We Happy Few Game Preview

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Image courtesy of Compulsion Games

Bryce Fraser
Staff Writer

Compulsion Games has done a complete change of the survival game formula that we have seen in other games. Instead of a post-apocalyptic land the game takes place in a dystopian 1960’s London and instead of zombies the player must fight off people addicted to happy pills known in the game as Joy. The game takes place in Wellington Wells where people who don’t take the pill known as Joy are known as Downers. The people of Wellington Wells even wear a white face make up of some sort representing the mask they put on when using their happy pills. The player who chooses not to take the pill, ends up a Downer themselves and must survive by finding food, water, and must sleep.

The game takes place in Wellington Wells where people who don’t take the pill known as Joy are known as Downers. The player ends up being a Downer and must survive by finding food, water, and even sleep.

The game is still in early development with some features that may end up in the finished game might be missing and bugs are also a strong possibility. The main story is not available yet but they tease of things to come. When you start the game you get an option of playing the character prologue The game also promises that later in development you will have a choice of their characters.

In the prologue you play as Arthur Hastings, who works as an information redactor censoring information that would bring the population down. When a newspaper clipping comes in about the Hasting brothers bad memories flood Arthur’s mind of his brother Percy and then he is offered the choice of taking a Joy pill or remembering. Hilariously, if you take the Joy pill the game goes to credits and then back to the main menu If you choose to remember.

As Arthur walks to the conference room he starts to think and notice things about the world. When going into the office next to him, he finds that Clive Birtwhistle wants his office when you read the notes around Birtwhistle’s office, he even a poster of Arthur with devil horn drawn on it.

The main floor of the office is filled with piles of Newspapers lying all over the place and Arthur says out loud how he never noticed how behind on work they are. When entering the conference room a few of his coworkers are gathered around a piñata. When Arthur hits it he is splattered with blood, then sees it was a giant rat the whole time showing that the effect of the Joy is slowly wearing off. When declining a Joy pill he is labeled a Downer and runs from the coming authorities who finally catch up and knock him out and the player wakes up in the Wellington underground.

It is unclear how Arthur got here but it seems that somehow he made it through the door, either way that was the end of the prologue. Now he awakes in the room on the other side. A TV is on with Uncle Jack playing. Uncle Jack is the face of propaganda in the game proclaiming the values of taking Joy.

The player must craft a jimmy bar to crack open the above hatch door to enter into the world above. The crafting system in the game  is simple you must find the allotted amount of items to craft the wanted item. You can craft different suits that offer protection or allow you to fit in better, Jimmy bars are useful for getting through locked doors or other locked containers, and of course crafting bandages to heal the player.

The game graphics art and styles are unique, the game really sets itself apart from other games with its bright colors and 60’s London style architecture. You first end up in Wellington Gardens District,  a rundown place with dull colors and what seem to be broken people. This is where all the Downers end up.

The Garden District, offers some interesting little side quests, crazy legs a man running around saying he has an important date he is late for who the player must somehow incapacitate,  finding a purple pill for a poisoned individual, or even rescue a doll for a very interesting fellow in a tree-house.

To get out there are two bridges one that requires you to know who won the Simeon Says game in town last week and one guarded by someone who really loves honey. I found the bee hive nearby, the game suggests crafting a padded suit so you can withstand the bee stings, I managed to grab the honey without crafting the suit and healed myself with a few bandages. Once you get the honey you are attacked by Downers who want it so they can cross the bridge. I jabbed them a bit with my sharpened stick and ran all the way to bridge where I rewarded the guard with his much sought after honey and made it through the gate.

The game offers a rich world to explore full of lure which are documents found in the world written by the people who live there, they sometimes offer hints to the player for figuring out quests or finding items.

The game allows you to free roam and explore the rich world of Wellington Wells It offers the player a decent amount of game play for someone who is interested in supporting the game by purchasing it before its initial release, the developers created a unique game and it will be interesting to see what they will do with the main story.

 

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Space Engineers Preview

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Photo courtesy of Keen Software House

Bryce Fraser, writer
Shiftsync Media

Armed with a welding tool, drill, and sometimes a sub machinegun the game Space Engineers offers a sandbox experience literally letting players create and explore their own universe.

Space Engineers is a game developed and published by Keen Software House that was released October 23, 2013 as an Alpha.  The game involves crafting and hording minerals collected to build structures and ships. The game has recently added Planets due to player’s requests.

The game allows players to build with their own design space ships. You can build a giant starship with rooms, welding ships, drill ships, or even fighter ships. You can also build ships for digging and collecting minerals. There are welding ships that help make repairs on other structures and ships. You are able to fly from the planet directly to space and even from space onto the planet.

The game offers players a chance to build whatever their imagination can put together. While testing the game I built my own small and it ship wasn’t very pretty but that was my fault. I and a friend attacked some computer controlled enemies on earth. We even jumped onto one of the drones and dismantled it by drilling off panels to find the remote controlled part and rebuilt it so we could fly it.

There are many different servers available for players to jump into. Some having their own rules to the world available for players to read when they first arrive. So far, the most fun from the game, however, is just building ships of your own and fighting with close friends in a private session.

I would like to see how the public servers will expand and grow as the game comes closer to an official release. The game is very solid for one that is in Alpha state, definitely fun for building and playing with friends. It will be an amazing game to see when it is finally finished.

PSN Still Down After Hacker Attacks

On Christmas Eve the Playstation network was offline and gamers were unable to log in to their PSN account. For a few hours gamers found it possible to once again log in and play their favorite online tiles for a brief time, but then once again was an able to log in. A hacker group called Lizard Squad took the credit for the attacks.

All through Christmas people who received a Ps4 would find that they were not able to play any online support for their games. Games like Destiny that do not offer an offline  function could not be played at all during the attacks. Currently Xbox is online but PSN is still offline. The motivation for the attacks seem have been for Twitter folleres, Lizard Squad currently have 207k followers on Twitter.

The Forest Game Review

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Bryce Fraser, writer
Shiftsync Media

Have you ever watched a horror movie about someone being chased around the woods by a bunch of cannibal mutants and wanted to be a part of the action? Endnight Games allows you to play out that fantasy in its new release open world survival horror game The Forest for steam.
The first cut scene starts you off in the plane with a boy huddled next to you, the plane suddenly breaks in two and eventually crash lands in the forest. A cannibal is now seen taking the boy and walking off into the woods.

Now you are on your own, starting off with only a lighter and items you find from the wreckage, including an axe, and it is up to you to survive. The concept of the game is to survive and you need to eat as well as maneuver around cannibals out to get you. You need to forage for food by hunting animals for food and eating nonpoisonous berries and mushrooms, or finding snacks from luggage bags scattered across the forest.
The game’s graphics are gorgeous and at the next gen level. Everything looks so real and the landscape itself can be breathtaking, full of giant redwood trees, and little ponds with fish swimming around so you could easily get lost in admiring the landscape and forget about the cannibal mutant behind which is intent on killing you.
When hunting you can use your axe but a spear works better. You can hunt lizards, bunnies, and fish.

The animals themselves look very lifelike and movement is real. You can even see how the lizards will try to chase the birds if they get close enough. The land is teeming with different life. Not only the huntable animals but there are birds, turtles, and I even was surprised to run into a spider crawling on the ground. One new animal to be aware of are sharks that have recently been added to the game. When swimming in a large body of water you will be able to see the fin of the shark and if the they bite you they can take all your health in one swipe. When you kill a lizard not only do you obtain its meat for food, but you can use its skin as armor to give you more protection.
After gathering your prey you will need to build a fire to cook them. Crafting a fire is also helpful for staying warm and dry when it rains which will drag on the player otherwise.
You are able to craft traps to catch the cannibals in, buildings, and even a wharf. To build you need to collect a number of different things, the most common are sticks, rocks, and logs. Sticks and rocks can be found along the ground almost every place, but logs are the result of chopping a tree down. You take your axe and chop all along a tree until it finally comes down, then it changes into about three to four logs that the player can collect. This is fun at first, being able to chop a tree down as realistic as the game does it, but the fact that the player can only carry one log at a time can be tedious when building a log cabin that requires 82 logs.
Other structures can be one part of a fence that the player can put together however they choose, making their own fort somewhere along the forest. The system is set up for players to build their structures is quite simple to use. You first look up what you want to build in your survival book, then click it and place it where you want it to be. It will be transparent until you find all the required materials.

You can also create storage for logs and sticks so you can store them for things you build later.
As items go in the game, you have an axe and you can also craft an axe out of rocks and sticks. You are able to use medicine to heal yourself and even find soda to recharge your energy level. I was able to find flares and a flare gun and you can use the flares like a torch as they give off a good amount of light. If you need light you always have your lighter and you may also find a flashlight. The flare gun is a really powerful weapon and seems to kill the regular mutants in one hit, though they take a few seconds to fall. One other item I found while playing was the cassette tape player which, if you equip it, the player plays an 80 style beat and restores your energy level. The music can really change the atmosphere of the game and is a fun little item to use while killing cannibals.
The mutants themselves seem to go everyplace. They are in active search parties mainly looking for you.

Their AI and movement is amazing sometimes they will just stand and stare at you and as you back up they get closer and eventually one will decide to make a run at you. They also at times seem to slowly surround you. They are able to jump from tree to tree if they choose to. There are two different main types of mutants, the humanoid ones that consist of males and females, and the bigger ones that seem like half octopus half human.
The game features no actual pause, so when you go to your inventory menu, which is your backpack laid out on the ground, you may even see animals nearby walk across your inventory while you are checking your items. Even the start screen I left on, thinking it was a pause, but came back to a starving character. Another challenge is the only way to save in the game is to create some sort of a shelter from the handbook and save there.
The game is very unique idea and very fun and interesting to play. The game, however, it is in early Alpha stage and even warns the player with a screen explaining it is an Alpha currently in development. So the game is not without its bugs.

I was welcomed with a grey screen when I first played which was easily rectified by exiting using the windows button and then returning and the problem has since not returned. Endnight Games have an email and blog where you can report any bugs you encounter. The game receives updates monthly and with each update not only fix bugs but also deliver more content to the game.
I believe that despite any bugs the game works fine and is quite fun to play. I am intrigued to see what Endnight Games has in store for the game in the next updates, and the game is well worth the $14.99 price.SCORE

Game Review: A Story About My Uncle

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Bryce Fraser, writer
Shiftsync Media

A Story About My Uncle is a game that is in the first person perspective but not a first person shooter, what it is more like a non-violent first person jumper and grapple game that the whole family can play if you were to try and catorigize it.

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Maddie

The game’s story has you taking the role of a young boy while the future version of that boy narrates the story as the game is a story being told to the narrator’s daughter.

As a young boy the narrator starts off looking for his uncle Fred and when walking around his house he stumbles upon a machine that transports him to a different world full of abstract landscapes.

There he must maneuver across a foreign landscape which are mostly catacombs full of floating rocks. He also stumbles upon a village full of blue humanoid creatures. One of the blue villagers is a young girl named Maddie who ends up showing the player around and seems to know a lot about Fred.
The game features acheivments to give more things for the player to do. There are also little Easter eggs hidden in the game that if found sometimes trigger audio of the narrator telling the story to his daugter.
The game is easy to play with a mouse and keybord or just plug in an Xbox 360 controller and it works automatically.
The game features rich graphics, and as you play through the game each level design gets more beautiful than the last.

Some levels including, illuminisent plants, really makes for a stunning sight.Your main gadget in the game is your suit that has a charged jump function used to get to high places. Another function is a beam that comes out that is used as a hook shot so the player drag themselves to parts of the land that would be impossible to reach otherwise.

The game makes the player combine both the beam hook shot, and charged jump to challenge them to get through obstacles paths that the world is made up off.
The game is a very unique first person experience, it is also a non-violent game and instead challenges the player instead by making them figure out how to get across the land using only the tools at hand.score

Game Review: Goat Simulator

Goat SimulatorBryce Fraser, writer
Shiftsync Media

Goat Simulator was released on Tuesday April 1st, but this was no April fool’s joke. The games concept is that you get to play the role of goat in a sandbox style game filled with achievements and interesting things to explore and challenges to try and receive points. The game contains no storyline, you are just a goat free to explore and try to accomplish as many achievements as you can. Achievements range from doing a successful backflip, to trying to get your goat high into the air. Your goat has the ability to lick objects which then attaches to objects and allows you to drag the item around. You can also head-butt things or even unsuspecting bystanders. One of the most unique abilities is the function to turn ragdoll mode on and off which gives a an experience strangely similar to a skateboarding game by allowing the player to go off ramps with their ragdoll goat and get points of high air with their goat. This also turns on automatically whenever you fall and don’t land correctly. The game adds some extras in the custom game option under Mutators, a jetpack that allows you to speed through the map faster and definitely get some air. Different Mutators add different extras to your goat and can be unlocked by playing the game and acquiring achievements. In the game you can’t die, you just automatically turn on ragdoll mode and then have to simply turn it off again which makes you stand back up. The game is teeming with interesting things to explore like homes, fields a building under construction, even a hidden skate park, . The game supports Xbox 360 controllers you just plug one in and play the game. The game offers a very unique experience, it is very fun and the only con would be the lack of multiplayer support. It delivers what it promises and is well worth the $9.99.SCORE

 

 

Take Justice into Your own Hands in Exkee’s Blood-soaked Puzzler, Kill the Bad Guy

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Paint the town with the blood of the wicked on Windows, Mac, and Linux this May

Marseille, France – January 28, 2014 – Independent game developer, Exkee invites you to discover, in just a few minutes, the myriad of ways that vigilante justice can be dispensed upon the wicked in their blood-soaked puzzler, Kill the Bad Guy, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux in May 2014.

Kill The Bad Guy is a puzzle-based game with a seemingly calm, utopian atmosphere, but in actuality, it is a veritable playground for which to serve vile evil doers their just deserts! So players, pull up a seat and tuck in your bibs because it is about to get messy!

In Kill the Bad Guy, players will act as a shadowy justice, manipulating the tangible world from afar as the unsuspecting Bad Guy goes about his day. The player will have to first dirty up the streets in order to keep them clean and safe in the long run. Purge the city of dirty criminals, seedy mafioso, low-life drug lords, and other Bad Guys who think that they are safe hiding as wolves in sheep’s clothing.

In order for the mission to be a complete success, the player must not raise suspicion, or let the Bad Guy know that they have them marked and are out for blood! The player must remain undetected, minimalism collateral damage, and above all, make it look like an accident!

Use intelligence and trickery to find the best way to lure the Bad Guy into your trap. Once the Bad Guy is zeroed in on, players can choose an accessible tool best suited for the job: a runaway car barreling straight towards him, a razor-sharp propeller from a defective air-conditioner unit, or how about a wrecking ball which happened to “accidentally” detached itself from the body of the excavator. What will it be?

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Scourge: Outbreak Xbox Arcade Game Review

Bryce Fraser, writerUntitled-1
Shiftsync Media

Scourge Outbreak storyline has you in charge of a squad in the future apart of the rebel group Tarn battling against the evil Nogari Corporation, who are believed to be behind the massive plagues in the game. You start out by landing on a Nogari base to rescue a Reisbeck who has been a spy for Tarn in the Nogari corporation and to retrieve a sample of a meteorite that Nogari is experimenting on.

Starting the game you have your choice of who to play from four different characters. Whoever you choose to play as, will have their own backstory that you will unlock while playing the game. First off, you can choose Major Victor “Stonewall” Dantrix, his back story is he’s from a family of soldiers but has been forced into mercenary for Tarn to eventually receive proof of his innocence. Stonewall is the standard character you would see in most action movies, his stats are that he is fairly good with heavy and light weapons and very good with melee damage and melee resistance, and also very fast.

Tasya “Amp” Semivolkova is a self-destructive adrenalin junkie who is working for Tarn for the promise of a cure to her addiction. Amp is the only female of the four characters, which is great for female gamers out there who are sick of being forced into playing male roles in games. Amp is a standard character generally good at everything, but she is better with light weapons than heavy weapons.

Next, we have James “Mass” Lang, who is more accurate with heavy weapons, great stability with light weapons, and very great with melee damage and resistance.

Finally we have Ramiro “shade” Cortez. He is more of the anti-hero because he is only out for revenge, and because of his appearance the fact he wears a mask and has scars on his face . His skills are that he is great with accuracy, handling, stability, and speed with light weapons.

In the game you have a choice between 6 different control schemes, you can’t customize your own but the default control will feel very familiar to gamer’s, the right trigger to fire, left trigger to aim, the Y button brings up next weapon, and the X button to reload. The B button being the use button in the game might take some gamers some time to adjust to being that so many other games use it as a cancel button, but if it is too much to adjust to there are four other control schemes that have the B button for crouching or melee with feels more in tune with other games.
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ESPORTS ENTERTAINMENT AND GAMEPLAY ANALYSIS EVOLVES WITH FIRST EVER RED BULL TRAINING GROUNDS

image001-1Competitive Training Weekend Offers $8K Prize Purse and In-Depth Expert Analysis

for Top eSports Athletes Ahead of MLG Anaheim

 

Santa Monica – June 14, 2013 – eSports fans: watch and learn. The first ever Red Bull Training Grounds will give eight invited eSports athletes – and fans tuning in to the live digital broadcast from around the world – the opportunity to elevate their play in a weekend of intense match-ups and expert analysis. This first-of-the-season event, taking place June 21st – 23rd at Red Bull North America Headquarters in Santa Monica, will spotlight Blizzard Entertainment’s award winning real-time strategy game, StarCraft® II, with $8K in prize money on the line to keep the competition more than friendly. Beloved eSports personality and legend Sean “Day[9]” Plott and fan favorites Mike “Husky” Lamond and Ben “MrBitter” Nichol will serve as commentators and inquisitors, calling the action as it happens, as well as interviewing each player to analyze their performance and up their game.

The eight participating players, invited from the cream of the eSports crop of European and North American pros, will scrimmage in a series of round-robin matches over the course of the first two days, giving each athlete the opportunity to experience one another’s signature tactics and evasive rebuttals. At the completion of each scrimmage, players head to the analysis booth to discuss and critique their performance, giving the audience at home a bleacher seat to the training regimes and techniques of top players, gaining strategic insight right alongside the pros.

Day three of Red Bull Training Grounds culminates in a tournament with the four players still standing. Reconvening for a final day of competitive play, the winner will walk away with the top prize purse – and an invitation to a future high stakes tournament.

The following weekend, Red Bull Training Grounds alumni head to MLG Anaheim, to put their training weekend to the test on the global competitive tournament circuit, facing the best players from around the world. eSports aficionados and amateurs can get a sneak peek into tournament day preparation, watching these pro players refine and hone strategies, witnessing in action the strengths that could put them on top – and their work to triumph over their weaknesses.  Tune in daily throughout the weekend, from 2PMPST / 5PMEST/ 10PM GMT to 9PM PST / 12AM EST / 5AM GMT to catch all the action and every word of analysis.

Redbull.com/eSports will be the home for all news and information for Red Bull Training Grounds,  and source for the live digital broadcast June 21st – 23rd. Spotlighting the personalities of eSports, interviews with athletes, coverage of events, breaking news and video features, Redbull.com/eSports is the newly launched source of information and interaction for the eSports community.

Visit Redbull.com/eSports next week for news of who the lucky eight initiates will be in this first Red Bull Training Grounds. Follow @redbullESPORTS on Twitter, #traininggrounds.

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Women Comprise Nearly Half of Gamer Population

SOURCE Entertainment Software Association

LOS ANGELES, June 11, 2013 — Adult women represent a significantly greater portion of the video game-playing population than boys age 17 or younger, and nearly half of all video game players are women, according to new research released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The report, 2013 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry, found that women comprise 31 percent of the video game-playing population, while boys 17 and under represent only 19 percent of game players. Women are 45 percent of the entire game playing population and 46 percent of the time are the most frequent game purchasers.

“This new data underscores the remarkable upward trajectory for video games. It is an entertainment form enjoyed by hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association that represents the U.S. video game industry. “A diverse and energized consumer base, remarkable new hardware, and outstanding software all combine to foster growth for our
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