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Press Play Gaming
Open world gaming meets
relaxing exploration in
Uppercut Games' new title
Also This month:
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
Win every Bioshock game
and much more
Press Play Gaming!
A word, dear reader, if I may.
Hello, and welcome to the very first issue of Press Play Gaming!
My name is Chris, and I will be your host this evening.
Pressplaygaming.net has been the home of a fun personal project
of mine for the past 8 months; a place for me to write about that
which I love - video games. Now however, I want to take it one
step further and offer something all new - Press Play Gaming, the
I believe that video games are an art form that stands apart
from traditional media, such as TV or books, and provides
an experience that nothing else can. Video games are an ever
expanding medium; new and different experiences are being
released all the time, and we never know what direction gaming
will go in. Most importantly, I believe that video games are for
everyone. They can be silly, meaningful, challenging, wondrous,
fascinating, artistic, fun. Every single person in the world has the
right to experience and enjoy the wonder that is video games.
But that’s enough about me. You no doubt want to get into checking out the real meat of the magazine! Before you get in
to what we have to offer this month however, I’d like to lay out 3 promises I have for you, dear reader:
1. Press Play Gaming is, and always will be, 100% ad free. By offering a tiny $1 a month subscription, I will always keep
this publication completely free of any advertisements. This magazine is the product - not you. I hope that people will
come to this magazine to read what we have to say about video games; not to look at some flashy new product from some
faceless corporation that nobody really needs.
2. We will never rush a video game review. Video games are experiences that are meant to be enjoyed at their own pace, not
rushed through in a mechanical manner for the sake of getting the word out first. We will play the game as it’s meant to be
played - if that takes a month to do, so be it. Our goal is to give you an honest and true opinion of what a game really is;
not make rushed judgements for the sake of clicks/subscriptions.
3. No review scores. An arbitrary number or scale system doesn’t work at the best of times, and when it comes to video
games, they are just as (if not more so) subjective than any other form of media. Comparing two games on a sliding scale
is like comparing bananas and grapefruit - we want to give you the best idea of what a game actually is on it’s own, rather
than some scale that ranks games against others.
With all that out of the way, continue on dear reader, and experience that which we have to offer!
Thanks for reading, and welcome to the new face of Press Play Gaming!
4. Gamescom 2015
7. Games Corner Games industry
news for August
12. An open love letter
to the runt of the
13. PPG Quick Look:
Lara Croft GO
14. Rare Replay
16. Why do we care about Gamerscore?
17. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture
20. Nintendo Minute
21. PC Gamer
22. Beyond Eyes
24. Pile of Shame - Bayonetta 2
26. PS+ Free Games / Games with Gold for September 2015
27. Bioshock competition
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
will be out by the time you read this, but
during Gamescom Konami ramped up
the marketing machine and showed off
a brand spanking new trailer and some
insanely good looking PC screenshots. PC
users often get the best graphical ports of
games, but this? This is a step up.
Gamescom, the largest industry event of the year by the numbers, hit the world in early August - then proceeded to dump a
truckload of exciting news, trailers and info about all sorts of games for all sorts of people.
A whole bunch of games announced some delicious new info during the conference. Most notably, Microsoft really took hold of
the opportunity and held a large press conference to show off everything they hadn’t already at E3 this year, which was packed
to the brim with everything fans wanted to see. Let’s take a look at what Gamescom had to offer us in 2015.
Scalebound spread it’s wings and showed off a gameplay demo of your
hipsterish main character fighting alongside his dragon (!) against both
human NPC’s and a large manta ray... bug... thing. The combat looked
appropriately flashy and over the top, in the same style as other games like
Bayonetta or DMC - which can only be a good thing.
Crackdown 3 smashed it’s way on to the scene with an exciting new feature - 100% destructible environments. That’s right every single thing in the world will potentially be able to be blown to pieces. Whether this is only in the multiplayer or also in
the single player campaign has yet to be determined. Microsoft is touting it’s cloud computing software as the reason this is
Quantum Break debuted an all star cast lineup for what looks to be a cover based shooter with interesting time-bending
mechanics thrown into the mix. The game disk will also ship with a full season of a companion TV show. How the game will
structure it’s show and gameplay is still unclear, but it sounds like an interesting blend of the two mediums.
Mafia 3 was officially announced a few days
before Gamescom, but boy, is the trailer
that dropped during the show something
to behold. You’ll be playing as Lincoln Clay,
a guy who is on a revenge quest against the
Italian Mafia after they butchered his family,
the Black Mafia, in New Orleans. Coming
from someone who has never played
a Mafia game before - this looks damn
Halo Wars 2 was announced during
Microsoft’s conference, to the surprise
of many (and joy of die-hard Halo Wars
fans.) The game is being developed by
Creative Assembly, the guys behind
the Total War franchise - who also
happen to be owned by SEGA. Who
would’ve thought SEGA would be
making Xbox games in 2015... What a
world we live in.
Homefront: The Revolution showed off a chilling new trailer, featuring
an American child being forced to read a speech in front of North Korean
overlord types, in an alternate version of Philadelphia stripped of it’s rights
and freedoms. War games with terrorists and “bad guy” armies are nothing
new, but being a part of the resistance taking on occupation forces in
Unravel got another chance to shine with a short gameplay trailer detailing
some of the puzzling aspects of the game. Yarny, the main character in
the game, also made a physical appearance at the show, with an “aww”
inspiring series of pictures
coming through on developer
Martin Sahlin’s Twitter
account. This game is going
to make hearts melt all over
Dark Souls 3 looked appropriately
Souls-ey, with all the tough
combat and gritty fantasy you
would imagine. From Software
is touting some new additions,
such as “battle art” attacks and
enemies that change stance mid
fight. You best hurry and finish up
with Bloodborne if you haven’t
already, as DS3 will hit shelves in
Mirrors Edge: Catalyst
showed off some pre-alpha
gameplay, making this
game seem all of what fans
of the original wanted the
game to be. The combat is
free flowing, you won’t be
using guns and you’ll be first
person parkouring all over
the futuristic city.
Welcome to Games Corner, the section of Press Play Gaming where we break down all you need to know from the world of
gaming into bite size chunks of digestible info.
Twitch plays Dark Souls, fails miserably, starts making a comeback
After the roaring success of Twitch plays Pokemon, it’s no surprise that all sorts of games have followed in their steed. The most
recent and craziest of those however, is Twitch’s attempt to play Dark Souls. The playthrough, as you’d expect, hasn’t gone
as well as hoped; it took the players days simply to climb a ladder. After realizing how futile the venture was getting, the guys
behind the stream began modding the game, implementing a pause system that allowed viewers to vote on each input. Using
this, the players have actually managed to defeat the first couple of bosses in the game.
Ezio “fixed” in AC Chronicles: China
A hardcore fan of the Assassins Creed series that goes by the name of Loomer wasn’t happy with the current state of Ezio’s voice
acting, so he got in contact with the orginal voice actor, Roger Craig Smith, to set up a re-recording of every line from ACC:C.
Loomer went so far as to get the blessings of publisher Ubisoft for the venture. The audio is available as a mod for the PC.
Star Wars: Battlefront showcased some dogfighting combat - and boy
does it look good. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - this game looks
as faithful a recreation as you can get, and is pure fan service. The sound
design is perfectly on point, the HUD makes you feel like you are truly
in the star ships, and the design of the worlds and open spaces feels
perfectly appropriate. If there was ever a game for Star Wars fans, this is
makers of B-tier
as Bound by Flame, is all the buzzwords you want from a game - a
post apocalyptic RPG set in a cyberpunk dystopia. A futuristic Mars
setting, with electrical magic like abilities, that visually looks like a cross
between Fallout and Mass Effect? Hell yes.
In other Gamescom news...
Between the dazzle of all the trailers and HD screenshots, we also managed to snag some extra tidbits of info on some current
games & upcoming expansions.
- The next WoW expansion has been announced, coming in 2016 - World of Warcraft: Legion. The new expansion will be bringing
back old characters from the past, with important roles for Maiev Shadowsong and Sylvanas coming into play. The buzz around
the expansion seems to be mostly positive - if you have an old WoW account, it might be worth bringing it back into the light
- Pillars of Eternity, the fantastic Kickstarter funded CRPG from Obsidian, has recieved it’s first expansion - the White March:
Part I - of which Obsidian showed off some gameplay of the White March during the show earlier in the month. The DLC will see
you adventuring off into the distant mountains, with the addition of higher character levels, spells, talents, areas, items, and
- Bethesda has shared a few tidbits of information for Fallout 4, including the fact that the game will have no level cap. Yes,
technically, you can play Fallout 4 forever. I’m pretty sure this is the end, folks.
Rainbow Six: Siege Delayed
The upcoming Tom Clancy multiplayer shooter has been delayed until December 1,from an original release date of October 13.
No news on why, but after Ubisoft’s missteps last year with Assassins Creed: Unity, we can only hope that this is a good thing for
the game... and ultimately, that they’re learning.
Fig -The new Kickstarter for games
A new crowdfunding platform has launched specifically for the funding of video games, simply named Fig. This crowdfunding
platform has been created by industry legends, including Tim Schafer and Brian Fargo. The platform also comes with a few
twists: games on the platform can offer normal rewards like any other crowdfunding site, as well as offering actual equity in the
game for serious investors. Fig will only feature a small number of curated games each month, to allow these titles to shine.
Destiny dumps Dinklage
Peter Dinklage, voice of the Ghost companion character, will be pulled from Destiny completely upon The Taken King
expansion’s arrival next month - and will be replaced by none other than Nolan North (known for the Uncharted series, The
Last of Us, Dying Light, Batman Arkham series... Pretty much every video game ever). The reasoning as for why this is has been
speculated heavily online, but no official reason was released. Whether it was due to the poor receival by Destiny fans, Bungie’s
mistake in not thinking forward on the ability to get Peter to record more lines or another thing altogether, we’ll never know. It
will be interesting to see what Nolan brings to the table.
GTA V smashes sales records
While it was somewhat expected that GTA V would sell well, Rockstar has announced that the game has surprisingly sold
54,000,000 copies worldwide across all platforms. While that takes into account the fact that some chunk of the purchasers
would have bought multiple copies across different platforms, it is still a massive number of games sold.
Turok & Turok 2 are coming to PC
Thanks to the hard work of Night Dive Studios (who you can thank for getting System Shock 2 again), the Nintendo 64 classics
will be making their way to PC. They’ll be up-resing the games and setting them loose on Steam sometime this year.
Fallout 4 porn surfaces (it’s not what you think, get your mind out of the gutter)
Exclusive Fallout 4 gameplay from gamescom was leaked on the internet through Pornhub, allowing viewers to watch the
bootleg footage before Bethesda wanted the rest of the world to see it. Bethesda had been chasing the footage down across a
whole manner of video hosting services, before one uploader named the file “HIDDEN CAMERA SHOWS AUDIENCE TEASED
BY BIG BUTT MAN IN TIGHTS LIVE” and put it on Pornhub - quite an inventive (and accurate) title, as it turns out. The video did
eventually get taken down, but not until over 15,000 people managed to sneak a peak.
- Rocket League will be getting “new crazy maps” as part of it’s DLC rollout over the next few months, some of which is already
available. One new map has been added for free to the game, with new cars and customization options being added as paid
Rocket League Finals were amazing
For fans of the crazy fad that is Rocket League, you might want to check out the first ever Rocket League competition with prize
money’s Grand Final. The team Cosmic Aftershock was the favourite for the title, as they’ve never lost a match. Team Urban, a
worthy team but the underdogs in this case, had scrapped their way to the final to face off against Cosmic.
- Ubisoft has shared that Assassins Creed Syndicate’s Evie can turn completely invisible when she stands still. That will sure help
with avoiding those pesky guards!
The match, best of 3 rounds, ended in an amazing nail biter. I’d rather not spoil it, but if you’re interested in Rocket League at all
or in eSports in general, I definitely suggest going and watching the 30 minute or so match. It can be found on Youtube.
that gives context to why you are searching the sunken city in the first place. Thankfully, each item you are in search of is located
in the next crate you come across, rather than certain items in certain containers. This only serves to help keep the experience
relaxed, rather than stressing about going to the correct location.
The locations spread across the map are quite interesting - in one particular expanse you might find the top few carriages of a
ferris wheel protruding from the water; in another, you might find four distinct floodlights, hinting at the grand stadium that lays
beneath the waves. The setting is largely as much about what you imagine could existing below as it is about the few peaks that
you are able to glimpse above.
A lot of the actual buildings that you come across do look pretty similar - that being said, the climbable ones stand out in one
way or another. Figuring out which buildings are actually climbable is pretty simple - the red flowers that litter the game are
good visual cues to help you tell (even from a distance) whether it’s a building you should be looking for or not. These buildings
are essentially divided into two groups: small areas that generally contain one little picture piece about the city, as well as the
larger buildings, which are usually named, that contain 1 of the 10 supply crates and multiple picture pieces.
The larger buildings are cleverly structured so as to actually be environmental puzzles - different branching paths will lead to
different areas of the building, some of which area quite well hidden. Inquisitive explorers are often rewarded.
Games can be a lot of things. Action packed. Chaotic. Intense. Challenging. None of these words describe Submerged. This is a
Submerged by Uppercut Games is a beautiful new open world exploration game that takes the tropes you expect in sandbox
games - side quests, levelling, action sequences - and throws them out altogether. In fact, there is no combat in the game at all.
This lack of combat is one of the major selling points of Submerged. With the knowledge of the lack combat firmly in mind, the
idea of exploring the world presented to you takes on a whole new dimension. Without the threat of being attacked by strange
creatures anywhere on the map, you can focus on venturing out into the unknown and taking in the world around you. And what
a beautiful world it is.
The environment in Submerged is truly unique. The game begins with the playable character Miku and her little brother Tiku
floating towards a sunken city in a little fishing boat. This city is mostly covered with water and overgrown with aquatic life,
giving the place an eerie but intriguing feel. With the water level raised as it is, traversal through this city is as simple as hopping
into your little dinghy and navigating the waters.
The game isn’t simply about boating around a post apocalyptic city, however. Tiku has been wounded and is unconscious, so
it is up to you to scour the city in search of supplies to patch up your little brother. There are 10 to collect, scattered across the
various climbable buildings you will come across in your travels. The beauty of this is twofold: one, there is no time limit or
pressure to complete your task, meaning you can take your time and discover the world as you please; and two, there is no
specific order you must collect each of the supply crates in, so your exploration and discovery in any direction rewards you with
progress in the main story of the game.
In fact, Submerged goes out of it’s way to allow you to just enjoy what it has to offer entirely at your own pace. Want to point
your boat south and keep going until you no longer can? Go for it. Find a really nice vantage point to view the entire city that
makes you want to just stop and watch the clouds roll by? Sure, why not. Submerged doesn’t try and push you along it’s
narrative path at all, urging you to go from start to finish - it simply provides you with a few tools and says, “Go. Enjoy.” Yes, you
have a story to follow, goals to accomplish, achievements to unlock and things to collect - but you don't need to. When it comes
to Submerged, you can simply be.
The story of Submerged is largely unspoken. More so in the literal sense - you have very little to go off of, as far as actual words
go. The narrative is largely told through caveman style drawings that you find throughout the world - there are 60 single pieces
you can find and piece together to understand the story of the world you are exploring; as well as the aforementioned 10 supply
crates that also serve as a vessel to tell the unfolding story of who Miku and Tiku are and why they have come to this place in
search of aid for Tiku’s injuries. These two entwined stories are fairly straightforward when you collect all the pieces, but it does
also leave a little to the imagination - particularly when it comes to the city. What actually happened is up to interpretation.
In fact, the only actual written words in the entire game are instructions from Miku on what’s next after collecting supplies - “I
need something to wrap Tiku’s wound with” or “I need to make sure Tiku doesn’t go thirsty.” This is simply a little instruction
As I’ve mentioned multiple times already, the visual style of this game is fantastic. Created in Unreal Engine 4, the 6 man team
at Uppercut Games has done quite a job in creating a bright, interesting, detailed world for us to discover. The foliage looks
great swaying in the wind, and the water is animated perfectly. You can feel every wave as you power over them in your little
dinghy, racing towards your next goal.
The boat has a simple control system that is easy to master quickly, which helps bring the strengths of this game to the fore. In
a lot of games, traversal is often a chore, forcing you to run from one side of the map to the other - in Submerged, the journey is
the best part. You can even boost for a short time, which can be upgraded from salvaging parts from other overturned vessels.
While you are shooting over the waves, you’ll notice some sea creatures roaming the streets - these creatures are all harmless,
and add character and joy to a lonesome ride around the city. Watching dolphin- and manta-like creatures jump around as you
weave in and out of gigantic structures is quite wonderful.
Every now and then, particularly as you move through the story, you’ll notice some aquatic humanoid creatures watching you
from afar - these are perhaps some of the most intriguing creatures in the whole game. What are they doing? Why are they
here? What are they exactly?
While playing the climbing half of the game, you’ll notice the controls are a bit janky, making it a little difficult to control Miku
at times. This isn’t that much of a problem though, as the areas are quite forgiving; but it should be noted that you may find
yourself accidentally climbing on ledges you didn’t intend at times. Once you reach the top and look out over the city however,
any slight frustration falls away at the
beautiful site in front of you.
EPOCH and SnowJinks were also third person titles but are mobile exclusive. What drove the decision to switch to PC/Console?
Miku has a few tools at her disposal
to use throughout your time in this
unnamed city - a map, for plotting the
area around you, her trusty boat for
traversal, and a telescope that you can
use to look around from a distance.
The telescope doubles as a spotter
for any collectables, which then
automatically adds them to your map
to easily find later.
As a small studio, it makes sense to be on as many platforms as you can - that way you’re spreading your risk around and
(hopefully) getting access to a larger potential revenue stream.
Another factor is the way in which the mobile market has changed since we started our company. We are primarily a premium/
paid game company, so the rise in popularity of free-to-play on mobile has been something we;ve had to keep an eye on.
With all of that said, we are still working on the mobile version of Submerged.
Some excellent insight there Ed. Thank you for your time!
The weather system in Submerged is
a great addition to help make the city
feel more alive. There is a generous
day/night cycle through the time you’re playing, as well as a weather system that increases/decreases wind speed and brings
storms rolling in and out of the city at various intervals. Lightning flashes at dusk, thunder rolling across the sky while the rain
pours down… these scenes are purely what this game is all about.
The submerged logo in the corner of many screenshots you’ll see around the web hint at possibly the greatest feature of
Submerged: Postcards. At any time during the game, you can pause the game, go to “postcards” on the main menu, and a filter
will automatically pop up over the screen with grainy black around the edges and the logo in the corner. Taking screenshots one
step further, you are able to manipulate the camera to get the perfect angle of your view, with or without Miku in the shot. Little
things like Miku’s clothes continuing to sway in the wind add a little flair to the feature, allowing you to get the frame just right.
I was lucky enough to get a chance to have a chat with Ed Orman, Co-founder of Uppercut games, about the game and the
decisions surrounding the making of Submerged.
What inspired the story of Miku and her brother?
At the basic level, I wanted to do a personal
story about a brother/sister relationship. I’ve
done other games with stories where you save
the world or at least affect major change, so for
Submerged it was time to go in the opposite
direction: a girl has a brother that is injured
- we don’t know how it happened - and she
feels the responsibility of taking care of him.
That’s plenty of motivation to drive our main
character forward, and it gave me a hook for the
backstory that could then be revealed over the
course of the game.
What was the driving force behind the decision to have zero combat in the game? Especially considering your previous games - the
very combat focused EPOCH series and even SnowJinks to an extent.
There are lots of different factors that have contributed to our combat-free game design. I guess the most prevalent one was
that at some point we had the realisation that we’d made a place that was so pleasant that combat sort of detracted from it.
We want to offer gamers an experience that is completely different from the usual shooters and combat games yet one that
also makes sense and feels familiar. That’s why Submerged is a game where it’s all about the environment, the story and the
characters and the player’s role to explore and decipher this disturbing yet serene place.
What was it about Unreal Engine 4 that made you guys choose to use that over other engines?
We looked at various options and it made the most sense for us because we have a lot of past Unreal experience and it allowed
us to build quickly. Plus we decided early on that this was going to be a multi-platform game, which Unreal 4 is well set-up for.
Also, EPIC are always super-helpful.
Submerged isn’t a game about violence, guns, swords or wizards.
Submerged isn’t about being a hero and saving the land. Submerged is
about your injured little brother, you, and an interesting world that you
can explore at your own pace.
Sometimes, we just need a break. Sometimes, it’s good to not have
to worry about winning or losing. Sometimes, a game like Submerged
comes along, and it is exactly what we need.
Release: August 2015
Platforms: PC, PS4 & Xbox One
Developer: Uppercut Games
Need to play previous games: N/A
I will like this game if I like: Mountain, Gathering
Sky, Relaxing and visually intriguing experiences
Submerged was played via review code from Uppercut Games. Submerged is out now on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
An Open Love Letter
to the Runt of the Fallout-verse
I’ll never forget rolling down your strip, high rise casino’s and hotels towering over me, flashing lights everywhere.
You would have girls dancing on the sidewalk, cannibals/sex slaves/robot armies living in your buildings, with
Securitron’s rolling by, keeping the peace. Outside your tightly secured walls, bandits scurry about the place while
vendors try to sell me cooked human flesh. The world you inhabited was full of strange places and even stranger
I came to you expecting very little. My previous 120 hour fling with your sister had put that experience in my
top 5 of all time. Before meeting you, I thought you were simply an offshoot... a side story. I didn’t know at the
time, but you don’t even share the same parents! No, after breaking it off with my last, It would be months before
I even took any notice of you - which only occurred thanks to our mutual friend Steam Sales introducing us. I’m
so glad it did.
Wandering out into the desert to deliver that package was made instantly sweeter with your Sunny Smiles. I
remember the way you taught me about the dangers out there, prepping me with a basic kit of supplies and some
much need advice. You treated me so well.
It turns out your lineage never needed questioning anyway - your parents turned out to be some of the greatest
people I’ve ever seen. They are masters of the written word, teaching you how to speak with eloquence, how to
not simply be black or white, but all shades in between.
You would pose questions to me, moral choices, that I couldn’t simply decide one way or the other. I took these
queries and thought on them long and hard, even discussing the pros and cons of each with others before coming
back to you and making my decision. I’m still not sure if I made the right choices sometimes.
The characters you introduced me to are some of the most memorable I’ve ever met in my life. Old buddy Raul
was a great man to have my back, and ED-E stuck by me the whole time I was with you. I’ll never forget those
girls Cass and Veronica either. Every single person/machine you introduced me to had such fascinating stories and
personalities that I was in awe of them from start to finish.
You wouldn’t pick it at first, but the bonuses that came with you are quite impressive. The intense feelings I had
coming out of the Sierra Madre with you, finally meeting Ulysses face to face at the end of the Lonesome Road,
exploring your Big MT… all some of the most memorable experiences of my life were had with you here.
Even through your tougher qualities, the beauty shined through. Your affinity for bugs was quite a... difficult
one to deal with at times, but it ultimately gave you a character that I came to admire, as you let me wander the
wastelands with all my pals.
Some look upon you with disdain, while others overlook you completely. When I look back on our time together
with longing, my friends tell me that better is right around the corner. While this may or may not be true, I want
you to know this: you will forever hold a special place in my heart. I will never forget our time together.
I don’t know if it was because you were such an unexpected plus in my life or if you even are still as wonderful
as I remember, but… here’s to you. Here’s to the long days and nights we spent together, that one summer back
in 2012. Here’s to the stories that I will think back on and smile, and to the times you challenged my ability
and patience. Here’s to a wonderful experience that made me feel something akin to love in this ice cold heart of
Here’s to you, Fallout: New Vegas. You’re one hell of a game.
PPG Quick Look
PPG Quick Look is a platform for looking at little gems that might go unnoticed by the public eye. These could be fresh releases,
mobile games, early access titles, or old experiences that may not have got the attention they should’ve at the time. As the name
hints, this is only a quick look - only 30 minutes to an hour of play time to gauge whether or not the title is worth your time.
Announced at this years E3, the sequel to
the sleeper mobile hit Hitman GO hasn’t
received any public attention since - so I was
quite surprised to see it randomly show up
on the app store this month. I decided to
pick Lara Croft GO up and have a quick go
around, just for you.
Following the same visual style and
gameplay as it’s predecessor Hitman
GO, Lara Croft GO is a puzzle game set
in the Tomb Raider universe where you
work your way through bite sized puzzle
levels, attempting to get to the end of the
course. Each level is made up of “steps” in
4 directional pathways, workings a quasi
turn based system to avoid hazards and deal with enemies. While Hitman GO focused on the need to take out targets, Lara Croft
uses more puzzle elements that need solving in order to progress.
Anyone who’s played Hitman GO will know the visual style of
the game well, but for newcomers the artwork of the game will
stand out clearly as well designed. The interface is clean and
smooth, helping the important elements of the game stand
out - such as the actual puzzle mechanics, which are easy to
understand and aren’t hidden behind flashy design. I wouldn’t
go so far as say it is a minimalist game, but it certainly does
cuts the crap and pulls forward the gameplay meaningfully
while giving the game it’s own unique aesthetic.
I spent about 45 minutes straight off with the game, and I feel
like I’ve made it about halfway through the main levels. The
game has gotten progressively harder through each level, teaching you new mechanics every couple of stages (such as switches
or crumbling spaces) while also giving you room to put those mechanics into practice before getting thrown new ones, which is
appreciated. There are some options in the main menu of the game titled “Relics” and “Outfits”, which appear to be some kind
of collection pieces and unlocks - I get the feeling that upon completion of the main “story” of the game, Lara Croft GO will add
some interesting new elements for replayability.
The interface is unobtrusive during gameplay, which is really great. There are no ads (thankfully) throughout the entire
experience, so you are free to enjoy the game to it’s fullest without interruptions or threat of “watch this video for more lives!”
There is a store button on the bottom right of the screen, which was honestly unnoticeable through the time I actually was
playing the game. The only purchase option available is the ability to buy the solution to every puzzle - kind of pointless really, as
why would you buy a puzzle game only to also purchase every solution? - which goes for the same hefty price of the game itself,
but it’s not needed. There are no cheap shots in this game that
Release: August 2015
you need to buy your way out of - it’s all honest to God great
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Developer: Square Enix
I hadn’t actually played Hitman GO prior to picking this game up, Need to play previous games: No
I will like this game if I like: Hitman GO,
as I’ve never really been into that franchise, but after the 2013
reboot of Tomb Raider I was keen to check out this little mobile
offshoot. I’m pleased to report that this game is interesting in it’s
own right, offering up a decent puzzle experience that will keep
me coming back. The asking price might seem high, but this is
a quality game that is worth your attention. Square Enix, I’m
happy to report, has done mobile right.
you want to) but designing it all this way helps
you appreciate what this bundle actually is. It’s
not simply a collection of Rare games - it’s a
monument to Rare itself.
Snapshots makes up the third part in a trio of
sweet features from Rare Replay. This mode
takes a sub-collection of games from their earlier
years and breaks them down into challenges of
skill - some of which can be quite frustrating (in
a good way). These clever little bite sized tasks
provide a bit more of an incentive to play these
older titles for the younger players out there, as
you can also earn stamps for completing them.
Being someone who hadn’t really played Jetpack before, I managed to pick it up quite quickly and really enjoy my time with it
thanks to Snapshots.
The devs behind Rare Replay obviously thought long and hard about how to present this amazing volume of content. They could
have gone about it in various ways - they could have locked a lot of the games at the beginning and drip fed them, or just simply
offered up a plain screen with the cover of each title staring blankly at you, waiting for you to jump in. Instead, they present you
with the most Rare option available - through the visage of a carnival, playfully giving you everything you could want from the
package. You can truly tell that the talent behind this bundle came at it with all the love and passion that you would expect from
the guys and girls that make up Rare, to give the people the best experience they could provide.
Rare Replay is a collection of 30 of developer Rare’s best games from throughout
it’s detailed history. While some big titles are missing, no doubt thanks to copyright
issues (I’m looking at you, Goldeneye) The selection on display here is a fantastic
bundle of games for not only fans of the developer, but for any gamer looking to have
some fun while getting an absolute bargain in the process.
Pretty much every game has been revamped in small ways, in particular the earlier
releases - achievements and leaderboards have been added, while some tweaks and
adjustments have been made to some features (in game prompts have been changed
to Xbox One buttons for example). Apart from some mostly insignificant changes, as
far as I can tell most (if not all) of the games in this bundle remain as faithful as they
can to their originals.
Release: August 2015
Platforms: Xbox One
Need to play previous games: N/A
I will like this game if I like: Any of
Rare’s extensive history
This collection of games is quite unprecedented. It is a great slice of gaming history, offering up the chance to see how certain
parts of video games - such as graphical and sound design - have evolved over the last 40 or so years.
I was surprised to find that Rare Replay itself isn’t just a wrapper containing 30 Rare games - it is, in a way, a game in itself. While
each game has been updated to add Xbox achievements, the game also tracks them within itself, awarding stamps to the player
for completing certain objectives within each game. When you collect a set number of stamps across all games, you “level up” which then unlocks parts of another section of Rare Replay, aptly titled Rare Revealed.
Rare Revealed is a collection of videos of the employees at Rare talking about various things. For example, the very first
one, titled “What Makes A Rare Game?”, is a short video of a whole host of Rare devs giving you their opinions on the topic.
The whole collection is a fascinating behind the curtain look at game development in general, and well worth a look for Rare
aficionados and prospective game developers
While I was annoyed at first to find that
Rare had hidden Rare Revealed behind an
achievement system, it was ultimately a smart
idea from the developer, as it nudges the
player toward experiencing the entire package,
rather than a select few games thanks to rose
tinted memories. Coming to this game as a
simple nostalgic hit, I would have simply played
some of my favourites from the N64 era and
thats it (which, thankfully, you can still do if
30 games for $30 (at least in the US - Australia is
$45, but even so) is a fantastic deal in it’s own right.
The fact that the collection is a bundle of great
games from a top tier developer, plus all the extra
stuff thrown in, makes this a great buy for any
Xbox One owner. If you have any love for Rare as
a developer, hold some nostalgia for a subset of
Rare’s games or even just have a passing interest in
game development and gaming history, this isn’t
just a great buy, this is a must own.
By hte way, you should watch the opening sequence
at least once. It’s the Rarest thing ever.
GOD DAMN IT
WHY AM I
We’ve all done it. Whether it was with one particular game we fell in love with, one
particular console that we keep coming back to or completely across the board on every
device - We’ve all been trophy point achievement score hunting at some point in our lives.
Originally, I didn’t give a crap about my gamerscore. I still don’t really. I’d never truly dived
deep into achievement hunting before - The only game I’d tried to get close to getting all
the achievements in was Portal 2 (because Portal 2 is AMAZING) as well as a few arbitrary
attempts to 100% certain games through my time growing up, because I’d loved playing
them. But gamerscore? Psh. I don’t need some stupid number to tell me anything about my
This Christmas just gone, I was lucky enough to receive a PS4. I’d never really gotten into
PS3 or Vita by that point, so trophies hadn’t ever been a thing for me. Even after playing
through The Last of Us, Destiny and Infamous First Light during the first month or two of
owning the console, I still didn’t care about trophies whatsoever.
Then Rocket League happened.
Ah, Rocket League. What a game. I could paint word pictures for hours about that game.
It’s the entire reason I purchased a years worth of PS+. But that’s not why I mention this
game in particular.
I was a week late to the party, but the following two weeks that Rocket League was in my life went by in a blur. I played match after match, jumping
from 1v1 to 3v3 to 4v4 at a whim. Within hours of jumping into the game, I was noticing trophy after trophy pop up every few matches alongside
the regular game unlocks. Curious, I decided to fumble my way through the PS4 menu to where the trophies section lay waiting.
I’d gotten quite a few by this point, probably about 50% worth, when I noticed there were a few more that seemed pretty simple to obtain. “This
game is pretty fun,” I thought. “I could probably go grab those right now.” I managed to whittle the amount of trophies I needed to get 100% down
to just a handful. I’d been hooked.
Before I knew it, I had set up a stack of games on the floor, a controller resting against them with some heavy books pushing against it to keep the
right trigger held down, a rubber band pulling the left stick across, with (for the first time ever) the cord plugged into the PS4 to keep the controller
charged. I’d set up an exhibition match with just me in it, then watch dopily as my rocket powered automobile drove around in perfect circles. I’d
leave this running for two whole days.
This was for a single achievement. That damn 500km driven one. What the bloody hell is wrong with me.
Funny story, actually - turns out I didn’t even need to do it for that long. The achievement had popped sometime in the first night, and the statistics
in game were just plain wrong (it still says 66kms driven on that set of wheels to this day.) The only reason I knew I’d gotten it was because I had
accidentally come across a notice on the PS social stream that said “Chris has driven 2000km in Rocket League!”
Anyway. Where was I? Oh right, GOD DAMN PS TROPHIES.
What does getting every trophy really mean? Who even gets every trophy/achievement in a game by normal means anyway? The only people who
actually do obtain 100% literally just hunted them down, and most likely didn’t have the best fun doing it. I am They’re only doing it out of some
ridiculous obsessive compulsive obsession. It’s almost like the developers put these out of the way things in the game to force you to grind boring crap
repeatedly, to go out of your way from experiencing the game as it was meant to be experienced, just for 50 god damn gamer score points???
I don’t understand. Why do we chase after these arbitrary bits of data? Is it some deep seated need to prove ourselves that every gamer seems to have?
Is it because we genuinely find collecting them actually fun? Is it simply to here that “ping” and get that tiny shot of dopamine?
I feel like, for me anyway, that there is some deep, dark part of me that is a
terrible mix of needing to accept the challenge, of a full blown completionist
urge, and of a need to avoid that nagging feeling of “well, did you finish the
game? Like, really finish it?” I’ll admit, I’ve gotten much better as I’ve gotten
older and my game collection has grown - I’ve gotten to the point where I
think well, there is a ton of games just sitting there that I haven’t played that are
probably a lot more fun than doing this stupid crap.
But hey, it doesn’t matter right? I only 100%ed a game, got that platinum.
No big deal.
This article is inspired by the fantastic work of Charleyy over at www.confessionsofagamergirl.com.
You should definitely head over to her website and check out her other confessions.
Stop. Before you read any further, I’ve got to ask you something.
Did you enjoy any of the following games: Gone Home, Dear Esther, or The Vanishing of Ethan Carter? If the answer is yes, stop
reading this and go play Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.
Release: August 2015
When it comes to Rapture, it is definitely best to go in not knowing
a single thing about the game. Discovering and experiencing for
Developer: The Chinese Room
yourself is what this game is all about - the purist experience is the
Need to play previous games: N/A
best experience. We’ll be getting into some potentially spoiler territory
I will like this game if I like: Dear Esther,
here, so bear that in mind as you continue on.
Gone Home, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
At its most fundamental, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a game about discovering what has caused the disappearance
of the people of a small English village. Through the game, you follow 6 different characters’ interpretations of their final
days, discovering clues about what exactly is going on and learning about the entwining connections between the people of
Shropshire. You walk around slowly, picking up bits and pieces of story through radio transmissions, phone calls and important
character interaction sequences, while following glowing balls of light around. The game has a beautifully put together
environment, with great voice acting and sound design. You weave your way through the story without actually doing much,
coming to the end of the experience after a few hours. There are no boss fights, no puzzles to solve, no skills to learn and no
levels to gain.
Rambling on about what Rapture is in such a mechanical fashion doesn’t exactly explain what the game really is, though.
Rapture isn’t a game you come to for the gameplay, for the mechanics, or even for the story. It’s a game you come to
inquisitively, asking questions, thinking about but not really coming to definitive answers. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is
for people who are naturally curious, who want to think about more than the confines of a single game, story or experience.
Ultimately, Rapture is a game about questions. How do
regular people react in irregular circumstances? What do
we really know of life, and life after death? What does
being alive actually mean to each of us? How do you,
as a human being, deal with difficult situations - both
rational and irrational? You will be asking these and
much more throughout your time in Shropshire - not all
of which you’ll get answers to. And that’s the point.
The next few hours of exploration through Rapture’s
photo-realistic environments will be amazing to
some, and borderline frustrating to others. Like it’s
predecessor, Dear Esther, Rapture doesn’t provide