TBoD Video – State of Decay: Lifeline Review

Hey guys,

Undead labs were kind enough to provide us with a steam key for the latest DLC for the epic Zombie survival game State of Decay, I threw together a quick review featuring gameplay footage from my playthough of the game.

Check it out here or over on our YouTube channel.

 

Special thanks to The Wach for helping us to secure this review copy.

You can see The Wach’s review in print over on PGCR

 

The Hungry Games

The recent influx of indie games into the mainstream consciousness has come as a welcome break in the monotony of the repetitive nature of the titles streaming out of the big publishing houses like so much turd from a burst sewer main. A trend that is on the increase for small perfectly formed titles appearing on Xbox Live, PS Store and in particular the Steam service is without doubt a great thing for the industry, moving away from the strenuous nature of target driven creativity from larger studios, removing the expectations and putting control of the project back into the hands of those who care for it most. One such title is currently available on Steam early access and is the subject of this review.

Continue reading

When there’s no more room in Hell …..

The dead will walk … in space!?! 


Dead Space 3 cover

Dead space was a fantastic addition to the survival horror genre when it was first released back in ’08, genuinely scary, atmospheric and original. Winning a plethora of awards that year. It’s not hard to see why it has inspired a sequel, a comic and two feature length animated movies. Now we have a third installment just around the corner I picked up the demo and played through the new co-op mode with a friend.

Dead Space 3 coopSurviving is less terrifying with a friend … right?

There’s not much to go on, it only took us about twenty minutes to crack the demo but here are my thoughts anyway. For me I far prefer enjoying games with friends to playing them alone but at the same time I do feel the atmosphere and terror of a survival horror title is something that lends itself more to being played alone at night with the lights off, it’s just not as scary when you know you have a capable partner watching your back although that can be dependent on the title in hand. Resident evil 5 for example just wasn’t scary, not alone, not with a friend Dead Space 3 on the other hand still had my palms sweating and me jumping out of my chair once or twice even though I had back up. It’s testament to the games design that it can still provoke this reaction from the player even in it’s third iteration, the creatures are really horrific and the fact that they can appear from anywhere at any time really adds to the tension if not the realism.

Dead-Space-3-PS3-co-op-2Clarke and Carver, They’re not friends …. yet.

Issac Clarke the series’ main protagonist returns once more to reluctantly take on masses of necromorphs but this time he has a buddy. John Carver joins Issac on a mission which they hope will finally put and end to the menace that threatens the entire universe. The demo doesn’t reveal too much about the relationship between Clarke and Carver but it does suggest that things are tense, Issac has a lot of experience battling with space’s equivalent of Zombies and he knows what they are capable of, whereas John seems to be something of a gung-ho marine type who is over-confident and almost the exact polar opposite of the games main hero (I’m sure they will work out their differences and become bosom buddies by the end don’t worry). It worries me somewhat that this relationship may detract from the games atmosphere and that the narrative might descend into a buddy movie/bromance of less than epic proportions but we will have to wait and see.

dead-space-3

And he’s just one of the little ones wait til you meet his mum

Gameplay wise nothing much seems to have changed apart from the addition of a needlessly complicated weapon manufacturing and upgrade system which I can already tell is going to get really frustrating during co-op playthroughs, there is nothing worse that waiting around while your partner spends half an hour organizing their inventory and crafting weapons when all you want to do it get back to dismembering dead heads (as we were taught by Dead Island). That said however the weapons you can create do look to be as lethal as the predecessors amazing equipment, I just think that the mechanic could be streamlined somewhat. Another gripe I have with the demo is that at one point we find ourselves fighting against other humans and the game turns into something of a sub par Gears of War style third person cover shooter, even as the necromorphs appeared these soldiers (or whatever) continued to fire on us rather than turn to face this far more terrifying alien menace. We can only hope that these sections are few and that they are well interwoven into the story.

dead_space_3_43

Over-compensating much?

In short, the fear is still there, the game looks fantastic and the design of the weapons and creatures is as visceral as ever, there are some issues but hopefully they wont plague what has already proven itself to be a fantastic series too much. And maybe … just maybe it’ll make for as good a co-op survival horror experience as the somewhat obscure … ObsCure.

Hail to the <space> King. Baby!

eremenko

Quakin’ in my boots.

When we wrote our Random Access Memory Lane series it sparked a lot of conversation between us and our friends both on the internet and IRL. The main thing we learnt from these conversations and even admit in the earlier posts is there are so many games we missed. So when we decided to bring the retro back the first game that sprung into my polygon obsessed mind was arguably the daddy of the 3D shooter. Quake.

Quake Box Art

For those of you who haven’t played Quake you really should. Any real FPS lover worth their salt should experience this game as the team at id Software brought a lot of seminal additions to the table with this one and as a result were instrumental in the evolution of the shooter genre. For example some of its weapons such as the Nail Gun or the Thunderbolt are iconic and I believe it’s the first instance of rocket jumping. The shooter genre wasn’t the only thing that Quake contributed to, it is also credited with being the godfather of Machinima.

When I think of Quake I always get a little scared. Looking back it used to freak me the fuck out a little and when I fired this up the other day via DosBox the memories came flooding back. The bit I speak of is the level difficulty screen which presents you with a couple of different portals and next to hard difficulty just where the lava is there are some still twitching mutilated bodies attached to the wall by meat-hooks moaning in agony. Now I am not a squeamish person I can happily watch horror films of the grossest variety usually cheering for the psycho. I think what shocked me a little was the fact that unlike a film where it shows you a finite amount of grossness, this grisly scene is ever-present. Coupled with the fact that this was the first time I had ever really encountered this level of gore in a game the image kind of stuck.

Quake didn’t not only did horror though, it uniquely blended elements of dark fantasy and sci-fi and even based the end boss on some horrible looking, obscure (to me at least) deity known

God knows what goes in his sausages

as Shub-Niggurath. As you navigate around the various levels you notice the inspirations from the various genres, crossing medieval drawbridges that are activated by futuristic buttons and hunting for keys and runes whilst slaying Doberman’s, insane knights and what look like unhygienic butchers. It’s a kind of weird mix but oddly it works pretty well even now, although I may have a rather flowery shade of lens in my specs.

Probably one of my favourite power-ups to be found in any game is nestled in this digital creation and it’s sequels. Quad Damage just makes you feel powerful, from the moment you pick it up and here that famous sound and every hideously overpowered shot you make thereafter. I think the best thing about it was it never lasted that long so it caused you to scramble through the level to cause as much blood spattered carnage as you could before it faded.

Quad Damage was equally devastating in the spectacular multiplayer mode that Quake provided, which brings me back to the first thoughts I have when I visualise the game. It takes me back to being thirteen again and my dad taking me to this computer shop in town where we got our first PC. It had a beast of a Pentium 166Mhz and a mammoth 16MB of RAM, utter dog shit by today’s standard but such an impressive piece of wizardry back in the mid nineties. Anyway my dad took me along to this shop probably to buy some floppy disks or something and the guys who worked there clocked my interest in the games they had there and asked if I wanted to play some Quake with them, having no idea what Quake was I acted as cool as a thirteen year old can said ‘sure’. So with my dads permission and this next bit sounds a lot more sinister than it was this random guy took me upstairs. What I was presented with was a bunch of PC’s hooked up on what I know now was a LAN and at a few of the computers were a few guys (all clothed, mostly spectacled and/or bearded) immersed in shooting each other and calling each other all kinds of rude names. I was invited to hop on a nearby station whereby I got suitably pwned (no mercy for the kid). I learned a lot from that skirmish, I witnessed some fine smack talk first hand, played on my first LAN and was introduced to true nerd culture for the very first time. Games I realised weren’t just made for kids but had a whole following in the adult world previously unknown to me. Quake didn’t just provide me with hours of fun in a game whose quality has rarely been matched since but also provided me with a peak into a culture that I proudly count myself part of now as a big boy.

If you would like to get all nostalgic and play Quake again, or try it out for the first time download all the stuff from the links below. It’s a bit of a fiddle to get it working but be patient.

Download DosBox – needed to run Quake

Download Quake from here I think this one is shareware, you might be able to find the full game somewhere else.

Tutorials for DosBox found here and here

-MS Dosser

Do you also hold Quake dear? What did you like about it? Or have you never played it? Let us know in the comments and as usual like/comment/subscribe. Thanks for reading.

DayZ of the Dead

So late as always I finally joined the DayZ party, my first life did not go well. Thinking wrongly,the wise thing to do would be to head straight out to the nearest military complex to arm myself to the teeth. It took a long time to figure out just where I was within the 225 sq/km (that’s a whopping 87 sq miles) map.

Having attempted and failed to scavenge from many small towns, each time being forced to flee when a small army of Zed’s caught my scent, running like Usain Bolt in an attempt to prevent my terrified arse from being chewed off. Finally I managed to escape the attentions of the brain hungry mobs long enough to loot some food and a new rucksack from an abandoned mini mart. Equipped with plenty of food and drink (but still no weapon) I started to feel a little over confident. I found a map, watch and a crowbar so finally I could fight back, things were really looking up. Studying my newly acquired map I found that I was but a few clicks south of an abandoned military airbase “a chance to add some real hardware to my pack” I thought. Little did I know I was barking up the wrong tree.

Continue reading