LA Noire Switch Review

LA Noire Switch Review. When it first released in 2011, L.A. Noire was an anomaly; its facial capture tech was an innovative showcase of animation, and it’s focus on slower-paced interrogation puzzles widely contrasted the big-budget shooters of the time. Six years later, the game has surprisingly managed to make its way onto Switch. While a few sacrifices were made in performance and graphical fidelity to get L.A. Noire running, the ambitious spirit of this stylistic 1940s-era detective adventure remains.

L.A. Noire’s principal 21 cases are all present, including all of its DLC cases. As budding LAPD detective Cole Phelps, you spend the bulk of your time gathering evidence, interrogating suspects, and making accusations. Phelps is a fascinating, yet morally flawed, character whose checkered past is compelling to see unfold as the story goes on. The cases you solve remain interesting and well-paced, balancing slower, more meticulous investigative moments with brief shootouts and vehicular/on-foot chases. On Switch, the game controls as well as it did on previous generation consoles, especially when playing docked with a Pro Controller. It also offers motion and touch controls, which are welcome additions that make L.A. Noire feel more involved. Motion controls allow you to use the right Joy-Con to control the camera and physically manipulate objects you pick up, while touch controls command Phelps where to go and what investigate by simply tapping the screen. However, both control schemes don’t feel as functional as playing with a traditional gamepad setup.

LA Noire Switch Review
LA Noire Switch Review

While L.A. Noire’s story and varied pacing are some of its most exceptional aspects, where it truly shines is in its interrogation sequences. Armed with your intellect and the wealth of evidence you collect during your investigations, questioning suspects and seeing through their facial ticks to expose their secrets lead to many of the game’s most tense and captivating moments. The facial animations hold up well, displaying a level of realism that’s still impressive. And with top-notch performances from its facial capture actors, interrogations are just as absorbing and believable.

In a subtle change from the original, interrogation options have been changed from “Truth,” “Doubt,” and “Lie” to “Good Cop,” “Bad Cop,” and “Accuse.” The new naming scheme helps to give you a better understanding of Cole’s behavior towards a suspect’s testimony, which was difficult to gauge in the original. The renewed context is particularly useful when a suspect is playing coy, where it makes sense that using the more forceful “Bad Cop” approach would root out more information. However, the new terminology isn’t perfect. There are situations where it isn’t specific enough; this is apparent when responding with “Good Cop”, where the option seems to lean more towards believing the suspect rather than following proper police protocol. Despite this occasional issue, interrogations are consistently rewarding, often requiring critical thinking and sharp judgment to complete perfectly.

Movement is a bit clunky during shootouts, and there are plenty of useless filler objects to sift through during crime scene investigations. But the most glaring issue lies in the game’s recreation of 1940s-era Los Angeles, which is authentic but doesn’t offer much to do outside of main missions and random street crime activities. New hidden collectables in the form of books and records have been added to the Switch version to encourage exploration, but it’s not made clear that these items exist nor does the game encourage you to seek them out. These issues don’t do much to detract from the experience at large, especially considering how well the game runs and how good it looks. Visuals are reminiscent of the original version, only sporting new jagged edges, fluctuating textures, and noticeably weaker draw distances and dynamic lighting effects in some instances. However, these issues are less apparent when playing the game undocked, where it runs and looks the best.

Football Manager 2018 Review

Football Manager 2018 Review. With each passing year, Sports Interactive iterates on the long-standing fundamentals of its Football Manager series. A slight tweak here and there: applying some ease of use adjustments, or tinkering with the 3D match engine–like a manager moving pieces around a whiteboard. Some of these tweaks might not become evident until you’ve spent hundreds of hours entrenched in the virtual dugout, while others may only affect those eccentric enough to deploy a tactic featuring a Raumdeuter. In Football Manager 2018, minor refinements are similarly sprinkled throughout; but, crucially, there’s also a significant new addition, and other impactful overhauls, that are palpable from the get-go, profoundly changing the way you manage and interact with your team on a daily basis.

The first of these is a new module called Dynamics that focuses on the topsy-turvy world of player morale. The concept of squad happiness has existed in Football Manager since the early days, but the cause and effect of your actions was previously hidden behind an algorithm we weren’t privy to, which made managing your player’s mood a case of pure guesswork and gradually learning through repetition. That all changes in FM 2018, as each interaction with your squad now has a clear, defined outcome that helps keep your chosen group of expensive primadonnas in check. A detailed hierarchy displaying your team leaders and most influential players advises you on who not to annoy; social groups determine which individuals sit around the breakfast table with each other based on parameters like their shared nationality and how long they’ve been at the club; and myriad other menus track your player’s individual mood, their confidence in you, and the consequences all of these variables has on team chemistry.

Football Manager 2018 Review
Football Manager 2018 Review

A harmonious squad generally leads to better results on the pitch, with the team’s collective mental state contributing to the quality of their positioning, vision, and reactions during the course of a match–making it imperative for you to maintain your team’s high spirits if you have any notions of success. Football is a results-based business after all, and player power is definitely a factor in FM 2018. If the squad is displeased with how you’re doing on match days, or how you’re handling their various personalities off the pitch, you’re liable to find yourself unemployed. Thankfully, with the addition of a hierarchy and social groups, there’s a surfeit of valuable information guiding your decision making that helps you understand how to handle different types of player.

If a rugged team leader comes into your office complaining about a lack of playing time, you’re going to have to weigh up the risks of introducing him to the starting line-up when he might be off form, or face incurring a potential player revolt if you turn him down and piss him off. Conversely, if a player on the lower rungs of the hierarchy comes to see you with the same issue, telling him he’ll have to remain patient is less likely to upset even a small portion of the dressing room, and may not bother anyone at all. Admittedly, conversing with players in FM still lacks the subtlety of believable human interactions, but with all of this new information on hand, player reactions appear more logical than ever, and keeping influential players onside will ensure there are fewer unhappy players knocking on your door. It’s a fun, personable new module to toy with, and it emboldens Football Manager’s recent focus on the human side of the beautiful game.

Meanwhile, an overhauled medical centre places an increased emphasis on Sports Scientists, with each one providing you with crucial information on how and why your players are suffering from injuries, and how you can counteract their pulled hamstrings and twisted ankles from occurring too frequently. If there’s a busy period coming up where you’ve got, say, three matches in seven days, you’ll be advised on which players are most at risk of sustaining injuries from the wear and tear of successive action. It forces you to be more proactive with your training schedules and player selection, as you’re encouraged to adjust the intensity of training sessions on a week-by-week basis, and intelligently rotate your team in an attempt to keep your squad healthy without sacrificing results, (which also ties into Dynamics and how you can maintain squad harmony through frugal management of your team’s playing time).

Destiny 2 Review

Destiny 2 Review. Welcome to the era of the lifestyle game, where products are conceived, crafted and sold as persistent experiences intended to become a cornerstone of your leisure time. The brute force RPG treadmills of the monolithic noughties MMOs have given way to snackable games that use levels, loot boxes, card packs and incremental uneven rewards to entice us into putting in a few hours every week until the next game or expansion comes out. Destiny 2 is your next lifestyle game, but not because its progression systems are more enticing, or because its loot is particularly fabulous, but because it is a world-class shooter and a chill time with friends.

Destiny 2 Review
Destiny 2 Review

Destiny 2 is a persistent online FPS set in our solar system in the distant future. Four alien factions have converged on Earth to seize the power of a vast orb called the Traveler, which acts as humanity’s silent protector. The Traveler’s tiny drones, known as Ghosts, resurrect humans to serve as immortal Guardians charged with defending the planet. There are three flavours of Guardian to choose from. Warlocks can zap enemies with lightning, Emperor Palpatine style; Titans throw down shield walls and punch bad guys really hard; Hunters shank foes while dodge-rolling and tethering hordes with shots from a bow made of glittering purple energy. You pick your class, design your character, and get levelling.

It’s a game of three phases. The singleplayer story gets you to level 20 and introduces the universe map, which you’ll use for the next hundred or so hours to fly between planets to explore their open world zones, take on three-player Strikes (dungeons, to you and me), fight other players in 4v4 Crucible contests, and eventually take on the six-player raid. As you move through the story Destiny 2 starts laying the groundwork for phase two, beyond level 20, when you start hunting for weapons and armour to grow your new power level from 100 up to 305. This means repeating strikes, taking on public events in open world zones and doing short missions called adventures that extend the story on each planet. Phase three kicks in when you’re close to the power level cap. At this point most activities in the game drop worthless lower level rewards and the game sputters out. You can expect 30 or so hours of quality shooting before you hit Destiny 2’s doldrums. I think the journey is worth it.

Destiny 2 Review 2

Destiny 2’s plot is simple. A warlord called Ghaul leads the lumbering rhino-people called the Cabal in an attack on Earth. He wants to siphon off the Traveller’s power for himself, and you have to stop him across five or six hours of missions scattered across Earth, Titan, Nessus and IO. As the old Arthur C. Clarke saying goes, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Destiny’s fiction lives in this blurred area. Guns housing advanced AI fire ammunition that breaks apart reality. You might find wearing a far-future astronaut suit, or a helmet made from the bones of an extinct race of space dragons. Destiny’s universe works better when you consider it as an anthology of these cool sci-fi ideas rather than a linear story. The Cabal are the main threat in this game, but every faction can bring their bespoke on-brand apocalypse scenario to bear whenever Bungie releases an expansion. The zombie-like Hive wants to consume everything to feed the symbiotic worm creatures that infest them. The cybernetic Vex want to resolve the ambiguities of the universe into a perfect network, which involves wiping out species that inconvenience them.

They all die beautifully, and the vast majority of your interactions with Destiny’s curious universe happen at end of a gun. I get a rare feeling of satisfaction from taking a headshot in Destiny 2, and there is a deeply rewarding rhythm to combat encounters. Whichever class you choose you have access to a grenade and a melee attack, which recharge on cooldowns after each use. You have a loadout of three weapons to-hand (though it’s easy to duck into the menu to swap these out if you wish). Kinetic weapons deal standard damage; energy weapons carry elemental charge that you use to shatter shields; heavy weapons are your big hitters, and include shotguns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers and even swords. With practice you find yourself switching between weapons on the fly to take care of specific threats, chucking grenades into mobs, punching charging enemies into a million crackling pieces and repositioning with a jet-powered jump. If enemies are massing, a tough boss turns up, or you’ve just had enough, you can activate your super power. Hunters can break out the bow, one-shot enemies with a flaming gun, or dice up mobs with an electric staff depending on the subclass you have equipped—warlocks and titans have their own variants.

Destiny 2 Review 3

After hundreds of hours of Destiny 1 and many hours of Destiny 2, it still feels great to dismantle a mob like this, and Bungie’s shooter expertise translates surprisingly well onto PC. Mouse and keyboard controls, combined with a stable 60 fps of performance, adds an extra sense of control and fluidity. My experience with the PC version has been excellent. Destiny 2 has extensive settings menus that let you gear the game to your rig. It feels great to broaden out the field of view and absorb more of the game’s gorgeous space vistas. Some of the default key bindings are off for me, but these too can be extensively rearranged to fit your setup.

Destiny 2 has a loot box system that lets you use real money and scarce in-game currency to buy cosmetic items from the ‘Eververse’ store. Your level caps out at 20, but you continue to earn XP and fill your levelling bar past this point. Each time your levelling bar fills up you get a ‘bright’ engram that decodes into a package of premium cosmetic materials. These can be ships that you show off on loading screens, new skins for exotic guns, emotes, and shaders that change the colour of your gear. You can also buy XP boosters that apply to you and your fireteam, however this simply accelerates the rate at which you’re getting bright engrams for filling the levelling bar after 20. Shaders drop so often in the main game that I have never even considered buying a package with real money. It’s an unintrusive and easily ignored loot box system, and you get regular drops from the premium pool as you play.

Destiny 2’s first 20 hours are exhilarating. You see new planets, each of which benefits from some extraordinary art direction. Titan’s missions take place on an industrial complex on stilts, which sustains a vast golden age arcology overrun by the Hive’s corruption. The zone flows from man-made superstructures into defunct futuristic museum. The range of visual ideas in this one place alone would be enough to sustain a game by itself. Inevitably the splendour of the universe fades as you start blasting through zones to find a public event and try to secure some 280 power trousers, but there are few sci-fi games on PC that match Bungie’s vision. The raid, when it arrives a week or so after launch, takes place in an opulent golden space palace.

It’s a spectacular place to be, especially with friends. Destiny 2’s positive multiplayer environment is as vital to the game’s success as its weapon and encounter design. There is no public chat. Instead you opt in to communication, via voice or text, with your team mates in PvP, or your co-op fireteam. If you set the option in the menus, you can choose to receive whispers from strangers, but otherwise your communication with strangers is limited to comedy emotes. Agile menus let you seamlessly glide into co-op fireteams. Few games let you segue in and out of co-op so easily, and Destiny’s imposed silence leaves no room for shitty behaviour.