OXCGN’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Spoiler Free Review


The Witcher 3 is what I would happily call the near epitome of next gen gaming right now. A gorgeous look, indescribably in-depth storytelling, rigorously challenging combat (Both mentally and physically), minigames that could stand alone and make millions, and way too damn much content to cover in what short time I had with this game. Everything is not just a step, but a giant leap with a vaulting pole above the previous game. Geralt’s hair looks more like hair and less like a crust grey bedsheet, combat flows seamlessly from parry to strike to counter, and every character has a story to tell or be meddled with. To try and cover everything this game plates up in a single review would be a gross injustice.

As such, this review will cover gameplay specifics, including a final score. A review of the story, characters, and world lore will be upcoming shortly.

Witcher 3

From the remnants of a fallen Temeria to the sprawling cities of Novigrad, The Witcher 3 boasts a huge and densely populated world. Every crossroad carries an opportunity to flex your moral compass or rake in some gold, and every city is brimming with targets, contracts, missions, and story. The Witcher 3 is beautiful. Unlike previous titles that have personally looked a little odd to me, The Witcher 3 is bright, detailed, and colourful. Previous titles felt like they were overstepping the limits of technology; trying to look beautiful but using knock-off brand make-up to do it. They were dark, grungy, and the textures were, let’s face it, ugly.

The Witcher 3 accomplishes what 1 and 2 could not, and the result is a beautifully colourful world in both textures and character models. In this massive and colourful world, there is a lot of ground to cover. To remedy this, they’ve given us Roach, Geralt’s trusty steed. Horse mechanics are a godsend and a curse simultaneously. Sprinting along roads does not drain your horse’s stamina, and it will steer itself along the path… for the most part. It does a good job 70% of the time, but you will sometimes find him stuck on a cart or fence, or even just running straight off the road at a sharp turn. He also struggles to heed your call. Roach spawns too far away, and often has trouble finding his way to your side. It’s no major downfall, but it does show the teething problems of many a new feature. Probably one of the best improvements from games’ past: Geralt’s goddamn hair.

Every time I booted up The Witcher 2, I was reminded how grossly cringe worthy the hair animations were. His hair looked like a plastic bag of moldy kraft cheese singles. However, now his porcelain white locks flow in the breeze like silk drapes by an open window. In saying that, his longer hair style is still a little shaky, but a trip to the barber to get some shaved sides and a ponytail results in some beautiful witcher hair ready for battle. Unfortunately, NPCs suffer a little bit of… ‘bioware’ syndrome; many of the NPCs tend to look near identical due to their shared hairstyles, especially young girls. This becomes a problem come quests that feature these young girls, whose apparent doppelgangers start popping up everywhere.

Within The Witcher 3’s beautiful world resides many… many monsters. All ripe and ready to swing a sword at. Model animations are smooth and crisp, alongside the gloriously fluid combat system. Finally, Geralt is swinging around his silver blade like a true student of the Wolf should. Parrying, countering, striking heavy or hard, and casting signs all flow together perfectly. The Witcher is no strategy series, but the complexity of NPC’s in combat offers itself to needed some forethought.

Enemies will not wait around for you to hit first, they will come at you hard and fast, they will block, and they will gang up on you in high numbers. Timing Quen signs with parries, finding an opening for a counter and follow up attack, knowing when to roll out and reset with an Axii… I’ve not had so much fun ending countless, incessant bandits every single time. Monsters are rather varied from species to species, but some creatures like wyverns and bears tend to have rather similar combat mechanics. It is not the case with many monsters, but alas some, though visually and stunningly unique, share similar strategies: stay away from the claws. Boss monsters are another beast all together (get it?)… they range from terrifyingly fast alpha werewolves to giant mutant deer ready to gouge Geralt clean through.

They all have a strategy, but sometimes they learn. While fighting a griffin early on, after dealing some hard hits with my silver sword, it quickly took flight and refused to land until I’d punctured it with a few crossbow bolts. Alongside this, every creature has a bestiary entry worth reading; it details their explicit weaknesses to particular sword oils, bombs, or signs, as well as describing their habits in a completely lore friendly, almost textbook excerpt. To close: read the damn bestiary.

Character progression and enhancing is a clear step above The Witcher 2. No Witcher of the Wolf should have yet to learn how to parry and counter, that’s basic swordplay, and also my biggest gripe with the previous game. Now, Geralt starts with all the skills needed to protect the innocent and slay the grotesque. Leveling up and spending skill points is more about developing and improving Geralt’s currently existing skills. Gaining the ability to deflect arrows, improving stamina regen and attack power are all the bonuses you will be striving for. Alongside his swordplay skills, Geralt can also improve the effectiveness and additional affects of his signs. The Quen (shield) sign can explode when it breaks, and Axii (repel) can slam your opponents into the ground ready to be deftly finished. In conjunction, there are ‘alternate signs’ that can be unlocked. These include turning Igni (fire) into a searing beam rather than a flamethrower. The alternate signs, when equipped, offer a whole new layer to the magic gameplay and increase the depth of combat further than it already has delved.

Mutagens have also hit an upgrade; now, of the abilities you have equipped, you can apply mutagens to groups of three skills: the more of those three skills of the same colour as the mutagen, the better the effect of the mutagen. This creates a strategic requirement on what skills you take in to battle, to get the most out of Geralt’s powers. Potions are also, in my opinion, much better this time around. Rather than making individual concoctions and then mulling over your life choices for a few hours while drinking power ups, you collect the ingredients and create a poultice once. From that point on, through meditation you can replenish a stock of 3 of each potion. Each potion still carries a toxicity, but now rather than lasting 15 minutes, each potion will last between 15 and 30 seconds. It’s a welcome take on the unnecessarily complex potion system of the Witcher 2. Overall, the progression and enhancement systems have been satisfyingly enhanced and even remade; all for the better.

Let’s talk meta. Within the gorgeous and dangerous world of The Witcher 3 lies a deceivingly simple card game called Gwent. A curious bar-goer teaches you the basics early on and you get a starter deck to begin with. You will quickly want to set out on improving your decks, and you will quickly become addicted. The concept is simple enough; take turns placing cards and building strength, at the end of a round: highest strength wins. It’s when you take into account weather cards, double strength cards, heroes, special abilities, and the fact that you only have 10 cards (excluding extra draws from abilities) per game. That is up to 3 rounds on only 10 cards. It’s a deceptively simple game, and your first few matches should go rather smoothly. The best part of Gwent, is that it allows for the development of a personal playing style, there’s no particular “best” way to play.

Certain factions (Northern Realms, Novigrad, Scoi’atel, and Monsters) have certain strengths and weaknesses, and different card combinations within those factions also have pros and cons against one another. I personally found the monsters deck the hardest to defeat… I’ll let you figure out why. Unfortunately, I often felt helpless in some games. You need to defeat the best to get the best cards, but you need the best cards to defeat the best. Hey look, it’s good enough to get it’s own paragraph in the review, no?

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is ridiculously complex in so many ways. It is most certainly a positive complexity. It hearkens back to the moments we spend describing our perfect RPG: “It needs to have this, and this, and I want that too, but if that’s there we need this.” For those that ask for everything and are often left disappointed, the Witcher 3 takes a damn good shot at answering all your desires. In saying this; it is too damn massive. To reiterate; assuming to cover all content in this single review would be an injustice. As above, this review covers most of the gameplay aspects. Later on, OXCGN will be posting a Story, Character, and Lore review to follow up on this massive title. As for now, the score given to The Witcher 3 is an accurate representation of what it deserved, we merely need some time to collaborate the massive content load.

TL;DR

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is gorgeous, dark, brutal, and goddamn massive. In a beautifully rendered world that stretches beyond and conceivable size is an immensely enjoyable experience the likes of which the gaming world has not yet seen. Combat is ridiculously fluid and deceptively complex, and Geralt’s progression and enhancements have been drastically improved since their last iterations. Gwent, the in-game card game is complex enough that it could stand on its own; it starts off simple, and quickly becomes almost too engaging. Despite it’s grandeur, a game so complex and downright colossal has a few teething problems that are enough to notice, but not enough to kill the experience.

Pros:

  • Huge, beautiful, complex.
  • Combat is incredibly fluid and greatly enjoyable.
  • Gwent is a surprisingly complex and enjoyable attachment.
  • Progression and enhancement systems have been overhauled for the better.
  • Monsters are rightly terrifying, and offer fantastic challenge alongside your average bandit.
  • Geralt’s hair.

Cons:

  • Horse mechanics in particular have a few hitches.
  • Though few and far between, there are bugs, and they are noticeable.

9.7/10

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on PS4 was provided to OXCGN by Bandai Namco Australia for review.

Xbox One’s Answer to Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is LA Cops an Isometric Top Down Shooter


Good cops. Bad cops. LA Cops.

Developed by Modern Dream and published by Team17, LA Cops is a 70s themed top down isometric shooter being released for the Xbox One and PC on March 13th.

The game will feature 6 different groovy cops that you can control across 13 levels. The game features unique tactical play as you’re able to take control of two cops at a time. With 5 upgradeable weapons to choose from as well ranging from uzis to assault rifles, this game seems like the answer Xbox fans have been asking for.

With Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number releasing at the near same time on the Playstation 4, this is sure to be the Xbox One’s answer. For those attending PAX East the game will be playable during the show. The game features a small amount of violence in the sense of blood splatter, but apart from that the trailer doesn’t give away much else. This is the first I’m hearing about this game and I’ve got no clue if it will be any good. I’ve played a small portion of Hotline Miami, not enough to have a valid opinion on the game but from what I did play I enjoyed it.

If LA Cops is anything like Hotline Miami, apart from it being a top down shooter in the same aspect then I’m sure fans of the Xbox One will be happy they’re getting something.

View the recently released screenshots below:

Earthlight to Push Kinect 2 to its Limits: Most Realistic Depiction of the International Space Station to Date in an Interactive VR Setting


Earlier today Earthlight was announced which will see players have the opportunity to travel to the International Space Station via the Oculus Rift and Kinect 2 powered by Kinect 4 Unreal Engine. Below are the recently released images in .JPG format. We do have them in .PNG but holy hell are the files quite large. For fans who have always wanted to travel into outer space here is your chance. Earthlight will be at the Opaque Multimedia booth at this years GDC with a public release said to soon follow. I am yet to actually try out the Oculus Rift so I’m really keen to see how great of an experience this is.

A video has also been released which we’ve linked below to showcase just how vast space really in this in this interactive tech demo. As for pushing the Kinect 2 to its limits both via hardware and software, I’ll wait for people toi have tested it out and report back with their thoughts.

Press Release is as follows:

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, 24th February, 2015 – Opaque Multimedia today officially announced Earthlight, a tech demo designed to demonstrate the immersive power of the Oculus Rift coupled with the Kinect 2. Earthlight will be available at the Opaque Multimedia booth at GDC 2015, with a public release to follow.

Earthlight is a first-person exploration game where the players steps into the shoes of an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) where, from 431 kilometres above, they look down on the Earth from within the comfort of their own spacesuit.

Featuring the most realistic depiction of the International Space Station used in an interactive VR setting to-date, Earthlight demonstrates the very limits of what is visually achievable in consumer-oriented VR experiences.

In Earthlight, players interact with the environment entirely through a natural motion interface, pushing and pulling themselves along the surface of the ISS as they navigate a network of handles and scaffolds.

The player’s motion is captured through a Microsoft Kinect 2 and powered by the company’s Kinect 4 Unreal technology.

“Visiting the International Space Station, floating freely in space, is a dream of many but a reality experienced by only a few.” Said Professor Christopher Fluke, Coordinator of the Virtual Reality Theatre at the Centre of Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University at a pre-release demonstration of Earthlight.

“Earthlight is a genuinely engaging experience.  Within moments of putting on the Oculus Rift headset, I was ready to climb out onto the surface of the Space Station and begin exploring. I am excited by the potential for interactive virtual experiences to play a greater role in bringing dreams of space exploration to life.”

“It’s been a real challenge to create a pleasant UX when you’re trying to combine VR with kinetic input.” says Chris Mackenzie, one of the team members responsible for creating the sophisticated body mapping system that underlies Earthlight. “We have to pay close attention to a number of different factors that you don’t normally have to account for in conventional VR projects, particularly proprioception.”

“Proprioception is the awareness of the position of your body and joints” Chris explains. “When we replace people’s body with a virtual avatar that mimics their movement, we need to ensure that what they’re seeing matches what they think their limbs are doing, otherwise it makes for a deeply disturbing experience”.

“We have really pushed both the software and the hardware to their limit.” Says Norman Wang, Earthlight Project Lead and Art Director at Opaque Multimedia. “We really did put the Kinect 2 through its paces. The Kinect is already pretty good normally, but when you’re in a VR setting where you’re staring at a pair of virtual arms that are centimetres from the camera, we had to eliminate even the slightest bit of jitter while keeping the simulation responsive.”

Earthlight will be available at the Opaque Multimedia booth at GDC 2015, with a public release to follow.

New Bloodborne Screenshots and Details Released


PlayStation Blog Europe today released a number of new screenshots of Bloodborne, From Software’s PlayStation 4 exclusive title, and a few tidbits of new information about the game. The game’s setting does indeed seem to be confined to the city of Yharnam, and while there will be variety in the locations we explore, it doesn’t look as though it will be on the same level as Demons or the Dark Souls series. This will provide perhaps a more cohesive experience for players, but I’m a little worried that there may not be enough darkness. Obviously, I’m joking.

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We first see new environments from the game, such as the cemetery seen previously, and a new interior area looking reminiscent of more dilapidated Duke’s Archive. Further on, we meet some new characters:

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First, a witch living in the cemetery that is apparently obsessed with stealing other peoples eyes and attaching them to herself.

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Second, a missing hunter who ventured into particularly bad area of Yarnham and didn’t return, who sports a minigun. Since, in previous Souls games, you have been able to use the weapons of your enemies, I think it’s safe to say that we will be able to use this bad boy. This wasn’t the only new weapon announced, however, as the next screens show a cane that transforms into a whip to attack enemies.

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This final screen shows a previously unseen part of Yarnham, locked deep below the city streets, which will apparently appear differently for each hunter. Is there a randomised dungeon in Bloodborne? Did From just confirm infinite replayability?

We’ll have to wait until March 2015 to find out.

OXCGN’s Dragon Age Inquisition Review – In Progress


I’m only 15 hours into Dragon Age: Inquisition and I can say I’ve barely scratched the surface of what this game has to offer. Be prepared for a whole new open world that is packed full of quests, characters, fights and loot with the beloved lore that Dragon Age fans absorb.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition gives you the power to craft your own story, creating a unique, personal experience for each player. It encourages you to carve your own path through many elements in the game including your combat style, dialogue choices and the large array of missions you can pick and choose from. Another element that keeps it personal is the character creation. Inquisition expands the species you can be with the addition of qunari to the previous playable races humans, dwarves and elves. You also have an extensive amount of classes and get to use this highly detailed face creation tool. No longer do you have to sift though sliding bars to get the right size and shape of a facial feature. Instead Inquisition introduces a new mechanic that changes a particular part of the body through moving your cursor in the confines of a square. This leads to an amazing variety of looks your character can have and, if you so desire, you would be able to create yourself to enter this fantasy world.

Before strapping your newly created character into the game, you have the choice to connect your save file to the Dragon Age Keep, an online mini-game that lets you pick the choices you made from the previous games to spill into Inquisition. It’s required for all consoles and it’s a nice addition for those who poured hours into Inquisition’s predecessors. There’s just this lovely sense of glee you get whenever you encounter characters you’ve previously met or hear others talk about the aftermath of the choices you made and this feature just adds to the players gaming experience, making it a personal journey.

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This journey begins with the aftermath of the destruction of the Conclave and the world is now subject to many giant rifts that leak into the demon world. You are a survivor of this event and were blessed with the ability to seal these rifts, stopping any evil that may crawl in. Accompanied by Lelianna, Cassandra and other familiar faces, you must seal The Breach whilst trying to restore order to this chaotic world. For now my experience with the story has been a bit sour and it wasn’t until I played a solid amount of hours did I finally get sucked into this world. They’ve taken their time to build up the story but it is worth it as you approach the first twist. I guarantee you’ll be on the edge of your seat, anxiously waiting to see what happens next, just as I am now.

A lot of why it’s taken the time to become involved in the story is the lack of connection I feel with the characters. In Origins and II there were many opportunities to talk to those in your party and develop a relationship with them. I knew all their backstories, their worries and their triumphs but I feel like I’m missing out on this with Inquisition. My party members seem disconnected from the story, not really intervening at any point, and whenever it says so and so disapproves after a dialogue choice, I don’t really care. They don’t seem to react afterwards or change their behaviour towards me, but I still have a large amount to play so I may see consequences soon.

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At least I’ve seen some consequences, but these are to the world due to my dialogue choices. It now is a trademark of Bioware games to include a dialogue wheel of some kind and they always are a central part of the game. It’s satisfying knowing that you have an actual effect on the world and this is prevalent in Inquisition. I’ve seen many of my choices play out and it’s an enjoyable knowing that many gamers would be exploring completely different options. My only gripe about this system is that the dialogue wheel still shows you the affects of picking each option, which was introduced in II. I don’t enjoy seeing that this option is aggressive or this one makes me look like a wimp because it looses that sense of mystery and you can then always choose the safe option. Dialogue choices would’ve been perfect if it went back to Origin’s style where there were so many options and you always had no idea if your character was saying the right thing but sadly we’re stuck with a dumbed down version, At least there are options to hide some of the wheel icons, letting you sort of take hold of the reigns.

You also get to make many decisions around your war table. With your colleagues by your side, you pick how operations will be carried out, by either using your influence with nobles, sending out armies or sneaking around with some rangers. Each produce different rewards and take a different amount of time so you must be selective on how each mission is carried out. Also at the war table you can also send the Inquisition forces out to places in either Orlais or Ferelden to scout the land and reveal areas of the world map, opening new areas to explore.

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These areas are all beautifully crafted a variety of locations such as snow-coated lands, scorching deserts and luscious, green forests. There have been many times I’ve just had to stop and look off into the horizon absorbing the beauty that surrounds me. You’ll easily get lost in these lands as you come across spectacular waterfalls or dangerous caves and there is always something to do in each unique area. They’ve let you free from the confines of Dragon Age II’s world and now encourage you to explore wherever you want by making it a requirement to complete side missions to unlock the story. I don’t particularly like this feature as I prefer delving straight into the narrative and doing side missions at my own pace but I slowly warmed up to it since this world is exquisite and setting up new camps and closing rifts is an easy and fun way to quickly progress.

As you explore these worlds I definitely recommend you bump up the difficulty, as the game can get very easy, very fast. On normal you can breeze through fights holding down the right trigger to attack and tapping other buttons to use special abilities when they’ve charged up. Just moving through the fights like this is quite monotonous and if they didn’t have tactical view this game would get quite boring very fast. The tactical camera view lets you plan out your attacks, see the stats of your enemies whilst time is frozen. I spent most of my time using this mechanic as it made me feel like I was actually doing something in fights rather than holding down one button the entire fight. During the harder battles the tactical camera is a blessing letting you plan out every move and giving you time to think and have a breather. You’ll occasionally come across enemies in the world that are too strong for you but with the tactical camera you have a chance to win and the feeling of satisfaction you get is glorious.

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Those are my current thoughts on Dragon Age: Inquisition and I’m finding it such a joy to play. I’m still to explore the story more, hopefully learn about the characters accompanying me and encounter new lands and foes. I’ll have the rest of my thoughts and my review score coming in the next couple of days.

This Xbox One review copy was conducted by a digital download code provided by Electronic Arts and is a review in progress.

OXCGN’s Braveheart – Limited Edition Re-Mastered Blu-Ray Review


Celebrating 20 years

With a year till the anniversary of the 20th year since Braveheart was released, Paramount Pictures have decided to release a re-mastered blu-ray version, so that audiences across the world can watch the classic at home in 1080p high definition.

Braveheart is based on the tale of William Wallace who seeks to aid in freeing Scotland from its plight of the English led by Edward Longshanks. After seeing his wife murdered under the hand of the nobles of his village, he began a quest to free the Scottish from the rule of the English. With only a hundred man ramshackle army, Wallace uses his battle prowess as well as his tactical knowledge of the battlefield to outsmart the enemy and consequently win the battle at Stirling whilst being faced with all odds against him. Due to this, Edward is taken aback by the turn of events and begins to plot how to defeat Wallace using trickery and such…

Braveheart is released on the 26th of June, in re-mastered limited edition Blu-Ray gift set as well as being available for the first time in Digital HD. So be sure to head into stores and buy a copy to see how the story ends.

Pros:

+ The quality and reworking really enables the audience to feel the emotion

+ More clarity throughout the whole movie

+ Details are crisper, even with the background environment which contained predominantly bleak grey skies and static dark green trees.

+Sound quality was exceptionally enhanced, giving a great sound experience so that you really get into battles and scenes.

Cons:

– A constant graininess to the image is seen throughout the whole film

– Brings new light to the outdated-ness of the film – special effects used in the film were easily seen

– The upscale won’t tend to amaze audiences that are used to movies being made in 1080p or higher

TL;DR

Personally, the movie for me has always been a great, when I heard the film was to be re-mastered for blue ray, my day was made. By using the technology we have now, it has enabled the editors to really bring the essence of Braveheart out, allowing audiences to connect on an entirely different level to the story of William Wallace. The sound quality is amazingly clear and even though there was a graininess to the movie, it never impeded my willingness to watch the movie or distract me from the movie.

8.5/10

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Child of Light: 2014’s Masterpiece?


“Let me tell a story of Lemuria, a kingdom past, and a girl born for glory…”

When I first saw the trailer for a small Ubisoft game entitled “Child of Light”, I was utterly mesmerised. The art style, narration and score of the announcement trailer cemented it as a game to watch out for in the future, and after seeing the trailer announcing the release date I’m convinced that it has the potential to be one of the best games to come out in 2014 (April 30th, to be exact!).

Using Ubisoft’s UbiArt Framework the developers have been able to use concept art in the game as assets, 2D animation combined with 3D models and animation to make for a unique art style. Previously used in Rayman Origins and Legends, Child of Light adopts the same technology to bring it’s watercolour world to life. The developers say they aimed for it to feel like “A playable poem”, the visuals capturing all the rhythm, flow and beauty a poem can hold.

Child of Light features some of the most beautiful art in gaming
Child of Light features some of the most beautiful art in gaming

Aurora, our young heroine, awakes to find herself in the dream-like world of Lemuria instead of her home in 1985 Austria. In this new world the Queen of the Night has taken the sun, stars and moon, and it’s up to Aurora (joined by her glowing companion Igniculus) to retrieve them whilst conquering her fears in order to return home to her ailing father. Along the way you’ll discover there is a lot more is going on than it initially seems as you delve into this new world.

This coming of age story is deeply woven into both the narrative and gameplay progression. As Aurora traverses the world and grows herself she will also gain access to over two hundred skills. During an interview, the writer, Jeffrey Yohalem, said he wanted to create a story that touched upon the darkness in the world, and the progression from the perceived world into the truth of it. These systems run deep within the game and help to give it a unique feel and fast connection with the character. As per usual, experience points are collected from slain enemies and allow you to both level up Aurora and access new skills.

A look at one of the skill trees
A look at the skill tree available to Aurora

Designed around accessibility, the game aims to both honour the JRPG style it’s born from and engage both inexperienced and veteran players in a new way. It uses and builds upon well-developed gameplay at it’s core similar to that of Rayman Legends, but also introduces a classic but refined basis for combat. The system encourages strategy and tactics through it’s turn based style, encapsulating the rhythm and timing aimed for in it’s direction as a playable epic poem. Timing, thought and watching the enemy’s moves allows you to master the flow of combat, interrupting attacks and dodging damage to beat down even the toughest of foes. The spin put on a classic turn based system, the introduction of the timing bar, allows a fresh reinvention of a popular mechanic which is sure to keep things interesting.

On top of the inventive combat, Child of Light has puzzles at its core. Though I haven’t been lucky enough to go hands on with the game myself, from all reports the puzzles are clever and well executed, with a good amount of difficulty to keep the player on their toes!

If all this wasn’t enough the game features both a vast world to explore packed with enemies and treasures, and over six hundred crafting recipes to be used with your newly acquired gems. Even from the trailers we can see there’s quite a diverse set of environments and atmospheres packed into this title. Scenes of ruins with an almost aquatic appearance conjure up memories of Journey’s darkened caverns, whilst brightt towns filled with towers and houses feel like something out of a Studio Ghibli film. I seriously can’t stop appreciating how beautiful this game is.

Child of Light also features local co-op, designed to be experienced with a friend or family member in the same room. Whilst it can be played completely solo, the addition of a partner however adds a new perspective to the tale. The second player takes on the role of Igniculus, Aurora’s small luminescent companion. He comes into play both during combat and in general play, illuminating dark passageways and helping to solve puzzles. In combat he can be used to heal our heroine and disadvantage enemies, but your choices in how you use his abilities play into the strategy of the battle. The more in sync the players, the more useful each character’s moves will be. The co-op aspect is about traversing this new world together and sharing the journey of Aurora and Igniculus.

Lemuria is a quirky, gorgeous world
Lemuria is a quirky, gorgeous world

In my opinion this game has all the hallmarks to be a huge hit. It seems like it will have a real deep and compelling narrative  married quite deeply with the gameplay systems and stunning art. Some of the most impressive and iconic titles over the last few years have done a similar thing, with Journey and The Unfinished Swan immediately coming to mind. Only time will tell whether it will be as successful as it seems, but it certainly illuminates itself amongst the majority of popular, more gritty and ‘realistic’, titles topping the market in recent times. In my mind this lesser known title has the capacity to at least match or succeed the acclaim of the big hitters this year, possibly even earning itself a spot as the unsung masterpiece of 2014. Either way Ubisoft Montreal have done an amazing job thus far and I can not wait to play Ubisoft Montreal’s beautiful epic poem when it launches.

Child of Light releases April 30th (digitally only!) on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC for $19.95. For more information on the game you can visit the game’s Tumblr which contains interviews, behind the scenes content and even more beautiful artwork! The announcement trailer can be viewed here, and the latest release date and features trailer below!

OXCGN’s Xbox One Impressions


X1newsOur writers give their thoughts on Microsoft’s next gen console

The wait is finally over.

The next generation of video gaming is upon us here in Australia, with Microsoft’s Xbox One the first to reach our shores here on the 22nd of November, 8 years to the day of the release of the Xbox 360.

It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve gotten our grubby hands on the Xbox One, and like many of you out there, we’ve formed our own opinions on Microsoft’s latest effort.

Therefore, we here at OXCGN have managed to pry ourselves away from our new consoles in order to bring readers our quick impressions of the Xbox One.

Xbox One
Xbox One

Click to read our staff member’s full impressions on the One