Reviews & Articles

Clandestine: Performance Analysis

Performance I'd say was reasonable. It wasn't quite as good as I expected, but on 1080p it was certainly acceptable. There are certain levels which run smoothly, but others, such as the software company level, absolutely murder performance. There are extreme highs and
What we liked
  • Minimal CPU usage
What didn't impress us
  • 4K performance below expectations
  • Lot's of texture clipping

Clandestine Review

Clandestine is a title by Logic Artists that's been sat in Early Access for precisely a year. It's a throwback to original Splinter Cell titles like Chaos Theory, with a heavy focus on cooperative play with very contrasting roles. The graphical style is not too dissimila
What we liked
  • Awesome ammo managment
  • Exceptionally challenging
  • Supports a multitude of play styles
  • Enormous, varied, multipart levels
  • Totally unique co-operative approach
  • Very rough yet lovable - like Two Worlds
What didn't impress us
  • Hilariously bad stereotypes
  • Extremely basic mouth animations
  • Dated graphics
  • Poor cover aim transitions
  • Mentally challenged AI
  • "Sticky" cover movement
  • Lots of tiny graphical/animation glitches
  • Side missions in HQ feel pointless

Rebel Galaxy: Performance Analysis

Performance is remarkably good given the graphics. Rebel Galaxy is one of those games, like Satellite Reign, that look as good as they are because of copious amounts of light. It's a highly vibrant, colourful and very much a light show. This gives the player an impression of
What we liked
  • Low requirements for max settings
  • Minimal CPU usage
What didn't impress us
  • Nothing

Sublevel Zero: Performance Analysis

This is probably one of the smoothest most beautiful performance experiences I've had on 4K. Thanks to the vectorised graphics, low-fi low-requirement environments and FOV options, the game looked and ran excellently. The graphics aren't quite hyper-realistic, but the game
What we liked
  • Silky smooth
  • Zero bugs or glitches
  • Minimal CPU usage
What didn't impress us
  • Nothing

Rebel Galaxy Review

Rebel Galaxy is the space swashbuckling brainchild of Double Damage, reminiscing of arcade space games like Freelancer, and is supported by an excellent Firefly-like soundtrack. Unlike most space arcade shooters, the game has no pitch movement, instead opting for travel along
What we liked
  • Awesome visuals
  • Feels incredibly unique
  • Tonnes of exploration
  • Simple yet varied weapon types and roles
  • Lots of random event content
  • Jaw dropping "light show" combat
  • Best Video Options Menu 2015 Award
  • Utterly brilliant soundtrack
What didn't impress us
  • Auto-assist is infurating
  • Trading feels underdeveloped
  • Reputation system feels sidelined

Sublevel Zero Review

Sublevel Zero is a fantastic spiritual successor to the game we all knew and loved, Descent. Sigtrap have developed this entire game using the personal version of Unity, and had Mastertronic on board as their publisher. It features full six-axis movement like Descent
What we liked
  • Awesome visual immersion factor
  • Great aesthetic
  • Top notch movement model
  • Loads of unlockables
  • Highly challenging
What didn't impress us
  • Very repetitive content
  • Limited replayability despite random generation
  • Ram mechanic feels inherently bad
  • Little sense of reward for playing
  • RNG not to everyone's tastes

Sword Coast Legends: Performance Analysis

Like all other old-school RPG's, Sword Coast Legends is one that doesn't require tonnes of FPS in order to feel playable. I did however feel a noticeable difference in smoothness between 4K and 1080p though, despite decent highs on 4K. After reading accounts from other
What we liked
  • Uses 4 threads
  • Low threshold for "playable" FPS
What didn't impress us
  • Long load times
  • Very rare load screen crash
  • Tabbing out murders performance

Sword Coast Legends Review

Next in line to be added to the list of Infinity engine-style RPG's is Sword Coast Legends. Like Pillars of Eternity, it's made in Unity 5 by developers n-space. Overseeing all this, they've got Warframe developers Digital Extremes taking on the publishing role.
What we liked
  • Low entry skill requirement
  • High potential skill ceiling
  • Perfect difficulty curve
  • Excellent itemisation systems
  • Quirky humour
  • Massive enemy/boss variety
  • Engaging main and side-quests
  • Character persistence feels ideal
  • Multiplayer content adds value for money
  • Skill tree streamlined, yet highly versatile
What didn't impress us
  • May not click with hardcore, old-school RPG players
  • AI pathfinding is buggy
  • Inventory click & drag is laggy
  • Characters exclaim ON EVERY CLICK

Transformers: Devastation Performance Analysis

I have very little to say here. The game performed brilliantly on all resolutions, and not once did I come across some chaotic set of bugs. On 4K I was hitting awesome framerates, and even in the most ridiculous situations the game never skipped a beat.
What we liked
  • Minuscule CPU usage
  • Excellent 4K performance
What didn't impress us
  • Nothing

Transformers: Devastation Review

Transformers: Devastation is the latest in the line of games, only this time being taken on by Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance devs, Platinum Games. At the helm is Activision, and what we have is an old-school brawler in the very original Transformers universe.
What we liked
  • Beautifully fluid combat
  • Gameplay is always fresh
  • Great voice acting
  • Every boss feels unique
  • Masses of weapon choice
  • Awesome visuals
  • Highly challenging
What didn't impress us
  • Bosses repeated over and over again
  • Weapon upgrade UI could be better
  • Hidden FPS cap

Satellite Reign: Performance Analysis

So, the game has been immensely badly optimised. There's no pretty way to put it, but this is possibly one of the worst cases I've seen. It's in the same league as Arkham Knight in all fairness. The game is pretty, but to be frank, it's not pretty enough to warrant this much
What we liked
  • Game "feels" smooth despite lower FPS
What didn't impress us
  • Current Unity build limited to 2 cores
  • Massive GPU bottleneck on 4K
  • "Recommended" hardware is very vague

Satellite Reign Review

Satellite Reign is probably best described as a tactical isometric RPG. Its part Pillars of Eternity, and part E.Y.E. It's a spiritual successor to the original Syndicate (Not EA's 2012 abortion version) made by 5 Lives Studios. The game is extremely open, dropping the player
What we liked
  • Tonnes of well developed mechanics
  • Very clear, defined agent roles
  • Excellent stealth gameplay
  • Myriads of gear, weapons and augements
  • Great world crafting
  • Failure is punished perfectly
  • Weeks worth of gameplay hours
What didn't impress us
  • Severe lack of story
  • Missions feel awfully repetitive
  • Early game is extremely slow going
  • Occasionally clunky UI/controls
  • Video options are confusing
  • Very rare bugs

SOMA: Performance Analysis

I have to say, this is one of the best optimised games I've played in a long time. 4K performance is bleeding edge, as expected, but 1080p figures were blindingly fast. Maxed out the game barely teased half the hardware horsepower available. This is in part down to some
What we liked
  • Excellent optimisation
  • Low VRAM usage
  • Tiny CPU footprint
What didn't impress us
  • FPS tanks occasionally
  • One or two bugs

SOMA Review

SOMA is a story-driven horror title, littered with puzzle aspects and the most bizarre creations of the human mind. It's by Amnesia folk Frictional Games, taking place in an underwater world filled with both neutral and insane robots with human consciousness.
What we liked
  • Great voice acting
  • Simple but enticing storyline
  • Clever use of horror
  • Excellent sound FX
  • Vast varied environments
  • Weird, original enemies
  • Configurable FPS cap
What didn't impress us
  • Too many pointless objects
  • Video options split into three menus
  • Genre may not appeal to all
  • Odd dialogue interaction
  • Object interaction slow and clunky at times

Cross of the Dutchman: Performance Analysis

Cross of the Dutchman has a few peculiarities dotted about. Because the game is so short, I managed to complete it around three times, mainly because I finished it before I even started benchmarking. The first time round I noticed a minor stuttering issue that cropped up
What we liked
  • Low overall requirements
What didn't impress us
  • Bizarre 4K GPU scaling
  • Occasional stutter
  • Minor progression bugs

Cross of the Dutchman Review

Cross of the Dutchman is a story orientated Hack 'n' Slash game by Triangle Studios. It throws players into an old folk story of Pier Donia, a rebel leader in the 15th century. The game focuses a hell of a lot more on story than any core gameplay elements, lacking loot and
What we liked
  • Great story
  • Fantastic combat
  • Varied gameplay
  • Challenging at times
  • Stupendously easy to pick up
What didn't impress us
  • No video options
  • VSync forced
  • 60FPS cap
  • No stealth mechanics
  • Short overall completion time
  • Unintuitive skill switching
  • Needs a narrator

Mad Max: Performance Analysis

System performance was pretty great in terms of raw data. Even on 4K the game played like a beauty visually. The same can't be said for audio, and the game is ridden with tiny little bugs all over the place. While I was seeing wonderful FPS figures and largely silky smooth
What we liked
  • Multithread optimised
  • Low VRAM usage
What didn't impress us
  • High CPU requirement

Mad Max Review

Mad Max is the supplemental game alongside the latest blockbuster movie, developed by Avalanche studios (see Just Cause), and curiously published by Warner Bros. I say curiously, because Avalanche hasn't really done much with them recently. It's a stark change from typical
What we liked
  • Huge environment
  • Tonnes of enemy types
  • Great organic world events
  • Convoy missions are awesome
  • Excellent video options
What didn't impress us
  • Main character is bland
  • Too many mechanics, all underdeveloped
  • Crappy, laggy melee combat
  • Bland shooting mechanics
  • Cars handle like damp soap boxes
  • World feels incredibly empty
  • Too much terrain can't be driven on
  • Too few aesthetic customisation options
  • Side objectives very repetetive

Metal Gear Solid V: Performance Analysis

I think it's relatively obvious from the lack of mouse control in the menus; this is in fact a console port. That said, performance was actually relatively great. After two days playing eight hours a day, I got my first crash, and then the game never skipped a beat.
What we liked
  • Low CPU usage
What didn't impress us
  • Large VRAM requirements
  • Lots of tearing without VSync
  • Takes 2 minutes to reach title screen

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Review

So this is what happens when Hideo Kojima creates his own Swansong. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the successor to Prologue Ground Zeroes, taking place nine years after Motherbase is destroyed by a group of generally ugly/crazy gentlemen. TPP is a lot different to
What we liked
  • A Gorrilion(lots) hours of gameplay
  • Play how you want
  • Massive free roam map
  • Fulton = brilliant
  • Massively in-depth management system
  • Tonnes of varied content
  • Stupid amounts of weapons
  • Shoot mini-guns while listening to A1
  • Game has a lot less cut scenes
What didn't impress us
  • Camera control is hooky on horseback
  • Map areas get revisited a lot
  • Hidden 60FPS cap
  • Slow upgrade progression
  • Poor keyboard stealth controls
  • Lacking a lot of story
  • Tutorial is two hours of cut scenes
  • Map feels empty at times