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  1. #1
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    Week in Review: INSIDE, Necropolis, and Battlefield 1 Alpha (July 10-16, 2016)

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    This week in review will be a quick and dirty one, just like you like it. I'll be taking a quick trip through INSIDE, Necropolis, and offering my thoughts on the Battlefield 1 alpha as it comes to a close.


    INSIDE is the latest game from Limbo developers, Playdead. Playdead played to their strengths in Inside, offering compelling gameplay, puzzles, a visually outstanding experience, and truly impressive audio. True to their Limbo roots, the story in Inside is wide open to interpretation, which may upset those who enjoy a game with a very clear-cut story. Also true to their Limbo roots, the puzzles in Inside are well thought out and never once reach the point of being frustrating.

    The game took me a bit over three hours to complete without going out of my way to find all of the hidden collectibles in the game. Even at three hours, the pull of the gameplay and the beautiful, if not bleak, world compelled me to play through the entire game in one sitting. I loved my entire time spent with Inside and I must give huge props to Playdead for their artwork, audio, and some of the most impressive animations I've ever seen in a game.

    For those curious, I have started to make my play through of Inside available on YouTube. Part 1 is embedded below, with parts 2 through 11 coming at 2PM (ET) every day through July 26th.

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    INSIDE (Developed by Playdead)
    Starts at $19.99 (USD) for PC and XB1


    I was looking forward to Necropolis for quite some time now. I do enjoy a good roguelike here and there and Necropolis had an art style that appealed to me. While the visuals, character designs, and combat all held up with Necropolis the actual "roguelike" part did not. Sure, death could come around any corner but that's about where the roguelike similarities ended. There were temporary increases in power that were lost at death and some permanent upgrades that could be purchased and kept between runs.

    The problem with Necropolis is that most of the encounters can be avoided. Even when you do eliminate enemies I found that they would simply respawn behind you. The pull of new and random loot was thrown out the window the moment you realize that enemies on every other floor gave you an upgraded "tier" of weapons or armor that was automatically better than what you currently have equipped. There was no mystery, there was no pull of "oh, I wonder if this gear will be better or worse. I wonder if I can even use it yet" that most roguelikes tend to offer players. It was always an automatic, "yes, this is better than what I have and there is nothing stopping me from using it." It just never felt satisfying in any way. There is nothing here that would pull most players back for another go once they have already completed the game once, which won't take most players much time to do at all.

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    Necropolis (Developed by Harebrained Schemes)
    Starts at $29.99 (USD) on PC; Coming this Summer for PS4 & XB1

    Battlefield 1 Alpha

    A lot of people have hopped into my Twitch chat this past week to ask me what I thought about the Battlefield 1 Alpha. Truth be told, I feel like even in this current alpha stage, it's already more solid than Battlefield 4 was at launch. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. However, I have been enjoying the hell out of my time in the alpha. Maybe it's just the fatigue of modern or futuristic fighting, but the WWI setting is an incredible experience, one that I haven't really seen much of at all in games.

    Yes, some sacrifices had to be made for realism to get it up to the usual "Battlefield" standards. This includes having weapons that, while technically were in WWI, were not widely used. It also includes far more automatic weapons than what you'd commonly see during the time. That's not even mentioning the magic medicine that the Medic class has that can revive fallen teammates. Again, it's a Battlefield game, so sacrifices had to be made to make it familiar in some cases.

    People have also been wondering about weapon accuracy. I mentioned this before but the weapons that you hold in your hands feel accurate to me. There didn't seem to be any artificial bullet spread, especially when it came to rifles. However, the mounted machine guns (including those on planes and the Behemoth zeppelin) did include an almost annoying amount of spread. It made most of the mounted MG's completely useless in combat situations outside of a few lucky hits or for the purposes of suppression.

    Movement feels good. The destruction looks fantastic and while it isn't quite up there with Bad Company 2, it is far far more present than it was in Battlefield 4. The entire game looks gorgeous, even on medium settings. Smoke and debris get flung around from explosions, craters are formed from particularly large explosions. Walls crumble down around you depending on where they were they were hit. Then you toss in some outstanding looking weather effects and you have yourself one great looking game that isn't even in beta yet. On top of it all, the game runs quite well for me with maybe a slight bit more CPU usage than Battlefield 4 uses. There is still plenty of time to go between now and release but I remain quite hopeful.

    While I cannot (and shouldn't) assign a score to this alpha, I will say that this is the most excited I've been for a new Battlefield game in quite some time. It's already showing a lot of promise and I can only hope that it continues on the path it's on ahead of release. If DICE and EA can make use of even a fraction of the feedback they've received from the alpha testers, this could be one of the best Battlefield games yet.

    There it is, your quick and dirty Week in Review. I wish it could have been longer but you know how these things are. I hope that the few words I gave to the above provided at least some bit of knowledge or insight to you if you were on the fence about any of the games listed.

  2. #2
    I a jelly, I want to play BF1 as well!! You just made me even more hyped for it!

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