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Video Game Review: Cold Darkness Awakened DLC

April 7, 2016 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Cold Darkness Awakened DLC
This DLC contains both cold and darkness.

Coming off the short but enjoyable Baba Yaga – The Temple of the Witch add-on, Rise of the Tomb Raider is bringing a fresh helping of DLC to fans with Cold Darkness Awakened. While it’s not quite a full-fledged dive into the ever-popular world of zombies, Lara Croft needn’t squint too hard to see it from there.

There’s a bit of a back story in place. A former Soviet weapons research facility thought to be abandoned has seen one of its experiments leak out, turning soldiers into pseudo zombies, and now Lara must shut down the machines before the toxin spreads with catastrophic results. It is not an extension of the fiction, however, existing instead as a contained piece of the Expeditions mode.

Initially armed with just a knife and her trusty bow and arrow, Lara must navigate a creature-infested base in an attempt to reach three towers producing the chemicals. There’s definitely a survival horror feel to it with Lara lighting her path via flashlight and the unsettling movement of the infected, which are blind but will be alerted by sound.

Taking them out when they’re oblivious to your presence is straightforward enough — use your knife in close or put the shaft of an arrow through their head at range — but if they sniff you out and begin to swarm it becomes problematic in a hurry. That’s due in no small part to the fact that Rise wasn’t built to be a run-and-gun experience, and it suffers when pushed into that role.

You can increase your odds of survival by tracking down weapon caches (the shotgun is by far the most effective tool you’ll have against the infected), but it’s still advisable to avoid or isolate foes when possible. In terms of other side activities there are prisoners to rescue as well, though they don’t really offer much incentive to go out of your way to track them down.

Deactivating the towers is probably the most interesting bit thanks to the frantic instructions being supplied by Nadia, who’s hovering overhead in a helicopter. She’ll offer what’s essentially a codex, saying if the conditions of “X” are met, do “Y,” and if they’re not met, do “Z.” It forces you to spend some time exploring the towers and adds some risk as an incorrect choice will sound an alarm, which more often than not means your demise.

It all leads to a formulaic but still intense final section in which Lara needs to destroy a machine while holding off waves of the infected soldiers. The entire scenario can be cleared in as little as 30 minutes or considerably more depending on how much you explore or how much trouble you encounter. Either way, there isn’t a ton of content offered here for the price (US$9.99).

OVERALL (3.5/5)

Cold Darkness Awakened is our favourite piece of Expeditions content, providing a different take on Rise’s gameplay, but if you’ve already moved on from the game it’s debatable if this will entice you to return.

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Video Game Review: MLB The Show 16

April 4, 2016 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Franchise has good depth and is the recipient of some fairly minor improvements. Probably the most significant is the Morale system, which is based on player happiness in their current situation with the club or where they play and so on. Expanded stat tracking is also appreciated, especially in a sport so historically associated with numbers.
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Video Game Review: Quantum Break

April 1, 2016 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
As Jack Joyce, you’re able to unleash a modest yet effective array of powers. You can create a bubble that slows everything within it, generate an explosive rift that deals area damage, dodge rapidly, conjure a shield that deflects incoming projectiles and execute a sustained sprint that brings the world around you to virtual standstill, allowing you to pound hapless victims with a melee strike.
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Video Game Review: Shadow Complex Remastered

March 29, 2016 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Set in contemporary America, Shadow Complex opens with the assassination of the Vice President before quickly shifting west to find Jason and his date getting ready to do some spelunking. She’s captured almost immediately, though, and like any would-be suitor you jump headlong into danger to rescue her armed with nothing but a flashlight.
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Blu-ray Review: Point Break

March 27, 2016 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Point Break really has two things going for it. First, the movie is beautiful. Traveling around the world to attempt the fictitious Ozaki Eight affords cinematographer/director Ericson Core the opportunity to shoot in amazing locations. Whether it’s the cliffs, walls of snow, thundering waves or the waterfall of Angel Falls in Venezuela, the scenery is consistently breathtaking.
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