Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

When you can see things that others can’t, and hear things that others insist aren’t there, how do you know what is real and what is not? Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice attempts to immerse you into the mind of someone who suffers from psychosis, and it does a few other important things besides that.

Hellblade (available now on PS4, Steam, and GOG, is a third person action game, but it’s a whole lot more. Before we get into the most important aspect of the game, let’s discuss the format. This is not a huge game in that it can be completed in 8-10 hours, the price of it reflects that, but all of the gameplay shows a level of polish that the much bigger games that have come out recently rarely do (cough Mass Effect: Andromeda cough). Every moment, every step, every animation has been looked at and refined to make the game visually stunning and tremendously immersive. It uses binaural audio (not to be confused with binaural beats) to make every sound feel as real as possible. When looking at the quality of this game, it’s hard to believe that the developer, Ninja Theory, has less than 40 staff in total. I’m hoping that some of the bigger studios take note of this and look at providing low priced, high quality games that aren’t a grind filled nuisance. This game tells a story in a way that no other form of media could accomplish.

What has caught the media’s attention about this game is that it simulates psychosis, and that the developers have worked with experts and patients in the field to make sure the experience is an accurate representation. This means that playing the game, and getting immersed in Senua’s character is a unique experience that runs the whole gamut of emotions. There are moments of intense wonder, there are voices that make you doubt you’re on the right path, there are breaks that make you wonder what is real and what isn’t, and there are moments of terror.

The game has also caused complaints among gamers for its permadeath system. The game tells you that, should you fail enough times, you will die and all your progress will be deleted. In my experience of the game, that’s a lie. The entire game exists to make you doubt reality, and I’ve noticed through my game play that exiting the game and resuming from the latest save resets the visual element of the permadeath progress somewhat. Also, the progress is tied into various cut scenes, so while the permadeath may actually happen if you go for it and let yourself be killed over and over, it’s not as scary as it seems.

All in all, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a game that I hesitate to put my usual adjectives of “fantastic” or “awesome” to, not because it doesn’t live up to those words, but because they don’t capture the experience. This is not a normal game, so it isn’t one I can add normal adjectives to, but to give you an idea of how much I enjoyed this game, I’m going to give it a full 5/5 rating. It is as perfect a gaming experience as possible with current technology.

Deus-Ex: Mankind Divided – Ayoub’s Review

Sequels are tricky beasts to balance. Everyone wants change and improvement, but nobody wants to lose the feel, so Deux Ex: Mankind Divided, the sequel to one of my favourite games, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, had a lot to live up to.

Mankind Divided begins two years after the events of Human Revolution; it immediately feels comfortable to play and looks beautiful. There is no visible difference to the very high and ultra settings on a 1080p display, and the game runs very smoothly. The tutorial system is one of the best I’ve seen because it lets you learn by playing trough a scenario without risk, and then rewinds to let you play your way. People playing on PC have a few more options than consoles, with the ability to give inventory items shortcut keys. There are also a number of user interface and HUD tweaks in the settings that are PC exclusive.

The cover system is vastly improved, because it needed to be, and the combat (should you choose to play that way) is fantastic. The biggest surprise in the game is in the vast detail that has been put into the main city hub of Prague. There is beautiful architecture, wonderfully animated advertising and store signs, and a much better map system to show you where everything is. It’s very easy to just stroll around the place and discover details about the Deus Ex world that are very easily missed if you just stick to the main story.

Speaking of which, the story of the game is somewhat lacking in scope in comparison to Human Revolution. It feels more like the the first part of a larger story than something complete. That’s not to say that the story is short, however. It has a similar chapter structure to Human Revolution, and when all the side missions are added, Mankind Divided has more playable hours. The game stays away from heavy social commentary, which is a good thing in my book. There are many moments where injustice is highlighted (provided you don’t storm through the story without doing any exploration or side missions), and the player is invited to draw their own conclusions. There are choices to be made, and some of the side missions can lead to assistance in the main mission.

The wonderful thing about Mankind Divided, and the Deus Ex franchise, is that there is a lot of choice in terms of how to approach the missions. Every mission, every accessible building and location, has multiple paths. You have real choice as to whether to be a ghost, or go in all guns blazing, becoming a storm of force and armour. There are many options to talk it out as well, without resorting to stealth or violence. This is what made Human Revolution great and very much replayable, and this is why I can see myself replaying Mankind Divided at least as often (Played it twice already, and getting ready for a third go).

At the end of the game, there are many unanswered questions, and even a little mid-credits scene that has a fun mini reveal. These questions are likely part of a set up for the next chapter in the Deus Ex expanded universe. Eidos have taken the success of Human Revolution and run with it in an epic way, and it has paid off as far as this finished product is concerned. The interesting thing will be in what comes next.

This game gets a solid 5/5 from me. It’s my kind of game.

No Man’s Sky – Ayoub’s Review

The much anticipated No Man’s Sky was released last week, and reviewers out there have not been happy. This is what happens when expectations are very high, and based on little information.

No Man’s Sky is beautiful in a highly saturated sixties science fiction sort of way. There are many worlds to discover, and alien races to learn about while trying to survive harsh environments, and the occasional space pirate. Aaaaand that’s it. That’s the full depth of the game. Yes, there’s a couple of stories, but they give no satisfaction. One leads to a new ability, and the other leads to a New Game+ scenario.

The best thing I can say about No Man’s Sky is that it’s a good survival and exploration simulation. It’s not, however, a good game. While it’s possible to spend an infinite amount of time mining, trading, learning alien words, and building up your standing with the various alien races you meet, there is nothing else driving you forward, no story to get immersed in other than the one you create in your own mind.

For such a small game (Just over 3GB fully installed), this is not surprising, but for a much hyped game, this is unacceptable. What we wanted was Skyrim in space, but what we got was Minecraft‘s survival mode in space, minus the ability to build stuff.

While that can be fun, it’s just not what people hoped for, and that is not the developer’s fault. Expectations can kill games that would be considered amazing had there been no expectations, and that is what has happened to No Man’s Sky.

Playing the game can be frustrating. The ships can’t be crashed. They take control from you when you get too close to the ground, or to a space station. The landing function on planets is annoyingly haphazard which makes it difficult to hit the flat piece of land you were aiming for. The combat is nothing to get overly excited about. It’s functional, but nowhere near as good as other space combat games. The map is largely useless, and the interstellar navigation is dire.

But.

The exploration and survival aspects are very good. The game can be tense at times, especially when you’re forced to choose between being able to take off again, and the possibility of death while hunting for resources to fuel your take off jets. That’s what makes the game exciting, and that makes the game worth some of the frustrations.

I rate this game as a 3/5, in terms of what it is. If I was to rate it for what I wanted it to be, it would have got a zero.

Fallout 4 DLC Nuka World Gets A Gameplay Trailer

Greetings folks! It’s your friendly neighborhood GotR site contributor. Today I have a trailer to show you for the final DLC for the popular game Fallout 4, Nuka World. It’s a pretty basic gameplay trailer but it seems fairly interesting to me. Check it out for yourself below.

After watching that myself It feels kinda creepy. Whether that’s a good thing or bad has yet to be determined. As for what we’re getting in the new DLC, it appears to be some new settlement/crafting features and items. Some new weapons (obviously). And it looks like it might be in the main Commonwealth zone. All in all this DLC looks pretty cool. Although it does feel more like a gimmick. Here’s hoping it has an interesting story to it. Although it appears to be pretty simple in regards to its narrative.

I’ll admit that most of the DLC for Fallout 4 have been okay at best. Save for Far Harbor of course. Nuka World does look promising but I don’t want to get my hopes up too high. I elect that we just wait and see how Nuka World turns out. We all now what happens when we get overhyped on something and end up being disappointed when it came for its time to shine. I know it’s Bethesda and I know it’ll have issues but what really matters is its content and I’m afraid it’ll be similar to the mediocrity that was Automatron. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

So what did you think of the gameplay trailer for Fallout 4’s final DLC Nuka World? Did you love it? Hate it? Don’t really care? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to know what you have to say. And don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel and take a gander at our various discussion vidcasts, a new season of discussions starts this fall. As always thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next article. Bye bye!

My First Day As A Pokemon Go Trainer

Matt here – On June 30th Pokemon Go left beta, dashing all hopes of me being a part of it, however it gave me hope that it official release would be soon and I was not disappointed. With a tentative release date of “July” I suspected it could be the end of the month, but was pleased to see that was not the case. A mere five days later, on July 5th, it released.. First I will start with the triumphs of the game and then, if you want to feel my pain, the difficulties.

HINT! – When you first start the game, you will be given a choice of 3 Pokemon to catch. Choose wisely! The chances of finding the ones you don’t choose again are slim! I got a Squirtle when I would have been much happier with a Charmander!

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I woke up excited. I had captured my first Pokemon the night before (Squirtle) but I was excited for more! Once I got moving in the morning I caught a Ratata right out my front door! Not the best Pokemon to be sure, but I had barely left the house! So I bus to work and I pass a LOT of Pokemon, but thankfully the game allows you to catch them so long even if you’ve passed them. The effective range is about three times the distance of your bubble, so you can catch most everything you pass! By the time I had gotten to work, I already had 7 Pokemon. What I didn’t have was an understanding how a Pokestation works. During lunch I did a bit of research and found that you have to spin Pokestations and then they give you free stuff!

Hint: While Pokemon can be caught at a distance, Pokestations and Gyms are picky on distance. They are much harder to catch if driving past!

After work I finally was able to travel around and get some more Pokemon. I had half an hour to wander around Downtown Reno before my bus arrived. I caught a bunch of Pokemon and started grabbing stuff from Pokestations. By the time I got home I had over 30 Pokemon and had hit level 4. Later, as the day got cooler, I went out again, grabbed 6 more Pokemon before even reaching the other side of my (admittedly large) apartment building where I reached level 5. Now I can fight at gyms! I started walking around, grabbing Pokemon everywhere and I finally hit a gym just it was open! No one had taken it yet and so I did with a low level Pidgy. I put that there so I could train against it, get some experience and give the gym some experience as well. It made me choose a color and I choose yellow, Team Instinct (aka Spark!)! By the time I had gotten back home I was just shy of 50 Pokemon and level 6, but I used an essence power up and that got me to 52 Pokemon before going to bed.

Hint: Don’t get discouraged if you catch a lot of a single Pokemon, the Pokemon candy you get by doing so will help you power up and evolve your stronger Pokemon of the same type! Also, be careful where you spend Stardust!

2704441593298749142-account_id=1Let me repeat: Level 6, more than 50 Pokemon and a gym leader in one day! A day I was working most of the day at that! As I am writting this article, I am level 7 and have 72 Pokemon and as far as I know I am still the Gym Leader for my local church.

This game is a lot of fun!… when its working.

Now the problems – At approx 6pm on the 5th I find out it released. I go to the Play Store on my phone and it isn’t there. I go to the Play Store on my computer and it is there, but not compatible with my Nexus 6P. I find out its because its not built for Android N, of which I am in the beta. So I decide this is worth downgrading for. I do so which takes many hours because of all my apps and then its time to install!

Hint! Even if you are home in bed, open the app, there is a chance a Pokemon will appear near you!

BUT WAIT! Its still not compatible with my devices. Upon further inspection, its not compatible with ANY of my devices, past or present. I get suspicious. I hit Reddit and find that I am not alone in this. They suggest finding an APK. Great idea, but that has to be hard to find right? Nope. Less than a minute later I was downloading an APK and ready to go. One more problem though. Its 10pm and I get up early. So after logging in for the first time, I log out, promising to start my Pokemon adventures the next day.

Hint: Servers down? Close the app and try again! There a chance you will be able to get in if you try again!

2648249760435055951-account_id=1You will notice that at the beginning I don’t mention catching Pokemon at lunch. That’s because the servers were down the entire time and were still down when I first got off work. Luckily after work they came back up after a few minutes! More good news is that I have not seen any difficulties with the server today (yet). This morning I was able to download the game from Google Play, replacing my APK’d version and its working perfectly.

This game is a lot of fun and there are advantages to being in a multi-player game from the beginning. I just wish it wasn’t so difficult to start. However it does seem that most of the issues are resolved. I look forward to a long and happy Pokemon experience!

Hint!: Apparently I was wrong. The servers, for now, seem to almost always be down during the day. Play in the mornings and the evening!

Lets See The E3 2016 Microsoft Announcements!

Microsoft had some cool announcements today, lets take a look!

XBox One S(lim):

XBox Games Montage

 

XBox: Characters That Matter

XBox Play Anywhere

Gears of War 4 Co-Op Gameplay

XBox One Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Controller:

Killer Instinct: General RAAM announcement:

Killer Instinct: General RAAM trailer:

Forza Horizon 3

Forza 3 Horizons Trailer and Onstage Demo

ReCore

Dead Rising 4:

Battlefield 1

Scalebound

Sea of Thieves gameplay and trailer

Sea of Thieves gameplay

State of Decay 2

Mafia 3

Tekken 7

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 Multiplayer

XBox Design Lab for the XBox One controller

What new and upcoming from independent developers

Inside

More Minecraft

We Happy Few

So what do you think? More of the same or do you think there are some real gems here? As always you can lets us know in the forums!