Category Archives: PlayStation 5

Evil Genius 2: World Domination Review – PlayStation 5

Want to be an evil mastermind with the single goal of world domination? I didn’t think I would be until I started playing Evil Genius 2: World Domination. Evil Genius 2 is part of the apparently popular Evil Genius series developed and published by Rebellion Developments and is a single player real time strategy and simulation game that I should have started playing long before this. The Evil genius series allows you to take control of a criminal mastermind and ready your lair to take over the world.

I’ve never played an Evil Genius game myself, but I love base build games where you make your own world, city, factory, and office-space; you name it I enjoy it. I love the simplicity of the idea coupled with the complexity that you can get to with your own ingenuity of how to use the space you have. Evil Genius 2: World Domination allows you to choose one of four evil geniuses, each with their own specialization.

You start the game and select your master mind; I personally went with Zalika which is the mastermind who specializes in science since I’m always a fan of increasing the pace at which I research upgrades for early head starts. Zalika allowed me to increase my scientists research rate by using one of her special abilities to cast an aura around her, I do this best by positioning her in a way that my aura would affect the most minions possible. After you select your mastermind, you select one of three islands to build your secret base on and start your nefarious deeds. Each mastermind has their own perk and there is no wrong or best choice; it all depends what you want to focus on.

As I have never played an Evil Genius game I started the campaign mode with the help section enabled so that I could learn as I play. Evil Genius 2: World Domination slowly introduces you to everything from room creation so that you can allocate your limited space for each specific room such as barracks so that you can increase your minion capacity, cafeteria to keep them fed and break rooms so they don’t go insane from being overworked, which I try to not do because I am a nice evil mastermind. The game walks you through not just building your base but also hiring more diverse minions such as mercenaries, valets, scientists, and engineers. I really like the fact that you can just hire minions from some apparent minion temp agency that exists in the world and then train them to specialized roles. The way that you unlock said roles is also something you must accomplish in game via a mission to kidnap someone of that role and then interrogate them, usually with death being the result, until they teach you how to be as good as them. The quirkiest ones are the entertainers and valets, you couldn’t just read a book or two for that one?

While the game hand holds you for the major plot points if you play with the help enabled it also allows you to make mistakes without stopping you, which I found out early on when I didn’t take the space I had and the power I was generating into account and started to invest in a ton of rooms such an armory, surveillance and intel room only to realize I had just thrown my base into darkness due to not having enough power, so there I go building generators to make up for what I had just done. You can easily go overboard if you don’t think ahead in your planning. Only about five hours into the game did I realize I could build stairs to reach the lower parts of the island I had chosen and further expand my lair, albeit after I researched the proper technology to help me dig through bedrock and such.

Research is another part of Evil Genius 2: World Domination because without selecting a research item your technology and weapons will never improve and the spies entering your casino front will start to infiltrate your secret base and attack. Research not only allows you to gain weapons and new rooms but also improves stats on your minions that you have recruited and trained to make them that much stronger, so it is a key part of World Domination and shouldn’t be left behind.

I mentioned each minion can be trained and you will have to pay them all which is where missions start to come in. Missions are located on the world map after you send off some scouts to create an outpost.  Those minions are gone for good, as they retire after every mission completed to enjoy their riches or infamy they have garnered via completing them. Missions also have requirements of intel needed and specific minion roles that can complete them.  Don’t have enough specialized minions; you aren’t even getting to attempt those missions then, which is why it’s important to keep training them. Evil Genius 2: World Domination 2 does a great job of doing this for you by allowing you to set parameters like always having X amount of Y minions, as the game progresses though you will find having to increase that as costs go up which is why building your base properly is so important, every inch matters especially your vault space, which is where your gold is stored on your island.

As I mentioned, when you progress you will start getting spies checking out your base, so you must start defending yourself and your island. Depending on the island chosen you may have limited capacity in the beginning, so training your minions and researching is important. Each mastermind has an endgame they are aiming for with the ultimate goal of world domination to win the game. From my experience Zalika has a “V.O.I.D” device which will brainwash the whole world to serve her; the others are much more straightforward like a doom device for world domination. As the spies get smarter you will have to start using different tactics to either keep them from ever infiltrating your base or “stop them from leaving” if you get my drift. You kill them, that’s my drift. You can arm your guards with weapons or create traps such as laser grids, giant punching fists that come out of the walls or flame throwers if you like them crispy. Keeping your “HEAT” down is going to keep your island safe but inevitably you will get attacked so be ready.

For being a strategy game on a console device I have top say they did a top-notch job of making sure nothing felt clunky and the game played smoothly. I didn’t run into any issues when utilizing the build menu or controlling my evil genius and moving them around the map or even minion management. The cameras were very versatile and allowed me to see exactly what I wanted without any weird boundary or angles that I couldn’t access.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination released on November 30th, 2021, for PlayStation 5 and is also on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PS4 for $39.99, which is personally a deal in my books after being introduced to it. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a strategy game as much as I have Evil Genius 2: World Domination on console and look forward to any DLC or updates they put out.

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SHARKMOB’S BLOODHUNT AVAILABLE FOR PS5 AND PC SPRING 2022

Developer Sharkmob is excited to announce that its free-to-play, fast-paced Battle Royale game Bloodhunt will officially launch in Spring 2022 for PlayStation 5 and PC platforms. After a successful Early Access period, Sharkmob is implementing feedback received from the game’s community, streamers and media in time for the full launch of the game next year.

“We started off in June with a successful Closed Alpha period on PC, followed by our Early Access Founder’s Season during the Autumn. Throughout the past 6 months, we’ve worked closely with our community, and received loads of feedback from streamers, media and players alike.” said David Sirland, Producer for Bloodhunt. “We’re now working on implementing all that great feedback as well as new features into the game, starting with Season 1 for PS5 and PC in Spring 2022. I can’t wait to show you all the stylish outfits we’ve created for our launch!”

A third person free-to-play, savage Battle Royale experience set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe. For the first time ever, experience the concept of vampires at war as sects clash in the city of Prague, triggered by the arrival of strike-teams from the Second Inquisition. Become the ultimate predator by using your supernatural powers, weapons and wit to eradicate your enemies.

Features:

  • Use supernatural powers to battle other players and computer controlled enemies to be the last vampire standing.
  • Set in the beautiful Old Town of Prague, rendered with high fidelity graphics.
  • Customizable characters – play as a personalised vampire of your own creation. Choose your Clan allegiance to define your playstyle then let your personality shine through as you create your most unique expressive looks for friends and rivals to remember.
  • No “pay-to-win” or similar mechanics – created with a player focused mentality
  • Supporting 12 languages – English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Polish,  Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish (Latin American), Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

Serious Sam 4 Gives The Gift Of Carnage On PlayStation 5 & Xbox Series X|S Today

No holiday season is complete without open hostilities and a guy wearing a dirty white vest on TV, so Croteam and Devolver Digital have duly unleashed the high-powered prequel Serious Sam 4 on PlayStation 5 & Xbox Series X|S today, gifting players around the world an ammo-stuffed pièce de résistance with a side helping of chaos.

Humanity is under siege as the full force of Mental’s hordes spreads across the world, ravaging what remains of a broken and beaten civilization. The last remaining resistance to the invasion is the Earth Defense Force led by the ever-dependable blue-collar grunt Sam “Serious” Stone and his heavily-armed squad of misfit commandos.

It’s time to make these alien assholes pay.

Check out serioussam.com for even more Sam.

Call of Duty: Vanguard – Ultimate Edition Review – PC & PS5

Welcome to another yearly installment in our Call of Duty review series.  These reviews, much like the game, have taken on a Mad Libs style of design where I simply plug in a few variables and generate a review.  After all, if the designers can’t be bothered to come up with something remotely original why should I?  This is an “off year” release for the franchise, as Call of Duty: Vanguard was developed by Sledgehammer, the arguable B-team of alternating studios, and it clearly shows; especially when compared to last year’s Black Ops: Cold War game.  Vanguard falls short in just about every way from technical presentation to game design that has been stripped down to something that can only be described as disappointing.

Call of Duty has clearly become a live service product, as noted by the introductory hub that offers up the last four games including Warzone.  Finding the Vanguard option on the far left, you are given options for campaign, multiplayer, and zombies; pretty standard stuff.  For the purpose of this dual format review I played the campaign to completion on the PS5 but only made it to the third chapter on the PC (Stalingrad) due to horrible screen tearing that was making me motion sick.  So far, nothing we have tried eliminates this screen tearing at either a software or hardware level.  It happening on three very different computers using an RTX3080 and an RTX3090 card.  V-sync in the game and the video card settings does nothing, nor does changing resolution or quality settings.  Sadly, all of our multiplayer coverage including Zombies was going to be based on Mitch’s review of the PC version, so at this time our review is only going to cover the campaign.  We hope to update our coverage once the PC version becomes “playable”.

Thankfully, the PS5 is immune to the screen tearing, offering up a visually pleasing experience with slightly less detail, dynamically reduced resolution, and a few noticeable cuts in special effects and texture quality.  An early and obvious example happens in the second mission after you bail out of a plane and are sneaking through a dark forest.  Distant AA fire lights up the night sky, creating these gorgeous god rays that streak through the trees on PC, while the PS5 merely brightens the scenery without the directional lighting.  Most of the sacrifices on the PS5 are superficial and stuff you wouldn’t even notice unless you were playing them side by side looking for them.

One thing I was expecting on the PS5 was the haptic feedback that really made last year’s Cold War game unique with its variable trigger resistance across the different guns along with the powerful rumble effects for explosions and such.  My hands, or at least my trigger finger, would literally get too sore to play after about two hours.  While there are rumble and haptic toggles in the PS5 options menu they seem to do nothing.  Aside from some slight rumble during the more extreme moments in the game there was no resistance in the triggers and no direct feedback when wielding the larger weapons like the MG42.  The PC version using my Elite II gamepad had slightly better rumble effects; more obvious and effective than the PS5 but still rather generic.

Call of Duty has always offered up a great story/campaign mode, except for the one year they didn’t.  Vanguard is all over the place with its story, both in structure and pacing.  There is no real linear narrative; rather you start the game with a very exciting train mission stripped right from Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, followed by an assault on a submarine base that ends with one team member dead and the rest tossed into a holding cell at Nazi HQ.  For the rest of the game leading up to the final mission you will get to play out the origin stories for the surviving members of Vanguard, as each is interrogated by the SS as to their knowledge of Project Phoenix.

This leads to a rather sporadic gameplay experience where you don’t play any one character long enough to truly care about them.  It does offer the unique ability to present key WWII battle moments spanning multiple locations and times during the war.  One minute you are sneaking through a frozen Stalingrad and the next you are sweating away in the African desert going up against Rommel’s tank forces or dive bombing a Japanese aircraft carrier in the Battle of Midway.  There are admittedly a lot of thrilling moments throughout Vanguard but nothing seems to gel or come together as one cohesive story.

Part of the pacing issue has to do with the abundance of cutscenes, all of which are excellent quality and tell their compelling part of the overall story, but overwhelm the gameplay with their constant interruptions to the point where you often toss your controller in despair and go make some popcorn.  Looking at the chapter breakdown there are 18 selectable thumbnails, half of which are filmstrip icons indicating a story break.  And this doesn’t even factor in the in-game cutscenes where more exposition is delivered during lengthy, scripted, non-interactive moments.  To make matters worse, the major cutscenes are pre-rendered and displayed at a locked 24fps, which can be very jarring after playing the game at 60fps.

Another limiting factor is the lack of any hidden intel hidden throughout the game that would incentivize replaying levels or even exploring beyond the narrow linear path you’re meant to follow.  With the exception of the expansive post office level that feels more like a multiplayer battle arena, most missions keep you locked on a very strict path leading to compact encounters and scripted action sequences.  Since there is no intel and no reason to explore the level designers weren’t compelled to create anything beyond the intended path, almost giving Vanguard an on-rails feel.

Arguably, most people who play Call of Duty aren’t here for the campaign.  Sadly, I gave up on having any sort of fun with the multiplayer modes that have since become so monetized and live-service oriented, and even the zombie mode has been slipping over the years.  I dabble with each new installment during the pre-release betas and pretty much get my fill of the immature community and cookie-cutter game design, which this year has been stripped down to the bare basics.  Hopefully, Sledgehammer can fix their v-sync issues so my PC reviewer can complete his coverage on the various multiplayer modes including zombies, otherwise I may have to suck it up and give the online modes of the PS5 version a shot.

Call of Duty has been slipping over the years and now I hear this is the worst selling installment in 14 years.  Sadly, I’m not surprised.  With a disappointing campaign where you watch as much as you play and stripped down multiplayer and stale Nazi zombies, Vanguard truly is the icing on the expired cake of Activision’s day-old bakery.  Hopefully Activision starts to realize that we don’t need yearly rushed and incomplete installments, and fans are perfectly happy to wait for quality.  Just look at Halo Infinite.  I guess we’ll have to wait until next November to see if Activision gets the message. Until then, keep on soldiering and hopefully we’ll be back with a multiplayer update soon.

If you want to see Vanguard in action check out the first 90-minutes of the game in our PS5 First-Look video.

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Annapurna Interactive & Heart Machine’s Solar Ash Launches Today

Solar Ash, the highly anticipated traversal game published by Annapurna Interactive and developed by Heart Machine, launched today for PlayStation and PC via the Epic Games Store.

From the creators of the award-winning Hyper Light Drifter, Solar Ash is a high-speed and gravity-bending 3D third-person action platformer filled with sunken cities, vast water shelves, dangerous lava zones and more. Journey through a surreal, vivid, and highly stylized world filled with mystery, wild high-speed traversal, endearing characters, and enormous enemy encounters.

Players take on the role of a Voidrunner named Rei who nimbly traverses through these dangerous biomes in an effort to save her planet from falling prey to the Ultravoid’s path of eternal hunger. While travelling through the voids, players will help Rei learn the truth about the beasts that roam this strange land and uncover the mystery of the Starseed and Echo.

For all the latest updates on the game, follow Annapurna Interactive and Heart Machine on Twitter.

THE HEIST OF THE YEAR IS HERE: PLAYSTATION EXCLUSIVE WAY DOWN, NOW AVAILABLE!

Sony Interactive Entertainment España (SIE España), Mediaset Games, Gammera Nest, and FASE3 Estudios release today Way Down, a PlayStation exclusive based on the recently released movie that is now available as a digital title on the PlayStation Store for €19,99 / $19.99£15.99.

The Spanish national team is playing the final match to win the 2010 South Africa World Cup. Thousands of fans gather at one of the most iconic squares to watch the match and, hopefully, celebrate a unique victory. What they don’t know is that, at the same time, there’s a heist taking place just a few meters away, at the country’s central bank.

Way Down is a 3D action-adventure title with puzzles and stealth mechanics where players will have to infiltrate Spain’s central bank to get a mysterious treasure from an ancient ship. Take control of all the characters in the movie, each one with different skills, and combine their abilities to overcome every obstacle along the way. Hack your way to the bank’s main vault, where uncountable riches await you.

KEY FEATURES

  • Infiltrate Spain’s central bank and hack your way through the main vault to steal an ancient treasure.
  • Gather information to set up the perfect heist. You will have limited time to execute some of the riskiest moves.
  • Combine your characters abilities to overcome every challenge along the way: solve puzzle, hack computers and access restricted areas to succeed.

SAVE THE FUKUSHIMA POWER PLANT IN NUCLEAR CORPS, AN OLD SCHOOL ARCADE EXCLUSIVE PLAYSTATION TITLE, OUT NOW!

Sony Interactive Entertainment España (SIE España) and Jokoga Interactive announce today that the action arcade title Nuclear Corps is now available exclusively as a digital title on the PlayStation Store for €12,99 / $12.99.

KEY FEATURES

  • Save the world from a nuclear disaster by combining the three character’s unique skills.
  • Fight huge monsters and bizarre mutations in a game filled with humor.
  • Discover the true story of a group of Japanese veterans that volunteered to help save the nuclear plant.

Inspired by true events, Nuclear Corps takes players to a few years ago, when the Fukushima disaster was all over the news. Back in those dark days, after the earthquake and tsunami that caused Japan’s biggest nuclear disaster, a group of veterans volunteered to help clean up the power plant. “My generation, the old generation, promoted the nuclear plants. If we don’t take responsibility, who will?”, said Kazuko Sasaki, 69, one of the group’s founders.

Nuclear Corps lets players control three characters, each with a unique set of skills. Lola is a reckless character that can reach higher places and move quickly through the scenarios. Dordok is the one tasked with defensive duties, as his magic shield can protect his fellow mates. Smartie, the witty one, will use his latest creation to stop mutant creatures from escaping the power plant. Combine all the characters’ abilities to face hordes of enemies while you travel to the very core of the power plant.

Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation Code Fairy Vol. 1 Review – PlayStation 5

It’s almost 2022; why aren’t Gundams and mobile suits already everywhere in society? Toonami really got me back in the 90’s with all those ads for “in the near future”. Guess I’ll make do with the release of Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operations: Code Fairy Vol 1 developed by B.B Studio co and published by Bandai. Thank you, Bandai, for not giving up on us fans, in fact, give us more! Code fairy uses the Battle Operations 2 engine from the game of the same name released for PS4 and PS5. It’s been adapted to give us a single player experience in the form of Code Fairy.

The story is given to us in a multitude of ways such as audio snippets, anime style sequences including previews and opening and closing sequences. I found the anime sequences the most interesting because every chapter had an opening theme, a closing them and a preview as well, just like something you’d watch on T.V or more likely your favorite streaming service. I won’t deny that I got over those parts of it around the 3rd chapter when I realized it was going to happen at the end and beginning of each chapter. They had a great color; characters were appealing, and I could see them making a compilation of them and calling it a side story show or short movie.

You take the role of Alma, a rookie thrust into leadership of “Noisy Fairy” a covert all female squad under the Zeon side of the war. Code Fairy takes place during the one-year war from the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime, and the battles are in North America. As you progress through the story you will start to understand that Alma isn’t just your regular pilot.  It’s my understanding that she has some sort of special ability that makes her so good at piloting mobile suits. She is supported by two other pilots; an engineer called Mia and Helena who you pretty much leave to their own device the first couple of chapters until they introduce the ability to mark units for them to focus and pilot abilities which are special skills on short cooldowns such as instant repair of your suits, decreased damage taken and increased mobility to name the basics. As your pilots level up they earn more, but I hate to say it, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” really came into play with these.

Beating missions and completing certain objectives unlock parts to increase the stats of your mobile suit, so I was excited to try out the hard mode that you unlock when you beat the game the first time, hoping it would give me the chance to earn a new suit to pilot, but aside from making the enemies harder by having them take less damage and dodging more, nothing was to be earned. The part I did like was unlocking side perspective missions that you could play the same missions from the perspective of Alma’s compatriots, so you could play the game in a sniper role and in more of a support role. It gives you more insight into what was going on with them while you were off doing your own thing in the main story and also fight in a much different manner than what you were used to.

The battles consist of your typical kill all bad guys, defend the location and one where we got to destroy a convoy. At a few different points you did finally get to fight someone in the titular Gundam suits but nobody canon from the shows that mattered, and frustratingly I’d defeat them in one battle just to have them come back later in a newer suit.  Those named bad guys that never die sort of battles are frustrating and really took all the glory out of beating them. As this is based on the B.O games the battle triangle still exists of mobile suits being categorized as three types, Raid, General or support with each having a weakness and a strength against another, something I’ve never understood because if I get stabbed with a freaking beam saber it shouldn’t do any more or less damage due to my typing.

As I’ve said, the anime style visuals are great when you aren’t in battle, then it switches to the Battle Operations 2 engine that they have been using for the game that this is based on. I’ve played Battle Operation both on PS4 and PS5 and Code Fairy doesn’t really seem to improve on any part of it. The mobile suits, because that’s what they are actually are, that you pilot are essentially custom grunt unit models that the pilots utilize the whole first 5 chapters that Volume 1 is comprised of, near the end one of them gets a newer model but you as the protagonist/main character use the same suit the entire game with the ability to change your primary weapon from a rocket launcher to a machine gun after the second chapter.

Do they look good? I can’t deny that they look good, but compared to what is the question? They look the same as they do in Battle Operation 2. The issue that I’m getting to is that being called a Gundam game, hell even a Battle Operations game, I expected the ability to customize and change my suit or get a new one at some point, but I digress. Gundam Battle Operations: Code Fairy Vol 1 and Vol. 2 are out now with Vol 3 coming Dec 3rd.

JOIN RAFI AND SAM IN PLAYSTATION EXCLUSIVE PUZZLE PLATFORMER TWOGETHER, OUT NOW!

Sony Interactive Entertainment España (SIE España) and Flaming Llama Games announced today that Twogether: Project Indigos, a third-person puzzle adventure, is now available exclusively as a digital title on the PlayStation Store for €7,99 / $8.99 £6.49.  

Rafi and Sam are two kids imprisoned in the Hexacells research facility, a dark place where children with supernatural powers are abducted to test their abilities. Somehow, Rafi and Sam manage to break free and they will try to get as far away from Hexacells as possible. They will have to cooperate to overcome difficult obstacles to learn, along the way, the true value of friendship.

Twogether: Project Indigos is a single-player third-person puzzle adventure where players will manage both Rafi and Sam in their quest to escape from Hexacells. Rafi has telekinetic powers while Sam can teleport himself but only by combining their special abilities and paying attention to their surroundings will allow them to escape from the facilities.