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Oct Review Roundup - Full Quiet, Tour De France 2023, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide & More!

October, the spooky season is here. In a matter of days it will be Halloween and we will be on the way towards Christmas! This last month has been extremely busy here at XPN Network. With me visiting EGX in London and trying tons of fantastic games, to also being pretty ill for a few weeks my review backlog has built up quite a bit! I finally feel better and have a week off to enjoy as much gaming goodness as I can muster! Another benefit to having time off is that I have been able to catch up on a pile of games I have wanted to review for a while now. So without further ado, lets jump into all the awesome games I have been playing this past month!

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide - Xbox Series X Released: 4/10/2023 - Developer: Fatshark - Publisher: Fatshark

Take back the city of Tertium from hordes of bloodthirsty foes in this intense and brutal action shooter. Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is the new co-op focused experience from the award-winning team behind the Vermintide series. In the depths of the hive, the seeds of corruption threaten to turn into an overwhelming tide of darkness.

A mysterious and sinister new force is seeking to take control of the entire city. It is up to you and your allies in the Inquisition to root out the enemy before the city succumbs to Chaos. As Tertium falls, Rejects Will Rise. High Octane Hybrid Combat Built on the legacy of Vermintide 2’s best-in-class melee combat, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide introduces intense WH40K gunplay to the mix. Master the balance between ranged and melee combat as you fight through a slew of enemies. Feel the impact of each swipe, swing, and slice of a chainsword, or fry some flesh with a lasgun.

My Thoughts: Warhammer 40,000: Darktide is a fun experience when playing with friends. It combines the team and mission based gameplay found in classics like Left 4 Dead and mixing in RPG mechanics and upgrades, with a grungy space setting and detailed environments. Whilst Warhammer games tend to be very much hit and miss in terms of quality, it's safe to say that Darktide is of the high caliber. We livestreamed the game on release (see the above archive video of it above) as well as discussing the game in detail on our XPN Podcast a few weeks ago! Whilst the gameplay loop is pretty fun, with a good selection of missions to play through at launch. The game is hampered by a large amount of microtransactions for the nicer cosmetics (£10+ an outfit) and high costs for things that can be purchased with in-game currency. This can cause the game to get a bit repetitive as you have to grind multiple missions to get a single new weapon. If you can ignore the issues with item/upgrade costs, there is a ton of fun to be found in either short bursts (a mission at a time) or in longer playthroughs. TOTAL SCORE: 7/10

Full Quiet - Xbox

Released: 07/07/2023 - Developer: Retrotainment Games - Publisher: 8 Bit Legit

Out here, static is the enemy... Get lost in this challenging, mysterious, open-world adventure as you encounter strange creatures, solve puzzles, and figure out how to restore the radio relay grid in order to find your missing son. Look for clues along the way and manage your resources while you decode the secrets of Full Quiet.

Your puzzle solving, combat and survival skills will be tested... Do you have what it takes to silence the forest and drive out those who have emerged into our world?

My Thoughts: Full Quiet is an open world NES game, yes that's correct, an open world game that plays on the original Nintendo hardware. Full Quiet's graphics and sound design are impressive for an NES game. The game uses a variety of techniques to create a detailed and atmospheric world, including parallax scrolling, multiple tile layers, and even a Day/Evening/Night cycle. I loved the soundtrack on the game, there were some absolute fantastic themes that fitted perfectly with the game.

This game is probably one of, if not the most impressive games that have ever been released on the NES system. Not only does it look and sound fantastic, but there is alot of content on offer too, much more than you would usually expect in a game of this era. Despite it's intentional limitational flaws, Full Quiet is a unique and ambitious game that is well worth checking out for fans of NES games, retro gaming, and challenging adventures. The game's impressive visuals and sound design, large and open world, variety of gameplay elements, puzzles, and intriguing story make it a must-play for fans of the genre.

However, players should be aware that the game can be difficult and frustrating at times. The lack of tutorials and guidance can make it challenging to get started, and the game's unforgiving difficulty may deter some players. Now this is the norm in classic video games of old, so older gamers will probably revel in the challenge. But for those who have only dabbled in modern games, the lack of hand holding may come as a shock to the system. TOTAL SCORE: 8.5/10

Tour De France 2023 - Xbox

Released: 08/06/2023 - Developer: Cyanide - Publisher: Nacon

PLAY TO THE STRENGTHS OF YOUR RIDERS To add more realism to races and more variety in the race to win the Tour de France, ratings for Medium Mountain and Agility have been added. Based on the rider selected, playing and controlling your rider is now different. It's easier to reach maximum speed and to take certain trajectories tightly with a rider like Wout van Aert than with Primož Roglič. But be careful, because the lower the Downhill and Agility ratings of your cyclist, the more control you need! NEW IN TOUR DE FRANCE 2023

- All 21 official stages of the Tour de France 2023

- Updated rider and team ratings

- New Medium Mountain and Agility rating added

- New "grupettos" between riders added

- New challenges added to Race of the Moment mode

- Distinctive bibs added for "super combative" and the best team

- Improved rider behaviour and trajectories for more realistic races

- Updated equipment items and official brands

Our Thoughts:

Now I hold my hands up and say this is my first time playing a Tour de France game, or a racing game that focuses on cycling, so I went into this experience with an open mind and not being able to judge/compare it to previous iterations. One of the things that I like most about Tour de France 2023 is the variety of gameplay modes. The full Tour de France race is a great challenge for experienced players, but the Pro Tour and Stage Race modes are also a lot of fun. The Time Trial and Team Time Trial modes are also a great way to test your skills. Another thing that I like about Tour de France 2023 is the realistic gameplay. The energy management and drafting mechanics when racing are very well done, and they make the game feel very authentic especially when you focus on working as an actual team.

However, I do have a few complaints about Tour de France 2023. The graphics are dated, with crashing animations all but none existent, and the audio can get repetitive. Additionally, the game can be a bit difficult to learn, especially for new players, despite a decent enough tutorial when you get started. TOTAL SCORE:

6.5/10 TT Isle Of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 - Xbox

Released: 11/05/2023 - Developer: Nacon Studio Milan - Publisher: Nacon

The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is the most epic, most dangerous and most spectacular race in the world. It is a course of over 60 kms on the roads of the Isle of Man, includes 264 bends, and requires high-powered bikes specially prepared for the race. The riders who compete in it train their whole lives for the chance to win the ultimate accolade: being crowned champion of the Isle of Man TT.

The game includes all the official content of the latest TT (riders, bikes, teams, course) for a unique and true-to-life experience. You are plunged into the middle of the TT as if you were there. And you will feel all the passion and tension this race generates. Whether you compete in the Supersport or Superbike class, you can ride on 32 different circuits and over 200 kms of roads. Simply choose one of the 38 official riders available: 21 in Superbike and 17 in Supersport.

Our Thoughts: TT Isle Of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 features decent graphics, with the bikes and riders looking particularly good. However, the environments can be a bit bland and repetitive, and there is some pop-in noticeable at times.

The game's physics engine is said to be one of the most realistic ever in a motorcycle racing game (something I cant verify myself as I don't play alot of bike racing games), and the handling of the bikes is very challenging. Players will need to master the bikes' weight and momentum in order to navigate the narrow and dangerous roads of the Isle of Man. The bikes feel heavy and powerful, and they can be difficult to control at high speeds. However, with practice, players can learn to master the bikes and take on the courses with confidence.

The game also features a variety of assists that players can enable or disable, such as traction control, ABS, and wheelie control. These assists can be helpful for new players, but they will need to be disabled in order to compete at the highest levels. One of the things that makes TT Isle Of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 so special is its focus on realism, with a good variety of riders, bikes and tracks to play. The Snaefell Mountain Course is one of the most dangerous racetracks in the world, and the game does a great job of capturing its challenge and excitement. There's also alot of variety in the available game modes to choose from, including career mode, time trial mode, race mode, and free roam. Overall, TT Isle Of Man: Ride on the Edge 3 is a great motorcycle racing game for fans of the genre. It is not without its flaws, but it is a must-have for fans of the TT. TOTAL SCORE: 8/10

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