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Red Dead Redemption Review

Ever wanted to be a cowboy? Or even play as one in a video game? Maybe an outlaw robbing banks and jumping on moving trains. Possibly being the sharpshooting hero, eliminating all opponents who decide to challenge you. The setting of the Wild West has been a somewhat neglected one, as not many games have been set during this era. Red Dead Redemption is finally here and the West is going to seem wilder than ever.

You play as John Marston, a former outlaw looking to turn over a new leaf, after the gang he rode with left him for dead. John starts a new life but the government then forces him to track down his old gang and either capture or kill all of them. You might be thinking right now, “How do they force him to do this?” Well, the government has some collateral which will not be mentioned as that just spoils it for those who haven’t played the game. The characters you will end up meeting really drive the story along, although John Marston’s character seems somewhat inclined to help anyone and everyone he meets despite the fact that he has his own problems to deal with. Other than that, the story is great. You will also be able to meet strangers across the vast land that might be in need of some assistance.

Rockstar Games have become the kings of the open world genre after creating the Grand Theft Auto Series (commonly known as GTA). Red Dead Redemption is no exception. Anyone who has played a Grand Theft Auto game will notice that the presentation is very similar in this game. Examples of this are the blips on the mini-map and the conversations between characters on route to their destination. But this is more than just GTA of the Wild West. There is so much to do and so much to see. You can hunt animals and sell their fur, meat and skin in the stores located in towns. People will challenge you to quick draw gun duels where you can teach them a lesson for being too cocky. Bounties will be offered for wanted criminals and you can choose whether to kill them or hand them over to the authorities. You will also be able to lasso and break wild horses so that they may become your trusty steed. Different outfits can also be found that have abilities to assist you with certain situations. Those are only a few of the things you can do. One of the greatest features about Red Dead Redemption is the fact that random people that come up to you and ask for assistance with small tasks. Be it retrieving someone’s stolen horse or saving a woman from being kidnapped.

Red-Dead-Redemption-3

The presentation of the game is excellent. Rockstar has really captured the essence of the Wild West. The graphics are some of the best seen and the art style is very nicely done. The characters look great and the horses in motion look very lifelike. However, a few graphical bugs are present but when looking at the entire game, it’s a very small problem.

The audio in the game is just as great as the graphics (Never hurts, right?). The soundtrack has the classic Western music you would expect to hear in a film of the same genre. The voice acting is also top notch and brings the characters to life.

Conclusion:
Overall, Red Dead Redemption really is an excellent game. You have the story but so many other factors to keep you occupied for quite a long time. It offers you so much! A lot of work has gone into the development process. Red Dead Redemption was definitely worth the wait, the story is awesome and so are the characters. Plus it’s just so much fun to play. Red Dead Redemption is a definite must have in any gamer’s collection.

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Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars Review

I remember when I was a young I spent alot of time playing with Lego blocks as well as watching the Star Wars movies, those days have now passed and technology has  incorporated two of my favourite previous pass times: Star Wars and Lego. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is yet another adaptation of games/movies/series that has been turned into a hilarious thrill ride using the concept of turning all things normal into all things Lego.

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is based on the animated TV series and spans across season one and season two of the show. This makes this title fairly large and also gives gamers access to a very large data base of characters to use as they wish.

The control scheme in this title is very simple; one button performs one action and another button performs another action. However, when you combine gameplay as well as the simple control structure together you get a title that fits together perfectly. Combat varies from genuinely easy enemies to enemies that may propose slight difficulty for some of the younger gamers.

Puzzle solving in this title is straight forward and simple but on the odd occasion it can get extremely frustrating especially if you can’t figure out what you were exactly supposed to be doing in the first place. This comment comes from me running around the same area for around half an hour wondering if I had missed something.

Like most Lego games this titles includes a HUB World that can be used to explore, create custom characters, purchase vehicles, unlock additional characters and includes a side quest if you can find it. This means no map for the hub unfortunately so expect to get lost.

Lego Star Wars offers more activities to experience including piloting various vehicles in intense large-scale battles as well as space battles. The initial point to most of the land battles is to capture various control points on the map; to capture these you will have to destroy each building, cannon or satellite in order to capture the control point. This was a fun and interesting twist to the initial campaign.

Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars offers some surprisingly great graphics the character models are nicely detailed including some very amusing facial expressions that can be seen on each character. The level design is fantastic and includes loads of destructible objects throughout the world. This is by far one of the best-looking Lego games I have come across.

This title shines when it comes to sound, which includes authentic Star Wars themes and music. This brings a great feel of nostalgia while playing through the various chapters available. Who can resist listening to that sound of a lightsaber powering up to hack through any opponent (even Bob the Storm Trooper) who has felt the wrath of various Star Wars Characters in the past.

Nintendo 3DS:
The Nintendo 3DS version of this title brings things to a new level especially with the 3D aspect. The sound on offer is especially great for a handheld title and the visuals definitely pack a punch to the handheld genre. Although both platforms vary with gameplay experience, they are both very good. If you own the 3DS as well as an Xbox 360, you won’t be disappointed.

The one thing I did really enjoy with the 3DS version is the way the currency you collect looks likes it is flying towards you, this added a great feel to playing this title on a handheld console.

Conclusion:
Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is honestly a great game and has now hooked me into the Lego genre. The sound is great and the graphics are visually satisfying. Gameplay is fun and battles are intense.

The Nintendo 3DS version is great and offers some unique gameplay throughout its campaign.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 8.5/10
Sound: 8/10

3DS Version:
Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 8/10

Official ITF Rating:
Console: 8.5/10
Nintendo 3DS: 7.6/10

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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Blur Review

Shift into gear with a remarkable racing game! If you think your vision is impaired, wait till you play Blur!

Developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Activision comes a feature packed racing game with a difference.

So what’s the Big Deal?
Blur incorporates real-world cars and locations, with arcade style handling and intense vehicle combat, which is well implemented in this racing title with a difference.

Although the story-line is not so different from the rest of the titles out there, the game-play is well worth experiencing.

Massive attacks and power-ups await the gamer in this fast and exhilarating title, power-ups range from Mines, Shock attacks, Defensive Shields and Nitro speed boosts, which can be collected throughout the race and used all at once, creating some devastating combos to knock the opposition to the curb.

The Racing impact!
While not all the focus should go into the power-ups, Blur does focus on racing which is the most important part of the game. Get ready to face some tough AI in the story-mode which will test your skills on track. Blur is fast and when I say fast, I mean get ready to have an extra set of wet wipes handy to scrape the perspiration off your face as your reflexes will be tested!

Drifting is a nice addition to the game, but will take some getting used to as you sample each unique photo-realistic vehicle that this title has to offer. With some practice you will be flying past the opposition with style, elegance while dropping land mines to further hinder your rivals.

Bizarre Creations’ community-based interface enables gamers to acquire a network of allies, fans and those all important rivals, throwing in a unique personal racing experience that gamers will find truly fresh when it comes to racing games of this genre.

Can I play with my friends?
Blur features a 4 player split screen racing experience, as well as a 20 player online experience which consists of either, competitive or team based racing.

Blur is a game you will want to play online with a host of unlockables which can be acquired while dominating the online community. The online experience is addictive, so don’t think you will be letting go of that control anytime soon, as you will be looking to dominate the opposition over and over again!

Musically in tune?
Blur hosts a selection of artists which set the mood for this fast paced title, these artist include, The Emmy award winning Jacknife Lee, The Crystal method, Coldcut, The Qemists and The Herbalisers.

If these artists are not entirely to your taste, the option to turn off the music is located in the options menu, although they do intensify the racing experience of Blur.

The checkered Flag!
Blur is a great racing game, which is a blast to play.

The intense game-play is complimented by great visuals, especially when blowing away any rivals on course that take you on.

The AI is highly challenging and well worth taking on, although any frustration can be dealt with by dropping the difficulty level.

The online gaming is superb especially in the team-based racing modes, although, going up against 19 other opponents in competitive online racing, can be slightly frustrating at first but once you get the hang of it you will be dominating in no time.

The music has an impact in Blur it brings excitement to the intense racing world around you.

Bizarre Creations’ have definitely hit the sweet spot in this intense title.

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

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Gioteck: EX-05 Wireless Headset Review

The Gioteck: EX-05 Military Style wireless headset is a wireless audio headset that is compatible with Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 as well as PC/Mac desktops. This means that you will only really need to purchase one headset to use across any platform that you may own. This makes life a little easier and less cluttered as owning too many headsets can often become a problem; however, is the EX-05 the perfect headset for the each platform out there?

When it comes to design, the EX-05 Wireless headset features a lightweight headband that incorporates a very attractive military styled webbed canvas. The webbed canvas allows your head to breathe and allows for a far better fit that conventional headsets. Additionally the EX-05 can be adjusted to a multitude of head shapes, which will allow just about anyone to experience the superior comfort of this headset. The EX-05 also features a really comfortable set of speakers, which offer up a great sense of comfort during those long, gruelling gameplay sessions.

Another great addition to the Gioteck EX-05 wireless headset is its flexible microphone, which will allow you to communicate with your team on your platform of choice. While most headsets do feature a microphone unit, the EX-05’s microphone tends to be a lot more durable than most of the microphones I have come across in the past. Additionally, my team mates had no issues hearing me during various online gaming sessions while using the headset.

I have always had a tendency to push headsets to the limit during my review process; however, the EX-05 seemed to keep up quite well during the rigorous testing session. I was quite surprised that the surround speaker system had not blown even though I had put the EX-05 through many hours of high volume gaming, music and movies. Furthermore the EX-05 pushes crystal clear quality sound and bass, which allows you to really immerse yourself in whatever media you may be listening to. The EX-05 also allows you to adjust the volume of both the in game sound effects and gameplay, as well as the voice chat.

When it comes to charging the Gioteck: EX-05 wireless headset, you can simply plug in the headsets USB power cable and away you go. This allows for ease of use and less clutter when comes to wiring.

Conclusion:
At the end of the day the Gioteck: EX-05 wireless headset is a great gaming headset to incorporate within your gaming lifestyle. It is comfortable, durable and offers up superior quality sound when it comes to listening to any media platform. Furthermore, the EX-05 is one headset that can truly take a serious beating when it comes to pushing it to its limits.

The Breakdown:
Sound: 10/10
Style and design: 9/10
Comfort: 9/10
Durability: 9.5/10

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Crysis 2 Review

Crysis 2 has been on the lips of most gamers the past few weeks, and it has generated a lot of hype over the internet. However, does it really live up to its predecessor? Well you can carry on reading this review or head down to your local retailer…I suggest reading the review first.

Developed by Crytek and published by Electronic Arts, Crysis 2 is the latest first-person-shooter (FPS) to grace our consoles and PC systems.

Crysis 2 is set in New York City in the year 2023. The city is in turmoil due to an alien infestation (this is portrayed in the opening sequence as a newsreel style broadcast, which added a nice authentic feel to Crysis 2) and a tactical team has been deployed into New York City via submarine to extract Doctor Nathan Gould.

This was where we were introduced to the new protagonist in Crysis 2, “Alcatraz.” All hell breaks loose when the alien race named the “Ceph” attack the city, destroying everything in their wake. Due to the attack, Alcatraz and his squad are forced to abandon ship and swim to the surface. A secondary attack is then directed at the squad, leaving Alcatraz as the only presumed survivor.

Laurence “Prophet” Barnes proceeds to save Alcatraz but seems extremely overwhelmed, as the initial support team sent to assist him had already been wiped out. Left with no other decision, since the Manhattan virus has infected him, Prophet equips Alcatraz with the Nanosuit 2.0., Prophet then kills himself in order for the Nanosuit to break the link with Prophet and correctly assimilate with Alcatraz.

I will not go into too much detail on the initial story, but I will tell you that the team at Crytek has developed a decent plot line, which offers about 10-12 hours of playtime.

Crysis 2 uses the Nanosuit as a window to the world. Everything you see and do is viewed from a suit perspective, which increases the appeal of this title.

Combat can be played out in two ways; stealth and sneak or all-out armoured assault, but be warned as combat is intense. I found myself loading the game very often after being riddled by bullets. Once you fire on an enemy, your position is given away and every bit of firepower is focused in your general direction. This is due to the A.I. in Crysis 2 being extremely intelligent (which we do not tend to see in other FPS titles), you can either stealth yourself and move away from your last known location or knuckle down and consider your options for the battle ahead.

Crysis 2 displays tactical options that can be viewed through the Nanosuit. These options provide gamers with areas where they can flank enemies, snipe enemies, resupply ammunition, and observe enemy movement; these options greatly assist with the planning of all-out assaults or sneaking past unsuspecting enemies.

Another nice touch is the suit upgrade menu being your actual hand; by selecting individual fingers, various different upgrades can be selected during the course of the game. However, only one of each upgrade can be active at once. This adds great replayability to this title, as previously unlocked abilities and upgrades can be used in completed chapters.

The initial campaign mode was a great experience; the only downside was on the rare occasion the A.I. seem to glitch and run into objects like walls and vehicles without correcting their course.

Crysis 2 is probably one of the best-looking FPS titles I have come across; the level design is stunning and the visuals promote sensory overload on occasions. The only downfall with these beautiful environments is that you tend to focus more on the visuals rather than the actual story progression, so don’t be entirely confused when you have absolutely no idea on what’s going on.

Apart from the graphics, the sound also plays a major role in Crysis 2; hearing bullets echo down the street, buildings being destroyed and even the sound of a much heavier Alcatraz when his armor is equipped is also a very well implemented sensory experience.

Online:
So generally most FPS games do come with a multiplayer mode, but is the online play as good as the campaign in Crysis 2, my answer hell yeah!

12 multiplayer maps await those of you brooding to get online, as well as six different modes of play that offer gamers various choices of what map to play and how to strategise individually or team assault. These include Crash Site and Team Instant Action. There are around 20 weapons to destroy opponents with, as well as some great customisation options to use to your advantage. My online experience was pleasurable although, there have been some complaints about servers being down on occasions.

Conclusion:
Overall, Crysis 2 offers a visually satisfying experience with the sound to match. Game-play encourages a think before you shoot approach, instead of the general run and gun approach that other FPS titles tend to offer gamers; this is where Crysis 2 is unique. The storyline is solid and offers a good all around experience.

The downside:
Crysis offers some great A.I. that will challenge you greatly but on the odd occasion, you will witness them either running into cars or walls like mindless zombies. There have also been some complaints about servers being down on occasion when attempting to play online.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 9/10
Storyline: 8/10
Graphics: 9.7/10
Sound: 9.5/10

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

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Red Dead Redemption Review

Ever wanted to be a cowboy? Or even play as one in a video game? Maybe an outlaw robbing banks and jumping on moving trains. Possibly being the sharpshooting hero, eliminating all opponents who decide to challenge you. The setting of the Wild West has been a somewhat neglected one, as not many games have been set during this era. Red Dead Redemption is finally here and the West is going to seem wilder than ever.

You play as John Marston, a former outlaw looking to turn over a new leaf, after the gang he rode with left him for dead. John starts a new life but the government then forces him to track down his old gang and either capture or kill all of them. You might be thinking right now, “How do they force him to do this?” Well, the government has some collateral which will not be mentioned as that just spoils it for those who haven’t played the game. The characters you will end up meeting really drive the story along, although John Marston’s character seems somewhat inclined to help anyone and everyone he meets despite the fact that he has his own problems to deal with. Other than that, the story is great. You will also be able to meet strangers across the vast land that might be in need of some assistance.

Rockstar Games have become the kings of the open world genre after creating the Grand Theft Auto Series (commonly known as GTA). Red Dead Redemption is no exception. Anyone who has played a Grand Theft Auto game will notice that the presentation is very similar in this game. Examples of this are the blips on the mini-map and the conversations between characters on route to their destination. But this is more than just GTA of the Wild West. There is so much to do and so much to see. You can hunt animals and sell their fur, meat and skin in the stores located in towns. People will challenge you to quick draw gun duels where you can teach them a lesson for being too cocky. Bounties will be offered for wanted criminals and you can choose whether to kill them or hand them over to the authorities. You will also be able to lasso and break wild horses so that they may become your trusty steed. Different outfits can also be found that have abilities to assist you with certain situations. Those are only a few of the things you can do. One of the greatest features about Red Dead Redemption is the fact that random people that come up to you and ask for assistance with small tasks. Be it retrieving someone’s stolen horse or saving a woman from being kidnapped.

Red-Dead-Redemption-3

The presentation of the game is excellent. Rockstar has really captured the essence of the Wild West. The graphics are some of the best seen and the art style is very nicely done. The characters look great and the horses in motion look very lifelike. However, a few graphical bugs are present but when looking at the entire game, it’s a very small problem.

The audio in the game is just as great as the graphics (Never hurts, right?). The soundtrack has the classic Western music you would expect to hear in a film of the same genre. The voice acting is also top notch and brings the characters to life.

Conclusion:
Overall, Red Dead Redemption really is an excellent game. You have the story but so many other factors to keep you occupied for quite a long time. It offers you so much! A lot of work has gone into the development process. Red Dead Redemption was definitely worth the wait, the story is awesome and so are the characters. Plus it’s just so much fun to play. Red Dead Redemption is a definite must have in any gamer’s collection.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

Brady Ruiters

Known as Brady Ruiters by day and GuitarDemon by night (Well, on the PSN mostly…) Professional, creative and frank, a self-proclaimed gaming journalist moulded by a passion and fascination for gaming and music, and in turn, taking a crack at shaping the rest of the world with the very same obsession. That, however, remains a trying task

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Mafia 2 Review

From 2K games comes a title well worth playing:
Set in the 1940’s and 1950’s the story follows Vito Scaletta.
After a botched robbery attempt with his long time friend Joe, Vito chose to join the army where he found himself in the heat of battle in World War 2. 2 years of service go by and Vito finds himself back in the Empire Bay, which is a living breathing city where crime is the order of the day. Vito has dreams and these dreams are to become a “made-man” no matter what the cost, even if it involves the Mafia.

Game-play 1940’ style:
The major factor that pulled me towards Mafia 2 was the vehicles, classic 1940’s style vehicles which are a absolutely pleasure to drive ranging from the Bolt Ace Coupe, 1953 Pontiac Chieftain ‘Potomac Indian, 1941 Dodge Custom Sedan, Crusader Chromium Fordor and many more vehicles which have been beautifully designed to bring the gamer a nice authentic experience.

The music is something that will bring back very fond memories to the older generation of gamers, and enlighten some of the younger generation at the same time; the music includes licensed tracks from: Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, Little Richard and many more featured artists which really set the mood for Mafia 2.

Weaponry ranges from hand to hand combat, to an arsenal of fire power which includes: M1 Garand, Colt M1911, M3 Grease Gun, Pump Action Shotguns, MG42, Tommy Gun and many more as the list is very large.

The world around you:
Mafia 2 has a large living and breathing environment, which can be classed as beautiful and can be fully explored. The NPC’s add great life to the city and so do the law enforcement which seem to tangle with the main character on a few occasions. The law enforcement is tough so expect a challenge when taking them on.

Each section of the city has a different feel and vibe to it, which makes the game so much more enticing to the visual senses.The presentation of the title is one that is crisp clear and brilliant. The character models are great and the fluent movements of the main character and NPC’s is one that is a highly worthwhile experience to encounter. I especially enjoyed the winter effects in the beginning of Mafia 2 it added a great feel to the title, which is somewhat lacking in games of this genre. The visuals of water are also pretty impressive, as most titles seem to get this wrong on so many levels.

Conclusion:
Although my review is shortened from my usual style, I am going to have to say if you don’t own Mafia 2, I suggest you stop what you’re doing right now!!! Jump into your car and head on over to your nearest store and grab a copy of this title it is sheer brilliance.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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James Bond 007: Blood Stone Review.

“The name’s Bond, James Bond”. That definitely has to be one of the most famous phrases said by the MI6 Agent. Over the years, there have been numerous video games based on Mr Bond’s exploits and it seems another title can be added to the list. Developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Activision, James Bond 007: Blood Stone aims to give you an experience that is “Shaken, not stirred”.

In typical James Bond fashion, Blood Stone kicks off with an intense action sequence before the opening credits have even started. The story starts with Mr Bond tracking down a weapons dealer that intends to terrorize the G20 Summit. Seems a little too simple, doesn’t it? Well, it doesn’t end there. A conspiracy sends him all over the world to track down certain people for information to clear the whole mess up. The story works quite well just like a good Bond movie. Since he will be travelling all over the world to complete his mission, James will find himself in a variety of situations. You may be ducking behind cover during a gunfight, chasing an informant over a series of rooftops or just trying to survive a blood pumping car chase in the signature Aston Martin. The story is also driven along quite well by the characters. Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Craig have agreed to do the voice acting for their characters of M and James Bond respectively. I feel that it was great that they agreed to offer their voices to this project as it gives a sense of familiarity and fans of the series will be pleased with their performance. English singer-songwriter and actress, Joss stone also makes an appearance as a wealthy jewellery designer named Nicole Hunter.

Gameplay involves a combination of genres. It is a third-person shooter with a heavy reliance on cover very similar to Gears of War. There are stealth portions in which hand-to-hand takedowns are a better choice as opposed to a gunfight. The stealth portion is very similar to Splinter Cell: Conviction with its use of hand-to-hand takedowns. Driving sections take place as car chases that the James Bond movies are well known for. There are also sections which require the use of a gadget, which in this case is your smartphone. The smartphone can be used to possibly crack security points or to clone the contents of a hard drive. The gadget use is very repetitive however and feels like it wasn’t really necessary to begin with. The earlier levels felt a tad slow to me but eventually things picked up again. There also wasn’t a big variety of weaponry in the game, which was a bit disappointing. Another feature I noticed that was similar to Splinter Cell: Conviction was something called a “Focus Kill” which functions like the “Mark and Execute”. The focus kill is also obtained in the same manner. Use a melee takedown on an enemy and you obtain the ability to use a Focus Kill. The combat during gunfights are best experienced by treating the situation as if it were a movie. A sense of urgency just makes things so much more exciting. I have to admit that I really enjoyed the driving sections in the game. They were just plain simple awesome from beginning to end. The game has a good pace as it isn’t a series of blood pumping action sequences. The stealth sections slow things down a bit and I feel that was a nice touch. The lack of gadgets in Blood Stone was disappointing. What’s a James Bond game without gadgets?

The game just looks great. Graphics are pretty good. The design that went into the different locations was also nicely executed. The detailed environments during the driving sections were truly brilliant. Not much can really be said about the audio in this game. The voice acting is good thanks to Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench offering their voices to the project. The soundtrack in Blood Stone is just what you’d expect from a James Bond film. It just has that vintage feel to it. The music is also perfectly placed in the various situations. The music has the ability to give you that sense of urgency when faced with a tense situation.

Conclusion:
Overall, James Bond 007: Blood Stone is an enjoyable game. It probably isn’t Game of the Year material but enjoyable nonetheless. The earlier levels were a little predictable and the enemy types were very few. Also, the lack of gadgets in a James Bond game is a big letdown but I hope that they can rectify this if they decide to develop another title in the series.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 Review

Get your force on!
The Force Unleashed 2 starts off in true Star Wars fashion, which as a fan of the movies I found very appealing especially when it comes to any title that even resembles a lightsaber, force powers and Jedi mind tricks.

Although my scepticism was fully intact when loading up this title, I asked myself, “Is this title gonna blow or is it gonna hit that little portion of my heart that held Star Wars on a podium for many years?” Truth is… wait for it, wait for it…I personally found The Force Unleashed to be pretty damn fantastic.

Let’s crack on with the story:
As The Force Unleashed 2 begins, the gamer takes control of Starkiller, the secret apprentice of Darth Vader. Vader arrives and explains to Starkiller that he is just a mere clone, (like that’s the first thing you wanna hear after being isolated for 13 days) the first clone to stave off insanity in fact. As memories of Starkiller’s life flood back, doubt is buried deep within Starkillers mind. Starkiller decides that Vader is lying, and makes a desperate attempt to escape to discover the truth about himself and to reunite with Juno Eclipse, Starkiller’s love interest.

Lightsabers, Force powers, mind tricks… what more can you ask for?
Game-play involves some intense combat, sometimes repetitive but still intense. This aint no walk in the park to play through, especially if you start off with a high difficulty setting.

Did I mention Lightsabers? Yes, the weapon of choice for any Star Wars Fan (I secretly wish I owned one) that has followed the movies. It seems to be apparent that Storm Troopers and lightsabers are like Mosquitoes and photo-catalyst mosquito killers. They are just attracted to each other in a way only the force will know. A nice feature of the Force Unleashed 2 is the fact that when you’re striking old Bob the Storm Trooper you can watch his limbs take a trip to the other side of the room, the side where his body may not be.

The force powers are epic! Let us use Bob as an example once again. While Starkiller approaches Bob, Bob’s first reaction is to shoot… right? Although Starkiller has lifted Bob into the air and now has an insane amount of electricity flowing through him. Once charged, Bob is a floating bomb, which when released explodes and takes out Phil, Frank and Rob Storm Trooper. There are various Force powers to be used but my favourite was the Jedi Mind trick, which forces enemies to either throw themselves off a bridge ( yes you Bob) or generally attack any enemy force that is attacking you.
I will not dive too much into detail as the Force Unleashed 2 is just something you have to experience for yourself.

Conclusion:
Although the Force Unleashed 2 is repetitive and may hold some flaws, it is honestly a game where being dark and brutal is fun, any game that involves Lightsabers deserves at least one play through. Down side was a lack of Co-op. I found running around and destroying things (and Bob) truly satisfying. If you are planning on some serious fun destroying Storm Troopers and Darth Vader, I suggest you put the Force Unleashed 2 on your Christmas list.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Review

Ubisoft introduces the killer return of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (ACB), which is set in Renaissance Italy as a direct sequel to Assassins Creed 2. The title once again follows the battle between the Templars and Assassins. Gamers also get to assume the role of Desmond on various occasions. Desmond lives in the present day and is able to experience the memories of his ancestor Ezio by using the Animus. The game shifts between present day and the past renaissance Italy.

The story picks up with Ezio returning from Assassin’s Creed 2, and is thrown straight into the midst of battle (I would like to stress that for any gamer that has not played through Assassin’s Creed 2 to play it first before venturing to AC Brotherhood). Cesare Borgia – Rodrigo Borgia’s son – is a retard (who is itching to experience a hidden blade) and mounts a masterful attack on the assassins. The villa in Monteriggioni has been destroyed and Ezio pretty much loses everything. I will not dive too deeply into the storyline, as I prefer gamers to experience this first hand. The storyline is a treat for any Assassin’s Creed fan.

Getting a little side tracked in ACB is a normal thing as the Gamer can take on various quests to obtain treasure chests, Assassination contracts and just exploring the world of ACB. To be honest, this is what open-world game-play is all about and guess what??? Mr. Leonardo Da Vinci is back once again, helping Ezio out.

The cities are a vast improvement from any other AC game. ACB brings life into these cities and Rome is definitely one of my favourite cities including Citadels, busy streets and some impressive landmarks. My opinion on the development of this title is that it is visually more impressive than the previous two titles. The Borgia towers are a major element in the game’s design when it comes to earning income, unlocking items and reducing Borgia guards across the city. By destroying a tower, Gamers can make missions less of a hassle.

Gameplay has improved dramatically as Ezio seems more fluent in his movements, attacks and general playability, everything just seems so much better including assassinations of unsuspecting victims. A major attraction to ACB is the online multiplayer, which adds an even better experience this title as the previous two titles lacked anything even remotely multiplayer. Multiplayer is great! The Gamer is given a mark to locate and kill, while also being hunted by other Online Gamers. This can be a difficult task, especially when the maps are big cities that have targets identical to NPC’s looming around. If a Gamer kills an ordinary citizen, no points are gained and the kill contract is removed and replaced with a new target to pursue. ACB has four multiplayer modes. Wanted and Advance Wanted are chaotic free-for-all sessions, with the Advanced being a more challenging version of Wanted with slightly different rules. Alliance, on the other hand separates Gamers into pairs to track down targets. Manhunt splits players into two teams, one-team hunts, while one team pretty much runs for lives hiding or blending in with to accumulate points.

Conclusion:
ACB is awesome; I find the storyline appealing, although I was more interested in the multiplayer aspect of this title I have spent so many hours hunting and hiding these past few weeks it has been well worth it. Although Live has just been launched recently in SA I would like to recommend the Cell C Speed-stick for online gaming, but please be aware you have to be in the Cell C coverage area to obtain speeds of up to 21, 6 Mbps to prevent lag, this is a great option for those without home DSL.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.