While Call of Duty moved into the realm of fictional wars with the first Modern Warfare game, the series has never strayed beyond modern technology; indeed, even jumping into today’s battlegrounds was deemed a huge leap for the series. Now that almost every era of modern war has been mined for inspiration (I’m still waiting for Trench Warfare), Call of Duty’s off-year team Treyarch decided to make a bold move and place their Black Ops follow up in the year 2025.
The whole game doesn’t take place in 2025, however, as there are several levels that occur in the 1980s that set up the origin of Raul Menendez, the antagonist of this particular outing. Switching back and forth between the shiny combat of 2025 and the shady battles of the 1980s, can Black Ops 2’s unique narrative break it out of the Call of Duty rut? Continue reading Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Hola, Sushians. If you can’t tell, we’ve been on a bit of a break due to the holidays and the fact that most gaming news has ground to a halt. On top of that, we’re actually busy playing tons of games for a change (XCOM, you have my heart), so that we can vote on our Top 10 Games of 2012 list and also because games are amazing.
On top of clearing out a backlog (which has been made impossible due to the Steam sale), one of my goals over the holiday season was to finally purchase an adapter of some sort so I could play certain PC games with a 360 controller. While I enjoy a keyboard and mouse for shooters and RTS style games, there are a number of gametypes I’d prefer to use my 360 controller for — to the point where I wasn’t purchasing some great deals on games because I didn’t want to play with a keyboard and mouse.
Merry Christmas Eve, GamerSushi friends, or any other holiday that you fine folks might be or have been celebrating. I’d insert a joke here about diversity, but I think we’re all a bit grown up for that by this point.
One of my favorite things about having some time off for Christmas every year is all the free time I suddenly get to catch up on games. In addition to the mouthwatering deals of the Steam Sale, I’ve also been playing a bit of Halo 4, and I’m dying to get my hands on Far Cry 3, Spec Ops: The Line and Sleeping Dogs. I’m sure there will be many other things added to that list in the next few days.
So what about you guys? What are you playing while on break? Hit us up with your comments! Go!
It’s been a heck of a year guys, starting off strong with Journey and Mass Effect 3 and finishing off with a wide array of excellent games from Borderlands 2 to Halo 4 to Far Cry 3. This year has been so great in fact, that a video montage by YouTube user Malcolm Klock is the best way to send it off. Set to “Leaving Earth” from Mass Effect 3, the video has clips from thirty-plus games from 2012. Give it a watch and enjoy.
There you go! What did you guys think of that? Did you favorite game show up? What games were sadly missing from this montage?
Yes, I’m doing a post about Angry Birds, but it’s also about Star Wars so deal with it. In the latest addition to the never ending line-up of Angry Birds titles, Angry Birds Star Wars mixes the iOS classic with that galaxy far, far away, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s actually kind of fun.
The basic premise of Angry Birds Star Wars is that you play through some Star Wars themed levels like Tatooine and Hoth, flinging your birds at the Imperial pigs’ emplacements. The twist is that every bird has a Star Wars influenced power, from Obi-Wan’s Force push to Luke’s lightsaber swing. The levels are cleverly crafted to take full advantage of this fact, and swinging your saber to perfectly reflect a stream of blaster bolts back into the Stromtrooper-helmeted pigs and win the level is very satisfying.
There are also space levels where you need to account for the gravity wells projected around asteroids. The gravity effect is different for every bit of space junk, so sometimes you need to send your bird through a loop-de-loop course before you can take out any pigs.
Despite its Angry Birds wrapping (which I don’t mind, I just know people like to hate it because it’s popular), Angry Birds Star Wars is a fresh new take on the formula, and, in a sad twist of fate, the best Star Wars game to be released in 2012. Considering it was up against Kinect Star Wars, that wasn’t too much of a challenge, but if you’ve been temped to try this game out, go for it. Even if you’re burnt out on Angry Birds, it does enough new things to more than justify its price tag.
Has anyone else played Angry Birds Star Wars? What did you think?
So The WarZ, Hammerpoint Interactive’s zombie survival MMO hit Steam over the past few days, bringing with it a fresh new wave of controversy. While the Steam page for the game has been updated, it originally did not state that the game is still in alpha and was missing a lot of the advertised features such as more than one map and player classes.
It’s really hard to keep up with The WarZ’s current woes, but apparently the newest patch has added an instant respawn button that you need to pay for with real money, lest you want to wait four hours for the cooldown to be over. TotalBiscuit has a gameplay video about The WarZ which is 40 minutes long, if you can actually make it that far.
Frankly the game looks pretty bad, especially given the whole kerfuffle about the game being announced shortly after Day Z’s launch with the developers claiming The WarZ has been in development for five years.
Has anyone played The WarZ? How is it feeling to you so far?
Continuing my trend of reviewing the DLC for Battlefield 3, like Close Quarters and Armored Kill, I’m going to sit down here and rap with you for a bit about Aftermath, DICE’s newest contribution to the steadily growing stable of post-launch content for their combined-arms FPS.
Like the previous two pieces of DLC, Aftermath has a “theme” to go along with it, and in this case it’s picking up from the single-player story by giving us four new maps set in a post-earthquake Iran. This means rubble-strewn pathways, and in the case of Epicenter, aftershocks that will shake your camera around a little bit. It’s not too noticeable that it will affect your aim, but you do have to compensate for it a bit.
The new maps are more in the style of the vanilla BF3 maps, having several choke-points leading to wider areas for you to mess around in. Coming off of the Armored Kill maps, which sometimes felt a little too big, this is a welcome change of pace. The maps are more suited to infantry combat, as tanks are a rare sight even on 64-player Conquest. The new hotness is the customized vehicles, which are basically civilian vans and Humvees with a grenade launcher and a machine gun bolted on. They’re a ton of fun to rip around in, and in a nice change of pace from the armored jeeps of the main game you can actually kill the occupants with a few bullets or a grenade. Continue reading Battlefield 3: Aftermath is the Expansion We’ve Been Waiting For
Every year, the video game industry is rocked by a handful of events. Or more specifically, a handful of games that become events in and of themselves. No, I don’t mean blockbuster game releases (although the Modern Warfare 3 drama was something to behold in 2011), but rather games that become a story themselves, the release of which affects the trends and discussions of the entire industry as a whole.
In a new feature, MCV takes a look at 7 Games that Shaped 2012, where study the games that most affected the marketplace. The focus of this list is pretty interesting: Borderlands 2 proving that retail is still a powerful force, Double Fine and Kickstarter changing the way a number of indie games (and a few AA titles) are produced and released, and the quality tipping point of small, downloadable games with titles like Journey and Walking Dead. Each of these things has played a huge role in 2012 in terms of shaping the industry, and I’m curious to see what it means in the future.
Although some of the stuff on the list doesn’t quite apply to those of us in the States — like Mass Effect 3 and the collapse of GAME — Mass Effect 3 is still just as notable this year because of how it affected the discussion of art and the consumer. It’s one of the more memorable times we’ve seen a creator change a product after its release in order to cater to what consumers wanted from it.
So, what do you guys think the biggest game stories of 2012 were? What other games affected the industry this year? Go!
As excellent as Mass Effect 2’s Lair of the Shadow Broker was, BioWare might have shot themselves in the foot when it comes to post-release DLC. While it would be unrealistic to expect that every piece of Mass Effect DLC would be up to the same standards, it kind of laid the implication that any quests given to the player outside of the main game would advance the story, or at least fill in some background information.
To BioWare’s credit, Mass Effect 3: Leviathan did dredge up a more fleshed-out history of the Reapers, but the newest effort for Mass Effect 3 DLC, Omega, doesn’t add anything new to the story, or change your perception of the established characters you’ll be interacting with.
Shepard is contacted by Aria T’Loak, the Pirate Queen of the space station Omega, to help her take her throne back from Cerberus, who threw her out before the main campaign of Mass Effect 3. Because of Aria’s dislike of your squadmates, you’re going in without any familiar faces from the Normandy. I’ve never bought into the character of Aria as much as BioWare seems to want me to, and being saddled with her for a couple hours just demonstrates how one dimensional she is. While the end of the Omega campaign has her softening a bit, for most of the time she grunts and threatens her way through dialogue sections, being so predictable that a new character, Nyreen the female turian, calls her on it. It doesn’t help that the voice actress behind Aria, Carrie-Anne Moss, sounds like she’s collecting a paycheck for most of her lines, only occasionally dipping into having any emotion besides bored anger. Continue reading Mass Effect 3: Omega is a Non-Essential Side-Story
When Halo: Reach launched, the future of the Halo games became rather uncertain. Sure, we knew that Microsoft had formed 343 Industries to shepherd the series now that Bungie was moving on from the games that made them famous, but there were still doubts as to whether 343i had the chops to take over. Their first video game effort didn’t come until 2011 with the re-release of Halo: Combat Evolved. While it was a nice update to this classic game, it was still just standing on the shoulders of giants.
Leading up to Halo 4 you could kind of sense the uncertainty surrounding it. An unproven studio with Microsoft’s most valuable franchise making a game that promised to uphold everything Halo stood for? 343i was in a tricky position, because if they played it too close to Bungie’s territory they’d be looked down on and if their Halo was wildly different, the backlash would have been immense. They needed to strike a balance between making a Halo game while at the same time moving it in an entirely new direction. Now that the game is finally out, have they become the Reclaimers to Bungie’s Forerunners? Continue reading Review: Halo 4
In a series consisting primarily of odd choices, perhaps the oddest choice by Hideo Kojima was to take the Metal Gear Solid storyline back to the past, to the beginning of Big Boss’s journey. It’s always odd when a prequel has a number assigned to it that indicates it is actually a sequel, but Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater actually is worthy of the moniker. The story of Metal Gear Solid is invigorated and broadened in exciting new ways thanks to this bold decision. I had heard so much about MGS 3 being the best in the series and I was seriously surprised when it turned out to be one of the best games I have ever played. Continue reading My Metal Gear Solid 3 Experience: The Best One Yet
If you’ve listened to the most recent podcast, then you’ll know that Assassin’s Creed 3 left one of the worst tastes in my mouth in recent gaming history. Not only did the game fall short of previous titles — it was flat out bad, something I rarely even say about a game I played all the way through.
From the controls to the story to the overall bugginess of the title, Assassin’s Creed 3 was a failure on multiple levels, and I pretty much have no qualms about saying that. It was an active step back from the excellence of Brotherhood, and even the good-but-problematic Revelations. The one redeeming spot in the game’s 10 hours or so that I spent with it would have to be the naval battles, which were an absolute joy — even more so when you consider how frustrating everything around them happened to be.
But enough of my ranting about Assassin’s Creed 3. I think one of the reasons I was so thoroughly disgusted by the game, aside from it being kind of crappy, is because of the wasted potential. We were given a new setting, a new character, a chance for resolution with a number of story threads and an actual revolution (pardon the pun) in terms of setting, gameplay elements and the like. And it was all a mess. After Revelations came out last year, I was ready to be done with the AC franchise for awhile, but the promise of AC3 lured me back. I don’t know if I’ll make that mistake again, after seeing all the wasted potential that this game lived up to.
So what about you guys? What’s the biggest recent gaming disappointment you’ve experienced? What’s the biggest disappointment of 2012? What made the game disappointing? Go!
Sometimes I’m really confused when it comes to Capcom. They seem like they’re struggling for relevance and have made some very confusing public relation moves in the last few months (not to mention the whole “on-disc DLC” debale) but they still manage to pull off the occasional moment of brilliance.
A prime example of this is Street Fighter X Mega Man, where the Blue Bomber will be taking on the cast of Street Fighter in a free PC download coming on December 18 (Mega Man’s 25 birthday) to Capcom Unity. Check out the trailer below!
We once again convene our even nerdier Council of Elrond as we return for the 57 episode of The GamerSushi Show. It’s been a few weeks since our last podcast, but when isn’t that the case?
To be fair to us, not a lot has happened between then and now, except for The Walking Dead finishing up its first season, which we cover in the majority of this podcast. In case you’re wondering, we go full spoilers on this one. No holds barred, and all that, so be warned if you’ve yet to finish.
It’s that time again — Spike’s annual VGAs are happening tomorrow night, and gamers can expect lots of new trailers, winning upsets, celebrities pretending to enjoy video games, lots of cheesy humor and whatever else they decide to stick into the show. While the show isn’t exactly high entertainment value, it’s a nice little landmark in the gaming year because it’s the one time besides E3 that developers load us up with game announcements and trailers. We already know we’ll be seeing world premiere trailers of Gears of War: Judgment, Bioshock: Infinite, The Last of Us and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.
But of course, the supposedly more interesting part of all of this is the award presentations themselves, as voted on by gamers. Naturally, this tends to cause a few head scratchers out of the bunch, but that’s half the fun, right? The full list of nominees is way too lengthy to post here in full, but the GOTY contenders are: Assassin’s Creed III, Mass Effect 3, Journey, Walking Dead and Dishonored. If you want to vote, you can get the full run down of the VGA 2012 nominees here.
So do you guys have any predictions about how the evening will go down? Best Developer? Best PC Game? Best Multiplayer? And do you have any other predictions for any surprises we might see tomorrow night? Go!
When a game originally starts its life as part of the True Crime series and gets dropped by its publisher in advance of its release, it doesn’t bode that well. Such was the case for Sleeping Dogs, until Square Enix swopped in and scooped up the rights to bring the game to the public, saving United Front’s Hong Kong-based open world game from development hell.
Starring the enigmatic Wei Shen as an undercover police officer infiltrating a local Triad gang, Sleeping Dogs takes the melee combat style popularized by the Batman: Arkham titles and mixes it with some familiar open-world tropes and in a brazen move, refuses to give the player a gun for the first few hours. Sleeping Dogs takes a lot of risks for what should be a safe bet in the video game world. Does the game succeed or is its cover blown?
As much as some of us rail against the impending onslaught that the games industry collectively refers to as “the next generation”, there’s not much we can do to stop it. It’s coming, whether we like it or not.
But according to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, the next generation should have already been here. In fact, if it was here, we wouldn’t see the industry in quite the state that it is, lacking innovation and in need of a shot in the arm. Here’s what Guillemot said in a recent interview with Polygon.
We need new consoles and at the end of the cycle generally the market goes down because there are less new IPs, new properties, so that damaged the industry a little bit. I hope next time they will come more often… Everybody who is taking risks and innovating is welcome because there are lots of hardcore gamers and those guys want new things, where the mass market will be more interested in having the same experience.
Call me crazy, but I’m just not clicking with this comment. Don’t we see some of the generation’s worst games early on in a console cycle? It’s not until developers get their feet under them in regards to the hardware that the industry really starts hitting its collective strive, all around the same time. It’s weird that Guillemot feels this way — nobody’s stopping Ubisoft from creating new IPs in the middle or latter end of a console cycle… so why wait?
What do you guys think of this? Is Guillemot crazy? Am I the crazy one? Does lack of innovation stem from lack of prettier graphics? Go!