Ever since Battlefield 3 came out last week (I bet you thought I would stop writing about it, eh?) I’ve been kind of obsessed with the multiplayer portion. Seriously, you guys, it’s quite good and I’d say it’s going to end up as the best of the year. One thing I’m lamenting about the multiplayer, though is that defibrillators can no longer be used to kill your enemies. I’d say this is a serious oversight on DICE’s part, because killing people with defibs kind of feels like this:
I’m kind of a huge fan of Corridor Digital’s work, so expect to see more of their gaming related stuff on here. What did you guys think of the video? Any thoughts on BF3’s multiplayer?
Well, November is finally here: the most anticipated/dreaded month of 2011. The one where the last remnants of cash in your wallet will be swept away. The one where all the crap we’ve been dying for FINALLY arrives. Even though I will literally have to pull myself away from Batman: Arkham City, I am still glad to get my grubby hands on these games.
And there are some doozies. I only picked 6 choices for the poll, but the ones I left off are staggering, including Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection and Assassin’s Creed Revelations. My personal choice is Uncharted 3 with Skyrim a close second. So hit the poll and tell us what game you are craving the most this month!
What happened to the simple days of our youth, when we had no idea that a new game was coming out until we saw an advertisement on TV or accidentally stumbled across the actual title on store shelves? In the age of information overload (which I’ve written about here before), such an occurrence is less and less likely to happen.
It’s funny thinking back to my anticipation level for titles over the years as I’ve grown up. It started with magazine subscriptions and previews and eventually worked its way up to disc-based demos, kiosks and ultimately the Internet. Nowadays, it’s getting much more difficult to ignore all of the media associated with the games we’re dying to play. No matter where you look, there’s some kind of data bombardment, beckoning you to pre-order from this or that store, trying to get you to buy the ultra mega editions and watch every last 10 second non-game footage teaser trailer.
What happened to simplicity? That’s what Kotaku writer Kirk Hamilton (or Eddy’s boyfriend, as Nick refers to him) asks in a hilarious piece which looks at buying a book versus buying a video game. In it, he lampoons pre-order bonuses, betas, previews and everything else under the sun.
It’s great stuff, and really makes one wonder about just how far we’ve come. Although you could also wonder just how much gaming sites contribute to all this madness. Just a thought. What do you guys think about all this? Do you think video game purchasing has become needlessly complex? Go!
Between bouts of Battlefield 3 multiplayer, I’ve been going back into Arkham City to try and collect all the Riddler trophies and challenges into order to finish off his sidequest and save those poor doctors. Now, if you’re not familiar with this particular aspect of the game, the Riddler has captured five doctors and hidden them all over Arkham City and the only way he’ll allow you to save them is by collecting 400 plus trophies and riddles and combat challenges. It also doesn’t help that he’s kind of a dick and taunts you the entire way through.
Now, I’m not one to shy from completing any game to 100% (that’s become a bit of a running joke around here) but even I think 400 something collectibles is a little much. I mean, they’re not incredibly well hidden, but just the sheer volume of the things makes this a daunting task. This is a problem endemic to open world games where I imagine the developer is kind of tempted to hide these things all over to justify the massive game worlds (although Call of Duty has hidden collectibles as well).
So here’s the thing: while I don’t blame Rocksteady for having Riddler challenges in the game, I just think there’s too damn many. No offense to the guys who went in and designed and placed all of these things, but didn’t they break 200 and start thinking “wow, we’ve sure put in a lot of these things. Maybe we should stop?”. Have you guys run into a similar sort of fatigue with collectibles, or just games with a lot of content? Which game was it? How are you getting along with the Riddler challenges?
Glitches are part and parcel of any software experience, but there are a few that stand above the rest. The comedy alchemists over at Cracked have put together a list of eight horrifying video game glitches that are sure to terrify the wits out of you. Red Dead Redemption and the notoriously buggy Fallout: New Vegas are on the list but there are a couple on here from games that I never even knew about that are pretty freaky.
The “manimals” from Red Dead Redemption received a lot of attention after the games release and I’ve seen plenty of glitches in Fallout: New Vegas besides the one listed, but the creepy Watson glitch really caught me off guard. The talking bodies from Call of Duty was something I hadn’t seen before either.
Have you guys seen these specific glitches before? Got any other disturbing ones you one to share?
My insider sources tell me: pretty good. Actually, I don’t have any insider sources, I just go by wild reports I read on the Internet. And we all know how trustworthy those things can be.
The much ballyhooed sequel to the critically acclaimed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (our first S review, if you’ll recall) drops into eager PS3 disc drives next week after months of hype regarding both the single player and multiplayer outings. After such a successful release, Uncharted 3 represents a huge challenge for Naughty Dog, especially in a day and age where everyone expects to be wowed with each new title.
As far as the reviews go, it seems that Naughty Dog has certainly risen to the occasion. You can obviously judge that for yourselves from the following reviews, but so far it sounds to me that while Uncharted 3 is more of the same, what it offers is a really great experience with tons of content.
It’s worth noting that the last link to Eurogamer is to a more “controversial” (I use that in scare quotes facetiously) review, where the writer blasphemed against all things holy by giving Uncharted 3 the dreaded 8 (or hate) out of 10. His reasoning: The game is great fun, but takes away too much control from the player. Definitely a criticism worth noting as that’s not some people’s cup of tea, but I don’t mind the occasional experience that does that, especially when they do it so darn well. Just thought it was worth mentioning.
So, who else is ready to do some deceiving of their own with Nathan Drake next week? Go!
Ten-hut soliders, Battlefield 3 has finally hit and we need to know who here has donned their war faces and are hunting for dog tags. I played a bit of co-op and multiplayer last night and I’ve got to say, every concern I had with the Beta has been addressed and then some. While the co-op is a little bland in its design (still fun, though), multiplayer brings the game back to the feel that Battlefield 2 had, and that’s giant 64-player battles, tanks, helicopters and jets all mingling with infantry warfare. More than once I said that a few maps felt like Strike at Karkand, and this is a very good thing.
I didn’t have any problems with Battlelog or any in-game stuff either, so I’m pretty impressed with how DICE managed to iron that all out. There was a bit of lag on the servers, but that’s to be expected of a launch-day game (and it was actually working, unlike Bad Company 2 at launch). Joining a game with a party is now pretty effortless and if you happen to get separated there’s an actual in-game Squad browser now. There’s a “Command Rose” too, but I don’t think it’s entirely functional right now as you can’t call for ammo or health and your character doesn’t shout out the message you select.
So, is anyone else playing Battlefield 3? What system are you on? What are your thoughts on the three different modes? Go go go!
2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum was not just a landmark title because it was really, really good, it’s also one of the very few games in recent memory to take a super-hero license and use it well. Arkham Asylum was a faithful adaptation of the Caped Crusader, one where players actually felt like they were Batman as opposed to just slapping his moniker on a bland brawler and calling it a day.
Developers Rocksteady clearly have a deep love for the Dark Knight and when the follow up title Batman: Arkham City was announced last year at Spike’s Video Game Awards fans eagerly began salivating at the prospect of another chance to be Batman. Did Rocksteady follow up Arkham Asylum with a worthy successor or should they be locked up? Continue reading Review: Batman: Arkham City
The kinds of features that become commonplace in video games can take on a life of their own over the course of each generation. Things that we couldn’t have imagined a decade ago are now a staple, it seems. Cover-based shooting. RPG elements attached to everything, the list goes on. One of the more recent trends in games would have to be the idea of the New Game Plus.
Granted, this has been around for some time (Chrono Cross had it on the Playstation, for instance), but it’s only been in this generation that we’ve seen it become a fixture. The appeal behind New Game Plus is certainly appealing. Combined with the advent of RPG mechanics, this mode allows players in games like Batman: Arkham City and Mass Effect to take their skills with them into an entirely new adventure, making exciting strides and seeing things from a more powerful perspective than before.
In keeping with this idea, Kotaku writer Lisa Foiles tackles the rather philosophical question of if life had a New Game Plus, how would you replay it? The concept itself is very Groundhog Day, but it’s a fun idea that I’ve thought about from time to time. I know that many of us are still young, but I just thought I’d throw the same question at you guys: how would you handle a New Life Plus feature? Any differently?
Confession time, gents and ladies. Playing Batman: Arkham City makes me feel like a kid again, and I don’t really care who knows it. As of right now, it’s my game of the year. I’ll tell you why in a moment.
But first, there’s something you may have already guessed about me, but I thought I should confess that as well: sometimes I can be a bit of a cynic. I always try to look at the brighter side of things, but in this day and age, the overwhelming cynical voice of the Internet can be a bit of a bog that all of us get stuck in. Especially when it comes to gaming. Continue reading Finding New Thrills in Gaming in 2011
I can’t think of a bigger rivalry in FPS gaming right now than the one brewing between Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3, each game vying for the crown of “shooter king”. Call of Duty seems confident that people will want it more because it’s Call of Duty, but Battlefield has been making a strong case for itself. Both games recently dropped their respective campaign-focused launch trailers, so we’re going to have a poll to see which one comes out on top. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s launch trailer first, then Battlefield after the jump.
Personally, I can’t wait for this new expansion and getting to play the campaign and try all the new units, even if the Terran stuff looks kind of silly to me. I mean, the transforming Hellion is cool, but the Warhound looks like a Gobot. What do you guys think of the Heart of the Swarm trailer? What about the other BlizzCon news?
Oh, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. You look like a fairly interesting take on the Zelda universe, complete with a sky diving Link, imaginative monsters and some of that fancy Nintendo art design that has made your series famous. But you seem to have some confusion regarding your control scheme.
I guess it’s kind of rude of me to keep having this conversation with a video game while ignoring my fellow Sushi-ans, so I’ll clue you in. As you guys all know, Skyward Sword is a game slated for release on the Nintendo Wii, and as such, requires playing the game with a Wii-mote. Unfortunately for southpaws, though, there is no left-handed control scheme, despite earlier reports that it would end up in the game.
Now, I’m not going to bash Nintendo for this, even though it seems like a drastic oversight. Plenty of game companies don’t allow for control schemes that work for everyone. In fact, it’s often a big deal now when video games come packaged with options for handicapped players, like what Modern Warfare 3 is doing.
I guess my big question is why more developers aren’t allowing for these kinds of options in games? One of the biggest advantages to PC gaming in my mind is that you can customize your keyboard to play the game however you want to play it, and it doesn’t make any difference to anybody. I get that there needs to be some kind of standardized way to play, but would it hurt games to have a more customizable experience in that regard?
What do you guys think of this? Fair/foul on Nintendo? Should more games allow for changing the controls as you see fit? Go!
The more I think about the Battlefield 3 Beta, the more I come to realize how much I was soured on the game because of it. True, I’ve done more than enough complaining about the Beta, but a lot of my problems with the game proper boiled down to the choice of map. Operation Metro (or “Mehtro” as Eddy coined it) was so bland and Call of Duty like that it didn’t give the “Battlefield feel”, the nebulous experience that I’ve been clamoring for. This new trailer showcasing the multiplayer maps just might make me eat my words, however. There’s BASE jumping, guys. BASE jumping.
The thing about trailers, though, is that they’re designed to make anything look good. Heck, Operation Metro looked awesome in this video. Still, I can’t get over the shot of the soldiers jumping off the cliff as helicopters roar overhead. So, what say you? Are you back on the bandwagon?
Swooping out of the shadows with a vengence, Batman: Arkham City has finally arrived and it’s being hailed as one of the greatest games of this year (and that’s saying a lot). People are calling it “Crackdown with Batman” and it currently sits at a 95 on Metacritic (97 on PS3).
I played the game for a few hours last night and I’m seriously impressed so far. Arkham City runs on the Unreal engine just like Gears of War, but I’d go as far to say that Batman actually looks better than Gears. Checking your cryptographic sequencer on a rooftop with the Gotham skyline in the background and the spotlights casting lens flares all over the screen looks really really good. As nerdy as that sentence is, I just can’t get over how awesome the game looks.
The combat has also been refined too, so it’s a lot smoother than Arkham Asylum if you can believe it. There’s an upgrade system that works like Deus Ex’s where when you gain 2000 experience you will get a talent point that can be used to upgrade your suit or gadgets. The story is pretty cool so far too, but I still don’t get why someone thought building a giant prison in the middle of Gotham was a good idea (or how they got all the criminals in there) but I’m sure that will be explained later. I’m also enjoying Hugo Strange as an enemy; he’s of a different breed than the Joker, although the Clown Prince of Crime makes his presence known too (voiced deftly by Mark Hamill once again). I’m also enjoying the more open nature of Arkham City as opposed to the hub and spoke design of Asylum. Stalking the rooftops as Batman is just as awesome as you think it would be and the ability to glide between buildings makes it all the sweeter.
So far I’m really liking the game, but as with every massive release, we here at GamerSushi like to get your opinion on it. So, are you playing Batman? What are your thoughts?
I won’t presume to speak for the gamer population at large, but one of my recent concerns about the trajectory of the video game industry would have to do with the lack of innovation. I try to keep my griping about “shooter fatigue” to a minimum around these parts, simply because at the end of the day, I still like playing shooters, even if I would like something to come along from time to time to mix up the monotony.
But what exactly is the cause behind the predominant trend of shooter saturation over the last few years? Have gamers changed? Have developers changed? Is the idea of a shooter the most immersive form of game design? Hardly, says Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch. He believes that out of control budgets for AAA titles are what’s causing the innovation funk. Here’s what the studio head behind Halo: Anniversary had to say on the matter in a recent interview:
Publishers will spend so much money to make a game. It becomes so bloated that you can’t innovate, because if you’re spending $15 million on something, you want to make sure that it’s a safe bet so you can’t take those risks.
Ultimately you end up with the fourth or fifth sequel of a game, which really is a tried and true formula without much innovation… I think there are so many things fundamentally wrong with the way the games industry is run that need to change.
I really think the solution is coming up with ways to give people smaller, more varied experiences for less money. A perfect example is LA Noire. Here’s a game that people like to play for the first couple of hours, then it got repetitive and by the second or third hour they were done with it. So why not give them a two or three hour experience for 10 pounds instead of giving them a £50 game? Why not give them a smaller, bite size experience?
While the studio’s track record doesn’t necessarily help them (Halo: Anniversary isn’t exactly breaking the mold anymore than their previous title Battle Los Angeles), it’s nice to note that some game studio heads are thinking this way. As much as I’m excited about the many sequels that are coming out this year, I can’t help but think that I’d love to see something new.
What do you guys think about the idea of game budgets getting out of hand? Do you think something needs to shift in the gaming industry? Go!
Everyone knows about the recent and heated feud between the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises, as kicked into high gear by EA. With both of these juggernauts bearing down on each other this Fall season, it’s looked something like Godzilla versus Mothra, the two beasts lumbering into our collective view and ready to do battle.
However, there’s another number three hitting this season, and it doesn’t want to be forgotten: Saint’s Row: The Third. The newest installment of the open world gangster playground from THQ is now on the scene, trolling on both Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 with this brand new trailer, which also happens to be packed full of win.
Every new bit of media I see about this game ensures that it’s going to be a day one pick up. What about you guys?
In a trend that’s becoming far too common in the games industry, Betas are being used to promote a game rather than their proper form of stress-tests and bug finding. Three high profile games this year, Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3 and Uncharted 3 have all used Betas to lure people into pre-ordering the games or buying a different title.
While all of these games did make good use of their respective testing phases (Gears 3 had a lot of map layout changes, for example) the fact still stands that Betas are increasingly becoming a marketing tool, one that may harm the industry if overused. How can we fix this? Continue reading Your Beta is Not a Demo
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (Super Gaiden Subsistence) is coming out on November 15, updating the classic Xbox shooter with a shiny coat of new graphics and other bells and whistles. It may surprise you to learn that 343 Industries isn’t just content with bringing Combat Evolved into the modern era; they also found the time to put a few Kinect commands into the game.
It’s not as bad as you’re probably thinking, and the Kinect stuff actually seems pretty harmless. There’s three commands that have been introduced and they are:
Voice Commands: Lets you switch weapons, throw grenades and toggle the graphics overlay without lifting a finger.
Analyze Mode: Similar to the Metroid Prime series, you can point your reticle at various objects in the environment and the game will scan the thing in question and add it to your…
Library: This Library is not the one in the game, fortunately, it’s actually an index for all the things you scanned in Analyze Mode and you can leaf through it with gestures. They had to call it the Library, though?
So there’s the list folks and it’s not all that bad. The voice commands are incredibly redundant in my opinion, given that you’ve already got a controller in your hand (and they probably won’t be used in multi) but the Analyze Mode sounds pretty cool. I hope you can still do that one without a Kinect, I mean there’s a few extra buttons on the controller that Halo doesn’t use.
In addition to the reveal of the Kinect features, 343 also dropped the achievements for Halo Anniversary and the list actually looks pretty fun. I’m a big fan of the co-op achievements which use the “bro” puns like “Standard Operating Brocedure” and “Brovershield”. All of the achievements appear to be doable, so don’t be surprised if I end up nabbing all the cheevos on this list.
So, any thoughts on the Kinect commands or the achievements? Still excited for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Super Gaiden Subsistence?
Bam! Pow! Zhom! Those are the sounds that Arkham City is making amongst the circle of reviewers as it enters the scene with one heck of a flourish. The sequel to Rocksteady’s Arkham Asylum certainly sounds promising, and many are praising it as the greatest superhero game ever made. Granted, that’s not saying a lot, but it’s still a lofty and impressive claim.
Overall, Arkham City is garnering loads of positive reviews on the high end of the spectrum. It seems like it improves on Arkham City in every way, and adds the open world play style in a way that doesn’t take away from what made the previous game so much fun. Here’s one of my favorite quotes, from the Wired review:
In fact, it avoids the curse of sequelitis by making a major change to the formula — instead of a Metroid-esque series of interconnected rooms, it’s an open-world city that you can fly across, going from point to point in a matter of seconds. You can play only the missions that are required to advance the storyline, but you’re also constantly tempted with a wide variety of side missions, collectibles and challenges scattered everywhere. It doesn’t feel anything like Metroid anymore, but it sure feels a lot like Crackdown.
So yeah. Call me excited. Here are some other reviews for you to peruse: