It is really hard to believe that now, 15 years later since the last entry in the series, there are still plentiful secrets in our beloved world Nosgoth to find. In collaboration with Ben Lincoln, Gh0stBlade, Eoghan, Aevum, AesirHod, Bazielim, Kevin and Mama Robotnik, we can now show you the exciting new footage, screenshots and comparisons from these newly discovered SR1 beta versions and BO alpha versions. This is the biggest discovery we had in a while so below are links to videos and pages where you can read about our findings: The Lost Worlds and Legacy of Kain Wikia posts. For more about the Chronoplast visions and screenshots read here.
Below are videos from the actual Chronoplast rooms and Blood Omen Chess Match. More content to follow as this post will be updated!
Originally planned overworld map for Blood Omen and various screenshots:
Do you finally want to play BO in window mode, smooth 60fps and high resolution cutscenes? Well, now you can thanks to Verok! Head over to his blog where you can download the installation package. If you already have the game installed, just paste and overwrite the contents into your game folder. Before you click on Kain.exe and if you are on Win7 just set the compatibility to Win98/ME and you can adjust some additional settings. After that go to task manager and set affinity to all cores to receive speed up in fps. I have done this over an already existing installation via Cuban Raul´s installer and everything works perfectly!
It has been two years since the seventh version of the Soul Reaver soundtrack was released and I have considered whether a re-recording might be necessary after some time. In a recent replay of Soul Reaver, I have changed the plugins around a bit and decided it might be worth a shot re-record every track with something which sounds closer to what it would be on PlayStation and on higher bitrate. While OST v7 was recorded with cubic interpolation which has better treble, version 8 was recorded with gaussian interpolation setting. This makes the sound a lot deeper and richer, while losing some of its clarity. I have also renamed a few tracks, added a few which were previously included but missing in 7. version. The attached read me file goes into a deeper detail on what is new. I hope you´ll enjoy this latest update. I will remove v7 in a week or two, so if you want to compare them or prefer a stronger treble, download the old version here.
MCM this year is over yet again and we had loads of fun. Friday was probably the best con day I have ever experienced. Everything was great - no big queues, plenty of space to walk around, enough cosplayers to look at and we could sit and watch any panel without issues. I was planning to cosplay Rachel Amber in the morning, but since we got into our hotel at 11am, I have decided to change into Chloe Price straight away as we had about 15min walking + getting our wristbands at the Excel as well. However, it was liberating to be able to breath freely, take pics with my phone as usually I am struggling to do anything with my hands or move. It felt good to be human again. Baziel was accompanying me as Cpt. Spirit and we eventually found a fellow Spirit cosplayer, which was awesome!
We were not so lucky on the second day. It was already stressful in the morning trying to checkout on time and getting to the venue with nothing but thin layers on us but we made it. Unfortunately, we had to get our badges and go through bag check and the queues were long - we were eventually herded in but I couldn´t help but long for Friday again. The Excel was filled with people at noon and it was hard to move. We quickly stashed our bags at cloakroom and went to walk around the venue and check what is new. I must admit, having Raziel´s cowl on me most of the time was difficult and after 30mins, I just had enough and had to pull it down a bit to get some fresh air. However, it was worth it as I could hear people saying "Legacy of Kain" or "Raziel!" which made me smile inside. Baziel was Moebius and his staff got plenty of recognition as well. Overall, it was really good and even if Saturday was a lot more sweaty and uncomfortable, next time we might go either for 3 days or just Friday and Sunday. Thanks to everybody who stopped and said hi or took a picture. Below is a link to all the photos we took of ourselves and others:
Lara Croft has traversed many kilometres in her existence. First, she
presented herself to us in her blocky form in 1996, but as the
polygons got more rounded in the later games, it ultimately led to
her demise, in the form of barely playable catastrophe named Angel of
Darkness. Originally, AOD was meant to become this grand trilogy, but
Eidos had to scrap the rest due to bad sales and low quality of the
game. Lara has pretty much disappeared from our sight after this
Meanwhile, Eidos was thinking on how resurrect our popular heroine
and ordered Core Design and Crystal Dynamics with something exciting.
Both studios produced a prototype of an anniversary version of the
very first TR, but Core has not learnt its lesson. According to the
leaked footage, they were clinging onto the old 3D control scheme,
where Lara is basically stuck to the ground and has to slowly turn to
switch directions (famously known as the tank controls), while
Crystal has shown much modern approach to gameplay. They have moved
the emphasis from hanging onto the ledges into automatic grabs and
climbing. What has happened after, is history. Legend, Anniversary
and Underworld were a successful reboot trilogy, however, failed to
reach the success of the original TR.
2013 has brought us yet another reboot of the brand, again in the
reigns of CD. This time, they have shown us a much more vulnerable
side to Lara, stranded on a mysterious japanese island, her very
first adventure with a new group called Trinity in her way. While
this part contained a lot of shoot-outs and almost no tombs, the game
was widely well received equally by most players and reviewers. After
this success, we were given Rise of TR, which gave us a breath taking
introduction in the mountains and beatiful Syria and Siberia. Some
aspects got better, some worse, but as Crystal was working on the new
Avengers game, the next TR game was given to the hands of Eidos
Montreal. This for me was the first warning sign, that maybe I should
wait for reviews first. So what could have possibly gone wrong with
Shadow of Tomb Raider?
We have more tombs, less action and still, the game does not function
well on its own. It is difficult to pin-point which aspect Montreal
has failed on, but everything which made the previous two games fun
such as exploration and discovery of new weapons and tools is just
midlessly thrown into the game. I had no sense of Lara herself being
motivated or growing throughout the adventure. Yes, you still
discover the old forgotten cities and temples, but it does not have
the same drive as in the previous titles. You´ll definitely won't be
making the infamous sigh which Lara cheesily produced before which is
a bit of a surprise as I have seen many reviews giving this game a
9/10. Another thing which made me scratch my head was the arsenal of
weapons Lara can get. It feels redundant as there is no reason to buy
or upgrade any other weapons besides the ones you find. SOTR suffers
overall due to poorly thought out level design and while technically
it is well made, it is missing the playfulness of the previous games.
The first big change that you'll notice is the unlocking of the
abilities. The skill tree is now shown across the whole screen and
you don't need to switch between three categories anymore. On one
side, it is a good change but now the icons of the main categories
are covering up half the screen for no reason and the actual skills
are laid out in a grid like system. In the end, I've found it more
confusing than useful. The worst thing about the skill tree is its
efficiency. Besides some of the basic first skills you unlock
automatically during the story, most of the skills are unneccesary
like certain prolonged effects of berries or survival instict
upgrades. The only one which was worth investing into was holding
your breath for longer period of time (which you get for free anyway
in one of the challenge tombs), the rest you can completely forget
about as they barely do anything interesting.
One of the new additions in the game is the ability to dress into
costumes with separate top and bottom parts as you can now combine
different outfits together. Some of them possess certain attributes
such as the hide from jaguar which makes you less visible to enemies
and the boots from animal skin are less noisy. It is a nice addition
but again, it didn't really matter in the end. In one of the hub
cities you will be actually forced to wear a tribal costume, which
wouldn't be such an issue if you were not in it for almost half of
the game. This undermines this whole new system of combining these
outfits, so most of them you won't be able to wear.
Swimming in the previous games was mostly focused on the surface but
Shadow has finally added submerging fully and it is quite well
presented. Lara will get to chance to swim a lot and you will find
underwater passages quite often. You can speed up your swimming
underwater as many times you might be pressed for time to find an air
bubble to replenish your air supply. There are also eels patrolling
some routes so you need to be careful and hide in the weed to avoid
them. It is a bit of a shame that breathing the trapped air animation
is exactly the same every time.
I didn't like such prominent focus on combat in TR 2013 and Rise,
especially the passages where you could not avoid and the game made
you into Rambo. In Shadow, you can count these on your hand. On one
side, I find it nice that the authors listened to the complaints but
now we fell into the exactly opposite extreme. The spaces where Lara
is facing Trinity soldiers are a lot tighter and in some moments you
have to use your knife and stealth approach only. Interesting
addition is applying mud to your face and clothing, so Lara can blend
in with the environment a lot easier without being seen. Stealth
kills are a fun to perform but Shadow suffers from the corner syndrom
(so typical for AC series), so all you have to do is to be stand
against the wall and press a button to kill all the unsuspecting
enemies. I am glad that they have added more ways to kill the enemies
but it could have been better and more freely incorporated with the
rest of the game.
Some enemies (most of them towards the end) are wearing helmets,
making headshots practically impossible without alerting everybody
around, which is not fun if you enjoy using the bow. Another new
gadget is the thermal goggles, which some enemies start using later
on and only if you cover yourself in mud you won't be seen when
hiding in vegetation. However, there is an issue when trying to aim
for when enemies are up close. The target reticular is a bit big and
it can be difficult to shoot things in front of you. I have also
noticed a strange way Lara equips the shotgun which miraculously just
jumps straight into her hands which looks quite jarring.
Overall pacing of the game is uneven and after a pretty hectic
beginning, all goes to a halt. Which, as such, is not a bad thing but
when the game offers you two pretty big hubs to explore and there is
no combat, everything slows down too much and you find yourself doing
the boring sidquests in the hope of receiving something of value.
Nope, sometimes you get a piece of outfit, sometimes just a mark on
your map where a rare animal is or a challenge tomb is hidden. Things
you can find easily yourself as the maps are very restricted and
linear. TR 2013 had its charm in its uncharted island and Rise in its
superb snow effects and they both have what Shadow is lacking –
variability. Yes, both of these ran out of steam about halfway
through, had too much action, explosions and had predictable story
but at least the gameplay as such was still fun and environments were
interesting to look at.
With a game titled TR I would also expect minimum bugs. I was
especially looking forward to the fight with the jaguars. The music
got more intense as I was drawing near the jaguar's nest but as soon
as I got there, something was off. I found my foe crouching in the
grass in the middle of the arena, just standing still, occasionally
letting out a roar. Confused, I started to fire arrows into its back
but the beast did not care at all. Only after I walked really close,
it suddenly shot out of its position directly into a… wall.
Luckily, the animal came to its senses and started attacking but the
whole excitement of this fight evaporated. I haven't seen this bug
since but it was a big letdown to see this within the first two hours
of the game. Another issue happenes when you play the game under
DX11. For some reason, as soon as you enter the first cave in the
game, there is a horrible stutter, making it impossible to play. Only
setting the game on a higher priority in the task manager remedied
this but previous titles did not suffer from this problem.
Graphically, Shadow is on a similar level as Rise, there are not many
major improvements. At the beginning I was enjoying walking in a deep
mud and quite dense dark jungle enveloped in a light mist. All of the
atmosphere was gone as soon as the sun came up and the whole feeling
of being stranded kinda dissipates. Some views in the game are still
nice but in comparison to its older siblings, I had barely pressed
F12 besides getting a few screenshots for this review. Maybe it is
due to jungle for not being as interesting during daylight as darker
environments. Unfortunately, the music is again forgettable. I guess
the days of iconic melodies from the nineties are long gone now and
replaced with a bunch of repetetive tribal motives. Less is sometimes
more and I would have enjoyed the silence of Lara's footsteps and
occasional mysterious cries or squeals coming from the depths of the
tombs instead. The constant drumming can get irritating when you are
trying to focus on climbing or just absorbing the atmosphere around
The story of TR was never its strong point. Even going back to the
oldest TR games or the previous trilogy, the story was always the
weakest part. It is a bit confusing why is it such a hard thing to
craft a more compelling story than the premise of finding an artifact
and get home. Even employing Rhianna Prattchett for TR 2013 did not
help much but it at least they gave us a backstory on the various
Endurance crew survivors through logs and camera footage. Rise had a
bit less of it but Shadow completely gives up pretending to make you
care. In the beginning, Lara is trying to cope with her deed which
caused a major cataclysm, costing hundreds of lives by stealing a
sacred mayan dagger from its final resting place. This apparently
puts a whole prophecy in motion which will ultimatley lead into the
destruction of the world if Lara does not prevent it. She regrets the
whole ordeal for like few minutes, shouts a bit at her companion
Jonah and then goes back to the peaceful exploration of the cities
and fetching side quests. Any sense of urgency is just not present
well here. Trinity are forgettable as ever together with their leader
whose motivations do not make much sense.
The only moment which stuck in my mind was when Lara finally gets
angry with everything and there is a cool scene of her rising up
(those who played know exactly which one), but there simply isn't
such an iconic moment till the end of the game after this. The finale
was a letdown as well. You just run to the end of the level while
things explode and helicopters can't hit you if you keep moving
(because plot armour) and the final confrontation is just completely
emotionless. Even when the devs had a chance to make a meaningful
impact, everything is suddenly all okay. There is just no progress,
no lesson learned and Lara just moves on as if nothing happened, just
another day with an a new artefact in her possession. The post credit
scene does not give us any resolution or a hint of what is Lara up to
next. That is not until you witness the alternate ending which got
released with the game by accident and that gives us a lot more
closure just by adding two little nods to the old games.
game is also a lot shorter, almost twice as short as Rise of TR,
which came as a
bit of a surprise. I was expecting a longer experience, but on one
hand I was happy that I didn't have to play more of this game due
to lack of fun factor. It was supposed to
be the pinnacle of the new reboot series but instead, it fell short.
I can feel that the authors tried to play
it safe while not changing too much and just adding bits and pieces
here and there but in the end, it just felt hastily
tacked on and without much cohesion.
Possible explanation could be the DLC packages and first one called
the Forge will add a new area and a co-op mode. However, not even NG+
mode will save it for me and while I felt that I wanted to replay TR
2013 and Rise again, Shadow left me with a
Alas, I've just
found the game
boring as a long term fan of TR series.
There were simply a
lot more things I didn't like about it. I can just hope that the
authors will improve upon their mistakes, that is if Square Enix will
even give them the next game after questionable quality of this
. As it stands now, it is a pale shadow of
the Tomb Raider legacy.
I have finally had some time to record all of SR2 footage, so now I have all of Soul Reaver games covered. I must say I am still considering doing a Playstation or Dreamcast run of SR1 at the moment, but I´ll see. This still leaves BO1 and BO2, but maybe one day... Recording via Shadow play made things a lot easier as OBS would not work for SR2 and Fraps just creates uber large files (I do not have that much space on my hdd). Below are all the links to the walkthroughs I have done so far for the three LOK games:
I attended LFCC first time this year as after attending several MCMs at London Excel I felt a need for change. This time I wanted to do another Legacy of Kain cosplay and felt like it is time for me to portray an ancient vampire. I got inspiration for my fellow friend Lucinvampire and her Janos costume. My attempt was not at any ancient in particular, but you can spot the resemblence to Janos´s outfit. It took me quite a while to figure out the details, especially the wings.
I ended up cannibalizing some parts of my previous costumes (practice which is not unknown to most cosplayers). Luckily, none of those pieces were damaged and I can freely use them between costumes (like boots or ears). My golden boots got another spray paint layer and also I have made new thicker leather guards for them so they would not bend as easily. This time, I glued my ears with spirit gum, so did not have to worry about losing them.
Since last year I have done Raziel´s bat wings, I felt like trying feather wings for a change. Getting feathers was the easy part, how to attach them securely to the construction was another. I wanted them to be posable as well, so I have used alluminum wire with cloth for the main body, like I have done for the bat wings. I have attached all the feathers in small horizontal rows using velcro strips (hook and loop) and in the end, I ended up stapling them all on. The glue from the velcro was not strong enough to hold securely (at one point, all of it peeled off), so the stapler worked really well. For the main body I have used black leggings (I had wet look tight trousers ready but it was just too hot that day), white robe and blue see through blouse. For my face I wore my white eye contact lenses (those are actual prescription ones) and painted my face blue. For my hands I used painted witch fingers to create a tri-claw effect. Painting my hands was the worst decision, unfortunately, as I could not touch anything at all, which was super frustrating and I wish I would have gone for gloves instead (that is already on the list of improvements). The wings, which were the part I worried about most, were the sturdiest piece of my costume in the end. None of the feather layers fell off and even when I was walking, they were joyfully bobbing up and down with me.
Baziel finally did his long awaited Moebius costume. He did the snake staff with the ball all on his own (I painted the snake red and yellow). I was really worried it would not hold but with a bit of glue gun and screws it all held together really nicely! Moebius´s costume is actually quite complex, but I feel we improvised well and I got to use my lame sewing skills to create a v-shape in the back of the tail and attached shoulder pads (originally from an executioner costume).
As to the convention itself, it was cheaper than MCM by a bit and I wanted to see what a Friday felt like there for comparison. After we got off the train we went the wrong way at first for few minutes, there were no signs for regular visitors so we ended up going all the way around the venue just to get in. We waited in the queue for about 10 mins and then got in without issues. Maybe it was due to Friday being quieter than the rest of the weekend but I was a bit underwhelmed by the stuff inside. There were plenty of opportunities to shop for merchandise but it felt a bit lackluster, especially when compared to MCM. These were just two interconnected halls with not much going on that day. There was practically no seating throughout the whole venue (if you do not count the panels) and while there was a blue mat in the middle to sit down on, for people in costumes it was impractical to sit down completely. I think better solution was to provide any soft stuff to sit on or even bean bag chairs, as MCM has done in the past. I was not interested in the panels, so after about 2,5 hours of constant walking, we got exhausted (it was 30 degrees outside that day) really quickly. The airconditioning did not work too well in the main halls.
Within the first ten minutes we got first photo opp and while we spent only like two or three hours there total, we got several people stopping us and taking pictures which always makes me super happy. I even got a professional photographer take pictures of me. The result was pretty stunning compared to the pictures taking by me on my phone. He is pleasure to pose for and definitely give him a follow @Colin Eastaugh.
Overall, it was a good experience, even though we left earlier than I´ve thought. Met my awesome friends again which made everything worth it. Next time, however, I will be at MCM London this October, sporting some new cosplays on Friday and Saturday. Be sure to stop by and say hello! I will reveal what I am cosplaying later on.
here are two interesting videos for you to look at. First one is an interview my SoulRev coleague, Francesco, talking about game development and also shining some light about our project. We are still kicking even though things not always go as fast as we would wish. Second one is the well known Hylden aka Patrick Johnson who just joined Patreon and it showcases first video footage of Soul Revenant as well. You can now support his artwork or even request to make models for you.
According to the latest article on Eurogamer, Amy Hennig confirmed that she left EA and is no longer working on ther Star Wars game which underwent major changes and is not the same game she has been working on. Amy was visiting Gamelab conference in Barcelona when she was approached by Eurogamer. She disclosed the following:
"I'm working independently and staying independent. I just started my
own small little independent studio and am consulting with some people.
I'm hoping to bring some people on board, I would love to have a little
company of about six to eight people, 15 at the most, and do some more
projects, do some VR stuff - I'm consulting with some VR companies and
doing a ton of research because I haven't played a lot to immerse myself
After years of working for EA, this news is perhaps most exciting in a while in a world of Legacy of Kains. While she might not be thinking of returning to the franchise, given that Square Enix owns the series, this still might bring interesting games from Amy Hennig´s amazing talent for writing and directing. We can always hope that LOK has not completely left her mind but wish her all the best in creating her new projects, this time without the pressure of a publisher behind her back.
of the Colossus is a legendary game and rightfully so. By coming to
PlayStation 4, the players can finally experience the game as the authors
intended, that is without any technical compromises. How did the new
studio Bluepoint manage with this remake?
was 2006 and I somehow got to this gem on PlayStation 2. I must say that I've
missed its predecessor, Ico, which was hard to find back then, but I
got hooked on this unusual game where your sole goal is to defeat all
the bosses. The original game, however, was plagued by the lower
framerate, which was sometimes dropping to intolerable values.
Despite that, the game was highly praised and got great reviews. In
2011, Sony has released a remaster with higher framerate for PlayStation 3,
made by the very same Bluepoint. So why are we returning back to the
colossi again for the third time? I can only assume that during the
remastering the game they thought the game would look a lot better in
current gen graphics with modern shaders and particle effects, so
they have called upon Japan Studio for help and guidance. Thus,
Bluepoint have created all of the art assets from scratch and all the
previously low-res textures received a well deserved upgrade while
keeping the source code and animations intact. If you think this was
a waste, watch a video comparison of all three versions. On a regular
PS4, you can achieve a stable 30fps, while PS4 PRO gives you the
option to play in 60fps on 1080p resolution.
has a story full of emotions taking place in a seemingly empty world.
It´s primarily inhabited by the sixteen colossi, which our main hero
must kill if he wants to resurrect his girl. It would be impossible
to achieve in the land of the mortals, however, Wander has heard
about a strange foreign land, where a god called Dormin can resurrect
the dead. Determined, Wander embarks upon a long journey into the
Forbidden land, where entry is punished. As soon as you see the
weirdly structured bridge for the first time, you can recognize
Fumito Ueda's signature
architecture from Ico. You'll
find many ruins and empty building which silently tell the tales of
the old battles or the lives of its people. Wander, however, did not
come to learn about these interesting tales of the old civilizations.
After he gently puts down Mono on the altar, an ancient voice speaks
out. Realizing that you are carrying the sacred sword, Wander is
given his first task. Not heeding Dormin's warning that the price for
this deed might be too high, Wander gets on his trusty steed, Agro,
to fulfil his mission to take down all of the sixteen majestic
is just a short intro, but the game contains minimum cutscenes and
focuses mainly on gameplay. The game gives you a vast world to
explore which is fun to traverse. In order to not get lost, you can
always check your position on the map or just use the landmarks to
orient yourself. You'll find plenty of unique rock formations,
Stargate-like rings in the desert or pillars jutting out of the
ground around that one corner. If you ever feel you lost your
objective, there is an easy solution. Your sword is not just any
random weapon. It reflects sunlight which can help you light up dark
areas or, most importantly, point to the precise location where the
next colossus is hiding. If Wander would try to get into this land on
foot, he would probably still be running on that super long bridge
you find at the beginning of the game. Luckily, his companion, mare
Agro, is really fast and can tackle long distances with ease. You do
not control her directly but by pulling her reins to turn or stop.
You need to give her a kick to go faster. It's very effective and
galloping across the plains never felt so majestic before this game.
Agro will usually always try to reach you, but if you ignore her, she
will try to keep herself occupied by eating the grass or drink from a
spring you found. Sometimes she will start walking into the distance
on her own but you can always call her back with a shout or a
whistle, if she is too far away.
world of SOTC is mostly deserted but beautiful. Wandering through
centuries of nature unspoiled by human hands is thrilling and is
accompanied by her serene sounds. From the rich green forests full of
chirping to the wind blowing around statues half buried in countless
sand dunes. You will visit several lakes, full of fish, whose silence
is interrupted by Wander's splashing in the water. There is no time
limit to achieve your main goal and that gives you the opportunity to
just stop and look around. To think about how this ancient, crumbled
city used to look like at the height of its existence. It´s so easy
to just take a stroll through the forest, catch a few lizards to get
an improved grip or search for the exotic fruit, which prolongs your
life. You can even try to latch onto a passing flying hawk or a fish
and see how long can you hold on for. There are lots of different
things to do to keep yourself occupied in between the hunts for the
colossi. This is strengthened by the stunning visuals, which changed
quite a lot since PS2 was around. While the former blocky design was
necessary in the past, now it's just a choice in places, where it
actually fits. Many times I've stopped just to look at closer at
those sharp textures on the rocks and ravines to make the best
screenshot. Particles were also improved. Your horse now leaves hoof
prints in the sand and Agro's tail and mane playfully flutter in the
wind. The fur on the colossi bends as you climb over it as well.
There are other effects like light mist above lakes and inside
forests, sand coming off rocks in the desert and I have never seen so
many patches of lush green grass in one place.
battles with the colossi could be regarded as their own levels and
are the biggest draw of the game. Every colossus has a different
design, size and behaviour. Some are more aggressive than others and
in order to beat them, you need to search for their weak points. Your
bow serves more to draw attention of the colossus to that tiny human
on the ground, which is you. Your special sword, on the other hand,
is the only thing which can do any damage, though, and has to be
stabbed into the glowing spot until enough of the black fog escapes.
Once you have conquered the beast, it helplessly topples into a
rubble of rocks and sand, as if it was just an empty shell. To climb
upon such a monster is not easy. Luckily for Wander, part of their
bodies is covered by thick fur which he can grab onto. It's not
possible all the time, however, and you might need to find a way to
flip over the colossus to reveal a climbing spot. Holding onto the
alerted enemy is not an easy task either, as it will start to rock
backwards and forwards as soon as he finds out that you are on his
shoulder. This is where Wander's grabbing strength comes into play.
You start with a small circle, which depletes rather quickly, but by
eating lizard´s white tails, you can improve it significantly. The
lizards are usually hidden around the checkpoint shrines but catching
them is not easy as they are fleeting. If you manage to hold on
(taking breaks on your grip can replenish it much faster at a risk of
falling off), you have to search for the colossus' weakness which
your sword can expose. Each glowing mark will take several charged up
stabs before you have to move to the next one, but it is usually
between two or three before the colossus succumbs to your will. The
difficulty of each fight varies and while some are harder than
others, it is not overly difficult. Sometimes you just need to use
your environments to your advantage and lure the colossi where you
need them, whether it be by hiding so it can't see you and it is fun
to find out what works. If you'll take too long, Dormin will also
give you a hint on how to proceed. The whole fight can take from
several minutes to half an hour, depending on your skills and
knowledge of the game.
source code of the game stayed while all the 2D and 3D objects where
swapped out for their higher polygon versions. Bluepoint did an
excellent job here while adhering to the structure of the original. The viewing distance has been vastly improved and now you can see 3D objects in the distance with ease. Graphics are not the only one which received an update, however. Even
though the voice over, sounds and music stayed the same, they were
all improved and now sound much higher quality. It is a joy to listen
to Agro's hooves hitting the ground or immerse yourself into the
majestic orchestra which accompanies your efforts to slay the beasts
and fuels your efforts. Other times it can evoke a calm, melancholic
atmosphere when you discover new locations. The intro and outro
tracks bear a strong emotion but you should definitely listen to the
whole soundtrack as it is brilliant. The controls were a bit clunky
in the original but the developers have made Wander's motions more
fluid and added two more modern control schemes. Unfortunately, both
of them place the horse control on the triangle, which you need to
hold down and it is very uncomfortable if you're trying to move the
camera around with your right thumb at the same time. I have solved
this by setting the horse command to R2 and grab to R1 instead in the
PS4 settings and it was a lot better this way.
beat the game for the first time takes about 8-10 hours. It is a bit
of a shame that Bluepoint did not try to go further and bring back
the missing eight colossi, which did not make the cut in the end.
Throughout the world you'll find many deserted places, which almost
beg for another epic confrontation. Time trials are back and if you
beat enough of them you'll get extra items just like in the original
(different weapon types, masks, or even a parachute). The main menu
also offers concepts and screenshots to look at. At the beginning,
you can choose from three difficulties – easy, normal and hard. I
recommend going for hard as the colossi have more weak points this
way and take longer to kill, as the game itself on normal seemed too
easy. After beating the game you'll also unlock new game + and you
can play the game in different screen filters. There is a newly added
photo mode which is nice but I was a bit disappointed you can't
position the camera freely.
is still a unique title just like when it came out originally. If you
have played it back then, on PS2, it won't harm to refresh your
memory again in a much better visuals and in high-res with stable
framerate. Even if you already own the PS3 remaster, this is a
perfect remake worthy of your purchase. Thanks
to Bluepoints hard work, new
gamers can now fully enjoy this masterpiece in
the shadow of the colossus.
warrior Senua is embarking on a treacherous path to save her beloved
from death. Accompany her on this journey to find Senua's true self!
you go through this as well? After finishing a game you feel empty.
You want more, but you know that repeated playthroughs will never be
the same as the first time. I think I felt like this after finishing
SOMA and more recently, Talos Principle. Both games make you think
about things which you do not stop and ponder about on a daily
basis. What is consciousness? In Hellblade, Ninja Theory got together
with professionals and doctors to show us how mental health issues
can affect an individual. The game offers a bleak, but interesting
insight upon a psyche of a suffering person.
learn who Senua is and where she comes from as the game goes on. At
the beginning, we witness how she tries to reach Niflheim on her
little raft, the land which is the entry to Helheim, her final
destination. In Viking hell it is Hela, the ruler of death, who is
the only one capable of returning a lost soul back from the
Underworld. Getting to Helheim will not be easy. The bridge is
guarded by a giant door with two large emblems and in order to unlock
it, Senua needs to delve deep into the domains of Viking gods Surtr
and Valravn. It is up to you which you go through first but both
offer a very different experience. If you know about Surtr and what
he is, you can already guess that this path will be like walking
through inferno. He is the god of fire and Senua has to step a foot
on the scorched ground, which still bears the screams of the people
which burned to death there. To get through this fiery place, Senua
must activate Surtr's signs scattered across the land. Touching one
will materialize the moment when the fire consumed everything and you
have a short time to get out of there and avoid choking to death.
our heroine is not helpless, she is a skilled warrior after all and
knows how to handle her sword. Later on, she will even master slowing
down time as certain enemies can only be damaged in that state. You
have one button for a light attack, second button for a heavy attack,
one for dodging which is very important, and last one is for
blocking. As I have been playing the Devil May Cry series for several
years, this felt a bit too simplified to me and while you can lock
onto enemies, you cannot really chain combos too much. The battles do
not happen often and are usually spaced in between puzzle sequences.
On higher difficulties the enemies get a lot tougher and dodging is
something you have to master. I definitely recommend a gamepad,
though, a keyboard might not be too comfortable.
boss is Valravn, the master of illusions and will drag you through a
dark forest, where nothing is as it seems. If you ever get stuck,
know, that looking at things from a different angle can help a lot.
The way forward is blocked by raven insignias and to do that, you
have to align the correct three symbols. If you persevere and kill
Valravn, the way to the bridge will be open. It is not, however, the
end of your journey, but merely a beginning to understand Senua's
past. The game has some interesting mechanics up its sleeve but you
have to discover that on your own.
of this is merely a vehicle to express Senua's true feelings. Those,
who are going or went through something similar, will understand. It
is best to describe as being lost in hopelessness and fear, to know
nothing will make you happy. Just like Senua, who lost everything.
You will just know that something went horribly wrong in her past,
something she chose to block out. Something which will never fully
heal and caused other personalities emerge in her mind. She is not
alone on her journey – there are others, voices of encouragement,
cowardice and fear, but also of bravery. They are always present,
just like the darkness which sleeps within our heroine. You will hear
their whispers, quiet or loud. If you are unsure on where to go, some
will mock you. Others will doubt your abilities. It is something I
had not experienced it before in a game and it hard to explain and
better to hear on your own. Besides your own voices in your head
there are also other characters, which emerge over time. Druth is a
mysterious ally, whose purpose is to guide you. His stories tell you
more about the Viking gods and their customs. Throughout the game
you'll also find rune
stones and if you find them all, you´ll
receive an extra scene at the end. Senua is not by any means ordinary
and sees symbols and faces everywhere, where normal people see
Sometimes it´s just a
play of shadow and fire, but it's enough for the symbol to appear.
The search gets progressively harder, but
there are indicators on the screen if you are close enough to one.
graphics are beautiful and the game supports 4K resolution as well,
if you have a good enough pc to run it. The sunset views above the
bridge leading to Helheim, the fiery paths of Surtr, or storms in the
dark forest are just a few environments which you will keep pressing
own character model has been made with the slightest details and
sometimes it is hard to believe, she is not real. I must applaud the
because it gives Senua more credibility and she also has a natural
face mimicry. How she looks at you, the player, feels unique, like
you are there with her all along. It is hard to not feel the
uneasiness together with her. That is the price which is worth to pay
because Hellblade is an experience which no other game can give you.
sound engineering is done exceptionally well and it is recommended to
play only with your headphones on, otherwise you might miss a lot.
The voices, which haunt Senua throughout the game, have various
volume and are important part of the game. The voice acting is
professional and particularly Senua's voice actor sounds impactful
(she received an award for it) and she did a great job on portraying Senua's
pain. She definitely belongs to one of the best video game characters
introduced to us in 2017. The music is more atmospheric and changes
dynamically, depending what is happening on the screen. It will
reside in the background when solving puzzles, other times it rumbles
when you are slicing through your enemies. Sometimes even you are not
sure if the developers are just playing you, or there are legitimate
reasons to be alarmed. The biggest minus is that some mechanics are
being repeated maybe too often (especially the puzzles which consist
of lining up the symbols) and the fights can get a bit taxing over
time. However, as the game is only about 8-9 hours long, which passes
quite fast, these faults do not interfere too much.
should know the least before playing this game. Do not watch the
videos, maybe look at a few screenshots. Play this with your
headphones on and best at night. Leave yourself to be dragged into
the dark world and engulf yourself into darkness together with Senua
and her alter egos. Stand against her worst nightmares and grab your
sword tightly into your hands. Only by witnessing the truth you can
overcome the hardship which awaits you. There is no way back, the
raft is gone and the world of unknown stands before you.
It´s been a while since I posted frequently but that is about to change. I have decided I will start posting game reviews for new and older games in English. I have been a review writer for ten years now but it was always exclusively in my native language, Slovak. Many of them are published here. It is time to change that and while I still write the reviews in Slovak first and then rewrite them to English, it is not a mere translation. I find myself changing few things here and there, so it´s not an exact copy of the text.
I was on hiatus from writing for like a year but the recent games which I got to play gave me inspiration to start writing again. It´s notably Shadow of the Colossus remake for PS4 and Hellblade: Senua´s Sacrifice. I might write reviews for some of the other games I have played recently too. Since the original reviews are all in Slovak, I felt it is time to broaden my reader base and make it possible for them to be read by wider audience. I hope you´ll enjoy reading these reviews as much as I had fun writing them.
I have been postponing a round up of last year´s MCM Comic Con for a while and it is time I have shared a blog post about it as well. I have posted the photos on my Ancient´s Den facebook page but have not really shared my experience.
This time, we bought priority weekend tickets and got a hotel nearby to avoid going backwards and forwards between the days. I must say it was still quite exhausting but worth it. The first two days I have cosplayed as wraith Raziel again. I have used the wig from my Lt. Raziel cosplay and it was a bit better but I still ordered another a new, shorter haired wig afterwards. Again, I was battling my cowl falling down constantly so I´ve put on a rubber band, but that proved too painful after a while. Luckily, my contact lenses did not fall out this time!
Friday was very casual and I have really enjoyed myself. Lots of people recognized me again, so it made me happy and we have seen lots of amazing cosplays I have never seen before! I´ve never been to MCM on a Saturday and I think I´ll avoid it from now on. The sheer volume of people in comparison to Friday was overwhelming. We got to see the professional cosplayers masquerade which had fellow Slovak and Czech cosplayers taking part. I was a bit sad to learn none of them got in first three places, as their cosplays were masterfully done (kudos especially to the Predator and his well done presentation!), the act I actually liked the least won for some reason and it did not think it was too fair... We also met up with some of my friends that night, fellow Lucinvampire, Nat, Inrezairo and others. Lucinvampire had her awesome hooded Kain costume from BO2 and was the only other LOK cosplayer (besides Bazielim being a vampire worshipper) during the weekend that I had seen.
Sunday was again more relaxed but it had a lot higher volume of families in, so I think I´ll stick with exclusively attending Fridays only from now on. It can be challenging if you have large wings or tail to fit in places. I had my Regina cosplay on, which did not suffer from being bulky but had its own discomforts - my heels had to be patched up so I could endure the pain of slightly tighter boots and the "wetsuit"-like overal I had on was not too flexible in certain places either... We still had a good fun, though, and I would have gone again. It was a good experiment to see if I can last three days of cosplaying and certainly having a hotel nearby helped a lot. We slept well and were just 15mins bus ride away from the venue. Also, the looks on people´s faces and driver´s heads turning as they pass you are hilarious.
However, few weeks ago MCM Comic Con was bought out by a new company and one of their first moves was to massively increase the prices, which I think is outrageous. For October 2017 we payed £50 for a priority weekend entry per person, this year it was increased to £65, which is 30% increase in price! No reason for this increase was given so far and I am not sure anything will actually change, so sadly, I have given up on going anymore to MCM. Luckily, I have discovered that there exists a lot more affordable option at London Film and Comic Con which takes place in Olympia. Friday afternoon entry is only £12, which I think is really good price, so for £26 I can have 2 Friday tickets, while at MCM that would only be for 1 ticket. It will be my first time there, so I am curious and excited to see the venue. See you there!
I primarily want to stress these are the games which I have played or finished during 2017, not games published during that year. I still have a big back log of older games I need to go through. I really want to play AC Origins but still need to finish AC Syndicate which kinda bores me, unfortunately. I have been introduced to a new series, however, and I do not regret it. I see the "YOU DIED" screen too many times per day now, I must say. Dark Souls are something you start playing and think this sucks or that you suck as a player but you keep going and going and then suddenly 30h have passed and you wonder where did the time go. It reminds me back to the days when I was trying to beat the Dante Mut Die mode on DMC3 and DMC1. I am hoping the upcoming remasters for pc will be improved ports, those games deserve it. My next one on the play list after that is probably DS2 and 3, with Bloodborne awaiting me on ps4 as well. One of my other to do lists is to finally record a full playthrough of Soul Reaver 2, which is long overdue and I should start on that shortly, hopefully.
We had to wait for almost 10 years for another Persona sequel and damn, it was well worth the wait. Easily the most fun I had in an jrpg in a long while and enjoyed it thoroughly. P-team listened and improved the things from P4 and overall, P5 is a masterpiece with excellent story, fun mechanics, catchy songs and improved combat. It took me 160h to finish this beast of a game and was the sole reason I got a PlayStation 4. The only gripe is that the affinity to elements is not present (like it was in SMTIV:A) and Hama/Mudo skills are back to being chance based (SMTIV had them damage based), luckily the new curse/bless attacks remedies that. Overall, Persona 5 deserves its place on the top of my list. Who wouldn´t want to be a Phantom Thief? You´ll never see it comiiing!!!
I bought Prey in a sale and was only told that it is like Bioshock so I was not sure what to expect (I always got bored of Bio1 and never finished it). I was wrong – Prey delivered in every regard. The last time I got really hooked into a game this much was SOMA. Now Prey has its own tricks up its sleeves and the gameplay is very non-linear. You can kill whoever you want, even NPCs and the story reacts to your choices. Talos 1 Station is huge to explore and the Typhon enemies are formidable (hearing their footsteps and muttering is always freaky), not to mention the Nightmare enemy... It´s weird that the game got progressively easier as you went on with more powers and guns at your arsenal, but it was always a challenge to play and provided enough different settings that blasting Typhon never got boring. I happily searched every cabinet and drawer just to get more resources and craft more items. It never feels tedious in Prey and many things are optional (my final time was 33h, which is superb for an fps). Recommended to play with headphones on, I really enjoyed Prey and hope it will get a sequel.
I´ve only heard a few things here and there about Hellblade, looked at the screenshots which looked really nice but it was mostly the portrayal of mental health issues which intrigued me. Now, having witnessed Senua´s internal suffering and her resolve to fight against it resonated deep within me. We all bear our battles in our heads, against the demons clawing their way into our skulls and whispering truths and lies alike. Senua´s darkness stems from many factors, which we as players get to see as she fights her way to Helheim, the hell of her own making. All the supernatural elements feel real and when you have to face demons with giant axes, you have little time to think but to dodge and deliver a deadly blow. Hellblade is about 9h long and even though I wished for more, it gave me proper chills, not from the fights, but from the endless void which Senua is surrounded by. The game shows us that the pain and suffering within is just as real on the inside and Hellblade is definitely an experience like no other.
The Talos Principle
Talos Principe is a hidden gem on this list. The only thing I knew about it was that it was about puzzles in outside areas. That´s what it is on the surface. Its true value, however, lies within. In simple terms it discusses the nature of life and what is considered as being alive, but this notions has many colourful interpretations and the game lets you decide and express yourself. You can even leave messages for other players. Talos captivated me by its complexity of story, which you can actually completely skip, and is one of the big surprises on my list (and it has damn hard puzzles for which you need to erase all what you´ve known about puzzle solving and employ a fresh look). The conversations in this game are masterfully done and felt like a reward after each puzzle area solved.
The Last Guardian
After the troubled development of being originally a PS3 game and almost not releasing, TLG finally saw the light and was released on PS4. Having played and enjoyed both ICO and SOTC, I had to buy TLG as well, as I admire Ueda´s work in general. The characteristic landscapes and structures, the strong bonds between the characters and a mysterious story in the background, all of it is back in TLG. I am aware of the negative press given to Trico and it´s AI, however, I wanted to see for myself before I condemn the game. I must say I only experienced trouble a few times, when Trico would not jump somewhere. It´s behaviour is really lively as an AI can currently get and I got attached to the creature, just like the boy did in the game. It was a fun ride and I loved solving puzzles with Trico´s help. If you like previous games from Ueda, this one will not disappoint you. It has a few technical issues (mainly framerate drops in some areas) but nothing which badly hindered my experience.
Resi is back in this fresh new form of a first person perspective and it really did wonders. After a rather bland action and explosion based RE6, the series felt stagnating and in a need of a proper revivel. All this was achieved in 7 - back are the haunting close corridors and narrow pathways, puzzle solving and real fear of your character´s life. First person perspective adds a lot to the experience and being back in a mansion like environment makes me reminiscence a lot about RE1. Even the different key types are back. Well done, Capcom, for bringing RE series back on its track. Looking forward for the next one!
People were not kidding about the games being hardcore. I never really tried it until recently and then put it down when I did like 5hp damage to a skeleton at the beginning and kept getting really frustrated with enemy respawns. I have picked it up again upon a friend´s recommendation and with the fan fix, it plays a lot better. I still die a lot and I am already almost 30 hours in, it definitely made me return to it every night. The game does not hold your hand, it just throws you into the world and you are left to fend for yourself. No map, no hints on where to go, only your resolve to kill that knight enemy again and again until you finally succeed. Repetition has usually a negative connotation, but for Dark Souls, it´s a necessity. You will die over and over, only to either throw the controller against the wall or keep trying. It is a true test in patience and of your fighting skills, but something inside you makes you want more and you´ll keep coming back to it.
Journey starts simple. It teaches you can walk, jump and… sing. Singing a tone is very important in the game, as you wake up pieces of cloth around the world and the more you have, the more powerful you get. It sounds really weird on paper, but the beautiful environments and fun puzzles make this game unforgettable. Primarily, it teaches it´s not the final goal, but the journey, which matters. A truly wonderful game.
Tale of Two Sons
This little game was gifted to me ages ago but I never took the time to try and play. I am glad that I did in the end. The controls are tricky but cleverly done – you control both brothers with a thumb stick each, which takes time to get used to but it adds to the unique experience. The game displays many emotions even though you just observe and do simple things – brotherly love, helping others with daily tasks, showing kindness, courage and ability to come to terms with sorrow… It´s a very humble experience about life which I recommend to play through.
The steam reviews were promising one of the best story telling experiences and they were not wrong. What remains of Edith Finch is a strongly story driven game which takes only 2 hours but it is very intensive experience. You witness the final moments before the mysterious deaths of the long deceased family members and you are not there to solve them, but to learn more about their lives. Despite being really short (you can finish it in 2 hours) and more of a narrative oriented walking simulator, I thoroughly enjoyed it.