Dark Souls II (2014) – 10/10 fantasy action RPG game review

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Cast / crew

Dark Souls II (2014)

Drangleic is way past it’s glory days and, without it’s king, has transformed into a remarkably dangerous place. Bring the family; all falls included!

10/10

It took a surprising couple of hours before I died in Dark Souls II. This certainly doesn’t have the dank, morbid atmosphere of the endlessly and rightly lauded Dark Souls but it does have the wonderful unfurling exploration for which, remarkably, you don’t need a map; we learn the lay of the land just like we learn our own streets by travelling them every day. This is another way the Souls games are, possibly, unique among open-world games. While some of the boss battles feel like extra large normal dudes, there are some true highlights including Executioner’s Chariot and, in Royal Rat Authority, a boss that may require you to change game-long tactics (SPOILER disengage lock-on and get under his feet) and teaches you through emergent gameplay rather than a loading screen tip. As for the not dying… well, I sure made up for that later. Dark Souls II is a spectacular, immersive, ridiculously generous game but, aside from a much better user interface and vastly improved PC performance, it’s a hair less effective and atmospheric than Dark Souls. A hair, I say, and still a masterpiece in it’s own right. P.S. The DLC is all fully amazing.

This game contains violence

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

Links

F1 2012 (2012, PC Windows Steam) – 10/10 Formula 1 racing game review

Cast / crew
Executive Producer: Ian Flatt
Creative Director: Stephen Hood
Game Director: Paul Jeal
Technical Director: David Percival
Technical Art Director: Stephen Johnson
Art Manager: Andrew Watt
Designer: Jason Darby
Designer: Lee Mather
Designer: Mark Lewis
Designer: Mark Russell
Nick Barber: Race Engineer
David Croft: Presenter
Anthony Davidson: Hot Lap Voice

F1 2012 (2012)

10/10

This remains the best racing series of it’s generation and a number of small tweaks and the new Austin track enhance the experience yet further. The inclusion of unpredictable weather was a masterstroke and Codemasters have also made the evolution of the car throughout a weekend with it’s differing tyre and fuel components even more distinct than before. Harsh penalties are still a minor issue, though; AI cars cannot receive penalties and their mistake / mechanical issues do not scale for shorter races meaning they never make mistakes. F1 2012, astoundingly, remains the only major racing title to feature all the principle elements of racing: practice and setup, qualification and racing with pit stops; something Forza and Gran Turismo have ostentatiously failed to deliver in the 360 / PS3 generation.

Mass Effect 3 (2012, PC Windows) – 10/10 role-playing science-fiction action adventure game review

Cast / crew
Project Director: Casey Hudson
Lead Designer: Preston Watamaniuk
Lead Writer: Mac Walters
Art Director: Derek Watts
Lead Programmer: David Falkner
Producer: Jesse Houston
Development Director: Corey Andruko
Jennifer Hale: Commander Shepard
Mark Meer: Commander Shepard

Mass Effect 3 (2012)

When the Reapers attack Earth, Shepard is pulled out of enforced retirement (thanks to her association with Cerberus) and reassured that she may have been right after all about this universe-ending thing. However, the universe hasn’t ended yet and Shepard isn’t ready to stop punching fate in the face.

10/10

One of the amazing emotions that a game can stir in a player is that of being a total hero. The first Mass Effect had it, the second didn’t (it was too mechanical), this third instalment of arguably the most ambitious video game project of all time does. It also entertains, thrills, intrigues and moves you. This is a terrific third-person shooter wrapped up in a terrific role-playing game wrapped up in a terrific universe and is absolutely a must-play.

This game contains very infrequent sexual swear words, bad language and violence, graphic headshot violence, gory and unpleasant scenes and potential homosexual and heterosexual sexuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Links

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

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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, 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

Portal 2 (2011, Steam PC, PS3) – 10/10 first-person puzzle game review

Cast / crew
Ellen McLain: GLaDOS, Turrets, Caroline
Stephen Merchant: Wheatley
J.K. Simmons: Cave Johnson

Portal 2 (2011)

Woken up from hibernation once more, you must escape from Aperature Laboratories with the help of Wheatley, a friendly A.I. core, and a familiar piece of technology: the portal gun. On your way out, however, you bump into a still-alive GLaDOS.

10/10

In an era where high-profile games are getting more and more horribly and gratuitously violent, playing Portal 2 is such a refreshing experience. It is styled as a first-person shooter but is a puzzle game of the very highest order. Why? It teaches you brilliantly. On top of this, it is the funniest game yet made. Stephen Merchant’s Wheatley is the undoubted star but he is given a surprising run for his money by J.K. Simmons’ Cave Johnson, both delivering their dialogue beyond brilliantly. Graphics are fantastic with some spectacular level deformation and great lighting effects as the levels construct themselves around you. That said, loading times are horrendous; it frequently feels like the loading takes longer than the puzzle. It very much breaks the atmosphere though the game is so strong that it immediately regains it once the gaming restarts. Oh, and then it has probably the greatest gameplay ending in video game history. This is, well, a bit special.

This game contains mild bad language.

Links

Batman: Arkham City (2011, PC Games for Windows Live) – 10/10 open-world action adventure game review

Cast / crew
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Batman: Bob Kane
Game Director: Sefton Hill
Studio Director: Jamie Walker
Senior Producer: Daniel Bailie
Senior Producer: Nathan Burlow
Art Director: David Hego
Audio Director: Nick Arundel
Technical Director: Ben Wyatt
Lead Animator: Zafer Coban
Lead Environment Artist: William Smith
Lead Character Artist: Pablo Hoyos Isusquiza
Lead Level Designer: Ian Ball
Lead Narrative Designer: Paul Crocker
Lead AI Programmer: Tim Hanagan
Lead Player Programmer: Adam Doherty
Writer: Paul Dini
Writer: Paul Crocker
Writer: Sefton Hill
Kevin Conroy: Batman / Bruce Wayne, Hush
Grey Delisle: Catwoman, Dr. Stacy Baker, Martha Wayne
Martin Jarvis: Alfred Pennyworth
Kimberly Brooks: Barbara Gordon / Oracle, M.P.T. Officer Anne Bishop
Troy Baker: Robin, Harvey Dent / Two-Face
Corey Burton: Hugo Strange
Mark Hamill: The Joker
Tara Strong: Harley Quinn
Dee Bradley Baker: Ra’s al Ghul, Waylon Jones / Killer Croc, Wonder City Announcer
Stana Katic: Talia al Ghul
Nolan North: The Penguin, Black Mask, Inmate #4
Maurice LaMarche: Mr. Freeze, Calendar Man, Political Prisoner

Batman: Arkham City (2011)

At a rally supporting the closure of Arkham City – a massive secure corner of Gotham City housing all prisoners who are then left to their own devices – Bruce Wayne is kidnapped by the prison’s governor Dr. Hugo Strange. Disturbingly, Strange knows Wayne’s alternative identity – Batman – and dumps a handcuffed Wayne in the general populace straight into the mangled hands of The Penguin before ominously proclaiming that Protocol 10 will be deployed in ten hours.

10/10

Proving Arkham Asylum was no fluke, Rocksteady Studios widen the play area and loosen the story shackles giving us more, more, more of everything. Unfortunately, this leads to a fairly instantaneous lull as the forward momentum of the story can now be scuppered by the player just wandering around being Bat-tastic and constantly distracted on your way to story objectives. Still, when you do finally get there, Mark Hamill’s voice-work as Joker is, once again, exemplary. Kevin Conroy also is Batman; whenever you do something in the game, Batman will do it just a bit cooler than you expected and Conroy will make your heroic gruffness thoroughly awesome (though I’m always oddly disappointed he never says ‘thank you’ to anyone). Arkham City, like Arkham Asylum before it, simply makes you feel like a superhero, like Batman.

This game contains mild swear words, adult dialogue and strong melee violence without realistic sound effects, unpleasant scenes and sensuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Links

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006, 360, PC) – 10/10 swords-and-sorcery fantasy role-playing game review

Cast / crew
Executive Producer: Todd Howard
Senior Producer: Ashley Cheng
Lead Programmer: Guy Carver
Lead Programmer: Craig Walton
Lead Artist: Matthew Carofano
Lead Character Artist: Christiane Meister
Lead Dungeon Artist: Istvan Pely
Lead Designer: Ken Rolston
Producer: Gavin Carter
Producer: Craig Lafferty
Patrick Stewart: Emperor Uriel Septim
Sean Bean: Martin Septim
Terence Stamp: Mankar Camoran
Lynda Carter: Female Nords / Female Orcs
Ralph Cosham: Jauffre / Vincent Valtieri / Male Bretons
Wes Johnson: Lucien Lachance / The Grey Fox / Pelinal Whitestrake / The Arena Announcer / Dremora / Male Imperials
Michael Mack: Baurus / Owyn / Male Redguards
Craig Sechler: Hgh Chancellor Ocato / Falcar / Alval Uvani / Faelian / The Adoring Fan / Male Dunmer / Male Altmer / Male Bosmers

Elder Scrolls IV, The: Oblivion (2006)

Languishing in prison you find yourself interrupted by a very surprised Emperor’s bodyguard swiftly followed by the Emperor himself. It seems that the Emperor’s secret escape tunnel is located in your cell and that the cell should, obviously, be empty at all times. Emperor Uriel Septim seems less surprised and tells you that he saw you in a dream and that you should follow them. This is a ticket to freedom, true freedom, as when you finally leave you could assist the Emperor and his Knights’ mission. Or not, it’s up to you; you could become a mercenary and buy yourself a nice house. Or both! What will you do?

10/10

Truly impressive and immersive fantasy action romp. Everything is just that little bit better than normal, just that little bit better than even good games. The quests tend to be little bit more interesting than usual.  The dialogue is more engaging than usual despite sounding like only four people voiced the entire populace outside of Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean. The offensive and defensive combat is just a bit more involving than usual; my setup eventually had a 70% chance of reflecting damage back on the attacker so they’d essentially hack and magic and bash themselves to death while I stood there saying "Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself." The locations are just that bit better designed than usual; you could tell which town you were in without referring to a map and where the temple, your house and preferred merchants were. This is one of the best, and biggest, games ever released and it casts a gigantic shadow over every other swords-and-sorcery-themed western RPG released since. Because they’re not as good.

This game contains mild swear words, mild adult dialogue and fantasy substance abuse and fantasy, blade, projectile and melee violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

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Mass Effect (2007, Science Fiction Action RPG, PC Windows) – 10/10 game re-review

Cast / crew
Project Director: Casey Hudson
Jennifer Hale: Female Commander Shepard
Mark Meer: Male Commander Shepard
Ali Hillis: Liara T’Soni

Mass Effect (2007)

As humans seek to ingratiate themselves with the tri-race Council ruling from The Citadel, an attack by a presumed-extinct species on the human-colonised planet Eden Prime hurls humanity, and Commander Shepherd in particular, into the middle of a crisis whose scope is beyond anything anyone alive has ever faced before.

10/10

An initial lack-of-fun, lack-of-focus and surplus-of-difficulty spike that is the first trap awaiting all RPGs is fallen headlong into here and an initial feeling of clunkiness in the game’s action may be enough to put off interested players. However, this is their very great loss as Mass Effect is a superb gaming achievement and successfully delivers a universe, characters and story worth playing through. Once the gameplay starts to come to the player (a natural curve in all RPGs), everything gels and makes this a game you’ll remember with fondness and look forward eagerly to playing through again. On PC, with no technical shortcomings, the game looks and plays magnificently and on repeat playthroughs (three times completed now) Mass Effect is a joy. It’s slightly better than it’s sequel because the story and character structure is better disguised, the climax is stronger and you are given a better hero moment as you come striding over the wreckage in the Citadel to the swell of the music. Though the sequel does have Miranda’s butt in it, so there’s that.

This game contains mild swear words, adult dialogue, substance abuse-related dialogue and violence, strong unpleasant scenes, very occasional mild gore, very occasional graphic violence and sexuality, sensuality, mild nudity.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

Links

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time (2009, PS3 exclusive) – 10/10 temporal puzzle action adventure platformer game review

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Cast / crew

Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time (2009)

10/10

This is Insomniac’s masterpiece. It’s very funny, paced brilliantly and boasts intrigue and action aplenty. The real stars are Clank’s temporal puzzles which are all brilliant and whose real genius lies in how well the concept is communicated. Each one is superb, fun and challenging but boasting a perfect balance between logic and platforming. They never feel impossible and are tremendously satisfying to solve. Ratchet’s sections are also terrific. Naturally, he has a pile of wonderful, wonderful toys to play with but thanks to fun enemies with different abilities, all the action, even arena and space battles, are surprisingly thrilling, challenging and tremendous fun. It’s never just beating endless baddies the same way. The (optional) disappearing platforms puzzles are a bit irritating and there is a slightly baffling climax to the story but it doesn’t matter a jot to one of the most fun, satisfying and greatest games ever released.

This game contains mild fantasy bad language, extended mild fantasy violence

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Links

Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009, Classic Superhero Third-Person Action, Games for Windows) – 10/10 game review

Cast / crew
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Batman: Bob Kane
Game Director: Sefton Hill
Writer: Paul Dini
Lead Narrative Designer: Paul Crocker
Lead Level Designer: Ian Ball
Kevin Conroy: Batman
Mark Hamill: Joker

Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)

You don’t look gift horses in the mouth and, while he considers this time a bit easier than normal, Batman has re-captured Joker and brought him to Arkham Asylum. Once inside, however, Joker escapes and, with the help of a few carefully planted accomplices, takes over Arkham. But why?

10/10

Arkahm Asylum makes you feel like a superhero, like Batman, striding around being awesome (voiced brilliantly by Kevin Conroy opposite Mark Hamill’s even more brilliant Joker). It’s a simple summation but incredibly difficult to achieve and studio Rocksteady’s achievement has been rightfully lauded industry-wide. Successfully clearing a room of gun-toting baddies one at a time makes you feel like Batman, and not like almost all other action games, as does using all the gadgets. As is often the case, making the player extremely powerful or flexible offensively but weak defensively (Batman can’t really take being shot), means that the player feels like he has overcome the odds rather than just button mashed his way through artificially massive hordes of fist-fodder. While the end boss fight feels wrong character-wise it’s the only misstep in the entire game.

This game contains mild adult dialogue and fictional substance abuse and violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Links

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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009, Third-Person Action Adventure, PS3 exclusive) – 10/10 review

Game Director: Bruce Straley
Creative Director: Amy Hennig
Lead Programmer: Pål-Kristian Engstad
Lead Programmer: Travis McIntosh
Lead Programmer: Dan Liebgold
Music: Greg Edmonson
Nolan North: Nathan Drake
Emily Rose: Elena Fisher
Claudia Black: Chloe Frazer
Richard McGonagle: Sully
Steve Valentine: Harry Flynn
Rene Auberjonois: Karl Schafer

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009)

Drake joins up with former colleague Harry Flynn to try and find the lost treasure of Marco Polo but when you’re among thieves, you really can trust no-one.

10/10

While Drake’s still got completely broken ankles, this is a fun, highly thrilling action game that you just want to play through in one sitting. There are some moments that are absolutely staggering such as battles being played on the floor of a collapsing building, on a speeding train, the chapter with Jeff and post-Jeff and a Tibetan truck chase. There are sequences here that would be awesome if they were in a movie or cut-scene but in a game, with you playing it, it’s awesome on toast. Additionally, there are lots of lovely touches including Drake being highly personable in swimming pools, petting yaks and introducing himself to Tibetan villagers and it’s even actually funny (“There’s a guy below you, there’s a guy below you.”) and genuinely charming. Then you’ve got the goodness that is one of the best multiplayer co-op experiences available. This is one of those games that people always start to describe by saying “it’s not perfect, but…” Of course, nothing is, but Uncharted 2 is the PS3’s best game and one of the all-time greats.

This game contains frequent mild swear words, mild adult dialogue and gory scenes, frequent gun violence, frequent melee violence, knife violence and sensuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Links

Bioshock (2007, Game, 360) – 10/10 review

Writer (Story): Ken Levine
Writer: Ken Levine
Creative Director: Ken Levine
Director of Product Development: Jonathan Chey
Project Lead: Alyssa Finley

Bioshock (2007)

1960, Mid-Atlantic: Your plane crashes into the ocean but a beacon of hope towers over the water. You enter and find a once-remarkable undersea city but the crash was only the start of your trauma. Welcome to Rapture, and the world of Andrew Ryan.

10/10

When reviewers talk about atmosphere in a game, this is what they are talking about (see also the Half-Life series). This is the best-looking non-Epic Unreal Engine game; it shows that it isn’t the engine’s fault that so many games built in it look kinda ugly but that the developers are not getting the best out of it. However, Bioshock isn’t quite perfect. The main problem is the staggering gameplay decision that pulling your Plasmid or Weapon trigger does not always fire it; you have to press it twice if switching from one to the other or you have to press a button then the trigger. Every other problem is rather minor (the Big Daddy boots make a quickly tiresome noise) and are more than compensated for by the incredible production design, wonderful sound, interesting gameplay and surprisingly well-told story (there are almost no cut-scenes) with a reveal in the second-act climax that will really tickle the grey cells especially if someone reminds you what Vita-Chambers do.

This game contains sexual swear words and substance abuse (plasmids) and extended extremely unpleasant and extremely gory scenes, extended extreme and gory gun violence, extended extreme and gory melee violence, extended graphic fantasy violence.

Classified 18 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over.

Gran Turismo: Real Driving Simulator 2, The (1999, PS1) – 10/10

Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator 2 (1999)

1 player GT mode offline, 1 or 2 player Arcade mode offline.

Starting with lowly production cars, win races of all classes and disciplines to earn money to enhance your car and expand your garage, ultimately getting your hands on limited edition, ultra-rare full-on sportscars with outrageous performance.

10/10

The most comprehensive driving simulator by far at the time, Gran Turismo 2 has astounding breadth and is instantly brilliant in nearly every department. It’s one and only weakness – it is too easy, a fact concealed only by its length – is not enough to prevent it getting the full ten. Polyphony Digital once again provide a wonderful showcase of brilliantly designed and rendered environments for their exemplary driving experience that is convincing, challenging and, crucially, fun.

Gran Turismo (1998, PS1) – 10/10

Gran Turismo (1998)

10/10

Genre-defining racing game classic. I’ve taken another look at it almost ten years on now and the driving is as good as ever. Using a PC emulator, I had it set up with a high resolution display and analogue steering and analogue brake and accelerate on the Xbox 360 Controller shoulder triggers. Worked like a charm (aside from an humungous ePSXe-introduced dead-zone in the steering which has be got used to). Ridiculously, a lot of sim-slanted driving games since do not match this great game for that feel of being in control of a vehicle and knowing what it is doing from the vibration and screen feedback.

Doctor Slimm gets shot (a lot) in PlayStation 3’s Call of Duty 4

Doctor Slimm attempts to diagnose small tweaks that would have improved the playing experience, sometimes imperceptibly. They are presented in no particular order. This is not a sequel wish list or a bug list but tweaks to what is already there.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)

Single player: tackle terrorism in a contemporary battlefield as the world’s armed forces unite to remove a common enemy in a politically unstable country.

Multiplayer: employ all your guile, skill and persistence and work your way up from a lowly private with stock weapons by partaking in various wargames against other people from around the world.

10/10

As good as first person shooters get whose only minor fault is that it sometimes feels like the action happens with or without you. This is utterly spectacular, beautifully paced, gorgeous to look at and listen to and, critically, features pitch-perfect controls and instant all-enveloping atmosphere. And who knew that being able to shoot through certain materials would be so rewarding? Even when the game is over, the goodness doesn’t end with a wry rap stressing the fact that Call of Duty 3 isn’t an Infinity Ward game, a bonus level set on an airplane (“Don’t call me Shirley.”) and a never-ending and worthwhile multiplayer component.

This videogame contains a single sexual swear word, mild swear words and extended graphic war violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
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..
Classified Bad Language by PEGI. Game contains bad language..

Available on Xbox 360. Available on PC. Available on PS3. Available on Special Edition Xbox 360.

User-defined controls. In common with many console shooters, you cannot define your own controls in Call of Duty 4. You can choose one of the predefined control layouts which, impressively, include a few left-handed sets. However, the specific control I really wanted to change was Sprint which is assigned to L3 on all control schemes. I find it very difficult to sprint effectively in the game. Given the choice I would assign Sprint to Circle and Change Stance to L3. But I’m not given the choice.

Doctor Slimm found nothing else worth tweaking with the game. It’s that good.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007, PlayStation 3) – 10/10 contemporary military first person shooter game review

Cast / crew
Project Lead: Jason West
Engineering Lead: Richard Baker
Engineering Lead: Robert Field
Engineering Lead: Francesco Gigliotti
Engineering Lead: Earl Hammon, Jr.
Design Lead: Todd Alderman
Design Lead: Steve Fukuda
Design Lead: Mackey McCandlish
Writer: Jesse Stern
Writer (Additional): Steve Fukuda
Writer (Story): Todd Alderman
Writer (Story): Steve Fukuda
Writer (Story): Mackey McCandlish
Writer (Story): Zied Rieke
Writer (Story): Jesse Stern
Writer (Story): Jason West
Producer: Mark Rubin

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)

Single player: tackle terrorism in a contemporary battlefield as the world’s armed forces unite to remove a common enemy in a politically unstable country.

Multiplayer: employ all your guile, skill and persistence and work your way up from a lowly private with stock weapons by partaking in various wargames against other people from around the world.

10/10

As good as first person shooters get whose only minor fault is that it sometimes feels like the action happens with or without you. This is utterly spectacular, beautifully paced, gorgeous to look at and listen to and, critically, features pitch-perfect controls and instant all-enveloping atmosphere. And who knew that being able to shoot through certain materials would be so rewarding? Even when the game is over, the goodness doesn’t end with a wry rap stressing the fact that Call of Duty 3 isn’t an Infinity Ward game, a bonus level set on an airplane (“Don’t call me Shirley.”) and a never-ending and worthwhile multiplayer component.

This game contains a single sexual swear word, mild swear words and extended graphic war violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
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.
Classified Bad Language by PEGI. Game contains bad language.

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.

Ico (2002, Game, PS2 on PS3) – 10/10 review

Game Designer: Fumito Ueda
Director: Fumito Ueda
Kazuhiro Shindou: Ico

Ico (2002)

Ico’s fate had been sealed since his birth, since that fateful day when he emerged with horn’s protruding from his tiny head. Now twelve-years-old, his family offer no resistance and weep none when the mysterious horsemen come and take him away to be imprisoned in an ancient fortress. The horsemen seal him inside a stone casket and Ico is sentenced to spend eternity in silent torment…

10/10

Without question, one of the most remarkable videogames ever made. Expressively animated and atmospherically presented, this gentle puzzle action game is full of gameplay goodness that would become touchstones in modern gaming (God of War is highly reminiscent of this). It also supplies one of the single most brilliant moments in videogame history when you take the hand of your companion Yorda and realise that you will be protecting this delicate, ethereal girl and tackling this adventure together literally hand-in-hand. Genius.

This game contains fantasy violence, mild gory and unpleasant scenes.

Classified OK 3+ by ELSPA. Content OK 3+.

Available on PlayStation 2.