Ghost Giant combines the magic of Moss with the frustrations of motion controls
Sun, 14 Apr 2019 14:00:00 +0100

For anyone who's played Moss, the opening moments of Ghost Giant will seem rather familiar. You, a ghostly presence, awaken in a quiet woodland area above a small body of water. In front of you is the game's tiny protagonist who, after a few moments of initial shock, soon comes to regard you as a friend and ally in their journey.

Ghost Giant also shares Moss's incredible production values, bringing you ultra detailed dioramas that are a joy to inhabit and tinker around in. Sadly, as you'll see near the end of this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner, Ghost Giant's reliance on motion controls takes some of the sheen off of this wonderfully presented game - or at least it does for me thanks to the relatively small area in which I'm able to play VR.

Ghost Giant may be reminiscent of Moss in its opening moments but it soon becomes clear that its gameplay is radically different. While you're in full control of Quill throughout her adventures, Louis, the boy-hero of Ghost Giant, makes his own way around his world and you, the titular Ghost Giant, can only go along for the ride.

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Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is surprisingly good fun
Wed, 10 Apr 2019 14:35:00 +0100

This week, a series of gifs enticed me to take a look at Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, a game that looks like what might happen if the cast of Morph decided to start doing medieval reenactments. Amusing as it looked with its googly eyes and shonky physics, I'll admit I came to it with a hefty dose of scepticism - the term simulator often being synonymous with 'a bit rubbish'.

I mean no disrespect to the Farming Simulators or hardcore flight sims of this world, of course - I'm talking about the stripe of games like Goat Simulator that rely on being just the right side of broken and hoping the one gag remains funny for longer than ten minutes (many of them struggle).

By contrast, there's just about enough of a game to Totally Accurate Battle Simulator's absurd campaign to lift it clear of the competition. While it's hardly going to replace Total War any time soon, there's something compelling about its mission structure; one which presents you with the enemy ranks and grants you a set number of points with which to purchase and field an opposing force. As with any strategy game, picking your units carefully is the key to success, only in this instance you find yourself asking how many mammoths you want to field, or whether a large unit of halflings is preferable to a smaller force of farmers.

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Space Junkies PSVR open beta shows promise, shame about the control scheme
Sun, 24 Mar 2019 14:00:00 +0000

I got absolutely thrashed the first couple of times I played the Space Junkies open beta on PSVR. At first I thought it was just because I was a bit of a noob, but then I twigged the real reason - Space Junkies is cross-play between PS4 and PC.

PC players, it turns out, are able to use motion controls that allow them to dual wield and aim with two weapons independently. PSVR players on the other handed are limited to a bizarre control scheme that sees you aiming and moving with the DualShock 4 only. This is something that takes a little while to get used to, as you'll be able to see in this week's Ian's VR Corner.

Now, before I recorded this week's episode, I did figure out that you could turn off cross-play between both platforms, so you'll actually be able to watch me get some rather satisfying wins. What you won't be able to see me turn off however is the God-awful snap-turning, but more on that after the video...

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Here's everything you need to know about Firestorm, Battlefield 5's thrilling take on battle royale
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:00:00 +0000

It's pretty safe to say that Battlefield 5 performed below expectations, even though its reviews were mostly positive. With physical sales in launch week down more than half on Battlefield 1, it seemed like fans were tiring of the churn and many of them were deserting the series for the greener pastures of the ever expanding battle royale genre.

Even I, a seasoned Battlefield player who has enjoyed every other game in the series, decided to skip this one after finding it underwhelming at a Gamescom preview event. However, after going hands on with Firestorm, Battlefield 5's take on the battle royale genre, I don't mind admitting that I'll be picking up a copy specifically to play that mode.

Firestorm lives in the space between PUBG and Call of Duty: Blackout. There's a sense of realism and tension there that war-sim fans will appreciate, but occasionally the action can ramp up in such a way that it starts to leans towards the arcadey-end of the spectrum. This means anyone who's turned off by the cartoony antics of Fortnite or the intense speed of Apex Legends will feel right at home in Firestorm, but thanks to the ease of its loot system, casual players should also be able to pick up the game with relative ease.

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Ian goes hands on with Audica, Harmonix's new rhythm shooter for VR
Sun, 17 Mar 2019 14:00:00 +0000

Beat Saber is an honest-to-goodness VR masterpiece that recently became one of the first VR games in the world to have sold over 1 million copies.

The core mechanic; chopping virtual blocks with virtual swords to a pumping soundtrack is as simple as it is brilliant and if I'm demoing VR to a newcomer, Beat Saber is always top of the pile. This is mainly due to how incredible it feels to play but also because it's just so easy to get to grips with. And I mean, come on, a game that lets you wield lightsabers like some kind of badass, drum 'n' bass Jedi? How could that not be the height of awesomeness?

Obviously the phenomenal success of Beat Saber was bound to spawn imitators sooner or later, so who better to try its hand at some VR rhythm action than Harmonix, the company behind Guitar Hero, Rockband and Dance Central.

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Watch Ian play the first hour of The Wizards: Enhanced Edition live on PSVR
Sun, 10 Mar 2019 13:00:00 +0000

Due to an unfortunate bout of the flu, I wasn't able to record an episode of Ian's VR Corner this week. I'm not about to let some nasty virus stop me from spreading the VR love though, especially when I've been given exclusive permission to preview the first hour of next week's big PSVR release.

From 2pm GMT today I'll be streaming 60 minutes worth of The Wizards: Enhanced Edition gameplay on PSVR to see how this magical adventure game handles on a PS4 Pro. All you need to do is press play on the video below and, when the clock hits 2pm, you'll be magically transported to my VR Corner where I'll be testing the game and giving you my first impressions of the gameplay, controls and comfort settings.

Hey now, hey now, the stream is over... So what did I think? Well I came away feeling mostly positive about the whole experience and definitely would have continued playing and streaming past the allotted time if I'd have been able.

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Honor And Duty: D-Day brings old-school FPS action to PSVR
Sun, 03 Mar 2019 14:00:00 +0000

14 years ago I was mad into Call of Duty 2 multiplayer. It was back during the heyday of Xbox Live on the Xbox 360, when online multiplayer for home consoles felt like a relatively new thing. The amount of hours I sank into COD 2 multiplayer back then was probably bordering on the unhealthy, but time sure does fly when you're having fun and all that.

Playing it nowadays, Call of Duty 2 multiplayer seems so basic and quaint, comprising of simple kill or be killed game modes with none of this modern jet-packing, reviving and loot crating malarky. Even with today's advances in online multiplayer (I'm looking at you, lovely, lovely battle royale games) I often feel a twang of nostalgia for some old-school, WW2-based first person shooter action. That's why Honor and Duty: D-Day caught my eye when it released on the Playstation Store earlier in the week.

The VR multiplayer matches in Honor and Duty: D-Day feel like they come straight out of the COD 2 playbook and you can watch me try it out in this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner, which you can find just below these very words.

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Watch Ian gets to grips with Dick Wilde 2 in this week's VR Corner
Sun, 24 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a good penis pun every now and then, but when that's the most interesting thing about your game, you've got a bit of a problem.

The original Dick Wilde was little more than a shooting gallery with colourful graphics and a title that made YouTube want to demonetise videos. While its sequel, Dick Wilde 2 does a few things to try and improve on the old formula, the tedious gameplay loop of standing still and pointing at things remains; as you'll be able to see in this week's Ian's VR Corner.

The original Dick Wilde saw you rooted to the spot on a stationary raft, shooting at wave upon wave of aggressive, swamp-dwelling critters. The gameplay was as varied as the contents of a packet of Ready Salted crisps and it was incredibly tough, a combination that frustrated many of its players.

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Despite a promising demo, PSVR adventure game Eden Tomorrow ends up disappointing
Sun, 17 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000

Last month a free demo for Eden Tomorrow appeared on the Playstation Store. The first 30 minutes of this sci-fi adventure game were included and after playing it through on stream, I came away with high hopes. It seemed more polished than your average PSVR title and the demo ended on a cliffhanger which (as any good demo should) left me excited to experience what happened next.

Unfortunately, after recording myself playing through the first hour and a half of the full release, I'm sad to report that the game never really reaches the heights promised by the demo. In actual fact, after passing the point where the demo ends, the overall quality starts taking a noticeable dip and what I thought was going to be a rip-roaring space adventure, quickly turns into a dull guided tour around bland, brown and basic environments.

You can watch my disappointment unfold in this week's episode of Ian's VR Corner below, which kicks off with a belter of a tune, even if I do say so myself.

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Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs is Angry Birds in VR and not much else
Sun, 10 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0000

Crikey, the Angry Birds franchise is going to be 10 years old this year! How time flies and other assorted bird puns...

In the past, the Angry Birds have spread their wings and hung out in the Star Wars Universe, they've starred in their very own Hollywood movie and they've even opened a theme park or two. That's why it's rather surprising that, aside from some fan made mods and prototypes, Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs is the first time the burbs have officially made the jump to VR.

So far the game is only available on Vive and Oculus and you can watch me play through a selection of levels from the first two worlds in this week's Ian's VR Corner. Apologies in advance for the singing at the start.

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