Reviews & Articles

Hard Reset Redux: Performance Analysis

The main changes from the original title come from different implementation of post processing and various effects. A number of things have changed from AO design and AA methods, and there's been a very clear focus on mass optimisations. For the most part the redux has been
What we liked
  • Bleeding edge optimisations
  • More efficient post-processing effects
  • 4K visuals are worth the hit
  • Small VRAM footprint
What didn't impress us
  • Still no multi-GPU support

Mum Review

So this will be my last review for quite some time, and in an effort to do something at the community's behest, I neglected to realise that adding a "your mom" option is never a sensible idea in a poll - it always wins. I am a man of my word however, and a review of my mum beat

Shadwen: Performance Analysis

Performance was actually fantastic. The game looks super slick, not quite as bright and shiny as Trine, but still pretty damn excellent. Despite the heavy focus on physics my system didn't take a remotely large hit to performance except when fire got involved.
What we liked
  • Excellent optimisation
  • Tiny 1080p footprint
  • Multi-GPU support
What didn't impress us
  • Auto-save occasionally didn't save

Shadwen Review

Shadwen is the new piece of IP from Trine developers Frozenbyte, diving head first into the foray of 3D stealth adventure after the poorly received Trine 3. Despite being shiny new in terms of character and story, there are clear throwbacks to their old titles, particularly in
What we liked
  • Dark Trine-like visuals
  • Great level architecture
  • Movement/Time system feels right in this genre
What didn't impress us
  • Uninteresting story
  • Lily is massively irritating
  • Crippled AI (enemy and friendly)
  • Poor stealth mechanics
  • Janky grappling hook mechanic
  • Clunky trap placement system
  • Traps are basically pointless
  • Severely lacking enemy diversity
  • Basing a game on an escort quest is always a bad idea

Stellaris: Performance Analysis

Performance overall was stellar, though the game was not without its occasional peculiarities. My main gripe was tooltips bugging out constantly, which while not game breaking, did become immensely infuriating after two dozen hours. It would show icons but text would be invisible
What we liked
  • Minimal hardware requirements overall
  • Great 4K performance
What didn't impress us
  • Occasional pause during combat
  • Tooltips don't show properly 50% of the time

Stellaris Review

Stellaris is a new breed of 4X space strategy by Paradox Interactive, labelled as a new breath of fresh air in an otherwise heavily cloned genre. The game sets itself closer to the likes of Master of Orion than some of the latest titles like Civilisation or Endless Space, and
What we liked
  • Extremely deep gameplay elements
  • Refreshing style of 4X gameplay
  • Skirmishes can last days (IRL)
  • Awesome approach to research systems
  • Tonnes of random content
  • Great mix of simplistic and complex tasks
  • Once learned, UI is surprisingly well designed
What didn't impress us
  • Poor video options
  • 60FPS cap
  • Tutorial is highly erratic
  • First skirmish is a write off
  • Diplomacy aspect feels lacking
  • Some aspects feel too simplified

Fragmented: Performance Analysis

Obviously as an Early Access title it's bound to have its fair share of issues. To my surprise, performance wasn't as bad as expected, and besides the odd AI glitch, the game actually relatively stable in almost every regard. There are a couple of minor animation issues
What we liked
  • Surprisingly stable for Early Access
  • Minimal CPU requirements
What didn't impress us
  • Unplayable on 4K
  • A few non-gamebreaking bugs

Fragmented Impressions

Fragmented is a new sci-fi survival game that's just jumped on Early Access, swapping stone axes and dinosaurs for beam rifles and Mass Effect style dune buggies. It has similar RPG elements to ARK, offering level ups that unlock additional crafting recipes, and features a fairly
What we liked
  • Looks fantastic
  • Extremely complimentary RPG system
  • Huge, glorious biomes/map
  • Masses of crafting content
  • Option to switch between 1st/3rd person view
  • Feels more developed than counterparts
What didn't impress us
  • Hidden FPS cap
  • AI could use some work
  • Gets boring without other players
  • Progression occasionally stalls

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada Performance Analysis

Performance was OK. I'm mildly disappointed that an UE4 title doesn't have multi-GPU profiles, but that's merely a luxury request. The game is riddled with bugs and glitches, although the performance in general across my hardware was about average. Being an UE4 game, CPU usage
What we liked
  • Bizarrely light CPU usage
What didn't impress us
  • High 1080p VRAM requirement
  • Buggy as hell

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada Review

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is a fresh new take on the Warhammer IP from Tindalos Interactive, opting for a semi-RTS style. Instead of creating an engine in-house, or using one the many strategy engines available, they've opted to wow players with the newer Unreal Engine 4.
What we liked
  • Interesting story progression system
  • Ultra shiny visuals
What didn't impress us
  • 63 FPS cap
  • Slightly buggy video options
  • Crippled AI
  • Riddled with game-losing glitches
  • Infuriatingly slow movement
  • Doesn't feel very "Strategic"
  • Upgrades feel like they achieve nothing
  • General gameplay just feels bland
  • Control system is broken

The Collider 2: Performance Analysis

Performance overall was totally solid. There were no nasty surprises besides the odd control glitch on the main menu (sometimes the controller refused to navigate so I was forced to use the mouse). Main gameplay seemed perfectly well bug tested, and I never really noticed
What we liked
  • Well balanced hardware requirements
What didn't impress us
  • Occasional controller glitches in menus
  • The odd minor gameplay glitch

The Collider 2 Review

The Collider 2 is the sequel to Shortbreak Studios' original mobile title, reimagined in the gorgeous Unreal Engine 4, and accompanied by a soundtrack that delightfully reminds you of ye olde days of Rogue Squadron. It's a brutally challenging, fast paced game designed for those
What we liked
  • Fast fast fast!
  • Wonderful variation between sectors
  • Neat boss fight additions
  • Incredibly easy to pick up
  • Highly challenging
  • Nice amount of persistent content (unlocks)
What didn't impress us
  • Resolution messes up sensitivity
  • Lacking video options
  • Difficulty curve is highly erratic
  • Can feel somewhat repetitive
  • Powerups feel a bit bland

Stories: The Path of Destinies Performance Analysis

For the most part performance was spot on, although I was disappointed to discover that 4K wasn't supported. The game does upscale at 1080p on larger screens, however if you Alt+Tab out and back in, the visible portion of the game will then shrink to its actual area in pixels
What we liked
  • Well balanced hardware requirements
What didn't impress us
  • Lacks support for resolutions above 1080p
  • Occasional Alt+Tab glitches

Stories: The Path of Destinies Review

Stories: The Path of Destinies is a game by Spearhead games, developed entirely around the concept of replayability - what you discover in your failures will help you uncover "truths" and strive to make the decisions that see the game completed without your death
What we liked
  • Excellent replayability
  • Simple yet challenging at times
  • Perfect difficulty curve
  • Story forks are genuinely fascinating
  • Small but complimentary RPG elements
  • Silky smooth combat and movement
  • Utterly gorgeous environments
What didn't impress us
  • Narration can be a little juvenile
  • Lacking video options
  • VSync Forced/60 FPS cap
  • Could use a little more crafting

A Blind Legend Review

A Blind Legend is one of the first in what I hope is a long line of VI-friendly video games from developer DOWiNO, renowned for developing serious games to educate and inform players of social values. The most interesting aspect of this title is its total reliance on audio
What we liked
  • Unexpectedly challenging!
  • Great mixed bag of gameplay
  • Beautifully crafted environment audio
  • Surprisingly visceral combat
  • Delightful mix of enemies
  • Perfect proof of concept for audio-only games
What didn't impress us
  • Voice actors are average at the best of times
  • Tutorial robot voice is galling
  • Cliché story
  • Short (wanted more)
  • Odd key bindings
  • Loading screens are a bit clunky

Holodrive: Performance Analysis

There's not too much to be said of performance to be fair. It's quite a low fidelity titles with a lot of pretty lights spouting from guns, but nothing too hefty. Performance slides closer to the low-midrange scale of systems, and as such runs silky smooth.
What we liked
  • Low 1080p hardware requirements
What didn't impress us
  • Highly unreasonable 4K hardware requirements
  • Net code is an issue

Holodrive Impressions

Holodrive is a F2P platform shooter from Bitcake Studios, offering an almost familiar gameplay style to Awesomenauts but with a much simpler core. The game offers a pretty even battleground for all players, and allows you to unlock both cosmetic and non-cosmetic items with
What we liked
  • Quick, fast-paced rounds
  • Great overall weapon balance
  • Slick gameplay
What didn't impress us
  • Below average match-making
  • Terrible net code
  • Minimal reward for play
  • Exceedingly repetitive
  • High ping players ruin games entirely
  • Zero video options
  • VSync Forced/Hidden FPS cap

Adr1ft: Performance Analysis

Overall performance was as expected, Unreal Engine 4 is a pretty well rounded thing to utilise, so visuals are on par with the performance they require. I only ever came across a single bug, which was down to me exploring an area I was supposed to have made it to.
What we liked
  • Midrange GPU requirement
  • VR performance should be easily achievable
What didn't impress us
  • Slightly imbalanced GPU:VRAM requirement (1080p)

Adr1ft Review

Adr1ft is a space "experience" by THREE ONE ZERO, one of the first games highlighted in the recent preorder storm of VR devices. For the most part it's a chance to float around in a near-realistic space environment and boost your way through a massive and beautiful environment.
What we liked
  • Absolutely gorgeous
  • Massive environment
  • Highly unique experience
What didn't impress us
  • You feel punished for exploring
  • Side objectives feel pointless
  • Ridiculous damage model
  • Main gameplay is immensely repetitive
  • Exceedingly slow movement
  • Not very accurate astronaut sim
  • Light on story/character development

Path of Exile: Ascendancy Performance Analysis

Performance was almost beyond perfect. The game looks fantastic, and somehow manages to throw all this gorgeous stuff in front of you without dealing to much of a hit to your hardware. I don't think I've ever encountered a game this well optimised before, which is a credit to GGG
What we liked
  • Tiny 1080p footprint
  • Beyond excellent optisation
  • Multi-GPU support
What didn't impress us
  • Feels a bit crashy right now
  • CPU spikes dependent on character build