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Posted by on in Reviews

The release format of episodic games is becoming more and more commonplace in the world of digital download titles. One of the companies most famous for this format is TellTale Games with their series like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Batman A TellTale Series and so forth. Other companies have found great success using the same medium such as DontNod and their Life is Strange series or Square Enix latest Hitman season 1, both of these series have has commercial and critical success for their content. 
When more independent studios follow the episodic format we are unsure what to expect, sometimes you can have a half-hearted attempt at a mediocre idea and other times you can have a truly hidden gem. 

The team at Prologue Games took the episodic format and then added more dynamics to it; this resulted in something unusual and pretty unique as far as settings for games are considered. The game follows the actions of a blogger, newspaper journalist and a private detective as they all start covering the events of an actor’s suicide in a backwater Florida swamp town. 
Their individual actions intertwine with one another and then cumulatively create something larger in narrative than a simple “who done it?” style of game.
The game is told like a play on a stage with the audience’s reactions lending weight to player decisions and choices. Scenes are rotated on constantly and the characters walk in between sets to show the change of location. The story lasts for 3 acts with the plot growing in size and ambition with each passing chapter; though by the time you come to the third act you stop trying to guess what happens and just start enjoying the ride.

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Astroneer, the debut title of System Era Softworks, a team who share a love for interesting gameplay systems and an inspiration for space- age futurism. Clearly their collective past experience has given them an appetite for the dark reaches of space. Together they have worked with Disney, Electronic arts, known for Mass effect, and 343 on there Halo titles. An impressive resume to say the least.

Currently its a pre-alpha on Xbox One, Astroneer is set in the Gold rush of the 25th Century, letting players explore the rich frontiers of space, hunting down resource in a chance to strike it rich. In its current incarnation, you start by launching down to a planets surface from a small space station. The planets are procedurally generated, meaning each experience could be vastly different. You touch down on the planet in a tiny one seater pod, equipped with a backpack which can produce a small range of items and a strange tool which allows you to  swallow up, blow out or level the environment around you.

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RWBY: Grimm Eclipse is a Hack and Slash style game that released on the Xbox store on Tuesday 17th January for £15.99. Created by Rooster Teeth Games, a game's company created within the larger company named Rooster Teeth, is the first game based on the popular web series animation RWBY.
RWBY was created by Rooster Teeth, who of course being company that made the famous web series Red Vs Blue. The game allows you to play as the main protagonists of the RWBY series, Yang, Blake, Weiss and of course, Ruby. The day after release, on the 18th January, a DLC pack featuring Team JNPR was also released for £3.99. All characters in the game are voiced by their original voice actors from the series, and have all those unique personalities we've grown to know and love.

 

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2017 hasn't really wowed me or peaked my interest in a lot of games. We are seeing projects cancelled, studios closing and a rather stale forecast for games on Xbox One. 

But then along came Pit People by those great devs The Behemoth

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I played Trove well over a year ago when it was first released via early access on Steam. I enjoyed the games graphics as well as the Minecraft-esque feel to the whole game. It felt like someone had taken Runescape and smashed it lovingly together with a voxel art style.  When I played it on PC over a year ago there wasn't nearly enough to do. There was questing in worlds and dungeons but the game lacked any substance for me. The MMO feel was lost in the vast worlds with very repetitive dungeons (they still have that too). Fast forward to today and Trove is available on Xbox One. 

Now I installed Trove on Saturday and thanks to friends I levelled up really quickly, in both aspects. Both aspects you say? Well yes, Trove has two ways of levelling, there's your regular character progression level that unlocks skills, skill slots, gem slots (more on them later), item requirement and health boost. But there is also a Mastery level which allows you to use certain Clubhouse items, forge items and unlock further items. At first glance, Trove is a very basic looking game. You point your cursor at the bad guys, which range from possessed cakes and fridges, to neon robots straight out of Tron, to pirate parrots, to killer bees etc, and pull the right trigger. Throw in the occasional ability mapped to left trigger and bumpers and that's it. Everything else in combat is juggling your health while bouncing around enemies. 

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