Project CARS 2’s full Ferrari roster revealed

Slightly Mad Studios and Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe have announced the arrival of Ferrari for Project CARS 2.

Ten faithfully reproduced Ferraris will be included with Project CARS 2 when it is released worldwide on 22nd September 2017, on the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and PC.

Ferrari has epitomised motorsports for over 80 years and comes to the world’s most authentic racing game franchise with a series of historic, classic and current models carefully chosen to represent the passion, the technology and the glorious sporting history that defines the brand.

Driving a Ferrari, the dream of any passionate motorsport fan is now fully attainable in Project CARS 2. Charting half-a-century’s worth of Ferrari’s supreme creations Project CARS 2 drivers will be able to push these 10 authentically-crafted Ferraris to their astonishing limits.

Beginning with perhaps the most beautiful car ever to have raced, the Ferrari 330 P4 of 1967 (a photo of which was proudly displayed in Enzo Ferrari’s office from the day it claimed total victory at Daytona), through to Ferrari’s modern-day GT warrior, the 488 GT3 and via such iconic Ferraris such as the Ferrari 288 GTO of 1984 (the first supercar to hit the 300km/h barrier), the F40LM of 1989 (the GT version of the first supercar to reach 370km/h) and all the way through to Maranello’s current hypercar – LaFerrari, Project CARS 2 drivers will soon revel in the cars and history that have made Ferrari the world’s most aspirational car brand.

“Curating and selecting Ferraris from over 80 years’ worth of motorsport history was both a challenge and a joy,” said Stephen Viljoen, Game Director on Project CARS 2. “Our fans’ number one request after Project CARS 1 was to bring Ferrari to our game. We’re proud and really excited to have managed to bring this legendary brand to the franchise. Recreating their handling and legendary performance was a top priority for us.”

“Having Ferrari in Project CARS 2 is fantastic news for our drivers,” said Andy Tudor, Creative Director at Slightly Mad Studios. “But it also comes with its own unique set of challenges. With so much pedigree and expectation, getting the feel of these Ferraris right, in-game, was a massive responsibility for us. Fans and drivers of both Project CARS 2 and Ferrari expect something special, they expect the cars in-game to echo all the hallmarks of what it is to drive some of Maranello’s greatest-ever cars. We can’t wait to get our drivers into these Ferraris and let them experience what we’ve achieved. These cars are truly special.”

The Ferrari 330 P4, 365 GTB4 Competizione, 288 GTO, F40 LM , F333 SP, F50 GT, Enzo Ferrari, 488 GT3, 488 GTE, and LaFerrari will come with Project CARS 2 on 22nd September, 2017 for the PlayStation 4 system, Xbox One and PC.

Need for Speed Payback Customization Trailer

You’ve built up your dream car, it’s looking like a work of art but now it’s time to add those personal touches to truly make it yours.

Take your visual customization further and build out your dream car with the addition of Vanity Items. There’s multiple types of vanity item on offer in NFS Payback, each one allowing you to customize your car with that little extra personal flavour; Underglow, Tire Smoke, Nitrous Flames and Air Suspension.

Underglow (or neons) have been one of the most requested features for any Need for Speed game so we’re incredible excited to be bringing you them in Payback. We can’t wait to see how you’ll incorporate them into your car designs, cruising around Fortune Valley at night has never looked so good.

Part of the fun of hitting the Nitrous is watching your car spit out flames and in Need for Speed Payback you’ll be able to add a touch of your own personality by adding a splash of colour.

Say you’ve built a car in cool blue, you’ve added some blue Underglow, so now the only thing that’s left is to complete the effect with some blue nitrous.

How low can you go? Apply some air suspension and watch as your car lowers itself even closer to the floor. Switch off your engine and watch as your car all but sits on the floor. Slammed? You got it! Perfect for creating that ultimate Snapshot.

There’s nothing quite like creating a storm of smoke in the middle of the street through some enthusiastic drifting or donuts. Add a bit of personal flavour by customizing the colour of your tire smoke, or keep it stock – it’s your call.

Combine these vanity options with the visual and performance updates in Need for Speed Payback to create your own of a kind dream ride. If there’s one thing for sure, your garage is going to look the best it ever has.

Cloudberry Kingdom Review

Cloudberry Kingdom is a jumping and platforming game developed by Pwnee Studios. You will start out with the basic hero named bob, who just has a single jump and basic physics. Depending on what mode or levels you are doing, you will have the opportunity to play as different heroes that have a unique style of play. Tiny and fat bob are just different sizes for him, with tiny letting you jump a lot higher and fat bob can’t jump very well. Rocket and double jump bob both affect how he jumps, rocket giving you a jet pack and double jump is exactly that. Some annoying variations are wheelie, bouncy, and hero in a box, where they make it hard to do jumps correctly. Spaceship is possibly the most unique one, since it places you in a ship and you must fly to the other side of the level without touching anything, even basic ground. Phase bob causes you to constantly change sizes, from really small to really big, so you need to be careful where you are currently standing.

Most levels in Cloudberry Kingdom are randomly made, with their difficulty depending on how far you have progressed in the current mode. Not only are the levels random, but their difficulty will even scale on how well you are performing, allowing even the least skilled players to have fun. No matter how they look or are designed, they all have one thing in common; they allow you to almost always have forward motion and you will rarely need to move backwards or slow down. Each level will have some coins on them to collect, awarding you differently depending on which mode you are playing. The design of each level takes into consideration which hero you are using, gaps will be much wider if you are able to double jump or have a jet pack for example. If you are playing a level that you really like, you can use the save level option in the menu to be able to play it again at anytime through the free play mode.

Other than basic land, there are a variety of types of other platforms that function differently and you will need to know how they work. There are floating blocks that will drop if you stand on them too long, blocks that will cause you to bounce, and even ones that will fade in and out in a rhythm. Moving blocks, elevators, and pendulums will cause you to time your jumps accordingly. Clouds will cause you to slowly fall through them, giving you just enough time to jump out of them.

There are many hazards to watch out for while playing Cloudberry Kingdom. Simply touching any of them will be the end to your hero’s life. There are spiky balls swinging around on chains, spikes placed on different surfaces that pop out at times, and falling spiky balls from the sky. Lasers will shoot from the bottom to top of the screen, flames will spin around on surfaces, and saws will try to cut you as they also swing around. Serpents and fire balls will try to jump out of the floor to catch you as you jump along the path. Flying bugs will let you land on them, squishing them and giving you the ability to jump again.

If a level ever feels too hard, you can opt to use one of three abilities that are designed to help you get past them. Each ability costs a certain number of coins, which you have collected while playing. You won’t have to spend any if you use them in free play however. AI, costing 5 coins, will give the computer control over your character, which will show it completing the level for you, but it won’t count as you doing it. The orb ability, costing 40 coins, causes a blueish orb to follow a drawn out path, which you can follow as it goes along the path. Slow motion, costing 20 coins, will of course slow the game down for you to complete the level.

The story levels in Cloudberry Kingdom are the most basic ones, that just simply require you to get to the door on the other side. These are the only levels that aren’t randomly made, since they were designed to ramp up in difficulty in a certain way. There are no time limits and you have an unlimited number of lives. As you progress through them, they will slowly get harder and you will play as a different hero every 10 or so levels.

There are 4 different arcade modes, each putting a different twist on the basic gameplay. All of these modes involve you collecting coins to earn points so you can rank on the leaderboards. Escalation is just like story mode, except you stay as the same character and have a limited number of lives, though you can earn more for every 25 coins. Time Crisis has a time limit involved, and you can increase the timer by collecting coins, up to a max of 20 seconds. Hero Rush will give you a random hero each time you complete a level. Hybrid rush is like Hero Rush where it gives you random heroes as well, but it will sometimes combine multiple heroes such as fat rocket wheelie.

It is possible to completely customize how you want a level to be designed, as well as designing your own hero. You can choose how long the level is, how many checkpoints are in it, whether or not a spike wall is chasing you, and the types and frequency of playforms and hazards are present in it. Upon completion of a free play level, you can generate another one with the same settings if you so desire. If you were to max out every setting, it will create a level that is probably only possible if you were to use the AI ability, as it has to be done perfectly. Creating your own hero to use involves editing everything about his physics, from jumping to falling, and even the size of him. Having double jump or rocket set as a baseline, you can also choose how many jumps he has or how much fuel in the rocket.

If you want to play with some friends locally, they can plug in controllers to join in on the jumping with you. Even though you can use WASD or the arrow keys on the keyboard, it seems that only one person can use the keyboard. Every mode can be played in multiplayer, even the story levels. Multiplayer basically puts everyone’s character on the current level and you all will have to try beating it. You can still die in the same ways, though the level doesn’t get reset until everyone is dead or someone reaches the end. If one player gets left behind and the screen goes past them, they will die from that. Levels with checkpoints will revive dead players as they are touched. A special bungee mode exists within free play that causes all players to be connected by a stretchy rope, causes mayhem if you stray too far from another.

Everything that you do in Cloudberry Kingdom is stored as a statistic that you can view at any time. You will see basic information such as the number of times you’ve died and to what, and how many coins you have grabbed. Other statistics such as average length per life and the number of jumps you have done.

All the basic options exist, with sound and music volume sliders, resolution, and the ability to edit your keys. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to bind the space bar to the jump button, since that is how it is used in other jumping games. The graphics are nice colorful and cartoony, but aren’t ugly because of their simplicity. There is a variety of music that will play during the levels, and their quality sounds much better than a lot of video games.

There’s nothing wrong with the unlimted randomly generated levels, but because of that the levels all have the same feel to them. Other jumping games, like Super Meat Boy and Dust Force, have carefully crafted levels that have their own unique theme and layout. Other than that, nothing else stands out bad about Cloudberry Kingdom.

All game modes will start out easy, but will get harder as they go. This means that if you don’t like challenge in your games, you might not make it very far in all the modes. You can custom make yourself easy levels though. All random levels will even scale their difficulty on how well you do, meaning that they will stay relatively easy if you are having trouble. Even so, you will have to eventually improve to advance into the harder levels. Story mode saves your progress after completing each level, though everything else pretty much requires you to play until you run out of time or die too much. Level wise, it shouldn’t take you over a minute to do each one assuming you don’t die a whole lot in doing so.

Anyone looking for a great challenging platforming game will love Cloudberry Kingdom. The levels will get harder with how well you are doing and of course how far you have advanced in the current mode. Leaderboards will keep you on your toes while you try to beat the best in the world. Arcade has a bunch of modes to unlock as well as the different types of heroes you can use on them. Escalation and Time Crisis require you to play them as the normal character first, while you can unlock the others by completing a certain amount of levels. Different arcade modes require you to have a high enough player level, which is the total number of levels you’ve completed during the story and arcade.

Cloudberry Kingdom costs 10 dollars and if you pre-purchase it within the next day you will also get the soundtrack. If you enjoy other jumping games, it is well worth buying Cloudberry Kingdom with the amount of content it comes with at such a low price.

Expeditions: Viking Review

Turn-based combat has never stood out to me on its own. In strategy games like the Civilization series, it’s an efficient way to solve zero-sum military situations. In squad combat as seen in the XCOM games, it can make for tense and unpredictable tactical scenarios, where a few moves can completely turn the tide of battle. These applications are tried and true, but usually garnished with minimal backstory and thin character development (if any) – and as a player who’d rather be wooed by great stories than contests of skill, they haven’t held my attention thus far. Then, as if out of nowhere, Expeditions: Viking appeared, a diamond in the rough waiting to be enjoyed by story seekers everywhere.

You play as the son or daughter of your village’s recently deceased “thegn,” or leader, and are immediately exposed to a driving source of conflict in Viking: pride. Your father hasn’t done the best job leading your clan, according to some clan members and leaders present at his funeral feast, and a few even question your right to the throne. It quickly becomes obvious that not everyone is ready for leadership to simply be handed down to the late thegn’s son.

In conversations, several options usually appear after any given statement or inquiry from an NPC, and the player’s decisions actually change the outcome of conversations. For example, if asked what you think of another clan and your opinion lines up with the person you’re talking to, your relationship with them might improve. Brash decisions can lead to personal or clan-wide conflicts or even full-fledged combat. The opening of the game demonstrates this system very well by having the player speak to several clan leaders with varying views of the main character and the late father, while using the mother’s guidance to discourage the player from stirring up trouble. Of course, trouble inevitably shows up, forcing the player into combat. Picking apart the game’s beginning sequence makes it sound fairly systematic: talk to people, say what you think they want to hear, and deal with conflict when you have to. In execution, however, everything that happens in Viking is seamlessly interwoven using well-written dialogue and convincing characters. The motives of everyone’s actions are generally easy to relate to, or at least understand, and the characters therefore seem very human. Now, don’t get me wrong: the combat and action elements are what given Expeditions: Viking its substance. But in its narrative, its relationships – where many strategy games seem to falter – it quickly and persistently develops meaning behind its gameplay, and to me that’s what makes it worth playing.

Down to the nitty-gritty: in Viking, a leader is only as good as his word – and his word is only as good as his strength in battle. Some conflicts can be resolved with diplomacy, but most are ended with the sword, and Viking attempts to add some fresh twists to the trusty turn-based hex-tile combat system. Each warrior has action points that can be spent on movement or skills – normal attacks don’t consume these points, so warriors can cover big distances in order to meet their opponents and strike a blow. Some skills consume all action points; meaning, once a warrior moves, several of their skills become unusable. Attack/defend events factor in warrior’s stats in strength, endurance and finesse (offense, defense, and critical chance respectively) as well as equipped items and proficiency with those items. This is where the RPG aspect of Viking plays a role: as characters level up, their strength, endurance, finesse, perception and sense stats can be raised. The first three directly influence proficiency with various weapon types, and perception greatly affects accuracy with bows, making it a primary stat for archers. Interestingly, these stats also have other effects, some even outside of combat. A shield-wielding warrior, for example, will want endurance, not only for its boost to total hit points, but for its base damage reduction and block chance. The sense stat, which affects mental resistance and stamina, also appears in dialogue sometimes and can allow the player to persuade others. Perception can also reveal things during conversation that can help the player determine a course of action.

Building characters to hone in on specific strengths (my character is an archer with a focus on the sense stat, labeled “healer” because of my skill selections) is key to building a powerful team, as is using warriors to their strengths. The “attack of opportunity” feature makes this easier to do, as moving away from an enemy while adjacent to their hex (or trying to run by them) gives them a free hit. Warriors setup for strength and endurance can rush to engage stronger opponents and soak up damage, and they’ll be less likely to disengage and attack supporting warriors. Playable battle areas are quite large, so using archers to lay down damage and melee warriors to soak up damage can become a matter of using the map to your advantage. The game also features a cover system, with half-cover and full-cover scenery influencing whether warriors can be hit by arrows or fire from behind cover – and it’s all based on line of sight, which is why archers are the funnest characters to use in my opinion.

The core pillars of a strong game have been well established in Viking – and then some. The combat feels tactile and violent. Hitting an enemy will lock the camera on their head temporarily so you can see its damage. Killing blows cause characters to ragdoll and collapse with heavy thuds, before they continuously bleed on the battlefield. Rich environments filled with realistic natural and man-made scenery elements and cover obstacles make every scene a feast for the eyes. Small details like snow flurries (and fire particles that will be blown in the direction of the snow), rich ambient noises and carefully-crafted scenery (every one in a while a bird will fly by, right in front of the camera) make the world feel alive and in motion. Whether its systems remain balanced and rewarding in the long-term remains to be seen – and a few more voice-overs wouldn’t have hurt – but all in all, Expeditions: Viking is simply captivating. After hours of scrapping, surviving, and sometimes even thriving, I keep returning for more.

The Escapists 2 Launches on August 22

Award-winning international games label Team17 and developer Mouldy Toof Studios have announced the launch date for The Escapists 2, the follow up to their award-winning prison-escape game.

Launching on the 22nd August for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, The Escapists 2 is available to pre-order from today from £19.99/$19.99/19,99 € from Steam and for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One from select retailers, with digital pre-orders available soon. Those who pre-order from select retailers will get access to an additional prison, The Glorious Regime!

In this pulse-pounding penitentiary, players will experience the thrill of escaping a hidden compound deep in the jungle. You’ll need determination and drive to avoid the unquestioningly devoted guards, constant surveillance, and the Illustrious Leader himself, in your bid for freedom.

The Escapists 2 is the forthcoming sequel to the multi-million selling, award-winning sandbox prison-escape game which will include, in a first for the series, drop in/drop out play for up to four players in both local and online play.

Escaping won’t be easy though. You’ll have to work around the strict prison schedule and avoid the unwanted attention of guards. Craft weapons and tools found (or stolen) from within the prison, but beware of cell shakedowns. Get a job or perform “favours” for your fellow inmates to purchase vital supplies, all while scouting escape routes.

Neverwinter Review

The generic races that you expect in MMOs are in Neverwinter like the human, elf, and dwarf. Theres also two half races which are half-orc and half-elf. Although not unusual, halflings are also available. The only unique races in the game are the Tiefling which look like a red skinned demon, and an exclusive race called the Menzoberranzan Renegade. All race picks come with three perks that slightly increase certain aspects of the character, such as 5% more dmg or 1% money gain.

There are currently only 5 classes to choose from though more will be available in the future. They are mostly generic, like the rogue and cleric, but the control wizard is probably the most unique one of them all. All classes are mostly designed to fit only one role in the game, but the control wizard can somewhat fill two since they get a lot of damaging spells as well as a lot of control spells to either freeze or debilitate even large groups of foes.

Your character has 6 attributes to roll points into, depending on your race and class. All races give bonus attributes, while your classes determines which ones are your primary and secondary stats. It is very important to get a good roll since these attributes give you vital base stats that you will always have. Appearance is of course customizable, and it is very thorough with being able to customizable pretty much everything about your looks. You can lastly choose a god to follow and your backstory, but this has nothing to do with your in game stats and is only there for roleplaying.

Most of your time spent leveling will be through doing solo dungeons following the main story, instanced areas that are made for one person while also teaching you how dungeons will be like. There aren’t any large open world areas that most MMOs have, though there are smaller “open” areas that have limited quest hubs but not anything spectacular. In between doing all of these, you will also be able to queue for PvP or skirmishes/dungeons, and PvP even gives experience which doesn’t happen in most of these types of games. Experience appears to be scaled when you do these and simply killing enemies don’t give a whole lot of experience on their own. This, along with the fact that PvP gives experience means that if you’re bored of doing all of the solo content you can just queue your way all the way to endgame fairly fast.

The crafting aspect in Neverwinter is one of the least crafting-like activity in any MMO. You have five to choose from, and they consist of mostly making queues to get something done, while sometimes actually requiring an ingredient to be used. Eventually you will be able to have 9 queues going on at once, and after you’ve done them for a while you will unlock some useful things to make.

Lore is told to you through the main quest chain that you follow while doing all the solo dungeons and small zones. The best thing about quests and lore in Neverwinter is that there isn’t a whole lot to read, and the actual important stuff is voice acted after you make it to certain points in the quests, so you can continue on fighting and exploring while it is being explained to you. People who just click through quests to get them done will actually be able to listen in on whats happening without completely missing out on everything.

Instead of a free moving mouse that you can use to click on everything, combat locks your mouse to a cursor and it is where you aim all of your abilities. All classes will only be able to use 7-8 abilities at a time, making combat less hectic but also less strategical. Except for a few oddities, most abilites and attacks will lock you in place so you can’t move around freely while attacking. Instead of mana and resource bars, you only have to worry about the cooldowns that abilities have, with some special requirements for others. You will have an action bar fill up from your abilities and when it is full you can use one of your powerful abilities once until you fill it up again. Depending on your class, you will have a special bar that will fill or deplete when you use it, giving you even more ways to utilize your select few skills to use.

If you can’t think of what you want to do at the moment, you can check out what the current task is. Tasks are mini quests that cause certain activities to have better rewards such as more glory earned from PvP or extra money and experience from dungeons. There is only one of these active at a time, though there won’t always be one active at the given moment. These can encourage players to do more than just the same thing over and over.

Dungeons are the main focus of the PvE in Neverwinter. Whether you’re in a group or doing a solo dungeon, the base elements are still the same in both. The unique traits about dungeons here is that they instill a want to explore. They may be linear for the most part, but there are alcoves and tunnels leading to other areas that may contain secret chests or resource points that each class is able to get access to. Traps are another thing that you may run into, and they can sometimes do large amounts of damage if you’re not careful, luckily some classes can detect and even disarm them so you may pass. You will run into lesser bosses along the way in each dungeon, while the end boss is actually unique and has cerain strategies you will need to look out for to complete successfully. When you finally finish a dungeon, there will be a reward chest at the end with money and sometimes items.

This is one of the most unique things that separates Neverwinter from every other MMO that is out there. They have included a way for people to “mod” the game by giving you the tools to create your own story driven quests. Anyone can do this, but only the dedicated ones will bother with this and even then only a small amount of them will be of any worth. When a foundry quest has been completed by someone, they can put it into the game and anyone can play it while rating it for others to see. You will even get experience and othe rewards from completing these player made quests.

The most bare aspect in Neverwinter appears to be PvP. There is currently only one gamemode and a few different maps of it to go around. Capturing and holding points is how PvP is currently being played, and it will quickly go stale for most people unless they like the actual combat involved. Unless you’re level 60, when you queue for PvP you will be upscaled to the max level in your bracket, so if youre 23 you will be playing as a level 29. After winning or losing a match, you will gain experience and glory, which can be traded in for nice gear when you reach level 60. There is currently no special attribute on this gear that will make you better in these matches, though they do have high health ratings which also mean that you will see a lot of tanks wanting to get this gear.

Since there are currently no raids in Neverwinter, all you have to do is the tiered dungeons. These are all of the previous dungeons that you have done while leveling but set at a level 60 scaling, and simply harder in general as well. Other than these dungeons, you can start PvPing in level 60 only games as well as checking out the foundry for anything that would make a good endgame challenge.

More and more MMOs are getting rid of hotkeys and becoming more action oriented, especially when they add in dodge mechanics. Tera and Guild Wars 2 both share some similarities with Neverwinter. If you enjoyed the fixed mouse cursor and dodging in combat in Tera you will Like Neverwinter.

The basic options for these kinds of games exist, such as customizing how your ui looks. MMO graphics have never been the most amazing graphically when it comes to games, but they aren’t always ugly because of it. Neverwinter graphics are fairly standard when it comes to MMOs and there isn’t anything standing out about them. Everything has its sound effects and music, but the best part of the sound in Neverwinter is that almost all quest objectives are voice acted so you can continue to adventure while listening to the story, instead of sitting for a few minutes reading pages.

These are probably just beta complaints, but there are a few things that Neverwinter could do without. PvP is very plain and bare since theres currently only one game mode and a select number of maps to play it on. Class balance in pvp definitely needs to be looked at, since if a rogue is anywhere near a healer they are pretty much dead yet any other class a healer can safely live around. End game consists mostly of 5 man dungeons instead of raids, and being able to bring in your companions means that hardcore players won’t be as challenged as they would like. Crafting could be better like how it is done in other games, instead of a simple queue you start for something to get done. Although they are indirect ways, there are ways to make Neverwinter a pay to win game, such as unlimited revival scrolls or powerful companions. Only having a very small amount of abilities to be used at once during combat restricts all of the tactics that you might have otherwise been able to do, instead of just being able to do damage in different ways. When equipment drops in dungeons and you have to roll for it, anyone can need on any piece even if they can’t wear it, which means a lot of the time you won’t be able to get gear specifically for you even if you’re the only one of that class in the group. It being a beta isn’t bad, but when there’s still plenty of problems and exploits in it along with a real money store already, it makes it seem like they’re more focused on making money than making the game better.

Unless you’re doing endgame dungeons, you will have no problem with fitting in and learning how to do everything in Neverwinter. One thing that helps is that you don’t have many abilities to worry about while fighting, so you can pay more attention to the battle and not which of your 50 spells are on cooldown. The fact that you and everyone else in a group being able to bring companions makes even the hardest dungeons a lot easier, especially if you bring ones that heal you. PvP can be either hard or easy since it is all about who is on each team, and usually whoever has the most people in area will win. Skirmishes, PvP, and the solo dungeons that you do while leveling will take at most 20 minutes to complete. Fully fledged dungeons could potentially take an hour or even longer to do, especially if your group ends up dieing at the boss fights. So even if you don’t have time to do a dungeon on an evening, there is still other rewarding activities to do.

Other than the end game tiered dungeons, everything else is pretty easy. The dungeons that you run through while leveling don’t even require a tank and you can just have your companion tank it anyways, and since you can only use a max of 7-8 abilities PvP isn’t very deep strategy wise. Once again being able to bring in companions during any PvE content make 5 man dungeons feel like you’re doing them with 10 people. Just like every other mmo, there are tons of achievements to obtain from the different areas of gameplay. Other than that, there are five classes to master and many dungeons to run with lots of gear to gather.

Neverwinter is a completely free to play game, with the usual microtransactions that accompany these types of games. Since it is part of the Perfect World Entertainment line of games, their currency called Zen can be used within all of their games so you may already have some available. Zen costs rougly one dollar per hundred, and the most expensive items can cost up to 4000 zen, so be ready to spend 40 dollars on some items. If buying separate amounts of Zen is not your thing, you can currently buy one of the three available founder packages that contain lots of bonus in game items along with Astral Diamonds that you can exchange in game for zen. You can also exchange the Astral Diamonds that you earn in game for Zen with the exchange window in game, but the astral price per zen will slowly but surely go up over time.

There is barely any in-game advantage to buying items because 99% of it is cosmetics, though you could consider some things to give you an advantage. Mounts can be bought, and since you can use them in pvp you will be able to move around a lot quicker than others before they are able to save up 5 gold to buy their own. Enchanting items aren’t 100% guaranteed, but you can buy some expensive items in the store that can guarantee your item will be enchanted without destroying anything, meaning you can completely skip the RNG factor. Although only usable in PvE, you can buy some companions that will help you in battles and they have some mean looking stats. There are also scrolls of revival that you can get that will revive you on the spot, so if you’re rich you can just buy a ton of them and not worry about wiping on the hardest bosses. Overall though, there is no major reason to not play Neverwinter when it comes to being able to buy power with real money, especially when most of the advantages are in PvE content.

The founder packages range from 20 dollars, 50, and all the way up to 200 dollars. The 20 dollar package isn’t even worth looking at, since it just gives two items that barely help with leveling along with a bag that gives you 12 inventory slots, but nothing else at all of value. A better deal is the 50 dollar pack, since it includes a mount and dog companion that you get from the start, along with a ton of Astral diamonds (600000) and other little bonuses such as another character slot. Only bad thing about this pack is that the amount of diamonds you get is barely worth anything when you get into the inflated market, and it would actually be better to just purchase 50 dollars worth of Zen which will go a long way. The 200 dollar pack will most likely be too much for most people to spend on a single game, but if you are planning to play this game for at least a year this price is well worth it, since you get a ton of cool and exclusive mounts and companions along with 2,000,000 Astral Diamonds, with even more miscellaneous bonus items and perks. Probably the most exclusive thing about the 200 dollar founder package is that it will give you exclusive access to the Menzoberranzan Renegade playable race, which look like a type of elf.

Train Simulator Review

Have you ever wondered what a train is like to drive? Look no further! Train Simulator is the closest you will get to drive a train from your armchair. If you are looking for game play and plenty of engaging storylines please do not read on – this is a simulator, raw and simple, and although the graphics, detail and ambiance are superlative; as a simulator it will definitely not appeal to the hardened gamer. The target audience may be limited, but the features of this simulator are certainly not lacking.

Train Simulator takes the rail fan to the heart of railway operations. Locos range from the fabled British Rail High Speed Train to the legendary Flying Scotsman, including locos from all over the world. The detail and level of graphical representation knock any rail simulator that I have ever used into last year! If you are used to Microsoft Train Simulator then it really is time for a change. Train Simulator has pan and zoom functions that execute with a smoothness that makes the whole experience a pleasure to use. Reflective textures and paint schemes, as well as visible animated mechanical components show how much effort has gone into this simulator, and although only using Direct X 9c, the developers have really succeeded in bringing on the eye candy!

Engaging tasks such as controlling a 10,000 ton freight train over a mountain pass, driving a high pressure 125mph express on the East Cost Mainline, or getting your passengers home safely in bad weather are just 3 scenarios waiting for you to taste what it’s like to be a train driver in various corners of the globe. And with plenty of add-on content from locomotives and rolling stock to routes, you will always find plenty of challenges to keep you occupied and make this simulator exactly what Microsoft Train Simulator should have been way back in 2001, with an added smoothness never before experienced in a train simulator. This simulator certainly has the potential to while away 100’s of hours of happy pottering on an incredibly convincing virtual railway.

Two of my pet hates with Microsoft Train Simulator was the real world and task editors supplied with the simulator package. These were notoriously unstable, regularly crashed and were pretty much unusable at times. Train Simulator includes an incredible editor that I found very easy to use, enabling you to edit routes, rolling stock and tasks – or create your own from scratch if you’re feeling adventurous. The editors of Train Simulator are stable and smooth and actually were a pleasure to use – so save money by not buying the professional and official add-ons and make your own!

The only disappointment for me with this simulation was the graphical and global scenery – where as the track, signaling locos and cabs are all done to an excellent standard, the trees, and other flora and fauna I thought could have done with a little more work to complete the feel of total immersion! Having said that however, the weather seems very realistic, as is the representation of people on the stations and in the simulated world – something completely lacking in Microsoft Train Simulator, so a welcome addition here. Coupled with the amazing zoom and pan options this simulation never fails to grab your attention, making you scrutinize, pause and reflect – taking your time – just as you would if driving a real world train!

Sound too is more than convincing. The HST (High Speed Train) sounds like a HST did before they were re-engined in 2006, the Flying Scotsman provides the true sound of the era, taking you there and bathing you in the ambience. This simulation certainly will have plenty of longevity for the true rail enthusiast and will certainly feed those for whom level of detail is paramount, providing potentially hundreds of hours of immersive entertainment. The only problem is that, because there is a lack of variety to the locos, rolling stock routes and scenarios, I can see this getting quite expensive as you feed your habit by buying the vast plethora of add-ons that have popped up since launch. Having said that though, with such a great editor, you could also spend marriage and relationship ending hours creating your own content!

With five well written and compiled documents so you can get the most out of the software, you won’t be scratching around for information online. The quick start guide will get you up and running the rails in record time! Train Simulator can be bought as a traditional hard copy or downloaded through Steam, installation being simple straightforward and totally automatic.

To be totally honest, this simulator is the best thing to be released in years for the train fan. It is realistic and yet compelling, while being totally beautiful in its execution. If you are a rail fan of any kind, in any part of the world – Train Simulator has to be part of your software collection.

Iron Galaxy and Maximum Games Announce Extinction

Legend calls them the Ravenii, encroaching armies of bloodthirsty monsters that once threatened to destroy humankind. Now, the threat has returned. Iron Galaxy and Maximum Games have announced their thrilling, fast-paced action game – Extinction.

As far back as anyone can remember, humanity has been at war with itself. For generations, kingdoms have fought amongst themselves while the real threat loomed in the distance. Only those trained in the ways of the ancient order stand a chance at defeating the 150-foot-tall ogres and the armies that trail in their wake. You are one of the world’s last Sentinels, a soldier named Avil, equipped with the skills to battle the endless waves of Ravenii

In Extinction, you’ll fight massive ogres and their minions across a sprawling countryside, defending cities and rescuing native villagers torn from their homes. Swiftly define your strategy as hordes attack from the ground and air. Use the dynamic skill-based combat system to tactically disarm and dismember enemies before going in for the kill.

“Extinction is absolutely relentless,” said Kraig Kujawa, Game Director at Iron Galaxy. “We’re really happy with the fast, fluid feel of the game and we’re looking forward to showing it behind closed doors at E3.”

“As the protagonist tasked with a huge undertaking – both in fighting enormous ogres and saving humans from disaster – each player’s experience will be varied, as the landscapes and battle situations are never identical,” said Derek Neal, Executive Producer at Maximum Games.

Metro 2033 Redux Review

What’s this? An obscure IP from a relatively unknown studio? From the onset, it’s easy to discount and overlook Metro 2033 in favour of more popular shooter franchises with big budgets behind them, but, in this case, a little perseverance can be truly rewarding. Based on the novel by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky (an excellent read by the way) Metro 2033 follows Artyom, a child of the Moscow metro system, raised underground following the nuclear apocalypse that rendered the surface uninhabitable. With his home station threatened by a settlement of mutated monsters, touted by some as the next stage of human evolution, Artyom sets off to raise the alarm and get help.

When you take control of Artyom, you’re thrown into a world that seems impossibly large. Not because of a vast map with an infinite skymap overhead but because of the massive complexity of the subway tunnels that worm their way underneath Moscow. You’re never entirely sure where you’re going, simply pressing on hoping that you won’t get trapped in a tunnel when things go bad. This tension never lets up, made more terrifying by the oppressive stonework that’s almost always right over your head. In the rare moments when you set foot on the surface, the terror is amplified by the sudden explosion of space all around you. In terms of level design, Metro 2033 is a masterpiece of highly contrasting, constantly menacing environments that never let you feel safe.

While the console port was marred by numerous glitches and visual stuttering, on a sufficiently beefy PC, Metro 2033 gives most AAA titles something to sweat about. Character models are detailed, with eerily lifelike eyes and beautiful facial animations. Particle effects blossom and flow all around your field of vision, adding to the stifling, dust-filled atmosphere of the stagnant tunnels. The lighting engine provides a perfect balance of murky gloom and welcome bright havens and it’s easy to get distracted as you cast your flickering torch over the slick, stained walls of Moscow’s historic stations.

While it’s a looker, Metro 2033 isn’t so smart. Enemy AI is frustratingly stupid at times, only mixing it up by deciding to either run at you head on or hide and wait for you to turn a corner and finish the job with a well-aimed shotgun round. Occasionally, the game attempts to compensate for this by throwing ridiculously hardy monsters at you or overwhelming you with near-impossible swarms. It makes for some frustrating moments that, for me, led to long breaks in gameplay as I forced myself to calm down and try again.

When previews first appeared, many got the impression that Metro 2033 would be similar to Fallout but with better shooting. While the shooting is greatly improved, it feels like developers 4A Games could have spent some more time adding greater variety to the available weaponry. Using bullets as both ammo and currency (premium military grade bullets that deal extra damage) is a nice touch, but shopping is never really a priority and, with no upgrades to buy, you’re best off using them when you’re in a tight spot. Similarly, using tech like the torch, map and gas mask are all authentically low-tech but fiddly to utilise correctly.

Thankfully, Gukhovsky’s story triumphs over many of these adversities. Artyom’s plight seems nigh on impossible and the characters he meets along the way make for some compelling distractions from the murky misery of underground life. Metro 2033 deserves recognition for possibly being the first shooter in recent member to not tack on an unnecessary multiplayer component as well. While the two endings and 6 to 8 hour play time make replay value relatively low, it’s a satisfying experience and one that shouldn’t be missed by anyone seeking something a little different from their shooters. Ultimately flawed, Metro 2033 is still worth the effort if it looks the least bit interesting to you.

Killing Floor Review

There are 7 perks, or classes, that you can choose to play as in Killing Floor. This allows many different styles of play and also ensures that the game doesn’t become stale, especially if everyone had access to everything at the same time. Each perk has specific ways to level up, which allow cheaper and stronger weapons that go with that perk, along with a bunch of passives such as stronger armor or faster movement speed. All perks start with pistols, can buy and use grenades and armor, as well as carrying a medical syringe that can be used to heal yourself or others. Technically you can use and buy every gun on any perk, but since each perk causes its weapons to be cheaper, you’re almost forced to just buy the discounted weapons. Field medics have stronger armor, can move faster, heal for more, access to a wide variety of medic guns that shoot healing darts, and grenades that heal instead of harm. Support specialists can weld doors easier, access to tons of shotguns for cheaper prices, and can carry more weight. Sharpshooters of course gain access to lots of weapons that focus on accuracy and headshots, while also increasing headshot damage of any weapons. Commandos are the ones that use lots of automatic rifles while also being able to see enemy health bars. The Berserker is a melee weapon user, which has access to swords and a chainsaw, and can gain resistance to all damage while also being able to move faster. If fire and flames are what you’re looking for, the firebug can purchase fiery weapons such as flamethrowers and even dragon’s breath shotguns, all while taking less fire damage from all sources. Finally, if you like watching stuff explode into a fine red paste, Demolition perks allow you to get exploding weapons for cheaper, whether its a grenade launcher or pipebombs that you can drop.

There are a total of 10 different enemies, called zeds or specimens, including the final boss. They are all very unique compared to each other and are equally as dangerous. Headshots are the main and best strategy to kill enemies, mainly because it can disable and stun even the largest ones, while of course doing more damage which makes sharpshooters important on the harder difficulties. The two basic zeds, clots and gorefasts, simply try to get close to you and melee you, though the gorefast is all about speed and damage while the clot will simply grab you and prevent you from moving. Stealthy specimens are the crawlers and stalkers, which can easily hide in the levels’ dark areas and do damage before you know it. A large and fat looking zed named bloats will try to slowly get next to you and cover you with corrosive vomit, and will even explode while showering everything with it as well when it dies. Husks are fairly strong and the only long ranged specimen if you don’t count the final boss, who wander around and trying to shoot you with their exploding fireball weapon. Two very large and hard to kill enemies are the scrake and fleshpound, which both will try to charge the players when they get low enough on health or have been shot with bullets too many times, and both are responsible for the most player deaths. Finally, if you make it through all the normal waves, you will have to fight the boss which is called the Patriarch, who sports a chain gun, rocket launcher, melee attacks, and even a cloaking device which he uses to sneak around as well as run away so he can heal himself. If you get his health low enough and fail to completely kill him, he will run away to hide somewhere so he can heal, while also causing a small group of smaller specimen to spawn which are easy to deal with. Quite possibly the most important part about the enemies in Killing Floor is that they all scale based on the number of players currently in the match, causing high amounts of players to not make the game stupidly easy while also allowing you to leave at any time without feeling obligated to stay.

Cooperating with everyone else on your team is how you will be successful, and there are a few tools to let you do so. Since everyone is able to carry a medical syringe around, it is best to heal others than to heal yourself because a bonus is applied to it, even moreso if you’re a field medic. There is no friendly fire at all unless you’re on a server that allows it, making it easier to get zeds off of your teammates with explosives. Money can be given to other people as well as any guns, allowing you to arm people that just joined or died previously and lost their guns.

Probably the most unique thing about Killing Floor is that it has a mechanic called Zed Time. When someone kills an enemy, moreso when a large group dies at once or a large enemy dies, there is a chance that the game will enter Zed Time which slows everything down. This can help everyone aim better and assess the situation more accurately. The Berserker and Commando perks even have a special passive ability that allows them to prolong the duration of Zed Time for each kill that they can get during its duration.

There is a large variety of levels, though for the most part they can be considered the same. All levels include multiple paths with almost no dead ends, which can make it hard at times to bottleneck the enemies. Item spawns will be scattered all over which can spawn even when the current wave is still going on. There will be doors that you can weld closed which will cause enemies to start attacking it, and it will stay closed if you continue to keep it welded. When a wave is finished, you will be shown the way to a store where you can spend the cash that you have earned, with multiple stores on each level and only one available at a time.

In a very recent update, an objectives mode map has been added to Killing Floor. Instead of just simply surviving a certain number of waves, this map has an actual story and objectives to do. These objectives range from simply killing enemies, repairing wall objects, carrying gold around, and preventing a VIP from dieing, along with other duties. Another key difference is that the strongest of enemies will appear very early, so even if you are playing it on an easy difficulty setting it will still be a challenge to complete.

Since all servers are hosted by players, you may run into a lot of cool levels and gameplay elements to try out. One good level example is where someone took the first level of DOOM II and made a perfect copy of it, even including all of the secret rooms. Since the game is being sold through Steam, there is even the workshop setup with it meaning you can see all the modifications that other people have made while also able to easily download them and try them out yourself.

Holiday events are a great time to play Killing Floor, even if you’ve already played the game a lot already. They generally include new levels and reskins of all the enemies such as elf clots and nutcracker fleshpounds. At the same time, they will include special achievements that can only be earned while the event is going on, and if you complete enough of them you will be able to unlock a new character to play as.

Almost all of the DLC that is available to buy is only cosmetic, in the form of different character models to play as. There are tons of different characters to choose from, and since you can’t see yourself in game it is best to only buy the one you’re interested in instead of all of them. A DLC pack for weapons does exist however, though you won’t be at any real disadvantage if you don’t buy it. With the large amount of weapons that already exist in the game, you will barely notice that you won’t have access to them, though some of them do look fun to use such as a scythe for the bersker and a flaregun pistol for the firebug.

There are just the basic options that exist for any first person shooter, most importantly being able to rebind keys. The graphics are good and it should run on any computer that is somewhat modern. The sound and music in Killing Floor is great, foot steps and vocal sounds that the specimen make will let you know where they are coming from. Since the game takes place in Britain, the characters all have that accent and some of the terms that they use are rather hilarious. Music is a lot of heavy metal when the waves begin, with milder songs during down time at the stores. Holiday events generally have their own special music, such as a christmasy sounding song during the Christmas event.

Even though the goal is different, Left 4 Dead kind of has the same feel to it when compared to Killing Floor. They both rely on teamwork and have a wide variety of enemies to deal with. It is not confirmed or anything, but a sequel to Killing Floor is highly likely.

One unfortunate thing about Killing Floor is that pretty much every level doesn’t see their full potentional. In other words, even though every level is big and detailed with paths all over and doors to weld, there’s too many disadvantages to continuously move around and it’s best to just sit in the few most safe designated spots that exist on each level. This is mainly because, especially on harder difficulties, some of the enemies are too dangerous and hard to kill if everyone isn’t together in the same spot. One example is the office buildings on the west London level, it’s as if that area doesn’t exist and people only ever use it in rare situations.

If you are playing with competent players, Killing Floor won’t be very difficult. There are also five difficulty settings that will allow you to customize how hard to want the game to be. Being able to level perks also make the game easier, and it is recommended to play on the easier settings until they have a few levels in them before venturing into the higher difficulties. Most everyone plays on the long setting, which means theres a total of 10 waves and the boss wave, and this can take from 30-60 minutes to complete. Luckily, you can shorten the game length, but almost no servers use this setting and you may have to play in single player if you want a quicker game. Although it may make the people you are playing with unhappy, you are free to leave at anytime, and since the difficulty of enemies is based on the number of players this won’t hinder the remaining players very much.

With 3 hard settings, lots of weapons and perks to master, anyone looking for a challenge will welcome Killing Floor. You can even play the game alone for those who are looking for even bigger challenges. Unfortunately, no matter how good you are, the harder difficulty settings could be considered “off limits” to you for a while because even the best person won’t do very good with level 0 perks. The main thing that you can unlock and work towards are the levels for each perk. With 7 total perks, you will have hundreds of hours of gameplay to look forwards to if you are wanting to max each one. Since each perk has different qualities and weapon choices, you won’t become bored from playing them. There are also special holiday events that also include their own achievements, and unlocking them will allow you to equip unique costumes that are only available from each event, such as a santa or chicken costume.

Killing Floor currently sells for 20 dollars, along with about 50 dollars worth of DLC. However, if you have not yet purchased the game and are wanting to get all of the DLC as well, there is also the complete pack for 40 dollars. With the hundreds of hours of entertainment that you can get out of Killing Floor from basic enjoyment of the game, or trying to max all the perks, the complete pack is a worthy purchase.