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Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – Anything is better than Unity – Xbox One Review!

It’s that time of year again when our wallets and purses are left crying in the corner of the room, vacant and hollow – AKA: The greatest time of year for gamers. Triple A titles are raining down on us and today we start this with the first entry, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.

Follow in on from the resounding success of Unity *cough*, Ubisoft continue the annual outing with Syndicate. Based in London in the late 1800’s we join Jacob and Evie Frye. Assassin twins with no direct connection to those from previous iterations but raised by an assassin family. Their mission is to remove the tyranny of the Templars from London and finish the grand master Starrick for good…So like every other game. In the current time line, we are back with Shaun trying to find another precursor artefact. Just this time we watch them through some floating camera drone cut scene that does nothing to progress the story or add anything vaguely interesting. It seems as if Ubisoft needed some sort of validation about what they were doing so they can keep this train a’rollin’. So, here we have it. A linear story with the same formula, rinse and repeat. Its alright if you ignore the simple changes that have gone into creating it. Like CIA black ops files, there are thick black lines over names and places and then Ubisoft takes it, rolls a dice and there you have it, your characters and location done. We’ve seen as of late that they’re picking up on this and are trying to diversify gameplay to reinvigorate the fan base. We see with Chronicles: China that they’ve been struggling to maintain the hype that was once reserved for their epic Ezio cut scene trailers layered with staggering music by now switching the gameplay dramatically to a stealth based platform/side-scroller. However, Syndicate hasn’t done anything new. In all honesty, its actually removed one of the more popular mechanics which was the sailing (don’t lie, everyone loved sailing the seas and blowing shit up in their OP boats). Understandably boating in London in the late 1800’s isn’t that easy but they have worked on liberation of rival camps and regions with your trusty rope launcher. That’s fun. Liberating an entire borough on London of its Templar/Blighters gang ends with a big brawl between you, your crew, the Blighters/Templars and the areas boss, unless you’ve already chased them down and spread them across the pavement with your carriage. Roughly 10vs10, the fight can end very quickly if you’re quick to catch the leader prior to the fight. Constantly upgrading and crafting new weapons and tools means you’re almost always ahead of them in fire power, most notably gun wise. Assassins Creed Syndicate 3

As ever, combat within the AC universe has always been extremely fun and violent. Finishers and multi-kills are now even more brutal which also intelligently use the wider environment to pierce your enemy to the wall or make them into your newest desk accessory. Multi-kills aren’t very often and require a setup so they don’t become tiresome to watch or do and the general assassinations are fantastic. Kicking the shit out of people is just so fun but every action seems to be a some super human speed that is impossible to achieve with such weaponry. However, it seems that every police officer, Templar and gang member knows the main characters. So the super secret assassins of the secret order are known by everyone in London and their hideout is as subtle as a streaker at Sunday Mass. This winds me up to no end. You cannot walk though a neighbourhood without drawing the attention of 20 people, murdering them and moving on rapidly only to get caught out again a few blocks down the road. Any reason to beat the shit out of someone I guess. Yet we do not have a non-lethal way to progress. If an objective says not to kill a police officer, I have to kidnap them individually and knock them out away from all their friends one by one. I’m sure if you have the patience to do it meticulously, you’ll find some way of bullshitting it but if you’re like me, flooding a quarter of London in Templar blood was far more appealing. I tell you what is not appealing though, the shitty boss fight at the end which is a simple sequence motion that is repeated 3 or 4 times with slight variations with an illogical starting point for the character in relation to the cut scenes. Now here is the real kicker, its not too buggy. I had my fair share of bugs the crashed my game, killed me and made progress through zones very difficult. One of those is when you enter combat and all attacks to nothing. You run about trying to get hit but you can’t do anything to stop it. Then we have the various audio bugs that didn’t sync with the on screen animations and the invisible enemies that you’ve managed to morph with the wall. But, nothing game breaking and in regards to Unity, that’s a winner.

Assassins Creed Syndicate 4Visually the environment was stunning. Landmarks and set pieces looked amazing and a certain WW1 memory sequence created some even more amazing pieces and interactions. Now, I play on an Xbox One, the lower spec of the next gen consoles and I’d presume that my experience is far less than that of the PS4 in comparison. Character variation was good but the city is so big, you see many of the same people hanging around and you’ve probably killed the same guys over and over. My only gripe visually is fluidity. Anything the characters touch that isn’t their uniform is stiff, like cardboard and the hair isn’t even smooth, in fact you can visibly see the pixels that make the strands of Evie’s hair. Its nice to see a female character in the main character slot but other female characters that originated in the gangs that were heads of the groups felt as if they were trying too hard to appeal to that section and really impacted the reality of what women actually had to fight for. The aim to put female characters in the games are fantastic moves, especially in the Creed and the Templars but the general gang populace, it wasn’t that way and feels more like pandering to the extreme voices. We do get a cheeky mention of women’s rights in the bonus WW1 mission which was very amusing and actually addressed the situation in a historical aspect that doesn’t shun the past but brings light to the horrors of the past. By all means, I don’t believe the games to be 100% historically correct but it brushed the social issues of the time under the rug by acting like it never happened and created an idealistic image in a fairly distopian story that still shows children being worked to the bone by factory bosses.

I wouldn’t say I come into the AC universe to see the best voice actors in the industry create art but the script needs to match with facial movements and convey the correct emotions where necessary but often enough Evie’s mouth moved very little and emotion was lacking, but in all fairness, the stories and characters weren’t so engaging that you could immerse yourself into the world and feel for the characters. Some felt rather attached to the sibling disputes while I felt them more of a nuisance and that the relationship wasn’t explored enough to get a solid grasp of who these people are, its only towards the end of the game that we actually hear any mention of their parents real names and a history on them but still nothing on our protagonists apart from the fact that Jacob smashes shit up, Evie fixes it. It felt more like a big blockbuster action movie that priorities excitement and general fun over script, dialogue and character depth and if I’m honest, I’m okay with that. Its been fun and I will certainly be going back to experience some more of the extra missions, potentially more WW1 missions and generally beating the shit out of people. How is that not fun!?

Worth the pick up – 7/10

Let us know in the comments below of what you think of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and head over to our Youtube channel to watch all the shit I do over there!

Assassins Creed Syndicate

Youtube 360-degree capability!

Youtube have finally released that thing you never actually needed but now do!

Google’s experts have been squireling away at implementing a full rotational viewing experience for tablet and smart phones users. If you’ve got a smart phone, jump over watch the video below from FullMag! with the use of Google Chrome or the Youtube App

For all PC and laptop users you will notice a distinctive curve to the image but for those on their more portable devices can see the whole scene from bottom to top, left to right. A rather surreal experience but a brilliant achievement. Although the video may lack the finesse and quality of a cinematographers camera, its undoubtedly a fun tool to immerse you into the scene.

With the rise of Youtube content creators and the media’s attention on the platform, could we begin to see movies online hosted in 360-degrees?

Theory of a Deadman’s Savages – Quicky Album Review

SavagesIt feels very odd to review an album after so many movies and games, so please forgive the flow of my piece. If you have any music you’d like me to review please let me know! Upon the release of the album, you can catch the whole album on their youtube channel (Click here for the playlist). Its not in any order so be wary that the flow of the album may be a little different

Over the last few months, Theory of a Deadman have been releasing a series of lyric videos for their upcoming album “Savages” titled after the song of the same name featuring Rock legend Alice Cooper. As singles, the songs are strong both vocally and musically. With a blend of heavy, catch riffs, lyrical wit and Connolly’s iconic tone, these singles rank up as some of my favourite songs by the group. One issue that has plagued the band is that any songs that aren’t singles don’t hold the same gravitas and appeal factor. Can they turn it around with Savages? I don’t quite know.

With 4 of the songs getting their own music videos, the other 9 tracks were left completely in the dark. As I’ve already mentioned, the 4 tracks are brilliant and upon listening to the rest of the album, this time around it appears that they have kept to a slightly heavy trend for the majority of the album rather than a small sample of track. There is a healthy variation between tracks with “The One” & “Livin’ My Life Like a Country Song” featuring Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts demonstrating a far slower, acoustic approach that’s wonderfully contagious. Just prior to these tracks, I felt like I was listening to Rob Zombie rather the TOAD and its great to see the selection the band has chosen rather than lumping the same sort of things together that blend together into something that breezes by with no distinction.

My favourite part of this album is actually the lyrics of a fair few songs. The singles are obviously the strongest of the lot but “Blow” is probably one of their best written songs to date. I may even consider it one of the best I’ve heard in quite a while. Taking stabs at pop culture from reality TV too Kanye West and Chris Brown make it even better. Many of us will agree with all the points they say within the song and it shows that as a group, Theory of a Deadman really don’t give a damn about what sort of flak they may get from the moronic state of individuals.

I’m no professional musician but listening to the album, the technique that goes into the pieces are great. Musically the album is solid. Its heavy, which can qualify itself for the Rock genre but its also catchy which make it extremely popular with a much wider audience and a great stepping stone for those interested in the genre. Canada appears to have released another group that can produce concrete music. Yes I’m talking about Nickleback and yes, I do like them. Alright, some tracks aren’t up their with the greats and the singles but I feel that overall Savages deserves an 8/10. I’ll end up having this album on repeat for a number of weeks and I doubt I will become sick of it!

Titanfall Beta – REVIEW!

TitanfallAs many of you may have noticed, the Titanfall Beta ended last week. I’ve left a little time between posting this to allow for it to settle down and hear some new information running up to the release. Down below is one of the first videos I uploaded to Youtube of my Titanfall antics. If you’d like to like, subscribe or anything else, simply go to the channel/video!

Titanfall is undoubtedly one of the, if not THE biggest game coming out this year. With rumours circulating about MLG competitions and Xbox One bundle with reduced price, this game is going to sky rocket even further than before. Based entirely online, the game has one weakness; No single player campaign. The lack of story worries me initially as it removes a lot of the potential. The story could be extremely fast paced and would be great to understand the warring factions. Although news of an online campaign within the multiplayer matches addresses these, it relies on others to pull their weight and also a stable internet connection to enjoy for a long period of time.

Ignoring the story, the Beta was simply an online stress test of their servers and checks on any glitches or bugs that may occur. Looking back at GTA V and others, the popularity of a beta would have solved many of the problems that plagued (and still do) its launch. With games like Bungie’s Destiny later this year and Defiance (based on the Syfy channel TV show), it feels as if we are journeying towards multiplayer being the key component for gaming on the next generation consoles and Titanfall is the first to really open this.

If you care to look at my videos, it is easy to see how chaotic the game is. It feels like an all-out war zone although it’s only 6v6, the inclusion of AI minions/grunts/spectres and the auto Titan function, the battlefield is packed. All the space is usable and easily accessible with the double jump and wall run functions but you cannot camp out as accessibility to every spot is incredibly easy. The fast paced nature and goals of each game also force you to keep moving and stop people from hiding in a corner under the stairs and delve right into the thick of it. All of it’s mechanics are flawless and it flows brilliantly. All of the additions can switch the tide of a game for better or worst in a matter of seconds and it truly gets the blood pumping with no “WTF, How the fuck did he get me” when you no damn well how they got you. I couldn’t get angry or rage quit like Call of Duty can do from time to time. Titanfall puts you in a zone and just doesn’t let go!

As it stands, the game has the potential to be the biggest thing coming out this year. Smashing the CoD franchise into dust with it’s new take on first person shooters and multiplayer team play. Jumping from this to CoD is probably the worst decision I have made and simply cannot wait for it’s release!

Eurogamer 2013!

A few weeks ago, we travelled 200 miles to London for the UK’s biggest gaming convention. Down below is a video I mixed together of our trip and what we got up too!

The video is on the brand new Youtube channel which will be inundated with a ton of stuff once I finally manage everything else going on.

Be sure to like, subscribe and SHARE! 😀

My Youtube launch! – Starting with Grand Theft Auto 5!

Hey guys and girls. Recently I’ve been working on a youtube channel and If you follow the link below, you will notice I have a few videos up from my testing phases. Starting with GTA5, I should be getting every story mission up onto Youtube with no commentary!

Two reasons for that:

1) I don’t interupt the story.

2) I hate the sound of my voice and have no idea what I’m doing.

 

Here is the link to the channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/BlackRibbonGaming

 

Hangover part 3! Trailer released!

If you haven’t seen it, here is the new trailer released via their Facebook page. Only just be able to find it on youtube!It has Bradley Cooper in, I really don’t think I need to write anything about it!

Enjoy!

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