All posts by Christopher Stahler

LittleBigPlanet 3 Review

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It doesn’t come as a surprise to me when I say Little Big Planet is back and better than ever. I mean, with 3 new characters, completely new story, new customization, and the ability to play all of the player created maps from the original? Yeah, Little Big Planet is back and it’s better than ever. If you have loved the previous installments, as I have, then there really isn’t a reason for you to not buy Little Big Planet 3. The game offers new characters, new styles of play, and new ways to enjoy your time. Little Big Planet 3 is the best game in the installment for many reasons, but it’s also the biggest one as well.

 

The graphics may not feel like a huge difference than Little Big Planet 2, but there is as the game has a much more crisp feel. Not only that, but Little Big Planet 3 runs in full 1080p on the PS4. While the game may not win any awards for it’s graphics, they are beautiful in their own way. While the PS4 runs in 1080p, the PS3 version is scaled to 720p. While the graphics aren’t anything revolutionary, the game does remain quite pleasing visually. Overall it feels and looks very crisp as a whole. The small details are back and naturally they are better than ever. The levels are beautifully crafted and offer some very great variety between them. It’s actually interesting to see the levels designed for the new characters you get as well, because they look nothing like anything you’ve seen.

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The 3 new characters we have bring out the variety of levels and also shift your gameplay up drastically. We have Oddsock, the adorable sock dog thing, who can somewhat climb up walls, bounce between them, oh, and you can also dress him up like a horse. Then we have Toggle, the man with the plan who can go from big to small. Finally we have Swoop, the bird-like sock who can fly through levels. While these characters may not seem like they have much of an impact, they really do. Not only do they have their own unique customization options, which are awesome btw, they have levels specifically designed for them. There are also levels that seem to have specific areas for them as well. The characters are overall awesome and fit perfectly in to the world. It will be interesting to see how custom levels are designed for them.

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Sackboy and friends

The custom levels are also back, in more ways than one though. As the game is backwards compatible and allows you to play EVERY custom level from the previous games. Awesome , right? Well that’s not all for custom levels. As they have actually shifted some things for the levels this time around allowing for more things to be done. For instance, you can now make top down levels. You can also craft trailers for your game as well! It’s interesting additions like these that add to the livelihood of the game, as half the selling point of the game can be considered the community creations. There are millions of these levels and Little Big Planet 3 is surely to spawn millions more. The top down levels also grant you the ability to customize the background, as that’s the majority of your canvas for the top down levels.

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One of the game’s many levels

With new characters the customization with your Sock person is back and better than ever. As you aren’t just customizing for 1, it’s for 4 now. The customization is different from every character as well. You have the same style for your regular sock boy, but the new characters seem to have very different styles. Oddsock is easily my favorite, as you can dress him up as some really awesome things. Want to be an alligator, sure, why not? A horse, a robot dog, or whatever else tickles your fancy. It’s just really interesting to see how these pieces will fit on him. The customization for everyone else is just as great, I just didn’t expect Oddsock to be so awesome. The ability to make your Sock person look ridiculous, awesome, or serious is still present and that shouldn’t come as a surprise to many people.

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Final Verdict:

Little Big Planet hasn’t exactly had any major issues with it’s last installment, so it may not come as a surprise when I say this is as good as a game as it’s predecessors. Luckily though, Little Big Planet 3 doesn’t stop at just as good, it soars above it. With it’s new additions to the series and it’s sheer size it has earned that right. With backwards compatibility that adds millions of levels from the start, it’s hard to say that the previous 2 installments had this much to do at the start of their life. With new depth to the level creation, some awesome new characters, improved graphics, and amazing levels, why wouldn’t any fan of the series pick this up? There really isn’t any reason I can see. I saw a few glitches, but according to my press release they will be fixed with the day one patch. Little Big Planet 3 is back and it’s bigger than ever. There’s little to no reason for fans of the series to skip out on this addition.

 

Official Trailer:

 

Overall Score: 9.5/10

RGN Rating: Platinum Game

Developer: Sumo Digital

Publisher: Sony computer Entertainment

Available Now On: PS4 (Played), PS3

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of the game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

This War of Mine Review

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This (little) War of Mine is going to shine. This War of Mine is a game with a bold concept, not all people in wars are soldiers. This actually a fact that is easily looked over by many, but this title tries to kick you swiftly for that thought. As the game is beautiful, it’s depressing, it’s fun, and it’s a real challenge. I didn’t find it very difficult to get sucked in to This War of Mine, as I played it all day Veteran’s Day and have accumulated some hours on it since receiving my code. It’s a game that has intrigued me for many reasons, I did not get to test the preview that was given out a few months ago sadly, but I am very happy with what I have been playing. This War of Mine is a point and click survival game, but the point and click does not exactly do it any justice. It’s an addictive game with a great story, great mechanics, beautiful music, and a hell of a point.

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When I think about point and click the first this come sin to my mind isn’t very good. To me it hinders the experience as a whole, but for This War of Mine, it’s not true. The game play of feels very different from other games with every aspect in place. We have survival, stealth, fighting, and running. These are blended together for a rather great experience. Not only do you have to struggle with your morality choices, but so do your characters. I remember going to the church, sneaking in, and seeing “Oh my God, when will this end??” thinking it was a prisoner of the men in the church. When I saw that the basement looked like a cell, I decided to investigate, I was then greeted with an armed guard who demanded that I go no further as the area was restricted. So, I killed him thinking this was some sort of rape dungeon, his body fell from the top of the ladder down to the basement.

What I got next was a family running to him and crying…. oops. Anyway, this decision did not only make me feel bad, it made my character depressed. This caused me to monitor them and have my other characters talk them through it on a daily basis, of course these characters talked bad about them behind their back though. So you have to be careful about your actions outside of your home and inside of it. You need to fortify your base, build things, upgrade things, and maintain your food supply. You need materials to do all of these things and of course, every time you leave you run the risk of not coming back. You run the risk of also being raided and losing supplies as well. It’s a hard game to juggle as you need to be very careful to survive. It seems as if you can only have 4 survivors at a time though and if one dies a new one will conveniently come a few days later. It is interesting to sit through the day and see what happens, as trader and survivors asking for help can knock at your door.

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Just trying to  survive

The story of the game isn’t really a big deal. As the player makes it their own, they still have some present throughout the game. What’s mostly interesting is that the game is randomly generated. The church I mentioned above was my first playthrough, on my 2nd playthrough it was extremely different. The church wasn’t fully developed and had scaffolding everywhere, it also did not have the friendly group, it was taken by bandits who had tortured and murdered the pastor. So not only are the encounters changed up, but so is the layout of the map. It makes the replayability of the game shoot up drastically, as now you have to guess who will be there, what you will need, and if it’s worth the risk.

While I do love this, I do wish they had more diverse destinations, as they only seem to be different variations of the locations. One thing I will note though is that your style of play with drastically change as well. These places will also have different supplies now as well and that will decide what you build and when. It will decide what you absolutely need as well, but luckily if you can’t find something you can try your chances with the trader who comes on random days. The biggest thing is building what you need and getting what you want, but the things you sometimes want turn in to needs. Alcohol and tobacco may seem like nothing, but they make good trading items and you can make medical supplies with the alcohol. It’s hard to put out suggestions when everything you will need to do is practically randomly generated.

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R.I.P. Marko

This War of Mine only has a few issues though, it doesn’t explain the combat, the character’s blink weirdly (hard to explain), the character’s also jump from thought to thought, and it’s areas could be more diverse, from playthrough to playthrough they are the same general locations, even if they are different variants. It still remains addictive despite these issues though. I have played it about 7 hours a day since I have gotten the game, it’s just that good. This game is certain to capture the hearts of many players with the way it is designed, the way it plays, the music behind it, and the moral of the story. It’s highly addictive and it drives one hell of a point home to the players. War isn’t only about the soldiers who participate in them, there are many people caught in between the conflicts. I have yet to actually beat the game, but I can’t imagine it ending well. This War of Mine is not only a great experience, but it’s a helpful one as it somewhat gives you the feeling of being caught in this situation.

Final Verdict:

This War of Mine isn’t anything short of a masterpiece. They get such a great point across to the player and they do it so well. It’s not something that is so in your face that you can’t enjoy the game, instead it comes across while you are enjoying the game. It shows through the faces, dialogue, and through the actions of your characters. If you want a great indie game, this is easily one of the best of 2014 as of now. It’s drives home a point that many try to avoid thinking about and it does it so enjoyably.

Note: 11 Bit Studios has also taken it upon themselves to do their best and help out by partnering with War Child, a charity which provides assistance to children in areas experiencing conflict or caught in the after math. You can actually find a link directly on the menu of the game as well.

 

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 8.5/10

RGN Rating: Silver Game

Developer/Publishers: 11 Bit Studios

Available Now On: Microsoft Windows |  OS X | Linux | iOS | Android

Played on: PC

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of the game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Assassin’s Creed Unity Review

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I haven’t fully beaten an Assassin’s Creed game since the 2nd installment. I would lose interest in the game far too quickly for several reasons. This series hasn’t been able to captivate me since that title. Black Flag is a toss up, as I ran out of time to play it. Assassin’s Creed Unity is a somewhat different experience for me as I am able to play for hours on end without falling over due to boredom, so in that sense we are seeing improvement.

While Unity doesn’t perfectly capture the darkness that truly was the French Revolution, it does a great job at immersing the player through its story and helps bring back players by adding Co-Op. Sadly, Unity also suffers from a lot of the woes of previous Assassin Creed games. It doesn’t do much in terms of gameplay  to add to the franchise, and sadly you won’t see any naval combat in this installment. Unity did manage to hold me for a few hours at a time every session consistently, which other Creed games fail miserably at, but not much is to be expected aside from that. Players who took a big LEAP OF FAITH (<-) on this installment may be left feeling somewhat disappointed.

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The graphics are a rather decent step up from what I saw in Black Flag, this was somewhat to be expected. Where the technological jump really comes from here is the crowd, as it’s full of people. The issue? The performance is not steady. I don’t think there will ever be a time where Ubisoft is known for their rock solid frame-rate performance, but if there is then it’s definitely not going to be because of this game. The graphics themselves aren’t the issue, the issue is that the game struggles to pull 30 frames at a constant rate. I don’t believe it reached a solid 30 FPS for either system nor even for higher end PC’s. If this is unacceptable for your eyes, don’t even bother with the game.

This trend is an increasing one for my experiences with Ubisoft games. While the sheer amount of people in a crowd during Unity’s gameplay is rather impressive, the price paid is dealing with a shitty frame-rate the entire length of the game. The game’s beauty is marred by shoddy optimization. I have not seen or heard of a steady frame-rate for this game on any platform. A good thing to come from this though are the animations. The animations are a rather huge step in the right direction for many as the Mo-Cap in game is extremely impressive. So obviously, Ubisoft knows what they’re doing and just needs to get this frames per second stuff fixed to really show off what they can do.

Where Assassin’s Creed Unity really holds player is the gameplay. While there aren’t too many new features to be had, it is worthwhile to go through the Co-Op missions with friends, that’s really the big deal here. It’s interesting to experience the game with other players. I am sure this is something really enjoyable for players who have people to actually play with it will be enjoyable, but if you are the loner type, there really isn’t much new. Black Flag brought back, improved upon, and gave us some new things, but Unity doesn’t seem to do that. It won’t add too much for players who don’t want to experience Co-Op. After 6 installments though this is somewhat to expected, it’s kind of getting on it’s last legs as far as features come. What’s also not too surprising is they took out the emphasis off of the boats. With Rogue out the same day, it’s not really a surprise that they took out the boats. Also, let it be known that the French Revolution did have naval battles.

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The place where Assassin’s Creed somewhat shines is it’s story. Unity really isn’t that much different, as it has a very interesting story in one of the darkest times in history. This time around we have a somewhat odd Romeo & Juliet feel, as our protagonist is in love with a Templar, how charming! Where it doesn’t quite shine though is in the somewhat bland missions. The Co-Op missions I played were fine and dandy, but they don’t take up the entire game. The story missions just aren’t that great and sadly they don’t do much to hold your attention at a constant rate. Some of the missions are very enjoyable, while others seem to drag on with little to no excitement. The issue with Assassin’s Creed is that the series feels rather drawn out at this point, it hasn’t done much to really shift the experience in some time and the one thing that really did that (naval combat) was taken out.

Final Verdict:

Assassin’s Creed Unity isn’t a bad game by many means. It’s a somewhat enjoyable experience that can hold the player to their console for a few hours without break, but it won’t see many binge players. It’s most impressive leap forward is on the animations, there is one kiss in particular that has shaken a lot of people, it’s because of how realistic it is. To quote someone who put it perfectly: “I will say the faces and mo-cap quality is excellent, it actually has a kiss that doesn’t look like 2 robots rubbing their faces together, so there’s that.” – Total Biscuit.

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The sheer number of AI in the crowds is something to gawk about as well, it’s really impressive. What isn’t very impressive is Unity’s not so stable frame-rate, its bland missions, its removal of a few AC gameplay aspects, and the fact that there’s nothing really new in this game at all. While most will complain about the frame rate, my biggest issue doesn’t really lie there. My issue lies on the somewhat stale game that Assassin’s Creed has become, with the series at 8 games, Ubisoft needed to do something pretty big to revitalize things and Co-Op just isn’t good enough.

While the Co-Op is an interesting addition to the game, the missions aren’t exactly anymore lively than the single player missions after a few runs. Assassin’s Creed Unity won’t revitalize your love for the series, but if you still enjoy the game it might be able to hold your attention. It’s not a terrible Assassin’s Creed game, but it’s not the game that will reel in every person burnt out on the series either. If you enjoy the original games you may enjoy this as well, because despite all of it’s flaws Unity does hold true to the earlier character of this series.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 7 / 10

RGN Rating: Bronze Game

Developers: Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher: Ubisoft

Available Now On: XO | PS4 | PC

Played On: Sony PlayStation 4

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of the game was provided to the author by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Review w/ 2 Authors

Advanced Warfare RealGamerNewz Review

Going in to a game with little to no expectations is one of the best things you can do. It’s hard to do that with Call of Duty games, as they are constantly hyped or constantly bashed. There seems to be no middle ground and it’s a shame. As the new Advanced Warfare isn’t the best Call of Duty to ever come out, but it’s far from the worst as well. It manages to change up the combat just enough to make it feel somewhat unfamiliar. This may be because I have not played a Call of Duty intensely since Modern Warfare 2, but this version has managed to push it to a new level. While it’s not a perfect game, it definitely should reel in some of the older crowd back in for a bit.

We won’t be going over the Single-player here as it will have it’s own standalone review. This one is all about the online mode! It’s online does just enough to make people return. The jet packs and your Exo’s abilities do enough to change up the way you play. The cloak is one that really does it, a sit allows you to be virtually invisible for a short duration, but if your enemies get up close they will more than likely see you. The exos somewhat act like a perk, but asides from that there really aren’t many perks to be had.

What does remain rather impressive is that in all the years, in all of the installments, the kill cam has always remained inaccurate. It’s rather impressive as it almost is never accurate in the kills. What’s new to this installment as well is another annoyance, the melee inaccuracy. I can’t tell you how many time sit has not worked for me. I have stood directly over someone as they lay motionless, attempted to melee them, and nothing. Making it somewhat as inaccurate as the kill cams, it’s an impressive addition to the game though.

The biggest issue aside from that is that the maps have returned to almost the same size as Modern Warfare 3. Which I hated, but the maps a lot better done here. There are more ways to go, more ways to jump, and more places to get shot in the back from. It’s not as terrible a sit would be in a normal Call of Duty, but I still think bigger maps would have made the game a lot better. I admittedly get angry at this game 90% of the time, as my guns never seem to work and said anger is also aided by the inaccurate kill cams. That needs to be the next thing addressed really, as I believe 8 games have had kill cams and they are still annoyingly inaccurate. The maps though are very different from previous installments because they don’t feel the need to be big with the movement being so different. You can traverse a lot differently this time around and it’s rather exciting.

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While some people may call it a Titanfall rip off, it doesn’t come off that way to me. As the Goliath is significantly different than an actual Titan and it feels that way. It feels much more vulnerable in that sense as well. The biggest issue might not be that it’s a rehash, it’s a clone, or any of that. The biggest issue is that the game suffers from a seriously lack of options when it comes to online. The game does have a good amount of customization options for your soldier. It’s not anything to rival RPGs, but it feels like more than in any of the previous installments. With a good amount of preset characters to choose from you also unlock articles of clothing as well. You can make your character look somewhat unique and that somewhat surprises me. Luckily for us, the emblem system is back as well. I have yet to see a penis or a swastika, so that’s a victory… but I am sure I will come across one here soon.

The online does just enough to pull players back in. It’s new traversal system has done this outdated and rehashed franchise a real service as older players will find out. You somewhat have to actually learn how to play the game all over again as things really have shifted the play in to a different direction. Is it the best Call of Duty ever made? No,I feel like Call of Duty 4 was and still is the best. The biggest issues with this one though are the map sizes, the inaccurate melee and kill cams, the lack of perks, and the lack of dedicated servers. These are all problems that have persisted in the franchise for a while and they really need to end. While Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare isn’t the best FPS or Call of Duty, it’s definitely more than I expected.

The most unfortunate thing for users is the season pass has returned to the ridiculous price, $50. Even Activision doesn’t take it seriously as it is advertised as “4 DLC Packs 1 Great Price*” which to me indicates that they do not believe it’s a great price, because it isn’t. Just like in previous games, there are overpowered guns as well, this was expected.It doesn’t seem quite fair that zombie players will have to purchase the $50 season pass just to get more of a taste. It’s also somewhat unfair to only include 13 compact maps and then charge $15 for packs of 4.

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Additional Review Notes:

Jon Ireson, Editor-In-Chief discusses the campaign portion of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare:

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s campaign mode attempts to put the powerful emotion and cinematic intensity of Hollywood Action films back into the COD franchise, and to its credit nearly succeeds entirely. Acting is good at the start but then Kevin Spacey’s character begins to feel at times like he’s over-reacting which feels fake. This is because, without giving away any major spoilers, the plot twists way too soon. The game starts out with a relate-able Kevin Spacey that players can almost understand the genius of before fearing his army Atlas’ horrifying destruction. We don’t get to hear that side of his character out long enough though to really seal the bond to this story mode, which in its own right is full of spectacular moments that make you feel fully alive and as if you’re an awesome hero in a real-world setting busting caps in fools for the greater good. Once Spacey’s character goes over the edge though, it doesn’t feel the same. He seems like a raving lunatic and it leaves you feeling much more disconnected from the game since it no longer feels like a real-world setting.

As far as gameplay goes, things are vastly improved over old campaigns. The aspect of ranking up in a story campaign are finally realized in Advanced Warfare. The game has changed, and changed enough to where it actually matters. Exo Suits come with abilities as Chris has described above and in the campaign they are given a piece at a time based on your performance as well as the mission at hand. Watching which parts of the suit are live by a diagram of your spine flashing before a mission helps add to the immersion a bit and is a nice touch for campaign mode as well. Musically and visually the game’s campaign flows with its gameplay properly. Sledgehammer Games might have had a hard time proving themselves to me, but this campaign was worth giving them a chance. It’s awesome.

Lots of vehicle driving, unexpected moments, Michael Bay level explosions and rapid moment-to-moment happenings, and did we mention 60 frames? Yeah, that’s a thing you might want to know about. It’s still 60 frames per second, thank god. Veteran mode is a bit too easy, making me feel like more of a challenge should have been offered off the bat. Graphically everything looks excellent on the Xbox ONE, especially when we consider this is a new game engine based on the foundation of old COD engines. Old COD engines of course, have been heavily modified versions of Quake and id engines from the golden days of shooter gaming.

Sledgehammer Games really went all out with improving the code though. This game’s animation and rendering system are solid and as next-gen as it gets. After seeing the launch of Call of Duty Ghosts and reviewing the game at a 6 it’s easy to see that Advanced Warfare is a much higher quality game in terms of Co-Op, Multiplayer, and Campaign modes.

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Exo Challenges in Campaign as I mentioned above add a great deal of engagement to the player in addition to the rich storytelling found in Advanced Warfare. For those that are reading this and know nothing of the plot, players are inducted into a private military corporation / army called Atlas and given a cybernetic second chance at the soldier’s life. The chance of a lifetime if you ask me…

Parting notes before I let Chris come in with his Final Verdict on Advanced Warfare; there’s a very good variety of enemy behavior in this game when compared to past COD’s. This is easily the best COD campaign we’ve seen in recent years. Shootouts while mid-freeway and incredibly action-packed moments help prove that this game stays true to its classic arcade style shooter roots and core. The cinematic quality of Advanced Warfare successfully keeps Activision up to date with other major AAA publishers putting out more emotional and film-like content such as Sony. The trend for a more emotionally rich game industry focusing on video games as an art medium doesn’t have to come at the cost of awesome action, fun gameplay, and replay value. Thanks Sledgehammer and Acti for showing us that.

Final Verdict:

Christopher Stahler:

I think this is only half of a revitalization of the series, it is fun and can stand on its own two feet, but the pre-existing issues are what continue to hold back the series. Whether this be the fake promise of dedicated servers, small maps, overpowered guns, or a rip off for a Season Pass, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare isn’t a bad game, but feels like it needs more value to it.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 7.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Bronze Game

Developers: Sledgehammer Games

Publisher(s): Activision

Available Now On: XO | PS4 | 360 | PS3 | PC

Played On: Microsoft Xbox ONE

Review copy info: Two physical copies of the game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Extract 237 Preview

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It’s Halloween and RealGamerNewz has some interesting things lined up for the night. We got a chance to play a rather interesting game late last night called Extract 237, a game where you are inside the body of an alien. Crowdfunding was all the rage a few years ago, but it has died down like any other fad. With ridiculous things hitting Kickstarter like Potato Salad, it isn’t hard to see why some may have turned their back on it. It has actually become somewhat rare to hear about a great game on Kickstarter, but they still exist.

Extract 237 is one of these games. With two developers, 16 days to go, and 2% of their project funded, it does not look like they will make it this time around. We had a chance to see a basic build of Extract 237 and it is one game that I do not believe should be looked over. We couldn’t interact with objects and we couldn’t do much of anything come to think of it.

We got a very early build of the game that let us explore some of the areas of the game and get a feel for it’s atmosphere. From what we saw though, it’s definitely something to look forward to though. The areas we went through were very atmospheric and interestingly unique. It may be because I don’t play horror games often, but this feels very unique as a whole and I don’t believe anything like this has been done before.

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Extract 237 may not have a giant company behind it, but it is not without talent. The 2 developers are hard at work and it really shows. We have Matt McCorkell behind Character/Environment art and animation,  then we have the designer, Robert Nelms, who designs the creatures and the environment. They both do a fantastic job as the levels we got to explore were extremely beautiful. It doesn’t seem very uncommon for indie games to come out with pixelated games, but Extract 237 doesn’t do that. Instead they use the Unreal Engine 4 to the best of their abilities and it really shows.

The environment of the game gives off such an interesting vibe and it’s really hard to explain. It’s also somewhat challenging to explain the feeling of being inside of an alien, but if I had to guess, I would say Extract 237 hits the nail on the head. It’s really hard to imagine, but even harder for me to truthfully describe. It’s done really well and it looks as beautiful as it does unique, I don’t know what it feels or looks like to be inside of an alien, but I would wager it’s something like I experienced on here, It would be interesting to see first person and it would be awesome to see Oculus support. Right now though, Extract 237 is a game with a lot of potential. It would be a real shame if that’s all it will ever be.

I think the game would do a lot better in first person, but it seems like they set it 3rd so you can see what’s going on around you. I’m not entirely sure what I saw, but there was definitely signs of a functioning body. It’s actually really crazy to see that though, as they don’t only focus on an interesting design, they also have put effort in to making it feel like you are in a living being. It’s was truthfully a great experience, except the movements need to be fixed up a bit. Again though, we have an early build.

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While I love exploring the game, it’s not without issues. We got a very early build, of course it isn’t without issues. The sad thing is that Extract 237 may take longer to come out though as their funding doesn’t seem to be happening. It’s definitely a game to look forward to though and I hope it gets it’s funding as I rather enjoyed my experience in the build. The demo should be out on November 3rd for everyone to try. While I don’t think Extract 237 will reach it’s goal this time around, it is definitely still a game worth looking forward to. It’s a rather small team with some real talent and it’s sad that they are being looked over with ease.

There are other projects like this not reaching their goal on Kickstarter as the funding on the site has dropped drastically since the craze began to die down. It’s a shame really, as these people are on to something. I think the craze should come back, but it’s hard to gamble your money when Kickstarter does it’s best to take little to no responsibility. Still though, it’s a really good thing to help fund these companies, but you should be careful. Extract 237 is a project I would deem as fund worthy, as it has some real talent behind it and it is really interesting from what we got to see.

You can check them out on Kickstarter ,which only has 15 days left. You can also check out their Twitter and Facebook for updates about the game as well and you can up vote them on Steam’s Greenlight.

Editor’s Note: To get your games featured on RealGamerNewz.com IndieSpotlight email us here and we will consider your request. 🙂

 

Disclaimer:

After writing and submitting this preview, I began talking to the developers at Project Extract. I really enjoyed the game and we began to speak about a position. I really believed and enjoyed the project I saw and upon further discussion I decided to help them out. I am currently the Community Manager at Project Extract, this position was talked about after the preview and the developers are actually unaware of the preview. It will be something they read after this disclaimer is posted as I did not want it to give me an unfair advantage, I wanted to be hired because of what I have to offer them.

Civilization: Beyond Earth Review

Civilization - Beyond Earth Review RealGamerNewz 2

Civilization: Beyond Earth is not a flawless game. It’s AI annoys the piss out of me, the bugs bothersome, and the feels extremely similar to Civilization V for obvious reasons. Yet, despite these complaints I remain addicted to Beyond Earth. It has wrecked my sleeping and eating cycle as I continuously utter “One more round… one more round…” I am somewhat more addicted to this than I was for Civilization V, the reason for this is because I have no clue what I am doing. It feels the same, but the revamps done have truly made it feel completely different despite looking very similar. The game still manages to stand on it’s own two feet despite what people have been saying.

The new things to consider would be the obvious, the tech, the aliens, and the affinity level. Although the affinity levels somewhat feel like religion, as the AI is constantly knocking at your door and begging you to switch your ways. The AI is actually the most annoying thing about this game as they really have done nothing to change them. “Oh, the aliens attacked and killed your traders, your colonist, AND your workers? HOW DARE YOU ATTACK THEM!” Yeah, maybe put some reasoning behind them next game? Because I am rather tired of them also complaining that I settled too close to their cities… when they moved near me. God, I can not properly begin to explain the pure HATE for this.

I turn on the hate machine and roll out the army, because they never shut the **** up. Anyway, besides the AI being how terrible they have done some nice changes with everything else. Tech is odd at times, but fairly interesting as you gain affinity points through them and unlock special units and buildings. Some areas the tech don’t exactly make sense though. We just flew across the galaxy, landed on a new planet, and yet we need to research… computing? I feel like it should have a fancy name because computing to me sounds like we are just discovering this mysterious tech. Although the tech tree is rather interesting as you are forced to go between useful techs and affinity levels with some not so useful things.

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The most disappointing thing perhaps is the Health, which has taken over happiness and makes almost no sense. This is due to the fact that you’re civilization is almost always unhealthy until mid game. It hurts your science and production, so it’s not a very fun thing to have. It’s something that takes way too long to even out and the only way to really do it is by researching tech that generally has no affinity behind it.

What’s interesting is the design for aliens, the design for the new units, the cities, and the design of the planet/resources. It’s all rather interesting to discover, the biggest issue is that there is only really one design for the aliens. They have several different units, but manage to look the same. What would have been insanely interesting is if they had several different alien designs and a random one would spawn on the planet with you, it would make the discovery of them in a new game all the more interesting.

Everything is designed rather well and it looks rather unique. While I can’t stand the miasma the rest is solid. You have your choices of what type of planet you go to, but not the option of how many civilizations you want to fight against, perhaps this is because there are so few and it’s an issue. The graphics aren’t improved much, but one thing that is drastically improved are is the end game lag. I remember playing Civilization V and always lagging towards the end of the game, but no more! It runs rather well and while it takes some time to load, I have yet to see any drastic drops in framerate!

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There aren’t many civilizations to pick from, but you do get to tune it towards your play style. While you won’t be dazzled by the discovery of the civilization (they appear to you when they land) their models change over time and that’s pretty neat. The saddening thing is you do not have the mystery of discovering who you are up against, as there are so little civilizations, that they all play with you and they are revealed the moment they drop down on the planet. It takes away from the mystery of the game as you explore around.

The issue with the actual AI themselves is that they haven’t changed much at all. If you played Civilization before odds are you know what I am talking about. They insult you for little to nothing and then the next turn they are begging for some resources or energy. It goes something like this: Always coming in with “THE WORLD SHOULD KNOW YOUR SINS! YOU DISGUST ME!” 1 turn later “Hey, things aren’t going so well over here. Do you think you can help us out?” 50 energy a turn, 1000 energy, and 3 Xenomass for 1 favor!” Yeah no, but you can go jump off of a mountain. Seriously, get some common sense. I’m not giving you anything after you just condemned my actions. In fact, this leads to 95% of my wars, the other 5% is just because I feel like it basically.

Official Trailer:

Final Verdict:

Civilization: Beyond Earth has done some very interesting things so far. It’s very well designed, but overall your gameplay may be bogged by the bugs that run throughout the game. You may not be as forgiving as this Sid Meier’s fan, but I am addicted. I love the game and can’t get off of it. The interesting design is what really holds the game together. It may not have a ton of civilizations, no variety in the aliens, bugs, and no improvement with the AI, but I still manage to love it. What it does right though is good enough for me. It’s design of everything really holds it up and let’s stand tall as a standalone game. While it needs improvements it remains to be a fun and addicting game as a whole. The game is nowhere near perfect, yet I am perfectly addicted.

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Overall Score: 8.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Silver Game

Developer: Firaxis Games

Publisher: 2K Games

Available On: PC

Review Copy Info: The author of this article received a digital copy of this game from the publisher for the purpose of this review

Sunset Overdrive Review

Sunset Overdrive Review - Xbox ONE

It’s hard to describe this game as a whole, it’s as if Insomniac Games decided to mix several awesome games together and make an even ‘awesomer’ game. Welcome to the Awesomepocalypse, where we make up words and life isn’t nearly as boring. Sunset City has been taken over by some of the weirdest mutants of all time and the culprit behind it all? An energy drink. Sunset Overdrive combines some awesome gameplay mechanics, with an entertaining story, interesting art, and some awesome customization. It’s a game that takes away from other games, but still manages to hold it’s own and it stands tall.

The gameplay is such an odd mix, at first it looked as if Sunset Overdrive might get old after a while, but during my stay in Sunset City I am surprised to say that I have not been bored once. I some times just grind around and about for fun, because it’s awesome. The gameplay throws hordes and hordes of enemies at you and the more diverse your play-style, the better you become. As your style level unlocks some interesting perks and you unlock more by doing this. The game sets you up with a variety of interesting weapons, amps for those weapons, and traps.

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Its alternate modes, challenges, and story set up an interesting game that doesn’t have a dull moment. One of the most interesting things you won’t see mentioned elsewhere is the respawn system. As it kicks you back in with style. I’ve seen my guy come out of a coffin all Dracula style, come down from a rope (assuming it’s from a helicopter or something), some futuristic portal type deal, Star Trek teleportation style, Portal, and a couple of others. The online during E3 was rather basic, but during it’s final release they improved upon it drastically. Originally it was only the defense, but now you build up the Chaos meter by completing multiple missions. The Chaos meter determines the difficulty of the defense.

For example, my first run was about 90%, we had meh hordes rushing towards us, 3 Herkers, and it wasn’t exactly difficult. Our 2nd run however, was much different with the Chaos running at 160%. We were introduced to about 6-10 Herkers, overwhelming Hordes, and a more intense experience. The mode wasn’t difficult, but we were in the first district and even then it’s rather rewarding, as my level 1 gun jumped to level 3 in round.

The story is something to be interested in as well. It feels somewhat like Borderlands, with some ridiculously hilarious moments, but there are also some serious moments as well. It’s the type of story that reels you in to the characters through comedy and then gives you a deeper understanding of them by switching out to a more serious tone.

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While the serious tone doesn’t happen often, it’s still present in the game and it gives you that deeper look and connection. The story can’t help but be ridiculous and it’s truthfully a relief. As games go for the more serious tone it’s always refreshing to see one that doesn’t want to follow the crowd. While Borderlands has done this, it’s a genre that has plenty of room to grow. The game is always breaking the 4th wall and is doing or saying something ridiculous. Even the tutorials are rather ridiculous as they break the 4th wall throughout. The game’s story is also complimented by it’s ridiculous customization and awesome art style though. It has a ridiculously satisfying ending as well, it’s awesome from start to finish.

The art is similar to the story really, as games are always attempting to tackle more realistic visuals. These aren’t the most realistic, they aren’t the most detailed, but they do the job and they do it right. The art in the game is something else refreshing though and I love it. It fits the story and compliments the game in every way. It’s really the perfect style for the game. The graphics for this style are the best I’ve seen, but they aren’t used very often. The character models are very well done and the OD look extremely interesting.

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The variants of the OD are always creepy and interesting to look at as well. The game offers 3 factions for you to get murdered by the OD, Fizzco, and Dicksmokes (Actually Scabs, but Insomniac’s Senior Community Manager has an interesting nickname for them). The game just has this beautiful look to it with the art style done oh so perfectly. It’s ridiculous art is only furthered by it’s ridiculous customization.

What naturally makes Sunset Overdrive a much more enjoyable experience is it’s customization. During my stay I played as a big man with a lumberjack beard, track shorts, a cape, goggles, and elf ears. While he didn’t look normal, he was the perfect video game version of me that ever was. While you can’t do much in terms of your body type you can do a ton of things for your clothing.

Sunset Overdrive Review - RealGamerNewz

They give you a wide variety of things to choose from. You can be serious, whacky, or seriously whacky. What’s fun is that no matter what you decide, you will always be insulted by the shop keeper! While you can only select from presets on your face and body type, it does rather well with the clothing. The odd thing is that they decided to preset the voice actors as well, I would have loved to choose a different one, while mine does his work, it would have been nice to have the option.

While Sunset Overdrive isn’t awesome it does manage to be something completely different, in the spirit of making up words, Sunset Overdrive is FUAWESOME, F*cking Awesome. It’s legitimately the best IP this generation. It has a whacky story, great customization options, and it basically sets up a rather high expectation for new IPs to come. While most games won’t follow Sunset Overdrive’s footsteps, it’s a rather impressive step forward and it remains enjoyable throughout the entire game.

Sunset Overdrive Review - Twist Of Fate - RealGamerNewz

The only complaints I have are the story, while fun & awesome, is seemingly all over the place and it’s music doesn’t fit at times. It’s online at times can be rather easy and chaotic as well, but with the right group I can see it being rather enjoyable. It’s a game I can grind on for hours and have.

Final Verdict:

To the people calling it Sunset Overhype, I implore you to give the game an actual chance, as it turns out to be Funset Over… drive. Anyway, what Sunset Overdrive has done is given the Xbox One an interesting and unique game in the AAA season. While it is a blend of some other games, it still manages to hold it’s own and it does it properly. From the looks of it, Sunset Overdrive could spawn one of the more interesting series in recent years.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 9.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Platinum Game

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Available On: Xbox ONE Exclusively

Review Copy Info: The author of this article received a digital copy of this game from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Divinity: Original Sin Review

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Divinity: Original Sin is truly DIVINE! No, but seriously, it is a refreshing sign in a slow genre like old school RPGs. If you are looking for an Elder Scrolls type of RPG, then you will be disappointed. But, if you were lucky enough to enjoy Baldur’s Gate 2 way back when (in 2000) then you should be pleasantly surprised, as this is a modern version of Baldur’s Gate. Baldur’s Gate and Divinity go hand in and hand with a lot of their mechanics and that isn’t a flaw or a disadvantage for Divinity. While the character creation isn’t too extensive it does its job well. The gameplay and overall mechanics of the game are what makes it truly great though.

CharacterCreation

The gameplay is about the same as Baldur’s Gate. For those unfamiliar to the series or old school RPGs in general we have our party and then the enemy party. The combat is turn based and has hidden dice that the player can’t see (let me note that you can see it in sidebar chat) which brings it into more of likeness to Dungeons & Dragons (Baldur’s Gate is part of the D&D universe) and your rolls determine your effectiveness. Generally speaking there are two rolls involved (1 roll for the player to see the hit and 1 roll from the monster to see if he can avoid it). I mean we have nothing revolutionary, but what we do have is refreshing. While I can’t say the class balance is very refreshing the game does a lot in modernizing old school RPG mechanics. The story isn’t as strong as Baldur’s Gate 2, but it isn’t exactly boring either.

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We’re the source hunters! An order that battles sorcery and the magic that accompanies it. The game starts off and the two characters are set to investigate the murder of Councilor Jake. Through the investigation you discover that the world could be coming to an end. Exciting, right? Well, the town you are in also has only a ton of problems as well. No one knows who murdered Jake. Undead are wreaking havoc outside the gates and Orcs are attacking from the beaches. I mean the story isn’t exactly bad, but at 20-30 hours in I was still in the first town and couldn’t really explore the rest of the game-world. An interesting concept is that your two characters can disagree on your moral decisions. Bringing you to a Rock, Paper, Scissors match where the winner decides what happens. You can program how they will respond or leave the AI off and pick for yourself. This also happens when you try to charm, intimidate, and reason with an AI.

Original Sin provides a pretty huge and detailed variance between the characters that can be created for this story-driven experience that feels very mystic, dark, bloody, and has the aura of intrigue. The ability to match two characters made it a little easier to enjoy all of the classes this game has to offer, and it felt awesome having a male and female playable character at the same time – with no need to choose between them. Players can also jump into online co-op with each other.

In Divinity: Original Sin, players start out by customizing two characters as well as select a class for each such as Rogue (With a lot of skill and a little luck, this rogue sees the world as an open coffer), Battlemage (Amplifies brute strength with powerful magic), Cleric (Heals allies or smashes skulls, depending on the direction of the winds), Prefers to turn the tide of battle from afar, manipulating foes with powerful magic), Fighter (Brutal warrior and expert in close combat), Knight (Specialized in war tactics, knights are trained not only to fight, but to rally troops). There’s also Witch (An intimidating presence whose bone-chilling powers terrify friend and foe alike), Enchanter (Prefers to turn the tide of battle from afar, manipulating foes with powerful magic), Wizard (A scholar of magic specialized in starting and ending battles with a flick of the wrist, exacting swift victory from a safe distance), Shadowblade (A powerful assassin whose arsenal of both daggers and magic would terrify any enemy, if they ever saw it coming), Wayfarer (A survivalist and a practitioner of magic, the Wayfarer is hard to hit and even harder to evade) or Ranger (A marksman with a legendary knack for self-preservation). You can even customize beyond this.

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The game does have its own unique allure in many ways. The music is fantastic, and although it can sometimes be repetitive, it almost always compliments the situation afoot. Dialogue is filled with rich lore, and the designs of the map are a homage towards fantasy games of the RPG genre. Perhaps the best part of this game is that in the rebirth of CRPGs we still hold on to the core values of what made them such a hit when they were originally a hot topic of gaming. This game doesn’t hold you hand and it really shouldn’t either. We’ve seen a good amount of CRPGs come out in the past year alone with Wasteland 2 and ShadowRun Returns being two that come to mind and like Divinity: Original Sin were also brought into existence thanks to Kickstarter. The thing that sets this title apart from those is the setting of course, but it is interesting to see this genre getting a lot of hype. Divinity: Original Sin is really the first CRPG I’ve heard a lot about in some time and I’m thrilled about that. As a Strategy player it excites me and as a D&D player it satisfies me. That being said, the game is not perfect but I think it can lead us to a new era filled with quality CRPGs. Most of my time in-game was spent accusing people of murder or stealing everything in sight, but isn’t that what a CRPG is truly all about?

Under the hood, frames per second can be capped to any custom number between 10 and 120 frames per second (with default setting set to 60) while a number of resolutions are offered for computer monitors, all options on Ultra play decent for even an entry level PC Gaming rig (read: the cost of a next-gen console or more), and post-processing can be turned on or off by individual feature such as Ambient Occlusion, Screen Space Reflections, Depth of Field, Motion Blur, God Rays, and Bloom. This is in addition to a number of setting features broken down in various sections such as multiple Shadow options, Quality settings for various models and texture systems within the game, and of course V-sync / Gamma Correction. But enough tech talk, let’s get into the RGN Final Verdict of Divinity: Original Sin and find out if this is something people should have on their plate or if it’s just a budget meal.

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Final Verdict:

Divinity: Original Sin isn’t perfect. There are some core problems with the game that need to be ironed out plus the normal fun glitches and bugs that most games suffer from. Overall this is a very pleasing addition to the rebirth of CRPGs and with the way it is designed could keep players entertained for quite some time. Larian Studios has done old school gamers a huge favor with this release. Will you love this if you loved Skyrim? I can’t guarantee that. But if you are open minded, love RPGs, a challenge, and want to play the next big thing then I believe Divinity: Original Sin won’t be something you regret. With around 60+ hours of time in the base game, it’s above the average RPG scope. With content creation and just overall fun factor I can see this game lasting a player thousands of hours of enjoyment.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 9.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Platinum Game

Developer / Publisher: Larian Studios

Available On: Steam (Windows PC | Mac OS X)

Review Copy Info: Two digital copies of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the developer for the purpose of this Review.

State of Decay: Lifeline Review

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State of Decay’s Lifeline DLC is something I consider nearly the complete opposite of Breakdown. As I stated before, Breakdown slowly ramps up the difficulty and you should maintain a small, but efficient group. Lifeline though? Hell. No. The difficulty comes at you and it comes at you fast and you need to grab every survivor you can in order to actually survive. In Lifeline you start off well equipped, perked, and prepped to defend yourself, but over time your supplies diminish as you hastily use them in your vain attempt to survive. You want a challenge? You want intensity? Then you will want to pick up Lifeline.

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The map, while smaller, also feels a lot more dense. There is hardly a dull moment and you can almost never turn around and say “Hmm there are no zombies around me.” The map largely consists of the highway, which will take you from point A to point B with some maneuvering, and is generally infested with zombies. I found that most of my time was spent driving on the highway trying to get to small towns. While the map is good and does what it should, I can’t help but feel a strong desire to go in to the actual city, which is blocked off, but for good reasons. Those reasons being that they are completely infested and overrun with zombies. The redzones on the map are the areas you can’t really enter, which just so happens to mostly be the heart of Danforth and also just so happens to be completely infested with zombies, but it would have been awesome to at least get a look at the center of it all, because what Lifeline was supposed to do was give us is a chance to see the beginning, but we come out knowing only a tiny bit of additional information of the outbreak itself.

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 If it is marked red you can’t go in and if you can you get swarmed by zombies

The story isn’t anything too special, but that doesn’t mean it is exactly bad. You start off as a small group of soldiers who are stranded by the catastrophe and have to attempt to survive. You being on the highway with the objective “Kill Everything” and eventually have to find your way back to base. Along the way you are tasked to rescue VIP’s that may hold the key to stopping the infection.  There are better ways they could have started this off and it wasn’t exactly as epic as it could have been, but the story to me has never shined as something epic or too over the top. It is standard to a flaw at points though, but the main attraction was never really the story of this game. A bit in you discover a radio host who blurts out generic insults to the military, but also hands out information on survivors. Lucky for us we no longer have to constantly hear “Whatcha got?”… “Oh…. you know…. stuff.” however, her insults and lines really aren’t that much better. The main point of the story is that the soldiers at the outpost have to survive for as long as they can and grab as many VIP’s as they can, I do not know if there is a VIP limit or not, but in my game it slowed down drastically after about the fifth one. The story isn’t exactly where this DLC shines though, because as I stated above, we really do not learn too much about the start of the infection. Where it does shine though is in the difficulty.

State of Decay Lifeline

 

 The difficulty in this DLC is real and it comes at you really fast. There is a new feature called danger levels, which basically tell you when your base is going to be attacked by a large group of zombies. The danger level system ranges from 1 (No danger) to 3 (Attack imminent) and after level 3 you go through a siege of only about 100 zombies or so. It does get pretty ridiculous and the problem I mostly have is the fact that I only have 5 survivors and I’m lucky if 2 of them are actually helping me out, which makes my life EXTREMELY hard as I usually lose at least 1 person a siege due to this. With that said you are also are constantly running around grabbing supplies, doing missions, or helping people out. This DLC  is more time based though as your base is open to attacks and some of the missions are actually time sensitive. Every siege you survive eventually brings in a new, bigger, and scarier siege and I can’t help but scream “Holy crap!” at the amount of zombies bum rushing my base, banging on my gates, and flooding over the fences, it truly can be quiet epic. The sieges alone are intense enough to make a regular sized group cringe, but throw in the fact that you have a very small group and you might cry in a corner with your thumb in your mouth as your group is viciously torn apart. I’m basing this off of my own group, which is 5 survivors ‘strong’, but if you do everything perfectly, keep everyone alive, and help everyone… it will still take a while to even reach 20 survivors and God knows how big the sieges will get at that point.

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The red and white dots = enemies

Overall at the beginning I was somewhat disappointed, I did not enjoy the anticlimactic opening and the seemingly small map, but it all works and it works VERY well and feels much better after I’ve gotten to fool around with it more. I’ve already gotten 7 hours of play from a $7 DLC and I honestly can see myself getting at least 30 hours from it. What Undead Labs has done for me is prove that they can craft a DLC worth my time and put an appropriate price tag on it as well. While the map is more restricted than the original, it still offers intensity and density in a smaller, but lively map. The story is the biggest flaw in this DLC, as there are several missed opportunities by Undead Labs that could have turned it from a mildly interesting story to an intense and engaging one. You want difficulty from the get go, well, this is the DLC for you.  It can be somewhat unforgiving for even some of your minor mistakes, every survivor counts, and every time you live to see another day is a reason you should rejoice, but not for long. What you can get in this DLC exceeds the price tag as it is intense, replayable, and overall a blast to play. If you were expecting just another version of Breakdown, you were wrong. What Lifeline feels like to me is the opposite of Breakdown and that isn’t even close to a flaw.

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Yeah, life did not end well for her as she was literally ripped in half

Overall Score: 8.5/10

RGN Rating: Silver Game

Developer: Undead Labs

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Available On: PC, Xbox 360

Played on: PC

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the developer for the purpose of this Review.

 

State of Decay: Breakdown Review

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State of Decay may have been something you overlooked over on it’s release last year as an XBLA Exclusive, hell, even I did until late last year when it finally made its way to PC. State of Decay for Tristan was a 7.9, but this is the review of the DLC we missed out on. State of Decay’s first DLC is titled Breakdown, giving me what I’ve wanted for some time, sandbox mode. That was the original reason I skipped over the game, but in addition I also was waiting for the PC release as I preferred the comfort of my PC vs. the coldness of my sad, Xbox Live-less 360. This wasn’t exactly a game I hadn’t looked forward to and the wait did kill me, but it was well worth the wait especially with the DLC added in. I rarely consider DLC worth it in the long run, but I can’t help but say it for this game.

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This brings us a little bit of a different approach than normal sandbox modes though as the difficulty is real, you can run out of resources, and you need to have a somewhat tactical approach to everything. You need to scavenge for building materials, food, medical supplies, and some times people. You can get a large group, but somewhere down the line you will notice that a smaller group is the best idea, as a bigger group kills off your resources faster. You can progress whenever you get the RV in shape (Which isn’t very hard) and go to a ‘new’ valley. At first I was somewhat disappointed as the ‘new’ valley is really the valley you were just in, except the resources are back and randomized again. Every time you do this though you jump up the difficulty and I believe the maximum is 11, but to my knowledge no one has ever gotten that far.

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 The story is pretty cut and dry as a sandbox and does not really have too much of an impact, but you do meet groups of survivors and learn a little bit about them as you help them. Really though, you do learn a lot of minor things about the characters you play and talk with. They will tell you neat little stories when you help them, play them, or whatever else you can do. The stories are generally pretty interesting and offer a little piece to that character’s personality. The survivability can be summarized rather easily as well. You need survivors (Not too many), supplies, a base, and awareness. Your survivor will get tired, your weapons will break, and your supplies will dwindle. Further more, the game actually progresses while you are offline. You will lose people, supplies, and depending on how you leave your camp everything can go to hell with your absence. Don’t let this bother you though as it isn’t any too major, but if you leave your camp unhappy and return 2 days after not playing, more than likely you are coming back to a MUCH more unhappy camp. You can leave for weeks though at a time with only minor changes as well. The first day of absence seems to have the biggest changes and after that it seems to drop.

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My biggest complaint would be the dialogue between the main character and Lily. The main complaint is the recycled dialogue exchanges that happen way too often if you play as much as I do. “What did you bring me?”… “Ohhhh…. you know…. stuff.” this happens almost every time you bring back some supplies. There are a couple generic lines about survivors, helping a survivor, and hordes, but it doesn’t hurt the game too much luckily, but I have been annoyed to the point where I just can’t take the generic chat exchanges. This generally happens whenever I am doing quick supply runs and I just grow tired of hearing the generic “Oh…. you know…. stuff.” ~ Every Character You Play. This could be easily fixed by just adding the “Oh, I picked up some medical/building/food supplies for the group!” but really this is just a minor complaint.

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 The difficulty ramps can be pretty extreme as well and can get to you fast. Hordes increase, car count decreases, faster zombies come out, infestations increase, and your survivor cap decreases. The smaller a group you have the more supplies you save, but there is strength in numbers. The difficulty gives you enough time to adjust to the game, but the ramps can leave you shaking in the corner, rolled up in a ball, and crying. I’m not exactly the type of person who hates difficulty (unless it is done poorly) and in this case it is a great thing and Undead Labs has done it properly. You are almost always thrown in to a new situation when you reset the valley and it can refreshing, but some times frustrating. During the reset you take a few survivors with you and they are carried over to the next ‘valley’ with you, so, choose wisely!

 

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Overall State of Decay’s first DLC is a success. It adds something that nobody could refuse and gives it to you at such a low price of $6.99. It is rare that you find great DLC packs for so cheap and nowadays it is hard to find any DLC that is actually worth it, but Breakdown is not only worth it, it is underpriced. As even by level 3 I’m still discovering new places around the map and it has VERY high replayability. I can’t say I agree with Tristan’s review of the base game, but that is neither here or there. This DLC is something you should grab and I think State of Decay is something worth grabbing as well. It offers you hours of fun for a very reasonable price. If you do only have the base game, I would strongly suggest purchasing the DLC, because it adds an entirely new depth to an already entertaining game at a low price. There aren’t many real complaints that I can bring up about this, but the one valley (while big) can get old eventually and it would have been awesome if they had at least one other valley or just one randomly generated valley, but that combined with some of the generic lines make it a little less than perfect. Even with these minor faults though the price, the replayability, and the overall DLC makes it extremely hard to not purchase.

 

 

Overall Score: 9/10

RGN Rating: Gold Game

Developer: Undead Labs

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Available On: PC, Xbox 360

Played on: PC

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

Tangentlemen Interview

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Last month at GDC it was announced that multiple AAA developers were jumping ship and joining an indie company named Tangentlemen. I wrote an article about the interview with Cory Davis and decided to each out to the team myself. Well, they responded to my questions and overall I really enjoyed talking to them. Here is the interview:

1. To new people trying to get in the industry do you have any advice? Also skip over AAA and go
to indie or try AAA first?

Toby:

Well, obviously we all came from from a AAA background, and it definitely gives you a solid understanding of how the different pieces of game development fit together, and the importance of deadlines, but it’s tough to get into. Anyone can start developing with the tools out there now, so Indie development is a great start point.

Cory:

You’ve got to start creating, and meeting the right people (other talented game developers) as soon as you possibly can. I think getting involved with an indie project, or helping out with a mod is the best way to prove yourself. If you’re able to have any form of success with the projects you get involved with, then you have a foothold. At that point, you can use your foothold to open the door to a number of different opportunities.

Rich:

I think it depends on what kind of work you want to do, AAA tend to develop specialists, whereas in. Indie you do a little bit of everything. We’re really lucky that we have a broad range of interests, so we’re. comfortable throwing ourselves into new territory.

Jigs:

Say yes. That first job is always the hardest. Take any opportunity in so you can learn but then be careful what you are good at. While you are looking for work seek out similar people and try to start a project or help on their project they are equally valuable. Nothing resonates like working on something. All successful development requires people good at integration. Working on a group project and being able to reference that experience is key. Look at others portfolios. This IS a competition and you are compared to others. Make sure your materials look good.

2. You guys are just getting started and maybe down the road I will be able to ask this question
again, but so far, other than your Garoffice, what are you enjoying about the indie atmosphere?

 Cory:

I love being able to bring my guitar in to work. I’ve been experimenting with some sounds that I think would be really good for our project, so it’s been great to just play my ideas out and see what fits. I also have a badass view of an ancient cactus.

Rich:

Impending victory born from the fires of destiny.

Jigs:

You get to set your own culture. making a company from the ground up is a big challenge but a lot of fun.

3. How did your families react? I mean essentially you guys had reached what can be considered
the top of the gaming industry and to the normal person indie development can be seen as a downgrade.

 Toby:

Everyone’s been really supportive so far. My wife is also starting her own company at the same time, so it’s been a bit of a challenge, we’re both really understanding, but at the same time, we need to able to change plans on a dime to help take care of the kids.

Cory:

Julie has been telling me to go Indie for years, so she’s been super excited! When you’re working in AAA there’s just so many things that are outside of your control. Things like release date, marketing material, schedule, and other important factors that contribute to the overall success of the game. We’re really looking forward to having more input in those areas.

Rich:

Mostly my dad gives me his opinion on how it was ok for Activision to screw over Infinity Ward.

Jigs:

Eden was just really excited we’d be cleaning out the garage.

1. In an interview during GDC Davis talked a little bit about Kickstarter. Have you guys dived deeper to the conversation about funding? If so is Kickstarter still considered a viable option?

Jigs:

We’re looking into all possible avenues for funding right now. Kickstarter has absolutely been a viable option for a lot of game projects recently, and it’s something we’re looking at very closely, however there are a lot of other options out there as well, we don’t want to rule anything out just yet.

Rich:

There have been some really successful Kickstarters in the last several months. Having the opportunity to interact directly to the gamers and retain ownership of your game is a really exciting
prospect. We’re still trying to figure out where we fit best.

2. So, what’s with the name? Why Tangentlemen? Is there any significance behind it or is it just a cool, untaken, interesting name?

Toby:

So we were all in the car together, and Cory made this offhanded joke about Tangentlemen as a potential name for a studio. We all laughed and thought it was funny, but for the life of me I can’t remember the joke. What I do remember is that it captures some of the juxtapositions we’re trying to achieve.

Rich:

We’re not the youngest guys to go Indie. Most of us have kids, and we’re bringing decades of experience to the project. The name has a sense of refinement, an appreciation for really bad puns, and just a hint of the unknown.

Cory:

I think it helps chart out the direction we want to take with our games. we want to create meaningful, unimaginable interactive experiences. It also has a myriad of meanings most of which are entirely misleading… just like the answers to life’s important questions.

3. How have you guys been prioritizing your project(s)? Meaning are you prioritizing enjoyment,
longevity, or beauty?

Cory:

Right now we have one project, I can’t say much about it yet, but I can tell you that it’s coming from a very personal place for me. We started by kind of verbally exploring some of the themes we wanted to explore with our next project, and a lot of us were mentioning the same ideas. We don’t want to make a game that’s pure ego trip, we want to make something that challenges the way our players think. I guess you could say we’re prioritizing theme.

 

I’ve really enjoyed speaking with the team and look forward to their game’s announcements. I wish them the best of luck and really hope they are having a great time in their Garroffice. For those of you who do not know, they are currently working out of a garage. So, for fun sake I just called it their Garoffice. Anyway, I’m sure Tangentlemen has a great future ahead of them and I really wish them the best. Most of their developers made my childhood and everyone I got to speak to were very nice.

 

Tangentlemen

Elder Scrolls Online Review

Elder Scrolls Online Review RealGamerNewz

Alright let me start off by saying this review is for leveling through 1-50. The game is not even half way over for me as I explore Veteran Ranks and even with that said I have over 5 days of time played. I can easily say that there is no other MMO like TESO that has brought me this much binge playing thus far. I have played few games in between and have craved the game when I am not on it. My sleep schedule has taken a toll as hours fly by and I am never aware of the time. The Elder Scrolls Online is almost exactly how I want it to be. It has the exploration I seek, the thrilling PvP I crave, and a crafting system that actually takes time. I was not very excited for this game and bought it last minute during a spur of the moment type of deal. I am very happy with what I have gotten to play and what I have experienced. While there are some issues I only encounter them only so often and understand they are working them out. I am an avid MMOer and have played many games on launch so bugs, glitches, bot, and just general annoyances of launches are nothing new to me and barely phase me, but if they do to you then you should wait for a month or two, but even then this game is just plain out fun.

Exploration is a huge thing in the Elder Scrolls series and it holds up well in the MMO adaption of the game. I sheltered myself from the game before it came out and was on the fence the week before it launched. While playing you notice a couple of things. The exploration is not hindered like many MMOs. It is on a smaller scale than the normal Elder Scrolls games, but it is great compared to most recent MMOs. The sites are beautiful, the zones are interesting, and the shards add some mystery to the game. You can quest and explore while doing so, finding public dungeons, open dungeons, mundus stones, world bosses, raw materials, treasure chests, and just random sites. The zones are large and offer something different than the previous zone. While playing I got a very nostalgic feeling of exploration and curiosity. You can find a good amount of stuff form exploring and it really brings an element that has not been seen in MMOs for some time.

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Now, lets go forward to PvP. Which is pretty amazing if you can find a group, guild, or get in to the right campaign. There are several campaigns for the PvP and depending on which you pick you could be winning, tied, or getting crushed. The PvP zone Cryodiil itself is giant with plenty of things to do. You can hunt down the Skyshards, attempt to take keeps, take resources, or hunt down players. No matter what you do though the time speeds by. During actually sieges the fine details are what really matter. The walls show damage, battering rams actually reveal cracks in the doors so that you can see other players, and it is overall an actual challenge for players. You have to follow the numbers and you have to be organized. PvP is not something you can just do and while that may dissatisfy some loners it is not meant for you. You can’t take a keep by yourself and you can’t defend one alone either. There isn’t much you can do alone except get ran over. The PvP also has some PvE flair as you can do quests and to take keeps as well as resources you have to kill the guarding NPCs. I have not fought an Emperor, but seeing videos they look like the main attraction in a raid, requiring large amounts of people to focus him.

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The combat can be very exciting, but at times can be very buggy as well. In some instances the combat can bug out and basically kill you, but when this doesn’t happen the combat is fluid, fun, and very much alike to previous Elder Scroll games. It is a different pace from most MMOs and makes auto targeting a thing of the past. While some other MMOs have done this it hasn’t really picked up in the mainstream. You can have 5 abilities, an ult, and at level 15 you unlock a second set that you can switch to even in combat. While the combat isn’t anything revolutionizing to me it is still fun and a great addition to the game itself. The spot where the combat shines is synergy, synergy is an effect that occurs with several spells and requires your group to activate them. Spells like Choking Talons which hold enemies in to place have a synergy ability that deal damage when it notifies members of your group to press ‘x’. The synergy feature adds in a whole new level of combat especially for dungeons. The combat can have its ups and downs, but this is really one of the first MMOs where I have grinded (By choice) and haven’t been insanely bored. As with groups of 3 or more the game gets really hard and forces you to focus. You can’t really expect to run in to large groups and easily come out alive.

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The crafting system in the game so far is fantastic. You have to put time and effort in to the actual system. The system makes you find Motifs in order to actually craft certain styles. The motifs can be found in many places and aren’t overall very hard to find, but you need them to craft different styles. The styles include all the races as well as Primal, Barbaric, Ancient Elves, and Daedric. Moving forward you have to research traits on your items. The traits give your item a great bonus such as stronger enchantments, stronger armor, spell resistance, etc etc. After you research a trait the time for the next trait doubles and overall it takes 60 days for a player to research every trait for just one item. If you level up your crafting eventually you can research 3 traits at a time. The traits are also only found on existing items that you have to use to research them and are destroyed in the process. In order to get the best gear possible you would have to research all 8 traits on every piece of armor you wanted which can take up to 60 days for a single piece. While searching for some items can feel tedious it is all worth it in the long run.

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Overall The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMO worth playing. It has beautiful scenery, beautiful graphics, and a huge map that people will surely enjoy. Exploration is rewarded in a great way and leveling overall is fun. The combat is fluid, the PvE content is difficult, the PvP can be epic, and the game is beautiful. Overall this game is an Elder Scrolls game, but online. While there are some major complaints such as bugs, bots, exploits, and glitches those are not a definite part of the game and I will not be reviewing them. I am reviewing the game itself and what is meant to happen. There is no point in reviewing a game based on temporary set backs in which the developers are tirelessly working out. This game is worth playing and any Elder Scrolls fan should definitely check it out. It is a huge game with a huge future that can only be halted by its developers. I am addicted to this game and have not been able to pull myself away from it too often. The game truly feels like an Elder Scrolls game and is something I’ve been wanting for some time. If you can ignore the bugs of an MMO at launch then it is very easy for me to recommend this game to you. Really for me the only thing holding down Elder Scrolls Online is Zenimax. They have to hear customers and respond in a timely manner. The future for me looks very bright as they already have their first content patch on the way and have been very interactive with the community.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 9/10

RGN Rating: Gold Game

Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Available On: PC

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.