Thursday 17 February 2011

Gaming Reviews

Baron Wittard: Nemesis of Ragnarok
Iceberg Interactive/Wax Lyrical
Available from February 18th - £19.99 (PC only) - Only £14.91 in the E14 Store!
Review by Rob Wade

The eccentric architect Baron Wittard has built something really special: a city inside a building. Its grand opening was supposed to have been two years ago. That event never happened. Armed with only a camera and a torch, you must journey there alone to explore its winding corridors, secret passageways and gloomy halls. Locals say Wittard kept a terrible secret, speaking fearfully of someone or something malevolent lurking at his city. Players will have to face the lurking horrors of this desolate place and find out what dark secret the Baron kept from the world…

Baron Wittard sees players take on the role of an eager journalist keen to discover the secrets. In terms of gameplay, the game takes the form of a point and click adventure game of sorts, with players picking up objects and solving puzzles in order to navigate the labyrinths of The Utopia, all the while staying one step ahead of the aforementioned malevolent presence.

Well, that’s the plan. Realistically, you navigate a series of individual screens, not really exploring the landscape so much as working out which place to click in order to make you move two steps forward. See, the game doesn’t employ movement mechanics like any adventure game I’ve ever seen, almost choosing to fall somewhere else entirely. Rather than being able to navigate around the map using the keyboard movement, which I think this game would be better for being able to do, the player is forced to click on the screen when the translucent hand turns into a non-translucent hand pointing forwards. Sound confusing? It is.

Moreover, the game employs puzzles to get you through the main storyline challenges, ranging from arranging shapes in a square to a strange electronic Sudoku (it’d make more sense visually, trust me). However, at no point is it explained how you go about doing said puzzles. In fact, the game really struggles in the sense that clear direction is very rarely given at all. In addition, there isn’t really anything mind-blowingly good about the game to redeem it. The graphics are alright, if not amazing. The music is alright, but not in the game nearly enough. The voice acting is God-awful, and as stated above the controls are frustrating.

However, this game does have some redeeming features. The puzzles themselves are really, really good and get your brain engaged very well. If you’re looking for a half-decent puzzle game, and you can put up with the control mechanics, this game will probably serve you well. If you’re in it for the story, this game may prove to just be simply too tedious to click through in order to get there.

The Emotionally Fourteen Games Rating
Graphics: They’re alright, pretty landscapes but not really much in the way of moving parts going on, so it’s hard to truly judge.
Sound/Music: The voice acting in this game is shocking beyond belief, but the music’s okay.
Gameplay: Point and click, let down by a frustrating control mechanic but redeemed by good puzzles.
Lasting Appeal: I sincerely doubt you’ll want a second playthrough.
Summary: A sure sign of potential from the developers, but nothing particularly stellar. It’s alright, can’t say much more than that. 5/10


A thousand years before Luke Skywalker, a generation before Darth Bane, in a galaxy far, far away ...

The Republic is in crisis. The Sith roam unchecked, vying with one another to dominate the galaxy. But one lone Jedi, Kerra Holt, is determined to take down the Dark Lords. Her enemies are strange and many: Lord Daiman, who imagines himself the creator of the universe; Lord Odion, who intends to be its destroyer; the curious siblings Quillan and Dromika; the enigmatic Arkadia. So many warring Sith weaving a patchwork of brutality -- with only Kerra Holt to defend the innocents caught underfoot.

Sensing a sinister pattern in the chaos, Kerra embarks on a journey that will take her into fierce battles against even fiercer enemies. With one against so many, her only chance of success lies with forging alliances among those who serve her enemies -- including a mysterious Sith spy and a clever mercenary general. But will they be her adversaries or her salvation?

Star Wars: Knight Errant is available now, priced £7.99.

This is the first installment of a two-book Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker adventure, set against the backdrop of the Clone Wars! Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are on a secret mission to one of the many worlds caught in the middle of the struggle between the Republic and the Separatists. A pastoral planet, Lanteeb wants only to be left alone to survive - but it is the source of what could be one of the most devastatingly destructive weapons ever.

If this potential weapon were to fall into the hands of the Separatists, uncounted worlds would fall. But should the Republic succeed in destroying it first, one world that needs it to survive will be annihilated. A frightening dilemma that Obi-Wan and Anakin will have to untangle, if they can get in and out of the occupied planet alive...

Star Wars - Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth is available from Thursday 24th February, priced £7.99. PRE-ORDER NOW!

Thanks to our friends at Random House, we've got three prizes of both Star Wars: Knight Errant and Star Wars - Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to before midday on Thursday 24th February, making sure to put "Star Wars" as the subject. The first three entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy of each book!

Don't forget to put "Star Wars" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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