United Front Gaming http://unitedfrontgaming.com Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite /microsoft/post/marvel-vs--capcom:-infinite Tue, 19 Sep 2017 12:00:00 Destiny 2 <p>Reviewed By: Andre Thomas<br />System: Xbox One (Also on PS4) <br />Genre: FPS<br />Rated: T<br />Players: 1-8 Online<br />Cost: $59.99 <br />Release Date: 09/05/2017<br />Publisher: Activision<br />Developer: Bungie<br /><br />Our head editor, Kenneth Seward, Jr., wrote something profound at the start of his review of <a class="external" href="http://www.unitedfrontgaming.com/pc/post/3895/absolver">Absolver</a>. He said that we should be reasonable when it comes to our expectations of highly sought-after titles. An obvious, yet astute sentiment; gamers routinely fail in this regard. He went on to hint at the fact that some of our excitement come by way of insincere information.<br /><br />I have admittedly given this franchise a rough time. Bungie set a high bar each time it showed the game off at E3 or otherwise. Yet, it wasn&rsquo;t long after Destiny&rsquo;s launch that a large portion of us were let down. The consensus was that the story was underwhelming at best. And while the gunplay/competitive options were fun, the absence of certain elements hurt the experience. I won&rsquo;t get into what was what, you can read my review of the <a class="external" href="http://unitedfrontgaming.com/post/2580/destiny">first game</a> for that. These points were brought up to offer a comparison. Destiny 2 is the game we should have gotten back in 2014! &nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/destiny-2-screen.jpg" alt="destiny-2-screen" /><br /><br />Expansions and such slowly molded the original title into a better game. The sequel starts out in better footing. For one there is a plot. Like a real one. Our world that we have fought so hard to protect is now being decimated by Cabal elites called The Red Legion. Lead by Emperor Dominus Ghaul &ndash; a powerful enemy who feels that the Light bestowed to the Guardians from the Traveler belongs to him &ndash; this rogue faction attacks the Last City. Things quickly go from bad to holy hell. Not long after that, the connection between the Guardians and the Traveler are cut and the player is tossed from Ghaul&rsquo;s ship like the trash he believes us to be. Yeah&hellip;it&rsquo;s safe to say that the antagonists are playing ZERO GAMES with earth this time around. <br /><br />The major news out about Destiny 2 announcement was how all of our work from the previous two years of Destiny would be essentially erased. The character itself and stories about them will carry on in game, but all powers, armor and weapons earned would be scraped for this title. If you are anybody like myself who spent way more time in this game then I probably should have, this was some of the most heartbreaking news you&rsquo;ve ever received. Well&hellip;in relation to this series (not like, in real life or anything). Personally, it felt like a cash grab from Bungie and Activision. A way to get us to buy an entirely new game instead of just releasing an expansion to the original. I needed far more than &ldquo;they&rsquo;ve taken your powers and now you must earn them back&rdquo; as an answer because that would be too convenient of a reason for a sequel. That isn&rsquo;t the case though. I mean for one, Ghaul is easily the most striking villain we&rsquo;ve ever faced. He isn&rsquo;t just a large boss positioned at the end of a mission or raid. Some thought went into his motives. Ghaul actually thinks that he is the good guy in all of this, which in turn makes him more interesting. &nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/destiny-2-screen-2.jpg" alt="destiny-2-screen-2" /><br /><br />The same thing goes with our leaders/the Vanguard (Commander Zavala, Cayde-6 and so on).&nbsp; With the new focus being on developing a cohesive plot, players are able to learn a lot about the characters we met two years ago. Really, most of the NPCs we meet is a joy to be around no matter what their demeanor is. This is because they are no longer just people with missions; my attachment to them grew exponentially through the conversations with my character, which continued well beyond the completion of the story. <br /><br />Who knew adding simple things like cutscenes and background information could significantly improve the game&rsquo;s base experience? Probably the same people who decided to include quality of life adjustments. Trivial things, like not having to beam back to your ship floating in space before selecting a mission or guided games &ndash; the ability for clans to grab a solo player to join in raids &ndash; makes Destiny 2 way more enjoyable. What I found the most intriguing though, was how the environments were better designed this time around. In the original title, we landed on a planet and essentially just drove or ran straight until we hit our destination and started a mission. It was, hands down, the most disappointing part of the last game for me. I was excited to explore Destiny&rsquo;s worlds after seeing footage telling me I could reach a mountain way off in the background (remember the "it&rsquo;s all playable terrain" video?). Not possible with the final product. This has been addressed in Destiny 2&hellip;somewhat.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/destiny-2-screen-6.jpg" alt="destiny-2-screen-6" /><br /><br />The environments in Destiny 2 aren&rsquo;t tremendously bigger. That said, by adding different levels of depth, things feel spaced out. For example, on Titan we are fighting on what seems to be a battle worn rig that has been overtaken by enemies. It may not be the longest going straight forward, but there is so much to this level above and underground. Between these areas are small towns with NPCs who can give missions that shed light on what&rsquo;s been going on. Hidden amongst them are dungeons called &ldquo;Lost Sectors&rdquo;. These places, once found, provide unqiue boss encounters and rare items to loot. All of these things help to keep things from feeling one dimensional. Where going off the beaten path might lead to something grand as opposed to an arbitrary &ldquo;out of zone&rdquo; death.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/destiny-2-screen-3.jpg" alt="destiny-2-screen-3" /><br /><br />We got a decent story and better environments. Great. The moment to moment gameplay and eventual grind is where it&rsquo;s at though. Bungie knows how to make a shooting weapons at colorful enemies entertaining. Also, the 4v4 competitive modes are a blast (no pun intended). When it comes to the grind, it isn&rsquo;t as grindy as before. In that I mean, the difference between me falling in love with this game and growing tired of the last one had to with how our character progressed. If you played through the first Destiny, you remember hitting max level and having your light level solely determined by collected armor. It&rsquo;s the same case here but more streamlined; it is far easier to gain legendary to exotic engrams through battle now.</p> <p>I have conversed with some Destiny fans and there are mixed emotions about the change. If you love the grind of an RPG title and repetitive gameplay, then you had no problem with the original because you fought for days to earn what you are wearing. It was an achievement. On the other side, mainly for the people who spend the majority of their days working/taking care of families, that set up didn&rsquo;t give you a way to catch up with your friends who had more time to play.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/destiny-2-screen-7.jpg" alt="destiny-2-screen-7" /><br /><br />You will notice that there are far more drops in this case then in its predecessor. That doesn&rsquo;t guarantee that these drops will be better than what you already have, especially once you have reached level 20, but that at least gives you better chances than before. Also, the random stat rolls on rare items is gone (thank God!). This means that if you and your friend both get a rare weapon, you won&rsquo;t have to worry about getting stuck with the weaker version. On top of that, everything in your inventory adds to your light, whether they are equipped or not. And lastly, your faction rewards you earn give great engrams and they grow with you as you play. So even if you are extremely committed to the game or just able to play casually, you should be able to reasonably keep up with your more dedicated friends. <br /><br />Before I close out, I have to talk about this incredible soundtrack. I haven&rsquo;t played a game with composed music as epic as this since the original Halo series. Every single orchestrated sound in the game sets the stage for each encounter in game. From the moment we begin fighting the Red Legion, the music gives you an adrenaline rush that helps push through some of the game&rsquo;s most difficult points. This is what really puts the icing on the cake for this title and sold me as a gamer. <br /><br />Without question, Destiny 2 is worth the money. There is so much more to do in the base game, so many little and big changes that it couldn&rsquo;t have been an expansion. I mean, it could have been. What I&rsquo;m saying is, I didn&rsquo;t feel robbed playing this installment as opposed to another Taken King. The short campaign is entertaining, the side missions and Lost Sectors are great, and the competitive modes are better than ever. As it stands, I&rsquo;ll continue to hunt down rare armor with my friends on console until the monster version comes out on PC. What&hellip;you know it&rsquo;s going to be better on PC, at least visually. <br /><br />Gameplay: 10<br />Destiny 2 is much better than Destiny, at the base level. Here&rsquo;s hoping it continues to be great!<br /><br />Graphics: 9<br />It looks better than the first game.<br /><br />Sound: 10<br />Decent dialogue, great explosions, fantastic music.<br /><br />Replay Value: 9<br />The grind for better loot isn&rsquo;t so bad this time around. Competitive players will certainly enjoy the PvP modes.<br /><br />Final Score: <br /><br />9.5<br /><br /></p> /microsoft/post/destiny-2 Thu, 14 Sep 2017 12:00:00 Agents of Mayhem <p>Reviewed By: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />System: Xbox One (Also on PS4, PC) <br />Genre: Action<br />Rated: M<br />Players: 1<br />Cost: $59.99<br />Release Date: 08/15/2017<br />Publisher: Deep Silver <br />Developer: Volition<br /><br />I do not envy Volition. Trying to produce a follow up to <a class="external" href="http://www.unitedfrontgaming.com/post/1891/saints-row-iv">Saints Row IV</a>, arguably one of their best games isn&rsquo;t an easy task though. Or at least, it doesn&rsquo;t seem to be. Their latest title, Agents of Mayhem, is a spin-off of the Saints series. It features over-the-top antics, imaginative characters, and bombastic gameplay &ndash; basically, the things that made Saints Row IV such a great game. Unfortunately, things didn&rsquo;t quite work out as well this time around. <br /><br />Agents of Mayhem takes place in an alternate, future timeline where whacky villains and obnoxiously named organizations are up to no good. The League of Evil Gentlemen Intent on Obliterating Nations (L.E.G.I.O.N) for instance, has taken over Seoul, South Korea. One can assume they&rsquo;re trying to conquer the world and Seoul is the best place to achieve such a lofty goal. Their leader, Dr Babylon has an assortment of schemes, none of which make much sense outside of an 80&rsquo;s cartoon. Whatever the case, the Multinational AgencY Hunting Evil Masterminds (M.A.Y.H.E.M) was on the scene to foil his plans. Their agents would teleport into Seoul just to shoot it out GI Joe and Cobra style. Only with real bullets and a lot more swearing.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/agents-of-mayhem-review-screen.jpg" alt="agents-of-mayhem-review-screen" /><br /><br />An action game styled like a Saturday morning cartoon for adults is an easy sell for me. Especially, if the plot is penned by Volition; I just knew it was going to be a hilarious parody of sorts. And while I wouldn&rsquo;t use the word &ldquo;hype&rdquo; to describe how I felt as we got closer to launch, I was a little more than excited when we received our review code. That feeling faded after just a few hours in. To be fair, there was some good stuff sprinkled about; nods to classic shows and movies, cheesy one liners that made me smile, and absurd happenings that were fun to watch. For the most part though, there wasn&rsquo;t much of a story here. LEGION&rsquo;s lieutenants had goals they wished to accomplish, like controlling teens using VR headsets or using a giant crystal to power a laser. But there was no cohesiveness to their endeavors. Outside of some events towards the end of the game, all of it seemed random. <br /><br />While it would have been nice to experience more of the witty writing Volition is known for, this set up isn&rsquo;t really an issue in and of itself. If the point was to be like a cartoon and just give us episodes featuring a different villain with each level, I&rsquo;m cool with that. What made this problematic for me is that it felt like a missed opportunity to provide an exciting plot in a unique way. Moreover, the overall experience was worsened by a repetitive mission structure and underutilized characters. All twelve of Mayhem&rsquo;s agents are interesting when they&rsquo;re first introduced (usually done in an animated cutscene). You got Daisy, an ex-roller derby player with a sailor&rsquo;s mouth and a mini-gun. She loves fighting, drinking and fu&hellip;er&hellip;fighting some more. Red Card is a soccer fan/hooligan with a gun that transforms from a shotgun into a rifle. He also has a serious temper, so much so, that his super ability is spontaneous combustion. My favorite is Yeti, a Russian soldier who was subjected to the &ldquo;Cold Warrior Project&rdquo;. He&rsquo;s like Ice-Man if he had Captain America&rsquo;s origin story. Cool right (heh)?</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/agents-of-mayhem-review-screen-2.jpg" alt="agents-of-mayhem-review-screen-2" /><br /><br />The issue is that I don&rsquo;t really know anything else about them. There isn&rsquo;t any extra information about them besides a few tidbits on select missions. Each one gets two solo missions where they talk to their handler, revealing a little more about themselves. None of it is really meaningful. It may be funny to know that Yeti can&rsquo;t &ldquo;be&rdquo; with a woman because he&rsquo;s like a walking popsicle, but that doesn&rsquo;t explain how he personally influences the plot. A few interchangeable lines, a brief background and a muscled physique aren&rsquo;t enough to build an interesting character. I mean, why create these distinct characters if you aren&rsquo;t going to do anything compelling with them? <br /><br />All of this can be forgiven of course, as long as the gameplay held up. It doesn&rsquo;t. You see, AoM lives and dies on a gimmick that allows you to switch between three agents at will while on missions; being a one man, woman, man (and any combination thereof) mini-army and all that. The idea is that you&rsquo;ll swap when one character loses a lot of health or when you want to utilize different skills/weapons. While this certainly sounds like a neat thing to do, in reality, it isn&rsquo;t much different from the games that feature a solo character with multiple weapons. For one, each agent has a very limited arsenal &ndash; one weapon and two special abilities. Meaning that most players will choose their squad based on what weapons are needed and not because they liked the agent&rsquo;s persona; I liked Yeti because he can freeze people with his ice gun. Then there&rsquo;s the leveling system. When agents level up, they are given experience points to increase stats pertinent to their abilities and gadgets to add some flare. Head shots do more damage (stats). Grenades won&rsquo;t just do damage, they&rsquo;ll also blind foes (gadgets).</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/agents-of-mayhem-review-screen-4.jpg" alt="agents-of-mayhem-review-screen-4" /><br /><br />What I&rsquo;m getting at is there&rsquo;s no reason for the swapping mechanic to exist. A lack of information makes it hard to grow attached to an agent beyond their look and their abilities are so one dimensional, that they fail to evolve past their weapons. Basically, instead of making multiple characters that bring nothing to the story, we could have had one character with multiple weapons, each with their own skill trees. The only reason I can see to change characters would be to allow the wounded to heal, which is something that can be substituted with health recovery items. <br /><br />Even though it feels pointless to swap characters during play (essentially just to get a different weapon), the actual moment to moment shooting is entertaining. Silently dispatching foes with Scheherazade&rsquo;s sword or riddling everything in sight with holes using Daisy&rsquo;s chain gun can be exciting at times. I mainly wish that the missions weren&rsquo;t so repetitive. Majority of the game&rsquo;s missions are just infiltrate a lab, kill bad guys, hack a computer, and escape. Sometimes you&rsquo;ll have to rescues hostages, destroy LEGION equipment or defend an area from enemies. Even then, you&rsquo;ll eventually head towards a lab with a computer to hack. The same goes for the game&rsquo;s activities &ndash; the mini-games or side missions that are supposed to provide a break from the campaign. A few of them were different (delivering cars to a designated spot, racing on foot through the city). The rest either followed the same kill, hack, escape pattern seen in the story or offer bit sized versions of the rescue/defend missions. The aforementioned solo exploits try to change things up by removing the swap feature, I assume to help us become better acquainted with each Agent&rsquo;s playstyle. What makes these solo missions bad is that you&rsquo;re stuck using one Agent, thereby using one weapon. Worse still, these missions don&rsquo;t cater to that Agents abilities; the stealth based character with a sword is forced to contend with snipers perched on buildings.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/agents-of-mayhem-review-screen-3.jpg" alt="agents-of-mayhem-review-screen-3" /><br /><br />One of AoM&rsquo;s saving graces are LEGION&rsquo;s lieutenants. Unlike our protagonists, these villains were given backstories. We get to see how/why they joined LEGION, their motivations and more before finally confronting them. Some are quite humous, if not a little out there; one guy hoped to marry an advanced AI, made up of five women named Aisha (they formed a Korean Pop group). Facing them in boss fights is also fun; they tend to be the most challenging aspects of the game. Some require you to do some platforming while others will toss special enemy types at you. Most will require you to do more than just shoot. The battle against Aisha takes place in a virtual realm that changes with each woman&rsquo;s personality and ends with you fighting a giant robot. <br /><br />There are other mechanics I haven&rsquo;t covered yet. Like crafting and the global contract system, where players can share in special missions collectively &ndash; killing 500 enemies or collecting a set number of something within a few hours. To me, none of the &ldquo;extra&rdquo; content would compel someone to keep playing; I wanted to quit well before the end credits. At first, I thought this was because of my expectations of Volition. My love of Saints Row. The more I played though, the more I felt this would have been the case regardless of the shared universe and/or developer. With mission after mission of the same thing, a lackluster plot, and no real likeable characters (aside from the villains), I grew bored. Don&rsquo;t get me wrong. I don&rsquo;t think Agents of Mayhem is a bad game. It just feels uninspired, as if the only thing Volition aspired to do was get the swapping mechanic right. Cleary, that wasn&rsquo;t enough to win me over, Saints fan or not. <br /><br />Gameplay: 5<br />The action can be entertaining. Things go from exciting to boring very quickly though, thanks to the repetitive mission structure. <br /><br />Graphics: 8<br />I like the cartoony vibe. <br /><br />Sound: 8<br />The explosions sound nice. The voice work isn&rsquo;t bad either. <br /><br />Replay Value: 4<br />After completing it, I had no desire to return to Seoul. <br /><br />Final Score: <br /><br />6.3<br /><br /><br /></p> /microsoft/post/agents-of-mayhem Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:00:00 Friday The 13th: The Game <p>Reviewed By: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />System: Xbox One (Also on PS4, PC) <br />Genre: Survival Horror<br />Rated: M<br />Players: 2-8 Online<br />Cost: $59.99<br />Release Date: 05/26/2017<br />Publisher: Gun Media <br />Developer: IllFonic<br /><br />It has to feel horrible to run a good race only to stumble at the finish line. Unless you&rsquo;re somehow propelled into first place after bouncing off the track, falling short is a rough way to end a long race. I can liken this experience to that of IllFonic&rsquo;s shaky launch of Friday the 13th: The Game&hellip;<br /><br />As the sea of fans flooded the game&rsquo;s menus looking to play, they inadvertently crashed the servers Diablo 3 style. When gamers became awareof the problem, most opted to play privately with peers. Unfortunately, that too proved to be difficult given how frequently people were dropped from matches. Those who were lucky enough to make it past the loading screen were met with inconsistent frame rates, collision issues, and rough animations across all three platforms &ndash; the worst of which was the Xbox One version, thanks to Microsoft&rsquo;s temperamental marketplace (I had a tough time redeeming the review key from Gun) and a missing day one patch. Basically, IllFonic stumbled at the finish line in spectacular fashion.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/friday-the-13th-review-screen-3.jpg" alt="friday-the-13th-review-screen-3" /><br /><br />The good news was that things slowly got better; public matches became easier to find and connections weren&rsquo;t dropped as frequently. Given the poor launch and lingering bugs though, the real saving grace is in how entertaining Friday the 13th can be. The basis of play revolves around players acting as camp counselors and Jason Voorhees in asymmetrical multiplayer matches; one player-controlled Jason controlled tries to kill the seven playing as counselors before they can escape a given area surrounding Crystal Lake. The solo player will utilize Jason&rsquo;s movie tricks. Remember how Jason just seemed to pop up anywhere in the films, well he can in the game via teleportation &ndash; and that superhuman strength and durability is present too. As the match goes on, the Jason player will gradually get stronger. At one point he&rsquo;ll become enraged, allowing him to burst through walls and barricaded doors effortlessly. He&rsquo;s like a boss character only player- controlled. <br /><br />The counselors are significantly weaker than Jason. So, while a direct confrontation is possible, it wouldn&rsquo;t be the wisest choice. Instead, their job is to complete certain objectives that would allow them to escape the camp. Fix a vehicle, namely a car or boat, and fill it with gas is one option. Calling the cops and rushing to them once they show up is another. Both are tough to accomplish; one requires you to find parts and a key while the other requires you to repair the phones and then wait for the cops to appear. It&rsquo;s also possible to hide the entire time (even without calling the police) though that&rsquo;s a riskier move considering Jason&rsquo;s ever growing power.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/friday-the-13th-review-screen-5.jpg" alt="friday-the-13th-review-screen-5" /><br /><br />This idea of one vs many isn&rsquo;t new. That said, IllFonic took things a step further by leveraging the license to simulate what happens in the films. Take a counselor&rsquo;s fear for instance. When a counselor is afraid they are easier for Jason to find. To mitigate this, they&rsquo;ll need to stay in lit areas, complete objectives, be near other counselors and so on. Their efforts are negated if they happen to see a dead body; the character will stop and gasp before returning control back to the player. The same is true if Jason cuts the lights to a building or rounds a corner unexpectedly. There are more nods to the films that effect the gameplay. My personal favorite is the iconic &ldquo;Ki, Ki, Ki, Ma, Ma, Ma,&rdquo; that sounds whenever Jason grows stronger. <br /><br />These types of elements extend to the players themselves. When using the in-game chat option, it isn&rsquo;t possible to talk to players who aren&rsquo;t near you without a walkie talkie. Finding a couple will allow for the coordination of tactics (letting the person with the gas can know you have the car keys). Being too chatty can lead to problems though. Jason can hear nearby players talking and make his way to their position. Or worse, he&rsquo;ll hear their plans and react accordingly (appearing at the car right as you&rsquo;re trying to fill it up).</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/friday-the-13th-review-screen-4.jpg" alt="friday-the-13th-review-screen-4" /><br /><br />Trying to survive as a counselor can be thrilling if you let yourself get into the &ldquo;role&rdquo;. Obviously doing things like jumping into private chat to get over on the Jason player hurts the experience. That said, not being serious has its perks. For instance, it&rsquo;s possible for the person playing Jason to speak to counselors he&rsquo;s about to kill. There was one match where the person playing as Jason would ask us if we wanted to buy some cookies while we ran about. It was hilarious to be chased around by this walking behemoth who sounded like a depraved Mr. Rogers, begging us to try his cookies. I know, it sounds creepy (it was) but it was also comical. <br /><br />For the most part, Ft13 is a good time waiting to happen. It isn&rsquo;t all severed heads and 80s rock music though. Confusing button prompts make the simplest tasks tricky to complete. Tap &ldquo;A&rdquo; when walking up to an object sitting on a dresser and your character will pick it up. Doing the same when in front of the dresser&rsquo;s drawer will make them open it. Simple. Though, grabbing an object inside the door requires the holding of the &ldquo;A&rdquo; button, as another tap closes the drawer. This doesn&rsquo;t seem like it would be an issue given the onscreen icons. Just image that you&rsquo;re racing to find the car keys. You see them in the drawer and accidently tap &ldquo;A&rdquo; instead of holding it. Now you&rsquo;ve closed the drawer, wasting precious Jason-avoiding seconds messing around with furniture. <br /><br />To be fair, it only takes a few matches to figure out what does what. That doesn&rsquo;t mean that you won&rsquo;t close a window instead of jumping through it or pick up the wrong item from time to time though. Jason&rsquo;s sporadic behavior necessitates the desire to do things quickly. Meaning, it&rsquo;s possible to fumble an attempt to grab those car keys before he crashes through a nearby wall. It doesn&rsquo;t help that there is a slight delay when it comes to performing most actions; being brutally killed is harder to swallow when your death was the result of a bad button press.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/friday-the-13th-review-screen.jpg" alt="friday-the-13th-review-screen" /><br /><br />What killed me the most wasn&rsquo;t the controls (or Jason), but the stamina meter. Every counselor has different stats that govern their usefulness. Some are better at the fixing things, others are better at sneaking. The only stat that really matters though is your stamina. Once all of your stamina is gone, your character&rsquo;s pace will slow to a crawl. The problem is that the counselor&rsquo;s default pace is a jog that depletes stamina. So even if you aren&rsquo;t running for your life, you&rsquo;ll get tired and become easy pickings for Jason. The only way to restore stamina is to sneak about (basically move super slow) or stop moving. This in turn made stamina the end all stat. It&rsquo;s possible that you won&rsquo;t get a chance to repair a car, so having a better repair skill isn&rsquo;t a must. But not being able to run away from Jason is suicide. Things are a little balanced somewhat with an unlockable perks system, where experience gained after each match can be used to buy random boosts. They won&rsquo;t make the most undesirable counselors great, but will temper their stats or skills to offer more rounded choices. <br /><br />Multiple Jason&rsquo;s are unlockable as well. Presented more than just skins, these different Jasons have their own stats that need to be considered. One might be a fast swimmer but can&rsquo;t run while another may have a strong grip (making it easier to perform special kills) but lower health. It&rsquo;s certain cool to play as your favorite version of this iconic killer, some of the cons are a bit annoying. Not being able to run makes it difficult to chase down survivors. So using Jason&rsquo;s other abilities is a must.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/friday-the-13th-review-screen-2.jpg" alt="friday-the-13th-review-screen-2" /><br /><br />Lingering bugs, odd design choices and a few exploitable mechanics hurt the experience. Despite these issues, I still find myself having a good time. I&rsquo;m either in a tense game of horribly disfigured cat and mice or I&rsquo;m laughing out loud at the shenanigans unfolding on screen. Seriously; hearing players scream at a driver to pull off before they&rsquo;re ripped from the car, only to have him crash into Jason is&hellip;well, it was frustrating..but in a funny way (you had to be there). It works as a decent multiplayer game when you&rsquo;re with likeminded individuals. That&rsquo;s worth noting, considering the single player mode hasn&rsquo;t been released yet.<br /><br />Gameplay: 7<br />When everything works as it should, Friday the 13th is a blast. Take that with a grain of salt as my experience was enriched by the people I was playing with. Grouping with someone who doesn&rsquo;t play by the &ldquo;rules&rdquo; is worse than dealing with the game&rsquo;s bugs. <br /><br />Graphics: 5<br />The animations are rough to say the least. The game also suffers from texture pop-in and slowed frame rates. Jason&rsquo;s many depictions look great though.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br />Sound: 8<br />The soundtrack feels like it was ripped straight from the movies. <br /><br />Replay Value: 6<br />It really depends on who you&rsquo;re playing with. <br /><br />Final Score:<br /><br />6.5<br /><br /><br /></p> /microsoft/post/friday-the-13th:-the-game Tue, 1 Aug 2017 12:00:00 Valkyria Revolution <p>Reviewed By: Andre Thomas<br />System: Xbox One (Also on PS4, PSVita) <br />Genre: Action RPG<br />Rated: T<br />Players: 1<br />Cost: $39.99<br />Release Date: 06/27/2017<br />Publisher: SEGA<br />Developer: Media.Vision<br /><br />There&rsquo;s a reason that certain games are popular in different parts of the world. Certain aesthetics, gameplay mechanics, naming conventions &ndash; really it comes down to our cultural differences/preferences. It should come to no surprise that franchises like Call of Duty sell well in the Americas. That said, there are genres that are genuinely well received no matter where you go&hellip;<br /><br />SEGA&rsquo;s Valkyria series has a cult following here and abroad. It made sense for them to port the latest title, Valkyria Revolution, to North America; though it won&rsquo;t sell as many copies as it did in Japan, it still should do well. The question is, can it stand in the same light as its predecessors when it eschews some of its staples (like turn-based combat)? I believe it could, as long as those new elements are properly polished.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/valkyria-revolution-screen-2.jpg" alt="valkyria-revolution-screen-2" /><br /><br />Valkyria Revolution&rsquo;s background is reminiscent of Victorian England (during the European industrial revolution). Set in a period centered on an impending war between two factions, we get a sense of d&eacute;j&agrave; vu &ndash; there is an economic disparity between the small kingdom of Jutland and the tyrannical Ruzi Empire. Because of this, Jutland is forced to liberate itself from Ruzi&rsquo;s grip via combat. The only problem, other than the fact Jutland is outgunned, is that the Ruzi are allied with a Valkyria. Thankfully, Jutland has an elite team of warriors who utilize Ragnite &ndash; a mineral/energy source that can infuse itself with weapons, technology, and magic &ndash; to combat strong foes. <br /><br />The premise isn&rsquo;t anything new, though the hidden motives amongst our heroes is interesting. For some, it&rsquo;s all about heroism and looking out for those who can&rsquo;t defend themselves. Others are out for revenge. I mean, from the beginning to the end it&rsquo;s all about this band of heroes and how their secrets could ruin their chances of defeating the Ruzi. A small gripe I had was in how everything is told via a flashback. While the plot twists are somewhat predictable, due to how the story rolls out, it&rsquo;s the character development that really shines. This is also true when it comes to the gameplay.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/valkyria-revolution-screen-4.jpg" alt="valkyria-revolution-screen-4" /><br /><br />I loved the &ldquo;circles&rdquo; feature in how it helps you focus on every character within your party. When people within your squadron have things in common, they tend to meet up outside of missions and discuss the many facets of their life. Whether it is something small like the women discussing what they find attractive in a man or characters consoling one another as they deal with the death and destruction that results from war, it&rsquo;s always worth your time. Not everybody here wants to fight and it becomes evident as the game goes along. So much so, that&rsquo;ll you begin to empathize with them as you pick who you take into battle; I would actually choose people who seemed built for battle over the characters who feared for their lives on a regular basis. They clearly are not real, but the time I spent with them in-game made me feel as if I was rebelling with them. I wanted their success as if I would benefit from it&hellip;beyond completing just completing the game.</p> <p>Though I enjoyed the character interactions, I have mixed feelings about Valkyria Revolution&rsquo;s combat system. It allows you to move in real-time, but pauses when issuing attacks to give you time to strategize. The problem is that in this game, these two game styles don&rsquo;t flow together well. In FFXV, for instance, you had to change a setting in order to pause the gameplay. Not only that but it paused even when you weren&rsquo;t attacking. Valkyria Revolution only pauses to issue commands, causing this stop and go gameplay. The combat isn&rsquo;t bad per se, it just isn&rsquo;t always fun, given the frequent stops. <br /><br /><strong>Quick tip:</strong> <em>choose your parties attacks and style of play before you jump into battle. Because it&rsquo;s easy to just focus on your character, I often forgot about checking on my teammates. This made some fights difficult as they&rsquo;d last longer than they needed to, especially when facing certain bosses. </em></p> <p><em></em><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/valkyria-revolution-screen.jpg" alt="valkyria-revolution-screen" /><br /><br />That aside, what really set me over was the art style and voice acting. I tend to give English dubs of Japanese voice over work some slack. As an avid anime fan, I understand how difficult it is to find great voice actors and/or a proper reworking of the script for Western audiences. So I wasn&rsquo;t too upset with what I heard while playing. Plus, the music is so incredible that it actually helped the voice work; a dramatic scene was more so, given the score. But where the game lost me was in the art design. The new GOUACHE rendering engine gives everything a unique, paint on canvas vibe. It also looks dated and sometimes, out of focus. There&rsquo;s no weight to the lines, emphasis isn&rsquo;t put on things that may need finer details (like people&rsquo;s faces) and it lacks the appeal garnered from the cel shaded look of old &ndash; which is funny considering I just said the visuals seem dated. It fares better during cut scenes, aside from some bad animations. &nbsp;</p> <p>There are genres that are genuinely well received no matter where you go. Because of this, publishers aren&rsquo;t afraid of porting over select titles. There is an inherent risk though. At lot of the time with JRPGs, the issue comes from being stagnate. They are stuck on what worked in the past while ignoring new staples in the genre. What&rsquo;s interesting here is that Valkyria Revolution isn&rsquo;t as entertaining as it could have been due to newer features, not old ones. The combat isn&rsquo;t great, the new engine only seems to provide bad animations and dated visuals, and the new plot/setting isn&rsquo;t very strong. The character development is great and I liked the music. Unfortunately, that isn&rsquo;t enough to warrant the 50 or so hours of gameplay. I admire and respect SEGA for trying to change the landscape of their franchise (even if it&rsquo;s only a spinoff), but maybe they should have had Media.Vision stick with the old adage &ldquo;if it ain&rsquo;t broke, don&rsquo;t fix it&rdquo;. Or at the very least, don&rsquo;t make it worse! <br /><br />Gameplay: 6<br />Valkyria Revolution isn&rsquo;t a bad game. It just fails to live up to it&rsquo;s potential. <br /><br />Graphics: 6<br />The painterly look doesn&rsquo;t work for me; at times it&rsquo;s ok, sans some bad animations. <br /><br />Sound: 7<br />The music was great!<br /><br />Replay Value: 6<br />If one can get over the stop and go combat and ok story, I can see someone coming back for more. <br /><br />Final Score: <br /><br />6.3<br /><br /></p> /microsoft/post/valkyria-revolution Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:00:00 The Surge <p>Reviewed By: Andre Thomas<br />System: Xbox One (Also on PS4, PC) <br />Genre: Action RPG<br />Rated: M<br />Players: 1<br />Cost: $59.99<br />Release Date: 05/16/2017<br />Publisher: Focus Home Interactive<br />Developer: Deck13 Interactive<br /><br />Usually when were sent titles to review, the choice of who review&rsquo;s what is due to our availability at that time. We&rsquo;ll lean here or there depending on our preferences of course. But for the most part, we review whatever is put in front of us. That&rsquo;s not the case with The Surge. When I was presented the opportunity to review it, I gladly accepted. The main reason: I&rsquo;ve never played a Dark/Demon Souls game&hellip;<br /><br />This, as a writer, had me excited because it&rsquo;s easier to be impartial to a game I have zero experience with. Not only that, but as a gamer, it was a chance for me to branch out and try something new. For those of you who have played this title, you know how much of a frustrating surprise I was in for.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/the-surge-review-screen.jpg" alt="the-surge-review-screen" /><br /><br />The Surge is constantly being called a &ldquo;sci-fi souls&rsquo;&rdquo; game mainly due to its combat being so similar/extremely difficult. You are Warren, a survivor in a fading world where giant robots and men in mech suits looking to kill you. It isn&rsquo;t as generic as it sounds, though the plot is a bit buried by the overwhelming need to survive. There is information for those who seek it, everyone else will learn what&rsquo;s going on after spending hours in this dystopian future. Of course, by that time who is really worrying about the plot? I was too busy screaming at my TV as another foe got the better of me. <br /><br />It wasn&rsquo;t too difficult to learn the ropes concerning combat. The frustration came from how tough the game got as I went along. The thing is though, I was having a good time. Some of my enjoyment can be contributed to the sci-fi backdrop. We&rsquo;re used to seeing this type of thing in a medieval or fantasy based game that it made The Surge seemed more interesting. This also lends to the gameplay. Battling enemies using Warren&rsquo;s exoskeleton, where you can amputate their limbs to use as weapons, sounds great on paper. It&rsquo;s even better in game. Deck13 implemented a great system that allows you to target different body parts of enemies. Dodging attacks, countering &ndash; the moment to moment fighting his fun but being able to customize your suit with upgrades from enemies add to the excitement.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/the-surge-review-screen-2.jpg" alt="the-surge-review-screen-2" /><br /><br />Exploring a new world is always exciting. The same thing can be said of the seemingly abandoned corporate complex Warden wakes up in. That is until you run into a set of enemies who don&rsquo;t fight fair. And by fair, I mean they broadcast their presence. I don&rsquo;t know how many times I got ready for, what I thought, was going to be a one on one fight and somebody behind me jumps in. Oddly enough, I found the spontaneity to be one of my favorite parts of the game. Again, it frustrated me; I had plenty of moments when I yelled obscenities from pure shock of being attacked out of nowhere. The pure randomness of their spawning makes every corner more nerve wrecking, just hoping that something with better armor than yourself could be waiting to destroy you. <br /><br />There&rsquo;s give and take. Being able to literally see the piece of gear on the enemy you are fighting and dismembering them to take it from them is just awesome. It&rsquo;s one thing to hope a drop happens, it&rsquo;s much more inspiring to fight when you see the prize ahead of you. That said, none of it comes easy and you will spend plenty of times restarting from a checkpoint. I promise you that it happens to the best of us, so just hit &ldquo;load from checkpoint&rdquo; and go right back at it!</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/the-surge-review-screen-4.jpg" alt="the-surge-review-screen-4" /><br /><br />What hurts The Surge is how little character development we get out of Warren. I tried to be understanding of the man&rsquo;s plight. I mean, come on, the guy woke up surround by dead people and homicidal robots. But something about him as a character just bored me. If I am going to run through hours of gameplay with a character, especially in a game as difficult as this, it helps to have a story that&rsquo;s compelling enough to push our protagonist forward. As I said before, the game doesn&rsquo;t take long to become a super difficult hack and slash type of game. After a while, it starts to turn into a grind for better gear as opposed to an epic story of survival. <br /><br />I can already hear the rpg fanboys screaming &ldquo;Well duh, Dre! Grinding is a part of every RPG.&rdquo; Though I&rsquo;m new to Soul-like games, I&rsquo;m aware of the trappings of RPGs. I have lost countless hours grinding for gear, but at least in the past, there was an ultimate goal. It should not take you twenty hours to learn about who your character is and why does the world look as bad as it does. It takes almost an entire day to even get some sort of depth out of Warren&rsquo;s story. With all the best fights in the world, it means nothing if gamers get bored with hacking and slashing. The reward on the other side is so worth it in the end. It just takes all day to get there.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/the-surge-review-screen-3.jpg" alt="the-surge-review-screen-3" /><br /><br />All and all, I enjoyed my time with The Surge. Though it has a mindless first half, the increased AI&rsquo;s difficulty and diversity in the enemies made turning around every corner exciting. That said, I&rsquo;ll be leaving this subgenre to its fans. I&rsquo;m glad I was able to experience The Surge &ndash;&nbsp; it was fun to get away from medieval caves and into the future with violent tech. I&rsquo;m just not so keen on this level of difficulty without a worthwhile reason via the plot. <br /><br />Gameplay: 9<br />The Surge is great. The story is a bit of a letdown early one and it can be crazy tough. That said, it&rsquo;s very entertaining. <br /><br />Graphics: 9<br />It&rsquo;s certainly easy on the eyes. <br /><br />Sounds: 8<br />The sound effects are cool and the soundtrack is decent. <br /><br />Replay Value: 5 <br />As fun as it was, there is no way I am playing through this game again.<br /><br />Final Score: <br /><br />7.8<br /><br /><br /></p> /microsoft/post/the-surge Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:00:00 The Darwin Project is Coming to the Xbox One! <p>Written By: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />Date: 06/14/2017<br /><br />Scavengers Studio revealed that their upcoming battle royal title, The Darwin Project, was coming to the Xbox One!<br /><br />During Microsoft&rsquo;s E3 press conference, we got a brief look at what The Darwin Project is all about. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic landscape in the Northern Canadian Rockies right before an impending ice storm, a new game of sorts is announced. This game (or project) challenges participants to fight each other while trying to survive the cold. It&rsquo;s basically, Battle Royal/The Hunger Games but without the story constraints; this seems to be purely for entertainment as opposed to punishing a group of people.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/the-darwin-project-screen-2.jpg" alt="the-darwin-project-screen-2" /><br /><br />The Darwin Project is a third-person experience with an emphasis on survival. Players must survive the cold while tracking opponents, crafting tools, setting traps and so on. One of the more interesting aspects is the game&rsquo;s Show Director mode. This mode allows a player to survey the entire arena aboard an invincible drone. From here they&rsquo;ll be able to influence the outcome of a match via tools that are slowly unlocked. Like in The Hunger Games, the director will be able to lock down zones, call in airstrikes, and basically assist/hinder players as they see fit.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/the-darwin-project-screen.jpg" alt="the-darwin-project-screen" /><br /><br />As of right now, The Darwin Project is slated for launch on the Xbox One and PC in spring 2018. It&rsquo;ll be joining The Culling and Playerunknown&rsquo;s Battlegrounds &ndash; two more titles where the object is to be kill a bunch of strangers online. Fun times! <br /><br /></p> /microsoft/post/the-darwin-project-is-coming-to-the-xbox-one Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:00:00 PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is Making it's Way to Xbox One! <p>Written By: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />Date: 06/14/2017<br /><br />Microsoft seems to really dig battle royal-like games. At least, that&rsquo;s what it seems like given recent announcements at E3. Their latest move &ndash; PlayerUnknown&rsquo;s Battlegrounds is launching exclusively on Xbox One&rsquo;s Game Preview Program later this year!<br /><br />Developed by Bluehole, Inc., PlayerUnknown&rsquo;s Battlegrounds drops players into a realistic 8x8 km island where they&rsquo;ll scavenge for weapons and gear before battling each other to the death. Check out the trailer below to see what I mean: <br /><br /><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/m0Tnp-3W3z4" width="854" height="480"></iframe><br /><br /><em>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re super excited to welcome PLAYERUNKNOWN&rsquo;S BATTLEGROUNDS to the Xbox One Game Preview Program!&rdquo;</em> said Chris Charla, Director of ID@Xbox, Microsoft.&nbsp; <em>&ldquo;Since its launch on PC earlier this year, we&rsquo;ve been enthusiastic players and it&rsquo;s been awesome to see its meteoric rise to popularity! We&rsquo;re eager to collaborate with the team at Bluehole to bring PUBG to the Xbox One community, especially with console launch exclusivity.&rdquo;</em><br /><br />Console launch exclusivity&hellip;sounds like Battlegrounds will eventually end up on the PS4. Unless this it&rsquo;s releasing alongside the Xbox One X (in which case it stills sounds like a temporary thing). Whatever the case may be, Xbox fans will be able to get their hands on this title in the near future. <br /><br /><br /><br /></p> /microsoft/post/playerunknowns-battlegrounds-is-making-its-way-to-xbox-one Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:00:00 Black Desert is Coming to Xbox One! <p>Written By: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />Date: 06/04/2017<br /><br />A bunch of PC games are headed to the Xbox One. This included PearlAbyss&rsquo; MMORPG Black Desert. This action-packed game already had full gamepad support &ndash; it makes sense that it would end up on a console soon or later&hellip;<br /><br />What&rsquo;s really interesting, besides the game itself, is that Black Desert looks to be a console exclusive. PearlAbyss CEO Jung Kyungin stated that <em>&ldquo;[They] chose Xbox because of its hardware performance, market penetration, and marketing power. Especially, Microsoft has promised us with full marketing support and has actively engaged with us from the beginning. That is why we believe that Xbox is the best console partner for Black Desert&rdquo;.</em> While that statement doesn&rsquo;t entirely exclude a PS4 release, as of right now, it&rsquo;s only coming to the Microsoft&rsquo;s consoles. <br /><br /><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XYP57phnIgQ" width="854" height="480"></iframe><br /><br />Black Desert has been a hit with gamers for years (it was released in Korea in 2014). That said, I personally haven&rsquo;t had the pleasure of playing it. I&rsquo;m sure this will be rectified when it lands on the Xbox One early next year! <br /><br /></p> /microsoft/post/black-desert-is-coming-to-xbox-one Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:00:00 Prey <p>Reviewed By: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />System: Xbox One (Also on PS4, PC) <br />Genre: FPS<br />Rated: M<br />Players: 1<br />Cost: $59.99<br />Release Date: 05/05/2017<br />Publisher: Bethesda <br />Developer: Arkane Studios <br /><br />When I first heard that Prey was being developed by Arkane Studios, I was both excited and afraid. I was excited because Arkane is a great developer who isn&rsquo;t afraid to try new things. I was afraid because this new Prey seemed nothing like its predecessor; I didn&rsquo;t want them to use a popular property to prop up a new franchise. After spending a significate time in the final product, I&rsquo;m afraid to say that my fears were warranted&hellip;<br /><br />Prey takes place in an alternate future timeline &ndash; one where the failed assassination attempt of JFK sparked an accelerated Space Race. Our extended presence in space led to some interesting events in history, a major development being an encounter with hostile aliens called the Typhon. Exhibiting special abilities (like mind control), the aliens are contained rather than destroyed. Fast forward to the year 2025 and a company called TranStar builds the Talos 1 research/space station. Its sole purpose: to develop advances in neuroscience so humans can utilize the Typhon&rsquo;s abilities.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/prey-review-screen.jpg" alt="prey-review-screen" /><br /><br />This is where our protagonist Morgan Yu comes in. As a part of the research team on Talos, he was tasked with undergoing tests that would alter his brain*. He would take what&rsquo;s called Neuromods to gain specific skills from the different types of Typhon. After a short period of time, the neuromods would be removed (I assume for further testing) resulting in Morgan losing some of his memory. This is one of the reasons that, when the Typhon inevitably escape their cages to wreak havoc across the station, Morgan has no idea what&rsquo;s going on.<br /><br />Prey starts out promising but fizzles once things get going. Outside of the very beginning and the very end, the story is conveyed through scattered emails and audio files, most of which dealing with past happenings aboard the station. Similar games normally use these mechanics to deliver secondary information that enhances the main conflict. The newspaper clippings about missing persons in Resident Evil 7 help to establish its dark atmosphere; these maniacs have been abducting people for some time now. They aren&rsquo;t to be trifled with. Arkane used this method for delivering more than just the lore and backstory, instead used for Prey&rsquo;s main plot. &nbsp;<br /><br />As expected, the results vary. The side quests were really interesting in that they revealed information about the Talos 1 crew. Some people died heroically, others weren&rsquo;t so lucky, and some were into some crazy stuff. Figuring out what happened was fun and normally led to new weapons or useful materials (more on that later). The things is, because of the nature of side quests, I was ok with missing a few during my playthrough. They&rsquo;re optional. The game&rsquo;s plot isn&rsquo;t optional&hellip;or at least, it shouldn&rsquo;t be treated as so. Regulating key moments through emails that can be missed isn&rsquo;t smart. Not only that, it can be boring to have sit and read through them. A lot of the things that would invoke a sense of urgency, like the impending slaughter of former colleagues or the threat of the Typhon reaching Earth, were undone by the way the critical information was delivered.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/prey-review-screen-4.jpg" alt="prey-review-screen-4" /><br /><br />To be fair, there&rsquo;s no way to miss certain plot points. Players will ultimately walk away knowing what went down. It&rsquo;s just that there is a lot riding on what the player knows, from moment to moment gameplay to the plot twist at the end (which I feel is made better when the audience is fully aware of what&rsquo;s going on). Holding everything but the scraps for the start and finish felt uneven at best and sporadic at worst. <br /><br />What&rsquo;s really baffling is how mundane Prey is. The game features all of the elements we&rsquo;ve grown to expect from this subgenre. The corporation that may or may not be evil yet is the catalyst for reprehensible behavior, a friendly AI whose motives are questionable, a space station in various states of ruin &ndash; you know, the basics. The problem is that it doesn&rsquo;t do anything unique with them. Prey follows a worn formula to the point of eschewing its identity. Ironically, that wasn&rsquo;t a problem for the game this one is named after. Arkane excluded nearly everything that made the first Prey stand out, replacing what was unique with a &ldquo;by-the-numbers&rdquo; experience. This drastic undoing of a anything remotely related to Prey (or the canceled Prey 2) makes one wonder if it didn&rsquo;t share its namesake would gamers be excited for this title&hellip;</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/prey-review-screen-2.jpg" alt="prey-review-screen-2" /><br /><br />All that said, this doesn&rsquo;t mean that the game isn&rsquo;t worth playing at all. Battling the Typhon can be fun at times, especially when you go up against the Mimics. Unlike their larger brethren, these guys are rather smart. Instead of charging right at you, they&rsquo;ll hide in plain sight. This is done thanks to their ability to turn into inanimate objects like trashcans or that nice box of bullets you so desperately need. There was this one time where I thought I had outsmarted one of them. After setting up a turret I went to an adjacent room to lure the pesky critter to its doom &ndash; I had run out of ammo and didn&rsquo;t want to use my wrench. When it came into the room and noticed the turret, the mimic immediately turned into a coffee mug. It then waited till the turret rotated to one side before transforming back into itself and escaping into the hallway.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s also the Neuromods system for upgrading Morgan. At first the only things you&rsquo;ll be able to unlock skills and attributes that fall on the human side things: hacking machines, more health, etc. Later though, you&rsquo;ll be able to unlock Typhon skills, like the ability to shapeshift. I once pulled the same trick on an enemy that the Mimic did on my turret. After failing to sneak past a group of Phantoms, the more humanoid versions of the alien, I ran into a room and quickly transformed into a gun (there was one sitting by a body, so I used it for reference). The Phantoms rushed in, looked around a bit, and then went back to what they were doing. It was exhilarating.<br /><br />As you build up your arsenal of Typhon skills, the aliens will start to see you as a bigger threat. At one point they&rsquo;ll send the largest of their group, the Nightmare, to hunt you down. This giant can kill you with one hit and will follow you throughout parts of the station. The best course of action is usually to hide until it goes away, though you can try to kill it. Making matters worse is that the station itself will turn on you. Turrets, detecting Typhon in your system, will fire on you. If a human survivor notices you using one of these abilities, they&rsquo;ll fight you. I have mixed feelings about it given how the game seemed to discourage the use of the cooler abilities. However, this built in deterrence does tend to keep things from becoming too easy.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/prey-review-screen-3.jpg" alt="prey-review-screen-3" /><br /><br />Speaking of easy, a nifty crafting system lightens the burden of having to find bullets. Talos 1 is full of useless junk that can be recycled into their base materials. These materials can then be used with a fabricator (think space age 3D printer) to make items like health kits and bullets. Of course, you&rsquo;ll need find different fabrication plans or blueprints to make them. With all the necessary parts the crafting system becomes a real boon. Because the game can be rather tough at times, being able to create needed items helps take the edge off.&nbsp; <br /><br />The story, or lack thereof, is the main sticking point for me. Unfortunately, this affects the gameplay. The plot is the reason players can expect a mundane jaunt around the space station. Backtracking to locations to collect an item or two before being greeted by more enemies is the way it goes. There are some entertaining elements. The different skills Morgan can unlock allow for multiple options for bypassing many of the game&rsquo;s obstacles, which in turn can change the game&rsquo;s outcome. The side quests were also interesting. Beyond that though, there&rsquo;s isn&rsquo;t much here that hasn&rsquo;t been done better in other titles. And while that isn&rsquo;t a bad thing (if it isn&rsquo;t broke don&rsquo;t fix it) the lack of a specific voice beyond a few cool tricks makes Prey feel like a game I can pass on. You know, as opposed to the highly-anticipated game it was marketed as. <br /><br />Gameplay: 7<br />There are a few good mechanics, most of which were advertised in trailers and such. There isn&rsquo;t much more to the game and the plot isn&rsquo;t great. That said, Prey can be fun at times. <br /><br />Graphics: 8<br />Prey is visually appealing. Not as much as say Dishonored, but it isn&rsquo;t bad either. <br /><br />Sound: 8<br />The game&rsquo;s score and voice work is pretty good. <br /><br />Replay Value: 4<br />The only reason to replay Prey is to check out the different endings. Personally, that&rsquo;s not enough for me. &nbsp;<br /><br />Final Score:<br /><br />6.8<br /><br /><em>*Morgan Yu can be a male or a female. I chose the male version, which is why I say &ldquo;he&rdquo; throughout the review. </em><br />&nbsp;<br /></p> /microsoft/post/prey Tue, 30 May 2017 12:00:00