United Front Gaming http://unitedfrontgaming.com Yakuza Kiwami <p>Reviewed By: Andre Thomas<br />System: PS4 <br />Genre: Action<br />Rated: M<br />Players: 1<br />Cost: $29.99<br />Release Date: 08/29/2017<br />Publisher: SEGA <br />Developer: SEGA<br /><br />The beauty in writing for UFG for me, has to do with how often I get to review installments of popular video game series. As a person whose parents couldn&rsquo;t afford to buy multiple consoles or import titles released in Japan, it&rsquo;s great to be able to &ldquo;catch up&rdquo; on older games. Take the Yakuza series for example. Thanks to UFG, I was able to review Yakuza 0 and literally start things from the beginning. And while I didn&rsquo;t absolutely love that title (certain mechanics didn&rsquo;t seem to age as well as others), I enjoyed experiencing this franchise for the first time. Yakuza 0 didn&rsquo;t play like the open world/GTA-like game&rsquo;s I&rsquo;m used to. The cultural differences, intriguing offbeat story, crazy characters &ndash; I found all of it so fascinating. This is why I was excited when I got the chance to review Yakuza Kiwami! <br /><br />Yakuza Kiwami is a remake of the first Yakuza game. Players will again don the shoes of our favorite Dojima family member, Kiryu. Set in the early 90&rsquo;s, this is where we get to witness Kiryu start building is own family name. That is until his childhood friend Yumi turns up missing; fresh out of jail and still can&rsquo;t get a break. There&rsquo;s also the ten billion yen that was stolen from the Tojo clan. I won&rsquo;t go too deep into the story as it&rsquo;s the main reason I enjoyed this title. Just know that things go from crazy to insane, resulting in Kiryu hitting the streets (and an assortment of Yakuza along the way) to set things right.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/yakuza-kiwami-screen-4.jpg" alt="yakuza-kiwami-screen-4" /><br /><br />Like every remake, Yakuza Kiwami looks great on the PS4. We&rsquo;re talking 1080p at 60fps. It&rsquo;s surprising how the detailed facial expressions make every moment of dialogue significantly more enjoyable; with the story being serious but riddled with comical elements, I can&rsquo;t imagine playing this game before being able to see these things as clearly as I do now. What&rsquo;s interesting is that the game also boosts 30 mins of extra cutscenes that provide new insight into the plot &ndash; that is, it would be interesting for those of you who remember playing the first Yakuza game. The environments aren&rsquo;t as detailed when you&rsquo;re running about Kamurocho (Tokyo&rsquo;s Kabukicho in real life). Not a big deal considering. It would have been nice if Kiwami had the same visual fidelity seen in its cutscenes when you&rsquo;re controlling Kiryu. <br /><br />The other extras include re-recorded voice audio by the series&rsquo; cast along with other bells and whistles. Speaking of the cast, they do more than just sell the plot. Within the first hour of the game, you&rsquo;ll meet some of the corkiest characters in gaming history and are immediately sucked in. The acting is top notch and felt as if I was in an anime drama; they are somehow able to play it serious even when things have clearly gone off the rails. Heck, there is a character who literally can pop up from anywhere at any moment and start a fight with you. Not because he doesn&rsquo;t like you, but because he is trying to find ways to force Kiryu to forgo his &ldquo;I only fight when it&rsquo;s worth it&rdquo; attitude.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/yakuza-kiwami-screen-3.jpg" alt="yakuza-kiwami-screen-3" /><br /><br />The story is entertaining, the cast is full of colorful characters, and visually the game looks good. While all of that is fine and good, I still can&rsquo;t get into the combat. I don&rsquo;t mean to beat a dead horse, but there isn&rsquo;t anything more annoying than playing a game built around Japanese gang combat that&rsquo;s been reduced to the swinging of arms and button mashing. I understand that this is the style SEGA has gone with for each Yakuza game, but the fighting is way too outdated for me to really enjoy it. It doesn&rsquo;t feel like I am using martial arts. I don&rsquo;t want to sound stereotypical &ndash; as if every Asian character in gaming can do Kung-Fu &ndash; but when I look at the history of the Yakuza, it shows that most of them were outstanding fighters who used martial arts instead of guns to make their points around the city. So, when I start the game and it feels like I am just swinging my fists and weapons randomly, it just feels like a huge missed opportunity.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s also boring. The fighting isn&rsquo;t over-the-top enough to be like what&rsquo;s seen in popular anime and it isn&rsquo;t realistic enough for the current setting. It&rsquo;s just me mashing buttons and sometimes, getting cool moves. Yes, I know that there are combos/moves to learn. Everything still boils down to button mashing. Here&rsquo;s hoping that if future iterations exist, namely the upcoming Yakuza 6, that maybe we can get combat more similar to what we&rsquo;ve seen in Sleeping Dogs. I mean, that game didn&rsquo;t have the most realistic fighting ever but it was better than this.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/yakuza-kiwami-screen-2.jpg" alt="yakuza-kiwami-screen-2" /><br /><br />Regardless of the combat being annoying, Yakuza Kiwami is very entertaining. The story is where it&rsquo;s at of course. There are also cool distractions/mini-games like bug battling, karaoke, and pocket circuit car racing. If you can get pass the fighting, there is a world of enjoyment available at a budget price. Fan of Yakuza or not, that&rsquo;s a deal I wouldn&rsquo;t want to pass on! <br /><br />Gameplay: 7<br />I latterly enjoyed everything except the fighting. Unfortunately, that&rsquo;s the one thing you do the most in Yakuza Kiwami. <br /><br />Graphics: 9<br />The game looks great. <br /><br />Sound: 8<br />The re-recorded audio and music is awesome!<br /><br />Replay Value: 6 <br />Once you finish the story, unless you have friends to play mini-games with, there isn&rsquo;t much replay left. That said, I&rsquo;m eager to play another Yakuza title. <br /><br />Final Score: <br /><br />7.5<br /><br /><strong>Editor&rsquo;s Note:</strong> <em>Feel free to check out how our Editor-in-Chief and I felt about <a class="external" href="http://www.unitedfrontgaming.com/post/3275/yakuza-5">Yakuza 5</a> and <a class="external" href="http://www.unitedfrontgaming.com/sony/post/3690/yakuza-0">Yakuza 0</a> respectively. Here is a hint: he enjoyed the combat way more than I did! &nbsp;<br /></em></p> /sony/post/yakuza-kiwami Fri, 25 Aug 2017 12:00:00 Bandai And Level 5 Delay Ni no Kuni II's Release! <p>Written By: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />Date: 07/14/2017<br /><br />Bandai Namco recently announced that the release of Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom had been postponed. Gamers won&rsquo;t be able to traverse its charming world until next year&hellip;<br /><br />Thankfully, it&rsquo;ll be early next year when the game drops. The reason for the delay had to do with the desire to make the best game possible. Akihiro Hino, CEO and President of Level-5 Inc., released a video explaining further. <br /><br /><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LzvcBLWMfb0" width="854" height="480"></iframe><br /><br />Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will be available on the PS4 and PC on January 19th, 2018!</p> /sony/post/bandai-and-level-5-delay-ni-no-kuni-iis-release Fri, 14 Jul 2017 12:00:00 Injustice 2 <p>Reviewed By: Andre Thomas<br />System: PS4 (Also on Xbox One) <br />Genre: Fighting<br />Rated: T<br />Players: 1-2 (2-10 Online)<br />Cost: $59.99<br />Release Date: 05/16/2017<br />Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive<br />Developer: NetherRealm Studios<br /><br />The great people at NetherRealm have once again, brought us another reason to geek out. Being a huge fan of the original Injustice &ndash; no seriously, read my <a class="external" href="http://www.unitedfrontgaming.com/xbox-360/post/1711/injustice:-gods-among-us">review</a> if you don&rsquo;t believe me &ndash; and having read the comics leading into this game, it&rsquo;s safe to say that I&rsquo;m amongst the &ldquo;geeked&rdquo;. With that said, Injustice 2 has some stiff competition. Though it&rsquo;s true that pitting some of the greatest heroes and villains in the DC Universe against one another almost always equals a good time, Tekken 7 is right around the corner. Will Injustice 2 remain in our consoles for the foreseeable future or be promptly replaced when newer fighters drop? Well&hellip;you see...<br /><br />Injustice 2 is the direct follow up to the original game, taking place in a world where Superman stopped being a boy scout and started murdering villains. This was due to the loss of his beloved Lois Lane; the Joker pulled one last cruel act before becoming Supe&rsquo;s first victim. As the story goes, Superman became judge and jury, ordering his fellow superheroes to go about dispatching villains with extreme prejudice. Of course, this didn&rsquo;t sit well with Batman. With the ad of heroes from an alternate reality, Bats was able to end Superman&rsquo;s totalitarian rule. Things didn&rsquo;t end well though. The onset of Injustice 2&rsquo;s plot depicts a new supervillain group&rsquo;s rise to power and the invasion of Brainiac. With Superman out of commission, at least temporarily, Batman and the select few heroes who are still actually heroes, have their hands full. &nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/injustice-2-review-screen-2.jpg" alt="injustice-2-review-screen-2" /><br /><br />Now I won&rsquo;t dig too deep into the story because it is absolutely incredible/should be experienced by anyone who has ever followed the DC Comics history. I can&rsquo;t deny, it takes a lot for me to get used to seeing Superman and Wonder Woman as villains, considering that they are some of the greatest heroes ever created. The line was drawn so deep into the sand, that I thought it would be impossible for NetherRealm to bring back the Justice League (or what&rsquo;s left of it). That&rsquo;s of course before the introduction of certain villains. <br /><br />It makes sense for NetherRealm to add new heroes and villains to Injustice 2. It&rsquo;s a sequel after all. That said, they&rsquo;ve tweaked more than just the roster. The new gear system, for instance, addresses an issue I&rsquo;ve had for a while. Namely the repetitive nature of fighting games for the casual fan. It&rsquo;s easy for the more hardcore of us to stay entrenched as we learn combos, frame data, and such. We aren&rsquo;t the only one&rsquo;s keep this genre alive though; as seen with Capcom&rsquo;s SFV. Thankfully, NetherRealm has been great with providing extra modes and features that offer a broad appeal while also catering to longtime fans. Like with the implantation of a gear system.&nbsp; With each fight (regardless of mode) there is the possibility of unlocking new armor for the assorted heroes and villains. Most of them grant some sort of attribute boost; some might provide more health while others allow you to do more damage to certain characters. All of them allow what seems like an endless amount of individuality. With each unique armor piece, you gradually watch your beautifully rendered character transform into nearly a completely new character. Normal Batman vs tricked out Dark Knight counterpart, complete with glowing bat chest piece.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/injustice-2-review-screen-3.jpg" alt="injustice-2-review-screen-3" /><br /><br />The previous installment allowed us to unlock full costumes, which was great. I love being able to mix and match my gear to make my character&rsquo;s look unique though. The added bonus of altering a hero to better adhere to my style of play is well&hellip;a bonus. But what is unique is how you can learn new moves by opening loot boxes and leveling your characters to max level. These &ldquo;mother boxes&rdquo; are ranked from bronze to platinum and can be unlocked by playing through the game. So, with every sweet costume you come across online, you&rsquo;ll know that that player put in the time to earn each piece. It&rsquo;s a way of providing a preverbal carrot on the stick, encouraging players to keep playing. <br /><br />Adding some RPG elements into a fighter might not seem like a smart idea at first. There&rsquo;s the issue of balance. NetherRealm made sure to give players options on this front. Whether you want all of the gear to be cosmetic only, offer a slight bump in stats &ndash; the game will raise both players base stats to match one another, keeping things close even with active gear &ndash; or be able to fully unleash the power of your rarest pieces, you can. There&rsquo;s also the randomization problem. I can understand why people don&rsquo;t like loot boxes. Where receiving a gold mother box only nets you common items or decent gear for characters you don&rsquo;t like. If I had to think of a bright side to this set up, at least, it&rsquo;s that you aren&rsquo;t actually spending real money for a randomized box. Microtransactions are present but they are limited to premier skins and shaders; you can&rsquo;t spend money to boost your stats via gear.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/injustice-2-review-screen-5.jpg" alt="injustice-2-review-screen-5" /><br /><br />You may be wondering why I have talked about the moment to moment fighting yet. Well, it&rsquo;s because the combat is just a good as it ever was. The many combos, super moves, cancels &ndash; they all work/feel as they should; it&rsquo;s more what we&rsquo;ve seen from the first Injustice and Mortal Kombat, but in a good way. Speaking of feel, one difference between NetherRealm fighters and others is how heavy the characters seem to be while playing. A good comparison would be the Blazblue series, where the fast-paced fights are more akin to cinematic anime fight sequence. With Injustice 2 though, hulking beasts and light-on-their-feet heroes move as such. Playing as Gorilla Grodd is like playing as a real gorilla&hellip;who just happens to be a genius with &ldquo;control&rdquo; issues. <br /><br />Even after completing the story mode and battling for hours online, I still can&rsquo;t get enough of playing this game. My daily routine now includes hitting the gym, going to work, family time, multiverse &ndash; a mode that&rsquo;s similar to the towers offered in MKX. It has become that addictive that it&rsquo;s almost second nature when I&rsquo;m home now. I will say, some of the premium skins they allow you to unlock would have been better as their own characters. Learning that John Stewart would be nothing more than a voice over and visual swap for Hal Jordan was a bit frustrating. Not to mention that it would have made sense, based on how the previous story ended, to move away from Hal and give John a shot. A man can dream, right? Injustice 2 also doesn&rsquo;t benefit from being new. Most of what is here was present in the last game. All of that aside, NetherRealm has set the bar for what fighters can be this generation. Again!</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/injustice-2-review-screen.jpg" alt="injustice-2-review-screen" /></p> <p>By having the game ready to play on its release date, forgoing simple features like the ability to spectate matches, it was already positioned well. ahead of the competition. Adding interesting mechanics, a great story, reliable online play and more, easily pushed it ahead of the competition! <br /><br />Gameplay: 9<br />It&rsquo;s more of the same gameplay wise. New elements like the gear system, add to the entertainment. Also, the story mode is a blast. <br /><br />Graphics: 9<br />This game is gorgeous for the most part. Some of the characters have this clay-like vibe during close ups though. <br /><br />Sounds: 9<br />The banter between characters add another level of comic sweetness to the game.<br /><br />Replay Value: 10<br />The fights are awesomely chaotic, there&rsquo;s gear aplenty and modes like the multiverse. All of which add to endless hours of fun! The multiverse and gear leads to endless hours of fun</p> <p>Final Score: <br /><br />9.2<br /><br /></p> /sony/post/injustice-2 Tue, 30 May 2017 12:00:00 Outlast II <p>Reviewed By: Matt Paprocki<br />System: PS4 (Also on Xbox One, PC) <br />Genre: Survival Horror<br />Rated: M<br />Players: 1<br />Cost: $39.99 <br />Release Date: 04/25/2017<br />Publisher: Red Barrels Studio<br />Developer: Red Barrels Studio<br /><br />Utilizing the outlandish American Southerner trope &ndash; and with unfortunate timing, too near the equally trope-addled Resident Evil 7 &ndash; Outlast II&rsquo;s derivative horror exterior is a bit of a con. Underneath the images of shack-dwelling, machete-wielding people comes an unexpectedly outspoken story of extreme Christianity.<br /><br />Religious implications hit with force. Plot developments utilize real world headlines, despite inherent fantasy qualities in the story. The more fantastic Outlast II becomes with its fiction though, the more personally resentful it feels toward religious institutions.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/outlast-2-review-screen.jpg" alt="outlast-2-review-screen" /><br /><br />Twenty-something protagonist Blake Langerman often flashes back to an incident at his Catholic grade school, seamlessly intertwined with his jaunt through an unspecified cross-section of the Bible Belt. While a bit of a lug in terms of heroics (Langerman is typically voiceless and out to rescue his wife. Ho hum.) what he witnesses is cult-like behavior between two Christian sects. Even without a central antagonist for most its (too many) hours, Outlast II finds a villain in its exaggerated spin on hyper-conservatism. Those bound to Christian teachings on Outlast II barely function above movie zombies. It&rsquo;s not subtle and feels spiteful on the part of developer Red Barrels Studio.<br /><br />Although bothered by a languid pacing, the run through Outlast II is deviously beautiful. Committed to hard shadows and sublime use of light, this entire space comes rife with intelligent framing. For first-person, few are better at establishing space and maintaining a cinematic punch. Outlast II is, partially, Blair Witch &ndash; Langerman keeps a video camera close on the right trigger, a half-in take on found footage. Importantly, the compositions work. Drizzling light through cracked shutters, backlighting threats, forcing uncomfortable shadows, and raining mist over everything, Outlast II&rsquo;s aesthetic eye towers over its B-level construct.<br /><br />Outlast II needs a few logic lapses to work. It&rsquo;s unnecessarily bogged down by collectibles, less obvious a video game through its interactivity than distributing plot devices on pieces of glowing paper. Also, Langerman&rsquo;s camera needs constant batteries, AAs no less, as if any handheld cam in 2017 still uses disposables. Good thing these cults, infatuated with morbidly desecrating their dead and suffering from leprosy, made trips to Wal-Mart to stay well stocked on Energizers. Langerman has no offense either, not even a push. Pitchforks stuck in hay must be equivalent to the Arthurian sword in the stone. Fear feels artificially inflated as a result, even if the well-considered audio design works as intended.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/outlast-2-review-screen-3.jpg" alt="outlast-2-review-screen-3" /><br /><br />But, Outlast II is dumb only as necessitated by convention. No excuses &ndash; Outlast II makes those mistakes and suffers as a result. As it continues, Outlast II doesn&rsquo;t recuse itself from tougher material. Some of this embeds into the plot organically, others with aimless, empty Eli Roth shock value, including a side character discussing his daughter&rsquo;s rape. That character is never seen again.<br /><br />In that sense, Outlast II needed a developed, exuberant antagonist. More specifically, a visage of Jim Jones to whom Outlast II holds disdain. The links to Jones&rsquo; Peoples Temple, although extreme and exaggerated, stand by. Environments stuff themselves with erratically placed crucifixes and related statues. Knife-wielding denizens charge at Langerman spouting bible verses, or the warped versions as taught by their cult leader. Via scattered paperwork, there&rsquo;s a cop out and it&rsquo;s a narrative mistake, albeit one with a possible glimpse at further parable.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/outlast-2-review-screen-2.jpg" alt="outlast-2-review-screen-2" /><br /><br />Even with those judgment errors, Outlast II&rsquo;s cynical look at religion and how people turn away from faith gives something to drive it, as opposed to Resident Evil 7&rsquo;s tawdry mimic of &lsquo;70s splatter cinema. When successful, Outlast II&rsquo;s smart use of found footage flair doesn&rsquo;t feel tired. It&rsquo;s too unique and driven not by way of the man-saves-girl rut, but the splendid use of light and dark to best extol this take on zealotry.<br /><br />Gameplay: 8<br />Somewhat nonsensical when it comes to a lack of offensive maneuvers, Outlast II draws on its avoidance of sluggish puzzles and stealth to work as intended.<br /><br />Graphics: 9<br />Stellar and smart use of shadows probably covers some technical shortcomings, but their placement gives the game a brilliant look.<br /><br />Sound: 9<br />Standard horror fare, including iffy voice work. Screeching enemies and silent, nighttime scenery pay off in terms of dramatic weight.<br /><br />Replay Value: 6<br />Not much reason to go back. Some might do so for the collectibles or the challenge presented via higher difficulties.<br /><br />Final Score: <br /><br />8<br /><br /></p> /sony/post/outlast-ii Wed, 17 May 2017 12:00:00 ATLUS Releases Persona 5 Unboxing Video! <p>Written by: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />Date: 03/23/2017<br /><br />ATLUS, with the launch of Persona 5 right around the corner, decided to release an unboxing video. What&rsquo;s interesting about the video is that they are actually unboxing the &ldquo;Take Your Heart&rdquo; Premium Edition, exclusive to the PS4 version of the game! <br /><br />By &ldquo;they&rdquo; I mean Lauren and Will, Marketing and PR Associates for ATLUS. Check them out below: <br /><br /><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CRpsn0z2-Ls" width="854" height="480"></iframe><br /><br />For those of you who can&rsquo;t watch the video but are still interested in what comes with this premium edition, here&rsquo;s a handy list:&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><br />&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<strong>"Sounds of Rebellion" soundtrack CD:</strong> A selection of music from Persona 5 by legendary series composer Shoji Meguro in a CD wallet featuring P5 artwork.<br /><br />&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<strong>4" Morgana plush:</strong> Morgana the cat is not just the mascot of the Phantom Thieves, but is also a member--and also not just a cat! The premium edition includes an exclusive 4" plush of Morgana.<br /><br />&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<strong>"The Aesthetics" 64-page hardcover art book:</strong> This art book is full of concept sketches, character art, and more by character designer Shigenori Soejima.<br /><br />&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<strong>SteelBook:</strong> As strong as a vault, the game disc for the PS4 will come specially packaged in a SteelBook collectible case, emblazoned with Persona 5 designs.<br /><br />&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<strong>Shujin Academy school bag:</strong> Designed after the traditional school bags in Japan, the exclusive replica bag comes complete with the Shujin Academy crest.<br /><br />&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<strong>Collectible outer box:</strong> Easily the largest premium edition in ATLUS' history, the entirety of the "Take Your Heart" Premium Edition comes in a colossal collectible box.<br /><br />All of this can be yours for $89.99. Unless of course, you&rsquo;re fine with just buying the game. Speaking of which, Persona 5 will land on PS3/4 on April 4th. Be sure to check back here as we continue to cover this title! <br /><br /><br /></p> /sony/post/atlus-releases-persona-5-unboxing-video- Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:00:00 Merchandise Monkey Releases Horizon Zero Dawn Clothing/Items! <p>Written By: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />Date: 02/28/17<br /><br />Merchandise Monkey, a UK based independent games merchandise retailer, recently announced that their Horizon Zero Dawn clothing line was available for pre-order. As of today though, some of their items are available for purchase right now&hellip;<br /><br />The items range from zipped hoodies and snapbacks to messenger bags and wallets, all officially licensed.&nbsp; I&rsquo;m partial to the Horizon Zero Dawn Aloy Zippered Hoodie (costing &pound;59.99). Check it out below:</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/horizon-zero-dawn-clothing-screen.jpg" alt="horizon-zero-dawn-clothing-screen" /><br /><br />Mug, wall scroll, keychain &ndash; there&rsquo;s a bunch of stuff to check out at Merchandise Monkey&rsquo;s <a class="external" href="https://www.merchandisemonkey.co.uk/collections/horizon-zero-dawn">website</a>. Horizon Zero Dawn, the game, is now available for the PS4. Feel free to check back here for more game related news! <br /><br /></p> /sony/post/merchandise-monkey-releases-horizon-zero-dawn-clothing-items- Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:00:00 The Watch_Dogs 2 Human Conditions DLC is Now Available! <p>Written By: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />Date: 02/21/17<br /><br />Ubisoft made available today the second add-on content pack for Watch_Dogs 2. Called Human Conditions, this new pack features three story-driven DedSec operations, new co-op challenges and more!</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/watch-dogs-2-dlc-screen.jpg" alt="watch-dogs-2-dlc-screen" /><br /><br />Human Conditions contains more than five hours of new content/challenges. Like the Elite co-op challenges, designed to test players&rsquo; steath and combat skills &ndash; they&rsquo;ll require players to complete various objectives in multiple locations with bigger layouts. There are also a couple surprises thrown in for fun, including a new enemy type called the Jammer. These guys carry anti-hacking devices that&rsquo;ll disable all hacking options in a radius around them. <br /><br />Here are the three new DedSec Operations: <br />&nbsp;<br />&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; <strong>&nbsp;Automata</strong> revolves around Nudle&rsquo;s new smart car, the CyruX, which uses biometric data both as a security measure and to adapt itself to the driver. But is that really all it does with a user&rsquo;s personal information? DedSec sees the potential for abuse right away and sets out to expose it.<br /><br />&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<strong>Bad Medicine</strong> follows the trail of a dangerous ransomware that has crippled the city&rsquo;s hospitals; as Marcus and his crew dig deeper to stop this menace, they will cross paths with deadly hitman Jordi Chin and form an unlikely alliance against the Russian mafia.<br /><br />&bull;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<strong>Caustic Progress</strong> unveils a strange new company called RenSense that is experimenting with dangerous nanotech on the Bay Area's homeless. It has caught the attention of bio-hacker Lenni, who claims that their mobile clinics for the homeless hide very troubling human experiments. With her help, DedSec sets out to stop this madness.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/watch-dogs-2-dlc-screen-2.jpg" alt="watch-dogs-2-dlc-screen-2" /><br /><br />Human Conditions is a part of the Watch_Dogs 2 Season Pass and is currently available on the PS4. The Xbox One and PC versions will gain access to this content come March 23rd. <br /><br /></p> /sony/post/the-watch_dogs-2-human-conditions-dlc-is-now-available- Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:00:00 Square Releases New NieR: Automata Trailer! <p>Written By: Kenneth Seward Jr.<br />Date: 02/14/17<br /><br />Square Enix recently released a new trailer for their upcoming action RPG, NieR: Automata. Called &ldquo;Glory of Mankind 119450310&rdquo;, the trailer depicts the post-apocalyptic world where androids fight machines to reclaim the planet for their human masters&hellip;<br /><br />The focus is on the fellowship between members of an elite android squad, YoRHa, as they battle different foes. Check it out:<br /><br /><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eLZGZmqK00k" width="854" height="480"></iframe><br /><br />NieR: Automata will be released on the PS4 on March 7th (the 10th in Europe) &ndash; a demo of the game is currently available via the PlayStation Store. Be sure to check back here as we continue to cover this title! <br /><br /></p> /sony/post/square-releases-new-nier:-automata-trailer- Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:00:00 Yakuza 0 <p>Reviewed By: Andre Thomas<br />System: PS4<br />Genre: Action RPG<br />Rated: M<br />Players: 1-2<br />Cost: $59.99 <br />Release Date: 01/24/2016<br />Publisher: SEGA <br />Developer: SEGA<br /><br />I have to admit, this is my first time playing a Yakuza title. For whatever reason, I hadn&rsquo;t been exposed to the franchise before being assigned to reviewing the latest instalment (in the US that is). What&rsquo;s great about this is the fact that Yakuza 0 just happens to be a great starting point for newer players. Meaning, that while you should take my criticism with a grain of salt, my opinion is still holds water&hellip;<br /><br />Disclosing my &ldquo;newness&rdquo; to the series should take the edge off of when I describe my experience with Yakuza&rsquo;s game mechanics (at least for the diehard fans). Taking a step back, Yakuza 0 follows the story of a young Kazuma Kiryu &ndash; the series&rsquo; main protagonist &ndash; back in 1988. As a newly made Yakuza member eager to prove himself, he accepts a simple collection run for a local loan shark. Unfortunately, things don&rsquo;t go as planned and Kazuma is framed for murder. What follows is narrative full of power struggles and double crosses&hellip;at first. After a certain point, the game will switch over to Goro Majima, another prominent Yakuza character. Things get really interesting as Kazuma and Goro&rsquo;s paths wind back and forth before converging.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/yakuza-0-review-screen-5.jpg" alt="yakuza-0-review-screen-5" /><br /><br />While I won&rsquo;t go into exactly what happens, I can say that gamers are in for an insane ride. The great voice acting helps to create a serious vibe, adding an emotional pull to the otherwise campy narrative. This is a good thing because the archaic mechanics wears out their welcome over the course of this lengthy game. For one, the beat&rsquo;em up styled action segments haven&rsquo;t evolved well enough to live in this era; I&rsquo;m sure it was great when the first games were released back on the PlayStation 2, but they don&rsquo;t hold a candle to say Sleeping Dogs. To be fair, you can learn new moves and Heat Actions (special moves/maneuvers that can be used once you fill up a bar) that can lead into extended combos. Some of which are required to break an opponent&rsquo;s block or to deal with a hard hitting foe. For the most part though, the fighting boils down to mashing an attack button before being prompted to &ldquo;finish&rdquo; the maneuver by hitting Triangle. I would have loved for more diversity within these characters&rsquo; repertoire, the lack of which made the fighting feel more like a chore. <br /><br />Now, interacting with the objects around you is pretty entertaining. Just about anything can be picked up and used to bash rival Yakuza. Some offer up brutal takedowns while others feature hilarious finishers; imagine beating someone down with a bicycle until it wraps around their body.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s crazy how the player can utterly destroy a foe. That said, it would have been nice if your enemies injuries reflected the violent thrashings. This is especially true with some of the more annoying fights, where acute bruising would have made winning more satisfying.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/yakuza-0-screen-3.jpg" alt="yakuza-0-screen-3" /><br /><br />Beyond the fist fights are the fun mini-games/twists in gameplay. For instance, Kiryu, in between busting heads throughout the streets of Kamurocho, eventually gets into the real-estate business. Yup, you read that correctly. The idea is to build a portfolio of businesses that he can take collections from. A welcome change &ndash; it&rsquo;s fun because it helps in building this feeling of becoming a Yakuza Boss within your own right and it provided a break from the fighting (except when you had to settle a dispute).<br />&nbsp; <br />The backdrop for these characters and they&rsquo;re related stories is what made the game worth completing. Both cities, Kamurocho when playing as Kiryu and Sotenbori when playing as Goro, seemed to be more alive than the actual people walking through it. Not only do they provide an interesting environment to wander about, they also came packed with so many things to do; gambling, fishing, karaoke, and a ton of other side activities help to release the heavy emotional burden that comes via the splendid storytelling. It was actually fun to manage Cabarets as Majima. Like with Kiryu, his job broke up the monotony of running around the city and punching the &ldquo;honor of his adopted father&rdquo; into people who&rsquo;d forsaken his name.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/yakuza-0-review-screen-4.jpg" alt="yakuza-0-review-screen-4" /><br /><br />I can&rsquo;t remember the last time a game&rsquo;s story and offbeat nature won me over so much so, that I looked passed the main gameplay elements. No matter how annoying and clunky the fighting felt, the game itself remained worth playing just to see how both characters stories panned out; it felt like I was taking part in a drama filled manga. The side missions/activities were also entertaining to say the least. Bottom line, Yakuza 0 is worth checking out even if it feels a little dated! &nbsp;<br /><br />Gameplay: 7 <br />Even though the story is great, the fighting is a bit archaic in design. <br /><br />Graphics: 7 <br />Yakuza 0 looks pretty good. Things improve significantly during cutscenes. <br /><br />Sound:&nbsp; 9 <br />The voice acting and music in the era fit perfectly with the games backdrop. At least, it was what I expected to hear while traversing a 1988 Tokyo. <br /><br />Replay Value: 7 <br />The game&rsquo;s story is intriguing and the mini-games are fun. But once you&rsquo;ve completed the game, there is little reason to go back (sans a barebones two player mode allowing others to enjoy some of the mini-games). <br /><br />Final Score: <br /><br />7.5<br /><br /></p> /sony/post/yakuza-0 Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12:00:00 The Last Guardian <p>Reviewed By: Brandon Noel<br />System: PS4<br />Genre: Action Adventure<br />Rated: T<br />Players: 1<br />Cost: $59.99 <br />Release Date: 12/06/2016<br />Publisher: Sony<br />Developer: genDESIGN/SIE Japan Studio<br />&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />It would be a gross understatement to say that The Last Guardian has been in development for a long time. It started out as a PS3 exclusive before landing on the PS4, nine years later. Developed by genDESIGN and SIE Japan with remnants of Team ICO, who worked on games like ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, the game was able to garner a decent amount of hype when it finally went gold. Now that The Last Guardian is available, the question on everyone&rsquo;s mind: was it worth the wait?</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/the-last-guardian-screen-2.jpg" alt="the-last-guardian-screen-2" /><br /><br />The Last Guardian (TLG) begins by showing us a child playing in a village amongst friends. After passing out for reasons unknown, he wakes up to find strange markings covering his body and a giant creature named Trico chained to the floor. After some investigating the boy will notice that Trico is injured (he has multiple spears stuck in his body) and after assisting is again knocked unconscious; this time by Trico thrashing around the cave. Upon waking up for the second time it appears that Trico is thankful for the boy removing the spears and as a result a fragile bond is formed between the two. Or at least that what we are to assume based on Trico&rsquo;s actions; the young boy tries desperately to flee from the creature to no avail. As Trico follows him around, he&rsquo;ll help the boy on more than one occasion, proving useful in this dire situation. After a while it becomes apparent that these two characters need each other - their bond grows stronger as they embark on an unforgettable adventure. <br /><br />Being a 3rd person title, TLG's controls are responsive and very easy to pick up. Left and Right sticks are used for movement and camera control while the face buttons handle crouching, jumping, tackle/throwing and petting Trico. The D-pad allows you to wield and put away a mystical mirror and R1 allows you to call out to Trico when you need help. Speaking of the mirror, it serves as one of the primary means of interacting with Trico. Wielding the mirror and reflecting light on a surface or target activates Trico's lightening ability, clearing passageways. Later you&rsquo;ll get access to barrels that Trico can consume as a means of keeping him from wondering off.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/the-last-guardian-screen.jpg" alt="the-last-guardian-screen" /><br /><br />Based on the controls, you can see that TLG places greater emphasis on exploration/problem solving than it does on action oriented gameplay. This creates an engrossing experience &ndash; a less is more approach &ndash; that&rsquo;s unique when compared to games released nowadays. Certain areas require you to advance first and then open gates or lower bridges in order for Trico to advance. Other areas will require you to ride Trico while he jumps to places far out of your reach. Occasionally Trico will be needed to subdue the guards patrolling the environment. Regardless of what&rsquo;s going on, the relationship that grows between these two characters is front and center; though they&rsquo;ll work together to solve the mystery of their imprisonment, their forming bond is a key narrative thread. <br /><br />What&rsquo;s most interesting about this set up is Trico himself. This bird, dog thing behaves like a loyal &ldquo;pet&rdquo; throughout the game. It will occasionally sit down and scratch itself, howl and even give a disapproving grunt at certain points. Great consideration and care took place when designing his mannerisms; one moment he&rsquo;s content and attentive and the next moment he will become irritated, dropping on the spot to fall asleep. It&rsquo;s a wise choice to pet Trico and keep him fed in order to have him ready to assist you at a moment&rsquo;s notice.<br /><br />Graphically, TLG teeters between average and eye catching, both of which is understandable seeing as it started as a PS3 game. Certain textures obviously went through very minimal facelifts for the current port while Trico&rsquo;s finer details are fairly impressive. With each individual feather on its body moving with every step and gust of wind throughout the game, Trico visually screams next-gen. Draw distances for environments are vast and eye popping, with soft colors that give the impression that the game is one long dream sequence. Not only is it surreal, it's provides quite a relaxing experience. The game can be said of the musical score, which is non-existent for most of the game. This isn&rsquo;t a bad thing as the minimal approach works exceptionally well here. In fact, the absence of music produces a sense of solitude and isolation that pulls you further into the game.</p> <p><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/unitedfrontgaming/files/the-last-guardian-screen-3.jpg" alt="the-last-guardian-screen-3" /><br /><br />The Last Guardian, at its core, is a story of a boy and his companion that provides an engrossing experience akin to titles like A Boy and His Blob (but on a much larger scale of course). It&rsquo;s certainly interesting to watch let alone play through. With a strong cinematic presence, this emotional ride is something that should be experienced by anyone looking for something different. &nbsp;<br /><br />Gameplay: 8<br />The exploration and puzzle solving elements are entertaining. Outside of Trico presence, there isn&rsquo;t much we haven&rsquo;t seen before. <br /><br />Graphics: 8<br />Convincing but not entirely next-gen. That said, photorealistic graphics aren&rsquo;t a necessity here. &nbsp;<br /><br />Sound: 8<br />While it featured a light soundtrack, The Last Guardian has rich atmospheric sounds that really bring its world to life.<br /><br />Replay Value: 7<br />Despite being an engrossing game, The Last Guardian is a one and done type of game. I can see people going back just to spend more time with Trico. Most will enjoy the initial ride while it lasts. <br /><br />Final Score:</p> <p><br />7.8<br /><br /></p> /sony/post/the-last-guardian Wed, 4 Jan 2017 12:00:00