Reject Review – Dead Island: Riptide

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Dead Island was a glitch-ridden shitload of fun and Riptide could have advanced that loveable formula. But it added the one thing that undid everything: Water. It added fucking water.

A trivial addition, it may first seem. A harmless new terrain packed with pockets of splash-happy fun with your friends. There’s boats, too, for zipping around the swamplands and flattening the undead. How we laughed as their bodies ground against the hull! How we cackled as their armless remains flailed in our wave trail! We felt unstoppable.

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Reject Review – AMY

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AMY is a game that crawled out of the 90s, looting cliches from the surrounding graves of the Survival Horror Cemetery as it shambled its way out and back to market. “Tight corridors? I’ll take that.” “YOU ARE DEAD screen? Eh, it can be adapted.” “Key card puzzles? Great!” Classic Resident Evil’s grave was unrecognisable once it’d finished, despite Capcom’s graffiti still marking the headstone. AMY intended to plunder these graves lovingly, throwing together all its spoils to create the perfect pastiche to the classics of survival horror, but the well-meaning thoughts didn’t co-operate with its half-dead hands. While skipping fences it also managed to stop in the Action Horror Graveyard and grab Dead Space’s back-mounted health-light.

This amalgamation of 90s cliches is presented under the premise of a comet hitting Earth and causing a zombie apocalypse within seconds. I’m unsure as to where they dug up that idea from, maybe it’s their own creation, but it’s stupid. Lana and Amy, the two main characters, are on a train, Amy is given her Christmas present early so it can be used as a mechanic a few hours later, and then a comet hits and everyone is zombies.

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Reject Review – Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

RRRaccoonEvilIt was dark. Very, very dark. I fiddled with the brightness until the symbol that should “barely be visible” was practically staring me down. But it was still dark. Not the kind of dark where you’re put on edge for fear of something pouncing out of the shadows, but the kind of dark where you can see fuck all and you’re bumping in to the zombies rather than killing them. It’s not helped by all six playable characters being cloaked in black, the weapons are black, it’s always night, and… everything’s black. We complain about Greybrown shooters, yet here I am, asking for a bit o’ brown.

Anyway, Operation Raccoon City – another four-person co-op romp given to the guy without even one friend who’d put themselves through this with him. You’re an Umbrella agent out to recover some research and eventually stop some classic Resident Evil characters you wish you could play as. Obviously your squad gets caught up in a few scraps along the way, but standard and set-piece battles alike are pretty uninteresting.

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Reject Review – Constantine: the Videogame

Reject Reviews: They make them bad. We make them funny. This week: Constantine: the Videogame: To hell and back and to hell and back and to hell and sodding back.

At first I looked forward to the cutscenes, because they got me away from the combat. Then I looked forward to the combat, because it got me away from the voice-acting.

And then I stopped looking forward to anything.

Constantine: the Videogame is what the fans call an over-looked gem, the generous call a forgettable mediocrity, and I call proof that you can piss in a urinal and make it dirtier. The film was a desecration of the comics. The game, I am delighted to tell you, is a desecration of the film. It’s like we’ve got desecration squared up in this joint. If you ever looked at the film and thought ‘wow, they could not have shown that IP any less respect’, then this is your lucky fucking day, baby.

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The Last of Us Could be THE Survival Game

Written 11/06/2012. First posted here.

Taking place twenty years after a pandemic ravaged the population, The Last of Us follows the story of Joel: an average survivor hired to smuggle 14 year-old Ellie from a military-run quarantine camp. Rather a generic zombie game, right? On the surface, yes, but its true depth and individuality is all in the execution.

The current market is plagued with post-apocalyptic survival games, a horde of indistinct titles with no real life. There is the occasional special release with a greater sense of humanity than its mindless companions, though even those fail to suspend my disbelief. Many try, and many succeed in the small details, only to stumble at the finish.

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Dead Space 3 Co-Op: Will Moving in Pairs Cancel Out Scares?

Written 31/05/2012. First posted here.

Issac and his mysterious red-suited companion gear up for some more alien vivisection.

A couple of days ago we first heard of Dead Space 3 through the teaser trailer for a new ‘graphic novel’. It wasn’t outright mentioned to be Dead Space 3, but all signs pointed that way. Now, brand new screenshots have come to light and look to feature the new red-armour donning character shown in the teaser, which makes it rather easy to form a link between the two. But what does this new character mean, and where’s our Isaac? Well, he’s in the screenshots too, feeling like the unluckiest videogame character ever at this time, and the featuring of two major-looking characters can be indicative of quite a bit…

Dead Space is a series renowned for its visceral horror, and Clarke’s latest outing brought multiplayer into the mix, pitting a squad of humans against a team of brutal Necromorphs. And now, judging from these leaked screenshots, it seems Dead Space 3 may be adding co-op to what has been – up until now – a single player experience. But is this a good addition? Will it detract from Dead Space’s signature horror? Or will it be a well-implemented, worthwhile addition?

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Project Zomboid Review – Dying Is Fun

Written 21/11/2011. First posted here.

The word of the day, boys and girls, is ‘bleak’. Synonyms include: desolate, dismal, disheartening, and dear god let it end.

Today’s colour will be purple; as in prose. Not quite ‘limitless abysses of inexplicably coloured twilight and bafflingly disordered sound’ but with more than a touch of the ultraviolet nonetheless. This is purely because it fits the feel of the game, and isn’t the slightest bit really fun to write.

Project Zomboid is a post-apocalyptic survival game from Indie Stone. It’s in open development, so this review should be absolutely useless by Christmas, but as I type this we’re on version 0.1.5d, it’ll cost you £4.99, and the developers were robbed just over a month ago and could really use the cash.

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