The other side of Kez: PC Gaming

Hello one and all, and in response to all your comments and tweets, I have indeed been quiet of late,  I started a new job you see. But before that, I spent 2 weeks in PC Gaming wonderland…yes my console gaming friends, I crossed over to the dark side. What was I doing there you ask? I tried out some games…and bought one too. Here’s some musings for you all;

TERA

TERA Screenshot

Yes I really am playing as a magical Panda, don’t worry if that’s not really your thing though you can create your usual warriors and stuff here too. TERA is an online MMORPG and features your usual; quests, crafting, and PvP action. However combat is rather unique…you target an enemy with a cross-hair cursor rather than clicking or tabbing an individual opponent (this is called the “Non-Target battle system” by the publisher) and you can actively dodge incoming attacks. As someone who has come from playing Guildwars and Aion, this combat system really sets TERA apart from other MMORPGs. Graphically, this is one of the more demanding games that I have played on PC, so I would check your spec before investing, as the game has the downside of being a monthly subscription type. So to those who quit World of Warcraft and want something different, or those with plenty of pennies and who are after an MMORPG with a strong combat system I say check this one out.

However if paying monthly doesn’t appeal, but the MMORPG world does, I suggest you check out number 2 in our threesome of PC Gaming…

Guildwars 2

Guildwars 2

Now, the first Guildwars 2 Beta didn’t go so well, and I must apologise for the rather poor screenshot above. (Everything upon first login was hard work) However, once the beta was updated, this was a lovely game to spend time in, as well as the usual stuff as detailed above in TERA, you can also take part in live action events called “instances.” Guildwars 2 genuinely feels like a living breathing world. Your skill bar isn’t as customisable as I would like it, however what sets Guildwars 2 apart from many others, is the lack of monthly subscription. So you buy the game once, and can play forever without paying another penny. As a massive Guildwars 1 fan I have pre-ordered this beauty and shall be featuring more on this as and when I get access to more Beta events.

Diablo III

Diablo 3

So my friends, I have saved the best till last. Disclaimer: I have not played any other Diablo titles. Diablo III is a dungeon crawler…so yes, it’s a bit repetitive, and yes there’s lots of clicking, but my word is it addictive. I truly believe this game has a player class to suit everyone, the difficulty curve is well designed, the story is far more compelling that I thought it would be, and with a semi-decent graphics card, the cutscenes are epic.  This game is both serious in strategy and immense fun, playing co-op works well, but that game doesn’t lose it’s magic when you are playing alone. Music and sound design have been greatly improved from the Beta, the sound effects now add a visceral element to combat, and add to the all round genuinely creepy atmosphere in the game.

So there we have it, a quick run down of what I’ve spent my time playing these past couple of weeks, which also explains why you haven’t seen me on PSN either. Let me know if you would like to see more PC gaming posts guys!

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Preview: 2012 Games

A slightly delayed post, but one I would love to hear your thoughts on, as everyone has a few games that they start the year looking forward to owning in later months, here’s my top 5 most anticipated games of 2012 so far. As usual, let me know yours in the comments section below.

5) Tomb Raider.

Tomb Raider 2012

The previous games infuriated me greatly, but in a good way, I simply wasn’t smart enough to solve the puzzles and often got lost, this series reboot looks to be taking the games in an “Uncharted” direction, with what looks like more adventuring/action elements than previous titles, but there isn’t a great deal of info out there yet, so only time will tell. For me, a female lead is very appealing as it makes it slightly more immersive, the trailer has quite a depressing /struggle vibe about it, which also leaves me curious and wanting to know more about this title, I shall be watching closely for more info.

4) Borderlands 2.

Borderlands 2

The first Borderlands game is, in my opinion, one of the most underated games of this generation. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you can pick up the game of the year edition for a very reasonable price. (Trust me the DLCs are huge, add a lot of content and so, are well worth it.) By the looks of things, the second installment is looking just as crazy and just as fun, but with new classes, weapons and locations to explore. I’m hoping the story mode is as co-op friendly as the first game. Cannot wait to jump online with this with friends.

3) The Last Guardian.

The Last Guardian

From the makers of Ico, (which to me is a must play no matter what age you entered the gaming world in) comes The Last Guardian. I love games with an atmosphere, and this title looks to be as much of an experience, as it is a game. I feel this will be a pull on the heart strings epic adventure, the world is beautiful, and what I have heard of the soundtrack is too. Lots of drama and rumours regarding the finishing of the game, I just hope it’s not delayed by too much, it’s an absorbing, play after a hard day at work, classic in the making I think.

2) Guild Wars 2.

Guildwars 2

Why on earth would you say no to exploring that world pictured above? Ok, so don’t tell anyone, but this isn’t a console game, it’s a PC game, and it’s of the MMORPG variety, but before you go, bear in mind, there is no monthly subscription, and me, as a “not really a pc gamer type” put hours into the first one, and still play it years on. Guildwars made me better at games, all games, the game doesn’t freeze, I am yet to find any bugs, the quests are varied, the story lines are long and interesting, and character skillsets/customisation is unmatched in other games. This is a must buy for me.

1) SSX.

SSX 2012

Because it’s been far too long since an amazingly awesome snowboarding game came out. Shaun White was disapointing, even SSX3 didn’t live up to the standards set by SSX Tricky. Because it’s the only sports game I will play, and because it’s just something very different, for us all to enjoy. The game promises something for seasoned SSX’ers with the return of some familiar faces, as well as plenty for newbies. I’m loving the fact that they have mapped actual mountain ranges for me to explore, without the costs, injuries and chilliness. (I will try it for real someday though!…Not the stunts, that would be rather silly.) History also points to an excellent, and varied soundtrack to this release too, I literally cannot wait for this one, see you all on the virtual slopes.

So that’s my must buys for this year, what are yours?

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Preview: Back to the Future The Game.

Having collected quite a few PSN Store games of late that my time in Skyrim has prevented me from trying, I felt the need to set aside some time to check them out. And I am always disapointed when I find that games that can be bought only on the store, have no preview, so you can’t judge whether or not the game is something worth your hard earned cash.  Here I hope to help some of you make a more informed decision.

First on my list (as the films rate amongst some of my all time favourites) is the Back to the Future game. This is an episodic point and click, puzzle, adventure game. To those unseasoned to this genre (check out the Monkey Island games for some shining examples of greatness) these games involve the player talking to people, exploring environments and collecting objects. Objects are then used to solve puzzles to progress the story.

Christopher Lloyd returns to voice Doc Brown, a treat for those who remember the films, the game has you play as Marty, solving a mystery, I shall say no more to keep this spoiler free. The controls are nicely executed, which is quite something as often, point and click adventures don’t translate well onto consoles, it’s easy enough with a PC managing inventory screens, combining items and choosing dialogue options, but sometimes, this can be challenging on a game controller. BTTF’s controls are excellent.

The graphics arnd art style are unique (and dare I say it,) slightly cute, reminiscent of the Sims games but with an individual character to them. The lip syncing is off in parts, and puzzles are slightly less challenging than I would like personally, but this does make the game more accessible to people who aren’t experienced in the genre.

It’s important to note that these comments are based on a couple of hours play of the first episode, look out for more info and possibly a full review after I have played through more of the game. For now, I would sum up by saying, yes I like the game, it’s worth a purchase, however, I don’t yet love it. Time will tell whether this heads to the pile of poor film tie ins, or stands apart as a great slice of nostalgia for some, and a fun and engaging game for others.

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