Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The definitive raiding of tombs

Platform tested: PlayStation 4

A fairly short review incoming here. I recently replayed one of 2013's best games, the reboot of the famous the franchise; Tomb Raider. It was recently re-released and remastered on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The main difference being better textures on the graphics, more effects and a improved Lara Croft character model with the new hair physics. PC owners will find little new here, as they received the graphically superior version in the first place, minus the new Lara model.

I enjoyed playing though this game again, I've wanted to for a while, and when this version appeared I went for that instead! You can read my original review of the game here, as my opinion and score remains:

For those with new consoles, who still haven't played the original release, really should go for this one. It's a superb game that easily passes as a game for the new generation when the graphical quality is set up higher. The Xbox One version runs 1080@30fps and the PS4 runs 1080@60fps. The framerate bump of the PS4 version really makes a difference, although it never manages to stay completely stable. The game feels and plays smoother for it though.

Regardless of which version you choose, you are in for a fantastic game! The excellent story, presentation, setting, detailed world and awesome gameplay makes this one of the best games of new time.



Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Ten far cries later

Far Cry - 10 years later

Platform tested: Xbox 360

I remember this game so well, it came seemingly out of nowhere into what was almost a next-gen leap for PC gamers; back when we were waiting for Half-Life 2 and Doom 3. The two most awaited PC games at the time. However, a new player entered the scene; Far Cry. A first person shooter set on tropical islands in the Pacific. Developed by German Crytek. It was a visual showcase of it's day.

In my opinion Far Cry "won" the battle over HL2 and Doom 3. While HL2 had the superior narrative and story, FC boasted large areas to roam and perfectly balanced being between a traditional corridor FPS and a free-roaming one. The result was traversing huge jaw-dropping jungles to claustrophobic old WW2 ruins. The game made you learn jungle warfare and challenged you consistently with advanced enemy AI. Then, when you finally got the hang of it, the game introduced a more creepy side. Leaving you to fight with horrible genetic creations, most notably in a dark jungle at night. The game scared the living daylight out of me at times. FC was so varied and incredible it will always stand as being one of the best FPS game made for me.

So now, 10 years later the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 finally get a HD port of the game. It kind of illustrates how far the Crytek pushed the PC hardware back in 2004 when the 360 and PS3 can't even run the game properly. Sure, this version is playable, but it probably floats at around 25 fps and the resolution is 720p. Not very impressive for a ten year old game! You could blame it as a bad port or you could blame the fact that we're playing on a generation far outstayed it's technical welcome. Regardless, the technical side could have been smoothed out some more.

I had to pick this version up though, simply because I'm such a fan of the original. It was a nice rendezvous, and I enjoyed a playthrough once again. I can recommend it if you don't have a gaming PC and just want to play it from your couch from a console. Otherwise the PC version is really cheap and easily accessible to buy.

Despite it's age, complete with fairly basic character animations, simple AI etc. the game still manages to pull you slowly into it's hunting tactics. Just like Far Cry 3 did, the game makes you feel like an experience jungle soldier after some hours of gameplay. A truly awesome feeling, bringing back som of the nostalgic magic I have with the this game. Speaking of hours, the lifespan is good. It's a lengthy game and will probably take around 10 hours to complete.

This port won't get a very high score, it just could have technically run better, however I'd just like to point out that the original is clearly a five star game back in it's day! It's not a terrible purchase by any means though, if you haven't played the game before, you really should.



A new Forza on the Horizon!

Forza Horizon 2 has been announced by Microsoft through IGN! Been looking forward to this sequel! Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One will be handled by Playgroung Games, the guys behind the first Horizon game, and runs on the Forza Motorsport 5 engine. The Xbox 360 version is handled by Sumo Digital, the guys behind Sonic & All Star Racing, and will run on the first Horizon engine.
There's been a few screens leaked already, I'm guessing they are taken from the Xbox One version. The setting is south of Europe, and judging by the screens we will have real-time weather like rain. We'll no doubt be getting more info towards and at E3!