Saturday, 19 April 2014

Tackling the Review Problem...

I'm going to be honest, I'm not a fan of slapping a score on something, especially something so trivial as a videogame! So here at TheGameFeed, our reviews aren't going to be made up of an endless sprawl of gaming nonsense, with a big mediocre 7/10 slapped on the bottom! In fact, we're not going to use any form of ranking system to tell you if the latest hit is worth playing or not, we're just going to give you a simple "Play" or "Avoid". What more is there too it?

Since the beginning of time, review scores have been pasted across blogs everywhere, and we want that to change. One of my favourite games ever; "Alpha Protocol" which I would highly recommend to any fans of stealth games or RPGs in general  is greeted by a measly 64/100 on Metacritic (a videogame aggregation site). Many people would agree that it's just another ten hour haul of mediocrity, yet some people would beg to differ! For that exact reason, we're going to be rating games on a "Play" or "Avoid" system.

To explain this properly, have a look at the example below. Essentially a basic review will consist of a big green subtitle to highlight good features and a gigantic red mark to tell you about the stuff which really needs work. In the middle we'll have a yellowish subtitle, letting you know about the conditional parts (e.g. if you're a fan of stealth games). Following each subtitles will be an explanation for each point...

Overall, the aim is to create a review which can be read in seconds if you're in a hurry. Or will take a bit longer if you'd like to read into it more. This system will make everything clearer and more concise. I'd also like to include a poll system to see what readers think, and we'll be encouraging readers to give their own opinions in the comments section, after all our option is only one of many- it's all about personal preference!


Good Level Design


Engaging Story


Massive open world


Lack Of Originality


Buggy Mess


Balancing Issues


Rating:           PLAY

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Preview - My Time With Sniper Elite 3

Last week, I snagged some hands on time with the latest entry to Rebellion's Sniper Elite series. In Sniper Elite 3, the series takes the fight to 1940s North Africa, an original setting which I have yet to see explored in the medium. I can say without doubt that I was thoroughly impressed with the game on every front, and I see no reason why I won't be snapping this title off the shelf when it launches this June!

I'd hate to sound like the average hype-building over emotional gamer, but Rebellion's project really does have a lot going for it, from sprawling open environments, to well thought out, yet not overly complex stealth mechanics. I feel as though this is the first linear third-person shooter which I could really sink some time into since playing "The Last of Us" last June.

For existing Sniper Elite fans, the game remains provides the same staple diet of sniping and stealth. However, this time round, it feels as though staying covert in your attempts to thwart the Nazi regime are much more satisfying. This transformation is most comparable to last year's Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Following a rather explosive predecessor, Blacklist took a more diverse approach, giving players the option to play the game the way which suited them best. Sniper Elite 3 has taken the same approach, allowing players to choose their own path through each scenario.

As a self-confessed nut for stealth games, Sniper Elite 3 was a catalyst for fun, the "Welrod", a silenced pistol of sorts felt like an extremely satisfying tool of the trade; deadly, fast, quiet. Surprisingly, close quarters take-downs felt equally as entertaining, in rather a large (albeit fun) divergence from the usual role of a sniper.  

Rummaging through your inventory, you’ll find a handful of traps and diversions. They function in a pretty similar way to in the previous game, whereby you place a mine or trap of other sorts, lure an enemy to them and pull the trigger. Pulling off a pre-meditated attack like this awards the player with extra experience points and gives you a sense of achievement, comparable to killing a target in Hitman (then again, in a not quite as complex manner).

Setting had to be the pinnacle moment of innovation in the game, because I cannot say that it is a setting which I've experienced in the medium before! You're now probably thinking I'm crazy for suggesting I've never seen a videogame set on the backdrop of the Nazi regime before, and rightly so! However not once have I delved into the North African campaign of the Second World War. We've all been infantry on the beaches of Normandy, or the eastern front, or the final push into Germany by allied forces. Yet the lush vistas of greens and yellows on the backdrop of North Africa, have remained camouflaged. I've yet to mention that I'm also a fan of modern history, so if the violence doesn't appeal, there's still fun to be found in discovering an otherwise untouched treasure trove of History in the game’s setting. 

From what I’ve played, there wasn't that much insight into real events, and the only name I snatched from my demo turned out to be fictitious. In a sense, I'm worried that this is a game which could go so far beyond being another monotonous story about killing Nazis, and instead we could actually seize some insight into the history of the world which surrounds the game. I’m not certain of their historical accuracy, however I can remember Medal of Honor games giving some "historical" oversight of the following level on the loading screen. Snippets like this would make my day, because after all, it would be great to see something more than just another piece of world war fiction...

Graphically speaking, the game looks great! I wouldn't call it a photorealistic marvel or a boundary pushing blockbuster, they're just; great. By all means the game looks fine, it looks like a next gen game, but I can't help but think that being an intergenerational release will have hindered the team's ability to provide a product which feels like its raising the bar for new consoles. Nevertheless, this isn't a major concern of mine- graphical fidelity is meaningless in the face of great gameplay!

Finally, I'd like to discuss the series' signature feature; the explosively brutal kill cam which accompanies kills. Traced through the air, your bullet hits the target, they explode, blood and bone fly off into the near distance, the world stops in the wake of your destruction, revealing in an x-ray themed killcam every innard of the NPC is revealed in a flurry of gore. This feature has been enhanced over its predecessor, adding not just an x-ray skeleton of the character to the killcam, but also layers of muscle and organs. Who would have ever known that watching a bullet charging its way through a Nazi's graphically next-generation testicle could be so entertaining? 

...Well it’s fun for the first 20 minutes anyway. I felt as though the killcam was fun, and offered a sense of surgical precision to my kills, yet it was too frequent. If you've ever wondered what goes through a Nazi's head (other than a bullet) there's probably enough time allotted in killcams, to include in each a two hour back story of the character, ultimately making you feel like your hero is more of an antagonist to the story than the protagonist! Basically, they feel dragged out and boring after a while, however cinematically, they look amazing.

In conclusion, I enjoyed my time with Sniper Elite 3, despite its small setbacks. It still remains to be seen, what the game plays like outside of the small snapshot of content which I've played, more of the same hopefully! Also, it remains to be seen how well the story functions. Obviously, I'm a fan of the historical side, yet with good writing I'm convinced that the game still has the potential to give players a half decent story, yet without the historical context I feel like the setting will be a wasted wonder.

Sniper Elite 3 is developed by Rebellion and published by 505 games. It is due to be released on PS3, XBOX 360, PS4, XBOX ONE and PC on June 27th 2013 in all territories, except for North America, where it will be released on July 1st. 

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Batman/Superman Movie Announced

Today, Zack Snyder took to the Warner Bros. ComicCon  panel to announce a forthcoming DC Comics project, with a slight twist. Not only did he announce that there was a new Superman movie in the works, but he also announced that the film would star The Caped Crusader- Batman. This superhero duo should please fans if it is executed correctly, and the audience at the ComicCon panel went wild, with a reaction unlike any other. 

The plot of the Snyder's latest epic shall be lightly based upon the story of The Dark Knight Returns, a graphic novel which features the two characters. Although Snyder did appear to stress that this was not a direct adaption. Henry Cavill is almost certain to return to the shoes of Superman, however there was no mention whatsoever of Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Christian Bale stepping into the role of Batman. Bale previously ruled out a return to the character whilst speaking to, he told them, "We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three (films). That's enough. Let's not get greedy." This suggests that Bale didn't want a future series of films, only inspired by the capital which they produce to ruin the image of the Batman trilogy which Christopher Nolan had created. Instead Bale wishes to see other actors take the place of Batman and represent the character in their own way, after saying to, "It's a torch that should be handed from one actor to another".

This lightly comic-book inspired movie is set to reach cinemas in 2015, however over the next year, the DC Universe will stay quiet, except for the release of a second series of Arrow, which was recently renewed for a second series by CW.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

GTA V - First Gameplay Reveal

Today, Rockstar has released the first trailer for their heavily anticipated game; GTA V. The game is set to launch on September 17th however until now, no gameplay of the game has been available to the public. Although the trailer leaves a lot to be explained, and mainly covers game features which Rockstar has already has detailed, it does give a shead some light on the upcoming game.Despite only four minutes of gameplay being available to the public, the game has already exceeded the UK record for game pre-orders, and is also posed to dethrone Call of Duty: Black Ops from the most sales on launch day. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Rift - A New King Of Free To Play?

Its a little too soon to tell if Rift, Trion World's MMO, will become a leader in the F2P MMO genre, however it seems to be off to a strong start. Over the last 24 hours, since Trion Worlds set the latest game patch live, the game has been brimming with players, with server queues appearing frequently. Whether this short term popularity will last is still to be seen, however judging from the positive reaction from players so far, this game is posed to extend its new found success far into the future...

After playing this game both last night, and this morning, I found myself loving every second of gameplay. Something which I rarely get when I play an MMO game. The last time I enjoyed an MMO as much as this, was during my first session of World Of Warcraft, yet unlike the latter, this was free! The gameplay is one of the best in the traditional MMO genre; it offers fluid combat alongside a ton of content for users to smash through. 

With a preference of fast paced single player gameplay, this game seems to offer (up to the point which I have played to), a fast paced RPG experience. The content is plentiful and the 'Rifts' offer some great group play, at random encounter points. Above this, the 'Instant Adventure' feature allows players to instantly join customized quests, designed for group play. I found that this offered fast paced gameplay and kept things interesting. 

Most notably however, was the lack of focus on microtransactions. Not once did I find myself presented with messages asking me to buy from an in-game store. Nor, did I find myself feeling as though I needed to buy extra content from the store, unlike other F2P games, such as 'Lord Of The Rings Online', where I felt as though I was being constantly pressured by the game, to buy extra content...

Overall, the game provides a great experience and, I highly recommend you check it out! 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A New Era For Free To Play?

Leading MMO game RIFT has today become free to play. Since its release in March 2011 the game has continuously thrived, despite the expected annual decline in subscribers. Today marks another step towards the gradual decline in subscription MMO's as since the the establishment of the free to play microtransaction model, in recent years the popularity of games such as RIFT and World Of Warcraft have declined due to the implementation of these more affordable models. So perhaps the introduction of this business model may lead Trion Worlds, developer of RIFT, to large successes in future. Not only will this Triple-A MMO likely become a leader in the Free To Play market, due to its large success as a Pay to Play game, but it may become the leader of the market itself, prompting the likes of Blizzard and CCP Games to adapt their own behemoths to match this payment model.

If you're interested in MMORPG games, you should check this out! It's great fun and is easily one of the best games currently available in its genre!

Click Here to sign up now!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

E3 - Infamous: Second Son Trailer

Here's the E3 trailer for Infamous: Second Son, playing in engine from the PS4. What do you think of the new outing for Sucker Punch Studios? Drop your thoughts in the comments below...