Papers, Please: A serendipitous experience for a graduate abroad

2013 has been a very robust and interesting year for the indie game community. From the existentially hilarious walkathon of The Stanley Parable to the far-too-realistic nightvision jump-scarefest of Outlast (aka I swear I’ll play it…tomorrow), the indie market continues to prove itself a diverse and entertaining stomping ground. One particular game from the indie releases of yesteryear has caught quite a bit of attention, and with a well-timed Steam Winter Sale I was lucky enough to come across it myself and pick it up. The game I speak of is Papers, Please.

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WoW’s Next Big Expansion

I originally started playing World of Warcraft back in late 2006, a few months before the release of the game’s first expansion. From when I started and playing and to when I thought I was done with the game, I always felt that it was one of the best online experiences a gamer could have. I admit that I didn’t play the game nearly as much as I used to during the game’s latest two expansions, but I have a feeling that could change with my excitement for the latest expansion. In light of the recent announcement, I thought I’d touch on a few highlights.

Last week at Blizzard’s yearly convention, Blizzcon, the next World of Warcraft expansion was unveiled – the fifth in the game’s history. Warlords of Draenor brings players back to continent of Draenor, or Outland as its currently known, which was originally visited during the game’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade. Unlike previous expansions, Warlords of Draenor takes place in the past on a different timeline to what’s currently happening in the world.

Story wise, former Horde Warchief, Garrosh Hellscream, has escaped imprisonment with the help of a new friend who can bend time. With his help, Garrosh goes back in time to enlist the old Horde into his new Iron Horde before they have the chance to succumb to the will of the Burning Legion. With his new Iron Horde, Garrosh intends to conquer the present world of Azeroth. However, both the Alliance and Horde follow him back through time to put a stop to his plans.

The expansion is set to add plenty of new content upon release, although the addition of a new playable race or class appears to be absent from this expansion. In previous expansions, Blizzard has either introduced a new race of class, or both in the case of the game’s most recent expansion. However, with 13 playable races and 11 classes, it doesn’t seem like something that will be missed too much.

New continent of Draenor

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L.A. Noire: Game Analysis and Suggested Improvements

Introduction to L.A. Noire

L.A. Noire (2011) was developed over a period of seven years by the now defunct Team Bondi in conjunction with Rockstar Games. It is predominantly an action-adventure game with third-person shooter and open-world sandbox driving elements. Thematically, it draws heavily upon the neo-noir detective thriller genre.  However L.A. Noire’s emphasis on story, light gameplay and mix of various game genres is the source of its polarized reviews. The game appears to cater to the needs of traditional adventure game fans, which leaves players expecting more hardcore action-based gameplay disappointed. This analysis will observe how the strengths and weaknesses of L.A. Noire’s design hinges on whether the player belongs to either faction – as well as the aspects that shine or fail regardless of player preference.

Having shipped almost 5 million copies, L.A. Noire qualifies as a commercial success[1]. The game has also done well critically, however the difference between critic and user aggregated scores on Metacritic are of note. The 6% different between the PC and console versions can be attributed to the collapse of Team Bondi prior to the PC release, resulting in Rockstar Leeds taking over production.

  Xbox 360[2] Playstation 3[3] PC[4]
Critic 89% 89% 83%
User 77% 74% 77%

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Game Review: Disney Infinity


Disney Infinity

Release Date: August 18, 2013
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Adventure / Sandbox
Plataform: PS3 / 360 / Wii U / Wii / 3DS / Mobile / PC

Lets face it: everyone is a Disney fan! I honestly won’t believe you if you say that at one point of your life you weren’t touched by Disney’s unique way of telling stories. Whether by their characters, art, animations, parks, shows, songs or even by Mickey himself. I bet you have experienced that “magic” and, if you are a human full of emotions, you probably fell in love too.

And finally the big day arrives for all of those Disney lovers: the big release of Disney Infinity, a game that – as Disney – is everywhere. Or at least in almost all platforms. The player can find it on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo WiiU – as the main console version – or even on Nintendo 3DS, following more as a “Mario Party” gameplay style. Nintendo Wii also received the game for its platform, though with fewer features, such as the absence of a co-op experience in the Play Set part of the game. And if it wasn’t enough, players can also experience Disney Infinity on PC and iOS devices, offering the options to build, edit and share all of your toy box experiments at any time.

For the ones who still don’t know, the game allows players to share their creations on ANY PLATFORM. It doesn’t matter if you are a Nintendo player, you can easily share your Toy Box with an user that plays on PlayStation 3, for example.


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