Reviews | Xbox One UK http://www.xboxoneuk.com Xbox One UK : The all in one entertainment website for Xbox One Mon, 05 Dec 2016 08:00:40 +0000 hourly 1 http://www.xboxoneuk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/cropped-XboUK.com-Branding-65x65.png Reviews – Xbox One UK http://www.xboxoneuk.com 32 32 89823521 The Dwarves Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/the-dwarves-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/the-dwarves-review/#respond Sun, 04 Dec 2016 19:00:28 +0000 Robert Rodkey $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=51195 The Dwarves

Back in 2003, Markus Heitz released the first book in a new fantasy series known as The Dwarves. Set in the mythical medieval Girdlegard, the fantasy adventure features races, including Dwarves. Now, after many books in the series, fans have a game set in this world. Developed by KING Art, The Dwarves is a fantasy RPG that, even outside of battle, allows you to really think about what to do next, as every choice could bring you to death.

This is, first and foremost, a story, and anyone who has any interest in, say, The Lord of the Rings or any other form of fantasy will be captivated by the plot. You play as Tungdil Goldhand, a young blacksmith, who is the only dwarf in Ionandar, one of Girdlegard’s five enchanted realms. These realms, rich in magical energy force fields, are ruled by magi, while other lands are ruled by the kings and queens of Girdlegard. When sent out on a quest to deliver some magical items to a friend of your adopted father, you are pitched into a war against Orcs.

dwarves-the-2

Travel throughout the realm is by means of a world map, dotted with points of interest. Every time you move you consume food and resources, and it’s important to manage these resources on your travels. With each movement, there is narration; in fact, almost everything you do is narrated and moves the story forward. This narration – and the story – does an amazing job at bringing Girdlegard to life. Drawing heavily on the fantasy books, as you would expect, The Dwarves builds one of the most engaging and complete worlds we’ve ever encountered.

“The Dwarves offers one of the most descriptive and immersive storytelling experiences around.”
Throughout your time, you’ll learn to weigh every decision yo make carefully. You’ll make countless decisions that influence your progress; the impact of each decision is keenly felt – sometimes seconds later, or sometimes even after hours have passed.

Thankfully, plentiful checkpoints and auto-saves meant those decisions that led us to have our throats slit in our beds meant our progress wasn’t hindered too much, but still every decision elicited the thrill of excitement.

Dwarves, The 2

Whilst the story is engaging and every decision had us second guessing ourselves, the time comes – as with so many fantasy RPGs before – to do battle. Going into a battle, you are given the chance to equip items which may help you, and as you level up, you will unlock new abilities. It feels very much like Diablo with an isometric camera giving you a decent view of the battle. You can switch between your allies at will, turning your focus on any area of the battle.

Battles are grand in scale, but with two opposing armies on screen the action can stutter and slow, which is disappointing given how much polish the rest of the game exudes. There’s still fun to be had but we can’t help feeling that the magnificent storytelling and compelling strategy deserved a better denouement. Our biggest issue with the combat system, though, is how easy it is to accidentally hurt friendly NPCs. So many enemies and friendlies on screen, all constantly moving, might be a realistic depiction of battle (between dwarves and orcs) but it’s all too easy to target an enemy with an ability or attack, only for them to move at the last second, your attack injuring friendly troops instead. It’s not an issue we’ve ever encountered in any other large scale battle game, and when it happens it feels like the game’s to blame, rather than any lack of skill on our part.

dwarves-the-1

As clunky and repetitive as battles can feel, it was never quite enough for us to abandon our quest. The compelling story, married with pretty visuals, utterly stellar voice acting and a stunning sound track, kept us coming back for more. The musical score, in particular, tells its own tale of epic battles and the sheer scale of the journey you are on. Great stuff. The voice talent, too, is a cut above the usual – and feels just right for the world that KING Art has recreated.

So good is the story and the atmosphere we can forgive a few missteps along the way, in particular the merely average combat. The Dwarves offers one of the most descriptive and immersive storytelling experiences around, and we couldn’t help falling on love with it, despite its flaws.

The Dwarves is available in the Store, priced £31.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
The Dwarves

Back in 2003, Markus Heitz released the first book in a new fantasy series known as The Dwarves. Set in the mythical medieval Girdlegard, the fantasy adventure features races, including Dwarves. Now, after many books in the series, fans have a game set in this world. Developed by KING Art, The Dwarves is a fantasy RPG that, even outside of battle, allows you to really think about what to do next, as every choice could bring you to death.

This is, first and foremost, a story, and anyone who has any interest in, say, The Lord of the Rings or any other form of fantasy will be captivated by the plot. You play as Tungdil Goldhand, a young blacksmith, who is the only dwarf in Ionandar, one of Girdlegard’s five enchanted realms. These realms, rich in magical energy force fields, are ruled by magi, while other lands are ruled by the kings and queens of Girdlegard. When sent out on a quest to deliver some magical items to a friend of your adopted father, you are pitched into a war against Orcs.

dwarves-the-2

Travel throughout the realm is by means of a world map, dotted with points of interest. Every time you move you consume food and resources, and it’s important to manage these resources on your travels. With each movement, there is narration; in fact, almost everything you do is narrated and moves the story forward. This narration – and the story – does an amazing job at bringing Girdlegard to life. Drawing heavily on the fantasy books, as you would expect, The Dwarves builds one of the most engaging and complete worlds we’ve ever encountered.

“The Dwarves offers one of the most descriptive and immersive storytelling experiences around.”
Throughout your time, you’ll learn to weigh every decision yo make carefully. You’ll make countless decisions that influence your progress; the impact of each decision is keenly felt – sometimes seconds later, or sometimes even after hours have passed.

Thankfully, plentiful checkpoints and auto-saves meant those decisions that led us to have our throats slit in our beds meant our progress wasn’t hindered too much, but still every decision elicited the thrill of excitement.

Dwarves, The 2

Whilst the story is engaging and every decision had us second guessing ourselves, the time comes – as with so many fantasy RPGs before – to do battle. Going into a battle, you are given the chance to equip items which may help you, and as you level up, you will unlock new abilities. It feels very much like Diablo with an isometric camera giving you a decent view of the battle. You can switch between your allies at will, turning your focus on any area of the battle.

Battles are grand in scale, but with two opposing armies on screen the action can stutter and slow, which is disappointing given how much polish the rest of the game exudes. There’s still fun to be had but we can’t help feeling that the magnificent storytelling and compelling strategy deserved a better denouement. Our biggest issue with the combat system, though, is how easy it is to accidentally hurt friendly NPCs. So many enemies and friendlies on screen, all constantly moving, might be a realistic depiction of battle (between dwarves and orcs) but it’s all too easy to target an enemy with an ability or attack, only for them to move at the last second, your attack injuring friendly troops instead. It’s not an issue we’ve ever encountered in any other large scale battle game, and when it happens it feels like the game’s to blame, rather than any lack of skill on our part.

dwarves-the-1

As clunky and repetitive as battles can feel, it was never quite enough for us to abandon our quest. The compelling story, married with pretty visuals, utterly stellar voice acting and a stunning sound track, kept us coming back for more. The musical score, in particular, tells its own tale of epic battles and the sheer scale of the journey you are on. Great stuff. The voice talent, too, is a cut above the usual – and feels just right for the world that KING Art has recreated.

So good is the story and the atmosphere we can forgive a few missteps along the way, in particular the merely average combat. The Dwarves offers one of the most descriptive and immersive storytelling experiences around, and we couldn’t help falling on love with it, despite its flaws.

The Dwarves is available in the Store, priced £31.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Silence Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/silence-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/silence-review/#respond Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:00:47 +0000 Stephen Loftus $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=50781 silence-screne

Daedalic’s Silence is a sequel to the point and click adventure The Whispered World, released back in 2009. This time however, the world you’re exploring is a lot more grim than the land of Silence once was; playing upon the concept of the barrier between life and death, everything is conjured up from one teenager’s imagination.

Silence is quite unsettling from the get go, as this title toys around with psychology and similar themes. From the orphans’ escape of an air raid, to the realisation that you’ve just walked out of a humongous world war unscathed, you’ll experience all the darker thoughts that inhabit this child’s mind.

silence-2

Playing primarily as Noah, an orphaned teenager looking after his young sister Renie, the youngsters find themselves taking shelter from an air raid. To pass the time, Noah tells his sister a story of a world once before of which he had dreamt. Soon, though, Noah’s vivid imagination creates that world for real, and you are transported to the world of Silence. And it’s not pretty. Somehow, Noah and his sister become separated, and this place that Noah would once have recognised is now a complete mess, destroyed by The False Queen and her puppets, known as Seekers.

This is a point and click adventure with a unique mechanism that involves a worm named Spot. Spot’s created from a sock – because how else would a child create a worm character? – and using Spot’s ability to inflate and deflate, you must solve puzzles to progress through the game. For example, you might need to push a boulder, allowing you to reach a cliff you couldn’t before. Throughout, you’ll be swapping between Spot and Noah to help solve puzzles.

silence-seeker

Usefully, Silence includes a wealth of options to fine-tune the challenge the game offers. More than just turning hints on and off, these options allow you to decide whether or not objects are highlighted, choose show objects’ names, or provide hints. Or you can simply turn off help completely to make it extremely challenging. After all, in this world of imagination, Noah can die.

The puzzles soon become repetitive as the game progresses, with the majority of them forcing you to travel back and forth between two areas, making things more tedious than needs be. Only Spot’s presence offers any depth to the puzzles. While the puzzles are run of the mill, it’s Silence’s eerie story and well-realised characters that lend the game a significant level of charm. The voice acting, though, leaves something to be desired, responding with what feels like a forced narrative with no emotion when making certain choices.

All in all, this is certainly one fairy tale that would make even the Grimm Brothers squirm, capturing the dystopian imagination of one child mind, while opening up yours to the reality of life and death, and everything in between.

Watch out for Silence arriving in the Store shortly, where it will cost £24.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
silence-screne

Daedalic’s Silence is a sequel to the point and click adventure The Whispered World, released back in 2009. This time however, the world you’re exploring is a lot more grim than the land of Silence once was; playing upon the concept of the barrier between life and death, everything is conjured up from one teenager’s imagination.

Silence is quite unsettling from the get go, as this title toys around with psychology and similar themes. From the orphans’ escape of an air raid, to the realisation that you’ve just walked out of a humongous world war unscathed, you’ll experience all the darker thoughts that inhabit this child’s mind.

silence-2

Playing primarily as Noah, an orphaned teenager looking after his young sister Renie, the youngsters find themselves taking shelter from an air raid. To pass the time, Noah tells his sister a story of a world once before of which he had dreamt. Soon, though, Noah’s vivid imagination creates that world for real, and you are transported to the world of Silence. And it’s not pretty. Somehow, Noah and his sister become separated, and this place that Noah would once have recognised is now a complete mess, destroyed by The False Queen and her puppets, known as Seekers.

This is a point and click adventure with a unique mechanism that involves a worm named Spot. Spot’s created from a sock – because how else would a child create a worm character? – and using Spot’s ability to inflate and deflate, you must solve puzzles to progress through the game. For example, you might need to push a boulder, allowing you to reach a cliff you couldn’t before. Throughout, you’ll be swapping between Spot and Noah to help solve puzzles.

silence-seeker

Usefully, Silence includes a wealth of options to fine-tune the challenge the game offers. More than just turning hints on and off, these options allow you to decide whether or not objects are highlighted, choose show objects’ names, or provide hints. Or you can simply turn off help completely to make it extremely challenging. After all, in this world of imagination, Noah can die.

The puzzles soon become repetitive as the game progresses, with the majority of them forcing you to travel back and forth between two areas, making things more tedious than needs be. Only Spot’s presence offers any depth to the puzzles. While the puzzles are run of the mill, it’s Silence’s eerie story and well-realised characters that lend the game a significant level of charm. The voice acting, though, leaves something to be desired, responding with what feels like a forced narrative with no emotion when making certain choices.

All in all, this is certainly one fairy tale that would make even the Grimm Brothers squirm, capturing the dystopian imagination of one child mind, while opening up yours to the reality of life and death, and everything in between.

Watch out for Silence arriving in the Store shortly, where it will cost £24.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Moto Racer 4 Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/moto-racer-4-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/moto-racer-4-review/#respond Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:00:43 +0000 Andrew 'Bowsey' Bowes $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=49956 moto-racer-4-3

The cult arcade-style motorbike racing game Moto Racer 4 makes its first outing on Xbox One. Developed by Microids and Artefacts Studio under the supervision of the original Moto Racer designer Paul Cuisset, Moto Racer 4 brings speed and aggression together. The idea of an ‘old-school arcade racer’ appeals to us no end, so we went into this game hopeful on so many levels; unfortunately it failed to impress on any of them.

Although sporting the usual array of options – career, quick play, and both on-line and local multiplayer – each is a disappointment. Career play, for example, is unlock-based with no real story to be found, just a host of seemingly disconnected races to be completed. Depending on your finishing position in each race you will be awarded stars, these stars are used to unlock the next race. Progression becomes a grind, as you repeat races to eventually earn enough stars to progress. It’s an archaic mechanic that sits uneasily alongside games that make all their content available from the get go.

moto-racer-4-5822f2e6e24ef

The level design is simplistic, but this does allow for a feeling of speed, especially when you’re awarded with an extra boost for performing a wheelie or landing a jump. This speed doesn’t last, though, thanks to the skittish controls. The slightest left or right turn will now have you snaking along for a good 10 seconds as you fight for control over the bike, only to regain control, ready for it to begin again after the next bend. The speed, the poor controls and the oncoming traffic, all add up to give a very poor racing experience.

The game’s problems unfortunately aren’t limited to just the poor controls; it’s littered with issues and flaws.

05-11-2016_10-23-00

There’s little to suggest that this isn’t a game from the last generation – everything looks fine when it’s whizzing by, but when you slow or stop there’s a noticeable lack of finesse in the visuals, though at least this means it moves at a swift pace and feels like it maintains a steady 60 fps.

When it comes to how the game sounds, the high pitched whine of the bike engine begins to grind on you after a few minutes, and you’re forced to zone it out or switch it off.

Ultimately, the biggest disappointment is that Moto Racer 4 just doesn’t know what kind of game it wants to be. Its broad brush approach encircles racer, stunt game and Road Rash clone, and fails to deliver a convincing experience in any of those areas. There’s fun to be had, but to find it you’ll have to overlook some significant flaws.

Moto Racer 4 is available from the Store, priced £31.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
moto-racer-4-3

The cult arcade-style motorbike racing game Moto Racer 4 makes its first outing on Xbox One. Developed by Microids and Artefacts Studio under the supervision of the original Moto Racer designer Paul Cuisset, Moto Racer 4 brings speed and aggression together. The idea of an ‘old-school arcade racer’ appeals to us no end, so we went into this game hopeful on so many levels; unfortunately it failed to impress on any of them.

Although sporting the usual array of options – career, quick play, and both on-line and local multiplayer – each is a disappointment. Career play, for example, is unlock-based with no real story to be found, just a host of seemingly disconnected races to be completed. Depending on your finishing position in each race you will be awarded stars, these stars are used to unlock the next race. Progression becomes a grind, as you repeat races to eventually earn enough stars to progress. It’s an archaic mechanic that sits uneasily alongside games that make all their content available from the get go.

moto-racer-4-5822f2e6e24ef

The level design is simplistic, but this does allow for a feeling of speed, especially when you’re awarded with an extra boost for performing a wheelie or landing a jump. This speed doesn’t last, though, thanks to the skittish controls. The slightest left or right turn will now have you snaking along for a good 10 seconds as you fight for control over the bike, only to regain control, ready for it to begin again after the next bend. The speed, the poor controls and the oncoming traffic, all add up to give a very poor racing experience.

The game’s problems unfortunately aren’t limited to just the poor controls; it’s littered with issues and flaws.

05-11-2016_10-23-00

There’s little to suggest that this isn’t a game from the last generation – everything looks fine when it’s whizzing by, but when you slow or stop there’s a noticeable lack of finesse in the visuals, though at least this means it moves at a swift pace and feels like it maintains a steady 60 fps.

When it comes to how the game sounds, the high pitched whine of the bike engine begins to grind on you after a few minutes, and you’re forced to zone it out or switch it off.

Ultimately, the biggest disappointment is that Moto Racer 4 just doesn’t know what kind of game it wants to be. Its broad brush approach encircles racer, stunt game and Road Rash clone, and fails to deliver a convincing experience in any of those areas. There’s fun to be had, but to find it you’ll have to overlook some significant flaws.

Moto Racer 4 is available from the Store, priced £31.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Emily Wants To Play Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/emily-wants-to-play-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/emily-wants-to-play-review/#respond Thu, 01 Dec 2016 23:00:37 +0000 Chris 'whyayemincepie' Nash $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=51061 emily-wants-to-play-fi

We have to be honest and upfront here; when Chris was told he needs to review a game that involves killer dolls, clowns and a scary girl he was a little apprehensive to say the least. His inner hero told him to man up and play (while the rest of us hid behind the couch), it’s only a game, after all, and what’s the worst that could happen? Well, how about sleepness nights, jumping at the slightest of noises and not going into his own children’s bedrooms in case their dolls attacked him, is what happened. Thanks, inner hero.

Emily Wants To Play, though, turned out to be a fun game. Fun, that is, watching a grown man getting the poop scared out of him.

The unseen protagonist in this first person action horror game is a pizza delivery guy, out on what at first seems to be a normal delivery of cheesy goodness. Arriving at the delivery address, the house the door is open and from the moment our Pizza person steps inside, nothing is normal any more and everything seems hell-bent on kill him at any opportunity.

Your end goal is really quite simple; just survive the night. But that’s not as simple as you might think. Arriving at the house at 11:00pm, there’s an hour of game time (a few minutes) to get familiar with your surroundings, because when the clock strikes midnight the good times begin, and you’re far from alone.

Each hour in game – 6 minutes in real time, but trust us when we say that it feels so much longer when you play – will see you tormented by one or more of the house’s inhabitants. Each must be handled in a specific fashion, and whilst they are all impossible to kill (you have no weapons save a pizza; what are you going to do, cholesterol them to death) but it is possible to survive each encounter – if you’re fast enough and know what to do.

kiki

Each signals their presence differently – it might be an unearthly giggle or a sadistic laugh, but it’s enough to send shivers down at your spine and a panicky sweat in the palms of your hands. Because within seconds that signal can turn into death, and game over.

It’s a varied bunch you’ll come face to face with, too. We’re pretty sure at some point Mr Tatters was actually quite a fun clown, while Chester’s the kind of children’s toy from which nightmares are formed.

Nothing, though, prepares you for the titular Emily. If Chester is the seed of nightmares, Emily is your worst nightmare fully formed and screaming.

Emily Wants To Play

Emily Wants to Play is a trial and error game – there are clues dotted around to help you understand how to deal with each adversary, but you will die – a lot. As you encounter each enemy the adrenaline gets pumping in your body as you know what is going to get you but you can stop it – at least not until you’ve figured out the clues.

Once you figure out how to overcome each horrifying killer, it’s just a case of making it happen. Some are easier to deal with than others, but that feeling when you’ve made it through another hour and the clock chimes is one of the best you’ll ever have. It’s a mixture of achievement and relief – quite different from the dread you feel at the other sounds you’ll hear, each heralding the arrival of another enemy. Emily Wants To Play manages to find a direct link from your ears to the bit of your brain that controls fear. Well played.

Emily Wants To Play

The game itself seems relatively short, 6 in game hours at 6 real time minutes is 36 real time minutes – you will be playing for a lot longer, though, as each death resets the clock back to the last checkpoint. There are also various collectibles dotted around the house, from odd notes and drawings to pre-recorded tapes that give some background into how Emily and the toys became the grotesque killers they are today.

While graphically simple, Emily Wants To Play creates the perfect environment fro some late night scares – a blend of picturesque housing and horror themes measured to perfection. There’s no way we would live there, though, not even if someone gave it to us for free.

A streamers dream – watching someone else play Emily Wants To Play is just as much fun as playing it yourself – and the perfect nightmare fuel, Emily Wants to Play is worth every penny.

Emily Wants To Play is available in the Store, priced £3.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
emily-wants-to-play-fi

We have to be honest and upfront here; when Chris was told he needs to review a game that involves killer dolls, clowns and a scary girl he was a little apprehensive to say the least. His inner hero told him to man up and play (while the rest of us hid behind the couch), it’s only a game, after all, and what’s the worst that could happen? Well, how about sleepness nights, jumping at the slightest of noises and not going into his own children’s bedrooms in case their dolls attacked him, is what happened. Thanks, inner hero.

Emily Wants To Play, though, turned out to be a fun game. Fun, that is, watching a grown man getting the poop scared out of him.

The unseen protagonist in this first person action horror game is a pizza delivery guy, out on what at first seems to be a normal delivery of cheesy goodness. Arriving at the delivery address, the house the door is open and from the moment our Pizza person steps inside, nothing is normal any more and everything seems hell-bent on kill him at any opportunity.

Your end goal is really quite simple; just survive the night. But that’s not as simple as you might think. Arriving at the house at 11:00pm, there’s an hour of game time (a few minutes) to get familiar with your surroundings, because when the clock strikes midnight the good times begin, and you’re far from alone.

Each hour in game – 6 minutes in real time, but trust us when we say that it feels so much longer when you play – will see you tormented by one or more of the house’s inhabitants. Each must be handled in a specific fashion, and whilst they are all impossible to kill (you have no weapons save a pizza; what are you going to do, cholesterol them to death) but it is possible to survive each encounter – if you’re fast enough and know what to do.

kiki

Each signals their presence differently – it might be an unearthly giggle or a sadistic laugh, but it’s enough to send shivers down at your spine and a panicky sweat in the palms of your hands. Because within seconds that signal can turn into death, and game over.

It’s a varied bunch you’ll come face to face with, too. We’re pretty sure at some point Mr Tatters was actually quite a fun clown, while Chester’s the kind of children’s toy from which nightmares are formed.

Nothing, though, prepares you for the titular Emily. If Chester is the seed of nightmares, Emily is your worst nightmare fully formed and screaming.

Emily Wants To Play

Emily Wants to Play is a trial and error game – there are clues dotted around to help you understand how to deal with each adversary, but you will die – a lot. As you encounter each enemy the adrenaline gets pumping in your body as you know what is going to get you but you can stop it – at least not until you’ve figured out the clues.

Once you figure out how to overcome each horrifying killer, it’s just a case of making it happen. Some are easier to deal with than others, but that feeling when you’ve made it through another hour and the clock chimes is one of the best you’ll ever have. It’s a mixture of achievement and relief – quite different from the dread you feel at the other sounds you’ll hear, each heralding the arrival of another enemy. Emily Wants To Play manages to find a direct link from your ears to the bit of your brain that controls fear. Well played.

Emily Wants To Play

The game itself seems relatively short, 6 in game hours at 6 real time minutes is 36 real time minutes – you will be playing for a lot longer, though, as each death resets the clock back to the last checkpoint. There are also various collectibles dotted around the house, from odd notes and drawings to pre-recorded tapes that give some background into how Emily and the toys became the grotesque killers they are today.

While graphically simple, Emily Wants To Play creates the perfect environment fro some late night scares – a blend of picturesque housing and horror themes measured to perfection. There’s no way we would live there, though, not even if someone gave it to us for free.

A streamers dream – watching someone else play Emily Wants To Play is just as much fun as playing it yourself – and the perfect nightmare fuel, Emily Wants to Play is worth every penny.

Emily Wants To Play is available in the Store, priced £3.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/enigmatis-2-the-mists-of-ravenwood-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/enigmatis-2-the-mists-of-ravenwood-review/#respond Wed, 30 Nov 2016 23:00:26 +0000 Stephen Loftus $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=51155 enigmatis-2-title

The Mists of Ravenwood is the sequel to Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek, by developer & publisher Artifex Mundi, an independent company famous for bringing to the table point and click/ hidden object hybrid games. Mists is no different. In fact, it seems with each release ported to Xbox One, Artifex warms to the task at hand, with more in-depth storytelling and challenging puzzles.

Mists of Ravenwood takes place one year on from the events of Maple Creek, following our unnamed protagonist as she sleuths her way through another supernatural occurrence, this time through the Redwood Carving Heritage Park, all whilst following a lead on the disappearance of a family who have chosen this wildlife park for their holiday.

Enigmatis 2: Mists of Ravenwood

As is the case with Artifex Mundi games, the story unfolds slowly, teasing you bit-by-bit with the truth behind the mystery that surrounds Ravenwood, whilst bringing you face-to-face with peculiar characters, familiar faces and an unsettling mist; what can only be described as a transparent ‘smoke monster’ from Lost. Nothing new there, then, as many hidden object games involve some out-of-this-world stories. One must admit that Mists of Ravenwood tells a compelling story through its hidden object scenes and, of course, puzzles.

Puzzles are what makes these hidden object titles stand out. Some are complex, requiring you to gather several objects on your journey before one can attempt to solve it, whilst others are as simple as moving blocks about. There’s always, though, a twist to keep you thinking. For example, cascade puzzles that require you to find a chain of objects before you can locate the final item. At other times, when presented with images of the objects we needed to find we aimlessly pressed repeatedly on the same item, convinced that that screwdriver looked like that banana, only to have someone walk in the room and point out our suddenly very obvious error.

Enigmatis 2: Mists of Ravenwood

Of course, if puzzles and hidden objects aren’t your thing, you could always swap out the puzzles for a pair-matching game. This adds a little diversity to the puzzles and, as some of the achievements are tied to completing the game in this mode, gives a little added incentive to complete multiple plays through. So, if you’re a fellow ‘chievo hunter, you’re going to have to play through more than once, completing the matching games.

“Possibly Artifex Mundi’s best mystery yet on Xbox One.”
As is usually the case with these games, once the main story is completed a bonus chapter of sorts is unlocked, giving you another hour of searching for objects, and delivering additional story content.

All in all, this game has everything an object seeker is looking for, with Artifex Mundi once again showing who’s boss when it comes to developing games in this very narrow genre. In fact, Artifex Mundi might be the only company making games in this genre for Xbox One, but that doesn’t mean you’re left with Hobson’s choice. The Mists of Ravenwood is another excellent game in the genre and we imagine any others entering this market place would find it tough to reach Artifex Mundi’s level.

Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood is available in the Store, priced £7.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
enigmatis-2-title

The Mists of Ravenwood is the sequel to Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek, by developer & publisher Artifex Mundi, an independent company famous for bringing to the table point and click/ hidden object hybrid games. Mists is no different. In fact, it seems with each release ported to Xbox One, Artifex warms to the task at hand, with more in-depth storytelling and challenging puzzles.

Mists of Ravenwood takes place one year on from the events of Maple Creek, following our unnamed protagonist as she sleuths her way through another supernatural occurrence, this time through the Redwood Carving Heritage Park, all whilst following a lead on the disappearance of a family who have chosen this wildlife park for their holiday.

Enigmatis 2: Mists of Ravenwood

As is the case with Artifex Mundi games, the story unfolds slowly, teasing you bit-by-bit with the truth behind the mystery that surrounds Ravenwood, whilst bringing you face-to-face with peculiar characters, familiar faces and an unsettling mist; what can only be described as a transparent ‘smoke monster’ from Lost. Nothing new there, then, as many hidden object games involve some out-of-this-world stories. One must admit that Mists of Ravenwood tells a compelling story through its hidden object scenes and, of course, puzzles.

Puzzles are what makes these hidden object titles stand out. Some are complex, requiring you to gather several objects on your journey before one can attempt to solve it, whilst others are as simple as moving blocks about. There’s always, though, a twist to keep you thinking. For example, cascade puzzles that require you to find a chain of objects before you can locate the final item. At other times, when presented with images of the objects we needed to find we aimlessly pressed repeatedly on the same item, convinced that that screwdriver looked like that banana, only to have someone walk in the room and point out our suddenly very obvious error.

Enigmatis 2: Mists of Ravenwood

Of course, if puzzles and hidden objects aren’t your thing, you could always swap out the puzzles for a pair-matching game. This adds a little diversity to the puzzles and, as some of the achievements are tied to completing the game in this mode, gives a little added incentive to complete multiple plays through. So, if you’re a fellow ‘chievo hunter, you’re going to have to play through more than once, completing the matching games.

“Possibly Artifex Mundi’s best mystery yet on Xbox One.”
As is usually the case with these games, once the main story is completed a bonus chapter of sorts is unlocked, giving you another hour of searching for objects, and delivering additional story content.

All in all, this game has everything an object seeker is looking for, with Artifex Mundi once again showing who’s boss when it comes to developing games in this very narrow genre. In fact, Artifex Mundi might be the only company making games in this genre for Xbox One, but that doesn’t mean you’re left with Hobson’s choice. The Mists of Ravenwood is another excellent game in the genre and we imagine any others entering this market place would find it tough to reach Artifex Mundi’s level.

Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood is available in the Store, priced £7.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Headlander Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/headlander-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/headlander-review/#respond Mon, 28 Nov 2016 19:00:57 +0000 Andy Williams $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=51070 headlanderfi

Are you finding platformers are becoming a little tedious? Is the fact that your head is permanently fixed to the same old body something of a bore? Well the people at Adult Swim Games clearly feel the same, and have created the uniquely absurd platformer Headlander to rid you of these problems.

As we have heard so many times before, you are the last human. Well, human head anyway. As Headlander opens you wake from a deep sleep slightly dazed and very confused by the fact that you are now just a head in a bucket. Your only companion is a friendly, if somewhat sarcastic, AI that speaks in a southern American drawl.  This AI will guide you on your adventure to rid the universe of an evil AI called Methuselah, who has taken control of the robots that humans used to move around in after we loaded our collective consciousness into a world-encompassing cloud storage.

Instantly, Headlander’s title screen makes us think of a 1970’s TV show – an association that’s only strengthened with the addition of psychedelic colours playing out on the screen before our eyes. This slightly disconcerting psychedelia continues throughout the game, making each foray feel like a drug induced trip at times. The sound effects are similar in feel, transporting you back to our early memories of gaming when all of the sound effects felt like they came from the keyboard of a neurotic synthesiser. But amazingly it all fits so well in the universe that the developer has created.

headlander1

The actual look of the game, however, is anything but 1970’s. The visuals are detailed and pretty to a fault, even if the landscapes are sometimes a little simplistic. This occasional simplistic feel lends itself well to the idea that this is a world created to be occupied by AIs.

The controls are easy to master here ,and there is nothing that will test the dexterity of your fingers too much. Some of the concepts, however, will take a little bit of getting used to. Your head can be detached from the body that it’s using with a simple press of a button – it can then propel itself through the world on its own. This means that you can go off in search of a different, more useful body. Or you can use your head to get through holes and tubes that a full body would have no chance of squeezing through.

Different kinds of robot bodies are available for you to use, and these come with their own unique abilities and weapons, meaning you must find the right one for the situation that you are in. This adds a level of problem solving to what is at its heart a platforming game. You must find the right body, with the right attachments, to deal with the situation that you are in. Sometimes the body that you must lock your head onto might not be human in form at all – it could even be a vacuum cleaner.

headlander2

The platforming element of Headlander also offers a twist. Normally, we are used to jumping from platform to platform, avoiding any obstacle that is put in our way. Here, you simply detach your head and fly it over any gaps you encounter. All the time, you must fight against Methuselah’s robots as the evil AI tries to stop you. Your weapons are all laser-based and your shots ricochet off walls, meaning that you should have really paid attention in Maths class all those years ago. If your body takes damage then it can easily be replaced by another, before it explodes. You can make more bodies to use by shooting the heads off your enemies, so a little bit of skill is needed during combat if you want to preserve the bodies for your own use. Once you have upgraded your head a little, you can also suck the heads off your enemies using a vacuum installed onto your headcase.

There are times in this game where you have to throw off the shackles of accuracy and rely on pure firepower, in sections which borrow less from puzzle platformers and more from bullet hell shooters. Enemies come at you from all sides firing lasers, their shots bouncing off walls to hot you from seemingly impossible angles. These are not sections for the faint of heart, and you must keep your wits about you at all times because if your body takes too much damage then it will explode, leaving you just a floating head.

Headlander is a good, fun game that adds several new twists to a platforming genre that sometimes  feels a little tired. There are some very good ideas in this game, and the novelty factor should entice you in if nothing else does. For fans of puzzle games that don’t want anything too taxing, or platform addicts who want something a little different to sink their teeth into, then this could be the perfect game for you. For everyone else, there’s just right amount of fun to keep you going until that fateful day in December arrives and you never know, even after then you might still find yourself coming back to Headlander.

Headlander is available from the Store priced £15.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
headlanderfi

Are you finding platformers are becoming a little tedious? Is the fact that your head is permanently fixed to the same old body something of a bore? Well the people at Adult Swim Games clearly feel the same, and have created the uniquely absurd platformer Headlander to rid you of these problems.

As we have heard so many times before, you are the last human. Well, human head anyway. As Headlander opens you wake from a deep sleep slightly dazed and very confused by the fact that you are now just a head in a bucket. Your only companion is a friendly, if somewhat sarcastic, AI that speaks in a southern American drawl.  This AI will guide you on your adventure to rid the universe of an evil AI called Methuselah, who has taken control of the robots that humans used to move around in after we loaded our collective consciousness into a world-encompassing cloud storage.

Instantly, Headlander’s title screen makes us think of a 1970’s TV show – an association that’s only strengthened with the addition of psychedelic colours playing out on the screen before our eyes. This slightly disconcerting psychedelia continues throughout the game, making each foray feel like a drug induced trip at times. The sound effects are similar in feel, transporting you back to our early memories of gaming when all of the sound effects felt like they came from the keyboard of a neurotic synthesiser. But amazingly it all fits so well in the universe that the developer has created.

headlander1

The actual look of the game, however, is anything but 1970’s. The visuals are detailed and pretty to a fault, even if the landscapes are sometimes a little simplistic. This occasional simplistic feel lends itself well to the idea that this is a world created to be occupied by AIs.

The controls are easy to master here ,and there is nothing that will test the dexterity of your fingers too much. Some of the concepts, however, will take a little bit of getting used to. Your head can be detached from the body that it’s using with a simple press of a button – it can then propel itself through the world on its own. This means that you can go off in search of a different, more useful body. Or you can use your head to get through holes and tubes that a full body would have no chance of squeezing through.

Different kinds of robot bodies are available for you to use, and these come with their own unique abilities and weapons, meaning you must find the right one for the situation that you are in. This adds a level of problem solving to what is at its heart a platforming game. You must find the right body, with the right attachments, to deal with the situation that you are in. Sometimes the body that you must lock your head onto might not be human in form at all – it could even be a vacuum cleaner.

headlander2

The platforming element of Headlander also offers a twist. Normally, we are used to jumping from platform to platform, avoiding any obstacle that is put in our way. Here, you simply detach your head and fly it over any gaps you encounter. All the time, you must fight against Methuselah’s robots as the evil AI tries to stop you. Your weapons are all laser-based and your shots ricochet off walls, meaning that you should have really paid attention in Maths class all those years ago. If your body takes damage then it can easily be replaced by another, before it explodes. You can make more bodies to use by shooting the heads off your enemies, so a little bit of skill is needed during combat if you want to preserve the bodies for your own use. Once you have upgraded your head a little, you can also suck the heads off your enemies using a vacuum installed onto your headcase.

There are times in this game where you have to throw off the shackles of accuracy and rely on pure firepower, in sections which borrow less from puzzle platformers and more from bullet hell shooters. Enemies come at you from all sides firing lasers, their shots bouncing off walls to hot you from seemingly impossible angles. These are not sections for the faint of heart, and you must keep your wits about you at all times because if your body takes too much damage then it will explode, leaving you just a floating head.

Headlander is a good, fun game that adds several new twists to a platforming genre that sometimes  feels a little tired. There are some very good ideas in this game, and the novelty factor should entice you in if nothing else does. For fans of puzzle games that don’t want anything too taxing, or platform addicts who want something a little different to sink their teeth into, then this could be the perfect game for you. For everyone else, there’s just right amount of fun to keep you going until that fateful day in December arrives and you never know, even after then you might still find yourself coming back to Headlander.

Headlander is available from the Store priced £15.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Dishonored 2 Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/dishonored-2-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/dishonored-2-review/#comments Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:00:39 +0000 Mike "Nanaki VIII" Riley $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=50423 Dishonored 2

Welcome back to the Empire of the Isles, some fifteen years after the events of 2012’s Dishonored unfolded, when protagonist Corvo Attano fought his way through throngs of flat-faced enemies to save the slain empress’ daughter, Emily Kaldwin.

Dishonored 2 opens with Emily as the Empress of the Isles – but Emily’s an altogether more formidable ruler than her mother. Over the last fifteen years, Corvo’s trained Emily to protect herself from assassins. Rapidly, though, the familiar themes of treachery and betrayal raise their heads, and Emily and Corvo find themselves on the run and having to clear their names.

Interestingly, you can choose to play as either Emily or Corvo. There’s no character switching mid-game, though – your choice is locked for the duration of the game. The character you choose is the one you’ll have for the entirety of your first-person adventure in the Dickensian steampunk-inspired world.

Dishonored 2

Your choice between Corvo and Emily is more than cosmetic – each character will develop different abilities throughout the story, potentially affecting the way you play. Whilst Dishonored 2 is a deeply satisfying experience on first play through, the opportunity to run through again with a different character and different abilities gives the game great replay value. Until you’ve played the game with both characters, and experienced their differing approaches and viewpoints, you can’t consider your own Dishonored 2 experience complete.

Developer Arkane has embraced the ‘play your way’ philosophy, and has given the player the power to do just that. In the early stages you’ll be wise to avoid too much direct combat, but it’s not long before you are truly equipped to tackle every scene and scenario however you want.

You can slink into a room and take out all the enemies without them knowing – there are non-lethal options new to this sequel. Or you can smash through the front door using all the powers in your arsenal and devastate your foes. Or, if you really want, you can complete a level as a ghost, not being seen or heard and leaving no trace, like some Victorian-era ninja.

When it comes to your chosen play style, you’ll not be short of dark powers with which to play – if you choose to accept them.

Dishonored 2

Corvo can blink – traverse instantly from one spot to the next, a useful infiltration tool, or bend time, to slow or even stop the passage of time. Corvo also has a reworked Dark Vision ability that can identify enemies through walls, allowing you plan the perfect takedown or avoid them entirely. Emily can mesmerise enemies, or employ a doppelganger to distract, confuse or assassinate enemies.

Corvo’s and Emily’s powers are similar enough to ensure neither character has the edge over the other, but different enough to make the experience of playing with each character worthwhile. Their abilities are universally fun, without ever leaving you feeling overpowered.

Of course, you can eschew the help of The Outsider – the mysterious entity who grants these abilities – and rely on quick wits and a quicker blade to get the job done.

Throughout Dishonored 2’s story, there’s a wonderful internal consistency that makes they world feel real. The Empire of the Isles is a land fuelled by oil from the industrial-scale whale fishing, and the cities of Dunwall and Karnaca feel like fully realised places within that world. There’s a wonderful density to the locations Emily or Corvo explore, and no end of rooftops to sneak about on, buildings to infiltrate, containers to be rifled through, or runes and bone charms to be found.

Combat is better-handled than before to, swift and brutal, whilst the new non-lethal takedowns only add to your in-game options.

dishonored_2_03

The mix of Victorian-era industry, steampunk, and arcane magic feels beautifully balanced, and together offer a unique and compelling world to explore, and interesting ways of doing so.
Technologically, the leap to this generation of consoles has allowed Arkane to flex its muscles. At first glance, this might not be apparent – in many locations there’s a faded, and murky feel, but it’s a tone that suits the seedy underbelly of the cities in which much of the game takes place.

This palette works wonderfully well with the lighting model, and shafts of light regularly penetrate the gloom of alleyways in which our protagonists creep. We’re exploring a world riddled with poverty, hunger and gangs; the deprivation highlighted by the juxtaposition of the wealth of the few, and Arkane’s created a memorable and lasting atmosphere.

Enemy AI has been improved, too. Whether you’re facing street thugs or highly trained military officers, you’re much more likely this time round to be spotted, and have the alarm raised. This also makes the game world feel far more real, and offers a significant challenge boost from the first game. You need to be much more aware of your surroundings – all too often we were concentrating on evading nearby enemies, only to have an unnoticed guard in the middle-distance spot us and raise the alarm. It seems there are no longer any short-sighted guards in the Empire of the Isles!

Dishonored 2

Not only does the game offer a stiffer challenge this time ‘round, there’s the option to replay each level to challenge yourself. This allows for some experimentation, too – and the opportunity to correct your mistakes.

All in all, Dishonored 2 works fantastically well. The world Arkane has created is a triumph of detail, characters – both protagonists and NPCs – are fully realised, and the freedom you have to ‘play your way’ is greater than ever before. Dishonored 2 delivers a masterpiece in storytelling, creating a revenge tale as good as you’ll find anywhere.

Arkane has taken everything that made the first game so good, and simply added to it to create one of the most enjoyable games of the year.

Dishonored 2 is available from the Store, priced £49.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
Dishonored 2

Welcome back to the Empire of the Isles, some fifteen years after the events of 2012’s Dishonored unfolded, when protagonist Corvo Attano fought his way through throngs of flat-faced enemies to save the slain empress’ daughter, Emily Kaldwin.

Dishonored 2 opens with Emily as the Empress of the Isles – but Emily’s an altogether more formidable ruler than her mother. Over the last fifteen years, Corvo’s trained Emily to protect herself from assassins. Rapidly, though, the familiar themes of treachery and betrayal raise their heads, and Emily and Corvo find themselves on the run and having to clear their names.

Interestingly, you can choose to play as either Emily or Corvo. There’s no character switching mid-game, though – your choice is locked for the duration of the game. The character you choose is the one you’ll have for the entirety of your first-person adventure in the Dickensian steampunk-inspired world.

Dishonored 2

Your choice between Corvo and Emily is more than cosmetic – each character will develop different abilities throughout the story, potentially affecting the way you play. Whilst Dishonored 2 is a deeply satisfying experience on first play through, the opportunity to run through again with a different character and different abilities gives the game great replay value. Until you’ve played the game with both characters, and experienced their differing approaches and viewpoints, you can’t consider your own Dishonored 2 experience complete.

Developer Arkane has embraced the ‘play your way’ philosophy, and has given the player the power to do just that. In the early stages you’ll be wise to avoid too much direct combat, but it’s not long before you are truly equipped to tackle every scene and scenario however you want.

You can slink into a room and take out all the enemies without them knowing – there are non-lethal options new to this sequel. Or you can smash through the front door using all the powers in your arsenal and devastate your foes. Or, if you really want, you can complete a level as a ghost, not being seen or heard and leaving no trace, like some Victorian-era ninja.

When it comes to your chosen play style, you’ll not be short of dark powers with which to play – if you choose to accept them.

Dishonored 2

Corvo can blink – traverse instantly from one spot to the next, a useful infiltration tool, or bend time, to slow or even stop the passage of time. Corvo also has a reworked Dark Vision ability that can identify enemies through walls, allowing you plan the perfect takedown or avoid them entirely. Emily can mesmerise enemies, or employ a doppelganger to distract, confuse or assassinate enemies.

Corvo’s and Emily’s powers are similar enough to ensure neither character has the edge over the other, but different enough to make the experience of playing with each character worthwhile. Their abilities are universally fun, without ever leaving you feeling overpowered.

Of course, you can eschew the help of The Outsider – the mysterious entity who grants these abilities – and rely on quick wits and a quicker blade to get the job done.

Throughout Dishonored 2’s story, there’s a wonderful internal consistency that makes they world feel real. The Empire of the Isles is a land fuelled by oil from the industrial-scale whale fishing, and the cities of Dunwall and Karnaca feel like fully realised places within that world. There’s a wonderful density to the locations Emily or Corvo explore, and no end of rooftops to sneak about on, buildings to infiltrate, containers to be rifled through, or runes and bone charms to be found.

Combat is better-handled than before to, swift and brutal, whilst the new non-lethal takedowns only add to your in-game options.

dishonored_2_03

The mix of Victorian-era industry, steampunk, and arcane magic feels beautifully balanced, and together offer a unique and compelling world to explore, and interesting ways of doing so.
Technologically, the leap to this generation of consoles has allowed Arkane to flex its muscles. At first glance, this might not be apparent – in many locations there’s a faded, and murky feel, but it’s a tone that suits the seedy underbelly of the cities in which much of the game takes place.

This palette works wonderfully well with the lighting model, and shafts of light regularly penetrate the gloom of alleyways in which our protagonists creep. We’re exploring a world riddled with poverty, hunger and gangs; the deprivation highlighted by the juxtaposition of the wealth of the few, and Arkane’s created a memorable and lasting atmosphere.

Enemy AI has been improved, too. Whether you’re facing street thugs or highly trained military officers, you’re much more likely this time round to be spotted, and have the alarm raised. This also makes the game world feel far more real, and offers a significant challenge boost from the first game. You need to be much more aware of your surroundings – all too often we were concentrating on evading nearby enemies, only to have an unnoticed guard in the middle-distance spot us and raise the alarm. It seems there are no longer any short-sighted guards in the Empire of the Isles!

Dishonored 2

Not only does the game offer a stiffer challenge this time ‘round, there’s the option to replay each level to challenge yourself. This allows for some experimentation, too – and the opportunity to correct your mistakes.

All in all, Dishonored 2 works fantastically well. The world Arkane has created is a triumph of detail, characters – both protagonists and NPCs – are fully realised, and the freedom you have to ‘play your way’ is greater than ever before. Dishonored 2 delivers a masterpiece in storytelling, creating a revenge tale as good as you’ll find anywhere.

Arkane has taken everything that made the first game so good, and simply added to it to create one of the most enjoyable games of the year.

Dishonored 2 is available from the Store, priced £49.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Clouds and Sheep 2 Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/clouds-and-sheep-2-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/clouds-and-sheep-2-review/#respond Wed, 23 Nov 2016 17:00:03 +0000 Tim Slatford $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=50393 cloudsandsheep2

It’s not every day you load up a new game and the first task asked of you is to ‘poke’ a sheep. Of course, this is just a click of a button as your cursor is centred around your woolly tutorial buddy (if you thought different then shame on you!)

And that’s exactly how Clouds and Sheep 2 begins.

This is the sequel to – unsurprisingly – Clouds and Sheep, a game released exclusively on mobile platforms. Mobile games are overwhelmingly designed to be distraction – something to be played on the bus or in the queue at the Post Office – so how can a game specifically built for mobile translate to a powerful home console. When it comes to Clouds and Sheep 2, the results are somewhat mixed.

Developed by Handy Games, Clouds and Sheep 2 is a hard game to define. It’s part sheep simulator, part farm simulator and part comedy. And yet there is a very loose plot to the game – to find the fabled fountain of youth.

Clouds and Sheep 2

The game starts, very much as expected, in a field next to a farm. Working through the tutorials with your buddy sheep (aptly named Buddy), the basic mechanics are introduced and you’ll have a few sheep to tend to in no time.

Caring for your sheep is just one of many responsibilities of the game. You’ll be tasked with feeding them, ensuring they’re warm, and getting out the shears to stock up on wool. This forms one of four basic supplies that you need to progress further through the game. Along with wool, you’ll need to grow trees for timber, pick flower petals, and ensure your sheep are happy to be rewarded with stars.

Happiness levels can be achieved through a variety of methods. You can physically pluck your sheep off the ground and throw them through the air – a pastime they seem to enjoy. Or grab hold of their tails and, with a swift pull, they’ll go rolling around the environment in comedic fashion. All this is funny for a while, but to progress and see results, you need to have your fingers in several pies at once.

Clouds and Sheep 2

Once you have several sheep, they become very demanding. The more you tend to them, the more experience you gain. In turn this unlocks new areas for your sheep on the quest for the fountain of youth. With each new area comes different items to unlock and the higher your experience, you guessed it, the more items available. They all come at a cost. You need to spend your hard-earned wool, petals, timber and stars to not only get better items, but also just to accomplish simple tasks, such as planting more trees. Items, however, have a life span. Build a trampoline and after letting ten sheep bounce around like spring lambs, it’ll be worn out. The game gets you thinking about how to best use your limited supply of building materials.

“Clouds and Sheep 2 is abundant with charm, it has the basic mechanics nailed, and it’s a fun experience.”
We found after reaching level 8 it was a struggle to pick up experience, so we turned to the game’s quests to continue our progress. These start off simple enough, though soon each becomes a waiting game – for example, ‘collect X number of stars’. Don’t let quests distract you, though – leave your sheep unattended and they will pass on to the farmyard in the sky.

The titular clouds play a somewhat lesser part in proceedings. You can form clouds to make rain, lightning and snow. Whilst the rain delivers much needed water for basic growing, the other features seem somewhat limited.

Clouds and Sheep 2

This is where the game doesn’t translate terribly well from its mobile roots. Clouds and Sheep 2 feels designed to pick up and play for ten, fifteen minutes during your daily commute, lunch break or a quick trip around the farm before bed. It’s not designed (although there’s nothing stopping you) for multi-hour sessions in front of the TV. And that’s where Clouds and Sheep 2 reaches that cliff edge familiar to anyone who has played enough mobile games. It oozes charm and delivers fetching, characterful and crisp graphics, and has, to an extent, the power to draw you back much in the way Farmville once did many moons ago. But when you run low on materials to build further, you don’t want to sit and wait, or continuously toss your sheep through the air. It’s a catch 22.

Clouds and Sheep 2 is abundant with charm, it has the basic mechanics nailed, and it’s a fun experience. There’s a strong progression system for those with the time and patience to get the best out of it. On one hand, it feels much more of a title for the younger generation. But then, not all kids will have the patience necessary to get the best out of Clouds and Sheep 2. It still translates well for an older audience with judicious use of slapstick humour but, ultimately, it’s an experience that may be best left to mobile devices.

Clouds and Sheep 2 is available from the Store, priced £7.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
cloudsandsheep2

It’s not every day you load up a new game and the first task asked of you is to ‘poke’ a sheep. Of course, this is just a click of a button as your cursor is centred around your woolly tutorial buddy (if you thought different then shame on you!)

And that’s exactly how Clouds and Sheep 2 begins.

This is the sequel to – unsurprisingly – Clouds and Sheep, a game released exclusively on mobile platforms. Mobile games are overwhelmingly designed to be distraction – something to be played on the bus or in the queue at the Post Office – so how can a game specifically built for mobile translate to a powerful home console. When it comes to Clouds and Sheep 2, the results are somewhat mixed.

Developed by Handy Games, Clouds and Sheep 2 is a hard game to define. It’s part sheep simulator, part farm simulator and part comedy. And yet there is a very loose plot to the game – to find the fabled fountain of youth.

Clouds and Sheep 2

The game starts, very much as expected, in a field next to a farm. Working through the tutorials with your buddy sheep (aptly named Buddy), the basic mechanics are introduced and you’ll have a few sheep to tend to in no time.

Caring for your sheep is just one of many responsibilities of the game. You’ll be tasked with feeding them, ensuring they’re warm, and getting out the shears to stock up on wool. This forms one of four basic supplies that you need to progress further through the game. Along with wool, you’ll need to grow trees for timber, pick flower petals, and ensure your sheep are happy to be rewarded with stars.

Happiness levels can be achieved through a variety of methods. You can physically pluck your sheep off the ground and throw them through the air – a pastime they seem to enjoy. Or grab hold of their tails and, with a swift pull, they’ll go rolling around the environment in comedic fashion. All this is funny for a while, but to progress and see results, you need to have your fingers in several pies at once.

Clouds and Sheep 2

Once you have several sheep, they become very demanding. The more you tend to them, the more experience you gain. In turn this unlocks new areas for your sheep on the quest for the fountain of youth. With each new area comes different items to unlock and the higher your experience, you guessed it, the more items available. They all come at a cost. You need to spend your hard-earned wool, petals, timber and stars to not only get better items, but also just to accomplish simple tasks, such as planting more trees. Items, however, have a life span. Build a trampoline and after letting ten sheep bounce around like spring lambs, it’ll be worn out. The game gets you thinking about how to best use your limited supply of building materials.

“Clouds and Sheep 2 is abundant with charm, it has the basic mechanics nailed, and it’s a fun experience.”
We found after reaching level 8 it was a struggle to pick up experience, so we turned to the game’s quests to continue our progress. These start off simple enough, though soon each becomes a waiting game – for example, ‘collect X number of stars’. Don’t let quests distract you, though – leave your sheep unattended and they will pass on to the farmyard in the sky.

The titular clouds play a somewhat lesser part in proceedings. You can form clouds to make rain, lightning and snow. Whilst the rain delivers much needed water for basic growing, the other features seem somewhat limited.

Clouds and Sheep 2

This is where the game doesn’t translate terribly well from its mobile roots. Clouds and Sheep 2 feels designed to pick up and play for ten, fifteen minutes during your daily commute, lunch break or a quick trip around the farm before bed. It’s not designed (although there’s nothing stopping you) for multi-hour sessions in front of the TV. And that’s where Clouds and Sheep 2 reaches that cliff edge familiar to anyone who has played enough mobile games. It oozes charm and delivers fetching, characterful and crisp graphics, and has, to an extent, the power to draw you back much in the way Farmville once did many moons ago. But when you run low on materials to build further, you don’t want to sit and wait, or continuously toss your sheep through the air. It’s a catch 22.

Clouds and Sheep 2 is abundant with charm, it has the basic mechanics nailed, and it’s a fun experience. There’s a strong progression system for those with the time and patience to get the best out of it. On one hand, it feels much more of a title for the younger generation. But then, not all kids will have the patience necessary to get the best out of Clouds and Sheep 2. It still translates well for an older audience with judicious use of slapstick humour but, ultimately, it’s an experience that may be best left to mobile devices.

Clouds and Sheep 2 is available from the Store, priced £7.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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FIFA 17 Long Term Test http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/fifa-17-long-term-test/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/fifa-17-long-term-test/#respond Mon, 21 Nov 2016 11:00:26 +0000 Bryan O'Shea $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=50647 FIFA 17 FI

There are a few things in life that can be taken as a virtual certainty. The sun will rise and set, console wars will almost always be a thing, and every year EA Sports will see another game added to the FIFA series’ expansive catalogue.

The year 2016 is no different with EA releasing this year’s iteration, FIFA 17. Of course every time a new FIFA game rolls around the promotional fluff material is filled with promises of gameplay improvements, graphical polishing and an all around better football sim experience. And every year it’s the same pattern for most of us – the die-hards play it endlessly until the next iteration rolls around, sure, but the more casual gamer tends to drop off pretty quickly. With a new story mode debuting this year, we thought we’d hold our review back for a few weeks to see if the initial shine wears off, or if this one has staying power.

The focus of FIFA 17’s promotional campaign has been its use of the powerful Frostbite engine, a revamped set piece system, and The Journey – FIFA’s first real attempt at a bona fide story mode.

The initial impressions of the latest FIFA instalment are altogether positive. As has been the tradition for a couple of years now, as soon as you load the game for the first time you’re thrown into a match. This serves several purposes. First and foremost, it allows EA to say, “Look how new, shiny and fancy this is compared to last year!” and that’s certainly true for this year’s game. The colours seem sharper, the players’ movements seem more natural and the facial recognition system used to scan real world stars of the game seems to have been given an overhaul, presenting an overall much better looking final product.

Secondly, being thrown straight into an initial match-day scenario allows the game to read how you play. Are you comfortable in possession? Do your shots sail high and wide or do they nestle comfortably in the bottom corner? Does your lack of defensive prowess often see you hacking players down and conceding silly goals? The game will read all of this and suggest the settings it believes will allow you to challenge yourself whilst still enjoying your time in the realms of professional football. It’s a neat touch – helpful to both veteran and rookie alike.

Paul Pogba

Once you’re through the initial match it’s time for you to pick your poison in terms of game modes, whether that be FIFA Ultimate Team, Career Mode, The Journey, Matchday Live or simply exhibition games.

What is perhaps most surprising about FIFA this year is that FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) seems to have received the least attention from the developer since last year’s instalment. That’s not to say it’s an unenjoyable or forgotten mode, that certainly isn’t the case. FUT has been FIFA’s chosen made for many fans for several years now, which makes it all the more surprising the only real changes seem to be aesthetic ones, with nothing really altered in terms of the way the mode forces you to play and interact.

With a lot of focus over the past couple of years on FUT, it’s been Career mode that’s suffered in comparison, stagnating from year to year. That’s not the case this year – there’s a whole host of new features introduced.

FIFA Ratings

Ordinarily, players will have found themselves in a game mode that can become extremely monotonous extraordinarily quickly. Start as a struggling team and you’ll find yourself with the objectives like, “Don’t get relegated and give us an alright cup run.” Play as one of the big teams and it’ll be, “Finish top four and reach the semi-final or final of the cup”.

This year though the requirements are a little different, to say the least. Managers in career mode are now responsible for ensuring that youth talent is scouted and promoted through the ranks accordingly, managing their transfers in such a way that shirt sales see boosted revenue, building the club to a level where they aren’t a one season wonder in European competition, and many other aspects of the running of a club.

On top of that, the way managers are represented in-game has seen a bit of an overhaul. Previously, you would simply select a build, skin tone and whether you wore a suit or track suit – but this year that’s all gone. Now you’re given a selection of avatars from which to choose, and EA utilise this mechanic much better than in previous games. Your avatar is shown on the home screen of career mode, and can be seen reacting to goals and decisions against their team during matches.

The effect the Frostbite engine has on FIFA 17 is noticeable almost immediately; in-game, the players look better (even down to visible sweat post game) and less like plasticine models than in previous years. The engine also seems to have done a number on the gameplay itself, with players performing more touches you’d expect to see in real world situations, and fewer robotic pre-determined animations.

fifa-17-journey-mode

One marketing ploy employed by the EA PR gurus this year was to relentlessly promote a completely new mode – The Journey. And with good reason: this is EA’s first attempt at an out-and-out story mode, and they’ve pretty much nailed it.

If you were to use a footballing reference to try to indicate how good The Journey is, you would be in the realms of Aguero clinching the title on the final day of the season, or Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick in the Manchester Derby. It really is that good.

“This is still a franchise with something to offer and certainly a few surprises up its sleeve.”
The story of The Journey is just that – the journey experienced by young player Alex Hunter making his way from grass roots football right up to the pinnacle of the beautiful game. It’s a brilliant story, one an really engages players. You become emotionally invested in young Alex’s tale, and really push to succeed in all aspects of his footballing life. For a first real attempt at this sort of thing in the FIFA franchise, EA must truly be commended.

The basis of the game clearly borrows a lot of its philosophy from FIFA’s somewhat ill-fated Be A Pro mode. Players will find themselves loaned away from bigger clubs initially and pushing to work their way from the reserves up through to the subs bench and eventually into the starting eleven.

On the pitch the focus is on objectives. Scoring goals, assisting team mates, helping your team to secure points and making crucial tackles are all among the objectives you can expect to see.

The real genius of The Journey, though, is experienced away from the pitch. You’ll realise the opportunity to interact with team mates, family members, friends, coaching staff and the press in a variety of ways. If you choose to give fiery answers and retorts to questions you’ll find your fan base grow, and better promotional deals come your way, but at the detriment of the relationship with your manager. Conversely if you choose a cool approach your coach will approve, aiding your chances of being selected, but your fan base will wane and media opportunities will be less frequent.

fifa-17-screenshot

While there are many positives to this year’s edition of FIFA , such as its improved career mode, The Journey, and the move to the Frostbite engine, the game isn’t without flaws.

For example, the “improved” set piece system allows for some truly incredible Ronaldo-esque knuckleball free kicks, that’s about where the positivity ends. The corner system is twitchy and temperamental at best; sometimes you’ll execute what you were going for to perfection, while other times it goes so wrong it’s laughable. And the biggest downside of this new system is penalties; they’re so overly difficult now that there’s even an achievement for scoring all five during a shoot-out – something that would’ve been managed with relative ease in previous titles.

Finally, with so much focus on Career Mode and The Journey it’s understandable that FUT didn’t get the TLC we’re used to seeing. Its relative stagnation means FIFA 17 just misses out on the “best FIFA in many years” title. Just.

Overall ,there are so many positives with FIFA 17 that it would be wrong to judge it purely on its faults (comical glitches included). This is still a franchise with something to offer and certainly a few surprises up its sleeve. With improvements in most of the game – and the excellent and compelling The Journey to keep you engaged – we’re sure that this year FIFA will keep its shine longer, and for more of its player base, than before. Well played, EA, well played.

Hopefully EA can take the forward momentum they’ve gained this year, and improve the franchise even further with FIFA 18.

FIFA 17 is available from the Store, priced £54.99. There’s a free demo available, too.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
FIFA 17 FI

There are a few things in life that can be taken as a virtual certainty. The sun will rise and set, console wars will almost always be a thing, and every year EA Sports will see another game added to the FIFA series’ expansive catalogue.

The year 2016 is no different with EA releasing this year’s iteration, FIFA 17. Of course every time a new FIFA game rolls around the promotional fluff material is filled with promises of gameplay improvements, graphical polishing and an all around better football sim experience. And every year it’s the same pattern for most of us – the die-hards play it endlessly until the next iteration rolls around, sure, but the more casual gamer tends to drop off pretty quickly. With a new story mode debuting this year, we thought we’d hold our review back for a few weeks to see if the initial shine wears off, or if this one has staying power.

The focus of FIFA 17’s promotional campaign has been its use of the powerful Frostbite engine, a revamped set piece system, and The Journey – FIFA’s first real attempt at a bona fide story mode.

The initial impressions of the latest FIFA instalment are altogether positive. As has been the tradition for a couple of years now, as soon as you load the game for the first time you’re thrown into a match. This serves several purposes. First and foremost, it allows EA to say, “Look how new, shiny and fancy this is compared to last year!” and that’s certainly true for this year’s game. The colours seem sharper, the players’ movements seem more natural and the facial recognition system used to scan real world stars of the game seems to have been given an overhaul, presenting an overall much better looking final product.

Secondly, being thrown straight into an initial match-day scenario allows the game to read how you play. Are you comfortable in possession? Do your shots sail high and wide or do they nestle comfortably in the bottom corner? Does your lack of defensive prowess often see you hacking players down and conceding silly goals? The game will read all of this and suggest the settings it believes will allow you to challenge yourself whilst still enjoying your time in the realms of professional football. It’s a neat touch – helpful to both veteran and rookie alike.

Paul Pogba

Once you’re through the initial match it’s time for you to pick your poison in terms of game modes, whether that be FIFA Ultimate Team, Career Mode, The Journey, Matchday Live or simply exhibition games.

What is perhaps most surprising about FIFA this year is that FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) seems to have received the least attention from the developer since last year’s instalment. That’s not to say it’s an unenjoyable or forgotten mode, that certainly isn’t the case. FUT has been FIFA’s chosen made for many fans for several years now, which makes it all the more surprising the only real changes seem to be aesthetic ones, with nothing really altered in terms of the way the mode forces you to play and interact.

With a lot of focus over the past couple of years on FUT, it’s been Career mode that’s suffered in comparison, stagnating from year to year. That’s not the case this year – there’s a whole host of new features introduced.

FIFA Ratings

Ordinarily, players will have found themselves in a game mode that can become extremely monotonous extraordinarily quickly. Start as a struggling team and you’ll find yourself with the objectives like, “Don’t get relegated and give us an alright cup run.” Play as one of the big teams and it’ll be, “Finish top four and reach the semi-final or final of the cup”.

This year though the requirements are a little different, to say the least. Managers in career mode are now responsible for ensuring that youth talent is scouted and promoted through the ranks accordingly, managing their transfers in such a way that shirt sales see boosted revenue, building the club to a level where they aren’t a one season wonder in European competition, and many other aspects of the running of a club.

On top of that, the way managers are represented in-game has seen a bit of an overhaul. Previously, you would simply select a build, skin tone and whether you wore a suit or track suit – but this year that’s all gone. Now you’re given a selection of avatars from which to choose, and EA utilise this mechanic much better than in previous games. Your avatar is shown on the home screen of career mode, and can be seen reacting to goals and decisions against their team during matches.

The effect the Frostbite engine has on FIFA 17 is noticeable almost immediately; in-game, the players look better (even down to visible sweat post game) and less like plasticine models than in previous years. The engine also seems to have done a number on the gameplay itself, with players performing more touches you’d expect to see in real world situations, and fewer robotic pre-determined animations.

fifa-17-journey-mode

One marketing ploy employed by the EA PR gurus this year was to relentlessly promote a completely new mode – The Journey. And with good reason: this is EA’s first attempt at an out-and-out story mode, and they’ve pretty much nailed it.

If you were to use a footballing reference to try to indicate how good The Journey is, you would be in the realms of Aguero clinching the title on the final day of the season, or Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick in the Manchester Derby. It really is that good.

“This is still a franchise with something to offer and certainly a few surprises up its sleeve.”
The story of The Journey is just that – the journey experienced by young player Alex Hunter making his way from grass roots football right up to the pinnacle of the beautiful game. It’s a brilliant story, one an really engages players. You become emotionally invested in young Alex’s tale, and really push to succeed in all aspects of his footballing life. For a first real attempt at this sort of thing in the FIFA franchise, EA must truly be commended.

The basis of the game clearly borrows a lot of its philosophy from FIFA’s somewhat ill-fated Be A Pro mode. Players will find themselves loaned away from bigger clubs initially and pushing to work their way from the reserves up through to the subs bench and eventually into the starting eleven.

On the pitch the focus is on objectives. Scoring goals, assisting team mates, helping your team to secure points and making crucial tackles are all among the objectives you can expect to see.

The real genius of The Journey, though, is experienced away from the pitch. You’ll realise the opportunity to interact with team mates, family members, friends, coaching staff and the press in a variety of ways. If you choose to give fiery answers and retorts to questions you’ll find your fan base grow, and better promotional deals come your way, but at the detriment of the relationship with your manager. Conversely if you choose a cool approach your coach will approve, aiding your chances of being selected, but your fan base will wane and media opportunities will be less frequent.

fifa-17-screenshot

While there are many positives to this year’s edition of FIFA , such as its improved career mode, The Journey, and the move to the Frostbite engine, the game isn’t without flaws.

For example, the “improved” set piece system allows for some truly incredible Ronaldo-esque knuckleball free kicks, that’s about where the positivity ends. The corner system is twitchy and temperamental at best; sometimes you’ll execute what you were going for to perfection, while other times it goes so wrong it’s laughable. And the biggest downside of this new system is penalties; they’re so overly difficult now that there’s even an achievement for scoring all five during a shoot-out – something that would’ve been managed with relative ease in previous titles.

Finally, with so much focus on Career Mode and The Journey it’s understandable that FUT didn’t get the TLC we’re used to seeing. Its relative stagnation means FIFA 17 just misses out on the “best FIFA in many years” title. Just.

Overall ,there are so many positives with FIFA 17 that it would be wrong to judge it purely on its faults (comical glitches included). This is still a franchise with something to offer and certainly a few surprises up its sleeve. With improvements in most of the game – and the excellent and compelling The Journey to keep you engaged – we’re sure that this year FIFA will keep its shine longer, and for more of its player base, than before. Well played, EA, well played.

Hopefully EA can take the forward momentum they’ve gained this year, and improve the franchise even further with FIFA 18.

FIFA 17 is available from the Store, priced £54.99. There’s a free demo available, too.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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LASTFIGHT Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/lastfight-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/lastfight-review/#respond Fri, 18 Nov 2016 11:00:39 +0000 Ashley Bates $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=50509 lastfight

“Winners Don’t Do Drugs” is a line that’ll go down in gaming history, having been parodied and quoted by practically everyone for years. In the world of LASTFIGHT though, “Winners Don’t Do BAD Drugs”.

Forget your meth, your acid, your cocaine and even the bath salts; the drug of the day is Anitrans, which is basically the product of the formula Steroids + Steroids × Crack ÷ Mutant Bioslime. Anitrans is the hottest designer drug in Paxtown, and Anitrans will turn you from a zero (normal person) to a hero (giant hideous laser monster).

lastfight

If this sounds absurd to you, it is. You’ve entered into the crazy universe of LASTMAN, a French comic book about martial artist Richard Aldana beating up everyone in sight. In LASTFIGHT, Richard and his friend Duke must run the gauntlet of freaks hopped up on Anitrans in an attempt to rescue Richard’s girl. It’s Double Dragon meets Trainspotting with added mutant weirdness.

If you’re wondering how that plays out, think Power Stone with 200% more hardcore narcotics. 3D arenas where up to four players do battle by punching, kicking and throwing fridges at each other. Anitrans will then appear periodically, and collecting all 3 will morph your character into a hideous being capable of dominating the landscape.

lastfight2

The combat itself is very simplistic, but in a good way, with just two attack buttons and a grab button. Each of the 10 characters has unique attacks and abilities, making them distinguishable from one another. More experienced players and fighting game fans will find more satisfaction from the defensive aspect, with parries and perfect dodges providing ample opportunities to open up opponents for a counter-attack. It’s pick up and play fun at its finest, with enough depth to determine the more skilled combatant.

lastfight3

The problem with LASTFIGHT is that there’s simply not enough content to sustain you for long. The main story mode only lets you pick two characters and lasts the best part of half an hour, and the online portion of the game is only for 1 on 1 combat. No custom lobbies either, just ranked matchmaking. Unless you have a couple of friends and a few controllers, you’ll have fought your last fight in LASTFIGHT before you know it.

Perhaps that’s the irony of LASTFIGHT, a game about drugs. For a brief while, you experience a dizzying high of beating up mutant freaks in a beautifully stylised and vivid fever dream. It’s all short-lived though, and you’ll quickly get bored once you realise there’s not much left for you. Or, perhaps I’m reading too much into that.

LASTFIGHT is available on the Store for £11.99. Have you had chance to play it? What are your impressions? Sound off in the comments, watch the trailer, and remember: “Drugs are bad, mm’kay?”

Don’t forget to check out all our social media platforms to stay up to date with the latest releases, news, reviews gameplays and competitions. Follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group and like our Facebook Page, subscribe to our Youtube and follow us on Twitch.

]]>
lastfight

“Winners Don’t Do Drugs” is a line that’ll go down in gaming history, having been parodied and quoted by practically everyone for years. In the world of LASTFIGHT though, “Winners Don’t Do BAD Drugs”.

Forget your meth, your acid, your cocaine and even the bath salts; the drug of the day is Anitrans, which is basically the product of the formula Steroids + Steroids × Crack ÷ Mutant Bioslime. Anitrans is the hottest designer drug in Paxtown, and Anitrans will turn you from a zero (normal person) to a hero (giant hideous laser monster).

lastfight

If this sounds absurd to you, it is. You’ve entered into the crazy universe of LASTMAN, a French comic book about martial artist Richard Aldana beating up everyone in sight. In LASTFIGHT, Richard and his friend Duke must run the gauntlet of freaks hopped up on Anitrans in an attempt to rescue Richard’s girl. It’s Double Dragon meets Trainspotting with added mutant weirdness.

If you’re wondering how that plays out, think Power Stone with 200% more hardcore narcotics. 3D arenas where up to four players do battle by punching, kicking and throwing fridges at each other. Anitrans will then appear periodically, and collecting all 3 will morph your character into a hideous being capable of dominating the landscape.

lastfight2

The combat itself is very simplistic, but in a good way, with just two attack buttons and a grab button. Each of the 10 characters has unique attacks and abilities, making them distinguishable from one another. More experienced players and fighting game fans will find more satisfaction from the defensive aspect, with parries and perfect dodges providing ample opportunities to open up opponents for a counter-attack. It’s pick up and play fun at its finest, with enough depth to determine the more skilled combatant.

lastfight3

The problem with LASTFIGHT is that there’s simply not enough content to sustain you for long. The main story mode only lets you pick two characters and lasts the best part of half an hour, and the online portion of the game is only for 1 on 1 combat. No custom lobbies either, just ranked matchmaking. Unless you have a couple of friends and a few controllers, you’ll have fought your last fight in LASTFIGHT before you know it.

Perhaps that’s the irony of LASTFIGHT, a game about drugs. For a brief while, you experience a dizzying high of beating up mutant freaks in a beautifully stylised and vivid fever dream. It’s all short-lived though, and you’ll quickly get bored once you realise there’s not much left for you. Or, perhaps I’m reading too much into that.

LASTFIGHT is available on the Store for £11.99. Have you had chance to play it? What are your impressions? Sound off in the comments, watch the trailer, and remember: “Drugs are bad, mm’kay?”

Don’t forget to check out all our social media platforms to stay up to date with the latest releases, news, reviews gameplays and competitions. Follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group and like our Facebook Page, subscribe to our Youtube and follow us on Twitch.

]]>
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Ittle Dew 2 Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/ittle-dew-2-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/ittle-dew-2-review/#respond Tue, 15 Nov 2016 17:00:49 +0000 Laura 'JumpZips' Collin $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=50182 Ittle Dew 2

Floating on a raft with my flying fox friend, we get a sudden surprise as we crash ashore onto a strange island.

With our raft in pieces at the bottom of what, in all honestly, looks to be no more than a pond, we bump into the island’s caretaker Passel, a sinister man who advises us “Nosy Rogues” to get swimming as there are no rafts to be found around here! It’s clear that we’re not welcome and that Passel has something to hide – so we decide to search the old man and what do we find? A magical map showing a bunch of dungeons, with eight pieces of a raft hidden in them!

Ittle Dew 2 is an adventure RPG filled with humour and is a fitting tribute to other fantasy ARPGs. You play as Ittle, a headstrong girl who, along with her flying fox companion Tippsie, seek out action, adventure, puzzles and loot in the island’s overworld as well as defeating dungeon bosses in increasingly difficult locations such as pillow forts, trash caves and sand castles.

Ittle Dew 2

Along your adventure you’ll need to solve a variety of puzzles in order to gain access to loot chests or move onto the next room. Mostly consisting of block-pushing puzzles, Ittle Dew 2 will, at times, have you scratching your head as you try to manipulate blocks onto pressure plates all for a box of crayons or a shard – what they are used for remains a mystery! As well as block pushing, you will also find other types of puzzles in the game. Some require you to hit musical objects in ascending order while others will simply require you to clear a room of enemies. Speaking of enemies…

The action element in Ittle Dew 2 has improved from its predecessor. Enemies are plentiful and explode into clouds of confetti; however being armed with nothing more than a stick in the beginning can make them quite a challenge. As you progress , you discover additional magical weapons which also double up as puzzle-solving items. Weapons can also be upgraded but even after you have access to all of them, combat still isn’t a walk in the park!

Enemies can have positive or negative status effects on Ittle. Defeated enemies have a chance to drop a health heart, increase attack damage or reduce damage taken. However, some enemies are able to slow down Ittle’s movement or disable her ability to attack for a short time.

Ittle Dew 2

With eight locations to explore and collectibles to be found, Ittle Dew 2 should keep you entertained for a good few hours. The first seven dungeons can be tackled in any order but as you unlock items along the way, it will be easier to complete them in order. Having access to certain magical weapons could allow you to unlock dungeon shortcuts but, regardless of the dungeon you’re trying to conquer, all can be completed with starting items, or those found within each. Every dungeon has a boss which you’ll need to defeat to get a piece for your raft. Each has their own fighting style so our tips for boss combat are; become familiar with how they fight, roll (although brief, you’re invincible whilst rolling), keep your distance and time attacks for when the boss is ‘resting’.

Visually, the game is stunning. The brightly coloured, hand-drawn cartoon style makes Ittle Dew 2 immediately visually appealing, and well animated expressions during story dialogue help display the true nature of our protagonists; Ittle a dumb, selfish brute willing to resort to violence at any opportunity and Tippsie, the cynical sidekick who has an addiction to “health potion”. Ittle Dew 2 has an impressive soundtrack to match the great visuals. Background music is well suited to the theme for each location and matches the game’s speed perfectly. There’s nothing better than hearing a bright, cheery tune whilst strolling around, hitting everything in sight with a big stick! As you walk into caves, the background music noticeably reduces in volume and complexity to help you concentrate on puzzles,which is a really nice touch and a lesson to other puzzlers

Ittle Dew 2

This game is great on first play through when all of the puzzles are new and there are plenty of locations to be explored, but what happens once you’ve completed it? Well, you can play through the game again and try to set the world record for completion! Speedrunning is a great way of adding replay value to the game, however it would be nice if there was support for a Top 10 Leaderboard in the menu rather than just a time.

Overall, we’ve really enjoyed playing this game, and we’ll take at least one stab at getting that world record! Even if puzzle games aren’t usually your cup of tea, the mix of puzzle, combat and umour, is compelling, and the colourful graphics and delightful sound leave us with an ittle smile every time we go into someone’s house and smash up all their furniture!

Ittle Dew 2 is available from the Store.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
Ittle Dew 2

Floating on a raft with my flying fox friend, we get a sudden surprise as we crash ashore onto a strange island.

With our raft in pieces at the bottom of what, in all honestly, looks to be no more than a pond, we bump into the island’s caretaker Passel, a sinister man who advises us “Nosy Rogues” to get swimming as there are no rafts to be found around here! It’s clear that we’re not welcome and that Passel has something to hide – so we decide to search the old man and what do we find? A magical map showing a bunch of dungeons, with eight pieces of a raft hidden in them!

Ittle Dew 2 is an adventure RPG filled with humour and is a fitting tribute to other fantasy ARPGs. You play as Ittle, a headstrong girl who, along with her flying fox companion Tippsie, seek out action, adventure, puzzles and loot in the island’s overworld as well as defeating dungeon bosses in increasingly difficult locations such as pillow forts, trash caves and sand castles.

Ittle Dew 2

Along your adventure you’ll need to solve a variety of puzzles in order to gain access to loot chests or move onto the next room. Mostly consisting of block-pushing puzzles, Ittle Dew 2 will, at times, have you scratching your head as you try to manipulate blocks onto pressure plates all for a box of crayons or a shard – what they are used for remains a mystery! As well as block pushing, you will also find other types of puzzles in the game. Some require you to hit musical objects in ascending order while others will simply require you to clear a room of enemies. Speaking of enemies…

The action element in Ittle Dew 2 has improved from its predecessor. Enemies are plentiful and explode into clouds of confetti; however being armed with nothing more than a stick in the beginning can make them quite a challenge. As you progress , you discover additional magical weapons which also double up as puzzle-solving items. Weapons can also be upgraded but even after you have access to all of them, combat still isn’t a walk in the park!

Enemies can have positive or negative status effects on Ittle. Defeated enemies have a chance to drop a health heart, increase attack damage or reduce damage taken. However, some enemies are able to slow down Ittle’s movement or disable her ability to attack for a short time.

Ittle Dew 2

With eight locations to explore and collectibles to be found, Ittle Dew 2 should keep you entertained for a good few hours. The first seven dungeons can be tackled in any order but as you unlock items along the way, it will be easier to complete them in order. Having access to certain magical weapons could allow you to unlock dungeon shortcuts but, regardless of the dungeon you’re trying to conquer, all can be completed with starting items, or those found within each. Every dungeon has a boss which you’ll need to defeat to get a piece for your raft. Each has their own fighting style so our tips for boss combat are; become familiar with how they fight, roll (although brief, you’re invincible whilst rolling), keep your distance and time attacks for when the boss is ‘resting’.

Visually, the game is stunning. The brightly coloured, hand-drawn cartoon style makes Ittle Dew 2 immediately visually appealing, and well animated expressions during story dialogue help display the true nature of our protagonists; Ittle a dumb, selfish brute willing to resort to violence at any opportunity and Tippsie, the cynical sidekick who has an addiction to “health potion”. Ittle Dew 2 has an impressive soundtrack to match the great visuals. Background music is well suited to the theme for each location and matches the game’s speed perfectly. There’s nothing better than hearing a bright, cheery tune whilst strolling around, hitting everything in sight with a big stick! As you walk into caves, the background music noticeably reduces in volume and complexity to help you concentrate on puzzles,which is a really nice touch and a lesson to other puzzlers

Ittle Dew 2

This game is great on first play through when all of the puzzles are new and there are plenty of locations to be explored, but what happens once you’ve completed it? Well, you can play through the game again and try to set the world record for completion! Speedrunning is a great way of adding replay value to the game, however it would be nice if there was support for a Top 10 Leaderboard in the menu rather than just a time.

Overall, we’ve really enjoyed playing this game, and we’ll take at least one stab at getting that world record! Even if puzzle games aren’t usually your cup of tea, the mix of puzzle, combat and umour, is compelling, and the colourful graphics and delightful sound leave us with an ittle smile every time we go into someone’s house and smash up all their furniture!

Ittle Dew 2 is available from the Store.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Earth’s Dawn Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/earths-dawn-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/earths-dawn-review/#respond Mon, 14 Nov 2016 13:00:08 +0000 Ashley Bates $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=50301 earth-dawn

Aliens, known as E.B.E, have invaded the Earth. After years of being utterly destroyed and humiliated, humanity utilises alien technology to create super soldiers called the A.N.T.I troops. Super soldiers that can finally take the fight right back to those aliens. No longer on the back foot, humanity launches the New Dawn counteroffensive to drive out the aliens and take back our planet. The plot to Earth’s Dawn might be standard, but it serves the purpose required, giving players both a change of scenery every couple of levels whilst making the enemies harder, better, faster and stronger.

The game itself is a 2-D beat ‘em up with heavy RPG elements. The combat controls are fairly simple, only need a couple of buttons required. A to jump, X and Y to attack, B to activate your Exceed mode where you do more damage, and RT to boost in any direction.

earthsdawn-2016-07-27-11-41-14-98

Whilst there are no complex combo trees to memorise, being able to cancel moves or move recovery into boost allows for a liberating combat experience in the air and on the ground.

The mission structure should lend itself to a sense of urgency, the keyword there being should. The idea is that you’re supposed to take a set amount of free missions before each stage of the New Dawn counteroffensive, meaning you have to carefully select which missions to undertake and which subsequent skills to unlock.

vlcsnap-2016-06-09-14h33m18s218

These skills range from the usual health and other stat boosts to new weapon loadouts and skill attacks. You can even buff certain attacks to do more damage or stun enemies easier. Most games would rather avoid your finding a one move strategy and sticking with it, but Earth Dawn’s upgrade system practically encourages it.

In theory, only having a set amount of missions should make levelling up and character development limited and each choice of stat boost would be important. The time management aspect would add some much needed depth beyond “slice the aliens until total victory”.

In reality, you can just fail the main mission and go back to levelling up like nothing had happened, free to start the main mission at your earliest convenience.

earthsdawn-2016-07-27-11-48-02-89

It’s an unfortunate oversight that happens to undermine the gravitas of the situation. There is no consequence to your failure. There is no choice regarding your loadout because you can just complete everything and maximise your tree before each mission. There is no difficulty because you either are or can become too damn powerful.

And that’s a shame, because Earth’s Dawn has great potential. Had the mission and skill system been optimised better, the players choices and upgrades in the game could have been much more impactful. Still, the combat and graphics do make Earth’s Dawn a pleasure to play.

Earth’s Dawn is available from the Store, priced £23.99. But you can WIN A COPY Of THE GAME courtesy of Xbox One UK. Find out how.

Have you been playing Earth’s Dawn? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out all our social media platforms to stay up to date with the latest releases, news, reviews gameplays and competitions. Follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group and like our Facebook Page, subscribe to our Youtube and follow us on Twitch.

]]>
earth-dawn

Aliens, known as E.B.E, have invaded the Earth. After years of being utterly destroyed and humiliated, humanity utilises alien technology to create super soldiers called the A.N.T.I troops. Super soldiers that can finally take the fight right back to those aliens. No longer on the back foot, humanity launches the New Dawn counteroffensive to drive out the aliens and take back our planet. The plot to Earth’s Dawn might be standard, but it serves the purpose required, giving players both a change of scenery every couple of levels whilst making the enemies harder, better, faster and stronger.

The game itself is a 2-D beat ‘em up with heavy RPG elements. The combat controls are fairly simple, only need a couple of buttons required. A to jump, X and Y to attack, B to activate your Exceed mode where you do more damage, and RT to boost in any direction.

earthsdawn-2016-07-27-11-41-14-98

Whilst there are no complex combo trees to memorise, being able to cancel moves or move recovery into boost allows for a liberating combat experience in the air and on the ground.

The mission structure should lend itself to a sense of urgency, the keyword there being should. The idea is that you’re supposed to take a set amount of free missions before each stage of the New Dawn counteroffensive, meaning you have to carefully select which missions to undertake and which subsequent skills to unlock.

vlcsnap-2016-06-09-14h33m18s218

These skills range from the usual health and other stat boosts to new weapon loadouts and skill attacks. You can even buff certain attacks to do more damage or stun enemies easier. Most games would rather avoid your finding a one move strategy and sticking with it, but Earth Dawn’s upgrade system practically encourages it.

In theory, only having a set amount of missions should make levelling up and character development limited and each choice of stat boost would be important. The time management aspect would add some much needed depth beyond “slice the aliens until total victory”.

In reality, you can just fail the main mission and go back to levelling up like nothing had happened, free to start the main mission at your earliest convenience.

earthsdawn-2016-07-27-11-48-02-89

It’s an unfortunate oversight that happens to undermine the gravitas of the situation. There is no consequence to your failure. There is no choice regarding your loadout because you can just complete everything and maximise your tree before each mission. There is no difficulty because you either are or can become too damn powerful.

And that’s a shame, because Earth’s Dawn has great potential. Had the mission and skill system been optimised better, the players choices and upgrades in the game could have been much more impactful. Still, the combat and graphics do make Earth’s Dawn a pleasure to play.

Earth’s Dawn is available from the Store, priced £23.99. But you can WIN A COPY Of THE GAME courtesy of Xbox One UK. Find out how.

Have you been playing Earth’s Dawn? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out all our social media platforms to stay up to date with the latest releases, news, reviews gameplays and competitions. Follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group and like our Facebook Page, subscribe to our Youtube and follow us on Twitch.

]]>
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Gas Guzzlers Extreme Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/gas-guzzlers-extreme-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/gas-guzzlers-extreme-review/#respond Sat, 12 Nov 2016 16:00:07 +0000 BAMozzy $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=50061 gas-guzzlers-main

Have you ever been racing in a game and thought how cool it would be to blow your competitors off the track? Well Gas Guzzlers Extreme, a game released over 3 years ago on PC, could be the game for you. If you’re a racing purist, though, you might want to look away now!

Jumping straight into the game’s campaign you’ll get to race in a decent vehicle and experience what Gas Guzzlers Extreme is all about – a bit of a mash up of Forza, Mario Kart and 80’s classic Roadblasters! Taking a leaf out of the Forza Horizon book, this first set of wheels isn’t yours to keep, though. Instead, this ‘taster’ first race will merely earn you just enough money to buy your first car from a choice of two – one of which is basically a Robin Reliant!

You can customise your vehicle, change the colour and select between a matte or metallic finish, change the licence plate colour and text. There are also simple upgrades available, too; changing the tyres improves the grip, changing the nitrous gives you a bit more boost duration. While customisation options seem limited initially, as you progress, you get the chance to buy better armour plating, better engine upgrades, better weapons.

gas-guzzlers-05

After customising, jumping into you first proper event initially only presents you with three choices; Power Race, Battle Race and Knockout, all generally focussed on crossing the finish line first whilst offering varying levels of vehicular violence on the side. Power Race doesn’t offer guns, but it does feature some Mario Kart style power ups. Battle Race is similar but adds in weapons, and Knockout is an elimination event where being in last place each lap will see you, well, knocked out. Of course, destroying all the other cars before the end of the race is another way to win (has anyone told Lewis Hamilton?)

Every event has a few challenges to earn extra money. These range from finishing each lap in first place, to more specific challenges like destroying a certain competitor in a specific way. Do well and along with cash you are rewarded with new unlockables – a new sticker or set of wheels, or maybe unlock a new car to purchase. Continue to do well and you will catch the eye of a sponsor who, if you wear their livery, will give you a percentage bonus on top of your prize money. Don’t do well and the sponsors will drop you like a stone.

Consistently doing well will see you presented with a Sponsors event. Some of these are the vehicular combat equivalent of modes familiar to Call of Duty (or other FPS games) players – Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag etc. It offers a change of pace from the standard racing fare and can bring in a decent amount of money too. Handy if you want to buy the next unlocked car and its upgrades.

gas-guzzlers-06

The cars themselves are based on real world cars visually, although with enough difference to get around licensing issues. Cars range from the Defiant Regale (Robin Reliant) to the El Matador (Lamborghini) and The Stallion (clearly a Ferrari F40 alike). Handling certainly isn’t as refined as Forza, but the cars still feel solid enough and the controls are familiar to all those that play racing games. The eight distinct environments include the usual staples – a desert, forest and snowy map – and the 40 track variations are quite generic, with a few multiple routes and shortcuts. Mothing particularly spectacular or indeed memorable.

“It’s good fun to blow up your competitors whilst trying to pick up a power-up, repair icon or some bonus cash.
Depending on the difficulty setting, the campaign should last around 10 hours.

Quick Race offers you the chance to create your own bespoke event. All the event types, tracks, cars and weapons you’ve unlocked in your career are available for use, but more interesting are a couple of exclusive event types involving zombies – yes Zombies!

The Xbox One version includes all the DLC that was available to PC players, including the ‘Full Metal Zombie’ expansion. As with the typically less car-themed Zombie games, there are a couple of Horde style events – Defend the Base and Survivor. In these, you must eradicate waves of the undead whilst trying to maintain your fuel and armour levels. Both modes are quite good fun but trying to complete all ten waves isn’t that easy – especially when giant ogres and chain gun wielding undead appear. You can have up to three other players helping you out, but this only highlights a major problem with this game – other players are only AI buddies!

gas-guzzlers-07

Unlike the PC version, Gas Guzzlers Extreme doesn’t support multi-player. Throughout the game your competitors are ‘humorously’ named (Hugh Mungus, Jed I. Knight, Mary Juana etc) computer controlled bots. Its clear the game was built around multi-player and the decision not to bring that to Xbox is baffling. As an offline game, I can’t deny it’s fun but after a while it does get a little stale. Without the option to party up and take on waves of the undead, create and participate in a variety of bespoke events you and your friends set up, you also begin to notice the flaws in the game.

Loading times, for example seem very long – and not just when loading up the next event. Loading up the garage, the place where you can buy and customise your cars, takes a while. This can be frustrating if you accidentally back out to the main menu and then jump straight back in. Perusing the cars in your collection is a slow process as each vehicle will take a few seconds to pop in to view. Speeding up the UI, and other tweaks (like being able to compare the stats of the cars you own) would have helped immensely. 

On the technical side, Gas Guzzlers Extreme displays some frame rate drops – most notably in Zombies and some of the Sponsor events, which can get quite busy on-screen with a lot of explosions and competitors. Pop in is also present, and the generic environments aren’t helped by some average textures.

gas-guzzlers-02

Apart from the Forza Horizon series, the general trend for racing games seems to be towards a more realistic, simulation style. In recent years, we have seen games like Burnout be replaced by games like Project Cars. Even though Forza Horizon brings some of the Arcade to the racer, its Forza ‘sim’ roots are still evident in its DNA.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme does attempt to bring some of that silliness and mayhem back to the racing fold, and for the most part it’s successful. It’s good fun to blow up your competitors whilst trying to pick up a power-up, repair icon or some bonus cash. However, the lack of multi-player, a few technical issues and quite long loading times do limit this game’s appeal and replayability. The lack of multi-player in particular is bewildering and, had it been included, other issues would be easier to overlook.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme is available now from the Store priced £19.99

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
gas-guzzlers-main

Have you ever been racing in a game and thought how cool it would be to blow your competitors off the track? Well Gas Guzzlers Extreme, a game released over 3 years ago on PC, could be the game for you. If you’re a racing purist, though, you might want to look away now!

Jumping straight into the game’s campaign you’ll get to race in a decent vehicle and experience what Gas Guzzlers Extreme is all about – a bit of a mash up of Forza, Mario Kart and 80’s classic Roadblasters! Taking a leaf out of the Forza Horizon book, this first set of wheels isn’t yours to keep, though. Instead, this ‘taster’ first race will merely earn you just enough money to buy your first car from a choice of two – one of which is basically a Robin Reliant!

You can customise your vehicle, change the colour and select between a matte or metallic finish, change the licence plate colour and text. There are also simple upgrades available, too; changing the tyres improves the grip, changing the nitrous gives you a bit more boost duration. While customisation options seem limited initially, as you progress, you get the chance to buy better armour plating, better engine upgrades, better weapons.

gas-guzzlers-05

After customising, jumping into you first proper event initially only presents you with three choices; Power Race, Battle Race and Knockout, all generally focussed on crossing the finish line first whilst offering varying levels of vehicular violence on the side. Power Race doesn’t offer guns, but it does feature some Mario Kart style power ups. Battle Race is similar but adds in weapons, and Knockout is an elimination event where being in last place each lap will see you, well, knocked out. Of course, destroying all the other cars before the end of the race is another way to win (has anyone told Lewis Hamilton?)

Every event has a few challenges to earn extra money. These range from finishing each lap in first place, to more specific challenges like destroying a certain competitor in a specific way. Do well and along with cash you are rewarded with new unlockables – a new sticker or set of wheels, or maybe unlock a new car to purchase. Continue to do well and you will catch the eye of a sponsor who, if you wear their livery, will give you a percentage bonus on top of your prize money. Don’t do well and the sponsors will drop you like a stone.

Consistently doing well will see you presented with a Sponsors event. Some of these are the vehicular combat equivalent of modes familiar to Call of Duty (or other FPS games) players – Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag etc. It offers a change of pace from the standard racing fare and can bring in a decent amount of money too. Handy if you want to buy the next unlocked car and its upgrades.

gas-guzzlers-06

The cars themselves are based on real world cars visually, although with enough difference to get around licensing issues. Cars range from the Defiant Regale (Robin Reliant) to the El Matador (Lamborghini) and The Stallion (clearly a Ferrari F40 alike). Handling certainly isn’t as refined as Forza, but the cars still feel solid enough and the controls are familiar to all those that play racing games. The eight distinct environments include the usual staples – a desert, forest and snowy map – and the 40 track variations are quite generic, with a few multiple routes and shortcuts. Mothing particularly spectacular or indeed memorable.

“It’s good fun to blow up your competitors whilst trying to pick up a power-up, repair icon or some bonus cash.
Depending on the difficulty setting, the campaign should last around 10 hours.

Quick Race offers you the chance to create your own bespoke event. All the event types, tracks, cars and weapons you’ve unlocked in your career are available for use, but more interesting are a couple of exclusive event types involving zombies – yes Zombies!

The Xbox One version includes all the DLC that was available to PC players, including the ‘Full Metal Zombie’ expansion. As with the typically less car-themed Zombie games, there are a couple of Horde style events – Defend the Base and Survivor. In these, you must eradicate waves of the undead whilst trying to maintain your fuel and armour levels. Both modes are quite good fun but trying to complete all ten waves isn’t that easy – especially when giant ogres and chain gun wielding undead appear. You can have up to three other players helping you out, but this only highlights a major problem with this game – other players are only AI buddies!

gas-guzzlers-07

Unlike the PC version, Gas Guzzlers Extreme doesn’t support multi-player. Throughout the game your competitors are ‘humorously’ named (Hugh Mungus, Jed I. Knight, Mary Juana etc) computer controlled bots. Its clear the game was built around multi-player and the decision not to bring that to Xbox is baffling. As an offline game, I can’t deny it’s fun but after a while it does get a little stale. Without the option to party up and take on waves of the undead, create and participate in a variety of bespoke events you and your friends set up, you also begin to notice the flaws in the game.

Loading times, for example seem very long – and not just when loading up the next event. Loading up the garage, the place where you can buy and customise your cars, takes a while. This can be frustrating if you accidentally back out to the main menu and then jump straight back in. Perusing the cars in your collection is a slow process as each vehicle will take a few seconds to pop in to view. Speeding up the UI, and other tweaks (like being able to compare the stats of the cars you own) would have helped immensely. 

On the technical side, Gas Guzzlers Extreme displays some frame rate drops – most notably in Zombies and some of the Sponsor events, which can get quite busy on-screen with a lot of explosions and competitors. Pop in is also present, and the generic environments aren’t helped by some average textures.

gas-guzzlers-02

Apart from the Forza Horizon series, the general trend for racing games seems to be towards a more realistic, simulation style. In recent years, we have seen games like Burnout be replaced by games like Project Cars. Even though Forza Horizon brings some of the Arcade to the racer, its Forza ‘sim’ roots are still evident in its DNA.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme does attempt to bring some of that silliness and mayhem back to the racing fold, and for the most part it’s successful. It’s good fun to blow up your competitors whilst trying to pick up a power-up, repair icon or some bonus cash. However, the lack of multi-player, a few technical issues and quite long loading times do limit this game’s appeal and replayability. The lack of multi-player in particular is bewildering and, had it been included, other issues would be easier to overlook.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme is available now from the Store priced £19.99

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Titanfall 2 Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/titanfall-2-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/titanfall-2-review/#comments Wed, 09 Nov 2016 21:00:37 +0000 D1amond74 $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=50059 Titanfall 2

There’s a moment, around a third of the way through Titanfall 2‘s bombastic, heroes-and-villains filled campaign, when you’re hit with the sudden realisation that you’re having fun. You’ve been having fun from the moment it started, some three hours ago, and believe us when we tell you you’ll be having fun right ’til the very end, some six hours in the future.

2014’s Titanfall – shipping without any meaningful campaign mode – had a huge influence on the First Person Shooter marketplace. It grabbed the boots-in-the-mud genre and gave it, if not wings, then a nifty jet pack and some freaking giant robots. Whilst the two heavyweights of the genre have taken opposing paths – Call of Duty trying to emulate the pace and fluidity of Titanfall and largely failing, and Battlefield eschewing technology and going back to the genre’s roots – the path seemed clear for Titanfall to prove it’s the wall running king of the genre.

It has. It is.

Titanfall 2 lands with a campaign that’s chock full of the bombastic grandeur that Infinity Ward delivered at the height of its powers – and then some. Throughout its nine or so hours – and we wholeheartedly recommend you tackle the campaign on Hard rather than Normal – it’s never less than great, and it is frequently brilliant. The very moment you buy into the idea that giant walking robots are a practical way to wage war, then you have bought into every aspect of the story Titanfall 2 weaves. Mr Generic Protagonist, Militia Pilot-wannabe Jack Cooper is given a little character through his heartfelt monologues between scenes, but so much more personality through you, the player, your controller and the perfect synchronicity you develop as you learn, with Jack, how to become a Pilot, the surgical tip of the sword on the battlefield.

Titanfall 2

On the ground, Jack moves a little more sluggishly than you remember Pilots moving in the first game, but that only seeks to emphasise his vulnerability when strategies and tactics are adopted that are the antithesis of the Pilot’s approach to warfare. Get Jack moving, leaping, wall running and double jumping and you will feel utterly unstoppable. Momentum is your friend, cover is for the weak, and why would you ever wait for an enemy to reveal themselves when you can go hunting in such spectacular, gymnastic style?

Many shooters have aimed for verticality, but so often that just means one set of soldiers having an altitude advantage over the other. In Titanfall 2, you have complete freedom, and while some sections require precise execution of a series of wall runs and leaps across a fixed path with little deviation, these are never a chore. In free for all combat, that freedom of movement is even more wonderful. Confronted with an arena-like setting, we’re pinned down by the crossfire from innumerable foes, each hiding behind solid cover. Wait… pinned down? Not us. Faced by the building blocks of so many shooters that came before – enemies well placed, in cover, and only a limited number of route ways through the deathly maze – Titanfall gives you an entirely different set of rules to play with, and it’s wonderful. On the harder and hardest difficulties in particular the game strikes a good balance between predator and prey, although normal difficulty is a bit of a breeze.

Control of Jack is utterly perfect – even more so if you’re using a controller with rear buttons or paddles (the Elite advantage is real, here). There’s no wooliness or fuzziness, it feels like there’s nothing between your thoughts and Jack’s movement. It’s pure joy. Climb aboard your Titan buddy, the Vanguard-class Atlas Titan, BT-7274, and the joy of fluidity is replaced with the joy of power – sheer, overwhelming power. Whether stalking your prey one-on-one in a tight, densely packed canyon level, or taking part in a huge multi-Titan assault, it’s hard not to whoop and holler when you’re at BT’s controls. New Titan loadouts are introduced regularly throughout the campaign, but you can switch seamlessly between all those already discovered at any time. It’s a neat touch that allows experimentation but still lets you fall back to your comfort zone when things get tricky.

Titanfall 2

The campaign finds inventive ways to separate you and BT (we think only once because he couldn’t fit through a door) and you’ll spend much of your time fighting your way back to be reunited with your metal pal. Remarkably, and as with every aspect of the campaign, none of this feels forced. Nothing feels like its been shoehorned in just to make a point. Even the growing bond between Pilot and Titan evolves naturally, whilst dialogue choices afford you the opportunity to imbue Jack with a little more humour if that’s your thing. There are genuinely touching moments throughout, whilst the array of villains you face – in the form of IMC’s mercenaries – are delightfully over the top, but never quite reaching pantomime levels. Add to this heady mix an array of weapons that feel powerful and punchy, and some decent voice acting, and we promise you that you’ll not have had this much fun in a shooter campaign in years.

“Titanfall 2 is our pick of the bunch, and must surely be a contender for game of the year.”
Titanfall 2’s campaign, then, is a triumph, and worth the asking price on its own. It may not play on your fears and terrors as some of the horrific scenes you’ll encounter in Battlefield 1′s campaign, or have Jon Snow playing a Martian a la CoD, but it is, for our money, by far the best story experience from this current crop of shooters.

What, though, of multiplayer – the mode Titanfall cut its teeth on two years ago? We’ll admit, the two technical tests (betas, if you will) left us with some questions. The limited modes on offer had us worried, for starters.

We needn’t have worried. It’s the same frenetic, fast paced, joyous environment. Titans feel more of a reward this time, but everyone will still get one – though those who are making more of a contribution will get theirs slightly more quickly. Customisability and unlockable Pilot abilities are the chief changes, affording you the opportunity to build the perfect pilot to match your preferred playing style. Opt for the grappling hook if you want to max out on movement – used properly it’s the key to speed and agility that surpasses anything in the first game. Used improperly, you can at least snag bad guys and reel them in for a kick in the face. If you’re a sneaky-sneakerson, sacrifice the grapple for the cloaking ability; loiter unseen to ambush your pretty, or cross open spaces at barely a trot and without a care in the world. Other abilities lend themselves to defending objectives (A-Wall shield) whilst returners include the Sonar-emitting throwing knife, or Stim-shots for an extra boost of speed.

Titanfall 2

Already – and unusually – everything feels balanced, with no single loadout ruling the roost. Each fundamentally changes the way you play and the way you approach each objective – playing to your ability’s strengths is key, though, if you want to stay alive. The same can be said when jumping into one of the expanded range of Titans. Titano-a-titano battles are now much more nuanced and strategic, and knowledge of each Titan’s strengths and weaknesses can be the key to victory. And when it comes to Titan vs Pilot interaction, a rodeoing Pilot will find these metal beasts harder to bring down singlehandedly, though removing an enemy Titan’s core and returning it to a friendly behemoth has turned more than one match on its head.

As with the campaign, the multiplayer is worth the price of admission on its own, even more so when you remember that there’s no season cost extras to factor in – all future DLC will be free, which avoids splitting the player base.

Together, the brilliant campaign and compelling multiplayer means that Titanfall 2 offers the complete package. Titanfall 2’s release window baffled some – sandwiched right between Battlefield 1 the week before, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare the week after. Battlefield 1 is a truly stunning game, and deserving of the nine out of ten we awarded it. Infinite Warfare is better than it has any right to be. But still, though, Titanfall 2 is our pick of the bunch, and must surely be a contender for game of the year.

Titanfall 2 is available from the Store, priced £54.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
Titanfall 2

There’s a moment, around a third of the way through Titanfall 2‘s bombastic, heroes-and-villains filled campaign, when you’re hit with the sudden realisation that you’re having fun. You’ve been having fun from the moment it started, some three hours ago, and believe us when we tell you you’ll be having fun right ’til the very end, some six hours in the future.

2014’s Titanfall – shipping without any meaningful campaign mode – had a huge influence on the First Person Shooter marketplace. It grabbed the boots-in-the-mud genre and gave it, if not wings, then a nifty jet pack and some freaking giant robots. Whilst the two heavyweights of the genre have taken opposing paths – Call of Duty trying to emulate the pace and fluidity of Titanfall and largely failing, and Battlefield eschewing technology and going back to the genre’s roots – the path seemed clear for Titanfall to prove it’s the wall running king of the genre.

It has. It is.

Titanfall 2 lands with a campaign that’s chock full of the bombastic grandeur that Infinity Ward delivered at the height of its powers – and then some. Throughout its nine or so hours – and we wholeheartedly recommend you tackle the campaign on Hard rather than Normal – it’s never less than great, and it is frequently brilliant. The very moment you buy into the idea that giant walking robots are a practical way to wage war, then you have bought into every aspect of the story Titanfall 2 weaves. Mr Generic Protagonist, Militia Pilot-wannabe Jack Cooper is given a little character through his heartfelt monologues between scenes, but so much more personality through you, the player, your controller and the perfect synchronicity you develop as you learn, with Jack, how to become a Pilot, the surgical tip of the sword on the battlefield.

Titanfall 2

On the ground, Jack moves a little more sluggishly than you remember Pilots moving in the first game, but that only seeks to emphasise his vulnerability when strategies and tactics are adopted that are the antithesis of the Pilot’s approach to warfare. Get Jack moving, leaping, wall running and double jumping and you will feel utterly unstoppable. Momentum is your friend, cover is for the weak, and why would you ever wait for an enemy to reveal themselves when you can go hunting in such spectacular, gymnastic style?

Many shooters have aimed for verticality, but so often that just means one set of soldiers having an altitude advantage over the other. In Titanfall 2, you have complete freedom, and while some sections require precise execution of a series of wall runs and leaps across a fixed path with little deviation, these are never a chore. In free for all combat, that freedom of movement is even more wonderful. Confronted with an arena-like setting, we’re pinned down by the crossfire from innumerable foes, each hiding behind solid cover. Wait… pinned down? Not us. Faced by the building blocks of so many shooters that came before – enemies well placed, in cover, and only a limited number of route ways through the deathly maze – Titanfall gives you an entirely different set of rules to play with, and it’s wonderful. On the harder and hardest difficulties in particular the game strikes a good balance between predator and prey, although normal difficulty is a bit of a breeze.

Control of Jack is utterly perfect – even more so if you’re using a controller with rear buttons or paddles (the Elite advantage is real, here). There’s no wooliness or fuzziness, it feels like there’s nothing between your thoughts and Jack’s movement. It’s pure joy. Climb aboard your Titan buddy, the Vanguard-class Atlas Titan, BT-7274, and the joy of fluidity is replaced with the joy of power – sheer, overwhelming power. Whether stalking your prey one-on-one in a tight, densely packed canyon level, or taking part in a huge multi-Titan assault, it’s hard not to whoop and holler when you’re at BT’s controls. New Titan loadouts are introduced regularly throughout the campaign, but you can switch seamlessly between all those already discovered at any time. It’s a neat touch that allows experimentation but still lets you fall back to your comfort zone when things get tricky.

Titanfall 2

The campaign finds inventive ways to separate you and BT (we think only once because he couldn’t fit through a door) and you’ll spend much of your time fighting your way back to be reunited with your metal pal. Remarkably, and as with every aspect of the campaign, none of this feels forced. Nothing feels like its been shoehorned in just to make a point. Even the growing bond between Pilot and Titan evolves naturally, whilst dialogue choices afford you the opportunity to imbue Jack with a little more humour if that’s your thing. There are genuinely touching moments throughout, whilst the array of villains you face – in the form of IMC’s mercenaries – are delightfully over the top, but never quite reaching pantomime levels. Add to this heady mix an array of weapons that feel powerful and punchy, and some decent voice acting, and we promise you that you’ll not have had this much fun in a shooter campaign in years.

“Titanfall 2 is our pick of the bunch, and must surely be a contender for game of the year.”
Titanfall 2’s campaign, then, is a triumph, and worth the asking price on its own. It may not play on your fears and terrors as some of the horrific scenes you’ll encounter in Battlefield 1′s campaign, or have Jon Snow playing a Martian a la CoD, but it is, for our money, by far the best story experience from this current crop of shooters.

What, though, of multiplayer – the mode Titanfall cut its teeth on two years ago? We’ll admit, the two technical tests (betas, if you will) left us with some questions. The limited modes on offer had us worried, for starters.

We needn’t have worried. It’s the same frenetic, fast paced, joyous environment. Titans feel more of a reward this time, but everyone will still get one – though those who are making more of a contribution will get theirs slightly more quickly. Customisability and unlockable Pilot abilities are the chief changes, affording you the opportunity to build the perfect pilot to match your preferred playing style. Opt for the grappling hook if you want to max out on movement – used properly it’s the key to speed and agility that surpasses anything in the first game. Used improperly, you can at least snag bad guys and reel them in for a kick in the face. If you’re a sneaky-sneakerson, sacrifice the grapple for the cloaking ability; loiter unseen to ambush your pretty, or cross open spaces at barely a trot and without a care in the world. Other abilities lend themselves to defending objectives (A-Wall shield) whilst returners include the Sonar-emitting throwing knife, or Stim-shots for an extra boost of speed.

Titanfall 2

Already – and unusually – everything feels balanced, with no single loadout ruling the roost. Each fundamentally changes the way you play and the way you approach each objective – playing to your ability’s strengths is key, though, if you want to stay alive. The same can be said when jumping into one of the expanded range of Titans. Titano-a-titano battles are now much more nuanced and strategic, and knowledge of each Titan’s strengths and weaknesses can be the key to victory. And when it comes to Titan vs Pilot interaction, a rodeoing Pilot will find these metal beasts harder to bring down singlehandedly, though removing an enemy Titan’s core and returning it to a friendly behemoth has turned more than one match on its head.

As with the campaign, the multiplayer is worth the price of admission on its own, even more so when you remember that there’s no season cost extras to factor in – all future DLC will be free, which avoids splitting the player base.

Together, the brilliant campaign and compelling multiplayer means that Titanfall 2 offers the complete package. Titanfall 2’s release window baffled some – sandwiched right between Battlefield 1 the week before, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare the week after. Battlefield 1 is a truly stunning game, and deserving of the nine out of ten we awarded it. Infinite Warfare is better than it has any right to be. But still, though, Titanfall 2 is our pick of the bunch, and must surely be a contender for game of the year.

Titanfall 2 is available from the Store, priced £54.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-special-edition-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-special-edition-review/#comments Wed, 09 Nov 2016 19:00:19 +0000 JulieGilbert $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=49968 skyrim_wallpaper

One of the best Action RPG games of the last generation finally made its way on to this generation of consoles, bringing with it mods previously only found in the PC version.

Following the expansive but clunky Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Skyrim made a huge impact. Impeccably polished and glitch-free (for a Bethesda title – let’s not get carried away), Skyrim was an adventure in a world you could get lost in – and many of us did. An engaging campaign in the usual Elder Scrolls vein – rags to riches, weakness to power – Skyrim set a new benchmark for open world games. Interestingly, it was Skyrim’s breadth and scale that set pulses racing for a new Fallout game, and we would argue that Fallout 4 lacks much of the ambition and scale that made Skyrim so incredible.

When an already beautiful game gets the remaster treatment, we have high expectations – and for the most part we’re not disappointed with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition. First impressions immediately wow us – Tamriel has never looked so beautiful, with lighting engine upgrades give the forests and water a realism that makes some images resemble photographs. The improved colour saturation adds high intensity to sunny days and gives a spooky look in the dark. In motion it’s equally beautiful, with new dynamic depth-of-field options, which add some subtle focus to conversations and which the Special Edition introduces with the opening dragon attack.

skyrimg1

NPCs and creatures have been given a makeover too, although the results are slightly less impressive, with a crisp look on faces, furs and clothing. Nevertheless, visually the game is a real treat. The same can’t (at the moment) for the audio, which features noticeably downsampled effects – a real shame as Skyrim has one of the best sound tracks ever.

“This Special Edition offers the chance to relive some of the best open-world adventuring ever seen.”
Jumping back into that world is a joy – and not just for the eyes. We’ve already spent many happy hours completing quests we last tackled five years ago, exploring, getting lost, attacked by endless waves of wolves, and every minute we’re reminded of the sense of adventure and joy that we first experienced back in in 2011.

Of course, it’s still Skyrim. NPCs can be somewhat recalcitrant; when following an NPC to certain location they have a tendency to take a circuitous – or completely wrong – route, or they’ll get stuck and even with repeated attempts at making them move, they refuse to. It’s still really easy to accidentally steal something, too; we accidentally kept a book that we were supposed to read for a mission checkpoint after pressed the button a few too many times.

This is, then, the same Skyrim that Elder Scrolls fans played back in 2011, but the Special Edition does includes the three original DLC expansions: Dragonborn, Heathfire and Dawnguard.

skyrimg2

While graphically the game has had an overhaul, it’s still locked to 30 frames per second (though seems to hold that steadily, even in the larger battles when everyone seems to be getting an arrow to the knee). While we appreciate the solidity, it might have been nice to experience this world in 60 fps. Loading times are, thankfully, reduced from those of the original, so you don’t have to sit as long waiting to get back into the action. Save file management is now clearer, too – doing away with the meta game of figuring out which save file was which. You can now quick save your game, and the files are saved as the character’s name and location.

There is an extensive list of  mods for Skyrim on Xbox One. Some mods help your gaming experience get that little bit easier, with friendly dragons, new weapons, different areas and missions, mods that stop the annoying bugs within the game. The list goes on.

With the exception of the mods, there isn’t anything new to the game to make it feel like a new game – but when you’re working with material as good as this, that’s enough. Those starting the Special Edition without playing the original on the 360 have made a good choice. Those who played the original version over and over again are likely to do the same with this Special Edition over and over again.

It’s simply beautiful.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is available from the Store, priced £49.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
skyrim_wallpaper

One of the best Action RPG games of the last generation finally made its way on to this generation of consoles, bringing with it mods previously only found in the PC version.

Following the expansive but clunky Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Skyrim made a huge impact. Impeccably polished and glitch-free (for a Bethesda title – let’s not get carried away), Skyrim was an adventure in a world you could get lost in – and many of us did. An engaging campaign in the usual Elder Scrolls vein – rags to riches, weakness to power – Skyrim set a new benchmark for open world games. Interestingly, it was Skyrim’s breadth and scale that set pulses racing for a new Fallout game, and we would argue that Fallout 4 lacks much of the ambition and scale that made Skyrim so incredible.

When an already beautiful game gets the remaster treatment, we have high expectations – and for the most part we’re not disappointed with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition. First impressions immediately wow us – Tamriel has never looked so beautiful, with lighting engine upgrades give the forests and water a realism that makes some images resemble photographs. The improved colour saturation adds high intensity to sunny days and gives a spooky look in the dark. In motion it’s equally beautiful, with new dynamic depth-of-field options, which add some subtle focus to conversations and which the Special Edition introduces with the opening dragon attack.

skyrimg1

NPCs and creatures have been given a makeover too, although the results are slightly less impressive, with a crisp look on faces, furs and clothing. Nevertheless, visually the game is a real treat. The same can’t (at the moment) for the audio, which features noticeably downsampled effects – a real shame as Skyrim has one of the best sound tracks ever.

“This Special Edition offers the chance to relive some of the best open-world adventuring ever seen.”
Jumping back into that world is a joy – and not just for the eyes. We’ve already spent many happy hours completing quests we last tackled five years ago, exploring, getting lost, attacked by endless waves of wolves, and every minute we’re reminded of the sense of adventure and joy that we first experienced back in in 2011.

Of course, it’s still Skyrim. NPCs can be somewhat recalcitrant; when following an NPC to certain location they have a tendency to take a circuitous – or completely wrong – route, or they’ll get stuck and even with repeated attempts at making them move, they refuse to. It’s still really easy to accidentally steal something, too; we accidentally kept a book that we were supposed to read for a mission checkpoint after pressed the button a few too many times.

This is, then, the same Skyrim that Elder Scrolls fans played back in 2011, but the Special Edition does includes the three original DLC expansions: Dragonborn, Heathfire and Dawnguard.

skyrimg2

While graphically the game has had an overhaul, it’s still locked to 30 frames per second (though seems to hold that steadily, even in the larger battles when everyone seems to be getting an arrow to the knee). While we appreciate the solidity, it might have been nice to experience this world in 60 fps. Loading times are, thankfully, reduced from those of the original, so you don’t have to sit as long waiting to get back into the action. Save file management is now clearer, too – doing away with the meta game of figuring out which save file was which. You can now quick save your game, and the files are saved as the character’s name and location.

There is an extensive list of  mods for Skyrim on Xbox One. Some mods help your gaming experience get that little bit easier, with friendly dragons, new weapons, different areas and missions, mods that stop the annoying bugs within the game. The list goes on.

With the exception of the mods, there isn’t anything new to the game to make it feel like a new game – but when you’re working with material as good as this, that’s enough. Those starting the Special Edition without playing the original on the 360 have made a good choice. Those who played the original version over and over again are likely to do the same with this Special Edition over and over again.

It’s simply beautiful.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is available from the Store, priced £49.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Just Dance 2017 Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/just-dance-2017-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/just-dance-2017-review/#respond Sun, 06 Nov 2016 19:00:37 +0000 Robert Rodkey $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=49824 just-dance-2017-cover

There isn’t much more fun than listening to some upbeat music and just dancing till your heart’s content. Music has been an escape for so many people that when the gaming industry wholeheartedly embraced the music game genre it was a great way for almost anyone to find a way to just have fun.

Just Dance 2017 takes music from so many different decades and gives you a fun, but also rewarding if you want it to be, experience that is easily accessible for single players as well as a party.

just-dance-2017-1

This was my first time playing a Just Dance game. I’ve played a ton of Dance Central but was eager to see how Ubisoft’s genre entry stepped up. The core mechanics are the same as they always have been. Match the dancer – or dancers – on screen to achieve a better overall grade. Just Dance 2017 accepts up to 6 players at a time.  This could create some conflict with everyone trying to fit into the Kinect’s field of view, but we had no problem fitting 4 players at a time in a standard sized room by simply moving the couch against the wall. What’s great is that you don’t need Kinect to play – just download the Just Dance companion app and use the phone to track your motion by holding it in your hand. This feature works very well but it seemed like we were getting slightly better results using the Kinect, although the app relaxes the space restrictions a little.

“What’s great is that you don’t need Kinect to play – just download the Just Dance companion app and use the phone to track your motion.”
Gameplay really depends on what you want to get out of it. Dancing is such a great way to help get fit and stay active and Ubisoft does a great job at helping you with that.  You could, of course, just want to have fun and see how well you can do. These two elements seem to be the core focus of Just Dance 2017. You can create playlists for workout routines as well just for enjoyment.  There are approximately 40 songs in the base game, but you can add to that through the Just Dance Unlimited service.

Just Dance Unlimited opens up hundreds of songs from previous games as well as DLC to help expand your library exponentially. This isn’t like Rock Band DLC where you pay per song, but instead have the entire library base on a subscription – a la Guitar Hero TV. This might be a sticking point for some – having to invest more money but you can pay monthly or even yearly to get the best deal. This isn’t mandatory, but really maximizes the fun and replayability Just Dance 2017 offers.

just-dance-2017-2

When it comes to the music that Just Dance 2017 has to offer, it’s a winner. As someone who doesn’t really care for the newest top 40 mainstream, there were classics such as Queen and Joan Jett. New artists such as Sia and DNCE have hits as well, demonstrating that Just Dance 2017 has the range to cater to almost every taste. As someone who typically would avoid the newest hits on Just Dance 2017, the gameplay and overall fun of the game just makes almost anything enjoyable. The dances themselves are intelligently choreographed, and there are opportunities to ape your favourite performers, too, Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” makes you recreate Freddie Mercury’s iconic moves.

Anytime the opportunity to dance arises, there is almost always someone ready to swear they can’t dance. Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2017 allows anyone to lower their inhibitions and just have a blast. Although it feels like Just Dance Unlimited is almost a must have add-on, not investing doesn’t dull the enjoyment of the base game, just the longevity. With it’s highly addictive gameplay and wide range of music genres, Ubisoft’s music gem is something that almost everyone can enjoy.

Just Dance 2017 is now available from the Store, priced £49.99, and there’s a free demo available too. Just Dance Unlimited subscriptions range fro £3.99 for a single month, to £24.99 for 12 months.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
just-dance-2017-cover

There isn’t much more fun than listening to some upbeat music and just dancing till your heart’s content. Music has been an escape for so many people that when the gaming industry wholeheartedly embraced the music game genre it was a great way for almost anyone to find a way to just have fun.

Just Dance 2017 takes music from so many different decades and gives you a fun, but also rewarding if you want it to be, experience that is easily accessible for single players as well as a party.

just-dance-2017-1

This was my first time playing a Just Dance game. I’ve played a ton of Dance Central but was eager to see how Ubisoft’s genre entry stepped up. The core mechanics are the same as they always have been. Match the dancer – or dancers – on screen to achieve a better overall grade. Just Dance 2017 accepts up to 6 players at a time.  This could create some conflict with everyone trying to fit into the Kinect’s field of view, but we had no problem fitting 4 players at a time in a standard sized room by simply moving the couch against the wall. What’s great is that you don’t need Kinect to play – just download the Just Dance companion app and use the phone to track your motion by holding it in your hand. This feature works very well but it seemed like we were getting slightly better results using the Kinect, although the app relaxes the space restrictions a little.

“What’s great is that you don’t need Kinect to play – just download the Just Dance companion app and use the phone to track your motion.”
Gameplay really depends on what you want to get out of it. Dancing is such a great way to help get fit and stay active and Ubisoft does a great job at helping you with that.  You could, of course, just want to have fun and see how well you can do. These two elements seem to be the core focus of Just Dance 2017. You can create playlists for workout routines as well just for enjoyment.  There are approximately 40 songs in the base game, but you can add to that through the Just Dance Unlimited service.

Just Dance Unlimited opens up hundreds of songs from previous games as well as DLC to help expand your library exponentially. This isn’t like Rock Band DLC where you pay per song, but instead have the entire library base on a subscription – a la Guitar Hero TV. This might be a sticking point for some – having to invest more money but you can pay monthly or even yearly to get the best deal. This isn’t mandatory, but really maximizes the fun and replayability Just Dance 2017 offers.

just-dance-2017-2

When it comes to the music that Just Dance 2017 has to offer, it’s a winner. As someone who doesn’t really care for the newest top 40 mainstream, there were classics such as Queen and Joan Jett. New artists such as Sia and DNCE have hits as well, demonstrating that Just Dance 2017 has the range to cater to almost every taste. As someone who typically would avoid the newest hits on Just Dance 2017, the gameplay and overall fun of the game just makes almost anything enjoyable. The dances themselves are intelligently choreographed, and there are opportunities to ape your favourite performers, too, Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” makes you recreate Freddie Mercury’s iconic moves.

Anytime the opportunity to dance arises, there is almost always someone ready to swear they can’t dance. Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2017 allows anyone to lower their inhibitions and just have a blast. Although it feels like Just Dance Unlimited is almost a must have add-on, not investing doesn’t dull the enjoyment of the base game, just the longevity. With it’s highly addictive gameplay and wide range of music genres, Ubisoft’s music gem is something that almost everyone can enjoy.

Just Dance 2017 is now available from the Store, priced £49.99, and there’s a free demo available too. Just Dance Unlimited subscriptions range fro £3.99 for a single month, to £24.99 for 12 months.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Gears of War 4 Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/gears-of-war-4-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/gears-of-war-4-review/#respond Sat, 05 Nov 2016 11:00:14 +0000 CTurk89 $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=48496 Gears of War 4

Campaign – Ashley Bates

The Adventures of Delta Squad Jnr had some big shoes to fill, and not just because Marcus Fenix is a mountain of a man. We’d spent 3 games, 4 if you count the prequel, bonding with those slabs of meat, sharing in their victories and mourning for their losses. It would take a lot for us to be completely sold on JD, Kait and Del, and whilst Gears of War 4 offers a fun and challenging campaign, there is a little something missing.

The next generation offer something a little different to the original characters. They’re a little bit more grounded, a little less “in your face” than the likes of Cole and Baird, which you could argue makes them somewhat lacking in the charisma department.

They’re not bad characters. JD and Del bounce off each other quite well and display good chemistry, JD’s relationship with his estranged father holds the interest and Kait competently fills the role of smart, sassy type. The problem is they’re just a bit bland. They don’t feel like characters with which to build a franchise around.

The story is also a slow burn. Delta Squad 2.0 set off on their merry way to rescue Reyna, village leader and Kait’s mother, but two fifths of the game are spent fighting robots commanded by some pseudo-villain. The pace picks up once the swarm arrive and doesn’t relent until the final credits start rolling, but those first few hours do feel like a filler arc to boost the run time.

Gears of War 4

Aesthetically, Gears 4 looks like a different game. The Coalition appear to have discovered more colours that the usual grey, red and occasion yellow during Gears 3. The characters might be bland but the world of Sera feels more vibrant. The windflares, a new feature for Gears 4 that sees devastating winds affect the ongoing firefight, look especially gorgeous.

Underneath the hood, it’s still the same old Gears that’s been refined to perfection over the years. Move from cover to cover, pop and shoot. Gears Of War has always been the best in class for the third person, cover based shooter, and Gears 4 is no exception. The inclusion of abilities like mantling over cover during a roadie run and being able to drag enemies over cover allows for a much more offensive and aggressive playstyle.

As for your enemies, you’ve got the typical rogue’s gallery of small but weak critters, regular drones and the big hitters. There are some special enemies, like Pouncers and Carriers, that force you to change your tactics and think on the fly.

One huge addition to the campaign is the fusion of Horde with certain defense sections. Utilising those features in the campaign, building barricades and turrets to protect yourself from the enemy just feels like a natural progression. In fact, you’d wish it made more of an appearance, as it only occurs a handful of times throughout the campaign.

Overall, the Gears of War 4 campaign offers a great challenge, memorable moments and some noticeable improvements to the gameplay. However, the bland characters and narrative missteps keep it from being a series highlight.

Multiplayer – Ashley Bates

The Gnasher has always been the word of law when it comes to the multiplayer, and you’re a damn fool if you think that’s changed here.

It’s always been perplexing to us that a cover to cover shooter turns into a John Woo film with everyone rocking pump-action shotguns, but that’s Gears for you.

All the usual modes make their return, like King of the Hill, Guardian, Team Deathmatch and Warzone, but the standout mode would have to be Dodgeball. Any kill brings a dead teammate back to life, making co-ordination and communication paramount to success. You could be 3-1 down, but if you manage to take out an enemy who’s gone astray, the game is all tied up. It’s the back and forth momentum shifts that hold the attention and make it a must-play game mode.

Gears of War 4

That being said, Gears is still one of the toughest multiplayer shooters to try and crack. The aforementioned shotgun enthusiasm is a trial by fire for any Gears virgin. It’s sink or swim; no mercy and no quarter.

That being said, Gears of War 4 offers the best multiplayer package since 3. With plenty of maps and modes, and the inclusion of co-op bot matches can help the newcomers prepare for what’s to come. Seriously. Gears online is no joke.

Horde – Chris Turk

Believe it or not, Horde mode is one of the main reasons some Gears fans pick up and play Gears of War so often. And for good reason. Gears took Halo: ODST’s Firefight and gave it a cover shooter’s twist – a tense but fun game mode that ramps up the pressure until a breathless and sweaty climax. For the uninitiated, Horde pits you and a handful of friends against wave after wave of enemies in a hellish fight for survival. You’ll face 10 waves of increasing intensity and difficulty, culminating in a battle against a tough-as-nails boss, before the wave counter resets and you start again with a new difficulty modifier.

Gears of War 4

Straight away, Horde 3.0 stands out from previous Gears of War games with completely new player class system and the ability to build various types of defenses. This can completely change how you should approach the game. Each class has its own strengths, and building defenses to fortify strong map positions is now essential. There’s also a completely new levelling, credits, and card pack system that, although can be difficult to navigate, is really important for success in the game.

Horde is more compelling and more satisfying than ever – and that’s saying something.

Gears of War 4 is available from the Store priced £41.74, and as an Ultimate Edition bundle for £79.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
Gears of War 4

Campaign – Ashley Bates

The Adventures of Delta Squad Jnr had some big shoes to fill, and not just because Marcus Fenix is a mountain of a man. We’d spent 3 games, 4 if you count the prequel, bonding with those slabs of meat, sharing in their victories and mourning for their losses. It would take a lot for us to be completely sold on JD, Kait and Del, and whilst Gears of War 4 offers a fun and challenging campaign, there is a little something missing.

The next generation offer something a little different to the original characters. They’re a little bit more grounded, a little less “in your face” than the likes of Cole and Baird, which you could argue makes them somewhat lacking in the charisma department.

They’re not bad characters. JD and Del bounce off each other quite well and display good chemistry, JD’s relationship with his estranged father holds the interest and Kait competently fills the role of smart, sassy type. The problem is they’re just a bit bland. They don’t feel like characters with which to build a franchise around.

The story is also a slow burn. Delta Squad 2.0 set off on their merry way to rescue Reyna, village leader and Kait’s mother, but two fifths of the game are spent fighting robots commanded by some pseudo-villain. The pace picks up once the swarm arrive and doesn’t relent until the final credits start rolling, but those first few hours do feel like a filler arc to boost the run time.

Gears of War 4

Aesthetically, Gears 4 looks like a different game. The Coalition appear to have discovered more colours that the usual grey, red and occasion yellow during Gears 3. The characters might be bland but the world of Sera feels more vibrant. The windflares, a new feature for Gears 4 that sees devastating winds affect the ongoing firefight, look especially gorgeous.

Underneath the hood, it’s still the same old Gears that’s been refined to perfection over the years. Move from cover to cover, pop and shoot. Gears Of War has always been the best in class for the third person, cover based shooter, and Gears 4 is no exception. The inclusion of abilities like mantling over cover during a roadie run and being able to drag enemies over cover allows for a much more offensive and aggressive playstyle.

As for your enemies, you’ve got the typical rogue’s gallery of small but weak critters, regular drones and the big hitters. There are some special enemies, like Pouncers and Carriers, that force you to change your tactics and think on the fly.

One huge addition to the campaign is the fusion of Horde with certain defense sections. Utilising those features in the campaign, building barricades and turrets to protect yourself from the enemy just feels like a natural progression. In fact, you’d wish it made more of an appearance, as it only occurs a handful of times throughout the campaign.

Overall, the Gears of War 4 campaign offers a great challenge, memorable moments and some noticeable improvements to the gameplay. However, the bland characters and narrative missteps keep it from being a series highlight.

Multiplayer – Ashley Bates

The Gnasher has always been the word of law when it comes to the multiplayer, and you’re a damn fool if you think that’s changed here.

It’s always been perplexing to us that a cover to cover shooter turns into a John Woo film with everyone rocking pump-action shotguns, but that’s Gears for you.

All the usual modes make their return, like King of the Hill, Guardian, Team Deathmatch and Warzone, but the standout mode would have to be Dodgeball. Any kill brings a dead teammate back to life, making co-ordination and communication paramount to success. You could be 3-1 down, but if you manage to take out an enemy who’s gone astray, the game is all tied up. It’s the back and forth momentum shifts that hold the attention and make it a must-play game mode.

Gears of War 4

That being said, Gears is still one of the toughest multiplayer shooters to try and crack. The aforementioned shotgun enthusiasm is a trial by fire for any Gears virgin. It’s sink or swim; no mercy and no quarter.

That being said, Gears of War 4 offers the best multiplayer package since 3. With plenty of maps and modes, and the inclusion of co-op bot matches can help the newcomers prepare for what’s to come. Seriously. Gears online is no joke.

Horde – Chris Turk

Believe it or not, Horde mode is one of the main reasons some Gears fans pick up and play Gears of War so often. And for good reason. Gears took Halo: ODST’s Firefight and gave it a cover shooter’s twist – a tense but fun game mode that ramps up the pressure until a breathless and sweaty climax. For the uninitiated, Horde pits you and a handful of friends against wave after wave of enemies in a hellish fight for survival. You’ll face 10 waves of increasing intensity and difficulty, culminating in a battle against a tough-as-nails boss, before the wave counter resets and you start again with a new difficulty modifier.

Gears of War 4

Straight away, Horde 3.0 stands out from previous Gears of War games with completely new player class system and the ability to build various types of defenses. This can completely change how you should approach the game. Each class has its own strengths, and building defenses to fortify strong map positions is now essential. There’s also a completely new levelling, credits, and card pack system that, although can be difficult to navigate, is really important for success in the game.

Horde is more compelling and more satisfying than ever – and that’s saying something.

Gears of War 4 is available from the Store priced £41.74, and as an Ultimate Edition bundle for £79.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Mark McMorris Infinite Air Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/mark-mcmorris-infinite-air-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/mark-mcmorris-infinite-air-review/#respond Fri, 04 Nov 2016 21:00:41 +0000 Ashley Bates $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=49829 infinite-air-with-mark-mcmorris

Infinite Air is somewhat of a misleading title, seeing how gravity exists. No matter how much airtime you get, you’ll eventually hit the ground again. They should have called this game “Mark McMorris Infinite Snow” as there’s more white powder here than the inside of a busy nightclub in the 80’s… Like a field of dreams, it never ends.

Mark McMorris Infinite Air is a snowboarding game from HB Studios that seeks to offer a realistic experience of what snowboarding can be like. Well, as realistic an experience as you can get when you can bail a 100ft jump without breaking your own neck. Of course, whenever you see the word “realistic”, it’s actually a synonym for “more difficult”. There’s a learning curve here that’s, to excuse the pun involving another upcoming snowboarding game… Steep.

infinite-air

Any snowboarding game, just by virtue of being a snowboarding game, is going to be compared to SSX. The comparison to be made here is the same one made between Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (SSX) and Skate (Infinite Air). They’re both of the same genre, and even share some similarities, the key ones involve trick control on the right stick, an emphasis on pre-loading (charging your rotations) before a jump and tweaking your grabs. However, the two games offer completely different things.

SSX is all about huge air, flashy combos and an over the top style; the antithesis of what Infinite Air is trying to achieve. Sure, you’ll hit some sick ramps and catch some gnarly air, or whatever it is that snowboarders say, but it’s all about nailing that one line and feeling like a king.

It’s that lacking sense of accomplishment from games like SSX that Infinite Air captures. 100+ trick combos in SSX are so commonplace that they’re practically robbed of the satisfaction. Here, there’s very little margin for error. You lean just a little bit too far forward on that front flip method grab, and you’ll be on a trip to the emergency room quicker than you can say “backcountry runs are dangerous?”

infiniteair_05

The problem is that in order to get that satisfaction, you’ve gotta work your way through a lot of frustration. Nailing that triple barrel roll and following it up with a frontside grind into a 1080 indy feels pretty sweet, but the prior 20 failed attempts does cause the blood to boil. It’s the lack of immediate gratification that might turn people away from Infinite Air in favour of other titles.

The lack of a substantial career mode doesn’t help matters. Essentially just a collection of challenges and competitions without a connection or joining thread, you’re given no real incentive beyond additional character customisation and new pro boarders. A simple season mode would have been more effective, or if they made certain creation tools unlockable.

infinite-air-2

Perhaps the ace in Infinite Air’s hole is the ability to generate, customise and ride on your own mountains. You manipulate sliders to determine how you’d like your mountain: amount of trees, steepness of mountains, the abundance of jagged rocky outcroppings, whether you want a snowy mountain or an icy death trap.

From there, you can manipulate the generated mountain to create a run and aesthetic that’s perfect for you. Whether that be a tournament style slopestyle setup, a dense forest run, the gentle slopes of a tourist resort or the desolate wilderness of snowboarding down a mountain’s peak, the versatility is there and the limit is your imagination. The air might not be Infinite, but the amount of mountains that you can create certainly is.

It’s a feature that’s sure to tempt snowboarding purists and fanatics to give Infinite Air a shot, alongside the realistic physics engine. For the causal fan however, you might be better off sticking with SSX.

Mark McMorris Infinite Air is available from the Store for £39.99. Have you been playing it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out all our social media platforms to stay up to date with the latest releases, news, reviews gameplays and competitions. Follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group and like our Facebook Page, subscribe to our Youtube and follow us on Twitch.

]]>
infinite-air-with-mark-mcmorris

Infinite Air is somewhat of a misleading title, seeing how gravity exists. No matter how much airtime you get, you’ll eventually hit the ground again. They should have called this game “Mark McMorris Infinite Snow” as there’s more white powder here than the inside of a busy nightclub in the 80’s… Like a field of dreams, it never ends.

Mark McMorris Infinite Air is a snowboarding game from HB Studios that seeks to offer a realistic experience of what snowboarding can be like. Well, as realistic an experience as you can get when you can bail a 100ft jump without breaking your own neck. Of course, whenever you see the word “realistic”, it’s actually a synonym for “more difficult”. There’s a learning curve here that’s, to excuse the pun involving another upcoming snowboarding game… Steep.

infinite-air

Any snowboarding game, just by virtue of being a snowboarding game, is going to be compared to SSX. The comparison to be made here is the same one made between Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (SSX) and Skate (Infinite Air). They’re both of the same genre, and even share some similarities, the key ones involve trick control on the right stick, an emphasis on pre-loading (charging your rotations) before a jump and tweaking your grabs. However, the two games offer completely different things.

SSX is all about huge air, flashy combos and an over the top style; the antithesis of what Infinite Air is trying to achieve. Sure, you’ll hit some sick ramps and catch some gnarly air, or whatever it is that snowboarders say, but it’s all about nailing that one line and feeling like a king.

It’s that lacking sense of accomplishment from games like SSX that Infinite Air captures. 100+ trick combos in SSX are so commonplace that they’re practically robbed of the satisfaction. Here, there’s very little margin for error. You lean just a little bit too far forward on that front flip method grab, and you’ll be on a trip to the emergency room quicker than you can say “backcountry runs are dangerous?”

infiniteair_05

The problem is that in order to get that satisfaction, you’ve gotta work your way through a lot of frustration. Nailing that triple barrel roll and following it up with a frontside grind into a 1080 indy feels pretty sweet, but the prior 20 failed attempts does cause the blood to boil. It’s the lack of immediate gratification that might turn people away from Infinite Air in favour of other titles.

The lack of a substantial career mode doesn’t help matters. Essentially just a collection of challenges and competitions without a connection or joining thread, you’re given no real incentive beyond additional character customisation and new pro boarders. A simple season mode would have been more effective, or if they made certain creation tools unlockable.

infinite-air-2

Perhaps the ace in Infinite Air’s hole is the ability to generate, customise and ride on your own mountains. You manipulate sliders to determine how you’d like your mountain: amount of trees, steepness of mountains, the abundance of jagged rocky outcroppings, whether you want a snowy mountain or an icy death trap.

From there, you can manipulate the generated mountain to create a run and aesthetic that’s perfect for you. Whether that be a tournament style slopestyle setup, a dense forest run, the gentle slopes of a tourist resort or the desolate wilderness of snowboarding down a mountain’s peak, the versatility is there and the limit is your imagination. The air might not be Infinite, but the amount of mountains that you can create certainly is.

It’s a feature that’s sure to tempt snowboarding purists and fanatics to give Infinite Air a shot, alongside the realistic physics engine. For the causal fan however, you might be better off sticking with SSX.

Mark McMorris Infinite Air is available from the Store for £39.99. Have you been playing it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Don’t forget to check out all our social media platforms to stay up to date with the latest releases, news, reviews gameplays and competitions. Follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group and like our Facebook Page, subscribe to our Youtube and follow us on Twitch.

]]>
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Ride 2 Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/ride-2-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/ride-2-review/#respond Fri, 04 Nov 2016 19:00:02 +0000 Stacey $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=49818 Ride 2

Precision. Accuracy. Millimetre-perfect. There’s no room for error in Ride 2, and that will come as a shock if you’ve never picked up a bike racing sim before. With four wheels, you can graze the Armco, squeeze down the inside, dish out the odd tap here or there, and still not lose more than half a tenth in a lap.

Try it on one of the lovingly recreated machines in Ride 2, and you’re history. Or smeared across the geography.

Motorcycle racing is hard. You might have more racing lines through some corners, but you better pick one, and you better make your mind up early. Mid-corner corrections are a sure-fire way to plummet to the back of the pack. And get your line wrong on the way in, there’s no sorting it out as you might in a car, where you can use your size to block the apex and prevent your competitors overtaking. Here, suddenly they’re rapidly accelerating dots on the horizon, where just seconds ago they were in your mirrors.

Ride 2

But if you understand bike racing, it’s exactly that precision that you came for. And over time, you immerse yourself into a world that’s far more technical than you might expect, tweaking every tiny aspect of your chosen ride to get the very most out of it, of the track, and of yourself. You’ll learn to balance the bike on the throttle, back it into corners on the rear brake, and somehow keep the rear down when you’re heavy on the front. You’ll understand the joy of so much power on such a light frame, you’ll wrestle to keep the nose down, and you’ll sit up to feel how rider positioning affects each bike’s handling.

In so many ways, Ride 2 punches above its weight, with a huge garage of bikes old and new, a host of official licences, and some truly stunning ribbons of tarmac against which you’ll challenge yourself. It might not have the glossy sheen of a Forza, and what it lacks in circuit and terrain detail, it more than makes up in its fetishistic attention to detail on the iron steeds themselves. It’s here, in these machines of joy, that developer Milestone’s passion rings out. There’s more two-wheeled wonders from which to choose than you might expect, given the comparatively meagre selection of the 2015 franchise debut. More, in fact, than any other motorcycle racer out there. With around 180 bikes from 20 manufacturers, and more planned for DLC, every bike lover will find their dream bike and, more than likely, something similar to whatever graces their driveway in the real world.

Ride 2

Ride 2 is about challenge – not necessarily about challenging the AI competitors against whom you are pitched, but about challenging yourself. Even with the rider aids turned on, you’ll have some initial trouble, but as you improve and the aids are turned off, you’ll begin to feel the nuances in handling that differ from bike to bike to bike. Take your time, learn each bike, lap after lap honing your skills, tweaking your bike, and you’ll get lost in that world, and get the best from Ride 2.

“The slavish attention to detail and the unforgiving nature of motorcycle racing won’t be for everyone, but this is the best motorbike sim racer this generation.”
Ride 2 require an investment of time, then, and if you love bikes and want the complete video-game love-letter to them we’ve ever seen, you’ll need to expect some rough with your silky-smooth. AI is better, smarter, fairer this time ’round, but you’ll still feel like they have extra gears that you just don’t, and that careful overtake you’d lined up over three successive corners is often for naught when they just breeze past you on the next straight. Even though you know you got the better exit. Maybe we just need to practice more… we’ll be right back.

And while the bikes are gorgeous, the environments are less so, lacking in detail with a softness that makes the bikes ‘pop’ but diminishes the realism that Ride 2 is so obviously striving for. Racing is generally smooth, though, and if there were frame drops we didn’t notice them, even in the most contested of hairpin bends.

Ride 2

We can forgive this lack of polish every time we hop onto a bike, though – there’s no two-wheeler out there that so accurately captures that feel of liquid speed as you roll through an S-bend, flicking left then right, before leaning hard into the next long corner, leather on tarmac as you squeeze ever inch out of your ride.

There’s nothing lacking when it comes to options – be it tinkering with your bikes, or a full suite of game modes. Credits to buy those upgrades – better wheels and tyres, customisable gearboxes, or a whole host of cosmetic enhancements, are handed out liberally in every mode. Collecting all the bikes will take some time, but that’s because of the sheer number, not a miserly reward system.

Take Ride 2 for what it is – a pure love for motorbikes made digital – and you’ll immerse yourself in that world. Expect a challenge, though – even in the easiest of settings don’t expect to pile into a corner using your competitors to slow you down. Its world might not be the prettiest, but by golly we will never get tired of a game that lays its soul bare and says, simply, “we love bikes.”

Ride 2 is available from the Store, priced £49.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
Ride 2

Precision. Accuracy. Millimetre-perfect. There’s no room for error in Ride 2, and that will come as a shock if you’ve never picked up a bike racing sim before. With four wheels, you can graze the Armco, squeeze down the inside, dish out the odd tap here or there, and still not lose more than half a tenth in a lap.

Try it on one of the lovingly recreated machines in Ride 2, and you’re history. Or smeared across the geography.

Motorcycle racing is hard. You might have more racing lines through some corners, but you better pick one, and you better make your mind up early. Mid-corner corrections are a sure-fire way to plummet to the back of the pack. And get your line wrong on the way in, there’s no sorting it out as you might in a car, where you can use your size to block the apex and prevent your competitors overtaking. Here, suddenly they’re rapidly accelerating dots on the horizon, where just seconds ago they were in your mirrors.

Ride 2

But if you understand bike racing, it’s exactly that precision that you came for. And over time, you immerse yourself into a world that’s far more technical than you might expect, tweaking every tiny aspect of your chosen ride to get the very most out of it, of the track, and of yourself. You’ll learn to balance the bike on the throttle, back it into corners on the rear brake, and somehow keep the rear down when you’re heavy on the front. You’ll understand the joy of so much power on such a light frame, you’ll wrestle to keep the nose down, and you’ll sit up to feel how rider positioning affects each bike’s handling.

In so many ways, Ride 2 punches above its weight, with a huge garage of bikes old and new, a host of official licences, and some truly stunning ribbons of tarmac against which you’ll challenge yourself. It might not have the glossy sheen of a Forza, and what it lacks in circuit and terrain detail, it more than makes up in its fetishistic attention to detail on the iron steeds themselves. It’s here, in these machines of joy, that developer Milestone’s passion rings out. There’s more two-wheeled wonders from which to choose than you might expect, given the comparatively meagre selection of the 2015 franchise debut. More, in fact, than any other motorcycle racer out there. With around 180 bikes from 20 manufacturers, and more planned for DLC, every bike lover will find their dream bike and, more than likely, something similar to whatever graces their driveway in the real world.

Ride 2

Ride 2 is about challenge – not necessarily about challenging the AI competitors against whom you are pitched, but about challenging yourself. Even with the rider aids turned on, you’ll have some initial trouble, but as you improve and the aids are turned off, you’ll begin to feel the nuances in handling that differ from bike to bike to bike. Take your time, learn each bike, lap after lap honing your skills, tweaking your bike, and you’ll get lost in that world, and get the best from Ride 2.

“The slavish attention to detail and the unforgiving nature of motorcycle racing won’t be for everyone, but this is the best motorbike sim racer this generation.”
Ride 2 require an investment of time, then, and if you love bikes and want the complete video-game love-letter to them we’ve ever seen, you’ll need to expect some rough with your silky-smooth. AI is better, smarter, fairer this time ’round, but you’ll still feel like they have extra gears that you just don’t, and that careful overtake you’d lined up over three successive corners is often for naught when they just breeze past you on the next straight. Even though you know you got the better exit. Maybe we just need to practice more… we’ll be right back.

And while the bikes are gorgeous, the environments are less so, lacking in detail with a softness that makes the bikes ‘pop’ but diminishes the realism that Ride 2 is so obviously striving for. Racing is generally smooth, though, and if there were frame drops we didn’t notice them, even in the most contested of hairpin bends.

Ride 2

We can forgive this lack of polish every time we hop onto a bike, though – there’s no two-wheeler out there that so accurately captures that feel of liquid speed as you roll through an S-bend, flicking left then right, before leaning hard into the next long corner, leather on tarmac as you squeeze ever inch out of your ride.

There’s nothing lacking when it comes to options – be it tinkering with your bikes, or a full suite of game modes. Credits to buy those upgrades – better wheels and tyres, customisable gearboxes, or a whole host of cosmetic enhancements, are handed out liberally in every mode. Collecting all the bikes will take some time, but that’s because of the sheer number, not a miserly reward system.

Take Ride 2 for what it is – a pure love for motorbikes made digital – and you’ll immerse yourself in that world. Expect a challenge, though – even in the easiest of settings don’t expect to pile into a corner using your competitors to slow you down. Its world might not be the prettiest, but by golly we will never get tired of a game that lays its soul bare and says, simply, “we love bikes.”

Ride 2 is available from the Store, priced £49.99.

Make sure you like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow on Twitter and Twitch for all the latest Xbox One news, reviews and competitions.

]]>
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Dragonball Xenoverse 2 Review http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/dragonball-xenoverse-2-review/ http://www.xboxoneuk.com/xbox-one/dragonball-xenoverse-2-review/#comments Thu, 03 Nov 2016 12:00:42 +0000 Ashley Bates $postimage = ( $postimages ) ? $postimages[0] : get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/images/default.jpg'; http://www.xboxoneuk.com/?p=49710 dragon-ball-xenoverse-2-free-download

If you were to tell the 13 year old me, sat playing Budokai Tenkaichi on the PS2, that one day I could play a Dragonball Z game where I could make my own character and interact with the events of the manga/anime, I’d have snapped your arm off quicker than an Instant Transmission.

The original Dragonball Xenoverse struck a chord with many players by essentially being pure, unadulterated fandom wish fulfilment. Make your own character from one of five races, including Saiyan, Human, Namekian and whatever the hell Frieza and Buu are? Check. Insert yourself into famous battles, taking on the greatest villains from the series? Check. Ultimately become the most powerful being ever? Checkity check check check.

Dragonball Xenoverse

Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is practically the same formula, just with more additions. Same premise, same gameplay, same purpose. The combat is still pretty straightforward. No complex combos or special move inputs here, just fighting that looks like it was ripped straight from the anime. It’s all here, from Kaioken to Kamehameha; Special Beam Cannon to Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan and everything in between.

The main campaign sees you as a new Time Patroller, tasked with amending any changes that occur to the main timeline. There is an overarching thread that’s new and continues on from the first game, and you can even import your Xenoverse 1 Hero despite them not being playable. However, the events you’re tasked with protecting do overlap with Xenoverse 1.

dragon-ball-xenoverse-2-2

This is a problem that affects all the Dragonball games, though. If the game didn’t feature all the popular moments from the Saiyan, Frieza, Android and Buu sagas, it wouldn’t feel like a Dragonball game. Plus, the time shenanigans that occur, with villains appearing seemingly whenever the hell they want, help keep things a little fresh.

Also like Xenoverse 1, you can take on side missions called Parallel Quests, which are challenges of increasing difficulty generally centred around a theme. Defeat all the Z Fighters, collect all the Dragon Balls, beat up a super powered evil Yamcha… That sort of thing. Plus, you can have one of the characters become your instructor and train you with their moves. With around 20 instructors and nearly 100 Parallel Quests, there’s already more content available than the original.

dragon-ball-xenoverse-2-beta-review-pretty-much-the-same-with-xenoverse-1

But it doesn’t stop there. The hub world of Conton City, which is bigger than the last game’s Toki Toki City and doesn’t need loading screens, by the way, also offers more side quests. Some are pretty straightforward, like training with Vegeta or protecting Namek from invaders, but there are some interesting inclusions.

One sees you becoming Great Saiyaman 3, another sees you rise up the ranks of the Frieza Force. The last one does involve helping Majin Buu raise a family, which is probably the weakest of the bunch due to being a glorified fetch and carry quest, but they all serve the triple purpose of distracting you from the main game content, allowing you to earn some items and EXP, and unlocking some endgame content once all the side missions are completed.

dragon-ball-xenoverse-2-2

BUT WAIT! There’s still more! Another new addition is the inclusion of Expert Missions. Essentially a six player boss battle, each fight offers up a little gimmick to keeps thing interesting, such as allies being mind controlled or being sent to an alternate dimension. It’s an interesting idea, and allows for the hilarious sight of six powered up guys and girls smacking the crap out of every single DBZ villain.

The problem is that very few people are matchmaking to play them, meaning you’ll have to call on your buddies (if you’ve got any who own Xenoverse) to help. Sure, you can use the AI, but they just follow you around and barely do anything, which is hardly useful when trying to fight Metal Cooler.

3114802-dbz4

Another problem is the lack of endgame content to support your playtime once those credits roll. Sure, there’s always PvP and plenty of Parallel Quests and Instructor Missions to keep you occupied, but they’re just filler content. You could make a new character as a different race, but there’s no real change besides your abilities and in-fight dialogue. Unless you’ve got friends or you really want the extra achievements, you might not feel the incentive to continue once the main baddies have been blasted to kingdom come.

Still, Xenoverse 2 is possibly the most content-rich Dragonball Z game ever released. Even the most casual of DBZ fans will find 20-30 hours worth of content here. A must-have for any would-be Z Fighter.

Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is available right now on the Xbox Store for £49.99, or as part of a bundle. Have you been playing it? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below, and check out the trailer if you haven’t already!

Don’t forget to check out all our social media platforms to stay up to date with the latest releases, news, reviews gameplays and competitions. Follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group and like our Facebook Page, subscribe to our Youtube and follow us on Twitch.

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dragon-ball-xenoverse-2-free-download

If you were to tell the 13 year old me, sat playing Budokai Tenkaichi on the PS2, that one day I could play a Dragonball Z game where I could make my own character and interact with the events of the manga/anime, I’d have snapped your arm off quicker than an Instant Transmission.

The original Dragonball Xenoverse struck a chord with many players by essentially being pure, unadulterated fandom wish fulfilment. Make your own character from one of five races, including Saiyan, Human, Namekian and whatever the hell Frieza and Buu are? Check. Insert yourself into famous battles, taking on the greatest villains from the series? Check. Ultimately become the most powerful being ever? Checkity check check check.

Dragonball Xenoverse

Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is practically the same formula, just with more additions. Same premise, same gameplay, same purpose. The combat is still pretty straightforward. No complex combos or special move inputs here, just fighting that looks like it was ripped straight from the anime. It’s all here, from Kaioken to Kamehameha; Special Beam Cannon to Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan and everything in between.

The main campaign sees you as a new Time Patroller, tasked with amending any changes that occur to the main timeline. There is an overarching thread that’s new and continues on from the first game, and you can even import your Xenoverse 1 Hero despite them not being playable. However, the events you’re tasked with protecting do overlap with Xenoverse 1.

dragon-ball-xenoverse-2-2

This is a problem that affects all the Dragonball games, though. If the game didn’t feature all the popular moments from the Saiyan, Frieza, Android and Buu sagas, it wouldn’t feel like a Dragonball game. Plus, the time shenanigans that occur, with villains appearing seemingly whenever the hell they want, help keep things a little fresh.

Also like Xenoverse 1, you can take on side missions called Parallel Quests, which are challenges of increasing difficulty generally centred around a theme. Defeat all the Z Fighters, collect all the Dragon Balls, beat up a super powered evil Yamcha… That sort of thing. Plus, you can have one of the characters become your instructor and train you with their moves. With around 20 instructors and nearly 100 Parallel Quests, there’s already more content available than the original.

dragon-ball-xenoverse-2-beta-review-pretty-much-the-same-with-xenoverse-1

But it doesn’t stop there. The hub world of Conton City, which is bigger than the last game’s Toki Toki City and doesn’t need loading screens, by the way, also offers more side quests. Some are pretty straightforward, like training with Vegeta or protecting Namek from invaders, but there are some interesting inclusions.

One sees you becoming Great Saiyaman 3, another sees you rise up the ranks of the Frieza Force. The last one does involve helping Majin Buu raise a family, which is probably the weakest of the bunch due to being a glorified fetch and carry quest, but they all serve the triple purpose of distracting you from the main game content, allowing you to earn some items and EXP, and unlocking some endgame content once all the side missions are completed.

dragon-ball-xenoverse-2-2

BUT WAIT! There’s still more! Another new addition is the inclusion of Expert Missions. Essentially a six player boss battle, each fight offers up a little gimmick to keeps thing interesting, such as allies being mind controlled or being sent to an alternate dimension. It’s an interesting idea, and allows for the hilarious sight of six powered up guys and girls smacking the crap out of every single DBZ villain.

The problem is that very few people are matchmaking to play them, meaning you’ll have to call on your buddies (if you’ve got any who own Xenoverse) to help. Sure, you can use the AI, but they just follow you around and barely do anything, which is hardly useful when trying to fight Metal Cooler.

3114802-dbz4

Another problem is the lack of endgame content to support your playtime once those credits roll. Sure, there’s always PvP and plenty of Parallel Quests and Instructor Missions to keep you occupied, but they’re just filler content. You could make a new character as a different race, but there’s no real change besides your abilities and in-fight dialogue. Unless you’ve got friends or you really want the extra achievements, you might not feel the incentive to continue once the main baddies have been blasted to kingdom come.

Still, Xenoverse 2 is possibly the most content-rich Dragonball Z game ever released. Even the most casual of DBZ fans will find 20-30 hours worth of content here. A must-have for any would-be Z Fighter.

Dragonball Xenoverse 2 is available right now on the Xbox Store for £49.99, or as part of a bundle. Have you been playing it? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below, and check out the trailer if you haven’t already!

Don’t forget to check out all our social media platforms to stay up to date with the latest releases, news, reviews gameplays and competitions. Follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group and like our Facebook Page, subscribe to our Youtube and follow us on Twitch.

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