Game Debate's Reviews
Blue Estate's biggest crime is in its failure to bring anything new to a genre that's barely been attempted for a decade. Many of its mechanics feel dated in comparison to 1998's The House of the Dead 2, which at least offer branching story paths and varied enemies to mix it up a little. If you go in expecting a rail-shooter and nothing more then it's not necessarily bad, but the impotent humour and monotonous conveyor belt of enemies grows old throughout its 3-4 hour length.
I'm really struggling to find anything good to say about Jagged Alliance: Rage, other than that its name is appropriate. I suppose the stealth mechanic sort of works, although even there occasionally your sneaky work can be ruined by a patrolling soldier somehow glitching and eternally clambering on and off a rock instead of completing his route. Each playable character has a background trait that is supposed to play out as a weakness but that you rarely notice in play. The characters you choose to play seem irritated by one another, and by everything going on around them all the time. I've got to say, I think it's pretty understandable.
The crux that comes out of this review is that you are better off waiting for this game to be in sale rather than purchasing it right now, and even then those tired of zombies would be strongly advised to steer clear. Deep Silver has unfortunately overseen the Dead Island series take a serious dip in quality throughout 2014, but we remain hopeful that things will get back on the right track with Dead Island 2.
If you've got the DOOM reboot then I heartily recommend you just go and play its Arcade Mode instead. This was added as a free update back in October last year, and it's everything you want from a score-attack shooter and then some. Failing that, and if you've never played Bulletstorm before, then it's worth a play-through should you spot it at a deep discount further down the line.
There are plenty of places where the success of the previous titles could have lent the financial security necessary for this version to feel some polish, but there's none. And the price! If this was a $4.99 Excalibur title, I suppose I could forgive them, and just shrug it off. But it's a full-price title! Every moment I was chained to this game was misery, and I wouldn't play it again if they paid me the money instead of the other way around.
Hopefully the weakest link in Fallout 4’s season pass, Wasteland Workshop is textbook filler. Wasteland Workshop is a kind of greatest hits packaged of what I don't want from DLC. Taking into account how great the main game was, this can't be considered anything but a disappointment. If you’ve paid for the pass then you might as well give it a shot I guess, but in all likelihood there isn’t much here that many people will find fun, aside from those obsessed with base customisation. It’s a slight extra and nothing more, and certainly not worth picking up on its own. All eyes now turn to the far more promising Far Harbor...
It's such a missed opportunity. The setting and locations are fun, interesting and entirely within the scope of pulp adventure literature. Some of the puzzles (most of which revolve around stepping on some tiles and not on others, or avoiding otherwise Indiana Jones-style set pieces) are fun in a way, and the clever addition of your great-grandfather's notebook as an in-game item that shows you absent-minded sketches of some of the tricks and traps offers a sort of hint system that preserves the suspension of disbelief in an appropriate way. And, I suppose the game is easy enough to rarely become frustrating (except during one particular boss fight where you can be shot and killed through walls). It's not frustration that'll get you, though. It'll be the sheer ennui that sets in when you contemplate the pointlessness of continuing to play this lackluster, lazy and horribly overpriced mess.
And a special mention for the ending. Or should I say what ending? I gained access to a previously locked room with a number of photos on the wall and found no way to progress. Wandered about the house for 20 more minutes looking for something I may have missed. Running out of luck I hopped on YouTube and watch a Let’s Play to see what I was missing. They did the exact same thing, running about the house looking for the next piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately for me they had a little more sense though, eventually realising the room with the photos was in fact the credits. A totally bizarre ending though it has to be said. I was in PSVR as well so there wasn’t even a trophy pop to show me I’d finished. Not knowing it was the end kind of tells you all you need to know about Weeping Doll's story.
For the masochists in our midst there are time attack runs if you want to perfect your time in each of game’s eight or so chapters, but I do genuinely believe that’s a big ask of anyone. Manual Samuel is perfect Twitch streaming fodder then, but there isn’t enough quality or variation there to make me want to see it through to the end, despite developer Perfectly Paranormal’s best efforts to mix things up. Sadly, the execution isn’t as strong as the idea is on paper. It’s sad to see because there’s a lot of potentially good ideas tucked away here and some fantastic artwork, so I’m keen to see what the devs can crack out next.
In the absence of a tutorial, adequate live tips, or indeed any indication whatsoever of the correct way to go about these menial and repetitive tasks, all that remained was to stop the lorry next to the bin and jab sequentially at each key on the keyboard in the forlorn hope that one of them might do something productive.
Now a full on drifting game has promise, drifting is an art and quite difficult for most people. This game really has a great way of showing that. I would absolutely love to see way more cars, more maps, maybe even a multiplayer where people can compete against each other, that would make this way more enjoyable. It has a lot of promise for early access and hopefully the developers keep working on it and don't end support for a game that clearly shows a lot of potential, but at this point in time I just can't recommend it.
As a game though, Bee Simulator needs a little more meat on its bones. It's not a full on simulator like other simulators; it's an open-world arcade-like experience. It would be nice if we could actually land on a flower to collect pollen, for instance, rather than flying through a gamified light ring.
I mean, it's not actually painful to play. It's a little broken here and there, with one of those perma-map-scrolling bugs that seem to plague RTSes, and a couple of other small niggling technical issues. But what really stands out is the lack of anything interesting or novel. In the rush to market for the accolade of 'First game to utilise DirectX 12' or whatever, they've presumably cut everything out of the game that would have made it stand out from anything else. I guess there is a system of supply lines that can be cut which plays far more of a part in multiplayer games than it does in the single player campaign, but ultimately it's too little to make a difference. This is how we are to be introduced to DirectX 12 - not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Ultimately, Space Hulk Deathwing is the empty shell of a great game, desperately looking for some substance. It's the perfect game to play for an hour but every moment after this it just gets a little bit more tiresome. The story is gibberish to all but the most ardent of Warhammer 40K fans and ultimately doesn't provide enough variety to propel you through with any certainty. It's Left 4 Dead without the frenetic pace, deep tactics and unpredictable thrills.
Time waits for no man (or game in this case) although perhaps Dambusters wished it had stopped off for a ciggie break or two in the road to release. Homefront 2 isn't the finished article you see. NPCs walk into walls. Animations are janky. Everything's got an incomplete vibe, like Dambusters downed tools at lunch and disappeared down the pub for a not-so-swift pint. It's not beyond hope though, extensive patching could salvage a decent game out of this. My fear is that the damage is already well and truly done.
A sad fact of life it may be, but go into Bound By Flame with low impressions and you're probably not going to come away disappointed. Those hoping for the appropriate stop-gap until The Elder Scrolls VI though will be left wanting. Bound By Flame is relatively harmless fantasy by numbers that is difficult to recommend beyond a budget-priced pickup, or if you're in the utmost doldrums waiting for a big release.
Ultimately, V-Rally 4 is a solid if comprehensively unremarkable rally racing game. It offers neither the simulation depth of Dirt Rally nor the arcade racing hijinks of Dirt, straddling the line somewhere between the two. It can be moderately entertaining despite its dry personality, but up against stiff competition, it's an all too forgettable entry. Perhaps V-Rally was best left in its nostalgia-fuelled haze.