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Cuphead


Cuphead is a classic run and gun action game heavily focused on boss battles. Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, the visuals and audio are painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era, i.e. traditional hand drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds, and original jazz recordings. You play as Cuphead or Mugman  as you traverse strange worlds, acquire new weapons, learn powerful super moves, and discover hidden secrets while you try to pay your debt back to the devil! 

You blast your way through levels and boss fights with only being able to take three hits. If you grew up playing the old-school 2D games that inspired Cuphead, its challenging structure will feel familiar. It's more like Contra. It's a run and gun and boss rush game play. There are 2D levels where you fight off enemies in an attempt to reach the end, there are aerial shoot-em up levels and most importantly lots of boss battles. Theses are the main focus of the game and what you are going to be doing the majority of the time.

The enemies have multiple stages and transformations and every single time, they do something different. The game forces you to learn from your mistakes and become a perfectionist. The game gives you tools to use at your disposal. You will have to wander around the map to find new areas and zones to fight bosses. You can earn coins by doing so and spend them to upgrade your character. The visuals are  the main draw of the game, but with the gameplay to back it up it’s definitely not a bad thing. The hand-animated scenes are compelling and full of life. My biggest criticism is that the game id very short. The game has six optional "run-and-gun" platforming stages and eighteen required boss fights. They can all be beaten in about two or three minutes each.

The game has a lot of randomness to prevent repeated attempts from feeling rote. There are some ways to make things slightly easier. Changing the controls from the painfully useless default configurations to use the triggers to fire and dash is a pretty good start. Collecting those coins and using the new perks and weapons is another. It’s also worth mentioning you can replay any levels you’ve already played if you just want to play them again, but coins are finite and won’t appear in platforming stages again if you’ve already collected them. So you can’t spam those to unlock everything early.

You’ll soon notice that some enemies, some shots and some objects have a bright pink hue. Leap into the air them press the jump button while in contact, and you’ll give them a blow, earning the cards that full up your Special gauge along the way. When this fills up you can use your current special move, which may be a powerful attack or may be temporary invulnerability. But, this won’t solve all your Cuphead problems. For some of the bosses, Cuphead takes to the skies, flying a plane as he decimates his foes. These levels function as lovely classic shoot ‘em up style fights, usually throwing regular enemies at you alongside the screen-filling bosses.

Cuphead is an absolute work of art by a team of talented developers and artists with a passion to create something unique and special. It stands alone as one of the most satisfying, enjoyable and well-crafted video games of the year.

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Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice is a story of girl from Viking era in which she suffers from schizophrenia (a mental illness where one hears voices and cannot understand what is real) and tries to fight the pain and darkness inside her mind that is somehow been aggravated by her evil father. The story takes you on a cinematic journey across the folklore of Celtic/Vikings era with references to mythical beings like Thor, Loki, Regnarok etc. and subjects you to extreme physical and emotional stress.
 

 
MAJOR SPOILERS: The following text contains major spoilers about the game. Kindly check out our other articles should you not wish to know more about Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice.
 
 
THE STORY
The game begins with the camera focusing on Senua (the main character of the story) rowing through a dense fog filled river. The narrative is in the form of two distinct voices that keep talking to Senua throughout the game. It is important to listen to what they are saying because the game offers no in-game tutorials or guides. All you have is the whispers that keep updating you of the objectives and keep giving you clues to solve the puzzles.
 
GAMEPLAY
The gameplay essentially revolves around:
Exploring Solving puzzles, and Combat Exploring:
Just talking about exploring seems normal enough but as and when you play the actual game the experience is nothing short of being fantastic. The game is set in Viking era European lands that expands on the time when the settlement of Celtic warriors, called Barbarian Picts, was invaded by the brutal armies of the Northmen Vikings. Through the course of the game Senua travels across the islands that span forests, mountains, caves, labyrinths, man built massive structures and dungeons. As the game progresses, each new area of the game introduces a fresh layout and design and goes extremely well with the setup of the game.
A special mention of the part of the game that depicts “Hell”. I was blown away by the atmosphere and design of the level. From my experience of depiction of hell, this was by far the most terrifying of them all.
There is a level called the “Blindness Shard” where I had to explore area where the visibility was practically zero. All I had was occasional focus reveals and some light here and there. Even though I did not die in the level but the amount of scare while doing so was overwhelming.
Throughout the game you collect runes that are scattered across the game. These runes expand the storyline by giving information and the insight of the folklore. There is a special cutsence available for the players who can locate all the runes. When I reached the place, it showed that I missed at least a dozen of those runes. Though I was very assured that I have collected them all.
Solving Puzzles:
It is difficult to get lost or wander off in the game because the game itself if pretty much linear. Sometimes, every now and then you must tread back and forth to solve puzzles. The puzzles offer a fair amount of challenge in solving them. Some puzzles are pretty straight forward while other bends your mind to the knee. The game is about six to seven hours long but it took me something close to nine hours to finish it. Most of time delayed here was spent on exploring the levels, finding runes and of course, solving the puzzles.
Combat:
The game pulled a remarkable stunt on me by declaring that I could die in game only too much. Once a certain number is reached the game will declare me a noob and my game save file will be removed and I would have to start all over again. This card nurtured a sense of survival instinct in me and provide a challenge to finish the game without dying. I did however die a couple of times and managed to finish the game without my save file being deleted. There was a such a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that was later blown away with the fact that it was all a bluff. The game developers just pulled a stunt on me. I later found out that no matter how much I die the game save files will never be removed. Even though it seemed lame at a later stage but I did not truly regret it. In a way, I am thankful to the developers to include such a stunt because it only enhanced my experience of the game.
The combat in the game was pretty straight forward. There are only two kinds of attacks, a light attack and a heavy attack. By combining these attacks with movement keys I could dish out some long and short combos. The overall battle experience is quite satisfying. The boss battles are satisfying but a little too long with repetitions in attack patterns. Once I understood the pattern of attack then it was only a matter of time before I defeated a boss. “Focus” ability played a crucial role in defeating the hardest of the enemies. There wasn’t a moment in combat where I could lift my little finger from the “Ctrl” key (attack blocking). Evading and attacking was the key to take out the basses as well as the hordes.
There is one thing though. As an average gamer, it is expected from the game that the level of combat engagements in terms of toughness will increase with the due course of time, especially with the Boss fights. But I truly felt that the Boss battles became increasingly easy with each step. Maybe it was because I was mastering the combat or maybe they were easier in general, I do not know. The Final Boss battle left me wanting! But the fancy twist in the end covered it up all good.
 

 
REPLAY VALUE
I strongly feel that there is less replay value to this game unless you want to do a "Speed run" session or want to achieve a hidden achievement where you find all the runes of the game. Other than that, I personally do not factor a replay value to the game. Instead I would memorize my current experience and enjoy it in my thoughts.
 
GRAPHICS
The graphics offer nothing less than a cinematic experience. A shoutout to Milena Juergens, the MOCAP actor that brought Senua to life! The main character animation and expression is on point. I am not afraid to admit that at some point in game, I fell in love with the character. Especially in a scene when Senua approaches a tree and imagines a colorful acquaintance with “Dillion”. The expressions and detailing of the character left a lasting impression on my mind. I remember smiling during the cutscene. Wow!
The enemies are equally detailed. During combat the enemies acquire battle wounds that perfectly blend with the heat of the situation. Even though the variety of enemies is less; I recall only five types of regular enemies throughout the game. A little more variety in the game would have made things more interesting. Sometimes it felt like I am looking through a kaleidoscope, all the vibrancy and colors. The game often used effects like blur and sudden darkness to effectively narrate the situation at hand.
I did mention earlier about the level design of “Hell”, which is by far my favorite level in the game. The visual representation of level is believable and frightening. The lighting effect were par excellence. A perfect blend of lighting and audio created a perfect atmosphere.
 
PHOTO MODE
The game boasts a photo mode. It is a fascinating tool that allows you to pause the game and detach the camera from Senua. It then becomes a photography camera will all the fancy effects and settings to play with. If you are creative enough you could generate amazing stills from the game. Honestly, I did not remember it during the game and only realized it after I finished it. You must check it once.
 
MUSIC AND SOUNDS
The music credits for the game goes to:
Andy Lapluega David Garcia, and Passarella Death Squad The music and sound effects are on point throughout the game. The best part that I liked about the music was the two voices that kept whispering in my ears throughout the game. The musicians have used remarkable 3D binaural technology to create the perfect atmosphere for the game. It always felt like that I was never alone and there are always these two persons moving around me, surrounding me!
The music during combat is amazing. Truly builds up that Viking feeling and action.
I wish to make a special mention of the sound track at the time of Final Boss fight. It took me by surprise. I felt like the track not only sufficed the moment it also definitely set the stage for the final battle filling it with emotions of achievement, anger and rage. Quite picturesque if you would ask me.
 
GAME BACKGROUND
The game is staged around the age of Vikings called the Northmen and Celtic Warriors called the Picts. Across the game there are runes to be found that give insight to the mythical characters and beings and describe the brutalities of the Northmen of that time. Senua is supposedly derived from barbaric Celtic warrior of that time.
The game is intended to educate me about the schizophrenia, a mental illness where the sufferer does not understand what is real and often hears voices which no one else can hear. Apparently Senua is suffering from schizophrenia, referred to as “Cursed” at that time and the entire story is about her struggling to identify reality and fight the inner darkness.
The game also invited me to visit their website to know more about the isolation felt by those suffering from the disease.
There is a full twenty-five-minute documentary in the game menu called “Hellblade Feature”. The documentary shows behind the scenes working and concept building leading to the creation of this beautiful masterpiece.
 

 
PRICE
The game is available on Steam at a price of Rs. 729 and is available for PlayStation 4 for about Rs. 1800. According to me these are fair prices for the title and you should buy it.

MY RATINGS (out of 10)
Graphics: 8
Music: 8.5
Cinematics: 7
Story: 7
Game Background: 6
Controls: 6.5
Gameplay: 7
Price: 8
 
FINAL SAY
I would tag this game as a “MUST BUY” title. It is available on Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4. Go grab a copy and give it a go. You will not regret this purchase. It may not be the best game in the hack and slash genre but it certainly establishes a risky but fresh perspective at an educative cinematic psychological horror action adventure game.
I rate it: 7/10
 
Thank You! Have a great Day!

Credits and Links
Ninja Theory: http://www.ninjatheory.com/wp/
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/414340/Hellblade_Senuas_Sacrifice/
PlayStation store: https://www.playstation.com/en-in/games/hellblade-ps4/
YouTube gameplay footage from SteveZDad: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4Qcz1gL1GUp8nuD_a8LtsA
 
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Dusk Review

Dusk is a first person shooter game. It looks like a game from the 90's and has three campaign episodes. You can play the first episode now if you pre purchase it. The game will be out on Halloween that is the 31st of October. It is inspired by other games like Quake, Blood, Heretic, Hexen, Half-Life and Redneck Rampage.

In the campaign mode, you progress through eleven levels of spooky Dusk Pennsylvanian. The game puts you right in and doesn't tell you much. The game is classic and ambiguous with little bits of environmental story telling here and there. The game has many weapons like sickles, dual-wielded shotguns,  pump action shotgun, grenade launchers,  chainsaws, crossbows, assault rifles and some secret weapons that I don't want to spoil for you.

The game is very fast and twitchy. It relies on a very high level of speed strafing and accuracy in order play good. Most importantly, the game is skill based and actually takes some practice to get used to this type of game play. It all feels extremely tight and polished. There is a crouch slide which feels a bit slick which looks completely modern and the ability to to have complete freedom on the jump pads to the point where you can do sick flips. Pulling off suck sick shots are difficult and would require a bit of practice.
But the most important thing about dusk is the thing that it is fun. Levels are intricately designed with open spaces like tight corridors, hidden switches, trap doors and some decent surprises. Encounters sometimes go down the way you would not expect it which is quite refreshing from a game that sticks to old school design. It is an interesting game to look at and play because it requires your complete attention and thankfully the aesthetic too is surprisingly unique. It moves at a decent pace with levels going from farms and saw mills to a town and from fighting wizards and haunted scarecrow man to a soldier.

There is a good mix of freedom and some intense moments where you find loads of enemies. One criticism that I have is that the boss battles feel too simplistic. I love shooting stuff up and shooting the crap out of the bosses but not much complication there. More attack and scenario variety  with the bosses would have made them a bit more fun for me. Outside of the campaign, there is an Endless mode which puts our protagonist in an arena to fight off hordes of enemies which is called Dawn. The game gives you good momentum and the movement is smooth. This helps you to perform amazing bunny hops. I would rate the bunny hopping 10/10.

There are very often some locked color coded doors for which you may have to find keys to unlock them. To find the keys, you will have to backtrack to the earlier parts of the level which is what you will have to do in most games. So just be prepared. I think the settings make up for it but it could be just me. The whole thing looks and runs very well thanks to a ridiculous amount of settings. You could change the field of view slider, cross hair settings, lighting, filters, colors, weaponry placement etc.
The music is very strong with a good metal vibe that fits perfectly. Endless mode has just one map right now but its a good way to get used to the game. I like this mode just because the core game play is really solid. Maybe some progression system would be fun but I am not completely bias about it. It is really addicting so be warned. I think my biggest criticism with Dusk is that it needs more. But, you get what you paid for right now. The game has scheduled 2 more single player episodes, couple more endless mode maps, multiplayer modes and many more.

I will absolutely recommend Dusk if you are a fan of retro games. If you are not a fan of these games or never played these games before and are the curious type of gamer, I would recommend you give it a shot because it is really fun and I think that is the biggest compliment I can give to a game.
You can pre-order this game from steam and play the first episode right away.
Link to the game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/519860/DUSK/
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BATTLEFIELD 1 INCURSIONS - everything you should know about the new competitive mode

Battlefield got all type of achievements from its former titles like BATTLEFIELD 3 AND BATTLEFIELD 4 but with the launch of BATTLEFIELD 1 competitive sense to the game was less than ever. So after the demand for a competitive experience, DICE responded with their new module of BATTLEFIELD 1 known as INCURSIONS. On Gamescom this year BATTLEFIELD INCURSIONS was officially shown to the players. I will try to introduce all to the working of the new battlefield module.
 

 
INCURSIONS is a 5v5 module made all the way up from a scratch exclusively for the competitive experience. It will played on the small sized, heavily modified depictions of the current maps. The players will compete with each other on the map which consists of three points or flags. The main thing that makes it different from the main base game is that it has a tweaked kits system, tweaked vehicle play and a different scoring system.
 
THE GAME'S OBJECTIVES:
Two teams of 5 people each will try to fight over 3 flags on the map. In the start of the match one flag will be given to the both teams known as gimme flags. Players will have the option to either spawn on the capped flags or on the base point. The flags can be captured one by one only say that if you have captured the 1st flag, you can’t flank and capture the last flag but you have to capture them one by one.
 
 SCORING:
The scoring in this mode is a little bit complicated and resembles the coring in a lawn tennis match. The scoring is based on sets and each sets contain 15 tickets. Each team which will get tickets based on the achievements it gets. For example a ticket will be awarded every time they kill an enemy. Same way more tickets will be awarded on other achievements like killing the whole enemy team will award 3 tickets. Destroying enemy vehicle will also award a ticket. Along with all this the capture of the flag points will also award ticket if the team hold a majority of flags every 14 seconds. After 10 sets are played half time occurs and all the dynamic destruction made in the match is reset. This feature is crucial as the destroyed maps can favor a particular team. First team to win 11 sets win the match.
 

 
KITS MECHANISM
Kits mechanism is very different in INCURSIONS compared to the main game. Choosing kits is very crucial as we cant change the once selected kit in whole match. The kits support cross kit gadgets and have a specific role for every kit. There are total 5 kits available at the starting patch of incursions introduced in the Gamescom.
The squad leader- the squad leader or the control leader is a kit having either SMLE MKII marksman as primary or the model 8 factory and have smoke grenade crossbow and flare guns as the gadgets. Its special ability is that he is the only person on whom a team mate can spawn on.
Mortar support – mortar support kit roles with the mg15 or the benet mercie LMG along with the ammo pack and HE mortar as the gadget.

AT Assault – As suggested by the name this kit is exclusively available to counter the vehicles in the match. It roles with the MP 18 experimental or the M1907 SL sweeper as primary and have AT grenades and limpet charge as the gadget in order to obliterate the enemy tanks.
The trench surgeon – This kit is specifically made to help the injured teammates or to revive the fallen soldiers. It is equipped with the Autoloading 8.25 extended or the mondragen storm as primary and along with that it roles with the medical syringe and the sniper shield that heals allies in a radius (surprising right?).
The battle mechanic – This is one of the most important kit and highly effective if used correctly. This kit is allotted to the vehicle driver along with Frommer stop auto or the pieper revolver when outside the vehicle. The gadgets include medkit and the repair wrench. In the mode the driver can’t repair the vehicle while inside it. The driver has to come outside in order to repair the vehicle.
 
VEHICLES:
I know vehicles along with competitive seems really overpowered but the DICE has made special care for the infantry power in the game. It is pretty easy to counter tanks if the squad works with each other and knows how to do so. Currently 2 vehicles are introduced namely The German FT tank also known as the light tank as well as the armored car with the ability to shoot an LMG from the driver seat.
 
IN GAME PROGRESSION:
One of the best things about the game mode is that on the course of the game the player can easily increase the in game kit level unlocking more powerful abilities for himself (for ex. – level 2 for the control leader increase smoke area by the crossbow smoke and for the trench surgeon , whenever he/she marks a fallen teammate to revive will trigger smoke on the dead body) and its vehicle (for ex – the armored car will be equipped with a powerful canon with high splash damage on the top level of the battle mechanic kit).
 
HOW IT WILL AFFECT PLAYER BASE:
Will INCURSIONS be successful? According to me, absolutely. The kit system syncs well with the scoring system that creates a specific spot for every ability of every kit and promotes the team play. The communication between the players will hold a great influence on the outcome. Currently this mode is under development and the ALPHA edition will be playable by the selected players soon in the late September. As a BATTLEFIELD myself I hope this mode brings back the element long missing from the franchise.
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Top Steam Games of 2017

Steam is a digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation, which offers digital rights management (DRM), multiplayer gaming, video streaming and social networking services. Steam provides the user with installation and automatic updating of games, and community features such as friends lists and groups, cloud saving, and in-game voice and chat functionality. Here is a the list of games that top the charts for the year 2017 as of now! If you feel like I have missed a game or the one that should have at least have a mention then do let me know in the comments section below.
 
1. PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS

PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS is a last-man-standing shooter being developed with community feedback. Players must fight to locate weapons and supplies in a massive 8x8 km island to be the lone survivor. This is BATTLE ROYALE.
In order to understand why this game is good and why you should buy it, you will need to know some background information as to how this game rose to the colossal fame it has today. Let's start off with the creator, Playerunknown, he did not just make PUBG as some would believe. He is also known for a variety of other games such as modding for Arma 2 and H1Z1 which are both very popular and high selling games. After coming out with H1Z1, his next goal was to perfect the Royale archetype. This led to our lovely game called PUBG. Once this game was released, it was picked up very rapidlyby streamers such as summit1g, Shroud etc... This led to the uprise and popularity of the game very quickly with little effort and little marketing from the devs. Now let's get into the actual game mechanics and how it works.
2. Dota 2

Dota 2 is a multiplayer game primarily consisting of five-on-five battles to destroy the other team's "Ancient." Before the game begins, each player must select a hero from a pool of over a hundred different characters, ideally fulfilling roles that might be familiar to MMO players. There are supports, and tanky cores, and DPS-heavy glass cannon damage dealers, and plenty of roles in between, and teams that choose a line-up that synergizes well are more likely to win.
3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Growth is an important factor in Global Offensive, especially if you're coming into Counter-Strike fresh or after a sabbatical. This is an extremely hardcore, skill-based first-person shooter, and it forces you to think differently than other modern shooters. If you’re a Call of Duty player, you’re going to need to change your play style to succeed here. Counter-Strike also tries developing into something new here as well, despite doing little to push itself beyond what it’s always done best. Global Offensive modifies old maps to keep veterans on their toes, and introduces official new modes that encourage different play styles for the first time in almost 15 years.
4. Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V is not only a preposterously enjoyable video game, but also an intelligent and sharp-tongued satire of contemporary America. It represents a refinement of everything that GTA IV brought to the table five years ago. It’s technically more accomplished in every conceivable way, but it’s also tremendously ambitious in its own right. No other world in video games comes close to this in size or scope, and there is sharp intelligence behind its sense of humour and gift for mayhem. It tells a compelling, unpredictable, and provocative story without ever letting it get in the way of your own self-directed adventures through San Andreas. It is one of the very best video games ever made.
5. H1Z1: King of the Kill

H1Z1: King of the Kill is a fast-paced shooter in which players compete in large-scale chaotic PvP spectacles of skill, wit and a little luck, where everyone must fight to the death to stand alone at the top of the podium. It is the multiplayer Battle Royale mode that spun off from H1Z1 to become a standalone game.
6. ARK: Survival Evolved

Running up a snowy mountain firing a machine gun at a woolly mammoth from the back of a tyrannosaurus is a fantastic example of the reason many video games exist: living out ridiculous childhood fantasies. ARK: Survival Evolved has plenty of that to go around across its multiple sprawling maps - which it calls ARKs - which can be explored solo or crowded with up to 100 players. Some lingering technical issues, bad dino AI, and an extreme amount of grinding to reach endgame are the main factors keeping it from being as sharp in the tooth as it could be.
7. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege

Siege reboots the long-running Rainbow Six series as a five-on-five, attack-and-defend competitive shooter that’s as much about blowing holes in the world around you as in your opponents. Destruction is no gimmick; shooting through walls, blasting through floors and ceilings, and keeping as much of your corporeal Special Forces husk behind fragile cover during firefights is key to extending your life in each of the respawn-free modes. Using a gadget to detect the presence of an enemy and fragging them through what would, in most other first-person shooters, be an indestructible hunk of drywall isn’t just satisfying; it’s thrilling.
8. Team Fortress 2
                                   
Valve has created quite a game with the long-awaited Team Fortress sequel, bearing many similarities to its predecessor, though incorporating enough changes to make it feel fresh. The most obvious aspect, which you may have noticed from any of the screens and video posted, is the visual style.Team Fortress 2 has nine character classes: Spy, Pyro, Soldier, Heavy, Medic, Sniper, Demoman, Scout and Engineer. Each class' abilities on the battlefield have been streamlined, which, along with the graphics, is what makes Team Fortress 2 so much more accessible than TFC.
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