Tag Archives: rockstar

Capsule Reviews: Games (Grand Theft Auto V, Cities: Skylines) Games | My Reviews 14 FEB 2019

It has been quite some time since I’ve last done this, but what can I say, I’ve been playing a LOT of games over the last while.

Grand Theft Auto V (2014)

When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a ruthless city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other.

There is little left to be said about Grand Theft Auto V which hasn’t been said before. There is a reason that this mammoth game is one of the best selling games of all time, why five years down the line it still features in the annual top game lists, and why it continues to be an absolute unit of a cash cow for parent company Rockstar Games.

Now I’m not interested in the massively successful multiplayer mode, instead it is the campaign which I want to gush about. Extremely late to the party, all I can say that this is once again a masterclass in merging story into an open world sandbox title. The seamless story/action transitions, the character switching, the seemingly endless amount of things you can interact with or do in the world is astounding. Sure, the gunplay could be seen as a little simplistic (even at the time of release), but mixed in with the rest of the elements, the cinematography, the exceptional soundtrack… well, everything just works.

Honestly, I can see exactly why GTA V sits with as high a metacritic rating as what it does.

Metacritic rating: 97 | Wikipedia

Cities: Skylines (2017)

There isn’t a story blurb for this one, but basically Cities: Skylines is hands down the best city builder currently available on the Xbox. After the last Sim Cities dropped the ball in a horrible PR negative way, developer Colossal Order and publisher Paradox Interactive unleashed this modern city builder that quickly became a firm fan favourite, so much so that developer Tantalus Media was approached to produce a console port.

The end result is a magnificent city builder that works flawlessly with a Xbox game controller, one which is guaranteed to suck up MANY precious hours of your lifespan. Urban planning, zoning, districts, taxation, policies, road, subway and rail placement, public works – its an absolutely delightful time sink.

The game runs well, is particularly well supported with DLC, and in my opinion is an absolute must for anyone with an inkling of love for the city building genre.

Naturally, I’m completely in love.

Metacritic rating: 81 | Wikipedia

Gaming Update: Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions | Dante’s Inferno | Red Dead Redemption Games | My Reviews 03 JAN 2012

One of the things that pretty much fell to the wayside after having Jessie enter our lives is my gaming. Last year I pretty much sold off all my games (thank you Cash Crusaders) from my collection, and can count the number of titles I played on my dusty XBOX 360 on my two hands.

I did enjoy some time off at the end of the year though, and despite pretty much being in single parent mode for most of my two weeks away from work, I did manage to squeeze some game time in late at night, finally knocking off Red Dead Redemption which I must say was a thoroughly engrossing and entertaining game.

2012 looks like it is going to be pretty similar in terms of playing games (i.e. there won’t be a lot of it), but at least I have managed to stock up for those rare occasions when I can maybe steal a hour or two of controller time. Thanks to a tidy little sum of Christmas money from the Montgomery clan (meaning I can spend it without feeling guilty about not spending in on the Lotter clan), I managed to pick up both Bulletstorm and Darksiders second-hand dirt cheap from BT Games.

I’ve since sneakily given both a spin and can report that I’m looking forward to both of them, which is a good thing considering the fact that I need to maximise my enjoyment out of my limited game time! :)

As for the last three games which I did manage to finish off over the course of 2011 (and for which I probably won’t get around to writing up decent reviews for), I thought it a good idea to quickly jot down some thoughts. So here they are in order of completion:

Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions

Looking past the cheesy Stan Lee cut scenes, I seriously loved this outing in the Spider-man game franchise (having also enjoyed the previous Spider-man: Web of Shadows release). A nice twist was having four different Spider-man characters from the various universes to play with, each having their own style of play, including the Noir Spider-man that seemed to lift a lot of his stealth gameplay straight from the stunning earlier Batman: Arkham Asylum release!

Plenty of web swinging and bashing people in the face is the order of the day for this third person action adventure game, with good graphics, a good story, slick fight engine, and great voice acting plus musical score. Definitely worth it for any comic book fan.

Dante’s Inferno

Woah, definitely a game only to be played when you are on your own, with everyone fast asleep around you. Certainly not for the easily offended (and make no mistake, there is a lot of disturbing and gruesome scenery to be had), Dante’s Inferno is actually a very good and very polished (if a little God of War generic) hack and slash action adventure game, which tells a good story as you are pushed ever deeper into the Circles of Hell in order to free your beloved Beatrice from Lucifer’s icy grip.

Lots of button bashing, a nice little level up abilities and magic system, some simple puzzles, good cut scenes with decent voice acting, and some larger than life boss battles.

So thoroughly enjoyable in a blood-soaked hack and slash way, but certainly not easily recommended to anyone thanks to its setting and story.

Red Dead Redemption

Easily the best game I’ve played in quite some time, a thoroughly engrossing and engaging sandbox Western title from Rockstar, which will have you taking down bandits, breaking wild horses and hunting the local fauna until the cows come home.

Despite the fact that I think the game should have ended when you finally catch up to the main target that has been your mission right from the start, Red Dead Redemption has a fantastic story, backed by impressive voice acting plus musical score. Add to that a brilliantly realised open world ripe for exploration and interaction, this is definitely one of the best sandbox titles ever to be made!

Highly, highly recommended.

And now you know :)

First Impressions: Red Dead Revolver Games | My Reviews 09 JAN 2009

Red Dead RevolverIt may not be the prettiest of games around, but Rockstar’s 2004 Western-themed third person shooter is pretty damn stylish fun as I’ve just found out for myself.

The initial story that gets laid out before you as you begin the game revolves around young Red, a boy whose parents get gunned down before him by raiders, and who then grows up to be a tough, silent, and no nonsense taking bounty hunter with issues of revenge to take care of.

And so far that is pretty much it. Next step is to take to the west, walk around various environments and fill the opposing gangsters, outlaws and miscreants with hot lead. The game is essentially a third person shooter and each mission sees you taking on some pack of outlaws, trying to blast through them until you finally call out the big boss – who always just happens to be the toughest bastard of the lot. You get a variety of short and long range weapons to hot swap between, even including throwable types like knives and explosives.

Red can pop in and out of cover, dive roll out of harm’s way and also build up his ‘deadeye’ ability which then slows time and allows him to target a number of spots on an opponent’s body while time slows to an absolute crawl. And then there are the duels, essentially a four part sequence that sees you grabbing your gun, drawing it, placing six target locks and then firing them off as the slow motion counter finishes. (Tons of fun I tell you!)

So far the action is pretty straight forward but at the same time nice and engaging as you constantly need to scan your environments for cover, look for enemies and in general just try to stay alive. The enemies tend to come at you in droves but thankfully it would seem that their mouths are bigger than their aim for the most part!

The graphics engine is nothing to write home about, looking pretty much the same as any other Rockstar produced game (like Warriors and Grand Theft Auto), but it gets the job done and the cleverly muted/dulled palette used gives a nice dusty, gritty feel to the experience – enforcing that whole stylish old wild west feeling at the same time. Exactly the same can be said about the character animations in general. They aren’t pretty but they are well executed and fit the theme and tone of the game like a glove – so hats off to the team for producing such a visually atmospheric experience!

However, it must be said that it is the music/sound effects that totally steal the show in my opinion. The score consists of some brilliantly composed spaghetti western stuff, the kind of soundtrack that you would find in any one of the old classic westerns and as such this complements the feel of the game perfectly! Everything fits in nicely together and the package as a whole just feels so authentic, meaning that Rockstar really seems to have nailed the genre down with this one.

So, so far so good. I’m enjoying this little self-indulgent purchase of mine that I dug out of BT Games’ second hand bin and certainly look forward to seeing how the rest of the story and action unfolds. It seems a lot less ‘over the top’ than Gun (another western-themed game that I thoroughly enjoyed), so this should be one heck of a fun ride, Stetson and six-shooter at the ready!


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Related Link: http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/action/reddeadrevolver/index.html