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Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Review

Posted by Karen Jacobson On Friday 11 April 20142 Comments

Available on 360 and PS3 l Published by Konami l Developed by Kojima Productions l Classified MA15+ l Supports 1 player

REVIEW IN BRIEF > There’s not really much to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, except a glimpse of what to expect from the upcoming Phantom Pain. What you will find is an enjoyable stealth experience with striking graphics and acute attention to detail. What you won’t find is your money’s worth. At a RRP of $49.95, you’ll wonder why it wasn’t just a demo, or at most, a $10 download.

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Borderlands goes down under

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Thursday 10 April 2014No Comments

As more and more games seek to confuse us with sequel names, I think at this point in time it is safe to say that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel probably takes the cake. I must say it is a very “Borderlands” way of saying that the next game in the series will be set between the time periods from the first and second games. Confused yet?

Series creator Gearbox is also playing second fiddle behind 2K Australia in developing the game. I didn’t see that coming, after all Gearbox hasn’t been exactly setting the world on fire with any of its games that aren’t called Borderlands (*cough* Aliens *cough*) but after a little thought it does make some sense, because the third and perhaps most perplexing detail in regards to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is that it is coming to last gen and PC only. No PS4 and no Xbone looting, which leads me to believe that Gearbox is hard at work on next gen Borderlands and publisher 2K really wanted an entry in the series this year (Borderlands 2 sold a squillion copies after all) so it got farmed out to another studio.

Along with the game announcement, there has been some gameplay and setting detail released. This entry will be about Handsome Jack’s rise to power, it will be predominantly set on Pandora’s moon, low gravity is an important gameplay mechanic and Claptrap will be a playable character… yes, Claptrap. The annoying little toaster will be one of four all new characters to play as on the Pandoran Luna landscape. Oh and as for a release date? Well, waiting won’t be too hard as it is due Spring 2014.

So are you ready get looting again? Will you feel the urge to punch Claptrap when you see him? Is Borderlands 3 actually going to be called “Borderlands: The Sequel to Sequel to the Pre-Sequel”? All this and more will be answered later in the year.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Review

Posted by Stephen Foote On Wednesday 9 April 2014No Comments

Available on 360 and PS3 l Published by Square Enix l Developed by Square Enix and tri-Ace l Classified M l Supports 1 player

REVIEW IN BRIEF > Lightning Returns reinforces the notion that Square Enix is doing its best to squeeze every last dollar out of increasingly cynical Final Fantasy fans and the ageing Crystal Tools engine. It is an amalgamation of disparate game mechanics, some reused art assets and a heavily retconned storyline masquerading as the last hurrah for the venerable series on ‘current’ generation consoles. Read the rest of this entry »

Vlambeer comments on Luftrausers controversy

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Tuesday 8 April 2014No Comments

Some of the controversial imagery.

Having spend two weeks riding a wave of critical and commercial success, the team responsible for indie action game Luftrausers has taken time out to clarify one of the controversies surrounding its release.

Vlambeer this week acknowledged that some players have felt uncomfortable with what they perceive to be Nazi-inspired imagery in the game. Some of the art design certainly appears to be reminiscent of pulp depictions of German forces.

While Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail has apologised for any “discomfort” experienced by players, he emphasised that neither side in the depicted conflict were intended to represent real world nations or regimes.

“You’re not playing any existing enemy force, not the Nazi’s, not the Japanese, not the Soviets, not any force that existed,” he wrote.

According to Ismail, Luftrausers “takes place somewhere between the Second World War and the Cold War, or in an alternative reality in the ten to fifteen years after the Second World War.”

It will be interesting to see how this explanation sits with critics.