The Elder Scrolls Online Review and PC Specs

I’m an experienced gamer, MMORPG player and Elder Scrolls player. With all of that I had high expectations for Elder Scrolls Online. Some of those expectations were met. Some weren’t. And some were wildly exceeded.

First off, it isn’t an Elder Scrolls game exactly. It is set in the same universe and has some of the same feel. However, the complete open ended nature of a single player Elder Scrolls game just isn’t there. That seems to be the nature of an MMORPG; quests and progression has to be a bit more linear and lead players from one area to another. Otherwise you’d potentially end up with everyone in the same area, servers would crash, the world would end (figuratively) and it would be a complete bust. However, given this shortcoming from my perspective, it does have areas that you can explore and find small quests or hubs that you aren’t led to by the main story arc. I do enjoy this aspect as it brings some of what Elder Scrolls means to me to the game.

As far as graphics they are fairly on par for an MMORPG. Graphics are a bit sub-par for what is expected of an Elder Scrolls game, but I also understand the limitations required for an MMORPG. The artists have done an excellent job with building a very believable world. I’ve found myself at times stopping to just enjoy the sight of a waterfall or river at the bottom of a chasm.

Game play is reasonable, though the controls are a bit limited. I would like more attack options when fighting the the use of circular menus for some of the User Interface is, in my opinion, a true sin. If you want to support gaming consoles, then I believe you should be willing to create two different UI options – one for computer games and one for consoles. Why dumb down the UI for those who aren’t using consoles? (I have a keyboard, trackball and Logitech G13 – let me take full advantage of it!)

What certainly exceeded my expectations was the PvP play. I’m not a big PvP fanatic normally, but this game has truly implemented something I’ve not seen before. The ability for 100s if not 1000s of players to interact in a PvP environment together, to lay siege to keeps, defend those keeps, use siege weapons such as catapults, trebuchets and more is fantastic. it is less about twitch PvP gaming (as much of what is out there is about) and more about tactics and strategy. The first time I was part of a huge clash between factions, I was hooked. I’d play this game if this was all that it had to offer.

Verdict: 78/100

The Elder Scrolls Online System Requirements (Expected Minimum Specs)

CPU: 2.4 GHz dual-core processor
RAM: 1 GB system memory
Graphics: DirectX 10 compatible card with 512 MB RAM, Nvidia 8000-series or Radeon 3000-series or better.
Operating system: Windows XP
DX9
30 GB hard disk space
The Elder Scrolls Online System Requirements (Expected Recommended Specs)

CPU: 3 GHz quad core processor, Intel Core i5 or better
RAM: 2GB system memory, 4 GB minimum for 64-bit OS
Graphics: DirectX 11 compatible 1 GB graphics card, Nvidia 400 series or AMD 5000 series or better.
Operating system: Windows 7
DX11
20 GB hard disk space

Screenshots

Details

ESRB Rating
Blood and Gore
Sexual Themes
Use of Alcohol
Violence

Genre: Role-Playing
Style: Persistent World Online RPG
Themes:Swords & Sorcery (Fantasy)
Release Date: April 4, 2014
Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Controls: Keyboard, Mouse
Included in Package: 4-page Instruction Manual

PC Adventure Games of 2014

Game of Thrones:Iron From Ice

Lumino City

The Evil Within

Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

The Long Dark

Shadowgate
Nearly 30 years after the original version premiered on the Macintosh, Shadowgate returns, fully re-imagined and updated for todass gaming landscape. With 4K-capable resolutions, Shadowgate not only features a stunning level of hand-painted detail but also tons of new mind-bending puzzles and more objects to interact with to help you on your quest. There are also plenty of throwbacks to the original version, so veterans and newcomers alike will all relish their journey through Shadowgate… if they survive.

Residue Final Cut
is a story-driven 2D platform adventure in which you control three characters with different abilities, exploring an abandoned excavation site in the remains of the Aral Sea in present-day Uzbekistan.

Whispering Willows
is an adventure and puzzle video game developed by the independent developer Night Light Interactive.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War
is a puzzle adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and published by Ubisoft.

The Fall
is a unique combination of adventure-game puzzle solving and side-scroller action, all set within a dark and atmospheric story

Murdered: Soul Suspect
Murdered: Soul Suspect is a supernatural detective thriller which challenges players to solve possibly the hardest case of all… their own murder.

Richard & Alice
Richard & Alice is an independent point-and-click adventure game developed and published by Owl Cave,

Crea
Crea is an easily moddable, 2D sandbox game with RPG elements, a lighthearted mood and a colorful art style.

Noir Syndrome
is a procedurally generated Detective Murder-Mystery with a new story every time! Featuring slick pixel art animations and a jazzy soundtrack, the player is thrown right in to a highly stylized vision of film noir. Visit locations, interrogate suspects, search for clues, and eventually solve the case before the killer escapes – or you wind up dead yourself.

Moebius: Empire Rising
Moebius: Empire Rising is a graphic adventure video game developed by Pinkerton Road and Phoenix Online Studios.

The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3 – A Crooked Mile

Mars Colony: Challenger
Mars Colony: Challenger is a 3D first / third person game that offers you the challenge of setting up a remote base on the surface of Mars. At its core, the game was derived from a simulator where everything is interactively tied together.

Year Walk
In the old days man tried to catch a glimpse of the future in the strangest of ways. Experience the ancient Swedish phenomena of year walking through a different kind of first person adventure that blurs the line between two and three dimensions, as well as reality and the supernatural.

Jazzpunk
Jazzpunk is a stylized first-person adventure comedy. As the mysterious Agent Polyblank, you’ll explore a variety of retro-futuristic locations, and perform all manner of gadget-driven capers. The tone of the game is cartoon cyberpunk; dense technology-infused locales, dripping with a fresh coat of colour and humour.

Thief  4
Garrett, the Master Thief, emerges from the shadows into the City. In this brutal place, where the Baron

All 3D Real-Time Strategy Video Games With Ratings

Games of this style feature 3D polygonal graphics and real-time action. Real-time strategy games usually involve warfare between two or more forces. Opponents begin in different areas of the same map and develop their forces simultaneously. Typically, this involves establishing a base, harvesting resources, and deploying troops. Players strive to quickly develop superior forces, so strategy comes in deciding where and when to attack the enemy. The 3D polygonal graphics allow for realistically varied terrain, with elevation differences that may affect reconnaissance and combat tactics.

Examples:
Age of Mythology
WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos
Impossible Creatures
Earth 2150
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
Dark Reign: The Future of War
Total Annihilation
Myth

All 3D Real-Time Strategy Video Games List
1998 The 3rd Millennium IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2007 911: First Responders IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars
2005 Act of War: Direct Action IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2005 Act of War: Direct Action [European] IBM PC Compatible
2006 Act of War: High Treason [European] IBM PC Compatible
2006 Act of War: High Treason IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2009 Age of Booty IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2008 Age of Booty [PlayStation Network] PlayStation 3 3 Stars
2008 Age of Booty [Xbox Live Arcade] Xbox 360 3 Stars
2005 Age of Empires III IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2005 Age of Empires III [European] IBM PC Compatible
2006 Age of Empires III Macintosh 3 Stars
2005 Age of Empires III [Collector’s Edition] [European] IBM PC Compatible
2005 Age of Empires III: Collector’s Edition IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2007 Age of Empires III: Gold Edition [European] IBM PC Compatible
2007 Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2007 Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties [European] IBM PC Compatible
2006 Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2006 Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs [European] IBM PC Compatible
2007 Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs Macintosh 3 Stars
2002 Age of Mythology IBM PC Compatible 4 Stars
2002 Age of Mythology [European] IBM PC Compatible
2003 Age of Mythology Macintosh 4 Stars
2006 Age of Mythology [European] IBM PC Compatible
2002 Age of Mythology: Collectors Edition IBM PC Compatible 4 Stars
2002 Age of Mythology: Collectors Edition [European] IBM PC Compatible
2004 Age of Mythology: Gold Edition IBM PC Compatible 3.5 Stars
2004 Age of Mythology: Gold Edition [European] IBM PC Compatible
2003 Age of Mythology: The Titans IBM PC Compatible 3.5 Stars
2003 Age of Mythology: The Titans [European] IBM PC Compatible
2007 Age of Mythology: The Titans [European] IBM PC Compatible
1999 Age of Sail II [European] IBM PC Compatible

2001 Age of Sail II IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars
2002 Age of Sail II: Privateer’s Bounty IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2004 Age of Sail II: Privateer’s Bounty [Jewel Case] IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2007 Ageod’s American Civil War: 1861 – 1865 [European] IBM PC Compatible
2008 Aggression: Reign over Europe IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars
2012 AirMech IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2015 AirMech Ouya
2014 AirMech Arena [Xbox Live Arcade] Xbox 360
2004 Alexander IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2004 Alexander [European] IBM PC Compatible
2006 Alexander [European] IBM PC Compatible
2007 Alexander [European] IBM PC Compatible
2003 Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction PlayStation 2 2 Stars
2003 Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction Xbox 2 Stars
2003 Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction [European] Xbox
2003 Aliens Versus Predator: Extinction [European] PlayStation 2
2000 Allegiance IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2006 Alliance: Future Combat IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars
2000 Amazons & Aliens IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2005 American Civil War: Gettysburg IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars

2006 American Civil War: Gettysburg [Jewel Case] IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars
2006 American Civil War: Take Command — Second Manassas IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2006 American Conquest: Divided Nation IBM PC Compatible 1.5 Stars
2014 Ancient Space IBM PC Compatible
2014 Ancient Space Macintosh
2007 Ancient Wars: Sparta [European] IBM PC Compatible
2007 Ancient Wars: Sparta IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars
2011 Apox IBM PC Compatible 1.5 Stars
2004 Arena Wars IBM PC Compatible 3.5 Stars
2012 Arena Wars II IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2009 Armada 2526 IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars
2004 Armies of Exigo IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2004 Armies of Exigo [European] IBM PC Compatible
1998 Armor Command IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
1999 Armor Command [European] IBM PC Compatible
2002 Army Men RTS PlayStation 2 2.5 Stars

2002 Army Men RTS IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2002 Army Men RTS [European] PlayStation 2
2004 Army Men RTS Nintendo GameCube 2.5 Stars
2002 Army Men: RTS [European] IBM PC Compatible
2010 Ascension to the Throne: Valkyrie IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2007 Avatar: The Last Airbender — Bobble Battles IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2004 Axis & Allies IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars
2004 Axis & Allies [European] IBM PC Compatible
2005 Axis & Allies [Best of Atari] [European] IBM PC Compatible
2006 Axis & Allies: Collector’s Edition IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars
B.C. [Canceled] Xbox
2002 Ballerburg [European] IBM PC Compatible
2003 Ballerburg: Castle Chaos PlayStation 2.5 Stars
2000 Battle Isle: The Andosia War IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2003 Battle Mages [European] IBM PC Compatible
2004 Battle Mages: Sign of Darkness [European] IBM PC Compatible
2010 Battle Mages: Sign of Darkness IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2001 Battle Realms IBM PC Compatible 3.5 Stars
2001 Battle Realms [European] IBM PC Compatible
2002 Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf IBM PC Compatible 2 Stars
2002 Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf [European] IBM PC Compatible
2002 Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf — Complete Edition [European] IBM PC Compatible
1998 Battles of the Outer Rim: Dark Reign Authorized Add-On Pack IBM PC Compatible 3 Stars
2004 Besieger IBM PC Compatible 1.5 Stars
2006 Best of Games: Strategy [European] IBM PC Compatible
2006 Best of Games: Strategy IBM PC Compatible 2.5 Stars
2001 Black & White IBM PC Compatible 4 Stars
2001 Black & White [European] IBM PC Compatible
2002 Black & White Macintosh 4 Stars
2005 Black & White [European] IBM PC Compatible
2003 Black & White [Classics] [European] IBM PC Compatible
2003 Black & White [Jewel Case] IBM PC Compatible

Odama Review

Tilt Death Do Us Part… Yoot Saito’s bizarre pinball mish-mash hits the UK.

Teutonic thinker Nietzsche said life is a choice between boredom and suffering, he didn’t warn us that sometimes we have to endure both at the same time. Because Odama, this fusion of pinball and military strategy, this confusion of flippers and feudal soldiering, is a game you have to approach philosophically.

When proper pinball moments breakout, the game is dramatically better.

We wanted to love it, we really did. The whole idea is just so outlandish, so painfully weird that it just had to be enjoyable? Didn’t it? Otherwise why did Yoot ‘Seaman’ Saito even attempt to create a voice-controlled real-time pinball/war game unless it was going to be truly brilliant? Why? But if understanding the man maverick’s motivation is nearly impossible, explaining the rules of the game is only marginally easier. For each

While the sound remains in Japanese, the text is in English.
The result is painfully slow.

one of the all too similar levels is played out a single screen table/battlefield where your objective is to get four nappy wearing skivvies to drag a bell from the bottom to the top. And to clear them a path through the massed ranks of rival warlords, you command an army who follow a set of simple vocal commands with diligence and fanaticism, but very little intelligence. And into this delicate balance smashes the Odama, the super-spherical weapon capable of crushing castles, damming rivers and flatten friend and foe alike beneath its indestructible bulk. Oh and it is your jump to simultaneously keep the ball rolling, the troops rallying and morale in the ranks rising.

But trying to splice Kessen and Kiss Pinball together hasn’t resulted in the rise of an uber-game, more the birth of a tragedy. For Odama is simply a mess from the high concept right down to the screen blocking squawking of each lowly soldiers. And while your army of the brain-dead mostly recognise your orders, and notions of tactical planning are continually rolled over by the blind stupidity of the Odama itself. For even this primitive pinball itself rarely works as advertised often popping off screen, defying physics’ laws at a whim, wiping out your own army with one false flipper-stroke or ending your game.

The soldier’s comments might get a laugh, if they
didn’t block out the action.

Combined with a difficulty level so cruel that Social Services should be told is the way that winning or losing can seem as random as tossing a coin. Although at least if a ten pence landed heads up you’d know why you’ve won as with Odama’s shallow lack of strategy and variety, you’ll always feel that fortune played a greater role than your planning or pinball wizardry.

Now add a save system that wipes your progress if you go back to retry  a previous stage, a sneering voice-over that mocks your failures, cheap and tedious cutscenes, repetitive level design and somewhat clumsy controls and just see if your ambivalence turns to anger:

ANY NOTIONS OF TACTICAL PLANNING ARE ROLLED OVER BY BLIND STUPIDITY

But that is Odama, it combines things that should probably never be put together: pinball and military strategy; ill-conceived ideas and poor execution; and yes, Mr ‘Oddball’ Saito and three year’s worth of development time.

‘Advance’ isn’t the only word you’ll shout at
these troopers. The others are all bad.

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOILS
Command them or crush them. Accidentally of course.

Each battle begins with the launch of the Odama. And while it’s hugely destructive, it’s a slightly imprecise weapon because it can only be guided by using the flippers or tilting the table.

As well as running over troops, the Odama can be used to open doors, smash encampments and block rivers. While this can help your men, it can also destroy them by reopening flood gates.

But while the Odama is a mixed blessing, ignoring it can be fatal. Not only do your outnumbered men rely on it to even up numbers, if the iron ball falls between your flippers then then game is usually over.

Collect powerups and the ball will be turned into a holy roller able to crush your foes and convert their souls into your reserves. Which is handy when the enemy ranks seem to be unlimited.

The enemy don’t have an Odama so why do they have flippers?

Rally your chaps on an object and they will seize it. Eventually.

You carry your forces from one battle to the next.

Knock the general from his plinth and he will march around.

+ The enemy generals are fun. / Utterly original / The mic is included.

  Painfully hard / Confusing and messy. / Everything else.

5 VISUALS
Somewhat dull and static, it also suffers from slowdown.

5 SOUNDS
Japanese voices, somehow less than memorable.

7 MASTERY
Not exactly a technical marvel but the mic works.

5 LIFESPAN
Cruel difficulty will turn off the casual and depress the hardcore.

VERDICT: Cross-breeding between a pinball table and strategy game hasn’t lead to a thoroughbred. This one is pure ass. 48/100

PC Game Releases – April 2014 (indie games included)

PC Game Category   Estimated Release
Goat Simulator Simulation April 1, 2014
Meridian: New World Strategy, Indie April 4, 2014
The Elder Scrolls Online Rpg April 4, 2014
Making History: The Great War Strategy, Indie April 4, 2014
McDROID Action, Indie April 8, 2014
Infectonator: Survivors Adventure, Indie April 14, 2014
Mechanic Escape Adventure, Indie April 15, 2014
Eterium Action, Indie April 15, 2014
Moebius: Empire Rising Adventure, Indie April 15, 2014
Lost Civilization General April 15, 2014
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood Fantasy April 15, 2014
Life Goes On Adventure, Indie April 16, 2014
Battle Academy Strategy April 16, 2014
Wargame: Red Dragon Strategy April 17, 2014
Trials Fusion Racing April 24, 2014
Dark Souls II Rpg April 25, 2014
Day Light Horror April 29, 2014
Red Faction Complete Compilation April 29, 2014
Child of Light General April 30, 2014
Fract Osc Indie April 2014

See Also:
Best of April 2014
PC Game Releases March 2014