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Video Game Review: Grand Theft Auto V (PS4/Xbox One)

November 25, 2014 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Grand Theft Auto V
To live and die in Los Santos…

If orange wasn’t already the new black, then high-definition ports would be. In just over a year on the market, both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have been treated to more than their fair share of upgraded versions of last-gen titles. Many are tagged with words like “definitive” or “re-mastered,” though some are definitely more lovingly constructed than others.

Leave it to Rockstar then to not even bother with such formalities as it releases 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V with its name unaltered onto the next-gen systems. That’s not to suggest improvements have not been made, however, as both major (first-person mode) and minor (new kinds of wildlife) changes await those that played the game on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

That being said, the storyline and core elements remain the same, so rather than rehash what we wrote when the game originally launched you can check out our full Grand Theft Auto V review.

From a gameplay perspective, the all-new first-person mode represents the biggest addition. While it would have been easy to slap something together, that’s not the Rockstar way, and it’s obvious that a lot of work went into making GTAV viable as a first-person game. As someone that has played the last five Grand Theft Auto titles, however, the perspective felt wrong, and even though there were lots of nice touches, the lure was always to come back to the third-person view.

Of course, others may find the change a breath of fresh air, and the ability to toggle between the views with the PS4’s touch pad makes it easy to experiment with it as much as you’d like. And speaking of the controller, the PS4 version plays all cell phone calls and police scanner chatter through its internal speaker, which is a fun little addition.

Visually, Grand Theft Auto V has been rebuilt, and the already excellent looking Los Santos has been taken to another level. The diversity of the locations, copious amount of detail work and uncanny hustle and bustle of NPCs makes this the definitive computer city. It’s now easier than ever to simply lose yourself in driving the streets and exploring the world — doubly true if you’re at all familiar with the real city of Los Angeles.

The biggest knock is that, unlike most of the other last-gen games that have re-released, there hasn’t been any single-player DLC. Granted, a few small side quests have been added (and it’s not like the game was light on content to begin with), but if you played through it on PS3 or 360 you’re not going to be getting anything of substance in terms of an expanded experience.

Conversely, Grand Theft Auto Online contains all the previous packs and add-ons — although it should be noted that these were all available free of charge, so again it’s not exactly value added. Rockstar has expanded the number of players that can enter to 30… at least theoretically. Despite days of trying we’ve yet to land in a match with even half that many players, and the wait times have been excessive. It’ll probably get ironed out with a patch, but as of now it’s in rough shape.

OVERALL (4.75/5)

In some ways it’s hard to recommend a game that is essentially a port with no new content to sate fans of the original, but Grand Theft Auto V is such an amazing technological achievement on the new consoles that it’s honestly worth getting again just to experience the game in 1080p. Unless you’re absolutely done with GTA, this should be added to your collection post-haste.

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Video Game Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

November 17, 2014 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
Set 40 years in the future, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare follows Private Mitchell (Baker), who is wounded in an operation that also claims the life of his best friend, Will Irons. Discharged due to the severity of his injury, Mitchell is given a cybernetic limb by Jonathan Irons (Spacey), Will’s father and CEO of the private military sect Atlas, and sent back into the field as part of an elite unit.
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Review: NBA Game Time App (PS4)

November 13, 2014 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
A year ago, we checked out the NBA Game Time App with Broadband League Pass on the Xbox 360 and found it to be an uneven experience — due mostly to poor stability in the actual stream. This time we’re jumping to next-gen and checking out the other console by reviewing the app for the PlayStation 4. The cost remains unchanged from the premium pass (US$199 for all 30 teams), while the choice package (in which you select any five teams) has gone from US$140 to US$149.
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Video Game Review: Just Dance 2015

November 11, 2014 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
If you’ve never played a Just Dance game before, the concept is simple: follow the moves being shown on the screen to the best of your ability and get scored for it. In that way it’s comparable to Guitar Hero or Rock Band, though here you’re actually performing the actions and not pressing coloured buttons on a guitar-shaped controller. As you’d suspect, the game skews young with lots of pop tracks, but it’s easy enough to be accessible to most ages.
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Video Game Review: Halo: The Master Chief Collection

November 9, 2014 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off
While every system has its signature characters, none are more inseparable than Microsoft and the Master Chief — hell, it named the Windows phone’s personal assistant Cortana. Thus, the arrival of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, highlighted by Halo 2 Anniversary, on the Xbox One is a landmark moment that brings all four of the Chief’s adventures onto one console and sets the table for next year’s Halo 5: Guardians. Cue the Gregorian chants, it’s Halo time.
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