REVIEW: Rime (Nintendo Switch)

    • Released: 2017
    • Played on: Nintendo Switch
    • Also available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4
    • Time to get into: 2 Hours
    • Time to complete: 8 Hours
    • Multiplayer: No

 

When this was originally released in mid-year 2017, I thought it looked great and it was receiving some praise in reviews. However, I forced myself to wait for it to come out on Switch, due to my ‘policy’ of not playing a game that I can play on Nintendo‘s multi-purpose console, on a console that is chained to a TV. As it turned out this was an error on my part for two reasons: firstly, it took absolutely ages for the Switch port to arrive (it was finally released in mid-November) and secondly, when it did, it brought with it a few technical problems that almost ruin the game. It’s the first time that fixating on the Switch version of a game has backfired on me and it ran well enough for me to still be able to experience the two things Rime offers: puzzles and story.2018011613274200-552353331B48AB6CE514D1402342184E

Puzzles
Although you are running around an island exploring, the reality is that Rime is a puzzle game. If you’re the kind of person to go after collectables then there might be some value in checking every dark corner but the main thread of the game is; solve puzzle – move to next puzzle – repeat. There is no real threat in the game – those that do exist, like falling too far or getting snatched up by a massive bird (don’t ask), don’t do you any harm and you immediately get put back where you were just stood to carry on. Essentially all the other aspects of the gameplay are just window dressing on top of the puzzles.2018011214471200-552353331B48AB6CE514D1402342184E

Those puzzles are decent enough though. Most of the puzzle mechanics here have been seen before in video games but overall Rime uses and combines them well. You are asked to do things like move blocks to certain places, block light from falling on things, collect keys to open doors etc. One thing I did like though is the use of shouting – one of the buttons causes your character to shout out which can be used to activate things – usually lights. In truth it’s not really any different than any other button press but it impresses in two ways. Firstly simply as something a little different. It’s enjoyable when a few shouts are needed in fairly short order to just run about shouting at everything – let’s be honest, we all want to do this in real life from time to time! Secondly the fact that a shout can carry a short distance, rather than another form of activating something like pressing a button or standing in a certain place, means that you can use it to activate things you can’t reach, or activate more than one thing at a time. Without giving anything away, Rime finds a few clever uses of this and figuring out these puzzles are some of the most rewarding in the game. Overall, the puzzling is good – difficult enough to be interesting without ever becoming frustrating.2018011717411700-552353331B48AB6CE514D1402342184E

Story
There is no dialogue in Rime and the story is revealed to you very very slowly indeed through semi-interactive cut scenes. As always on this blog, I will steer very, very clear of spoilers but there are two things worth noting. Firstly, this is not a deep and multi-layered story. It is more about mood – as it the whole game, not just the cut scenes. Rather than weave a narrative, Rime focuses on feel – it’s is an emotional journey taking in aspects of beauty, horror, fear, loss and determination. Secondly however, Rime doesn’t seem to be able to quite decide which of these aspects – story or puzzle – it wants to be most. In many ways it reminds me of Old Man’s Journey – that game has the same type of slow-burning, heartfelt story as Rime but where that game is happy for the gameplay to take backseat to the story, Rime is less willing to commit. Perhaps fearing that their story wasn’t as strong, perhaps trying to be more, to satisfy a full console release compared to mobile, one way or another the developer Tequila Works hasn’t fully committed to either and both parts suffer as a result. Neither the story or the puzzling are strong enough to stand up alone, it’s them in combination that holds Rime together.2018011813271300-552353331B48AB6CE514D1402342184E

Problems
Which would be fine, if the game ran solidly. Unfortunately it does not. In general it astounds me that the Switch is clearly capable of running a game as beautiful as Breath of the Wild and yet here we have Rime – which just looks bad by comparison. It feels like your eyes are tired and you can’t see properly. I was regularly blinking, only to discover that it didn’t help – Rime just looks fuzzy. On top of that, those lousy graphics aren’t even solid. You can tell when the game is loading something in the background because the frame rate slows to a crawl for a good few seconds. I guess this is the result of it being ported to the Switch, rather than built for it, but it is close to being ruinous to any enjoyment of the game.2018011717550100-552353331B48AB6CE514D1402342184E

Conclusion
Rime is fairly close to being a great game. The puzzles are never dull and often fun and satisfying. The mood and the story are powerful and well realised across the game as a whole. But I just can’t recommend you play it on Switch. Unless you only play it in docked mode – in which case, what’s great about the Switch version is lost anyway. Basically play it – but on another device!Review3

Click here to purchase the cart for Switch from Amazon.co.uk:

Click here to purchase the disc for Xbox One from Amazon.co.uk:

Click here to purchase the disc for PS4 from Amazon.co.uk:

Click here to purchase a download key for the game on PC from CDKeys.com:
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REVIEW: Rocket League (Nintendo Switch)

  • Released: 2017 (2015 when originally on PC and PS4)
  • Played on: Nintendo Switch
  • Also available on: PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4
  • Time to get into: 5 Minutes
  • Time to complete: 10 Hours, but that’s not really the point!
  • Multiplayer: Yes, local and online

Every now and again someone comes along and does something so simple so well, that the rest are left to sit about wondering how they didn’t manage to nail it. Psyonix‘s Rocket League is the best example of this in gaming in recent times. The set up seems so obvious – it’s football with cars (or soccer, depending on where you are in the world!) – but this simplicity of concept hides a rock solid and surprisingly complex video game that is fun regardless of your set up, skill level or commitment. It truly is a game for everyone.2018013013152800-6F4D679ED7D2A016B654B265B956C5F0

Can I kick it?
From my own experience and from observing others the chances are for your first couple games of Rocket League you will have very little clue what is going on! Maybe once or twice the ball hits your car but essentially you are just driving around, very much on the fringes of the match taking place around you. This is fine, because you are just at the start of a long journey of learning, piece by piece, the intricacies that are built around the basic concept of bunting the ball into the goal. One by one the ideas of driving, boosting, jumping, collecting boost pickups, double jumping etc etc will slot into place in your head and eventually become second nature. All of these aspects work brilliantly together and thankfully Rocket League gives you plenty of space to play and enjoy at whatever stage you are at. The offline ‘Season‘ mode gives you a safe playground to develop your skills early on. To start with it’ll be a surprise when you win on Rookie difficulty but eventually it’ll be a surprise when you lose on All-Star. By then you’ll be more than ready to start getting into the real meat of this experience: online matches.2018013013261300-6F4D679ED7D2A016B654B265B956C5F0

Yes, you can
Rocket League‘s wonderfully smooth and rewarding difficulty curve will only continue when you venture online to play against real people. Further nuances come out of the woodwork; the best defensive lines to take, timing, rocket flying and more. The online experience itself is also second to none. The matches are as solid as your internet connection, easy to get into and you have plenty of options of how you want to play. Really, it puts to shame the online offerings of many blockbuster games. Aside from the standard game (‘Soccar‘!) you can also indulge in some Hoops (basketball with cars) or Snow Day (ice hockey with cars), a game called Dropshot, that is almost impossible to explain to the uninitiated – but it’s fantastic, and more. And most of these different modes you can play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4. 4v4 is literally called ‘Chaos‘ in the game, and the name is apt! All of this can be played offline, online casual or online competitive. No matter what you want out of Rocket League – it has it.2018020113301500-6F4D679ED7D2A016B654B265B956C5F0

Go on then
As if a fantastic, deep video game with options to make sure everyone can enjoy it the way the like wasn’t enough, Rocket League completes the circle with a little sprinkling of magic – customisation. Firstly there is the simple choice of which ‘battle car’ you will choose. I have previously gone through a few of mine and The Boy‘s favourites (here) but once again, there will be something for everyone. There are a number of standard cars, one or two that are unique to the format you are playing on (for example Xbox One has a UNSC Warthog, Switch has Mario and Luigi cars etc) and quite a number that are available as additional purchases. None of the cars are technically better than the others, but you’ll want to choose one that matches your play style. After that you can customise the paint job, things to put on it, the look and sound of the boost and much more. Each type has a few available at the start and over time you unlock more and more as you play. Scoring goals and winning matches is already super rewarding and these unlockables are the icing on the cake.2018013018154700-6F4D679ED7D2A016B654B265B956C5F0

Conclusion
There is basically nothing wrong with Rocket League at all! The only thing holding it back from getting towards the summit of my All Time Top Games List is that it is relatively narrow in scope – it’s all about driving a car into a huge ball. But that scope isn’t so small that it is restrictive and the focus on it has given us a flawless game that is deserving of being played by every gamer. Not only that, but it is a bargain as well! Just get it, end of.

Review5

Click here to purchase the game on cartridge from Amazon.co.uk:

REVIEW: Super Beat Sports

  • Released: 2017
  • Played on: Nintendo Switch
  • Also available on: –
  • Time to get into: 5 Minutes
  • Time to complete: 10 Hours
  • Multiplayer: Yes, local only

At the end of the day, video games are meant to be fun, right? Sure, that fun takes many forms – competition, enjoying a great story, being scared witless even. But sometimes it’s great to have a game that is just fun for fun’s sake – in steps Super Beat Sports. I find it impossible to play this game without a massive grin on my face from beginning to end! Whether playing alone with headphones or in a long and loud 4-player session, Super Beat Sports just brings joy. It’s fantastic.2018011618115400-B5326B1E58931254287CB2E8DA86D794

As you’ll know if you caught my first impressions post on this game, Super Beat Sports – as the name suggests, in fact – combines sports with a music rhythm game. It’s from Harmonix, the company that makes the Rock Band series. In Super Beat Sports though, instead of hitting drum beats or guitar notes you are hitting a baseball with all manner of different bats. Here lies it’s instant appeal – both sports and rhythm come, at least somewhat, naturally to everyone. Smashing a baseball out of the park, on the beat – it’s not a difficult concept to grasp, but it is an absolute ton of fun to nail perfectly over and over again! Within Super Beat Sports there are five mini-games. Each asks you to do a variation on the same sports-in-rhythm concept but the differences are worth digging into separately.2018011013373400-B5326B1E58931254287CB2E8DA86D794

Whacky Bat: 1-2 players, has single player levels
This is the mini-game that mostly closely resembles actual baseball. One or more characters ‘pitch’ balls at you and you have to make sure you’re in the right lane to then hit them back, in time with the music. This is probably the strongest mini-game for the long term – it’s the one that has kept me interested for the longest playing by myself. The harder levels increase the number of lanes and make you keep a hold of two different rhythms at times as the balls come down at different speeds. It’s brilliant.2018011617594900-B5326B1E58931254287CB2E8DA86D794

Net Ball: 1-2 players, has single player levels
This game has nothing to do with netball at all. It’s musical volleyball instead. Compared to Whacky Bat it removes the need to move at all but makes up for it with less warning when it will be your turn to play the ball. The joy here is in the melody you create by nailing it, rather then being locked into the rhythm.2018011618031600-B5326B1E58931254287CB2E8DA86D794

Gobble Golf: 1-2 players, has single player levels
This is more of a memory game – you get played the rhythm and then have to hit the ball in the right places to replicate it. As such it introduces aiming but it is the weakest of the games with single player levels to work through, as it goes by slower than the others. Really only good for multiplayer.2018011618101500-B5326B1E58931254287CB2E8DA86D794

Buddy Ball: 1-4 players, multiplayer only
This is the best multiplayer experience in the game as you can play with a full 4 players and it’s very easy to pick up. You are taking turns to hit the ball back and you can aim to hit it to different characters to change the speed and try and catch out the next player. The musical part of it starts to take back seat as you add players but it is still part of the overall feel.2018011618132100-B5326B1E58931254287CB2E8DA86D794

Rhythm Racket: 1-4 players, multiplayer only
This is the most complex mini-game and the one we’ve played the least. It can work well at times but here the musical element has almost completely gone and been replaced by more gameplay elements, so it loses something of the simple joy that the sports/music mashup creates. Still good, but only as an option – not your go-to mini-game.2018011618183000-B5326B1E58931254287CB2E8DA86D794

Still a 5-trick pony
All of this said, there is one caveat with Super Beat Sports. It’s such fun but, perhaps consequently, does lack depth. Sure, they ramp up the difficulty, but essentially, once you know how to play each game that’s it. This is where it’s strength as a multiplayer title comes in. Playing Whacky Bat with The Boy and laughing as we end up stood on each others heads, or getting into arguments over a game of 4-player Buddy Ball – everything that you’ve ever loved about local multiplayer is here in abundance and never gets old.2018011618205300-B5326B1E58931254287CB2E8DA86D794

Conclusion
The simple fact is that, at this price, this game would be fine if it only included the Whacky Bat game. Everything else can be seen as a bonus. There’s no way to find so much unbridled fun, particularly with friends, anywhere near this price. There’s a demo on the Switch eShop – I defy you to play that and not want to get the game! Fully recommended to anyone with a Nintendo Switch.Review5

REVIEW: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

  • Released: 2017
  • Played on: Nintendo Switch
  • Also available on: –
  • Time to get into: 30 Minutes
  • Time to complete: 35 Hours
  • Multiplayer: Yes, local only

There’s more or less no way in which a mash up of Mario and Rabbids should work. Mario – a beloved, veteran character of the video game industry – and Rabbids – those reviled, childish troublemakers. The fact that it works, and works so well, is a testament both to Nintendo for being willing to put their biggest asset at risk and to Ubisoft for making sure that the injection of the Rabbids was done with respect for the Magic Kingdom and it’s characters. Fans of Mario, fans of the Rabbids and, frankly, fans of video games, should all find this turn-based strategy game both challenging and hilarious.

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The power of three
The majority of your time is spent in turn-based battles with rogue rabbids. You have one move with each of your three chosen characters in every turn and each of those moves is in three parts – movement, attack and special abilities. Movement can be used in defence – for example, hiding Mario behind cover – or attack – like having Peach slide tackle, or ‘dash‘, an enemy. Attack is much as it sounds; get out a weapon and try and cause damage to the enemies. Lastly abilities can be anything from boosting teammate’s health, gaining extra power for a turn or putting up a defensive shield and many more in between. The main bulk of the game is in learning how each of these different attacks and abilities work for each of your characters and then working out how to unleash them in the best way to eliminate the enemies you face. It’s all surprisingly deep and complex for a game full of bright colours and craziness and that combination of challenging gameplay and fun characters is Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle‘s core appeal. In the end I preferred a team of Mario (you can’t change him, but in fairness he’s great anyway), Rabbid Peach (thanks to her team-healing ability) and Peach (once well upgraded, her weapons cause widespread damage) but you’ll be able to play your way, and have fun finding out what that way is.

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What’s happening?
In addition to the battles, the main game offers up puzzle elements and wraps it all in a story line that serves to give all this a point but never takes on any significance of it’s own. In truth, that works well as the stop-start nature of a stream of turn-based battles would make complex story telling difficult. Instead the story is essentially a setting in which to place Mario and the Rabbids – it helps control the fun, if you will. Most of this is down to Beep-O. I won’t try to explain who or what Beep-O is here – you’ll have to find that out for yourself – but Beep-O brings a degree of order to the chaos and drives proceedings along. It’s through this that the game keeps a lid on the potential madness of having tonnes of both good and bad Rabbids marauding through the Magic Kingdom. Lastly, the puzzle elements are mostly fun and only one did I find difficult enough that it became frustrating. It’s mostly moving blocks around in particular orders or lining up paths to travel down. What they do well is serve to break up what might otherwise be the monotony of battle-battle-battle. They are a refreshing change and don’t outstay their welcome.

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Battles with friends
Outside of the main, single player, game, we also have two kinds of multiplayer here – co-op and versus. These both take place in arenas very similar, although not copied out of, the main game. Otherwise there is very little difference on a fundamental level to the gameplay here but the additional level of planning needed and the further things that can be pulled off in the co-op levels are an extra treat. The Boy and I have enjoyed these levels greatly; seeing how far we can jump, how many enemies we can take out in a single turn etc by working together. It’s a shame there isn’t a full co-op campaign but that is more a reflection that I want more of a great game than a criticism of what’s being offered here.

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Conclusion
2017 was completely full of great games and it is a fairly big surprise to see something with the Rabbids in being included in that! But the combination of the charm of Mario and the madness of the Rabbids, all baked into a great turn-based strategy game is amongst the best in one of the best years. It continues to be supported too – The Boy and I are also very excited for the upcoming introduction of Donkey Kong that was revealed in the recent Nintendo Direct Mini! Now is just as good a time as any to jump onto this crazy bandwagon.

Review5

Click here to purchase the game on cartridge from Amazon.co.uk:

REVIEW: FIFA 18 (Nintendo Switch)

  • Released: 2017
  • Played on: Switch 
  • Also available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3
  • Time to get into: 10 Minutes 
  • Time to complete: 80 Hours
  • Multiplayer: Yes, local and online

I spent  time in my First Impressions of FIFA 18 on the Nintendo Switch noting that this version is probably inferior to the one on the other consoles and PC but that, simply, I didn’t care. That continues here, so if you’re looking to understand if you should get this version, you’ll need to look elsewhere. What I will try and answer is: if you like the idea of footy on the go, will this be worth the money? And the answer, despite a few flaws, is an unequivocal yes!2017112717560400-062DD3BC3CF59885A6762E5A30A14CD1

Pass and move
The basic act of playing football works nicely here in FIFA 18. There have been no significant changes over the last few FIFAs – if you’ve played them before you’ll slot straight in. It’s a fully featured game and the Switch version cuts no corners. You can pass, long pass, through ball and shoot with the face buttons as usual and all of the additional little extras like finesse shots and the like are here. In terms of how well the overall flow of play works I can’t criticise FIFA 18 either – I always wonder with a new sports game if it will ultimately force me into trying to score in one particular way over the rest but here, even after 80 hours, I scored the two goals that won me the ‘Champions Cup‘ with a cut back and a towering  header. It’s a decent simulation of football, not just a video game with football superimposed on top. 2017112917490700-062DD3BC3CF59885A6762E5A30A14CD1

Utility player
There are more than enough modes to play and things to win to keep you going here for a very long time. You have all the various tournaments like Leagues and Cups from across the world. You can play through a career, either as a player or a manager. You have online modes, both casual and more serious. And of course you have Ultimate Team if that is your thing. Much like any modern sports game from EA or the 2k series and the like, there is so much content it’s like you are getting multiple games for the price. I spent the majority of my time in Career mode as a manager and I would have been more than happy with the value for money if FIFA 18 offered nothing else on top of that.2017120422150100-062DD3BC3CF59885A6762E5A30A14CD1

A flaw in his game
There are a couple of issues I have with FIFA 18. Firstly, I found that the age-old issue in football games of your players passing to those other than the person you intended to pass to seems to be worse here. I’m not sure if this is the game or perhaps the Joy Con controller’s left stick isn’t that great. I’m inclined to say it’s for former as I’ve not had any issues with any other games but perhaps I’ve never needed quite that so level of precision on Switch before. One way or another, misplaced passes are a large frustration. The second issue is the overall way the game plays. Over and above the actual button pressing its the strategy you have to employ to win. You have to absolutely go for it!  Sensible possession play won’t get you goals and patiently denying opponents space won’t get you the ball back. The only way to succeed in attack, particularly as you go up the difficulty levels, is to try and score as fast as you can by charging at your opponents (like counter attacking, even when you aren’t actually counter attacking). Likewise, you’ll have even terrible left backs running rings around you in defence unless you try, try and try again to tackle tackle tackle. I wonder if FIFA has been tuned this way over the years as one-on-one online play has taken on more importance to EA then the single player modes. If so, that’s a shame as some of the nuance has been lost, as has some of the authenticity of the football. 2017120421483500-062DD3BC3CF59885A6762E5A30A14CD1

Back of the net
Multiplayer is great too. There are no online dramas with the Switch version – the experience is as smooth as always. Offline also it stands up as well as it ever has – we’ve had up to 4 players at a time and it’s great. Although I can’t imagine that’d work too well in tabletop mode with only a quarter of a screen each! In general it’s hard to be too critical of FIFA 18 in and of itself. It’s a fantastic package and a hugely fun sports title. That we take this for granted these days just shows how far these games have come in the last 20 years – I shudder at the thought of playing FIFA 97 now! 2017120508093500-062DD3BC3CF59885A6762E5A30A14CD1

Verdict
It’s great! There are a few flaws that slightly hold it back but overall EA has established a high bar for its sports games and FIFA 18 meets that bar handsomely. If, like me, you want to be able to play a genuine and full football game whilst on the go then there is absolutely nothing to be disappointed about here. Review4

Click here to purchase the game on cartridge from Amazon.co.uk:

REVIEW: Hue

  • Released: 2016
  • Played on: Xbox One
  • Also available on: PC< PS4, PSVita
  • Time to get into: 10 Minutes
  • Time to complete: 6 Hours
  • Multiplayer: No

Early on in Hue you get the impression that melding its interesting take on puzzlers and platformers with a simple but intriguing story can take it up to the heights of the recent history of indie games. Ultimately, however, it’s imaginative gameplay – like so many good ideas – can’t quite carry it’s ambition. In the last couple hours the story ends in a lacklustre way and the puzzle solving becomes a little stale. That said, it is an enjoyable distraction and definitely worth a look if its main gameplay mechanic interests you.25-11-2017_08-15-19

All the colours
That mechanic is the ability to change the colour of the background of the game. When the background colour and the colour of certain in game objects are the same, they disappear. For example, can’t get past that yellow wall? Make the background yellow and the wall fades into the background, allowing you to continue on your way. It’s a great idea and it’s implemented well. The left stick moves the eponymous character and the right stick changes the colour. The vast amount of the time this mechanic is just used for puzzle solving – traversing an area by getting rid of obstacles or moving a box of a certain colour onto a switch etc. Where it really comes into it’s own though, is when there is a time demand on the colour change. For example, you have to start a jump in one colour and land it in another – this extra tension is when the colour changing dynamic works best.25-11-2017_08-12-15

Story good…
There is also a small and simple story to back up the gameplay. As always on this blog, I will studiously avoid spoilers here but it’s told in an interesting way, slowly unfolding as you collect letters written to you. Early on the developing intrigue keeps you interested – always looking to complete the section so you can hear the next letter. Unfortunately this is one part of what eventually lets Hue down.25-11-2017_08-11-37

… story bad.
In the end you come to realise that the story was only ever a facade to place on top of the game – it carries no weight of it’s own and I found that rather disappointing. It’s not that I expect these short puzzlers to have great stories but if anything it does itself a disservice by pulling you in early on. There’s nothing to back up that early promise. Even when the tone changes slightly towards the end and I thought it was about to kick up a gear… it fades away.25-11-2017_08-11-20

Are you still here?
The other let down in Hue is that we have about 4 hours of gameplay in a 6 hour game. By the end I really was just going through the motions to get the game done. As above, this is a real shame after the early promise. I would have been happier with Hue had it simply been shorter. By the end everything that slowed me down – whether just another repetitive puzzle, or my own mistakes trying to solve them – got very frustrating. But if we ignore those last hours when the game has run out of new ideas the gameplay is absolutely loads of fun.25-11-2017_08-11-55

Verdict
In the end, Hue is a good game, but no more. Despite how it overstays it’s welcome it would be harsh to say it was average as it’s main idea – the colour mechanic – is full of imagination and fun. Equally, it doesn’t have anything else going for it in the end. The decision of whether you should play it really comes down to how intrigued you are by that gameplay device – whether that imaginative idea has captured your imagination. If so, then you’ll be able to look past the rest – if not, don’t get sucked in.Review3

REVIEW: Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

This game originally began life intended to be DLC for Uncharted 4 but eventually grew into a game worthy of it’s own full release. As such, there was the risk that The Lost Legacy would feel like a lesser Uncharted game, whether by taking shortcuts in gameplay, being less ambitious in scope or not having such engaging characters and narrative. Well, fear not – Naughty Dog has once again knocked it out of the park in every way and crafted an adventure completely worthy of the Uncharted name.Uncharted™_ The Lost Legacy_20171023203721

Gameplay
The Lost Legacy doesn’t bring very much new to the party compared to it’s predecessors in terms of core gameplay. That said, the gameplay in Uncharted 4 was so close to perfect, why change it? Movement is smooth and natural whether you are just jogging through the landscape or climbing along dangerous cliff edges. Combat, both hand-to-hand fighting and gunplay, feels like second nature almost instantly. There really isn’t anything to criticise. You make more use of a jeep, during an early section of the game, than any time previously in the series and this works nicely too. One other small addition is the ability to shove a climbing knife into rough rock to give a handhold to reach higher areas – although this is ripped straight out of the recent Tomb Raider games, so it’s hard to call it an innovation. I’ve played through each Uncharted game and felt the core gameplay get better and better – if you jump straight into the series at this stage, it must be remarkable how well built it all is. A good example is how smoothly it moves in and out of cutscenes – to the point that ‘cutscene’ doesn’t really describe it – there are no cuts. Lots of games try and achieve that these days, but The Lost Legacy is the best demonstration of it yet.Uncharted™_ The Lost Legacy_20171026234644

Scope
As with any Uncharted game The Lost Legacy is full of amazing landscapes and crazy set pieces. It is slightly smaller in scope than previous entries as you don’t bounce around the globe in the same way – after the opening section the rest of the game takes place in one (massive, it must be said) location. If anything though, I felt that it was a more focused, fast paced adventure as a result so I don’t see that as a good or bad thing. The location itself – set in India in this case – has all the wow-factor you could want. From staring up at huge and ancient structures to marvelling at nature, the world both looks and feels remarkable – just as it has in every Uncharted. Something I particularly like is that Chloe has her phone with her and you have regular opportunities to take quick snaps of the amazing scenes. It’s great how your own amazement is matched by that of the characters you are playing as and with!Uncharted™_ The Lost Legacy_20171027093246

Narrative
Which brings us nicely onto the characterisation and story. Naughty Dog make a good game but what they really do better than everyone else in gaming, in my opinion at least, is tell a story. And then marry that story up with the great gameplay – they compliment each other perfectly. The Lost Legacy is no different. I wouldn’t quite be able to say that I didn’t miss Nate and Elena as I did miss the romance between those two. But otherwise the cast of characters here is just as engaging and entertaining as ever. Whether it’s in the throw away comments they make as the game goes along, the wonderfully detailed but natural interactions in cutscenes or even just the little graphical additions that round out their personality, these characters are as alive as any I’ve ever found in a video game. Check out this short clip to notice Chloe reaching out for a wall and adjusting her hair whilst she waits:videotogif_2017.10.27_16.09.39.gif

It’s utterly brilliant and plays in great combination with the story itself. No spoilers here but it is epic, as Chloe and Nadine‘s treasure hunt gets more and more entwined with needing to defeat the bad guy Asav. Relationships between different characters build, are broken or repaired and different motives get clarified as they all fight for what they want and sometimes, what they believe is right. This is just as much fun and just as engaging as any adventure film you could see – and you get to play the main role.Uncharted™_ The Lost Legacy_20171026171322

Verdict
Rest assured that even if The Lost Legacy is kind of pitched as Uncharted 4.5, it is a thoroughly worthy successor. It’s another stunning and wonderful slice of adventure for fans and an accessible entry point for any Playstation 4 owners who have somehow missed the series so far. It’s not even priced as high as a full game so just get on with purchasing it now! Impossible not to have a blast with.

Review5

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