Borderlands 2 Expands Already with Scarlett’s Booty

borderlands 2 dlc captain scarlett and her pirate's booty

Considering I’ve beaten Borderlands 2 twice and conquered the end-game raid boss known as Terramorphous, it probably comes as no surprise that I’m hungry for some Borderlands 2 DLC. Gearbox, who apparently know their target audience better than I thought, were happy to oblige with Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty, a DLC adventure that takes you to the Wurmwater Flats in search of Captain Blade’s lost treasure.

Once you hit level 15 in the main game, you can take a trip out to the town of Oasis where you’ll meet your new BFF, Shade. As you might be able to tell from the title, Pirate’s Booty is, well, pirate themed, and as such you’ll be running across all sorts of re-skinned bandits and a few unique enemy types like the Anchorman and the Cursed Pirate. While the desert setting is bereft of water, the new Sandskiff will carry you ably across the sands, provided you don’t slam it into too many sandworms.

While it is fun to get back to Pandora, Pirate’s Booty is kind of lacking in payoff, although is does shine through with the classic Borderlands humor in some parts. Shade is hilariously creepy and this DLC contains two of my favorite new quest-givers, one of whom gives you a great quest riffing on DRM, “Don’t Copy that Floppy”. Unfortunately, Captain Scarlett herself is a lackluster villain, joking the entire time about how she’ll betray you, so it comes as no big surprise when she finally does. You can see the end of the DLC coming a mile off, so the feeling of running back and forth for little to no reason is more prevalent during these quests. To be fair, Handsome Jack set a high standard for villainy, but Captain Scarlett doesn’t even come close to hitting that mark.

If you’ve been hankering for more Borderlands 2 like I have, then Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty will be right up your alley. It’s a good jumping off point for Borderlands 2’s season pass, and it adds even more Badass Ranks to obtain. There’s another high-end raid boss that seems to address the ways players were able to beat Terramorphous and a brand new currency called Seraph crystals (which, to be honest, I didn’t see once during my playthrough).

Has anyone else played Pirate’s Booty? What did you think of it? Was this a good first installment for Borderlands 2 DLC?

The Retaliation Co-op Pack Breaths New Life Into Mass Effect 3

mass effect 3 retaliation

It’s been more than half a year and I’m still plugging away at the multiplayer mode for Mass Effect 3. While the mode was a little basic to start off with, the various classes and maps that have been added to the game since release has kept its longevity going, and the new pack for Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer, Retaliation, brings a whole new enemy faction into the mix.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the news on Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer mode, Retaliation reintroduces the Collector faction from Mass Effect 2, but this time around they pack an even bigger punch. Collector captains are the brand new foes and in addition to being tougher than the regular Collector trooper, they can also release Seeker Swarms which block your power usage, something that can be downright terrifying when you’re facing down a couple Scions or a Praetorian.

New player classes have also been bundled with Retaliation, including a turian Havoc (a jetpack-using close combat class) and a volus Adept and Engineer. Yes, those little balls of asthma are now playable, and they’re just as hialrious as you expect. Watching a volus roll around and blast Collectors is quite the sight, especially considering they can’t take cover and just sort of stand behind most obstacles (which works because of their short stature). Cerberus and geth also get new types added to their lineup in the form of the whip-using Dragoon and the grenade-launching Bomber, respectively.

BioWare could have let Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer languish, but they’ve shown a surprising amount of dedication to it. They even put up a whole new web portal for stat tracking, including the brand new N7 challenges. Even though this is the last pack for multiplayer, new classes will continue to be added. While there are still server problems and synchronized kills from the large enemies continue to be frustratingly random and Vanguard-inhibiting, this new feature for the Mass Effect series is still going strong, and is a large part of why it’s staying high in my personal top ten for this year.

Is anyone else still playing ME3 multiplayer? What do you think of Retaliation? Anyone going to hop back in now?

Black Ops 2 Zombie Mode Goes on a Road Trip

Somehow a throw-away game mode from Call of Duty: World at War has taken on a life of its own (with its own convoluted back-story), and with every new Treyarch-produced Call of Duty game I find myself anticipating what kind of new crazy twist they’ll throw at us. The new way to slay in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’s zombie mode is apparently a roving murder-bus, where you and three friends will go on a road trip in an armored vehicle, stopping along the way to kill the undead. There’s a new trailer, which you can check out below.

Apparently this new game mode will be an expansive sandbox for players to explore, and the driving sections in between the hubs will not just be loading screens, but another arena to fend off the living dead. There will also be a CIA vs CDC mode where the two opposing teams can grief each other indirectly; they’re not able to harm each other one on one but will be able to find other ways to indirectly cause the death of their enemies. There’s not too much more info about that mode, but it looks like the old zombie formula is being expanded on yet again.

I’m not going to lie, Treyarch’s Call of Duty games have usually hooked me in with zombie mode and Black Ops 2 looks no different. What about you guys? Are you feeling the familiar tugging on your purse-strings, or is that just a horde of shambling grotesqueries reaching for you from beyond the grave?

Borderlands 2 Roll Call!

borderlands 2 impressions

It’s been a little quiet around these parts for the last couple of days, but I bet you all know why: Borderlands 2, Gearbox’s follow-up to 2009’s FPS loot-fest, dropped at 9pm on Monday for me and I’ve been spending my evenings playing it since.

So far I’m having a lot of fun with it, as I really like the new Commando class (although useful assault rifles are still hard to come by for me) and the game is freaking gorgeous on my new PC. There’s a ton of customization options available to PC players, which is nice after the abortive console port of the first Borderlands. I am have screen-tearing issues occasionally, but I think that might have something to do with my settings.

Shooting-wise Borderlands 2 feels much improved over the workman-like mechanics of the first game and so far the promise of even more crazy guns is being fulfilled. My favorite weapons at this juncture are the ones that you throw like a grenade when they’re empty (complete with explosion) only to have a new one materialize in your hands. The writing is also a lot better and it feels like there might be an actual story this time. The game never stops talking to you though, as there’s always one person on your radio, jawing to you about this and that.

Now that I’ve given my thoughts about it, who here is playing Borderlands 2? What do you think of it so far? Which system did you get it for?

Insomniac CEO: Multiplayer In Every Game Is The Future

Dalton

Insomniac, makers of Ratchet & Clank, my favorite platformer since Mario, are currently working on Fuse, which you may remember being announced as Overstrike. Fuse is a 4-player co-op 3rd person shooter, set to be released on PS3 and Xbox 360 at some point before our sun burns out. That’s not the news part of this post.

Ted Price, CEO of Insomniac, said in an interview with GameSpot:

I can’t imagine that any game we’d do from here on out will be single-player-only. The [game industry] has changed. As gamers, we have always been social, but thanks to the way technology has evolved, it’s much easier for us to play together.

Price went on to say that this doesn’t mean games will be multiplayer only, just that there will be a multiplayer component to games that would normally just be single-player. While I can’t be upset at that part, this paradigm shift that seems to be permeating throughout the industry, notably with EA, is a little bit frustrating. Some of the most popular games have been single-player only experiences and the constant denial of this by the publishers is staggering.

Am I shouting into the wind here or do you guys feel the same? I love multiplayer games, but shoehorning them into every release seems counterproductive to me. What say you?

Source: GameSpot

TF2’s Mann vs Machine Gets Off to a Rocky Start

mann vs machine

Valve’s crazy new addition to Team Fortress 2, the co-op mode Mann vs. Machine, launched last night, and if you had a similar experience to me, you spent most of the evening waiting in a queue for a community server because you’re too cheap to buy a Tour of Duty ticket.

If this is the first you’re hearing of Mann vs. Machine, here’s a quick rundown: you team up with five friends and fight robots. Even if you haven’t played Team Fortress proper in years, the prospect of co-op in that game is probably enough to entice you to come back (I know it worked for me). The problem last night was that, given that the mode just launched, the demand for community run servers far outpaced the supply.

To play in the official Mann Up mode and get access to the Valve servers, you need to buy a Tour of Duty ticket. When Mann vs. Machine launched last night, there were a whole bunch of Valve servers waiting for paying customers. The co-op is still free-to-play, but it has to be on community run servers, of which there were a ridiculously low number; somewhere in the neighborhood of hundreds as compared to the thousands of official servers. If you’re still confused about how Mann Up works in conjunction with Mann vs. Machine, Icrontic has a great flowchart explaining how the whole thing works.

I would have loved to play MvM last night, but the fact that you can’t even host a private server to get a game going (at least not yet, without console commands) kind of killed my enthusiasm. Well, that and the waiting an hour in queue for a community server without success. Once more unofficial servers start popping online, this hiccup will go away, but unless you’re willing to spend money to play on the Valve servers, expect Mann vs. Machine to be a less than stable experience for the first few days.

Did anyone actually manage to play this last night? If you did, what are you thoughts?

Review: Journey

Journey Review

Thatgamecompany has a history of making games that bend the rules of what we traditionally associate with games, and their last PlayStation exclusive, Journey is no exception.

For the uninitiated, Journey is a two-ish hour adventure that features a unique twist on co-op: you can see you partner, and he can see you, but you can’t talk to each other, or even send PSN messages. All you can do is do little chirps at one another. Sounds strange right? It might sound even stranger that this foundation makes for one of the most emotionally resonant experiences in modern gaming. Let’s get to it. Continue reading Review: Journey

Dead Space 3 and the Voice of Reason

You might have noticed today that Dead Space 3 is in the news for comments coming from EA that they thought the first two games were “too scary”. The Internet at large, being the hyperbolic creature that it is, jumped to all sorts of conclusions about the direction the game is taking and the changes EA is forcing on it.

But is that actually what was said in the interview? Apparently not, as the headline associated with the article in question is quite different from EA’s comments. The original story over at MCV had the headline EA research said Dead Space 1&2 were too scary, but right down in the article, this is what the EA rep being interviewed, Laura Miele, actually said: Continue reading Dead Space 3 and the Voice of Reason

Borderlands 2 Will Judge How Badass You Actually Are

borderlands 2 badass ranks, customizable skins, golden chests

Guys, we are getting actual news™ out of San Deigo Comic Con, and I am so excited. I thought that we were going to be dead in the water until September, but I’m glad to have been proven wrong.

If any of you played the original Borderlands, then you may remember the challenges the game presented you with as little notifications that popped up and then quickly went away. It was a small distraction, but most of us probably never paid attention to them beacause they weren’t that well integrated. Borderlands 2 looks to change that with Badass Ranks, which will incentivize players to complete challenges by giving them new ways to beef up their stats.

For every Badass Rank you’ll get tokens, and those tokens can be used to improve your character in various ways. The best part is, improvements gained from the ranks carry over your account, meaning that if you give one character +10% to health regeneration or something, every subsequent character you create will have that ability. It’s a great way to promote replaying the game without feeling like you’re starting from square one every time. Of course, purists can turn off both Badass ranks and the buffs if they so desire. Badass Ranks sound like an awesome addition, but that’s not all. Continue reading Borderlands 2 Will Judge How Badass You Actually Are

Assassin’s Creed 3 Brings Co-op Fun with Wolfpack

Assassin's Creed 3 Wolfpack co-op

In what’s sure to be a howling good time, Assassin’s Creed 3 will let players team up in teams of two to four assassinos in an effort to take down multiple targets in a “sequence-based” co-op mode called Wolfpack.

Revealed today at San Diego Comic Con (via GameSpot), Wolfpack adds a Horde-ish mode to Assassin’s Creed 3. Players have a limited amount of time to take out assigned NPCs, and when a kill is successfully made, more time is added. Kill enough baddies and you advance to the next sequence.

Since Wolfpack is a co-op mode, you’re not going to be worried about being too stealthy, as only your contracts care about nearby people being stabbed. While you can run around willy nilly, Wolfpack will reward you for completing certain challenges, such as remaining unseen or using poison darts, so there will be some incentive to do a little planning.

I’ve been waiting for a co-op mode for a long time in Assassin’s Creed, and I think Wolfpack will provide players with a lot of fun when the game arrives this fall. What do you guys think? Does Wolfpack look like fun, or is it just a quick add-on? Will you be giving it a shot?

Source – GameSpot

Epic Games’ Fortnite is an Unreal Engine 4, PC Exclusive Title

fornite

Epic Games, the studio that brought you Gears of War, a title who’s mechanics and engine influenced an entire generation of console games, is doing something a little different for their next release, Fortnite.

Revealed today during a San Diego Comic Con panel (thanks Polygon), Fornite will be running the Unreal Engine 4 (something Epic has said will not work with the current generation) and will be exclusive to the PC (although Cliff Bleszinski has tweeted that the PC is the “lead platform” for Fortnite, opening the game up for a possible installment on the next generation of consoles and other devices).

For people who need a refresher, Fornite is a co-op sandbox survival game where players band together to build a fortress that can withstand the onslaught of the undead. Your buildings and weapons are all upgradable, and the developers promise that there will be a lot of loot scattered around the game worlds.

So, what do you guys think of this turn of events? Are you excited for Fornite? What do you think of Epic moving on to Unreal Engine 4 development before this console generation is over? Is this the first real sign that the next gen is coming really soon? Go!

Source – Polygon, Cliff Bleszinski

Stay Frosty with 20 Minutes of Dead Space 3 Gameplay

EA’s E3 2012 press conference seemed prime for backlash, what with the DLC-promoting intro and the stale showing of some of the games, but the negative reception that surprised me most was directed at Dead Space 3. That franchise has kind of a soft-spot in my heart and I felt that many other gamers shared my affection but after the co-op footage showed off a new direction for the game, things kind of went south in the public’s eyes.

Visceral Games just put out a whopping 20 minutes of Dead Space 3 gameplay footage, so you can decide for yourself on whether or not Dead Space 3 is changing for the worse.

So, what do you guys think? It’s just a first glance, but how is DS3 shaping up for you? Will the third title cap off an excellent series? What do you think about the fact that EA has said that Dead Space 3 needs to sell five million copies to keep the franchise going?

GamerSushi Asks: What Do You Miss About Games?

Fez

Guys, I feel like I’m drowning here. As much as I enjoy being a brand new dad, it goes without saying that my free time doesn’t look quite the same as it did before. While I still am taking plenty of time to do some personal writing, not every hobby is created equal, and gaming has suffered a big hit. In the last few weeks, I think I’ve played maybe just an hour or two of video games. This is probably going to be my situation until our newborn starts sleeping through the night a little more, which I hear should start happening in a month or two. Fingers crossed.

The thing is, I don’t really mind not playing video games all that much for the reasons you might think. Sure, they’re fun and I love hopping into games of Mass Effect 3 multiplayer with the GS guys, or catching up on some Diablo III with my one of my brothers. I love wrapping my mind around Fez’s twisted puzzles and aiming for new times on Trials: Evolution. But the thing I’m finding out I miss the most? The way gaming calms me down.

There’s just something about playing video games that relaxes me after a day of stress at work. Even if it’s just 30 minutes, taking that time to apply my brain to something that isn’t seafood menus or billboards unwinds me in a way that almost nothing else can. That’s what I start to miss when I’m not gaming.

So what about you guys? What do you miss about games when you’re not playing them? Go!

Gears of War: Judgement Will Change as You Play

gears of war judgement declassified system

If there’s any game that’s more unnecessary than a Gears of War prequel, I’d like to see it (already seen God of War: Ascension) but it sounds like Epic subsidiary studio People Can Fly are doing their best to make the next trip back to the Gears-verse worth your time.

As Gears of War: Judgement is being told from the perspective of Baird and Cole defending themselves at a treason hearing, certain elements of the game will change each time you play it because, like any memory, things are going to be forgotten, replaced, or just plain made up. For example, the first time you play through a level, you might have access to sniper rifles, but the next time you play, Baird might say something like “we didn’t have access to snipers rifles” and poof: where you were once popping fools with snipers, you now have to get down and dirty with them.

As you play the missions you’ll eventually get to go through “declassified” versions of the levels, which is the actual series of events. Gears of War: Judgement also comes with a smart-spawn system similar to Left 4 Dead’s director: if you’re doing well the game will throw more enemies in different locations and you, and if you’re struggling to progress, things will get a bit easier.

Mixing things up like is what helps make a prequel a bit more palatable. I’m interested to see how this system will preform when the game drops, but for now it sounds like an interesting concept. What do you guys think? Is Gears of War: Judgement sounding a bit better to you now? What do you think of the declassification system?

Source – Kotaku

Dead Space 3’s Co-op Gets a Chilly Reception

There are no secrets in the video game industry, which is why we knew about Dead Space 3’s co-op mode almost a week before its official debut at the E3 press conference. Even though we knew it was coming, we didn’t know what it would look like, so the six-minute on stage demo was enough to get a good idea. Here’s that demo so you can watch for yourself:

So what do you guys think? Is it a little too action packed for your taste? How will Visceral Games maintain the horror with two people running and gunning? How does new character John Carver compare to Isaac Clarke? Speak up!

GamerSushi Asks: Diablo 3 Roll Call?

Diablo 3

The long-awaited day is here, Sushi-ans! After 12 long years, the wait for Blizzard’s epic hack-n-slash dungeon crawler is here, and Diablo fans all over the world can slay the minions of hell together. Diablo 3 is upon us, which means that some of us are sitting at work itching to play.

My plans is to get home tonight, purchase Diablo 3 and start all the pre-loading business as soon as possible. And who knows, maybe I’ll have a chance to hop in for some co-op with my brothers before bed. In terms of characters, I fully intend to roll a Monk. After my time with the beta, that class seems to be what I prefer over the others, and gave me the most satisfying skills/gameplay combination.

What about you guys? Who out there plans to pick up Diablo 3? What character are you going to roll? Go!

How Mass Effect 3’s RPG Heritage Made Co-op Work

mass effect 3 multiplayer

Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer was a surprising success, something we’ve been going on about ever since the demo for the game dropped way back in the grey blanket of February. A horde mode experience at heart, Mass Effect 3’s co-op mode drew on the backstory set up by the single-player games and gave players the opportunity to take control of the various alien races we’ve been interacting with as Shepard ever since Mass Effect one.

It’s this sort of legacy that gives the co-op in Mass Effect 3 its longevity, at least according to Rowan Kaiser over at Joystiq. He says that, because we’ve spent so much time with Urdnot Wrex and his krogan brethren, seeing and using a krogan in multiplayer taps into the narrative investment we have in those characters.

The multiplayer mode is an extension of Commander Shepard’s mission in the main game: uniting the various alien species of the Galaxy to take the fight to the Reapers, Cerberus and the heretic geth, throwing it in together as one force. While the multiplayer mode itself is very light on story, there’s such a link between the visuals and everything that we’ve learned about the universe of the game that we create all these threads in our mind that gives the co-op such gravitas.

The article goes a bit more in depth about how the mechanics work into the equation but the part about the aesthetics creating a bigger impression of the mode is definitely true for me. Mass Effect is so well designed from a fictional standpoint that every little thing has meaning for me whether it’s a krogan Vanguard charging into a mess of Cannibals or doing a biotic combo in conjunction with another player. What do you guys think of the article? Are you hooked on ME3’s multi and is the universe a big part of that?

Source – Joystiq

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 46: H8 cast

What’s this? Two GamerSushi Shows in a row? We must be getting back on track or something. This podcast might mark Eddy’s last appearance on the show for a few weeks so I hope you enjoy basking in his video game knowledge and hatred of my silent treatment.

Yes, on this episode of the GamerSushi Show I was overcome with a fit of shyness and basically stopped talking and participating around the time when we start chatting about Max Payne on the iOS. When it came time to do the game Eddy was getting understandably frustrated with my lack of vocals and you can hear that creeping in at a few points, hence the title of this cast.

So yeah, listen, rate, be merry. Hopefully we can keep up this pace so you guys won’t have to wait too long for the next episode. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 46: H8 cast

Spartan Ops Brings the Episodic Co-Op Flavor to Halo 4

Halo 4

With 343 having officially taken the reins of the Halo universe from the old masters at Bungie, it seems that we’re finally starting to get little trickles of information about the upcoming sequel, Halo 4. On top of the recent news that Massive Attack producer Neil Davidge will be scoring the game, 343 has also given some juicy ammunition to Game Informer over the last week.

While there are new screenshots and other bits to take away from the reports of the Game Informer story, the most curious bit is what lies in store for Halo 4’s co-op. Yes, the campaign will still have 4 player co-op. However, it seems that Firefight is getting the axe – or the gravity hammer, perhaps. That’s right, Firefight is history, but in its place, 343 is providing Spartan Ops, an episodic 4 player co-op campaign with its own story. The most interesting part of all of this, though, is that 343 plans on releasing regular free updates to Spartan Ops, allowing players to devour its content in a weekly format almost like that of a TV show, with new gameplay to experience with each one.

I have to say, this is some interesting news. While I think that booting a (now) series staple like Firefight is probably the wrong move, Spartan Ops will provide a welcome new flavor into the franchise. I love the idea of regular episodic content, as it’s something that nobody has done just yet. Which is odd, considering that this generation is finally ready for something like that.

What do you guys think of the idea of Spartan Ops for the Halo 4? Would you like to see more games experiment with regular episodic content like this? Go!

Source – CVG

Mass Effect 3 Resurgence DLC Adds Krogan Vanguard, Other Stuff

It’s been kind of a Mass Effect-dominated week here at GamerSushi, and originally I wasn’t even going to post the trailer for the Resurgence multiplayer DLC, but the awesome playable characters being added changed my mind. You can now play as the geth and the batarians, and the krogan become even more awesome with the addition of the Vanguard class to their ranks. Personally I’m excited about the geth Engineer as that was my favorite class in ME3, but if I unlocked the krogan Vanguard instead, I wouldn’t complain. The DLC also adds new weapons and arenas, so check out the trailer below to geth the full scoop (pun intended).

Even if the GS crew hasn’t been able to assemble in a ME3 multi game in a while, I still kind of enjoy joining up in public games. Most people are around the level cap and the powers are kind of unbalanced in the players favor anyways. Mass Effect 3’s Resurgence DLC hits for free on April 10. What do you guys think about it? Which of the new classes would you want to play as?