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My Thoughts On: The Old City: Leviathan

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The Old City: Leviathan is a short, surreal first person exploration game with a focus on story, one of those 'walking simulators' I guess, which personally I do enjoy that type of game, or now you could say genre. Before we go on, yes this is a game, and a good one too.

The game is very much of an experience to have, while every game is an 'experience to have', it's the focus in this game, where you explore and wander in its world, listening to a story and trying to figure it out, throwing at you the experience and vision of it's creator, and while every game does that to a certain degree, this game is a full dose of it.

It started off very creep and scary, to the point where I thought i should stop playing, but I took a little break, dismissed the idea that it's scary and embarrassed that it's a weird and unique experience, and so my uneasy feeling went away. What came after that is the awesome, beautiful look of the game, with cozy colorful graphic style and pretty effects, nicely designed levels with amazing models and structures, followed by a fitting soundtrack to keep the interest going, and nice narration.

Although I didn't understand the gist of the story, or even most of it, like half of the games on this genre, it felt good i guess, and nice to get something out of it too from time to time. Also there's a lot (not MMORPG a lot) of text to read every now and then in-game on a piece of paper of book, which are kind of nice.

There isn't much to say, the game is good and I like it because of it's awesome looks, design, relaxation, and narration with a few story bits. It has a lot of elements of Dear Esther in terms of its approach, a bit of The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter with its mystery, and a tiny bit of The Stanley Parable with its design. Also, for some reason the game made it so that every door you open, you open
and so every time I want to open one, I get extremely excited and anxious, and satisfied with the results most of the time. If you like the genre then you will like this game.

Stargate Network Prototype Preview

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Stargate Network is a fan's dream come true, a wet dream you could say, and it's absolutely lovely. It's a multiplayer online role-playing game (MORPG) that's completely based on the Stargate movie(s) and TV shows/series, on the whole universe of Stargate, that's being developed by fans of that universe, for free, for themselves, and for other fans to play, whether a fan or not, it's looking to be a great game.

The look of the game (the whole game actually) is satisfying, with a huge amount of attention to detail, replicating everything down to the last detail, down to the coffee the cast drinks. Same thing for the animations, graphical effects, sound effects, the soundtrack, and hopefully in the future they nail the feeling of being an SG explorer.

Also, believe me when I tell you how satisfying it is to go up front and check out everything you want, on any side and taking as much time as you want, memorising the code sequence and pushing the correct chevrons onto the computer / dashboard, seeing the Stargate reacting to what you're doing, and then going through it, coming out on the other end. It's an absolute joy.

The current state of the game, the build that I played, is the 2.X demo build prototype that's using the Unreal Engine 3, and the developers have stopped working on that version. Instead, they're now developing the 3.X using the Unreal Engine 4, and will continue to develop and expand on it, to the vision they have for the game, which I can't wait to check out and play.

If you happen to try it out, you can see the controls on the site, in the 'tutorial' section, with other info as well. You can also watch the gameplay preview up there with the correct sequence, and if you're using the Qwerty type keyboard, which you can choose in the option settings in the launcher, the code sequence to go to the other planet is: V U D . ] M A

Good luck to the great team behind the Stargate Network project, and I hope you continue to turn your passion into awesome playable work and world to explore. You guys/gals are making dreams come true to a lot of people, of old and young ages, and will thank with all of their gratitude upon playing and experiencing the game. We are.

My Thoughts On: Kick & Fennick

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Kick & Fennick is a 2.5D adventure platformer about Kick, a little boy with a big gun, and a a small robotic flying companion named Fennick, both of them are on a journey to replace Fennick's cracked power core, and from the begging til the end, they were best of friends and had a fun time being together.

The game looks and preforms great on the PS Vita, with nice solid colors, level design, graphical effects, and character/world animations, it could be used as a flagship for the handheld device that's running on it.

But good looks should be accompanied with good gameplay, which the game definitely has. A fun and kind of awesome gameplay to experience that breaths some uniqueness to the game, with a nice mechanic of jumping/boosting, combined with a weapon to work as one function for you to use to platform and to be used for combat.

The story is a good simple one, the main of it is summed up above, with the main and side character having a lovely charm to them, with a lot of character, and the same could be applied to the rest of the game's world and creatures.

You progresses through the game nicely, with seemingly more interesting and more difficult levels to play and advance through. It also has a good intensive to make you explore the levels you play in more carefully and thoroughly to collect gears, which will unlock new suits for the main character. The game also has nicely crafted boss battles, that are had in every last level of each chapter, with each battle being varied in the way you finish it.

The only bad thing I came across with it, is simply just the game not holding much of my interest much after some play time, making me take a little break from loss of interest, rather than getting tired from a good long play session from it.

Kick & Fennick feels like a high end fun game made by Sony at it's prime when they were releasing awesome adventure games on the PlayStation 2. In my head, this game has the blessing of Sony somehow, with the nice looks, the polished smoothed feeling, the charming characters, the level design, and the adventurous soundtrack, everything about this game reminds me of the awesome adventure games of old, and my child self, the child that played those awesome games, is screaming of joy while playing this game, and the potential that it might hold in the future. It's a great game and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

If the developers and/or Sony is reading this, cooperate more, support each other, and make this game, or games like it bigger, better, more charmful, more awesome cheerful characters, and with this game. and hopefully other like it, is a piece of gold from youth of which you can grow and craft to be a diamond to a lot of games, kids and adults, being right up there with Crash Bandicoot and Ratchet & Clank, but one that's of this day and age that has lost its wondrous spark.

My Thoughts On: Forward to the Sky

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Forward to the Sky is a simple, charming, lovely action adventure game that's short and sweet. There isn't much to talk about it, but here we go.

The look of the game is quite decent, and somewhat beautiful, in a sense of PlayStation 2 type of graphical and artistic beauty, and actually, the gameplay and design of the game has a nice relating feeling of the type of games of that time, but built with today's tech, and I'm okay with it because the game was built sort-of nicely.

The voice acting is cute and nice, in fact the whole game is cute and nice, with the story being simple and told in a simple way too, slowly revealing the pieces of that story, but one could say it's predictable, but for me I don't mind predictability in games as long as the the story, or the way it's presented, is bad, which it isn't in this game.

The only bad things about the game are its not so great combat controls, playable and manageable, but noticeably basic, and that's what I can think of that was a con in the game.

The puzzle solving & platforming in the game aren't hard either, mostly fun simple ones that require a little bit of effort to finish/figure-out, and the whole game isn't hard either, it's as I said mostly in this whole write-up, it's a simple game with simple mechanics, that's lovely and a charm to play through, and for the price, I'd be happy to recommend it.

My Thoughts On: Astray

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Astray is a first-person puzzle/horror game that I have yet to complete, because it's a scary game and I was too scared to continue on and finish the game, but I took interest in it, and kept going with it, because it's also a puzzle game, and it looks nice too. Will probably finished it at a later date, I feel like I'm almost at the end, but here's my thoughts on it so far.

Like I said, it looks really pretty, shiny and illuminating, and the atmosphere feels good time, silent and creepy, with most of the structures in the game feeling majestic and kind of awesome.

The puzzles are nice, with some of them physics based, and most of them aren't hard to finish, it's somewhat pretty much in your face, but your mind bends to make you think it's hard, but they are decent, not overly complicated, and overall nice.

The scary part of the game, is it's somewhat tense atmosphere, and the structure of the game that makes it scary, with a creature following you in a level from time to time, that actually doesn't jump at you, the game doesn't have ridiculous jump-scares, so that's good, and instead just leaves you with the game itself and the monster that's in certain sections of the game, which will surprise/scare you when you find him, and chases after you when you make the wrong move, which is being visible to him with the help of the lights.

There isn't much bad things to point out, aside from the monster that you have to be careful of, is modeled poorly with what seems like it has a low poly count.

I'm more happy with the game's majestic beautiful looks and structures, and light-tense atmosphere, rather than the horror part of it, and in the end(ish) I had a good time in it playing through it, and for the price the it has, it's a decent purchase to make if it has you interested in it. Go into the game thinking that it's a light-horror game, with nothing special going on with it, that has good looks and light-puzzles.

My Thoughts On: Dying Light

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Dying Light, the second big title made by Techland after Dead Island, and it's a first person shooter, that has parkour going on with it, with zombies, in an open world setting, and it's good. I'd describe the game where it has Dead Island's zombies and nice combat, the open worldness and perspective of Far Cry, and the map design level and parkour of Assassin's Creed.

Starting with the graphics, they look really great, especially noticeable after the second half of the game. The animations and the lip-sync in cut-scenes or character interactions are noticeably not that good, and the graphical effects like blurry fog/water-drops are an inconvenience, and an annoyance that you have to put up with throughout the game.

The parkour controls are good and simple, and the melee combat controls are great and 'meaty', with the fire-arm controls being decent. The inventory management system isn't that great to interface with, at least not at first, which certainly could have been better.

The open world is fun and varied to play and parkour around in, with buildings to go through, and rooftops to hop on to. Filled with good amount of zombies, loot, and side missions to play with, and it's not cluttered with it, for example like Ubisoft games. The open world is also split into two big sandbox areas, the first one is nice and all, but the second one is where the beauty of the game is. A lot more nice to look at and to play around in, with how it is designed, more traversal and parkouring routes to have fun in, and just overall a better feeling to it.

The story isn't anything new, but at least they're trying to progress it in a way. Also, the main character you play as, he can kill, parkour and whatnot, and you'd expect him to have the ability to do those things because of who he is and how he is presented in the story, not just a random dude who got caught up in the mess, knowing how to do everything and be the best at it with no past experience. So what I'm saying is, Techland knows how to present a character, that makes sense, better than how Ubisoft presents them in their games.

The game is lengthy, with decently long campaign, and there being a lot of side quests that's, that's not that bad, you can do and finish. There's only one quick-time battle event in the game, it's short but still an annoyance to have it happen, made me think "Really? Now you want to add a QTE?".

The coop is fun, having another person, two, or three with you, jumping, exploring, and killing zombies and other enemy humans in the open world that it has for us to mess around with is really fun, kind of makes you feel like you own the city and have a really powerful group. Be The Zombie mode is really fun, it's like a toxic version of spider man, basically you can keep yourself afloat all the time, which is fun, but going against people is really hard though. Haven't dug deep into it so I'm not sure if it's a bad or a good thing that it's hard.

Techland really made a huge leap in quality from their first game, Dead Island, making Dying Light a nice surprise of fun and excitement, and the reason why I mention Ubisoft a couple of times is because they are doing a lot of stuff better then them, so much so that it's worth a mention. The game is fun and is worth your time and money. So, I'll just go hop back in coop and kill more zombies.

My Thoughts On: Life Is Strange

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Life Is Strange, but how strange is it? More importantly, is it good? The answer is yes, it's great in fact, so much so that I like it more than Telltale's The Walking Dead series, going by the same type of game both are going with.

It's an episodic games, five episodes, that's story based and has heavy decision making, and the first episode with the base game is what I'm going to talk about right now, hopefully the rest of the episodes when they come out.

Starting with how the game looks, it has a cartoon(y) warm visual style to it, that's filled with hand painted colors, and it's absolutely beautiful, filling the world, the game, with life and charm, where almost every spot in the game you'll love to look at. It has a great setting that doesn't get much attention to in games, and they nailed a really cozy atmosphere to it.

The main character you play as is good and interesting to know about, you'll like her teenage personality, I did. There's also a lot of characters that's varied and unique in characteristics, that you'll meet, and most of them are good and interesting too, finding out who they are and what they do, figuring them out, it's fun.

That, and the soundtrack is nice and calming, especially when you start it in-game with a radio or boombox somewhere. Going to the main part, it has a really nice story that has a lot of small details in the game's world, followed with simple to understand dialog, and an ending that's not that strong, or week of a cliffhanger, one that you wouldn't mind waiting for it to continue its story, waiting until the next episode to come out, which I'm eagerly waiting for.

The time reversing mechanic is great, simple, and presents a lot of opportunities to check out most of the games content, and gives you the option if you want to stick with a choice, only after you see what's on the table, if you so choose to see all the options. It pleases those who would like to stick with their first choice, and to those who want to have the worst/best route, and the choices are good enough to let you have second thoughts, even after checking all of them and choosing the one you want.

The game is simple, relaxing, beautiful, and charming, every minute I spent playing it was not wasted and I took my time exploring the world that it presented to me, rewarding interest and curiosity with nice stuff to look at, with a lot of objects that can be interfaced to have commentary over it, that's nice and informative. The game also made me realise how convenient and awesome it would be to be able to reverse time, which I'm hoping I'll dream about.

Eden Star Pre-alpha Preview

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(Gameplay video coming at a later date)

We checked out Eden Star way back when it was a tech demo, it had its ups and downs, and seeing it still alive and kicking is always awesome. It was using the Unreal Engine 3, and now they're using the Unreal Engine 4, but did it change much in terms of how it plays out? only a tiny bit.

This is their very first release of the game to the public (aside from that tech demo), which is really early, where you go and build an 'Eden' which protects you from the night damaging atmosphere, and it's also your main point of where you can construct structures, weapons, tools, and powers. And you have to protect it from the creatures it lures in the night, by constructing defenses (walls), turrets to shoot them, guns for you to shoot them, and new powers to destroy them, OR use your telekinetic melee powers to hold them, and then smash them in the direction of you choosing, to the closest hard object that will deal massive damage.

That's the game at the moment, gather resources, build stuff, protect and attack, but how good is it? well to me, it has the good looks, although a higher field of vision would help in making the world feel bigger, it's relatively easy to get into and have a good game going with how simple you get the resources, and then craft the structures you want, but all that is low in performance to what I think the game does extremely well, and that is its melee combat system with how amazing awesome it plays out, and that's what lured me to the game in the first place.

The developers really have a great thing going on Eden Star with its satisfying melee combat system, keep on improving it, making it more awesome with a lot of more fun way to go on wrecking havoc on enemies with it, and honestly without that combat system, the game would be another survival horde mode type of game, so keep on improving and adding on on that combat system devs!

But at the current moment of the game, is it worth playing it? it depends. If you think it looks cool and really want to try it out, sure go ahead, but how I see it, the game will be at its finest when it's out, or near release out of development, with a good story and progression to go along with it. I see this as a structured sand'boxed' experience, with a path drawn for you to walk in, but that path is really wide for you to move around comfortably. So again, if you want to check it out, go ahead, but if you want the experience that the developers (I would presume) want you to play through, then I'd advise of waiting for the release.

Besiege Alpha Preview

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Besiege is a fun physics based contstruction game, set in the medevil times, where you construct a structor of descruction, of your design, with the objects, tools, and weapons handed to you to make use of, and it's fun!

Looking at the videos, I thought that I wouldn't know how to be good at this game, starting it out and playing for the first half an hour, so I gave up for a little bit and went to look at some community pictures, and after looking at a few of them, I went back in the game, played for another half an hour, and I was destroying everything elegantly, and improving from then on with better and better structures of destructions.

The game is also really polished too, really slick UI and main menu, and just surprising really neat for an alpha, and the only thing they actually need to do, from what I can see, is just add more complex building parts, more control options / custom controls, a better tutorial with better descriptions of parts, and the rest of the games content in terms of the games campaign which will inevitably be added later on.

What I would like to see, since right now in ever level it's a one shot kind of attack where you can't re-arm yourself, is check points in the more later levels where you go to a certain area in a level to save, repair, reconstruct, and replenish ammo, from there you continue the level and finish it.

There isn't really anything else much to say right now other than the game is good looking with nice graphics, simple controls, and that it is a really fun game with a really high replay value. Also, it's a game where it would definitely benefit from having mod support, with community content flowing into it to keep it alive and kicking for a really, really long time. Worth the purchase? Heck way it is.

Game Tech Arabia Network


Game Tech Arabia Network