Friday, 29 March 2013

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is the highly praised arcade hit that has won countless amounts of GOTY awards (over 70!), Well the exciting news is that the On Disc edition has now been released with all 5 episodes on 1 disc. The Walking Dead is a game based on Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead Comics and also ties into the TV show every so often. It’s a point and click adventure so don’t be expecting to run through countless zombies whilst simultaneously gunning them down.
The key idea of this game is all about moral decision making, when each crucial decision changes what happens in the game really entails each player to have a separate emotional attachment to their own game. Your choices, both large and small, have repercussions, and can change the course of the remainder of the game even if it’s only a slight shift. Split-second choices made later in the game can rewrite how people react to you regardless of how you've treated them up to that point, making each and every action all the more important. Inaction, too, is usually an option, amplified by the inclusion of a timer that makes it possible to completely miss a chance at making a decision, forcing you to sit on the side-lines and watch whatever your indifference has brought. It’s decisions like this that make the game play so deep and immersive unparalleled by any other game to date.

Incredibly strong writing and voice-acting give the narrative the spotlight it deserves. The main 2 characters (Lee and Clem) are so well written it’s impossible not to invest a strong emotional attachment for the two. The vast majority of the characters you interact with are well-developed, and it’s hard not to feel compassion for every character you meet, making you actually care about who you foster relationships with and who you choose to disappoint. What’s more, your actions have an impact not just on the events that you encounter, but in how people treat you.

The games graphics keep Robert Kirkmans The Walking Dead’s identity with some lovely comic book style textures and colouring. This makes the whole gaming experience feel unique, as if you are in the comic book itself. There is an incredible amount of replay ability in this game, for each option in the game (for which there are hundreds) it leads to a different story outcome, and so by the end you really want to see what you could of done differently and who you could of ultimately saved. 

The tense game play coupled with a surprising amount of story line twists, deep character development and moral dilemmas keep you hooked to this game until the ultimate tear jerking finale. This is a truly astounding game and one any avid gamer should pick up and for that reason I award this game 10 out of 10.


When mentioning the retro game era, we commonly think of Mario or Zelda first, forgetting other classics that were out at the time. MegaMan, first released in 1987 and became Capcom's most prolific series, with the publisher still releasing these games today. 

The story starts with you, the player, as a modified housekeeping robot sent to defeat the Mad Scientist Dr. Wily who is attempting to take over the world by reprogramming six powerful robots. It is your job to defeat the bad robots and find the evil Dr. Wily to bring him to justice. The unique selling point for this game was that it was the first game to employ a fully weapons based combat system, a lot different from jumping on the heads or hitting enemies with a sword. However it was the way you could play the game that set itself apart from the rest. MegaMan was the first game where you cloud play the chapters in any order you see fit (which was a lot different from the linear progression of Mario and Zelda). The reasoning was that each boss was more susceptible to a different type of weapon and after defeating a boss you absorb their special ability, helping you to defeat the other bosses who is weakest agents that weapon. 

MegaMan was renowned for being fantastically difficult and still provides a challenge for today's audiences. We ultimately gave this game 6 out of 10, but this is due to how the game would fair in the current day and not when it was originally released.

Assassin's Creed 3

The Assassin's Creed series have always been games of mystery, crammed with secrets, puzzles and references. But now we're approaching the end of the tale, and Ubisoft has promised us a proper ending. In Assassins Creed 3 we see the final chapter of Desmonds story line as he regresses back to the time of The American Revolution and takes on the memories of a Young Connor. Our modern-day Assassins are now also installed in America, inside the precursor Grand Temple. A short intro does its best to clue you in, but if this is your first Assassin's Creed game, go and read a couple of wikis or, better still, go and play ACII. 

Whilst playing as Connor the map is split into four main locations. The Davenport Homestead is your base of operations. Homestead Missions are a regular feature on the map, and involve convincing skilled strangers to join your growing village. Most of the map-unlocking synchronisation points are similar and repetitive as the game goes on. That said, there's great variety in the towns, from the pox-riddled ruins of New York, to the bustling harbour markets.

The fighting system is very similar to other Assassins Creed games, Connor has a selection of weapons such as tomahawks, swords and secret blades which can be upgraded at different venues around the game map and using only 2 buttons for different forms of attack and 1 button to block is really easy to pick up. The town guards are very aggressive towards Assassins so this makes avoiding a fight increasingly difficult as you progress through the game, even for the most stealthy of players. 

The biggest location by far is the Frontier. with cliffs, valleys, forts, villages and hundreds of animals it makes it a truly gorgeous place to explore it also provides Connor with an Assassin's Creed first, Tree Climbing! Hunting is also located in frontier, this lets you hunt and skin animals for it’s hide and are used to sell to merchants. Another new feature is the fantastic Naval battles, this sees Connor take command of a ship and due battle with others. Steering the ship is surprisingly sleek and firing at enemies is simple enough, this fairly arbitrary feature of the game actually ends up being one of the most enjoyable. 

The main story takes around 20 hours, however if you add side quests and exploration you could easily lose 35 hours in this campaign There are all the usual Assassin's moments of frustration. Connor repeatedly jumping into a pile of hay during a tough chase scene. Failing to catch onto countless ledges and triggering guards whilst incognito. But all of this is forgotten in epic third act. And the epilogue will simply leave you thinking “Oh God, What’s next?” All in all a sturdy outing for the Assassins Creed series, some minor flaws but ultimately very entertaining, a solid 8 Out of 10.