Bioshock Infinite hands on preview

Originally published on The 405

Bioshock Infinite is a world apart from its Rapture set counterparts, and the developers pin their colours to the mast from the get go, with an opening set piece that can only be described as a masterclass in the use of imagery. You’re introduced to protagonist Brooker DeWitt on the open sea, two NPC’s rowing him towards a lighthouse, so he can make the journey to Columbia, a city in the sky, and rescue Elizabeth. On your way to the top of the lighthouse, you’re met by blood trails, quasi-religious text emblazoned on walls, and finally a series of bells that will grant you access to the aforementioned city.

In a scene reminiscent of the alien communication set piece in Spielberg‘s Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, the sky lights up, repeating the tolling of the bells used to gain entry to Columbia. It’s absolutely breathtaking – my heart hitched in my throat with anticipation as the clouds above me throbbed in a kaleidoscope of lights and colours. It was time to take the first step on my journey.

Continue reading

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch

Originally published on The 405

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch has taken over my life. As I write this, dishes overflow from my kitchen sink, dust has gathered on every surface in my house, I’ve hardly slept and my online tax return is open on my computer, but nowhere near complete. This is what happens when Studio Ghibli and Level 5 join forces to make a JRPG. I tell myself that the only reason I’ve spent the last three weeks spending every non-working hour travelling around a magical world with a welsh Faerie named Mr Drippy is because I needed to complete the game before writing the review. But I know it’s a lie. If this had been three weeks after the game’s February 1st release date, I’d still be sitting in my house, surrounded by detritus, with a huge hole in my life where Ni No Kuni‘s main campaign used to exist. So, clear some time in your schedule. Continue reading

Apple Unveil iPhone 5

Originally published on The 405

iPhone 5Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 (yup – that’s what they’re calling it) last night, with much pomp and ceremony. You may have noticed us idly tweeting during the event. But, when it all comes down to it, is there really anything to get really, really excited about? All the rumours were pretty much true, and instead of a game changing product, we’ve been once again left with a phone that’s “a bit like the last one, but better.” Is this good enough? Were people disappointed? Does it really matter in the long run? No.

People are always going to buy Apple products, in spite of what the nay sayers say – and while there seems to be more and more of them every year, the company are still posting record sales with every update (7 million people downloaded the Mountain Lion upgrade), be it software or otherwise.

Continue reading

Hitman: Absolution

Originally published on The 405

Let’s get full disclosure out of the way. I am a Hitman virgin. I played the first game for about half an hour a long, long time ago at a friend’s house, and I was absolutely terrible at it. Being a student, with very little money, I decided against buying it. It’s a decision I regret, but hopefully I can make up for it when  IO Interactiveeventually release the 
Hitman  HD collection. Luckily, once I’d discovered I was the only one available to pick up a review copy of Hitman: Absolution  it didn’t take me long online to get up to speed with the story, not that it matters, as this game can pretty much stand on its own two feet. Continue reading

Black Swan

Originally published on Panic Dots.

Black SwanI’ll never forget the first time I saw π, Aronofsky‘s brilliant debut. A friend of mine sat me down, told me to shut up, watch, and listen, then switched the movie on without another word. It was the most intense audio-visual experience I’d ever had, and I desperately wished I could go back in time to experience it all over again, fresh, with no preconceptions.

Aronofsky has since then added to his impressive body of work – some well received, others not so much (I don’t care what you think, I thought The Fountain was a great film). All of them, without exception, feature a protagonist consumed by an internal quest: in π it’s Max‘s (Sean Gullette) search for the perfect number system, ,emRequiem For A Dream sees Harry (Jared Leto) lose himself in the pursuit of heroin, The Fountain has Tom (Hugh Jackman) desperately trying to develop a cure for his wife’s terminal brain tumour and The Wrestler, by far Aronofsky‘s most intimate and naturalistic creation, shows Randy (Mickey Rourke) trying to piece his life together after a heart attack forces him to retire from professional wrestling.

Continue reading