Telltale’s penultimate episode to their so far fantastic Batman series has finally been released, and while it’s by no means terrible, it’s definitely the worst episode so far, with under used characters and minimal story development. At the same time it manages to keep Batman fans on their toes, with Telltales every expanding universe becoming more and more unique. Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham is by no means bad, but it’s definitely not terrific either, bringing the momentum the series had built up back down to a lower level.
Welcome to the Asylum
Guardian of Gotham takes place directly after the cliffhanger ending of Episode 3, and starts with Bruce being thrown in Arkham Asylum. This is where we are introduced to Telltale’s take on The Joker, voiced by Anthony Ingruber, who does a very passable job for the short amount of time he is present in the episode. However this time spent developing The Joker feels somewhat meaningless, as he is quickly done away with, presumably for a second season. It starts of fairly slow, and while Telltale’s take on The Joker was new and refreshing, it felt like the longest section in the series thus far. It starts to pick up again after Bruce gets out of Arkham Asylum. Character development in Guardian of Gotham takes centre stage, and characters such as Jim Gordon, Alfred, and Bruce himself are further explored and fleshed out, at the cost of minimal story development. It never really feels like the overall plot moves forward until the latter half of the episode, but the episode does climax with a choice that feels like the greatest in the series so far. I felt legitimate conflict between the choices I was provided with, and I look forward to replaying and experiencing the other outcomes. Combat sequences are once again jaw-droppingly awesome, and while the detective mode sequences makes a return in Guardian of Gotham, it’s unfortunately very watered down and simple. Guardian of Gotham once again looks very nice, with Telltale’s signature artstyle once again bringing the world to life, and this time around, frame rate is always consistent. However, I did unfortunately experience some audio related bugs, such as characters not lip syncing while talking. It only ever happened once but when it did I felt disconnected from the experience.
Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham definitely isn’t a bad episode in Telltale’s excellent Batman Series, it just happens to be the worst. It’s unfortunate because the rest of the series had been on such a streak of amazing episodes, and to see some of that momentum lost is truly upsetting. It has a stellar final choice, good performance, excellent combat sequences and strong character development, but that doesn’t save a slow start, minimal plot development, and audio glitches. Hopefully episode 5 gives the series the finale it deserves.
-Weighty final choice
-Strong character development
-Fixed performance issues, and strong art style
-Slow start to the episode
-Joker is done away with quickly
-Minimal plot development
Thanks for reading guys, up next is Pokemon Sun and Moon! Hopefully that should be up in the next week. Thanks again, Harry.
When Arkane Studios’s brand new IP, Dishonored, released in October of 2012, it took the industry by surprise with its open-ended gameplay, a beautifully dark world, and a solid narrative. I have poured hours upon hours into various versions of Dishonored, toying with different play-styles and options I hadn’t previously explored before. It was a breath of fresh air during a time that was crowded with linear games, and something I didn’t expect to spend so much time with. Naturally, I was incredibly excited when Dishonored 2 was officially announced, and 2 years later, it’s finally been released. Dishonored 2 does what everything the first game did and more, making for one of the best gaming experiences this year, albeit some technical issues.
Take Back What’s Yours
Dishonored 2 is set 15 years after the events of the original, following Emily Kaldwin and Corvo Attano after the assassination of the empress Jessamine Kaldwin. Emily has taken her rightful place as empress of Dunwall, and is taking part in a remembrance cermemony for Jessamine, when she’s abruptly visited by the witch Delilah Copperspoon and Duke Luca Abele. They attack Corvo and Emily, and here is where you choose who you want to play as. You’re then thrown out, and Delilah takes the throne for herself, as she claims she’s the half-sister of Jessamine, and that the throne is rightfully hers. It doesn’t help that a mass murderer called the Clown Killer, has been targeting all of Emily’s political rivals, framing her as the Crown Killer herself. You then set out to save Corvo or Emily (depending on who you play as) and to get back the throne from Delilah. It’s a fairly predictable story, but definitely enjoyable, with a likeable cast of characters and villains throughout. Voice acting is strong here, and some of the characters from the first game make a welcome return. Most of the narrative takes place in Karnaca, an isle just south of Dunwall. It’s a fantastic setting for the story, making for a more colourful, vibrant, and still dark world to explore. Once again, Dishonored 2 absolutely nails the setting and atmosphere of its world, and I was always incredibly interested in what it had to offer. Smaller side storylines with minor characters are also common, and there’s one in particular that’s very intriguing, which follows Meagan Foster. During both of my playthroughs I paid close attention to her and her dialogue, and I recommend you do the same thing.
An Assassin’s Tools
Part of what made the original Dishonored such a fresh experience, was its unprecedented player choice. You could clear the entire game without killing a soul, and it was this kind of player freedom that made Dishonored as good as it was, and Dishonored 2 takes it to the next level. The first choice you make in Dishonored 2 is definitely the biggest, as it determines who you’ll play as for the 8-10 hour campaign, consequently locking you into that characters set of powers for that playthrough. Naturally, I played as Emily for my first playthrough due to Corvo being mostly the same as he is in the original, and if you have played the original, I urge you to play through as Emily first, as her powers are entirely unique and different to Corvo’s. Choice only goes further from there however, with multiple pathways and options for players to take. You can go guns blazing, destroying and killing everyone in sight, or you can go through the entire game without spilling any blood at all. Both play styles are just as rewarding as the other, and both have negative or positive outcomes on the world around you. Powers this time around are just as entertaining to use as they were in the original, whether it be Emily’s ability to summon a doppelganger of herself, link the fates of two unfortunate enemies, or Corvo’s returning ability to freeze time and summon rats, Dishonored 2 never makes you feel like you’re playing it wrong, and player choice once again takes a front seat. The openness of the levels is also extremely nice and exploring each one is always enticing, further expanding the environment and feel of the world. Once again, runes can be collected to upgrade your powers, and bone charms can be found to gain various buffs. One thing that stood out to me consistently across both of my playthroughs, was the incredible level design and verticality found in each mission. Whether you’re exploring the docks of Karnaca, or the twisted halls of the Clockwork Mansion, each individual mission feels unique and of its own. It was an absolute pleasure to navigate each and every environment, and the verticality of each level is unprecedented. Much like the environments, the missions are incredibly varied as well, ranging from missions involving time travel, to others involving the supernatural side of Dishonored’s world. Various tools make a return from the original too, such as the crossbow and pistol, with new items such as various new crossbow darts. It’s truly fantastic stuff, and I enjoyed every second I spent playing Dishonored 2.
Karnaca, Jewel of the South
I played Dishonored 2 on my Playstation 4 Pro, and my god does this game look absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful water-colour art style comes into full effect here, and Dishonored 2 constantly treats you with amazing visual fidelity, with high quality textures, character models, an environment details. The level of visuals Dishonored 2 achieves unfortunately causes the game to run at 30 frames per second, and while it’s certainly stable, I much would’ve preferred a 60 frames per second experience. Dishonored 2, at least from my experience didn’t hold up terribly well in terms of other technical aspects. I experienced one game breaking bug, and experienced 3 or 4 hard crashes across 16-20 hours of game time. I also noticed that the game’s audio mixing was slightly off, with sound effects coming into play shortly after they were supposed to, and it seems to lack support for surround sound, but I’m sure that can be changed with some fiddling with the settings.
Dishonored 2 successfully takes what made the first game so great, and turns it up a notch, making for an impressive experience drowning in player choice. There’s no right way to play Dishonored 2, and that’s the beauty of it. Arkane should be applauded for crafting such an excellent game, and while it’s definitely got its problems, it’s easily one of the best games of 2016. It has a solid story, refreshing player choice, a beautiful world, and incredible visual fidelity. I cannot recommend Dishonored 2 enough, especially you’ve played and enjoyed the original.
-Unprecedented player choice
-Incredible visuals and art style
-Intuitive level design, that’s refreshing form start to finish
-Solid narrative, with likeable characters
-Game breaking bugs and crashes
Thanks for reading guys! I really enjoyed this one, and I was looking forward to it too so I’m glad Arkane handled it well. Up next is the 4th Episode of Telltale’s Batman series, then Pokemon Sun and Moon!
When Titanfall was originally unveiled prior to its release in 2014, it was widely anticipated to be the refreshing jolt that multiplayer first person shooters needed at the time, and for the most part Titanfall did the job. While it was certainly lacking content and any satisfying sense of progression, it introduced the most polished, fast, and fluent mobility system in a multiplayer FPS ever seen for its time, combined with strategic Titan battles scattered throughout matches. Regardless of how good it was, Titanfall was incredibly successful on the Xbox One and PC, so it was only natural that Respawn Entertainment were to do a sequel, but does it fix the problems of the first game?
One of the biggest complaints about the original Titanfall, was that it lacked any meaningful campaign. What was given to us simply teased the universe, as a story unfolded over a number of multiplayer matches. There was no single player experience in Titanfall, and Respawn definitely listened to the outcries of fans begging for the opportunity to further explore the universe. Titanfall 2 features a single player campaign, which unfortunately only lasts about 5-6 hours (depending on difficulty and how you play) it is, hands down, the best shooter campaign I have had the privilege of playing this year. You play as Jack Cooper, a simple rifleman fighting for the Militia against the IMC in an intergalactic war. The Militia launch an assault on the IMC, but during the battle Cooper is almost killed by enemy Titans, only to be saved by a Militia Pilot known as Captain Lastimosa. The result of this battle sees Lastimosa pass away, and in his last few moments he establishes a link between his Titan and Jack. I won’t go any further to avoid spoilers, but Titanfall 2’s story is an absolute treat to experience, albeit it’s predictability. I constantly interested in the relationship between Jack and his Titan, BT-7274, and furthermore in how it developed. They have some genuinely funny moments together, and some of the writing is truly excellent. The villains in Titanfall 2 are fairly substandard, but are very well voice acted, and they’re generally a quite likeable bunch in terms of bad guys. One thing that really surprised about Titanfall 2’s story, was that I very quickly became invested into its characters, and I honestly shed a tear at the end of the story. It’s refreshing to see so much effort put into the story of Titanfall 2, Respawn really did listen to the fans, and they delivered in a spectacular fashion, even if it could’ve been a few hours longer. Titanfall 2 is a shining example for single player FPS experiences.
A True Twitch-Shooter
What made Titanfall so refreshing and new when it originally came out, was its fast paced mobility system. With the ability to wall run, double jump, and to properly utilise both of these tricks to quickly traverse maps, Titanfall revolutionised what it meant to play a first person shooter. It was truly genre-bending, refreshing, new, and now it managed to stay at the top among other twitch-shooters in terms of mobility, that is, until now. I say until now because Titanfall 2 takes the seat upon that throne with ease, improving on almost every single aspect of what made Titanfall’s gameplay great in the first place. Wall-running, jumping and sliding feels truly exhilarating, and it’s something I will never get tired of doing, but more on that later. One of the shining stars of Titanfall 2 is it’s fantastic level design – ESPECIALLY – in the campaign. It’s been so thoughtfully crafted, and well put together, everything feels so natural as you move through each level. Titanfall 2 has some excellent platforming throughout the duration of it’s campaign, and more importantly, it gives you breathing room when you need it most, which leads me on to my next point. Titanfall 2 is incredibly well paced, I never ever got had a dull moment playing Titanfall 2’s campaign, and I honestly enjoyed every single sweet second of it. Some of the mechanics Titanfall likes to play around with in the campaign are truly innovative, and never overused. I don’t want to go into detail, because these things should be experienced by yourself, but Titanfall will mess with a mechanic, and do away with it once it starts to wear out. It’s truly fantastic level design, and each and every moment of the campaign had me enthralled, especially during the high octane set pieces that regularly occurred. Anyway, enough of me gawking over the campaign, because arguably, Titanfall 2’s main attraction is its multiplayer. For the most part, it’s more of what Titanfall brought to the table, with some minor changes that further refine and improve it. For those who are unaware, Titanfall works on a fairly simple system, as you play as a Pilot (soldiers), you’re ever building towards Titanfall, which calls down a massive hunk of metal robot called a Titan. Titan’s are significantly slower than Pilots, but dish out tons more damage, and my god are they terrifying to go up against if you don’t have one of your own. Titanfall 2 does away with the variations of Titans that Titanfall had, and instead replaces it with 6 different Titans, all of which are unique and different. Whether you use the shotgun-toting, sword wielding Ronin, or the extremely healthy Scorch, all the Titans feel very balanced, each with there own weaknesses and strengths. You’ll definitely have a favourite, but all of them are a threat, and none of them should be underestimated. Titan gameplay is as satisfying as ever, as 1 on 1 duels feel like a strategic game of chess, where one slip up could mean the need for an ejection. Pilot gameplay is incredibly fast paced, and the parkour system is as innovative as ever. You can build up momentum by chaining wall runs, double jumps, and slides, and once you get going it’s incredibly hard to stop. Titanfall 2’s weapons feel futuristic enough to be unique, and one in their own, and while they need some balancing, most of them are in a good position as is. The level of customisation in Titanfall 2 has been significantly increased since the first game, further personalising your Pilot, weapons, and Titans. New to Pilots, are Tacticals, which significantly change up Pilot gameplay, giving them the ability to turn invisible, make use of a grappling hook, or use a deployable shield. They further add to Titanfall’s fantastic multiplayer, and I hope they stay in future installments. Gone, are the burn cards from the original game, and they’re now replaced by Pilot Ordnance. You can choose to have one active at any time, and they range from map hacks to homing explosive ticker bots. They’re a neat addition, but I feel like keeping burn cards would’ve been a better option if they had been balanced a bit more. Titanfall 2 plays it very safe with all of it’s game modes, but that isn’t a bad thing. There’s the usual capture the flag and domination, and Titanfall’s signature mode, Attrition has made a return. The only one real unique mode in Titanfall 2 is Bounty Hunt, which sees players killing Pilots and grunts to earn cash that can be deposited at the end of a round. There’s nothing quite like sitting on a large sum of money while you wait for the depots to open up. One problem with Titanfall 2’s multiplayer is that, much like the first game, there’s no satisfying sense of progression. I’m finding myself slowly pulling away from the multiplayer, and the initial hook that was there has started to fade now, which is quite unfortunate.
The World though a Titan’s Eye
Another area where Titanfall 2 excels in is in its visuals, performance, and overall polish. Titanfall 2 looks amazing, at 900P for the whole experience. Environments are well detailed, character models are polished, and the game in general is just really nice to look at. I never experienced any bugs in Titanfall 2, and the whole expereince ran at 60FPS, no stutters, no frame-drops, and it was beautiful. The net code is also fairly strong here, with minimal lag and connection issues.
Titanfall 2, in my opinion, is a shining example of what a modern shooter should be in gaming today. Although its campaign may be short, it’s truly fantastic, with an excellent story, stellar level design, and incredible pacing. Multiplayer has the additions it needs to make it better than it was, and the fine tweaks may have hurt the formula a bit in the long run, but there are some definite positive additions too. It’s no lie that I absolutely adored Titanfall 2, and I cannot urge you enough to buy and play this game! It needs more people playing it, and it’s a shame it had to be overshadowed by other major releases, which was a horrible move by EA. Titanfall 2 needs the publicity it deserves.
-Excellent level design
-Unique and well-balanced Titans
-Quick, high-octane, fast-paced mobility
-No real incentive to keep playing
Thanks for reading guys, up next is Dishonored 2! Thanks again, Harry :).
Battlefield 1 blew up the internet when it was originally announced earlier this year, and saying it blew Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare out of the water would be an understatement. For some reason, people seemed to be craving boots on the ground/World War 1 shooters, and DICE listened. So does Battlefield 1 live up to the the hype? Or is it just another flop much like Hardline was? Battlefield 1 excels in some areas, and others, well, not so much.
A Short War Story
Battlefield’s 1 campaign comes in the form of War Stories, where you can play 6 different War Stories set during World War 1. They last about 45-60 minutes each, racking up to a total of about 5-6 hours of playtime. Each War Story is varied, and has a different set of characters, but this unfortunately works against what War Stories was going for as a campaign mode. There simply isn’t enough time spent with the cast of the 6 stories, and there’s only 2 or 3 characters that I really grew to like, for the game to do away with them quickly. It’s just disappointing because Battlefield 1 had so much potential to have an incredible campaign, it’s just a shame corners were cut instead and this is what we got. It simply isn’t long enough, isn’t engaging enough, characters don’t get the time to develop, and while they are varied, I found myself enjoying some War Stories a lot more than others. War Stories leaves a lot to be desired, which is incredibly disappointing when you realise the potential Battlefield 1 had for an epic campaign, I can see where DICE wanted to go with the theme and unrelated plots, but it just doesn’t work out.
The War to end all Wars
Battlefield 1’s gameplay, while very safe, is incredibly entertaining, and has a few new tweaks that make small but somewhat meaningful differences. It’s nothing genre-bending, and for the most part it’s just more Battlefield, but that definitely isn’t a bad thing. The World War 1 era does a lot for Battlefield’s 1 setting, weapons feel impactful, satisfying, and truly of the era the game so respectfully borrows from. Melee combat is brutal and fast, with varying weapons and potential bayonet charges. The weapons act the way you would assume you would, while still keeping gameplay fast paced and entertaining. Vehicles are an absolute joy to control and use, flying Bi-Planes is exhilarating to say the least, and tanks feel like an entire army when you’re in control of one. Where Battlefield 1 really shines, is in it’s incredibly multiplayer. It’s fast paced, frenetic, fairly well balanced, and while it lacks content, it definitely doesn’t feel bare-bones. It has your common class based combat, and each class has different primaries to use, the one problem I have with the class based system is that there simply aren’t enough weapons to unlock and work towards. Battlefield 1 ships with new and old modes such as Conquest, Team-Deathmatch, Domination, Rush, War Pigeons, and last but definitely not least, Operations. Conquest is one of Battlefield’s classic modes, with two teams going head to head over capture points, on a large map with vehicles, and multiple spawn points. Team-Deathmatch and domination are fairly self explanatory if you’ve played a multiplayer shooter before, and Rush puts two teams against one another, while one team tries to plant and detonate bombs, while the other team tries to defend against the other team and disarm any planted bombs. War Pigeons is somewhat of a gimmick mode, with either team frantically trying to capture a pigeon in order to write a note and send it back to HQ, it’s entertaining for a few games, but gets old quick. Operations on the other hand is handled extremely well. It takes very realistic scenarios from the war, and one team has to attack another by capturing points, taking territory, and pushing the other team back to their home base. Operation games take about 45 minutes, but they’re always entertaining to play. Battlefield 1’s maps are open, beautiful, and for the most part destructible, providing a battleground that is ever changing as the match goes on. The level of destruction here is incredible, and it’s really hard not to watch a blimp fall from the sky in an explosion of flames and debris. One new tweak to the Battlefield formula is the addition of character kits, similar to the ones found in Star Wars Battlefront. They spawn on the map at random intervals, providing players with armour, flamethrowers and more. They’re extremely strong, and have potential to change the tide of a match, but they aren’t as unbalanced as they were in Battlefront. Battlefield’s 1 gameplay definitely isn’t lacklustre, just don’t expect anything revolutionary.
The Beauty of War
If there’s one thing that you can rely on with Battlefield, it’s that each and every time a new game is released, it’s a technical marvel, and Battlefield 1 is no deviation in that regard. Battlefield 1 looks incredibly, and is easily one of the most beautiful current-gen games out right now. On Playstation 4, the game runs at 900P, 60 FPS, albeit a very inconsistent 60FPS. Sometimes the game just can’t keep up with everything on the screen, causing some slow down, but it’s definitely not a deal breaker. One thing that really stood out to me was the attention to detail, with mud caking my guns when I was near the ground, and rain water would wash it all off again, I was consistently blown away by the little things. One thing that Battlefield 1 gets perfect is it’s sound design. Battlefield 1 sounds absolutely amazing, and I absolutely love the sound of firing round after round, with artillery going off in the distance, and Bi-Planes flying over your head. It all sounds beautiful, and it’s all handled so damn well.
Battlefield 1 is definitely the boots on the ground shooter Battlefield fans have been waiting for. While it’s multiplayer, visuals, sound design, and gameplay is handled exceptionally well, a very mediocre campaign, inconsistent frame-rate, and somewhat lacking content hold it back from being perfect. Battlefield 1 is definitely a good game, but by no means is it perfect. If you’re into your multiplayer, and you’ve been craving World War 1, I cannot recommend Battlefield 1 to you enough, otherwise it’s a bit of a tough sale with the asking price as it is.
-Fun, albeit very safe gameplay
-Some stand out multiplayer modes
-Diverse and destructible maps, making for ever-changing battlefields
-Incredible sound design
-Short, forgettable campaign mode
Thanks for reading guys, up next is Titanfall 2, and it should be up in the next few days!
I’ve previously mentioned that Telltale’s original and very unique take on Batman had me extremely interested in it’s world, and I was definitely eager to see and play more of this, so far fantastic episodic series. Batman: The Telltale Series – Episode 3: New World Order effortlessly manages to be just as good as its previous episodes, and in some areas, does much better. New World Order is another fantastic episode in this excellent Telltale series, shaping up Telltale’s Batman series to be one of their best.
Sending your Mind Out of Order
Taking place a short time after the events of Children of Arkham, New World Order specifically follows Bruce Wayne and Batman after the election, with the Children of Arkham planning an attack on Gotham City. There are so many things I wish I could talk about but I won’t in order to avoid spoilers, but there are so many plot twists and surprises throughout the episode that I was kept on my feet the entire time. I was constantly surprised by what Episode 3 had to offer, and it had some of the most satisfying decision making thus far in the series. The episode ends on an incredibly unexpected twist, and words cannot explain how ready I am for episode 4. Choices in New World Order definitely feel pivotal in the overall all narrative, making for some of the best in the series so far. Characters in New World Order are further developed, and shown in new lights, which once again was very interesting. I’m continually enthralled with Telltale’s take on Batman and it’s originality. It truly is something else.The combat sequences in New World Order are just as good as the ones seen in the previous episodes of the series, all are entertaining, all are extremely well done, and all are absolutely awesome. Thankfully, New World Order does feature one crime scene much like the first episode did, and while it’s not as extensive, it’s refreshing and intriguing to piece together. The one place where New World Order fails, is once again from a technical standpoint. The infamous framerate of Telltale games is ever present in New World Order, and while it’s not game breaking, it’s definitely annoying. The game definitely still looks nice, with the same cel-shaded art style found in any Telltale game.
Telltale continues to show why they reign supreme over episodic gaming. They consistently release quality series’ and Batman is shaping up to be one of their best. New World Order is fantastic for all the reasons the other two episodes were, but it ups the anti with difficult, yet satisfying choices, epic combat sequences, and a huge amount of twists and turns to keep the player on their toes. 3 out of 5 down and it’s shaping up to be a damn good series.
-Difficult to make choices, but some extremely satisfying ones
-Decisions feel meaningful and pivotal in the story
-Fantastic combat sequences
-Multiple twists and turns to keep you on your feet
Thanks for reading guys, up next is Battlefield 1, and that should be up tomorrow!