Game Reviews

This review of Dark Souls III is for the PC version of the game.

This review of Dark Souls III is for the PC version of the game.

It’s been a real crazy ride ever since Demon’s Souls launched on the PS3 back in 2009. While it met with a substantial amount of critical praise, it really only managed to appeal to a niche market. However, its spiritual successor, Dark Souls, solidified the franchise in the mainstream, and has had an undeniable impact on gaming ever since. Now here we are, five games deep (yes, I’m including Bloodborne), with Dark Souls III looking to be the definitive end to the franchise.

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Even my character looks fucking done with this game a scant 10 minutes in.

Even my character looks fucking done with this game a scant 10 minutes in.

Fallout 4 is the latest game the Internet seems to be blowing its collective load over, and I find that baffling, cause it ain’t a good game.
If you don’t want to read several paragraphs where I get mad about Fallout 4, then let me sum things up for you right out of the gate: there’s an overabundance of content, and approximately zero soul. Basically, it’s every major RPG Bethesda has released since Oblivion, and while content over quality is something that may have worked in, say, 2008 when Fallout 3 was brand new, it shouldn’t get a pass now.
But I have more to say about that, so why not hit that little “read more” button and watch me lose my damn mind about this video game.

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Oh hey, would you look at that. Arkham Knight, previously pulled from Steam for being a fat load of broken garbage, is now back on the marketplace. Furthermore, it appears some of the game’s more glaring issues have been patched, including missing effects, stuttering, and a capped framerate. Hooray!

Ok, maybe celebrating is a bit premature, as it appears the latest version of the game has a host of problems all its own. Here are the big ones to watch out for:

  • Hard drive paging issues, which force users to restart the game periodically. This seems to mostly affect users running Windows 7…
  • 12GBs of suggested RAM for computers running Windows 10 in order to ensure a smoother performance and prevent similar paging issues to those experienced by Windows 7 users. (This was put out by Warner Bros but at the time of this writing is not reflected on the game’s steam page.)
  • No SLI support because what year did you think this was?
  • Although not reported by Warner Bros. directly, there are reports of others experiencing stuttering during cutscenes, the game failing to launch, and in general continuing to be kind of a mess.

The icing on the cake: reviews dated before the 28th of October on the Steam page for Arkham Knight are now being listed as “pre-release” reviews, even though the game totally released prior to now. At this time, it’s not clear exactly who is tagging these reviews as being for a pre-release title, or whether or not it’s the byproduct of the game being delisted and then returning. All things considered, though, it’s patently erroneous. (Update: it looks like these tags are now being removed, although if you still want your sweet delicious icing, you can read this Digital Foundry report that states nothing about Arkham Knight has been improved since the September interim patch.)

If you’re wondering what our review score is for the PC version of Arkham Knight, it’s a 1/10, with zero bloodstained crowbars out of a possible 5 for a combined total of Burn This Game in a Garbage Heap.

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I don’t have an image to represent that, so this’ll have to do.

 

Developed by From Software. Available exclusively for PS4.

Developed by From Software. Available exclusively for PS4.

Bloodborne, despite publisher Sony’s best attempts to paint it as an original IP, is clearly the fourth entry in From Software’s Souls series. Unfortunately, due to what I can only assume was a strict deadline in order to salvage an otherwise barren financial quarter, it instead feels like the gutted shell of a Souls game, taking out almost everything that makes the series interesting, without fixing any of its core problems or improving upon the gameplay in a substantial enough fashion.

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The original Hotline Miami was an absolutely incredible game. With the super fast paced combat that placed an emphasis on improvisation, complimented with a super gory, drug-addled 80’s aesthetic  topped off with a phenomenal soundtrack, it was by far one of the best games of the year it came out in. Now, nearly three years later, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has finally made its way to release. Does it manage to hold up against the first game’s extremely high standards? Continue Reading

Dragonball Xenoverse is out now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This review is based on the PC version of the game.

Dragonball Xenoverse is out now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This review is based on the PC version of the game.

Dragonball games haven’t exactly been a bastion of innovation, with the majority of titles rigidly following the structure first introduced in the PS2 era Tenkaichi games. Thankfully, Namco Bandai’s latest effort, Dragonball Xenoverse, looks to shake up that tired format. Unfortunately, nothing really works out in Xenoverse, leaving it as a menagerie of poorly executed ideas.

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Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is now available exclusively on Steam

Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is now available exclusively on Steam

The Five Nights series hasn’t been kicking around for long (since August 18th, 2014, to be exact) and already the third installment is upon us. As we’ve mentioned before, Scott Cawthon – the sole creator, designer, and programmer of Five Nights at Freddy’s – is a machine. It has only been about two months since Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 was first teased on Scott’s website, with very little marketing between then and its unannounced release earlier this month. So, how does 3 hold up?

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Developed by Ready at Dawn. Available exclusively for PS4.

Developed by Ready at Dawn. Available exclusively for PS4.

The Order: 1886 is, without a doubt, the best-looking game yet released. It shines from top to bottom, despite occasional blurry textures, thanks to the top-notch technical wizardry lavished over every frame. This should come as no surprise, as developers Ready at Dawn previously made the God of War games on the PSP, widely praised for their impressive graphics by that system’s standards. As such The Order serves as a startling reminder that, despite what may appear to be underpowered hardware, skilled developers can still make something that looks amazing.

It’s unfortunate, then, that its looks are all The Order has.

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Evolve_a

Available for PS4, XONE, and PC. PC version reviewed.

A multiplayer-only game is a risky proposition. While one could argue that Evolve does have a single-player component, it’s simply multiplayer matches against bots, meant to train you for the real thing.  A lack of content, as well as declining interest from the userbase due to the game becoming stale, can be the kiss of death for this type of game, as it’s entirely reliant on having a thriving community of players. Luckily, despite some early concerns over a dearth of maps and modes, Evolve shows no sign of getting old anytime soon.
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Available exclusively on PS4. Developed by Naughty Dog.

Available exclusively on PS4. Developed by Naughty Dog.

Naughty Dog made great games, once upon a time. They were the creators of Crash Bandicoot, one of the first 3D platformers. They made Uncharted 2, one of the best games on the PS3. Their Jak & Daxter series, despite a misstep with the tone of the second game, as well as an ill-advised kart racer, holds up incredibly well as a piece of deft platforming-adventure gaming. Then Uncharted 3 happened. All of their goodwill pissed away on an absolute disaster of a game, filled top-to-bottom with nonsensical plotlines with no resolution, areas that seemed directly copy/pasted from the second game, and what essentially amounted to character assassination of their protagonist. After that shitpile, The Last of Us was going to have to really pull off something amazing to dig themselves out of the gutter they were in.

It did not.

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