about. These aren’t The Witcher 3 side missions to be sure.

Most of your time playing Mafia 3 is going to consist of shooting, stealthily stabbing bad guys and driving from place to place.

The shooting in Mafia 3 is fun, the weapons pack a punch. It feels good to line up a perfect headshot and take your enemies out with ruthless efficiency. The AI is pretty good at flanking you and throwing explosives to smoke you out. They’re also super accurate with their shots, however they’re fairly easy to deal with as long as they don’t sneak up on you. That’s because you die really quickly in this game, a couple of shots will have your health non-existent, so you’ve always got to be aware of your surroundings.

The driving is serviceable but the lack of fast travel may annoy some people. You’ll have to cover a large amount of land to get to the bayou from time to time just to complete an objective within a few minutes and then have to drive all the way back; that’s annoying. However, usually you’ll have objectives that are spread across whatever district your in, and those are pretty easy and quick to get to. There is also a simulation driving option available that makes the cars more weighty and makes turning more difficult. The shooting while driving is the best I’ve experienced in any game. You can easily target people tyres and different parts of cars. You can’t target people on foot unfortunately, but this system has been needed in open world games for a long time and I am happy to see it implemented.

The stealth mechanics are very bare. You get to use the cover system and a vision indicator very similar to the one in hitman absolution and Far Cry 4. You can whistle to attract enemies or throw a voodoo doll to attract enemies to a specific spot. Other than that, you can silently take out enemies with a stealth takedown, which there are about four animations for. More variety in these animations would have been much better. The AI leaves a lot to be desired as far as stealth goes. You can kill enemies meters away from each other and they won’t notice, or kill an enemy just as he spots you, far away from his buddies but everyone now knows where you are.

Gameplay Bugs

And that brings us to the worst part of the gameplay – the bugs. Mafia 3 is ridden with bugs like a mattress on the floor of a traphouse. It’s bad. I didn’t run across any game breaking bugs, but I had to reload checkpoints about 5 times in about 25 hours of play. Some of the bugs include scripted sections not triggering, losing the ability to move, enemies all suddenly knowing where you are, objective markers not showing, objectives being changed without your input and at one point I lost the ability to complete an objective because it bugged out (however because there are a few different options to damage rackets, I was able to progress).

Some people may find the gameplay repetitive, but I had a bunch of fun with it and I ultimately enjoyed my time playing the game, however the bugs were a real annoyance and were far too frequent for my liking.

Story

I’m not going to spoil the story or anything, but we all know this a revenge tale from the trailers. I think that was a bad decision. Not the decision to make this a story based on revenge, but the decision to reveal all that information in the trailers. In the first two hours of the game I knew exactly what was coming, however the writing, cutscenes and voice acting were great so that didn’t matter. But it would have been a better experience if I didn’t see the trailers. The story overall was great, I felt for the characters and Lincoln was a undisputed g.

The setting and the issues tackled within the game was also interesting, I have never seen a game showcase blatant racism like this one did, and I think it was released at the perfect time seeing as race is a big issue right about now. However, it didn’t really phase me to be honest. If a shopkeeper told me I wasn’t allowed in his shop I’d knock him out and that was that. If a gangster called me a nigger, I’d shoot him. I didn’t feel oppressed. At first I was paranoid about the police always watching me, but after I realised they wouldn’t do anything unless I crashed into someone or committed a crime, I stopped caring.

The story is the focus of this game and it shows; it was excellent. There’s also a bit of fan service for returning Mafia fans.

Graphics

The cutscenes look amazing. The rest of the game looks cool. Nothing amazing, but nothing particularly bad either.

Is it worth the price?

If the gameplay loop I described earlier seems repetitive and boring to you, then it’s not worth the price. If you want to experience a great story with some good gameplay, but nothing really innovative except the vehicle targeting system, then grab this. You’ll get around 25 – 30 hours out of this, however with all the bugs I’d say this game is worth £30, £10 less than the asking price. I had fun and I don’t regret my purchase at all.

Buy Mafia 3 here.

Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness PS4 Review – Is It Worth The Price?

Buy Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness here.

In this post I’m going to be reviewing Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness for the PS4.

My Experience

I watched Psycho-Pass earlier this year and I was gripped. I was super interested in the world they were creating and how it would all end up. The end of the first series was okay but I didn’t feel the urge to watch the second series. When I saw the trailer for Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness the game, I was more worried than excited. The trailer showed only clips from the show and what seemed to be still images, menus and dialogue sections of the game. After doing some more research though, I realised this game was a visual novel. I have never played a visual novel before, but it seemed like it would be kinda like a digital choose-your0own adventure book with cut scenes.

… but let’s actually get into the gameplay

Gameplay

So the gameplay here is pretty much non-existent. You read and listen and once in a while you get to make a choice. You can look up any words you don’t understand in a glossary that basically explains things in this universe as someone tells you about them. The game is mostly watching static images, listening to them speak, or skipping through the story as you read the text. You read descriptive text about your character’s thoughts and feelings, you read descriptive text regarding any actions you take and you even read descriptive text when theres a fight occurring. I mean, there’s not one cut scene throughout this whole game – it’s just a bunch of static images. Now and again, the characters’ mouths move and their eyes blink but theres nothing captivating here at all, it’s more entertaining to read a comic or manga, as you actually see action occurring. At one point in the game, you get into a fight and the screen just goes blank while text describes everything. After every strike you see a flash in the darkness and then you’re given more text to describe what just happened.

Seeing as this is a visual novel, the story is the main course here. Let’s talk about that…

Story

When I began the story I was excited. You have the choice between a female inspector with amnesia and a male enforcer looking for his childhood friend that went missing. I chose the female inspector as she was described as cold and logical.  I also chose her because she was an inspector and I thought that would give me more opportunities to make choices than being an enforcer. Whether that was right or wrong I’ll never know because I won’t ever be playing through this game again. I don’t wanna spoil the story for you as this game is pretty much only that. It took me more than an hour before I was given the opportunity to make a choice, that’s just ridiculous. My excitement for the story quickly wore off as I became bored of reading and reading and reading this mediocre story. The main antagonist was wack, the cases I investigated were mediocre and I just became bored. There’s a twist that came later in the story that I saw coming from a mile away. It was just shoved down my throat with no subtlety whatsoever, it’s like you’d have to be brain dead to not figure it out. However, I finished with a bad ending, so I didn’t even get to see the whole twist come into fruition so hey, I might be wrong. That’s another thing, there are multiple endings and paths you can go down through your choices. However, the game became so boring that I don’t want to play through again and try to see other endings at all.

There are also some unnatural translations and typos, which is annoying in a game that consists of pretty much only reading but it only happened a couple of times and didn’t really hurt the game. They do however have the voice actors from the anime in this, but I wouldn’t know because I watched the dubbed version.

Modes

There was one extra mode included, which basically allows you to earn points by playing a mediocre mini game in order to buy concept art and voice lines. This is more of a game than the main game but there was no point to it, I didn’t care about concept art or voice lines, this added almost nothing to the experience.

Is it worth the price?

This game is a fully priced game, at £49.99 on Amazon. Did i have fun playing this game? No. Would I suggest it to any of my friends? No.

In terms of hours of play, I think I got about 6 – 8 hours of this game. 2 of those hours were full of wishful thinking and through the rest of those hours I just wanted the story to hurry up and finish so I could review it.

So I’ve got to say, this game is not worth the price. If it was £20 and you were into visual novels or you loved the Psycho-Pass series, then I’d say okay get it. But at 49.99, you’re better off just watching the anime or reading the manga. The anime is leaps and bounds better than this game to be honest.

How To Make It Better

After some thinking, I decided to add a new section to my review. Usually I’d end it after telling you if the game is worth the price or not, but I want to share my thoughts on how these games that aren’t worth the price could be better.

So Psycho-Pass got boring because it was a whole lot of reading and looking at static images. If it was full of cutscenes instead this game would have been miles better. I would have much more enjoyed to sit back and watch a super long cutscene and then make a few choices that would change the course of the story.

Talking about choices, that’s something this game severely lacks. I was interested to see how things would play out in the beginning of the story but the pacing for the choices are so bad and the number of them is so minuscule that I quickly became tired of waiting through hours of reading to make a choice. If there were way more choices in this game, it would have been much more interesting. You should be making a choice within the first 15 minutes in my opinion, a choice every 10 minutes would’ve made this game much better.

Buy Psycho-Pass: Mandatory Happiness here.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided PS4 Review – Is It Worth The Price?

Buy Deus Ex Mankind Divided here.

 

In this post I’m going to be reviewing Deus Ex Mankind Divided.

Background Info

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Deus Ex: Human Revolution®, builds on the franchise’s trademark choice and consequence, action RPG-based gameplay to create both a memorable and highly immersive experience. Players will once again take on the role of Adam Jensen, now an experienced covert agent, and will gain access to his new arsenal of customisable state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations. With time working against him, Adam must choose the right approach, along with whom to trust, in order to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy. The game also includes Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Breach, a new and innovative game mode. This new take on the game offers, for the very first time, an arcade approach to the gameplay of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, providing players with a unique puzzle shooter experience.

My Experience

When I played Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I was initially disappointed. I had never played a Deus Ex game before but I was excited to play a RPG set in a futuristic world. What I got instead, however, was a first person stealth game with RPG elements. Going full assault seemed like suicide in Human Revolution and I wasn’t ready for that at the time. Fast forward to 2016 and I’ve finally finished The Last Of Us and which left me looking for another tense stealth experience. This time I was fully aware that Deus Ex was mainly a first person stealth game and, after playing great games like Dishonoured, I welcomed the new Deus Ex with open arms.

Story

Deus Ex starts 2 years after the previous game, Human Revolution. The story revolves around the oppression of augmented people, who are people with robotics fused into their body or brain. And an illuminati plot that finally  revealed its true goal after the credits rolled. The thing about the big illuminati conspiracy, though, is that their goal wasn’t made very clear. I really didn’t understand why these plans were put into place until the very end. I like to figure things out and I love twists when it comes to stories, but looking back, there was no real opportunity to figure out what was going on myself and the twist at the end comes so far from left field and creates a fair few plot holes unfortunately.

The main story isn’t awful, but it isn’t great. Its mediocre and the ending left me unsatisfied because it seemed like the purpose of the story and the ending was to set up a sequel, not to deliver a complete experience. The story does gives you some reason to get acquainted with the real star of this game however, which is the gameplay.

Luckily the side missions had much better stories, simply because they were contained interesting stories that didn’t fall victim to the need to set up a sequel. The bad thing about the side missions, though, is that they weren’t very easy to find. There was no indicator on the map to let you know where to find them, you just had to stumble across them. From time to time you’d be given side missions directly, which was cool but I wish they gave us an easier way to find the other side missions tucked away in the game.

Gameplay

Gameplay in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided generally focuses around first person stealth. You do have the freedom of playing the game how you want to, you can be an aggressive super soldier or you can complete objectives and disappear like you were never there. Since I was itching for another stealth experience, I played that way – sneaking through vents, taking people out quietly, but sometimes things went pear shaped and I handled those situations like a boss and put all my weapons to use.

Most of the side objectives do encourage stealthy play, but they are entirely optional and if you are spotted or go on a rampage, as long as you can survive, you can complete the mission.

I didn’t find myself using everything I had at my disposal though. I played the game on the normal difficulty and it didn’t really force me to use my abilities; I was pretty cool just moving from cover to cover, sniping and taking down a few guards and shuffling through vents.

There were a few essential abilities, like hacking, remote hacking and having the strength to move fridges. Having these abilities allowed me to get into most places and approach my objective from wherever was needed. The combat abilities seemed cool but I focused on stealth for my play through so those abilities weren’t all that useful.

You’ll also spend a bunch of time having conversations with people, using a dialogue system that Bethesda should definitely take note of. The preview text under every dialogue choice makes sure that you know exactly what you’re going to say, there are no guessing games here.

You can also lose yourself in exploring the city of Prague, there are numerous secret stashes, flats to break into and a bunch of environmental storytelling for you to sink your teeth into.

There were a few bugs in the game but nothing game breaking. For example at one point I was dragging a guard’s body which then teleported into the ceiling and started jittering around like a creature out of a horror movie. I didn’t experience any crashes or anything like that.

Controls

The controls took a little getting used to but by the end of the game I was pulling off feats befitting a super agent very smoothly. Pressing the triangle button to run is one of the weirdest control choices I have ever come across but seeing as I almost never ran when in a combat situation, the awkward placement of the sprint button didn’t cause too many problems.

Graphics

The lip synching in this game is atrocious, like really really bad. For a AAA game, this is a joke. It seems like no care was put into the lip synching at all. The character models looks okay, Adam Jenson looks pretty cool. But this game has terrible frame rate issues. I never ever care when people talk about frame rates in games and that sort of stuff, but wow, this game stutters like crazy. Luckily, it only happened while I was running around the city, i never experienced any stutters or frame rate drops in combat, but it was still very annoying.

Features

As for new features, the basics from Human Revolution are still here with additional abilities. Probably the most important addition is the ability to take cover and move between cover, this makes the stealth aspect of the game much better to play. Other than that, this is basically Human Revolution refined a little. If you liked Human Revolution, you’ll probably like this

Modes

They did add a mode called breach mode, which basically takes a mission from the main game that was okay to play through once, and gives you the chance to play through that mission multiple times with different variations on the map layout for no reason other than to waste your time. I mean, you could sink hours into this mode just to upgrade your weapons and abilities so you can sink more hours into this mode, but it’s so boring. There really is no point.

Is it worth the price?

So, is it worth the price?

This is a full priced £45 – £50 game, I bought it digitally for £49.99 from the PSN Store and I had a good time. The main story isn’t super lengthy, but if you explore and do a bunch of side missions, you’ll find yourself sinking a fair few hours into this game. I completed the game in about a week. If I was the type to re-play games, I’m sure it’d be interesting to check out the choices I didn’t make, but I’m not that type of guy.

I’d say the game was worth the price, as long as you do side missions and explore. If you just want to play the main missions, don’t pick this up for more than £30.

Buy Deus Ex Mankind Divided here.

Prison Architect PS4 Review – Is It Worth The Price?

Buy Prison Architect Here.

 

In this video I’ll be reviewing Prison Architect for PS4.

Background Info

In Prison Architect, players build and manage their own maximum security prison built to hold the most hardened of criminals. The console editions include a fully-fledged story mode that explores the gruesome and often convoluted matters of legal grey areas in the prison system, and a wildly in-depth sandbox mode featuring new in-game community features. These new features from developer and publisher Double Eleven allow players to build, maintain and share their maximum security prisons with the touch of a button on either console.

Cope with blazing infernos, prison-wide riots, demolition and construction, and if you make it through unscathed the Mayor will be ready to give you the reigns of a brand new prison development where you can build the prison of your dreams.

Prison Architect was created by Introversion Software and recreated by Double Eleven for consoles.

My Experience

Prior to playing the game I had seen some gameplay online from both the PC and console versions and I was excited. When I first booted up Prison Architect I jumped straight into the prison stories.

After finishing the prison stories I thought that since I had learned everything, there would probably be not much excitement and wander in starting up a new prison of my own. But after I started up a new prison, I lost myself in striving to make the biggest greatest most profitable prison of all time. I also realised that the prison stories didn’t actually teach me everything, and I like that. I like figuring things out for myself and finding new surprises.

Gameplay

The gameplay is simple yet complex. Building, dealing with prisoners, keeping them happy and/or in line, making sure no prisoners escape through pesky tunnels or other means. trying to prevent deaths and injuries, trying to keep your finances out of the red and balance the books – there are a lot of choices to make and you can control the difficulty.

There are a few bugs and glitches (or maybe I just did something wrong, it’s very unclear at times). Some weird things happened like I had a bunch of prisoners crammed into 2 cells for some reason. I have no idea why that happened but I didn’t experience any game breaking bugs, although the game did crash on me twice in about 20 hours of play.

Story

The stories included in the ‘prison stories’ I mentioned earlier were pretty dark and I like that. Each story takes about 30-60 mins to complete. It made me think about prison and its purpose; is prison meant to rehabilitate criminals, or punish them? Is it a mix of both? Which way is more effective and beneficial for society in the long run?

These poignant questions didn’t affect the way I played the sandbox mode though. I didn’t really care for any of my individual prisoners at all, they were just numbers filling my quota. A little more personality and story injected into the sandbox mode would’ve been a great improvement, although I didn’t expect that in this sort of game at all, you do have the opportunity to pick up snapshots in sandbox mode which show you some artwork of prisoners or your staff doing some stuff but those weren’t interesting to me at all.

Theres also warden mode, where you can load up a pre-made prison or download a pre-made prison from other players via the world of wardens feature.

It’s interesting to see how other players are running their prisons as it can help you build a better prison but I don’t see myself playing the game in someone else’s pre built prison, I’d prefer to create something from scratch.

Is it worth the price?

 

Prison Architect is £19.99 on PS4 and I think it’s well worth the price. The amount of hours you’ll get from these incredibly deep and sophisticated systems is very much worth the amount they’re charging for for it. I think the game is incredibly fun, it’s very addictive and I really like the gameplay loop – it does keep me playing. If you start up a prison, 5 hours later you’ll still be doing it and the time will just disappear. I like those kind of games where I’m just so focused on the game that I don’t even realise where the time went.

 

Buy Prison Architect Here.

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