Far Cry 5 Says Hello to Montana’s Right

Posted in News with tags , , , on May 26, 2017 by Rabidgames

First of all, here’s the Far Cry 5 trailer everyone and their mama are talking about, some of ’em already foaming and moaning about the damn left-wing liberal communist SJW gaming industry:

So, Far Cry 5 will be set in rural Montana’s Hope County, where we will ready our weapons to kill us some fine christian far-right extremists. There will also be some characters helping us, the customisable protagonist (among other things, we can choose gender and colour), to tear the zealots apart. Oh, and it seems we can finally fly planes! Far Cry 5 will also be entirely co-op compatible, which seems to be a big deal these days. Whatever.

One thing is for sure – Ubisoft knows that controversy creates cash, and that’s what they’re trying to do. It still seems to be a taboo in gaming to kill christians on US soil, no matter how corrupted or insane they are. And set in the Trump era, Far Cry 5 and its depiction of backwards American rednecks lost in extremist delusions is one way to add fuel to the fire. Then again, it’s always been okay to kill Arabs in military shooters, and how many decent American citizens have we already digitally removed from their mortal shells in the likes of GTA, Saints Row, or Watch Dogs? But hey, it’s going to be interesting to see what Breitbart, Fox and their ilk will come up with …

One interesting detail is the cross, replacing the stars of the US flag, which also adorns many of the extremists’ buildings and vehicles in Far Cry 5; while some think it looks similar to the iron cross used by Germany, it could also be interpreted as being similar to the Templar cross featured in Assassin’s Creed – and since there was an Abstergo facility in Far Cry 3, both universes seem somehow connected anyway.

Rabidgames is ready: Visiting this virtual Montana will be great fun – the graphics look great, the setting is interesting – now we need to wait. For some titbits of information to be brought to us during E3, and then it’s going to be a long wait until February 2018 … Let’s just hope the setting of the game remains fiction until then!

Dragon’s Dogma Finally Coming to PS4 and One

Posted in News with tags , , on May 23, 2017 by Rabidgames

First Final Fantasy XII, then Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, and now, Dragon’s Dogma will come to the next-gen consoles! Fuck yeah! About time! Fuck yeah! Finally! Yes! Yes! Yes!

In autumn this year, Capcom finally – seeing reason – will re-release Dragon’s Dogma, oh no, not just Dragon’s Dogma, it will be the all-DLC-including Dark Arisen. A move fans of the game have been waiting for since the release of the PC version, and now it finally happens!

Now, re-releases are not always great, and by the tail of a chimera, if Capcom fucks this one up, there’ll be hell to pay, but while Dragon’s Dogma was great, Dragon’s Dogma with improved graphics a stable frame rate and less bugs will be even greater! And if you’re still not convinced, who doesn’t want to listen to our pawns and wisdom such as “Even in numbers, a weakling is a weakling still” or the all-time favourite “It bears the head of a cock”?

Rabidgames is happy: Finally, finally, finally! Fuck words. Let’s drink to the good news!

Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time Will Be Here Very Soon!!!

Posted in News with tags , , on May 18, 2017 by Rabidgames

Star Ocean: Till The End Of Time will hit the PSN Store in North America and Europe next Tuesday, 23 May. BOOM! Square Enix just released that bombshell out of nowhere, and while the confirmed US price of $21 is not exactly cheap, this great game will be worth it!

Now, in case you don’t know why Till The End Of Time is loved by many JRPG fans, well, how does mixing a great deep and tactical combat system with a part sci-fi/part fantasy story and then turning everything upside down with a big twist in the middle of the game sound?

Rabidgames throws money to the screen: Shut up and take the money already, Square!

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 or A Flat Open World of Bugged Potential

Posted in Hands On with tags , , , on May 16, 2017 by Rabidgames

Now, don’t get Rabidgames wrong – open worlds are fine. Perfectly fine if you like them, as we all know Rabidgames does. But when it comes to Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, the open world is uninspired and bland. And that’s far from the biggest problem the game has …

Technically, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is the equivalence of a train wreck. Loading the game takes up to 5 – yes, five – minutes Every time the game is booted up, it crashes. Every damn fucking time! Sometimes it freezes, sometimes you fall below the world, sometimes you want to enter your car but are teleported into the sky – in this instance, you might very well fall back down and die. Thankfully, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 loads quicker after you died, but when you’re unlucky enough to witness a crash or freeze 5 minutes after you watched the screen for 5 minutes, the next 5 minutes are a special kind of frustrating! Okay, some bugs are also funny …

Another hilarious issue in Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is that enemies disappear when they’re away more than roughly 250 to 300 metres. You tag them, walk away to snipe them, and boom, they’re gone. Until you come within their range again. Now the most brilliant thing about this is there actually is a trophy for killing someone with a headshot from 500 metres away. Awesome!

And then, the characters … Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is a prime example of what happens when all you do is adding some tough guys, a few sexy minxes and very evil enemies that speak Russian, because Russian enemies never go out of style, right? Giving away spoilers would almost mean giving away 50% of the lacklustre story, so let’s leave it at the simple point that the story is nothing to write home about.

And yet, despite all this, the gameplay isn’t too bad. Now, the name isn’t the only thing where Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 sounds a bit like the lost brother of Ghost Recon Wildlands … In both, you’re an American elite operative infiltrating enemy territory, and both give you a drone (although the one here moves horribly, always swinging about) and focus on stealth. That’s unfortunate, to say the least …

But whereas Wildlands is third person and all about your squad and synch shots, you’re mostly a lone wolf in the first person shooter Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. The story throws you into a bleak Georgia entangled in a civil war, and you snipe and shoot your way to missions that are actually not too bad, at least some of them.

Yes, it’s things you’ve seen before – recon, identify, take something or take out someone, but it can be fun. You also get side missions and you can explore the world, making grisly discoveries quite often. It’s just … the world in Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 feels barren and empty. Barren is fine as it suits the mood, but empty is a problem – yes, you can follow question mark and investigate things, some of them even with an unexplained Witcher-style sense, but everything in the world is bland – the architecture, the design of the maps, no traffic on the roads, hardly any civilians around … It’s a shame as sometimes the game hits a nerve, but mostly you go from A to B and find maybe a point of interest inbetween that doesn’t tell a story but just gives you some stuff.

You also level up in Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 (pretty much like in Skyrim – kill from afar and you level up your sniping skills, get up close and you level up general fighting skills), you earn currency you can invest into new weapons, ammunition or gadgets, and there’s also crafting if you feel like it. Pretty soon, you can craft a lot already. For some reason, some sniper rifles are hidden in the game’s world as well. Why? Who knows, who cares, right?

But as mentioned before, if Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 crashes every hour or so, it takes away most of the fun. And that’s a big problem. Add to that if the game crashes while you need to get out of the radius of a mission, re-booting Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 brings you back to the start of the mission. Pretty frustrating, right? Yes, developer CI Games apologised by giving us the season pass for free, but how useful can more of a broken game be? Yes, broken! How else would you describe a game crashing every 60 minutes or so?

Rabidgames bugs out: In its current state, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is a broken mess hardly worth playing. If patched properly, it might be worth giving it a shot, but for the time being, frustration out-levels fun by some degree unfortunately. If you’re interested in the game, feel free to check regularly and buy once the worst bugs and glitches have been fixed. If they get fixed …

Dreamfall Chapters or A Multiverse Adventure

Posted in Hands On with tags , , on May 8, 2017 by Rabidgames

Set 200 years in the future and in a fantasy world in a parallel universe connected by Storytime, the world of dreams where all stories begin and end, and being the successor of the two The Longest Journey games (the last one now 10 years old), Dreamfall Chapters sounds complicated and IS complicated to get into.

The game gives a brief explanation of what happened before, but wikipedia gives you considerably more information, which is kind of helpful to understand what’s happening. With all this info now digested, let’s roll and let’s have a look at the two protagonists in their respective worlds.

As Zoe, you live in the pan-European city of Europolis, which has turned into a police state after an event called the Collapse, and is preparing for elections. Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it? Anyway, as the talkative-almost-oversharing and quite sarcastic Zoe, you start out Dreamfall Chapters by living an ordinary life, bringing lunch to your investigative journalist boyfriend and finding out what use a “shitbot” is. The game’s words, by the way. Obviously, the story gets enriched by worldly and otherworldly conspiracies as it develops.

As for Kian, the fantasy world protagonist, his story starts darker and less humorous, and his adventure is also simply not that interesting. Yes, we witness his character development from blind faith to thinking in Dreamfall Chapters, but he is still not that interesting a character, and his story just has too much of the usual fantasy clichés such as “bad invaders want to prohibit magic” or “good guy who worked for evil empire now seeks redemption”.

Zoe’s dystopian story however is far more interesting. Be it the interesting stories of an impoverished Europe and a rich Africa, be it the European language (English with lots of words borrowed from other languages), be it the story of oppression and surveillance that at times resembles Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, or be it the same damn political struggle against extremism, all enriched by Zoe’s sarcastic thoughts. Her journal also helps you identifying with her, as she writes everything down rather the way it is, or at least appears to her.

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Xenophobia, xenophobia never changes.

In terms of gameplay, there is also a slight difference – Zoe usually asks more questions and her objectives are a bit more playful (at first at least), while Kian’s are more direct and often in old-fashioned point & click style. Most of the tasks are well-known and won’t take much time to figure them out – combine two objects, find someone or something and bring it somewhere, etc. Some objectives however are hard to meet – if the controls of Dreamfall Chapters ask you to go to a very specific point that and the action is triggered just there, not a millimetre to the left, well, that’s not too great now, is it? Different maps in the different worlds are a nice little touch tough.

Technically speaking, Dreamfall Chapters is pretty much the game you expect from a kickstarter experience and an episodic format (consoles thankfully get the more polished all-at-once experience); the animations are very wooden, the voice overs hardly reflect the environments nut are mostly still okay, the levels often lack details common in today’s games and the loading times are pretty long. On top of that, Dreamfall Chapters features a very outdated checkpoint system – not only can’t you save whenever YOU want, the game sometimes doesn’t save after important moments. Leave the game at your own peril or always pay attention to the save icon!

All of this being said, Dreamfall Chapters is still a game that has an entertaining story (it’s not Kian’s story that’s boring, plenty happens there, it’s the presentation of his character, especially in the beginning) with a few nice twists. The more cynical you are, the more you’ll probably enjoy the game, too. Make no mistakes, Dreamfall Chapters isn’t a happy game in either world. So, if you can deal with buying an indie game for the price of an AAA game and you have no objections to swearing a lot or to the outdated technical presentation, this interesting adventure waits to be played by you.

Rabidgames dreams: A bit more polishing, a bit more care for facial animations and voice overs, and Dreamfall Chapters could have been a thrilling adventure ride. It is still a decent enough game, but it’s difficult to get attached to at least some of the characters because of this. It is also a bit like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate again with the two different main characters, one of them bland. But look beyond that, and there’s an interwoven story across dimensions waiting, and who knows who’s awake or dreaming.

PuyoPuyo Tetris or Hardcore Puzzling with a JRPG Overtone

Posted in Hands On with tags , , on April 28, 2017 by Rabidgames

First off all, we all know Tetris. We all do, right? For most of us, it started on the GameBoy back in the day, right? Fewer of us know Puyo Puyo, also known as Puyo Pop the west, a kinda similar puzzle gaming series, but the focus there is to have four drops of the same colour together so they disappear. So what about we combine both? Sounds crazy, is a bit crazy, but Puyo Puyo Tetris manages to do it successfully … to a degree.

Why to a degree? Well, contrary to what everyone would have guessed, Puyo Puyo Tetris isn’t exactly a game you just play to relax – it is pretty brutal actually. Even on lower difficulties, you don’t have much time, and there are hardly any proper solo modes – you face a human or an AI opponent most of your time with the game.

If you’re new to either Puyo Puyo or Tetris (is that even possible?), there is a nice and handy tutorial, covering everything from the basics to the pro stuff. Afterwards, you can play one of the many solo or multiplayer modes, but you shouldn’t. Why? You’ll get your ass kicked, that’s why! Sure, you can play either or, but the most fun is to be had if both types change from time to time or if they are combined – yes, combined! And it can be pretty confusing to just jump into it.

Puyo Puyo Tetris also comes with a more or less hidden tutorial that introduces you to all the different possibilities, the Adventure mode. Imagine playing both games with the quirkiness and the craziness of JRPG dialogues and the accompanying upbeat soundtrack. Now, the big question is – will you survive listening hours of often high-pitched voices yelling at you while everything is colourful and on speed? If you think you recognise one of the voices, you’re right – JRPG veteran Erica Lindbeck is in here as well. While she is not as great here as when she was voicing Tales of Berseria’s crazy witch Magilou, it’s still a voice you’ll recognise (even more so when you played also Persona 5 and Nier: Automata, where she also appears).

Oh, and one more thing – Puyo Puyo Tetris’ Adventure mode is far from easy. Chances are you’ll need a few tries to clear some of the first 10 stages, and it can get frustrating at times. But if you fail at one stage, you’ll get the option to advance anyway … although that’d be cheating, wouldn’t it?

After mastering Adventure Mode (or at least after getting started there) and after unlocking some of the the game’s many customisation options, you should be ready to explore the depth of Puyo Puyo Tetris – there are many different modes, although sadly only a few are proper solo modes. If you like multiplayer action, you can play locally and online, and the crazy Party mode where items change the game really shines here.

Now, Puyo Puyo Tetris is a good game for puzzle fans, but there’s a small problem – the pricing. 20 quid for Puyo Puyo and Tetris feels maybe a bit too much, and that’s just the PS4 pricing – the game is even a tenner more for the Switch! Sure, there’s plenty of content and your brain goes crazy at times, but unless you need your puzzle fix right now, it won’t hurt to wait a bit.

Rabidgames is puzzled: This game offers quite some content, but it can also be very frustrating. It is odd that game that looks like a casual game is pretty hard, but if you can get past that and past the manic Adventure mode cutscene madness, the last puzzle to solve before getting the game is the inexplicably high price …

Wildlands’ DLC Narco Road is a Potholed Scam … With a Llama Bike!

Posted in Hands On, The Latest with tags , , , , on April 24, 2017 by Rabidgames

As you know, Rabidgames thinks Ghost Recon Wildlands is a great game with tons of stuff to do; it is entirely possible to only have completed 2 out of 21 provinces after playing the game for 23 hours. So you might think more can only be good, right?

Not in this case! The first DLC, Narco Road, is outright crap. It’s shit. You know, Wildlands has two weaknesses: The driving and flying mechanics. So what could go wrong if you base a DLC on both? Yep, pretty much everything.

Narco Road introduces you to driving around with monster trucks destroying shit in your way, and even some racing. Besides, you can drift or jump monster trucks or muscle cars, and you get a nice boost … But well, those driving mechanics, that were good enough for casually driving from A to B, or maybe hunting down cartel member C, now ask for precision and timing, without having been improved for Narco Road. It’s still doable, but it’s not fun. At all.

And then the flying … you have to fly around a lot in choppers or planes, including a set of side missions to dust coca plants, and there are even more SAM sites than before, making these side missions incredibly annoying. And again, they’re not fun at all.

What else is there? Some more bland side stuff, drifting, jumping or climbing mountains (yawn), side stuff where you race to a caged wild animal, kill enemies and secure the package by tagging it. Sounds pointless, is pointless. The best new side activity in Narco Road is finding a lost car somewhere on the map, using a photo to find its whereabouts. And it’s not even that great.

Even worse, Narco Road takes place in a few re-drawn and not exactly remarkable Western provinces, you have to start with a fresh level 20 character, you have less weapons at your disposal, and everything you can gather is just re-skinned weapons from Wildlands. Oh, and the strange story puts you undercover into Santa Blanca where you fight a rival cartel that doesn’t seem to exist in the main game …

Even worse, you’re on your own. No squad to help you, making fighting enemies tedious. Each damn mission takes much longer now, and once you’re dead, no AI revives you (weirdly enough, coop still works). Narco Road really does a damn impressive job to take the strengths of Wildlands – the massive, diverse map, the squad fighting, the weapon customisation – and then remove them.

Its only saving grace could well be the “Lorenzo Bike”, a llama bike shooting rainbow farts and making weird noises, but that’s surely not worth the price, right? In case you got Narco Road anyway (most likely because you bought the season pass as Narco Road sounded good on paper, didn’t it?), here’s how to find the llama bike around 2 miles south-east of the Sueno Mausoleum :

So unless you bought the season pass, avoid this pathetic DLC like the plague! It seems Ubisoft said “hey folks, what about some more outlandish stuff? You know, like Saints Row or GTA? Let’s just make sure to get it out quickly, and let’s re-use everything instead of making something new! Oh, and please, please let’s not integrate anything into the main game!” The result … Narco Road. Half-baked ideas and terrible execution will make sure this is a broken road not much travelled.

Rabidgames swears: Fucking hell! Ubisoft, we thought you’ve learned from your past DLC mistakes! But Narco Road is an awful piece of pointless DLC not worth the time or the money. What the fuck were you thinking publishing this mess?