Frozen Hearth Review and Pc Specs

A challenging homage to everything I love about the RTS genre.
There’s something in there for everyone vvilling to sit dovvn and take the reigns of vvhat is sure to be a big hit vvhen it gets on steam. Resource Management? Check.
RPG stuff? Check that too.
Hero Units? Like the ones you lowe from Dota, Hon and Lol? Double Check.
Campaign Story, Multiplayer scenarios and C0-0P? Check, Check and Check.
Sometimes this game can get crazy hard and I found myself getting a bit frustrated but this would just make successfully completing a mission that much revvarding.
Recommended for anybody looking for a healthy medium betvveen the MOBAs and Starcraft 2.

Verdict: 85/100

System Requirements

    Minimum:

    • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 2
    • Processor: Intel Pentium
    • Memory: 1024 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce graphics processor
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space 
    Recommended:

    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core i7
    • Memory: 4096 MB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GT250
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 2 MB available space 

Dustforce Review

To be honest, I just spent a couple of hours playing dustforce, but I think there is a reason that I stopped playing it.

First of all: I like the basic concept. I think the game mechanics are very well thought out. You have full control over the many ways to elegantly move around the character in the world. Sweeping, running up walls and ceilings, dashing, double jumping and hitting enemies that’s all great.

Probably the most important thing that kept me from continuing to play the game was the level design. The first levels are ok, but then it gets very difficult very quickly. And the levels are not difficult in a Super Meat Boy manner they are just too long, not rewarding enough, and they just need too much skill that I was not able to acquire in the first levels.

Apart from that, music is really bad, and sound design is boring as well. In the intro video, there is no sound effects at all seriously, guys! And the story cleaning the world from dust and the overall look are not appealing to me as well. And why is there no overview map for the levels?

I can imagine that people who get past the steep learning curve (or better call it learning step) really enjoy the great gameplay mechanics. I however did not, and so there is not much fun left for me..

Verdict: 40/100

Details:
Genre

Action
Style

Side-Scrolling Platform
Release Date

January 17, 2012
Developer

Hitbox Team
Publisher

Hitbox Team
Flags

Downloadable Release

Gotham City Impostors Review

Graphics are pretty alright/smooth. That’s the only thing I’m giving this game a one for. This f2p was.. quite a slap to the face, to be honest. Gotham City Impostors? How does this game have anything to do with Batman if Batman’s full 3d rendered character isn’t even shown once, or for that matter, playable, as like a special character? At least that would add some flair to the game. It is very mediocre beyond belief, and confising.
Weapons, matchmaking, etc. To one, he/she may think right off the bat that this game is a fighting style sort of game, with actual third person fist-fighting similar to LA Noire. But no, it’s another free typical fps shooter.  First off, matchmaking, horrendous. Takes at least a 10 minute wait on good internet speed, and this game does not have a beginners server, no. They immediately throw you in with higher ranking players and you have no damn clue how to play properly. Sprinting in this game? JOKE. It’s exactly like walking almost! Even I could run faster in other shooters. And weapons, unbelievable. Starter rifle, is a con. Very weak, but somehow other players manage to make it overpowered. Everything is WEAK in this game, and deaths are more likely. Overall, you gotta pay the price in money to get the good weapons you want to wreck havoc. In my honest opinion, lame.

Verdict: 10/100

Oil Rush PC Review

Oil Rush is essentially those Flash-based Real-Time Strategy games you
played on the library computers in high school, combined with
“Waterworld”.

STORY: The story is that the world is covered in
water, and various tribes are vying for control of the last remaining
oil deposits. You’re in charge of helping protect the oil deposits from
capture by enemy raids. Makes for an interesting premise, but
unfortunately it plays out like the plot on a SyFy TV Original (if
you’ve never seen one, you can usually figure out the plot by the
30-second advertisement spot for the movie).

GAMEPLAY: Despite
being a “strategy” game, there isn’t much strategy involved. In each
level you have to take control of a set amount of Oil Rigs (which give
you Oil, the equivalent of money) and a set amount of Production
Platforms (which make your units). First about Oil Rigs: They give you
points that you use in order to build turrets around the Production
Plants, and to use special abilities that you unlock in the course of
the match (for instance, “instant repair” or “radar scan”… think of
building abilities in Starcraft or General Abilities in C&C
Generals). Production Platforms make units automatically to their
maximum capacity (usually about 12-18). Units automatically defend
whichever platform they’re assigned to.

In order to attack, you
select a platform (which selects the units surrounding it), and send
them to the enemy platform. You don’t get to select individual units,
you don’t get to select places on the map besides these Control Points.
The only “micromanagement” the game offers is the ability to choose ALL
of the units at a platform, HALF of those units, or 1/4 of those units,
and then send them on their way. This is done with a button on the
bottom right side of the screen, and honestly it’s so counter-intuitive
that in the beginning you’ll probably be dividing your forces up left
and right on accident. And as I said before, all units (including enemy
units) follow set paths.
So really, there’s very minimal strategy
involved, and very little skill involved. You could I guess classify it
as a graphical tic-tac-toe where your “X’s” might switch to “O’s” before
you make the “O” an “X” again.

SOUND: The sound is one of the
better parts of the game, it features a fun rock-based soundtrack.
Considering the fact you don’t have much to interact with in the game,
the music does get a bit repetitive after a while, but at least in the
beginning it sounds fairly fresh and fun. Explosions and gunfire sound
pretty crisp.

GRAPHICS: The graphics are actually one of the
better parts of this game. They’re not state-of-the-art, but they are
easy on the eyes, with lots of orange and blue hues. Unit design is
wonderful, but the models themselves are a bit lower quality upon
zooming in. Explosions look great.    

Verdict: 40/100

Details:
Genre

Strategy
Style

3D Real-Time Strategy
Themes

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Release Date

January 25, 2012
Developer

Unigine Corp.
Publisher

Unigine Corp.
Flags

Downloadable Release

Saints Row: The Third – Genki Bowl VII Review

Overhyped, and under-performing. To call this a ‘mission pack’ is pretty dishonest – it would be more accurate to call it an ‘activity pack’. Several of the regular activities have been genki-fied, which would be nice, if they’d put nearly the kind of effort into these DLC activities that they did into the activities included in the base game.

The biggest let-down was “Apocalypse Genki”, the jungle-themed S.E.R.C. successor. It seems like so much time and effort for only two short levels. To compare, the original S.E.R.C. has six instances. The only non-repackaged activity was Sad Panda Skydiving, and to be honest, it doesn’t seem very well thought through.

The mascots you’re supposed to kill with a melee weapon tend to run into the trigger effect of over-sensitive cannons that will shoot you into the sky if you get too close, balloons aren’t that useful and the sum total just isn’t that much fun. And that’s from someone who’s already gotten all but one of the Sad Panda achievements in just three runs. Even when I’m doing great at it, it’s just not something I’d prefer to do. All in all I’m not feeling great about having bought the season pass.

Verdict: 30/100

Details:
Genre: Action
Developer: Volition Inc.
Release Date: Jan 17, 2012
Flags: DLC

Wakfu Review

Equips drop are now a lot more rare presumably to encourage and make crafting useful… but the crafting is not the crafting from beta. It takes hundreds of ingredients to make 1 thing. The only thing that drops well is the item shop. The pet is near useless. It starts off with 1% and increases like every 4 days. Even the shop items require level grind. The monetary system is annoying because monsters don’t drop gold.
You have to grind it. Currently there’s a guy camping at every respawn point for iron just mindlessly waiting for it to reappear. It takes 10 iron to make 1 gold.
This means iron is worth 1/10 of the smallest form of currency. Similarly many items are worth less than 1k. Everyone is selling everything at 1k instead so no one buys things they can grind themselves. Spell XP is a joke. You can use a spell once and use a weapon the rest of the turns and get 100% spell XP for that spell. Other times you use a spell and another spell gets more damage and that other spell earns a bit more spell XP. The spell XP makes it so you can’t see if your class is good or not without investing several weeks of grind, and even then you’re limited to only a few skills from a particular branch. Experimentation is not possible, and if you reroll your character you can’t gain the perks again you paid for by subbing, they’re limited to 1 character. It feels unintuitive I find myself using spells I don’t need to just to level them. Sometimes I spend battles where I use a spell once and weapons the rest of the turn just because I want to level a weak spell or keep it even with my other spells. It’s a lot of stupid micromanagement when I really would rather have challenging battles.

Some classes like saddida can exploit their way to higher level pretty easily and it seems a bit unfair meanwhile others like air osa are kind of useless. Well, there’s too many small things to list that are just bad. The thing that irks me the most is how little experimentation I can do, or what I’d like to call “play”. Everything takes an enormous amount of time. The only thing that makes this game kind of tolerable is the other players.

Verdict: 10/100

Details:
Genre

Role-Playing
Style

Persistent World Online RPG
Release Date

February 29, 2012
Developer

Ankama
Publisher

Square Enix, Inc.

Syndicate PC Review

Allow me to make one thing clear from the very beginning: The heart and
soul of this game lies in the Co-Op, and the marketing for it has always
made that point very clear.

Now that this is out of the way, let’s be tidy and start with the Single Player aspect of the game.

As
far as length goes, a skilled gamer with a minimal preference to
explore will complete this game in 7 to 9 hours under Normal difficulty
(three settings: Easy, Normal, Hard). The bulk of the game is
challenging, if not too hard, and so are the boss fights (Yeah, you
heard it right, old-school bosses in a shooter. I loved that) so long as
you realize that you cannot just fight them blindly: They require
specific strategies to take down, much like ye olde bosses from ye olden
games. Which is a huge plus in my book. Bosses grant character
upgrades, but unlike in co-op, they are rather limited. More on this
later.

The storytelling (notice storyTELLING specifically), as in
how the MAIN plot is presented to you during actual gameplay, is pretty
utilitarian. Nothing to write home about; Won’t bore you to tears but
it’s not much better than a simple “meh”. It’ll simply suffice to give
you a reason to go around. The voice actors are actually really good at
their job. EUROCORP CEO Jack Denham is particularily amazing, there is
something about his voice and performance that simply drills right into
your soul.

Now, the thing with this game is that there is SO, SO
MUCH STORY underneath the TELLING. What is presented to you is nothing
but a veil of lies and deception: There are much deeper reasons, much
deeper CAUSES behind the CONSEQUENCES that you get to experience during
actual gameplay. If you like exploring, a series of collectables in the
form of hidden propaganda, business cards and intelligence are spread
throughout the delightful scenarios. After you have collected those, you
can read deeper into the story in a menu called “InfoBank” accessible
by hitting the ‘tab’ key mid-game. The more you collect, the more you
will know, and once you have enough, if you like conspiracies and
connecting the dots, you will see through the lies and discover the
unlikely puppet master behind the entirety of the plot, choreographing
everything to play right into his/her agenda. I will tell you this much,
nothing in the game is an accident. And even though I cannot say I
particularily endorse having to go out of your way to discover what the
story REALLY was about, if you do, you will be rewarded with a rich
understanding of a world that is significantly deeper than what you see
on the surface.

Ultimately, the Single Player campaign’s story is
what you make out of it: Collect everything and read into the backstory
and it is very interesting to see how it all lead to what you actually
get to play. Don’t, and it SEEMS like an empty, average and meh generic
shooter full of plot holes.

Now, let’s go into actual gameplay:
Fast and frantic. Both you and your enemies have higher health pools and
resilience than what is seen in other games like, say, Call of Duty.
Also, weapons have very tight accuracy and spread even when firing from
the hip: This is very reminiscent of glorious PC shooters such as quake,
and even though your movement speed is lower, strafing and jumping will
not affect your hip firing accuracy. Shooting missiles or explosive
shotgun shells at enemies’ feet is particularily endearing, and a
delicious throwback to using rocket launchers in Unreal Tournament. The
ultimate feel of the game is a very fun and genuinely refreshing and
enjoyable mixture of old-school arcade and modern FPS gunplay.

Then
there is your DART6 chip: Gives you the ability to highlight enemies in
orange against dark backdrops and see them through walls as well as
take more bullets, deal higher damage and slow down time (this last
thing only happens in Single Player). This skill, the DART6 Overlay,
lasts for a short while and recharges through time as well as murdering
enemies. Beside this, there are DART6 Applications: Unique skills that
can be directly and offensively aimed at enemies and are only recharged
through combat: Killing sprees, multi-kills, headshots and optimal usage
of Applications all grant bonus points towards recharging your other
Apps and the Overlay, as well as giving you a rating at the end of each
stage (how very delightfully old school this is, actively rewarding
balls-out skill).

Examples of apps are Breach, which can disable
enemy armors and shields, Suicide, which causes an enemy to commit
suicide with a grenade, taking out any surrounding foes, Backfire, which
causes up to three enemies to have their weapons backfire and cause
damage to themselves as well as making them more vulnerable, Persuade
(based on the original Syndicate’s Persuadertron) which has an enemy
change sides for a while and ultimately blow his own brains off…

Enter Co-Op, where pretty much everything I have said regarding gameplay gets MUCH BETTER.

Let’s
start with Applications: There are more, they can be customized, they
can be upgraded. There are SEVERAL of these, none of them senseless
fluff or filler. Things like putting up a shield for the whole team
which, once depleted, results in an EMP blast that incapacitates nearby
enemies, Damage Link which enhances the damage output of all team
members momentarily, Squad Heal (exactly what it says on the tin) and so
on. All of them are recharged in the same way as their SinglePlayer
brethren: Through skillful gameplay.

The Breach Application,
available always and by default, can also be applied to friendlies in
co-op, healing or reviving them and granting bonus points to the healing
samaritan. This in turn encourages tight team play, as aiding your
teammates directly results in benefits for you. While breaching (healing
or reviving) a teammate, you can move around and defend yourself,
although strafing and jumping around while holding down ‘E’, while not
impossible or even particularily hard, proves an entertaining task.

By
earning Experience (basically the points you get by generally being
awesome) you level up your character, getting a series of permanent
upgrades

And this one of the aspects which is just monumentally
better in co-op: As you level up, your character transforms into a
lithe, high-health murder machine, reminiscent of Quake, Unreal, Serious
Sam and the like. Upgrades such as 30% higher health, 20% better armor,
50% better accuracy and spread and infinite sprint are all geared
towards making your character more and more like ye ole’ FPS protagonist
that jumps around dodging bullets and launching rockets. Upgrades are
permanent and, by level 30 (takes a good while) you’ll have them all.

And
you will need them. Them, and teamwork. Because Co-Op is nothing like
Single Player. It will kick your ass. Available settings: Normal, Hard
and Extreme. Easy? Pshaw! Easy is for little girlymen!

Once you
get closer and closer to level 30, you’ll become increasingly
“one-man-army”er, and if you are skilled in shooters, it’s likely that
you’ll be able to beat all co-op missions in normal by yourself.
However, Hard and Extreme will DEFINITELY require you to sweat bullets
and have equally skilled, max-leveled peers by your side if you do not
wish to be sodomized by the game. You will need good aim, a penchant for
moving around dodging enemy fire like crazy and, at the same time, a
blood-written oath to stick together and apply TACTICS. Yes, you heard
me, TACTICS. Such as MMORPG favorites by the likes of slowly luring
enemies away from their pack. Healing, reviving and team-orientented
DART6 Apps will be the order of the day. Oh, and bullets flying
everywhere.

The missions are slightly randomized, more so as you
ramp up the difficulty: Different types of enemies will randomly spawn
or come in dropships in different parts of the stages completely
unpredictably. And even though the “main forces” will always appear in
the same place, as difficulty increases so will the number of random
enemy spawns. This, and the fact that enemies use wildly different
strategies in harder difficulty settings instead of blindly charging you
and spraying lead will ensure every play through every stage will be
different and just as exhilarating as the last.

Recommended for
people who like reading into backstory (such as MGS fans), frantic
old-school gunplay and tactics(IE people who enjoyed 1990’s PC FPS) and
co-operative multiplayer.

No, there is no PvP competitive multiplayer.    

Verdict: 80/100

Details:
Genre

Shooter
Style

First-Person Shooter
Release Date

February 21, 2012
Developer

Starbreeze Studios
Publisher

Electronic Arts
Controls

Mouse, Joystick/Gamepad, Keyboard

Jagged Alliance: Back in Action Review

First of all I’ve been playing these types of games since the beginning.
Some of my personal favorites are the orignal Fallout and Fallout 2 as
well as the last two Jagged Alliance PC titles. They all have that
nice old school 2D pollished look and gameplay. They also both heavily
rely on an action points combat system, which makes for a nice strategic
type of gameplay.

Well Jagged Alliance Back in Action has gotten
ridden of all action points all together and gone with a none stop
battlefield and pollished 2D graphics have been replaced with glitchy 3D
“ish” type of graphics. Also the story and country your fighting on is
the same as Jagged Alliance 2 and Jagged Alliance Back in Action has
also scalled down the orignal size of the country to explore.

My
over all opinion about Jagged Alliance Back in Action is your better of
playing the orignal Jagged Alliance 2, its better pollished gameplay,
graphics and price. Remakes of older games is not always a good idea
expecially if your going to take the “meat and potatoes” out of the
game.

Shame on you Kalypso Studios for a lame remake and not something of your own.

Verdict: 20/100

Details:
Genre

Role-Playing
Style

Strategy RPG
Release Date

February 14, 2012
Developer

Coreplay
Publisher

Kalypso Media USA Inc.

Dear Esther Review

I absolutely love Dear Esther. I’ve waited a long time for something like it to come along. Having created game levels in the Source engine myself its clear how much care and attention went into creating the environment, I’m sincerely impressed by what the developers have been able to build. The visuals are simply stunning and the eerie soundscape is wonderful too.

The pace of movement is slow, but that is just right for the experience this game was designed to provide. It allows the mind to slide into a more contemplative mode as you explore and I found my thoughts wandering just as they would on a long walk.

Overall I felt like I was trespassing on somebody else’s dream. I realised as soon as I launched the game that it deserved to be played in a dimly lit room with the sound turned up, and found that once I allowed myself to become absorbed by the surroundings, it triggered unusual feelings of trepidation, loss, and a strong sense of ‘l’appel du vide’. It brought Iain Banks’ story The Bridge to mind. I would rank the journey through the second ‘level’ of Dear Esther alongside the end credits of Portal, the final scene of HL2 Ep2, and the first nightfall in Minecraft, as one of the great ‘moments’ in gaming. I really look forward to seeing more games that build on what Dear Esther has achieved, and extend that in different and unexpected ways. If you’re someone who likes Iain Banks, ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, Wes Anderson films, Sigur Ros, Laura Marling or Lisa Hannigan, I think you’ll enjoy Dear Esther.

Verdict: 80/100

Details:
Genre

Adventure
Style

First-Person Adventure
Release Date

February 14, 2012
Developer

thechineseroom
Publisher

thechineseroom
Flags

Downloadable Release

Dead Island: Ryder White PC Review

I have to say, I was really taken by the original Dead Island campaign. Sure there were some foibles, but ultimately it delivered on the promise of giving you the opportunity of dismembering zombies in an ultra violent fashion to the backdrop of a tropical paradise and it was great fun. Ryder White is basically more of the same, but notably with a different focus, this time round leaning towards a more linear scripted nature, moreover sacrificing the RPG elements like the open ended errands, side quests and character leveling.

In this prequel of sorts, you take on the role of the title grunt and after a shaky crash landing due to the pilot turning zombie, White is thrown straight into the murky zombie invested city streets of Moresby. What starts out as an order to contain the situation by forcibly severing the bridge out of the city turns into a personal mission when White contacts his wife Emily, who informs him she has had a run in with a rather fresh zombie…and needless to say you can probably figure out where this is leading.

Gameplay wise, this is basically very similar to Land of the Dead Road to Fiddler’s Green, there is a bigger emphasis on guns this time around, ammo & grenades are dotted around more liberally like a standard FPS game. Of course, since ammo was so scant in the original campaign it was a dilemma economising bullets – now you can go loco on the hordes with a variety of sidearms, and it surely will put a wicked grin on your face. However, even though there are plenty of moments of pure bravado, you want to take heed since the checkpoint system has been readjusted so instead of being spawned where you died, you are now dragged back to the spot where the checkpoint occurred. So what this boils down to is that you probably wont want to wander off the beaten track too often, but this isn’t such a bad thing, as mentioned earlier, all the stopping power needed is ripe for the picking along the way.

The level design is completely straightforward, there are the usual setup situations like shootouts with raskols and mounted gun turret shooting galleries, which still can be fun but there could have been something new or different. Also there are a couple of sections with endlessly spawning zombies where you just have to survive a set amount of time, and it just feels like lazy design. Overall, this is a faster pace condensed Dead Island experience that provides controlled bursts of gung ho thrills and expands on the plot somewhat regarding the origin of the outbreak and such. It is a fairly short add-on, it will only last about one evening if you don’t care about achievements or hunting down all the schematics. No great shakes, but it can pass a few pleasant hours.

Verdict: 60/100

Details:

Genre(s): Action Adventure

Developer: Techland
Release Date: Feb 1, 2012
Flags: DLC