Friday, October 30, 2020

Pikmin 3 Deluxe Review: A Refreshing Edition


Pikmin 3 Deluxe Review: A Refreshing Edition

August 2000. Visitors to Spaceworld discover the first technological demos of Nintendo's new console, the Gamecube. Among these, the presentation of Super Mario 128 makes its small effect with its hundred mustaches sticking together and moving on a board similar to a Monopoly. While making his speech that day, Shigeru Miyamoto does not know it yet but he is laying the foundations for his future franchise: Pikmin! Since then, the license has hosted three episodes and while waiting to learn more about Pikmin 4 (which was announced in 2015), the Switch is getting an improved version of the third installment. A good little reminder! Yes, the Pikmin! With their protruding eyes and frozen expression, you'd think the light was shining on their little heads but not shining on the back of the yard. Big mistake: these little creatures are infinitely smarter than Lemmings, another short-legged concept that caused a sensation in the 1980s. When it comes to going charcoal, Nintendo's cute entities don't hesitate to get together to wear a large fruit or launch an assault on a wall, an electrical barrier, or a terrible plant "monster". And that's good because the Pikmin will, once again, have a lot to do to help Brittany, Alph, and Captain Charlie. Like Olimar (the anagram of Mario), the trio has crashed on a hostile planet and has no choice but to seek out a superluminal key, an artifact that allows them to propel the Drake, the ship that will bring all these beautiful people home. And in order to survive, the crew will need the juice from the fruits they collect along the way. A hell of a program!

Pikmin 3 Deluxe gameplay on Nintendo Switch

TEAMWORK

In principle, Pikmin 3 takes over the basics of the series as it is always about guiding your "kawaii" squad towards different objectives. Collecting fruit, attacking enemies, destroying obstacles ... all means are good to progress! But unlike previous episodes, the title features no less than three playable protagonists and relies on this trio to enrich the puzzles. You will also regularly switch from one character to another (Brittany, Alph, or Charlie) to reach a previously inaccessible area, without forgetting to send a few Pikmin to your companion so that he does not end up as a Robinson Crusoe facing hostile creatures. Pikmin, on the other hand, has different abilities depending on their color. The reds are awesome fighters and are flame resistant, the yellows are lighter (and can be sent higher), do not fear electricity, and can act as real generators, the blues have the gift of being perfect swimmers, blacks are rock solid and can shatter crystal, and finally, pink hover above the ground and can also use very handy shortcuts (like hovering over a body of water). Compared to these predecessors, Pikmin 3 is richer, more diverse and we take great pleasure in coordinating the skills of the Pikmin while separating our small group of astronauts. Of course, in the event of too much loss, it is possible to return to Onion - a sort of hub bringing together the Pikmin - to recreate a few little beings ready to help you.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe all characters beside a river

AN ANTH OF IDEAS

What is exciting is that Shigeru Miyamoto and his team have managed, starting from the concept of Super Mario 128, to create a whole ecosystem. Using the Pikmin, it will be necessary to break down walls, use water lilies in a stream, rub your butt for a slide on a natural slide or even use a geyser to be propelled into the air. Pikmin 3 is full of great finds and we find this ingenuity in the clashes against the bosses. They do not hesitate to use their environment and their (natural) weapons available to surprise you. Moreover, speaking of the environment, it will sometimes be recommended that you hide under a flower bed to avoid the rather sharp gaze of an enemy. Here again, despite a bestiary that is not huge, we smile at the means deployed by the creatures to munch on Pikmin. Despite the naturalness of the surroundings and the presence of long missions in settings that end up looking alike, the charm still works. But what about the game's arrival on Switch?

Pikmin 3 Deluxe other screenshot

BETTER CONTROLLED AND MORE ADAPTED

Obviously, leaving his favorite console, we could fear that Pikmin 3 would lose a little of its soul by having to settle for one screen. In the end, it isn't, but it's true that the lack of tactile gameplay is a quirk. It could have been very convenient to use the Switch as a tablet, but unfortunately, the KopPad is limited to a simple menu and classic commands. Too bad, it tends to break the rhythm of the adventure. Fortunately, Pikmin 3 Deluxe offers refined gameplay that makes the whole thing much more flexible. Aiming is more pleasant, you can lock your target while switching from one type of Pikmin to another with a simple press of the L or R keys. Similarly, if you turn in circles after a while, the game - in its standard difficulty - will indicate a path to follow and give clues. As we progress through this adventure, we appreciate these changes, especially as the pathfinding (the tracking action of Pikmin) now seems more stable. They don't get stuck in the background and this development is very appreciable in the last level (those who made the original will understand what we are referring to).

Pikmin 3 Deluxe Review demo available

The demo is available

To get a feel for the game, you can download the demo from the Nintendo Switch eShop. You can start the download by following this link or by going directly to your console. The demo weighs 2.8 GB and offers to discover the first part of the adventure with the boss as well as the highest difficulty mode (with a limited number of Pikmin). At a time when demos are dying out, it would be a shame not to take advantage of them, especially since the save is transferable to the full game.

THE FULL OF PIKMIN

Just like on Wii U, Pikmin 3 Deluxe isn't a champion of longevity. The adventure ends fairly quickly, so the developers have incorporated a hard mode (available at game launch) to which is added a "Super Spicy" mode that unlocks after the main quest is completed on hard mode. Pretty cool for lovers of devious games. Content level, it is now possible to extend the pleasure thanks to two side stories featuring Olimar, the hero of Pikmin first of the name, and Louis, who appeared in Pikmin 2. Well, as much to say it now, they are more small missions than a real side adventure - with a ranking system - but it has the merit of existing. In fact, the best feature of this Switch version is undoubtedly the possibility of finally experiencing the main story while cooperating with another player. The screen is now split and a friend can join you to help you on your journey. And if the competition is your thing, Duel Bingo is still here. The concept is simple, it involves filling a grid by bringing enemies, objects, or even fruit to the destination. Since it is possible to send your Pikmin to attack the opponent, it promises a lot of fun. Missions, on the other hand, allow you to go in search of fruit, enemies, or even challenge enemies spotted in the main quest. Finally, know that there is a system of badges (trophies what) that reward your achievements as well as a piklopedic to study the creatures encountered.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe Review snapshot

MOTHER NATURE

As for the previous episodes, Pikmin 3, here in its Deluxe version, offers magnificent natural panoramas. Greenery, small streams (which become rivers for our tiny characters), caves, snowy slopes… the game flatters the retina with pretty effects. The details on each of the elements (stump, leaves, water lilies ...) are appreciable and the general appearance appears finer than on Wii U, whether docked or portable. The visual gap is not huge, but it cannot be denied that the original had an already successful photo-realistic touch. The creatures have a unique look and it is difficult not to fall in love with the ultra endearing approach of the protagonists. Pikmin is still Pikmin and we're not going to complain.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe Review

Conclusion

It may be a few years old, Pikmin 3 remains an endearing game. Not having been a great success on Wii U, Nintendo's title will benefit as it should from this revival on Switch and should give itself a second youth. Even if this reissue does not offer anything stunning, it does have the merit of improving sensitive points of the original while offering its extensions. The main quest can be completed quite quickly, but you will still have plenty to do with its multi (coop or versus) and its different difficulty modes. I would not have been against a little more marked new features but it is a game that has the merit of passing the test of time. So make sure you check this game, you can get more information by visiting the Pikmin 3 Deluxe official website. If you wish to leave your comment, please use the form below to do so. Thank you for reading this Pikmin 3 Deluxe review.

Watch the latest Pikmin 3 Deluxe trailer video down below for even more details. Enjoy!



Thursday, October 29, 2020

Mortal Shell Review - A Good Souls-like Or An Empty Carcass?

Mortal Shell Review - A Good Souls-like Or An Empty Carcass?

After an open beta phase, all of Fallgrim and its surroundings finally opened to players on August 18. Since an Elden Ring is slow to give news, the announcement of Mortal Shell has aroused the enthusiasm of a lot of players especially as the first trailers showed a rather ambitious Souls-like especially if we took into account the number of people behind the project. Following the beta of the game, you can find our preview below this post, several questions were still unanswered but now that it is possible to browse the entire title, it is time to take stock of this action -RPG. So I completed Mortal Shell's story mode in just under 10 hours of play and with a minimal exploration of areas of the title. Subsequently, I launched the New Game + mode, totaling experience for this review at around 12-13 hours to get a taste of the replayability of the game. The title was tested on a standard PS4 with a publisher version.

If the results were already favorable during the beta, it is necessary to recall the care that was taken to the title. The graphic aspect is thorough and special care is given to the world of Mortal Shell. I enjoy browsing the areas of the game, and some of the scenes are quite appreciable. I can also mention the high quality of 3D models and animations. I then have a world and characters staged through aesthetics and animations of very good quality. However, there was some gray area in the game even after the open beta. This was about the openness and complexity of the areas of the game. I can now rule on this issue. In fact, Mortal Shell displays semi-open areas with a few branches, but these areas are ultimately quite interventionist and at least reward exploration. However, there is an exception in the central area of ​​the game, namely the Fallgrim swamp, which remains dense, complex and which conceals some rather nice secrets. On the side of its narration, again the title of Cold Symmetry shows itself to the height of its inspirations. Although the content of the game is less dense than classic Souls, each element of the world allows you to learn more about it. Whether it is the stelae scattered all over the place, the dialogues with the rare NPC, or the objects of the game, each small piece takes place in the puzzle that is the lore of the game. This aspect then encourages the player to explore every nook and cranny of the game. Fallgrim and its surroundings.

We can also bet that at several points during the adventure, the world of Mortal Shell responds to the progress of the player by changing the layout of its levels a little or by bringing in different types of monsters. In addition, the object familiarity system is quite well thought out, because this system supports the player's progress. In fact, the more we advance in the game, the more we become familiar with its systems, and the fact of becoming familiar with the objects gives us additional information on the effects of the latter as well as on its meaning in the game. let us also quote the music of the game which, although they are a minimum behind, still manages to underline the few highlights of the game.

Mortal Shell gameplay

What is good and what is wrong with the game?

We attack here the biggest flaw of the game, its lack of content. Let's start with the lifespan which, although advertised at 20-30 hours of play, comes down to half as much with around 10 hours of play. Count less if you are a veteran of the genre, around 7-8 hours, or more if you're a novice, up to 15 hours of playtime. Which is a pretty slim record for a Souls-like. But it doesn't end there, however. I notice the presence of very few NPCs, diversity on the non-existent semi-bosses, a little stocked bestiary with about 5 different types of monsters per zone, 4 territories to explore, and not many bosses. The situation is really severe on this side, and those who do not wish to relive the adventure several times will find it difficult to justify their purchase of this game.  Additionally, the story of Mortal Shell boils down to a single mission that is presented to the player from the start. A little more interaction and different purposes would have contributed to the gaming experience. Especially since this choice underlines the short lifespan of the title.

There are still some small advantages to be gained from the title's rather short experience. The first is the NG + which is then no longer as imposing and time-consuming as in other genre games. The human size of the world can also encourage the player to seek out the various secrets of the places on their own, especially in the Fallgrim swamp which benefits from a fairly extensive level design, which makes browsing it fun. Finally, the 4 shells and the 4 weapons of the game which can be improved also offer replayability to the title. The experience is very short then, but there are many elements that lead us to replay the adventure. However, there are small advantages that only slightly compensate for the lack of density of the game.

Mortal Shell now available on Steam

The fights, good or good?

Now on to the fighting. The results were already positive for the beta and still are today. The fights are nervous, quite precise, even if some mechanics like the parry or the extirpation of the Shell sometimes lack accuracy. The arsenal is well stocked between active and passive shell skills and weapon skills. It is also really pleasant to use this arsenal in its entirety to defeat your opponents, even if one can question the relevancy of adding a ranged weapon to the game. The clashes are demanding, the sequences are smooth, the feeling is good and the sound design in combat is worked on in addition to making it possible to anticipate the attacks of enemies located outside the field of vision of the camera. On the other hand, we sometimes had trouble locating a creature while it was making a huge noise because it got stuck behind an obstacle. So the AI ​​would also be an interesting point to improve, and if it was possible to stop putting creatures on the sides of an opening all the time to surprise the player, that would be good. A little is good, but enough is enough!

Finally, let's finish with the in-game currency that allows you to upgrade your shells and weapons. This one is divided into two categories, the tars which take again the functioning of the souls in Dark Souls, and the glimpses. For the latter category, the currency does not disappear when you die and is tied to a specific shell and will mainly be used for its improvement. This currency system is quite well thought out and will require the player to plan for minimal use of these two types of currency. Improving shells is also a great way to learn more about the game's lore and how Hulks relate to the world of Mortal Shell. An additional reward that hits the mark when we increase the abilities of our avatar.

Mortal Shell tutorial header

Fallgrim is the hotbed of some problems

As you experience the game, you may encounter some exhilarating issues. Between a few crash bugs, lags when losing a shell, or even some rare but potentially continuous FPS drops, it would be nice if an update fixes these minor issues. As for the small inconveniences of the game, we can also talk about the loading of the game which can sometimes seem long. The opportunity is then good to remind that the game was tested on a standard PS4 (not the Pro version), I will not testify to the presence of these problems on the PC version during this review, or even to the longevity of these. loading times on the PS4 Pro, although the result should be almost similar for the latter case. Finally, the assignment of keys for a specific case is also problematic. This is because the second skill of a weapon is activated by simultaneously pressing both triggers on the controller. However, most of the time this keystroke will cause your character's body to harden since this ability apparently takes priority and is activated by pressing the left trigger. The activation of this weapon skill then becomes tense and quite complex. This seemingly minor issue will still be a problem as Mortal Shell delivers responsive and nervous combat where we would like our character to respond as we want to our commands.

Mortal Shell review other snapshot from game

Conclusion

In conclusion, Mortal Shell presents a world of great visual quality with neat 3D models and animations. However, these qualities come at the expense of too little content, whether in terms of lifespan, bestiary and many other criteria. Before buying it, first, ask yourself what you like about this kind of game. If the lack of multiplayer mode, varied content, and decent lifespan doesn't scare you, and if you like to replay adventure multiple times, then maybe you will find your way out with this game. You can learn more about the game just by visiting the Mortal Shell official website for more details. If you have any comments, please feel free to do so by using the form below. Thank you for reading my Mortal Shell Review.

Here's the video preview of the Mortal Shell. This is the PS4 version here. Enjoy!





Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Partisans 1941 Review - Not Yet The Commandos We Expected!!!

Partisans 1941 Review - Not Yet The Commandos We Expected!!!

While the Germans of Mimimi Games have put the tactical infiltration game back on the front of the stage, here is a Russian studio embarks on a form of opposition with Partisans 1941. On the menu, a game that is very reminiscent of the venerable Commandos in which Russian resistance fighters resist the German army on the eastern front. Like a symbol.

To the east, there is also a History

In June 1941, Nazi Germany launched a lightning strike against Russian troops. They are forced to withdraw to the border, leaving behind many prisoners and a people distraught at the advancing German army. This is where we meet Commander Zorin who, after escaping the awaiting summary execution and finding some companions, decides to stay behind enemy lines to organize resistance there. But of course, when your troops consist of two men and a kid, you have to play smart and avoid fighting as much as possible. Or at least try.

Partisans 1941 gameplay

Unknown soldiers

We can say that Partisans 1941 is casting a wide net when it comes to talking about its inspirations. The most obvious is of course Commandos. As in the latter, we also embody a small group of 4 characters maximum dropped on a more or less large map with objectives to accomplish. Missions that we will propose to sabotage a tank, to poison the food reserves of the German occupier, or to prevent the execution of allies to take a few examples from the beginning of the game. It's up to you to sneak between the troop's enemies, by eliminating the nuisances to achieve your ends. Rather than remain frozen on the classic Commandos-like bases, Partisans chooses to expand its possibilities a little by integrating a progression system. Each action earns your party experience, which levels up your characters and allows you to unlock new skills in a tree unique to each of them. Each character will thus have, in addition to certain common skills, his or her own “signature” skills which will differentiate them from others. For example, Zorin will be able to throw a knife from a distance while Belozerova will have a skill that allows her to take out all enemies within a small area. Some of these special skills can be used freely as long as you have the correct weapon in your inventory, while others will only have a limited number of uses for each mission.

Plus, you will also need to manage your character inventory. Because the game has no shortage of items to collect. Weapons (of different quality levels) and ammunition of course, but also various types of explosives (grenades, mines, etc.), distraction objects such as stones or bottles of schnapps, but also objects that will serve you in the camp that you join between missions in a mini-management phase which will ask you to manage your food stocks as best as possible, a hungry supporter is not the most efficient. However, I would like to put a damper on two areas for improvement in this inventory management. The exchange of objects thus requires too much proximity between the characters while the comparison only works if the objects are in the same inventory. A point for which the quality of life could have taken precedence over realism. This interlude at the camp may seem uninteresting at first glance, but it ultimately provides access to the manufacture of some rather welcome homemade explosives. We are pleased to note that objects useful on a mission can be used indifferently by your followers, you don't need to be a stone-throwing specialist to distract the German soldier. Finally, you will need to keep an eye on the morale of the troops, as they do not see a good eye looting the property of the locals. Lastly, and unlike Commandos, Partisans isn't all about stealth. You will have to regularly make weapons speak to eliminate groups of enemies too large. Or groups containing dogs.

For the combat phases, the game is based on a fairly classic basis. There are a cover system and variable chances to hit depending on the weapon and the distance between you and the target. It should be noted that the game revolves around small skirmishes and that it is often relevant to take the enemy in a crossfire which leaves him the little possibility to hide if you do not wish to see the fights turn in the meeting. annual Stormtroopers Association. Note also that it is possible, by pressing space, to slow down the time to give orders to each supporter. Too bad, however, that these orders are executed as soon as you allow time to pass normally again. I would have liked to be able to delay a bit, as the skills of the different characters do not all trigger at the same speed.

Partisans 1941 other gameplay snapshot

Bardaf, it's the sheer

So all of this looks particularly promising, especially as the game incorporates some good little ideas. This will automatically crouch your supporters when approaching a threat, which will delight anyone who forgot to do so after a sprint in Mimimi's games. On the other hand, there is no posture management in the enemy's cone of vision: you are visible or you are not. We also note that the game is ultimately much less specialized than Commandos was in its time. Any character equipped with a dagger can thus attempt to neutralize an enemy soldier in close combat, the different difficulty levels of the enemies will modify not only your chances of success but also the time required for elimination and the noise the attempt will make. However, we feel from the first missions that the game may have some more problematic points. And it's a timed mission that highlights them. The first major concern of the game concerns its interface and more specifically the interactions with the environment. The system of interaction with the bodies of your victims is thus based on small icons that appear when hovering. You have to click on the corresponding icon to pick up a body, retrieve a throwing knife, or search a corpse, which makes the chain of actions painful and extremely slow. Not to mention the situations where several bodies are found side by side in a cramped environment like the inside of a house. We then spend our time looking for THE pixel that allows us to interact with the right element.

Even more awkward in a game that relies a good part of its gameplay on discretion, pathfinding is particularly lame in many situations. Going through a door sometimes seems to be insurmountably difficult for your supporters who will prefer to open the door and then make a wide detour to the other side. Note that the game is not sectarian and reserves the same treatment for other obstacles. Worse yet, moving the entire party to a hideout will regularly cause one of your companions to remain in full view of the hideout. Or getting on the wrong side of a blanket.

Partisans 1941 channels the spirit of Commandos

The rough theory

Unfortunately, these issues are only a slight annoyance to the game's major glitches: its AI combined with a big lack of readability. It's simple, you will quickly assume that the information given by the game is almost correct, but not quite. As with any good Commando-like, you can show a guard's field of vision, but it's best not to be trusted. It is common here to see a guard who detects you while the representation of his cone of vision indicates to you that he cannot see, including sometimes through walls. Likewise, noise management deserves to be clearer as explosions or gunshots seem to worry guards only at a very close range. In the end, we often have the impression that a guard's reaction to noise is random. And these are just common situations encountered during several missions of the game.

Partisans 1941, now available on Steam for PC

The technical point

Visually speaking, Partisans 1941 opts for a graphic rendering that is less shimmering and paler than its competitors. With some success since the game thus has its own visual identity. Whether in forests, small villages, or the ruins of a city, the game ensures successful environments. However, I regret that the choice was a pale white for the enemy's vision cones. From a sound point of view, the game only offers a version with other languages subtitles, the voices being limited to English or Russian. Note that the developers have taken their attention to detail to caption the dialogues of the German soldiers in Goethe's language. Finally, my test was marked by a few bugs: a script not launching at the end of a mission or a character whose pathfinding led him to take the plunge. Fortunately, the game saves and loads quite quickly, with the exception of the one before the menu pops up when the game is launched. Partisans 1941 lacked neither ideas nor good intentions and had everything to become a neat little game that we enjoy playing. Alas, there are a lot of frustrating little things that come with the game that make some parts more edgy than fun. So it's better to take Partisans 1941 for what it is rather than for what it wants to be. Either a bit of a messy game focused on armed skirmishes rather than the Eastern Front Commandos as one might have hoped upon discovering it on Steam. For more information, make sure you visit the Partisans 1941 official website for all details, and why don't you  leave us your comment below if you have any comments about the game.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Torchlight III: a hack'n'slash just correct, in early access

Torchlight III: a hack'n'slash just correct, in early access

After having abandoned the idea of ​​a free-to-play, the studio Ecthra Games is trying to make Torchlight III the worthy successor of two very good hack'n'slash from the years 2000 and 2010. Available in early access recently, does the title manage to rekindle the flame? Nothing is less sure... Torchlight III is currently available in early access and should also evolve in the coming months. We will follow updates to the title and modify the rating accordingly.

Torchlight III is a complex project: after the success of the first two episodes, his studio Runic was unfortunately forced to close, but a new structure was then born, called Echtra Games. This young studio made up of former Runic players, then set about transforming the license into free-to-play. The Torchlight Frontiers project did not last long, however, following very poor feedback from the press and players. Now Torchlight III, this new hack 'n' slash has been available for early access on Steam for a few days. On the content side, we have entitled to four playable classes as well as two acts out of three. At first glance, a generous title when at the moment it is only partially playable. But, as you will see, Torchlight III currently lags behind a lot of casseroles, both technical and conceptual. Spoiler, therefore: if you hesitate to spend 30 euros to access it, wait a few more months.

Torchlight III review gameplay scene

FOUR RATHER SUCCESSFUL CLASSES

Let's remember some basics for those who are not familiar with the license: Torchlight III is a pure hack'n slash, in the tradition of a Diablo or a Path of Exile. The first episode, released in 2009, was clearly inspired by Diablo 1, Torchlight II (2012) paid homage to Diablo II. This third episode, for its part, therefore navigates in known waters, while trying to offer some originalities that distance it from these predecessors. Let's start with the good ideas: classes. Without being all perfect, they offer a good variety of fighting styles while building on interesting concepts. The ForgĂ©, for example, is a robot with a very steampunk design, which trades its mana gauge by a pressure system, like an old boiler. If the gauge goes up too much, you can't attack anymore, but then it is possible to release the pressure with a devastating attack. The Forged also has a machine gun on its chest, which allows it to spray generously on enemies. We will quickly opt for a style of play "at a distance", with some explosion effects specific to the pressure system. Let's be clear: Forged is possibly the most fun class to play in Torchlight III. But I also like the combat-oriented archery shooter, which is more classic, but which requires a little subtle management of the arrows. More original, but less exciting for my tastes, the junkyard has the power to summon ... a train and the rails that go with it. The latter will then fight alongside us, in addition to the familiar classic that accompanies all classes. Finally, the Twilight Mage uses his spells from a distance, in more standard gameplay. While the classes in Torchlight III are, on the whole, successful, I regret that they are pretty much all made for ranged combat. The ForgĂ© could potentially double as a tank, but the lack of melee impact feel makes the set far too soft. So it lacks a real melee class, like a Barbarian or a Paladin.

Torchlight III other game snapshot

AN AMBIANCE THAT WORKS WELL

Another successful point: the colorful vibe and light tone always works well and contrasts nicely with most another hack 'n' slashes, which often take themselves a little too seriously. In terms of the scenario, however, we should not expect anything, but we are not here for that: an ancient evil is reflecting on the land, Goblins have invaded the region ... And that’s about it. Visually, the title is certainly quite clean, but the artistic direction catches up with an unimpressive graphics engine. The first act, in particular, puts on an almost parodic “piracy” atmosphere that works well. The animations of the enemies and in particular of the tribe of Goblins are also very successful. Enemies often swarm over us as we leave houses or any hole, giving us a little “swarming horde” feeling. On the level-design side, we unfortunately cannot be so positive. If you were hoping for large areas to visit, filled with mysteries and dungeons to clear, you will be somewhat disappointed. Here, a succession of medium-sized and above all extremely labyrinthine areas awaits you, where the room for maneuver is often low and where you spend your time getting lost. The fault, also, with a mini-map which lacks readability and which, for some unknown reason, can only be displayed in superimposition on the screen when my character is stationary. I also spend too much time stopping and pressing "Tab" to find my way around before heading back to the next waypoint. This navigation concern is only one fault among many others and Torchlight III has more or less forgivable faults. I am certainly aware that the game is still in early access, but certain game design choices leave room for doubt and seem to bear witness to the “free-to-play” past of the project. The Fort system (a customizable "own" place), for example, has very little interest as it is and requires the player to farm resources in the chain in the levels (wood, gold, stones. ) in the hope of being able to build a wooden bench (which is useless). However, some structures allow you to gain power, by spending specific resources, but it's hard to see the long-term value of this aspect of the game.

Torchlight III - Early Access Mainline Patch

NOT A GOOD HACK 'N' SLASH YET

By skipping the Fort and focusing on what the title is supposed to do best - that is, allow me to slay enemies and loot increasingly powerful equipment - again, Torchlight III fails to fully fulfill its contract. The enemies are visually successful, but not very varied (you will overdose on goblins in act 1 and indigestion on insects in act 2), while the loot is generous in appearance, but too rarely interesting. But the worst comes from the progression in the quests, which cause aberrant back and forth in empty areas or areas populated by enemies that are 3 or 4 levels less. This is due to a lack of teleportation points, which forces the player to go back to finish exploring a low-level area. And that's of course without counting the many bugs, related to its early access state, which teleports me to the wrong area. For example, after having beaten a boss, we have changed areas and, after a loading time, found ourselves in an area at the start of the game. I then had to teleport quite far from our quest objective, obliged to cross at least 2 empty levels to be able to advance. 

Torchlight III Shows Off Fort System

MANDATORY CONNECTION, BUT WHAT FOR?

Unfortunately, the bugs are also numerous in Torchlight III: between the random disconnections (partly settled at the time of writing the review, but still present), the immobile enemies, the half-finished translations, the teleporting errors… So many technical concerns that 'It is advisable to procrastinate given that we are, we recall it once again, facing a game in early access. What is less excusable, however, is the very philosophy of the title, which currently requires me to log in to play, but which absolutely does not encourage group play. Almost no social tool is thus present. I can just see the players nearby to suggest they create a group, but without having the slightest information about it: we do not know their level or the difficulty in which they are playing. As it stands, playing with several people also requires you to organize yourself beforehand and, for example, to contact each other via Discord (the Torchlight III channel is thus a good meeting point). It feels like we're back in 2005 when World of Warcraft debuted. In solo, the title remains playable, but it will be necessary to deal with a difficulty still in breaking-in. If you are a little used to hack 'n' slash, I advise you to start at least in "difficult", the "normal" level being really not very exciting. But even in this mode, you will have to deal with very, very many bosses that turn out to be mostly HP bags and also tedious to take down. Come on, let's be optimistic and hope Echtra Games fixes all of these balancing issues in future updates.

Torchlight III for PC and Nintendo Switch

Conclusion

Unfortunately, this early access for Torchlight III is worrying. You can override bugs, connection issues, translation errors, or even difficulty balancing. But certain structural rules of the Echtra Games title mean that it will be difficult to raise the bar entirely. The game remains to be watched, however, if only at a glance, as it offers some fun classes to play and a great atmosphere while remaining very accessible for beginners in the genre. But, as it is, you are advised to stay away from it. For more information, please visit the Torchlight III official website, I hope you enjoyed the game review, if you have any comment please locate the form below, and let us know about what you think about the Torchlight III video game.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Squad Review - A Reference In Tactical FPS

Squad Review - A Reference In Tactical FPS

Squad
had been in early access on Steam since December 2015. 5 years later, this large-scale tactical FPS is coming to version 1.0 casually. A release that was eventually accompanied by the 50 vs 50 clashes that were one of the initial promises of the developers, Offworld Industries. The players liked to criticize the slowness of development, the promises not always kept, or the many optimization concerns. Yet despite its flaws and its sometimes chaotic journey, Squad is one of the best first-person shooters of its kind, without being as heady as Arma and far removed from the arcade feel of a Battlefield. Squad isn't for everyone. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes frustrating, sometimes epic: a calm patrol through the streets of Fallujah can suddenly turn into an action scene like The Fall of the Black Falcon.

Squad gameplay

A story generator

After establishing a fortified position to the south near a crossroads, I waited 20 minutes in ambush. Our squad leader was hoping to catch those guys trying to grab our brothers in arms by the flank. Unfortunately, I end up with my beaks in the water. After consultation with the commander, I decided to move and turn back to my transport vehicle to try to flank the Russians. After 200 meters, I find myself face to face with another Russian truck. Apparently, I was each camping on my own and had the same idea to move, at the same time. My inexperienced pilot panics and sends me into the ditch, ending up in a tree a few meters below. Not even the time to check if everyone was in one piece. So the communists were starting to snip me. It's a real stampede on my side until one of us yells "Grenada!" Covered! ". Barely enough time to get down to the ground when the explosion hisses in my ears. Our squad leader is dead. For maybe 10 to 12 minutes, then it will be a game of cat and mouse among the shooting balls. It was without counting on our air support since a Blackhawk disembarks to spray these communist rots and save our lives in the process. After that, I had to go out to leave, so I don't really know the rest of the story.

Squad gameplay with gun snapshot

Random optimization

Title optimization is always very hit or miss. You can't spit on the work done during development, sometimes - and unfortunately - drastically reducing objects and foliage on some maps. The game runs more or less well depending on the environment and is often found under the bar of 60 FPS on my configuration (RTX 2080, i7-8700k, 32Gb Ram 3200 Mhz) during clashes or on very dense cards, such as the latest, Fallujah, oriented CQC (Close Quarters Combat). Do not forget, however, that the title is far from being a fast-fps: it is sometimes more contemplative than active when it comes to defending a position or observing the opposing movements from the top of a roof. . So it's pretty easy to get used to the 50-70 FPS on average. Along with this variable optimization, a subject of contention between players, the visual and sound ambiance of Squad is astounding. When bullets whistle above your head, mortar shells start to rain or an A-10 Warthog dives on you: we believe it, we hide and we implore our squad leader to get us out.

Squad gameplay in another perspective

Sometimes it bugs.

There are still a few bugs from time to time: getting stuck in a building too close to a spawn point, not being able to shoulder your weapon for no reason, or tripping over a texture or object. But honestly, they're rare now and only occasionally spoil the gaming experience.

Far from being a walking simulator

Squad has often been criticized and mocked as a game of walking in the forest or in the desert where the action is rare and where you can get bored very quickly, a criticism that one could accept in its beginnings but which bears witness today silly and ill-informed detractors who haven't relaunched the game in a long time. Vehicles are much more present and recently, helicopters have appeared. Even if they've been wanted for a long time, they set a pace from the start of the game. Finally, it is still now very rare to have to reappear at his base camp and walk to join his squad. Between FOBs (Forward Operating Base), Rally Points, or even doctors: you quickly get back into action with your teammates. It has been difficult to find a balance for the developers to provide a fast-paced experience, and even today they are still making some tweaking on this system. A sinusoidal rhythm with its strong or weak beats. There will always be walking to do, back and forth to do, but that is an integral part of the experience. A match lasts an average of 40-50 minutes, and while Squad offers many game modes, Advance and Secure and Invasion are the most popular.

While there is gameplay to suit everyone, tankers, helicopter pilots, medics, anti-tanks, or just truckers, the experience you get from Squad will mostly depend on who you play it with. Because yes, if you wish, you can spend your time making round trips by truck to supply the various bases with the resources necessary for the construction or the resupply of ammunition. Your best parts and times will come from having an experienced squad leader able to coordinate with the other groups and, more recently, the commander. It is sometimes difficult to find this type of game even if the community around the game is very friendly and open to new players. The advice is quite simple: if your squad leader is nonexistent and without a microphone, look elsewhere. Finally, it's hard to imagine playing Squad without having one to communicate with your teammates. While you can play mute trooper while listening to orders, one of the game's strengths is still missing out: communication. Once you've had a few hours of play in your rangers, don't hesitate to take on the role of the little boss which also changes the whole perspective of a game.

Squad the forest scene

Impossible to please everyone

Squad has grown significantly in content over the past 5 years. Today, it's 20 playable maps, 7 different factions, from the US military to rebel militia-style forces to the Canadian army or the latest, the Middle Eastern Alliance. Each faction has its own weapons and vehicles, so there is real diversity in each game. Squad is based on a role/kit system, from the engineer with mines / C4 to the very useful sniper for reconnaissance. Whichever role you choose, the clashes will be enjoyable and intense. Don’t imagine running through the middle of a field to destroy a squad. Here you will die very quickly in one to three bullets, sometimes (often) without knowing where the shot is coming from. You will have to observe, communicate, be patient. Some will love it, others will hate it because it offers a very demanding playstyle that may frustrate Sunday gamers or Call of Duty fans. For the new ones, you really have to make an effort to spend the first few hours which will certainly be alienating. Fortunately, you should know that a tutorial of about twenty minutes is available in the game and that it is essential before embarking on a multiplayer game.

Squad video game character

And it's not over!

The development of the title is far from over. The roadmap is visible and several updates - free - are already planned to add weapons, vehicles, maps, and factions to flesh out an already very deep game. The studio is exemplary on the follow-up in recent years but also for those to come. So yes, bad tongues will say that aviation will ultimately never be present, early backers will find that the title is too accessible and that the map sometimes becomes a mess without a name, between arrows and markers. For me, who find Arma too heavy and Battlefield too casual, Squad is a perfect mix of both worlds.

another Squad scene with gun

A reference in tactical FPS

Squad is a reference in large-scale semi-realistic tactical FPS. Its visual and sound environment offers epic moments of adrenaline that are difficult to find elsewhere. Most importantly, Squad reveals its full potential when surrounded by the right people, able to communicate and take orders. Gambling can quickly turn into hell without leadership and teamwork. Its pace will not appeal to everyone: it is a divisive FPS, which is not for everyone, but which will offer you unforgettable moments if you are sensitive to the sound of M4 slamming in the desert. Squad is available on Steam, currently at -25% and its price will increase on October. Don't wait too long to give in. Need to learn more about the game? Well, why don't you visit the Squad official website for more details. I hope you enjoyed this review, please feel free to comment below. Have a nice day.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Noita Review - Game Of Exploration And Experimentation

Noita Review - Game Of Exploration And Experimentation

A true game-world, this little brother of "Spelunky" pushes simulation so far that it manages to make people forget that there is a creator behind the creation. A year ago, after spending twenty-five hours on a working version of Noita, it seemed clear to me that it was, already as it is, one of the best games of the year 2019. Version "1.0", that is to say, a priori definitive is available since October 15 on PC and confirms us in the idea that it could also be one of the games to remember from the year 2020. Brilliantly unpredictable game and yet obeying very precise physical rules (those of our world), a fascinating blank page stretched as much to the explorer as to the alchemist in us, Noita in version 1.0 is still as stunning as it was a year ago. Let's just add that it has since been enriched with many new magical effects with which to tinker, new segments of the world to visit, and new wands (like the formidable and almost too powerful ones that cause a bonus effect with each shot) with which ones to have fun. No major graphic improvements since 2019, however, apart from a few background decorations which enrich certain areas that are a little empty.

One regret, however: a year ago, Noita gave us the impression of a game with perfectible balance, so much, from one game to another, it could prove to be extremely pleasing or terribly difficult, the player being dependent on the goodwill of the procedural generation of the world, with each part renewed. We hoped that this defect would be corrected, and unfortunately, this is not so much the case: from one game to another, we can very well come across a few overpowered wands, promises of two or three hours of fun, or chain the wrong picks. Noita took his time: now he's asking us to do the same. So I  played twenty-five hours at Noita, and I have actually barely scratched the surface of this game-world, co-created by the head of the brilliant Baba Is You. Just enough to go beyond appearances and get a glimpse of its potential. Released in early access (that is, it will probably see countless more updates) on PC on September 24, Noita, at first glance, looks like a little Spelunky. If we reduce it to its very essence, that is what it is: a reinterpretation of this independent game so important that, eleven years later, the creators are still dissecting it to understand its genius. As in Spelunky, you play an adventurer (well, in this case, a witch) who sinks deeper and deeper into an underground maze as dangerous as it is unpredictable since it is procedurally generated in each game. I sink, while being permanently torn between two temptations: that of rushing towards the exit while avoiding danger, and that of facing it, even at the risk of losing my life, synonymous with a return to square one. . Because it is by taking risks that I find the new wands and new items that prepare us for the enemies to come, even more threatening.

Noita is a pixel-perfect physics roguelite

Very open chopsticks

These chopsticks are Noita's first peculiarity. Able to shoot, or to recharge, more or less quickly, they also embed a lot of different magical effects, from the possibility of making it rain to that of throwing lightning, fireballs, poison, and dozens, maybe even a hundred. Millions even, if we consider all their variations, since between two levels we can combine the effects of rods found along the way to, for example, make a weapon capable of creating an ice bubble, before filling it with water and then run an electric current through it. and this is where Noita goes from effective to exciting, each pixel in the immense playing field has the physical properties of the matter it represents. I could even talk about the properties of the earth, the acid, the different potions, the mud, the gases, and so on, but let's keep it simple: water for example. It sinks, evaporates on contact with lava (which it turns into stone as it passes), condenses before descending into the rain. Water also conducts electricity but also sets off fires on contact with acid. It even soaks the heroine's dress or enemies' clothes, making them more susceptible to some damage, immune to others. With a wand and explosions, we quickly find ourselves causing fires, digging galleries in all directions, melting montages of ice.

Noita gameplay

A "game without a creator"

We were talking about a game-world: Noita has this great thing that, because he pushes simulation very far, he gives the impression of being a real small autonomous universe, which exists by itself in the recesses of our microprocessors, without intervention from the outside world. It can moreover quite exist without the player, while the monsters which inhabit it fight against the rats which swarm there, the stray bullets going to be damaged on barrels of gunpowder, which, while exploding, dig sometimes craters underwater tables, cause floods, the death of enemies, the birth of a flora which waited only for that to start to push. Noita even gives the impression, the illusion anyway, of a game without rules, without artifice. Almost, in fact, a game without a creator. Generated procedurally with each game, the details of its levels are not known to anyone beforehand, including their brilliant developers. At the start of each game, the player is faced with a blank page - or rather a blank card - where everything remains to be discovered and where all means are good to achieve it. No mushrooms to collect, ammunition to collect, or other artificial elements of video game grammar: Noita starts from the premise that if something is possible in real life, it is also possible in-game.

Noita gameplay for pc

Lift your head

This freedom is all the more intoxicating because there is no clear purpose in Noita. Of course at the start, as in Spelunky, we have the temptation to want to go deeper and deeper, to go beyond the mine environment to reach that of snow, then to go beyond the snow to go as far as the abandoned factory and to continue thus, willy-nilly, towards a sort of inaccessible vertical resolution to adventure. And then, suddenly, you remember that you can do anything in Noita. That there are no other limits than those of physics. And that if you can dig down, there's no reason you can't dig to the side. Forget the world: then there is a whole universe open to us. A gigantic universe, all in one piece, with layers of levels, but also levels next to the levels, levels are hidden behind a wall, stashed at the end of a cave. Levels on the surface of the world too, lakes to cross, deserts to walk, where pyramids full of mystery await us - and obviously full of dangers. There are stone tablets that we do not yet understand the use of, or orbs conferring terrible powers ... After twenty-five hours, we are there. Having more or less understood that there are secrets under our feet. To have more or less identified the limits of the world on the horizontal plane. And slowly begin to envision that there might also be, perhaps, things to be discovered above our heads.

Noita earlier access gameplay

Conclusion

Well honestly I like the game, Noita is a challenging exploration game a la Spelunky; a fantasy come true for players who don't like to play by the rules of the game; a game world that one could spend a lifetime discovering. However, I felt that it's too bad that there are only twenty-four hours in a day, which prevents me from playing as much as I would like. I recommend that game if you are a fan of Spelunky; or if you are a descendant of Marco Polo; or if you are a cousin of Harry Potter :). Finally, it is not for you if 2D art put you off; or death frustrates you; or you prefer to wait quietly for the release of the final version. If you need more information I recommend you to visit the Noita official website for more details. I hope you enjoy this review, please feel free to comment below. See you next time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

NHL 21 Review - hockey like in the old days

NHL 21 Review - hockey like in the old days

Let's forget about bubbles and matches without an audience. This year, NHL 21 didn’t need any big innovations to bring guilty pleasure to hockey and video game fans: it is enough to bring in the virtual world what is now technically impossible in times of pandemic. There are quite a few new things in the new edition of the venerable NHL franchise, launched in 1993 and developed by the Vancouver studio of EA Sports, available since October 16. But these are mostly technical improvements that make players more realistic, with an increased panoply of typical feints and gestures and significantly improved artificial intelligence. All this under the cries of the virtual crowd, with surprisingly relevant comments from the two analysts, giving an atmosphere that the poor real games of the last Stanley Cup series were far from having.

NHL 21 from EA Sports Bruins and Flyers snapshot

Seven new combos

First observation: the reshoots of important games and goals are very successful, changing the angle of the camera and alternating between slow motion and normal speed. NHL 21 benefits from some technical improvements that make players more realistic, with an increased panoply of typical feints and gestures and a markedly improved artificial intelligence. Seven new feints have also been added to the long list of key combinations. Honestly, I couldn't master them all because the combinations are so precise and have to be executed with perfect synchronism. With the L1 then R2 button, presto, your player makes a pass to himself, ricocheting off the back of the net. Do you dream of counting by sticking your puck on your stick and sliding it behind the goaltender's back, what we call "Michigan"? It is now available if you manage to combine your right controller and the L1 button the right way. I did it once, a spectacular accomplishment. Try, while holding the L1 key, the terrible feint popularized by forward Nikita Kucherov. It consists of letting the puck slide between the goalie's pads while pretending to dribble with the puck. This one, we never did.

NHL 21 a snapshot from the PS4 gaming console

Live like a pro

You can choose from the start between 12 game modes, the same ones that NHL fans already know. The classics, without any flaws, are the immediate matches and the full season. This is still our favorite way to get into the game, with the rosters from last spring that can be changed with trades. For beginners, there is always access to a training camp that will allow you to refresh your memory to learn how to combine the eight keys and the two joysticks of your controller. A nice surprise awaits us in the Go Pro Career mode, which EA announces that it has revamped. This is actually the closest thing to an RPG in hockey mode. You must first build your own player from about fifteen models proposed, which you will then evolve into one of the three minor leagues on offer, it even includes the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League(Quebec is a Canadian province by the way). Unlike other modes, you only control one player in matches, just like in real life, and you have to wait for the coach to send you onto the ice or a teammate to pass you to see some action. action. In Career Mode, you have to answer certain questions from your agent, reporters, or coach, which will determine if you are a team player or a self-centered star. Your performance influences how the public, players, and management perceive you, allowing you to better position yourself for the National League draft. But there's more: there are questions you need to answer from your agent, reporters, or coach, which will determine if you are a team player or a self-centered star. This aspect is quite interesting and opens the door to many future possibilities.

NHL 94 Retro Fashion

Retro fashion coming soon

The other mode that has been upgraded is Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT), which allows you to build your dream team with current players and legends and send them online against others. opponents. Obviously, since EA's servers were not active for reviews, we were unable to complete the test. This year, we added a new mode, HUT RUSH, which allows you to taste this mode without having to build a whole team on your own. For pre-order NHL 21 buyers, a retro game, NHL 94 Rewind, is also announced for October 30, which uses the pixelated graphics of the famous original game with current players. A retro version, NHL 94 Rewind, which uses the pixelated graphics of the famous original game with current players, will be available starting October 30. The verdict: a good vintage again this year, although this is a far cry from the hundreds of improvements EA Sports usually announces for its NHL franchise. The small touches made further improve the quality, speed, and intelligence of the game, and Career Mode now allows for fun even off the ice. Obviously, it is easy for the newcomer or even the one who has abandoned his console for a few months to get lost in this ocean of combinations, keys, and different modes. You can choose simplified modes, losing some of the intricacies of the game, or stick to a few hours of practice. It’s still for a good cause. For more information, I invite you to visit the NHL 21 official website for more details.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Amnesia: Rebirth Review - A horrific adventure that won't come out unscathed

Amnesia: Rebirth Review - A horrific adventure that won't come out unscathed

Ten years after Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Frictional Games is once again plunging into madness. Rebirth is however a very different title: better written, more ambitious, more varied in its themes, it benefits from all the know-how acquired by the Swedish studio over the past 14 years. Frictional Games is a studio apart in the world of independent video games: since 2006, this small Swedish structure has been committed to producing horrific experiences in the first person, while addressing complex themes, which lead us to question the human nature. Frictional has specially made a name for itself with the general public with Amnesia: The Dark Descent in 2010, then SOMA in 2015. 5 years later, here is Amnesia: Rebirth which, contrary to what its title might suggest, is not in no way a remake of the first Amnesia, far from it. Neither is it really a sequel or a "prequel", but a new story in its own right, which nevertheless takes up certain themes, including those of forgetting and sacrifice.

The opening of the game is, in this respect, particularly striking and recalls the first minutes of Bioshock through the eyes of the heroine Tasi Trianon, flying above the Algerian desert alongside her husband Salim, you will experience a terrible crash in the dunes. When you wake up and struggle to extricate yourself from the wreckage of the plane, you are alone in the desert, in the scorching heat. Very embodied by an excellent dubbing, the heroine will then go in search of possible survivors, hoping, in particular, to find her husband safe and sound. One thing led to another, Tasi will discover several mysterious places, between excavation sites and the remains of an antediluvian civilization. But in some dark tunnels, strange creatures seem to be on the prowl for the slightest misstep ...

Amnesia: Rebirth When the adventurers of the lost ark meet the decent

When the adventurers of the lost ark meet the decent

With Amnesia Rebirth, Frictional Games gives us its most “pulp” game, offering us an “Adventure in the 30's” atmosphere that Steven Spielberg would not have denied. Between the scorching desert, the exploration of a disused military fort, or the discovery of places on the fringes of the strange, the title is clearly disorienting. But if you were hoping to have a good time in the company of a Lara Croft wanabee, you might fall from above. Very quickly, the tone darkens and we understand that something is wrong with Tasi. She seems to be reliving memories of events that have already happened there: an expedition went wrong, a group of explorers torn by choices too heavy to bear, reminders of a happy family life with Salim. and their daughter Alys… So many elements of the scenario are told with great economy of means, but also with great efficiency. Each memory of Tasi takes the form of a beautiful charcoal drawing, accompanied by a few lines of dialogue. Even the loading times between each zone are an opportunity to learn more about the heroine's past through a very nice illustration. Along with this very intimate story is a purely fantastic plot, which it would of course be criminal to unveil here. Know, however, that Tasi's peregrinations will lead her to discover the existence of forces beyond her, unimaginable for any normal human brain. On this point, the Lovecraftian hints that were already widely perceived in Amnesia: The Dark Descent is present here on a much larger scale. It is also the moment to salute the incredible artistic work done by Frictional Games: at regular intervals, Rebirth offers us some Dantesque visions of an “other world”, with its green suns, its massive architectures, its esoteric symbols. and its mechanisms designed by engineers from another dimension. It’s hard to say more at this point in the test, as the discovery is so much part of the fun one gets to travel Amnesia Rebirth. Like SOMA, however, Frictional does an admirable job of tackling themes that are as close to the human as possible while providing a purely fantastic and particularly successful setting.

Amnesia: Rebirth Like at home

Like at home

If you were a production regular at the studio, you will be a little surprised by the structure of the game itself. Fully playable in the first person and skipping combat in favor of infiltration and flight, Amnesia Rebirth recycles a well-known formula, but which still works, especially since it has been somewhat refined. The exploration is still very pleasant, with always the possibility of grabbing a whole bunch of objects to look at them from all angles. The progression thus alternates between the discovery of a new place, a few puzzles often involving "physical" manipulations ... and of course pure passages of terror. The latter is also particularly well brought and the first hour remains, in particular, a model of “teasing”, just making us see in the distance a stolen form, something crawling escaping into a hole in the wall ... to better put us the pressure as soon as things get carried away. The game also regularly delivers very good escape passages, quite scripted but well-staged, which accelerate a pace that is particularly well mastered. However, we can blame, in the end, some redundant enigmas that break the magic a little, especially since they occur at key moments of the plot when we especially want to know the end of the story. Still in the area of ​​reproaches, if the decorations are particularly neat with, in particular, lighting which greatly contributes to the atmosphere, the same cannot be said of the few human characters encountered during the adventure. Between stiff animations and questionable facial models, they find it very difficult to convince, especially at important moments in history when emotion is supposed to take over. We can of course suspect that the lack of resources is working against it (we are not in a Naughty Dog production), but these technical flaws tend to undermine the narrative ambition of the title, and that's a shame. That being said, it’s impossible not to salute, once again, the talent of Frictional Games, which manages to deliver a true exploration-adventure game infused with horror, with a particularly touching dramatic overlay. For 8 to 9 hours, we embody Tasi Trianon with pleasure and emotion, until a final scene, the outcome of which is left to the player. A choice, admittedly quite binary, but which proves to be difficult to make, as it questions us as to how our actions may or may not serve the good of humanity, to the detriment of our personal well-being.

Amnesia: Rebirth gameplay

Conclusion

Frictional Games games are as rare as they are precious, and Amnesia: Rebirth is no exception to this rule. It is a journey filled with mystery and shattering revelations that the Swedish studio offers us, determined to jostle us once again. The title manages to mix genres (Indiana Jones-style adventure, pure horror) while dealing with extremely human and intimate themes. Far from being a "feel good" experience, Amnesia: Rebirth leaves a particular taste in the mouth, a mixture of sadness and admiration for a creative team who have decided to follow through. So yes, we can regret sometimes too many puzzles or not always convincing character models, witnesses of a limited budget. Small flaws inherited from previous studio productions, which weigh very little when it comes to taking stock. Far more subtle and ambitious than Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Rebirth lives up to its name. So why don't you visit the Amnesia: Rebirth official website for more information about the game. I hope you enjoy my  Amnesia: Rebirth review, please feel free to comment below.

Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition: the RTS master is back

Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition: the RTS master is back

After offering players a remaster of the first two installments of its famous franchise, Microsoft is now tackling the episode most loved by fans. A great classic reworked and enriched to the fan's delights of the genre. Tackling one of the gaming business’s most popular RTS is no small feat. Released in 2005, Age of Empires 3 was able to convince with improved gameplay, very impressive graphics, and rather substantial content. A recipe that obviously hit the mark, and which today makes Age of Empires 3 a reference in the game industry. A monster such as AoE 3, deserved a remaster worthy of the name. It is clear that like the first two parts, the work done on this third episode is impressive. With updated graphics and new game modes and civilizations, this Definitive Edition pays a magnificent tribute to the original title.

Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition: world map

If the title displays such good improvements and very substantial content, the fact remains that it remains very accessible, and especially to smaller markets. Listed for just an inexpensive price on Steam and the Microsoft Store, it is also part of the Xbox GamePass offer, without having to pay a single extra penny. Considering the amount of work done by the developers and the hundreds of hours of gameplay the title has to offer, it seems the price is more than reasonable. Among the great novelties offered by this AoE 3 Definitive Edition, we will obviously note the work done on the graphics. Already very pretty at the time, the game now features a 4K visual, which looks great. This is mainly felt on the various interior stages during "cutscenes", where we notice very beautiful lighting effects. However, the visual improvement provided by this Definitive Edition is much less significant than that provided by the remasters of the first two parts. This third installment was already very impressive 15 years ago, with a significantly improved game engine compared to AoE 2 and Age of Mythology. So this remasters of the third installment doesn't impress me as much as the previous two, although it does the job pretty well. In addition to the very nice enhanced graphics, the overall aspect of the game is revised. The interface is updated, including the ability to revert to the original at any time from the game options. The modeling of characters, buildings, and other elements of the scenery has been completely reworked. The textures have been smoothed out while many details, especially during explosions, have been enriched. A nice leap forward for this episode, even if again, we feel the technological leap less than on the other two Definitive Edition.

Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition: gameplay

Another second important point that this Definitive Edition includes: its content. The game will hold you back for dozens of hours, as the content it offers is enormous. Like AoE 2 Definitive Edition, this episode brings together all of the original additional content. So we find the basic scenario, to which is added the campaigns centered on the American War of Independence and various past events on the Asian continent. Three very rich scenarios, which in particular should occupy the player for dozens of hours. Two new civilizations are also appearing, in order to bring the number of factions to 16. The Incas and the Swedes bring a new wind to the skirmish mode, within particular all new units, buildings, and also, cities. Some new cities graphics for Age of Empires 3, are also available, yes, cities are back with a nice graphic update. Their management is as pleasant as ever, with obviously crucial importance. You will have to rely on them during your skirmishes, in order to benefit in particular from numerous assets, bonus units, and highly offered resources. The player is also spoiled when it comes to the game modes. So there are all the modes offered in the original game, as well as two new, never-before-seen modes: Historical Battles and Art of War. The first will make you relive some historical battles, slightly scripted, and rather well put together. The Art of War offers you to try out several tutorials while meeting several specific objectives in order to gain experience. In total, that's more than a dozen game modes, single or multiplayer, available. Suffice to say that for less than $30USD, the player will very clearly get his money's worth. Regarding the gameplay, Ensemble Studios is all about nostalgia. The title remains unchanged, with some retouching here and there. Note for example the work carried out on the pathfinding of units. While it has been slightly revised to offer smarter artificial intelligence, it is nonetheless dated and too unconvincing. Too often units get stuck in dead ends, especially after the construction of a building or a wall. All too often, your workers don't know which path to take after building ramparts around your city.

Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition: another greatre scene

The pathfinding is unfortunately not the only part of the title to have aged badly. Note for example that some elements of the HUD remain too unreadable on the map. The health and progress bars are far too small or have little contrast to the environment. In addition, we note a lack of modernity in the control of units. It is also impossible to select a very large number of soldiers, as in the days. Instead, it will be necessary to select a part of it, make it act, and then select another part. The creation of regiments or “groups” of soldiers could have improved this axis. Age of Empires 3 is nonetheless one of the most brilliant RTS of its generation, not least thanks to strong mechanics. You always have to found your city, defend it by recruiting various units, and construct all kinds of buildings necessary for the proper functioning of the colony. The right balance to be found, especially when you find yourself facing a terribly aggressive AI, who is only looking to destroy your fortress. Thus, it will imperatively be necessary to discover new technologies and to bring splendor and glory to your village.

A style of gameplay that adapts perfectly to multiplayer, to which this Definitive Edition devotes itself a great deal. The title now supports mods and has fully dedicated servers, in order to provide better stability and an improved multiplayer experience. Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition brings a much-appreciated title up to date, including a nice visual update. The title is surprisingly beautiful - just like the original work, and displays some very beautiful and faithfully reworked landscapes. The 3D models are still too simplistic, but overall convincing. A visual update, which does not interfere with performance. If this AoE 3 Definitive Edition requires better technical specifications than the remaster of the second episode, it is still very well optimized for most machines. Thus, the recommended configuration in order to play in the best conditions is a PC with 16 GB of memory, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, and a third-generation Intel i5 processor. Obviously, if you have a better configuration, the game will only be more beautiful and smoother. It will also be possible to play on a weaker configuration, as long as you ignore the 4K graphics and very good fluidity. On the storage side, the game is more hungry than its predecessor, since it will require at least 42 GB of free space. Superior technical specifications compared to the Age of Empires 2 remaster, but still within the average computer on the market. It is therefore difficult to do without such an accessible episode, both in terms of the system required and the price: € 20.

Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition: snapshot

Conclusion

Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition is without a doubt one of the best remasters since 2017. This remaster includes all of the additional content of the original game, to which are added two new civilizations as well as two new game modes. An obviously very complete title which takes again the excellent bases of its predecessor while eliminating some flaws. Despite aging pathfinding and a few mechanics that have aged badly, Age of Empires 3 absolutely does not bear the brunt of the years and does not have to be ashamed of the current behemoths of the genre. This is a formidable real-time strategy game, surprisingly rich in multiplayer, and great diversity thanks to the incredible line-up of civilizations presented to us. Despite the enormous amount of work done, the game is only sold less than $30USD. It also has the merit of benefiting from a nice 4K display, redesigned 3D models, and a modernized interface. For more information about the game please visit the Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition official website for more details.

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