Red Dead Redemption Review

With all the hype Red Dead Redemption 2 was getting for months, I decided it was time to have a go at Red Dead Redemption. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve known about this game since it first came out and how much people enjoyed the game. I just never got around to playing it until now. I have to say, I was not disappointed. I knew the game was published by Rockstar Games and I’ve played a few games published by Rockstar, including Grand Theft Auto. So, part of myself knew that it would be a fab game. You know what it’s like when you see a new game, sometimes you take it at face value. That’s what I did, origionally. Oh, was I wrong.

The game itself, is based on the wild west, but it is so much more. Yes, I was galloping around on horseback and I got thrown off a few times before I realised the horse had a stamina bar. As soon as I worked that out, the horse started behaving itself. The open world aspect of the game is what I found the most enjoyable. Being able to ride from town to town, engaging in activites outside the main missions. These can be side missions that help gain extra money, taming wild horses or, my personal favourite, gambling. I must have spent more time playing poker and blackjack, than I did playing the missions. I have to say, I was pretty good at poker, even if I do say so myself. But that’s the difference between games and real life. I was never very good at the good samaritan jobs that I rode past. By the time I turned back, the person needing help was already dead. Yep, great job, TJ. I think one time, I even killed the person needing help by mistake. In the end, I gave them up as a bad job and just continued on.

The main missions, themselves, we’re fun to do. They weren’t over the top or too difficult to complete. The missions help to, not only shape the main character, but show what John Marston was capable of. Which, apparently, was a whole range of dangerous, vicious things. But, if my family was being held hostage by the government, I think I’d be capable of a few things as well. I tried to play the game as an honerable person. However, there were still times when I just decided to shoot rather than hog tie someone. Espacially De Santa, the second I had the channce to get rid of him, I didn’t give it a second thought. The annoying, lying little toad. Personally, I thought the best missions involved the train, it felt like a throw back to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. “All you had to do was follow the damn train, CJ”.

The gameplay wasn’t too bad, the controls flowed quite well. Except when I needed to shoot, while on horseback. Having to aim, shoot and ride at the same time was just annoying. I did it, obviously. Or I wouldn’t have completed the game. But most of the time I had to slow down to be able use the aiming system properly. The only other annoyance I had was the save point. I could only save in a property I had purchased or rented for the night. Which is fine, when it was close by. But, I was always left where I completed the mission and since it was normally far away from where I started. I had to ride for miles just to save the game. To be honest, they were the only problems I had with the game. Which isn’t bad.

Red Dead Redemption was a really fun game to play. I can’t believe it took me so long to actually play the game. But I’m glad I did. I’d say I recommened this game to any gamer, but I’m probably one of the few people who hadn’t played the game until now. Definately playing Red Dead Redemption 2 now.

Red Dead Redemption rating: 9 out of 10

Halloween Replay

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Until Dawn is one of my favourite horror games. The game is mostly exploration, quick-time events and decision-making. Not only does it make me think, it still has the potential to make me jump. So, I thought it was the perfect game to play over Halloween. Especially since it gives me the chance to choose the good ending or the bad ending. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve completed this game more times than I can count. Including collecting all the trophies, to get a PS4 platinum trophy (very proud of that). Another thing I like about this game is that it works on the butterfly effect. I’m sure you all know what that means. The most rational explanation of it is, the flapping of a butterfly wing can cause a tornado somewhere else. It’s safe to say that small events can have a quite big effect.

That is exactly how the game is played. I have to chose certain small event to create the biggest consequence. And, sometimes, these small events have nothing to do with the ending. Take Sam, for example. Early on in the game Sam goes down to the basement with Joshua to turn the boiler/power on. If you take the time to look in the cabinet where Josh is, before following the QTE, you’ll find a baseball bat. This gives Sam the chance to talk to Josh about it, then place it on the other side of the room. Now, this may not be important to the ending, but it is to Sam. You see, later on in the game Sam is chased by the psycho. This is where you really have to be quick with the QTEs. At some point, Sam will run to the basement. If you choose to hide, the baseball bat will be right where Sam put it earlier. Giving her the chance to hit the psycho with it and run away. However, if you didn’t pick up the bat in the beginning and you choose to hide. There’s a good chance the psycho will over power Sam and knock her out. On the other hand, if you’ve played the game as much as I have, you’ll know which buttons to choose to evade the psycho, without even having to use the baseball bat.

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Another thing I like are the totems. These are collected throughout the game. There are five sets of totems to find and they all have some influence on the game. They are used as a guide, as long as the player knows which decisions to make, they are great way to steer the player to the desired ending. However, if you’ve played the game in a certain way, the outcome of following the totem may not give the desired effect. But, we’ll get to that in a bit.

The five totems are:-

The Death Totem – Black totems or butterflies, shows the character’s possible death.

The Danger Totem – Red totems or butterflies, shows a dangerous event that a character could experience.

The Loss Totem – Brown totems or butterflies, show the possible death of another character.

The Guidance Totem – Yellow totems or butterflies, show visions that can guide/help the player.

The Fortune Token – White totems or butterflies, Show visions of good fortune/luck.

As I said earlier, the visions shown by the totems will only help if the correct decisions have been made. For example, when Matt and Emily are at the top of the radio tower, a guidance token shows Emily giving Matt the flare gun. If you find the flare gun and give it to Matt there may be a chance he fires the flare gun straightaway. Which means he won’t have it later on in the game where he might need it. This is because the player has decided to play Matt as a pacifist. Every time he agrees with Emily, you don’t get the choice to save it for later. So, when the time comes to choose between saving Emily or jumping to safety. If the player chooses to save Emily both times, Matt will die because he has nothing to defend himself with. Remember what I said about small decisions causing big consequences. But, here’s the kicker, even if Matt had fired the flare gun, Matt would have survived if the player had chosen to jump to safety. Which means the totem is kind of useless. Personally, if I’m playing for the good ending, I’d choose for Emily to keep the flare gun. This means, when Emily is running from the Wendigo, I can shoot it with the flare gun and then hit every QTE. This stops Emily from being bitten and the game skips the ‘Emily has been bitten’ scene.

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It’s the same with the collectables. Collecting certain items help to trigger certain scenes or determine future events. Take the twins clueline. The player needs to find Hannah’s tattoo card, the picture of Hannah showing her tattoo and the scrawled journal, to ensure Josh’s survival until dawn. Collecting all the mystery man, twins and 1952 clueline really does help develop the story as the game is completed. A lot of the twins clues show what happened to them after they fell at the beginning of the game. Mystery man clues reveal the stranger on the mountain and how Josh became the psycho. The 1952 clueline reveal what happened in the sanatorium, including where the Wendigos came from.

I can honestly say that I can play this game over and over again. You do have to play the game through at least once to understand how it works. You can then start again to create the desired ending. One thing I will say, do the ‘no-one survived’ ending before the ‘everyone survived until dawn’ ending. Personally, I felt better knowing that everyone survived in the end. Rather than finishing the game with everyone dead. It’s probably just me being a softie, but who cares. There’s nothing better than finishing the game with everyone alive.

PS4 Spider-Man Review

IMG_20181002_163915_hdr[1]I did it, I finally did it. I completed the game. It took a lot longer than it should, but hey, I had to go to work. Spider-Man is an open world, action-adventure game, developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Exclusively for the PS4. It really is one of the best games I’ve played in a long time. I was looking forward to this game for ages, but most of that is because I’m a complete geek when it comes to anything Marvel or DC. There is on thing I will say, though, ‘Stan Lee’. I saw the great man, himself, in the game. Naturally, I went a little nuts when I saw the cut-scene.

The game is set in New York and I spent a lot of my time swinging through the streets, until I unlocked the fast track sites. Basically, I jumped from helping the city to being a friendly, neighbourhood Spider-Man. The story see’s Peter Parker trying to cope with his normal life and his secret identity. I also got to play as Mary Jane or Miles, which is fine. But, a stealth level is pretty tough when the people I’m controlling have no super power. Along the way, you face some of the the well-known villains of Marvel. First villain is Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin. I’ll admit, Kingpin is one of my favourite villains, because he reminds me of Carmine Falcone in DC. There are a couple of boss battles where I had to face off against two at a time. Now, that was pretty annoying at time, especially when I was attacking one of them and the other got me, because I wasn’t paying attention. The hardest part is watching Peter’s good friend, become Dr. Octopus and having to face him in the final boss battle. Don’t get me wrong, I knew as soon as I saw Otto, he would become Dr. Octopus. But how and why it happened, I could understand why he chose to become a villain. I certainly got teary-eyed at the end of the game. After defeating all the bosses and getting the antidote for Devil’s Breath. Peter has to make the difficult choice of saving Aunt May or the rest of the city. If you didn’t get upset, you’re not human.

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The game play was great and didn’t take long to get used to what buttons to press to make a combo. Whether it be while swinging through the city, aerial combat, webbing enemies, finishing moves or dodging bullets, using his spider-senses. The game works on building XP to increase Spider-Man’s skill level. A lot of the skills help Spider-man develop new moves, which can be found in the moves list. This is really handy when I needed a refresh on what combo moves can be used. There are also a series of tokens to collect, all of which are used to purchase new suits and suit mods. Each suit has its own power, which makes Spider-Man a better crime fighter. Some of the tokens are collectables, some are puzzles. Such as, the research stations, I really like getting these. Others including base and Challenge tokens. These two were a little tougher. There are a series of base camps, all of them had the same idea. five or six stages of defeating the bad guys and you’d get the token. However, the challenge tokens were exactly that, challenging. There were different ones, such as, stealth or combat challenge. They are quite fun, once I worked out what I had to do.  The combat system flows really well from hand to hand combat to aerial combat. I can’t express how much fun it is to beat up the bad guys, using a whole range of different moves. The one thing that did make me laugh, is that I’d go from completing a mission or stopping a crime, to catching a pigeon. Yeah, that was kinda weird.

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The graphics are really good. I sometimes enjoyed going to the highest point and looking over the whole of New York. This was even better when I could see the Avengers Tower in the distance. When swinging through the buildings, you can see how well the city has been created. It almost has a calming affect, when I was diving down as fast as I could, then swinging back up again. The thought and design that went into each suit and how engaging they looked, is what got me in a state of awe. They all look spectacular and I honestly couldn’t wait to see what Spider-Man looked like in each one of them. When it comes to the music, I could sit back and think, yeah, that sounds like something you’d hear on a Marvel movie. The dialogue wasn’t too bad either. It was easy to hear and understand. The cut scenes were well thought out and a pleasure to watch. I’m terrible for skipping cut scenes, usually.

Spider-Man is definitely a game I could play again and again. I just can’t stress how much fun the game is. I really do think it’s a shame that the game is a PlayStation exclusive, because I honestly believe there are a lot of people, who don’t have a PlayStation, that would enjoy this game.

Spider-Man rating – 10 out of 10

Detroit: Become Human Reveiw

my pic 3Detroit: Become Human is probably one of the most intriguing games I’ve ever played. With so many choices to make and the consequences that follows. Really make Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human one of the easiest or challenging games I’ve played (depending on which ending I went for).

Overall, Detroit is a fun game to play. But, it tested my boundaries when I chose to opt for the bad choices. The main characters are :-

Connor – A prototype android who’s mission is to find and stop deviants.

Kara – A home maker android who’s main concern is caring for Alice.

Marcus – A carer android who wants to bring freedom and equality to the android race.

The three characters are very different from each other, which helps to keep the story moving. Which left myself wanting to play one more chapter. I found the additional characters helped to shape the game. Since each choice I made impacted on their personalities. The relationship between Connor and Hank Anderson was the most changeable. Since I could make Hank like Connor or hate him. The game, itself, wasn’t difficult to play with the QTE. I did find the experienced mode a little more challenging.

Even though Detroit is basically a QTE game, every choice I made had a different impact on the flow chart and the following chapters. I, myself, wanted to fill as much of the flow charts as possible. Which can easily be done by replaying the chapters. However, I preferred to play through the whole game, just to see what I could do differently and what impact it had throughout the game. Creating all those choices and consequences isn’t easy. But, I thought Quantic Dream made it look like a walk in the park. I found the gameplay just flowed, no matter which options I chose.

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The graphics are impressive. A lot of attention to detail has been put in to create a futuristic Detroit. I found myself easily immersed in the gameplay, because if the graphics. I spent a lot of time looking around for anything outside the main story. I quickly found a begger, who lost his job to androids. Huge screens all over the city with different advertisements and news reports showing. And a beautiful garden, that I couldn’t help but explore before finding Amanda.

The music that supports the gameplay is good to listen to. Not only did the music suit the chapter it was playing on. It also helped the overall experience of the game. I even found the individual soundtracks in the extras menu. I thought that was a nice touch.

When I played the full game for the first time, it took approximately 10 hours to complete it. The first play through was just a ‘trial and error’ for me, to see how the game is played. As soon as I’d finished, I wanted to play through the game again, to get specific endings in each chapter. Now, being a trophy hunter, it didn’t take me long to work out what choices I needed to make to get either a good or a bad ending. Thankfully, I chose to go for the bad ending on my second try. To do this, my advice is to brace yourself. Making all the bad choices was not easy for me. Some of the consequences almost brought me to tears. It’s not for the faint-hearted. But, I wanted those trophies, so I saw it through to the end. I’m sure you’ve already guessed that my third play through was to get the good ending. Even this play through pulled on my heart strings, because the emotion of the game seemed so real at times. I went from tears of sadness to tears of joy. Honestly, I could happily play this game over and over again.

In my opinion, this game is worth every penny. Not only did I get to play the good guy, I got to play the bad guy as well. The different twists and turns constantly kept me engaged. To the point that I had to make myself turn it off. Just to go to bed. Don’t get me wrong, the game isn’t perfect. But, as far as I’m concerned, it’s as close as you’re going to get.

Detroit: Become Human rating – 9 out of 10