World of Warcraft: Legion's Illidan

During the first part of my review, about a month ago, I made the claim that World of Warcraft: Legion was an absurdly massive game. When I said that I was only being half-serious, because let's face it, how big can a game truly be? Well, as it turns out - pretty damn big! 

I've been playing Legion daily ever since it first launched, and only now can I truly say that I have experienced everything it has to offer. As such, it is time to use all of this newfound knowledge in order to delve deep into Legion's endgame and see whether it will stand the test of time, how it compares to Warlords of Draenor, but most importantly, is it any fun? 

Battlerite review and critique of the early access version

Back in the ancient times of 2011 my main multiplayer obsession was Bloodline Champions, a game so well designed I felt I could never truly master it. All of the characters were almost perfectly balanced aganist each other, pretty much every team composition worked as long as you played with its strengths in mind, and to top it all off, not a single element of gameplay was in the hands of random chance! Alas, due to publisher greed and a couple of misguided patches Bloodline Champions abruptly transformed into something... different. Something I and many others simply couldn't enjoy any longer, and so with a great deal of sorrow I ended up leaving a game I spent a good hundred hours with.

While Bloodline Champions still remains a mere shadow of its former self, I am glad to say that there is hope on the horizon as Battlerite is about as close as you can get to the original Bloodline Champions without wearing its skin as some sort of freaky mask. It features the same cast of diverse characters, the same intricate balance, the same frantic combat, and most importantly, a pretty damn good matchmaking system that actually managed to consistently pair me with equally skilled players.

Battlerite is currently in Early Access, however, so while all of the gameplay mechanics are present and accounted for there are still some missing features and a definite lack of polish. With that in mind, allow me to show you what exactly Battlerite does right, and what still needs to be improved.

Sorcery! Part 4 - Crown of Kings moon serpent screenshot

When it comes to RPGs, I am a simple man. All I want is a well written story, some unique and interesting characters that can't be described in a single cliche, a world that consistently follows its own rules, and most importantly, the ability to make a personal impact on the story.

Now that I've written all of that down it sure doesn't seem very simple, but there are some games out there that easily fulfill all of these demands. As you can probably guess from the title alone, the Sorcery! series belongs among that rather esteemed company, especially Sorcery! Part 4 - Crown of Kings as it represents the final evolution of everything the series has put forth so far. The stakes are higher, the atmosphere is much more intense, and the entirety of the experience is far more immersive than ever before.

Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax official logo

Ever since I first laid my hands on Tyrian, nearly two decades ago, I've had a bit of a thing for shoot 'em ups. I mean, who doesn't love blowing up innumerable hordes of alien ships with completely ridiculous and overly flashy weaponry?

With that in mind it should be quite obvious that I was heavily predisposed towards liking Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax, a shoot 'em up that embraces many of the same design choices as Tyrian. Even so, I still found myself genuinely impressed at how enjoyable the gameplay is. The colorful visuals, the kick-ass music, the variety of weapons and characters you can field - all of it comes together to create some truly excellent shooting that had managed to keep me glued to the screen for hours on end.

So what exactly makes Stardust Galaxy Warriors so fun, and more importantly, what are the things that still need improvement?

World of Warcraft: Legion screenshot of Xavious

World of Warcraft is an absurdly massive game, and the same applies to its recent Legion expansion. I've already spent well over 40 hours exploring the Broken Isles, dashing and double-jumping all over the place with my Demon Hunter, completing an apparently endless stream of quests, and yet there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. Unlike Warlords of Draenor, Legion has come packed with content!

Since there is simply far too much for me to cover in one review I am going to be splitting this up into two parts. The first, or rather the one you're reading right now, will cover the newly released Demon Hunter class, as well as the entirety of the leveling experience, story, and class specific features such as Artifact Weapons and Class Halls. The second part, which is now available, is focused entirely around Legion's end-game: Raids, Mythic Dungeons, PvP, World Quests, and that sort of stuff.

With all of that now out of the way, let's begin the review proper with my favorite aspect of Legion - the new Demon Hunter class.

Artwork for Cyan's Obduction game

When it comes to puzzle-adventures I am utterly helpless. Their strange, convoluted logic and complete lack of direction often leave me dazed and confused, unable to figure out what the puzzle even is, let alone solve it! And yet I find myself always coming back to them, simply because the stories they tell are equally as strange and convoluted, a stark contrast to what you might encounter in most other games.

As you might expect, the same applies to Obduction - Cyan's spiritual successor to the long-lasting Myst series. The puzzles are deviously difficult, especially near the end game, and there is almost no indication of where you're supposed to go or what in the world you're supposed to do. While all of this gave me quite a headache by the end of it, I'm still incredibly happy I decided to play through Obduction as the slowly evolving story and bizarre, alien landscapes combine to create a truly irresistible adventure.

Whether this is something you'll enjoy or not, that's a difficult question to answer, but allow me to give you a glimpse at what Obduction really is and you can decide from there.

No Man's Sky's space dinosaurs

[Update]: No Man's Sky update has changed quite considerably since this initial review. As such, I'd highly recommend doing a little bit more research before making up your mind, just so you have the complete picture.

At its very core No Man's Sky is a game about exploration. Its just you, a nifty little space ship, and a practically infinite amount of planets to visit. With such a massive and varied universe it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to hear that the world I started my journey on was a rather... special one. 

Instead of the vibrant red and green pastures I've so frequently seen in the trailers, my humble world was a hellish mixture between a desert and a swamp, an environment so hostile there was literally no sentient life to be found. To top it all off, my swampy heaven also suffered from constant acidic rain that slowly but surely eroded my armor and forced me to stay within a hundred meters of my ship, lest I found myself dissolved into a pile of ash and swept away by some of the numerous daily storms.

Gregor Eisenhorn from the Eisenhorn: Xenos game

While I have never actually played the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game I did read the majority of the books, and out of all the various authors that took a crack at the grim darkness of the 41st millennium I consider Dan Abnett my favorite. From the very moment I picked up his Eisenhorn trilogy I knew I was in for a treat as he has a real knack for portraying sympathetic, flawed characters stuck in situations far beyond their grasp.

With that in mind, you can only begin to imagine how excited I was when I heard that Eisenhorn: Xenos, the first book in the series, would be getting the video game treatment. Not only is it an RPG set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, something I've been waiting for decades now, but its also based on a story by one of my favorite authors! How could this possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, the answer to that question is far lengthier than I could have ever anticipated. Pretty much every aspect of gameplay, from storytelling to combat, is suffering from a number of annoying issues, all of which combine together to create a thoroughly mediocre game. To make you understand what exactly is wrong with Eisenhorn: Xenos we need to go through all of its elements, one by one, starting with the most important factor - the story.

Demons Age cinematic artwork

Demons Age is a classic isometric RPG heavily inspired by old school Dungeons & Dragons games such as Baldur's Gate and Temple of Elemental Evil. As you might expect given its pedigree, it features a wide variety of spells and abilities to use against your enemies, numerous followers to recruit and travel with, a wide open world to explore, and naturally, a whole bunch of absurd items to collect and peddle to some poor innkeeper.

Its still under heavy development, but I've recently gotten a preview copy to try out, which as a massive fan of classic RPGs I was more than willing to take for a spin. Since making a proper review based around 2 hours of alpha gameplay would be a pointless venture, I'm mostly going to be focusing on what exactly Demons Age does right and which areas still need improvement.

Song of the Deep is an incredibly beautiful game

The amount of places you can explore through games these days is nearly limitless. You can strap on a rifle and witness the horrors of D-Day firsthand, you can put on your wizard's hat and act as an errand boy for a whole variety of fantasy races, and you can even become a space-trucker, endlessly delivering cargo between the stars. What you can't do very often, however, is explore the sea.

This is where Insomniac's Song of the Deep, a metroidvania-styled action adventure, comes in to play. Not only does it allow you to dive below the waves and observe the ocean's splendor, it manages to do so in a way that is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time, a notion you will only truly come to understand when you're swimming through the dark, open ocean with monstrous giants for company. Whether its any good or not though, that is a question that's not easy to answer.