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hands on

  • Alien Isolation preview: fangs for the memories

    Alien Isolation (I was privy to the alpha build) did something that games rarely do: it scared me. And not because of the choppy framerate or fuzzy controls. No, Alien Isolation genuinely made me fearful of what lurked in the shadows. Armed with an Xbox One controller and a noise-cancellation headset, I was plunged into a world that slicked sweat across my brow. As I said earlier, I played the alpha which set me loose in a deadly playground with only a small set of objectives and one main task, to avoid the deadliest xenomorph in science fiction. I...

  • Ori and the Blind Forest preview: spirited away

    As an Xbox One exclusive game, this sublime Metroid-style adventure is going to make many PS4 owners Microsoft-green with envy. Ori and the Blind Forest looks to be an incredible adventure and in the scant 20-minute demo with the game, I fell in love. The introduction sets a gentle tone and evokes Miyazaki's classics like Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro with the type of childish glee many games have sadly lacked. Whatever happened to exploration, delight and thrilling puzzles? The answer is Ori and the Blind Forest. Ori and the Blind Forest is going to be a touching game,...

  • Bayonetta 2 hands-on preview: outrageous witching

    I have a special relationship with Bayonette. Not in the creepy stalker way (I promise), but I'm rather attached to the character who is a kick-ass, near-invulnerable death machine with the moves of a sadistic ballet dancer. Bayonette 1 was one of the most fun, bombastic games for the Xbox 360 and because Bayonette 2 lands exclusively on the Wii U -- a strange choice of platform indeed -- many of us won't be experiencing this mad-combo witches adventure. But I did, and it's still as excellent, oddball and maniac as the original. I must admit, I haven't played much Wii U but the...

  • Samsung Galaxy S5, Gear 2 unboxing [Video]

    Samsung's recently launched the Galaxy S5 and its follow-up smartwatch, the Gear 2. Want to know what these tasty gadgets look like? Then you're in luck as Editor Steven Norris digs into the fully-recycled packaging to see what's inside. As usual, Samsung's managed to cram as much as possible into its boxed products. But can the internals of the Gear 2 and S5 match the simplicity of Apple's packaging? Let's take a look inside.

  • ‘Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2′ preview: What is a Man?

    "...A miserable little pile of secrets." barks Dracula (played by Robert Carlyle of Trainspotting, Once Upon a Time) as the colossal hand of a steampunk god robot smashes into him, ruining his monologue but beautifully setting the stage for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. The 750MB demo launched for PS3 and Xbox 360 earlier this week (13 February), and I, being an immense fan of the series played it thoroughly. Those who played Castlevania: Lords of Shadow way back in 2010 should have played the demo already, but for those who haven't been so lucky, bear in mind the spoilers aplenty...

  • Dark Souls II preview: beyond death, we discover a sequel that delivers

    Having played the original Dark Souls, I was pretty prepared for the game's infamous and often frustrating difficulty level as well as having fairly high expectations for its compelling story and unforgettable boss fights. I have to tell you though, that Bandai really isn't kidding when it states "Prepare To Die... Again." in the about section of the game's website. Having snuck into the rather impressive (and suitably dark and brooding) display stand for Dark Souls II before opening time for South Africa's biggest gaming expo rAge over the past weekend, I had ample time to give the demo a...

  • PS4 first impressions: amazing tech in a handsome package

    Everywhere you looked at mega gaming expo rAge this year, PlayStation had a hefty presence. A massive Playstation stand, adorned by the much-loved PS symbols, and filled with excited gamers, contained not only the PS3 and PSVITA, but also the much-anticipated (and as yet unreleased) PS4. Gamers could marvel over the sleek design through a glass display case at the front of the stand (and it is incredibly pretty), but more importantly, they could play on a (limited) number of machines. The queues to get hands-on time were, to put it mildly, insane. And with good reason. Not only were...

  • Google Glass eyes on preview: looking to the future

    I was fortunate to spend some time in Silicon Valley last month, rubbing shoulders with the greatest minds in tech as part of the Blackbox.vc programme sponsored by Google for entrepreneurs. In the Valley, they talk about disruptive technology, coming up with ideas that change the way people interact with the world, and Google Glass certainly ticks that box especially in the new category of "wearable computing". Renowned tech blogger Robert Scoble popped into the Blackbox Mansion and let me try on the pair of Google Glass that he is reviewing. So here then, is a "layman’s" view of the experience...

  • Leap Motion preview: two days of fun and frustration

    Leap Motion is onto something different, innit? Leap is a 3D motion-controller the size of an electric slug that works on PC or Mac. And yeah, the operative word is "works" because as incredible as Leap is (crowds gathered around my PC), it's just a gimmick... for now. Allow me to explain. The box is gorgeous and echoes Apple's design ethos. Minimal, clean, fuss-free Why do I say that it's a gimmick? Because this US$80 (R800) device right now cannot replace the mouse as a Minority Report-style interface. I bet you all thought that when the Leap first came out,...

  • Xperia Tablet Z hands on: 10.1″, waterproof, desirable

    I was handed Sony’s Xperia Z Tablet yesterday. It’s a great-looking, 10.1-inch tablet that’s waterproof, lightening fast and pretty costly. In this hands on review, I’ll attempt to convince you that despite a very short amount of time spent with the Z Tablet, it’s most likely going to be a contender for tablet of the year. When I’m fully convinced that I’ve spent enough time with the Xperia X Tablet, I’ll post the full review. The look and feel Sony’s Xperia Z smartphone was the template for the tablet version and the rubberized slate of glass I loved as a...