Friday, November 30, 2012

Game Review: Payday The Heist

Hello there my dear thieves!
Today I'll be talking about one very unique shooter game called Payday The Heist. I will NOT talk about Wolf Pack DLC since i do not have it.

A bit about the game and developers.
We all like to daydream about how awesome would it be to rob a bank every now and then. Easy money and not much work to do. Well, Payday The Heist lets you do exactly that.
Payday The Heist is a game published by  Sony Online Entertainment but it was developed by OVERKILL software.

About Gameplay. 
Payday is a game that will look alike Left 4 Dead 2 to every gamer who has ever played it. In Payday you work in a team of 4 people to do your mission. In stead of zombies, your enemies are policemen and swats. There are currently seven different heist, each making you use a different strategy. Sometimes even weapons. In Payday The Heist you level up by completing heists and obtaining money which are actually experience. Leveling up will give you new weapons and modifications. There are three skill trees in Payday, Assault, Support and Sharpshooter. As you gain level, you lever up one of those skills. You may chose which one by pressing tab and then clicking buttons 1, 2 or 3. Assault gives you more ammo, bigger damage and so on and on, while Support gives you shotguns, more crew bonuses and other stuff. I have played 30+ hours of Payday and yet I've never leveled up my sharpshooter skill since i think its kind of pointless to have a sniper in this game. But yea, Sharpshooter skill gives you sniper.

In Payday your main enemies are SWATs. They start attacking you when you get spotted, and they always come in waves. Some waves are long, and others are short. On normal difficulty you usually have about 30 seconds between each wave, while on Overkill difficulty wave's are every 5 or more seconds. So yea, law doesn't allow you to breath in peace... There are several types of swats, from normal swat to a "bulldozer" which is a heavy-armored and heavy-armed swat. They usually come 1-2 in a pack. On Overkill there can even be up to five of them at the same moment. Three special swats are Buldozer, Taser and a Cloaker. Taser uses electricity  to make you unable to move nor aim. After few seconds you fall on the floor, helpless. Cloaker comes to you quietly and then hits you with an electrified stick. You instantly fall on the floor without being able to shoot. FBI agents aren't much of a threat, they just jump in between waves to save hostages.

In case that you get downed in Payday, your team-mates have about 30 seconds to rise you back up. While you are downed you can't move but usually can shoot, so make sure to help your friends by shooting enemy, so they could help you! Though, if you are still being shot at when you are downed, after few bullets you won't even be able to shoot. In case that your friends don't "revive" you in those 30 seconds, you are taken into custody. I am not sure how long are you forced to stay there, but I think its about 2 minutes. After 2 minutes you instantly respawn close to your friends. In case that you shoot civilians, you get a penalty which makes your custody last longer. Of course, after a while an NPC named Bain (who is actually a guy who makes a whole heist plan) is able to make a deal with the law forces. So after few seconds (usually about 30 seconds to a minute) you are able to trade a civilian so your friend could instantly respawn back.

Each Heist is different. In one heist you need to rob world's biggest bank, while on the other mission you need to take a blood example of an infected person. But I'll talk about that in the Story section bellow.

Graphic and Audio
Payday has wonderful graphic, and yet It isn't a heavy game to run. In the option menu i get up to 150 FPS, while in the game itself it's always around 60-70 FPS in the biggest combat. There are great details on pictures, guns, SWATs, your team-mates and anything else. Graphic is really great!  Songs are so freakin addicting that I love to beat heists just to listen to them! As soon as i get few extra € I'm gonna buy the soundtrack DLC hehe.

As I've said earlier, each Heist in Payday requires its own tactic. Each heist also has its own story. In First World Bank you walk into a bank quietly and then take it over. On Heat Street you have been back stabbed by your own friend, so you have to chase him down, set his van on fire and then take him and the money that he stole from you.

Panic Room is a map where you walk into a drug dealer house and try to make a nice deal. While they are trying to make a deal with you, you start to shoot at them and kill them one by one. Your plan was, from the very beginning, to rob their vault. Large, large vault.

On Green Bridge you have to find a guy by searching swat transport cars. Once you do that you need to take him up to the roof and wait for an airplane (yea, AIRPLANE. Not a helicopter!) to pick him up. In my opinion, that is one of funniest things to see in Payday.

Diamond Heist, on the other hand, can be done in hard or easy way. So far I've only managed to do it once in easy way. If you chose hard way, it means that you sneak all over the building to search for alarm boxes. Once you turn three of them down, all you have to do is steal the diamonds. Easy way makes you start the heist and just fight your way to alarm boxes, wait about two to three minutes for them to finish and then take the money.

Slaughter House is a heist on which you make an ambush for SWATs who are driving a money transport with them. You literally push the transportation vehicle into the building, then wait to open the vehicle's doors and then you carry the gold out of the building. This is one hard, yet easy heist.

And last but not least, No Mercy hospital heist. On this heist you go into the No Mercy hospital from Left 4 Dead. Your objective is to get a positive blood sample from an infected victim. As in Diamond Heist you have easy and hard way to do this. Hard way means that you trigger the heist on beginning, grab a teddy bear, set him on sealed doors and then just wait and kill swats. Once the Teddybear has done his work, you need to decide between three other sealed doors. You need to keep unsealing all three until you find the infected guy.
Easy way, though, is easier but requires more skill. Easy way is the Safe approach in which you make sure that all civilians are tied so they can't trigger the alarm, then you get into doctor's clothing and go to the currently unsealed room. There you will be nicely greeted with a sweet Blondie npc who will tell you everything she knows about three unsealed victims. Once you decide which one is the infected, you cut the security line of it so the doors don't get sealed and then you just get the blood and do your best to find the positive samples as fast as you can. During that, there are countless waves of Swat attacks so you better be prepared! Also, this is my favorite heist since L4D is one of my favorite games, hehe.

Do note that there are a lot of secret levels as well! Though, I have never done any of them so I can't tell you anything about them.

Pros, cons and final grade.
- Wonderful graphic, yet the game runs incredibly smooth.
- Great audio tracks.
- Various heists that do have random encounters each time you play them.
- Random chance of meeting Bill from L4D in No Mercy hospital.
- Various guns.
- Easy to use skill tree.
- Five different difficulties which make this game even better!
- Fun that keeps on going and going.

- I did say that it's very fun, but after a decent amount of runs through the heists, It kind of gets boring.
- Some head shots do not count so you need to make two or three of them.

Final Grade: 9/10

Extra info: Payday is a great game and I recommend it to everyone! I was thinking of making a gameplay of it done by Syphio, Merkava and me, but I didn't know if you guys might like it or not, so I'm gonna let you decide if you want to see it or not.

Thank you, all of you for reading!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Game Review and giveaway: Fortix 2

Heya folks! Today I'll be writing about something slightly different than what I usually write about. I'm gonna write about an arcade called Fortix 2!

A bit about the game and developers.
Fortix 2 is a game published by Nemesys Games studios! They are the same studio behind a game that i reviewed about a month ago, Ignite. Fortix 2 is a sequel to a game called Fortix, which is not published by the same company and thus I still haven't played it.

About Gameplay. 
Fortix 2 is an arcade game in which you are a knight who is trying to make one demon leave his kingdom by moving in straight lines. Of course, there always has to be something that is trying to battle against you to stop you from doing so. In this game those are dragons, orgs, bats, and a towers (which are actually turrets).

Some creatures have different types. For example there are three types of dragons. Green dragon, bone dragon and black dragon, each of them doing something different. Green dragons are just dumb and they just roam the map, maybe accidentally hitting you. Bone dragons sense when you get out of safe area and instantly start to fly towards you to eat you alive. Black dragons are my biggest enemies..  They are very fast, smart and they spit fire which is very hard to dodge.

Orgs just walk around the fortress. Fortress is guarded by towers which throw rocks or fire arrows at you. And bats follow your safe line. Which means that even though you are safe from all other creatures, bats can still kill you in safe area as well.
To get rid of a monster you have to make a square over them which will instantly banish them.

There are also some doors that you sometimes need to open by gathering keys on the map, since you can't actually go over the wall. And there are some power ups which grant you some bonus speed, extra life or maybe freeze enemy creatures for a short period of time. During all that time your main mission is to conquer the map by walking over it and destroying monsters on it.

To be able to finish the mission you need to destroy all turrets and catch all the red shields with an axe in them. That is your main mission. Killing all creatures on the map will only give you extra points.

Graphic and Audio
Graphic is very cartoony, but it's very fun to play something that looks slightly different than other games that I have played so far. During all my gameplay i only heard about three different music tunes and all three of them sounded like those tunes that you hear in any Medieval movies or games. Very nice and catchy sounds indeed!

Pros, cons and final grade.
- Fortix 2 is very fun to play, and maps look very nice.
- The game is easy enough for it to be very fun to children, while also being difficult enough to make adults play it until they beat it!
- Medieval music fits great into the game.
- You can change your character's icon.

- The game is very short.
- Sometimes you step out of the safe zone so little that you can't even see it, which sometimes leads to unexpected death. (Happened to me several times)

Final grade: 8/10

Extra info: Fortix 2 is very fun, short game and I recommend you to buy it if you have few €. In case you'd like to try your luck by trying to win it, sure! All you have to do is either subscribe to my blog or write a lot of comments and visit very often, and I'll invite you to my private Steamgifts group!

If you are in the group already, join the giveaway here: Fortix 2 group giveaway.

Thank you, Developers, for giving me three copies of Fortix to give away!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Game Review: Sanctum

Hello Ladies and Gents! Today I'll be writing about something a bit different.. Of course, it's another indie game, BUT, very different indie game indeed! And the name of this game is: Sanctum!

A bit about the game and developers.
Sanctum is a game which is published by Coffee Stain Studios. They are indie developing and publishing studio with currently only one game. Honestly, I don't think that they have any kind of plan for any future games, but I really think that they should make something more, because in my opinion, Sanctum is a great game and it is a great start for something bigger and more popular!

Now, Sanctum isn't game as we are used to. Yea, its a FPS. But It's a tower defense FPS. And I may be wrong, but in my opinion and with my knowledge, this is unique tower defense FPS. And as soon as you rode that you thought "oh that idiot, he never heard of Dungeon Defenders..." and here, you are wrong. I did hear about Dungeon Defenders and i still think that Sanctum is unique, because Sanctum is a Sci-fi game that is in future and you use guns, snipers, rocket launchers to kill creatures that kind of (not really) look like mechs... They look like aliens but if you think hard enough, they might look like mechs.
And Dungeon Defenders is based in fantasy theme with goblins, orcs, mages and swords. But that's a different game so nobody cares about it for now.

About Gameplay. 
As I told you a moment ago, Sanctum is a tower defense game. Which means that there are a lot of waves. Your main mission is to protect one big, round blue ball. The ball probably has a name, but since it wasn't mentioned anywhere (maybe it was in the tutorial) I have completely forgot it.You have to defend it from various creatures such as weird creatures with tentacles that fly, weird looking dragons, some kind of alien that looks like that alien from Falling Skies and so on and on. Those aliens will try to come to your ball and destroy it through the shortest route they can find. That's why your are here. You need to build blocks to make the way for Aliens as long as it can possibly be. After you are done with that, you need to build various weapons inside of those blocks (or on top of them.).

In Sanctum the maps aren't as easy as they are in other tower defense games. In Sanctum there could be some old objects on the path which means that you can't build any kind of barricade there, but Monsters might walk around it. Now that seems like a bad thing, but i like it. It means that you need to think even harder to be able to win. But don't worry, the game shows you where exactly will the monsters walk so it makes the game a lot easier and more fun!

Sanctum has various weapons and floor modifications starting from a small assault rifle that you use to kill creatures, all the way to anti-air creature weapons that are not controlled by players. Players can usually chose 3 weapons that they will use in game for themselves, and at least 5 more constructions that they will use to fight creatures with. The guns that you use by yourself are very good and powerful, but everybody needs a bit of help and that's why constructions are made. You can make a floor that will slow enemies down so you can shoot at them more accurately, or you can build a mortar that will shoot at enemies as soon as they get into range. Thought, of course, even constructed weapons might miss, so don't relay on them fully!

All constructed weapons and the weapons have weakness that you have to be aware of. For example, shotgun is very powerful but it can't hit anything after like 10 meters. And it has a long, long reloading. Aliens also have weaknesses. There are different types of aliens raging from tiny, fast but with very low hp, all the way to those big ones with very thick armor, very slow movement speed and a decent amount of hp. You need to take all that into your plan when you are constructing an area for the aliens to walk through while you slowly kill all of them.

Another, very surprising thing about Sanctum is that even thought it's an indie game, it always has few servers and games up and running! That's very rare to see lately with an indie game. And Multiplayer is very fun too! Only problem about it is lag issues due to hosters. So don't blame the game for it! Blame hosters!

Graphic and Audio
The graphic in this game is great! The sight, sky, nature.. Everything about it has passed under great in my opinion. Even the creatures look great! Only bad thing is that character's breasts are very small so nobody can blame breasts for being distracted and losing xD . At first sight I thought that music will get very boring in this game after some time, but I was very wrong! The music is always very calm, but yet awesome, so I never even thought about turning the sound off. I am even thinking of buying the game's soundtrack!

Pros, cons and final grade.
- Unique gameplay.
- Cheap and yet very fun.
- Maps aren't as easy to beat as they are in all other tower defense games.
- Sounds and visuals are amazing!
- Great amount of different structures (constructed weapons) and user-owned weapons.
- Teleporting to any teleport on the map (you can build your own teleport anywhere you want.)

- Too many DLC's. In my opinion, if all the DLC's were free and just inserted into the game, there would be a lot more players.
- There are no game-hosted servers. Everything is user-hosted so there may be lag.
- One game takes a lot of time to beat... This game is very time consuming.
- Game is very hard to learn for beginners. Thought, once you learn it you can beat any map on any difficulty!

Final grade: 8/10

Extra info: In case that you are looking for a relatively cheap and yet very fun game to play with your friends / mates / clan buds, this is the game for you! It's cheap, and yet it is good enough to be played over and over again until you starve to death! This game gets my full recommendation if you are low on budget and you are searching for something that will entertain you until you get those 120€ to buy BF3 and Skyrim!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Game Review: King Arthur II - The Role-playing Wargame.

Hello Ladies and Gentleman!

Today I'll be reviewing King Arthur II - The Role-playing Wargame!

A bit about the game and developers.
King Arthur II is a game made by Paradox Studios, the same company behind the famous Magicka, Mount & Blade collections and the newly released and yet very loved, War of the Roses. King Arthur II is a long awaited sequel to the previous game called King Arthur (who figured?). I have never played King Arthur, so i can't tell you anything about it, but from what i've learnt from playing King Arthur II, the first and second game are connected.

About Gameplay.
King Arthur II is a Turn based, fantasy strategy game. Well, wargame to be more exact. In this game you can build just few buildings that you don't even see, and they only boost your army up. Or give you more magic deffence or offence.
For as long as I have been playing the game I have never seen any other place to build your army except in the army camp, which you can set up almost anywhere you go. You can even use your turn to walk over map, do a battle or two if you manage, and then at the very end of your turn (when your unit already lost  the movement option) you can set up a camp to retrain your hurt units which will then put your current unit size to maximum (for example if you can have 120 archers and after the battle you have 30, you put the unit under training and you'll have 120 archers again) or to recruit even newer units to your group. All those units are able to fight starting from your next turn, which is in my opinion great! No wait time needed.

The reason why this game is called a "role-playing game" is because it really is an Role-Playing game. In this game you follow the storyline in which you are forced to make your own decisions. You usually have few choices that you can make, which will then be an impact on the future battle. Or maybe you will chose so good answers that you won't even need to go to the battles. And sometimes you should just go with a safer option and just fight, in stead of walking into a trap and losing your troops or get some sicknesses or something. There are, of course, some missions on which you will not get into a battle no meter what choice do you get, but there will still be a difference in your reward. Or maybe you won't even get any.

As i stated before, King Arthur II is a fantasy game. Which means that you don't only battle humans in this game. You battle various monsters which include undead warriors, furious battle mages, large spiders or some weird flying worms or even dragons!
That made me like the game more because you can see the world of which we can only daydream of.

Graphic and Audio
One surprising thing about this game is the audio. The songs are put so nicely that you just can't get bored of them. They fit every situation that you are currently in. And while you are on the map area the songs are somewhat peaceful and calm. I loved the songs very much.
Graphic on the other hand... Is absolutely amazing! There are tones of different mountains, tones of different units and tones of details on each unit! The land scope is very beautiful and in my opinion, it looks amazing for a strategy game. Very amazing indeed! All creatures, demons, dragons, humans, castles, spikes and all the trees are just gorgeous in this game.

In King Arthur II your main mission is to find a healer that will heal your father, Arthur himself, from a deadly sickness. You need to travel across the land, talk to various Lords, be in good diplomatic relationships with them, and at the same time you have to fight the evil demons, undead, and other Lords who do not like you nor wish to help you.
You may think that your search is easy, but it's not. First you need to find one healer which is hard to find. Once you find him and travel to that location, you find out that he has left that castle a while ago, and thus you need to go after him. Once you go to the other castle you find out that he left few moments (which i think are actually days) ago and that you need to help the Lord of the castle to deal with demonic possessions. And once you finally manage to catch the healer, he tells you that he can't help and thus you need to find Merlin's apprentice. I didn't finish the game due to a massive lag that I had because of my weak CPU. But I think that a hardcore gamer should finish this game within 5 hours, while a normal gamer should take no more then 10.

Pros, cons and final grade.
- Wonderful graphic and audio.
- Units have a lot of detail.
- You are able to chose your own choices.
- You unlock new units as you progress.
- Unit building / training is instant.
- The game is in a Fantasy world even thought you play it on United Kingdom.

- The game is very CPU dependent so i had a massive lag.
- Storyline mission is a bit too short.
- No multiplayer.
- The items that your character wears are not shown on him. He always has default armor.

Final grade: 8/10

Extra info:
King Arthur II is really a fabulous game. If you are searching for some good storyline and you don't have time for something too long and time consuming, King Arthur II is a great game for you. Great game indeed!
If you want my advice in buying or not buying this game: go for it. Trust me, you will not regret it!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Game Review: Left 4 Dead 2

Hello Ladies and Gents!

Whats better than to spend Halloween by reading a review about a zombie shooting game?
Today I'll be writing a review of the best zombie shooting game made so far, called Left 4 Dead 2.

A bit about the game and developers.
Left 4 Dead 2 was made by a pretty famous company called Valve. Valve are the same developers who made Left 4 Dead, Half Life series, Counter Strike series, Team Fortress series and Portal series. They also run the worlds best gaming application called Steam (even thought i'm pretty sure that you know all of this already.)

 About Gameplay.
In Left 4 Dead 2 you take a role of one of 8 characters. Those 8 characters are divided in two groups of 4. Each group has three guys and one girl. Original L4D2 group contains: Ellis, Rochelle, Nick and Coach. After some time Valve decided to add a DLC which added all L4D maps and characters into the game, so "new" characters are: Bill, Zoey, Francis and Louis.
There is no any boost to any of the characters, It's just your personal look throught that campaign. Players can't change their character unless they return to the game lobby again. There are all together 13 Campaigns in L4D2 ad each campaing has about 3-4 maps. So yea, that's a lot of maps to go throught!

There are few different game modes too. There are Campaign, Survival, Versus, Realism, Realism Versus and Scavenge.

In Campaign you only beat the campaigns. Nothing too hard nor too new. In Survival you are on just one small map and your mission is to survive as long as you possibly can while hordes of zombies keep attacking you over and over again. And no, it is not in waves. They all attack you at once.

In Versus you play against other players, 4 vs 4. One team gets to be survivors while the other team gets to be infected. Infected players can't chose which zombie do they wanna be, its always random. Survivors mission is to get to the very end of the map as fast as they can and in as big number as they can (all four would be the best), while infected team needs to do everything they can to stop them by killing all of them.

You may think that It's easy but you're wrong. There is low chance that you get awesome zombie combo on the very beginning such as Jockey, Charger, Smoker and Hunter. But If you get that combo, if the team is trained well and if your timing is awesome, you can stop survivors within the first ten seconds. Charger charges at one guy, Hunter jumps on the other, Jockey does the same to the other survivor while smoker pulls the fourth. And Woala! You have won. As soon as the survivors reach the safe room or infected kill all the survivors, teams change sides. They re-do the same map again, but infected are now survivors and survivors are now infected. The team who finishes the map with most points start out as survivors in the next round.

Realism mode is the same as campaign mode but just a bit harder. In Realism mode you do not see glowing outlines of your friends when they are behind a wall or somewhere far. If you get separated, you will be lost for quite a while since you can't see where did they go.
Realism Versus is Versus but in realism mode (duh o-o)

In Scavenge mode your mission is to gather gas tanks as fast as you can and pour them into a car / generator / where ever, while hordes of zombies attack you non-stop. Yea, these zombies only make your game harder...

And final mode which is very un-needed is called "The Mutation".
Mutation is actually just a mode which Valve changes every month or two. They put up new modes in it and let you test it out. If community likes it, Valve leaves it in L4D2. If community dislikes it, they remove it and forget about it. They changed that mode now thought. Now you can play all the old mutations without needing to download any mods for it. I like that because I really liked the head shot mode. You could only kill zombies by head shooting them. Very hard but very real as well!

In Left 4 Dead 2 there are various weapons as well. There is Ak47, M16, Uzi, two different types of handguns, two snipers and few more weapons. Don't worry, there are various melee weapons too such as Katana, Chainsaw, Axe, cooking pot and a cricket bat. There is no better feeling then hitting a witch with a cooking pot! If you are lucky you might even run into an MP5 which is saw only once so far in my 100+ hours of gameplay.

Graphic and Audio
Graphic in Left 4 Dead 2 is nothing special but I love it. It's not something that looks too realistic, but it is also not something that looks cartoonish. And the blood looks great too! The maps are great, scary, dark and sometimes even slightly confusing which makes the game even more fun.
Music in L4D2 is also nothing special, but it's very catchy! I often find myself mumbling the beginning screen song over TS when I'm with my clan.

Don't read this if you are against few spoilers!!!!! Awesome thing about L4D2 is that all the missions are connected to each other. The end of your first mission is the beginning of second and so on and on. The latest campaign in L4D makes Bill die. And one of newest missions in L4D2 (The Parrish) makes you meet the L4D survivors and they help you survive while you put down the bridge that L4D survivors raised.  You can also find Bill's dead body in the generator room.. Poor Bill.. He was my favorite character...

Pros, cons and final grade.
- Zombies.. And a lot of them.
- Various weapons.
- A lot of missions, maps and an official add-on support which allows you to add custom made maps.
- Great story.
- Versus mode which makes this game rather unique.
- New, totally free DLC's.
- All L4D maps and characters have been added to L4D2 fully free of charge.

- NPC survivors are kind of stupid sometimes.
- There are often no official dedicated servers, so you gotta play on best community one. And sometimes those are just terrible.

Final grade: 9/10

Extra notes
Left 4 Dead 2 is really not expensive and It's one of those games which you will play over and over and over and over again until your death. It's very addicting and fun game, and if you meet some new friends or if you join a good clan the game will be even more fun to play! So really, if you can spare few €, buy this game! And L4D2 is on 75% discount very often, so i suggest you to wait until then if you can't afford the full price.

Thank you all for reading and commenting on my blog!
Have a great day,