Tagged THQ

TGC Review: Darksiders

new tomb raiderSo in case you don’t know by now, Darksiders is the newest addition for PlayStation Plus this week, but is it worth those 10GB’s of bandwidth to download? Keep reading to find out, and I’ll put a “tl;dr” in for those of you who want it quickly summarized. Also, to note I will be reviewing the PS3 version of the game as this is for those of you who are debating whether or not to download this game from PS Plus.

In Darksiders, you play as War, one of the four Horseman of the Apocalypse. He is a powerful enforcer of the ancient laws of the Charred Council, and when war between Heaven and Hell breaks loose, War is “called” upon to resolve the issue. He is then falsely accused of instigating the conflict, and is sent back to Earth 100 years after the apocalypse to prove his innocence.

The core gameplay itself is pretty solid. Granted, it borrows from some notable games. God of War and Zelda will probably be the ones that come to mind when you play this, and although it is still fun nonetheless, if you’re going to copy a formula from one game to another, your goal should be to do it better, not just mix the two to make a mediocre product.

Although I would consider Darksiders gameplay mediocre, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. It’s combat is borrowed heavily from God of War, and the actual exploration isarticle-1234549-0428ADEB000005DC-111_468x308 like Zelda. The combo’s fit nicely with the gameplay, and some can be very satisfying to pull off correctly. As for the exploration, it can be pretty linear. It’s technically open-world, but don’t go in expecting the kind of exploration you could get done with a game like Zelda or Skyrim.

The world itself was also pretty bland. The game looks OK for a 2010 game, and while some environments can vary and be pretty nice to look at, some feel bland, outdated for their time, generic, and sometimes plain redundant. The amount of collectibles to find though is definitely a nice addition to have, and it will keep players coming back and exploring and finding some of the better, nicer looking parts of the world, too.

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While playing the game though, expect to run into glitches. Also, when I say glitches, I don’t just mean your standard clip-out clip-in, I mean uncalled for deaths, frustrating freezes, screen tears, frame rate drops, texture pop-ins, etcetera… Most if not all are NOT game-ruining in the slightest, but some can appear often enough to take you out of the experience and make you shake your head for a few seconds.

Puzzles are also another gameplay element in Darksiders. Most are very easy, and after doing a fair few, I got very bored with them, and most started feeling generic and more and more of a grind to do. You’ll find yourself doing the same tasks over and over again, too. Blow up this wall here, climb across here, the usual stuff.

The negative points I have mentioned thus far though are not the entire game, and they are quite minimal in comparison to the rest of the game and its offerings. Animations in Darksiders I feel are top-notch, and very satisfying to see one play through, although there could be a bit more variety to them. There is lots of gear to find, buy, and upgrade through the world though, and it was a lot of fun leveling up my weapons and getting better and better with some.

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The controls were OK. They weren’t terribly hard to use, but they were decent enough that I could play the game with almost no hindrance. Sometimes I couldn’t get the stuff done that I would have liked to with the layout, but it was manageable and it thankfully didn’t take away from the overall experience.

Presentation: Menu’s are OK to navigate, you’ll sit there for a few second before fully figuring them out. 7.0

Graphics: OK looking game, some pretty nice looking area, some bland. Characters could use a bit more detail. 6.9

Sound: Strong voice acting, good soundtrack, nice sound effects. 9.0

Gameplay: Fun combos, redundant puzzles and mechanics, satisfying kills. 7.5

Lasting Appeal: Collectibles, trophies/achievements, 15-20 hours of single player, no real point in exploring on your own. 8.1

Overall: 7.6

TL;DR - If you are a Plus subscriber, get this game. It is worth the 10 gigabytes it takes to download, and you will have fun with it. If you aren’t and haven’t picked this up already, I’d suggest at least watching some gameplay, then maybe going to find it at your local game retailer or online for cheap. Remember, THQ is the publisher for this one, so buying new can go a long way!

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News: THQ Files For Bankruptcy

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Another one bites the dust…

THQ has filed for bankruptcy. According to a statement released this morning, THQ has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with affiliates of investment firm Clearlake Capital Group “to acquire substantially all of the assets of THQ’s operating business, including THQ’s four owned studios and games in development.” THQ notes that the sale will allow it “to shed certain legacy obligations and emerge with the strong financial backing of a new owner with substantial experience in software and technology.”

As part of the sale, THQ has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. court. The company notes that it “will continue operating its business without interruption during the sale period” and that all studios will remain open with all development teams continuing to work. THQ also notes that “the company’s foreign operations, including Canada, are not included in the filings.”

Clearlake will serve as a “stalking horse bidder” for the sale process of THQ in a “section 363 sale process, which allows other interested parties to come forward with competing bids.”

THQ notes that it “remains confident in its existing pipeline of games” and is seeking court approval to assume the contracts of “some of the top independent development studios around the globe” with whom it maintains relationships. THQ president Jason Rubin added on Twitter that Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light and South Park: The Stick of Truth are “still on schedule.”

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“The sale and filing are necessary next steps to complete THQ’s transformation and position the company for the future, as we remain confident in our existing pipeline of games, the strength of our studios and THQ’s deep bench of talent,” said THQ CEO Brian Farrell. “We are grateful to our outstanding team of employees, partners and suppliers who have worked with us through this transition. We are pleased to have attracted a strong financial partner for our business, and we hope to complete the sale swiftly to make the process as seamless as possible.”

“We have incredible, creative talent here at THQ,” Rubin added. “We look forward to partnering with experienced investors for a new start as we will continue to use our intellectual property assets to develop high-quality core games, create new franchise titles, and drive demand through both traditional and digital channels.”

THQ announced in late November that a financial sponsor would help it find financing alternatives, leading to the resignation of CFO Paul Pucino. The news came shortly after an earnings report released in November in which THQ said it was looking to raise additional capital, adding at the time that it “may need to defer and/or curtail currently planned expenditures, cancel projects currently in development, sell assets, and/or pursue additional funding or additional external sources of liquidity, which may not be available on financially attractive terms.”

This is a sad day indeed for the gaming world, but at least they haven’t given up yet. I hope to see Metro: Last Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and Company of Heroes do well for them. After all, competition will only benefit us, and one less competitor is never a good thing.

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News: THQ Are Giving Away Metro 2033 For Free

metro 2033They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, yet THQ have given us both a lunch and dessert over the last couple of weeks.

First we have the Humble THQ Bundle, giving you the option to pay whatever you like for a bundle of THQ’s finest games. On top of that, they’re now giving away horror-shooter Metro 2033 for absolutely nothing, all you have to do is “Like” the Facebook page.

Once you have “Liked” the page, you’ll get a code to redeem Metro 2033 via Steam, all for nothing. Well, you had to click a couple of times, and maybe even sign into Facebook if you hadn’t already.

It seems like THQ are really pushing all out for the support of players, after months of financial difficulties, the troubled publisher really does need all the support it can get.

If you haven’t played Metro 2033, then now is as good a time as any, and if you’re looking forward to the upcoming sequel – Metro: Last Light – then get up to date with the story with this free game. Can’t hurt to at least give it a go.

Will you be downloading Metro 2033? Or have you already played it? Let us know in the comments.

The THQ Humble Bundle Will Knock Your Socks Off

thq humble bundleMany of you will have heard of The Humble Indie Bundle, a scheme where independent game makers will let you pay whatever price you want to play their games. It’s a brilliant scheme that lets you decide where the money goes, you can split it between the developer, charity and the humblebundle website, or just choose for it to all go to either, it’s up to you!

This time, it’s a little different. Instead of getting an indie bundle, there’s a mashup of THQ’s finest games, all that could be yours for as little as $1! In the bundle you can get:

  • Company of Heroes
  • Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
  • Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor
  • Red Faction: Armageddon
  • Metro 2033
  • Darksiders
  • Saints Row: The Third

However, to unlock Saints Row: The Third, you must pay over the average price that other gamers are paying, which at the time of writing is at around $6.00, so even then it’s an absolute steal! There is only little catch though, you must be running Windows and the games are only redeemable via Steam.

I personally love this idea, you get a great set of games, you pay the price you think is fair, charities get vital funds they would have gone without, and the developers get a little extra cash they would have other wise not have had. I really hope this sort of thing becomes more common place, I could see it becoming popular if it was for older titles that just don’t sell anymore.

Check out the bundle over at thehumblebundle.com, you won’t be disappointed!

Do you like this idea? Think it should happen more often? What would you pay for this amazing bundle? So many questions, why not answer them in the comments below?