Remember Me (2013, PS3) – 8/10 third-person science-fiction action game review

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Cast / crew
Art Director: Aleksi Briclot
Art Director: Michel Koch
Technical Director: Jérome Banal
Producer: Nicolas Simon
Lead Technical Designer: Gautier de Souza
Lead Technical Designer: Jacques Trombini
Lead Environment Artist: Sophie Van de Velde
Lead Character Artist: Alexis Smadja-Fellous
Lead Visual Effects Artist: Timothée Letourneux
Lead Lighting Artist: Frédéric Cros
Lead Animator: Carole Chaland
Lead Animator: Alexandre Cuing
Cinematic Director: Jean-Luc Cano
Lead Designer: Philippe Moreau
Lead Designer: Marc Pestka
Music Composer, Orchestrator, Producer and Adaptor: Olivier Derivière
Director: Jean-Maxime Moris
Kezia Burrows: Nilin

Remember Me (2013)

Nilin is rescued from a memory-wipe facility by Edge and has little choice but to follow his instructions to stay alive. As she gradually remembers more skills he quickly sets her to work as a revolutionary but Nilin is conflicted about the chaos she is causing.

8/10

Remember Me deserved rather better than to be sniffed at by contemporary critics who moaned about stuff that exists in other more lauded games (such as the very mildly unruly camera and completely normal number of enemy types). The gameplay adds welcome wrinkles to the third-person brawler with its Pressen system. These are actions slotted into custom combos that can deal damage, heal, accelerate super-power cooldown or amplify the preceding Pressen; a combined effect that you design then execute during exciting, absorbing action. The gameplay is mixed up, as is the norm, with traversal and simple puzzles but a couple of riddles crop up and are something of an unexpected highlight. The cut-scenes are smoothly integrated and beautifully directed and edited, the art design is superb while Olivier Derivière’s music is unusual, effective and fitting. Remember Me drew me in and I wanted to see it through to the end. Well worth buying; don’t forget Remember Me.

This game contains sexual swear words, bad language, adult dialogue, violence

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Captain America: Super Soldier (2011,360) – 7/10 superhero action game review

Cast / crew
Game Director: Brandon Gill
Art Director: Barret Chapman
Audio Director: Alex MacFarlane
Technical Director: Darwin Chau
Lead Cinematic Animator: Rob Willock
Lead Gameplay Animator and Designer: Jeff King

Captain America: Super Soldier (2011)

As Dr. Anim Zola improves his understanding of human mortality through experimenting on prisoners-of-war, Captain America resolves to go in and punch him in the evil until he stops.

7/10

Successfully taking design inspiration from Batman: Arkham Asylum, this is a fun, highly playable and satisfying superhero movie game. Even without your special shield moves (which are too slow to deploy) the combat is rewarding to play throughout. The structure of the game provides an ever-expanding and constantly interesting 1940’s stronghold / science-fiction arena and taking the super-powered Captain through them picking up collectibles and leaving a trail of broken henchmen is a great balance of action and non-action. Technically, the frame rate doesn’t feel smooth but it loads surprisingly quickly, nothing is broken and it doesn’t affect playability. It winds up to a great speech by the Captain before a surprisingly not-irritating triple-boss battle during a boss battle, leaving us with a good memory of a good game.

This game contains strong bloodless violence

Classified 12+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 12 or over.
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.
Classified Bad Language by PEGI. Game contains bad language.

Dark Souls (2011) – 10/10 fantasy RPG game review

Cast / crew
Director / Producer: Hidetaka Miyazaki
Lead Programmer: Jun Ito
Lead Graphic Designer: Makoto Sato

Dark Souls (2011)

Not living, not dead, not capable of dying (just becoming hollowed), you’ve been banished to a remote prison. One day, a knight peers into your cell from the broken ceiling and tosses in a cadaver bearing a key for your door. Who he is? Don’t know. Why he gave you a key? Don’t know. Why it had to be on a cadaver? Absolutely no idea.

10/10

I suspect any discussion between fans of the unendingly, intricately wondrous Dark Souls (no-one does boss entrances or location reveals like the Souls games) quickly turns to the most souls and humanity lost by not successfully returning to the scene of your previous demise (31,000 souls, 2 humanity – about 3 levels-worth at the time – later, 12 humanity thanks to Ceaseless Discharge unexpectedly coming to meet me; nobody does boss names like the Souls games, either). It hurts. Badly. But one of the coolest things about Dark Souls battles is that you always know why you lost and it’s nearly always your own fault (I dodged backward off a ledge; then muttered disconsolately for the next hour). You knew you wanted to be a higher level. You knew the bridge was narrow and the parapet was damaged. You knew you needed to run away and heal. You knew you couldn’t take two on at once. You knew you needed to dodge not strike. You knew your armour was too heavy to run fast. You knew your crossbow takes ages to reload. You knew you were using the wrong shield. You knew you had to be patient. You knew it would be worth it. It’s always worth it.

This game contains bad language and optionally gory violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

007: Blood Stone (2010) – 6/10 third-person / driving action James Bond game review

Cast / crew
Daniel Craig: James Bond 007
Writer (Characters’ Creator): Ian Fleming
Joss Stone: Nicole Hunter
Judi Dench: M
Stunt Coordinator: Benjamin Cooke
Music: Richard Jacques
Writer: Bruce Feirstein

007: Blood Stone (2010)

Bond is assigned to rescue missing professor Malcolm Tedworth

6/10

This is a good-looking, generally smooth-playing action and driving game but, as with most Bond games (and the Uncharted games, interestingly), there are simply too many goons to take down. Each level goes on for too long because of it and the proliferation of henchmen to de-hench reduces the irresistible forward-momentum a Bond game should have. Nevertheless, Blood Stone does have it’s moments which generally come from getting yourself out of trouble with a melee takedown followed by a quick Focus Aim shot. I think the holders of the Bond license should produce a game with a lot less shooting in it; perhaps structured more like a Bioware-lite action adventure rather than a duck hunt where somebody else eats the succulent bird during a cut scene and tells you how tasty it was.

This game contains strong melee violence, some mild graphic violence, gun violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

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Call of Duty 3 (2006, 360) – 4/10 World War II first person shooter game review

Cast / crew
Executive Producer: Dave Anthony
Senior Producer: Pat Dwyer
Producer: Jason Blundell
Producer Multiplayer: Daniel Bunting
Technical Director Engineering: Mike Anthony
Lead Programmer Engineering: Christian Diefenbach
Technical Director Engineering – Game Content: Matthew Kimberling
Lead Programmer Engineering – Game Content: James Snider
Lead AI Programmer Engineering – Game Content: Peter Livingstone
Creative Director: Richard Farrelly
Lead Game Designer: Jeremy Luyties
Lead Level Builder: Adam Gascoine
Lead Level Scripter: Mike Denny

Call of Duty 3 (2006)

The arrival on Normandy’s beaches was only the start. Call of Duty 3 recreates some of the battles of the Normandy breakout.

4/10

Fortunately, Activision had already committed to a yearly cycle otherwise this dreary, frustrating, unfun shooter could have been the end of the Call of Duty juggernaut before it, er, began. The late Hill 262 mission is a good one (a nightmare on most difficulties though) – urgent and interesting – backed up by the consistently excellent music. There is some impressive technical achievement with great grass, water and some very convincing lighting effects (a strong point in all Call of Duty games) and it’s cool that you can drive around a couple of the levels which mixes things up nicely.

This game contains sexual swear words and war violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

This blog is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

inFamous 2 (2011) – 9/10 superhero / supervillain open-world action adventure PS3 exclusive game review

Cast / crew

inFamous 2 (2011)

Just as Kessler prophesied, the Beast arrives to decimate the world and Cole is preparing to take him on. As he is about to leave for New Marais to complete preparation, Cole has to engage the Beast in battle but is defeated resulting in the annihilation of Empire City. Escaping to New Marais, the Beast slowly follows overland laying waste to everything in his path but at least it will give Cole time to beef up his powers and make round 2 go his way.

9/10

Improving in every way but not breaking the perfect controls or wonderful playability of inFamous, this incredibly fun and impressive sequel is a joy from start to finish. It also delivers highly satisfying and different conclusions to the story for both good and evil playthroughs. Remarkably, both have genuine emotional impact: the good is touching, the evil is emotionally difficult. But it’s not just the big stuff inFamous 2 gets right. For some peculiar reason I absolutely love the sound of the carrier pigeons falling to the floor. The power-switching control scheme is the best and most flexible I’ve ever used (by miles). There’s no bad language. It’s not horribly violent. Brilliantly, the game automatically resumes when you start the disc, no button presses are required to get in to the game. Why more games don’t do this is beyond me. Sadly, inFamous 2 didn’t sell as well as the first but it is an exemplary, must-buy open-world action game.

This game contains strong melee violence, strong fantasy violence and sensuality.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

This blog is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (2009, PS3) – 5/10 mildly satirical third-person shooter game review

Cast / crew
Will Arnett: Matt Hazard
Neil Patrick Harris: Wallace "Wally" Wellesley III
Olivia Hack: QA / Evil QA
Lead Producer: Bryan West
Producer: Chris Puente
Lead Game Designer: Dave Ellis
Lead Level Designer: Michael Nelson
Writer: Dave Ellis
Lead Technical Programmer: Doug Cox
Lead Gameplay Programmer: Allan Campbell
Motion Capture Performer Matt Hazard & all various other characters: Richard Dorton
Motion Capture Performer Matt Hazard: John DeMerell

Eat Lead: Return of Matt Hazard, The (2009)

Reprising his role as gaming’s greatest hero once more, Matt Hazard is confused and dismayed to find himself getting killed at the end of the first chapter in a surprise twist. A hacker helps him survive but the game designers keep throwing in enemies from Hazard’s past to get rid of him once and for all.

5/10

This is a fine idea which certainly raises a smile and has potential for some delightful gameplay anachronism but look at the cover. Why would anyone buy a game with such a ugly cover? Look at Hazard’s ill-proportioned head. That’s not the face of a hero, of someone a player wants to inhabit. Look at the guns. The assault rifle has been made as big as the mini-gun which is the reason the picture is subconsciously wrong. Ironically, a photoshop done to balance the picture ends up unbalancing the viewer’s mind and puts off potential buyers without them knowing why. Once in game, there’s good music and voice work but it’s consistently a little clunky control-wise (aim and shoot are on the wrong buttons for PS3) and the level / gameplay designers simply have no idea of how to make battles fun, flowing and exciting. And the potential for delightful gameplay anachronism? Disappointingly, the anachronism isn’t even there, delightful or otherwise.

This game contains violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

This blog is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.