This is how The Last of Us will make you cry

The Last of UsThe Last of Us is a zombie apocalypse survival adventure game that will push your emotional buttons.

If it does not make you cry, it will at least give it a good go and at the very least, you will experience your brain triggering that cry response that simulates the feeling of a golf ball being lodged in the back of your throat.

Read on for how The Last of Us will make you want to cry and generally make you feel at the end of your emotional tether.

(This post includes some mild spoilers about things that happen early on in the game, but stuff that I’m glad was not spoiled for me.)

Continue reading

10 reasons that Saints Row IV is a pussy cat really

Saints Row IVSaints Row IV might be the best open world sandbox game ever made and part of the reason for this is because it feels weirdly lacking in the mindless violence department.

This is a game that was refused classification in Australia, features guns, car-jacking, super powered hand-to-hand combat, explosions and the ability to take hostages and use them as human shields, so how can anyone argue that this is anything other than horribly violent? It certainly appears to be trying to be controversial and outrageous.

Read on for 10 reasons as to why Saints Row IV is a pussy cat at heart, albeit a sweary pussy cat with a gun.

Continue reading

No bad feelings about this Star Wars video game package

Knights of the Old RepublicBuilding up your video game collection can seem like an expensive task once people start throwing recommendations your way for things you absolutely must play. Thankfully, this hobby is fast becoming much cheaper thanks to people like the Humble team who put together bundles of games for the price of basically-how-much-have-you-got.

Their latest collection bolstering package is the Humble Star Wars Bundle, which is unsurprisingly themed around Star Wars video games.

The bundle is by no means every best Star Wars video game, but if you elect to spend at least $12 (approximately eight of our English pounds) you’ll be getting nine varied and mostly enjoyable games, including a couple of classics.

Continue reading

The Dota Diaries: Donkey Management

Even the courier can tell I don't know what I'm doing.

Even the courier can tell I don’t know what I’m doing.

DOTA 2 is by far the best competitive online multiplayer video game to feature donkey management.

In my previous Dota Diary about getting started with DOTA 2, one of the core features I mentioned is the need to spend money on items in order to keep pace with your opponents and improve your hero.

Killing AI controlled enemies and managing to take down enemy heroes rewards you with gold that starts burning a hole in your pocket. You can then exchange this for things in one of three shops on the map.

Ding, remember to buy your items!

The speed at which I was advised by a helpful team-mate to spend my money at the start of the match was my first clue as to how important this was. For longer than I’d like to admit, items were something that didn’t really interest me. I knew they were there, but scanning through the selection of items which all have unique-yet-often-similar icons and tiny little mathematical modifications listed on their descriptions wasn’t something that was working out for me.

In this match, I was accompanied by meat-space friends, something that gives new jittery players like myself a tremendous amount of confidence, because if anyone starts getting too mean, you know that at least two of the other four people on your team have theoretically got your back.

Continue reading

The Dota Diaries: Starting out with Dota 2

This content is rated FG, for full geek. This post may not be suitable for all.

This content is rated FG, for full geek. This post may not be suitable for all.

When you do something stupid, you probably won’t know that you’re doing something stupid, but the rest of your team will.

The first ten minutes are normally the ten you can get away with before someone calls you out on doing something wrong, unless you do something daft like go and get yourself killed. Twice. Within the first 30 seconds. Before the match has even started.

After this, your team will probably start having different ideas and theories about where everyone should be pushing and exactly what should be in your inventory and when you should and shouldn’t be running into and out of a fight and things start getting interesting, or at least stressful, which is a kind of interesting.

A quest for understanding

There are many people who do not understand DOTA 2. Several of these people are DOTA 2 players, but  the rest are those who might have tried DOTA 2, got shouted at and decided it wasn’t for them, people who have seen it from the sidelines and failed to see the appeal, those who don’t own a PC or haven’t seen it as a gaming platform, and those who don’t understand gaming as a whole and don’t know what a DOTA is, let alone that there appears to be two of them.

As of a few weeks ago, I firmly sat somewhere between the camps of people who have been shouted at and people who don’t see the appeal. It’s a really odd title and your first few games will likely make it or break it for you. Or maybe it will just confuse you enough to make you want to write a 1000+ word blog post about it.

What is DOTA 2?

When you’re starting out with DOTA 2, there’s a lot to take in. In short, Defense of the Ancients Two (DOTA 2) is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) developed and published by Valve (Valve isn’t an acronym) and sporting a free-to-play (F2P) model making it open to anyone with a Steam (also not an acronym) account.

Continue reading