Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty PC Demo Impressions – Satisfying Rhythm-Based Combat

In today’s gaming climate, releasing a free demo is emblematic of a developer’s utmost confidence — even more so on PC, a platform that has consistently received the short end of the stick in terms of optimisation. Team Ninja’s latest, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, shows some promise — it’s a theatrical dark-fantasy getaway that feels like a lovechild born of Nioh and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The short demo gives us a peek into its China-set lore and showcases its flashy combat as well as new features that will ease your journey inoto the intimidating Souls-like experience. However, for a game that’s merely days away from launch, it also exposes some microstutters and a major issue with keyboard and mouse controls.

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Demo impressions: PC controls and camera

As a Koei Tecmo-published title, control issues on PC were somewhat expected, but I commend Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s controls for being far less complicated than those of the Nioh series of games from which it feels descended. Keyboard + mouse button prompts can be enabled, which is a major step up from 2021’s Nioh 2 PC port, which only showed controller button icons no matter what scheme you used. Sure, this was fixed in a patch, but until that happened, players were forced to spend time acquainting themselves with the mapping.

Camera controls in the Wo Long demo also aren’t up to par, and fail to respond well when using a mouse. Even after maxing the in-game sensitivity setting, I couldn’t shake the feeling of moving through sludge, as the camera would slow down at points and then a sudden jerk would turn it around. This was fairly common with vertical movement and when running around the map. Switching to a DualSense controller made the experience smooth and snappy. As someone who has played every Souls-like on a KB+M setup, the switch wasn’t easy, so I constantly swapped between low and high mouse DPI settings based on the situation. Thankfully, this didn’t pose a big problem during combat, as I could simply lock on to enemies.

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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Demo impressions: Premise and character creation

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty throws you into a fictionalised version of the later Han Dynasty in China, plagued with demonic forces. Meanwhile, a mysterious Taoist in Black clings to the ideal of the Elixir — a rare substance that seemingly grants immortality. Amidst the madness and eternal bloodshed of the times, a hero rises, who we build in the character creation screen. I’d suggest going all-out with the customisation here since free demo progress carries over to the full game. You might as well save yourself some time after launch. The creation options here, while in-depth, are subtle, so any major changes to your character’s appearance won’t be evident unless you drag a slider to its extreme ends. Unlike Dark Souls, you can’t really mess around with crazy skin colour to create a pasty green Grinch or a blue Smurf, either. The most you can get is a light olive tone.

After selecting a base figure — male or female — you can mess around with their facial structure, hairstyle, and makeup; even including some dashing scars. Each eye can be edited to look a distinct colour, with adjustments to pupil sizes and shapes. You can even stretch ears to resemble those of an elf. Pick an ideal physique, decorate your body with tattoos, add an elongated neck for effect — those are just some of your options. None of this has any effect on your stats, though.

There’s a limit to how absurdly creative you can get with your characters
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Rahul Chettiyar

You start out as a nameless soldier fighting the Yellow Turban Rebellion and eventually grow into a legend. If you’re short on time, pick a model from the numerous character templates, one of whom is a spitting image of William Adams, the protagonist from Nioh. Cool easter egg!

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Demo impressions: Gameplay and combat

The latest free demo consists of two key Chapters, the first of which places you in a village engulfed in flames with sparks flying about. The framerate is a little rough and choppy here, partly thanks to smoke and particle effects, though these remained consistent even in combat, in my experience. Enabling V-sync and motion blur barely had an effect on performance, which was disappointing. Things got smoother in the boss area and beyond, but I can see this opening segment leaving a bad impression on many people. The second area ran near buttery smooth at a consistent 60fps, but with minor hiccups.

Sekiro veterans will feel right at home here, as Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s gameplay relies on perfectly timed parries. You can try evading or blocking enemy attacks, but that will lead lead to needlessly long and drawn-out fights. Foes are smarter here, so they will stay en garde as long as you keep spamming attacks. And so, you remain patient. You wait until the very last second — when they’re just about to hit you — and then quickly deflect the assault, throwing them off balance to get a couple of strikes in. Repeat the process once the enemy reassumes their defensive stance, and you’ve basically mastered the core gameplay loop. However, depleting their health bars isn’t the only way to achieve victory.

‘Hesitation is defeat,’ a quote from Sekiro, fits perfectly in the context of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s combat
Photo Credit: Koei Tecmo

“Hesitation is defeat” is a quote from Sekiro that fits perfectly in this context. You see, the game has a Spirit Gauge that fills up as you successfully land hits or deflect incoming ones, granting you the ability to use martial arts, Spirit (heavy) attacks, and Wizardry Spells. The only way to ensure that its level stays up is to play aggressively, but beware, as getting hit by an enemy not only reduces your Spirit, but your health too. That said, it works the same way with baddies, so you could unload a barrage of attacks until their Spirit Gauges are drained, essentially staggering them and leaving them open to a fatal blow. It’s the same posture bar mechanic that Sekiro has, where your adversaries can have 100 percent health, but once you break their stance, it’s GGs.

There’s a steep learning curve to this combat style, especially when fighting demons with flailing movesets. But once it clicks, you realise that every fight is a dance, with the metallic clang of weapons serving as beats. There is a specific rhythm to it that you need to find.

The boss Zhang Liang has a terrifying second phase where he grows a flailing demonic arm
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Rahul Chettiyar

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Demo Impressions: Exploration and looting

Compared to the Nioh games, exploration is more open, with a focus on verticality. You can jump onto huts to discover an opening in the roof that leads inside or search for loot elsewhere in the world. Who knows? You might come across handy shortcuts along the way. If you’re lucky enough, you can acquire better weapons, each catering to a different playstyle. The Polearm Podao that I found early in the game helped create some distance between myself and foes, whilst dealing swift piercing damage. On the other hand, the Great Club of Polaris, which I earned by defeating the first boss, Zhang Liang, dealt high damage numbers but was too heavy and slow for my liking. While you can beat the game with a single weapon, switching them based on enemy attack patterns is the ideal way to go. Additionally, if fighting a group head-on feels scary, simply whip out your bow and arrow, and shoot them from afar — one by one.

Weapons cater to different playstyles and scale with specific attributes
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Rahul Chettiyar

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Demo Impressions: Morale system

Difficulty in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty ties into a Morale system, which is indicated by a floating number above each enemy’s head, helping you gauge whether it’s safe to engage them in combat or not. Think of it as a secondary levelling, so the higher your Morale rank, the stronger you are. However, if you die to an opponent, you lose the XP you collected throughout your run, and your Morale resets. Death results in the enemy stealing your Morale, and the only way to get it back is to kill the being who beat you last time — only now, they are way stronger. Still, it’s nothing a few perfectly timed deflects can’t solve.

Some of this resetting can be mitigated via Fortitude, which can be raised by placing flags at designated posts, preventing your Morale from ever dropping to absolute zero. For instance, if you collected 8 Fortitude, no matter how many times you die, your Morale will not fall below 8. This guarantees you have a better chance at redemption. The free Wo Long demo also includes a quality-of-life indicator in the top-right corner — a radar of sorts and icons that denote any remaining flagposts you can collect.

Morale is indicated by a floating number above the enemy’s heads
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Rahul Chettiyar

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Demo impressions: Levelling

Flagposts also serve as checkpoints — or bonfires, as they’re called in Dark Souls — for levelling up your character and resetting ailments. These are divided into five phases or virtues. Wood affects your HP, Fire determines Spirit build-up when attacking, and Earth indicates your equipment weight limit. The Metal attribute lessens Spirit consumption when casting spells, and Water helps with stealth. In the early stages of this game, Wood might seem like the best choice, but once you master the art of deflection, you’ll realise how much more potent the other phases are. Some of these help with weapon scaling, granting bonus damage depending on what armament you’re wielding. Furthermore, these posts also let you fast-travel to other checkpoints, summon AI or players online for co-op, and even learn Wizardry Spells.

You can level up your character at Flagposts
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Rahul Chettiyar

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Demo impressions: Wizardry Spells

All spells in the Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty demo align directly with the five aforementioned elements. Fire is more offence-based, letting you hurl fireballs, summon pillars of flame, or imbue weapons with temporary buffs. Alternatively, opting for water-based magic can briefly turn you invisible, send out a blinding fog, teleport you short distances, or even let you throw sharp icicles that freeze and slow down enemies. Poison or curse purists can dump their points into the Metal class, while lighting attacks and the ability to heal yourself align with Wood. There’s a lot to experiment with here.

You can only hold four Wizardry Spells at a time, which I personally think is sufficient. On keyboard, they are assigned to the 1–4 number keys for quick access — no unnecessarily long combinations. My only gripe with spells is the casting time, which could be reduced. You can also summon Divine Beasts to come in and deal destructive damage, when you’re in a pickle.

By learning Wizardry Spells, you can summon bolts of lightning to rain down on enemies
Photo Credit: Koei Tecmo

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Demo impressions: Closing thoughts

The PC demo for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, much like other Koei Tecmo releases, certainly has issues with optimisation and keyboard + mouse controls. However, once you look past that, it offers a hard-to-master yet rewarding combat system, flexible exploration in an otherwise linear world, and tools to ease your playthrough. As an extension of the punishingly difficult Nioh games, the studio is clearly catering to a larger audience with its latest release, and this free demo serves as a great showcase to see if it suits you. Beneath all the mythology-inspired visual glamour, I suspect the narrative will involve some well-worn tropes, but as a video game, it shows deep promise. Plus, this game will be available for free to Xbox Game Pass members, which is always a positive!

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty releases March 3 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X. The demo is now available to download for free across all platforms, with progress carrying over to the full release.

Finishing the demo grants access to a Crouching Dragon Helmet DLC.

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Revisión de FIFA 22: más arcade que nunca

FIFA 22, ya disponible en todo el mundo, es el primer título de simulación de fútbol de EA que cruza generaciones de consolas en su lanzamiento en ocho años. FIFA 21, que obtuvo una actualización de próxima generación a mitad de temporada, pero FIFA 22 ha sido diseñado para PlayStation 5 y Xbox Series S/X desde cero. Tiene un montón de nuevas funciones de juego, denominadas bajo el colectivo “Tecnología Hypermotion”. Sin embargo, no pude probar ninguno de ellos porque no están disponibles para PC, PlayStation 4 o la versión de Xbox One que jugué. FIFA 22 está dejando atrás a los usuarios de PC sin razón, recordando los años de FIFA 09 cuando la PC también recibió poca atención. Pero vale la pena señalar que así es como la mayoría jugará FIFA 22, con PS5 y Series S/X lejos de ser un mercado masivo todavía debido a la escasez mundial de chips y las limitaciones de la cadena de suministro.

También es por eso que no hay soporte entre generaciones, porque FIFA 22 son dos juegos diferentes en las eras de las consolas. De manera molesta, EA Sports ha ignorado una vez más el juego cruzado, que ahora se destaca aún más después de que su rival eFootball, anteriormente Pro Evolution Soccer, se vuelva gratuito con el juego cruzado completo. La única buena noticia es que gracias a los esfuerzos de compatibilidad con versiones anteriores de Sony y Microsoft, los propietarios de PS5 y Xbox Series S/X pueden jugar con sus amigos instalando la versión de FIFA 22 para PS4 y Xbox One, respectivamente.

El rendimiento, en Xbox One X, fue una mezcla para mí. Si bien la navegación fue fluida en su mayor parte, enfrenté problemas aleatorios de tartamudeo y caídas masivas de la velocidad de fotogramas. Ocurrió rara vez, pero FIFA 22 se volvió injugable cuando sucedió. Los menús del juego son perennemente lentos. Dado que esto fue en una Xbox One X, no puedo imaginar cómo será jugar FIFA 22 en la OG PS4 y Xbox One.

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jugabilidad fifa 22

Si bien faltan la mayoría de las características principales, todavía hay muchos pequeños cambios en el juego en todo el campo en las consolas más antiguas de FIFA 22. Pero en general, estos parecen haber empujado fifa en más territorio arcade que nunca. Esto es especialmente cierto en los tiros a portería. Goles de primer toque de pie flojo desde fuera del área. Lateral izquierdo rematando desde ángulo cero, con dos jugadores a su alrededor y el portero delante. Voleas de anotación de un defensa central con las que un defensor de la vida real solo podría soñar. La mayoría de los objetivos de IA tienden a ser arcade, lo que significa que te enfrentarás a un aluvión de objetivos imposibles en línea una vez que los jugadores descubran cómo jugar mejor con las herramientas que FIFA 22 les brinda. La pelota corta el aire como un cuchillo al disparar, no parece haber ningún desvío o arrastre de aire sobre ella.

En un nivel, esto es extraño porque se supone que los porteros son mejores en FIFA 22. EA Sports ha realizado una “reescritura”, dice, con más de 600 animaciones dedicadas a cómo los porteros se mueven, se zambullen, desvían el balón y lo inclinan. sobre la meta Los porteros son realmente buenos, debo admitirlo, salvando incluso los uno contra uno que hubiera enterrado en el pasado. fifa juegos. Se sienten casi como superhéroes a veces. Como si sus manos estuvieran hechas de hierro. Pero al mismo tiempo, también son inútiles dada la forma en que la IA tiende a anotar. También fui testigo de un hilarante error de portero que puedes ver a continuación.

La naturaleza arcade de los tiros se vuelve aún más desconcertante cuando descubres que la pelota se comporta de una manera más realista que nunca prácticamente en cualquier otro lugar. La forma en que se mueve, la forma en que los jugadores lo toman con calma y lo transfieren a otros, se siente mejorado en FIFA 22. Los cruces dirigidos (R1/RB + cuadrado/X) no son tan arcade y no se sienten tan dominados. como solían ser antes.

EA Sports también está ampliando la brecha de habilidades con los pases. En cualquier modo competitivo, para pases en profundidad, deberá ser más preciso con su dirección y joystick izquierdo, cuanto más lejos esté su objetivo y el grado de dificultad del pase en sí. Esto afecta especialmente a los pases de paso. Si bien antes podía quitarlos con facilidad, ya no se adhieren al objetivo con tanta facilidad en FIFA 22. Todavía es molesto cómo fifa no puede elegir al jugador correcto cuando tiene un jugador fuera de juego y un jugador dentro de juego para elegir en aproximadamente la misma dirección.

EA Sports también está tratando de ampliar la brecha de habilidades en defensa. El mecánico de contenido del compañero de equipo (R1/RB) que ha sido neutralizado a lo largo de los años está aún más vinculado. Ahora viene con un elemento de resistencia adicional, extraído de una combinación de conciencia defensiva, ritmo de trabajo defensivo y resistencia del jugador. Esto se muestra como una cuenta regresiva en el ícono sobre el compañero de equipo. Lo bien que funcione la contención de los compañeros de equipo también depende de la personalidad del jugador, por lo que un centrocampista defensivo como N’Golo Kanté de Chelsea y Francia naturalmente lo hará mucho mejor que, por ejemplo, Cristiano Ronaldo de Manchester United y Portugal. Lo que significa en la práctica es que te encontrarás cambiando manualmente, manipulando y abordando mucho más.

No ayuda que cambiar de jugador siga siendo una pesadilla en FIFA 22. Por lo que vale, EA Sports les está dando a los jugadores nuevas formas de cambiar de jugador. Desde varias formas de usar el joystick derecho y métodos adicionales de cambio automático, al menos hay más variedad en el papel.

Cuando logres cambiar al defensor correcto, encontrarás que FIFA 22 permite que los jugadores sean muy agresivos. Puede empujar, tirar y tirar de las camisas mucho más de lo que creo que debería permitirse. Básicamente, puedes molestar mucho a los oponentes. Siempre y cuando te apegues al tackle de pie (círculo/B) de todos modos. Las faltas no ocurren incluso cuando deberían estar ocurriendo. Al mismo tiempo, la IA tiene la costumbre de simplemente ignorar tus placajes y continuar.

Hablando de la IA de FIFA 22, la banda elástica parece peor que nunca. La IA se convierte en un superhéroe hacia el final de cada partida, más aún en las dificultades más altas, naturalmente. Esto es especialmente molesto en Ultimate Team, donde jugar Squad Battles a veces recuerda al Modo Carrera de final de temporada.

Todo lo que necesitas saber sobre FIFA 22

FIFA 22 AI es inhumanamente bueno hacia el final
Crédito de la foto: EA

Modo Carrera FIFA 22

Es posible que esté más emocionado por el regreso de Create Your Club, pero los cambios más importantes se encuentran en realidad en el departamento de Carrera del jugador. Finalmente, después de una década de que PES tenga la función, FIFA 22 permitirá que su jugador entre como sustituto. A diferencia del juego de Konami, no tienes que ver el partido (en tiempo real o acelerado), todo se simula rápidamente hasta que entras. FIFA 22 también trae objetivos de partido completamente nuevos, que lamento revelar, siguen siendo muy irreales. Ningún entrenador en el mundo pide a sus jugadores que marquen dos goles desde fuera del área en un partido

Sin embargo, la mayor adición es cómo se maneja el crecimiento del jugador en la carrera del jugador de FIFA 22. A medida que entrenes, juegues partidos y completes los objetivos de los partidos, ganarás XP. Este XP lo ayuda a subir de nivel, lo que a su vez le otorga puntos de habilidad que puede usar para mejorar a su jugador de varias maneras. El árbol de habilidades ha sido renovado y ampliado. Ahora tienes control total sobre dónde crecen tus estadísticas de jugador. El mayor crecimiento proviene de los nodos de “arquetipo” que se encuentran al final de una rama del árbol de habilidades.

Además, Player Career en FIFA 22 trae “Ventajas”. Hay alrededor de 30 de ellos, y todos actúan esencialmente como potenciadores de estadísticas. Piense en ellos como mini-superpoderes. Puedes mejorar tu disparo a larga distancia o al primer toque. Puedes potenciar todos tus atributos de tiro durante un tiempo limitado, después de marcar o encajar un gol. Puedes convertirte en un mejor pasador o tacleador del balón. Incluso puedes potenciar los atributos defensivos o de ataque de todo el equipo durante un tiempo. Pero solo puedes equipar tres ventajas a la vez. Empiezas con una ranura y desbloqueas más a medida que subes de nivel.

En cuanto a Manager Career, Create Your Club es lo único destacado. Aunque es muy extenso. Puede diseñar su kit, escudo y estadio con mucho margen de personalización. En el camino, también debes elegir tu liga, qué equipo reemplazar y un equipo rival de tu elección. Ojalá FIFA 22 fuera más allá, permitiéndome borrar todas las ligas que me quitarían el conocimiento de saber qué jugadores son buenos y lo serán. Una pizarra limpia esencialmente. Obtienes eso con tu club aquí, con la opción de (infinitamente) generar un equipo de 23 jugadores. Puedes decidir qué tan buenos son (desde media estrella hasta cinco estrellas) y cuántos años tienen. También puede elegir un presupuesto de transferencia (de 1 millón a 1 mil millones). Y establezca las expectativas de la junta, ya sea un gigante del fútbol, ​​un club pequeño, enfocado en la juventud o cargado de deudas.

Por primera vez, también puedes saltar a la Superliga india, con la ISL haciendo su debut en un fifa juego.

A pesar de sentirse como un rival, EA Sports aparentemente sigue comprometido con el modo de fútbol callejero Volta. Aunque está reduciendo sus compromisos presupuestarios. Atrás quedó el modo de historia muy reducido (e hilarante) de FIFA 21 que presentaba a personajes como Kaká y Thierry Henry. De hecho, las celebridades y los jugadores estrella se han ido por completo de Volta, los mismos grandes nombres que se promocionaron tanto en las primeras iteraciones de Volta. Esto sucede porque, de hecho, FIFA 22 se está deshaciendo de todo el negocio de reclutamiento. (Esto también significa que la química ya no existe). EA Sports dice que quiere centrarse en el individuo, no en el equipo, y en jugar con tus amigos, no en avatares virtuales.

Escuadrones Volta en FIFA 22
Crédito de la foto: EA

Pero dado que el reclutamiento no es una opción, básicamente estás atrapado con jugadores de IA con una calificación baja de 70, que incluso extrañan a los cuidadores de goles abiertos. Con Volta Battles, el equivalente de Volta de Squad Battles de Ultimate Team, la única opción de juego en solitario en Volta, la única alternativa es 5v5 jugador contra jugador Volta Squads.

En términos de jugabilidad, Volta se está volviendo más arcade como el resto de FIFA 22. Aunque para ser justos, al menos aquí ese es el objetivo propuesto. EA Sports habla de un mayor énfasis en el estilo, que se manifiesta como el nuevo medidor de habilidades. Puedes llenarlo haciendo pases elegantes, pases de pared, recuperando la posesión y golpeando a los oponentes con nuez moscada o movimientos de habilidad. A medida que se llena, su próximo objetivo podría contar como dos, tres o cuatro. Teóricamente, puedes estar tres goles abajo en los últimos segundos de un partido y aun así ganar si llenas el medidor de habilidad al máximo y marcas un gol. Sin embargo, esto rara vez afectó mis juegos fuera de línea. Más aún porque los partidos son cortos y los goles llegan rápido.

La otra gran introducción a la jugabilidad de Volta son las habilidades exclusivas, también conocidas como superpoderes. Puede elegir entre uno de los tres que se ofrecen: Power Strike (aumento de la potencia de tiro del 50 por ciento), Pure Pace (aumento de la velocidad y la aceleración) y Tackle agresivo (potentes barcazas en el hombro y placajes deslizantes). Tus estadísticas pueden extenderse temporalmente más allá de 99 gracias a las habilidades exclusivas en FIFA 22. Todas comienzan con enfriamiento, se desbloquean mientras juegas y vuelven al enfriamiento después de un período de uso. Los encontré extremadamente tontos. Con Agresivo Tackle, básicamente podía chocar contra cualquiera desde cualquier ángulo y simplemente se tiraban al suelo. Esto no es fútbol con estilo, es una broma.

Lo habría entendido si las habilidades exclusivas se encontraran en el nuevo modo de juego de fiesta Volta Arcade de FIFA 22, que incluye Foot Tennis, Dodgeball, Disco Lava, Quick Strike, Wall Ball Elimination, Team Keepaway, Target Gallery y Corner Scramble, pero su presencia en Volta es estúpida.

Equipo definitivo de FIFA 22

Eso deja fifaEl modo de juego más popular: Ultimate Team o FUT. EA Sports está cambiando la forma en que opera el modo más popular de FUT, Division Rivals. Tomando prestado de prácticamente todos los juegos de servicio en vivo que existen, FUT Division Rivals ahora consistirá en “temporadas”. Al comienzo de cada temporada, su progresión se restablecerá a un nivel acorde con su progreso en la temporada anterior. Esto es de nuevo, estándar. Con FIFA 22, EA también está reduciendo los requisitos de partidos semanales para Division Rivals, con la esperanza de hacerlo más accesible, tal como lo hizo el año pasado con los límites de partidos en Squad Battles. Sigo creyendo que tanto Division Rivals como Squad Battles son demasiado exigentes, y las recompensas que otorgan no son suficientes para seguir adelante.

Naturalmente, esto empeora por el hecho de que FIFA 22 continúa con su atroz comportamiento de pago para ganar. Los FIFA Points no van a desaparecer, a pesar de la prohibición en Bélgica y una próxima revisión del gobierno en el Reino Unido. Todavía puede gastar dinero real para comprar FIFA Points que, a su vez, se pueden usar para desbloquear paquetes de jugadores de diferentes calidades. EA trató de apaciguar a los reguladores a la mitad de FIFA 21 presentando vistas previas de paquetes, una función que regresa en FIFA 22. Pero las limitaciones anteriores siguen vigentes. Solo puede obtener una vista previa de un paquete cada 24 horas. Es…


Far Cry 6 Review: Unrevolutionary Caribbean Adventure Is Mighty Fun in Co-Op

Far Cry 6 — releasing Thursday worldwide — is not a great game. It often retreads what have become Ubisoft clichés. But at times, it’s a really fun game. Far Cry 6 has moments of genuine inspiration where its combination of tropical paradise, co-op support, and new ideas fuse together to deliver something memorable. But between those admittedly enjoyable adventures, Far Cry 6 will also make you do a series of things that aren’t too different from one another. That sameness is pervasive. It feels like padding, though it’s nowhere near as bad as on Ubisoft’s other major franchise, Assassin’s Creed. That said, the world of Far Cry 6, Yara — a fictional Caribbean island that is heavily based on Cuba in many aspects — is the biggest you’ll ever see in a Far Cry game.

Yara is ruled by Antón Castillo, played by Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian’s Giancarlo Esposito, who was essentially elected on the promise to “Make Yara Great Again”. Castillo believes sacrifices are necessary to achieve that dream, so he begins ruling Yara with an iron fist. His 300,000-strong armed force Fuerzas Nacionales de Defensa (FND) controls the land, the skies, and the waters. No can get out, no can get in. The protagonist, a former FND officer Dani Rojas — playable as a woman (Nisa Gunduz) or a man (Sean Rey) — wants to do exactly that in the beginning. They just want to leave Yara for good. But after witnessing Anton’s horrors first hand, Dani joins the guerrilla movement Libertad that is trying to free Yara. It’s time for a revolution.

This is where the new ideas start to come in. After being a support studio on previous entries, and co-developing Far Cry 5 with Ubisoft Montréal, Ubisoft Toronto finally takes the lead on a Far Cry game for the first time. And for the first time since the first-person shooter franchise began, the protagonist in Far Cry 6 has a face. Not only do you see them in cutscenes, you also see them in third-person view at friendly camps. Given that Ubisoft took the pain of designing third-person view, I would have loved it if they allowed you to switch between first and third-person view in combat and driving too.

Why Far Cry 6 Player Character Dani Rojas Has a Face, a First for Far Cry

Since I’m on the topic of bias, personally I would’ve also loved it if Ubisoft put a bigger emphasis on Spanish casting. There’s too much English here, clearly because Far Cry 6 is designed primarily for English-speaking audiences. Yes, there is a Spanish dub option in the settings, but it doesn’t involve any of the main cast, including Esposito. I spent some time with the Spanish version, and though it feels more authentic and immersive — as with Japanese on Ghost of Tsushima — I ended up reverting to English because a) lip-sync and b) I can’t spoil Esposito’s face and acting with a dubbed voice.

Far Cry 6 combat

The goal on Far Cry 6 is to overthrow Castillo and his friends who control various parts of Yara. Along the way, you will to have form alliances aka do the bidding of three major factions that have a lot of influence among the commoners of Yara. Far Cry 6 narrative director Navid Khavari noted that this was a deliberate story choice, how in a revolution every side doesn’t want the same thing and their approaches don’t always align.

As for your combat approach, Far Cry 6 allows you to choose between the quiet stealth way or go out all guns blazing. I’m glad that it allows the user to pick and doesn’t force you into one or the other. You can make your way into mission area in a variety of ways too. You can take a boat and sneak in from under a fort. Zip line and swing in from the sides. Rappel and climb from another front. Or just drive through the front gates.

Tanks can be deadly in Far Cry 6
Photo Credit: Ubisoft

That said, Far Cry 6 encourages you to scout from high ground before bursting in. Using your phone, you can mark enemies and get a sense of what you’re up against. There are new enemy types in Far Cry 6, drawn from the fact that you’re not dealing with rogues like before but a full-fledged armed force at Castillo’s disposal. In addition to the standard riflemen and snipers, there are FND officers with varying ranks who can boost morale (read: stats), bring in reinforcements, and even call in airstrikes. Medics can help injured soldiers and revive them if they are bleeding to death. And engineers will plant turrets or trigger EMPs that will disable your vehicle. You know, they work like a unit. The FND also use shields, animals, tanks, alarm systems, and trip wires — by scouting, you know what can be disabled.

Far Cry 6 weapons

To deal with all these threats, Far Cry 6 gives you access to special weapons in addition to a range of standard weapons. At any point, you can have four weapons in the weapon wheel: a sidearm and three primary weapons. For the latter, you can pick between rifles, snipers, shotguns, and Resolver weapons.

Drawn from Cuba’s make-do-with-what-you-have Resolver way of life, Far Cry 6 lets you unlock a bunch of unique handcrafted guns: a flamethrower, a crossbow, a riot shield, silent nail gun, and a poison gun that turns enemies on each other. On top of all that, Far Cry 6 has “Supremo” backpacks that are like an additional super weapon. They offer guided missiles, an explosive ring, EMP pulse generator, or a rage booster that turns you into a mini-Hulk. It all feels very Just Cause-y, though it’s going even further with the zaniness, I must admit.

Far Cry 6 Is All About Cuba, but Yara Is Not Cuba

When you use Supremos, Far Cry 6 briefly switches into third-person view to show you how the backpack functions. But that’s the only time you’ll see third-person during combat on Far Cry 6. More importantly, I would’ve appreciated a bit of manual control for Supremos. On one occasion, when there was a plane flying across in the sky, the backpack automatically locked onto the plane rather than the anti-aircraft installation that I was trying to target.

Gunplay is quite satisfying on Far Cry 6. You will grow into it, I believe, because you start off with weak weapons that give you the feeling you’re not entirely in control. But it gets better fairly quickly, as you unlock more powerful rifles with better scopes and other weapon mods.

Resolver weapon in Far Cry 6
Photo Credit: Ubisoft

All this equipment and weapon variety is important to Far Cry 6 because Ubisoft Toronto has ditched the RPG-style skill trees that were present in some of its predecessors. Though you still earn XP and level up, you won’t get any points that unlock new abilities. Those buffs have been transferred to the armour and clothing you put on. As you make your way across Yara, you will find new gloves, trousers, masks, and chest pieces that will dictate what kind of benefits you get. Weapon modding allows you to pick between various ammo choices — some are good against others but poor elsewhere. You can discover this when you’re scouting. Of course, headshots are headshots as always though (I had a lot of fun with this). You can also insta-kill by using a bow, or sneaking up to them.

Far Cry 6 vehicles and amigos

You can also kill enemies using the vehicles available in Far Cry 6. You’ve tanks, helicopters, planes, and cars and boats with turrets. (You can use all of them to get from point A to point B as well, in addition to horses which are back in Far Cry 6 and quite enjoyable.) Though you’ve to be careful how and where you use them. The FND has anti-aircraft installations across Yara. Wade into an area with one and you will invariably be shot down. If you jump out in time, you can deploy a parachute or wingsuit — the latter is especially fun — to land safely.

You can destroy the anti-aircraft guns. But as you cause chaos in Far Cry 6, your “heat” meter will rise. The maximum heat level is “wanted”, which brings in the FND special forces. But during my playtime, they didn’t pose a bigger threat or anything weirdly. My Xbox game stats tell me I shot down a bunch of special forces, but I don’t recall anything different or tougher from the ones I was already killing.

All You Need to Know About Far Cry 6

To participate in the mayhem, you can also bring in an animal companion. The Fangs for Hire system returns as “Amigos” on Far Cry 6. Amigo choices include an alligator, dogs, and even a rooster. They will help you in combat by attacking or distracting enemies — this also feeds into the stealth or all-out approach. Amigos aren’t that helpful though honestly, and they seem like a thing that exists to sell toys and generate buzz on social media. I mean, that’s already happening with Chorizo, the wheelchair weiner dog that’s one of the Amigo options.

Since Amigos follow you everywhere, it results in hilarious scenarios at times. While dogs can get in alongside you in cars, alligators will follow your vehicle endlessly. They become weirdly inaccessible at times — not reappearing even after you try to call them back.

The alligator amigo Guapo in Far Cry 6
Photo Credit: Ubisoft

Far Cry 6 co-op

Far Cry 6 currencies

There are four in-game currencies in Far Cry 6: depleted uranium, Yaran pesos, Moneda, and Far Cry Credits.

Depleted uranium is found at army bases and anti-aircraft installations. It is needed to unlock more Supremo backpacks and Resolver weapons.

Yaran pesos is found on dead soldiers and in loot. You can use it to buy gear, weapons, and intel from double agents.

Moneda can be used to purchase unique weapons at a store.

Far Cry Credits come with pre-orders and special editions. You can also buy it with real money, an egregious practice that Ubisoft continues despite charging Rs. 4,000 or more for games upfront. Far Cry Credits can be used on the in-game store to buy cosmetics and more.

But dogs don’t fit in always too, depending on the vehicle and the number of amigos. That brings me to co-op.

Like previous entries, Far Cry 6 supports co-op across the entirety of its campaign. I wish Ubisoft also provided this opportunity with its other major franchises, Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs. Every game is more fun with friends, naturally. You get support during missions — I loved taking down a pair of soldiers at the same time with a friend — but you can also just have a good time around Yara. In a car, one can drive and the other can handle the turret. Jump into a helicopter, with one person flying and firing missiles, and the other as a gunner. Or heck, you can even get into a motorbike with a sidecar and have your own Sholay moment in Far Cry 6.

Playing co-op also helps you earn Moneda, an in-game currency that you can only get via co-op and special operations. There are a couple of niggles with co-op support though. You can’t access a vehicle’s additional controls like the radio or missiles. Additionally, you can’t go too far from your partner in co-op — unlike The Division 2 (also from Ubisoft) where there were no limitations. And sadly, there’s no support for cross-platform play. But it does offer cross-gen co-op support, on par with Watch Dogs: Legion and The Division 2.

Far Cry 6 missions and more

Thanks to the largest Far Cry map ever, Far Cry 6 has a lot of story missions to offer. As I pointed out earlier, some feel repetitive: travel to a place, kill everyone there, and you’re done. Some missions also quickly fell behind my rank. Though initially my level seemed to be falling behind what was required, eventually it was ahead of the missions available to me. I would’ve liked a The Division-type mechanic that ensured some quests were always at my level. Being level 7 and doing a level 3 mission is not very appealing.

Co-op horseriding in Far Cry 6
Photo Credit: Ubisoft

But there are other missions in Far Cry 6 that put a smile on your face. An early mission called Fire and Fury is scored to the famous revolution song “Bella Ciao”. No, it’s not called ‘that Money Heist song’. There’s another mission that feels like it belongs in a Bond film, except it would have been perfect if Ubisoft had the right sense to make it take place at night.

If you’re not in the mood for missions, Far Cry 6 has side activities on offer too. You can spend your time and money fishing, buying bait and reeling in the cash with the fish you catch. You can go hunting for treasure or big game. There’s also time trial racing that involves everything from horses to hovercraft. Neither of them are particularly special though — and I ended up being drawn back into the story…


Returnal PC Review: Eternal Awakenings on a Lovecraftian Planet

Returnal might have struggled to wow gamers after its initial reveal as a PS5 exclusive, but it amassed a niche following when some gameplay emerged online. Finnish developer Housemarque faced a few challenges: for one, it was a less-known studio trying to sell an original IP for a full $70 — competing against a pool of well-established AAA creators that anyone could blindly trust. Furthermore, in its original marketing campaign, Sony portrayed the game as a generic action shooter, where all you do is run around and kill aliens. While that is true to an extent, its highly addictive roguelike DNA was made clear a bit later — ultimately turning heads. Joining hands with Climax Studios, Returnal’s frenzied bullet-hell action now heads to PC, with some tweaks for a new audience.

The game opens in a rather abrupt fashion, setting you among the stars as deep space voyager Selene Vassos. Steering her ship into the eye of a cyclone, she approaches the forbidden planet Atropos to investigate a mysterious signal called “White Shadow.” Unfortunately, things go awry and she crashlands on the surface, overgrown with exotic vegetation and strewn with the ruins of an ancient Xeno-type civilisation. Barebone introductions are a hallmark of roguelike titles, giving you only just enough information to get going, as the larger narrative unfurls through repeated runs.

You see, Selene is stuck in a bizarre, infinite time loop, in which every death brings her back to the crash site and scrambles her brain a little. In fact, our journey in Returnal starts right in the middle of one, but that isn’t conveyed directly. By exploring the world and retrieving Scout logs (audio recordings) left by your former selves, you slowly peel apart the layers of the mystery. If anything, Selene’s hazy memory serves as a tool to immerse you, by feeding exposition in a less obvious manner. “I don’t remember recording that,” she says at one point, closing the gap between the character and the player’s mentality. Both start on a similar, relatable note with scant knowledge of the situation they’re in.

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With no dramatic build-up but loads of questions, Returnal gets straight into the action with zero hand-holding. Selene is pitted against an array of door-to-door levels, where both the environment and the hostile aliens within them are randomised upon subsequent deaths and runs. While roguelikes commonly have an isometric or top-down view, Housemarque has shaken things up by presenting Returnal in a third-person shooter format. Not only is it visually unique, but the design serves as a gateway for mainstream gamers to get a taste of this niche genre. Even with the pivot, the developer has retained its core bullet-hell philosophy from past titles such as Nex Machina and Matterfall — urging you to time jumps and dashes against a barrage of brightly glowing projectiles. It’s tough, and you will die a bunch of times before getting the hang of it. Don’t feel bad about that, because a bunch of story elements are tucked within those death scenes as well.

Gameplay is clearly the highlight here, with Atropos’ ever-changing landscape providing fresh scenarios that keep each run exciting and give you new challenges to overcome. The rules are simple. You start each run with your base weapons and go adventuring across the randomly generated dungeons, killing enemies, looting items, and finding upgrades, before eventually making it to the bosses who grant access to the next biome. Die somewhere along the way, and you’re sent back to the very beginning with an empty inventory. The back-and-forth trips to unravel each mystery can get quite mind-numbing, especially if you lack patience. Returnal counters this sense of drudgery through its frantic gunplay, which always keeps you moving, and the experience is elevated by an ever-present cosmic horror aesthetic.

Atropos thrives with unforgiving beasts that are randomised at the start of each run
Photo Credit: Housemarque

Running through the first couple of rooms in the Overgrown Ruins, Housemarque’s emphasis on speed is instantly noticeable. Selene is extremely agile and has no stamina limitations, letting her manoeuvre and change directions constantly. Her standard movement speed is much like sprinting in most other action games, but Returnal also punishes you for relying on it too much. Unlike roguelikes such as Hades, looting in Returnal requires puzzle-solving skills, as some valuable upgrade items are stowed in hard-to-reach areas. Equipped with a jetpack, I could hop across complex platforms to reach my destination, but upon landing, I found this fast pace to be a hindrance, causing me to run off ledges or at times fall straight into the abyss. In the early stages, Selene can’t swim, so I kept rushing haphazardly into water bodies in pursuit of shiny loot, only to get injured. Some of this can be solved by upping the brightness, which makes terrain formations more visible. You’ll also unlock a grappling hook later, which lets you swing around and reach high areas.

The planet Atropos is full of unforgiving beasts, designed uniquely after the habitat they belong to. For instance, the forest biome is packed with celestial parasitic organisms, splashed in a Lovecraftian coat of paint. Meanwhile, desert areas such as the Crimson Wastes are cast in red with giant vertebrae pillars, and are inhabited by formidable enemies such as hard-shelled crustaceans and floating squids, reminding me of the Caelid region from Elden Ring. The barren foundations of the Derelict Citadel, however, are endlessly patrolled by automatons that fire lasers. It just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it?

Tentacles are a recurring theme, with their bioluminescent strands firing waves of neon orbs towards you. While the ambushes were hectic at first, I soon found it easy to just shoot twice, dash in, and slice the tentacles with my Atropian Blade. Repeat this across levels and you’ll be treated to glorious explosions, with the severed appendages wiggling about on the ground. Some particle effects might cause heavy stutters on low-end PCs, so I’d recommend messing around with the slew of graphics options available in Returnal on PC. It also has an FOV (field-of-view) slider — a new PC-exclusive feature — that helps adjust how much of your surroundings can be seen and need to be rendered on screen.

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Tentacles are a recurring theme in Returnal
Photo Credit: Housemarque

Just when you think you’ve mastered combat, Returnal surprises you with new threats that test your ability to adapt. There are airborne creatures that close distances, teleporting corpses that send out fungal spores, and even minibosses that serve to make your life hell — and this is in just the first biome! Forgetting my learned tactics, I began making decisions on the fly — panic dodging, missing shots, and wrongly timing skill checks, which led to longer reloads. As fights grew in intensity, all I could think of was somehow zigzagging my way to healing items, hoping I didn’t get shot in the back. The highly devastating Alt Fire mode, which every firearm you come across has, saved my sorry butt so many times, inflicting big chunks of damage that made quick work of minibosses. You can lob a grenade, shoot a flurry of homing bullets, and deal continuous shock damage for crowd control — akin to Winston from Overwatch. There’s also one weapon that fires tentacular creatures that latch onto foes and deplete their health over time.

Having lived through all that, it was time to reap rewards. In addition to looting upgrade items from chests and random areas on the map, Returnal has an in-game shop. Here, you can exchange Obolites collected during gameplay for single-use consumables, enhancements, and traps that give you an extra edge in heated moments. Some rooms might provide higher-level guns, or lead you to purple-hued malignant items that inflict a negative effect. Think of this as a high-risk high-reward trade, where you’re granted a decent perk but get a debuff as well. Assess whether the pros outweigh the cons, and make informed decisions for the run ahead. Try not to overthink it, as these ‘malfunctions’ can be cleansed by completing specific objectives or by spending Ether, a rare Atropian resource. That said, I’d recommend saving the latter since it has a more beneficial use — respawning — more on that later :). Ether also happens to be the only item that stays in your inventory after deaths.

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You can exchange Obolites for upgrade items and consumables at shops
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Rahul Chettiyar

It’s easy to get mesmerised by the bosses’ appearance, but try not to get carried away as a simple mistake could cost you an entire run. No matter whether you face the three-armed Phrike in the chasms or the airborne Ixiom atop the mountains of the Crimson Wastes, your strategy will more or less have to remain the same. Think of fighting Sigrún in God of War (2018), where everything you’ve learnt from past battles culminates in this supreme moment. That said, the boss fights in Returnal do not feel like a test of endurance. Sure, they have three phases each, but bosses’ attack patterns change accordingly — switching between relentless barrages of orbs, laser beams, and spiralling bullets that are guaranteed to test your mettle.

I’d gotten way too comfortable with spamming Selene’s dash ability, abusing its brief invincibility window to cheese past boss attacks. The game recognised this and in response, integrated some energy ring/ wall attacks that demanded I leap over them while simultaneously trying to avoid incoming projectiles. It’s safe to say that I relied on my muscle memory too much and died pretty quickly.

The boss fights in Returnal are unforgiving, demanding timed dodges and jumps
Photo Credit: Housemarque

However, I wasn’t dispirited. Yes, I kept losing my items. Yes, I choked at some pivotal points in fights. But there was something so alluring about memorising attack patterns and going through the loop over and over again until I perfected my runs. If you don’t feel the same way or can’t afford to no-life this game, you just need to be lucky enough to reach Reconstructors scattered across the biomes. Remember when I told you to save Ether earlier? By exchanging six of these tokens at designated sites, you can activate a checkpoint. If you die later on, you will respawn at the Reconstructor without being penalised by way of lost weapons, upgrades, and progress. It’s essentially an extra life. Also, since Returnal’s PC port carries over the co-op mode from the original PS5 version, you can summon friends or random players online to help ease your journey.

Reconstructors can be used to respawn in exchange for Ether
Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Rahul Chettiyar

Throughout repeated runs, you’ll also encounter a mysterious, out-of-place house, nested within the Overgrown Ruins. Echoing the vibes of Hideo Kojima’s P.T., you’ll find horror mini-games that serve as fragmented storytelling devices, dropping clues to Selene’s past and what led her to embark on this interstellar trip. It’s super cryptic — the kind of challenging narrative that demands you come up with interpretations and piece things together. My favourite kind of storytelling! Adding to the immersion is a sudden shift to a first-person perspective, where instead of a chest POV, — as seen in other FPS games — the camera is enclosed within Selene’s space helmet. While it feels disorienting at first, Housemarque’s goal was to foster a greater sense of intimacy, and the claustrophobia of that effect is further improved by masked breathing noises and grunts. Thanks to support for Dolby Atmos audio, the right equipment could make Returnal’s sound design come alive.

Returnal PC review: Verdict

Returnal is a test of the human capacity to adapt and persevere, fuelled by a relentless stream of Lovecraftian horror. Mixing roguelike mechanics with the wonders of exploration, every biome on planet Atropos offers fresh challenges through randomised gameplay design, plus satisfying gunplay. The cryptic storytelling might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it never failed to keep my attention, making Selene an intriguing protagonist. There were a few performance dips here and there, but that’s…


Revisión de Forspoken: Perdiendo la magia

Los principales videojuegos, como cualquier otro producto de mercado masivo en estos tiempos, están plagados de conservadurismo. Una breve revisión de los lanzamientos importantes de los últimos años revelará una alarmante cinta transportadora de secuelas, remakes y remasterizaciones de diversos grados de mérito. Los juegos independientes más pequeños son probablemente la guarnición final de la innovación y el arte en el medio, con algunas excepciones. Los grandes editores y desarrolladores, por razones comprensibles, tienen que ir a lo seguro. Hay mucho en juego y una nueva propiedad intelectual que no tiene un nombre reconocible implica riesgos.

Forspoken, que salió el 24 de enero en PlayStation 5 y PC, es exactamente eso. Tambien es no eso. Es una IP completamente nueva, desapegada y desconocida para los precedentes de la industria. No es una secuela, ni parte de un universo preestablecido con capital social existente. Pero claro, también está dirigido por Square Enix, un gigante de la industria, con un nombre tan reconocible como los nombres pueden ser. Y, al mismo tiempo, Forspoken también está pisando terreno convencional. Es un juego de rol de acción de mundo abierto con un mapa interminable donde los puntos de interés salpican cada franja de espacio como un caso particularmente grave de sarampión. ¿Suena familiar?

Desarrollado por Luminous Productions, una subsidiaria de Square Enix, Forspoken revolotea entre muchas de esas contradicciones, zigzagueando entre lo bueno y lo malo, pero, para su crédito, nunca coquetea con lo feo. Es un juego que a menudo presenta escapadas increíblemente divertidas, a través de su llamativo combate y travesía frenética. También está, en muchos lugares, tan alejado del concepto de diversión como un examen dental. El mundo abierto de Forspoken es un patio de recreo cuando lo atraviesas en Magic NOS. Pero, cuando te detienes y haces un balance, se parece a un salón de clases.

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Todas las cosas divertidas del patio de recreo se encuentran en el combate mágico y el parkour de Forspoken. Frey, la protagonista renuente del juego, se topa con poderes elementales que le permiten realizar hazañas de magia notable y de otro mundo. Con estas habilidades, Frey puede correr como el viento, saltar como una gacela y contonearse como un patinador artístico, cubriendo grandes distancias en cuestión de minutos en el fantástico mundo de Athia. La misma magia elemental que ayuda en las excursiones de Frey también alimenta sus habilidades de lucha. El combate mágico de Forspoken, que puede parecer un poco familiar para los fanáticos de Final Fantasy, es sorprendentemente profundo y bien pensado. Ofrece una colorida variedad de habilidades que comienzan de manera simple, pero se vuelven más salvajes y extravagantes a medida que avanzas y desbloqueas más movimientos.

El llamativo parkour mágico de Forspoken hace que atravesar sea una parte significativa del juego.
Crédito de la foto: Square Enix

Revisión abandonada: historia

Si bien su jugabilidad principal merece atención, es difícil invertir en la historia de Forspoken. Lo has visto todo antes: Frey Holland es el desvalido con problemas, abandonado cuando era un bebé y que vive en los márgenes de la sociedad en Nueva York cuando es un adulto joven. . A menudo se encuentra en el lado equivocado de la ley y también está en los malos libros de una pandilla callejera particularmente cómica. Su único amigo, como ella, es un perro callejero: su gato, Homer. Por supuesto, Frey desea escapar de sus desgracias y encontrar una nueva vida lejos de todo y todos los que han sido crueles con ella. En su punto más bajo, encuentra un brazalete sensible mágico, apodado “Cuff”, y es absorbida por un mundo nuevo y extraño. Cuff le informa a Frey que está en Athia, un antiguo y próspero reino fantástico que ahora está en ruinas.

Además de servir como compañero parlante de Frey y vehículo de exposición, Cuff también imbuye a nuestra valiente protagonista con poderes mágicos que le permiten moverse a través de Athia a gran velocidad y enfrentarse a sus peligros. Criaturas y bestias corruptas vagan ahora por las tierras de Athia. Una vez gobernada por cuatro poderosas matriarcas, cuya magia benévola sostuvo a su gente, Athia se desmoronó cuando una misteriosa corrupción, “la ruptura”, echó raíces. La ruptura llevó a las cuatro madres divinas, las veneradas Tantas, a la locura y la rabia. Los poderes extraordinarios de Tantas, que una vez mantuvieron la paz en Athia, ahora causan estragos. Después de recibir su lección de historia local 101 de Cuff y un equipo de nuevos compañeros athianos, Frey emprende una búsqueda para encontrar a los Tantas y restaurar a Athia a su gloria pasada.

Athia está gobernada por Tantas, cuatro seres matriarcales de extraordinario poder.
Crédito de la foto: Square Enix

Sin embargo, durante todo este tiempo, Frey no está motivado por el deber. A ella no le importa Athia ni su gente; ella solo quiere tomar un viaje de regreso a su casa en la ciudad de Nueva York. Y si no estás seguro de sus motivaciones, te lo recordará en cada paso del juego. En su diálogo de ida y vuelta con Cuff, ella reitera que todo lo que quiere es salir de Dodge. La charla entre Frey y Cuff pretende divertir, pero solo logra molestar. Tratando demasiado de ser extravagante, la escritura se convierte en dos que intentan superarse y bromear entre sí en cada paso del camino. Después de la novedad inicial, te desconectas de las malas bromas. No es tan malo como para derribar el juego, pero más allá de las bromas, no ofrece mucho. Es revelador que el juego incluso tiene una opción de menú para ajustar la frecuencia con la que charlan Frey y Cuff.

Si bien Athia y su difícil situación, sorprendentemente y también tal vez refrescante, no le dan a Frey ningún propósito, una revelación sobre su pasado sí lo hace. Frey se involucra a regañadientes en la causa de Athian y emplea sus nuevas habilidades mágicas para luchar contra la corrupción que asola la tierra. A pesar de algunos giros, la historia toma una ruta predecible y no logra entregar mucho peso dramático o tensión emocional.

Revisión de Forspoken: combate y jugabilidad

Donde la narrativa se queda corta, el combate mágico y el recorrido de Forspoken brillan. Estos son los dos pilares de su juego, y Cuff le otorga a Frey un arsenal de hechizos ofensivos y defensivos, con una marca adicional de hechizos de apoyo para ayudarla a combatir la corrupción. A medida que exploras Athia, adquieres nuevas marcas de magia, cada una basada en un elemento diferente, agregando nuevos árboles de hechizos y habilidades únicas que complementan el árbol de hechizos predeterminado ‘Frey’s Magic’. Las diferentes clases de magia están codificadas por colores, con los hechizos predeterminados asignados en el árbol mágico púrpura. Cada tipo de magia proporciona una forma ligeramente diferente de enfrentarse a los enemigos. Por ejemplo, la magia púrpura se enfoca en el combate a distancia y en derribar enemigos a distancia, mientras que la magia roja, adquirida un poco más adelante en el juego, se enfoca en el combate cuerpo a cuerpo, destinado a encuentros frontales con los enemigos.

Si bien el combate es atractivo y se agregan suficientes trucos nuevos con el tiempo para mantener las cosas frescas, falta variedad de enemigos. Además de los pocos jefes únicos, Frey se encuentra principalmente con una selección rotativa de humanos, bestias y monstruos corruptos. Incluso cuando el combate es divertido, rara vez es un desafío. Forspoken proporciona configuraciones de dificultad Fácil, Normal y Difícil. En Difícil, los enemigos básicamente se convierten en esponjas mágicas y tardan más en matar en lugar de requerir ajustes tácticos. El ciclo de combate principal incluye cambiar entre diferentes tipos de magia, usar tu arsenal de hechizos ofensivos y defensivos más hechizos de apoyo, y esquivar o esquivar el ataque de un enemigo. La ventana de esquivar sigue siendo indulgente en todas las configuraciones de dificultad, lo que hace que el combate sea un poco menos tenso de lo que podría haber sido. Cuando usas una combinación de hechizos, cargas un ataque de hechizo ‘Surge’. Los hechizos Surge, cuando están completamente cargados, se activan presionando ambos gatillos en el controlador para lanzar un devastador ataque de área de efecto.

El recorrido también se relaciona con el juego activo. No puede simplemente mantener presionado el botón Círculo y atravesar el terreno directamente hacia su objetivo. Athia es topográficamente diversa, con acantilados imponentes, mesetas masivas y valles densos que marcan el mapa. Al igual que Death Stranding, a menudo necesitas resolver pequeños acertijos de navegación sobre la marcha para sortear obstáculos naturales en el paisaje. Para esto, tus habilidades mágicas de parkour incluyen un conjunto de habilidades basadas en recorridos. Más adelante en el juego, también obtienes un látigo mágico que te lleva a puntos de anclaje preexistentes esparcidos por Athia.

Athia es topográficamente diversa y requiere pulsaciones de botones sincronizadas con precisión para un recorrido suave
Crédito de la foto: Square Enix

La novedad del parkour mágico se desvanece con el tiempo, ya que a menudo los principales objetivos de la misión están marcados muy separados en el mapa. Cada vez que emprendes una misión principal para progresar en la historia, tienes que correr largas distancias, lo que se vuelve repetitivo. Los puntos de viaje rápido se abren en el camino solo después de haber cubierto esa área en particular a pie, lo que facilita el regreso a ubicaciones más antiguas para misiones secundarias y exploración adicional. Una larga caminata hacia cada objetivo principal también conduce inevitablemente a distracciones. Un toque rápido en el D-pad escanea su entorno, resaltando puntos de interés, mazmorras y tesoros, algunos de los cuales requieren trabajo pesado sin sentido. Los defectos familiares del diseño de mundo abierto emergen a medida que los marcadores sin sentido comienzan a salpicar tu camino hacia la misión principal. No ayuda que los recursos que encuentras mientras exploras el mundo abierto solo están al servicio de un sistema de elaboración poco cocinado. Además de las pociones de salud, el resto de la elaboración solo da como resultado mejoras menores y mejoras en tus habilidades mágicas. Sin embargo, debes estar atento a los nuevos hechizos transversales, la mayoría de los cuales se encuentran en manantiales repartidos por el mapa.

Si te gusta el tipo de rutina de exploración iniciada por los juegos de Ubisoft, no tendrás problemas para digerir las diversiones de Forspoken. Sin embargo, si, como yo, estás un poco hastiado, puedes optar por centrarte en la historia principal, que tarda alrededor de 20 horas en completarse, con algunas misiones secundarias salpicadas. tiene un buen ritmo, incluso si toca ritmos familiares.

Elden Ring mereció el juego del año en The Game Awards 2022. He aquí por qué

Revisión de Forspoken: imágenes y rendimiento

Visualmente, Forspoken alcanza altibajos similares a los de su juego e historia. Cuando quiere, puede verse bien, pero le faltan las asombrosas vistas de mundo abierto de Elden Ring o Horizon Forbidden West. El diseño enemigo, salvo los encuentros con los jefes principales, adolece de falta de imaginación. La principal ciudad central de Athia, Cipal, nunca se siente viva o habitada y está marcada por una paleta de colores adustos de grises y marrones. Para un mundo fantástico lleno de magia y mitos, Athia a menudo parece monótona. Los modelos de personajes para Frey y la mayoría del elenco de apoyo son buenos, pero la calidad cae drásticamente más abajo en la cadena alimenticia.

En cuanto al rendimiento, jugué Forspoken en PS5, que ofrece tres configuraciones de calidad de imagen: rendimiento, calidad y trazado de rayos. Jugué usando la configuración de rendimiento, que ofrece un juego mayormente constante de 60 fps. Recomiendo a los jugadores de consola que hagan lo mismo, a menos que prefieras una imagen más nítida y no te importe una velocidad de fotogramas reducida. En mi juego, no encontré ningún error o falla importante, excepto una vez que un mini-jefe se quedó atascado en el terreno. El juego utiliza hápticas avanzadas y funciones de activación adaptables en el controlador DualSense, pero a menudo se pasa de la raya con la retroalimentación, atiborrando la batería del controlador a un ritmo alarmante. Ah, y Forspoken probablemente presenta las cargas más rápidas en PS5 que he visto hasta ahora. Creo que esa corona antes pertenecía a Spider-Man: Miles Morales, pero Forspoken lo lleva a un territorio ridículo, parpadea y te lo pierdes.

Cipal, la ciudad central de Forspoken, es visualmente aburrida, con grises y marrones dominando la paleta de colores.
Crédito de la foto: Captura de pantalla/ Manas Mitul

Revisión abandonada: veredicto

Forspoken se toma su tiempo para llegar a la parte divertida, pero una vez que estás equipado con hechizos y suministros, su mecánica de combate y recorrido puede mantenerte enganchado. Los nuevos tipos de magia y las habilidades correspondientes que obtienes con el tiempo dividen el combate en una comida de cuatro platos, trayendo algo nuevo a la mesa cada vez. Su historia menos que estelar, a pesar de los nombres de alto perfil en el equipo de redacción, no logró atraerme o hacer que me preocupara por sus personajes. Es casi difícil creer que el concepto de la historia fue creado por la veterana de la industria Amy Hennig, quien dirigió la serie Uncharted. Nada del encanto o el ingenio de Uncharted, o la compleja dinámica interpersonal de sus personajes, están presentes aquí. Debido a que esos momentos narrativos carnosos no logran aterrizar, la partitura evocadora del compositor de God of War, Bear McCreary, solo lleva las apuestas emocionales huecas de su historia hasta el momento.

Cuando el excelente parkour y la enérgica mecánica de combate funcionan juntos según lo previsto, elevan el juego por encima de sus periféricos mundanos. Pero, la mayoría de las veces, Forspoken se ve atascado por su diseño de mundo abierto basado en números, su historia predecible,…


Call of Duty Vanguard Review: Big on Cinema, Short on Play

Call of Duty: Vanguard rubs and polishes the trite World War II theme to cinematic brilliance. What follows, though, is an epic story that never quite reaches a crescendo. The enigmatic heroes that knock your socks off in carefully imagined cutscenes render into one-trick-pony operatives for the most part. Call of Duty: Vanguard injects the biggest flights of World War II into a spin-off story about the mythical Fourth Reich, which is worthy of a big round of applause. But the 18th instalment of Activision’s priced series suffers from the consequences of its lofty intentions.

The single-player campaign developed by Sledgehammer Games spends so much time in defining its four prime characters — and two Nazi shmucks — that the story wraps up before it can get going. The gameplay is classic CoD: fast and dynamic like an elite obstacle course, with a few party tricks that make the experience less humdrum.

Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer mode gets more attention. The expansive mode has 20 maps at launch and a new ‘Combat Pacing’ matchmaking that lets you control the pace of the game — you can choose the number of players vis-à-vis the map size — and not be forced into a sniper contest or a bloodbath where you only survive for a few short breaths. While the game controls are the same, the experience is markedly different (not worse, not better) from Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War.

The Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Vanguard, though, is in its infancy compared to the last instalment. Treyarch Studios claims to have a clear roadmap, but one that is yet to take a formidable shape.

The gaming experience in all three formats begins with a lot of excitement — thanks to a great storyline, beautiful cinema, next-generation graphics, and steady marketing — but it becomes pretty obvious that something has gone amiss as the game progresses.

Call of Duty Vanguard PC Performance Review: Can a Budget Gaming Rig Handle It?

Call of Duty: Vanguard single-player campaign review

Call of Duty: Vanguard campaign is roughly a six-hour run. For a hugely anticipated game that was advertised to capture the whole world at war, it’s unsettling. What’s worse, though, is that it’s pretty great. So, you’re left wanting more, but not in a good way.

My other major grouse is that the game’s difficulty setting is lopsided. There are four levels to it: Recruit, Regular, Hardened, and Veteran. And the six-hour run I mentioned was on Hardened. It’s uncanny how not hard it was to speed run through the campaign, especially if you have played other titles from CoD Black Ops or Modern Warfare series that are less forgiving. The storyline does not help either. Since all of our heroes get their own introductory missions before they come together as Task Force One to force the Nazis to skedaddle for good, the difficulty remains almost flat throughout.

A still from Call of Duty: Vanguard
Photo Credit: Activision

On the subject of heroes, you play as five characters. There’s the level-headed Brit leader Arthur Kingsley (voice of Chiké Okonkwo), the foul-mouthed Aussie Lucas Riggs (Martin Copping), the American show-off Wade Jackson (Derek Phillips), and the Russian straight-faced killer Polina Petrova (Laura Bailey). It’s a pleasure to watch and play such fleshed-out characters in a first-person shooter (FPS) campaign. Each has a back story, a specialty, and a special ability in combat.

Kingsley is a natural leader and can direct troops to focus fire on a particular target when you play him. Riggs is a demolition expert who can lob grenades with a precise aim. Wade, the American dive bomber pilot, has a Max Payne-esque focus ability to slow time but also see enemies through walls and obstacles when on the ground. Lastly, the Russian sniper Petrova can climb walls, crawl through debris and tiny spaces, and whistle an enemy sniper into wasting a shot who will then probably die reloading.

This mix of eclectic characters, individual missions, and a non-linear storyline adds variety and dynamism to the gameplay that makes Call of Duty: Vanguard stand out. I just wish the gameplay was a little less predictable.

The abilities are heavily prescribed, which means you’ll still be following a linear path laid down for you. You as Kingsley, for instance, are given a maximum of two targets to choose from where others can focus fire on your command. What you choose makes little difference and it can get repetitive. Focus fire, subdue a sniper or an SMG bunker, gain some ground, and do it again. All windows Petrova can climb into are marked with a yellow cloth, and so on. You begin the story with a sense of control — playing different characters, making use of new controls like mounting weapons on flat surfaces or blind firing from cover — that eventually fades away. The world’s a stage, we’re all actors.

Call of Duty: Vanguard campaign is fresh. The writing is smart, the characters are defined — Petrova takes the cake here — and the cinema is worth the experience. It’s a little disappointing that it rushes into a heavily scripted climax before you can feel like you were challenged.

Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer review

More games each day are dropping the pretense of putting the single-player campaign at the centre of the experience when online multiplayer is where the big money lies. Call of Duty: Vanguard tries to balance the act by giving more attention to characters that accentuate both modes. Even the operators (or skins) that have nothing to do with the campaign get their own cutscenes in multiplayer. But with a short campaign, it’s largely the online multiplayer mode Activision hopes will keep the game alive beyond a year.

A shot from Call of Duty: Vanguard
Photo Credit: Activision

It’s the 1940s, the world’s at war, and the setting is mostly bathed in shades of green and brown. It’s not the most palatable choice of colours, but one that does justice to the combat of its time. Can’t be said the same about the pace though.

Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer gameplay feels a lot faster than CoD: Black Ops – Cold War as well as Call of Duty: Warzone that is set to discourage new or less-experienced players. It’s also heavily customisable — guns now have 10 attachments. Too much to do might also put some people off who are just trying to get into quick matches and learn things on the fly. There’s a bit more strategic thinking in terms of maps, pacing, and loadouts that are needed to survive CoD Vanguard than the other titles in the franchise.

Combat pacing basically allows you to pick how many players are in a match with you. Choosing Tactical gets you in 6v6 matches where you can hang back; Assault will have you in with up to 28 people in maps that can give you a little less breathing space and more to kill; Blitz is the madness a lot of us love with up to 48 players shooting in every direction.

In our experience on an Xbox Series S with crossplay enabled, the difference with pacing was not as pronounced, but it at least gives you the option to not be in certain situations — big map, way too less players and vice versa — which keeps things interesting. Destructible in-game environments, which are basically flimsy wood panels that you can shoot through is also a lot less menacing than it sounds.

It’s a little more wall-banging than the last CoD title and you can inflict more damage if you know the map well, but you won’t be killing people unawares. Then there’s blind fire (firing from cover without aiming) and weapon mounting (placing your gun on flat surfaces to reduce recoil) that can be put to good use in Tactical pacing, rarely in Assault and not so much in Blitz.

Another great feature of Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer is the new Champion Hill mode. It’s a game mode that puts Solos, Duos, and Trios against other teams in a round-robin (elimination) contest. It’s obviously more fun to win in a team but Solos is also a great way to test how good you are 1v1 on a level-playing field. It’s highly competitive and has made me consider ditching the Xbox controller for a keyboard and mouse to even the odds. Win or lose, Champion Hill is mighty fun.

Another still from the game Call of Duty: Vangaurd
Photo Credit: Activision

What’s off about Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer, though, is that despite it looking stellar on paper — expansive, customisable, and fresh — the game has quirks that severely alters the experience that Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War and Call of Duty: Warzone players have come to love. The colours, as mentioned before, don’t help the visibility. And keeping in mind that Vanguard’s multiplayer kicks the pace up a notch, the new, more animated hit marker sound and visual effects make it worse. You die sooner with less to learn from it.

Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer has a lot more content, plays faster, and is more challenging. You can customise the hell out of the weapons, choose your pace, study the maps, and dominate. The problem is that it’s a huge investment and there are plenty of FPS multiplayer games in the fray, including Call of Duty’s own accomplished titles in Black Ops – Cold War and Warzone, that might appeal better to casual gamers looking for quick matches where they don’t feel like cannon fodder.

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies review

Let’s keep this one short because that’s what Treyarch has done with it. Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies has launched with just one mode for the pre-season (before Battle Pass seasons begin). It’s called Der Anfang. The mode is doom-sy enough as was expected from the studio behind CoD Black Ops – Cold War’s Zombies mode, but it’s not quite the Nazi slaughterhouse that I was expecting.

The melodrama is on point though. The Nazis were too proud to lose and went to the rotten ends of the Earth to look for an occult secret that would overwhelm the Axis forces. Enter ‘dark powers’ that manifest through an ancient relic and resurrect corpses to give the Nazi top-dog an army of the dead. And you can gleefully while away hours at it.

Zombies mode by definition is a Hold-style, repetitive game mode that thrives on our urge to be the ultimate apocalyptic survivors and our greed of upgrading weapons for the highly competitive CoD multiplayer. Killing undead Nazis is an altruistic bonus. But the game slips a bit here.

There are a lot of new elements in Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies — like the new Covenant upgrades and the portal challenge of escorting a skull — but nothing can compensate for the lack of content at launch. Treyarch has alas just made small additions to the Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War Zombies mode instead of overhauling the experience to match the theme of CoD: Vanguard.

A still from Call of Duty; Vanguard
Photo Credit: Activision

I was expecting the Nazi zombies to be more exciting, but all I met were hordes of skeletons that were different to tell apart from any other league of rising corpses. Treyarch has announced a roadmap that should bring more game modes to make the non-stop killing more interesting. That said, Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies mode was subjected to a rushed launch and is no match for its predecessor’s now superbly evolved Zombies mode that is entirely worth spending money on.

Call of Duty: Vanguard review verdict

The services of Swedish cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema (Tenet) have paid off. Call of Duty: Vanguard is beautiful to watch and has a story and characters that will leave an impression. The Russian sniper Petrova’s story and missions is a standout example. The cinematic cutscenes make for a gripping story and the in-game visuals and graphics back it up. Even the depiction of World War II is better than anything we have seen in the Call of Duty franchise — Vanguard is the sixth title on the subject.

All of this is precisely why Call of Duty: Vanguard is a missed opportunity for Sledgehammer Games, Treyarch, and Activision. The game suffers from an uncomfortable contradiction: the campaign and its visual cues favour newbies, while its multiplayer and its cranked-up pace is a veteran extravaganza. The single-player campaign is also unsatisfyingly short, while Zombies barely qualifies as a full game mode.

That said, Call of Duty: Vanguard campaign has an undeniable visual appeal that makes it worth a run, and its multiplayer has enough newness to hold its own. Its potential is what makes the experience slightly underwhelming.


  • Beautiful cinema
  • Well-written single-player…


Revisión de Battlefield 2042: ¿Es este el futuro?

Battlefield 2042 es un juego de disparos en primera persona que no tiene un modo de campaña. Battlefield, desarrollado por Electronic Arts y DICE, es conocido desde hace mucho tiempo por sus campañas para un jugador, así como por sus salas de espera para 64 jugadores. La última versión de la popular franquicia de disparos en primera persona abandona por completo estos dos factores que la hicieron popular. Battlefield 2042, como su nombre indica, se desarrolla 100 años en el futuro del juego original, Battlefield 1942, que convirtió a la franquicia en un éxito de taquilla. ¿Ha encontrado Battlefield una nueva vida o está destinado a los libros de historia?

Jugué el juego en Xbox One S y esto es lo que pienso sobre Battlefield 2042. Están sucediendo muchas cosas en el juego, y no todo funciona a su favor. Algunas partes son buenas, mientras que otras te hacen cuestionar qué estaba pensando EA Dice mientras desarrollaba el último título de Battlefield.

Battlefield 2042 tiene tres modos de juego: All-Out Warfare, Hazard Zone y Portal. Los dos primeros modos permiten a los jugadores participar en una zona de guerra en siete mapas repartidos por países. Estos mapas incluyen:

  • Reloj de arena con sede en Doha, Catar
  • Descartado con sede en Alang, India
  • Manifiesto con sede en la isla de Brani, Singapur
  • Caleidoscopio con sede en Songdo, Corea del Sur
  • Orbital con sede en Kourou, Guayana Francesa
  • Separarse con sede en Queen Maud Land, Antártida
  • Renovación con sede en el desierto oriental, Egipto

Revisión de Battlefield 2042 All-Out Warfare

Sumerjámonos en el juego con el modo All-Out Warfare. Es un caos total donde 128 jugadores se sueltan en un mapa expansivo en Battlefield 2042. Los jugadores se llaman No-Pats, que básicamente son mercenarios sin país y luchan en ambos lados de la guerra. Los jugadores se dividen en dos equipos, Rusia y Estados Unidos, con el objetivo principal de capturar el mapa.

El modo All-Out Warfare en Battlefield 2042 tiene además dos submodos: Conquest y Breakthrough. En Conquest, los jugadores deben hacerse con el control de varios objetivos divididos en sectores. Ambos equipos parten de un extremo del mapa y, trabajando a su manera, capturan todos los objetivos. Mientras jugaba Conquest, capturar los objetivos más cercanos a ti es fácil al principio, pero con el caos que se produce con un lobby de 128 jugadores, significa que estás muriendo y reapareciendo constantemente.

Battlefield 2042 permite a los jugadores usar un puñado de vehículos durante el combate
Crédito de la foto: Dados de EA

Un equipo ganaría en Battlefield 2042 una vez que hayan capturado todos los sectores del mapa. En Breakthrough, sin embargo, los equipos se dividen en ataque y defensa. Este último tiene la mayoría sobre los sectores mientras que los primeros luchan por abrirse paso y derrotar a la defensa. Como sugiere el nombre, All-Out Warfare es testigo de un fuego cruzado constante entre los equipos, con jugadores corriendo para capturar objetivos o resucitar a los compañeros caídos.

En mi opinión, All-Out Warfare es más adecuado para los veteranos de Battlefield, ya que los nuevos jugadores tardarán en familiarizarse con la física y la jugabilidad. La falta del modo de campaña para un jugador en Battlefield 2042 realmente no ayuda. Los jugadores tienen la opción de jugar un modo de “jugador único” si deciden jugar la experiencia Solo o Co-Op. Pero realmente no ayudaría a los jugadores a acostumbrarse a la jugabilidad, ya que ahora están atascados con hasta 127 “oponentes” de IA y aún se produce el caos. Empecé a acostumbrarme a la jugabilidad después de pasar unas horas, pero hablaremos de eso más adelante. ¿Era realmente necesario hacer el vestíbulo lo suficientemente grande para 128 personas? Yo, sinceramente, no estoy seguro.

Equipamiento de Battlefield 2042

La carga de Battlefield 2042 es bastante decente, con los 10 personajes, llamados especialistas, que obtienen una habilidad específica propia. Especialistas como Santiago ‘Dozer’ Espinoza, Kimble ‘Irish’ Graves y Maria Falck ayudarían a los jugadores a mantener la vida a través de armaduras o botiquines. Otros especialistas se ajustan más hacia el asalto, la reparación o el reconocimiento. Sin embargo, el punto de tener especialistas se vuelve un poco discutible, ya que cualquier personaje se puede personalizar con diferentes cargas y obtener esas habilidades únicas, que antes estaban destinadas solo a los especialistas.

Pero entra en batalla y verás que Battlefield 2042 es realmente experto en física de armas. Las armas se manejan muy bien y en las manos adecuadas, incluso el primer disparo puede ser brutal. Pero, por otro lado, esta habilidad será desalentadora para los jugadores nuevos y relativamente inexpertos, ya que siguen recibiendo disparos a kilómetros de distancia, ya que los mapas son enormes pero la falta de cobertura es abismal. Muchas veces, me dispararon al azar solo tratando de llegar desde la ubicación de generación al fragor de la batalla, ya sea por un francotirador escondido en algún rincón al azar o por un oponente que sin sospechar se acercó sigilosamente porque no se podían escuchar sus pasos.

Battlefield 2042: no hay tiempo para seguir con vida

Invariablemente, cuando un jugador aparece con tanta frecuencia, tiende a descubrir las diversas herramientas que tiene a su disposición. Por ejemplo, los jugadores de Battlefield 2042 tienen la opción de aparecer en la base o en una de las ubicaciones capturadas, en un vehículo o a través de la ubicación de generación especial oculta por un compañero de equipo. Si los jugadores se generan lejos de la acción y no hay ningún vehículo a la vista, es fácil dejar caer un vehículo en su ubicación. La caída del vehículo es una característica ingeniosa, ya que, no puedo enfatizar este hecho lo suficiente, los mapas son enormes y la falta de cobertura significa que es fácil borrarlo.

Battlefield 2042 tiene mapas repartidos por todo el mundo
Crédito de la foto: Dados de EA

Una de las cosas buenas que obtiene Battlefield 2042 es el sistema ‘Plus’ que permite a los jugadores modificar su carga sobre la marcha. Con esto, ahora es más fácil que nunca cambiar las miras, bocas, cargadores y empuñaduras de las armas primarias y secundarias durante una batalla, lo que facilita la adaptación a los cambios de paisaje y escenarios en el partido.

Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone: ¿un fallo en la matriz?

El segundo modo en Battlefield 2042 es Hazard Zone y, para ser honesto, parece que algo anda mal en el juego. Incluso después de pasar más de 12 horas jugando, ni nadie de mi equipo ni yo pudimos hacer que el juego nos conectara a un partido. El juego se atasca en una especie de bucle al intentar unirse a un lobby. Los jugadores se agregan al equipo de cuatro personas, pero siguen saliendo. Incluso si el equipo estuviera lleno, inevitablemente volvería al menú principal.

Hazard Zone tiene un lobby de 24 jugadores con seis escuadrones de cuatro jugadores. El objetivo de este modo en Battlefield 2042 es recopilar unidades de datos y dirigirse al punto de encuentro para su extracción. Un escuadrón gana al recopilar estas unidades de datos y extraerlas justo antes de que la tormenta golpee el mapa y destruya el área. Realmente no puedo comentar cómo fue Hazard Zone para mí o mi colega. Con suerte, esto es solo un error y EA lo solucionará pronto.

Revisión de Battlefield 2042 Portal: pinta tu propio lienzo

Pasemos al modo final, y posiblemente a la gracia salvadora de Battlefield 2042: Portal. ¡Este modo permite a los jugadores ser creativos y cómo! Los jugadores tienen la capacidad de establecer todas las reglas o jugar según las reglas establecidas por otros jugadores. Portal también permite a los jugadores experimentar Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 y Battlefield 3 con gráficos y motores modernos. Además, los jugadores también tienen la oportunidad de usar el arsenal de 2042 en 1942 y viceversa. Básicamente, EA quiere que los jugadores se vuelvan locos y probablemente toda esta locura es lo que puede hacer que los puristas de Battlefield y los novatos se enganchen al juego durante mucho tiempo.

Portal también tiene algunos submodos propios, y el más divertido de todos es el VIP Fiesta. Aquí, cada escuadrón obtiene un VIP y la tarea del oponente es encontrar y eliminar al VIP. Sin embargo, el estado VIP de cada jugador es temporal, por lo que con un buen trabajo en equipo, un equipo puede dominar fácilmente al otro. Además, cada vez que un jugador reaparece en el Portal de Battlefield 2042, su carga cambia aleatoriamente y eso realmente se suma al factor diversión del juego.

El modo Portal de Battlefield 2042 permite a los jugadores jugar y personalizar títulos antiguos remasterizados
Crédito de la foto: Dados de EA

Hay algo en Battlefield 2042 que me molesta. Es la falta de identificación de amigos y enemigos. Muchas veces, cuando creo que estoy apuntando a un oponente, resulta ser un compañero de equipo y cuando puedo localizar a un enemigo, de repente estoy reapareciendo. Después de un tiempo, aprendes a identificar el pequeño punto rojo sobre el oponente, pero cuando lo ves, ya te ha matado otra persona.

Veredicto de revisión de Battlefield 2042

Al abandonar el modo campaña en Battlefield 2042, EA Dice ha hecho que el juego sea un poco más confuso y difícil para los nuevos jugadores que intentan ingresar a la franquicia. A los veteranos y amantes acérrimos (juego de palabras) de Battlefield les encantará la forma en que se mantiene fiel a la jugabilidad de los títulos anteriores. El caos del lobby de 128 personas no es algo que anhele cada vez que comienzo el juego, y creo que eso puede ser cierto para la mayoría de los jugadores.

Portal, por otro lado, es donde Battlefield 2042 realmente brilla más. La increíble herramienta de creación les da a los jugadores manos libres y muestra la destreza real del motor del nuevo juego. Pero lo que queda por ver es cómo estos niveles de personalización ayudarán al juego a mantenerse en el futuro.


  • Portal es una herramienta de creación divertida y poderosa
  • El juego se mantiene fiel al original.
  • Los gráficos son suaves y nítidos
  • Los títulos más antiguos brillan después de ser remasterizados


  • Los lobbies de 128 jugadores crean caos
  • All-Out Warfare es demasiado para los novatos
  • Hazard Zone no funciona (por ahora)
  • Los especialistas no se sienten especiales

Calificación (sobre 10): 7

Battlefield 2042 se lanzó el 19 de noviembre para PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One y Xbox Series S/X. Cuesta Rs. 2999 en Origin, Steam y Epic Games (para PC), Rs. 3999 en PS4 y Xbox One, y Rs. 4499 en PS5 y Xbox Series S/X. También puede obtener Battlefield 2042 en PC con la suscripción EA Play Pro que cuesta Rs. 999 por mes.

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Reseña de extracción de Rainbow Six: ni siquiera para los fanáticos de Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Extraction, ante todo, es una extensión de una IP bien establecida. Después de una decepción inicial y una gran cantidad de apoyo de los desarrolladores, Rainbow Six Siege, el reinicio solo en línea de la serie lanzado en 2015, ha superado todas las expectativas de Ubisoft y se ha convertido en un juego continuo de varios años (denominado juegos como servicio en la industria). lenguaje). Hace dos diciembres, luego de su lanzamiento en PlayStation 5 y Xbox Series S/X, Rainbow Six Siege registró 70 millones de jugadores en todas las plataformas. Por un lado, es por eso que no ha habido un nuevo juego de Rainbow Six desde hace más de seis años. Por otro lado, un nuevo título (que apelaba a un mercado de jugadores diferente) parecía inevitable. Y eso es lo que obtenemos con Rainbow Six Extraction, disponible el jueves a nivel mundial.

Basado en el modo de juego de tiempo limitado Rainbow Six Siege Outbreak, Rainbow Six Extraction es un spin-off en principio. Trae la lista de personajes de Six Siege, u Operadores, como se les conoce, a Extracción y los empuja a una realidad alternativa donde deben enfrentarse a una raza alienígena conocida simplemente como Parásito. Como puede ver de inmediato, Rainbow Six Extraction no es una experiencia de jugador contra jugador (PvP) a diferencia de su primo principal. Ahora es un juego cooperativo de jugador contra entorno (PvE), con escuadrones de hasta tres jugadores que se envían a las arenas para completar una serie de objetivos. Sin embargo, no hay una campaña, no hay narrativa ni tejido conectivo, solo un montón de niveles que vuelves a visitar una y otra vez, lo que finalmente me pareció artificial y fabricado.

La espera continúa para aquellos que desean otro título de Rainbow Six con una campaña adecuada para un solo jugador; la última de ellas fue Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, que se lanzó en 2008. Tantos años entre eso y el lanzamiento de Rainbow Six Siege, como hay aproximadamente entre Siege y Rainbow Six Extraction. Sin un modo para un jugador basado en la narrativa durante 14 años, parece poco probable que alguna vez obtengamos un título de Rainbow Six con una campaña adecuada nuevamente.

Rainbow Six Extraction es un enfoque muy calculado de Ubisoft. Está hecho para aquellos que no tienen interés en títulos multijugador PvP como Rainbow Six Siege. Pero al tener Operadores de Siege en Extracción, también está tratando de atraer a esa base de jugadores existente. Y Ubisoft claramente espera que Rainbow Six Extraction canalice a nuevos jugadores hacia Rainbow Six Siege, dado el tejido conectivo. Se podría argumentar que Extraction es un esfuerzo de marketing multimillonario simplemente para atraer sangre nueva.

Rainbow Six Extraction lanza el primer día en Xbox Game Pass

Excepto que Rainbow Six Extraction, desarrollado por un equipo de Ubisoft Montreal, dirigido por el codirector de Far Cry New Dawn, Patrik Methé, y la diseñadora de For Honor, Alicia Fortier, no es realmente para nadie. Uno de los principales problemas es la asombrosa curva de dificultad del juego. Incluso el nivel de dificultad más bajo es mucho. Quiero decir, se llama “moderado”. ¿Nadie en Ubisoft Montreal entiende el significado del término? Moderado habría sido más apropiado para una dificultad de nivel medio, excepto que no hay nada debajo en Rainbow Six Extraction. Después de moderado, tiene “cauteloso”, “severo” y “crítico”, todos los cuales estaban claramente más allá de nosotros. Digo nosotros, porque principalmente jugué Extraction con dos de mis amigos. Y todos nosotros luchamos por mantenernos con vida, por lograr avances significativos.

Si bien Rainbow Six Extraction no tiene una campaña, ofrece progresión. El juego comienza en la ciudad de Nueva York con tres ubicaciones dispares: un hotel, una estación de policía y Liberty Island. El Parásito se ha apoderado de todos estos lugares, lo que significa que están desprovistos de civiles, y de cualquier cosa que se parezca a los adornos de un hotel, una estación o la Estatua de la Libertad. De todos modos, pasas todo el tiempo dentro de edificios que se ven más o menos iguales, así que no importa dónde estés. Aun así, Rainbow Six Extraction te llevará por los EE. UU. a medida que subes de nivel, desbloqueando nuevas arenas (básicamente, almacenes) desde San Francisco hasta Alaska y más allá. Tus personajes también pueden subir de nivel y mejorar en lo que hacen. Y ganas puntos de tecnología para desbloquear nueva, bueno, tecnología.

Pero si tienes problemas debido a la dificultad, lo que hicimos los tres, también significa que tu experiencia en el juego es muy limitada. (Rainbow Six Extraction ajusta su dificultad según la cantidad de jugadores en tu escuadrón, por lo que vale). Cada minuto que pasamos en Rainbow Six Extraction se restringió a una de las tres arenas disponibles en la ciudad de Nueva York, ya que la progresión es naturalmente difícil de lograr. ven cuando sigues muriendo una y otra vez. No es divertido jugar en el mismo lugar una y otra vez, especialmente cuando estás perdiendo la mayor parte del tiempo y más aún cuando no hay un punto más importante en todo. Tener que repetir el mismo nivel docenas de veces puede ser frustrante y convertirse en trabajo, y eso es lo último que deberían sentir los videojuegos.

Inyectando un impulso de salud en Rainbow Six Extraction
Crédito de la foto: Ubisoft

La dificultad de Rainbow Six Extraction aumenta aún más debido a cómo está diseñado el juego. La salud de un operador es primordial: no solo no se recupera por sí sola durante las misiones, sino que tampoco puedes restaurarla. Los botiquines médicos que encontrarás en Rainbow Six Extraction solo ofrecen un impulso de salud temporal, que disminuye a medida que continúas jugando. Además, la salud no vuelve a los niveles originales incluso después de regresar de una misión. Para hacer eso, debe permitir que su Operador descanse; esto se siente aún más artificial dado que no hay campaña. Ubisoft claramente pretendía esto para garantizar que rotas entre los operadores y que ninguno de ellos se quede atrás a medida que subes de nivel. Pero se podría argumentar que esto crea relleno y abolla más la velocidad de progresión.

Si la salud de un operador llega a cero, los compañeros de equipo pueden ayudar a revivirlo, pero solo una vez. La próxima vez que eso suceda, serán eliminados. Excepto en Rainbow Six Extraction, esto toma la forma de Operadores encerrados en espuma de estasis. Los compañeros de equipo pueden guardarlos extrayéndolos a una ubicación segura. Pero si no lo hace, todos los operadores KO’d serán declarados desaparecidos en acción (MIA). Los Operadores que pierdas no podrán ser elegidos para futuras misiones en la misma arena. Bueno, no hasta que los rescates de todos modos, haciendo más extracciones en dicho lugar. La mecánica MIA de Rainbow Six Extraction también se activa si los jugadores se desconectan del servidor, lo cual es lo peor. Puedes esperar a que se reincorporen, pero el juego no se detiene; tienes que sobrevivir por tu cuenta mientras no están.

Naturalmente, dada la pronunciada curva de dificultad de Rainbow Six Extraction, perdimos muchos operadores debido a la mecánica MIA durante nuestro tiempo con el juego. Pero incluso cuando logramos mantenernos con vida, no pudimos hacer lo suficiente. Y eso se debe a la combinación de dos cosas: sigilo + reaparición de enemigos. Si los extraterrestres te ven, gritarán y llamarán a tus amigos. Si haces demasiado sonido, atraerás a más extraterrestres. Esencialmente, Rainbow Six Extraction te empuja a ser sigiloso, excepto que no es fácil de lograr. Derribar a los alienígenas por la espalda fue un golpe y un error. Y no todas las armas de los operadores tienen un silenciador (para minimizar el sonido), una situación que se agrava aún más cuando pierdes operadores a la izquierda, a la derecha y al centro. No hay muchos lugares a los que acudir, con opciones cada vez más escasas.

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Extranjeros por todas partes en Rainbow Six Extraction
Crédito de la foto: Ubisoft

Y si terminas atrayendo la atención, lo que nos sucedió la mayor parte del tiempo, los extraterrestres de Rainbow Six Extraction generalmente te abrumarán. Eso nos lleva a la segunda variable: reaparición. Los secuaces del Parásito emergen de nidos que engendran reemplazos sin cesar. La única forma de detener eso es destruir el nido. Pero no siempre está claro de dónde vienen, y/o es más fácil decirlo que hacerlo llegar a un nido cuando tienes salud limitada y aparentemente hay infinitos extraterrestres en tu camino. Esto nuevamente contribuye a una sensación de relleno dentro de Rainbow Six Extraction.

Técnicamente hablando, Rainbow Six Extraction está bien diseñado. El diseño de sonido está en punto: escabullirse de los extraterrestres en entornos cerrados debería ser espeluznante y ponerte nervioso, y eso es exactamente lo que Ubisoft Montréal ofrece aquí. Puede aumentar la tensión con los auriculares, que hacen que todo sea más inmersivo, naturalmente. Y no tuvimos ninguna queja con la física y los gráficos de Rainbow Six Extraction, a pesar de estar en consolas separadas. Nuestro escuadrón de tres jugadores se distribuyó en Xbox One S, Xbox One X y Xbox Series X. Rainbow Six Extraction también ofrece soporte completo de juego cruzado y guardado cruzado, lo que permite a los jugadores de PC, Xbox y PlayStation unirse para abordar la amenaza del parásito. Es alentador ver a Ubisoft apoyarlo en un mundo que, de lo contrario, carece de ellos.

En definitiva, Rainbow Six Extraction no es mucho más que un shooter de pasillo. Y no puedo decir para quién es. Los fanáticos de Rainbow Six Siege ya tienen un juego que les encanta. Aquellos que querían experimentar la jugabilidad de Siege pero se sintieron desanimados por el aspecto multijugador en línea no encontrarán muchas similitudes aquí. Y Rainbow Six Extraction claramente no es para la mayoría de los jugadores casuales. De hecho, iría tan lejos como para decir que se siente como si estuviera diseñado solo para jugadores incondicionales. A menos que Ubisoft planee modificar masivamente la configuración de dificultad y los estilos de juego en un futuro cercano, Rainbow Six Extraction podría terminar siendo uno de esos títulos que se pierden entre los cojines del sofá.


  • Te hace rotar Operadores
  • Diseño de sonido en el punto
  • Juego cruzado completo, guardado cruzado


  • Pobre curva de dificultad
  • El sigilo no es natural
  • Sin historia, campaña
  • Entornos iguales
  • se convierte en una tarea
  • La mecánica MIA se activa cuando se desconecta el jugador
  • problemas de relleno

Calificación (sobre 10): 5

Rainbow Six Extraction se lanza el jueves 20 de enero en PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Amazon Luna y Google Stadia.

El precio comienza en Rs. 1999 en Epic Games Store, 40 EUR (alrededor de Rs. 3390) en Ubisoft Store y Rs. 3999 en Microsoft Store y PlayStation Store.

También puede obtener Rainbow Six Extraction con Xbox Game Pass que cuesta Rs. 699 al mes, o una suscripción a Ubisoft+ que cuesta 15 EUR (alrededor de 1270 rupias) al mes.

Con aportes de Saad Rashid y Satvik Khare.

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Horizon Forbidden West Review: Gorgeous Open World Let Down by AAA Game Design

Horizon Forbidden West — out February 18 on PS4 and PS5 — is an expansive game. For better and worse, that’s typical of modern-day role-playing titles that are meant to serve as flagship products for gaming giants. In industry parlance, these are known as AAA releases. (For 2022, Horizon Forbidden West is one of three confirmed games — alongside Gran Turismo 7 and God of War Ragnarök — Sony is set to release for its elusive next-gen console, the PlayStation 5.) A lot of what Horizon Forbidden West does feels like a version of what is going around in open-world AAA games everywhere. The vast map is populated with endless icons, there’s a lot of loot to be collected (a major annoyance in the aftermath of a big battle), and you’re asked to grind your way through.

Enemies — in most cases here, animalistic machines — are found in hundreds of “sites” across the Horizon Forbidden West map. Even if you eliminate all of them in a particular area, they will respawn when you return next time. This is a game-y and artificial inclusion, one that seemingly exists to serve the developer’s interests — Horizon Zero Dawn’s Mathijs de Jonge returns as game director — rather than the world of Forbidden West. By resetting these areas rather than clearing them out for good, Horizon Forbidden West allows players who are stuck and need to farm XP to level up. It serves no purpose other than to fulfil the grind mechanism.

What is also artificial is how machine sites are thought out. As you progress through Horizon Forbidden West, the protagonist Aloy (Ashly Burch) will learn how to override certain machines and ride them. The idea is to allow faster traversal and give you another combat tool. But you don’t learn how to take control of every machine at once — they are doled out slowly. Keeping that in mind, developer Guerrilla Games places those machine sites close to your mission location where you can utilise your override ability. Sure, it’s all supposed to be helpful for the player. But the world of Horizon Forbidden West feels manufactured after a point, like it’s all constructed to serve one player.

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Horizon Forbidden West PS5 features and performance

The DualSense’s rumble comes alive mostly in story cutscenes, and in combat depending on the kind of enemies you’re facing. Trigger tension is omnipresent in a game largely about a bow and arrow.

I faced just one bug during a big battle that forced me to redo that stage, which was particularly frustrating given how intense and strategic battles can be. It’s only happened once though, and Guerrilla has already rolled out a patch ahead of release.

I can’t speak to performance on the outdated PS4 and its improved cousin PS4 Pro. Horizon Forbidden West is a 98GB download on the PS5.

Horizon Forbidden West review: looks and level design

Mind you, I don’t have any problems with the game’s world or the machines. Horizon Forbidden West looks gorgeous on the PlayStation 5. We still haven’t figured out how to replicate how real human hair behaves, as Aloy’s hair flows and bounces a little too much here, but in terms of moving towards individualised strands, this is probably the closest we’ve come. The score — put together by Joe Henson, Alexis Smith, Joris de Man, Niels van der Leest, and Oleksa Lozowchuk — is also splendid. At times, I just wanted to stand in one place and listen to the music.

The machines in Horizon Forbidden West have intricate designs — I wouldn’t call them gorgeous, but they are fascinating — but it seems like so much time went in designing them that Guerrilla Games forgot how to justifiably include them. The reason dealing with these machines feels artificial is because you’re on your way to something else. In most cases, these interactions are not part of a mission, hence they are meaningless. It’s poorly-designed padding. I just want to get to my destination, stop throwing obstacles in my way.

Once I began tiring of the game’s incessant desire to push me to engage with more and more machines — in addition to uninteresting side quests that failed to grab my attention — I figured I would try and see if I could just push my way through Horizon Forbidden West. You know, just gallop from point A to point B while ignoring everything along the way. For those who like immersing themselves in the main story like me, I’m pleased to report that it’s largely possible. But naturally, it impacts your character’s level.

And quite adversely so, as Horizon Forbidden West is designed for you to get lost over and over. Even when I did partake in side quests and random machine encounters, I found myself quickly falling behind the recommended power level for main missions. This is a way for the game to signal that I should have been doing even more stuff away from the story. Funnily enough, even some side quests were asking for two levels higher. The gap kept on increasing — when I was at level 6, the main mission was designed for level 8. By the time I was level 12, I was staring at main missions that were level 17 or beyond. To me, it all suggested that the grind would just get worse and worse as the game went on.

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Machine Strike in Horizon Forbidden West
Photo Credit: Sony/Guerrilla Games

There is a lot to do here. Outside of the main and side quests, there are a series of melee pits where you can test your, well, melee skills. Even the melee pits are a victim of the game’s grind mentality. And there are mini games such as machine strike — it feels like a take on chess and checkers combined with its own custom rules and pieces — which was one of my favourite things to do in Horizon Forbidden West.

Horizon Forbidden West review: new world, new problems

Horizon Forbidden West opens with Aloy looking for a backup of an advanced AI known as Gaia (Lesley Ewen) who can help her put an end to the Blight, an infestation thanks to a terraforming AI that is operating without the proper instructions. Aloy is reunited with Varl (John Macmillan) early on, who becomes her partner and an audience surrogate of sorts. But Aloy is not one to accept help, she has always had a saviour complex. As the player, you will undertake most missions on your own — very few missions have AI allies.

For a game about a protagonist who takes the weight of the world on her shoulders, and who is told repeatedly to learn how to trust others, Horizon Forbidden West misses the point on that boat. If the theme of Horizon Forbidden West is for Aloy to recognise that allies are important, then you would hope that the game would deliver on the thematic promise. Instead, Aloy spends most of the game basically proving that she can handle it all on her own.

Anyway, back to the story. Tracing the Blight, Aloy leaves the lands of the Carja and heads into the Forbidden West, named for the Tenakth who rule those lands ruthlessly. The Tenakth are painted as the others by everyone as violent and radical — they are not one unit, but three tribes who are forced to unite after a vengeful general named Regalia (Angela Bassett) creates a rebellious faction and declares war on the Carja and the other Tenakth.

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Tenakth in Horizon Forbidden West
Photo Credit: Sony/Guerrilla Games

With the Tenakth, Horizon Forbidden West runs into a thorny issue. In the post-apocalyptic USA that forms the world of the Horizon games, the remaining humans have been pushed back to the Stone Age or something. They are now divided into a series of clans and tribes, whose attire borrows from Native Americans among others. Aloy can don these too. But most of the people wearing them, including Aloy, look — and more importantly — and sound like modern-day white people. That’s not a good look. First, the natives were literally erased by white people — and now their clothing is being adopted by them? This is a few steps beyond cultural appropriation.

Horizon Forbidden West review: new skills and tools

Aloy gains a bunch of new tools and abilities in this sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. In the former department, the big three are the Pullcaster, Shieldwing, and diving mask. Pullcaster is pretty much a grappling hook — you can pull down barricades, and you can use it to climb to places you couldn’t originally get to. The Shieldwing is essentially a parachute, allowing you to jump from heights and not die. (Don’t worry, there are no stamina concerns here as with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.) The diving mask lets you stay underwater. They are all are navigational tools; they didn’t serve a purpose in combat in the time I spent with Horizon Forbidden West. Additionally, you can use your Focus to scan for edges that Aloy can jump onto, allowing for freeform climbing.

On top of those, Horizon Forbidden West sports an expanded skill tree where you can define how Aloy grows as a character. You can unlock them with the help of skill points that are earned every time you level up. The skills vary from new combat and weapon techniques to getting better at concentrating and laying down traps. They are split down six sections — Warrior, Trapper, Hunter, Survivor, Infiltrator, and Machine Master — allowing you to define how Aloy develops. As you push deeper into a tree, you’ll come across an all-new Valor Surge system. These are special abilities, from landing critical hits to becoming invisible, that can be unlocked with “tactical gameplay”. Basically, they help you gain an upper hand in tough situations.

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Combat in Horizon Forbidden West
Photo Credit: Sony/Guerrilla Games

Horizon Forbidden West review: gameplay and verdict

Horizon Forbidden West lays out its arsenal slowly across the beginning of the game. It runs you through the skills on offer, how to look for resources, how to craft items of importance, and how to discover places of importance. From that standpoint, the game is designed wonderfully. Horizon Forbidden West eases you into its elaborate world, laying down the tools you’ll need to put to good use together as the game unfolds. It also tells you how to spot every machine’s different elemental weakness and strength — there is a lot of variety on offer here — though the game doesn’t always teach you how to make the correct choices. As a result, you’re left on your own at times, and it doesn’t make for a pretty picture. Speaking from personal experience here ????

You can take a stealth approach to combat — Horizon Forbidden West affords a lot of stealth opportunities, thanks to conveniently-placed tall grass — but stealth hits aren’t a one-hit KO with all machines. For some, it just damages them a bit and, naturally, alerts them to your presence. Good luck handling them after that. This is another way — in addition to everything I said at the start about loot, grind, and endless meaningless objectives — Horizon Forbidden West feels similar to recent Assassin’s Creed titles. (Except there, Ubisoft caved to fan demands after they bemoaned the removal of one-hit assassination.)

And just like Ubisoft’s mega-hit franchise, Horizon Forbidden West has a lot of the right ingredients but it’s let down by the pitfalls of AAA game design. Too often now, big event games are conflated with how much they offer and how long they last. That’s a factor of the budgets involved and the cost to user — these games are so expensive to make that the likes of Sony are now asking for Rs. 4,999/$70 on the PS5. (Owing to fan backlash, Sony is offering free PS4 to PS5 upgrades for Horizon Forbidden West, but Gran Turismo 7 and God of War Ragnarök won’t make those concessions.) And in turn, studios feel pressured to give players a lot to do if they are forking over so much money. That is an unnecessary and unfortunate correlation, one that is holding back games such as Horizon Forbidden West from being tight experiences that don’t feel the need to pad things out.


  • Looks and runs great on PS5
  • Score is splendid
  • Machines intricately designed
  • ‘Machine strike’ is fun
  • New navigational tools
  • Valor Surge is helpful
  • Eases you into the game


  • World feels artificial and manufactured
  • Poorly-designed padding
  • Pushes you to grind
  • Story undercut thematically
  • Thorny cultural appropriation with clothing
  • Not all stealth hits are one-hit KO
  • Deceitful PS5…


Gran Turismo 7 Review: Passion Without Flair

Gran Turismo 7, out Friday on PS4 and PS5, is a little staid. There’s nothing wrong with its cars, how they drive, or how the game looks. You would expect that from the veterans at Polyphony Digital — the Sony-owned developer has made every entry in the 25-year-old Gran Turismo simulation racing game series, with the franchise present on every mainline PlayStation console generation — who spent roughly three years actively developing Gran Turismo 7. But it feels antiquated in some ways, lacking the flair and personality of modern racing titles.

For one — it might feel counterintuitive to say this, but it’s not — the soundtrack isn’t anything special. Gran Turismo 7 could’ve learnt from the best racing game in recent memory, Forza Horizon 5, which understands how crucial music is to the experience of racing in games. Firstly, the series developers Playground Games put a lot of work and thought into the tracks they pick and its radio stations, with radio jockeys weaving in and between tracks to supply commentary and make its world feel alive. Plus, Forza Horizon has always known how to work with music, editing and splicing it together to play the best parts at the biggest moments.

Gran Turismo 7 is lacking all that. Most of its chosen tracks are boring or uninspired, Polyphony Digital doesn’t do anything to spice things up, and there is no voiceover here. Everything is communicated via written text in Gran Turismo 7 — which means you have to do a lot of reading. (Gran Turismo 7 is also full of white people as NPCs, despite being made by a Tokyo-headquartered studio. It tells you who the game is targeted towards, but it feels weird to mask the developers like this.) Music is also part of Gran Turismo 7’s newest game mode, Music Rally, where you drive to the beat of music — but I didn’t enjoy it at all.

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Gran Turismo 7 review: gameplay and campaign

On the racetrack, Gran Turismo 7 delivers as a serious racer. It demands you to pay attention to the basics — racing line, timely braking, the right tyres, and most efficient turning — if you are going to become good. But you can’t control every variable, it’s unpredictable at times. Dynamic weather can really upend your race in Gran Turismo 7. Having started with stock tires once, I was smooth sailing for two-thirds of the race before a quick shower ground the race to a halt. From being very close to 1st, I eventually ended up outside the podium, which in turn lost me the championship by a lone point.

And in a few places, Gran Turismo 7 feels like it’s caught between pure sim and semi-arcade. For one, there’s an expensive nitro system that you can buy and equip to any car. More importantly, brakes in Gran Turismo 7 have a tendency to lock and make your car swerve widely at times, in what can only be described as very Hollywood ways.

Gran Turismo 7 rewards and currency

Like Wheelspin in Forza Horizon games, Gran Turismo 7 offers “Roulette” tickets that can win you cars, parts, or credits. They come in different levels — one star, two stars, and so forth — with higher ones sporting higher rewards naturally. But they don’t tend to be very rewarding unlike Horizon, with the game largely sticking you with the lowest possible reward.

That’s usually a few thousand credits — this is what you get after winning races, and what you use to buy cars and upgrades. Gran Turismo 7 also allows you to top up credits via the PlayStation Store. For a game that costs Rs. 4,999, this seems egregious at best — and pay to win at worst.

This unpredictability and arcade nature can be frustrating — a single freak shower or one poorly-applied brake can kill your race at times. (That said, dynamic weather can also be a gamechanger.) And moreover, as you push deeper into Gran Turismo 7’s single-player campaign, races get longer and longer. You start out with two-lap races and will end up with four-lap races in less than 10 hours. Gran Turismo 7 is essentially testing player endurance. But this gets mundane pretty soon for two reasons. Polyphony Digital might be promising 97 layouts across 34 locations, but I grew tired of them — Gran Turismo 7 doesn’t introduce new types of races, cars, and tracks quickly enough.

On top of that, the AI bots even at their hardest never really challenged me. (The time trials put up a much better fight.) This despite them getting a head start, sometimes as much as 26 seconds, thanks to Gran Turismo 7’s application of a rolling start. And unless you’re trying to make the AI competitive, there’s no point in raising difficulty as Gran Turismo 7 doesn’t offer higher rewards for racing tougher opponents. Both those facets made me think that like its predecessor, Gran Turismo 7 seems designed for online play. Sony might have moved away from the esports-first mentality — the previous entry, Gran Turismo Sport, was even missing a single-player mode at launch — but here, it’s still pushing players who crave competition to the game’s multiplayer modes.

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BMW McLaren F1 GTR in Gran Turismo 7
Photo Credit: Sony/Polyphony Digital

Gran Turismo 7 review: multiplayer and game modes

Speaking of, there are three ways to play against others on Gran Turismo 7. Like other entries in the series, the newest Gran Turismo game offers local 2-player split screen action. I wouldn’t recommend it though, since it offers a limiting letterboxed experience with mighty black bars on top and bottom. It’s better to play over the Internet — online multiplayer — where you can pick the tracks you like, decide the regulations, and invite your friends or open it up to the public.

And then there’s Sport mode — not to be confused with the aforementioned Gran Turismo Sport the game — where you can take part in online races curated and scheduled by the devs. Naturally, these are only available at particular times during the day, though unfortunately, there’s no option to set an in-game reminder. You must do that externally. Up to 20 players can be involved at a time — so if you want a better starting spot, you can play qualifying races during a pre-race window.

Gran Turismo 7’s Sport mode is meant to be a more casual undertaking, though because this is a sim title, it gives you guidelines on how to behave online. No pushing, shoving, or colliding with other cars, and no overtaking and braking hard in front of other cars. Basically, you shouldn’t be doing anything unethical to gain an advantage. But Polyphony’s system needs more refinement, because in the races I played, it failed to recognise legitimate tail fishing incidents.

There’s plenty to prepare you for Gran Turismo 7’s online multiplayer. The awfully-named Licence Centre — you’ll need to gain new licence levels to take part in bigger campaign events — is basically an advanced tutorial section, which starts you off by teaching you braking (identify landmarks) and goes on to do a lot more. The licence centre is clearly designed to make you a better racer, and slowly loosen the tethers and shed off driver assistances you may have put on yourself. With Circuit Experience — think of it as practice day in Formula 1 — you can go around the track (section wise or the full thing) and time yourself. Gran Turismo 7 also offers Demonstrations, where you can see how the AI would best navigate a track or a portion of it.

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Mazda RX-7 in Gran Turismo 7
Photo Credit: Sony/Polyphony Digital

Gran Turismo 7 cars

There are over 400 cars in Gran Turismo 7 that you can check out at Brand Central, where you will also receive time-limited invites now and then that allow you to buy certain very expensive cars.

There’s also an in-game mall where car manufacturers can advertise themselves, with YouTube videos plugged in for extra effort. Cough product placement cough.

Gran Turismo 7 review: always online, Scapes, and graphics

All of these elements are introduced as you play through the single-player campaign — with Gran Turismo 7 nicely guiding you through new events, championships, and other race formats. Chief among these is the use of the “Menu Book” system at the in-game Cafe, whose owner Luca assigns you objectives that will mostly help you unlock new cars. Each Menu Book in Gran Turismo 7 has a theme, be it American muscle or hot hatches, BMW or Alfa Romeo from Europe, or simply to introduce a new game feature. This could be Missions which consist of short track activities where you’ve to hit a certain objective within a time limit to get gold, silver, or bronze. Every Mission — they are divided into locales — ends with a full race as the final objective.

Every game mode in Gran Turismo 7 save one requires you to be connected to the Internet — you will get kicked you out in the middle of races if you go offline, which can be very frustrating — which Polyphony justifies has been done to prevent hacking and cheating. Only the Arcade mode works fully offline.

When you are not spending your time racing in Gran Turismo 7, you should check out the game’s vast photo mode dubbed Scapes. It’s a new take on photo mode as it lets you place cars you own — yes, more than one at a time — in some of the most gorgeous and/or well-known spots around the world. (There are no Indian locations here sadly.) Scapes offers for extensive customisation on how you want the cars to be placed, the lensing, the framing, the camera settings, extra effects, and lots more to dive into. It will delight virtual photographers — and make them lose sense of time.

Scapes is also where Gran Turismo 7 looks its best, if you’ve picked the right mode. On the PlayStation 5, the game lets you pick between two: Prioritise Frame Rate vs Prioritise Ray Tracing. The former targets 60fps throughout the game, while the latter naturally utilises PS5’s raytracing capabilities. That said, raytracing is not available in races at all, it only turns on when you leave the track. During races, Gran Turismo 7 looks great but I’ve to admit it never wowed me like Forza Horizon 5 did — and I played that on the Xbox One X — with its use of water droplets, car dirt, and all sorts of tiny things that embellish the game.

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Porsche Carrera GT in Gran Turismo 7
Photo Credit: Sony/Polyphony Digital

If you’re playing on the PS5, Gran Turismo 7 does make use of the DualSense’s new features obviously, with the haptic motors and adaptive triggers most in play when you’re off track and braking, respectively. Although I’m very afraid whenever a game pushes too much with the DualSense, given Sony’s reliability issues with the springs in the adaptive triggers (aside from the drift troubles with the analogue sticks).

Gran Turismo 7 review verdict

Gran Turismo 7 is not lacking in effort or attention to detail. In a recent tweet, Polyphony revealed that cars in the first ever Gran Turismo game on the first PlayStation were made up of 300 polygons. What’s that number 25 years later in Gran Turismo 7 on the PlayStation 5? Half a million. That’s crazy. (It also shows how powerful gaming hardware has become in two and a half decades.)

For those looking for a dedicated simulation racer where you can spend hours tuning and practising to get the best out of the car and yourself, Gran Turismo 7 will no doubt appeal. But I don’t think it’s for racing game enthusiasts, it’s for racing enthusiasts.

A great racing game is more than the details — it’s the whole package, it’s how it makes you feel. And Gran Turismo 7 isn’t the kind of game that makes me want to pick up my DualSense controller and boot it up as I wrap this review. I’m happy to be called elsewhere.


  • Helps you become a better racer
  • Engaging sim racing
  • Scapes is next-level photo mode
  • Extensive tuning options
  • Dynamic weather can be a gamechanger


  • Always online (largely)
  • AI not challenging enough
  • Brakes can feel arcade-ish at times
  • Can’t feel the track variety
  • Uninspired soundtrack
  • No voiceovers
  • Pay-to-win behaviour
  • Music Rally is a bore
  • Local multiplayer is letterboxed

Rating (out of 10): 7

Gran Turismo 7 is released Friday, March 4 on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Pricing starts at Rs. 3,999 on the PS4, and Rs. 4,999 for the PS5.

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