Read Stuart’s column every week in The Scottish Sun, where he shares his reviews, news and podcasts with the 99.3% of the World’s population not fortunate enough to be able to buy a physical copy of the paper. The following appeared originally in The Scottish Sun on Sunday 16th July 2017.
Dead by Daylight (Xbox One, PS4 and PC, £24.99)
EVERYONE loves a good horror flick every now and then — and the plot nearly always involves a group of teenagers being hunted down by a baddie in the middle of nowhere. You would have thought it was also gaming manna from heaven, but this new breed of multiplayer game has only come to light in the last few months. Dead By Daylight is developed by Canadians Behavior Interactive. They have cherry- picked the best bits from slasher flicks and made an interesting, if flawed, multiplayer.
If you want an epic tale then sorry. It’s not happening. There is virtually no set up. You get logs and fact sheets that flesh out what’s happening but you have to go hunting for them. Four players can be survivors with another as the killer over a number of scary locations like misty swamps and cornfields. The survivors have to power up five generators to work a switch that opens door for them to escape. Easy? Er, no.
The killer — and there are some scary options to pick from— has a few tricks. Each killer character has their own abilities — like a super-fast teleport or a chainsaw. Everyone has an upgrade tree where you can spend points earned by doing tasks or helping team-mates. In theory this should be a great game, but you need major time to get the most out of it. Some items should be made accessible more quickly. It would make the game less of a grind. The survivors are also seriously under-powered and can’t do anything when caught because the generators take an age to fire up. And you have to do so much work over the first few hours as a survivor. It is just annoying.
It also doesn’t help that the game has so many rough edges — from the graphics to framerate. It needs more than one patch to get it back up on its feet. Dead By Daylight can be fun if you are willing to overlook the issues. It is more enjoyable with friends. It is like a big game of virtual tag… with a chainsaw. But it needs help. I hope Behavior Interactive do the work because it could be a killer game… one day.
WipEout Omega Collection (PS4, £29.99)
WIPEOUT is part of PlayStation folklore. When the console was taking its first steps in 1995 WipEout was one of the must-have games. It blended slick quick visuals and racing with an epic soundtrack to make a perfect storm of a game for Sony. Fast forward to 2017 and the Omega Collection has landed. It has re-mastered editions of WipEout HD, WipEout Fury and WipEout 2048 — a sort of “best of” collection in a shiny new coat of paint.
WipEout games are all about high speed and how well you can handle your ship around a mix of winding tracks while hitting an almost endless numbers of boost pads across different modes. It is addictive and is tremendous fun. Each game in the collection has its own type of campaign — that all ads up to around 19 championships across 26 tracks with more than 40 ships to pick from. That’s a good starting point because you will have to learn the ropes. Each ship has little secrets to get the best out of the performance. It is not as easy as jumping from one to another and doing well. You will need more skills than that if you want your name at the top across the board.
WipEout has always had that easy-to-play, hard-to-master style of gameplay. If you want to get the best out of your ship then you need to know exactly what to do. Put in the work and you will get the rewards. The controls are tight and very responsive. They are a joy to use especially when you hit the higher speeds on some tracks. Add in the pick-ups and boost pads and you have a host of skills to perfect. The pick-ups are weapons which add an interesting — and frantic — spin on races because it adds a Mario Kart vibe as you grab a shield to save yourself or land that perfect rocket on the guy who is in first place and heading into that final corner.
The tracks showcase some of the greatest designs in arcade racing history. They all feel different and have their own challenges and short-cuts. They are also awash with colour and detail, but you normally going so quickly that you can’t really pay attention to them. The game has a split-screen mode and an online option where you can fight it out with friends or random players across different modes. There is also a photo facility that lets you snap-shot all your finest moments.
As this is a re-mastered game, the look is stunning and very slick. The menus are clean and the racing action is super-smooth. The original games had signature soundtracks and the new version does not let the side down. It fully embodies the techno and trance roots. If you’re a fan then the Omega Collection is a must buy if only to revisit classic tracks and gameplay. If you are new to it then find out what all the fuss was about. The series may be more than 20 years old but it’s one of the best arcade racers around and it is now bang up to date.
Agents of Mayhem Dev Interview
TOP design director Anoop Shekar admits following a games hit is a tough gig, but he is hoping Agents Of Mayhem can build on the success of the Saints Row series. The Volition guru said:
“When Saints Row IV was completed we felt that we had reached a natural stopping point for the story. We looked at that as an opportunity to try something new. However, we haven’t necessarily closed the door on the past.”
“We have ideas of where Agents Of Mayhem can go from here. We’ve only introduced one of the seven enemy ministries and we have a lot of backstory and information about the state of the world due to LEGION’s presence and what their overall goals are. We also have a lot more agents to introduce.”
He admitted the team was loving the new challenge. He said:
“When it was proposed to do a super-agent game in the vein of GI Joe but with Volition’s take on it we all jumped at the idea. We didn’t have just one way of approaching the Agents’ designs. Some started from the idea of a power set — how about a guy with a cold gun that freezes people? Some come from a look or fun idea — what would a fashionista engineer look like? Others were through twisting known archetypes like what is the MAYHEM version of the outward face of the agency? If Agents Of Mayhem is successful we would love to be able continue to explore this world.”
Read the full unedited version here.
MAX Payne Retribution is a fan-made movie that was a three-year labour of love, and it has hit YouTube. Now the director and project driving force, Leroy Kincaide, is aiming even higher. He wants the rights for Max Payne so he can produce a TV series set in the Payne universe featuring characters like Mono Sax and Vinnie Gognitti. They want 10,000 signatures on a petition to prove they have fan support. To watch the movie settle in with the link below, or search for Max Payne Retribution on YouTube.
For more on the petition follow @MAXPAYNE_UK.
All Your Base Are Belong To Us
GAME has opened its first Belong centre in Scotland — at their Union Street store in Glasgow. It is designed to be a gaming arena and meet-up point for players of different skill levels. You can play the latest titles as well as take part in tournaments and get involved in the eSport scene.
You can also pay to try out the latest tech across all platforms including VR. The centre has its own eSport team —the Clyde Claymores but is not clear yet whether this is just a team to play against other stores or one that will compete on a larger eSport scale.
I’ll be back next week with more from North of the Border, catch ye’s…