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BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360)
BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360)
Offered by Shop4World
Price: £8.70

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nearly as good as the last of us, 9 July 2013
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The third entry in the series of legendary story driven shooters by Irrational Games. Lauded by many as a bold entry and the saviour of the first person shooter genre gone stale with Call of Duty Clones.
The story
Whilst the first game explored the city at the bottom of the ocean “Rapture,” this entry has you up in the heavens exploring a city in the clouds. This was a natural progression of the series, but this time the protagonist “Booker Dewitt” talks, unlike in previous titles. “Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt.” This is the premise for the story as Booker is a man in debt and to clear it he is tasked with going to this floating city in the sky, “Columbia” to bring back Elizabeth, a girl of great importance. The Story is incredibly well written, not something we are used to getting from first person shooters, but Bioshock pulls it off with style. It is set in 1912 and as such, there is racism in the game. This game takes you to some uncomfortable places as you come face to face with the stark reality of human nature. I will stop here because I don’t want to spoil any more of the fantastic story. The only minor gripe I have with it is the ending can be a bit confusing and I thought it was a bit of a plot hole until I heard about an audio log I had missed that explained my misunderstanding. It seems to me they should have made the revelations in this audio log more accessible as I missed it, even though I thought I had done a lot of exploring.
The graphics
The visuals in this game are a sight to behold as you take in this wondrous city. “Columbia” is a designed as the American dream. As you first step out into the city and drink in the gorgeous view of a floating city rich with vibrant colours and people, your breath is taken away. The vistas are that amazing that this is a game you walk through, not run. I found myself stopping just to look at the golden sunlight or impressive buildings. As the story progresses and the revolution rises, the colour pallet gradually darkens as you look across a destroyed city-scape and burning buildings. The whole game is a feast for the senses and never ceases to amaze with its atmosphere and believable world, despite its unbelievable setting.
The gameplay
As always, with the Bioshock series, the gameplay is sublime and smooth. 60 fps on all platforms ensures a buttery smooth experience. This gorgeous game gets even better with the introduction of powers that you can use in conjunction with guns. Frying an enemy alive then blasting him with a shotgun to the face has never been so satisfying. The fast paced gameplay is enhanced with these “vigours” that allow you to use a variety of abilities. This ensures for fast, frenetic gameplay that never gets stale. That, coupled with the sky rail system, makes for some engaging gameplay. The sky rail system is a monorail like rollercoaster track that runs throughout the city allowing you to whizz about and deal death from above.
Conclusion
In conclusion then, this game is damn near perfect in every way; the story is superb, the graphics are awe inspiring, the subject material is bold, the gameplay is excellent. If it weren’t for a few pacing miss-steps and plot holes, this game would be scoring a perfect 10. It successfully recaptures the magic that the first title had and it does so with such bravado that it’s hard not to applaud Irrational Games for their efforts. The first person shooter market is flooded with generic titles that don’t have much in the way of innovation or story telling, most of them are trying to cash in on the Call of Duty success. However, Bioshock is a refreshingly different game that dares to be different and is the hero of many a gamer.
9.9/10
+ Eye popping visuals
+ Good length 15 + hrs
+ Story driven gameplay
+ Bold thematic material
+ Steam punk vibe
- Some pacing issues


Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception: Game of the Year (PS3)
Uncharted 3 Drake's Deception: Game of the Year (PS3)
Offered by gamesaficionado
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaming Godliness!!!, 9 July 2013
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The third in the series of Indiana Jones-esque adventures of Nathan Drake. This wise cracking, fortune hunter is about to embark upon his most dangerous endeavour yet.
The Story
The narrative here takes a more serious tone and really highlights the isolation of Nathan Drake on his adventure. This time around, the bad guys are searching for a lost city in the sands of immeasurable wealth. Nathan Drake and his team go in search of it to prevent it falling into the wrong hands. This time, as the dangers are increased and learning from the cost of the previous adventures, his friends ask him is he really doing this for the right reasons. I’m glad they touched on this because the crew barely escaped with their lives last time, so to embark on this journey without at least questioning if it is worth it would be unrealistic. Two thirds through the game, he is separated from his crew and dumped in the middle of the desert. This is a truly stunning part of the game as Nathan Drake is in a desperate situation here and is fighting for his life. Upon the conclusion, fans will be left satisfied by the adventure they have undergone in and a complete story arc that leaves no open endings.
The Graphics
The visuals have taken a step up from the last title, if that was even possible. Naughty Dog have consistently displayed their graphical prowess and ability to squeeze every ounce of power out of the aging console. This surely is the pinnacle of graphical excellence on the PS3, second only to PC games. As Nathan Drake staggers through the desert, sand dripping off his clothes and hair, the sand sparkles and the player is left dumb struck in awe at the level of minute detail on show here. I literally had to stop and stare a few times. My belief was suspended when I was exploring a dilapidated, decaying French chateau which nature has started to reclaim. Then for it to be set ablaze while you must escape, my jaw hit the floor at how visceral and real it all looked. As the flames licked up the wall and the whole world became an explosion of colour, I thought to myself, this is why I love gaming. The whole game is one indulgent visual feast for the eyes as even the fibres on his top are all very detailed. Another point I want to touch on is the lighting in this game. The lighting is incredible, the sun bleached streets of an Islamic town left me speechless. The environments in this game are many and varied and each time, the lighting is spot on.
The Gameplay
The Uncharted series is known for its set pieces and this game does not disappoint. There are many spectacles for the player to gawp at from escaping a burning chateau, to escaping a sinking hotel ship and even a gunfight on a plane where the engines have cut out. I don’t know what black magic the folks over at Naughty Dog have employed, but this is one of the most fluid and natural looking games I have ever seen. The way Nathan Drake stumbles across sand or even just walking; it all looks natural and realistic. The game strikes a perfect balance of gun fighting, to platforming and puzzle solving; they all flow very easily from each other. Some critics say that this game is incredibly linear and to have all these impressive backdrops that are not explorable is a failure of the game. I disagree and would counter that argument by saying, if it were any less linear, they wouldn’t have been able to put that much detail into the world and would have watered down the experience.
Conclusion
In summary then this game is the third instalment in one of the most incredible gaming trilogies ever created. The game is beautifully written and realised and it is a joy to play through the 12 hour campaign. The only flaw is that, again, sometimes it was hard to get Nathan Drake to stick to the correct piece of cover and sometimes he would pop out of cover for no reason. This minor gripe pales in comparison to the masterpiece that is Uncharted 3. This title is the reason I play games, I can just sit down to a great story with great presentation and be completely absorbed and enthralled, this one is unmissable.
9.9/10
+ Perfectly designed environments
+ Graphics, graphics, graphics
+ Fluid gameplay
+ Great cast of characters
+ More personal story
- Cover system clunky


Silent Hill 4: The Room (Xbox)
Silent Hill 4: The Room (Xbox)
Offered by Click4entertainment Limited
Price: £34.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Silent Hill Game. Must have for fans of series, 9 July 2013
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The fourth and last entry in the series developed by team silent. The ill fated series would then be shipped off to less talented western developers making this the last good silent hill.
The Story
Henry Townsend finds himself trapped in his apartment, room 302. It isn’t set in Silent Hill itself, but the neighbouring town of Ashville. Room 302 is where a series of brutal murders took place and so is cursed. One day Henry finds himself unable to leave his apartment and unable to make contact with people outside whether by banging the door, trying to make phone calls or climbing out the window. A strange hole appears in the bathroom and he has no choice but to enter it to see where it leads. He then goes on a series of adventures through the netherworld to more and more messed up locations such as a subway station, water prison and forest, all of which are overrun by a variety of ghouls and monsters. Over time the hole in his apartment grows larger as the environments you go to change and the story progresses.
The Graphics
As this is a ps2 title, the graphics won’t astound or blow anyone away; however, they are good for a late ps2 title and have their own charm. The graphics and art design lend to the dark atmosphere and create a sense of mystery and dread as you inch your way through this twisted world.
The Gameplay
I had a genuine sense of dread trudging through the levels as you never know what might be lurking round the corner. The game has a good variety of imaginative monsters to throw your way including, human like creatures morphing out of the walls, two headed baby monsters, zombie dogs and ghosts that cannot be killed. Combat has never been an exact science in the silent hill series, but it works in its favour as you are not a muscle bound, highly capable, unrealistic protagonist; rather you are a more realistic, grounded hero. This serves to make the setting and story all that more believable as you are an average guy against seemingly insurmountable odds. The fact that you cannot fight all that well serves to enhance the sense of helplessness. Every enemy encounter, therefore is a significant event and groups of three or more enemies surrounding you all at once serves as a significant challenge and provides some tense moments as you scramble to react to attacks from multiple angles with nothing but a pipe as your aid. Of course, there are guns in the game, but the ammo is so few and far between that the player tends to horde it for bosses or when they are going to die otherwise. This again lends to the sense of being outnumbered and outgunned throughout the game.
Conclusion
This is an unmissable game for fans of the series and although it did not receive critical acclaim, getting mixed reviews, it is still a worthy entry into the series and the last great silent hill before it all went to pot.
8.5/10
+ Great atmosphere
+ Sound design superb
+ Ties in well to Silent Hill universe
- Annoying at times as it is not at all clear what to do next
- Backtracking


The Last Of Us (PS3)
The Last Of Us (PS3)
Offered by EVERGAME
Price: £20.51

5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite game of all time!, 9 July 2013
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This review is from: The Last Of Us (PS3) (Video Game)
The Last of Us
One of the most anticipated games of 2013, from one of the most critically acclaimed studios, "Naughty Dog." Does it live up to the hype?
The story
It is the near future and the world has been decimated by a zombie apocalypse, sound familiar? Well Naughty Dog has cleverly avoided going for the traditional zombie in favour of a different kind of zombie. Naughty Dog has taken their inspiration from a David Attenborough documentary about a fungus parasite that attaches itself to the brain of ants and forces them to march upwards to be eaten by birds. The ant can be seen to be struggling against this fate, but in the end, his fate is sealed. The idea of a fungus interested the team very much and so, we get a different take on the zombie genre. Joel and Ellie are the main protagonists in this title and Joel is tasked with escorting Ellie to another quarantine zone. He is a black market merchant and as such is well suited to the task. Ellie is a girl who was born after the apocalypse happened and has known nothing else other than hardship. You start off in Boston, a quarantine zone controlled by what is left of the military and is a semi refuge for humans wanting to escape the horrors that await them in the wasteland. I say semi refuge as the infected are still a threat, especially in cities where there are plenty of humans to prey upon.
The Graphics
Nature has started to reclaim what man has taken away and this is beautifully realised on screen. Buildings are toppled over, plants and greenery have overtaken most of the city and has given real meaning to the term "urban jungle." The lighting in this game is superb and places look suitably eerie and desolated. From abandoned schools, to the untouched beauty of the countryside and destroyed cities, your eyes will be treated to one gorgeous environment after another. The absence of light in the subway sections are equally effective and create extra tension as your flashlight is the only light source. The game is up to standard with the uncharted series and it looks gorgeous, it creates a believable world and is a joy to explore. Once an infected is killed, if they are left to sit there long enough, the fungi that infects them starts to attach itself to the surrounding walls and floor. This means that it perpetuates the infection even after the infected individual finally dies. You can see the fungus spreading out on the wall behind the individual leading to more spores. This level of graphical fidelity has not been achieved thus far on consoles, but with the achingly beautiful visual feast on display here, it is hard not to marvel.
The Gameplay
Ellie is a great companion to have along and Naughty Dog follow a similar tactic that Bioshock Infinite incorporated. This could have been a dull, drawn out escort mission if the AI partner wasn't smart. However, both games avoid this by making her useful to you. Ellie will get you out of some tough situations like aiding you if someone gets the better of you in a fight. There is nothing I hate more in games than AI partner's showing up for what they really are, AI. If your partner does something stupid or does not react to something affecting or glitches out, it pulls me out of the experience. Thankfully this was not a problem The Last of Us suffers from. As I mentioned before, the fungus that infects humans controls their brains. They are not dead, but still alive and aware to some degree of what they are doing. Just like in the Attenborough documentary, the zombies can be seen to be struggling to not run at you, fighting against the urge to charge you, shambling awkwardly at first. However, in the end they will sprint at you and try to kill you. This was fascinating to me and as I feel the zombie genre has been well trodden as of late, this is a refreshing take. The game plays similarly to the Uncharted series, but this is to be expected as they are from the same developer. Pleasantly though, this feels distinctly its own game as there are many changes. Whilst Uncharted was a bit of run and gun action, this is the polar opposite and survival horror elements pervade the gameplay. Each enemy is a challenge to overcome, bullets are scarce so you must construct close up melee weapons. You may go through an abandoned hotel start off with 4 bullets and find maybe a bullet or two. However, if you take the run and gun approach, you will be out of ammo before you get through the place. The emphasis is clearly on realism and survival which I applaud as there are too many games these days that are just all about the action. Going against human scavengers is one thing, but going against the infected is another. There are two types of infected, one type called "runners" who have some vision remaining and still look remotely human. These hunt in packs and swarm you with numbers. The clickers are something to be truly feared as the infection has had time to truly take hold and the fungus bursts out of their bodies turning them into a living breathing fungus. They look twisted and alien with mushroom like heads, they cannot see and so use echolocation to locate their prey. Just one clicker is enough to send everyone in the area into a state of panic and for good reason. The clicking sound of their echolocation is eerie and everyone hits the floor trying to avoid detection. This creates tense gameplay that is rarely experienced in gaming. I was going through an abandoned metro station, armed only with 3 bullets, a knife and a petrol bomb. I snuck past the first few runners who were shambling aimlessly in the centre and killed a straggler who was in my way silently. After avoiding several more runners as I did not want them to make noise and draw the whole group down upon me, I heard the distinctive sound of a clicker. Immediately I stopped and located the beast, trying to find an alternate route past the brute. As there were no options I had to go through him to get to the exit, only problem being he was facing my direction and if I made any attempt to rush him, I would be discovered. One bite from this guy and you die, so I shot him in the face, or tried to as his movements were erratic. I missed, which meant that he would be coming after me, along with the rest of the horde. I shot him again and this time he fell, but I was immediately confronted with the rest of the horde, I threw a petrol bomb at them causing them to disperse and only the stragglers were after me. I barely escaped out of there alive and that is the beauty of this game, the way it makes you feel.
Conclusion
In conclusion then, even though the post apocalyptic and zombie genres have been over used in the film and game industry of late, this game does more than enough to make the player experience new and fresh. This is a story driven game and makes you care about the protagonists. The world is beautifully realised and everything right down to the minute detail is done right. There are great story driven moments and great moments of tension from stealthily taking out enemies as well as infected. This is the whole package, a very well thought out title and is not to be missed by fans of either Naughty Dog or post apocalyptic games. The game caused quite a stir back in 2011 when a teaser was released and an even bigger one at E3 when a demo was shown. Needless to say the hype was hard to live up to, but this is one of those rare occasions where it does.
10/10
+ Perfectly executed story
+ Jaw dropping graphics
+ Tense action
+ Makes you feel like a survivalist
+ Non stop thrill ride


The Jak and Daxter Trilogy (PS3)
The Jak and Daxter Trilogy (PS3)

5.0 out of 5 stars Trophy support for nostalgia!, 9 July 2013
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This game is one of my favourite series of all time. I grew up with this series and in the recent absence of platformers, 3 of last genereations best on 1 disc is welcome news indeed. I am the biggest fan of Naughty Dog as all of their games are top tier and overly polished; they always push the hardware of whatever platform they develop for to the limits. Buy this game and enjoy, stellar work!


Devil May Cry HD Collection (Xbox 360)
Devil May Cry HD Collection (Xbox 360)
Price: £10.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia bomb!, 22 Feb. 2013
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I played the old devil may crys to death on the ps2 and when I heard that this HD remake was in the works, I just had to pick it up.
These games paved the way for games like god of war and basically invented the hack and slash genre as we know it today. They are slick, cheesy and great fun. Playing through it again was like one big nostalgia bomb and I was instantly transported to yesteryear. If you are a fan of the series don't hesitate to pick it up as the improved visuals make this the definitive DMC experience.


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