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PC Game Reviews


8.5 Papo & Yo

 

Papo & Yo is a puzzler platformer, but only on the most superficial level. Players do push blocks around and jump over things, but Papo & Yo will also force players to wrestle with emotional issues like childhood abuse, alcoholism, and poverty in the Third World.

 

8.5 SWTOR – Rise of the Hutt Ca...

 

Rise of the Hutt Cartel, the new digital expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, injects new life into the game a few months after its first anniversary. Players have had a love/hate relationship with SWTOR since launch, yet the game retains a loyal fan base while the overall user count steadily increases over time. There are so many things about this latest Star Wars MMO that players love, and yet SWTOR lags ...

 

9.5 Out of the Park Baseball 14

 

Unlike most iterative sports game series, the Out of the Park development team never rests on their laurels in the off season, making it one of the only sports titles worth purchasing on a yearly basis. Out of the Park Baseball 14 is no different: where OOTP13 received a number of cosmetic changes and feature additions, OOTP14 is about refinement, reworking a lot of the game's code and adding another layer of ...

 

7.0 Gravi

 

Gravi is a puzzle platformer, not entirely like the well-loved Super Meat Boy. Like Super Meat Boy, it pits your mind and reflexes against sharp objects, dangerous pitfalls and molten lava. Like Super Meat Boy, your deaths are going far outnumber the amount of levels you complete. With 40 levels of mayhem, Gravi is a game that is bound to keep genre fans' attention.

 

7.0 Age of Empires II HD

 

There's a fine line when re-releasing a title, between making modern and leaving a kind of older charm. The team behind Age of Empires II HD have decided not to even approach that line. The risk of modernizing one of the greatest RTS games of all time was just too great. Depending on your take on this issue, you'll either applaud them for their conservative re-release or you'll find the game archaic and slow.

 

Resident Evil 6

 

In what appears to be a bid to garnish more sales for the aging franchise, Capcom has decided to shake things up in the Resident Evil universe. With four campaigns, multiple playable characters, Mercenaries mode and the all-new Agent Hunt feature, RE6 is positively ripe with content. Gone are the days of puzzle solving in an eerie atmosphere. Now, it's all about cinematic action and ultra-linear level design. ...

 

8.5 Evoland

 

Evoland is a love letter to a genre long past its golden age. By combining your favorite elements from The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy and Diablo, it manages to act not only as a nostalgic trip through some of the best gameplay features of the last twenty years, but also as a decent game in its own right. You'll laugh at the jokes, you'll get the references, but you'll also question why so many classic ...

 

8.0 Defiance

 

There have been a number of attempts to bring the MMO to consoles and they have, by and large, been unsuccessful. Instead of building a game to play with a controller in front of the TV from scratch, developers instead adapt a game built around dozens of keyboard keys and a mouse. They're often surprised when that doesn't work. Defiance is a game that brings together the spirit of third person multiplayer ...

 

7.0 Masters of the World

 

If you’ve ever looked through the papers, hoping to find a shred of explanation as to why politicians act the way they do, knowing full well that you could do a far better job, Masters of the World is for you. It’s the third in Eversim’s geo-political simulator series, and while other games task you with ruling the world or coming to an uneasy peace with every other nation, in Masters of the World you’ll make ...

 

8.5 Trials Evolution Gold Edition

 

Trials HD was perhaps one of the most difficult games of this generation. Getting through the later levels took such a degree of timing, so much muscle memory and a healthy dose of luck. For Evolution, Red Lynx pushed everything one step further, creating a game where the stunts were more deadly, the feats more impressive and the locations more interesting. Now the franchise is finally returning to PC, and to ...

 

8.5 WoW: Mists of Pandaria

 

Mists of Pandaria is the fourth expasion to the ever popular MMO, World of Warcraft This time around, players will be leaving the sundered lands of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdom to head to (you guessed it) Pandaria, where a mysterious race known as the Pandaren wage war against the Mogu, an ancient race that wants to reclaim Pandaria for their own. After more than 7 years, is World of Warcraft still the top ...

 

7.5 The Showdown Effect

 

Action movies in the eighties were simple. There were two sides – good and evil. A large muscled man (quite often with only the smallest grasp of the English language, and I’m not just talking about Arnie) would fight “someone bad” while causing millions of dollars of damage, a couple of hundred explosions and spouting kick ass catchphrases.

 

8.0 Crysis 3

 

Crytek is a studio known for pushing the technological envelope in game development. The Crysis series in particular has become infamous for its incredibly demanding system requirements, alongside its staggering visual realism. With the third and possibly final numbered entry in the series, Crytek is looking to give the story a fitting conclusion, while proving to the world that they are the undisputed kings of ...

 

9.5 Tomb Raider

 

Lara Croft is a gaming icon, a woman that, in the nineties, became the very symbol of video gaming and its place in society. Although many of the people who saw her in newspapers and magazines couldn't tell you that she came from a video game called Tomb Raider, they certainly recognized her face (and, perhaps, other part of her anatomy). The fame didn't last, and it didn't take long for the Tomb Raider ...

 

8.0 Football Manager 2013

 

Football Manager 13 was released last September, just in time to cause poor exam results up and down the country this year. A crown I’m sure it was keen to keep from last year, as the Football Manager series has always been a favourite of the side-tracked student turned PC gamer. Some have even called it an addiction, but will this year’s instalment keep you hooked?

 

9.0 The Bridge

 

When Braid hit the Xbox, it was a wake up call to indie developers. Smart and simple games could flourish in this new generation of high-powered graphics. The Bridge is an indie 2D puzzle game where players control time and gravity to guide a man through a distorted world of M. C. Escher geometry. The Bridge owes much to Braid, both for paving the way for other indie games, but also for the quiet thoughtful ...

 

7.0 ShootMania Storm

 

Shootmania Storm was announced at E3 last year and then was instantly forgotten. Lost amongst talk of Assassin’s Creed 3 and Watch_Dogs, Shootmania didn't seem to offer an awful lot. A short match between two teams of pro-gamers did little to glue it into the minds of gamers, especially those not interested in yet another shooter. The beta shortly after displayed a game that was utterly unique but without enough ...

 

7.5 Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edi...

 

Baldur's Gate is often regarded as one of the finest role-playing games in existence. Initially released in 1998, it was BioWare's second title and proved to be influential not only for BioWare's later works but for other Western RPG developers. With a strong emphasis on storytelling and customization, Baldur's Gate paved the way for other RPGs to follow in its footsteps and ultimately change the landscape of ...

 

8.0 Faster Than Light

 

Roguelikes can be an acquired taste. The randomness, the perma-death, and the genre’s notorious difficulty can leave a bitter taste in the mouths of some gamers. Well-crafted titles like FTL, however, can embrace these conventions and come up with a demanding but truly rewarding gameplay experience. FTL is a highly addictive blend of action and strategy that, for $10, you simply cannot afford to miss.

 

9.0 Battlefield 3

 

Battlefield 3 is a first person shooter from the development company Dice, and was the showcase game for their new graphics engine, the fabled Frostbite 2. The game features a compelling campaign based on a United States marine who is arrested on suspicion of murder and for ‘apparently’ assisting Iranian ultra-nationalists in nuclear terrorism. We follow Sergeant Blackburn as he tries to save the world from ...

 

9.0 Saint Row 3

 

Saints Row III seems like a hard sell. It’s essentially “Grand Theft Auto… But More OUTRAGEOUS” and it’s easy to imagine consumers thinking that GTA is already sufficiently outrageous. However, while the GTA franchise uses satire as a form of comic relief, that series is really a gritty crime drama at heart. Saints Row The Third is actually the opposite of Grand Theft Auto. Saints Row The Third is almost ...

 

8.0 Strike Suit Zero

 

The space shooter genre is relatively uncommon these days. In the 90s and early 2000s, though, they were a dime a dozen. These games were a staple in any PC gamers collection and recently there has been some minor interest in revitalizing the genre. Born Ready Games is composed of developers that obviously have an intrinsic love for arcade-style space shooters, and their Kickstarter-funded game Strike Suit Zero ...

 

9.0 The Walking Dead Season 1

 

Telltale Games have truly outdone themselves this time, providing such a phenomenal, interactive experience which would make any Walking Dead fan proud. The Walking Dead: The Game features five 2-3 hour long episodes that will keep you intensely hooked from start to finish. All the episodes combined share a common theme of survival, but taken individually, each episode places the player in unusual situations ...

 

9.5 Borderlands 2

 

The first Borderlands was one of the breakout successes of 2009. With its incredibly unique blend of first person shooter action with role-playing game character customization, Borderlands was an instant phenomenon. Gamers logged thousands of hours shooting bad guys, picking up loot, and repeating. Three years and lot of DLC later, Gearbox has finally released a proper sequel, complete with new characters, new ...

 

8.0 Dota 2

 

It took an awful long time and a lot of legal wrangling with Blizzard for Valve to be able to call their new game DotA 2, but that’s what it is. In terms of spirit and content, this is the follow-up to the top Warcraft 3 mod that started a genre and remains popular to this day. Although the characters and maps aren’t a million miles away from those available in, for instance, League of Legends, it’s the unique ...

 

3.5 Omerta City of Gangsters

 

Omerta – City of Gangsters had a lot of promise. It’s developed by the same people that make the endlessly fun Tropico series and promises a Gangster-based strategy game, not really something we’ve seen since the sequel to the Eidos classic Gangsters: Organized Crime. The incredibly high price point at least hints at the idea that Omerta has been worked on to the level that’s deserving of that amount of money. ...

 

9.0 Left 4 Dead 2

 

When Valve announced Left 4 Dead 2, the internet imploded. Fans had been promised a wealth of DLC, long-lasting support and now the developers had had the nerve to release a sequel. After mild controversy around launch and a steady sale-by-sale drop in price, this is a game that has become increasingly difficult to resist. Not only has the price dropped, but the content in the game has been expanded on as well. ...

 

7.5 The Cave

 

The Cave brings together Monkey Island alumni Tim Schaefer and Ron Gilbert for a brand new adventure game unlike anything you’re likely to have played before. Pick from a cast of seven characters and explore a dark cave where anything is possible, where your character’s traits are tested over and over again. With the hilarious writing and critical thinking that made the genre great in the nineties, The Cave is a ...

 

8.0 The Sims 3

 

The original Sims game was a massive leap forward for gaming. News articles were run announcing that AI had finally got to a point where little people could run around inside your computer and teenage boys everywhere were making the girls they knew at school WooHoo in heart-shaped vibrating beds. Finally, a game where you could truly define the lives of your characters – so long as they weren’t hopping up and ...

 

8.5 Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty

 

Star Craft 2: Wings of Liberty, is part one of three planned expansion packs to be released by Blizzard over the next following years, allowing the gamers to play the story from completely different races. Just like its predecessor, Star Craft 2’s universe revolves are the classic races. The ancient and intelligent alien race, the Protoss, the hive creatures, the Zerlings who are controlled by their queen, Sarah ...