Mike Plant

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Mike Plant grew up on a diet of Final Fantasy, Monkey Island, TIE Fighter and Super Mario Bros. He now takes advantage of this idle youth by dividing his time between his The Console column for newspaper The Independent and editing his own blog GamesCatalyst.com. His quest to dispel the myth held by mainstream media, that games are the work devil, continues.

I have you now! Star Wars stocking fillers from another age

Nothing quite says games like Christmas time, so Electronic Arts was therefore in like a shot with the latest telling of its Battlefront epic. Sure, it’s all lovely and pseudo HD, but isn’t it worth remembering just how we got here, and the fantastic journey we've had? Indeed, if the games of the Star Wars universe were in …
Mike Plant, 24 Dec 2015

Star Wars Battlefront: Is this the shooter you’re looking for?

Game Theory Battlefront is DICE's love letter to Star Wars fans. It's for all of us who grew up manually marching AT-ATs across the back garden, or making swooshing noises as we smashed our Luke and Vader figures together. It's like you're actually on Tatooine Every visual cue has been recreated in immaculate detail, from the rivets on …
Mike Plant, 02 Dec 2015

Halo 5: Overhyped, but still way above your average shooter

Game Theory Halo 5: Guardians marks a bucking of trend that would have you believe that a fantastic multiplayer experience in a FPS must come at the expense of the single player campaign. In many ways it’s testament to 343 Industries that the studio has kept to its guns and once again delivered an engaging campaign and deep online …
Mike Plant, 03 Nov 2015
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Noughty by nature: Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Rock Band 4

Game Theory It's the noughties all over again as two franchises from very different genres, Uncharted and Rock Band, are repackaged and re-released for a new generation of consoles. Find out if Nathan Drake's quips and Rock Band's licks still have what it takes to rise to the top of the charts. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Uncharted …
Mike Plant, 09 Oct 2015
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Stealth service – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Game Theory Whether fearing negative reviews, spoilers, or to wrestle back some control on reports of how much Hideo Kojima's name appears in the game, getting a copy of The Phantom Pain to review before it shipped was akin to striking black gold in the American West. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Keeping an eye out Thankfully …
Mike Plant, 07 Sep 2015
Homefront: The Revolution

X-wings, pirates and a generic Lara: Gamescom 2015

Game Theory Missed all the news, announcements and hype that’s been pouring out of Gamescom over the last few days? Worry not, as we carve a path through the hype to bring you all the stories that matter from the Germany-based games show. Sony's absence spells trouble for Gamescom If you're the self-styled 'European E3', it's pretty …
Mike Plant, 07 Aug 2015
Nintendo new 3DS XL

Game of Thrones: Where to now for headless Nintendo?

Game Theory I first met Satoru Iwata three years ago. At the time, the Wii's success was still fresh and the Wii U was still seen as having major potential. This was long before it had been exposed as underpowered and undersupported. Satoru Iwata Satoru Iwata: 1969-2015 Indeed, the Wii U's impending arrival was the chief reason for …
Mike Plant, 16 Jul 2015
Star Wars: Battlefront

E3 2015 in a nutshell: Hurry up Hoth, and plenty to Unravel

Game Theory The E3 2015 press conferences have been and gone, leaving us to consider what to make of the gameplay and teaser footage shown-off by Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft, Bethesda and Square Enix. Which devs had us out of our seats and which were faced with an awkward silence? Fallout 4 One man and his dog: Fallout 4 due …
Mike Plant, 19 Jun 2015

Colour me bad: Kraken time or damp squid with Splatoon

Game Theory Nintendo might be incapable of depicting any kind of violence in its games (beyond a fat plumber stamping on turtles), but that doesn't mean it can't do team warfare. Splatoon navigates the narrow path between too much violence and too little by furnishing its combatants with water pistols filled with coloured ink. Splatoon …
Mike Plant, 29 May 2015
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Console yourself: How the PS4 Spring Fever indies stack up

Game Theory It wasn’t that long ago that Microsoft dominated the world of home console indie games, with the Xbox 360’s Summer of Arcade promotion bringing us the likes of Shadow Complex and Limbo, year-in, year-out. Now though, the winds of change have led to the PS4 stealing a march on the indie scene, with Sony’s Spring Fever roster of …
Mike Plant, 01 May 2015
Battlefield Hardline

Discreet fighting man: Battlefield Hardline

Game Theory If there’s one area of the Battlefield formula you’d say needs most work, it would undoubtedly be its single-player component. Recent offerings have promised much in hyped-up trailers, showing blazing gunfights and falling buildings. But, ultimately, each has fallen short when it comes to a cohesive storyline and noteworthy …
Mike Plant, 23 Mar 2015

Evolve: A shoot-em-up full of scary monsters and super creeps

Game Theory Bursting with more monsters than a Godzilla convention, Evolve is a multiplayer feast that delivers a deadly game of cat-and-mouse between human hunters and monstrous beasts. Turtle Rock's title is a rare kind of game, in that it's entirely reliant upon other players for it to be a worthwhile experience. Evolve Abe, your …
Mike Plant, 13 Feb 2015
Grim Fandango Remastered

Death becomes it: Grim Fandango Remastered

Game Theory There’s no doubt that the gaming remaster is a strange beast. On the one hand we have the likes of a GTA V, which got the treatment in the space of a year. And, on the other hand, we've got Grim Fandango – a game that last saw release in the year Titanic blitzed the Oscars – which has just been released on PS4, PS Vita and …
Mike Plant, 03 Feb 2015
Rockstar Games – Grand Theft Auto V

Gaming's driving ambitions: The Crew and Grand Theft Auto V

Game Theory If only all of life's hiccups could be solved by driving really, really fast. Luckily for Alex Taylor, The Crew's rather wet-behind-the-ears lead, that would seem to be the case. Joining the race Murder, police corruption and gang warfare are as nothing, it would seem, in the presence of torque, horsepower and, presumably, …
Mike Plant, 05 Dec 2014
Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4 REVIEW: It's a far cry from Far Cry 3

Game Theory Games are rarely known for providing a roster of characters worthy of a best supporting cast nomination, but Far Cry 4’s medley of misfits and tragic freedom fighters breaks the mould. Far Cry 4 Meet Pagin Min, his interests are world domination, mass slaughter and working with animals (sort of) Top of the bill is Pagan …
Mike Plant, 17 Nov 2014
Assassin's Creed: Unity

Shoot to THRILL: Assassin's Creed: Unity and Halo: Master Chief Collection

Game Theory Ubisoft left itself with an uphill struggle in trying to top last year's Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, a game that blended the franchise's core gameplay with a swashbuckling style that its buccaneer subject matter demanded. Assassin's Creed: Unity The style council Black Flag’s Edward Kenway was more of a drunken sailor …
Mike Plant, 14 Nov 2014
Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive: Exploding teddy bears, dragon fights and more in a tangerine blast

Game Theory With every passing moment of Sunset Overdrive you can almost feel developer Insomniac Games' collective relief at it being let off the leash. It's the antithesis to the rather dowdy, oppressive affair that was Resistance. Sunset Overdrive Gang of three The evidence is there in every tangerine-coloured explosion, over-the- …
Mike Plant, 27 Oct 2014

Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed

Game Theory Repetition is a funny thing. If I was to write this review and say everything twice (say everything twice), you’d quite reasonably think I was daft. And yet, we gamers tend to delight in the repeat performance. Destiny - Mulitplayer The usual suspects? We even affectionately refer to it as “grinding” – the system whereby …
Mike Plant, 15 Sep 2014
Naughty Dog - The Last of Us Remastered

Coming to a console near you: Destiny beta and The Last of Us Remastered

Game Theory During my time with the Destiny beta I’ve veered from game to game in a bid to nail down exactly what it is that Destiny reminds me of most. Activision Destiny Beta Character classes: suits you At first that game was Halo and no prizes for guessing why. Not only is Destiny built by Halo’s creator, Bungie, but with its sci- …
Mike Plant, 31 Jul 2014
Sunset Overdrive

Waiting gamer slams no-show show: E3 – was that it?

Game Theory Bloodborne, No Man's Sky, Evolve, Rainbox Six: Siege, D4, Alien: Isolation, Sunset Overdrive, Witcher 3 and Inside. Call me a hipster, but this short list is made up of the scant few games that I was genuinely excited from this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gamerfest better known as E3. Youtube Video My …
Mike Plant, 13 Jun 2014
Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs: Eat, sleep, hack, repeat

Game Theory In preparation for tangling with Watch Dogs, I spent plenty of time revisiting the salty seadogs of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Presuming that one Ubisoft stealth-'em-up might have much in common with the other. Watch Dogs Oh, bollards to this In many ways, the fundamental Watch Dogs gameplay of infiltrate, kill and …
Mike Plant, 30 May 2014
Streetfighter 2: Chun Li kicks things off

Why two-player games > online gaming: See your pal's shock as you bag a last-second victory

Game Theory The petulant slap of a velvet glove across a rival’s cheek – the centuries-old prelude to a duel to the death between gentlemen. To the victor, the promise of a wrong righted and, quite possibly, the hand of a buxom beauty. For the defeated, nothing but dishonour, or else the cold embrace of the grave. Kubrick classic: Barry …
Mike Plant, 29 Apr 2014

Titanfall pits man against machine, Kiefer Sutherland Snakes into Metal Gear Solid V

Game Theory Long have I wondered why franchises such as Battlefield and Call of Duty bother to include a single player entrée aside the multiplayer main course. The solo campaign might provide action set pieces to demo at E3 and subsequently showcase on adverts, but if it was missing would anyone really care? Titanfall EA has decided to …
Mike Plant, 04 Apr 2014

Hey frumious Reg gamers: BANG-or-SNATCH? We look at Second Son and Thief

Game Theory This month we tackle to games at polar opposites of the ends of the subtlety spectrum. First up is Infamous: Second Son, a game that pitches a super-charged hero (or villain) into the midst of Seattle and begs him to explode things. Then there’s the shadowy stealth of Thief, as Garrett once more gets to grips with robbing from …
Mike Plant, 27 Mar 2014
Nintendo Animal Crossing

Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

Game Theory We dedicated gamers are a plucky bunch, happy to scream from the rafters that graphics aren’t everything and that gameplay is king. Trouble is, you need only look to Nintendo’s current plight to see that 95 per cent of our fellow games players – those who fill server upon server with online Call of Duty and Battlefield sessions …
Mike Plant, 17 Feb 2014