Tag Archives: Activision

Haven Review: Destiny 2 – A very Unexpected adventure!

Now, for the last few years I have watched the hype of Destiny grow to exponential proportions and I never once had a chance to play the game, despite owning a copy and all the DLC (Long story). But since I had some downtime while sorting through the mess which is my life, I got a lovely review copy of Destiny 2 from our friends over at Activision and finally got to try it out.

I love it, I honestly wish I boarded the hype train with everyone else a while ago. The game shares remarkable similarities to a lot of the game titles I have enjoyed over the years and is simplified much to how I would design a game and yes, I have designed a few games in my time.

Its weapon system is basic, like very basic there are probably at least three to four different types of armors for each rarity for each class. So four green, four blue, four legendary and four exotic. I may be wrong on this but after getting four days worth of grinding in to get my power level up to 280, I have noticed an awful lot of similarities in all the armors.

However, this isn’t a bad thing it just means you got to pick the equipment you want and like and just power it up rather than keep picking up new armors and throwing out the old armors. The game focuses more on the key element of appearance rather than functionality, because almost all armors at least for the Hunter have pretty much the exact same function and it doesn’t really change. So go ahead and make your outfit look good, the other pieces of armors will probably do the same thing anyways.

The same goes for the weapons, not just the armors. The weapons have basically the same functions as the guns in Borderlands, its a gun except they can add the bazillion different guns in front simply because of the power levels for each gun or effects making them all individually unique effect being used in this case of elemental property.

Now, I know this similarity is a bit crass but its still accurate. I love the Sparrows you get, it reminds me so much of Firefall with the vast open area’s you can explore and traverse, Destiny probably came first but Firefall was free and available to me so I could play it and I absolutely loved the ability to do that. It was even more fun for me to do sick tricks in the air with just like the latter and it is incredibly enjoyable.

But I think despite the mechanics, from riding a Sparrow, or customizing your character the things I enjoyed the most was the story of the actual characters. Cadye (voiced by Nathan Fillion also!)  being my favorite to the point where if you put the two of us together in a room. We would never shut up, because of how similar we are. (Friends noticed it also.)

The story in this game alone feels solid, but from what my friend was telling me since I never played Destiny, I kinda switched off during the time traveling robots. So I fear this is something I cannot connect too yet simply because this title is its own title, and I am jumping into the middle of it without playing or knowing ANYTHING about Destiny.

But I think the thing, the one key element I enjoyed about the game, about the entire time playing it was and has definitely got to be the musical composition. I love, the soundtrack. I have never had in any of the previous games I have played had a musical score make me feel so much as I played through the title with my friends, and colleagues fighting Vex, Cabal, and the Fallen.

The game is good, from its vast open area’s loaded with visual porn in ways that just make you stop and admire everything that’s been put into this title. It’s unique characters, its witty dialog, and simple yet enticing game play mechanics. Games like these are a rarity now a days even more so if its a triple A title and they are pushing hard to get it out. Making the game more about the experience rather than cheap shoddy work to make money.

However, the competitive side of the game should be tweaked a bit.
Despite the player power cap being well, capped in such area’s as the Crucible item effects aren’t and if you haven’t been lucky enough or skilled enough to get special items such as the MIDA guns or Foetrackers you can be at a bit of a disadvantage. Although a good well balanced team can fix a lot of these issues and skill can outshine item effects easily.

This is what a game should be, from the adventures with friends, to a story you can enjoy by yourself, the game is really amazing. In conclusion the game is amazing, and I absolutely love it, from its musical score, to is mechanics, and overall game play, with very minor things being barely noticeable, hell its not even pay to win, any money you put it for bright engrams is solely cosmetic or maybe a slightly faster sparrow and even then you can get them by leveling up once you go beyond level twenty the cap level.

I even managed to get a few, But like I was saying the game is good and despite the scenery being a bit linear in places it brings that atmosphere that people want, i’ve found myself just listening to the music in the game and the ripples of the water on the farm because its enjoyable, and it makes me yearn for a chance to experience things like that in real life.

But despite all the positive things I got to say about it, I should point out the loading screens are annoyingly long, and serve only as gloat material to show off your ships, on the PC it crashes quite a bit and I have been stricken with error code buffalo a lot. Not to mention the game will suddenly and without warning just exit to the desktop for no apparent reason. But despite all these issues,

I love it.

-Daniel Clatworthy
(Team Note: Zaceron hates the suicide enemies in the HIVE and Vex, and Invixs thinks the story is very lack luster in comparison to the first game, and we all experienced bugs that made playing the game far more challenging than it should have been.)

Haven Editorial: Zacerons 2016 game awards

Zacerons 2016 game awards

2016 is officially over. Therefor I can now make a list about the best games and worst games of 2016. This list is proof that 2016 was good year indeed. The hand picked games from this list is all based on the ones I’ve reviewed this year.

2016

No man’s sky:

An under-engineered, over hyped piece of software. Which runs like a three eyed, one legged man, hobbling on thin ice. Needless to say it runs terrible and I can’t get it above thirty frames per second. Despite everything setting all the settings to low. There is also that terrible loading whenever I start the game. Despite what Hello games will have you believe. That pesky star journey is a loading screen. It even says, loading shaders at the bottom. Slow loading times is a good indication that the game code is crap.

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“Fix the damn performance issues already!”

Overwatch:

I still play it despite my short temper, questionable aiming abilities and my raging murder boner. It’s a game about holding an objective against colorful weirdos, with skills on par with mine. Whom are more concerned with chasing kills and trashing scenery, than to push the wagon up a hill. Yes it is fun, terrible and awesome, all at the same time. 

 

“Murder, death kill and chill.”

Everspace:

Rogue lite meets space exploration, with a high probability of fiery death. While being having an armada of murderous and very angry lizard people son my tail. As I traverse the randomly generated galaxy. It is the most beautiful rendition of space I’ve ever seen within a game.

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“How to make space look fantastic.”

Enter the Gungeon:

Charming and fun, where everything is a pun related to ammo or a gun. A game about exploring randomly generated dungeons and killing bosses, while trying to get the gun that can erase the past. Hard to wrong with a sizzling hot, table flipping bullet hell.20160420200000_1

 

“Fun with puns and guns.”

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun:

Ninjas flip out and kill people, it is a proven scientific fact. At least according the interweb. Around the time of fire arms, where the shogun ruled and Japan was almost peaceful. A cleaver ploy to reignite the war is brewing and a team of ninjas are set out to thwart it. Someone finally decided to make a top down stealth game, I’ve not seen many of those since Commandos was new.

20161209153853_1“Best stealth game of the year.”

Xcom 2:

Aliens have taken over the earth and the resistance needs my help, in order to liberate Earth. This game improves on everything the previous release did and a lot more.  Though adding a mission timer was probably not the smartest thing to do. Overall a fun turn based strategy game.

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“Damn aliens, always digging holes in my backyard.”

Owlboy:

It took nine years to get it done and I’d say it was worth it. It looks fantastic and is immensely  fun to play. Starring Otus; A boy, whom also is an owl, with a flying cape and several useful companions, fighting menacing mechanical pirates.20161030235823_1

Worth the wait

Redout:

Strap yourself into a rocked, held aloft with anti gravity. While trying to avoid a fiery death as the track blast by. It’s the fastest and most polished racing game I’ve played in 2016. It’s just fun speed through a loop at 300 km/t. The music is good as well and apparently it can be used with virtual reality.

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“High octane crash and burn.”

Earth Defense Force 4.1 Shadow of new despair:

Finally a proper EDF game on pc. A last I can smash the bug horde under my heels,  without slowdowns and horrible performance issues. It’s one of the few third person games where you actually face down an overwhelming horde of enemies. 20160725160931_1

“EDF! EDF! EDF!”

The Incredible Baron:

While not the most played game on my list, it does sport a very good soundtrack, which I’ve been listening to a lot. Especially when writing my list for games of 2016. The game it self is not bad at all and looks good. It’s just not my cup of tea. Despite the quirky fun characters.20160804095119_1

“Kick ass music.”

The Final Station:

All aboard the man train to Armageddon. It is a fun game about managing a train, explore abandoned locations and keeping passengers alive, while the nefarious plot unfolds.20160825001136_1

“Quit dying on me, I’m trying to adjust the cabin pressure.”

Clustertruck:

The floor is lava is a simple game about not touching the floor.  Only this time around the the floor is composed of speeding trucks and questionable physics. It’s fun as long as you can manage extreme first person platforming.20161003183511_1

Bird of Light

A very fun run and jump game, with a deep and slightly depressing story about a very real problem India is faced with.20160724194007_1

 

“Slow motion matrix jumping is awesome.”
May 2017 be an even better year for games than 2016.

Njål Sand

Haven Reviews: Starcraft 2 Nova Covert ops

Haven Reviews: Starcraft 2 Nova Covert ops

Screenshot2016-08-07 15_43_05 I’m a bit of a Starcraft fan, but a terribly mediocre player of said game series, too much micromanaging. I’ve always been more found of the Command and conquer sidebar. If I have to research, track down the building and click on it, need units? Find the bloody barracks. Also let’s face it; the first Starcraft game has a good story, but a terrible executed campaign. Keep in mind this is just my opinion. Never the less I’m here to talk about Nova.

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She is a ghost, a telegraphically gifted human that goes bump in the night. Her main job is to be a special operative for the Dominion and she is damn good at her job, until she got captured and mind wiped. Yes this is a bit of a cliché way to start a story, however this does not take long to rectify; after all there are only 9 missions or so, where the last three will be released in December. It is very clear that they are going with a more modern and streamlined approach. Since the first mission even has health pickups. People who hardly react to the man next to em getting his neck snapped. Screenshot2016-08-09 00_18_26A highway chase sequence. On top of that a bossbattle when she reach the end of the road. This scene is not very fun and a has a wonky implementation, still an interesting hurdle to pass. All the other missions however are much more traditional, with base building. Where nukes will be auto made and Nova can’t die as long as her command center is alive. During the missions a lot of extra abilities for units can be unlocked. Such as siege tank jump jets,  for those that likes to get around and permanent cloaking for Banshees. Most of the armory makes it into the game and spider mines are back. These self propelled buggers can be deployed from many of the units. Nova herself can also get a lot of gear, such as a shotgun, grenades, a crummy blade and a jump jet suit. A lot of these are unlocked when doing the extra objectives on the map.Screenshot2016-08-09 00_21_00
Since this is Starcraft, the missions also comes with achievements and several difficulties and a simple but intriguing story. Which unfortunately I have heard before, though it is well crafted. One thing of note, it’s a bit on the easy side difficulty wise, due to Novas sniper shot. An ability that renders even a Protos carrier to shreds in seconds and her insane energy recharge rate.

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The music is overly dramatic indeed and have some choir in the background at times. Not a terribly interesting or memorable soundtrack. The graphics and gameplay of Nova Covert ops is nice and well thought out and can be a challenge. Re-playability comes from getting various achievements in game and I can truly say I actually enjoyed these missions, though the wait for part three is very annoying. Pesky cliffhangers. The only exception is the stupid highway chase.

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Ghosts in Starcraft are a weird lot. Take Kerrigan for example, she is one of the strongest Terran telepathically gifted. Yet she has no special abilities in-game, same goes for Nova. Lockdown and EMP does not count. Since both of those effects are provided by special ammunition. If the excuse is neural implants to diminish the power, then why did the make the statement in the first place? Informed abilities that never comes into play are boring. Especially in a strategy game with special units. Probably why some consider humans to be the ones with least psionic potential in the universe. So many neural inhibitors.

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Disclaimer:  We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Njål Sand