Shadow of the Tomb Raider, created by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, published by Square Enix Co., Ltd., Shadow of the Tomb Raider launched on September 14th on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
Get it out of your system… go ahead. I’ll wait. Feel better? Good because I want to talk about DANGER ZONE!
… seriously? You couldn’t give me one full line before jumping in and ruining a perfectly good DANGER ZONE!
OH COME ON!
Three Fields Entertainment is an independent game studio that put out some amazing games I never played. Which, after playing a TON of Danger Zone 2, makes me incredibly sad that I missed out on a ton of awesome. From what I can gather, it looks like Danger Zone 2 addresses a lot of the concerns the original Danger Zone had. Since I never played it, this game seems pretty flawless to me.
Danger Zone 2 takes everything that was great about the old Burnout games, wait. Maybe not EVERYTHING. It takes what we all loved about the old Burnout games… crashing. We remember all sitting around and just crashing over and over again trying to get the high score.
Thanks to Danger Zone 2 you can now relive those glory days in gorgeous clarity. If you have an Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro the game runs at 4K but only 30fps. But to be honest I couldn’t tell much of a difference playing on my first generation Xbox One and my Xbox One X. The game ran incredibly smooth on both machines.
There’s no real story to Danger Zone 2. You drive (real fast). You crash. You score points. That’s it. If I’m being 100% honest, I’m fine with that. I don’t have to spend a ton of time reading some long story or watching cutscenes explaining some long drawn-out story as to why you have to drive and crash into things causing so much damage and destruction. Maybe you’re the ghost of someone that was killed by this mayor of this city and as your revenge you take over the souls of these cars and cause as much financial ruin to the city as possible. Maybe all of this is happening in the mind of a small child and you’re just playing out the wild, imaginative desires of a destructive kid. Or maybe… just maybe… you’re crashing a car because it’s fun.
The game offers 29 tracks (training tracks included) and a variety of cars to drive. You can use a massive big rig that can send cars flying into cars. There’s an F1 racers that zips down the track at INSANE speeds.
What makes Danger Zone 2 so unique is how the game puts you in high-speed situations, only to slow everything down during the crashes. It is such a welcome 180 turn in speed and the game allows you to watch all the wreckage in glorious slow motion.
Leaderboards are automatically updated as you complete each track so you can see how you stack up against the rest of the world, or just your friends. The downside to this is that it shows how many attempts you made. So you might have finally beaten your friends score, but the game will them just how long you spent trying to do so.
Danger Zone 2 is a great time waster. Turn on. Tune Out. Crash Cars. Repeat. At only $20 you will get more than your value worth as you replay level after level gunning for that high score. I know that every free moment I had this past weekend, it was spent trying to crash my heart out.
The author was given a retail copy for review purposDANGER ZONE!!
On Friday, July 6, Defiance 2050 dropped for Founders and Tuesday, July 10, it launched for all players on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. For those wondering, Defiance 2050 is the same concept, but with major work done to it and gloriously upgraded to meet all needs with the consoles and PC. Defiance 2050 is a free-to-play third-person shooter in an open world setting.
Trion Worlds first launched Defiance back in 2013 and SyFy had a show based off the same name that aired for three seasons. The show and game were meant to work along one another, switching storylines over and making it much more immersive. Sadly, SyFy canceled the show in 2015, leaving the shooter in the dust by itself.
The story starts us off 20 years after the Arkfall event that left millions of Votans dead, and Earth in an odd tera-formation. This tera-formation has left Earth completely unrecognizable to many. In Defiance 2050 players are dropped in what we call San Francisco.
In this open world setting where solo and with friends are totally acceptable, we move to Arkfall locations to take down bosses, run PvP matches, and find the Ark Core. The Ark Core is a vital piece that we protect from various groups. If it gets into the wrong hands, there is no knowing what could come from Earth. Much of the main story is finding the Ark and protecting those in San Francisco.
Players choose between several classes after the customization of their Ark Hunter. The options provided are Assassin, Guardian, Combat Medic and Assault. Players can also purchase Demolitionist in one of the packs. Along with the classes, there are weapon customizations and enhancements to give your weapon an extra punch. Some of these upgrades can decrease the amount of recoil, and increase fire rate.
When we start off, the main storyline is carried through with squares that have exclamation marks in them; these show you where to go throughout the story. There are also smaller side missions that you can mark. The red Arkfall on the map is open world bosses that allow you a serious chance at upgraded loot such as weapons, grenades, and shields. Along with the mini-bosses, there are custom PvP matches that one can queue for.
Graphically, this is more of an HD update. And it brings me joy to see Trion Worlds trying to bring new life into a game that so many enjoyed. I enjoy moving around and remembering not only the story within the game but the show as well. While there is no longer a show, it’s not hard to get lost in the Arkfall chasing, Hellbug killing missions and making the Bay Area a safer place.
I will say that while all this has been amazing to binge play Defiance 2050, Trion Worlds has been working diligently to fix the bugs and get servers back online as soon as possible. While there still are Raiders that stick on one spot and hang out till they are dead or fall back 30 feet after a clip has been pushed into their body, I admire the hard work and dedication to get Defiance 2050 up and running smoothly.
Brie’s overall score? 7/10
If there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s party games. Almost every party we throw ends with people loading up their phones and sitting around playing some form of awesome party game. So what happens when Snap Finger Click take that formula and makes things… Awkward? Well, things get… Awkward.
From the dev team that brought you It’s Quiz Time comes a new kind of trivia game. Instead of downloading an app or using your phone players take turns answering questions via passing a controller. One person will answer a question then another player will have to guess how they responded. Questions start out simple at first, something easy going like “Do you like Cats or Dogs better?”. This sets players up with a false sense of security and exceeds it incredibly well. Players will think to themselves “Well this isn’t so bad, I don’t get what’s so awkward about this.” As they continue to play the questions get slightly more personal and intrusive. Next thing you know everyone is squirming and afraid to answer any questions and there is laughter and heated discussions and well… it’s perfect.
Awkward is presented in an old timey fashion and plays well, but it’s not without its flaws. Personally I wasn’t a fan of passing the controller back and forth because I’m lazy and when I’m cuddled up on my couch the last thing I want to do is move. There also isn’t any real “host” of the game so there is A LOT of silence and background music. I would have liked to had a quirky host reading off the questions and having some snarky answers.
For you streamers, Awkward has built in interactivity where you can play with up to 500,000 viewers. That’s a lot of viewers. Don’t have any friends? No problem, Awkward also lets you play solo. That’s right, Awkward will let you play with yourself.
If Jackbox games are the fun conversations you have during a night out with friends, Awkward is the “TMI” that that one friend shares after having a bit too much to drink. Everyone wants to know more, but then they’re afraid they asked and everyone has a good laugh about it the next day.
The author was compensated with a copy of Awkward for review purposes.
You may not have heard of Uppercut Games before, but you have definitely played their games. This independent game studio is comprised of devs that have worked on games like Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and XCOM. Now this team of devs are taking gamers on adventure straight out the pages of Arabian Nights with their new game: City of Brass.
Taking on the role of a thief, players will swing their sword, use their whip, and use traps all while to trying to find treasure in the mysterious and cursed location known as the City of Brass. For such a large city players will find themselves feeling closed off and in tight quarter in this first person perspective game. The occasional open area arrives to break from the enemies and tight alleyways presented in the game.
Swing a sword, crack a whip, die. Repeat… A LOT. City of Brass can be pretty hard at times. Enemies spawn and are vicious and aggressive, levels seem semi-randomized but also very similar. City of Brass is a grind from start to finish. There are only 12 levels so it’s not incredibly long, but players will have a hard time getting to the end. Those that manage to finish the game and defeat that brutal final boss will have a sense of accomplishment. Those that do not, will be forced to live in the City of Brass forever hacking and slashing and whipping.
One of the great features of City of Brass is it’s streamer interactivity. Players who stream to Mixer can use the PC version or Xbox version and connect to Mixer for some fun (depending on your definition) surprises from your audience. Twitch users can connect the PC version and have the same… benefits(?) bestowed upon them by their chat. It’s this kind of thing that makes City of Brass worth playing because streamers and their audiences can complete the game and have a sense of togetherness. It’s a beautiful thing.
City of Brass will offer gamers plenty of challenge while keeping them on their toes. I don’t think there’s a ton of replay value in the game unless you’re a streamer or completionist; but it is great for a quickie one Arabian Night stand.
*The reviewer was compensated for this review with a copy of City of Brass.
I’m all for a good mystery. A well presented narrative game where “decisions matter” is exactly my cup of tea. The Council presents a “Whodunnit” in the form of trying to find your missing mother. Environments are beautiful but that is where the game stops impressing. The voice work isn’t great and the story is all over the place. After completing the first chapter I forgot all about trying to find my mother and instead was semi-curious about everyone else’s reason for being in the same place at the same time.
The Council does have some good things going for it. When the game starts you can select a class for protagonist, Louis. Each class will give you a skill tree that can be used when engaging in conversations later on the game. This will help Louis keep up with the search for his mother while finding out other interesting facts about the guests staying in the mansion. The conversations are a key part of the game mechanics as everything weighs on whether or not you get the information you need. Unlike other “narrative games”when you fail a conversation in The Council the game keeps going. Other guests will build negative feelings towards you and you’ll need a higher skillset next time you challenge someone in conversation.
The problems with The Council come from all the characters in the game. The voice acting isn’t great and the main character doesn’t have any emotion in his acting. Accents are all over the place and after talking to everyone in the mansion I stopped caring about Louis’s mother and cared more about the overarching plotline that was sprinkled throughout.
The controls feel like they were more suited for a mouse and keyboard rather than a controller. Every time I walked into a new area and the camera angle changed I had to readjust my fingers on the controller otherwise Louis would end up in walking off in some other direction. Trying to navigate around this massive mansion became more of a chore than fun exploration.
The Council isn’t a BAD game, but it’s not a great game. To be honest between the bad voice acting, not great controls, and weak story there’s a lot more bad than good. I am not even sure if I will pick up the rest of the series to continue. I might, just because I am still curious enough to try and figure out what happened. Or I’ll just wait until all the chapters are out and watch a Let’s Play on YouTube or something.
The reviewer was given a copy of The Council: Episode One on Xbox One for review purposes.