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Escape Dead Island Review: Voyage of the Damned

escape-dead-island-headerI give up. I’m throwing in the towel. I am tapping out. I’ve had enough of Escape Dead Island after six hours and two attempts at playing the game.

This is a game so devoid of merit that I refuse to play any more of it. I haven’t completed the campaign and I’m not sure that even the most brilliant plot twists in the history of gaming (and the writing indicates that to be as remote an unlikelihood as Valve going out of business) would make me change my rating of this game.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: Saints Row IV

saints-row-iv-box-artWhat started life as a DLC is being released tomorrow as a full game. The origin of Saints Row IV has been well documented as has its battle with the Australian Classification Board over the game’s content and developer Volition’s purchase by Deep Silver during the THQ bankruptcy auction.

Despite the core game being expanded out of a Saints Row: The Third DLC, critics generally love this game. They enjoyed the over-the-top superpowers and the game’s general sense of fun and humour. Others found that there wasn’t much to the game beyond the superpowers and that said powers were a bit OP. Looks like your enjoyment of the game may come down to your enjoyment of crazy superpowers.

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Dead Island 3 is a Free-to-Play MOBA

dead-island-epidemic-bannerWait. What?

No, that’s not a typo or a joke, I think. Third installment in the Dead Island franchise, to be called Dead Island: Epidemic, will not be a co-op first-person shooter but will instead be Deep Silver’s entry into the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre.

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Saints Row IV Cleared for Australian Release on Third Try

saints-row-4-wallpaperThe third time was the charm for Saints Row IV and developer Volition. After being refused classification in its previous two appearances in front of the Australian Classifications Board, SR4’s third application for classification got the game rated and cleared for sale in Australia with an MA15+ rating.

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Yahtzee Really Hates Ride to Hell: Retribution

What happens when a well and truly terrible game lands in the hands of games critic Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw? You’d expect him to explode with great new Yahtzee-isms. He definitely does come up with some great metaphors but he seems more amused by how bad the game is than anything else. He actually recommends it too.

The Humble Deep Silver Bundle?

I could be wrong but I think that Deep Silver secretly bought the rights to sell games via Humble Bundle in the THQ bankruptcy fire sale? That’s the only logical explanation for the latest Humble Bundle being the Humble Deep Silver Bundle.

The base deal includes copies of Saints Row 2, Saints Row: The Third, Risen 2: Dark Waters and Sacred 2 Gold. If you pay more than the average, you add on the SR3 Full Package (season pass) and Dead Island: GOTY Edition. As an extra bonus for big spenders, dropping $25 or more gets you Dead Island: Riptide.

I’d imagine a lot of people picked these games up during a past Steam Sale or even during the Humble THQ Bundle. If you haven’t, here’s a chance. But if you do own some of these games, folks on Reddit say the Bundle doesn’t let you gift those games. They just disappear. Suddenly, $25 for DI:R and the SR3 season pass doesn’t appeal to me.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: Ride to Hell: Retribution

ride-to-hell-retribution-box-artDeveloper Eutechnyx doesn’t have the greatest reputation. They’re primarily a racing game developer but you’d never confuse them with Codemasters. Some games they make are pretty good but most end up getting scored in the more mediocre range.

Well, they certainly made a name for themselves with last week’s release of Ride to Hell: Retribution. The game was originally cancelled in 2009 by publisher Deep Silver. Eutechnyx kept working on the game and convinced Deep Silver to officially revive and release the game. In that time, it went from GTA clone in the 1960s to a complete and utter mess. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it looks like Ride to Hell: Retribution has taken the lead in this year’s hotly contested battle for the Worst Game of 2013 award.

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Saints Row IV is the First Game to be Refused Classification in Australia

saints-row-4-wallpaperAt the start of 2013, Australia introduced its new “Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games.” This introduced a the first mature-type rating in Australia for video games called “R 18+.” For the first time since the introduction of that new rating level, the Australian Government Classification Board has refused a rating for a game with Volition and Deep Silver’s upcoming Saints Row IV getting that distinction.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: Metro: Last Light

metro-last-light-coverDespite the fact that it could very well have never been published due to THQ’s bankruptcy, Metro: Last Light is out today. The game was originally supposed to come out last year but was delayed by almost a year until today when it was released by new publisher Deep Silver.

While Metro 2033 was a cult hit, that doesn’t absolve 4A from some sins committed in making this game. Chief among them is restricting Ranger Mode, a harder difficulty mode that 4A touts as “the way the game was meant to be played,” to a pre-order bonus and DLC add-on. That’s about as dirty a cash grab as you’ll find.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: Dead Island: Riptide

dead-island-riptide-box-artThought you scraped out of the zombie apocalypse by the skin of your teeth? Think again. Dead Island is back in the sequel Riptide. The first Dead Island had some decent visuals but was mostly underwhelming after a spectacular trailer. This time, there was no trailer and almost no hype.

So can this game score well with low expectations this time around? It really seems that it depends on who you ask. One thing that everyone agrees on that this game sure can be buggy and repetitive.

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