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    by Published on June 21st, 2017 04:00 AM   
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    We are close to the mid point of 2017, so we decided it was time for a mid year gaming review. In this article we go over games that have been released in 2017 so far, provide our opinions of them, and then look at what's left to come for 2017. We will also look at mods released this year.



    To make this page easier to navigate, spoiler tags are used to conceal everything written about each game. There are no actual spoilers on this page with only one exception: we spoil one quest in Mass Effect: Andromeda in order to demonstrate how absolutely incredibly awful its writing is.

    Turok 2: Seeds of Evil Remaster
      Spoiler:


    A faithful remaster of a 1998 FPS classic, Night Dive Studios pulls it off again by not trying to fix what was never broken. The core game is left intact, identical to the original, and the only real changes are technological improvements.

    The game itself is a very good FPS with unique environments, incredible enemy variety (over 30 different enemies, basically unheard of these days), and some of the coolest and most unique weapons of any shooter game such as the Shredder, Razor Wind, Nuke (although there is a gun like this in the first Turok), and Cerebral Bore.





    The first game in this franchise, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, was also remastered by Night Dive Studios back in 2015. Both of them even have a level editor for mod creation!


    Serious Sam: Fusion 2017
      Spoiler:

    The most ambitious remaster featured on this article, Serious Sam: Fusion 2017 ports Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter (2009), Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter (2010), Serious Sam 3: BFE (2011), the VR versions to the latest version of Serious Engine, called Serious Engine 2017. At present, you must own Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter and Serious Sam 3: BFE if you want to play them in Fusion 2017, as Fusion 2017 only comes with Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter for now.

    Serious Engine
    ...
    by Published on April 28th, 2017 01:00 PM  Number of Views: 4130 
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    Way back in March of 2007 a fairly small studio in Ukraine unleashed S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and introduced the world of PC gaming to The Zone.

    It is no secret that this game is very well regarded here on GND-Tech and with good reason. This PC exclusive cult classic from 2007 is one of the most interesting and ambitious game projects of all time and a show of force for gaming's potential as a unique art form.

    A very interesting blend of genres, this open world FPS with survival horror elements and some mild RPG inspiration was well received by both critics and fans alike. Despite a troubled and long development cycle and numerous delays, a long list of cut features and many bugs and glitches, it seems like Shadow of Chernobyl has managed to carve out its very own niche in gaming. A series retrospective is in the works, as are articles on its sequels—S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Call of Pripyat, but today we will be focusing on what the first legendary title did right and where it faltered.



    Running on the in-house 32-bit X-Ray 1.0 engine that was created way back in 2001, the game was vaunted as a technological powerhouse during its E3 2003 and 2004 appearances. Managing to impress even in the face of games like Half-Life 2, DOOM 3, and Far Cry is an incredible accomplishment, especially when you consider that X-Ray is made by developers without prior experience in the mainstream AAA FPS gaming world. However, the game's development hell meant that it would not see the light of day for a few more years. Of course, the developers did improve on its visuals during that time and Shadow of Chernobyl (hereby referred to as SoC) still managed to turn heads around during its 2007 release, but it was no longer the biggest visual powerhouse on the block.


    Perhaps the most impressive piece of visual technology in SoC was its lighting system. Its completely dynamic DX9.0c lighting simulation was first demoed in 2004. Almost ...
    by Published on March 11th, 2017 04:00 AM
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    Torment: Tides of Numenera is a story-driven, isometric 2.5D turn-based RPG developed by inXile. It is a "thematic successor" to Planescape: Torment, a critically acclaimed RPG released in 1999 by Black Isle Studios published by Interplay, the creators of Wasteland, Fallout, Fallout 2, and other noteworthy RPGs. Planescape: Torment is famous for its writing prowess, having some of the deepest, most original, most satisfying writing in video game history. This has led to strong hype for this game, at least from seasoned PC gamers. We named it our most anticipated game of 2015 in our 2014 game of the year awards, yet it has just come out at the very end of February 2017. It suffered from numerous delays, making one wonder what kind of development struggles it underwent, and how much harm was done to the final product.

    Planescape: Torment is a game where every character encounter, every conversation is memorable and meaningful. In Planescape: Torment and unlike most other video games (especially larger scale ones, and it is a large scale game), every character that you can have a conversation with isn't just a quest-giving bot, it is a uniquely written, fleshed out character, written with care and utmost attention to detail. They all stand out positively. In addition, the world of Planescape: Torment is dark fantasy, weird and mysterious, and filled with strange encounters and interaction. Not just character interaction, but interacting with the world itself; objects that seem to contain some amount of sentience, portals to other worlds, phenomena of all kinds. Its setting surpasses expectations and is one of a kind. Character encounters aren't just with humans and common humanoid species, as the world of Planescape has many portals to many other worlds, bringing with them unique and at times bizarre lifeforms which the player can interact with.

    The world building, character development, story depth and originality, and overall writing quality of Planescape: Torment is above what video games are usually thought capable of. It is a philosophical story with heavy thematic elements, and it is expertly directed so that it never becomes incoherent or out of control. ...
    by Published on February 10th, 2017 03:00 AM
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    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was the final game by Troika Games. It is a legendary PC exclusive RPG released in 2004, and the first ever Source game. It is based on the tabletop RPG called Vampire: The Masquerade.

    Bloodlines is a first person and third person action RPG known for its quality... but more than one meaning is associated with the word "quality" in this case. On the one hand, it is known as one of the best, most thorough video game RPGs ever made with some of the best writing quality in video game history. On the other hand, it is known for being blatantly incomplete and incredibly buggy, perhaps even unplayable without mods.

    As such, we will be analyzing and reviewing the game with the unofficial patch applied to it, as it's truly required to play the game to completion. After all, the version sold by GOG comes with this patch already. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is a somewhat forgotten great that needs to be reevaluated.



    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is available on Steam, and also DRM free on GOG. The GOG version comes with an unofficial patch preinstalled as we mentioned, and is 100% playable from the get go unlike the Steam version which requires the unofficial ...
    by Published on December 11th, 2016 04:00 AM
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    The Talos Principle, released two years ago today, is touted as a philosophical puzzle game, and it was developed by Croteam. Wait, Croteam? The same people who created Serious Sam? You can't be serious! Not that Serious Sam isn't good, but it's quite the opposite of The Talos Principle; an arcade FPS with co-op emphasis, while The Talos Principle is a story-driven single-player only experience. You can't underestimate anyone, I suppose.

    As of 2016, The Talos Principle is available on Steam, PlayStation 4, and Android. In this belated review we will look at not only The Talos Principle, but its story DLC Road to Gehenna.



    This page contains spoilers.

    The game starts with the player character, a robot which resembles a human, awakening in a strange, ancient looking place. A voice that identifies itself as ELOHIM materializes out of nowhere. The voice says, "Behold, child. You are risen from the dust, and you walk in my garden. Hear now my voice and know that I am your maker, and I am called ELOHIM. Seek me in my temple if you are worthy."

    ELOHIM watches your progress closely, encourages faith and your success. He talks about the world you are in, how it was made for you and how it contains secrets, how there have been others before you, how before this world there was chaos but in here there is purpose.

    But he/it isn't the only one you make contact with. On some of these computers you may contact the Milton Library Assistant, hereby referred to as Milton. It is an AI designed to sort and categorize information, and respond to conflicting information. But it seems it was made too sentient if there is such a thing, as it has seemingly developed a personality. ...
    by Published on December 1st, 2016 05:00 AM
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    Dishonored was one of the most magnificent new IPs to be released in the 2010s, and four years later we get its much awaited sequel. Dishonored 2 was developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks, just like the first game. It is also Arkane's first sequel, with their past games (Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah: Of Might and Magic) never getting one.

    Dishonored 2, like the first, is a first-person stealth and action game granting freedom in gameplay approach. The entire game can be played without getting detected by hostiles and without engaging in combat, just like its predecessor. It is meant to be as good a stealth game as it is an action game, something only previously accomplished by its own predecessor as well as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to our estimation.

    Dishonored 2 features two playable protagonists, something very rare in gaming these days but it's a feature worth lots of hype. You may play as Corvo Attano, protagonist of the first game, or his daughter Emily Kaldwin, who is the reigning Empress. Note that it was never actually confirmed in the first game that Emily is Corvo's daughter, only strongly suggested, but Dishonored 2 pre-release footage and information freely announced it since it's not a surprise to anyone who has played the first.

    Let's move on and see if Dishonored 2 lives up to its hype and potential. The review continues on the next page.



    Dishonored 2 is a unique type of fantasy game with some Steampunk inspiration, like its predecessor. They resemble no other game world in an artistic sense. Being this unique is already an accomplishment.

    The technology seen throughout the world often ...
    by Published on October 14th, 2016 04:00 AM
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    When discussing BioWare games, most people will cite either Mass Effect (more specifically the second game but sometimes the first) or Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn as BioWare's best. No doubt they are worthy of being brought into the discussion, but many forget Dragon Age: Origins, one of their largest scale, most ambitious, and least flawed games. Likewise, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic must also be brought into this discussion. But this article is dedicated to the nearly forgotten masterpiece that is Dragon Age: Origins.

    All of the aforementioned BioWare games have a place on our RPG tier list. In fact, the BioWare game with the highest amount of role-playing is actually Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic which ranks in the prestigious tier 3 in that article. Dragon Age: Origins belongs to tier 4, while the Mass Effect trilogy resides on tier 5 (with tier 1 being the most role-playing). So some may ask, why do we find Dragon Age: Origins to be BioWare's best game?

    There is more to an RPG than just how much role-playing is possible, and Dragon Age: Origins is more than a formidable RPG in its own right.



    Dragon Age: Origins was released in 2009, after a very long development period. It is often referred to as a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate; while they have the same kind of gameplay, Origins is much darker thematically and also far more story-driven.

    It uses a heavily ...
    by Published on September 16th, 2016 09:00 PM
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    After many years of waiting, Cyan's latest game is here. They created the legendary Myst franchise, with Myst itself being the best selling PC game for the better part of a decade. Times have sinced changed, and games such as these are unfortunately known only to a small minority of gamers.

    Obduction is an Unreal Engine 4 based, partially crowdfunded first-person puzzle-adventure indie game, just like the Myst franchise. Myst was one of the most important, innovative games in the history of gaming; the first of its kind bringing forward groundbreaking visuals combined with unthinkable environmental design. It may have been the first video game to deliberately make the argument that video games are an art form. Obduction brings forward many questions, such as what has Cyan done differently? How have they changed over the years? Will it continue to innovate and blow our minds with pure visual bliss? Let us find out!



    Obduction is available exclusively on Windows and OS X. It is one of many sub-genres unique to computer gaming. As with its spiritual predecessors, it doesn't have a whole lot ...

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