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  • Assassin's Creed: Origins

    I’ll start this review by saying that I’ve completed nearly all of the Assassin’s Creed games, and thoroughly enjoyed them all.  Assassin’s Creed: Origin breaks the mold from the traditional Assassin’s Creed game, while still holding true to the game series.  This game has a great story, stunning graphics, and gameplay that makes me think of games like The Witcher 3.

    With the setting in ancient Egypt, you play as Bayek of Siwa, with all the parkour moves you’d expect in an Assassin’s Creed.  One of the biggest changes right out of the gate is the use of quests instead of sequences for story progression; as well as a change to traditional Assassin's Creed combat to make a free following feel.  In past games, enemies would form a circle and attack one or two at a time.  Not anymore, don’t expect the Romans or wildlife to play nice.  
    Equipment choices include a variety of melee weapons, shields, and bows, each with different attacking speeds and styles, giving you the freedom to control how you approach a fight.  A new crafting system has been added to Origin, letting you collect and use ores and pelts, found in the world, to upgrade your damage, health, quiver size, and tool pouch.

    Graphically, the game is beyond beautiful.  The environments are stunning to look at, and when you synchronize, there is a sweeping camera shot of the area.  I will say, I’ve played this both on the Xbox One and Xbox One X, and it looks even better on the Xbox One X.  Interior environments are detailed and don’t feel like cookie-cutter buildings.  And that’s saying something for how many different areas there are to explore in this game.

    My only major criticism is Senu, Bayek’s eagle used for scouting locations and tagging enemies and objectives.  In the early part of the game, tagging enemies and finding treasures is a little annoying because of how precise you need to be with targeting things.  Thankfully, as you synchronize with more points, Senu’s scouting gets better and makes it easier to tag everything.

    If you enjoy the Assassin’s Creed series, this game will not disappoint you.  The story is wonderfully told, gameplay is fun and engaing, and there is a ton to explore.  And it looks like they plan on adding events for free (along with DLCs).  As of writing this review (11/12/2017) there is an Animus Glitch event happening for the next day or so.  I will not spoil anything about this, but it’s a lot of fun and something completely new to Assassin’s Creed.  More of these event are expected in the coming weeks.

    The Inner World - The Last Wind Monk

    Earlier this year Headup Games brought the Studio Fizbin game – The Inner World to consoles from PC.  This was done to prepare everyone for the release of the sequel – The Inner World : The Last Wind Monk.  The wait is over, the game is now out and it returns to Asposia and follows the adventures of the original characters.

      The Last Wind Monk picks up about 3 years after the events in the 1st game.  The world of Asposia is not as rosy as we might have wished.  Robert, the rightful King, is missing and Laura has been captured by Emil.  Emil is a Conroyalist that believes the flute noses summoned the Basylians, turned Conroy to stone, and are to blame for all the worlds woes.  He has made it his mission to round them all up and throw them into the wind fountain.

      This dark tone emanates through most of the game.  Citizens live in fear they will be discovered as flute noses while others blindly hunt them.  Robert almost wallows in self-doubt, due to his upbringing by Conroy, and this taints his normally cheerful demeanor.  Much of the fun and light heartedness of the 1st game is lost in the shadows of this new Dystopian World, but there are a few pillars of light to be found.

      As with the 1st title, this is a point and click adventure.  You will have to talk to everyone you meet to get the clues needed to solve the puzzles for each chapter.  It’s then up to you to collect the items needed, in some cases combine them, and complete the task at hand.  Just like the previous game, the puzzles range from fairly simple to running in circles frustrating.  There are a few puzzles that even when you get all the clues, you will be left guessing at the correct answers.  There is one, which I would almost classify as a mini game, called Knock Knock, that seems to rely more on luck than anything.

      The music in the game works very well to capture the mood of the scenes.  It easily transitions from the heavier story moments to some of the light-hearted moments.  The voice acting is good, but occasionally you will notice that Laura has an accent that comes and goes.  The graphics are just as crisp as inn the original.  It is nice to see that they have brought back many of the supporting characters from the original, and that the quality is just as good.

      The Inner World : The Last Wind Monk is out now on XB1, PS4, and Steam.  The puzzles are harder than the 1st installment, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The game is worth checking out – but I would recommend playing the 1st game so you can play through the entire story arc.
     
                                         9/10

    Abyss : The Wraiths of Eden

      Artifex Mundi has opened up its catalogue and has released another one of their point and click games to consoles.  Abyss : The Wraiths of Eden is a standalone adventure that is a nice intro to the genre if you have never played this type of game.

      You play as a woman looking for her husband, Robert, who disappeared scuba diving during a bad storm.  You decide to go looking for him, and discover an underwater city named Eden.  The city appears to be deserted, but was once a model of Utopian society.  Among the rubble there are signs that Robert has been there, but he is now being held by the Legates – an almost spectral figure that seems to enforce the rules in Eden.

      It’s up to you to solve the mysteries of Eden, find Robert, and rescue anyone that might still be alive in the underwater city.  This is done by searching the station, solving puzzles, and playing mini games.  The further you get into the station, the more will be revealed about the History of Eden, the people that lived there, and the creatures patrolling the streets.

      Game play is similar to most of the other games from the developer.  It is a standard point and click adventure.  There are hidden object games in which you will have to find important inventory objects that you will have to use throughout the game.  If you are not up to finding hidden objects, you can switch over to a domino game in which you will have to cover at least 1 of the 4 squares of the Eden logo for each of the objects.  There are also mini games for you to conquer.  These range from fairly easy to difficult.  With enough manipulation, even the more difficult puzzles will work themselves out.

      Graphics in the game are as exceptional as ever.  The artists excel at fine detail, especially in the hidden object scenes.  The soundtrack is good and adds to the creepy vibe of the title.  There are a few issues with the basic sound effects though.  One that really stands out is when you use a hand drill but the sound is for a power drill.  But this is a minor thing.

        Abyss : The Wraiths of Eden is out now on XB1, PS4 and Steam.  It is a good addition to the collection – as it has a bit of everything in it.  Action, suspense, comedy, horror and drama.  This is also a good way to introduce casual gamers to console gaming. 
     
         8/10

    Slayaway Camp : Butchers Cut

      There are tons of puzzle games coming out for consoles.  Blue Wizard Digital created a mix of a puzzle game and ‘80’s slashers flick in Slayaway Camp – Butchers Cut.  Originally released on Steam, Digerati Distribution has brought it to XB1 and PS4.

      The object of the game is simple – kill all the innocent people then escape.  This is done by sliding around the board until you run into them.  You will have to use the walls and objects in the environment to block your movement, or else you might end up missing a victim.  As the levels progress you will also have environmental hazards to help you off your victims – holes, fires, electric fences.  But beware, these hazards can also kill you if you are not careful.  But sometimes you have to sidle up next to a victim to scare them into a better position so that you can complete the level.

      When you first start up the game you will get to choose between the PG and R rated versions of the game.  They both play the same, but they sport different music and the PG version has 0 blood, the victims are just knocked out, and the victims in the mini game are replaced with targets.  This means that the game can be played by any aged member of the family.  The game is divided into 13 “movies” each with at least 10 levels with over 200 total for the title.  Once you complete each movie it will unlock deleted scenes and NC-17 levels.  There is also a movie that is just a mini game that tests yours reflexes to see how many kills you can get in a row.  The more you kill, the more skull coins you can earn.

      Skull coins are used to unlock more gruesome kills, and can help you in case you get stuck.  If there is a level you are having trouble working out, you can buy a hint for 25 coins or a full video walkthrough for another 100 coins.  On some of the later levels you may have to watch the video a few times – but luckily you only have to pay once.  You can also use the coins to buy extra killers from the mystery box to complete your collection.

      The graphics in Slayaway Camp are a bit blocky, but work well with the game.  When you play you can pick between either a ¾ top down view, which will allow you to better see the victims and environment or a straight top down view.  Both work well, so it comes down to personal preference.  If you play with full gore, you won’t be disappointed, as blood splatters everywhere, and skulls roll when you slide back over them.  The soundtrack, especially in the R rated game play, is totally addictive.  Think ‘80’s hard rock that would have inhabited the slasher movies that the game parodies.

      Slayaway Camp : Butchers Cut is out now on XB1 and PS4.  You can get the original game on Steam or purchase a bundle with all the extra levels.  There is even a version you can grab for your phone if you want to try your hand at mobile homicide.
     
                                            9/10

    Decay - The Mare

    Anything can be transformed into a horror game, because if you think about it someone, somewhere is afraid of everything on the planet.  But you would be creating a niche game if you made one about arachibutyrophobia.  Let’s be honest, how many people would be scared by a game that focuses on the fear of having peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth?  Games with wider appeal would have to deal with more general fears, or something more relatable.  Shining Gate Software has hit on one of those in their latest release Decay – The Mare.

      You play as Sam, a young man that is trying to get his life back on track.  You have checked into a drug rehab facility, Reaching Dreams, to finally kick your addiction.  But, you wake up in the middle of your first night, and something is off.  Are you hallucinating?  Are you on a bad trip?  This this a bad dream?  Or have you stumbled into a real paranormal mystery?  No matter what, there is something strange going on. And the only way to get it to stop is to get to the bottom of it.

      The game is divided into 3 episodes, each one delving deeper into the story.  You will have to wander through facility solving puzzles to gain access to more parts of the building.  Your powers of observation and memory will be tested as you try to decrypt some of the more interesting conundrums.  All of the answers lie within the walls of Reaching Dreams, you may just have to take a few notes along the way.

      Decay – The Mare, gains most of it’s suspense from the dark environment and the uncertainty of what is going on.  It was released in 2015 on PC, so the graphics are a little dated, but the grainy look does work for the most part.  The only time it becomes an issue is when you have to find some of the in-game items.  There are a few instances where the colors tend to blend together and you only realize they are there when your cursor changes.  The soundtrack is subtle, macabre, and ominous.  If you have the ability to play while listening through headphones – I recommend it, as this will increase the scare factor 10 fold.

      Decay – The Mare is out now on XB1 and Steam.  You can add it to your collection for $9.99, which is less than the price of a horror flick, and will easily provide you with as many scares.
    8/10
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  • Posts

    • Hello everyone, my name is Derrick Aquino and I have been enlisted in the Navy for 11 years. I recently started streaming and hope to join the milspec streaming team. I am 29 years old and married to my wife Maria. We have one daughter named Danielle who is 3 years old and hope to have fun and support you guys from here on out. Thanks for the add! V/R Derrick
    • Hello everyone. my name is Duoneo. Been in the military for about 10 years now and been streaming for about 4. Treasure Hunter Tom introduced me to you all and I was amazed. I work @ BAMC currently and will be retiring soon due to Medical issues. I would love to be apart of this group and continue to help out the service cause it has done nothing but help me through these past 10 years
    • Hey guys,  UK streamer here, Love what you're doing here; looked for an equivalent in the UK, but there's none so I figured OSD hell yeah.  Great to meet you all. Wake
    • Thanks for Joinin' us man! Hope to game with you some time!
    • Welcome! Come hang out with us in Discord dude! 
    • Hello ladies and gent,  My name is Ryan aka Doc I served 7 years as a hospital corpsman.  I spent the majority of those years with various units across 1st mar div.  After a few deployments I decided that it was time to separate and take advantage of the gi bill.  Now that I have a little extra time and a love for gaming I've started streaming, I play a little bit of everything but focus on arma 3, pubg, and fortnite.  I'm very active in the local vet community as well as team RWB, I'm looking forward to getting involved here and gaming with you all.  Let the shenanigans begin!
    • I live life with my head held high and as positive as possible. I love to stream games and push being friendly and interactive as possible all wile providing a positive environment for all friends to join. I served in the army for 7 years and 4 tours and now stream full time on twitch. Mad love to you all and happy grinding
    • Hello everyone, Names is keith, 33 year old veteran. I go by mizfitwolf on most consoles and my streaming channel. I served little over 11 years before I was medical discharged and retired after receiving injuries on my last tour of duty.  Have to say I struggled to find somewhere I could fit in and work or even do things to keep my sanity.  After long struggles both mental and physical finally came back to gaming as a way to cope.  Due to my disabilities gaming been my way of reconnecting with people, and so I found streaming, which became a great outlet and alot of fun which started a long and fun as a streamer and part of larger communities.  I came across this group after doing some work with another community and seeing the OSD group.  Im hoping to meet some of you around the community and getting to know you all, maybe even playing with some of you.
    • I've only seen videos from scrubs playing the new Beta for Destiny 2.  Need to get some feedback from fellow vets and see what the consensus is.  So anyone have any thoughts or opinions on the new game? Worth buying? Avoiding? Buying on sale a year from now?
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