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#TBT PC Game Review :- Subnautica from Unknown Worlds Entertainment

Descend into the depths of an alien underwater world filled with wonder and peril. Craft equipment, pilot submarines and out-smart wildlife to explore lush coral reefs, volcanoes, cave systems, and more – all while trying to survive.

 

 

Recently I picked up the first person survival game; Subnautica (released Jan 2018 on STEAM, Dec 2018 on consoles), it looked like a fun game from the drunk play-through I watched and as I hadn’t played a solo game in a while, thought I would give it a try.  I should say that I have only just recently become a PC gamer and I have so much catching up to do that my computer is going to hurt by the end of the year with everything I have to cram in. Now I am a firm believer that a reviewer shouldn’t sway your opinion, because in the end we all have differences of opinion and that is good; or the world would be boring. So please, if you get a chance and you are into survival games, give it a go and make your own mind up, in my opinion this was a brilliant start to my PC gaming life!

 

The story, like any survival game, is pretty standard in that you are stranded alone to deal with the world around you. In this case you are on an ocean planet, light years from home with not one coffee place to help you deal with this. You were part of a team sent to setup a “phasegate” and to search for a missing ship that crashed on the planet. Because humans have to repeat courses of action before we figure out what is bad and what is good, your ship crash lands as well.

 

 

While scanning the planet, your ship “The Aurora” is hit by an unknown energy force from the surface and you escape in the only life pod that seems to have passed it’s maintenance checks as the others you find that haven’t done so well! I swear they could have spent less on interior decoration, (potted plants and posters advertising the ship to the crew of said ship,) and spent it on shields, better life pods or a less sarcastic AI. The wreckage of your once “advanced” ship lays on the horizon of this new world and you must save yourself through modern sci-fi technology, scavenging planetary resources, and retrieving tech that has spread far and wide across the ocean seabed. Can you do it?

 

In my case, yes I could and had a jolly good time too!

 

 

The gameplay style, apart from the first person free roaming aspect, is best described as a tech-tree you must grow and nourish with SO MUCH titanium and copper you wouldn’t believe; and who would have ever thought I would get fed up of finding gold and diamonds!? You also need blueprints found by scanning broken parts of equipment from the wreckage of the two crashed ships.

 

You start with basic tools for survival in the form of a Replica…I mean Fabricator which runs on the principle of “FEED ME SEYMOUR!” You cram large quantities of fish into it and get bottle water and food in return. Alloys and Scrapings of coral gives you a fire extinguisher, (for the moment when the ocean planet suddenly becomes a fire planet) and other bits and bobs to make your lonely stay a bit more bearable. As you progress through the tech tree you gain access to deeper regions of the planet and in turn, more resources to cram into the fabricator, which gives even better tools, to help you access even deeper regions.

 

 

There is also the crashed ships to explore, the lost habitats of the first ship to crash here and the presence of an intelligence that is not our own. I use the term ‘intelligence’ loosely because who parks up that close to an unknown planet where one ship has already vanished?! You can build submarines to explore deeper and further, discover habitats to survive in, and manufacture tools to do all kinds of funky stuff, as you explore the story as much or as little you want.

 

The story is read through data you find on PDA devices. These explain bit by bit what happened to the previous explorers to add to your immersion of the game if you so choose. In my case, I ignored the PDA and tried to figure out what happened through exploring the visual world and making my own mind up about stupid humans parking so close to planets with a history of vanished ships. Seriously with all that tech you couldn’t just send a probe? It didn’t ruin the game for me in any way and actually added to the experience. The story is light but being the only human alive, that is acceptable.

 

 

The game plays so well to the lone survival feel. There is no real tutorial and as you gain new equipment and vehicles you are never really shown how to pilot them. The immersion became so real for me that I imagined Ryley Robinson, (the protagonist you play) was part of the Domestic Crew (he mopped the corridors), as he seems to know little about anything he is building. As it turns out he is a Non-Essential Systems Maintenance Chief… so in actual fact the guy who gets to scrub out the engine while the real engineers are doing the real work!

 

I shouldn’t be too hard on him though, together we conquered Iantopia! From Giant Leviathan attacks to nearly drowning him when I found shiny stuff WAY to deep down for my air tanks, we spent hours of gameplay exploring and literally getting lost in such a huge world. It is a beautiful game that was well designed and blends a great mixture of breathtaking underwater beauty, scary oversized monsters nipping at your tiny self, and even comical little fish that smear across your submersible vehicles as you speed away from things trying to eat you.

 

 

I really felt for this planet and when I saw the damage the crashing ship had done to the area, I really believed I deserved all the giant predator fish chasing after me! Throw in the strange alien technology that looms out of the darkness as you float towards it, and you just can’t get enough of the visual. This becomes important when playing a solo game, as you take time to stop and look at these details.

 

The dark overtones are broken up by the various different AI personalities that live inside your own PDA unit and the machines you build. I got an overwhelming sense of pride when I got aboard my first Submarine and heard “Welcome aboard captain!” I had been promoted from Engine scrubber to captain and it only took me being marooned on a planet to get the position I always wanted! The main AI on your PDA reminds me much of Portal’s sense of humour. Whenever you discover a new place, device or vehicle, her voice chimes up to tell you something interesting about it, and the occasional witty banter added to my immersion.The unsettlingly human computer and the lack of other people made me wonder if Ryley was starting to lose it a bit and the computer was just him talking to himself in a robot voice.

 

 

Now no game is without its flaws and though I didn’t see many glitches, some of the ones I did see were game breaking. I left the first mini-sub I had ever made and cherished, to explore a deeper cavern system it couldn’t reach. When I got back it was inside a nearby wall. This meant I would have to start the game all over again because I couldn’t make it to the surface without dying. Console commands saved my play through but also gave me access to tempting cheats, and I lost some of that immersive feeling. I later found out one of the creatures had tried to teleport me out of my PRAWN suit and into its clutches, but instead teleported me outside the environment.

 

Most glitches are simple and often don’t ruin the game and sometimes played into my idea that Ryley was going mad. On another occasion I was walking down the access tunnel from a nuclear power plants to a fish display cabinet and though I didn’t think their proximity would be an issue, I witnessed a very odd fish, a giant eyeball with fins, swimming towards me! It was at this time I decided to go back to Earth and seek some professional help.

 

 

Those glitches came few and far between and once I got passed my frustration of the incident of HMS Nippy Shrimp and the wall, I got back into the game and was once again captivated by the beauty of it all.

 

It is possible to become lost and confused, where nothing makes sense and you are sure you missed a small detail somewhere. If this happens, I recommend checking the wiki out because it was very helpful and didn’t spoil anything waiting ahead for me. I had to use the wiki several times, but I feel that that was more a reflection of my ability as a player.

 

 

The game is left so open that you can play it anyway you like; valiant hero desperately trying to get home, scared engineer doing what he can to survive on little training or my Ryley, who was an engine room janitor who got super lucky. Once the game was complete, and I had put the finishing touches to my underwater resort (yes, I built an underwater resort!), I decided to craft my rocket and get back to Earth. I planned to start advertising and make a killing on the adventurous holiday maker who would love the dangerous Iantopia! But what then?

 

The game offers different modes and I originally played it on “easy”. If you just fancy a nice ride a sort of ultra-easy mode exists which helps you to learn how everything works in a safe environment. With endless resources at your disposal, all the blueprints unlocked and being immortal you don’t need to worry about anything other than learning to play the game! On Easy mode you are trying to survive but all you need to worry about is your health and your air, plus you now have to find everything to get you up and back into space. Hard mode introduces the need to eat and drink and though you can die you still re-spawn somewhere safe, minus the materials you just collected. If you want to feel like every moment could be your last then hardcore mode is for you! You get one life and no warnings about your air supply and I am leaving that for when I feel like giving myself a heart attack! This gives every level of player a nice entry point into the game though.

 

 

In addition, though there doesn’t seem to be a date of arrival, Subnautica, Below Zero adds another chapter to the game, which will bring a whole new element of tracking your heat, along with the original gameplay mechanics that made this game so much fun! Set in the polar icecap on the same planet, you now have frozen land masses to contend with, not to mention creepy penguins!

 

Subnautica deserves a go if you like Survival games, as it did feel like me against the world because it was! If you like building mechanics that allow you to construct your own living areas then at some point you can forget the story and escaping, and build yourself your own underwater resort with aquarium, two nuclear reactors and a medical bay set up for injuries sustained from handling dangerous fish and radiation burns. If you just like open world exploring then it is really easy to get lost in all the different areas of Subnautica as each place has its own particular wonder from the various planet life and it’s glowing auras to the beasties that lurk among them.

 

 

Now excuse me, I have to finish setting up the VIP apartments at my resort as they keep getting eaten by leviathans.

 

 

Subnautica is available now on STEAM, XBox One and Playstation 4!

 

A solid and fun 6 out of 10!
~ IanABlakeman

 

[Edited by Scarlet_Dragon]


January 31st, 2019 by IanABlakeman
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

PC Game Review :- Sunless Skies from Failbetter Games

SAIL THE STARS. BETRAY YOUR QUEEN. MURDER A SUN. Sunless Skies is a Gothic Horror roleplay game with a focus on exploration and exquisite storytelling for PC, Mac and Linux.

 

 

Sunless Skies has released, and it has had some major updates since the early access preview here.

 

 

One of the very first things noticeably different is the new tutorial and story added at the very start of the game, which also highlights the new story UI.

 

 

Speaking of the UI, the whole thing in general has had an overhaul. It is now easier to read and lends itself better to the dark aesthetic of Sunless Skies.

 

 

New weapon types have been added, with two versions of each to choose from. First off there are the Portsmouth House ‘Albertine Candle’ and the Portsmouth House ‘Her Renewed Majesty’s Jubilee’ rockets, and then the Wit & Vinegar ‘Sneeze-Lurker’, Wit & Vinegar ‘Zounderkite’ mines respectively. Added to this is the powerful new exotic weapons added throughout the game just waiting to be discovered by the player.

 

 

New content has been added to the Blue Kingdom and High Wilderness, including some new officers the Clay Conductor and two Blue Kingdom officers; the Forged Companion and the Felined Eccentric.

The wealth ambition received some adjustments and your captain can now retire in Eleutheria, while Narrative Director Chris Gardiner worked on the final ambition The Stars are Dying for launch.

 

 

Part of the new content added was smuggling! It was one of the stretch goals on the Sunless Skies kickstarter and offers more opportunities for nefarious deeds in the high wilderness. Smuggling will unlock midgame for those captains looking to make some extra cash and don’t mind a dangerous pirate lifestyle. Just look for the Gloomy Middleman in London to start the storylet quest to unlock smuggling. Alternatively If your captain has Villainy 3+ or Veils 40+, the Gloomy Middleman will approach you directly. Once unlocked, Contraband items will appear in one shop per region across the Reach, Albion and Eleutheria. You will need to pay attention to Prospects to make a profit. Smuggling also adds hidden compartments for your locomotives equipment to hide contraband from customs.

 

 

Sunless Skies is available now on STEAM and GOG.

 

 

 

All and all these are welcome changes and additions to an already stellar game.

Sunless Skies is a must have title worthy of the coveted 10/10.

~Darsch


January 31st, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

EGX 2018 Day One – Roundup

EGX 2018 has kicked off, and day one has given us some announcements of new games, sequels and older games on consoles they haven’t been before.

 

 

let’s look at the main stage developer sessions first, kicking off with –
WillowBrook Post – Excalibur Games

 

Anno 1800 – Ubisoft Blue Byte

 

Arca’s Path and the state of VR in 2018 – Dream Reality Interactive

 

11-11: Memories Retold – Aardman Studios

 

Twin Mirror – DONTNOD

 

The Dark Pictures Anthology – Man of Medan – Supermassive Games

 

Twin Mirror, The Dark Pictures and The Gardens Between number among the new releases shown, focusing mainly on darker more story based theatrical games while Cat Quest 2: The Lupus Empire is a quirky, bright RPG starring a cat and is the only direct sequel announced so far.

 

Not exactly sequels, Playlink: Chimparty adds some more games to the Playstation Playlink, while other titles such as Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition takes an existing game world setting with a new art style and story, Fist of the Northstar Lost Paradise sees Kenshiro enter a new play style by the team that brought us the Yakuza series, Persona 3 Dancing in the Moonlight + Persona 5 Dancing in the Sunlight is a new entry in the bizarre dancing spin-offs to the popular Persona RPG series, and lastly everyone’s favourite purple dragon is having his classic adventures updated for the PS4 with the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.

 

And a quick round up of the games shown ont eh Playstation stream –

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dnhw4cxW0AANEm0.jpg

 

You can check out the trailers over in our playlist

 

That’s it for the day one roundup, a strong first day for lovers of new and classic gaming. make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for live blogging of the developer sessions!
~Sirhc


September 21st, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Technology, Xbox | No Comments »

Sunless Skies Early Access Review

SAIL THE STARS. BETRAY YOUR QUEEN. MURDER A SUN. Set a course for the heavens in your steam locomotive! Lose yourself in a changing universe where even time can be bought. A Victorian Gothic adventure for PC, Mac and Linux.

 

 

Sunless Skies is currently an early access title and is the sequel to Sunless Sea which itself is a sequel and spin off of Fallen London, the browser based text game that started the world of the sunless games. Sunless Skies is one part rogue-lite, one part trader sim, one part narrative focused RPG. The game is built on the Unity game engine and Failbetter’s own narrative platform StoryNexus. Failbetter has once again managed to make a charming game that captures the whimsical humor of their fallen London universe and the Lovecraftian adventures one could find there but now set in space on a steam powered locomotive.

 

 

For better or for worse the core of the gameplay remains the same as that of sunless sea, you create a captain, and you navigate your vessel through the dark and dangerous expanses of space trying to make your fortune or become famous. If you die that captain is dead permanently in the legacy mode but your new captain may inherit a higher starting level, money, and star chart. As of writing this I have gone through 6 captains, each having died hilariously and horribly from my own growing pains trying to learn my way around the map. You have to manage your sanity, your fuel, your supplies, and of course your cargo. The farther away from the starting port you get, the more dangerous things become, I was killed in two shots by an enemy locomotive while I was distracted by the beautifully creepy homestead I discovered. Combat is simple with you firing one of two weapons and trying to hit the enemy while at the same time trying not to get hit by said enemy. This usually end up revolving around you flying circles around the enemy to line up a clean shot to their starboard or port broadsides so you can avoid the front of the enemy as all weapons currently fire directly ahead of the locomotive.

 

 

Like any good narrative, the meat of the story and immersion is what happens between start and finish, and having the legacy of your previous captains help to make a unique story for each play through. Much like the heirs of your heroes in rogue castle changed gameplay, so too does your next captain. I have had captains that found devils and rats to be officers aboard their locomotive, each with their own story to pursue, and then i have had captains that instead found passengers that lead to their own stories and quests but never found the same officers. This randomness keeps things fresh and unique in between traveling from port to port when travel is getting tedious and the monotonousness of the dark space between ports sets in.

 

 

Sunless Skies is a great narrative and a superb time killer. The writing is great and the art is appealing. Failbetter has most assuredly learned from their previous titles and seem to have once again struck gold and I expect them to further tune the gameplay in this early access title as they continue to integrate player feedback. That being said, this game is not for everyone and I can only seriously recommend it to those looking for something slow paced to kill time and wanting to try something different or to fans of the old star trader style games as the game can get tedious and boring during long stretches of exploration if you are not into games like this. I had a blast playing this title and am looking forward to seeing how it progresses from here and have even gone to take a look at the browser based adventure game that started it all, Fallen London. I am giving Sunless Skies a 6 out of 10, I have fallen in love with this universe and can’t get enough of it.

 

 

Sunless Skies is available NOW on STEAM – https://store.steampowered.com/app/596970/SUNLESS_SKIES/

 

 

Sunless Skies gets a mindbending 10/10 from us!

~Darsch

 

 


September 17th, 2018 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, PC, Real Time Strategy | No Comments »

Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset :- MMO Expansion Review

For the first time in history, the long-closed borders of Summerset are open to foreigners by decree of Queen Ayrenn. But darkness looms over the ancestral home of the High Elves, and whispers stir of Daedric followers organizing in the shadows. Rally your allies, brave champions. Summerset awaits.

Explore an all-new zone packed with adventure. Join the mysterious Psijic Order and gain powerful new abilities. Reunite with old friends, forge new alliances, and work together to unravel a conspiracy that threatens Tamriel’s very existence.

 

 

Summerset is the newest chapter to the The Elder Scrolls Online, and while it adds much new content, a new crafting skill line and a new skill line focusing on time manipulation from the Psijic order, new mobs, two beautiful zones to explore and an amazing continuation to the main overarching story, it does not do much else, which is a good thing. ZOS stuck with what makes ESO great and avoided trying to reinvent the wheel.

 

 

When I do a review I have one main question I always ask myself and set out to answer. Is this fun? And the answer is a resounding OH HELL YEAH. I have long loved the elder scrolls franchise and I love ESO, but the game is not without its flaws, which is true of all games, but I have to say that Summerset is some of the most fun I have had in a long while in an mmo, from new trash mobs with interesting combat mechanics in the open world too the amazing new coral crab mob designs and the quest stories and writing has gone a long way to making this one of the best expansions yet for ESO.

 

 

Underneath the beauty of the High Elven island lies a darker side, The high elves prejudice against the “lesser races” is on full display, their political intrigues show up in force in Summerset’s main story as it is both a continuation of the Morrowwind Clock Work City story picking up right where it left off with more daedric cults and daedric princes up to no good and a continuation of the Aldmeri dominion’s story lines surrounding queen Ayrenn’s ascension to the throne. The quests diving deeper into the motivations of the characters around you and not simply praising your prowess as a world-class savior brings a human quality to the game that helps you feel more connected and immersed in the game. One example of this is Razum-dar, a long time fan favorite, he is not just another NPC but a friend to the player. As a result, Summerset is both familiar and foreign. The new Public dungeons are a breath of fresh air in how they are designed and some of the new bosses look amazing. The new trial, Cloud rest, has you taking on one to the ancient long thought extinct sloads, a slug devil toad abomination that just wants to smash your face with the help of mind controlled minions and crazy daedric magic.

 

 

Summerset brings a host of new additions to the game, The main story as mentioned previously, 6 new delves, 6 new Fun world bosses, 6 abyssal geysers which function like dolmens. 2 new public dungeons which have farm-able collections that net you prizes such as the new ginger kitten vanity pet. A new trial that can be completed multiple ways. The new psijic order skill line which adds 5 active abilities, a new ultimate, and new passives. It also adds Jewelry crafting which allows you to craft your own jewelry and make set piece jewelry. Both of these new skill lines drastically open up build diversity. The champion point cap was also increased to 750 and the game adds several new interesting gear sets to the game.

 

 

If I had to rate Summerset on a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate it a solid 8, it just does so much right in terms of what an expansion should add to the game but it still has old flaws that still need to be addressed from older versions of the game and class balance & build balance issues that continue to still plague the game.

~Darsch

 

 

The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset is available now on –

STEAM
XBox One
Playstation 4


June 30th, 2018 by Darsch
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

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