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Aliens: Colonial Marines: Limited Edition (PC DVD)
Aliens: Colonial Marines: Limited Edition (PC DVD)
Price: £4.10

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'll focus on the multiplayer, 13 Feb. 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I played through the first mission on my own, got to about level 5, then spent the next several hours playing in a 4 man squad, with someone else who was level 4, and some others who were level 20. From the beginning.
Level doesn't make a whole lot of difference, aside from weapons and their unlocks, personally I still use the pulse rifle and was getting the highest kills/assists ratio, though the scoring does seem biased towards the host.

It does seem more difficult with team-meates, we were slightly disappointed that you can't start a game with 2 people: 3 is the minimum. We spent about a minute searching for enough people to join our duo, then others dropped in and out as the night went on.

I've only played up to level 16 now, I'm just over halfway through (going by the mission screen).

There are things I like about Co-Op, personally I like the graphics and story, helping downed teammates before they bleed to death, going round in a team of badass marines. Ammo and armour pickups are shared (as in if one picks it up, you all get it), though the person who picks up the armour seems to get the most benefit. I'm not sure on health, it wasn't that often we found any, and if you get revived, as with most games, you're back with full health anyway. If you die, you have to hope your team survives to the next checkpoint.

There are audio logs and dog tags to find for bonus xp and achievements, and 6 legendary weapons, scattered throughout the levels. These can't be customised, so for example finding a Pulse Rifle with a 95 round mag isn't as good to me as my 60 mag with red dot sights and underslung grenade launcher.

Using the motion tracker reveals the rough location of dog tags/audio logs, but if someone on your team rushes to the next checkpoint, you're all forced to join them, and can't always go back.

Aside from the DLC's, the first intending being a horde survival type (apparently) I'm not sure on the replay value. I'm playing on Hardened difficulty at the minute, the only higher is Ultimate Badass, and I know the ranks go up to at least 60 from the achievements.

There are 4 VS game modes, Team Deathmatch (kill the other team), Extermination (blow up eggs as the marines, stop them as the aliens- TDM with objectives), Escape (get through the map as the marines, as the Aliens, stop them) and Survivor, which it just describes as survive, and I've not played, probably won't try it for a while. If that annoys you, feel free to buy it and try yourself. I'm just trying to provide a counter balance to whiners :). You don't choose your team, you take one turn as the marines, one as the aliens.

There are 3 alien classes to choose from, the Soldier (standard alien), the Spitter (launch acid from afar, or get in close) and my personal favourite, the lurker, which flings itself onto enemies from afar (or uses the pounce to escape). There are different attacks and specials to unlock for each class, to compete with the marines and their abundance of weaponry, and all the games I've played have been pretty balanced between aliens and marines. Well sometimes aliens have trounced the marines, other times marines beat Aliens effortlessly. And then a few, rare, good struggles, where it goes back and forth.

There are some things I don't like, like a basic Alien attacking a marine who is walking backwards, the marine moves faster so you have to be right on them. This could be a lag thing, but everyone was under 60 ping. I also got stuck on steps trying to attack a marine, so I'm swinging away, foiled by the almighty step I'm on. Aliens see the marines through walls, as in the other games, and focus on swarming or separating the marines, while marines try to stick together. It did amuse me that I basically beat an alien to death when I was out of ammo though. I've also been killed by an exploding alien, which never happened in the campaign mode.

I like the fast, back and forth action of the VS, but it's hard to get into as an Alien. Most people have probably tried the campaign for a few hours and know what they're doing as a marine, as an alien, you're trying to figure out how to get over the wall without going backwards, then after a few levels, some unlocks, multiples deaths, and trying the different classes you find something that fits your play style. I don't think the game warrants the current 44/100 Metacritic score it has, nor do I think it's amazing. I have fun, the people I know who own it like it, as do the others who play it, and that's good enough for me. If it matters, I found the Sega version of Aliens Vs Predator abysmal, and hated it with a passion.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2013 1:38 PM GMT

Of Orcs And Men (PC DVD)
Of Orcs And Men (PC DVD)
Offered by Wowudo
Price: £2.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong, story-focussed, combat driven game, 26 Dec. 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Basically, you're an Orc commando set out to kill the Human emperor, to try and buy your people some relief from the war. You pair up with a Goblin to accomplish the mission, and I'm loathe to discuss the why as I hate spoilers.

Gameplay is solid, unlike most RPG's it's not very loot focused. No looting enemy corpses, why would you want puny human sized weapons anyway? No smashing barrels, no destructible environmentals, if there's a chest or a bag you can loot, you'll know.

The game is all about the story, and the combat. There are no potions, if you want to heal in combat, learn the skills that increase regen, then hope you don't need them as most are pretty weak. This leads to the absolute necessity for tactics. You will be outnumbered, you'll often be outmatched, and this is where the Goblin, Styx, comes in. You can tab to switch between the active character, and as long as you're not already engaged in a fight, Styx can stealth to quietly assassinate enemies and it can make a huge difference if you do it right. The Humans shout for assistance, so if you charge in, you better be confident you can take them all down. You'll need to focus combat on the stronger opponents, it's not really the kind of game you can let your companion do their own thing. Skills can be assigned to hotkeys, as you would expect, and pressing the spacebar slows combat down immensely. It's not quite paused, but there's more than enough time to react and flick through your skill trees, offensive and defensive for the Orc, and melee and ranged for the Goblin.

The music is very atmospheric and it suits, I can't praise the story aspects of the game enough. There are a few questionable things with the writing, but they're few and far between. It is dark, violent, there's a lot of swearing, and if you're not careful in combat then your Orc, Arkail, will go berserk and randomly attack everything, including Styx. There are some techniques to release some rage, and you will need them because if you go berserk too soon into a fight you lose the ability to use any skills or to choose targets. Characters can revive each other mid combat, though not with much health, and there's been quite a few fights when I've had to run away to give one time to recover.

It's quite linear, it has a fair few side-quests and they do genuinely seem optional, a few moral choices to make, and on hard mode I got between 11 and 12 hours out of it (according to the counter on Steam, anyway). I'll end up playing it again on the harder mode to try out the different options and skills, and because I don't remember when I enjoyed a story this much

Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising (PC DVD)
Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising (PC DVD)
Offered by APE-GAMES
Price: £4.83

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nowhere near as bad as some reviews would have you beleive, 16 Nov. 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I put off buying the game for a long time after reading some reviews stating how short it is, and crashes and various bugs etc.
I already have Steam so that wasn't an issue for me, and I've never had a problem with it but there have been no crashes or bugs that I've come across in the 2 or 3 days it took me to finish the game.

For those who have complained the game is short, did you play on Primarch difficulty setting? That in itself adds longevity, especially if you're trying to get more points for the mission achievements (how many of your squads got knocked out, how many of the enemy you killed and how fast you completed the mission). Add in the chaos elements and seeing what happens when you're pure (in the eyes of the emperor) opposed to corrupted and you've still got to play through at least twice to see the outcome.

Then there are the new multiplayer units and the cooperative aspect which easily makes it worth the price, even more so if you get the gold edition with both the original game and the expansion.

Transformers: War for Cybertron (PC DVD)
Transformers: War for Cybertron (PC DVD)
Offered by Digitalville UK
Price: £9.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inense multiplayer, 19 July 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
The multiplayer action in this game is immense.

There are 4 classes: Leader (big guns and buffs), Scientist (the medic with a turret, only class that becomes a jet), Scout (sniper/cloaker with a shotgun) and Soldier (not played it much but it seems to be melee offense and good mix of weapons, and becomes a tank). Each class has 2 weapons (your choice from 4 or 5), 2 specials, their vehicle form, different abilities to choose as you unlock them

You've got your standard DM, TDM, Conquest which is great fun, then some Co-Op options. I'm not a transformers fan boy, watched the cartoon as a kid and was looking for something to replace Team Fortress 2 and this is definitely it.

You level up online to unlock new abilities, weapons always stay the same to keep it balanced. TDM can be a bit of a mission finding the enemy at times, but with conquest when you know where they're going (same control points as you) it's more frantic than anything I've seen in Team Fortress 2.

I bought this on a bored whim expecting it to be so so and am very impressed. Check out some official reviews if you're on the bench, it even makes someone as unsociable as me want to find others to Co-Op the story with, and that's saying something
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2010 7:54 PM BST

King Arthur (PC CD)
King Arthur (PC CD)
Offered by scaddingk
Price: £10.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable RPG strategy game, 13 Jun. 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: King Arthur (PC CD) (Video Game)
I'm not a fan of strategy games generally, I usually find them boring and don't have the patience for them. This game makes up for it with the RPG elements.
You start in control of one army, play through the tutorial, and then you're onto your first choice- ally with a tyrant king, or a rightful king. The Tyrant isn't necessarily evil in this world, they just rule with an iron fist.

Your choice is the first step on the morality meter, going from Old Faith (Sidhe) to Christianity, and Rightful to Tyrant. You get different spells, units, abilities and bonuses dependent on your faith. It also affects the outcome of missions- will you ally with one religion or oppose it?

There are several kinds of adventure (missions) that you can access- Battle (you know you're going to fight from the start), Trade (Trade either food, gold, artifacts or women), Diplomacy (Chance of fighting based on either how you answer/your faith/to which outcome you select) and then Adventure (The best kind, you choose a knight to go through a text adventure with, and how you choose determines who joins you, how many units you lose, what bonuses you get etc)

These adventures pop up from time to time, and have time limits on them in terms of seasons. It's easy to keep on top of them at first, but around level 20 when you've got various armies contesting you at the same time, rebellions cropping up in your towns and cities, religious wars and keeping your allies happy to contend with then you're hard pressed to do them all without giving too much ground away. (I do have the Downloaded content so get an extra 9 missions and 2 companions but that shouldn't make too much difference to the number for those without, you'll still be busy).

Units are the typical fare; light infantry, heavy infantry, spearmen, archers and cavalry, and the multiple options therein. You can have 12 knights total, and 3 in reserve in case they die or you choose to dismiss someone. You will require multiple armies.

As for the Knights themselves, there are different classes and all the same attributes to choose from; Leadership (Less upkeep cost for the army,) Reign (More income from each Knights province if they're a liege lord), Adventure (More exp from missions and more movement points on the map), Fight (5% more dmg and hp for the knight and his unit with each level) and Magic (all knights use mana, champions and warlords for melee, sage for powerful spells).

There are masses of artifacts in the game, some of it needs to be used to unlock the extra stats, some provide extra skills, some just attribute bonuses- plenty of choice to match your play style.
You can also choose a wife for each knight, which give different bonuses- either suited to battle or liege lords, and always with at least 1 negative point to balance it out. Just don't marry them off straight away, you can get upgrades to get a new maid sent your court every year.
When you capture your first city you choose which buildings to construct, for various bonuses, and also need to choose upgrades for your troops. Levelling up, upgrading and building can only be done in Winter (no one moves in winter).

There is also an expansion in the works already (this game has been out for a while on Steam).

As for those who prefer strategy, you have unit formations, forests/swamps/hills which can turn the tide for one unit against each other, hiding bonuses to attack, fog spells to confound archers, sunlight spells if your enemy is stronger at night, buffs, healing, freeze spells, slow spells, kill everything in sight spells and victory locations (holding these cause the enemy morale to drop quicker, handy if they're stronger than you).
You also have to prioritise enemies/events on the map

The only reason it gets 4 and not 5 stars is the game launcher has a habit of crashing for some people.

Aliens Vs Predator (PC DVD)
Aliens Vs Predator (PC DVD)
Price: £3.23

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good game but dire multiplayer lobby, 20 Feb. 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
I'll leave the game aspects to other reviews, I'm talking about the lobby system when searching for servers- it's all done via 'quick match' so if you like for example 3 out of the 7 multiplayer modes- Survivor (Co-op), Predator Hunt, Infestation, Death Match, Species Death Match, Mixed Species Death Match and Domination- and you only want to see servers running them, then tough.
You have the option of searching any game mode, or one specifically, and no choice as to whether you want to connect to that specific server as it's all done automatically.
Then the match only exists while enough people are in, and so far today I've spent as much time queuing as I have playing.
You also can't disable voice chat, so again, if someones voice is grating on you, you better learn to deal with it.

Might not be a big issue to some people, but I know there will be others like me who tend to prefer specific game modes and would rather search those modes all at once, rather than one at a time or include modes I have no interest in. This game really deserves something better than an all or nothing filter system

As of yet there still aren't any dedicated servers

Section 8 (PC DVD)
Section 8 (PC DVD)
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.97

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast multiplayer action, 8 Dec. 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Section 8 (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Got this game yesterday, spent maybe 2 hours at most on the single player story to get to grips with the basics, then just went straight online.
Played from about 2pm til 7, then back on about 10pm and the server I was on was still busy so there are people who play it, ideally could be more but negative reviews don't help it.

The multiplayer is all about capturing control points, holding them, then doing the special missions they unlock such as; escorting a VIP from one point to another/trying to kill them, planting/defusing the bomb, stealing/guarding your factions intel, deploying/destroying an outpost and escorting/destroying a convoy.

The single player I'm not impressed with at all, story seems a bit naff, fighting against the bots boring, but take it online and it becomes a lot more fun. You get cash for killing/taking bases and can use it to either deploy your own anti person/vehicle/air turrets, radar, supply depots, APC's, a tank or a heavy walker which is great fun for grabbing and smashing people.

Various classed to be configured as you want, repair tool takes the place of medkits, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, knifes for the satisfying backstab, a variety of lasers and machine guns and support tools, very fast sprint to get you to the action and a rocket pack to add another level of strategy

Always 4 control points on a map, but its the extra missions that give it the re playability as they could all kick in at once, forcing your team to split up very quickly, or go through one at a time depending on the rest of the points.

If you're looking for something new to play online then give it a go

Aion (PC)
Aion (PC)
Offered by Acrodeal UK
Price: £7.89

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some issues but it's still fun, 26 Sept. 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Aion (PC) (Video Game)
The main issue at the minute is the queue to get into the game, estimated wait for me right now, 22.47 on a Saturday night is 32 minutes. Could go up and be more, could work out being less, not a huge factor to me as I only like to play here and there, but a major game killer to those with a limited amount of time to play.
The combat is simple at first, but then builds up as you get chain skills i.e. one attack opens up another higher than it, and then as you increase in levels you get a choice of different chains for different effects, like fast damage, big bursts, poison, or slowing the enemy dependent on your class and level, and there are Stigma slots: high powered or tactical abilities for your class that you choose to equip, much like tactics, as there is only space for so many.
There are different channels in the lower areas to avoid overcrowding, get to level 20 and beyond though and its just one channel, supposedly to force you to PVP. No hiding from it, it's a PVP game. It's bound to balance itself over time, with different people being in different areas, and there are different zones besides if you're lucky enough to be able to quest in them.
As for the PVP combat itself, you need to be level 25 to enter the Abyss where it all takes place, otherwise its just the odd group or person who appear through a rift here and there (mostly by accident following quests it seems thus far).
Flying isn't that big a factor to me yet (only level 23). Lots of areas aren't fly zones to cut down on people falling to their doom, you mostly use your wings for gliding or gathering resources in the air until it's time to PVP, then it opens up other avenues.
Crafting is worthwhile, can level up with work orders as long as you have the money so no chasing resources down unless you actually want to make something. But then you can make some great items.
It's just a short summary while I wait to load, there are pro's and con's as with any new game, but its definitely worth a look, and I can see it holding my interest for more than a month, as was sadly the case with Warhammer Online and Lotro.
If you're bored of the same, I would advise going for it

Drakensang: The Dark Eye (PC DVD)
Drakensang: The Dark Eye (PC DVD)
Offered by replay-international
Price: £4.99

14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slower than expected, 18 Mar. 2009
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
it's very nice, graphically, but the big put off for me would be that the fighting seems so slow- bought the game on digital download, played the starter town and the first city and moved onto the next area and it seems like I've just spent hour upon hour killing rats. And not without some effort too- they're tough and they come in packs.
There doesn't seem to be any real variety between the different classes. nothing that makes them stand out or leaves you thinking "I wonder what that class is like?" Character customization is limited to choosing one of the pre-set classes (though admittedly there is ample choice) and choosing a different name from the generator- no body or facial options apart from being male or female. And there doesn't seem to be an option to be whoever you want, the dialogue options all seem polite. This might appeal to some, but I like a little more leeway to be apathetic or even evil.
Magic use comes from astral energy, melee skills use endurance- both regenerate over time, in and out of combat, so no limit to how many spells you can use before a rest is needed like in neverwinter nights for example.
To me it seems like another game in the genre, nothing special but it'll kill a weekend or so.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 24, 2009 10:06 PM GMT

Silverfall (PC DVD)
Silverfall (PC DVD)
Offered by FUN-N-MORE
Price: £4.90

4.0 out of 5 stars I like it, 10 Nov. 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Silverfall (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Ok, So I'm not a big fan of the point and click and the camera can be annoying at times, but only when you're trying to click something far off- it's never an issue in combat.
I'd say I have an average system, nothing special, and I play the game without any issues.
As to complaints of dying a lot, not if you're careful, and also of course how you allocate stat/skill points and your class makes a huge difference.

I have been playing too much in a short period of time, up to level 52 now and I've died about 5 times at most, insurance is cheap (last price for me was less than 500 gold, I have over 65k), no idea what the cap is, and I do get bored as you'd expect, but i still keep coming back, and I'll get Earthfall too when I finish this.

In short it's not amazing but it is fun, and its worth a look especially when it's as cheap as it is now

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