The Outer Worlds – Review

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My Rating:
7.75/10
Release Date: 25 October 2019
Price: 59.99+
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Developer: https://www.obsidian.net/
Publisher: https://www.privatedivision.com/
Official Website: https://outerworlds.obsidian.net/en
Genres: First Person, Action, RPG
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, (Switch coming soon)
Modes: Single Player

Description:
The game is set in an alternate future that diverged in 1901, when U.S. President William McKinley is not assassinated by Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition. As a result, Theodore Roosevelt never succeeded him, allowing large business trusts to dominate society well into the future, where megacorporations have begun colonizing and terraforming alien planets. Originally bound for the furthest reaches of the galaxy, a colony ship’s faster-than-light travel goes astray, leaving it abandoned at the edge of colony space. The player character awakens on board from cryosleep only to find that most of the passengers are still in hibernation, and begins a journey to a nearby colony to investigate the true nature of the corporations. The game features several factions and a branching story that reacts to the player’s choices.

Pros:
1. The controls are fairly intuitive “by default” but configurable “to taste”
2. For anyone that has played the Fallout series – if you liked Fallout – you will enjoy this.
3. While being “story driven” – it is not “story locked”. Plenty of side quests and room to explore
4. For those familiar with Fallout’s combat “slo-mo” combat system – you will find similarity in The Outer World’s TDD (Tactical Time Dilation)
5. Once you gain possession of your first ship – you can re-spec your character on board the ship at any time
6. 4 Modes of Play – Story mode (Novice Mode) greatly reduces the “combat” aspect of the game

Cons:
1: Can be a bit “grindy”
2: Definitely a “re-spin” of the older Fallout style games

Notes: 8 Hours into this game – and I can say with some certainty – that I will be spending many more hours in it!

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Review

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Our Rating:
Console: 7/10 (Based on beta gameplay)
Price: $59.99 – $129.99 (Dependent on Platform and game version)
ESRB Rating: Mature
Developer: Treyarch, Beenox
Publisher: Activision
Genres: First Person Shooter, Battle Royale
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Description:
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is a first person shooter. Unlike previous titles in the Call of Duty series, Black Ops 4 is the first entry to not feature a traditional Single Player campaign, and contains only Multiplayer, Zombies and a new Battle Royale mode called Blackout. Now we have only seen a small glimpse at the multiplayer gameplay and the Battle Royale beta will be releasing soon.
Pros
  • Boots on the ground gameplay, Call of Duty has lost a lot of loyal gamers over the year due to jetpacks, exo suits, and a slew of crazy attachments that took away from the original Call of Duty feel.
  • The weapons feel good. From the one LMG we’ve gotten our hands on to the plethora of rifles we saw in the beta, there was not one weapon that felt off balance. We all know that one gun that we say the first time we use it…. Never again.
  • The Maps, the maps are quite large but small enough at the same time to get some good close quarters combat.
  • The classes are extremely well balanced and encourage team play.
Cons
  • The Beta was overly short for the Xbox
  • With only a few options for game modes
  • The reward for getting max level in the beta was one permanent unlock token when the game releases
  • No Single Player Campaign. This is a major let down for me as I always enjoy the call of duty campaigns
Game-play Features:
  • There were several game modes available for play including the new Heist game mode.
  • Classed based game play really forces you to play together with your team if you want to be truly effective, if you do not then when you play a team that is, you’ll be crushed.
  • A truly fluid feel and response from the controls, everything is very responsive and seems polished.

 

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Dungeon Defenders 2 – Review

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Dungeon Defenders 2

Our Rating:
7/10

Price:
Free

ESRB Rating: Rated “E 10+” (Everyone 10+)

Developer: Trendy Entertainment
Publisher: Trendy Entertainment

Genres: Action role-playing game, tower defense, survival
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Description:
Etheria is under attack! Build mighty defenses to freeze, burn and disintegrate your foes, then grab a sword and jump into the action! Level up a team of heroes, deck them out in loot, and destroy the hordes by yourself or in four player online co-op!

Pros:
* Ease of play — Easy to learn controls along with a fairly easy to understand and straight forward tutorial
* Both Single and Multiplayer options (multiplayer up to 4 players and allows for either online or local multiplayer)
* An interesting mix of both a Tower defence and RPG gameplay
* Every character type is relevant and useful
* Plenty to do at End Game

Cons:
* Only a few characters available without earning a lot of in game premium currency or spending money.
*Matchmaking can be quiet slow
* End Game upgrades are quite time consuming

Some Key Gameplay features:
* Both static and randomly generated map rules and objectives
* Unique ability to switch between characters mid game and mid battle.

Overall a fun game! And at the low price of Free-fidy, there is a lot to do in this title. Although grinding new characters is time consuming there is not any dull moments in the gameplay. The towers and skills unique to each character are all worth using, it is very hard to pick a “main character” and with this game, you don’t have to. If you enjoy tower defense and RPG games, this is a title you may definitely want to give a try.

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Portal Knights – Review

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Our Rating:
8/10

Price: 
$10-$20 (depending on platform and point of purchase)
(Free on X Box Game Pass)

ESRB Rating: Rated “E” (Everyone)

Developer: Keen Games (http://www.keengames.com/)
Publisher: 505 Games (https://505games.com/)
Official Website: https://www.portalknights.com/en/

Genres: Action role-playing game, Survival game

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, Microsoft Windows

Description:
Leave the familiar world behind and step into the fantastic unknown with Portal Knights, a cooperative 3D sandbox action-RPG! Level up your character and craft powerful gear to defeat your enemies in real-time tactical combat. Explore dozens of randomly-generated islands and restore peace to a world torn apart by The Fracture.

Pros:
* Ease of play – once you determine the actual controls – game play is fairly simple.
* Both Single and Multiplayer options (multiplayer up to 4 players in a “world” and allows for either online or local multiplayer)
* “Worlds” can be used in either mode (single or multiplayer)
* Allows for both 1st and 3rd person view – very handy to swap between depending on the task you are trying to achieve

Cons: 
* Poor Tutorial – no real detail on how to do most things – and no clear guidance on what is actually achievable in the game.
* Inventory/Inventory management system is cumbersome
* Fairly long transition screens/times

Some Key Gameplay features:
– Randomly generated 3D sandbox worlds
– Tactical Action Combat (TAC)
– 3 RPG character classes to choose from and master
– Boss battles
– Random “Events” that produce unique “prizes”
– Mine/gather resources from across the lands to craft your arsenal and supplies
– Build your home with dozens of materials and furnishings
– Have your friends in 4-person cooperative multiplayer. Work together on the same island to build structures, explore dungeons, and overcome the toughest perils (including the events).

After several hours of game play – I am STILL playing this game. Now that I have passed through the crucible of learning the controls and what the recipes are for certain necessary items – I will most likely be starting a new character so that I can apply my “lessons learned” from my first attempt with this game. This is a game that I can play by myself, with my son, and even with my grandson. It’s combination of TAC – and a Minecraft-like building/crafting system makes it very “re-playable”

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