Despite what some online comparisons indicate, the remaster is the superior version of the game.
Let’s preface this one differently. I was a big Assassin’s Creed fan but AC3 greatly reduced my love for it. And Unity murdered it. When I played that game all those years ago, I was disappointed on all fronts. I was also setting really high expectations that could not be reached. And I wanted to beat the game before the real life “December 21, 2012” end of the word scenario so I rushed through all of it. Hated the difficulty, the setting was underused, Connor wasn’t a good protagonist, and lots of bugs and grievances with the detection settings for NPCs.
Well, I either completely sucked back then, or Assassin’s Creed III Remastered is a much better experience. This re-release comes with a remaster of Liberation HD (a remaster of a remaster?) as well. This remaster came out March 29, 2019 and either is free with your Assassin’s Creed Odyssey season pass or in the store for $40. The season pass for Odyssey costs $40 so you have almost no reason to not have that marvel of a game and its DLC packs. So, is it worth a revisit after so many years? Or perhaps, for those who haven’t played it, a decent entry?
There will be a video on this in the near future but this title is the subject to a bit of controversy. If you look for graphical comparisons on Youtube, you will see that some of them imply it to be superior, yet others imply that it is worse. Whether it is misrepresenting the game on purpose or not, this review is from the “Xbox One X” version of the game, so the most graphically powerful console release. I can personally confirm that the release is highly superior in the graphical department. With the exception of a handful of faces, you’re getting better looks across the entire board. You have better color with HDR, lively landscapes, and incredible textures.
You can’t really change an entire story in a remaster, can you? What you CAN do is try to engage your player more this time around. AC3 tells the story of… Haytham Kenway? Yes, the game pulls a reverse Metal Gear Solid 2. A sizeable chunk of the game has you playing as a character who is completely absent from all of the marketing materials. After a while, you do finally get to Connor or Kanien’kehá:ka (don’t try to pronounce it, just give up). The problem with this character is the game gives him a very rich setup due to the events of the first hours of gameplay. Yet at every turn, Connor manages to remain as dull as humanly possible. More on that in audio.
The other issue is that the setting doesn’t really do a good job at expressing the ins and outs of the Revolutionary War. Sure, there’s a lot of text you can read, but in terms of the game on its own, you basically just jump in and out of several world-famous events. Funnier is that it implies that Connor was at the front of all of them. Paul Revere? Connor? Boston Massacre? Connor. Boston Tea Party? Connor. The freaking battle at Chesapeake Bay? Connor.
Really stretching the believability, but then again this series more firmly expresses itself as alternate history. This makes the second time around a lot more enjoyable. Not to mention, I personally was able to focus more on a lot of content I had to pass on because I was so eager to finish.
It’s not every day you come across a voice actor who is a direct descendant of American indigenous tribes with a fine understanding of their languages, but here we are. Noah Watts, of the Blackfeet nation, voices our protagonist Connor. He speaks English and… not English. #OnlyTheFacts | Now, as said before, Connor is a dry and wooden protagonist. This is really not the fault of the actor. The dialog given for his character contains little in the way of flair or emotion. He speaks very directly at all times. He comes in two flavors, deliberate and agitated. That’s it. The rest of the cast wasn’t too great either. As for SFX? They’re mediocre. Nothing wrong about them but nothing to grab your attention.
I must make it painstakingly clear though, this game has one of the GREATEST original scores in the entire Assassins Creed franchise. That genuinely made the game a good experience overall. Quite emotional too, making up for some of the acting.
So, at the time it came out, AC3 had a bit of a difficult learning curve. A lot of the combat mechanics, controls, and gameplay style of the game change in the transition from the Ezio trilogy to III. However, coming directly off of AC: Odyssey, the game is retroactively easier to come to grips with. If anything, the game feels more limited. No dedicated stealth mode button. Combat is the old style of “counter-attack kills” that were prominent in most of the series. The simplicity of the game in comparison to the new game actually made it feel a bit more streamlined. It was almost arcade-like to play this game after every game we’ve had since.
It also seems as thought a lot of changes streamline the overall experience. Some redundancies were eliminated. Enemy detection appeared to be slower. The ship combat was easier to handle. Every step of the way, quality of life improvements are there, on every front. Oh, and the load times, those are some short load times. Especially for fast traveling and desynchronizing.
The fact that I took my time to play through more of the game is a very big deal. This time around, I bothered to unlock all the fast travel locations in the underground. It was a bit grindy, but manageable. The silly “homestead” missions actually felt like they were worth the time. That is despite the fact that the “convoy” system of the game was an absolute waste of time and needlessly complicated. I did all the district liberations and recruited all 6 support assassins. I did several of the optional naval battles. Not everything could be helped. The almanac pages are still dumb, as are all of the other fetch items the game throws at you. But I must stress that above all else, I had a much, MUCH better time playing this game again. I was supposed to be playing other games, yet I kept coming back to this re-release time and time once more.
Assassin’s Creed III Remastered is a huge improvement on the original iteration. Between the streamlining of gameplay elements, the simplicity, and the visual quality? This is a good remaster that has been released at exactly the right moment. If it has been a while since you last played, give it another shot. If you’ve never played it, also give it a shot. And ignore the real world plot, it’s still crap.
If I find time, I would like to play the Tyranny of King Washington DLC as well as Liberation, but that will have to wait.
Everyone has been upset over a particular mission. Nordlys depicts a woman and her mother opposing German troops who are transporting a nuclear compound known as hard water. This event actually took place under several men trying to sabotage the plans. All the complaining about misrepresenting history has made something clear. We now all know what really happened.
In recent times, it seems as though 60 dollars does not actually pay for the “whole experience”. With pieces missing from the game should you choose to buy the “base version” you are forced to miss out on certain perks and benefits. Sometimes it’s big, other times it’s small. But this, this is egregious. Ubisoft made a perfectly functional game and then chose to make it a bit on the grindy side, compared to other AC titles. There’s a boost pack than increases your money and EXP by and extra 50%, and then they have the nerve to charge 1500 helix points for it. It costs $20 to buy enough of these transaction credits and you’ll have some left over, but you can’t afford the upgrade on the lower tier. AC: Odyssey is an amazing and LARGE game. But, essentially, they are selling it for $80 by making you feel obligated to purchase this pack. Unless you really want to be a completionist and don’t mind random crap between missions, this is necessary. Not just side missions, you need to actually go to random ? points on the map and do just a very basic encounter to earn the EXP needed to progress in the story. It’s crap. Have a look.
This overview of Life is Strange 2 Episode 1 took place during a podcast. But it went on for so long we had to remove it from the podcast. We put it here instead. I mean, you could listen to use talk about the game. Or you can just sit there and be mesmerized in this latest rendition of DANKVISION.
The reboot series of the old Tomb Raider games was the breath of fresh air it needed. Developed by Eidos Montreal alongside Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix, Shadow of the Tomb Raider serves as the third installment of the new series. Notice I didn’t say end. It’s not an ending, it’s a promise of more to come, most likely. The only problem is, just like the original series and its multitude of half-baked sequels, Tomb Raider seems to be running out of steam. Less than stellar sales have been reported and the title was grossly over-SHADOWED (kill me) by the likes of Marvel’s Spiderman for PS4. But with the likes of Uncharted and other big cinematic action/adventure capers, what happened? Was the game bad? Uninteresting? Let’s have a look piece by piece.
This first category is a little hard to score. For one, this review copy was done on the Xbox One S, so I can’t fault the game itself to some minor imperfections. Especially from a technical level, everything looks great. But at the same time, there’s also no variety in the entire game. Jungles, jungles, jungles, and more jungles are the game’s bread and butter. The color green was one of the biggest stars of the game. Also, the main village you eventually encounter seems a bit rushed, with some less than stellar textures and some character animations that don’t sit right. However, there are many action sequences featuring cataclysmic events that are well executed. And the main characters all did have a high level of detail and polish.
This is also a difficult score. The ongoing plot involves you hunting down an artifact and encountering a group of indigenous tribals. In turn, they need your help with guarding the prize. So… it’s the exact same story as the other two games. It was practically ticking off a checklist of the ways it was similar to the prior games, especially Rise. In the last two games, I was more than willing to explore the optional tombs and do sidequests because I was so immersed in it. When it came to this game, I honestly could not give a damn about the option quests, tombs, and collectibles. Nothing held my interest, neither the nonsensical plight of the tribals or the promise of adventure could get me to even bother. Optional tombs give you special abilities, but the combat was easy enough that I didn’t care.
What was really good was Lara’s arc herself. As the centerpiece, she is completing a final character transformation from the first game to this one. It started off with her reluctantly having to kill enemies in the first game. In the second, she saw killing as a necessary evil. The third time around, she’s literally a predator who will not even think twice about killing a small militia. And at one point, she does do that! From covering herself with mud to hide in tree vines, hiding up on tree branches, and sneaking through tallgrass, she did it all. There was a long stretch of the game where it felt a lot more like I was playing Assassin’s Creed. Watching her complete this character arc, as she deals with repercussions she never thought she’d face? It’s a great experience. Too bad it’s wrapped around the same boring story.
Jonah! Jonah! Jonah! That name is the new “Press X to Jason”. For such an independent woman who ain’t need no man, she sure is needy when it comes to talking to her companion on the walkie. Well, that’s not actually true. Jonah just constantly puts himself in danger anytime you leave him alone. That aside, voice acting is on point. As with a lot of leading ladies lately, Camilla Luddington did a top-notch performance as Ms. Croft. She had many emotional crescendos that gave me actual feelings. That doesn’t happen that often. The sound effects were solid and effective, with lots of rubble crashing and ice pick thwacking action. The music had some interesting styles in there as well. One of note was while fighting the enemy tribals. The music incorporated their chants into the song to serve as percussion instruments. Very creative.
Okay so let me reiterate, this is practically identical to the prior two games. Only the combat feels incredibly easy on its default setting. Another major change is the structure. This game is far more linear than previous games, and for the large part leads you on a direct path throughout. Not that it’s a bad thing, if anything, more games could benefit from having a more focused path. The game does open up a bit, just not to the degree of prior games. Now the critical mistake in this game is thinking anyone wanted underwater sections. Nobody asked for those. Absolutely no gamer has ever enjoyed underwater levels (with the exception being games entirely based on swimming). Thankfully, these sections are also fairly linear and short. The biggest problem of the game is the actual platforming and climbing bits. There were many times where I feel like button prompts weren’t connecting. It happened too frequently while playing. I’d go for a jump into a wall with the ax, press the button, and Lara just doesn’t land it. Sometimes the directions she jumps in from area are a bit erratic. The previous game didn’t have these issues, but they weren’t as elaborate either.
It came to a point where the climbing wasn’t fun anymore. It felt more like a mandatory roadblock instead of gameplay. The combat sequences, on the other hand, were pretty good, despite being few and far between. Playing as Assassin Lara was an absolute blast, and you can stealth your way through most of the game. In fact, even the final boss had optional stealth bits. There was one section that was a forced open conflict, but it was placed in a great spot. Also, despite dying many times due to what I felt to be a wonky climbing section, the reload time for when you die was nigh instantaneous. I died more from failing to connect a jump than any combat sequence, and I only died once during one particularly difficult section.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was an excellent piece of character development for the new and improved Lara Croft. It’s just too bad the game was such a copy/paste job, doing nothing new and giving you little in the way of other interesting characters or challenges. And the dumb underwater bits really hurt the game. This game gave no implication that this is our heroine’s final tale, so we may yet see another adventure in the franchise. I just hope they find a new way to liven things up.
Rumors leading up to the official announcement called this “The best ps plus lineup since the start of the service!”. It’s great to see the anticipation was well worth the wait. And it comes alongside the announcement that starting this time next year, Vita and PS3 will no longer be receiving free games.
Shadow of War is the sequel to Shadow of Mordor, from Monolith Studios and Warner Bros. The setting remains in Mordor, with the time period being in between The Hobbit and Return of the King. After the wraith combo of Talion and Celebrimbor forge their own Ring of Power, they must combat the evil supreme being Sauron’s, forces, and essentially keep his influence within Mordor’s borders.
There are many visual cues and landscape setups that are appealing to the eye, especially from the sky. Talion has a facial animation update, that is neither better nor worse than his original look. Celebrimbor who is seen when utilizing his talents, is also fluid, albeit way more aged and “ghost-like” than before. The fact that his lifeforce has been poured into his Ring of Power is evident in his aged visage. The movement patterns of living things are very believable, from the caragors, to the dragons, ranger, and even from the elf inside the ranger, such as when a simple double jump becomes the starting point of a three orc headshot combo as time slows perfectly to achieve the goal. Not only are the movements ideal but attention to detail when standing still is also a feat well captured. The orcs you encounter within the army all seem very distinct and unique from each other, even Orcs within the same tribe, such as “Dark” and Mystic”.
The story follows the tradition of letting one play as they see fit. The progression of the game is very linear, however the open world allows for “grinding” which one might find necessary in between certain story missions. New allies enter the stage, and one familiar face is also seen lurking around stone passes inside Mordor. Certain Orcs including your “Nemesis” will follow you throughout the story. Your progression of the game will actually matter when considering the online content. In fact, online isn’t suggested until the latter part of the game, as your in game player level will directly matter when defending and attacking online player’s forts. Not only will your level matter, but the Orcs in your army will as well. Elements of the game that are emphasized in the latter half such as Orc pit battles, are introduced with subtlety, and each layer plays an important role within the game.
SOW uses the controller speakers to great effect during cutscenes and other appropriate times such as domination. Whether flying on an orc, riding a caragor, or even during a dramatic cutscene, the sound effects and overall tone will be appropriate. Discussion of your exploits within Mordor will also be noted by grunts and captains alike, which makes for a realistic setting.
This game has a very good blend of its elements. When first starting, less powers means you will most likely use stealth and environment aids such as bait and Morgai fly nests. All throughout the game it does feel like an honest war. Only unlike its predecessor, you eventually feel like you have the command of an army. Each fort has its challenges, and because the captains all have different weaknesses, one will find themselves planning for those weaknesses. In one instance a target I came across had several immunities: fireproof, poison-proof, etc; but only one weakness: ranged attacks. The allied Orcs I had recruited died one by one in battle, and in fact I suffered a betrayal on the battlefield by my personal bodyguard. All of this had to be assessed with in real time, and that was one of my most enjoyable experiences because of the versatility. After sinking some hours into it, one will truly feel more powerful as skills become unlocked in later levels.
In an age when gamers need to immediately achieve something, this game is refreshing. Playing on Nemesis mode, where all your combatants evolve, remember, and in some case even return from the dead, makes battle preparation an actual necessity. Although even then you can still be caught off guard by a betrayal or enemy reincarnation. Plans were executed well; improviations were also executed.
The Wyrms, (conquerable dragons) made traversing a map or battlefield faster and much more enjoyable as it basically worked like a helicopter would in your favorite shooter. The dragons breathed fire, and nothing says ouch more than live cooking your worst enemy on the battlefield.
Pit battles were a unique element added to help facilitate the growth of your army, while also allowing you a space to get a better orc if yours is defeated in combat. Watching your favorite orc win rounds at the pit is oddly satisfying. While level is a strong indicator of a potential victor, it is not always the deciding factor; in fact I saw some eye-raising battles where the victor was not expected at all.
This game is blended well. One thing I did not mention was the microtransactions, and I mention them now because is in no way shape or form do they deter you from any fun. Having boosters or extra Orc followers helps more for the multiplayer than anything. There are those that argue they wouldn’t want to spend over 70 hours to beat a videogame. For those who feel they need to immediately finish something, either play on easy or pick a different game.
Get Even is a unique action adventure game developed by The Farm 51 and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It is available now on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. In the game you play a mercenary named Cole Black who appears to have some sort of involvement with a kidnapping and a bomb. Throughout it, you explore different memories to eventually figure out how everything transpired. However, as you go through the game, you will notice that there are several moments where something seems off about this method. The game combines many different types of gameplay elements and tries to manage them all. Does it succeed?
Way back in the old times (2014), the game was shown off with a very vague tech demo at E3 highlighting the detailed graphics of the game. Though it may not have held up to the original trailer (which seems to be the case with every E3 trailer), it got the job done with a gold star. This is both from a technical standpoint and an artistic standpoint. Environments, both indoor and outdoor are relatively small but they all flourish with minimal repetition. If anything, it could have used some more variety as you go through trash heap after trash heap, but at least said trash heaps are all well crafted. The concrete locations are littered with various tags and street art in every room. That, and the dissolving particle effect you get from unlocking memories, creating objects, and killing NPCs is stunning every time you do it.
I don’t want to talk about it too much here, because this is the sort of game that is better if you know as little as possible before jumping in. The game revolves around exploring memories while finding clues with your phone. You are doing this to piece together all the parts of a vast series of events that led up to the aforementioned bomb and kidnapping. But any game that revolves around memory and the human psyche are bound to be riddled with plot twists. These plot twists really do deliver themselves routinely throughout the experience and add up to a rather surprising turn of events later on. But that’s all I really want to expound on right now.
Now, the original soundtrack to this game isn’t the most astonishing in terms of just music. But what it does with the way the music and sound implementation is ingenious. Tracks play with odd time signatures that sometimes fall out of sync with themselves. Sometimes you hear people humming a song you heard in the soundtrack earlier on. There are other times where the soundtrack is played back at different speeds. Several characters have their own leitmotifs. At one point, two songs were playing at the same time and it was definitely intentional. One of the levels has a song wherein if you enter open combat, a loud bubblegum pop song plays instead of a serious orchestral piece. Additionally, there are moments where your breathing becomes louder than everything else. You also hear echos of non-natural sounds in the distance. Stealth sections have some really heavy distortion synth pad chords that get louder and louder the closer you get to an enemy NPC. What I’m saying is the audio design on this game is a perfect fit for the content within. Clever uses of diegetic & non-diegetic sounds are abound.
This is where the game gets a bit dodgy. Get Even has decided that the only way to be unlike any other game is to simultaneously consist of many different games all in one package. For better and worse, the game tries to do the following: first person shooter action, tactical stealth, horror with defense, and adventure. Yes, all of that. Whenever you’re in a section with many enemy NPCs, you can choose to shoot your way through it or sneak around. However, there are sections where open conflict seems mandatory, especially towards the very end. The game does a good job of letting you know that you are being actively judged for how you handle every situation too. When you’re not around NPCs, you spend some time exploring an asylum trying to find photographs for plot reasons, and this is where both the horror and puzzle elements prevail. Sometimes the asylum is quiet and peaceful while other times it’s like a haunted old mansion. What’s worse is the game is not afraid to implement overused horror tropes. Then there are bits where you have to solve actual puzzles in order to proceed and they aren’t very difficult, but they exist throughout the entire journey. The game is truly trying to be a jack of all trades and is definitely a master at none.
Your mileage may vary greatly on how much you can tolerate the genre shifting. My experience on the whole package is positive. However, there are a handful of sections that can be frustrating, and this again depends on what part you are at. I remember a particular section where stealth was too hard and I ended up either shooting everyone up or sprinted away hoping the NPCs would not give chase. There was another section of the game where after rounding a corner and going outside of the asylum, the game dramatically switches to full on supernatural horror for no particular reason. At the same time, the tactical stealth was very engaging and the implementation of an actual corner gun really sets this title apart from the pack. All in all, the game was vexing enough that I feel at least one additional playthru (in which I murder everyone) will be warranted.
Get Even promised to be a unique game and it delivered. It is quite a psychological experience that you won’t soon forget after the credits roll. The only thing that really keeps the game hampered down is the inconsistency, which can greatly affect your enjoyment of the title. Overall, despite not being one of our top rated games this year, it is still a contender for GOTY 2017.
P.S. There’s a lot of involvement from inclusion of an in-universe VR headset and I personally think this kind of game would be great to have a VR version.
Syberia 3 is a lot more like a classic adventure game than most new games on the market that claim to be part of the genre. Like many others, it was also Kickstarted. It’s buggy as hell but how does it play?
January 20th, 2016 by Stefan Adrian "AdminMas7er" Robu
Life is Strange is an episodic graphic adventure video game developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix. It is focused on the adventures of photography student Max Caulfield, after discovering she has the ability to rewind time, going into the darker parts of Arcadia Bay alongside her close friend, Chloe, searching for a missing student.
The graphics of Life is Strange are absolutely stunning, being developed in Unreal Engine 3, it hits some level of realism while combining a slightly cartoonish art style. While this art style doesn’t provide as much detail close-up, the bigger picture is where it shines. It impressed me how much Detail Dontnod have put into creating this considerably aesthetic town of Arcadia Bay, with the Blackwell Academy as the main point of attraction. Each episode brings us into a new area, keeping the game worlds fresh and rich in environments.
While the story might not have been the best, even poor in some parts, it was okay, containing some major twists around the end. A major problem with it is that the plot starts slow on episode one (which is free), putting a lot of people off buying the other episodes. Character-wise, we have a very diverse cast, each one being unique in looks and personality. Some characters are a bit more insufferable than others, meanwhile there are some that you simply can’t hate them. Some characters I really love include the main protagonist Max, and one of her good friends, Kate. The dialogue feels a little bit forced and awkward, it sounds as if the developers tried (and failed) to replicate the “hip” talk of teens today (seriously, “hella”) and it’s one of the bad parts of the game.
I literally have nothing bad to say about the audio, seriously, it has a 10/10 soundtrack, one of the better ones I’ve heard, it also fits the game atmosphere and the personality of Max. Genre-wise, it is composed of indie songs so it is also very soothing and calm. This mellow soundtrack has quite the effect on how emotional some scenes become.
Being a story-based game, it isn’t focused on gameplay so don’t expect to find interesting mechanics. The most important of them is the rewind, allowing you to go back in time, allowing you to make a different choice. This is both a good thing and a bad thing, a good thing because you can also see the other choice available and its outcome, a bad thing because it kind of nullifies the whole “your choices matter” part of the game, since you can fix most of the bad decisions you did previously. At least, the minor ones are like so, since the major choices get locked in. This game draws a lot of inspiration from Telltale Games so it is point and click with a shiny mechanic, so to speak.
Now I would not describe this game as “fun”. I would describe it as “emotional”, “a trip”, “cringefest” whatever you want to call it. It invokes a lot of emotions if you care about characters, especially when you make the wrong choices; those that lead to characters getting wounded, both physically and emotionally. For me, I haven’t felt anything from the “good” ending, but you might have a different experience.
While it may be “eh” in some areas, LiS hits hard in others, and it is an experience you should really try. It may not be perfect, it has a lot of good parts, just like a human. With rewind mechanics.