Overwatch’s First Post-Release Hero Revealed

A founding member of the original Overwatch strike team and mother to Fareeha “Pharah” Amari, Ana Amari has been revealed as the first new hero to be added to Blizzard’s hit first-person shooter Overwatch following its release.  Once the top sniper in the Egyptian military, Ana was believed dead after an encounter with Talon operative Widowmaker.  Despite losing her right eye in the fight, she is prepared to step back into active duty at 60 years young.

Ana is a support sniper whose rifle can heal teammates or deal poison damage to enemies depending on who her shots land on.  She’s also armed with a sleep dart that can knock a single opponent unconscious, but any damage dealt to them will immediately wake them.  It can certainly be useful in conjunction with a high-damage ally to assassinate enemies, but it can also be handy for cancelling certain ultimate abilities, such as McCree’s and Reaper’s.  Next is a biotic grenade that supplements healing for teammates and completely blocks healing for enemies.  Finally, her ultimate ability is Nano Boost which temporarily buffs the attack, defense, and movement speed of a single ally.  You can see all of her abilities in action in the official gameplay reveal trailer.

Ana is available play now in the newly-launched, PC-only Public Test Region, which is the beta-testing segment, and is planned to be added to the full game very soon.  The PTR is also experimenting with various balance changes, such as making self-healing abilities charge ultimates and adjusting the ultimate charging rate for all heroes that will apply to.  The new patch will also buff D.Va, Zenyatta, and McCree.  You can read the full patch notes here.

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The new story trailer (featured above) also hints at two more early members of the strike team on the far left and right that could potentially join the playable cast in the future.  We have no solid leads on who either of these characters might be, but it’s possible that they are Liao and Sombra whom have been hinted at multiple times in the past.  Given that Blizzard has gone out of their way to include these characters in the group shot, it’s a safe bet that they have some plans for these characters.

What are your thoughts on Ana’s inclusion to the roster?  What types of heroes do you still want to see added to Overwatch?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Ratchet And Clank (2016) Review

The Same Amazing Tale Through The Eyes Of Another.

Insomniac Game’s world renowned duo of the galaxy’s finest heroes have finally made their comeback and to say the very least, they have done so with an inter-galactic bang. Ratchet And Clank (2016) is jam-packed with a combination of the most profound characters from the series to date, oodles of outer-space adventure throughout the now revamped reaches of the the Solana galaxy and sprinkled with the famous Ratchet And Clank humour that fans of the series have grown to love and adore. For those who are yet to indulge in this blast from the past, I will be keeping spoilers under the hat, so don’t fret.

Developer of the series, Insomniac Games have recreated this heroic pair’s first adventure together which players first indulged in upon it’s Playstation 2 release in 2002. This recreation of the first Ratchet And Clank instalment is narrated from the perspective of Captain Quark, famous muscular antagonist, wannabe protagonist of almost each and every game in the series to date. In taking this approach with the games narrative, Insomniac have been able to collectively bring together numerous characters, races and tie in events of quite significant contextual value from the more recent instalments. With this, Ratchet And Clank (2016) is not only nostalgic gold for the die hard fans of the prior games but is also riddled with the very best content from the series as a whole, making it all that more appealing as a new game to first-time players.

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Where It All Began

Ratchet And Clank (2016) as mentioned prior is a slightly new take on the very first of Ratchet And Clank’s heroic endeavours. The Lombax and his robotic companion still have the same fateful meet and still spend the duration of the game trying to stop the infamous Blarg, Chairman Drek. The planets from the first Ratchet And Clank make a reappearance, looking as stunning and visually encapsulating as ever. Although initially some would consider it boring playing a recreation of game you’ve played numerous times before, this new addition to the Ratchet And Clank series holds no monotonous or tedious feel whilst playing through it’s beautifully remastered levels. Insomniac did a great job of  hurling in some different characters to mix up the general story line, consequently planting seeds of doubt causing you to question how the game would actually meet it’s conclusion. This feeling of unknowing gave the game good drive and definitely maintained the heart of my eagerness as I played.

Ratchet And Clank (2016) plays out almost as a movie, possessing all the typical twists that have been the ebb and flow of the series so far. I also found myself beset by the Ratchet-y humour the series is predominantly renowned for that by no means fell short in this instalment.

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Moving On Up 

Although the first game in The Ratchet And Clank series (2002) was the pinnacle of the greatness Insomniac Games has tried to maintain throughout the games over the years, it’s potential was far from utilized due to the platform it was made for. Now thanks to the ever-expanding capabilities of Playstation 4, Insomniac has been able to take the blocky, 2D graphics from the original game and transform them into being very smooth and pleasing to the eyes of the player. Vibrant colours and the smooth dynamics of the environment bring the game to life around you, making your playthrough that much more pleasurable. It also entices the more thorough level of exploration Insomniac like to draw out of players when it comes to Ratchet And Clank.

Not only are the planets scattered throughout the Solana galaxy rich with colour and overwhelmed with visual goodness – like seriously, don’t get me started on the water; so pretty, but the level of detail put into each and every character and NPC (non-playable character) in the game is phenomenal. We see these amazing characters that Insomniac has developed oozing with accentuated emotions and expressions, seriously Ratchet looks absolutely adorable. Even during a challenge playthrough I found myself re-watching each and every cut scene, mesmerised by just how great the characters looked. Furthermore, not only do the characters, planets and well EVERYTHING about the game look absolutely on point, they feel great too. Gameplay is joyously smooth and unlike it’s predecessor, Ratchet And Clank (2002) character manoeuvring isn’t at all clumsy and Ratchet will come to a halt when you demand so as opposed to running a marathon at the flick of an analog – I understand that’s some serious over-exaggeration there but back in the day, that was some frustrating stuff right there.

On another extremely positive note, in the time I spent trophy hunting and eventually picking up the platinum for this game I hadn’t encountered a single glitch that had effected my gameplay or that i’ve even noticed to be quite honest. Insomniac were seemingly efficient on tying up any glitchy loose ends as patches were swiftly introduced in order to address any issues other players may have encountered. Good on ‘ya Insomniac.

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Out With The Old, In With The…No Wait, keep the old 

The beauty of this Ratchet And Clank instalment above all others is Insomniac’s attempt to bring together the series as a whole. As you sift through the many planets of the Solana Galaxy, you come across countless references to various other instalments to date. Whether it be a reference to a seemingly cute, blue, menacing ball of fur (Protopet from Ratchet And Clank 2) or a certain space pirates treasure buried at the bottom of the ocean in a resort (Romulus Slag’s treasure from Ratchet And Clank Future Series). Not only are there physical signs of Insomniac’s attempt to reconcile the series but also in the general game dynamics it becomes evident that there is some means of combination of the weapons from the original trilogy and the graphics and visual style of the future series – I find it hard to believe it was unintentional.

However, Ratchet And Clank (2016) isn’t all just a reiteration of the prior games as there are also some pretty nifty new features that have been added. Although the gold bolts have maintained their position as the prime collectible throughout the game, skill points have sneakily found their way into becoming trophies as opposed to an in game collectible. Do not worry yourselves however as the replacement collectible although not as challenging, is just as fun and also gives you the opportunity to test yourself with a bit of Ratchet And Clank trivia – I’m trying not to spoil it too much here.

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We’re Glad You’re Back Ratchet

For me personally, the Ratchet And Clank series has always won me over with it’s prominent sense of humour, fantastically constructed planets and galaxies alike, and indescribably brilliant characters complete with on point voice acting. Insomniac have carefully filtered through and identified the greatest elements of the series as a whole and strung them together in order to successfully make a fan-orientated game that is also a fine addition to any first-time players collection. As a long term fan of the series I would hands-down say Ratchet And Clank (2016) met my expectations and furthermore, it exceeded them.

Five Fallout Starter Tips

With a world so vast to explore it can be quite daunting being dropped into the post-apocalyptic nightmare. With a 360 degree choice of direction, a fully personalised avatar and a rich leveling system it can all seem a bit much. Having already spent a good thirty hours exploring what Fallout has to offer here are what I believe to be vital tops that I wish I knew before starting this monumental video game.

Note: No specific cheats are in this list as this takes away from the experience that is on offer. These tips are only my personal opinion and are conjured up from my initial ten hours. Also there may be minor spoilers from the first ten hours. You have been warned. Enjoy.

 

Study The SPECIAL'(s)

Loading the game up you are immediately given an introduction in a style of seven classic films. These mini-movies go through the seven SPECIAL abilities you can use to improve your player. From strength to luck the decision is vitally important impacting your experience throughout. This important choice is given to you after five minutes of gameplay. Initially I viewed the mini-movies not really taking in what was on offer; boy did I regret this. Thankfully though you are given a second chance around twenty minutes later where you can tweak your original choices. Take this second chance seriously as from here on outs you are stuck. Really think from the outset what would benefit you most. Also if you bought a physical copy you receive a poster detailing the enhancement system. Study this well.

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So Much Junk, So Little Time

So you’ve become a hoarder. Collecting every single piece of junk you can get your nuclear-ridden hands on. What do I do with it all though? Where do I store it? Well this is really your choice because you can store any items you pick up any settlement or location you discover. These are normally sets of draws or tool benches. Personally i’d recommend keeping everything at Sanctuary Hills as you continuously return. Now you have the choice of what to do with all this rubbish. You can improve life for your settlement by giving them food, water and electricity. Or you can upgrade your weapons however to get the most out of this you will need a high intelligence level. Strength is another perk to consider as the higher it is, the more junk you can carry. Something to think about as you won’t need to return to base as often. Helping the settlers is a smart start as you can gain both more missions and experience.

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Explore ASAP

The greatest aspect of Fallout is the sweet sense of discovery that is available from the first hour. Left, right, forwards, backwards ahhhh I don’t where to begin. Well it doesn’t really matter as long as you can explore immediately. It can be so easy to get tangled up in the story so at every given opportunity you want to be wandering to see what you can be find. I tremendously benefited from this. Not just from seeing what is on offer, but the enhancements it made to my character. Later on in the story I ended up fighting a giant abomination of a creature; The Queen Mirlurk. Thankfully on my travels I came across a laser rifle that does double damage to Mirlurks. Without this I have no idea how I would have defeated the deformed Kingler.

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Preparation Is Key

The world can be a horrible place. Filled with deadly, disgusting creatures ready to tear you limb from limb. Stocking up with plenty of stimpacks and other healing remedies you can make missions much more achievable. Trash Can Carla normally makes her way to your location once in a while so it’s worth using this opportunity to fill your boots. True you do find lots of health perks but you never want to get to the stage where your entirely dependent on finding one. Risky times.

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Company Is Bliss

They say Dog is Man’s best friend. Me on the other hand found that a 210 year old robot can do the job just as well. Picking the right companion can help make the adventure more completable especially when you are taking on armies of enemies, it’s nice to know you’ve got someone by your side. Each one has individual assets that can benefit you. You can however choose none and go rogue. I’ve found having someone else you can give junk to and can fight whilst you reload handy or should I say Mister Handy. In all seriousness though I chose Codsworth because I enjoyed his company most. His commentary while in battle has made me smile on several occasions. Most importantly Codsworth is the closest to any sort of family you have left and for that reason I feel he is integral to seeing this out to the end with me.

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So there you have five Fallout tips to make sure you start your journey on the right foot. What tips would you recommend when starting out? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

 

Why it’s Great to be a Gamer Right Now

Christmas may still be a few weeks away, but for gamers everywhere it has certainly arrived early. Assuming you have one of the two leading consoles or PC your blessed this winter with a stunning line up of mainly third-party titles. There is so much on offer currently that it’s hard to find the time to enjoy them all.

Starting off in early September we had the mammoth 200 hour plus Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. A solid outing for Snake receiving all around praise from critics and fans of the series. Then at the end of October Xbox owners finally got their hands on Master Chief’s latest adventure with Halo 5: Guardians. This time questioning the hero for his actions giving this exclusive a nice edge. Then on top of the story you have the multiplayer aspect which will merge your days into weeks making you lose track of time altogether.
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Start on November rolled around bringing plenty of presents including Bethesda’s latest entry into the Fallout series which dropped another 200 plus hour campaign into the mix. On the same date the follow up to 2013’s Tomb Raider was released for Xbox One. Two highly anticipated titles leading into the third week in November. Come the nineteenth we had EA’s Star Wars Battlefront. Whatever your opinion no one can doubt that the Star Wars universe has never looked so glorious. Planets like Hoth and Endor now look so immersive that it’s impossible not to appreciate them. With multiple updates coming in the near future, this is something we could all be playing for a crazy amount of time.

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Nintendo’s Wii U on the other hand has a tremendous library of games available for anyone purchasing the console this holiday season, however for those of us that bought the console earlier in its life cycle there is little to shout about. Yes 2016 seem’s to be growing with games but their ending to this year is nothing short of disappointing. At the start of the year we had a Zelda and Star Fox lined up, now we have a Mario Tennis and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival. Saying all this we have the much requested Super Mario Maker which can easily keep owners occupied until the new year. Creating and crafting levels until your heart contents is something that gamers have been dreaming of since the original Super Mario Bros. Now a reality its hard to put it down.

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These are just a handful of the stand out titles this winter so how is anyone suppose to enjoy all these? Normally we are treated to one or two major releases that stand apart from the crown, but this year it’s looking more like half a dozen. Unless your lucky enough to own all platforms and have the time to sink hours upon hours into all of these releases then sadly not every game can be played. This case is never-ending though as there is always another game to play. All these anticipated new games combined with every previously released title begs the question how we manage to say “I have nothing to play”. I’m not condemning others as I myself am guilty of this because when you sit down and think about it there basically an endless amount of video games to fall in love with. This is truly a gift and a curse.

Is Fallout 4 This Generation’s Must Own Game?

The open world genre has been blessed with another strong entry. After experiencing such great worlds in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Metal Gear Solid: 5 The Phantom Pain could we really delve into another so soon? Using the beautiful backdrop of Boston, Fallout 4 has a world like no other reaching into the cities rich history with iconic landmarks scattered throughout the game. Already it seems that more people are open to this world with over 12 million copies sold within the first 24 hours thus making it the biggest entertainment launch this year. Call of Duty held this title for measly week making over $500 million dollars but Fallout 4 obliterated all competition making over $750 million dollars. Along with this you have rave reviews unanimously throughout the industry,  With these in mind you have to consider is Fallout 4 the game of this generation?

Building upon a huge legacy created in Fallout 3, Bethesda have spent around 5 years working on this title. This is easy to see with how large the post-apocalyptic world is. The game play for anyone new to the franchise feels ridiculously easy to pick up with the ability to switch perspectives from first person to third to accommodate anyone fussy like myself. Previously picking up Fallout 3 I could never really get into the swing of things. Here though I am completely hooked with exploration, missions and crafting keeping me occupied for days. I can quickly see these days turning into weeks. The control layout seems more open to newcomers too. This was a feature in Fallout’s last outing that discouraged me. This time it seems easier to pick up with its more simple approach.

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Still retaining its hardcore roots we have a deep crafting and leveling up system that for anyone willing to invest time can be very rewarding. The freedom of the planet itself is both good and bad with the main mission of rescuing your son Shaun becoming quickly forgettable with no real pressure being applied for not pursuing. Discovering what this world has on offer is the real charm of the game with experience been rewarded for finding new towns and settlements. Without a doubt this is Fallout’s best feature. That sense of discovering. What could be over that hill? I wonder what’s in that building? These explorations unravel some extraordinary moments where from nowhere you can go from quiet wandering to full on assault with ginormous monsters. You are totally outgunned but for some reason you still think you can win.

A special trait of Fallout is that the difficulty setting is not really applied. If you want to journey into the dangerous part on the map,  you immediately can. You’ll most likely die instantly but feel free to attempt. This is brilliant, keeping you submerged in the world at all times. Voice acting is a great addition giving players more of an insight into their character and how they behave. The many options you can pick in dialogue can really distinguish what sort of person you wan to be. Yes this is nothing new but it’s done extremely well that it needs to be appreciated.

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Now there are some flaws to note. Sadly another trait of Bethesda’s is that their releases are normally ridden with bugs and glitches. This is normally quite a hit and miss situation as some players can go through the whole game not experiencing anything of the sort; Others are not so lucky. So not to beat around the bush, yes this game has bugs and yes there may be some frustrating moments especially if a save file is corrupted (however this seems a very small percentage), but for what is on offer it is absolutely worth the risk. Every day patches are being uploaded to reduce the problems. Fallout 4 is a game that will be around for a long long time so you can guarantee it will be improved continuously. Though this does not excuse Bethesda for releasing another bug ridden game and is something they must make a priority with all future releases.

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For anyone purchasing a new console this year or the next or even the year after. Fallout 4 will most likely be the main title people point to if you are looking for a superb action RPG with a diverse world to explore. Things may change over time but right now I would say to anyone who owns a console that this game must be part of your collection. Everyone has their own journey, Everyone has their own stories and everyone has their own Fallout. This is most certainly mine.

What do you think of Fallout 4? Do you think it is a must own game? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

Indivisible Crowdfunding Campaign Extended

If there’s one game developer that I’d say you can trust with a crowdfunding campaign, it would definitely be Lab Zero Games.  While major industry veterans like Tim Schafer, American Mcgee, and Keiji Inafune have each had their fair share of missteps with crowdfunding, the people at Lab Zero know the importance of transparency with their funders and detailing exactly how much money they need for their goals and what that money will be going towards.  Their DLC campaign for their first title, Skullgirls, remains one of the most well-executed crowdfunding campaigns for a video game that I’ve seen.  They’ve once again taken to Indiegogo to help fund their next game, Indivisible, which they describe as a combination of Super Metroid and Valkyrie Profile with elements of roleplaying, platforming, and even some fighting-game elements.  505 Games is willing to put $2 million towards development of the game, but only if Lab Zero is able to raise $1.5 million with their campaign.

Indivisible tells the story of a young girl named Ajna who possesses the strange ability to absorb other people and call upon them for aid as Incarnations.  These Incarnations act as your party members in combat and include such diverse characters as the Aztec-inspired athlete Tenoch, the reclusive shamaness Razmi, and the voodoo zombie Narssus.  There will also be a number of cross-over characters from other indie games appearing as playable Incarnations, including Juan from Guacamelee, Zackasaurus from Super Time Force Ultra, The Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter, Lea from Curses ‘N Chaos, Calibretto from Battle Chasers, the titular Shovel Knight from the massively popular Shovel Knight, and even Annie from Lab Zero’s own Skullgirls.  Each Incarnation will have their own storyline to explore throughout the game as sidequests.

Gameplay takes the form of an exploration-based platformer in the overworld  and a fast-paced RPG in combat.  Anja will acquire various weapons throughout her journey that can be used both in combat and to discover new paths.  In battle, your party acts more like a single fighter rather than individuals as each will be controlled with their own face button and each will have abilities operating on cool-downs.  This will allow you to chain abilities together into combos and deal serious damage to your opponents.

Initially, it didn’t look like Indivisible was going to reach its goal within its month-long campaign, but Indiegogo agreed to extend the campaign for an additional month.  The campaign is now sitting at $1,047,385 with 15 days to go.  The game is planned for release on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux.  You can check out the Indiegogo page for Indivisible here.  If you’re on the fence about the concept, you can try the game for yourself by downloading the free prototype that they have available.

Five Unbelievable Uncharted Moments

With the recent release of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and the approaching fourth entry, what better time then to bring together the finest moments from Naughty Dogs biggest franchise. From 2007 to 2011 we were treated to some outrageously outstanding set pieces that puts the series in a league of its own. Following in the foot steps of Marco Polo, Lawrence of Arabia and Sir Francis Drake, Nathan’s adventures are both extraordinary and surreal.

After all this is done and dusted though, what are the main points that really stick with you. The parts that you love to revisit time after time. Here I try to diagnose the five strongest moments that define the Uncharted series. Warning spoilers for the entirety of the series:

 

Train-Wrecked (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)

If you know the series you will have seen this one coming. So fun you experience it twice. Debatably one of the greatest video game opening levels see’s Drake covered in his own blood hanging for dear life to a wrecked train off the side of a mountain. You ponder how have things got this bad? What has he done to get into this situation? The next essential hours are spent building up to this astronomical cliff-hanger.

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Second-Story Work (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception)

Who would have thought playing as Drake when he was a mere teenager could be so much fun? Fleeing on foot from a number of mysterious agents, Drake’s escapades see him leaping over rooftops. In great movie style the chase is fast and unforgiving. You need a perfect run to make sure your not caught. Jumping from building to building before a detour through a residents flat in the shadow of Mexican Vihuela strings compliment the level perfectly. All leading up to the final stance of Drake having to make a choice whether or not he actually shoots one of Marlowe’s agents. Thankfully its a choice he never has to make with a timely save from Sully

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The Yeti Shadow (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)

Somewhere in Nepal you scour icy cliffs following a villager for some unknown reason to yourself. The snowy perches are a stunning sight to behold as they shimmer in the light. From nowhere the camera zooms outs ever so calmly. The shadows suddenly start to move thus revealing pale white eyes and snarling teeth. The dark figure disappears leaving me in disarray. What the hell was that? Every next step, you take lightly.


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Supernatural Twist (Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune)

The original supernatural twist is a moment I will never forget. After spending hours upon hours searching for El Dorado you discover that that the treasure is cursed. Transforming humans into mutated beings with super speed and strength, you realise for the first time that Drake might be out of his depths. Fighting alongside rival Eddy you begin an all out onslaught on the dozens of enemies coming your way. Tension mounts as Elena scrambles to find some way of helping you escape. Shooting the last of the beasts Eddy smugly taunts their dead corpses off the side of a ledge before suddenly being grabbed and pulled to his death. Now your all on your own to defend. Overlooked too much for my liking, Drakes Fortune has tremendous moments like this that are unappreciated too often.

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Plane Crash (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception)

Like the train-wreck its impossible to leave this sequence out. Serving as the antepenultimate After becoming a stowaway you are suddenly caught by enemies which results with a fist fight on the open ramp of the plane. Very similar to the final showdown in Air Force One except here Nate ends up hanging onto loose cargo off the edge. Gun fight ensues whilst you scramble back up to safety. Things then go from bad to worse as an engine fire rapidly destroys the airplane before sucking everyone (including Drake) out into the air. Falling out of the sky you somehow manage to grab hold of a crate before pulling the safety cord to release the parachute. As improbable as it is, the level is still incredible.

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So there you have five unbelievable Uncharted moments that have made the series a phenomenon. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is fast approaching with expectations high lets hope they will bring us some more surreal moments. What moments stand out for you? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

Ratchet And Clank’s Return – Newest Trailer (PGW)

Fans of our favourite galactic heroes, Ratchet And Clank, were treated to a second trailer this week at Paris Games Week (PGW). This trailer provided further insight to Ratchet And Clank’s (PS4) plot and also teased us ever so eager fans with a little more gameplay.

Here are the two trailers Insomniac Games (developer of Ratchet And Clank) have taunted us with to date:

Trailer 1:

Trailer 2:

With a second trailer unveiling considerably more information about the new Ratchet And Clank game and even the upcoming movie, both due for release in Spring 2016, we are now able to possess a stronger preconception of the intergalactic action we have been anxiously waiting for.

Based On The Movie, Based On The Game 

”Based on the movie, based on the game” was the primary insight into Ratchet And Clank’s (PS4) plot provided from the initial trailer. Both the video game and movie trailers featured planetary locations and events from the first game. Consequently, this led many fans to believe that the new Ratchet And Clank would more or less be a reconstruction of the first Ratchet And Clank game from 2002. However, after watching the second trailer it is apparent that this is not the case. In the second trailer we can see that the most profound villain of the series, Dr. Nefarious, once again trying to conquer the galaxy and Ratchet And Clank once again trying to defend the galaxy from his evil endeavors. Despite the plot suffering some confusion over the two trailers, we have a very solid knowledge now of the setting for the game. The Solana galaxy is the setting for Ratchet And Clank (PS4) as from the trailer we can distinguish planets such as Pokitaru, Gaspar and Ratchet’s home planet, Veldin. A final bit of information we can take as insight to the plot is the comical uselessness of Captain Quark who just had to stick his chin in at some point.

Nostalgic Gameplay

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The second trailer for Ratchet And Clank (PS4) has offered us more gameplay footage. From the trailer we can see that the Swingshot gadget is back in some shape or form, complete with the nostalgic sound effects, we can see the annoying pufferfish enemies dominating the tropical Holiday resort, Pokitaru, swift swimming with the Hyrdopack and even levels playable as Clank make a comeback (although, who could doubt that). However, it is not just the smaller aspects of the game alone that are overwhelmingly nostalgic, but also the more profound in-game activities such as the ship battle above the Pokitaru holiday resort and the famous BlackWater City hoverboard race are shown in the trailer, each remastered so wonderfully. We just have to hope this game doesn’t cause players to keel over due to overwhelming exposure to nostalgic aspects of Ratchet And Clank.

In spite of the fact Ratchet And Clank (PS4) is not so much a direct reconstruction of the original game, it appears to have tied in aspects from newer installments with the more nostalgic aspects of the first game and although it’s success can’t be judged until it’s co-release with the movie in Spring 2016, we can have a pretty safe assumption that this game will be a hit.

The Galaxy Needs You, Ratchet 

The PGW trailer for Ratchet And Clank (PS4) has allowed fans of this truly classic and lovable series to get psyched up that much more about it’s much anticipated release early next year. Now with a considerably clearer preconception of what is to come in Ratchet And Clank’s upcoming adventure on Playstation’s latest console, we have more reason than ever to get excited for this Sony classic making a comeback.

Although the wait will be somewhat difficult, the gameplay provided in this second trailer is enough to ensure us that the wait will in fact be worthwhile in the end.

Dhalsim Revealed for Street Fighter V

A new trailer for Street Fighter V was released during the Paris Games Week event that revealed the fifteenth fighter for the game.  Dhalsim, the Indian yoga guru whose been a mainstay of the series since Street Fighter II, has returned for Street Fighter V‘s starting roster.  This isn’t too grand a surprise as he was suggested by a very accurate leak that released months back.

Dhalsim has always been known for long-range combat with his elastic limbs and that certainly remains with his latest incarnation.  He also retains his iconic fireball, teleport, and spinning divekick techniques.  The elderly yogi has learned some new tricks, such as a levitation ability that carries him through the air as his V-Skill, a fire trap that lingers along the ground as his V-Trigger, and an arched fireball that serves as an anti-air.

His new super move takes this arched fireball to a higher level by making it larger and more powerful.  While damaging, his super move can be tricky to land because of its arched movement, so spacing of your opponent will remain a vital aspect of his playstyle.

Dhalsim’s look has changed in the same way as his moveset, keeping familiar aspects while mixing in new touches.  He still wears the raggy, yellow shorts and necklace of skulls that he’s always worn, but now he also sports a white turban and a full beard.  You can check out Dhalsim’s trailer, featuring a new stage set in his hometown, below.

Along with the reveal of Dhalsim, Capcom has announced a number of new details on Street Fighter V through its Capcom-Unity blog.  First and foremost, the release date has been set for February 16th in North America and Europe.

We also have more information on how post-launch characters will be handled.  As has been stated several times, Street Fighter V will not include new characters in large bundles including in rereleases of the game as has been done in the past and will instead adopt a model similar to League of Legends where new characters will be added over time and can be attain either with microtransactions or points earned from playing the game.

Capcom already has six new characters planned to be added post-release with one releasing every two months, and data-mining of the recent PC beta suggests that Guile, Balrog, Juri, Ibuki, Alex, and Urien will be these six.  It’s possible they’ll simply appear as background characters as we already have confirmation that Alex will be in the background of the New York stage.  As for unlocking characters, there will be an in-game currency called Fight Money that can be earned from completing daily goals and leveling up individual characters.  Players will receive a new goal each day that can easily be completed in quick sessions, such as landing a set number of Hadokens.  You can also earn Fight Money by leveling up characters in either single-player or multiplayer game modes.

Are you a fan of Dhalsim’s long-range style?  What are your thoughts on SFV’s business model?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – Ubisoft’s Comeback

Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series lost considerable credibility last year after the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity. The game suffered major instability issues in regards to frame rate, general gameplay and even the multiplayer. All of which remained untamed for a lengthy and almost cringe-worthy amount of time after Unity’s initial release. This consequently caused major aggravation among players, also rendering a lot of the games newer features as pretty much useless. As a result of this, the game was widely criticized for being seemingly rushed and it appeared that Ubisoft got knocked down a few pegs as it’s annual Assassin’s Creed release failed to maintain the standards of it’s predecessors. However, upon the release of highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, it is apparent that Ubisoft have rediscovered their Assassin’s Creed finesse.

For those yet to sink their hidden blades into the new installment, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is set in a typical Assassin’s Creed rendition of Victorian London in which the Assassin/ Templar battle still rages on. The player may take on the role of interchangeable protagonist twins Jacob and Evie Frye (Assassins) in order to prevent the Templars ultimately dominating London.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate has redeemed Ubisoft after the last Assassins’s Creed installment. That said, let’s delve into it’s brilliance and what exactly makes it such a pleasure to play.

Two Protagonists

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The option to play as two differing protagonists is a concept alien to the Assassin’s Creed installments to date. Jacob Frye is the more confrontational, combat orientated option of the two characters. He is hot-headed and always keen for action. Evie Frye is the stealthier and more typically Assassin-y of the two characters, working more with pedantic logic and by assessing situations thoroughly. The player may change between either character as and when they please to suit specific missions and situations. By completing missions/ objectives the player collects skill points which can be applied to the Jacob’s and Evie’s combined skill tree. This is a convenient and all round great feature as opposed to having the separate skill trees as it negates confusion and allows the player to simply get on with the game. There are a few separate skills that only apply to either Jacob or Evie alone however, they are found in the same interface as to not become hard to comprehend.

Jacob is an awesome character. He brings cheeky humour to the game with his very cocky personality. His play-style exploits the new combat style also which is great. Below I have provided some gameplay with Jacob:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYc-l8PsrmQ

Evie is equally a lovely new addition to the list of Assassin’s Creed protagonists. Not only is it great that she is a female but it is great watching as she logically flaws all of her brother’s reckless endeavors during the game. She may be a kill-joy but she is a funny one. Her play-style gives the player opportunities to appreciate the more ranged and stealthy ways of tackling situations. Below I have provided some gameplay with Evie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N4pMgVLwRc

 

Combined, the twins provide great, banterous humour that anyone with or without a sibling is able to appreciate. They exhibit the cheekiness that brings a more light-hearted side to things within a game orientated around war and control.

A More Modern Setting

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A Victorian London setting for an Assassin’s Creed game is one that has been fan-demanded for a long time and to finally be able to play such a well developed setting is sensational to say the least. The setting is dull in regards to it’s city setting however, it is made exciting with it’s content. Buildings heaving with cheap labour, manufacturing all sorts under Templar observation, accurately portraying England’s renowned manufacturing glory days. Commoners bark insults at you as you push past them and children charge through the streets without a care in the world. Furthermore, women make more of a significant appearance within Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, most noticeably as enemies. It is a great way to make the game come across as increasingly realistic. Ubisoft has definitely done well to incorporate the necessities within the Assassin’s Creed series within this setting. Haystacks for leaps of faith, hiding spots, viewpoints and shops are all tied in exceptionally well into the more modern setting without depriving Assassin’s Creed Syndicate of it’s practicality or plausibility.

The Assassin’s Creed series is associated with more dated settings and time periods and it is great to see that Ubisoft can pull of something more up to date and still make it work with the typical Assassin’s Creed game mechanics. The Victorian London setting has allowed Ubisoft to tease us with some intriguing upcoming DLC which I am sure will keep this title interesting for some time.

Gameplay and Combat

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Much like the less successful Assassin’s Creed Unity, Syndicate maintains the downwards free-running style which admittedly is much smoother and easier to appreciate in this considerably more stable game. Combat on the other hand has changed. As oppossed to Unity’s ‘fencing-style’ combat, Syndicate features a much more fast paced and brutal style of combat, including combos. Although different to any Assassin’s Creed fighting-style to date, it is easy to come to grips with and ultimately a lot better. It works much faster, narrowing down time spent fighting hordes of enemies waiting to counter each one which makes it more hands-on, exciting and ultimately less time consuming. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate also features the use of Horse and Carriages in which the players can hijack, hide in and race. This is a nifty and fun addition to the series.

A Major Improvement

Despite Assassin’s Creed Unity being an easy act to follow, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate excels in not only being an improvement but also reigniting the Assassin’s Creed fire. The game was pretty much fully operational upon it’s release date unlike Assassin’s Creed Unity and in being so, players have been able to downright appreciate all of Syndicate’s awesomeness.

If you are one of the many hesitant about buying this installment after the release of Unity, that is understandable however, I’d honestly recommend giving this title a go.