Oxenfree: Review

Oxenfree Review

Oxenfree is a 2.5D supernatural adventure, developed by Night School Studio in 2016. The premise, you ask? Well, the game is set on an abandoned island, where the main character Alex has travelled to for a party. Y’know, like all teenagers do. However, strange things start happening, and it is your task to solve the mystery!

Gameplay

The main gameplay consists of the choices you make as Alex, which can affect the entire game. Another large aspect of the gameplay is the puzzles you solve with Alex’s radio, which are done by tuning it to the correct frequency. What’s more, instead of long cut-scenes, Oxenfree incorporates use of speech bubbles popping up over character’s heads, which we prefer.

There are multiple endings too, which is a nice addition, and definitely emphasises the importance of all of your choices. Multiple endings make everything better (or worse)!

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One annoying thing with the gameplay is the vague choices you’re given when responding to things. For example, someone will say something, and you’ll pick a response, and it will end up way different to what it looked like! This can spit out loads of unintended consequences, especially because of Oxenfree’s multiple ending system.

Graphics

The graphics of the game are lovely. The characters are 3D models set against a 2.5D background, which adds a nice sense of depth to the game. What’s more, after each chapter, you get a Polaroid photo, which gives you a more detailed look at the characters. However, when you look a bit closer, these polaroids make the game a lot more sinister…

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We have no complaints about the graphics here! They’re pretty fantastic, and we love the 2.5D effect.

Music/Sound FX

The voice acting is one of the greatest things in the game. The characters feel real, and the dialogue can be pretty funny!

The soundtrack to the game is incredible, and extremely atmospheric. The sound FX are fantastic too, from the static of the radio to the creepy noises in the background! All of these little effects definitely enhance your gameplay, making it a much more enjoyable experience. What’s more, the soundtrack is available on Steam as DLC too, which is pretty neat!

One criticism we have with the noises and effects is the volume they’re set at. For example, sometimes, the music will get really loud, which is annoyingly obstructive to your gameplay. As well as that, in loading screens, the volume drops way down, when really it should stay the same volume all the way.

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In conclusion, we really like this game. It is an amazing experience, and would definitely recommend it if you are into puzzling, atmospheric stories!

Dishonored: An Overview [Part 4]

We’ve run out of little intro ideas for this mini-series. It’s part 4.

You reach an island that the Lord Reagent had been making and is now inhabited by those who betrayed you and a couple hundred guards. Y’know the usual sorta stuff.

If high chaos: more guards, all the dudes are alive and at each other’s throats, higher defence, you must literally save Emily from the Admiral’s grasp. If you save Emily (yes, it is possible to let her die) she asks if the rest are dead, and reveals she is a lot less innocent than she was, and is a lot tougher than you thought.

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yay! you’ve saved our not so innocent little angel!

If low chaos: fewer guards, only the Admiral is alive, Emily is just locked in her room, still innocent. A lot easier than high chaos.

At the end of the game, you get some 3D freeze frames with the Outsider narrating them. If you went high chaos then everything sucks; Emily dies, everything sucks even more, and you just run away in a boat, but if you went low chaos everything is great. Yay. The credits roll, and an awesome song plays over them.

Overall, it’s a pretty epic game, and we would definitely recommend you play through this incredible story.

 

Dishonored: An Overview [Part 3]

Here we go again! Part 3 of our overview!

Turns out, in an amazing twist, the people who were helping you have turned on you, and forced the ever-friendly old man Samuel to spike your drink and kill you!

They now intend to heavily influence Emily’s reign and turn in your dead corpse for the prize money. Luckily for you however, after they finish gloating over your body, they leave before you are confirmed dead.

Samuel reveals to you that he only put in half the poison, to keep you alive (just), and takes you away to set you adrift in the Flooded District. You are then picked up by assassins, which you see between slipping in and out of consciousness, till you finally meet Daud- the man who killed the Empress. He proceeds to throw all your stuff down a hole and you get knocked out. Fun. Here you were thinking this was going to be a short game.

You wake up in a poorly made cage with a rat and a rat tunnel for you to go down, or some bricks to throw at the top of the cage. That the professional assassins made from some brittle wood. They aren’t very good assassins.

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i mean really

So, you escape, and embark on a long, infuriating journey to go deal with Daud. Once you FINALLY get there, you can either kill him or steal his stuff and leave him alone. After stealing his stuff/murdering him you head to your previous HQ to murder/not murder those who betrayed you and save Emily.

When you get there, you meet with one of the maids, who tells you what happened. The guys told all the staff they were getting a reward.

The reward of death!

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what a great reward

Though if you went pacifist, and if you saved Callista’s uncle, she doesn’t die. Yay. Two other people do though. Another maid is hiding in the tower where Emily was kept, and tells you to contact Samuel using a flare once everyone is dealt with.

You use the open window that all the masses of guards know nothing about and didn’t check for to talk to Anton and Pierro who have trapped themselves inside there, and tell you that there is a contraption on the roof that can either kill everyone or knock them all out. All you have to do is find some instructions for the machine then take a whale oil tank up to the machine and watch the magic happen.

Then you go search for the information about where the guys took Emily so you can go murder/not murder them. Signal Samuel, then go to find and take your revenge!

Dishonored: An Overview [Part 2]

Yes, that’s right, there’s more! Here’s part 2 of our Dishonored Overview!

You wake up and your next mission is set, as you must find a guy, who knows a guy, who helps this guy bug all these other guys, a.k.a. the royal physician, or as most players know him, the guy who makes the health potions and terrible paintings. Speaking of which, he painted the guy/gal who is helping find Lord Regent.

It’s a cool level, as you must do is infiltrate a fortress. You work your way towards your victim, turn off the lights, kidnap the guy and escape. Done. Easy. Sleep now.

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not anti-social at all

You wake up, the royal physician is cranky, so you’ve got to give him his bottle of fancy booze that you have to buy from Pierro. So, you go look for Pierro and– wait, Pierro, what are you doing? Excuse me, how dare you snoop on poor maid no.3! That’s just rude sir! Rude! Moving on. You buy the stuff, give it to the royal physician and learn that the person who is backing the Lord Reagent’s greenlight project is Lady Boyle! Only problem is there are 3 Lady Boyles and even the guy doesn’t know which one it is, as he painted her from behind, the creep.

So, you now must invade their party, where they will all be dressed the same, but in different colours. Easy, right? At this point you’re probably saying, “oh, I watched a walkthrough on this, I know exactly which Boyle it is!”

Nope, because in each playthrough, the Lady Boyle you must eliminate is different!

Here’s a little factoid: that mission got a lot of positive feedback, and inspired one of the levels in Dishonored 2! The premise of it is that you can either ruin the party OR blend in. It’s great. And, of course, there’s the usual stuff, side missions, opportunities, lethal and non-lethal methods. The non-lethal method is great, because you just hand her over to a creeper (probably) and the lucky woman gets to spend the rest of her life with him. Forever. Isolated. Alone. Fun!

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corvo ain’t no lightweight

After coming back from a night of either not drinking or heavily drinking (you can play any way in Dishonored, Corvo ain’t no lightweight) you are finally ready to take down the Lord Reagent. His reign has been a long one, but it is time he met the end of your blade.

So, you enter the level as you did at the start of the game, but this time the entire tower is slightly harder to get into. There’s a lot of security, and depending if you went high or low chaos, the Lord Reagent could be in a multitude of places.

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spooky

Anyway, the non-lethal method has you talking to a guy in a broadcasting tower, stealing an audiograph and giving it back to the guy in the broadcasting tower, then leaving the tower to see the Reagent taken away by ye olde timey police force. Because, y’know, he ordered the death of the Empress. Now all you need to do is escape. Job done!

Back at your HQ, everyone has a toast and you pop off to bed, after a job well done! Wait a minute… what’s… what’s this feeling… I don… fel tooo good-

*collapses*

Dishonored: An Overview [Part 1]

CONTAINS SPOILERS. SO MANY SPOILERS.

In light of Dishonored 2 coming out (relatively) recently, I thought I would write a quick overview of one of my favourite games of all time: Dishonored. I also decided I’d make it a super long overview, so that when Fraser comes to edit this, it takes him days. It is an amazing game, and gives you the unique choice of being a psychopathic murderer or a silent creature of the night, knocking out (and then running away from) guards! So, how does the game go? What’s the general story? Well, buckle your seat belts and get ready to read a lot of words about it, because you’re about to read part 1 of 4 of Dishonored: An Overview!

You start of as the royal protector of the Empress and her daughter, Emily. You are back with news from the other nearby cities, to see if they have dealt with the terrible rat plague (wonder where they got that idea) and if they are willing to help. Before reaching the Empress, Emily comes and welcomes you home and asks if you want to play hide and seek. It’s a nice feature that doubles as a stealth tutorial. After that you go and see the Empress. Out of nowhere, assassins attack, but no matter how hard you fight you are stopped by an obligatory cut scene. You watch your beloved Empress die, as well as seeing Emily kidnapped! As you hold the Empress in your arms, you hear her dying wish: rescue Emily. Unfortunately, however, that’ll be pretty hard to do, as the guards who finally decided to come in now think you are the murderer. Great start.

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*gasp*

After 6 months in prison, and your execution just around the corner, a mysterious group of people help you escape by giving you a key, a sword, and a delicious piece of bread! You are then faced with your first decision: kill anyone and everyone, only kill a few, or don’t kill a soul. It’s your choice. After escaping to the sewer, you either hear that you have escaped and are dangerous, or that many brave people of the watch died, which I think is awesome. The effects of killing can also change the number of rats and weepers (beyond saveable plague victims). After getting some useful equipment from your new “friends” you then leave the sewer and meet Samuel, the boat man who you immediately insult. Even greater start.

After horribly insulting the first person who doesn’t try to kill you, he takes you to the people who helped you escape. As it turns out, they want to help you remove the Lord Regent (the person who framed you for murder) and rescue Emily. Seems innocent enough right? What a kind gesture! However, they also want you to murder everyone you can and assassinate Lord Regent, and those he is closest to. But remember! You don’t need to kill. You always have a choice.

After a hard day’s work of murder/no murder, you lay down your weary head, to get a brief moment of peace and quiet, before returning to the horrifyingly brutal task of murder. Seconds later, you are forced awake as you’re visited by “the outsider”. He takes you on a journey of all that is happening and gives you the ability to blink, which is a short distance teleport which is handy in a pinch! You can also upgrade it to go further, as well as gaining new powers and abilities to help you on your quest. However, they’re not necessary, and you get an achievement if you don’t get any! For some reason… He also gives you the heart of the Empress. Looks like she finally gave you her heart.

*badum tsss*

This lovely new addition to your inventory helps you track down runes and bone charms, which give you bonuses.

From then on out, you must kill (or non-lethally eliminate) those close to Lord Regent. First you must get rid of High Overseer Campbell and find information on Emily’s location. Conveniently, there are many opportunities to get rid of him. For instance, Campbell tries to poison “Captain Geoff Curnow”. You could swap the drinks, spill the drinks or have them both poisoned. You could outright kill him or if you want to be ‘nice’ you could brand him with a brand that he created to completely remove people from any power they had. It may be non-lethal, but it isn’t the greatest of fates especially considering if you did this to him later in the game you find he became a weeper. There are also side missions you can complete, different ways to get in each section, so nothing feels too linear.

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1 objective down

After you return and give the information you had to get, you are sent back out to go retrieve Emily and dispose of the brothers of one of the guys you’re helping. It’s fine. He’s letting you. Of course, there are different ways to eliminate them and a fun way to non-lethally do so, too! Well, fun for you. Again, there are many different things you can do in the level to get into the place differently. For instance; you helped a old lady to poison someone’s elixir and that exact same person then helps you to get in, by stealing something then getting a code for a safe which you could also steal from if you do another optional side quest.

If you’re going full blown murder stab-stab, then you can kill one of the brothers by basically boiling him alive, like a sausage.

Kill the other dude/non-lethally ignore them, save Emily, and return to the pub with hopefully all limbs attached and minimal bullet holes obtained, and you’ll progress with the story!

 

If you enjoyed that, check out part 2 of our overview here!

Papers, Please: Achievement Guide

Papers, Please is a simple, yet hilarious, pixel-style game, in which you check papers at a border. It’s more fun than it sounds! There aren’t many achievements, but unfortunately some of them are pretty tough to get, which is why we made this guide to help you catch em’ all!

Impor token:

On Day 4, the fifth entrant is a woman excited to see her son. Unfortunately, her papers aren’t up to scratch… Break the law and let her in to gain this achievement!

Antegria token:

An Antegrian man with correct papers will come on Day 5, along with his wife. He’ll ask you to let her in, but it turns out she does not have correct papers! If you let her in, you’ll get the Antegrian Token, along with an achievement and the respect of your peers.

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The mysterious Antegrian man…

Obristan token:

Jorji Costava is the BEST character in the game, and has the funniest dialogue! You can’t help but love this character! To get this achievement, all you have to do is let him in, but he doesn’t have proper papers till Day 11, so you can either wait, or you can get a citation. Your choice.

Arstotzka token:

On Day 12, an Arstotzkan citizen by the name of Messof Anegovych will give you four business cards to give to any engineers that pass through. All you have to do is distribute all four before he comes back on Day 16, and you’ll get the token.

Republia token:

When Danic Lorun comes in on Day 21 and asks you to break the law and let him in without proper documents, he gives you his watch as insurance, promising to return. Hold onto it, so that on Day 23 when he returns, you can give it back to him, in return for 1o credits. However, the rascal that he is changes his mind, and asks for his credits AND the watch back! To get the achievement, give back the credits, so he sees the error of his ways.

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Danic Loran

Kolechia token:

On Day 25, the 5th entrant will give you THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LOVE LETTER EVER! If you give it to the depressed seventh entrant then you will get the token.

United Federation token:

On Day 29, a man asks you to confiscate the passport of a “Simon Wens”. The next day, when Wens tries to enter, do as instructed and take the passport. However, make sure you don’t arrest him. When the man returns later, giving him Wens’ passport will secure you this token.

The Hidden Achievements…

Glory to Arstotzka:

To get the “Glory to Arstotzka” achievement, ignore all of the EZIC requests, burn all the gift money, neutralize both attackers AND stay in Arstotzka. As a nice little bonus, getting this also unlocks endless mode!

Hired Rifle:

Only available on Day 23 when the EZIC guy asks you to kill the man in red with the sniper rifle. Do so and you’ll have one more achievement under your belt, as well as a nice pair of handcuffs and a cellmate named Bob.

Member of the Order:

To become a Member of the Order you must have completed 4 out of 5 of the EZIC tasks and have allow the EZIC members to breach the border on Day 31. You become a member, and are moved to a better apartment! Win, win situation? Probably!

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EZIC Task on Day 13.

Snowier Pastures:

For this achievement you must escape to Obristan with all of your currently alive family members. To do this, you must “collect” enough passports for your family AND have enough money (25 credits per family member). The things you do for this family…

Too Honest:

Turn over the EZIC documents to the Ministry of Intelligence investigator on day 12. If you’re an honest person, you may have accidentally gotten this achievement already!

Worker’s Best

For this one, upgrade to a Class 5 apartment. The earliest you can do this is day 22, if you’re living in a Class 6 apartment already.

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The end of Day 29!

Portal: Achievement Guide

So you’ve downloaded Portal, played through the incredible story and have decided to get all the achievements. Good for you! Here’s how to do it:

Lab Rat:

This one is story-related achievement so you’ll get it as you play. You obtain this achievement by acquiring the other colour of portal.

Fratricide:

For this one you must put your companion cube into the incinerator. Sad, but you must do what you have to to survive.

Partygoer:

To achieve this, you must escape the fire pit, which, when I played through the game I almost didn’t do. Good luck.

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Heartbreaker:

You’ll get this once you have defeated GLaDOS and have beaten the game.

Friendly Fire:

This one is quite simple, as all you have to do is pick up a turret and knock over another. They never did anything to you, you monster!

Terminal Velocity:

To get this achievement you must wait till after you have both colour portals, which you can’t get before chamber 11.

Long Jump:

This is a slightly tricky one as you have to get a very long test chamber and jump 300 feet. One of the best rooms to do this in is the turret ambush room.

After you’ve gotten rid of all the turrets, then place a portal on the wall and then another one on the floor and just keep jumping into it until you have the achievement!

Camera Shy:

This achievement is quite easy, as all you’ve got to do is detach some security cameras off the wall.

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Transmission Received:

This achievement isn’t available on your first play through of the game so you’ve got to wait to get this one. You have to find the hidden radios, pick them up, and wander around like an idiot for an hour trying to get the light to turn green. Simple.

Cupcake:

Complete two advanced Test Chambers.

Fruitcake:

Complete four advanced Test Chambers.

Vanilla Crazy Cake:

Complete ALL the advanced Test Chambers! That’s six maps, 18 levels!

Basic Science:

To complete this achievement you are required to earn bronze on all the challenges that are found in the main menu. There are three challenges in each map, and you must finish all the challenges with at least a bronze rating.

Rocket Science:

Earn at least a silver ratings on all the challenges to get this.

Aperture Science:

The hardest achievement within the game. For this one, you must complete all the challenges with a gold rating! Good luck!