One game that always had potential but hit too early was PlanetSide, Sony Online Entertainment’s sci-fi MMO shooter. When it originally came out, the computers of the time were barely able to keep up with the huge environments and massive firefights that the game had to offer.
Now that computing technology has become a lot better, Sony Online Entertainment is taking another crack with PlanetSide 2, this time making the MMOFPS free-to-play. Having the ability to fight as one of three factions over three giant continents with and abundance of vehicles and player classes may seem like a crazy amount of content to give away for free, but the game pulls it off without finding a way to beat you over the head with microtransactions.
Don’t get me wrong, those exist, but they’re mostly cosmetic. Upgrades to your character and your weapons are bought with Certification points which are earned by killing enemies and taking capture points. While the base level attachments are fairly cheap, higher-level purchases can run upwards of a hundred points which take a while to earn. Fortunately, basic modifications like small increases to your base health are not that cost prohibitive.
Each of PlanetSide 2’s three factions have their own theme and style to go with it, like the Vanu Sovereignty which is all purple body suits and lasers or the New Conglomerate which look and fight a lot like the Browncoats from Firefly. Straddling the line between them is the Terran Republic, so no matter you fighting style (or taste for clothing) you can find a faction that suits you.
The battles in PlanetSide 2 can range from small skirmishes to all out war between the three factions with dozens of players on each side. Tanks and air support mix it up with infantry and all the classes have their role to play.
The only downside of the game right now is the lag and the fact that the UI is extremely cluttered, which might be intimidating for some new players. Figuring out how to take down bases is also a little tricky, but watching the tutotrial videos will help clear that up.
I’m really enjoying my time with PlanetSide 2, and I recommend that you check it out. It’s free, so the only thing you’re wasting is hard drive space. Has anyone else played PlanetSide 2? What do you think of it?
Poor Bungie just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to their new top-secret Activision published shooter, Destiny. The studio has purposefully gone dark about it since Halo: Reach landed, but the world at large seems determined to foil their plans. While the accidental reveal of Destiny’s release schedule during the Infinity Ward vs Activison trial was an unfortunate side effect, this latest leak stems from a reader who passed the information along to IGN so it’s much more deliberate in nature.
The story of Destiny takes place 700 years from now, with mankind living in the shadow of its Golden Age, surviving in a settlement known as The Last City on planet Earth. A strange alien orb known as The Traveler hangs over Earth in very low orbit, and creatures from beyond the edge of space are trying to wipe humanity off the map. The player takes the role of a “knight”, tasked with pushing back the alien hordes. While some might say that Bungie is going back to the thematic well, Destiny is set to take a more fantastical approach than Halo, aiming to be “fun and accessable” according to the document obtained by IGN and is “designed for your inner seven year old”. While the document doesn’t confirm or deny that Destiny will be an MMO as rumored, it does mention that the game is socially oriented and a large focus is put on exploration with your friends.
Bungie themselves went ahead and confirmed that the Destiny details were correct in a post on their site labeled “Well, that just happened…again” and posted another piece of artwork to go along with it.
What do you guys think of this? Feeling bad for Bungie all over again? What do you think about Destiny’s story?
In the midst of announcing the stellar achievement that the Grand Theft Auto franchise has now shipped 125 million units, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick had a few words to say about annual franchises and why it’s not something that his company believes in:
It’s our view that if you want intellectual properties to be permanent, then you run the risk in that circumstance of having consumers fall out of love with that franchise.
He goes on to say that annualized IPs eventually hit a wall and return diminished sales and they don’t want the same fate for their own IPs.
Personally, this is refreshing to hear. It’s no secret that I have railed against annual releases practically every year (the irony is not lost on me, just ignored), but it is gratifying to hear it from someone who runs a respected company such as Take-Two, who are also responsible for Bioshock, Red Dead Redemption and Civilization. Even the vaunted Call of Duty franchise is starting to see chinks in the armor, despite numerous reviews praising some of the more radical changes in Black Ops 2.
Annual releases tire out the developers, weaken the fanbase and tend to (but not always) lack in any meaningful innovation. Even a two-year cycle would be more beneficial to all parties, in my view.
What say you? Does Mr. Zelnick have the right of this or should GTA go the way of Assassin’s Creed and become a yearly pasttime?
There are so many video games on so many systems that certain things are bound to fall into the cracks, ignored by many while exulted by a passionate minority. In this new feature, I hope to shine a spotlight on certain overlooked games, characters and anything else that should warrant mention.
The first is a character from the Mario & Luigi RPG series, which originated on the Game Boy Advance and has since moved on to the DS. There have been no entries thus far on the 3DS, but one can certainly hope, although the fact that Paper Mario is on the 3DS leaves me feeling forlorn. The games have always been a delight to play, due to their unique control system, which allows you to control and move both Mario and Luigi simultaneously. But the real reason to play the games is due to the humor, of which a large part can be attributed to the new villain that debuted in the first game, Superstar Saga: Fawful. Continue reading Fawful: The Best Nintendo Character Since Ever
Despite The Old Republic failing to grab me during its initial launch (and the error I had with getting my purchased copy of the game to actually validate so I could play past the first month) I was willing to check out its new free-to-play option. Besides clogging up my computer’s drive with gigabytes of game files, I wasn’t wasting money on it, so I figured there was no harm.
While The Old Republic might not suck up your hard-earned dollars, it has no problem with begging for them anyways. Right from the outset, you’re bombarded with the many awesome features that paying customers get access to, including the different playable races for the classes. I understand that BioWare and EA have to make money somehow, but beating players over the head with it just seems wrong. Even the Legacy system, which I unlocked during my first month as a Bounty Hunter, was closed off to me unless I was willing to plonk down some cash.
That’s in addition to the really weird gating that The Old Republic places on its free users, such as being unable to hide your helmet, send in-game mail or use more than two tool bars. For an MMO structured so similarly to World of Warcraft, you will need to have at least four bars available for use once you’re past level 30.
You can buy all these option of course, but those cost Cartel Coins, TOR’s new in-game currency. The amount of Coins you get and if there’s a discount (or free Coins) depends on whether you’re a free user or a preferred customer, someone who had subscription time paid for up to two months before the game went free. Of course, if you had the Collector’s Edition, there are more Cartel Coins for you to use.
Blocking out such basic things for free users as helmet toggling (which is necessary because the armor design in TOR is laughable) and action bars means that this MMO will do everything you can to get you to pay a monthly fee. If you’re looking for a way to experience The Old Republic’s decent player stories, you can do that, but anything beyond there is for paying customers only.
Has anyone else gone back to TOR? Have you reactivated you subscription, and if so, why?
One game I’ve had my eye on for quite some time has been Far Cry 3, Ubisoft’s latest entry in the series first headed up by Crysis makers Crytek (see a pattern here?). While Fry Cry originally featured a mercenary gaining animalistic powers, Ubisoft’s take on the franchise has been more realistic, almost to the detriment of the game in some cases.
Far Cry 2 was kind of a cult hit: you either loved it or hated it and wanted it to die in a fire. Between an archaic fast-travel system and constantly regenerating enemy outposts, Far Cry 2 was a frustrating experience that still offered a beautiful Savannah setting for you to play around in, or set on fire if you wanted, you just had to work around the game’s myriad roadblocks to do it. With Far Cry 3 coming in just over a week, reviews have been landing ahead of the game and my hype meter is being slowly stoked by reading them. True, Assassin’s Creed 3 received similar glowing reviews in advance of release, so I am being a bit hesitant, but the prospect of hunting animals to turn them into pouches to hold all your loot sounds really appealing to me. Here’s what critics have been saying about Far Cry 3:
Even if I’m trying not to get overexcited, the fact that the reviews are this good and they’re coming out so far in advance means that Ubisoft was feeling pretty good about Far Cry 3. Turns out they were right, and I’m eager to get my hands on it.
Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until Christmas, but I’ll be playing the PC version like a madman over the break. Is Far Cry 3 on anyone else’s radar? Have the reviews drawn you in?
As much as I love gaming, it’s never been able to elicit a reaction from me other than “I am having fun”. True, most games aren’t designed to be tear-jerkers, but 2012 seems to have bucked this trend and has had a collection of titles that has made me feel something other than elation for my polygonal avatar.
2012 started off strong with Journey, Thatgamecompany’s moving study of companionship and triumph. The end of that game is really well crafted and pulls you and your unknown companion together to overcome the nigh-insurmountable odds you’re facing. I never really thought that co-op, especially co-op with someone I didn’t know, would get to me, but Journey proved me wrong.
That’s not to say that Journey is alone in this, however. Spec Ops: The Line, The Walking Dead and Halo 4 have all given me some pretty hardcore feels. With Spec Ops and The Walking Dead I kind of expected it, seeing as how that was what the talk around those two games was centered on, but actually caring about Chief and Cortana’s story in Halo 4 really surprised me.
Cortana has always been, ironically, the human element of the Halo games, but seeing Master Chief’s resolve falter for just a moment made me remember that, underneath the armor and the genetic conditioning and the implied mental defects, there a real person there. 343 did an excellent job turning the Chief into a sympathetic character, something that the Bungie Halos never really touched on.
Overall I was quite surprised with the narative turnout in 2012. I don’t have high hopes for games, but these four titles really surprised me with their emotional depth. Do you agree that 2012 is a banner year for this? What other games have gotten to you in this way?
With Game Informer’s cover story finally unveiling some concrete details about Grand Theft Auto V, the Internet finally has a reason to talk incessantly about Rockstar’s popular open-world series and we here at GamerSushi are no different. I have stoically ignored all GTA V rumors and discussion until new information was released. However, since that has now happened and we find ourselves in the golden age of GTA V info, I have some thoughts and concerns, as I so often do.
First, as we have mentioned in the past, Grand Theft Auto IV was a disappointment. I know some people swear up and down by it, but as a huge fan of the PS2 trilogy, I didn’t find much to like. The world has bigger and denser, but there just wasn’t much of a reason to explore it anymore. The numerous side activities of previous games were scaled back, leaving you with only a few things to do other than the story missions. Instead, they were replaced by what amounted to taking your friends out on dates, which was fun and unique exactly once. We all got a laugh when we took our perverted cousin Roman to the strip club, but that wasn’t something I was anxious to repeat.
The other minigames were poorly controlled and very tedious. Bowling was kind of interesting, but a single game took forever and the overly long animations had me scrambling to quit as fast as I could. And the only real purpose for this was so you could get bonuses, like Jacob the weapons dealer giving you a discount. Honestly, what kind of black market merchant of death cuts into his bottom line just because someone takes him to a comedy show? It just makes no sense and wasn’t fun. Continue reading How Rockstar Can Bring The Magic Back To GTA
Greetings, Sushians. I hope this fattiest of holiday weeks finds you well. I’m assuming here that our American Thanksgiving holiday is so important that the rest of the world celebrates it, too. Or at the very least, it should. You can take that as official word from the US that it’s OK for you to celebrate Thanksgiving wherever you are tomorrow. It’s simple, really: eat all the things. And then eat them again.
Anyway, I’ll be celebrating the holiday this week by hanging out with family and playing some games. I’m between jobs right now, so I have a small stretch here where I’m getting to finally play some things that have been on my radar lately. Namely, Halo 4, Assassin’s Creed 3, picking XCOM back up and today, Walking Dead Episode 5. I am super excited about that last one.
So what about you guys? What are you playing this week? What are you eating? Go!
We’re almost back on track with the podcasts as we return with the 56 episode of our illustrious gaming show. In the edition we see the return on Nick, who regales us with the tale of his journey to the International Beard Competition. Or, maybe we just talk about Halo 4, GTA 5 and Assassin’s Creed 3 like a bunch of nerds.
The podcast opens with some Grand Theft Auto 5 talk, including our misgivings about the three playable characters and the changes that Rockstar needs to make to the formula after 4. Halo 4 is, of course, a big topic, with Anthony and I declaring our love for the game with all of its playable modes. We close out the cast with a final dissection of Assassin’s Creed 3 where I expand on my review a little bit.
I don’t think you need to be told what to do at this point, being 56 shows deep, but I’ll remind you anyways because I’m nice: listen to the podcast, rate the podcast, love the podcast. Wanna meet that podcast.
Heavy Rain creator David Cage has sometimes over-promised and under delivered. Of course, he’s nowhere near the level of Molyneux in that regard. In fact, he doesn’t even want to say too much about Beyond: Two Souls because he wants people to experience the game with no preconceptions or ideas about what the game is going to be like.
I think there should be no preparation for Beyond. You must go into the game trying to learn as little as possible!
Like other game creators, I wish I could say nothing and show nothing, and put a plain black cover on the shelves so that players start the game completely blank, with no information from trailers. This is something that is obviously not possible, unfortunately!
It’s interesting to me how many game creators really desire this pure kind of experience — and how impossible of a dream it is in a day when video game marketing machines dictate everything in the industry. The funny thing is, as much as gamers want that same kind of secrecy, that same ability to play a game with no idea what they’re getting into, we also demand previews, trailers and details galore, in order to make sure our money is being well spent.
So what do you guys think about this issue? Do you wish more creators could release games with less information about them? I mean, sure, there’s always the argument that you could avoid trailers, stay away from previews, etc — but at a certain point it’s hard to avoid everything, particularly when so much information is available, and so much of it not even indicative of the final product. Give us your opinions in the comments. Go!
Well isn’t this just dandy? Just a couple of weeks after the game is released with a mess of glitches and bugs packed right in, Ubisoft has announced the Thanksgiving patch for Assassin’s Creed 3 which, by the looks of it, will remedy almost every misgiving I had with the game engine wise.
As I outlined in my Assassin’s Creed 3 review, this new game in the series is riddled with almost-game-breaking glitches from things that prevent you from accomplishing optional objectives for full synchronization to a final chase that’s so ridiculously bug-ridden that it’s nigh impossible to complete on the first few tries. The fact that this patch is being handed out half a month after the game has launched means that Ubisoft was more than aware of the problems AC3 players would face, but chose to ship the game anyways.
Just take a look at the laundry list of fixes coming in with the Thanskgiving patch. Almost every mission is getting changed to some degree, and that’s before getting to the stability changes that the Anvil Next engine is getting.
If this is how much the game needed fixing after the day one patch, I can only imagine the state it was sent to discs in. How it ever passed certification is beyond me. Since I’ve given up trying not to editorialize, I feel massively ripped off by Assassin’s Creed 3 in a way that I haven’t been by a video game in a long time. I payed full price for a game Ubisoft knew was broken, without any idea that it would be receiving a patch that would fix most of my grievances. While my problems with the mission design and the story still stand, I think the game would have fared better if I didn’t have to fight a legion of bugs.
What do you guys think about this? Am I right to be this indignant? Who’s still holding on to their copy of Assassin’s Creed 3?
The news that Dead Space 3 would have optional co-op has been met with a giant “Meh” from both the Internet and the two resident Dead Space fans (myself and Mitch) here at GamerSushi HQ. We like Dead Space for the isolation, the fevered combat and creepy atmosphere. It’s difficult to understand how Dead Space 3 can replicate the best parts of the previous two games with a buddy next to you.
Well, we might have shrugged indifferently too soon because Visceral has been cooking up something pretty unique for us and it is quite intriguing, even for a skeptic like myself. As revealed in EGM’s preview of the game, Isaac Clarke and his new partner, John Carver, will both have terrifying hallucinations. Separately. In the demo described in the article, one player saw creepy toy soldiers, while the other saw nothing unusual. Then Carver has terrible visions of shadowy children trying to kill him, but it is all in his head. While this is going on, Isaac has to protect Carver from the necromorphs who are taking advantage of Carver’s vulnerability to attempt to slice him to pieces. If either player fails, it’s game over. Intense, no?
I have to be honest, I still don’t know if I like the idea of co-op, but good on Visceral for trying something unique. The visions remind me a bit of Eternal Darkness, an overlooked gem on the GameCube that had your character going slowly insane, resulting in scares such as your memory card being wiped or the volume on your TV being turned way up or way down. Dead Space 3’s terrors seem to be less meta than that, but it does give me hope that Dead Space 3 might still be scary to play, even with a friend. The preview doesn’t state if these are scripted events or will happen randomly, but the idea that your partner could also be your undoing is a novel one.
What say you? Does this assuage your doubts about Dead Space 3 or are you still on the fence? Comment below!
We primarily review games here on GamerSushi, but every now and then, a movie comes out that appeals to the gamer zeitgeist enough that it deserves a review of its own. While Wreck-It Ralph, the new animated feature from Disney isn’t based on a video game, it has more than enough video game references that it practically screams for attention from the gamer community. Which we are granting with this review.
Wreck-It Ralph is the story of Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly who is the villain in a Donkey Kong-like arcade game called Fix-It Felix. Ralph’s job in his game is to smash the windows of a tall building and then climb to the top, throwing bricks at Felix as he tries to fix the windows and reach the top, saving the residents of the building from Ralph’s destructive rage. Once Felix has done so, Ralph is summarily tossed off the building into the muddy ground below while Felix is awarded a medal. After 30 years of this, Ralph is fed up with his lot in life. He is ostracized by Felix and the residents, resigned to living in a nearby dump (literally) with nothing but bricks as his bed. He longs to be a hero, but as his support group of video game villains tells him, that’s just not possible. Continue reading Review: Wreck-It Ralph
If you’re lacking a subscription to Game Informer, have no fear: with every cover story there’s a million sites on the Internet willing to round up the juicy information for you. Such is the case with Grand Theft Auto 5, which VG247 has been kind enough to do a write-up on.
Rockstar’s next installment in the GTA series will take place in Los Santos, of GTA: San Andreas fame, and will feature three playable characters this time around. Trevor, Franklin and Michael will be availible to switch into almost all the time, each with their own backstory and motivations. They each have unique skills, so for example if you want to fly a plane, Trevor is the only on in the group capable of doing so. While having to jump into specific characters just to fly a plane might get annoying, the fact that you can switch characters on the fly might help ease the pain of doing so.
One of the benefits of having three characters is that there’s always a story mission ready to go. Instead of doing a bunch of side tasks to unlock the next plot quest, you can jump into one of the trio and get going on any of their individual objectives.
Los Santos is also reported to be the biggest open-world in a Rockstar game so far, bigger than Red Dead’s map, Liberty City and the old San Andreas combined. While Rockstar has said that recreating the whole of San Andreas on this scale wouldn’t be feasible, they’re doing their best to make Los Santos and the surrounding area both visually stunning and fun to get around. Expect the melee combat and gunplay to be tuned up this time. With Max Payne 3 showing that Rockstar can actually make a mechanically sound shooter, I’ve got high expectations for GTA 5 in this regard.
So, what do you guys think of Grand Theft Auto 5? Does it sound promising? Are you still burned by GTA IV? Do you think this game would have been better served by waiting for the inevitable next generation of consoles? Will it ever come to PC?
The most appealing aspect of the Assassin’s Creed series is the ability to experience different periods of human history through a sci-fi wrapper. Thanks to the prolonged presence of Renaissance Italy’s Ezio Auditore, the need to travel to a different era was reaching a high. Thankfully for Assassin’s Creed 3, Ubisoft moved the clock up a few hundred years, dropping you in Revolutionary America in the moccasins of Connor Kenway (real name Ratonhnhaké:ton) a half-Mohawk, half-British assassin.
With a new setting, a new engine and the possibility of wrapping up the modern day storyline of Desmond Miles, Assassin’s Creed 3 seemed poised to make the same sort of leap that the series did with Assassin’s Creed 2 back in 2009. Did Ubisoft manage to pull it off, and can Connor replace the venerable Ezio? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed 3
We’re a day late on this one, but who can blame us? Halo 4 is finally out, riding a wave of excellent reviews. I beat the campaign on Heroic last night, and I have to say that 343 Industries did a fantastic job. I was a bit worried about how Halo would fare under their stewardship, because new things are always scary, but hot damn did they pull it off.
To start, the game is freaking gorgeous, whether it’s the exquisitely rendered cutscenes or the in-game visuals. This is the best a Halo game has ever looked, and it still manages to feel like Halo despite the new flourishes 343i put on their designs. The voice acting and the story are very strong too, as the Chief and Cortana’s relationship gets fleshed out like never before. I seriously got a little emotional at the end of the game, and I wonder where 343i will take the Reclaimer Trilogy next.
There’s so many things I want to talk about regarding the campaign, but it would all stray into spoiler city. I’m going to be checking out multiplayer and Spartan Ops tonight, both of which I hear are quite fun.
So what about you guys? Have you been playing Halo 4? Hope to pick it up? Do you have any non-spoiler thoughts on the campaign?
It’s crazy to think that we’re almost a year out from Skyrim’s launch and we’re still getting DLC for it. Bethesda’s long-term commitment to their games this gen have been nothing short of astounding, at least where Xbox 360 and PC users are concerned. That aside, the trailer for the upcoming Dragonborn DLC for the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is out and it features a whole host of new features and areas.
Personally, I haven’t played any of the DLC for Skyrim, but Dragonborn looks like it will be a pretty meaty add-on, so I might consider picking this one up. In reference to the PS3 joke above, how do you PS3 owners feel about how Bethesda is handling the DLC for Skyrim? I hear that Dawnguard doesn’t even have an ETA yet, and who knows how long it will take to get Dragonborn.
What are your thoughts about the DLC? Are you in for more Skyrim?
It’s been a while, but we’re back. In the month since we’ve been gone a lot has happened, such as Disney buying LucasFilm and a whole bunch of games coming out. We managed to cover a lot of it, leading to what has to be our longest cast in a while.
Nick is absent yet again, but you have the regular crew, albeit with a couple of us fighting off coughing fits at several points. Eddy just plain forgets that he can mute himself, so in a couple spots you’ll hear him coughing or chomping on a cough drop. It’s not too bad, but I’ve decided to christen the cast in his honor.
You know how it goes by now, being veterans of our show. Listen, rate and be excellent to each other. We’ll see you soon!
This is it. The month we have all been waiting for. The final month of fall 2012. Sure, there are a few games out in December, (Far Cry 3 is the only one that springs to mind, but whatever) but we all know November is where the big boys come to play. Usually the home of Call of Duty, a new challenger steps forward, but wait…it’s actually an old challenger!
That’s right, Halo 4 vs. Call of Duty. It’s not exactly a fair fight because CoD is multiplatform, but let’s face it: the two biggest FPS franchises in the world both releasing in the same month is the industry equivalent of a heavyweight title fight. For myself, it’s all about Halo 4. With glowing reviews that came out today, the gauntlet has been thrown down by the 343 Studios team. Can Call of Duty rise to the challenge?
Oh and something called the Wii U is also releasing this month. Not sure what it is. Probably an add-on for the Wii. And some new Mario game. I would do more research, but between Star Wars: Episode VII and Halo 4, I am in somewhat of a catatonic state.
So let us know what November release you are most looking forward to by voting in the poll and commenting in the…uh…comments. COMMENCE!