A detailed and spoiler-free review of Torment: Tides of Numenera

[Note]: This review is now greatly outdated, so instead I would recommend you head over to my final, release version review instead. It should give you the best and most accurate overview of what Torment: Tides of Numenera is really all about.

The last time I played Torment was back in January, and even though it showed great potential it wasn't something I felt comfortable recommending, mostly because it was both unfinished and unpolished. Many months and updates have come and gone since that review, however, and I'm happy to say that the Torment of today is a greatly improved version of the rough demo I experienced so long ago.

Its still unpolished, there's no doubt about that, but most of the missing content has been filled in, the stuttering has been taken care of, and the extremely bare-bones UI has been granted a couple of meals, though its still quite undernourished. It might not be complete just yet, but this version of Torment is the closest the game has ever been to its final form, and as such I have decided to revisit it and see what exactly got improved, and what still requires work.

Before we begin, allow me to just say that I am basing all of my opinions on the first 5-6 hours. While I am definitely excited to play Tides of Numenera, on account of Planescape: Torment being one of my favorite games of all time, I want to have a mostly "pure" experience once I finally get my hands on the fully finished, bug-free version. This does mean I might miss out on some issues that occur only in the late game, but I've gone to great lengths in order to experience everything Torment has to offer, so I do believe I can still offer a comprehensive review.

The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine review (no spoilers)

Watching the Witcher series evolve over time has been a truly inspirational experience for me. Even though it all started with the incredibly buggy and downright unplayable Witcher 1 CDPR has managed to not only correct their mistakes, but steadily improve upon their formula to the point where they're now considered one of the best RPG developers out there. Quite the turnaround when you consider the... colorful reception they've garnered with their first release.

Speaking of the original Witcher, the final expansion for The Witcher 3, Blood and Wine, reminds me of it in many ways. Instead of struggling against nearly godlike foes and ancient prophecies you're simply plying your Witcher trade by investigating crime scenes, tracking down monsters, and attempting to figure out what in the world is going on. Politics do eventually rear their ugly head as well, but for the most part its just Geralt, the gorgeous duchy of Toussaint, and a monster that doesn't make itself easy to hate.

If this is to be the final expansion for The Witcher 3 and the end of Geralt's long and storied journey, I cannot imagine a better way to say farewell than by taking all of the good elements from the entire series and combining them together to form one last, grand adventure worthy of a true Witcher.

Detailed and in-depth review of Overwatch

After spending a thousand hours in Team Fortress 2 and more than I'm comfortable to admit in other team-based shooters I've become rather difficult to impress, and since almost all of the recent multiplayer gun-fests have been fairly boring I slowly started getting used to the idea that the genre might not be for me anymore. Thankfully, Overwatch came along and not only managed to meet my lofty expectations, but exceed them to the point where I constantly find myself playing more of it instead of doing any actual work!

The characters are charming, their mechanics deceptively complex, and the gameplay as a whole leaves a lot of room for personal growth and improvement, on top of simply being a bundle of fun. However, while I genuinely do think Overwatch is a great game, it isn't a flawless gift from the heavens as the various Internet forums might lead you to believe. It has its own balance problems, issues with servers and matchmaking, occasionally clunky mechanics, as well as a couple of bugbears when it comes to the design in general, but its nothing that can't be fixed through a couple of patches.

With that said, let's begin with the one element of Overwatch everyone can agree is superb, the presentation!

Total War: Warhammer detailed review - prerelease version

The End Times have arrived. Chaos fanatics and abominations led by Archaon the Everchosen, the Three-Eyed King and favored son of Chaos, march ever-forward from the desolate North with a single goal set before them, to bring forth the end of the world in honor of the dark gods.

Entire nations of men have fallen, Orks have been wiped out from the world, and the only thing standing against the tides of darkness is an uneasy alliance between the mountain Dwarfs and the undead legions of Sylvania... or at least it would be if the damnable Dwarfs didn't decide this was prime time to exact revenge for a trade dispute that occurred ages ago!

Shadwen and Lilly artwork

Shadwen is a stealth-action game from Frozenbyte, the creators of the Trine series, and while it doesn't feature the same sort of whimsical art style it does manage to perform a miracle of its own, and by that I mean somehow making an entire game based around an escort quest an actually enjoyable, thought surprisingly easy experience. 

Throughout all 15 levels you will be accompanied by a poor peasant girl named Lilly that you brought along because... uhh... reasons, and while she isn't able to pull off the same combat and grappling hook maneuvers as you are she is quite adept at sneaking around, so her presence is never an annoyance, but rather an extra element to the stealth-based puzzle Shadwen presents you with.

My review and thoughts on Overfall, a turn-based indie RPG

Overfall is a charming turn-based RPG with numerous roguelike elements and plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor that will task you with traveling across the high seas in search of worthy allies to stand with you against the tides of darkness that are fast approaching, by which I mean hordes of extremely pissed off alien vikings.

It launched in Early Access back in March, and after two months of hard work the developers have managed to improve Overfall on nearly all fronts. Everything from gameplay balance, to sound design, to the way you interact with and new unlock characters has been updated, and changed for the better. So now that all of the important work on Overfall has been completed, there remains only one question, is it any good?

Tracer from Overwatch being as cute as ever

I spent over a thousand hours with Team Fortress 2, but as it grew progressively more ridiculous and characters started strapping bottles of questionable liquids and live weasels to themselves I slowly realized that the once stylish and charming game I knew had been replaced with something... else.

Ever since then I was looking for another team based shooter that I could sink an equal amount of time into, but unfortunately, not a single one of them could recapture the emotions Team Fortress 2 first inspired within me, until I heard of Blizzard's newest IP in many, many years.

From even the earliest announcement it promised everything I could've ever wanted: stylish visuals, characters oozing with personality, and most importantly, team orientated combat with plenty of opportunities to mix up your strategies and approaches. Now that I've spent over 20 hours playing in the Open Beta, the question is, does Overwatch manage to live up to the piranha-like frenzy of excitement it succeeded in creating so far?

Battleborn detailed review

On first glance it might seem that Gearbox has gone flat out insane by deciding to challenge Blizzard's Overwatch with their own team-based FPS, but the truth of the matter is that the games have very little in common once you get past the cartoony graphics and ability-based gunplay.

Whereas Overwatch is a pure team-based FPS most similar to Team Fortress 2, Battleborn draws its inspiration from both Borderlands and Super Monday Night Combat, with the end result being a MOBA that plays like a fast-paced FPS, rather than the opposite. Another key difference is that Battleborn actually features a fairly lengthy campaign that can be played in either singleplayer or co-op, though the overall focus is quite clearly on the competitive multiplayer.

My detailed review of Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is an incredibly faithful adaptation of the Warhammer 40k universe, a notion that doesn't sound very impressive until you notice the mountain of corpses from former games that have attempted, and failed miserably to capture even a sliver of the grim cheesiness that permeates the 40th millennium.

When it comes to pleasing fans Battlefleet Gothic has it all: over-the-top weaponry fitted on equally titanic ships, characters that are only capable of talking by yelling ominously at each other, a plot that threatens the destruction of everything humanity holds dear, casualties numbering in the billions, and most importantly, factions that perfectly represent both their lore and combat style, which in the case of Orks means yelling, shooting, and literally launching themselves inside torpedoes in order to get to the action as quickly as possible, sanity be damned.

But even when you ignore all of the Warhammer 40k elements, Battlefleet Gothic is still one of the most interesting strategy games I've played in recent years, simply because it manages to make each of its 10 minute long matches feel fresh and explosive, and I don't just say that because my ships tend to spontaneously ignite due to the crew being a bunch of bloodthirsty, but still lovable morons.

Impressions and critique of Doom's PC multiplayer balance, design, and more

After playing the Doom multiplayer beta for what feels like an eternity now, but is actually only a couple of hours, I've come to realize that its not the worst game in existence as the Steam reviews might lead you to believe, but rather a deeply troubled one that is so desperately trying to please everyone, it ends up pleasing no one.

Its obviously catering to the old school FPS crowd with the small arenas and constant focus on action, but its too slow and far too shallow to appeal to those players; its also trying to win over COD fans with the loadout system and constant trickle of mostly pointless "upgrades", but the weapons are imbalanced and the mostly pointless upgrades are just that, mostly pointless; and finally, it tries to appeal to Halo players, but the weapons and abilities are just not exciting or unique enough to keep anyone's interest for very long.

So where exactly does Doom make its cardinal mistakes, and how could Bethesda and Id go about fixing them?