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Persona 5 PS4 English Review – Is It Worth The Price? (If You Don’t Have A Lot Of Time)

In this post I’m going to be reviewing Persona 5 for the PS4. I’m going to try to answer the following question: Is it worth the price (if you don’t have a lot of time)?

My Experience


PERSONA 5 ENGLISH REVIEW

I have never really been into turn based combat or JRPGs, so I wasn’t excited for Persona 5 at all. I had no idea what the Persona franchise even was and I had no intention of finding out. That all changed when I saw video after video on YouTube praising the game. I saw people that I followed on Twitter praising the game and I wanted to see what I was missing out on. I requested a copy of the game to review in May (big thanks to Matt from Deep Silver for hooking me up), but I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I had heard that the game was large and it took over 80 hours to complete, but I thought that was just the estimated amount of time it would take slowpokes and people bad at games to beat it. I want to clearly say right now that I have not finished this game. I usually like to finish a game before I review it, but with my current schedule I only get to play Persona 5 for a few hours at the weekend and at this pace my review would be released mid next year.

I’m going to tell you guys what I think of the game so far and letting you know if it’s worth the price even if you don’t have the time.

Gameplay

There are 2 main sides of Persona 5. There is the part of the game where you live as a schoolboy, organising your schedule and choosing when to study, work or hang out with friends. There is also the other side where you battle shadows in the metaverse using turn based combat. I’ve got to be honest and say that I enjoyed both sides of the gameplay.

The two sides of Persona 5 also interlink with each other. While you’re in the real world you can forge relationships and level those relationships up. Those relationships will give you different perks depending on the person. These perks can help you with battling shadows in the metaverse by granting you new abilities and XP bonuses when you fuse new personas.

There are honestly so many aspects to the gameplay in this game, so we’re going to stick to discussing the 3 main gameplay loops: the real world, the metaverse and collecting personas.

The Real World

PERSONA 5 ENGLISH REVIEW


When you’re not fighting shadows and stealing treasure, you need to go to school and basically live the life of a schoolboy. You are usually able to choose what you want to do each day, but sometimes you are forced to do something for story purposes. You can generally pick around 2 activities to do a day - one after school and one in the night (some activities are limited to daytime or night-time).

These activities usually either help you increase 1 of your 5 social stats or help you get closer to a confidant (a character in the game you can befriend), which can help you with things in the metaverse.

You’ll also have to take school tests each term which test your memory. Throughout the term you’ll be asked a few questions in class which test your knowledge (knowledge which I didn’t have). I saw many questions about things like Japanese history and culture, so Google answered all my questions for me. If you get these questions right then you’re given a stat boost to your knowledge, so instead of guessing I chose to choose what I thought the answer was in my head and then use Google to find the right answer and enter that option.

After you answer the question in class, your teacher will expand a bit on the subject and you’ll generally find that subject brought up again in the tests.

The Metaverse

PERSONA 5 METAVERSE


The metaverse is where you tackle the main missions in palaces or side missions in mementos. Palaces are curated, themed multistage dungeons, while mementos are randomly generated dungeons with multiple floors.

In palaces you are tasked with getting deep into the palace and stealing the treasure of the owner of that palace. There are usually various simple puzzles and enemies to fight along your way. There may also be a miniboss or two and the palace will end with a boss fight.

Combat is turn-based. I’ve never been a fan of that style of combat, but I became a fan after playing this game. The combat is largely centred on the strategy of finding your enemy’s weaknesses and using those to your advantage. If you know your stuff and you play well, you can get away from a lot of battles without even letting the enemy have their turn. In the boss battles this generally changes because some bosses have no weaknesses and you’re forced to fight and keep your party alive until the end of the fight.

You can have a party of 4 members at all times. Your party members have their own specific persona while your main character is able to use multiple personas. Personas are kind of like Pokemon in the sense that they have elemental attributes and attacks as well as a variety of skills you can choose to use in battle depending on the persona.

Tutorial System

PERSONA 5 TUTORIAL SYSTEM


The tutorial system in the game is done very well. New aspects of the game are introduced over time so they don’t overwhelm players like me who have never played a Persona game or a game like this before. These tutorial messages can be accessed at any time from the menu (which looks great, but we’ll get to that later).

I also always felt like there were new additions to the game and the game was expanding. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get to finish the game for this review, but I have no doubt that more gameplay features would have been revealed down the line. This truly is a big game.

Personas

persona 5 sandman persona


Personas are kinda like the Pokemon of the spirit world and in this game your personas are stored in masks instead of a poke ball. Each persona has its own weaknesses, strengths, abilities and personality.

Fighting a new persona for the first time and trying to figure out its weakness is an exhilarating feeling, especially when that persona is kicking your ass and you accidentally use an ability that heals it.

If you target a persona’s weakness you can do something called a “hold up”. This results in you surrounding the enemies and pointing your gun in their face - at this point you can negotiate with the persona. You can either try to win the persona over to your side or you can extort it for some cash and items- all in a day’s work.

Collecting Personas

persona 5 naga persona


Collecting personas is a fun part of the game. I found myself wanting to find new interesting personas to add to my catalogue or combining the personas I had to make new ones. You may also find yourself trying to obtain certain personas just so you can combine them with other personas to get the end result you actually want.

This serves as a fun little meta game that appeals to the completionist within me.

Story

PERSONA 5 ENGLISH REVIEW


Characters

Persona 5 has an overall story that we’ll touch on in a bit, but the main bulk of Persona 5 focuses on the individual stories of the characters you meet.

I found some of these stories very interesting and others not so much. I really dislike the Ryuji and Mishima characters, but I pretty much liked everyone else. However, you must remember that I didn’t finish the game so maybe those characters became less annoying and redeemed themselves later on. Although, if you’re an annoying character 60+ hours in then I don’t really have much hope that you’re going to turn it around.

I think Makoto was probably my favourite character and Yusuke was also a cool dude.

Overall story

The overall story is something I really don’t want to spoil. The basic summary is that you were sent away for being a bad kid and there’s also some strange happenings going on in the city. People are having “mental shutdowns” which results in people suddenly losing their minds and committing suicide.

Catchup Chapters

After every palace is completed, you are able to read a recap of the story up to that point. This is VERY valuable to people like me who don’t have a lot of time and may have to put the game down and come back in a week.

Overall, I found myself very interested in the story and many of the characters. I am still burning to know how the game ends and I will probably create an updated review after I fully complete the game.

Graphics & Sound

PERSONA 5 ENGLISH REVIEW


The graphics are okay. They’re certainly nothing special, but they don’t really have to be. In the in-game cutscenes the lip-syncing and character models leave a lot to be desired, but everything works well in combat. The animated cutscenes are great too - I just wish there was more.

There is a little voice acting, usually when you are doing something important to the story otherwise you’ll generally have to read the dialogue yourself. The voice acting is pretty good, but keep in mind that if you HATE reading you probably won’t enjoy this game.

The menus are something that many Persona 5 reviews have touched on, and yes the menus are cool, but when I play a game I don’t play it for the menus. I play it for the gameplay and story, so I don’t really care that much about how great the menus are.

The music was cool, I really liked the main theme and the music in boss battles although I could’ve used more variety. As far as I remember there are only a handful of tracks that you hear for the majority of the game and that can get tedious to listen to.

Is it worth the price (if you don’t have a lot of time)?

PERSONA 5 ENGLISH REVIEW

First of all, if you have the time and you like JRPGs, then this is 100% worth the price. The amount of content you get here for the price is amazing. If you’re like me, however, and you don’t have a lot of time then I’d still suggest you grab this game. It has the story recap option for you to remind yourself what’s happening and the sheer amount of content is wild. Remember though, it can take you over 80 hours to complete.

If you don’t like JRPGS or you’ve never played one before, this seems like it could convert you or act as a good starting point. I never thought I’d enjoy turn based combat in my life, but now I really don’t mind it and I may even play other games that use turn based combat.

Here are some pros and cons to help you make the decision for yourself:

PROS

  • A lot of content
  • Interesting story
  • Interesting characters
  • Solid combat system
  • Has a story recap feature
  • Collecting personas is fun and addictive

CONS

  • Takes a LONG time to complete
  • There is a lot of reading dialogue
  • List Element
  • I wanted more of the cool animated cutscenes

Thanks for reading, let me know what you thought of Persona 5 in the comment section below. If you want to check out the rest of my reviews you can click on this playlist, I'll see you with the next review!

Ark Survival Evolved PS4 Review – Is It Worth The Price? – 2017 Launch In-Depth Review [GAME REVIEW]

In this post, I’m going to be sharing my Ark Survival Evolved PS4 Review and answering the question “Is it worth the price?”

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My Experience

I’ve been fiending for a survival game with a big multiplayer element for a long time. I saw games like Day Z and H1Z1 on PC and I hoped that one day we’d get a similar experience on consoles. Ark was the first survival game like that that made its way to PS4. I played it for about 3 months while it was still in Early Access back in January of 2017. I played on official servers and I created and ran a tribe that eventually became the Alpha of the server we lived on.

Gameplay

Ark has a few different ways to play the game that drastically change the experience. So for the gameplay section of this review I’m going to cover the experience of single player, PVP multiplayer on official servers and then on unofficial servers. I did cover the experimental “no tame” servers in another review but I have never played the primitive plus mode or multiplayer PVE.

Singleplayer

Singleplayer in ARK is basically an adult version of Minecraft. You don’t really have a set goal and your thrust into this world and expected to find a way to survive. You can try to complete the “story” and get to the ending but that aspect of the game is clearly an afterthought. This is not a story focused game, but you can immerse yourself in the mystery of the world and work towards uncovering the mystery while you build a place to live and tame dino pets.

The early game can be hard and you’ll likely die a lot but once you get your bearings and get a decent base up the challenge fades. Singleplayer clearly wasn’t the focus of the game and it shows. You can have some survival fun in single player but you will be missing out on the true fun if that’s the only way you play the game.

You can change a lot of the rates on single player to make the game less grindy, easier or harder depending on your preference.

Multiplayer PVE is basically single player with other people around. You can trade with other players and possibly get griefed and trolled e.g a tribe may lure an angry Dino to your base. You can also show your creations off to strangers on the internet.

Side note – The AI of the dinos is completely trash in this game. Many strategies for taming or killing dinos are based on exploiting the terrible AI. Of course, strong dinosaurs can still kill you if they catch you but other players is where the real danger lies.

Multiplayer – Official Vs Unofficial Servers

Official Servers

The experience on official servers is likely the experience that most people picking up the game will have. This experience may include waiting for 20 minutes or more trying to get onto your home server because it’s full of players. At the time of this review there is no queue system to join a server and the best way to get into a crowded server is to spam the join button and hope you get in or someone leaves. The devs are continuing to add new servers so these problems may decrease in the future.

The official PVP experience is extremely geared in favour of large tribes. If you plan to play solo on an official server it will likely be a waste of time. There is a good chance that you will log on and find your base has been destroyed and your belongings have been robbed. Experienced players or people that push through these initial losses will learn from their mistakes and eventually build a hidden base with defences, but none of this guarantees that your base will be there when you log back on.

That’s the risk you take when you log off in Ark and it’s also a very interesting part of the game. When you log off, your character goes to sleep and stays in the game world. You can be robbed, imprisoned or even turned into a living blood sack Mad Max style. Your base is also able to be broken into and completely destroyed. Any dinosaur you’ve tamed may be murdered and harvested for hide and/or meat by someone who just likes to see things die.

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Playing in a small tribe can also be similar to playing solo. The advantage of joining or creating a tribe and playing with people is that you can get more things done in a shorter amount of time. The more players the better, in theory. Finding people you trust can be very difficult on Ark’s official servers. Ark rewards the most toxic and ruthless behaviour. You may find yourself betrayed and robbed by someone who you thought you could trust. You might lose everything you’ve built because someone had a bad day.

The key to succeeding in Ark is developing alliances and good relationships. Politics are a very big part of Ark and if you and your tribe do not play the politics game then it is unlikely you will last long. I’m an introvert and I don’t really like to talk to people too much, but Ark forced me to do just that and I’m a better person for it. I formed alliances and created partnerships and talked to a bunch of people on our rise to Alpha status.

An Alpha tribe is the most powerful tribe on the server. You may join a server where the Alpha tribe has created rules or extorts players with threats of destroying their base. Or you might join a server where the Alpha tribe doesn’t get involved with what’s happening on the server. A smart Alpha tribe stays in the shadows because they are often the target of ambitious tribes or raiders from other servers.

Let’s talk about the dinosaurs in Ark. There are a lot of dinosaurs in ark, over 100 right now and the devs are continually updating and adding new dinos. Most of the dinosaurs have a useful ability like being to gather resources efficiently or providing buffs to other dinos or players. Taming the right dinos and playing as efficiently as possible is very important. However, taming useful high level dinos is usually a time consuming and grindy process.

You will generally have to knock a dino out, keep an eye on it and feed it while it’s unconscious for hours sometimes. This is not fun. If you have other tribe members online at the same time or you were smart enough to lure the Dino back to your base before knocking it out then you can multitask and do other things. But waiting hours to tame a dino that can be killed in less than 10 minutes is silly. You can create something called “kibble” in order to tame dinos quicker but the set up to create kibble is a long process in itself.

And that’s my biggest problem with the official servers. The rates are ridiculous. The amount of grinding and boring tasks that you need to do in order to have a couple hours of fun is wildly unbalanced. You can spend a whole week in real life preparing to have one day of PVP. It can be like spending all week at a boring job just so you can go out on the weekend. It can become very much like having a second life, and that second life isn’t always fun.

The devs seem to want you to devote your life to Ark in order to be successful at it. It rewards players who sink an unreal amount of time into the game over skill. Skill can definitely help you but the levelling system and the time it takes to get anything noteworthy accomplished make skill much less of a factor.

Most of the action on PVP official servers consists of people attacking bases while their opponents are offline or PVB (Players Vs. Base). A legit strategy in Ark is to wait until your enemy is offline so you can destroy their base, steal their stuff and kill their dinos. It takes so long to gain resources and dinosaurs that it’s not worth the trouble of risking losing those for the sake of having a real PVP fight over just attacking people when they can’t defend themselves.

The combat isn’t the greatest. Both melee and ranged combat are mediocre at best, but the sheer choice and options that you have in terms of dinos, weapons, armour and strategies make up for the janky combat.

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Unofficial Servers

Unofficial servers are run by players, either from a second console or a rented server. On these servers the owner can change many of the rates and options in the game to create a customised experience. For example, on my rented server, harvesting is 15x the normal rates so that the game is less focused on grinding and more focused on actually having fun. There are many aspects of the game that can be adjusted to find the right gameplay style for you.

I’ve had more fun on my unofficial rented server than I ever had on official. I can control who plays on my server and I can also create rules for people to follow to keep the experience fun for everyone.

Ark is a great sandbox and having the ability to host or play on an unofficial server allows you to play the game the way you prefer.

Of course there are problems with unofficial servers too. You may experience admin abuse on a server that you join or the server can go down and you may lose all your progress. You could very well experience an official server going down and you losing all your progress too but it is much more likely to happen on an unofficial server. The servers hosted from a PS4 or Xbox are especially unstable and prone to crashes or data loss.

Since I’ve rented my own server from Nitrado I haven’t experienced any problems and the server runs just as well as an official server, minus all the grinding and the trolls. I’ve only opened my server up to patrons to ensure the future of the server and keep it up for the long run through donations and such. The $3 monthly payment is more than worth the amount of time you save grinding and being wiped on official servers.

On unofficial servers with higher rates you can actually engage in PVP more often and with less worry.

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Updates

There are frequent updates which add new features, dinos and fixes. The game is still full of glitches and things not working as intended. On an official server you can lose hours of progress because of a glitch but on a server with boosted rates it generally isn’t that big of a deal.

The toxic community

Since Ark promotes devoting your life to the game it makes sense that it attracts a lot of toxic people. You will find people who have no lives and spend every waking hour playing Ark. These players tend to be quite elitist and unwelcoming to new players. You will also find people who just love to troll and ruin people’s days. This is what you should expect on official servers. Of course you can also find some cool people and not everyone is a dick.

Graphics & Sound

The graphics are pretty good. For a game of this scope and size, the graphics are more than good enough. When you fly past big bases the frame rate does drop but it usually smooths out after the base has loaded in. Frame rate drops are a common thing in the game but it hasn’t hampered my experience too much. The sound, however, is mediocre. The actual sound of the dinos and environment aren’t that bad but, even after launch, you still can’t tell exactly which direction a sound is coming from.

The music is pretty good though.

Is it worth the price?

Ark Survival Evolved is currently £43.49 on Amazon. To be honest, there is a bunch of things that I couldn’t cover in this review because of how deep and big this game is. I have had a bunch of fun playing Ark and it is one of the most unique and wild experiences I’ve ever had in a game. There are so many possibilities to experience, so many hours of fun and also so many things that may make you rage quit.

If you want to play this game solely for singleplayer then you should wait until the price drops to about £25. If you want to play on official PVP servers then I don’t think this game is worth the time or money. If you want to play on an unofficial PVP server then this game is definitely worth the price and you are going to come away with many many hours of fun. You can apply here to join my rented Ark Survival Evolved Server for the PS4.

Here are some pros and cons to help you make the decision for yourself:

Pros

  • The game is very deep
  • This is truly a sandbox game with many possibilities
  • There is no game like this on consoles right now

 

Cons

  • The tutorial system does not do a good job of covering the deep aspects of the game
  • Playing on official servers is a tedious grind that ends up feeling more like work than fun
  • The game is full of glitches

If you want to buy Ark Survival Evolved then please use the Amazon link below. It will help out the channel at no cost to you. Thanks for reading, let me know what you thought of Ark Survival Evolved in the comment section below and if you want to check out the rest of my reviews you can click on this playlist.

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Join my discord channel to play Ark Survival Evolved with me and get involved with the community. You can also find a bunch of Ark Survival Evolved guides and gameplay on my channel.

I’ll see you in the next review.

Rainbow 6 Siege PS4 Review – Is It Worth The Price? [GAME REVIEW]

In this post I’m going to be sharing my Rainbow 6 Siege PS4 review and telling you if it’s worth the price.

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My Experience

I’ve played a few of the previous Rainbow 6 games. The last Rainbow 6 I played was Rainbow 6 Vegas 2. That was a game that focused more on the single player (like all previous installations in the Rainbow 6 series) and I don’t think it had any multiplayer modes except for split screen multiplayer.

So when I think about Rainbow Six Siege I don’t really think of it as a Rainbow Six Game, I think of it as a new multiplayer-focused, tactical first person shooter.

I was very sceptical about Rainbow Six Siege when I first heard about it. A friend told me about it and he compared it to the search and destroy game mode from the Call Of Duty series. I hated the search and destroy game mode, so I thought I could never enjoy Rainbow Six Siege. However, after hearing more good reviews and praise upon praise about Rainbow Six Siege I thought I’d give it a chance. I bought it for £17 on Amazon and in this review I’m gonna let you know if it was worth the price.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Rainbow 6 Siege is intense, tactical and heavily team oriented, but that’s the multiplayer (which is the bulk of the game). Let me first address the single player options and modes for those who are looking for a tactical squad based single player game like the old Rainbow 6 instalments.

The single player portion of the game is limited to the terrorist hunt mode and 11 ‘situations’. These situations put you into the shoes of a specific operator and then task you with completing different objectives on one of the multiplayer maps. These are basically tutorial missions to help prepare you for the multiplayer section of the game. I personally only completed 8 out of the 11 situations before I got bored and decided to dive into multiplayer.

Rainbow 6 Siege Review 2017 - R6S Review

In the terrorist hunt mode you can play with 4 other players or you can go it alone and compete against the AI in objective focused matches that feel ripped straight out of the multiplayer portion of the game. If you want to buy Rainbow 6 Siege for a single player experience then don’t waste your money. This game has no campaign mode and the single player experience is just the multiplayer experience with bots instead. You’ll likely be bored within 2 days if you do not get this game to experience the multiplayer.

The multiplayer portion of the game is where all the meat of the game is. You can pick from over 20 different operators with their own skills, strengths and weaknesses. Each operator has their own loadout options and a specific skill or gadget that only they can use.

The defensive operators are only playable on defense and the offensive operators are only playable on offense. You have to earn renown – the in game currency – in order to buy new operators as well as new attachments and cosmetics.

Rainbow 6 Siege Review 2017 - R6S Review

There is strategy and thought that goes into picking the right operator and creating the right team composition to handle different situations. You don’t know what operators the enemy team is going to pick and you can’t change operators on the fly like in Overwatch. You have one life per round so you need to make it count. If you pick Thermite (an operator that can break through reinforced walls) and you die before you can break through a wall then your team is down one person and you completely wasted your operator.

But this happens to the best of us and even after you die, you can still communicate with your teammates and help your team by giving them the information they need, by viewing cameras, drones or watching the screens of surviving players, to help them win the round.

Each round starts with the attacking team using drones to search for the objective and canvas the area while the defending team reinforces walls, doors hatches and sets up their defenses. After the starting period, the attacking team is tasked with completing the objective – capturing a hostage, securing the area, defusing the bomb or killing everyone – before the timer runs out.

Since you only have one life and many areas of the map are destructible, it becomes a very intense and frantic fight for the W. People can take you out from angles that you never dreamed of, through walls, floors and ceilings and you can do the same. Being stealthy and limiting the information the enemy team has becomes very important as a few shots is all that is needed to take you out of the round. Coordinating strategies with your team, executing those strategies and getting the win is one of the most satisfying multiplayer gaming experiences I have ever had. Getting a last second win with the odds stacked against you also feels immensely gratifying.

The multiplayer is much better when you have a team to play with. You can enjoy this game playing with random people or playing alone but having a well coordinated team is a much better experience.

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Renown and Micro-transactions

Earning renown in this game takes a very very long time. It seems that the slow grindy process is made that way on purpose in order to get you to buy R6 credits for real money. This hurts the game in my eyes, but the game is fun enough that the grind doesn’t get boring and annoying.

Updates

Rainbow 6 Siege Review 2017 - R6S Review

Rainbow 6 Siege receives regular updates and new features from Ubisoft. The latest update introduced alpha packs – which is pretty much Overwatch’s loot box system with a few changes. Instead of getting an alpha pack every time you level up, you have a chance to win one after every match you win and the chances are increased after every match you complete. These alpha packs contain cosmetic items and do not give any players an advantage. Of course these alpha packs can also be bought in the store.

Each year Ubisoft plans to release 4 free DLC packages called ‘seasons’. These seasons are based around a specific country and come with new operators and a new map. The new operators aren’t instantly playable like the map, you have to buy the operator with renown. The price of DLC operators are particularly expensive at 25k renown. To put things in perspective, on average I receive under 400 renown after each match.

However these updates are free, so it doesn’t bother me that the new operators require a lot of grinding. I’m actually pleased at the fact that you can grind and spend nothing but time on the game and unlock all the operators.

Graphics & Sound

The graphics are great, but in this era of gaming I don’t really expect anything different. Everything looks good and I have no problems with the visuals.

The sound is amazing. So much of this game is based on listening to the sound of other players in order to anticipate their movements so it needed to be amazing and luckily it is. The guns sound good, the sound of a player rappelling on the side of a building sounds great. Hearing someone break through a barricade or run on the floor above all help me identify where someone is and provide the relevant information. The sound system in this game is awesome and you need to wear headphones if you plan to play it.

Is it worth the price?

Rainbow 6 Siege is currently £19.99 on Amazon. I’ve had a lot of fun playing it and I’ve played it for over 40 hours. I wish I had more time to play the game and it is well worth the price of £19.99. This is a brilliant multiplayer game with hours of fun to be had, but it is definitely not worth the price if you only want to buy this game for the single player as that is almost non-existent.

Here are some pros and cons to help you make the decision for yourself:

Pros

  • The gameplay is intense and tactical
  • You can still help your team if you die
  • The sound design is great

Cons

  • Game pushes you towards micro-transactions
  • The single player is not good

If you want to buy Rainbow 6 Siege then please use this Amazon link. It will help out the channel and blog at no cost to you. Thanks for reading!

Let me know what you thought of Rainbow 6 Siege in the comment section below and if you want to check out the rest of my reviews you can watch them in this playlist.

Join my discord channel to play Rainbow 6 Siege with me and get involved with the community. You can also find a bunch of Rainbow 6 Guides and gameplay on my channel. I’ll see you in the next review.

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Prey PS4 Review – Is it Worth The Price? [GAME REVIEW]

In this Prey PS4 Review I am going to be staying away from any major spoilers and helping you to decide whether this game is worth the price. Prey is a first person shooter/RPG developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda. If you’ve played any of the Dishonored or Bioshock games then the mechanics of Prey should be a little familiar to you.

First off, let’s start with my experience.

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My Experience

Prey PS4 Review - Is it Worth The Price?I never played the first Prey game in 2006, however I did watch my older brother play it. It seemed very interesting but first person shooters have never been my go to genre for single player experiences. After later playing games like Bioshock and Dishonored, I realised that there was a place for single player FPS experiences – especially FPS games with RPG elements and effective world building.

Gameplay

Prey and Arkane’s previous FPS/RPG mashup Dishonored have a lot in common. In both games, you’re able to wield both physical weapons and otherworldly abilities (you’re able to choose to completely ignore your otherworldly abilities and play it straight in both games). You’re also encouraged to play the game how you want but it’s obvious that stealth is often the best or intended way to play. There are multiple ways to complete objectives and access areas and there are choices to make along the way that will grant you different endings or consequences.

After hearing that, I wouldn’t fault you for assuming that Prey is simply a sci-fi version of Dishonored, but you would be wrong.

Prey seems to be designed to make you feel extremely paranoid… and it succeeds. For example, the grunt enemies – mimics – who disguise themselves as everyday objects and – worst of all – useful items will make you slowly enter a new room, scanning your surroundings for anything that looks suspicious and slinging your trusty wrench at everything that looks a little off. The music in the game also sets the tone very well, many times throughout the game I found myself on edge simply because of the background music which sounded like it’d fit right in in a Ridley Scott sci-fi horror movie.Prey PS4 Review - Is it Worth The Price?

You’re also so underpowered at the beginning of the game that you’ll be quaking in your boots at the sight of a new enemy. This adds to the scare factor, which is great but this leads me to my next point.

The enemy types in Prey lack variety. I mean, the first time you see a new type of enemy it is both an interesting and heart pumping experience but once you’ve seen the 4 basic enemies and a mini boss you’ve pretty much seen them all. The different variations of the enemies require different tactics to overcome but apart from the mimics, the enemy designs aren’t all that interesting.

Nevertheless, the game is fun. Exploring the space station of Talos 1 as a fragile noob searching for answers, to becoming an unstoppable sneaky psychic death machine searching for more needles to stab into your eye is an enjoyable journey. Learning which weapons and elements work best against certain enemies, finding out the stories of the dead people around you and choosing the high road and sneaking around enemies hoping to not be spotted and viciously murdered because you’re low on ammo is all a blast. The combat feels okay although the absence of an aim down sights feature felt a little weird but it wasn’t a deal breaker.

Prey PS4 Review - Is it Worth The Price?

The gameplay isn’t all great though. The loading screens take ages to get through. At the beginning of the game this isn’t too much of a hassle because you’ll be moving from area to area at a pretty steady pace while following your main objectives. When you’ve pretty much explored the new areas of the station and you have a variety of side missions and main missions to complete, backtracking and moving between areas you’ve previously visited in order to finish objectives gets really annoying.

Having to sit through a minute and more of loading in order to complete an objective and be sent to some other section of the station to complete the next part of the objective and sitting through another loading screen to get there to continue this cycle gets super tedious. I think the last quarter of the game suffers immensely because of all this loading and a story choice that I’m not going to spoil. I think that the game should have ended about 4 hours sooner and that would’ve greatly solved this pacing issue.

There were also a few bugs that occurred through my first play through of Prey.

  • At one point all my auto saves and quick saves were corrupted, these were later fixed in a patch the next week.
  • I also got stuck in an elevator with no option to move or select anything in my inventory
  • Objective markers showed up in the wrong locations at least twice for me

Luckily I experienced no game breaking bugs and I was able to finish the game.

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Story

Prey PS4 Review - Is it Worth The Price?

The story of Prey centres around Morgan Yu. You play as either a male or female version of Morgan as you attempt to piece together what happened on Talos 1, who you can trust, who you can’t trust and who you are.

I think the story was pretty good, I really wanted to learn more about the world and the circumstances surrounding the alien presence on the ship. This spurred me to continue playing until about 3 quarters in but I did, however enjoy the ending of the game.

Graphics & Sound

The graphics in prey are pretty good, nothing outstanding but nothing looked terribly bad either. The sound was phenomenal, as I mentioned earlier, the soundtrack really added to the sense of paranoia and dread that you feel while venturing through Talos 1. The sound of mimics trying to hide around the corner and the sound of phantoms talking nonsense while they patrol were all executed well and very nerve-wracking.

Is It Worth The Price?

Prey PS4 Review - Is it Worth The Price?

Prey is currently £29.49 on Amazon, which is surprising considering that it was released this month and most AAA games release at £40 no matter the length or depth. For most of my 26 hours spent completing prey I had a great time, the last 4 hours were a bit of a drag but I definitely enjoyed the majority of my time with it. I can confidently say that at almost £30, this game is worth the price. You’re getting bang for your buck here and the different upgrade and story options offer some replayablity.

Let me list some pros and cons so you can make up your own mind though

Pros

  • An interesting story
  • Multiple ways to complete objectives
  • A fun array of Alien powers
  • A paranoia inducing atmosphere and tone
  • The mimic is a great enemy

Cons

  • Long loading screens
  • A tedious fourth quarter
  • Limited enemy types

 

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Thanks for reading guys, let me know what you thought of this game in the comment section below and if you want to check out the rest of my reviews you can check out my review playlist. Be sure to join my discord channel to play games with me and get involved with the community. I’ll see you in the next review!

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.

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