FIREWATCH – A very broken game

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Playstation had a deal not too long ago and FIREWATCH was on sale for a very reasonable price, around $8 -13. I had heard some good things about this game so I decided to buy it and give it a try. I played it with a friend watching on New Year’s eve 2016.

All was good. We had made it to day 77, and for some reason which I cannot remember I quit the game to check something on the XBN of my Playstation 4, and then I went back and started the game anew. What I encountered when I started it up was that the game would not load. Not even a little bit. Not even in the load game screen. Continue didn’t start the game nor did the save file. We did some digging around on the web and decided to try and download my saved game data from the online storage. To our surprise the save data wasn’t even present in the cloud or on my PS4. WTF Santo Campo!?! Did your compliance team even catch this issue? Did you fix it? Nooooope. We were forced to restart the game. Thankfully it’s a short game and can be played in a few hours, but still. Super annoying.

Now while my friend was checking the internet and I was zipping through the slog at the beginning, he found yet another potential blocker found somewhere around Day 79 which half the players encountered. Thankfully when we got to that point I did not otherwise I’d be emailing Playstation store for a full refund. Unfortunately it was a digital sale and cannot be refunded… FU.

As a little side note, my friend and I are professional QA video game testers. Which means we test video games for  bugs on a full time basis, and when we encounter a released game that is as broken as FIREWATCH, we are deeply disappointed.

Alright, back to my review….

We both decided it was prudent to start a new game. I was pissed off at this point having paid money for this game, and finding out it’s already so very broken in the most important way. Slogging through the beginning wasn’t fun so I spammed X the whole time trying to choose the same options as before.

I did run the whole time and avoided reporting all the fog. What the fuck is up with Henry and his fog reports? Once I got to the same point where we last were the story started to take many twists. I suspect the two girls in the beginning were a red herring to throw the player off from the actual plot in the story which revolved around Brian Goodwin. I won’t say more in case you’re reading this and you do indeed want to play this game.

We finally made it to the end, but we had encountered massive frame rate issues where the game would just freeze for a second or two. This wasn’t fun, but it’s more acceptable than the not being able to load a save game issue. My friend and I also found it difficult to relate to either of the characters. Henry was unrelated and then there’s Delilah with her “I need to fuck you now” need towards Henry at some point in the game. We both thought that was really off, and not at all appropriate for what was going on in the story. I really, really didn’t like that part AT ALL.

So in the end, the story is okay. It confused the hell out of my friend with all the convoluted plot lines going here and there. I know at one point I was getting very much into it. Sadly the end is very anticlimactic. I suppose it could have been better, but it wasn’t.

Things I like about this game:

  • The colour scheme was interesting.
  • Dialogue choices.
  • The twist in the story.
  • The sub trophies were fun.

Things I don’t like :

  • The very, very orange-ness of the game when the sun was setting. It was too orange.
  • Henry’s arms when he ran. It was very robotic.
  • Clunky jump option. No smooth jumping.
  • Frame rate issues.
  • Couldn’t load saved game after quitting the game in mid-playthrough.
  • Save data didn’t upload to the cloud or my PS4 upon first play. Probably the reason for the save data being unable to load cause it’s not present.
  • The ending. Too boring.
  • This game had way too many issues. They should have been fixed by Campo Santo BEFORE being released.
  • The final sub trophy could not be unlocked. I was fuming.
  • Had to quit the game before I could unlock Free Roam.
  • I did not have an updated map or the axe when loading into Free Roam which meant I had to run around and get all the boxes so I could find the paths on my map.

I read on their website that they provided patches in September to all of these issues, but that was a complete lie. It’s December, and the game is still as broken now as it was four months ago.

All in all I would say for an indie game, it’s an alright story. I don’t recommend this game based on all of the issues I’ve encountered. Personally it’s not worth any of the money you would spend. This game is worth $1. With all the issues you’d want your money back. If you want to play the game, I recommend watching this YouTube Let’s Play video instead. This way you won’t waste any money.

My rating? 4/10

Should you play this? I say maybe. You can get through one play in a few hours.

Enjoy!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

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Layers of Fear (or layers of madness???)

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I grabbed Layers of Fear a few weeks past when Playstation had their Halloween sales. I got the main game and DLC (Inheritance) for $13.50, which wasn’t bad considering how many times you have to play the game to get all the “layers” the developers have added.

This is not a very long game, but it’s not meant to be sped through. If you do so you’ll get the neutral ending (or the loop ending) that everyone talks about. It does not give you (the player) nor the man you’re playing as any sort of closure. If you’re the kind of person who has to collect all collectibles, then you will end up with this ending. But don’t despair. This game is meant to be played 3 times for each ending. Nothing’s really explained or laid out for you. The developers at Bloober games expect you to figure it out yourself, but here’s my suggestion:

Playthrough #1: Pick up all momentos, rat drawings and objects lying around to trigger memories. This will give you the neutral loop ending which is okay.

Playthrough #2: This second time you can choose to “Finish It” which will return you to the beginning of chapter 1 where you are in the art studio room. From this point on you choose to go the path of the painter. Essentially you’re being selfish and you only interact with items related to you or your art (Example: Dog collar, dog muzzle, cane, glasses, broken clock, crank (hidden in a closet), rats, broken brushes, broken palette). Under no circumstances interact with any alcohol, or items belonging to the wife as that will trigger the neutral ending. Also, make sure to always follow the rats. If given options of two doorways, always follow the art. If there is black goo by a doorway, avoid it at all costs. Avoid any instances of your child as well (do not pick up any toys or follow the crying voices). And under no circumstances peak in any doors where the dead wife may be hiding and avoid her in the halls. Turn around and walk away if you can.

Playthrough #3: For your final playthrough you do the opposite of your last one. In this final run you are going to constantly head toward your dead wife. Instead of taking the doors with paintings, you will take the door options that have black oozing stuff. If the wall says to Not turn back, turn back. Always embrace your wife. Also, you’ll be aiming to pick up all of her items (hair brush, broken phone, perfume, necklace, checkers, give the potato to the cat (near the checkers) and interact with doors that suddenly open or give you any clues that your dead wife is there. Do not crank the paintings out of the pit, but do jump down. If you fall in a hole and you hear something scary, turn around and search in the dark.

As for the DLC, Inheritance, I recommend it. I recommend you buy the whole game/DLC package because it explains stuff the game does not. Unfortunately the DLC also has 3 game endings.

I won’t spoil them for you, but you will see for yourself when you examine your trophies. I had the most difficulty unlocking the final trophy  This could be important, and therefore recommend the following links to help you find all the collectibles. Unlike the main game, you must find ALL the notes, drawings, and memories in ONE playthrough in order to unlock this trophy. They do not save and carry over to other walkthroughs like the main game.

Steam Walkthrough for all collectibles  /  YouTube Video detailing each collectible (but not explaining how to get it)

Check out the trailer:

And the trailer for the DLC:

Things I like about this game:

  • Creates some layers of madness trying to figure out all the clues to all the secret endings.
  • 3 mysteries to solve.
  • The ouija board room in the basement in the prologue.
  • Short which means you can breeze through the game in 1-3 hours to get the extra endings without picking up all the collectibles.
  • Playing this game in the dark at night.

Things I don’t like :

  • Sometimes walking into items makes the character spin in a circle and to stop this requires walking him into something. It’s for sure a bug.
  • Jump scares aren’t that scary, but they do give me chills.

All in all I would say for an indie game, it’s a recommend! I recommend this horror game for all my fans who are enthusiastic about horror. Just don’t expect it to scare you too much, but it does have great atmosphere.

My rating? 7/10

Should you play this? I say yes, if you like horror!

Enjoy!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

Dying Light Demo

 

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I thought I’d give Dying Light’s demo a run for its money today. I downloaded it on my PS4 a few weeks ago, and tonight I’m hosting a board game party so I didn’t want to play a game and get sucked into its world, completely forgetting about tonight’s plan. I booted the game and once the tutorial was over I had 1 hour on the clock to play. I decided to do the only side mission available. It was okay. I found my way to a few safe areas, ran around on rooftops, even played with danger by running on the street! Oh look ma, zombies are chasing me! When night finally fell I had maybe 8 minutes left to play so I went out to see how crazy the night zombies really were. At one point I had a bunch chasing me and the game prompts me to push triangle (Δ) to see behind me and the sight was pretty frightening. I definitely died 3 times in 8 minutes. I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t take the elevator up to the tower, so I thought “Let’s see how long I can stay alive outside the safe zone.” Not long. One, maybe two minutes. Maybe more if you can sprint and get on roofs faster.

My opinion of Dying Light is that it’s okay. A lot of people relate this game to Mirror’s Edge but with zombies, and I can totally see that. 🙂 Haha I liked Mirror’s Edge but found it challenging with trying to stay alive and not fall to my death. Dying Light is similar but the only thing killing you is either the zombies or the poor choice of jumping too high. That can definitely kill you. A while back I had spent a few hours watching some guy on YouTube’s gameplay and I honestly have to say that it was more fun watching him play than playing it myself. It’s probably because this guy kept freaking out when the zombies were nearby, and it was extremely entertaining.

••••••• Spoiler alert!! Do not read further if you don’t want to have the END of the game ruined for you!

•••••

•••••

I warned you!!

••• Spoiler beginning…

So a friend of mine owns this game and told me he found the ending to be annoying. I asked him why? What happens? He replies with “It doesn’t.” Hmm, I’m curious now so I’m trying to figure this out. I mention that maybe the game doesn’t end and the expansion pack that’s coming out will finish the story. He tells me that the player beats the bad guy, they get the data for the cure and then they rest on a rooftop with the guy saying “Everything will be okay.” and a final combat is just a bunch of quick time events. Boo. That’s definitely lame in my books.

In any case, I don’t think I’ll be buying this game any time soon. It was okay in my books. When a demo is amazing and makes me want more, then I play the game, but this one kind of made me dizzy. All that first person running around. I also found the controller schemes a bit odd. R1 to jump? Oh well. If I ever see this game on a crazy sale, like $10-15 (in the future of course) I might buy it.

Since there wasn’t much for me to play I can’t really give this an accurate rating, but here is my rating:

3.5 stars out of 5

A definite buy if you love FP views, running, parkour and zombies.

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Grl

 

 

 

Alien: Isolation – Stealthing around a very quiet space station


WOW!!! WHAT A GAME!!!!

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s talk about Alien: Isolation. This is one hell of a game! I was at EB Games looking for a really great game to play. The employee at the store said this was a very good stealth game. I wasn’t sure I’d like it because it’s a first person perspective, but it’s nothing like any of the other first person games I’ve played (Destiny, Borderlands etc.). I took a chance and I got it. The thing I love about EB Games is that if you hate a game, you can return it before the week is up and exchange it for something else. But with this game, I was in love right from the beginning.

This game might be labeled as survival horror, but it’s more survival than horror. This is the sort of game in which you take your time to play. This game cannot be rushed, and you’re not going to get a Big Boss ranking if you beat it under a certain time limit, unless it’s the DLC, in which case that’s completely different. Also, it’s not fast-paced, and it’s definitely not a horror game. Think of it more like classic Splinter Cell or Metal Gear, where your best chance of survival comes from not being seen. It’s not an action game; in fact, your goal should be to avoid action altogether. The benefit of taking your time is you get to case the joint and make sure you pick up every single collectible or little item that might be lying around. The collectibles are the archive logs, ID tags, & Nostromo logs. There are 211 in total, and if you miss even just one, you won’t get that specific trophy, nor 100% completion.

Here’s a bit about the story. You, the player, are in control of the protagonist, Amanda Ripley. Amanda is the daughter of Ellen Ripley, the fictional character from the Alien franchise. The story starts 15 years after the events of the 1979 film, Alien. Ripley is approached by a man telling her that the flight recorder of the Nostromo spacecraft was recently located by the Anesidora and is being held aboard Sevastopol, a remote space station owned by the Seegson Corporation. So Riplay and 3 others suit up, and it’s time to do a space walk in order to board the space station, but OH NO!! Something horrible happened, and Ripley gets separated from your crew. She seems to be all alone the station until she realizes she isn’t. She discovers there are still androids aboard the station, and other humans which seem really violent, and a super scary looking Alien.

The gameplay in this Alien: Isolation is really nice. The player has the ability to run, climb ladders, sneak into vents, and also crouch and hide behind objects to break the line of sight with enemies, and covertly peek over or lean around to gain view. The player can even have Ripley to go under nearby tables or inside lockers to hide from enemies. I especially love how quickly Ripley will hide in a locker or small cabinet when the Alien is seen or heard. Although when I played this, I didn’t let the Alien spot me because sometimes if you are moving while it’s looking in your direction, it could potentially see you and stab you in the abdomen with its spiky tail. I must say I’ve face this death many a times in Alien.

Unlike most games with enemies, the Alien’s movements are very random, and I don’t believe it ever followed a predetermined path. The enemies in most other games follow the same path when they walk and Alien: Isolation does more than that. With that being said, the Alien will actively investigate any sounds the player might make while navigating around the space station. If you (the player) are playing a more difficult level and you decide to walk or run while the Alien is nearby in the vents, expect to die a quick death. That Alien has super-alien (not superhuman) hearing! Even the motion tracker can attract the Alien, so using it when it’s not nearby is always a good idea. I know a few times I was hiding in a very small cabinet, and the Alien was pacing around the room searching for me. I’d pull out the motion tracker for a second to see where it was, hoping I could escape to continue with the current objective, but I’d have to put it away quickly otherwise I’d give my position away. Speaking of hiding, I’m pretty sure I spent 50% of my time hiding in lockers or cupboards waiting for a safe time to come out. That Alien is so unpredictable!!! I loved how Sony created the Alien. No matter how many times I died and restarted one section, I could never predict where the Alien would be at any given moment. That was pretty scary.

Ok, changing topics to the top three things that scare me about this game. Now don’t misinterpret scary with bad. These scary things are what made this game amazing!! I’m going to list them in the order of scariest to least scary.

  1. Save phone. I never knew when I’d get to save my game. This game does not auto-save, and you are reliant on the save phones. I would always freak out if I progressed through the game and couldn’t save. I think in one area / part of the game, I literally would crouch around, looking for collectibles or the like, and then painstakingly crouch all the way back to the phone (without the Alien seeing/hearing me) and save my progress. I did it so many times that on my way back, a station had literally unloaded to the point that it was no longer there save for one itsy bitsy detail. Hilarious.Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 8.47.03 PM
  2. Androids.The nice ones at the beginning of the game are fine, but when Ripley starts to encounter the ones that go around killing humans, it’s scary as fuck! They will follow you and break your neck if you don’t successfully hide from them. The ones nearer the end of the game… well… let’s just say I hope you’re not Nightmare difficulty. If you do, you’ll see what I’m talking about when you get there. Look at those eyes! They’re creepy!Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 8.49.49 PM
  3. Alien. It’s undefeatable, it’s fast, it’s scary looking, it’ll investigate any sound you’ve made, and you’ll cry if you spend 20 minutes holed up in a locker because you made noise. If you get as close to the Alien as in the photo below, you’re pretty much already dead. Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 8.50.17 PM

What else is great about Alien: Isolation? Well… The items Ripley can craft. EMP mines, noisemakers, molotov cocktails, pipe bombs (these are my favorite because they can take out many androids at once), smoke bomb, medkit (necessary to stay alive), flashbang, and finally the stun baton (also a fave for up close encounters with androids). I also really loved the motion tracker, but what I didn’t realize (and it took me nearly the entire game to realize this) was that when it chirped, it meant something was nearby. I remember playing and asking myself “Why is this chirping like this?” I also love the lean. When Amanda Ripley is in a locker or small cabinet, you still have some control over her. You can press forward or back on the left stick to lean closer to the ventilation slits or hug the back wall, and you can also move left and right with both sticks to get a better view through the slits. You can even have her lean back so you can pull out the motion tracker (like I mentioned above, but more vaguely). The lean is also good out in the open world when she’s not sequestered in a locker. You can have her peek at enemies. However, if you stare too long they will eventually notice her. Finally the rewire stations. Here you can control if the room will fill with a sort of fog, or if the lights will be turned off. Sure, it makes it harder for you to see, but the darkness is also your friend, because that means your foes will also have great difficulty seeing you. Resist the urge to turn on that dinky flashlight. You’ll only give away your position.

What I loved about the game:

  • Everything. I loved the save system, how everything looked antiquated like it did in the Alien movies.
  • The noisemaker. It sounds exactly like it would if I were to build one. So classic and wonderful.
  • It’s just so scary! I’m usually the type to shy away from horror movies, but when I played this, I’d play in the dark with the volume up high so I could hear all the sounds. My heart raced a lot, and I was anxious a lot of the time, and even screamed quite a few times and I loved every second of it.
  • The simplicity of the sounds used in the game, and the reactive soundtrack cues; when enemies come near, the score becomes more tense (with different kinds of music representing different kinds of dangers), and Amanda herself begins to vocalize her fear.
  • One DLC comes with the game, and there are 7 more to buy. If you can get the digital bundle on sale on the playstation app, even better. I once saw the entire game and all the DLC for $40. I would have bought the bundle if I didn’t already have the game on disk.

What I didn’t like about the game:

  • Dinky flashlight sucked battery power like you wouldn’t believe. Playing in the dark is so much better because you can almost see all the little details if Ripley happens to be in a very dark place.

Bugs I discovered while playing:

  • When I first encountered the Alien, the whole space station unloaded. What I saw was space (no station), Ripley’s legs and feet, the exit sign, and finally the Alien walking by. I was so confused by what happened, it took me a moment to realize. So here’s the story…. I was playing, and was exploring the space station. This was fairly early on in the game when Ripley is alone. I was in this one room, and had moved on to another room. But apparently there was a short in-game cutscene where the Alien makes its first appearance in the first room I was in. And since I wasn’t in that room anymore, I got teleported into it. But the problem was that the room had unloaded, so when I warped into the room to see the Alien, the room wasn’t in fact there, hence my confusion. It kind of ruined the first Alien encounter. I guess I was moving through rooms too quickly.
  • Then there was this one work station that completely disappeared after I went in and out of that room multiple times.

My score for this game? 10 out of 10!!! It was amazing! Even if I haven’t seen the Alien movies, I still really loved this game. If you love stealth, a slower pace, and a totally different style of game, then this is for you. I highly recommend this game. 😀 If you play it, or want to, feel free to share your comments with me!!

Cheers, and enjoy the game!!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

Mirror’s Edge Review

What can I say about Mirror’s Edge? It’s a pretty neat first person look of a girl who’s a courier, and she runs around, and travels the city she lives in by climbing rooftops, scaling walls using pipes, or going through vents.

I have a love/hate relationship with this game. One the love side, I really enjoyed its uniqueness. Running as a courier, doing all sorts of things I can’t or won’t do in real life. She lives a very exciting life. What I hated about the game was how I didn’t quite get a hang of the controls, and some of the jumps would take me a dozen or two dozen times before I finally made it to the other side. What’s important in this game, especially for long jumps or long wall runs, is to keep the momentum going by having a fluidic set of actions that doesn’t break Faith’s momentum. Because if she needs to run along a really long wall, and she doesn’t have the right momentum, well, she’ll fall. And I spent a lot of time watching Faith, the character’s name, falling to her death and hearing the gross splat! sound at the end. But what’s a game without a little challenge right?

Mirror’s Edge is set in a quasi-futuristic dystopian society. You’ll find out pretty quick that the police do not like couriers like Faith, so more often than not, she’s being chased by cops firing guns at her. If you’re successful at taking one down, you can steal their gun and shoot back, but she definitely runs slower with a gun. When she’s not being shot at and outside, you’ll see the urban area is bright and cheery. Everything is very white, or nearly so, and anything that Faith can interact with will highlight red when she’s nearby. Unless you’re playing with that setting turned off, in which it makes things a lot more difficult, especially if you didn’t run through the game once before.
I don’t mind the story in this game, but I think it could have used maybe a bit of work. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but I certainly didn’t play this game for the story. I hope the story is better in the upcoming Mirror’s Edge…

Things I love about this game:

  • The soundtrack was amazing (recorded by a Swedish band called Solar Fields
  • The clean, primary colours of the urban city
  • Running and jumping, and feeling free

Things I dislike about this game:

  • The ending was lame
  • Some of the jumps were hard
  • Story could have used some work
  • Once you play it, it loses its appeal and uniqueness and it’s just another parkour game

Despite it all, I was happy I managed to complete this game and that I didn’t give up! I wasn’t sure I was going to finish it because halfway through I got so frustrated with this one jump in the scaffolding, but after a short break (and finding a secret save point) I was able to happily keep playing. I’m actually looking forward to the next Mirror’s Edge game. She’ll be in a new city, there will be an overhaul on the combat mechanics (she won’t be able to pick up and use guns), and there will be a multiplayer option. Should be neat. I’ll definitely be giving it a try.
My rating? 4 out of 5 stars.

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl