Review of Fallout 4

 

Hi I’m cast and I am going to be reviewing Bethesda’s newest title release this year: Fallout 4 for PC. Now let it be said that this review is based off of a “non-modded” Fallout 4; the reason behind this is because at least 60% of the people that buy this game in the near future will not be moding it. So it is best reviewed straight out of the box; installed and ready to go on your PC, XboxOne or PS4. So with that in mind, let’s get down to business and check out all new gadgets, game mechanics and special features this bad boy has to offer. Now before the bombs start dropping lets cue up that same oldie but goodie opening line of dialogue to get this party started! Because war … war never changes.

Now at the start of Fallout 4, the cut scene pretty much tells you “Hey the world has been going to hell in a hand basket for a while now honey, so we created some power armor to keep people in line. And, Oh remember those iconic words spoken in every fallout game? Well were going to say them about three more times just in case you might have forgotten them in a span of a minute. With that said the screen steams up and fades in to show your character staring at himself or herself and thus begins Fallout’s first true character creator. This is to be expected from Bethesda after Skyrim where you could spend an hour on character creation alone. Sorry… I digress. So after picking from scars, bruises and many other customizations to your character you are now ready to step out of the bathroom. Fallout 4 stands apart from the other games in the fallout series by starting you out before the bombs drop and you’re left with a desolate wasteland filled with super-mutants, deathclaws and radscorpions. So for a brief moment you get to see the world in all its shiny futuristic utopia glory with robots, fusion powered cars and good old 1950’s family sensibility as far as the eye can see. Now not to spoil everything but things don’t stay nifty and long story short yet another vault dweller must set out for adventure and excitement, all while rocking the ever shiny “pipboy” we all know and love; this time in good old Boston, Massachusetts, or the Common Wealth as it’s now known.

So in Fallout 4, some good mechanics rise while others fall to the wayside. In previous fallout games you had the ability to construct weapons; which allowed you to make weapons not normally found in the world and really promoted character customization, So while exploring every nook and cranny, you would find new plans for weapons to build. However this has been removed in Fallout 4 and replaced with the ability to upgrade weapons and armor instead. This actually turned out to be a great game mechanic change because it gives those of us who tend to horde lots of stuff a way to make all that junk we just can’t stop picking up actually useful, as pretty much anything can be broken down into base parts for upgrades. Though both the old and the new mechanic should have been implemented I am sure someone will eventually place weapon construction back in the game through mods, but as stated in the beginning this review is a look at the game in its current, unmodified state at release.

The traditional mechanic for talking with NPC’s has been simplified. It no longer takes you out of the game and this gives you a way to either walk away or react if you are attacked, The negative is that its just too simplistic and takes away the meaning behind the choices you can make as you have no idea whether what you are saying has the right impact you want or not.

Another new mechanic is settlements: which are totally new to the fallout series, which allows you to make a home base in 1 of 30 places or in each and every one of them if you so choose. You can build a custom home or homes, connect them with power, plant food, supply drinking water and build defenses for each of your creations. However this comes with a bunch of minor problems. Honestly, I could probably make a video just on settlements, but here are few points of frustration: The snap features for walls and buildings not working correctly, The size of each settlement being too small and having to cheat by dropping weapons and scrapping them, a lack of settler uniqueness and a lack of identifying those settlers duties.

Finally, one of the last big mechanic changes in Fallout 4 was to the talent tree. Most people don’t like this change one bit! However it’s much more user friendly and its style fits the game nicely since you are now able to upgrade the base stats of strength, perception, luck, charisma, endurance and agility, which you couldn’t do in previous fallout games. The lock picking, hacking and pickpocketing skills, have not had any major changes in them from previous games such as fallout 3 and New Vegas and thus not worth mentioning other then in passing.

The controls for the game while feeling more reactive then in Fallout: New Vegas are pretty much the same as they always have been and are the standard layout for most First Person Shooters. The vats engine has been worked on to give it a fluid and useful feel should you enjoy using it, as well as adding a critical hit meter for those much needed times when you just can’t miss. Not many changes effected melee weapons other then some small adjustments to reach and damage.

Normally a brief overview of the plot is in order at this point but the great thing about the Fallout series is that like those old time “Choose your own Adventure Books” you can follow the main plot line to the end but if you don’t want to, well you don’t have to. You can go wander the commonwealth and find the quests you want to do and do them in the order that you want. The commonwealth also has several factions for you to interact with. These groups include The Brotherhood of Steel, The Railroad, The Minuteman and The Institute. Whether to help, hinder, double cross, exterminate or outright betray… the choice is up to you.

The graphics for Fallout 4 have been surrounded by controversy because people felt they could have been better than they ultimately ended up being. However the engine they went with fits the game well and runs smoothly on multiple platforms with very little trouble. Also while the music in the game is great, the problem with it is that the overall music selection is very limited. The big bands feel of the 1950’s or orchestral pieces are amazing but this game can be played for 100’s of hours’ worth of time and the music after the first 30 hours or so, starts to drive you a bit crazy. hopefully Bethesda adds some more songs in future DLC or someone releases a mod with some royalty free music from the 50’s in the near future.

Now this game is worth getting; the flaws are more than made up for by the fun you can have in this game as you explore the hundreds of hours’ worth of content waiting out there in the wastes for you to find. Bethesda is very good at telling engaging stories of devastation and about the people crawled out of the rubble and into the radiated wastelands of the commonwealth; how those people found their way into the great green walls of diamond city or what lead to the town of Covenant being formed. This game is worth buying and the next will be even better.

Ark: Survival Evolved

This is Froseph, I am doing a review on the Early Release version of Ark Survival Evolved. Now as it is Early Release some are hesitant to purchase the game. This is completely understandable as most early released games maybe update once a month or only when they have a major patch. However the makers of Ark seem to be pushing out the content with the firey passion of a thousand suns as they tend to release major patches 3 – 4 times a month and minor patches as often as needed. They have added 8 dino’s and many other items from a stone tier to crossbows with much more on the way.

So lets go over how things work in this dino island of adventure and pain. Your character wakes up on a sandy beach on one of the many points on the island with a futuristic chip in his wrist leaving you just as curious about your location as your character. Now at the moment of this review a person can get a total of 71 levels for their character on the official servers also your character is per server and not one you can take from server to server. However many of the rules go out the window on private servers as the owner can adjust everything from how many levels you get to how fast dinosaurs can be tamed.

Now with each level you can put points in to Health, Stamina (How long you can run, punch or chop trees) Oxygen (How long you can stay under water) Food/Water (Yes, you have to eat and drink in this game.) Weight (How much you can hold on your person) Movement Speed (How fast you can run) Fortitude (How much Coldier or Hotter it has to be to effect your character) Crafting speed (How fast it takes to construct something, However at this time it really is kinda pointless) and lastly Torpo which for the moment you can’t put points in to for the moment. Torpo is actually important both for your character and dinos as when filled knocks out your character or a dino you want to tame until it is brought back to zero either with time or with items in the game such as stimulants.

So how do you build weapons, armor, saddles and pieces for your house? Well those come from engrams and you get a certain amount of points per level to put in to the purchasing of these patterns. While weapons are important they are pretty self explanatory however armor can’t be forgotten about because depending on what are you wearing, what time it is during the day/night cycle and the location you are on the map will depend on whether or not you are hot or cold. Now to hot and you start to dehydrate quicker or to cold and you start to lose health faster. So armor is just as important as the weapon you wield because they protect you from dino’s and the elements. Now certain items like the Weapons, Armor and Saddles have a rarity and that is primitive (Grey) to Ascended (Orange) This ramping up is much like the item rarity in World of Warcraft. Though for each step above primitive the cost materials goes up as well the higher level they are and these patterns can only be found in supply drops or supply crates around the island or in the caves. and speaking of supply drops they also have different colors those colors are White for any level, Green for 15 and above, blue for 25 and above, purple for 35 and above, yellow for 45 and above and finally red for 55 and above. While it is random when they drop, the locations at least for the moment are static so building a home near a location does help in the beginning of the game.

Materials on the island are what aid in craft items so far in the game you have Stone, Fiber, Fur, Wood, Thatch, Flint, Metal, Obsidian, Berries, Meat, Oil and pearls. These are the major ones for now but as they update I am sure this will change and more will be added as they update continue rolling in.

Now where does the survival come in well our dino friends come in neutral like the dodo, trikes, and stego’s or aggressive like the T-Rex, Raptors, Dilo’s and Megalodon’s. Many of the aggressive dino’s will seek you out and try to kill you and for the moment they come at you for a long while so it is hard to run away so building shelter quick is key. As you level you will get slingshots, Bows and crossbows which are used to help you knock out and tame dino’s on the island. You will also get weapons like the spear, pike, pistol, shotgun and rifle to help you kill them if you would rather they be eliminated.

Should you decide to knock out a dino with stones or tranq arrows it is ready to tame make sure you have narcotics this will raise up your dino’s torpo level should it need it. Dino’s are either herbivores or carnivores. Each has its favorite foods herbivores have 4 different kinds of berries to choose from and each herbivore likes a different one more then the others. While carnivores love prime meat which spoils very quickly but gives a big boost in the taming process while raw meat any will eat but has a lower taming value. That being said as of patch 1.87 they added kibble which is specific to each dino carnivore or herbivore and gives them a bigger boost while raising the taming efficiency of the dino it is being used on. Kibble has a very high shelf life however it also takes specific dino eggs and additional ingredients.

Now while I could sit here and go over every feature from the monoliths that summon rare mobs and the pvp and pve aspects, I think it is better for people to get in and play it. Make a tribe with your friends build bases, tame dinos, whether you join a pvp server and kill other tribes or pve and trade with fellow tribes on your server in order to help each other grow this game is fun. Hopefully this review has helped you so this is Fro signing off. Hope to see you on the next review.

Rocket League

I’m Froseph and I am doing a review for Rocket League. This game is pretty straight forward it plays like Soccer/Futball if you are outside of the states. Rocket League has 2 goals, 2 teams and 1 over sized ball, Now this doesn’t have players running across the field or taking a knee while pretending to be injured so they can take a free shot. No this has Rc Cars that can flip, spin and rocket boost all for players to control in order to destroy the enemy team and score goals.

Now Rocket league is on PS4, Xbox One and PC. That being said I am focusing on PC because that is what I mostly play games on so you have to ways to play using the keyboard or Controller. I recommend a controller while keyboard is just as good, the controller really helps at least for me.

Now the key thing is to play the freaking 2 tutorial’s one for rookie and one for pro. Take the time to learn what it has to offer. This will teach you how to use the jump boost to gain speed and gain ball control and in a game like this you have to knock around that ball.

Now once you have mastered those tutorials or have lied to yourself because you want to take on some real opponents you can proceed to online mode which has quick matches for 1v1 – 4v4 or ranked mode which is much the same way. Each match starts with 5 mins on the board in which the teams try and score as my goals as possibly with in the time limit in the caged arena. Now it sounds simple right use the car hit the ball score the goal. Wrong in this game while easy to understand is hard to master.

While I could spit out a bunch of tips about how to play I will say finding your own style and getting a group of friends together on ventrillo or teamspeak really helps. It also makes it way more fun. However the game also has a season which can be played against computer components which is 26 weeks against the games own self created teams. This is a good way to find shots that work and don’t while feeling like you are doing more then just exhibition game after exhibition game against the computer.

Also you level each match you get so many points for winning or losing for centering a ball or taking a shot. All this goes in to your level which unlocks cars and accessories for you. Now all this just ascetics and really doesn’t do much other then make you stand out on the field of battle. Now I have read that they will be releasing soon a paid DLC so I am unsure what will be in it but I imagine it will be more ascetics and perhaps a few new game modes.

So while this is a short review I would say it is worth getting, It is oddly addicting because with the games being so short you find yourself playing 5 or 6 and only 30 mins having gone by. So it is great to play when you don’t have a lot of time before work or hanging with friends. It is very competitive and has great replay value, also you can put it away for a while and come back and be right back in the game.

Left 4 Dead – 1 & 2

I’m Froseph and I am reviewing The Left for Dead series. Why? because I have put in so much time playing this game, more then I can count but luckly steam keeps count so while it is definitely dated now it is still a great series to come back to when you want some mindless killing of the undead. The characters, the difficulty and the overall play style makes it fun each time you play through. Left for dead is definitely not for the feint of heart, because even if you may played it a 100 times, know your way through all the levels it won’t matter because the infected hordes and the special infected are rarely in the same place twice. Which means one run you could have a witch in a location and the next play through it could be a tank or simply nothing at all. The Left 4 Dead series randomizes what infected are where and what weapons you get access to. Each level is episodic and strings in to the next level leaving you to wondering how these people have such bad luck in a already terrible situation.

As I said Left 4 Dead is pretty straight forward, Bill, Francis, Zoey and Louis join forces against the infected on a roof top in a storm and try to make it to the hospital which is a designated safe zone. Now in the series the infected are pretty much fodder to your main characters and the challenges really come from the smokers, boomers, tanks, witches and hunters which spawn in the longer you take to clear through an area. The weapons in left for dead are pretty limited giving you the lower level guns in the beginning and slowly get better towards the end though it really only has 8 – 10 in total with 2 thrown items the pipe bomb and Molotov. Also never forget your first Aid or Pills because while you could be at full life for 75% of the level all it takes is one bad bit of RNG and you are at 5% and near death. This first game was done well and is amazingly fun and challenging. It also allows you to stop after each episode so you can return later to continue the adventure.

Left 4 dead 2 is a major upgrade in visuals as well as weapons and items your characters have access to. In Left for Dead 2 you are following a new set of characters as Nick, Ellis, Couch and Rocshell. We are also introduced to some new special infected such as the charger, the jokey, spitter. As well as our old friends from the previous games and some unique infected that tend to bring in the hordes of regular infected down on you. New ammo has been added in the form of explosive and incendiary rounds and they doubled the guns in left 4 dead 2 from 10 to around 15 – 20 as well as bring melee weapons such as the bat, golf club and katana (Oh and the chain Saw, can’t forget about that.). A new bomb made of boomer bile was added to go along with the pipe bomb and Molotov. The style of the game hasn’t changed from the first as valve tends to takes on a if it isn’t broke don’t fix it mentality for these games and I can’t fault them for it. One last great thing about Left for dead 2 is they also updated the original left for dead missions and placed them in to left for dead 2 and you can play those missions over again as well with the new special infected and weapons.

They added some really fun secondary games and a way to go through with what is called realism mode. The mini games are great and even now so long after they have been out the servers are still full of people popping in and playing through. This game is a classic and a fun time when you just feel like killing those zombies. Pick it up and get in your zombie killing.

Batman: Arkham Origins

My name is Froseph and in this blog… I am going to do something I don’t normally do and say straight out this is a big fat pass. Now before the people of Gotham, the batman fanboys and the internet come at me with pitchforks and torches. Let me explain to you why this installment of the Dark Knight should be cleansed from the record books.

Lets start with the plot, now if you have played Batman Arkham Asylum and Batman Arkham City you know a few very important things… One of those is that they love throwing the joker at you… Now don’t get me wrong Mark Hamill as the joker is definitely amazing and his portrayal of the psycho clown is phenomenal. However he was the main villain in the first two, so going in to the third game with that knowledge in hand I set out to play batman at the beginning of career as the caped crusader. Right off the bat (No pun intended) you get the same feelings you had from Arkham city and that maybe everything is going to be ok and like a man who wants to believe, you ignore the controls don’t feel right and feel slow to react. When like a punch to the face by your grandma, Death Stroke comes to town and his fight makes you want to punch a small child or punt a cute puppy. I know right baby punching and puppy kicking… what kinda of monster would do that. Only a monster created from the pain that Batman Origins brings. So after you get through Death Stroke… if you even get through it… and several other bosses who should appear but the joker… and he is pulling all the strings… and all the early villains of batman go back to supporting roles and it is you vs the clown all over again…

Now for the mechanics and controls these are a step down from Arkham city and feel less responsive. Honestly what they did is say “see what Rocksteady did on the last two… take that regress it back a decade and give me a story… except don’t take away any of the gadgets he had and give him even better and cooler technology then he had in the previous two.” So they did it and all was not good.

Now graphics wise all of this looks to be on par if not better then the first two… which is not unexpected they are not going to downgrade to maintain the same feel of the first two nor do I or anyone else expecting them too. The music sounds like what you would hear from any animated Batman TV series or movie… The voice work for this is amazing and for that at the very least My hat is off to you.

In conclusion again I reiterate this is a pass, go and buy the first two and pretend this didn’t happen… Its good parts are far and in between most of the boss fights are way to gimmicky and while you still enjoy flying around Gotham you can do it back in two. Now for those of you who may lose faith in the series of games do not lose heart Rocksteady will be doing Batman Arkham knights and once it goes back on steam I will definitely be picking it so I can review it and stream my play-through of it.

Bioshock Infinite

bioshock-infinite-8As always I am Froseph and this is a review for the 3rd installment in the Bioshock franchise Bioshock Infinite, taking place in New Columbia the city floating in the clouds Led by the zealot Sheppard Comstalk, this opposite of the first two which took place under the water in Rapture, a Utopian society run by Andrew Ryan. Now as this is the 3rd installment, I would highly suggest going back and purchasing both Bioshock 1 & 2. However this is merely a suggest, Because Ken Levine enjoys lacing his stories with throwbacks, parallels and references to the games predecessors. So you will get more out of Bioshock infinite with them under your belt. This also allows you to see the progression that each Bioshock game has taken. That being said with or without playing the first two games, Bioshock Infinite does stand alone, So with out further adue. Lets open a rift and travel to New Columbia.

So like any great Bioshock game you start off in the dead of night with a monolithic lighthouse standing out on a island in the middle of no where. with a brief conversation and a singular mission in mind, Booker the main character of this story says the haunting words “Give us the girl wipe away the debt.” One sentence that shapes this game in to a wild ride and makes you want to unravel this mystery and save the girl.

Now while I feel this game has a amazing story line, I feel that irrational games decided that for this installment people need a very linear play through, with little to no choices that effect the overall outcome. Now this is vastly different from the original two bioshock game which had multiple decisions that actually held real consequences for your character and the final outcome of his story.

Among the changes was the overhaul to the weapons system, in the originals you were able to hold all the weapon and could see the changes to the weapon as you upgraded them. In Bioshock infinite the weapons looks never changed and you can only hold 2 weapons at a time. Now while it can be arguing that it gives a stronger feeling of urgency, I felt that it made for a more narrow weapon selection because while I was playing through I avoided picking up the more situation weapons for the more practical weapons I needed to win boss fights.

Another key features that was removed was the map, A feature that is so helpful in Bioshock 1 & 2 and any game really, was replaced with a Navigation arrow. While this is helpful to keeping the plot moving it doesn’t help in exploring the many extra rooms that can sometimes be missed.

Along the same lines as that change was the switch of Tonics to clothes, again they have no effect on how you look while wearing them and while the may be somewhat helpful I feel you lose the major customization to the character

And the final piece of old tech I miss is the ability to hack, While this did cause people to feel they were wasting time in the first two Bioshocks. it was a fun side game that I always enjoyed. hacking left the turrets, cameras and vending machines permanently on your side. unlike the possession vigor in infinite that only allows temporary hacking and only gives you money from the vending machines.

Now I knows it seems like all I am doing is spitting out negatives for a game I said is worth picking up. so I will get to the positives for the game and one of those is the vigors after two games the vigors are more refined and more useful when upgraded. You can use the vigor you find the most fun as they are all pretty balanced. So no needing to feel forced to use one particular one because it is stronger then the others. Another major positive is the skyhook which is one of the most unique play experiences in the game. The sky hook allows you to soar around New Columbia on metal tracks constructed around the city allowing you to jump down on the enemies or shoot them with your weapon from high above them like some vengeful god. This mechanic definitely brings a added level to the game.

Now the last mechanic and plot device is Elizabeth. The first time you meet this poor girl she is locked inside a cage shaped like a angelic statue. Once freed, Elizabeth and Booker try to make their way to their versions of freedom for Elizabeth it is Paris and Booker it is New York to wipe away his debt. Elizabeth is one of the key Plot mechanics she can open rifts and pick locks. She is also what pulled me in to the game, Elizabeth sets the tone and helped reign in Booker’s violent nature and her nature makes you try and solve problems with the least amount of killing as possible. Her innocent nature is what gives you the true understanding of what is going to on around you in the game and care about what has happened both to her and to Booker.

Now graphic wise this is the strongest of the Bioshock series but it is the music in this game with its mix of both a old church hymnals to it a mix of both modern and old music. The ups and downs match the settings and feelings of the characters situations and while much of the music may not fit the time period it has been tailored to feel like it always had been. Bioshock Infinite is a strong successor to the previous 2 and even though many of the features have been streamlined down it is still worth purchasing. And afterwards I found myself waiting for the dlc burial at Sea and when I got it I enjoyed it, 70% of the things I missed were back in it… A new mini game, some unique weapons with the ability to have the full arsenal at your fingertips and while the story line was quick, It was still fun. so while it seems irriational games has closed this chapter of the Bioshock series it was definitely a fun ride so give it a play.

Borderlands 2

borderlands_2This blog post we take a look at Borderlands Two. As always I am Froseph and welcome to Pandora. The Hyperion corporation and Handsome Jack have come to tame the wilds and search for the mother lode of all vaults. You have the choice of playing several characters depending on if you have gotten all the the DLC content. The basics are The Commando, The Assassin, The Siren and The Gunzerker. If you have gotten the DLC content you also have The Mechromancer and The Psycho. Upon Choosing you find yourself swept into a cutscene and you are a vault hunter and on your way to meet handsome jack when. Out of no where comes a betrayal five and for those of you who don’t know that is a scrubs reference. When your train is blown up and you meet probably the saddest and most delusion character of the game claptrap a robot that is the brunt of all most jokes in the game and who you kinda feel sorry for as the story progresses. So lets break this down before I head out on my diamond pony and I mean it is literally made of diamonds.

First are the mechanics on this game the ui which runs your standard health, shields and map is the stable for many fps platforms while the out of game inventory, quest log and character screen give it a rpg feel. Upon leveling you are given three skill trees to choose from to place your skill points as well as by doing random things in game you also get badass points, which can be turned to buff many aspects of your character such as recoil reduction to critical strike. While it is a fun single player game I actually feel the it lends better to the multi-player because the skill trees all seem more 3 additional players. Likewise the enemies in the game have a slightly below average ai but to make up for that they throw enemies at you as if you personally killed the game designers father. While in multiplayer mode you would get the same amount of enemies.

On to transportation in borderlands, Transportation is the key and the catch-a-ride delivers as it allows you to call forth one of many vehicles that can shoot drill blades to missiles it also allow you to teleport back to your vehicle should you die. Pandora has all the elements deserts, plains and tundra’s. So you will be spend a lot of time exploring and fighting your way through enemies respawns that make you feel like you are facing a unending horde.

The last piece of mechanics and what I feel is a minor set backs is it having a true randomization of the weapons. Because in this game each gun maker gives a gun a different ability from rapid fire to increased zoom and like any other fps game you have sniper rifles, pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers, Smg and rifles. They all also have a element that can be randomized on to them such as poison, incendiary, shock or slag. So just with those few pieces not including the fact that items can be common, uncommon, rare, epic or legendary. You have quite a setup. So sometimes your all powerful and sometimes your praying for a better gun set.

This also plays in to shields that work the same way and just give you added protection or perhaps a cool ability when your shields break that may allow you to get away and hide to recoup your shields.

The graphics are probably the most unique thing about it, now most games try to get as close to realism as possible. This game throws that right out the window at the start for a cartoon like atmosphere and the only thing it is missing is a gun suppler named acme. Now one of the nice things about this game is because of the cartoon feel any minor graphical glitches don’t take you out of the game and even in the future it will look very nice as the engine for it will hold should you want to go back to it.

Now the music in this is forgettable, in the battles where it should drive the moment or even in minor plot moments where it should push you it really doesn’t come through, as I find the battles themselves to be more of the focus. Now that being said the running commentary through the comes from old borderlands characters and handsome jack make up for the overall lack of memorable music with his witty remarks and general wise cracking nature.

So this is definitely worth playing you will laugh with the puns and juvenile humor. You will rage with the respawns who come by the 100’s and you will get joy from getting a good gun and beating all hell out of those respawns until they get a level boost and you go back to rage. The game with out the DLC has more then enough content to keep you busy for week but add in all the DLC and you have a game that has more content then you will know what to do with.

Skyrim

the_elder_scrolls_v_skyrimMy name is Froseph and in this blog I am going to the land of Nordic Vikings and Dragon Clans in Bethesda’s most recent addition to elder scrolls franchise Skyrim.

Now as there are a lot of things to cover lets start with the biggest part of this review first the mechanics. Now straight out of the gate things stamina. This is a mechanic that I am ok with for running but for Special attacks with weapons this should be abandoned. It is archaic and no longer needed. Now the Skill tree, which for the most part I like felt a bit incomplete and for many reasons. The main one being that it is these skills that judge your level. Whether getting skill ups in weapons or in blacksmithing it doesn’t matter. Also I feel a general skill tree should have been put in place that only opened at specific levels not on skill. An example of a ability in that tree would be the ability to carry 100 more pounds which is in the stealth tree.

Which thanks to my example allows me to segway in to how weight which is a very interesting mechanic becomes a hindrance in this game verses the fallout series where it was easily accepted.
The reason for this is simple in fallout weapons and armor could be used to repair others of that same make and model. However Skyrim does not have this feature and thus you quickly fill your bags with the same items over and over as the mobs tend to match your gear. Also as dragons begin to become more prominent the dragons bones and scales are heavy so having a pack mule… I mean a companion becomes essential to game play.

Weapons in this which are a huge part of the game look very nice and can be enchanted with charges to have fire or ice and can even steal the souls of your victims. The weapons are all your standard fantasy regiment and have nothing that you would write home about as new or unique. However I noticed as you start to get higher the shield becomes king it seems that a adjustment of the shield mechanics was a definite need.

Magic which had a strong start dies off in the end and feels like it just doesn’t have the power needed to allow you to be a solid caster, which is sad because I found the idea of being a two handed caster fun though I found a yet again a shield becoming a needed offhand item.

Mounts and houses I am really not going to talk about these more so then the fact that the damage mechanic is screwed up… as my horse single handed tanked a dragon and then proceed to die to a wolf some time later after a reload I later killed it from dropping off a small ledge that apparently was just slightly to high for him. I realize they are trying to add a real life gravity system and damage structure. However if Mr. Ed can tank a dragon on, stand in the fire and hold him from landing to death. I don’t think jumping from a rock that is just slightly above his head is going to kill him.

Status effects, which need to have a way to be depicted more then everyone in town telling you that you look sick or need to lie down. Because frankly for the first 3 hours I ran around just thinking that was a odd thing for people to say. Only when I opened the map which also long and behold holds your journal so you can chose the quest you go and complete did I find something that told me I had a disease. Which after leaving the first town takes about 2 seconds to get rid of once you find a temple. So a ui effect a slight red outline on the border of the screen or anything would be helpful.

And finally the inventory system which is also kinda a mess because the sorting leaves much to be desired. However it is not the worst I have seen in a game so I will gloss over it. Now one of the mechanics I really liked was the favorites feature, but again it is semi broken as when you have 2 of the same weapon it can not distinguish and you have to open your inventory and manually equip them.

On to the plot which after character creation with such detail as to even ask you how much dirt should be on your face. Your character is found sitting in a cart forced to listen to some convicts who whine about being in the wrong place at the wrong time and how the guy in the back with a gag in his mouth is a threat because he has the voice. However like most Bethesda games the moment they force you through the starter plot it fades in to the background as nothing more then something you hit upon once in a great while. Due to the fact of side stories and rand quests.

Graphic wise nothing special I ran it at the best settings and honestly was not impressed by its engine and I notice some of the fun Bethesda glitches of items, npcs and mobs. Though these are nothing new if you played any of the fallout series.

Music in this game is well done and very catchy… honestly I got in fights more often then not to hear the battle music. So it is refreshing to hear this kinda music and just be able to enjoy it. It gets you pumped and just has a good overall feel.

In conclusion this game is a pass for me while I feel it has its great moments I could have easily found them in other games.

Game Dev Tycoon

maxresdefaultI actually will be taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the AAA high budgeted games and instead take a look at a game listed under the project green light section of steam, that game is Game Developer Tycoon. Now this game doesn’t have cut scenes or flashy graphics but is instead made by greenheart games.

Now the game starts off in the 1980’s as a lone game designer sits in his garage with a classy and stylish Delorean under a car cover in the back corner and works to create a game using the random genre’s and game classes to combo all to get that illusive hit video game. Now this sounds simple right… Wrong each section of the game creation is setup with sliders that allow you to choose which aspects you focus on such as Graphics/A.I./World Design. Now each genre and game style like Simulator, Action, Rpg, Adventure and Casual have aspects that are important to them and aspects that aren’t. Now as you play you will do research on your past games to learn what you did right and what you did wrong. This will better help you to focus your creations. Along those lines you also have to choose which platform you release your game on Computer, Consoles, phones and much more.

As you progress research will added things such as age specification such as y for young E for everyone or M for Mature. Graphic upgrades, Better sounds, the ability to save your game, multilayer and open world. These when used with specific games make them do better.

Now just like any game where you make money you have to spend it to upgrade your situation so moving out of your garage and saying goodbye to your Delorean you purchase a office allowing you to add more people to your work force and allowing you to make bigger games now this requires collaboration with them. Now up till this point you really just slapped together games but now this is when Technology and Design play a bigger part. When you Hirer them you will be able to choose weather they are Technology oriented, Design oriented or a mix of both.

The nice thing is you can play completely through and then do another game and have all the knowledge of what are good or great combos Like for example City and Simulation Rated E for Everyone… Sound familiar it should that is equivalent to SimCity.

Now graphic wise this game is very simple and works for it, the mechanics are straight forward and prompts are easy to understand. Mechanics wise once you play for 30 minutes you understand the basics which will allow you to enjoy the game and music for this is simplistic and just a step above elevator music which honestly is better then most simulators give you.

So overall it has a great replay value and a fun little story line. I would highly suggest this if you like a game that is addicting but allows you to stop at any time. The best thing is game has heart, these guys are also smart and developed a cracked version to be uploaded to popular places like Piratebay and other torrent sites that allowed a person to play the game but slowly the designer in game would have people pirating their games until finally they go bankrupt. This was Rank level: Genius to me and gave me a great laugh and just adds to the story of what makes this game so great.

Tomb Raider

potential-banner-2My name is Froseph and in this review I will be reviewing Tomb Raider, Now this is a far cry from our heroins PlayStation roots but Lara Croft gets a shiny new updated both to her graphics and to her game mechanics putting a new spin on our pistol wielding vixen.

Now this game is a prequel to the original Tomb Raider games placing Lara Croft just out of university and we join up with her just as she is striking out on her first archeological dig The game fades down to a shot of the ship called the “Endurance”. Lara isn’t her usual lone wolf self as she is following the lead of a seasoned archeologist a Dr. Whitman. Lara does some research and feels that they are looking in the wrong areas and joined by best friend from university Sam, they bring it to the attention of Dr. Whitman who quickly blows them off but the crew of the endurance the captain, who is an old friend of Lara’s dad named Conrad Roth. Who I feel most closely resembles Hannibal from the A-Team decides that they will follow Lara’s lead and enter the dragons triangle. After a huge storm and a very dramatic ship sinking cut scene Lara ends up beached on a mysterious island hoping to find a way for herself and the crew to be rescued. Only to realize they have landed on the island of Himiko the Sun Queen.

Now I am not going to hit any major plot points of the story as I feel that it should be experienced first hand and in a way the plot flows better then most movies. However before I go in to what I like about this game I must say that the one thing I feel this game is lacking is the puzzle aspect of the original tomb raider games. Now while I understand a bit of the reason for this, I feel it is a bit of what the tomb raider franchise is built on. Now they do throw you a bone and throughout the game. They have optional tombs that can be explored, however they feel as if they have are way to basic so that you can move past them quickly and back on to the plot of the game. In these tombs you will find maps of areas and upgrades to your weapons as well as a brief history of the island.

Along Lara’s journey you will also find stand alone relics some will be fake, others real and one of the things I enjoy about this is the relics have real historical roots. Now while this game is a pretty straight forward you can take detours to look for relics, gps coordinates and side objectives, such as lighting fires of statues or shooting hanging lanterns you come across. All of these will gain Lara experience which will allow you to buy skills from carrying more ammo, fight dirty, jump farther all the way to taking less damage from weapon fire or fall damage. Lara’s skills are not the only thing to upgrade along the way you will find the island is full of junk from the destruction of many other ships, so you will find boxes of salvage allowing for you to upgrade your 4 weapons the bow, the pistol, the rifle and the shotgun. Now I feel these are spread out a bit to far, however that being said it does give you a feel of accomplishment when you finally get them. The weapons also have uses to get passed some previously unassailable barriers so back tracking will be needed and can be done from camp fires that have quick point access.

Now I find the music for this game to be one of its highlights, and whoever composed the soundtrack for the game gives you a music that matches the moment. So whether you feel triumph or sadness or just a feeling of urgency to kill the bad guys. The music never disappoints and this along with the graphics which flow seamlessly between the cut scenes and game play allows you to feel enamored with Lara’s trials and tribulations so much so that when you die you actually feel bad and try harder to avoid dieing in some gruesome and sometimes very graphic ways.

Now before I give my closing thoughts I have to touch on the multi-player because rarely does a game have a both a good single and multi-player system. That is the case with Tomb Raider as I found myself playing the multi-player function, and trying to collect the pieces to unlock better weapons and skills while trying defeat my opponents in pvp. I will admit the changing of factions between each round can get confusing at first but once you figure out that you have to equip both factions with the weapons and skill you want it is fun and can be easily forgotten.

In conclusion Tomb raider is a game worth getting, The game play, story and graphics alone make it something you will enjoy but add in the multi-player and even if you only want to play through it once the multi-player alone will bring you back and make this a purchase you won’t regret.