Category: REVIEWS

Outlast : Review

Outlast              GmP                            image    6

With more and more studio’s opting to try and find the next multiplayer cash-cow it would appear that the days of the survival/horror title are well and truly numbered. But if developers such as Red Barrels show anything with their latest launch it is that there is still a huge demand for the suspenseful chiller in videogames today. Join us now as we take an in-depth look at the nightmare shocker Outlast.

Let’s get one thing straight from the outset shall we? Survival/Horror is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite genre in the vast array of gaming pigeonholes. That chilling sensation you get creeping up your spine as your character edges along a darkened hallway lit only by flickering shadows is a far more tangible experience than anything else, I feel, offered up in any of the myriad genres littering the shelves of your local gaming retailer.

Nothing else seems to draw you in to the atmosphere like a horror game, and nothing comes even remotely close to the real-world feelings drawn out of the player as they greedily suck in shallow breath after shallow breath as they stumble and fumble their way across game zones spattered with traps, troubles and blood stains in equal measure.

No, there is nothing quite like a good scare-fest of the kind a survival/horror title delivers. Enter stage right the cracking Outlast. This outstanding piece of work is the product of twisted minds from the Red Barrels Studio, and oh!, what a tangled web they weave.

Starting off in the rain-soaking vehicle of investigative reporter Miles Upshur, we enter into our latest assignment after receiving an anonymous tip from a whistleblower regarding the sinister going’s on at Mount Massive asylum. This dark and looming building is the staple of horror films and comics time and again, but familiar though its architecture may be what is contained within its whispering walls is anything but.

Outlast              GmP                            image    7Set up in the Fifties as an asylum Mount Massive was quickly closed but re-opened again in the Eighties after being snapped up by the same shady corporate empire our intrepid reporter is currently investigating. This explains our man’s interest in the  area, but you can bet Miles wasn’t prepared for anything like he finds within the walls of the ‘asylum’ as the mental health institute is merely a front organisation for the worrying medical research into sleep deprivation and REM dream pattern control.

Entrance to the asylum serves as a short tutorial and we welcome back to the gameplay format that one time fan-favourite, survival/horror tradition of squeezing through gaps in walls and debris to gain access too, or to escape from, whatever demonic entity is currently seeking to chomp on your entrails.

Some may argue that the ‘squeeze through’ is a little passé, they are wrong, No argument, no debate. Just wrong. It’s a great addition to the game, and that is all there is to it. Racing towards a narrow fissure in shattered walls whilst all the time being to afraid to even take a quick glance back at your pursuer for fear of a grasping hand clawing at your startled face is far better than merely ‘Press and hold X to enter’.

Speaking of opening up a door, upon reaching the main entrance to Mount Massive players must shimmy around to a side door to get into the place as the main imposing portal is barricaded and locked up tight.  If anything this should have served as a red flag to our intrepid journalist but no! He just has to be Captain Bravepants and push right on in there.

Upon slipping into the ominous abode our Journo gets his first signs that all may not be quite peachy inside Mount Massive. You know the sort of thing? Lights flickering, eerie silence, a couple of broken windows here and there…oh, and the bloodied handprints and pools of ‘claret’ making Escher patterns on the floor. Time, in the words of that time-honoured beer advert, for a sharp exit.

Kee-e-r-r-r-ASH!! 

I think the phrase we are looking for, now that we have plummeted through the floor of the asylum, would be something along the lines of ‘the fecal matter has most definitely struck the wind farm now’.

From here on, dear GmP readers, the best thing to do to get the full effect of the atmospheric and down right chilling psychological horror provided by Red Barrels would be to turn off the lights, grab a few drinks and munchies and get settled in for around 6 hours of pant-wetting terror.  Oh, and while you are getting all your supplies and preparations made for your late-night fright-fest don’t forget to grab a shovel for your underwear.

Okay, now that we are inside let’s get a couple of things out of the way shall we? Graphically, Outlast may not be the prettiest game on the planet but I’ll be damned if that makes it a bad game, far from it. The game looks no more grainy or rattled than anything on display in a Dead Island or a Castlevania, and certainly with its ‘non violent’ approach to the ’ gameplay it is one of the most inventive of the year.

Do not be fooled, however, just because Miles doesn’t turn into Billy The Kid and go blasting his way through a horde of zombies the moment things turn sour does not mean that the game is in any way diminished by the lack of player combat. It just means that you have to be a good deal more realistic in your approach when facing enemies and problems.

Got a huge hulking brute with arms like Arnie in front of you?  Try using the most powerful ‘muscle’ in your body instead of your trigger finger and ‘think’ about how you  are going to get out of the situation you find yourself in.

Outlast              GmP                            image    4Moving right into the fighting mechanics brings us to to a point that will have some gamers scratching their heads and others nodding said melons in sage-like approval. Outlast may have many rumours circulating the interwebz that it doesn’t even have a combat system in place, however, this is simply not true. Outlast ‘does’ have plenty of violent moments of arm-rending gore and outright extreme blood thirsty savagery, its just that they will all, ( without exception ), be performed ‘on’ your character as opposed to ‘by’ him.

Instead, what players are treated to, by the lack of fighting abilities from Mr Upshur, is a non-stop nightmare where every corner can bring you face to face with a mutated monster whose only thought is to rend your body until it resembles nothing more than chump. Where every step on your journey may be your last, and every laboured breath is nervously caught short in your chest for fear of being overheard and overpowered by any one of the asylum’s unfettered inmates.

The lack of firearms, and even melee weapons, makes for a far more terrifying and frantic affair as players desperately try to navigate the corridors and chambers of this Hotel of Horror without alerting the assorted foes that line the halls and cellars just awaiting the arrival of an unfortunate fly into the blood soaked web. Stealth and subterfuge are thee orders of the day, and in a tip of utmost importance we ask you all to learn from our own mistakes with the adoption of a far more patient approach to your game play, as opposed to hurtling around the zones tearing from room to room like you are participating in some kind of demented speed round of hide and seek.

Don’t get me wrong here, there was more than one occasion when I’d stamp my feet and spout a “…if I had a gun or a club I could have killed him easy!” line, like a petulant child, but over-all the depth of desperation that the lack of even the most basic weapon offers you more than makes up for having a moment or two with yet another predictable outcome delivered with yawn inducing inevitability thanks to the possession of a rifle or machete.

Hell, you don’t even have the option to stand there and put your ‘dukes’ up before engaging the heavyweight in the corner to a round or three of Marquis of Queensbury. Nothing! Nervous types need not apply and those prone to bouts of diarrhoea had best install a steady supply of auto-assembly nappies for just such moments of pure unadulterated terror.

This is, without a doubt, a brave decision by Red Barrels, particularly in an age when the shooter reigns supreme and many former survival/horror stalwarts  such as Resident Evil have gone from being out and out stealth scenario’s to nothing more than tired Call of Duty wannabee’s.

Undoubtedly there are lessons to be learned here by many of the so-called ‘larger studios’  in that gamers are a funny lot, and although we may love the occasional hour or three spent blasting lumps out of each other on some Godforsaken battlefield in an online shooter, does not mean that we want ‘every’ subsequent title we purchase to be of a cookie-cutter formula. After all, variety, as they, is the spice of life.

Another major factor in the appeal of Outlast  is the brooding atmosphere inside Mount Massive’s  towering walls. The crushing blackness of the rooms and passageways populated by shuffling inmates is tangible in its oppression, and downright nerve-racking from start to finish.. It’s almost as if even the light bulbs have thought better of their situation and made themselves scarce rather than shine illumination onto the many horrors and atrocities being committed by doctor and patient alike.

Populated as it is by the now garish figures of former inmates and staff, Mount Massive is home to a collection of crazies and cranks the kind of which would make even The Shining’s own Jack Torrance seem like the most sociable and mentally stable fellow a chap could ever hope to meet.

Outlast              GmP                            image    3Mad scientist types, paranoid schizophrenics, sociopaths, psychopaths and a particularly excellent cameo from a vengeful ‘artist’ are among the more noteworthy of our new ‘friends’, but all of these pale into the background compared to the madness behind the men and women who created such a programme in the first place.

The sense of oppression raining down upon the characters shoulders is almost palpable as you stumble and fumble your way along bleak walkways and fetid sewers. The only light you have is the power-permitting UV glare of your trusty camcorder as you stagger your way through and around this maze of misery.

Of course, many players will be tempted to keep the garish green tinged light from their video camera always on for fear of becoming injured , lost or surprise-attacked by any one of the lurking former inmates in this art-imitating-life-imitating-art scenario as the lunatics have very much taken over the asylum.

And many of them will die…repeatedly.

Our advice is to take advantage of the camera’s light sparingly. Not only because finding batteries to power the unit are few and far between, particularly on the higher difficulty settings, but because the time will arise when you need the camera to find a certain clue or log entry and you will by pass the moment because your low battery alert is beeping like a sailor on daytime television.

The inky blackness permeates everything and even seems to infest the very air you breath as you weave your way under, over and around obstacles and wade through everything from rank sewage canals to bloodied body parts. This is compounded by the fact that players are not only tasked with finding an exit at all costs, but also because you are charged with locating extra batteries for your camcorder, audio and text logs that reveal snippets regarding the back story and events that have led to this current situation, as well as a myriad of additional tasks and objectives that are part and parcel of Miles’ survival in order that he may eventually emerge from this nightmare as unscathed as possible.

Outlast is the kind of game that horror fans have been longing for; suspenseful, chilling and outright nerve-wracking. The skillful use, by the developers, of music and mood is to be commended, and whereas others may simply have resorted to the tiresome ‘jump scare’ method Red Barrels have, instead, gone all out on a far deeper experience more along the lines of something Hitchcockian, if you will.

Naturally there are the more common-or-garden ‘boo!’ moments, where players will be squeezing through a thin gap in a wall, for example, only to be grabbed violently by a screeching inmate from the other side and yanked unceremoniously across the room like a rag doll, but it is with the well thought out use of lighting and atmosphere that Red Barrels truly capture the essence of what a genuine horror game is meant to be, and never once do they ease up on the player throughout the entirety of their torturous trek through the halls of this nightmare.

Outlast              GmP                            image    5Hiding in closets as you hear the thump and drag of encroaching enemies is enough to set anyone’s nerves on edge, but Red Barrels add so much more to melting pot than this. Tension is built in so many different ways from reaching for a crumbling outcropping as you try frantically to escape your pursuers, knowing that if you fall that you have nothing to defend yourself with. Your shaking fingers struggle to replace the batteries in your failing camera as the looming darkness, and insane inmates lurking in the shadows,  creep ever closer  with every passing second. Lunatics whose minds have been callously ripped from their brains by tinkering surgeons cackle in the distance as they make crazed collages of severed limbs, and modern art masterpieces from the body parts of former guards.

All of this and more makes up, what has to be, the underground hit of the year and without a shadow of a doubt the most entertaining and enjoyable survival/horror title since Condemned. If publishers want to be able to make big bucks from their titles without having to constantly dream up new idea’s to steal the Call of Duty/Battlefield install base then it is in titles such as Outlast and studio’s such as Red Barrels that they will find their answers.

Gamers want an assortment of titles, in a variety of genres. Not just point and shoot causal shovelware doled out in annual spoon-fed portions, with just enough content taken out so that Season Passes and the predictable DLC scam inevitably follow. Gamers want role-playing, ( Japanese and Western ), FPS, RNG, MMO, P&C,4×4,strategy, hack’n’slash, fighting games, survival and horror. What we do not want is the same format in every genre, it does not warrant a purchase, and hopefully the woeful sales of titles such as Bioshock Infinite, Resident Evil 6 and FEAR 3 and The Darkness 2 will have pointed this out?

( of course, what will happen in reality is that publishers will just ‘drop’ said franchise and instead of investing in new and exciting IP’s they will undoubtedly fall back on tried and tested tedium such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, FIFA and Uncharted )

Gamers need to begin the process of demonstrating ‘people power’ by voting and speaking with their wallets. Outlast is the perfect stage to demonstrate this consumer strength from. I’m not saying don’t buy your regular installment of your favourite annual, far from it. What I am hoping to recommend is that you should be purchasing such cracking titles as Outlast at the first opportunity, and then advising your friends to do the same. The only way to get publishers to promote more games such as Outlast is to prove to them that they are commercially viable.  We can heap plaudits after accolades onto Red Barrels and their amazing work, but if the sales do not raise the eyebrows of the ‘suits’ then it means nothing in the end.

Red Barrels have done a remarkable job with Outlast, and we wish them every success with this and future titles, but we need to show them the financial support of a Forza or an Uncharted if we are ever likely to  see the success matched time and again with follow up smash hit titles.

number-9-pool-ballDo not let this game go un-purchased, un-played and unnoticed. Outlast is a fantastic title, and one that every gamer should have in their collection whether they are fans of the survival/horror genre or not. This game could mark a huge turning point either in publishers returning to the time when actual investments where made in forward thinking and innovative studio’s, or in the way that more and more studio’s go down the self-publishing route. Whatever the result the winners in all of this are ultimately ‘you’, the gamers.

An epic title, this breath of fresh air almost feels revolutionary in its approach as it flies in the face of today’s staid formats and carbon copy videogames market. Outlast is a tour de force, and one that should adorn your game collection already and if not…why not?   Remarkable and inspirational, Outlast should serve as the benchmark for all future independent studio titles.        9 out of 10

Pacman and the Ghostly Adventures 2 : Review

Pacman ATGA 2                        GmP                          image  2

Pacman ATGA 2                        GmP                          image  Xbox360 boxart 1Nostalgia abounds as Bandai Namco takes gamers to the wonderful world of that pill-munching maniac in Pacman and the Ghostly Adventures 2.

We don’t know about you guys but we always have something of a mixed bag of emotions when we get into a Pacman title.  The juxtaposed problem of controlling a soul forever destined to be tormented by demons and ghouls as he hungrily amasses as many ‘pellets’ as he can before his ultimate demise.

This unfortunate happy soul who finds himself endlessly chased around a manic maze of masochistic design eternally trapped in his Groundhog Day of Doom, destined to endure all manner of frantic endeavor’s as he desperately attempts to collect the ‘pills’, ( for what is anyone’s guess? Perhaps he some kind of cyber ‘doctor without a border’ and is delivering the much needed medication to sick and injured Pacmen and Pacwomen all across his brightly lit galaxy? we may never know? ).

One thing we do know, however, is that this melancholy memory of Pacman, forever tormented by his incessant pursuers, is still one of the most poignant gaming experiences from our childhood and to this day brings us warm fuzzy memories of arcades filled with cheerful kids all clutching their shiny coins as they waited their turn to deliver their own brand of mental torture to this lovable character.

With that you can imagine the unadulterated levels of glee that greeted the arrival of the latest Pacman adventure from Bandai Namco.  Fever pitch comes to mind.

Leaping right into the action, after the mandatory PlayStation install, we are greeted with the sprawling urban cityscape of ‘Pacopolis’. This vast concrete jungle is to be the home of Pacman’ls latest outing as we kick off things at the young ‘pill poppers’ school.

To get you all up to sped on the games storyline, which is set prior to the massive fame of Pacman’s original outing, we take on the role of the happy yellow chappy when he is still a ‘teenager’ and pounding the corridors of Pacopolis High School. Of course, this also means that because these events are set before the madcap antics of the original title that Pacman’s one time enemies, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde – the four-pronged attack from the poltergeist brigade, are now actually Pacman’s friends and instead of trying to gobble you up, the foursome would rather engage in more mundane matters such as a chat. ( its good to talk )

Moving on we come to the point where we discovered, much to our dismay, that Pacman is still catering towards a younger audience, ( although it has to be said that the secret ‘big kid’ inside was thrilled nonetheless ), and whilst this is great for the kiddie gamers it does leave rose-tinted old fools like myself longing for the salad days to return. Alas, they cannot, and do not.

In some respects it is ridiculous to think that the game was going to be anything other than it has always been, a fun fuelled romp for the younger players, and though the fans who enjoyed the original game all those long years ago may well have grown into adults..well, most of us anyway…it is inevitable, then, that disappointment would abound for those looking for something more challenging.

Pacman ATGA 2                        GmP                          image 1So, looking at Pacman The Ghostly Adventures 2 from the perspective of the audience it was designed to impress, the under tens, we have to be fair and say that it does just that; ‘ impress ‘.

The dialogue, whilst some may argue is a little light for the more adult players, is just interesting enough to hold a child’s attention without distracting it from the job at hand, and in that respect it does exactly what the developers set out to do.

The gameplay is extremely simple for adults but, ( again ), extremely entertaining for children. The 3D environments offer up excellent opportunities for free roaming styled exploration and enjoyable experiences gobbling down ghosties and ghoulies, and whilst there are, inexcusably from a more experienced adults point of view, a few glitches and hitches along the way it is still nothing that will put a dampener on a seven year-old’s enthusiasm. Though it has to be said there were a couple of apopleptic moments when we fell through the map during a frantic chase scene returning us to the games Pac Hub.

However, if you thought that this latest version of the munching machine was going to be just a top-down emulation of a thirty something year-old game, then think again. Ghostly Adventures brings with it a whole wealth of brand new features ( new to us ‘oldies’ but part and parcel of just ‘how the game is‘ for the new audience ).

Included in the new additions to the more traditional style of Pacman gameplay are the outstanding use of ‘morphing’ abilities that permit Pacman to transform his shape after ingesting a particular ‘pellet. The new found powers come in extremely handy when traversing the varied zones and environments. For example, after downing a certain tablet Pacman evolves into a giant ‘boulder’ which can quite literally crush his enemies and flatten walls and obstacles blocking his way. Then there is the chuckle-fest ‘chameleon’ which allows Players to alter the shape of their giant yellow ball so that he can use his elastic tongue to grab passing posts and signs in order to swing around them like some demented Tarzan…er, or not…?

Of course, the fun isn’t limited to merely tearing off ramps as a giant rock, rolling over bad guys or swinging on a lamp post like a big yellow Gene Kelly doing a digital rendition of ‘Singing in the Rain’.Not by a long chalk.

Pacman can now also inflate himself and float around Pacopolis as he is carried around the zones on the air currents gently blowing you here and there. He can also turn invisible to avoid being spotted under the ever watchful searchlights.

Naturally your new found abilities also play a vital role in the games combat system, and when you combine your new found skills and mix them up with a little of the fire and/or ice, which are used not only as weapons but as environmental aids, then Pacman sure does give those pesky ghosts a good pasting as he races, floats, bashes and dashes around the gameplay zones.

Pacman ATGA 2                        GmP                          image  2All of these new additions to the way that Pacman is played have their individual uses, and they are all necessary at some point or other during the games progression, but purists will not doubt howl and gnash their teeth at this ‘blasphemy’, yet nevertheless the kids will scratch their heads and look at them like they are crazy because, overall, they add new flavour and dimensions to the gameplay.

Level design has been constructed purely with the young, or young at heart even, in mind and if you cannot see that then you are in for a rough time of it as you breeze your way through the games simplistic puzzles, pitfalls and play.

With a definite learning curve that soon overtakes and races past the games opening painfully easy levels Pacman  and his second helping of Ghostly Adventures, will soon be more than a challenge for even the most deft of younger gamers. Although, it has to be said, that accomplished players will find nothing too difficult. Make no mistake, however, as this is still an excellent platformer and the enormous fun contained within its coding, particularly in the Co-oP play, cannot be overlooked by pooh-poohing naysayers crying out for a more taxing trial.

Speaking of the platforming, and we were, the best part of the game going from 2D to 3D is the interactive world and the madcap races and chases under, over and around every kind of obstacle at warp factor 9. Seriously, if you love platform games and don’t find this enjoyable then you are dead from the controller up.

As hinted at previously the Co-oP mode, for you and up to three friends, is a real hoot with players taking on the roles of the hunters, ( and ultimately the hunted as the Yellow Peril grabs a power pill ),, before entering into 3D renditions of the classic maze game of the original title.

Playing this Co-oP with a family friend and their nine year-old allowed me to visit the Pacman I knew of old, and once again be mesmerized by the colourful graphics, interesting audio and catchy background music. Heady days spent funneling ten pence piece after ten pen piece into the slot of my local arcade machine, and then racing home to see what jobs I could do around the home to acquire some more after my exploration of the many mazes and zones was abruptly cut short by the chomping choppers of any one of the marauding ghosts.

It is quite surprising for me, personally, to fathom out why gamers who who enjoyed Pacman all those years ago, so much so that they enter into this new version with almost childlike anticipation of how it plays, are then disappointed enough to try and warn parents off buying it with poor reviews. Simply because, unlike the very embittered reviewers themselves, Pacman has remained 7 years-old whilst they, physically anyhow, have matured into adults.

number-7-pool-ballIf you are the proud parents of the odd rugrat or two, and you were considering buying Pacman The Ghostly Adventures 2 then please, follow my advice and make the purchase. You and your ankle-biters will be so glad that you did. You for the many hours of joyful bliss as they whizz their way around the many brightly coloured levels and zones, and your children as they get to sample the same kind of wonderment as you yourself did at their age when you first spent time with the lovable yellow funster.  In fact, go one better: grab yourself a second controller, toss a third to Mum and get stuck in to some cracking Co-oP. You may find that you smile like you never have for 30 years.      Pacman and the Ghostly Adventures 2 scores a fully  justified 7 out of 10

 

TITLE:                                      PACMAN AND THE GHOSTLY ADVENTURES 2          
FORMAT:                                  PLAYSTATION 3    [reviewed])
DEVELOPER:                        MONKEY BAR
                                                    BANDAI NAMCO
PUBLISHER:                         BANDAI NAMCO

AVAILABLE PLATFORMS:                     Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3,  Wii U, Xbox 360

SCORE OUT OF 10:               7 OUT OF 10

Review: Thorium 100 & 300 Series Offer Gamers A Real Alternative

Thorium 300                               GmP                 image 1

Thorium 300                               GmPWith the popularity of videogaming never before reaching such dizzying heights as it is right now the demands by gamers on manufacturers and companies to create ever better technology and peripherals to fuel their single and multiplayer cravings have never been greater.

Naturally with increased resources and research going in to making these ‘next generation’ of PC and console gaming accessories there is an undoubted rise in cost by the companies charged with their invention. This inevitably results in steeper prices for the consumer as rising manufacturing bills and production costs have to be accounted for.

With this in mind it is with great pleasure that we bring to you all a joint review of the Thorium 100 and sister product the Thorium 300, gaming keyboards. These cut price peripherals are just the latest in a procession of budget options for gamers everywhere by the UK’s biggest and best independent technology and gaming retailer eBuyer.

Now we know what you are thinking, ‘budget’. It is now that many readers will recoil almost in mock horror at the very word like some kind of outraged scalded cat, but we are here to tell you that consumer-programming and indoctrination by advertisers aside; ‘budget’ does not have to mean ‘bad’.

Designed and delivered by Element Gaming, although the 300 series is the only specifically touted as a ‘gaming keyboard’, the Thorium range is perfectly suited to the needs and requirements of gamers from the casual, ( Thorium 100 ), to the more hardcore players among you, ( Thorium 300 ).

Ergonomically and aesthetically gorgeous in their sleek black shell the Thorium 100 and 300 keyboards both share a similar size that opts for the larger proportions as opposed to the dinky-digit portable nightmares such as the Razer Tartarus. ( and at a whopping £76 for what is little more than a chat pad stuck on a Tesco’s pricing gun you start to wonder where some of these companies get the figures they charge for these fads from? )

But, we digress!

Thorium 100                               GmPThere are some differences in the design between the Thorium 100 and the Thorium 300, in that the ‘true’ gaming model ( the 300 version ) has a far larger wrist support for those longer bouts of MMO mayhem,, as well as offering up a multi-facetted feature set for macro’s that is a must have for any true PC gamer.

Of course, as with any QWERTY keyboard the main thing to worry about are the button themselves, and coming off the back of he favoured Logitech keyboard’s for this review we have to be perfectly honest with you all when we tell you that the Element Thorium’s ‘both’ have outdone themselves with surprisingly efficient models that have perfectly sized buttons that give ideal response and resistance when depressed.

In fact this pair of delights has been nothing less than ‘surprising’ all round when you consider that their nearest ‘gaming’ rivals are all priced way above the meagre £9.95 for the Thorium 100 and the paltry £24.99 for the Thorium 300. But time and again with the Element Gaming keyboards you will soon discover that this is a pleasant sensation and one not unlike when you hear a boxing commentator describe a great fighter being usurped by a contender ‘punching well above their weight’

Both wired, both offering 50g of pressure and both bringing affordability to the gaming crowd the Thorium 100 and Thorium 300 do have similarities, but it is also in the differences that they have unique strengths too.

Take the features offered by the Thorium 100, for example:

WASD keys with a free ‘key pulling’ and replacement tool. Extremely easy key travel: meaning that you get the same instant response times,  between when you depress a button and the time it takes for the action to appear on screen/monitor,  in a Thorium 100 that you would  find in a keyboard with a much higher price tag.

But the staggering thing is that when you get all of this comfort and performance in a keyboard costing less than a couple of grilled chicken sandwiches at McDonalds.  ( we kid you not )

But wait, there is more.  Much more!

Thorium 300                               GmP                 image 1Just when you thought that Element Gaming couldn’t possibly outdo themselves for bargains and tech at affordable prices they go and throw the Thorium 300 into the melting pot and give gamers everywhere a genuine reason to be cheerful and think that Christmas has come a couple of months early.

Jumping up a definite division and taking on the heavyweights with a lightweight RRP comes the star in the Element Gaming range. The Thorium 300 is, without a doubt, the very best of all the affordable keyboards we have tried, and believe us when we tell you there have been may, ( and yet, none were around the price of the Thorium with the vast majority of what their manufacturers describe as ‘budget’ peripherals actually coming in at around the £40-50 mark )

With a much larger set up the Thorium 300 is easily the most comfortable of the two keyboards thanks to its wider base-board allowing for the housing of additional macro buttons on the left of the QWERTY keys, as well as the highly practical built-in wrist protector on the lower segment. There is also the added functionality of the top section ‘menu bar’ that allows users to form presets for their favourite homepage, search engine and email provider on one side, and also video playback and volume controls on the other.

All of the buttons are softly lit using pleasantly shaded LED’s, and this means that users can comfortably perform keystrokes without eyestrain for late night or darkened room gameplay. No need to worry about software and updates, either, as Windows 7 and 8 both auto-install everything you need to keep your new Element Gaming keyboards operating at optimum output.

Lastly comes the the wired USB cable which comes in the form of the much preferred threaded cable. ( as opposed to the basic plastic cover of the Thorium 100 ). This type of detail is, more often than not, only ever found on keyboards, mice and headsets with a much higher price tag, and yet Element Gaming have included it here in what ahs to be accredited to them as a nice touch.

All told the new Thorium range from Element Gaming is  a  fine opening slvo for this fledgling company, and will, we are sure, be the foundation of a gamer favourite, should this standard of care, product performance and finish be added to all of their future products.

Both keyboards performed well under testing in both the standard office atmosphere as well as in the online arena. The Thorium 100 is more than capable of delivering for casual gamers playing browser based and simpler format titles, and the Thorium 300 more than handled anything that Diablo 3, World of Warcraft, League of Legends and Path of Exile threw at it.

number 7 pool ballIf you are looking for an entry level keyboard before setting off an that eternal path to gaming Nirvana then we can highly recommend the Thorium range, particularly the 300, as your starting point. The build is more than capable, and will not let you down in moments of pure panic and stress when you are surrounded by legions of the undead during heavy battles in Diablo 3.  At less than £30 what more could anyone ask?  Scores on the doors for the Thorium range look a little something like this:

Thorium 100 is worthy of a sturdy 6 out of 10and the Thorium 300 achieves a well deserved 7 out of 10. Do NOT be fooled by the price, these are keyboards that will stand you in good stead regardless of the task you set them.

To take a look at the entire Element Gaming range and place your own order for either, ( or both ), of these cracking keyboards then click here to be whisked on over to the eBuyer website.

SKYLANDERS TRAP TEAM FOR NINTENDO 3DS LETS PORTAL MASTERS CONQUER AND PLAY AS VILLAINS ON THE GO

SkylandersTrapTeam                     GmPNintendo 3DS Delivers Complementary Experience to Console Game On 10th October with 14 Exclusive Villains, New Storyline and Two Skylanders Toys Not Available in Any Other Starter Pack

Skylanders® fans can go on a villain vanquishing adventure this Autumn with Skylanders Trap Team for Nintendo 3DS as they take on the evil Dream Sheep and 13 other villains exclusive to the platform. Launching day and date on 10th October with the console and tablet versions of the game from Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), Skylanders Trap Team for Nintendo 3DS features an all-new adventure with its own levels, locations and gameplay.  The game also uses the special features of the system, which gives players the ability to experience unique interactions with the captured villains. Additionally, Skylanders Trap Team on Nintendo 3DS introduces a multiplayer version of the fan-favourite card game Skylanders Skystones that uses Wi-Fi connectivity, marking the first time Portal Masters can play the mini-game with friends and family.

Skylanders Trap Team takes advantage of the interactive features of Nintendo 3DS in fun ways. For instance, after villains are defeated in combat, players can use the bottom Touch Screen to pull them out of the game and trap them in the Traptanium Vault.  Then, once captured, players can use the Touch Screen and microphone to poke, tickle and spin villains to make them dizzy.

Using the Portal of Power® included in the Skylanders Trap Team Nintendo 3DS Starter Pack, players can load in their Skylanders characters directly into the system, allowing greater flexibility for playing on the go. Additionally, two powerful Skylanders characters will be available at launch only via the Nintendo 3DS Starter Pack — Gusto, a Trap Master with an oversized TraptaniumTM Boomerang that delivers the ultimate blow to bad guys; and Barkley, the Mini version of Skylanders Giants’TM Tree Rex.

Throughout the game, Portal Masters can summon captured villains to unleash devastating attacks and fight side-by-side with their Skylander.  They can also play as captured villains in 13 unique villain “bootcamps” created by the evil Dream Sheep, the master villain in the game. Additionally, players can discover each Trap Master’s signature Trap Attack by collecting TraptaniumTM orbs dropped by enemies when defeated, enabling players to wipe out evil foes with one awesome attack.

The Nintendo 3DS version of Skylanders Trap Team also enables fans to play with all of the toys from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure®, Skylanders GiantsTM and Skylanders SWAP ForceTM, enabling true cross-platform play.  All of the characters’ abilities, levels and customisation will carry forward into Skylanders Trap Team.

 

Skylanders Trap Team on Nintendo 3DS, developed by Beenox, will be available on October 5 10th October in Europe. The game PEGI rated 7+. For more information, visit: www.skylanders.com.

Mythborne Launches First Open Beta Server

Mythborne 1         GmPGlobal games publisher R2Games has announced that its newest free-to-play browser title, Mythborne, will soon be entering its Open Alpha phase. To celebrate the launch, the game will be holding a series of in-game events to help players get acquainted with all the game’s features and systems.

The Mythborne Open Alpha test is set to close on Friday, September 12th at 00:00 EDT, after which all character and account data will be wiped. The Open Beta server will go live on the same date, on September 12, 2014 10:00 AM EDT.

Mythborne is a 2.5D browser-based RPG, loosely based on ancient Greek mythology. The game features turn-based battles determined by attack speed, and the ability to recruit and deploy multiple Heroes to join players in battle. As well as five available classes with unique skills, Mythborne includes core systems such as Character Upgrade, Hero Recruiting, Dungeons, and more.

To play Mythborne, go to http://myth.r2games.com/.

Learn more about Mythborne here:

Official website: http://myth.r2games.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mythborne
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mythborne

The Open Alpha test will close on September 12th to give way to the new version

Gioteck take the EX-05 Headset to the Ps4: review

Gioteck EX-05 Wired Gaming Headset                          GmP                    image 1

For those gamers out there who like the Playstation 4, and according to Sony there are already a reported 9 million of you, then by now you will no doubt you will have been scouring the internet in a bid to track down the best and most affordable headset to accompany your spanking new console. Fear not, good readers, for Gioteck has the solution in the all-new EX-05 HD Gaming Headset.

Technically  capable and aesthetically pleasing, the Gioteck EX-05 weighs in at a mere 1.4 lbs and headphone has dimensions of 8.7 x 7.9 x 4.1 inches with a weight of 1.4 pounds. But the pleasures described in the units specifications do not always amount to a genre leading experience.

The main problem, as we see it, for Gioteck is that in their bid to become the affordable option for the gamer on a tighter budget that somewhere along the lines during production compromises must be made to keep the manufacturing costs down. Unfortunately this means that the performance of the unit is rather underwhelming when you stand it alongside its rivals. ( albeit that said rivals have a far greater price tag )

Yes, the unit boasts some pretty decent gadgetry ‘under the bonnet’, so to speak, but when push comes to shove the Gioteck EX-05 just does not have enough horses to compete with Ferrari’s and Pagani’s of firm favourite thoroughbred’s such as Turtle Beach and SteelSeries.

The days of the uniformed consumer are long gone, and Gioteck should really have known better, particularly being that this very pastime we all love and favour is a based on technology and keeping abreast of the latest developments and breakthroughs so that a player may better enhance their own experiences. Take the very console that the EX-05 is reinventing itself for, the PlayStation 4.  This is a ‘next generation’ system, but Gioteck are hoping that you have last gen knowledge and that even though you have just forked out a whopping £400 to play your Killzone Shadowfall on the very cutting edge of console technology, that you will not mind slapping any old bean cans on your ears to ‘enjoy’ the sound. Really…Gioteck?

Yes, the unit comes armed with a fairly decent set of over the ear cups, complete with integrated speakers that do provide adequate performance for the layman, but all in all it ends up being a lesson in mediocrity for the more experienced gamer.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for the UK-based manufacturer.

Gioteck EX-05 Wired Gaming Headset                          GmP                    image 2The Gioteck EX-05’s do have a certain appeal in that there is absolutely nothing like them on the market, and certainly no other company has had anything even remotely approaching the brass cojones to bring gamers an affordable option as opposed to milking them for every penny they can. Without a shadow of a doubt the EX-05 is a competent headset, especially when you consider that its nearest competitor is a staggering £100 out of reach.

In its favour the EX-05’s do have an arsenal of pluses, and very few minuses, such as the outstanding build quality, value for money and compatibility with just about every major format from the Xbox360 and PS3 right through to the PC and PlayStation 4.  ( it is also possible to take advantage of the units cost-effective pricing for the Xbox One by purchasing one of the official adaptors from Microsoft.  Xbox One Stereo Headset Adaptor )

Compatibility with the PlayStation 4 does come at a cost thanks in no small part to the enormous 12 foot wire draping itself snakelike across your gaming room floor, ( six times this cable was detached by dogs, people and children even though it was laid as flat to the floor as we could possibly get it without actually nailing the damn thing there ). The set up is tricky and fiddly and will, no doubt, require Gioteck to upload a helpful ‘How To’ video guide on their Youtube channel.

Don’t misunderstand us here, either. The Gioteck EX-05 is still a very good headset, especially considering the price, but we would argue that it is aimed more toward the casual gamer as opposed to the more core player.

Sound issues for the hardcore gamer arise when trying to play either solo or multiplayer, and they are legion. In any shooter title players will be left uncertain as to the direction of encroaching footsteps, just as they will be unable to identify the location of a gunman taking potshots at them

Hissing is also a major problem with dialogue in solo campaigns sounding like it is being performed by Daffy Duck, and when we tried to rectify the situation by reducing the volume another issue reared its ugly head when the sound quality was adversely affected and instead of delivering deep, rich tones, as promised, the EX-05’s sounded ‘tinny’ and hollow with a distinctly ‘plastic’ feel.

Racing games where also an ordeal as due to the loud and aggressive nature, not only of the cars but also the accompanying soundtracks, the EX-05’s struggled to make any kind of sense of the myriad of different sounds coming out of the console and so the result was a blotchy mess of muffled music and monotone motors.

Maybe if Gioteck decided on which section of the gaming market they wanted to appeal to the resulting peripherals would have some direction, but until this happens then we fear the products are likely to remain cheaper alternatives with little attraction other than a budget stop-gap as you save for the ‘real thing’.

This is truly a shame, as Gioteck do have some great idea’s and are not short of talent in the design and manufacturing departments. This has been proven time and again with some genuine gems such as their HF-02 controller and the excellent docking stations. But, Gioteck do need to decide what they want to be noted for, quality or budget products.

number 6 pool ballThe main problem, as we hinted at earlier, is that in today’s market gamers know that now more than ever the phrase, “ you get what you pay for “, has never rang more true. Gioteck should take note of this and understand that gamers don’t actually mind spending a little more on a peripheral just as long as the item they are buying delivers on the promises made.  For this sentiment, and also for the reasons listed above we award the Gioteck EX-05 Wired Gaming Headset a 6 out of 10

SteelSeries Wireless Sensei severs the ties

steelseries-sensei-wireless

Wired mice have always had the edge when it comes to gaming on PC. Players with the cable attached just had that millisecond of connectivity to assure a faster response time and latency free experience, but thanks to the all-new SteelSeries Wireless Sensei a new wave of wi-fi wonders is set to turn the world of online C gaming upside down. Free your system and your mind with the sharpest Wi-Fi gaming mouse on the market. The Sensei is in and ready to teach wired disciples a lesson!

Leaping right in to the action we unwrap our sleek delight from its snazzy packaging and unfurl the accompanying leaflets and instructions in preparation for the expected convoluted experience that is the initial set up.

We need not have worried.

The Wireless Wonder that is the latest version of SteelSeries’ long time fan favourite the ‘Sensei’ is just about the most simple and painless of set ups that we have ever encountered…just plug and play, it really is that easy.

No messy connections. No lengthy installation of additional software and drivers, nothing. Just insert the mouse pad’s USB into the appropriate housing and you are good to go.

Of course, the mouse pad has a dual function in that it not only offers up a timely recharge docking station during marathon bouts of MOBA or dynamic Dark Souls 2 duels, but rather it also allows the user to take advantage of the mouse-house and its wireless interface capabilities thanks in no small part to its Wi-Fi receiver status.

Now, the big question regarding a wireless mouse version over its more traditional wired brethren is in the lag and latency. Following extensive testing in these area’s our findings show that due to the Human factor in recording results of this nature we can safely say that the difference between wired and wireless versions of the Sensei gaming ice is negligible.

However….

These tests were completed using ONLY a Sensei in both of its wired and wireless guises. We stress this point as no doubt there will always be the inevitable speculation and discussion on Twitter and our Facebook page regarding the performance of such peripherals and, as we have noticed in the past when debating this very subject matter, gamers always through up comparisons and statics from a wildly variant array of gaming mice. So, again, with that in mind we emphasise that the negligible performance findings are there ONLY on the Sensei range. Your own brand of mouse may still vary significantly due to many factors, not least withstanding a lower performance output in the beginning.

Moving on, then, to technical specifications we come to the Wireless Sensei’s cutting edge innards in all their powerhouse performing glory:

350x700px-LL-1e75d1c9_81976_senLASER SENSOR

– 50 to 8200 Adjustable CPI
– 1 ms Response Rate / 1000 Hz Polling Rate
– 150 Inches Per Second (IPS)
– 30 g Acceleration

PROPERTIES

– 16 hrs Battery Life, Max 20 hrs
– 8 Programmable Buttons
– 16.8 M Color Illumination w. 4 Zones
– Soft-Touch Coating
– Cable Texture: Braided

STEELSERIES SWITCHES

– > 30 Million Click Durability

SIZE & WEIGHT

– Weight: 120 g (0.264 lbs)
– Height: 41 mm (1.61 in)
– Width: 69 mm (2.72 in)
– Length: 129 mm (5.08 in)
– Cable Length: 2 m (6.5 ft)
– Base: 165x100x24 mm, 208 g

The list above demonstrates the SteelSeries commitment to perfection as they chase that elusive ‘like-for-like’ performance. Many manufacturers have claimed to have produced a wireless peripheral worthy of a gamers hard-earned shekels, but in truth? None has worked anywhere even remotely close to the outstanding functionality and flawless delivery of the SteelSeries Wireless Sensei.

Weighing in at a paltry 120 grams the Wi-Fi version of the award-winning Sensei is as light to the hand as it is to the touch as it outperforms even some of the more expensive wired gaming mice whom it aims to compete with.

Unfortunately there are a couple of omissions from the original wired Sensei, such as the underside LCD and the allowance for gamers to alter profiles as and when required, but if comfort and reliability in your wireless peripheral is what you are looking for then the Sensei’s sacrifice of these ‘minor’ features for the Wi-Fi receiver and the incredibly long battery are perfectly justifiable

Entering into the ‘brain’ of the Wireless Sensei is to stumble upon a utopian paradise of technology at its finest. The SteelSeries Engine 3 produces some of the most silky smooth performance we have witnessed in any gaming mouse, be it wired or other, and such are the functions and features of this technological marvel that  macro’s and multi-tasking facets are a given.

A new addition to the software side of the Sensei see’s the new wireless version being granted access to a Cloud storage solution, as opposed to the more traditional ‘on-board’ system that many may be used too, this has it pluses and its minuses.

On the plus side of things the new Cloud Storage for profiles, macro’s and preferential settings is a cost-effective breath of fresh air that allows instant access on any computer following installation of the accompanying software.

On the minus side…? It has to be the set up of the installation software every single time you log into any other computer that is not already running your set up. But as far as inconveniences go this is a minor hiccup, and not one that should ever influence a decision against purchasing this champion of mice.

So, then, to summarise: What do we think of the first genuine attempt by a manufacturer to produce a wireless gaming mouse that has something even approaching a challenge to its wired counterparts?  In a word?

Outstanding!

GMP--EDITORS-CHOICE-AWARD-300x300SteelSeries have simply outdone themselves with this product, and should they continue tweaking and enhancing the performance of their wireless Sensei range then one thing is assured and that is that the days of the wired peripheral as the king of the hill in the competitive gaming arena are severely numbered.

Stunning performance is not to be outdone be flawless functionality and should you buy one mouse this year to satisfy all of your gaming needs then we cannot recommend the Sensei Wireless highly enough.  Editors Choice and well deserved.   10 out of magnificent 10

Sacred 3 review

Sacred 3                         GmP Gaming image logo 1

The third installment of the highly enjoyable fantasy romp takes players on a fun-filled excursion through ‘hack and slash land’ as Sacred 3 take gamers back down the familiar ARPG format for its latest outing.

Make no mistake, sometimes there is nothing more enjoyable than getting home after a hard days work and slipping into the Rocker with a few cold ones within arms reach and then letting all your pent-up anger and frustration loose in one foul temper as you cleave your way through a hack and slash title. Scared 3 will satisfy that urge, but what if you are looking for something a little deeper? What if you want a more meaningful, more involved RPG experience instead of just button-mashing blood-letting?

Well, you should have bloody well installed Skyrim or Dark Souls 2 then shouldn’t you!

I ask you, all this whining in the reviews and crocodile-teared rants by outraged ‘gamers’ is just beyond me? Didn’t you guys see any of the trailers? Didn’t you read any of the preview articles, the mountains of press releases or forum debates?

You did? Then what the Hell is your problem?

Scared 3 made no promises to be the next Elder Scrolls clone. Nor did it make any kind of outlandish move towards being the arcade version The Witcher. No, instead what the developers ‘told’ us all it would, it was. A hack and slash time-killer that would be an arcade take on a classic format. And if you just go into the game with your eyes wide open as opposed to having them blinkered by fanboyism or spoiled brat syndrome then you would enjoy this action-packed romp for the bubblegum gaming event that it clearly is.

A polished performance with vibrant graphics Scared 3 makes no excuses for taking the franchise in a new direction, but boy! have some unforgiving types ever got their panties wedged firmly in their butt cheeks about it?

Sacred 3                         GmP Gaming image  1Sacred 3 may have one foot in the Diablo camp with the other firmly wedged somewhere between God of War and Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine this is a title that has enough going on in it to keep you more than happy for a good 6-10 hours, but if it is depth and character dialogue you are looking for then perhaps something with a little more substance would better suit your needs.

That’s not to say that the game does not have any kind of storyline or continuing plot, far from it. Scared 3  builds around a tale of a group of heroes coming together to defeat an unholy collection of minor demons and foes on the way to battling it out with the ‘Main Baddie’. Inspiring and original it may not be, but then again how many other videogames with storylines exactly the same as this have been fawned over by gushing ‘ree-voowers’ year in and year out?  Pretty much the entire RPG and Hack and Slash genres.

The combat ahs been simplified to allow for quick and pleasant button-mashing, although it has to be said that there are a goodly amount of attacks and spells to be going on with, and the vast majority of them have devastatingly satisfying results.

Missions are standard fare with a linear pre-ordained feel to them, but then again this is not billed as an open world title, more so Scared 3 revels in it’s no nonsense arcade feel and delivers wave upon wave of screaming, blood thirsty enemies for you to contend with instead of wandering aimlessly around the gamezones hour after hour as you search for some nondescript flower or herb to make a slave for your festering wounds before you bleed out.

Sacred 3                         GmP Gaming image  2Of course, one glaring issue that we could not forgive, although hopefully we will be able to forget, is the completely inane humour littering the dialogue. It feels like you have to tip-toe your way through a field of festering dog turds as you pursue a pack of incontinent hounds across the realm such are ‘jokes’ and ‘witty’ one-liners from the characters.

Quite why the developer thought that giving such prose to their line up is anyone’s guess, but after listening to a preening priest cry our ‘Sexy’ after every fight, introduction of a female character, pause in the game, load screen and weapon selection is just one step too far. Of course, it isn’t really that bad but it is that grating and so ultimately it will make it seem like the battlemage utters that drivel every other minute.

The combat itself is pretty straight forward with players requiring little more than a couple of active digits to get the most out of the game, but there are brief interludes where gamers will have the opportunity to level up skills and attributes thanks to the XP system, but if truth be told there is little incentive to do just that with a small helping of spells and skills that require little to no tweaking.

That being said the opportunity to upgrade ‘is’ there for those of you out there who wish it, but in the cold light of day it is little more than frosting on a very ordinary Victoria sponge cake.

Naturally with any kind of change there are always going to be some things that cause the expected gripes, and Sacred 3 does have its share of those, most particularly with the total loss of the unique races and the individuality that each character class and race brought to the games appeal.

Many will argue that Scared 3 has moved too far away from what gave the game its likeable appeal in the first place, and some of the points are right in their assessment, but as we stated earlier if you go into the game with your eyes open and do not expect anything more than a time-killer that is not too taxing on the grey matter then you will not be as disappointed as some, it would seem.

number 6 pool ballAll told Sacred 3 does many things, most of them with lukewarm mediocrity and some of them just outright wrong, but overall the mainstay of this arcade role-playing game is average. Decent visuals and smooth gameplay are the order of the day with the storyline doing just enough to keep gamers interested without having them perched on the edge of their seats. Combat is passable and yet the RPG aspects of the XP collection and expenditure are overlooked in favour of a more linear outlook. To offer up a score of around a 5 would seem pretty justifiable, but we will add an extra point to Sacred 3 for its honesty in that the developer never used spin doctors and bullshit to sell their game, and delivered on exactly what they promised instead.                6 out of 10

FINAL THOUGHT:

One point we would like to raise in defence of Sacred 3 is this latest obsession with both the console camps of Microsoft and Sony banging on and on about the joys of the indie developer. It would seem, then, that just as long as an established studio does not have the sheer audacity to attempt to bring a bubblegum game to the masses then that is okay.  What do we mean by this? Let us explain:

Had Sacred 3 been developed by a studio such as Coffee Stain, for example, then perhaps the reviewers would have been a lot more forgiving than they are. It seems to us here at GmP that when a developer that has tasted success, or one that has the good sense to affiliate themselves to a publishing house, makes an out-and-out arcade title that they are then vilified for said game. You would think that with both sets of Xbox and Sony fanboys waffling on day in and day out about the merits of smaller arcade and indie titles that when they actually got one they would just have the good grace to enjoy the damn thing instead of pulling it to pieces in their over exuberant state of ‘everything is shit’ journalism just to score hits with the viewer count.

 

TITLE:                         Sacred 3
FORMAT:                    PlayStation 3                           [reviewed])
DEVELOPER:               Keen Games

PUBLISHER:                Deep Silver

 

RELEASE DATE:         NA August 5, 2014

EU August 1, 2014

                  
PRICE:                            Sacred 3         GAME UK         £37.99

PEGI RATING:               PEGI 16
SCORE OUT OF 10:      6 OUT OF 10

SteelSteries Wireless Sensei Laser Gaming Edition review

 

Time stands still for no man.

Unless of course you are using a wireless gaming mouse during any one of the myriad titles that players love to populate as they strut their multiplaying stuff across the digital ether. Then, ‘then!’ its a totally different Percolator of Pilchards.

Then!’ its more a case of gamers the world over, and since time immemorial,  ( well, maybe ‘time since the Eighties‘?), suffering staggered frame rates, delayed actions and reactions and teeth-gnashingly annoying bouts of what seems like ‘buffering‘ that are enough to drive grown men into the arms of the console manufacturers….well, maybe not quite ‘that‘ far?

Because of this drop in performance between wired and wireless mice, gamers have always be savvy to the many issues and pitfalls surrounding the wi-fi versions of this imperative peripheral when attempting to partake in their favoured pastime ‘a la PC’.

The dreaded demonic chuckles of ‘ ‘The Lag Leviathan’ can be heard cackling their way across the airwaves through the headsets of frustrated players around the globe as gamers stutter and splutter their way through dungeons in Diablo, and get sprayed as they pray in the ultra realistic military simulator ARMA III.

But no longer, thanks to the talented types that make up gaming’s coolest collection of gadgets and gizmo’s across at SteelSeries.

Battlefield 4 review

Battlefield 4          GmP Gaming    image  logo 2Communicate or you will die. Put your head up in the wrong place and you will die.
I have been playing Battle Field since the beginning. I only play this game PvP, which means that I have also witnessed an endless string of blatant Call of Duty players get sniped and knocked out of the game early in their attempts to rush in guns blazing. Battle Field 4 is a tactical game that requires thought, planning and most of all; communication. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have your headset primed and ready, so that you can unite and interact with the other players. I take this part so seriously I invested in a decent Plantronics wireless headset recently. It was worth it. The voices are clearer during the game, which helps to cut through the surrounding noise and I can also use it for work when I need to be hands free. Finally gaming and my job work in harmony.

A Team Based Game

Battle Field is a team based game with 4 different roles. It is an interactive and destructive environment. On PvP you can have up to 64 people playing, which leads to a less predictable and enjoyable gaming experience.
Fully Interactive Environments

The most appealing feature of this game are the huge maps. You can snipe someone from a mile away and fully interact with the environment. If you want to drive a tank, plane, helicopter, boat or quad bike – you can! One of my favourite maps is Paracel storm. The sirens sound, a tropical storm blows in and you get hit by a typhoon. You can’t see a thing and it’s awesome!

Battlefield 4          GmP Gaming    image 4Overall Better Gaming Experience on PS4

Having recently switched from an Xbox 360 to a PS4 Console I was particularly excited to get Battle Field 4. However, in terms of control there are limitations on PS4 that were a little frustrating. On the Xbox 360 you can change your load while waiting to enter a new game and have access to a large version of the map. However, on PS4 you have to wait until you enter the new game to change your load and there is only a mini map available, which is a little disappointing. Having said that, the gaming experience is still massively improved on the PS4 leading to a better overall gaming experience and these changes could just be an update from BF3 -BF4.

A Tactical Game That Requires Communication

Newbies that are used to Call of Duty, don’t stand a chance with Battle Field 4. It’s a tactical game. If you enjoy a challenge and you are looking for a PvP game that will get your heart racing – then Battle Field is the game for you.

The next game I have my eye on is Thief, which is a massive contrast with most of the game played sneaking around in the shadows. I look forward to reporting back soon!