Friday, 29 January 2016

Four Years of Nonsense!

Greetings friends!

Can you believe it? Four years ago to this date I posted my very first ever post on this site. At the time it was all about my attempts at building a weird-west themed board for Malifaux using an undead Guild as the theme.

The town was to be called New Fairbank, after the town of Fairbank which years later would be renamed the famous Tombstone.

Now look at it? A blog with no mention of Malifaux in what must be going on a year+ (I haven't checked). Instead you as a reader are bombarded by updates and stories about a game of my own.

Which brings us back to the concept of the 4 year anniversary.

Last year I had only the pre-alpha build of what was originally called First Law: Override - Gang War. A game where two groups of humans in mirrored armour, weapons and equipment fought each other for access to data nodes and auto-turrets.

Now where are we? We stand just a matter of months before a full 2 day appearance at a gaming day which with hope will house triple figures of gamers, all of whom may be viable people to sell on enthusiasm.

It's a game which has countless short stories, and even some not-so-short. Locations, events, characters, all detailed in what will hopefully be a core book which in itself is only a matter of weeks away from being published in a -very- limited print run.

It has 2 full Factions comprising a combined 3 races and 6 Forces.

It has a book which is looking amazing and currently going through almost-final proof reading.

It has evolved in a way that this time last year I never thought possible.


It is my theory that the second half of the year will belong to Moonstone but the first half is almost certainly within the realm of First Law: Override.


It's almost funny. A year that has been so productive for me in terms of game design, and yet I feel almost as if I have nothing to show for it.

I didn't attend any organised play events, I didn't fully paint even a single model, but I did learn a hell of a lot and play a hell of a lot.

Using a modified Infinity Vassal Module, Tom and I have been able to play more games of Override than we have any other game together, and this being a relationship of 2 guys who bonded in secondary school over war games. For what was essentially 6 months we pretty much played at least once a week - something I have never, ever done before.

I also learned possibly the most important thing about game designing. That I knew pretty much nothing.

I know how it sounds, and to someone who probably went to game-design school, they probably are not surprised by hearing me say that. But not a single idea of mine was a complete one. Everything was either half-thought or incomplete.

If you play First Law: Override now, and if you enjoy it, know that this is the collective works of about 4 people.
- You see, while the very first idea which raised itself under the WiP title 'Project Incubus' was mine, every idea I had was bounced around. To begin with my main people were my wife @teh_tri and friend And. These two were instrumental in getting the initial ideas down and each and every idea was akin to a piece of clay that was bounced between us, each person moulding and twisting until it ended up the shape it was.
- Then in February last year the ball was passed to Tom and between us, with regular input from @teh_tri and And more ideas fell into place and were decided on or thrown out altogether.

As such I have come to understand why I don't like saying "I am a game designer". Because I would still argue that I am not... We are, each and every one of us who has had a hand in shaping this ball of clay into the game is it, and the game it will be.


So yeah... Four years of nonsense...

Being on the fifth!

Until next time. Stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 28 January 2016

PC Game of the Year - 2015: The Wildcard

Greetings friends,

So we have had the 4 runners up and the winner of this year's PC Game of the Year award, now here's a new category I've never featured before: The Wildcard.

This is for the one game that doesn't really fit in the classifications required for either winner or runner up. Maybe it is a game that was released on another platform in a previous year, or it was DLC, or maybe Early Access?

Well for the first ever NFN Wildcard I present you with D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die.

D4 is an episodic game much like Life is Strange or anything by TellTale Games where you play a detective from Boston who is investigating the murder of his wife. This is done through a unique talent of the characters in how he is able to travel back in time through objects and the time relevant to them.

It is also a total mind-fuck.

Imagine a murder mystery where every character is designed and played by Jean-Paul Gaultier. That is pretty much how D4 plays out even going as far as having one character who I am pretty certain is an actual cat, but for some reason you see her as a human girl.

Then there's the really tall slow talking doctor dude who appears out of no where in order to give you mini games involving snow or 4-leafed clovers or some such nonsense.

The whole game is crazy, but ingenious for the exact same reasons.

Much like Life is Strange; the writing, acting and music is spot on pulling you right into the situation, storyline emotional engagement. Unlike Life is Strange, this game is incomplete.

Advertised as Season 1 the game ends on a huge cliff-hanger with no closure at all. To begin with you want more, you really want to know what happens next, but after a while apathy sets in and you know it's not coming and really it's just annoying.

The final episode ends in such a way that should actually be the gap between penultimate episode and finale, not the last episode, but instead this is the last episode and because of a lack of fore thought (what if this doesn't sell as well as I hope it will) we're left with an incomplete mess.

An incomplete mess that is insanely lovable!

Don't get me wrong, I love this game! It is such an experience I would recommend that everyone buy it, and who knows if they did - maybe we'd see Season 2 produced, but it is incomplete and because of that it is unable to feature in my list outside of the Wildcard listing.


And so ends my PC Game of the Year for 2015. I hope you enjoyed these and I would welcome thoughts and feelings. Yes there were certain big names that were left out. Trust me; I played them, but I didn't think they were all that great - but this is not about bashing on those games, and instead celebrating the games I loved.

Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Building Better Worlds

Greetings friends,

So I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a little bit of background on how the world of Honos, the events that lead up to it's terraformation and everything afterwards within the First Law: Override universe came to be.

Perhaps it is presumptuous of me, but a lot of the feedback I have received either from the general fluff or the short stories is based on how the stories make sense, they create a lush world that is believable within their own parameters.

Now firstly I have always said that I do not write these stories, that they write themselves. This is as true now as it was when I wrote it initially.
- Remember last year's WetWare? Remember that twist at the end? It took me as much by surprise as it did you! But even with this 'self writing' approach, there are certain rules that are always focused on and I believe makes a world all the more believable.

1). No absolutes
How often do you watch a tv show or a film set in a fantasy or SciFi background and they claim that every member of X race follows Y religion? It's insanely common largely because it's easy to schema. It's also idiotic.

I live in a town near London. This town is referred to as a Commuter Town. What this means is that it is by and large mainly inhabited by people who live within it's boundaries but travel away to work. In our case it's almost exclusively to work in London. I am one of those commuters and my experiences on most of the days of the year are of that commute. From my eyes between 0700 and 1900 there is no town and the people within it might as well not exist. But common sense says that they do.

This is where the use of absolutes breaks down the believability of a story. In many of these SciFi stories they would say that as a Commuter Town, everyone commutes to London. Ok so what about on the days that I'm on holiday? I pop to the shops to by myself some lunch, all these local shops staffed by people. Where'd they come from? If everyone commuted to London there shouldn't even be any shops here because there wouldn't be the staff.

But wait! Is it not part of sentience to try and exploit our environment when an opportunity presents itself? Is that not why our monkey ancestors picked up those bones and sticks and used them as tools? It is within the presence of a vacuum that ingenuity presents itself. In this case we have a town where everyone commutes to London, so I open up a local shop. This makes me the only shop in town which anyone who's off work for any reason will want to spend money at because it's the only one available.

More than that, it means that it is inaccurate to state that everyone commutes to London.

See what I'm saying?

2). Focus on the person

How often do you read the fluff of worlds and they talk about sweeping movements where entire armies conquer worlds, or multi-national organisations controls an economy by itself.

What about the individual people?

Even in the case of these multi-national companies you still have people from Mr Big Wig at the very top to the sand-boy at the very bottom. But we don't like doing that do we? We prefer to summarise events and groups into faceless organisations.

A law is passed and we don't thank/blame the individuals involved, we blame the political party as a whole. Even if we do refer to it by the name of the leader, we are not referring to them as an individual person, we don't know them. Instead we are referring to them as to the position they hold. Why?

Blame. That's why. When you start assigning blame to individuals it has to be assigned appropriately. More often then not when a law or policy is passed it is not a single person making that decision, but a group of people. A group of people who we put in that position. So who is really to blame? The people passing the rule, or the people who chose for them to be in that situation in the first place? So no, we say it was a party or an organisation. We remove the face from the action so that we can sleep at night ignorant of our own involvement.

This is powerful stuff. A single person can be seen as a tyrant or a saint. An organisation that is politically neutral in it's actions can suddenly become evil personified if you have a total tyrannical bastard at it's head. It also has a lot of deciding power over how others seen and when applied to narrative can conjure images and suggestions.

Let's look at First Law: Override for a second. We have two political factions, the benevolent Accord who just want to protect people through peaceful methods where possible. Which they do via the armed might of the UEF, the monopolising HMC and the subterfuge of the Wraiths. They speak of peace but it is at the end of the gun with nothing more than company logo as a point of reference. Yet on the moral board they are traditionally seen as the Good Guys.

Then you have the Reavers. The faction who want power and when it is not given freely demand it with the spear. By all intents and purposes they are terrorists, making demands which when are not met respond with violence and death. They do this through the brutal might of the Red Claw, the illegal hacking at the hands of the Raiders and drug money supplied by the Trydan. They are the quintessential Bad Guys. But they have Lady Tramn. The face of both the Red Claw and Reavers who spreads a message of love, equality and peace.

In these situations it's hard if not impossible to really say if any side is good or bad because that is how things are, for starters there is no such thing as a bad organisation (in the sense of bad-guy sort of way) but there are bad people. Same with good organisations. But then even these good/bad people are not polar. Even the most evil person alive still has some good parts to them.

Remember even a single person's actions can have almost global implications in the current world. Just look at the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

By focusing on the person you are showing all of this and how really everything is just a slightly different shade of grey depending on the opinion of the observer.

3). Remember who the observer is.
This is possibly the last and maybe even most important part of it all. If you are showing a story from the viewpoint of someone, then you need to portray it from their viewpoint. If they are a Red Claw loyalist believing that they are setting free the enslaved under a just cause, then that is how they must view things, even the death and murder of potential innocents. Yes they will have doubts and the like, but they will still believe their cause is righteous!

If however they are on the other end, perhaps a citizen of Nova Casa, bombarded by continuous influential propaganda about the evils of the Reavers and the noble steps that the Accord and UEF are taking to protect you, then that is probably how you will see the world. Sure you may have doubts, you may even have sympathy for the Red Claw cause, but would you actively jump to defend a Red Claw warrior who mercilessly murdered your brother simply because he had a job as a security guard at a HMC controlled factory in Anchorage Falls? I seriously doubt it.

And these are pretty much the only rules I follow, but by doing so I would hope that I keep the stories grounded in plausibility.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter, and until then stay safe and be excellent to each other.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

PC Game of the Year - 2015: The Winner!!

Greetings friends and welcome to the highly anticipated winner announcement of the New Fairbank News PC Game of the Year!

This year was a real challenge and right until the new year I was umming and arring over which game truly deserved this, the most prestigious of prestigious awards!

This year the title goes to non other than Life is Strange developed by DONTNOD and published by Square Enix.

So what is it that makes Life is Strange (LiS) the best game of the year?

Well LiS is a strange one. It is in no way the best in terms of game play. It's controls are rather clunky and often unforgiving.

As a puzzle game it uses a novelty mechanic of rewinding time to either help you get the right answers in a question-time scenario, or save a friend from plummeting to her death, or being shot, or run over by a train, or being caught while out past curfew, or while hiding, or... Well or everything.

What starts as a novelty quickly turns into the only mechanic really needed for puzzle solving. Pretty much if you ever need to solve a puzzle you can be sure that rewinding time is involved in there somewhere.

However despite these problems, LiS is still the game that I will happily give the title of Game of the Year too.


Well as someone else put it (I'm afraid I do not know who so can not credit), LiS brings back all the nostalgia of being a teenage American girl in 2013 which you never lived.

Yeah I know, I'm a man who has never lived in a costal town in the USA and in 2013 was in my late twenties.

But wait, for this is where/how LiS is clever. It pulls at certain issues and phantoms that everyone regardless of age will be able to relate to; memories of feeling powerless, betrayed and scared. Of those days under the bright blue sky where it was just you and your BFF where you felt invincible and that together you could take on the world and win.

This is why LiS is deserving of Game of the Year. People will tell you about the choices made available from other games, or the challenges, graphics or pushing of boundaries, but what they will not tell you is about immersion and experience, of feeling your heart lurch in your throat when you realise that something terrible has happened to your friend because of a choice that you made, or the anger and hatred that fills you as you stare helpless at someone who you previously trusted as they torture you emotionally and figuratively.


As my wife put it to me the other week, the other games in my list are games that I say people should play for one reason or another, largely because of fun, but LiS is a game that everyone should or must play.

To put it another way, a few years ago a friend of mine worked in a video rental store. Someone came to him holding a copy of American Pie in one hand and American Beauty in the other asking for advice on which to rent. The friend put his hand on American Pie and told the customer "One of these films is a good film that you will enjoy and laugh at. In years to come you will remember that film as being a good film". He then put his hand on American Beauty "the other film will change your life".

Sure that's a pretentious way of putting it, but Life is Strange is my video game version of his American Beauty. You play this game and things will never be the same again.

I played through chapters 1-4 throughout October and chapter 5 when it was released in December, and throughout those months, while there have been games that I have enjoyed immensely, none of them have touched me in the way that LiS did.

All the other games left me wanting in some ways. Life is Strange did not.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Updates & Catchup - A Little Quiet Time

Greetings friends,

So the past week or so has been a little crazy. I've been sorting out the first video episode of Hobby Sofa been planning the demo Forces for DaffCon in April, finalising the beta copy of the First Law: Override book and sending it out for proof reading.

The feedback from the proof reading has been fantastic, misformats, missing info and errors have been found, suggestions made and I am preparing this week to make the corrections followed by writing the first draft of the new sections (a general overview of the world, a glossary, that sort of thing).

Next week I'll be sending it out again, hopefully with a new cover for final proof reading. If all goes well it is going to the printers and the first ever hard-copy demo book of First Law: Override will be produced!

Can you believe that? This time last year it was nothing more than a single double side of A4 with mirroring human units, now it's 100 pages of stories, fluff, characters and rules. It features two factions, 4 organisations and three races!


But if I could I'd rather not think about that right now. It's kind of making my brain ache and my chest flutter when the gravity of the situation truly dawns on me.

Instead I'd like to talk about the future of the game.

So we have a Book 2 in development. To date it is very loosey-goosey, but it has the bare bones of a book 2 that will provide you the players with something substantial and meaty to sink your teeth into.

So no doubt you are wondering what will feature in Book 2?

Well let me see what I can reveal...

For starters we have a story driven campaign. This will be a series of missions who when played in the designated order will tell the story of a city under siege from a terrifying menace. Of course you can play these missions out of order as just part of a regular campaign, but trust me - you'll want to play through this campaign.

Remember that terrifying menace I just referred to? Well it's big news, like world swallowing big! So I guess that means we're going to need some new Forces right? Damn right!

In order to hold the lines the Reavers bring to their front a secret force that the Raiders have been working on and protecting for quite a few years.

At the same time the Accord makes an unlikely ally by reaching out a branch of membership to the last group they ever expected.

- Both forces have either been hinted at, mentioned or had a counter part in the Core book (Book 1).

We're also going to need to move on the characters with this campaign, right?


Book 2's campaign will be designed to be played with experienced Forces. Time has passed on Honos, and with it time has had it's effect on the characters we already have (Mercs). Some will no doubt have new weapons and gear, perhaps even new skills. Maybe others have sustained injuries or even been killed? You'll have to see!

But we'll also need some new Mercs as well, which is where the 602 Bounty Store comes in. With the advent of Paul Homes, Redd, Claire 'Rook' Feilding and Charlie & Shogun you will have 4 new Mercs (Charlie & Shogun count as a single Merc recruitment). Each of these Mercs can be taken separately or you can field them as a 500Nt Force themselves.

And that brings us to the close of Book 2. So there we have it! A new Campaign, 2 new Forces, new Mercs and changes to existing Mercs.

With hope that will be more than enough meat for you all!

Now I should re-tune my brain and get back on the task of making sure the Core book is done in time!

Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 22 January 2016

PC Game of the Year - 2015: Runner Up #4

Greetings friends and welcome to the lot of the New Fairbank News PC Game of the Year Runners Up!

Today I'm here to talk to you about the near masterpiece Dying Light!

Now a little bit of disclosure, it was until December that this game was my GotY, but due to reasons another game squeezed ahead of this.

Now for those who don't know, Dying Light is the spiritual successor to the zombie apocalypse game; Dead Island. Developed by the original team and using an enhanced version of the Dead Island game engine; Dying Light was released in Q1 of 2015 to a quiet celebration. It seemed that those who played the game had nothing but very positive things to say about the game, but the issue was that at the time there were very few people who had played it to give that good feedback.

The only reason I can give for this considering the popularity of zombie games is down to either the let down that Dead Island was before it, or more importantly; the poor marketing that came for Dying Light.

From my experience, most people thought that Dying Light was a Zombie game that focuses on a day/night cycle, with night time being the most dangerous due to the zombies being turbo charged during this time. Oh and you can climb on things...

All of this is true, but truly the focus is totally off.

Dying Light is not a Zombie game with free running, it is a Free Running game with Zombies.

That is a very important distinction. There are countless times where the best outcome in this game can only be reached via running away, when you turn tail on the Night Hunters and sprint with all your might, vaulting over fences and gates, climbing up and through buildings and releasing noise crackers to try and confuse or distract the terrifying horde just inches behind you.

There are so many moments within this game that you get so sucked into the game, and when you are required to perform vertigo inducing high-rise walks, or shriek forcing jumps down more stories than should be humanly possible to survive never mind walk away without a limp.

What is possibly most notable about Dying Light however is the location. The dying city you find yourself in is a place that feels natural in itself. It is filled with locations where your parqkore skills are in constant use, but it doesn't feel like these sites have been conveniently placed, which when you compare with similar free running games like Mirrors Edge for example, is a refreshing change.

So there we have the final runner up; Dying Light. Do you like zombie games? Do you like free running games? Do you like engaging characters? Do you like running for your life while your heart is pounding in your throat?

If the answer to this is yes, play Dying Light!

Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

PC Game of the Year - 2015: Runner Up #3

Greetings friends!

As a bit of a surprise the 3rd Runner Up for New Fairbank News PC Game of the Year is something that I am sure you never expected from me and certainly nothing I expected from myself.

I am of course talking about Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

Now as you may (or may not) know, I've been on a bit of a SciFi/CyberPunk thrill seek recently, and then come October/November I see an advert for the 2015 Call of Duty game.

It is not news that these games get churned out annually by distributor Activision, and as per usual here you see another 'Campaign Trailer' with lots of action, very nice visuals and... Woah what is that? Cybernetic arms! Neural Interfaces! Holy shit! It's cyberpunk!

You see there is no denying that the Call of Duty games are popular. They create very well produced single player campaigns, complete with action filled and balanced multiplayer that within minutes of playing will have you reaching for a bottle in despair as your ass is repeatedly handed to you by someone who you assume (based on the stereotype) is at most 14 years old.

But it's fun!

This is why people come back year in year out for the latest offering, the games are bloody fun, and this version is no different.

What is different is that it's cyberpunk and as such scratches an itch I haven't really felt since games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Had the upcoming Mankind Divided be released in 2015 rather than 2016, chances are I would be talking about it rather than Black Ops 3, but I'll take what I get, and in this case we are talking about a game that felt a lot like Deus Ex: Lite while referring to the campaign (there's only so much multiplayer humiliation I can take).

The storyline is engaging and it does begin to ask the usual questions raised through cyberpunk storylines. You know the ones: "when is an AI truly alive?" And "am I truly alive?" Along with global conspiracies and that sort of black hat nonsense. It's fun, it's escapism, it has guns that feel good and sound good, it's nothing new.

Yup, putting this game alongside such greats as say Deus Ex or Remember Me results in something that by all intents and purposes is quite mundane and run-off-the-mill. But at the same time it doesn't stop it bring fun and enjoyable!

I suppose the way I have come to see Black Ops 3 is very much in the same vein as Warhammer 40,000 is for war gaming. Now I know a lot will disagree to me, but in my eyes 40k is a game of non-committance. From the rules who appear to have little to no balancing, through to the story and fluff which despite being extremely popular seems to hold absolutely no nuance. Despite all of this 40k is very much a gateway game and gateway storyline. Black Ops 3 is the same.

It's no surprise to those familiar know that the Call of Duty games are very popular with teens, and as such there is a possibility no matter how narrow that some of them may not have had the joys of experiencing the cyberpunk genre, well here is Black Ops 3 with Cyberpunk-lite ready to wet their appetite and get them to explore further.

Personally I say the more the merrier.

And even if that is total bullshit, if Black Ops 3 isn't a gateway game to the wider Cyberpunk genre, if it is literally the cyberpunk equivalent of trash-fiction; let us be honest, we all have that one book or film which we acknowledge is trash but we love it despite itself!

And that for me is Black Ops 3!

Tune in next time where I tackle the 4th and final runner up in the New Fairbank News PC Game of the Years Awards!

Until then stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 8 January 2016

PC Game of the Year - 2015: Runner Up #2

Greetings friends and welcome to the PC Game of the Year 2015: Runner Up #2.


SOMA is a game by horror giants Frictional Games famous of course for the Preumbra and Amnesia games.

Unlike these games the focus on SOMA is less about avoiding combat and hiding and more about puzzles and storyline/immersion.

Some may argue that SOMA is nothing more than a walking simulator, and to a varying degree they would be right, but in comparison to games like Dear Ester and Vanishing of Ethan Carter SOMA places you directly into the events. Yes you are going through the underwater complex after a big scale event, and through audio and text logs you are piecing together what happened, but in this regards it is no difference to how the events of Bioshock or DeadSpace play out. You are still very much dead-centre of the action, and your choices can and do have an effect on the world.

Now already you will notice I have made a reference to Bioshock. As SOMA is a game that uses water as a medium for isolation compared to the more traditional 'space' of SciFi, it is hard not to make this comparison. However I would ask you to keep Bioshock out of this. Let us not forget that we know more about the surface of Mars than we do about the depths of our own oceans. This is less about exploiting a popular game franchise, and more about making use of the familiar (and yet alien) to creepy if not terrifying purposes.

The thing about SOMA however, the very thing that makes it so great is not it's heart thumping chase scenes or underwater claustrophobia. It's the existential questions it makes you ask yourself.

Traditionally games that fall under the walking simulator genre title, they usually have some sort of question to ask or s message to portray, and in this case SOMA is no different, except that it's question is far more reaching than about how real is imagination, or how coming out as a lesbian can seem like fighting a terrible monster. This game instead makes you question what it means to be alive.
- Should we stand by the MRS GREN requirements and dictionary definition of sentience, or instead is a more I think; therefore I am am approach more suitable. If something thinks it's alive, is it? Do we have the right to stand over it and arbitrarily declare it wrong with no right to life?

It are those questions where SOMA really shines.

Now I know what many of you will be thinking right now, you are well educated, you know about science and synapses and to you, you already know the answer. After all this is science we are talking about, there's no room for wishy-washy grey-nonsense...

Well before I played this game I felt the same, I felt this was a black and white situation and played through the first 2/3rds of the game being unchallenged with that notion. Then the remaining 3rd happened and my mind was blown.

So I would advise you to play this game, go through it at your own pace and explore everything there is. Ask yourself the questions it wants you to ask and at the end see if you still hold the same thoughts you did.

I know that even after months after completing the game, I still can't answer one of the questions, there are just too many ethical based variables, and the fact that this game has put me in that situation, a situation that NO other game has ever done before, is why I have it on my runner up list!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 4 January 2016

PC Game of the Year - 2015: Runner Up #1

Greetings friends!

So here we are again! Time to discuss the PC games released within 2015 that were I as a gamer felt were worthy of being included within the discussion for PC Game of the Year 2015!

As an FYI, this year I am going to spread the posts out a little with 4 Runners Up, 1 Winner and 1 Wild Card. Now these are NOT a Top 5, the 4 Runners Up are in no way in any particular order.

Runner Up: Mad Max
Released in August and developed by Avalanche Studiosthis game had a lot to live up to following on from the truly beautiful film released earlier; Fury Road.

In this game you play the role of Max himself as some sort of strange hybridisation between both actors; Mel and Tom. At times you resemble both and yet neither actors. It is my understanding that this is as a result of the franchise tie-in being an after thought and originally the game was scheduled to be just any other 'post-apoc wasteland' game.

This game does Open World almost perfectly, including reasons for you the player to explore every nook and cranny of the Big White and not only for mission-based reasons.

It is funny really, with hindsight this game is everything that Batman: Arkham Knight tried to be and more. It has plenty of vehicular combat, but not too much, it's melee system uses the same reactive combo system that is the staple of the Arkham games, but it does not feel like a lazy import, instead it feels brutal and lethal, which is exactly what you want as the wanderer of the wastes.

If you have read anything about this game, no doubt you will have seen it compared to Metal Gear Sold V, which I think does a disservice to both games as they are far too different however suffered from sharing the same release date.

I have always said that for me the ultimate test of a video game is simply; "did I have fun?" For which this game gives a resounding YES!

From start to finish Mad Max is an exhilarating rush of blood and gasoline that gives you the player a feel for life in the wastes from the struggles of eating maggots to the thrill of NOX as you try to outrun one of the myriad dust-storms that threaten to destroy everything in it's path from settlement, to wanderer alike.

Of course there is the question of if the game is so good, why isn't it Game of the Year? Well I would say that this game scratched many itches for me, but the reason for it not reaching that point is less to do with the game's flaws and more to the point of certain other games knocking their proverbial balls out of the park.

So should you as a player play Mad Max? Hells yeah! It has it all, deeply moving moments, action, humour, it has it all! Plus a vehicle that you can customise! Oh and perhaps I didn't mention this before, it runs like a dream! From beginning to end it is clear that Avalanche did exactly what is needed for a modern day PC, and made sure it runs well!

If it is not already in your Steam catalogue grab it and enjoy it for exactly what it is; a fun, action fuelled (if somewhat silly) romp through the Big White Wastes!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Saturday, 2 January 2016

New Years Resolutions: 2016

Greetings friends,

So following on from yesterday's post where I looked at how my previous resolutions turned out, here's my attempts at 2016's resolutions:

So I'm going to be carrying on with both Hobby Sofa and New Fairbank News for hobby stuffs. My aims there to keep the blog as regular as before and not changing the format. I'm going to try to keep the 4 episode a year plan going, plus I'm also going to look at the possibilities of video recording in addition to audio.

Is this realistic? I'd say so.

I have only 2 games I am pledging towards this year, the first of course is First Law: Override, and for that the pledge is to finish painting my Red Claw as well as Raiders in time for DaffCon in April.

The second pledge is to try and also provide assistance and support for Moonstone. This involves painting up a full Dominion force which considering the models I've already managed to acquire shouldn't be a problem.

Is this realistic? It had better be!

- And that is all I have planned for this year. It's a small pledge but one that I am pretty sure I can stick to.

2015 was not the best year for me, it was comprised of polar opposites from long extended downs due to sickness, to the unprecedented highs of seeing Override reach beta status. To be honest I would be quite happy if 2016 just stayed in a middle ground.

On that note, stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 1 January 2016

New Years Resolutions: A Year in Relection

Greetings friends!

So in January this year I put forward this pledge towards New Years Resolutions:

In it I declared that realistically I wanted to put out 4 Episodes of Hobby Sofa, keep LoxBotLive going, play 2 games of Infinity take my annual pilgrimage by train & bus and be a better father and husband.

Let's have a look at those 'realistic' pledges and if they were maintained?

Hobby Sofa:
Well technically we put out 4 episodes this year, however two of them were kind of a single episode, so I kinda dropped the ball on that one.

This is all down to episode 10 having a 3 month delay between recording and publishing.

So this has been going pretty well this year, and in the last year j tried out using green screen - ok that didn't work out so well so I'm going to try some other things.

Those who watch may be wondering what the deal is and why there hasn't been an episode post Halloween. That's basically because just like last year I've taken a winter hiatus, due to return soon do watch this space.

I'm quite happy with where the show is currently.

So I didn't play my 2 games of Infinity, I didn't even play 1! This was a shame, but that is because of the taking off of First Law: Override, so I'm counting that as a separate success in it's own way.

Home life:
So I made my annual pilgrimage and looking to do it again this summer. And I everything else has been pretty good.

I'm also going to be bringing back my #RazorsEdge show as soon as the weather gets a little better, so that's going to be good too!

Anyway, happy new year to you all and let's rock in January as we do every year!

Until then, stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley