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Wed, 28 Aug 2019 14:35:00 +0100

If you're filled with a pang of nostalgia for classic BioWare games like Mass Effect and the Dragon Age series, and can't fathom waiting for Dragon Age 4 to be announced, we are definitely in the same boat, friend. But there is hope on the horizon: GreedFall is the underdog that might just satisfy your thirst for role-playing, monsters, and magic.

Although the game might have flown under your radar so far, I've got a video for you all about why GreedFall could be the RPG that'll appeal to any BioWare fans out there. With 35 hours of gameplay and about 80 quests, it's not as big as the AAA RPGs that tend to swallow you and spit you out, disoriented, a couple of weeks (or months) later, but judging by the demos I've seen there's still plenty to sink your teeth - or sword, or bullet from an exquisite flintlock pistol - into.

In the video you'll hear me chat all about GreedFall's qualities that make it stand out. There are (deep breath) romanceable companions, factions, zones, no enemy scaling, a skill tree that's not centered around the traditional mage, thief, and warrior classes, the option to pause mid-combat and queue up attacks, customisable outfits, craftable weapons and gear, plus a nifty tweak to the classic fast travel system. That last point might seem rather dull, but in Greedfall whenever you fast travel you can go into an intermediary space while the targeted level loads. There you can buy stuff from an itinerant merchant, craft, and manage your companions, giving you a quick breather before jumping right back into the RPG.

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Tue, 20 Aug 2019 11:14:00 +0100

I remember when The Blair Witch Project movie first came out and everyone said it was the scariest film ever. Then I went to the cinema to see it and I realised that everyone was lying. There was one mildly chilling scene at the end, sure, but the only really scary part of the film was the amount of liquid produced by Heather's runny nose...

Thankfully the upcoming Bloober Team developed spin-off game, Blair Witch is full of scary moments, as you'll be able to see in the video below where Aoife and I play through 30 minutes of the game. There's even a face-cam so you can witness our terror in high definition, although thankfully there isn't a snotty nose in sight!

The demo we played consisted of short snippets from each of the game's five chapters and as you'd expect, it starts off relatively calm before building up to a veritable shriek-fest.

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Sun, 18 Aug 2019 14:00:00 +0100

The free No Man's Sky Beyond update launched this week and with it came VR support for PC and PS4 versions of Hello Games' infinite survival sim. This is an update that I, and countless other VR enthusiasts, have been looking forward to for a long time, but now it's finally here, how good actually is it? In this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner, which you can find just below these words, I bring you my first impressions of my launch day experiences of No Man's Sky Beyond on PSVR.

The first impressions in this video and post are based on about 6 hours of play, which took place on the day the No Man's Sky Beyond update was released. As it stands, the criticisms (and praise!) in this video are currently still valid, but as Hello Games is already hard at work releasing hot fixes, the things I experienced and pinpoint in this post may be subject to change in the future.

My main issue with the update, if you haven't already guessed by the sub-header of this post, is the blurriness of the visuals. I played on a PS4 Pro and the intensity of the blur was pretty jarring to say the least. I've seen quite a few people on the internet saying that the blur isn't that bad but I don't know. Maybe I'm just being overly fussy, but I honestly was a bit taken aback by just how noticeable it was. Distant objects appear on the horizon like muddy blobs and anything more than a meter away from your avatar is noticeably soft. While my brain slowly tuned out the blur to a degree, my eyes were strained enough trying to focus on things that long periods of play resulted in headaches - a rarity for me in VR.

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Wed, 14 Aug 2019 17:02:00 +0100

Borderlands 3's new Beastmaster has some intriguing origins you might not expect - inspired by the Hunter class in World of Warcraft and the adorable world of Pokémon.

Zoe recently spoke with Gearbox creative director Paul Sage to get the backstory on Fl4k the Beastmaster's animal companions.

"If you think about the player fantasy for Fl4k, it's nurturing," Sage said of the hulking Vault hunter. "There's a ton of Pokémon and WOW Hunter things that appeal to it [the nurturing fantasy] so Flak had to have that, had to have pets for that reason.

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Sun, 28 Jul 2019 14:00:00 +0100

Rather suitably for a game that features a hefty amount of flamethrowers, I recorded this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner on the hottest day of the year so far.

While the incredible heat of my office did compliment the nazi toasting action of Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot somewhat, I do wonder to what extent this unusually hot weather will have affected its first week of sales. As you'll be able to see in the video below, playing VR in a 40°C room is definitely not the most comfortable of experiences. I mean, who knew it was possible to sweat from your eyelids?

Cyberpilot is a spin-off of MachineGames' recent Wolfenstein titles, but you won't find yourself inhabiting the virtual shoes of any of the Blazkowicz clan. Instead you play as a nameless hacker who, thanks to some friendly resistance fighters, is able to control an assortment of nazi mechs from within the safety of a virtual cockpit.

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Sun, 21 Jul 2019 14:00:00 +0100

As someone who was lucky enough to be a teenager in the 90s, I am very much a fan of old-school arena shooters like Quake and Unreal Tournament. That's why Telefrag VR caught my eye; its pre-release press releases boasted of fast-paced, visceral movement and combat mechanics that were directly inspired by those immortal video game classics.

But does Telefrag VR really live up to the hype from its PR department? You can find out in this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner, which you can find just below these words.

Before I go any further, I should point out that I have only played Telefrag VR in its pre-release, review phase. During this time the public lobbies were empty so my criticisms are based on vs matches with bots only. With that said, apart from perhaps some more challenging opponents, I can't imagine the overall experience being that different once human players are introduced.

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Sun, 30 Jun 2019 15:29:00 +0100

You know that bit in The Matrix when Keanu Reeves goes, "I know Kung Fu!"? Well I had a few moments of realisation just like that during my first hands-on session with the PSVR port of Sairento VR.

In this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner, you can watch me go from complete beginner to something resembling a Cyber-Ninja and best of all, you'll be able to hear my uncontrollable giggles of excitement when I do!

Sairento VR released on PC platforms in January last year to rave reviews and I've been looking forward to its PSVR release ever since I watched a launch trailer for it way back when.

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Thu, 06 Jun 2019 15:53:00 +0100

Attention! There's a brand new Call of Duty game on the way this October and if you didn't already know, it's a reboot of the incredibly popular Modern Warfare series.

But it's not just contemporary conflicts that are making a return this year, so too is the true star of the Modern Warfare series, the legendary, Captain John Price.

To celebrate his triumphant return, I take a lighthearted look at the history of Captain John Price, aka Bravo Six in the video below. Starting from his time serving in World War 2 when he had a plummy accent and an excellent taste in leg-wear, right through to that time he spoke fluent Chinese in Call of Duty Online.

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Sun, 02 Jun 2019 14:00:00 +0100

Regular and intense jump-scares have always been the main ingredients of the Five Nights at Freddy's series. That's why Scott Cawthon's creepy horror games are an excellent source of hashtag content for YouTubers - people just love watching other people get scared!

Naturally, I had to have a go on Five Nights at Freddy's VR: Help Wanted now that the series has made the jump to VR and you can watch me yelp my way though six spooky VR mini-games in the video below. This should give you a good idea about whether or not this game is something you want to experience for yourseBOOOOO!!!

See what I did there? Text based jump-scare. Classic.

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Wed, 22 May 2019 16:14:00 +0100

Someone famous once said that golf is a good walk spoiled, so it's probably a good job then that Everybody's Golf VR is a completely stationary experience. By cutting out all those boring strolls it means the game and its player can concentrate on pure, unadulterated virtual golfing across three gorgeous, 18 hole courses.

In the video below, you can watch me whack my way around 6 random holes as I try to work out whether or not Everybody's Golf VR is a duff or a hole-in-one. Although, please bear in mind that I knew absolutely nothing about real-life golfing before recording this video so what follows is very much a 'noobs-eye view' of the game.

As you can see, I took to the game like a Duck Hook to water and that's mainly due to how intuitive the in-game user interface is. Being able to your practice shots before taking them and having a host of meters and indicators to help you judge the power and angle of each shot makes everything super simple to pick up. Even if, like me, you've got no idea what each club is called and what they're fore.

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Sun, 14 Apr 2019 14:00:00 +0100

For anyone who's played Moss, the opening moments of Ghost Giant will seem rather familiar. You, a ghostly presence, awaken in a quiet woodland area above a small body of water. In front of you is the game's tiny protagonist who, after a few moments of initial shock, soon comes to regard you as a friend and ally in their journey.

Ghost Giant also shares Moss's incredible production values, bringing you ultra detailed dioramas that are a joy to inhabit and tinker around in. Sadly, as you'll see near the end of this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner, Ghost Giant's reliance on motion controls takes some of the sheen off of this wonderfully presented game - or at least it does for me thanks to the relatively small area in which I'm able to play VR.

Ghost Giant may be reminiscent of Moss in its opening moments but it soon becomes clear that its gameplay is radically different. While you're in full control of Quill throughout her adventures, Louis, the boy-hero of Ghost Giant, makes his own way around his world and you, the titular Ghost Giant, can only go along for the ride.

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Wed, 10 Apr 2019 14:35:00 +0100

This week, a series of gifs enticed me to take a look at Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, a game that looks like what might happen if the cast of Morph decided to start doing medieval reenactments. Amusing as it looked with its googly eyes and shonky physics, I'll admit I came to it with a hefty dose of scepticism - the term simulator often being synonymous with 'a bit rubbish'.

I mean no disrespect to the Farming Simulators or hardcore flight sims of this world, of course - I'm talking about the stripe of games like Goat Simulator that rely on being just the right side of broken and hoping the one gag remains funny for longer than ten minutes (many of them struggle).

By contrast, there's just about enough of a game to Totally Accurate Battle Simulator's absurd campaign to lift it clear of the competition. While it's hardly going to replace Total War any time soon, there's something compelling about its mission structure; one which presents you with the enemy ranks and grants you a set number of points with which to purchase and field an opposing force. As with any strategy game, picking your units carefully is the key to success, only in this instance you find yourself asking how many mammoths you want to field, or whether a large unit of halflings is preferable to a smaller force of farmers.

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Sun, 24 Mar 2019 14:00:00 +0000

I got absolutely thrashed the first couple of times I played the Space Junkies open beta on PSVR. At first I thought it was just because I was a bit of a noob, but then I twigged the real reason - Space Junkies is cross-play between PS4 and PC.

PC players, it turns out, are able to use motion controls that allow them to dual wield and aim with two weapons independently. PSVR players on the other handed are limited to a bizarre control scheme that sees you aiming and moving with the DualShock 4 only. This is something that takes a little while to get used to, as you'll be able to see in this week's Ian's VR Corner.

Now, before I recorded this week's episode, I did figure out that you could turn off cross-play between both platforms, so you'll actually be able to watch me get some rather satisfying wins. What you won't be able to see me turn off however is the God-awful snap-turning, but more on that after the video...

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Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:00:00 +0000

It's pretty safe to say that Battlefield 5 performed below expectations, even though its reviews were mostly positive. With physical sales in launch week down more than half on Battlefield 1, it seemed like fans were tiring of the churn and many of them were deserting the series for the greener pastures of the ever expanding battle royale genre.

Even I, a seasoned Battlefield player who has enjoyed every other game in the series, decided to skip this one after finding it underwhelming at a Gamescom preview event. However, after going hands on with Firestorm, Battlefield 5's take on the battle royale genre, I don't mind admitting that I'll be picking up a copy specifically to play that mode.

Firestorm lives in the space between PUBG and Call of Duty: Blackout. There's a sense of realism and tension there that war-sim fans will appreciate, but occasionally the action can ramp up in such a way that it starts to leans towards the arcadey-end of the spectrum. This means anyone who's turned off by the cartoony antics of Fortnite or the intense speed of Apex Legends will feel right at home in Firestorm, but thanks to the ease of its loot system, casual players should also be able to pick up the game with relative ease.

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Sun, 17 Mar 2019 14:00:00 +0000

Beat Saber is an honest-to-goodness VR masterpiece that recently became one of the first VR games in the world to have sold over 1 million copies.

The core mechanic; chopping virtual blocks with virtual swords to a pumping soundtrack is as simple as it is brilliant and if I'm demoing VR to a newcomer, Beat Saber is always top of the pile. This is mainly due to how incredible it feels to play but also because it's just so easy to get to grips with. And I mean, come on, a game that lets you wield lightsabers like some kind of badass, drum 'n' bass Jedi? How could that not be the height of awesomeness?

Obviously the phenomenal success of Beat Saber was bound to spawn imitators sooner or later, so who better to try its hand at some VR rhythm action than Harmonix, the company behind Guitar Hero, Rockband and Dance Central.

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How to Craft Weapons and Tools in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
Learn how to defend yourself and evolve to toolmaking with these tips for Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.

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IGN’s Hellbound: Episode 2 of an Early Look at Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus
IGN gets an early look at the upcoming Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus from D&D Game Designer Kate Welch and special guest player Tyler Jacobson.

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Control Debug Tool Reveals Possible DLC Focusing on Side Character
Control just came out, but a YouTuber has managed to find a reference to possible DLC focusing on a side character.

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NASCAR Heat 4 Launch Trailer
Keep those left turns comin'!

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Solasta: Crown of the Magister Might Be the D&D Video Game We Deserve
Tactical Adventures’ upcoming party-based fantasy RPG is the closest thing I’ve seen to a faithful translation of the beloved tabletop game.

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YouTubers Uncover Hidden GTA San Andreas Cheat Codes
The developers behind the San Andreas mobile port left a breadcrumb trail of hidden cheats and secrets that may have been used to test the game.

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Yakuza 7's Turn-Based Battles Still Let You Use Bicycles as Weapons
Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama has gone into greater detail on how Yakuza 7's combat will work in a series of tweets.

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Dragon’s Dogma: The Most Influential Game No One Ever Copied
We talk to Hideaki Itsuno about his strangest creation - and why no one's stolen its ideas.

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The Outer Worlds' New Trailer Shows Off Corporate Life...and Death
The latest trailer for Obsidian's interplanetary RPG shows off the sites and scares of multiple planets.

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The Next Smash Bros Ultimate Character May Be From an SNK Game
The next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate character could be someone from Metal Slug, King of Fighters, or even Samurai Shodown. SNK's catalog is immense, so it's anyone's guess.

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