Geek Citadel http://www.geekcitadel.com Thu, 23 Apr 2015 22:34:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.3 Bullet Points Review – State Of Decay: Year One Survival Edition http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/04/23/bullet-points-review-state-of-decay-year-one-survival-edition/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/04/23/bullet-points-review-state-of-decay-year-one-survival-edition/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 22:31:04 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7112 Right when you thought the zombie apocalypse was over…someone else gets infected and keeps it going. In the case of video games, right when I thought our affair with Zombie games was over, the guys over at Undead Labs re-releases the game that got a lot of good reviews when it was first released over […]

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Right when you thought the zombie apocalypse was over…someone else gets infected and keeps it going. In the case of video games, right when I thought our affair with Zombie games was over, the guys over at Undead Labs re-releases the game that got a lot of good reviews when it was first released over 2 years ago on Xbox 360. That’s right girls and boys, if you have an Xbox One and a ton of time, get ready to pull back out those zombie survival skills and play through State of Decay one more time…or atleast in my case, THE FIRST TIME!

What We Liked

MainMenu

  • Open World Gameplay – As mentioned already, this is pretty much the first time I have played this game and the first thing I liked about this game is the open world environment. Unlike in games like Dead Island where you are on a somewhat linear path to the end of the game, this gives you enough to do while you’re going through the main missions. Being that this is the Year One edition that not only comes with the core game but both expansions, I got to experience a different approach to the main game. This also felt like I was actually trying to survive a zombie apocalypse, not saying anyone in the world has gone through this already, but I’m sure that I would probably be dead by now with the way I was playing this.
  • Importing Your 360 Save – I think that I have already mentioned that this is the first time I’ve played this game, so being I don’t technically have a 360 save to import I thought I would put it here anyways because of the fact that it’s an option for those who may have played this already on 360. It’s pretty darn simple as well because all you have to do is press X on your controller to begin the process.

Middle Ground

Untitled 01 3

The colors maaaaan.

 

  • Graphics/Visuals – Okay, this is a GREAT looking game and all, but my gripe comes in the form is this weird glowing element that happens randomly when I load the game. Like I can tell the upgraded elements in the graphics which look great (again) but then I would shut down for the night, come back and all of a sudden part of my character is glowing. It’s not limited to my character, but the supporting A.I. characters (that you can switch to) and the zombie enemies. I almost thought that there was a rainbow option that I might have tripped and turned on without knowing…but there is no such option…it just glitches to look that way.
  • Dialogue – I like the voice acting in the game and some of the script. I don’t like that the same lines will repeat at times when you are mid mission and there doesn’t seem to be an option to respond to it.

What We Didn’t Like

02_Drive

 

  • Driving – Maybe I’m just a bad driver, but driving in this game seems a bit too…loose at times. I mean every car that you get in the game seems to handle differently but the one constant seems to be how well they turn. It seems like mostly, they all take too sharp of a turn while I’m playing or turns too wide.

Conclusion

Overall, the upgrade to Xbox One may be worth it if One, You are like me and haven’t played the game yet. Two, played the game but didn’t buy the expansions. The graphics look great outside of the random glowing artifacts on the characters at times and most of the core gameplay stayed intact for its current-gen re-release. What’s great about this edition of the game is that it comes with State Of Decay, Breakdown and Lifeline along with the Prepper’s Pack (Which can only be used once a save). I fully support picking this up if you have or haven’t played this game but wait to see if it hits a sale first. This game releases on April 28, 2015 for both PC and Xbox One.

 

sodyoeReviewsale

 

*This review is based off of a copy of the game sent to us by it’s publisher*

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Bullet Points – Battlefield Hardline Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/24/bullet-points-battlefield-hardline-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/24/bullet-points-battlefield-hardline-review/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 00:28:49 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7098 It’s just another day on the force for Nick Mendoza when he’s teamed up with hard nose cop Khai Minh Dao. They hit the streets looking for drugs and instead find the inner workings of corruption within the department. None of this ends well for Nick who spends a stint in the joint, and he […]

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It’s just another day on the force for Nick Mendoza when he’s teamed up with hard nose cop Khai Minh Dao. They hit the streets looking for drugs and instead find the inner workings of corruption within the department. None of this ends well for Nick who spends a stint in the joint, and he comes back out with a new beard and a mind for revenge.

High Points

Battlefield Hardline 2

Multiplayer – Fast and furious multiplayer makes this the most energetic Battlefield title yet. Many of the modes from previous games have been discarded in favor of Cops and Robber themed modes. Heist is a capture and defend mode where the cops must guard money drops from the robbers. It’s a camper heavy style but it’s good for racking up the points.

Blood Money has both teams snatching cash and returning to their base with it, it’s a fairly fun mode but like Heist it promotes a lot of camping. Hotwire is considered the iconic multiplayer mode for Battlefield Hotline. Players will enter cars and drive it around the level at high speeds to use it as a moving capture point.

Hotwire is fast and frantic if you can get into a car, otherwise you and the other players will change classes to Engineers for Grenade launcher, and Enforcers to plant breaching charges to stop vehicles. Battlefield Hardline differs from previous titles due to the lack of Jets, Tanks, and class specific anti-personnel weapons.

It makes up for the loss of these ridiculous vehicles by bumping up the pace of combat significantly. Hardline moves at a blistering pace when compared to Battlefield 4. The hit detection can be better than other battlefield titles (at times) and taking out other players is quicker and more satisfying as a result. The leveling system is much better this time, as we can finally stay as a class we prefer and rack up cash to buy weapons for the others.

I don’t like the fact that you have to purchase similar weapons of each faction separately, but that’s just incentive to try keep players grinding. It’s not a complete overhaul of the system, but it’s definitely a solid Battlefield title.

Sound Design – Sound is something that Battlefield titles excel at and Hardline is no different. It features an excellent voice cast, outlandish explosive sounds, and riveting crackles of bullets speeding their way past the player.

Average Points

The Campaign – The game takes on an episode format similar to a TV show. It also comes attached with every TV cliché imaginable. The worst cliché is the straight-edged main character who’s forced to break bad in a den of crooked cops. His line delivery is a bit static and he doesn’t have the character of the rest of the cast. His journey through the game is completely predictable and then it puts the icing on the cake by ending with a lame cliffhanger.

Muddled visuals – Battlefield Hardline is visually appealing on the Ultra setting for PC, but it looks like it was held back by last generation consoles. It’s not all bad news due to top notch environmental explosions and weather effects.

Lack of destruction – Battlefield Hardline promotes camping like no other Battlefield in the past couple of years. It’s the lack of destruction that allows players to sit back and relax without much fear of repercussion. Destruction in Hardline is restricted to a few levolution events and select collapsible buildings on certain stages. The days of blowing out a wall or a window to expose a camper are null and void.

Low Points

Battlefield Hardline 4

Routine Single-player – You start a level using stealth to arrest foes, find evidence, and gain points to unlock weapons, it all goes bad and turns into a shooting gallery, and then you find yourself in a vehicle driving through a Michael Bay scene. Nearly eighty percent of the episodes in the Single-player campaign consists of the same formula and it gets old fast.

Map Selection – Battlefield is usually about the hustle and bustle of bullets and armored vehicles threatening your every movement. A few of the maps hold up to that legacy, but there are far too many that focus on ground warfare. There are five maps that are more focused on running into enclosed spaces and battling it out. Which is a symbol of arena based games not the Battlefield titles.

Battle Pickups – Why do I drop my pick up if I switch to another weapon? It’s kind of terrible that I have to drop a weapon to switch to another weapon to paint a target, and then I have to fumble around on the ground hoping not to get shot while I pick up the RPG.

Bullet Lag – Hit Detection is better than BF 4 when it works properly, but bullet lag is the outright devil. You can still get shot around corners, and consistently empty a clip into a person’s chest and miss every shot.  It’s all over the place and needs to be fixed ASAP.

Gun Balance – There are quite a few guns that are exceptional and way too many that are terrible or middle of the road. Expect to see a lot of Operators and Mechanics using the ACWR, AKM, and K10/P90 every time you die to them.

Transition time – Reloading takes forever and so does switching between weapons. The game gives a reward from a hacker so you can reload faster instead of just innately giving it to the player. They are tailored to the classes and there is even a “Fast Aim” perk in there. If I’m in a warzone and I don’t realize the urgency of reloading or aiming at a target, I deserve to die.

Conclusion

Battlefield Hardline is the ground focused title in the series. Kills are quicker, everything is faster, and heavy vehicles are sparse. We recommend that you wait for a sale for Battlefield Hardline. Even with its own key modes, it still has the look and feel of an expansion to Battlefield 4. The key price to pick this up would be about thirty five dollars. It’s just not pushing the boundaries for a new Battlefield title as it should.

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Bullet Points – Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/16/bullet-points-hotline-miami-2-wrong-number-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/16/bullet-points-hotline-miami-2-wrong-number-review/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 00:25:10 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7089 Hotline Miami 2 takes place around the events of the first game. This time we’ll step into the shoes of a detective, writer, a gang of vigilantes, and many more sociopaths. The story stretches across multiple dates from the past to the present. It’s mainly there for us to commit homicide in all sorts of […]

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Hotline Miami 2 takes place around the events of the first game. This time we’ll step into the shoes of a detective, writer, a gang of vigilantes, and many more sociopaths. The story stretches across multiple dates from the past to the present. It’s mainly there for us to commit homicide in all sorts of diverse locales.

High Points

Hotline Miami 2 2

Amazing Soundtrack – Hotline Miami had a fantastic soundtrack, but Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has a phenomenal tone. It ranges from furious electronic bass-lines to haunting mystical melodies that guide the murderous actions on the screen.

Varied gameplay – Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number doesn’t simply create more levels in the vein of its predecessor. Hotline Miami constantly forces us to switch our playstyle by flipping through various character types. For example, the writer can only use non-lethal force and can disarm weapons. The greatest change is the Alex and Ash which allows us to control two characters at the same time. One fires off a pistol while the other does his best Leatherface impression.

Wrong Number consistently keeps us off-guard by putting us into the shoes of different characters. This time you’ll have to learn how to use each characters special attributes effectively to complete each level.

Average Points

The Story – The story in the first Hotline Miami was mysterious enough that I could ignore the randomness and slaughter with reckless abandon. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number creates a complex multi-faceted storyline that follows the murder of the masked killer from the first game. With the addition of tons of dialogue and characters, it’s harder to ignore the fact that nothing really ties together neatly.

A lot of shock value narrative leads the way of a story of multiple characters. Unfortunately, this leads the narrative into weird and confusing territory. The undercover cop often gets into situations where he’s killing entire warehouses of villains. On the other hand the writer appears in an area to punch out random villains without explanation. Right after you’ll shift to a different killer that has nothing to do with the main storyline and you probably won’t care.

Low Points

Hotline Miami 2

Camera and AI – I didn’t have as much of a concern with the camera in the original game, but it’s absolutely awful in Hotline Miami. That’s mostly because of the unforgiving artificial intelligence that knows everything you do. You can step out and the computer will fire from unknown positions that your camera couldn’t stretch to. If you attempt to try to sneak up behind them, they will spin around and immediately slaughter you. It’s incredibly disproportionate in the later levels and can often make completing levels a chore.

Technical issues – I played Hotline Miami on PC, PSVita, and PS4 without ever seeing a single bug issue. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number unfortunately is full of often game breaking issues. I stumbled on a few crash bugs, walked out of the map, consistently hit me through walls, or suddenly gain invulnerability from a door glitch. There were other bug issues that impeded my movement as well, and all these technical problems can ruin a run.

It all falls down – Later levels in Hotline Miami 2 are tailored to a more linear experience. Which is weird in a game that’s based off various approaches to combat. The game will give you a straightforward entrance in a room full of bad guys that start off with a ridiculous advantage. You don’t have time to plot and understand, it’s just a battle of constant deaths until you figure out the routine.

Conclusion

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number starts off by giving us more of what we loved about the first game with bigger levels, an awesome soundtrack, and varied dynamics. It then descends into haphazardly created levels that force unfair deaths on our unsuspecting killers. I recommend that you Wait for a Sale until the bug issues have been cleared up, but mostly because the levels beyond Act 4 tip the scales from fun to frustrating.

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Bullet Points – Ori And The Blind Forest Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/11/bullet-points-ori-and-the-blind-forest-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/11/bullet-points-ori-and-the-blind-forest-review/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 08:00:16 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7075 Ori and the Blind Forest is a platform adventure game developed by Moon Studios. While I have played other platformers like this before, this one caught my eye from the moment it was sent to me. Mainly because the cover art for the game, but I think that all changed upon loading this game up […]

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Ori and the Blind Forest is a platform adventure game developed by Moon Studios. While I have played other platformers like this before, this one caught my eye from the moment it was sent to me. Mainly because the cover art for the game, but I think that all changed upon loading this game up and playing it. Find out if it’s worth the buy or not!

 

What We Liked

  • The story in this game will automatically pull you in. From the prologue to when you get straight into the thick of things. It’s an emotional roller coaster and a story well told, almost like a bed time story.
  • This game is absolutely stunning with its visuals. I love the art style that they bring and I feel like it fits the style of story being told in this game. Everything from the level design to character design it’s like watching a painting come to life.
  • Gameplay is a big thing for any game and this one brings smooth gameplay that is easy to pick up and doesn’t hiccup on you like some games I’ve played in the past.

ori-screen-ginsob

What We Didn’t Like

  • I couldn’t find anything wrong with this game, maybe I’ll update this when I do because I know deep down inside…this is not the perfect indie game.

ori-screen-sunkenb

Conclusion

Overall, great visuals, great story and easy to pick up gameplay. Ori And The Blind Forest is a game that you should not miss out on. You will be emotionally involved with the game from the moment you see the opening sequence and continue playing as you stare in awe of its visuals. Buy it..just buy it.

 

Ori and the Blind Forest - Review Score

 

This review is based on a copy of the game received from Microsoft Studios for review purposes.

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Bullet Points – ScreamRide Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/05/bullet-points-screamride-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/05/bullet-points-screamride-review/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 23:34:22 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7038 ScreamRide is a game made by the same guys behind the Roller Coaster Tycoon franchise. A franchise I enjoyed a lot and still like to go back to the third game once in a while. However, this new game is a mixture of dreams and familiarity as it holds some of the mechanics of the […]

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ScreamRide is a game made by the same guys behind the Roller Coaster Tycoon franchise. A franchise I enjoyed a lot and still like to go back to the third game once in a while. However, this new game is a mixture of dreams and familiarity as it holds some of the mechanics of the old Roller Coaster Tycoon games and brings in some new, fun and destructive ideas. However is that enough to carry a fun game to hold you over until the heavy hitters start coming out?

What We Liked

  • Of course the first thing I’m going to point out is visuals. I’m a sucker for them, but I’m especially a sucker for them when they remind me of Super Monday Night Combat. Arcadic and Cartoony but still a good look for this game type.
  • Fun and addictive gameplay. I found myself having so much fun with this game and without too many issues. Actually, I don’t think I really ran into any issues while playing this game because everything seemed to move pretty smooth and without hiccup.

13

Middle Ground

  • While I enjoy a lot of the challenges they have in the game…and trust me there is a lot. I felt like some of the ideas repeat themselves at one point or another.

Chess_01

What We Didn’t Like

  • WHERE WAS THIS GAME WHEN I WAS YOUNGER?! I know it’s a weird one, but I couldn’t help but think if this game had come out when I was 15 or 16 I would have enjoyed it even more.

SR_capture_0008_Layer 35

Conclusion

This is a very fun experience for all ages (even though I wish this game came out while I was a bit younger) and will keep you busy for at least a month. It has a lot of creations you can download and a fun career mode that lets you choose what you want to do. I wouldn’t suggest buying it outright though and you should definitely wait until this game goes on sale to experience it.

 

ScreamRide-Review-Sale

This review is based on a copy of the game received from Microsoft Studios for review purposes.

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Bullet Points – The Order 1886 Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/04/bullet-points-the-order-1886-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/03/04/bullet-points-the-order-1886-review/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 02:01:29 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7047 The Order was formed to seek out supernatural evils by King Arthur. They quell rebellions and face off against the vicious lycanthrope that feed on the innocent. Galahad was a part of that order… at least until he ended up on their bad side. We step back into the days before Galahad went from a […]

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The Order was formed to seek out supernatural evils by King Arthur. They quell rebellions and face off against the vicious lycanthrope that feed on the innocent. Galahad was a part of that order… at least until he ended up on their bad side. We step back into the days before Galahad went from a loyal soldier, to a captive in the arms of the people he trusted.

High Points

The Order 1866 2

Attention to Detail – If The Order 1886 does anything well, it’s look visually astonishing. Despite being covered in film grain, the title drips with detail from the characters to the environment. It doesn’t matter if you’re outside observing the city, or inside inspecting a weapon. The Order looks absolutely remarkable in every aspect.

Quantic Dreaming – If there was any game out there that took a look at Heavy Rain and said, “Man, this kind of storytelling is amazing,” it’s The Order 1886. It takes everything that Quantic Dream uses for its games as a tool, and that’s not a necessarily a bad thing. Expert use of cut scenes, snappy transitions, and well place Quick-Time Events adds a cinematic element.

Average Points

Gears of Norm – Combat in The Order 1886 is quick and fluid. It’s the epitome of a stop and pop cover based shooter. Other than a few original weapons like the thermite gun, this game is practically like every 3rd person shooter that exists. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you shouldn’t expect to be impressed by hiding behind waist high walls and slaying waves of enemies.

The idiot A.I. doesn’t help matters as they stand out in the open waiting for a bullet massage. The worst fights in the entire game come from fighting the werewolves. They run straight at Galahad and you tap X to roll and wait for them to run off and repeat the process. Your teammates are equally as stupid as the enemy. They usually sit in cover avoiding confrontations and allow the opposition to murder you relentlessly.

Low Points

The Order 1

Supernatural Failure – Why is the supernatural aspect a secondary play to shooting humans? We finally get a game where we’re shooting Werewolves after the dearth of zombie titles, and we’re restricted to seeing them once in a blue moon?

Story Disconnection – The Order 1886 manages to shoehorn in romance, and political intrigue, and every cliché it can. Yet somehow it overlooks what made The Order such a big presence in London. We have a bunch of stereotypical characters flaunting their abilities as if we’re familiar with them, but the game forgets to tie our minds into that relationship. You’ll hear a lot of big talk about “How things used to be in The Order,” and observe how they perform with each other… but it all just feels like a hollow shell if we don’t know the characters.

I would have liked to have seen how the pragmatic Galahad earned the love of his student, or how Sebastien earned such esteem in The Order but was overlooked as Knight Commander. Maybe some flashbacks of Galahad as a young man working his way up in The Order. Something to explain the supernatural revelations that occur near the middle of the game. The Order 1886 sets itself up as a TV show you’ve missed a couple of seasons of, only to find out that they never existed.

The ending doesn’t reveal anything of note either, and will probably leave a sour taste in your mouth. It sets itself up for with a cliffhanger ending without properly fleshing out its world beforehand, and that’s a bit of a slap in the face.

Stealth Problems – I thought the lack of a “Detective Mode” was actually an impressive feat for a game created in the past four years. It’s the awful need to use a QTE to obtain a stealth kill. The penalty for pressing the button at the correct time is instant death. So it’s not really about being sneaky as it is about timing a QTE correctly.

Conclusion

The Order 1886 leads this console generation with fantastic visuals, but forgets to take that same leap in the game play department. I recommend you wait for a sale on The Order 1886. This linear stop and pop shooter does not try enough new things to be different in this saturated genre.

The Order 1886 In Website Review

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Alpha State – Catacomb Kids http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/25/alpha-state-catacomb-kids/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/25/alpha-state-catacomb-kids/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 02:59:59 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7043 Welcome to Alpha State, where I perform a quick analysis of Early Access games in their infancy and see how they shape up over a few patches. This week, we’re taking a gander at the procedural generated 2D platformer, Catacomb Kids!

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Welcome to Alpha State, where I perform a quick analysis of Early Access games in their infancy and see how they shape up over a few patches. This week, we’re taking a gander at the procedural generated 2D platformer, Catacomb Kids!

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Bullet Points – Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/17/bullet-points-morningstar-descent-deadrock-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/17/bullet-points-morningstar-descent-deadrock-review/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 17:00:22 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7023 A man named Powell awakens from the hibernation chamber and learns that one of his crew mates didn’t survive. He heads to the cockpit to find the Captain of the ship impaled through the stomach by a random piece of debris. He takes a seat and reins in the damaged vehicle as it cascades to […]

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A man named Powell awakens from the hibernation chamber and learns that one of his crew mates didn’t survive. He heads to the cockpit to find the Captain of the ship impaled through the stomach by a random piece of debris. He takes a seat and reins in the damaged vehicle as it cascades to the planet below. Powell must now explore the planet and find a way to repair his broken ship.

High Points

Morningstar 2

Engineering puzzles – The puzzles are sound from an engineering perspective. You’ll find materials and parts to fix broken equipment and structures around the planet. Powell and the Captain will give us hints on how to use the parts, and from those hints we will craft makeshift sensors and explosives.

Creepy Atmosphere – Descent to Deadrock has a truly creepy feel to it. Stone statues of unknown origin watch over a sandy wasteland. Wrecked ships and dead bodies are strewn about the desolate planet leaving only the mystery of how they died. It creates a tense sensation while you search for a means to escape.

Average Points

Dem Graphics – The visuals are very 1998, and that would be acceptable if not for the stillness of the game play. It reminds me of older games like Shadowgate or Déjà Vu. You are mostly watching a still image that only reacts when you interact with a puzzle piece. I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but it could use a touch of life to the environments. Wind blowing the sand, the Captain struggling to breathe in his suit, anything that makes the world feel alive.

Low Points

Morningstar 1

Voice Acting – The voice acting for the main character isn’t awful, but it’s not very effectual or interesting. It’s clear that this person is just reading his lines off a sheet of paper, and not trying to inject emotion to the situation at hand. The Captain of the ship provides hints and information and he’s actually worse than the main character. I found it difficult to care about the situation when the characters themselves don’t seem to give a damn.

Clickity Click – Morningstar is an adventure game that’s a bit too far in the past. You will swirl around the cursor on the screen looking for places to interact with. The game gives you some reasonable tells to solve most puzzles and even a nice hint system. However, there are still places where you’ll have to just randomly click on items to solve a puzzle.

Short game – You can beat this game in 3 to 4 hours even after all the random clicking. You can just plow right on through to the ending sequence without much of a problem. The ending is anti-climactic as well, and it never really solves a few of the mysteries on the planet.

Conclusion

Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock hearkens back to the olden days of adventure gaming. It is light on animation and the voice acting is only tolerable. I recommend that only fans of the adventure genre invest in the short but eventful game play. If you’re not a fan of the adventure genre it isn’t going to convince you to join the genre, and the bad voice work and older design might just scare you off.

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Bullet Points – Harold Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/12/bullet-points-harold-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/12/bullet-points-harold-review/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 21:07:50 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=7021 Gabriel is a bit of a prankster and a jerk, but he’s also the best Angel at Guardian school. Everything comes naturally to Gabriel, so he doesn’t even have to study for his tests. He’s basically been gliding his way through school without a single problem. That all changed when he learned that his final […]

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Gabriel is a bit of a prankster and a jerk, but he’s also the best Angel at Guardian school. Everything comes naturally to Gabriel, so he doesn’t even have to study for his tests. He’s basically been gliding his way through school without a single problem. That all changed when he learned that his final exam involves protecting humans in a series of races. As a lesson to Gabriel for being a bit too confident in his training, he is tasked with guarding a rather clumsy human named, Harold. Now Gabriel must help Harold place third in every race or he won’t obtain his scholarship to Archangel Academy.

High Points

Harold Feat PIC

Fun Story – Gabe is a brash and confident Angel-in-Training trying to get his wings. Saraphel Malakh has a rich family history to live up to, but she’s not in the same league as the rest of her family. She watches Gabe earning his accolades and gets bitten by the green eyed monster. Needless to say, watching the both of them come to terms with their own failings is worth helping the uncoordinated, Harold.

Great Animation – The cinematics are flash animated but they boast a nice art style and a Saturday morning cartoon aesthetics. The animations during the gameplay are astounding to say the least. It is fun to watch Harold go full sonic the hedgehog, or be wowed by the smooth transition of one of the many boost cinematics during a race. The backgrounds could be a bit more dynamic, but the shifting level scheme more than makes up for it.

Awesome Soundtrack – The music during a race escalates depending on what place Harold is in during the race. Since this game is all about heavenly miracles the music is filled with the gospel sung by a choir. As Harold advances in a race the hymn will begin and start a song about his exploits.

Hard And Fun – Harold is an endless runner with a few tricks up its sleeve. As a god like being you control the environment around Harold and his fellow racers. You’ll move objects so that he can continue at his pace, and strike down lightning with FURIOUS anger to bring out his inner speedster. It’s a challenging process to keep him dashing at optimal speed, and also sabotage his opponents by moving platforms out of their way.

That’s probably the best part of the game, sabotaging the other angel’s racers by trapping them or pulling the rug out from under their feet. Every stage is based on remembering where to jump, or what to move in a certain stage. This gradually makes the platforming more difficult as Harold proceeds through the various races. Like a game of Rock Band – you’ll have a chance to practice areas of the course so that Harold can move through it faster. The game is layered with alternate course routes and constant boosts to keep Harold moving act optimal speed. It’s a ton of fun if you get used to the control scheme.

Average Points

Harold 1

Controller Support Only – It makes sense that the game needs controller support, but only because some of the controls require rotations. I feel like some concessions could have been made for the keyboard crowd. Maybe changing the rotations to simple up and down movements with the keyboard.

Low Points

Convoluted Controls – Since Harold is a game about basically recalling every piece of a level. It’s weird that the controls are all over the place. Instead of a simple structure to dash, the player has to tap the top buttons on the controller. Flick the trigger buttons to change between platform sections, pull back and push forward to break items, or do the same to pull bridges. There is actually more to learn as the stages progress, but that’s a lot to memorize while sabotaging other humans and watching Harold.

Conclusion

Harold is a fun plat-former that clumsily steps on its own shoes with weird controls. If you’re into puzzle platforming you will have a blast directing Harold in and out of danger. Everyone else who isn’t into punishingly difficult games based off memory and precision… well you’re just going to be pissed off a lot. If you do ever get used to the controls this can be a fantastic game for practicing speed running. I recommend you wait for a sale on Harold. It features splendid graphics but for a game that requires precision timing, it doesn’t have a particularly functional control scheme.

*This title was given to us by the Publisher*
Harold In Website Review

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Bullet Points – Dying Light Review http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/11/bullet-points-dying-light-review/ http://www.geekcitadel.com/2015/02/11/bullet-points-dying-light-review/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 13:35:23 +0000 http://www.geekcitadel.com/?p=6991 Kyle Crane is inserted into the city of Harran on an assignment from the Global Relief Effort or the GRE for short. He’s on a mission to recover a stolen file from a man named Suleiman. On arrival he’s bitten by the infected residents in the area and rescued by friendly survivors from the Tower. […]

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Kyle Crane is inserted into the city of Harran on an assignment from the Global Relief Effort or the GRE for short. He’s on a mission to recover a stolen file from a man named Suleiman. On arrival he’s bitten by the infected residents in the area and rescued by friendly survivors from the Tower. Crane discovers quickly that the GRE wish for him to obtain the files by any means. He’s torn between doing his duty and helping the citizens in Harran survive.

High Points

Dying Light 5

Lovely – Harran may be ripe with the stink of The Walking Dead, but you couldn’t tell by how beautiful it looks. Beyond desolate ruins of a city ravaged by corpses – lies a gorgeous island surrounded by clear water. Zombie limbs crumble to the ground, explosions provide convincing particle effects, and moving through the darkness with only a small cone of light to guide you – is terrifying.

Free Running – Assassin’s Creed is probably the game that most people mention when speaking of parkour movements. Dying Light trumps that system completely by foregoing the automation of free-running. You are in complete control of Kyle as he sprints, jumps, and latches onto the terrain to move around. It gives a sense of euphoria and control that hasn’t been done before in video games. It’s ripe with smooth transitions as you bound over zombies or claw your way to the top of a building to enjoy the view.

It only gets better once the Grappling hook comes into to play, you’ll practically breeze through areas without ever losing your momentum. Techland got this one right and I’m in love with it.

Skill Tree – Dying Light has a talent tree system that’s actually mechanically sound. Skill points are earned by completing missions or by attacking or free-running. There are three different trees and each levels independently of the other. A lot of skill trees in other games are about making our characters overpowered. Dying Light reveals an ability tree that improves the players skill but doesn’t make the game easier because of it.

Night Terrors – When night falls an untold darkness descends upon the city, bringing out the gruesome terrors of the world. Dying Light completely drenches the city in darkness. You can barely see your surroundings or the creatures that lurk in the night. Vicious hunters lurk through the shadows sniffing out any runner who dares to step in front of them. They can chase Kyle down mercilessly and beat him to death in seconds.

Playing the game at night is like turning on the hard mode. You are rewarded more ability points for running through the night, but it’s highly likely that one wrong step will summon a slew of zombies.

Cooperative Play – Unlike Far Cry 4 or AC Unity, four players can leap into the world of Dying Light and take on every single mission together. I don’t have to tell you that playing cooperatively leads to endless hilarious scenarios. The transition from single-player to playing with friends is seamless, and while our play sessions had a few hiccups – it was worth suffering to play with a pal.

Average Points

Dying Light 3

Traveling – The map in Dying Light is huge, it’s not as gigantic as say Far Cry 4 but it does take some time to get around. That being said, there aren’t any vehicles, or options to fast-travel to any of the many safe houses in the game. I can understand this not being an option at night, but at least let us get around quickly in the day time. Running across the map for long periods of time can be a bit of a chore even after obtaining the grappling hook.

Boring hero, boring story – Kyle Crane parachutes into Harran with a bad attitude. He helps people out but treats them like trash while doing so. He’s also a bad judge of character and does some questionable things for the sake of a relief organization named the GRE. He does it all so that he can find a special file which can somehow make things worse than a zombie apocalypse. The story plays it by the numbers with some cringe worth scenarios of evil villain syndrome as well. At least the people in the Tower are often normal enough to pull Dying Light back from its James Bond aspirations drawbacks.

Low Points

Dying Light 2

Combat system – Regular zombies take much too much damage at the beginning of the game. Using melee against intelligent enemies consists of them dodging 60% of your attacks. Not only are they clairvoyant the humans have the ability to parry your attacks, and this is a skill that the Kyle never receives. The system quickly boils down to using a back-step and power attacks to defeat enemies.

It’s a real shame too, the melee system has a lot of potential for a constructive parry, block, and dodge system. I’m thinking more along the lines of games like Medieval, Zeno Clash, or even a first-person Batman system – albeit with more skill involved.

Stretched out Fetch Quests – I don’t like Fetch quests but I tolerate them in most games. Dying Light has a particular formula of Fetch quests that truly wins the bad award. Go here and find this individual, now this individual will tell you to go here, now go back to that individual. Now the individual you just ran across the map to, will tell you to go to another individual, and that individual may give you a quest reward or send you to the first individual instead.

This happens too much for my liking, and it wouldn’t be a problem if you didn’t have to run for five to ten minutes to get around. If a game is going to remove fast travel, don’t give me long drawn out quests for the sake of stretching out the game.

Optimization on PC – I’m running a GTX 980 on an i7 4770k with 12 gigs of DDR3 ram and Dying Light consistently dips below 60 fps with all settings turned on. The main culprit seems to be the view distance setting and simply turning this down offers a much smoother session.  You’ll have to mess with your settings to get 60 fps most of the time, but the frame rate still dips to below 50 FPS when viewing the city from up high. I also encountered the occasional stutter when activating one of the many dialogue cutscenes.

Patch 1.2.1 made a lot of these issues less apparent, but they were still there to nag me whenever I forgot about them. There were also quite a few bug issues that were pretty hard to ignore, like my coop partner constantly crashing, or enemies appearing in safe zones that we couldn’t protect ourselves against.

Conclusion

Dying Light is a game I didn’t expect much from, but it completely took me by surprise. As I’m writing this, I’ve played thirty or so hours and my fun level spiked the more I played. Even though we recommend you Wait for a Sale for Dying Light, it’s still a game that we think you should play.

There are a lot of optimization issues plaguing the PC version at the moment, even with the updates it is hard to recommend the game at full price. The fetch quests and story bring down the pacing of the game significantly, but the freedom of movement, brutality of traveling at night makes this a game worth purchasing for zombie enthusiasts. For everyone else, It’s worth trying out if you can get it at forty dollars and below.

Dying Light website Review

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