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July, August – round up.

Its been a modest while since the last review post here and I can only apologise, its been a funny few weeks. The site has been besieged by intermittent service issues that are now resolved, the release and hype calendar seemed to have a big hole in and there were some personal writing projects to attend to that took priority.

However, it’s September already! Time to look back at the reviews that never actually made it to the site.

grid2_01First off the mark has to be Grid2, a long awaited sequel from Codemaster Racing. Sleek, shiny and well, sexy. Grid2 made an impression on me as a grown up arcade racer. It offered many of the now standard racing and customisation sets that we are given these days, then built on them. Following your career as a developing racer into the World Series Racing circuits this game throws modes at you with gay abandon, couple with the solid controls, TV presentation, great crash physics and a replay mode to enjoy them with. Its the kitchen sink.

grid2_02What makes Grid2 stand up in my memory when compared to the more technical racers out there is the handling. Yes it’s more of an arcade game and a purist could easily poo poo it as you scream around a hairpin, but in my eyes the vehicles have weight and you can feel it in the controls. I gave up on the Forza / Turismo games, because I didn’t have the patience to learn their subtleties, here I can drift and bash my way around without concern. It certainly is a lot of fun. Add to that the instant rewind and replay function, well it just becomes the most suitable point to point racer I can play.

Then the was the zombie apocalypse.

I thought after writing a zombie feature screenplay this year I was all zombied out, but State of Decay offered something new to zombie gaming. Not forgetting the release in Australia was delayed on the back of a delay, so being at the back of the queue to get official access to the goods meant there wasn’t really much else to say.

SoD_02Part RPG, part survival horror State of Decay offers plenty in it’s ambitious scope. Picking up where you return from a fishing trip into the middle of a zombie outbreak life soon becomes a fight for survival as you wield anything you can get you hands on.

You soon forgive the game for its rough edges and start to love it for its ambition, following your character around in third person, picking up other survivors, using vehicles and managing supplies. There is a lot of depth on offer here, in fact some would say too much and in the thick of a zombie attack sometimes the user interface can get in the way of your objectives as you juggle responsibilities.

SoD_01Under the surface the game has plenty going on, with survivors falling out, defences to be built and the gameworld marching on even if you are not playing. This final factor has a slight Xcom edge to it, if you stop playing for a couple of days it’s not uncommon to come back and find the safehouse has been savaged and key characters in the game have been killed. It is a mechanic that has had players divided, but I can live with it. Another nice touch in this persistent world is the actions of fellow survivors, if you call for an assist to collect supplies at a location then move on. You may well pass by that area later and discover the brave soul that came out being attacked for their efforts.

State of Decay is a deep game and by forgiving some of the presentation and UI, you find yourself on an addictive fight for survival.

SoD_03Sadly and mostly due to technical issues, these posts in their full uncut glory never made it to the site. With the silly season around the corner and a host of exciting titles coming up, not to mention the next generation of gaming about to drop we will be getting back on track.

Next up: The Bureau, Splinter Cell, Disney Infinity, Dishonored: Brigmore Witches (DLC) – in no particular order.

Thanks for popping by.