Developed by Yager Development
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99
many Xbox titles have pushed the console to its limits so far. One
of the latest titles to attempt to do so is Yager. Yager is basically
an airborne shooter set over 20+ missions. The developers claim
that this game could have only been done on the Xbox out of the
current crop of consoles and after taking a look at it's wonderful
graphics it's not difficult to see why they feel that way. However,
good graphics are not enough on their own and there has to be a
game of substance underneath the eye candy to make it worthwhile.
Let's see if Yager cuts the mustard.
puts you in the role of Magnus Tide, a Freelance Pilot. The game
takes you through many locations including the Proteus Base, which
is where you start the game, The Free Trade Zone, The Pirate Fjords
and Bitterfield. Although there is a fair amount of dialogue between
Tide and over 20 characters, the game is primarily concerned with
combat. Some of these characters don't even like Tide very much
and in particular Sarah, the 1st Lieutenant for Proteus Communication
Corps, who has a rather zealous dislike of Tide and blames him for
ruining her career. The game features a wide range of enemies with
a wide range of abilities. The AI of the enemies is good and quite
a few of the missions will offer quite a stiff challenge. Tide's
ship is upgradeable and throughout the course of the game there'll
be plenty of chances to earn upgrades. These chances are not always
obvious though. Sometimes you'll be given the chance to receive
an upgrade as a thank you for helping someone who is under attack
(which is what happens when you first enter The Free Trade Zone).
one area of Yager that initially feels awkward is the control system.
The game requires you to make use of all the gamepad and at first
it seems cumbersome. The right analogue stick controls your elevation,
can perform rolls and also by pressing can activate the jet mode.
The left analogue stick controls your direction. The left trigger
enables you to move in hover mode whilst the right trigger fires
your lasers. Landing your craft has been made easy by requiring
you to press the black button when you are close enough to the landing
pad, which is signified by a landing icon appearing on the lower
right of the screen. You can lock on to enemies during combat but
it's not the permanent kind of lock on that you would experience
in a Zelda title for instance. You'll still have to keep your targeting
reticule within the red square around the locked on enemy. The controls
are not bad but it's fair to say that they have a learning curve
attached to them and are not as immediate as some gamers would prefer.
big thing with Yager was supposed to be the quality of its graphics
and after seeing the game in action you'll begin to understand why.
The game looks fantastic and is easily one of the better-looking
titles on the Xbox. Distance fogging has been used, although it's
not quite as obvious as in Morrowind. The fogging is excusable though
because the game looks so good. Bearing in mind the technical limitations
of the Xbox when compared to a high end PC the game looks incredible
and the framerate is mostly smooth. All the pixel shading abilities
of the Xbox are on show here. The water effects are amazing as indeed
are the displays from inside the cockpit. The landscapes have to
be some of the best ever seen in a console game and even if this
turns out to be a straight port to the PC they will still look very
impressive when compared to the best the PC has to offer.
default Yager isn't subtitled. Subtitles can be enabled though and
when this is done all the important speech is shown in text. The
text is displayed on a dark overlay at the bottom of the screen
and it's very easy to read. Not all speech in the game is subtitled
though and comments that Tide makes during combat for instance are
not shown. These are not important comments though; they are usually
some derisory comments about the enemy, so there isn't really a
problem with this omission. Occasionally you'll receive objectives,
in text, in the centre of the screen and these can quite often be
difficult to read as the text is in a light coloured font and if
it's against a light background, such as the sky, it isn't clear
to make out. What was nice to see though is when you've had a homing
missile fired toward you a beeping sound can be heard. This is shown
in the HUD by two icons flashing red so you'll have just as much
warning as a hearing gamer.
no mistake about it Yager is an enjoyable game. The action is somewhere
between arcade and simulation. The battles are challenging and rewarding.
It will take skill to progress in the game, which is the way it
should be. Importantly though Yager fills a gap in the Xbox catalogue
because at present the console has no other game like this. The
controls take a little time to learn and to some degree the small
tutorial at the start of the game makes a decent attempt to introduce
you to the control scheme. Anyone who likes games such as Freelancer
or other space combat games will surely enjoy Yager. The setting
may be above land rather than in outer space but the nature of the
game feels very similar and that can only be a good thing.
Game Rating: 8.3/10
looks stunning and it plays rather well too. Great to see an original
game that pushes the Xbox for once.
No problems for deaf gamers as subtitles can be enabled and warning
noises are shown visually.