Reviews & Articles

Path of Exile: Ascendancy Review

Path of Exile: Ascendancy is the latest and greatest free expansion to GrindingGearGames' wildly successful loot-em-up ARPG. It adds a shedload of content to and otherwise already brimming format, adding masses of new loot, leagues, and additional points on the passive skill
What we liked
  • Shiny new gems/items
  • New areas look beautiful
  • New boss is massively exciting
  • Better approachability for new players
  • Perandus Trader is a great addition
  • Ascendancy points are awesome
  • New creepy soundtracks
  • Most builds feel viable end-game
  • Potential to unlock cosmetics without money
What didn't impress us
  • Change to economy not ideal for trader-players
  • Passive skill tree is still daunting
  • Resetting a character is still near-impossible

Hitman Episode 1: Performance Analysis

For the most part performance is bang on, however I have a bone to pick with AMD and DX12. The DX12 mode simply does not work for me at all. I'm using the latest 16.3 Crimson drivers that come with a Hitman Crossfire profile, and so far DX12 mode crashes on launch
What we liked
  • Will use as many threads as you throw at it
What didn't impress us
  • AMD's Crossfire profile doesn't work
  • DX12 mode just crashes the game
  • Launcher video options don't always save
  • Occasional AI bugs
  • Extremely high CPU load

Hitman Episode 1 Review

Hitman Episode 1 is the new structure of IO Interactive's new take on the Hitman series, designed to address all the hoo-hah surrounding Absolution, and take a wildly different approach to how Squ-Enix usually publish games. It offers the player much larger open levels
What we liked
  • Player-made Contracts are AWESOME
  • Plenty of replayability
  • Feels far more open than Absolution
  • Fairly challenging gameplay
What didn't impress us
  • AI is woefully dumb
  • Story is "meh"
  • Large open map still feels a bit linear
  • Only 1 map - gets repetitive
  • Campaign is less than 2 hours long
  • Getting server disconnects abandons progress

Blood Alloy: Reborn Performance Analysis

In terms of FPS, everything was great. Beyond that things haven't been fantastic. The game released last Wednesday, and from then until Saturday XP and quest progress wasn't being recorded. That basically rendered the game slightly pointless for a few days.
What we liked
  • Minimal hardware requirements
What didn't impress us
  • Loads of bugs and glitches (some fixed)

Blood Alloy: Reborn Review

Blood Alloy: Reborn is a score orientated title, visually similar to the Metroid games you may have played on the old handheld Gameboy. The key difference is the insane movement system, which is both delightfully complex, and insanely fast. Visually it's a total throwback to
What we liked
  • Ace movement system
  • Incredibly satisfying
  • Highly challenging
  • Fantastic sound track
  • Perfect art style
  • Bosses are insane/a nice touch
What didn't impress us
  • Upgrade system is incredibly shallow
  • 3 available levels don't feel equal
  • Random bugs all over the place
  • VSync force/60FPS cap
  • Lacking video options
  • Sound options don't affect title menu
  • Optional objectives are hit & miss

Overfall: Performance Analysis

For the first few days pre-Early Access release, there were a number of crash issues relating to story building and DirectX on AMD. Once I'd let the dev know about them, they were immediately fixed in a daily build update. Since that update there has not been a single
What we liked
  • Will run on anything
What didn't impress us
  • Rare instance of crashing (fixed)

Overfall Impressions

The Early Access release of Overfall is this beautiful mix of Turn-Based Strategy, Rogue-like, and story-led adventure all mashed into this delightful little 2.5D seafaring format. While it may be a rogue-like title, each play through can range from a few minutes to a number
What we liked
  • Masses of ever-changing content
  • Plenty of humour for all
  • Extremely intuitive UI
  • Highly challenging
  • Can be played with one hand!
  • Story Builder is a fantastic add-on
  • Great dialogue system
  • Incredibly easy to jump into
  • Rogue-like aspect fits nicely
What didn't impress us
  • VSync Forced/60FPS cap
  • Lacking video options
  • First 30 minutes feel slow and empty
  • Skip turn keybind feels out of place
  • A couple of hollow/short quests

SUPERHOT: Performance Analysis

Overall performance was fantastic. There was no multi-GPU profile, though I can't imagine a situation where a system would need it. Visually the game is quite simplistic, but there's a fair amount of physics going on in the background. t may look simple, but the impact from the
What we liked
  • Tiny CPU footprint
  • Minimal requirements for 1080p
What didn't impress us
  • No real visual difference between 1080p/4K

SUPERHOT Review

SUPERHOT is the product of a 7DFPS Jam project, one which garnered so much attention it would have been insane not to explore the possibilities. The description is pretty much entirely accurate, time only moves when you do (or shoot), and there's a few modes to toy around with.
What we liked
  • Insanely fun
  • Simple yet highly strategic
  • No entry skill required
  • Great visual design
  • Every weapon feels awesome
  • Bizarrely interesting story
  • Endless and Challenge mode add loads of unique content
What didn't impress us
  • VSync Forced/60FPS cap
  • Lackluster video options
  • Mildly repetitive during long sessions
  • Story mode is short

No Pineapple Left Behind: Performance Analysis

Overall the performance was stellar. No multi-GPU profile, but that's not really an issue when you're pulling hundreds of FPS on max. I never came across any bugs, which is remarkable for a game on such a small budget made in the personal version of unity.
What we liked
  • Tiny hardware footprint
What didn't impress us
  • Slightly VRAM heavy

No Pineapple Left Behind Review

No Pineapple Left Behind is a bizarre satirical title that's designed to emulate how modern school systems are run. It is of course immensely exaggerated and uses the odd reference to popular culture to describe things, but its closest likeness is that of Prison Architect.
What we liked
  • Most unique game ever!
  • Brilliantly amusing
  • Great fun to describe to people
What didn't impress us
  • Quite repetitive
  • Very niche genre
  • UI can sometimes feel cluttered
  • Humour may not appeal to all

Firewatch: Performance Analysis

The first time around performance was perfect. No slowdowns, no bugs, no nothing. Firewatch is a silky smooth experience with absolutely nothing holding it back. I played a second time around to screw around with it, but only managed to discover one oversight.
What we liked
  • Minimal 1080p requirements
  • Loading screens are VERY quick
  • Zero bugs/glitches
What didn't impress us
  • Slightly VRAM heavy

Firewatch Review

Firewatch is a story orientated title with a hefty focus on hiking, pairing the exploration of the story with your own understanding and experience of the environment. The game relies heavily on the conversations held between you and Delilah, both firewatchers for the
What we liked
  • Amazing, engaging, surprising story
  • Great intro sequence (sets the story)
  • Fantastic key characters
  • Characters you never meet are well developed
  • World is utterly beautiful
  • Wonderful mix of story and exploration
  • Plays on your personal judgement
What didn't impress us
  • A little bit short
  • Interactive Story genre not for everyone

Defunct: Performance Analysis

Performance has largely been stellar save for one or two reproducible instances. For the most part the game performs absolutely gloriously. Everything is silky smooth, there's almost zero potential for glitches - if you do find yourself clipping through an object
What we liked
  • Un-stuck mechanic in case of clipping
  • Multi-GPU support
What didn't impress us
  • Occasional level load stutter

Defunct Review

Defunct is a brilliant little downhill racer by Swedish developers Freshly Squeezed. It's published by SOEDESCO, and built entirely within the Personal Edition of Unity. It's a short affair, featuring tonnes of fast paced racing, as well as slower sections for more puzzle
What we liked
  • Utterly enormous, beautiful maps
  • Unique simplistic mechanics
  • Compelling story/character
  • Great mix of speed and puzzles
  • Excellent soundtrack
What didn't impress us
  • Change in speed is sometimes jarring
  • Very short - I want more!
  • Replay value is leaderboard orientated (not for everyone)

Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch DLC Review

Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch is the first piece of DLC that released alongside the new Rise of the Tomb Raider by Crystal Dynamics. At its core is a storyline linked with the old Russian myth, offering the player a small snippet of story, a new challenge tomb, as well as
What we liked
  • Great visual level design
What didn't impress us
  • Bad value
  • Forgettable/predictable storyline
  • Poor quality animations
  • Very short
  • "Meh" item unlocks

Bombshell: Performance Analysis

Performance was OK, but a bit all over the place. The game has a full SLI profile but nought for AMD users. No biggie, I don't personally expect any game to arrive with a multi-GPU profile of any kind, in my mind it's a luxury addition. As I said before VSync didn't work
What we liked
  • Low CPU usage despite heavy physics
  • SLI support
What didn't impress us
  • VSync doesn't work
  • Graphical Artifacts in menus

Bombshell Review

After a long history with Duke Nukem, Interceptor 3D have decided to take a different direction with their hyper-violent shooter roots. That direction is Bombshell, a top down shooter featuring a female lead equipped with a bionic arm and an arm with interchangeable WMD's.
What we liked
  • Beautiful world
  • Weapons pack masses of punch
  • No-nonsense shooter
  • Awesome lead character
  • Brimming video options menu
What didn't impress us
  • Highly repetitive objectives
  • Shallow overall gameplay
  • Too few enemies - not enough fun
  • Bosses are just colossal bullet sponges
  • Character lines aren't funny
  • Some skills aren't overly useful
  • Not enough love for Amiga's solo ability

Rise of the Tomb Raider: Performance Analysis

On 1080p the game performed like a rock. Throughout the main game there were only three instances of glitches, one requiring me to suicide so the camera would zoom away from my head, another where a QTE in a tomb didn't resolve until a patch fixed it, and another where
What we liked
  • Nothing - performed as expected
  • SLI Support
What didn't impress us
  • Occasional glitches

Rise of the Tomb Raider Review

Rise of the Tomb Raider is Crystal Dynamics' next instalment in the Tomb Raider reboot series. It's an action adventure game with numerous elements like stealth, climbing, hunting and just generally surviving, making it a bit of a jack-of-all-trades kind of title.
What we liked
  • Ultra shiny graphics
  • Excellent difficulty progression
  • Masses of customisable gear
  • Great mix of action and stealth
  • Intelligently challenging tombs
  • Plenty of optional content
  • Engaging story
  • Well defined characters
What didn't impress us
  • Story is a little predictable
  • Heavy on scripted/QT-events
  • Only 10 hours of main quest content
  • Survivial Instincts feels cheaty