Tag Archives: open world

Haven Review: Batman Arkham City [Return to Arkham]

Batman Arkham City the continuation of the Batman Arkham franchise from Rock Steady. In the first installment Joker had a great plan which involved making Batman out to be a terrible monster like the Joker himself but ultimately it backfired.

Now the story continues and Quincy Sharp the old warden of Arkham Asylum is now the Mayor of Gotham City and from it he created Arkham City a place for all the mentally deranged, criminally insane and all around scum of Gotham to be imprisoned in.

Throw into this prison run by a Professor Hugo Strange the inmates are left to go about their own business. With the return of the famous voice crew again from Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamil and Tara Strong reprising their roles again for Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn.

Now like its predecessor the musical score is on point bringing a great depth and also grim atmosphere to the area. Where Batman is forced to fight for his life and learn the truth behind Arkham City before countless lives are lost to a madman who lurks in the shadows.

Now in Arkham Asylum you could only travel upon the island where the Asylum was. In this installment of the franchise Rocksteady has given us a more open world environment filled with buildings and the chance to explore quite a few of them. However the scale of the open world is still quite limited but at the time of the games release unless you are comparing to Skyrim the game’s map is quite huge.

However like its predecessor it still heavily relies on the two buttons used for combat one for attack and the other for countering. Although this makes it simple for new comers still, the combat is still a bit lacking. Although at times you will have to use two other buttons in conjunction with each other it still doesn’t offer any improvements.

The story of Arkham City though remains very on point, offering a new glimpse at old enemies and new enemies from Batman’s rogues gallery with Mr.Freeze, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, and even Catwoman joining the party. Catwoman being a particularly important character that you play as through a portion of the story.

Visually the game is breath taking, both original and remastered the game remains perfect in its representation of what we believe Gotham City should look like from the grim undertones we have been told about it. A place where villains like the Joker and Penguin fight to rule the place and cause chaos.

The game overall shows us and brings to life everything we have expected from Batman from the city he protects, to the villains he fights and people he protects. Like the character jumped from a comic book and into our gaming systems capturing the essence of Batman so well that the differences between comic and game character are almost indistinguishable.

Like its predecessor its a game I hope comic book fans and even non fans buy and enjoy. Weather it be the original copy or the Return to Arkham edition the game is worth it, and worth every penny.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Batman Arkham Asylum [Return to Arkham]

Arkham Asylum the game that started it all and spawned a series of sequels that are unparalleled in how epic they are. Batman has always been a popular super hero fighting crime as just a man, no super powers just his wit, body and will to save the day and a mind unlike any other.

So popular that there is a college offering a course in all the things Bruce Wayne studied to become Batman and fight crime as the masked Vigilante.

Now onto the review, Batman Arkham Asylum is the title that like I said stated it all, it starts off just like you would expect Batman bringing the Joker in to Arkham for treatment after he escaped. But what he soon realizes is that the Joker set a series of events into motion that will have our beloved Dark Knight fighting for him and Gothams life through out the entire island.

In terms of open world the game is lacking in that department, its a big map and a lot of small area’s where you can explore and adventure into and solve various Riddler related puzzles scattered about but. In terms of exploring Gotham city it is not possible.

However despite this quite a few of the rogues from Batmans gallery of enemies make a appearance such as Bane, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Joker, Killer Croc and Poison Ivy. So there is much to be said a bout the varying array of criminal master minds to fight and bring to Justice.

One of the great enjoyable feats of the game is Mark Hamil reprising his role as the Clown Prince of Crime striking terror into the hearts of people everywhere in a role he was born to play. As well as Kevin Conroy reprising his role as Bruce Wayne / Batman. Growing up as a fan of Batman the two were a huge part of my childhood and even to others they are those characters above everyone else.

But I digress the game itself has a excellent musical score which helps set the tone and the atmosphere for both the mix of detective work and combat. Although the combat is a little on the droll side of things forcing the player to simply button mash two keys the entire time which in its own right is a good thing, but it felt a little underwhelming when it came to fighting certain bosses and criminals in the game.

The story has a few low points as well but nothing that would take away from how its really enjoyed. It brings with it solid mechanics in its game controls, fluid story telling, a great musical score and voice acting which makes the game stand out as one of the best games ever created.

Its sustained the test of time, and even now with the Return to Arkham re-release the game has even more of a popular following than it started out with. I like to think game sales helped with that like on Steam where people could dive into the game title and become addicted like myself.

In conclusion the game is amazing, it has a few issues which have been fixed since its initial release and even gotten a graphical overhaul in Return to Arkham and I suggest if you love super heroes such as Batman that you pick the game up when you get a chance.

You won’t regret it.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

Haven Editorial: Conan Exiles

Haven Editorial: Adventures is Exile

Conan exiles takes place in the magical world of Conan the barbarian. Which the Norwegian game company Funcom made another game in. Unlike Age of Conan, this is an open sandbox, with crafting, survival elements and full frontal nudity. Both genders can chose to be completely naked within the game settings. The same options can be set by the server host as well.

I started my adventure on a sour note, being accused of crimes I never committed. Some quite unsavory people knocked me out cold and left me dry and hanging. I mean honestly, who the devil crucify someone alive in the middle of a god forsaken wilderness? honorless dogs that is who. After a mighty struggle I managed to pry myself off the cross and found a note next to me, along with a waterskin. Something I consider a quite fitting contribution to my glorious conquest of these savage lands. All around me is a barren wasteland of a desert, sparsely populated with black ruins and a cobble stone road to traverse. Further down the path I ran into a flying fiend of sorts, that snarled at me before it flew into the distance. Eventually I found an oasis, with lush vegetation and a whole lot of water all over the place. As I was admiring the lovely scenery several vicious scaly beast ganged up on me and I died brutally. Eventually I re-spawned at the cross again. Death is apparently a slap on the wrist as long as I can reclaim my corpse and the loot I carry.

Long story short, Conan Exiles is an open sandbox survival game on Steam, that launched as an early access title. Which leaves rooms for a lot of patching. Despite some minor bugs and annoyances, the game is fairly addictive and a decent proof of concept. However there are some very nasty bugs and horrible loading time around the time this article is being written. Make no mistake, Conan Exiles is fun, especially with friends and comes with both PVP and PVE modes. Where people can host their own servers and modify the game mechanics. Such as day and night cycles and the experience gain. It’s also totally possible to play it solo and access the admin panel, which can create any object of desire within the game. AT one point I decided to summon an avatar of Yog. A 50 meter tall tentacled monstrosity, with the ability to penetrate the earth. Unfortunately it only last for a minute.

Crafting is fairly fast and straight forward. Gather the needed resource, go into the menu and click on the desired recipe. Each level unlock several new recipes. However they are best to divide between several players to maximize the effectiveness. One should focus on building fancy things, while the other player should work on making weapons. Eventually I learned how to make a lesser wheel of pain, rope and a blackjack. Three lovely items that allows me to knock someone out, string them up and drag them back to base. Nothing is more satisfying than to employ several highly trained athletic slaves. Knocking someone unconscious can lead to some rather gruesome mutilations. The game is bloody, brutal and uncompromising. Limbs will fly and blood will soak the sand. The sandbox of Conan Exiles is composed of 90% sand, which is quite an oxymoron indeed.

The wilderness is populated by various camps, vicious monsters and swarms of hyenas and toxic spiders. I can’s count the number of times I ran out of stamina, got crippled and was brutally murdered by fanged fiends. All in all a very fun, if a bit flawed game, which can only get better with time. Since long loading and optimization leaves a lot to be desired,

 

 

 

http://store.steampowered.com/app/440900/

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