Strike at Karkand. If you didn’t start immediately salivating when you read those words, then you must have never played the greatest multiplayer map in the history of PC First Person Shooters (except de_dust of course). For everyone still trying to wipe drool from their desk, this news is for you. Battlefield is adding another notch on its free-to-play belt with the addition of Battlefield Play4Free, a new game combining the maps of Battlefield 2 with some measure of the Frostbite engine that powered the Bad Company games and 1943. Check out the trailer below:
No word on how “free” this game will remain once you want to start equipping your character with different weapons and skins, but I can’t pass up another opportunity to play on Karkand. If you go and sign up at the Battlefield Play4Free website, you have a chance to get into the closed Beta. See you on the battlefield, soldier! Also, jets.
In what may be the greatest thing I have ever heard of in my entire life, a trailer depicting John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon and Foreign Secretary Robert McNamara joining forces (and guns) against the zombie horde in Call of Duty: Black Ops has surfaced. GamesRadar had the trailer, but it has since been removed due to Activision’s long arm of the law smacking them down. We will update when we get the video back up.
Personally, I think this might be the best game of all time at this point. At least, the best game I have never played. As a history buff and someone who likes shooting things, being able to shoot the undead as any one of these 4 people is a dream that I never realized I had come true. Are you pumped about this? Do you think it might be disrespectful to JFK since he was killed by (at least 1) a gunman? Would you rather play as faceless soldiers?
Is this too over the top? Or just the right amount of cheese? Commence!
Fallout 3 was probably the best game of 2008, its massive, interactive world allowing players to explore the ruins of an alternate reality Washington DC destroyed by nuclear war. I personally must have spent at least 100 hours roaming the Capital Wasteland, and I’m pretty sure that I still haven’t done everything in the game. The DLC added a lot more to do, but eventually the font of encounters was going to run dry. As good as Fallout 3 was, gamers wanted more.
Bethesda tapped the infamous sequel team Obsidian (known for Knight of the Old Republic 2 and Alpha Protocol) to deliver on a follow up. Their answer is Fallout: New Vegas, which hearkens back to the original games by way of having several members of Fallout 2’s team on staff at Obsidian. Making the trip back to the American West, New Vegas puts players in the boots of the Courier, shot and left for dead in the Mojave by Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry, for those of us who never watched Friends). Was putting Obsidian in charge of the sequel a good gamble considering their previous offerings?
For a three year old game, Team Fortress 2 manages to still have a few tricks up its sleeves mostly thanks to Valve’s penchant for thinking outside of the box. While the additions to TF2 started small with upgraded weapons, Valve slowly built the game up into a more than full-featured title featuring custom clothing, an in-game economy and now a boss encounter.
Yes, you read that right. Valve’s team-based frag fest comes one step closer to MMO territory with the addition of a neutral boss monster named the Horseless Headless Horsemann. When I say “neutral” I don’t mean in the conscientious objector kind of way, but rather that he hates both Red and Blu equally and can only be defeated by the combined might of both teams.
The Halloween update also features a two new community made maps (they’re free, don’t worry) and the return of last year’s spooky themed achievements. Players can now also gift wrap spare items for others, and I can only imagine the disappointed look on Timmy’s face when the bright wrapping reveals the unpleasant surprise of Jarate.
Yet again Valve uses Team Fortress 2 as an experimental platform, and I’d say they’re on track for success once more. I’ll definitely be hopping online this weekend to check out how the Horsemann works in game (and pick up some cheevos and hats) so what about you guys? Anyone lapsed on TF2 but have come back because of the constant love and care lavished on it by Valve? Do you wish that other developers would try something like this in their games?
As we move along from one generation to the next, it is becoming more rare to see brand new gameplay inventions in the wild. Some of this is simply logical: as games progress, new gameplay is more likely adapted from an old system or refined over time with small tweaks rather than birthed anew.
However, on the flip side, one could make the argument that developers have just gotten lazier over time. Part of this is because of deadlines and sticking with what’s easy, and part of this is put on them by their bosses, who steal their princesses (Bowser style), and force them to put out whatever clone happens to be selling.
Issues like this are never completely cut and dry, but one thing that we can say for certain is that when you experience great gameplay inventions, it crushes your face like a Mike Tyson uppercut, announcing that it has arrived in a way that you can’t miss. Either because it truly defines a title or is simply copied by everyone else, good gameplay is a bit infectious, and tends to have some staying power. Because it’s, well, good.
So, in thinking about great gameplay, I thought I’d come up with a list of gaming’s greatest inventions.
I have a love/hate relationship with first person shooters. As much as I complain about “shooter fatigue” and how I’m tired of playing the latest Halo: Code of Duty clone, it’s undeniable that the FPS genre accounts for some of my favorite games as well as my most adrenaline-packed and enjoyable gaming moments.
One of my favorite multiplayer experiences ever happens to be Counter-Strike (1.6 and Source both get lumped together in my brain, I played them both equally), so naturally, any article about it is going to grab my attention. It’s good, then, that the folks at Joystick Division came up with a funny collection of Five Things We Learned from Counter-Strike. I found that some of these were definitely true for me, such as discovering that there are hundreds and thousands of people out there that are infinitely more skilled than you are, and that people will blame the best person in the server of cheating as soon as it’s acceptable to do so. On more than one occasion, I saw my brother get banned from servers for being too good, as it were.
Anyway, I thought I’d post this and open up the discussion a bit. What other nutty things have we learned from FPS games, including Counter-Strike, that you think ought to be added to this kind of list? Go!
I don’t know about you guys, but every time I see a multiplayer trailer for any game I get a little sad, mostly because I know I can never do anything as awesome as what’s depicted. Hit a man-cannon and Spartan Laser a tank? It’s more likely that I’ll get assassinated. Armor lock an oncoming Banshee so it explodes? I’ll probably miss the button by one second and get splattered. All of these feats and more occur in the new trailer for the upcoming DLC for Halo: Reach, the Noble Map Pack.
Now that we’ve seen the maps in action, has anyone had their opinions revised? Apparently you can go outside the field on Anchor 9 and into space, so consider me sold. I’m desperately trying to get the last Achievement for Halo: Reach (Make it Rain) before the DLC comes out and ruins my 100% completion. Everyone here in the same boat, or am I alone in my shame? The Noble Map Pack hits November 30, 2010.
Now that we’re right in the middle of the fall of gaming, it’s probably good for us to take a moment to talk about expectations for the games we’re wanting to play. I know a few people who get so worked up over what they want out of something, there’s absolutely no way it could hit the target they’ve set. Every new movie or game becomes a unicorn hunt, and we all know how hard it is to bring one of those things down unless we’ve got some kind of homing missile.
However, it’s always nice when a game you pick up goes beyond what you hoped and expected for it. A recent example for me would have to be Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which far out shined anything I could have anticipated for the title. In past years, other titles that did the same thing would include Beyond Good and Evil, Grand Theft Auto 3, Metal Gear Solid 3, Final Fantasy IX (and XII), and Left 4 Dead 2. These were all games where I didn’t know what to expect when I played them, and then happened to pleasantly surprise me or blow me away.
What games in recent years have done the same for you? What games have disappointed you? What games left in the fall are you still looking forward to, and what do you think of the ones you’ve gotten to play? Go!
Wow. This is one of those stories that just oozes awesome. It’s like our “Today’s WTF” topics, but in a totally different way.
If you are a lover of Team Fortress 2, then you’ll recall that Valve launched an in-game store for virtual items, Mann Co. Store. The coolest thing about this marketplace is that it allowed users to buy items for the game that they didn’t feel like earning over the course of time. So basically, the items could either be earned for free, or bought to skip all that grinding.
As part of the launch of this new business model, Valve participated in the Polycount item contest, where users competed to see whose items could make it into the game. Well, it turns out that the five winners not only got their items added to the game, but also to the Mann Co. Store, where other users could purchase them… and Valve gave the content creators a 25% revenue share.
Out of all the multiplayer-centric franchises out there, I’ve got to say that the Battlefield games are still my favorite so anything new on this series is bound to get me “stimulated”, if you’ll pardon the inside joke. Bad Company 2 is still hands-down the best multiplayer experience I’ve had this year (Reach is a close second), so needless to say that the upcoming Vietnam expansion is right up my rubble-strewn alley. Check out the new trailer, which gives us the price and a vague release date:
Four multiplayer maps for fifteen dollars? I’ve payed more for less, so I’m happy as a clam. What about you guys? Anyone going to be picking this up? I know that Bad Company 2 isn’t super popular on the Xbox anymore, but it’s still kicking on PC, which is where I’ll be hanging my hat. Let us know!
It’s always refreshing to see someone high up in the games industry look at things the way we do. While there are going to be some people who won’t feel the same, we bemoaned the lack of original games in a recent podcast (and many times before) because we’re getting a little tired of spending our money on the same thing every year.
At the recent opening of their Montreal studio, THQ’s Executive VP of Core Games Danny Bilson talked with IndustryGamers about a variety of things, one of them being the importance of new intellectual properties, or IPs. While most publishers seem to be content to push out a new title in a franchise every year with little experimentation because it’s safer, Bilson argues that this could be more harmful in the long run. See his reasoning after the jump:
It’s that time again, folks. The time where all of us check in and talk about the games we are playing. Or in my case, the games we wish we were playing. At the moment, I happen to be in the middle of a self-imposed ban of all things gaming until I finish a certain stupid novel I’m writing. But believe me, there are games I wish I could get my hands on.
For one, Fallout: New Vegas unfurls its Sin City makeover this week, and I’m kind of itching to see if Obsidian picks up the mantle from Bethesda in a meaningful way. While at first I was skeptical of the game, all of the material I’ve seen from it lately give me hope, so I’m anxious to get some playing time with it. In addition to that, I would like to play Dead Rising 2 and of course, Halo: Reach. Surprisingly, though, the game I’ve been dying to play most of all over the last few days? Final Fantasy VII. The music has been stuck in my head, and now I just want to relive the magic for some reason. Soon.
Anyway, go ahead and tease me with all of the great games you guys are playing that I’m not. Rub it in my face. Tell me how much fun it is. I won’t cry… much. What are you guys playing? Go!
The most recent of the Halo live action trailers, Deliver Hope for Halo:Reach was a pretty decent affair, featuring a lot of firsts for the commercials such as live action Spartans and Elites, among other things. Microsoft recently put up a behind the scenes video for Deliver Hope that delves into all the work that went into making this trailer a reality:
I always appreciate these kinds of sneak peeks, but seeing a man don Kat’s armor kind of ruined it for me. Also, note how they only show snippets of the Elite costume but never give us a look at the whole thing in motion. Overall, it’s still a pretty cool video showing the making of one of the most elaborate commercials of all time.
Epic multiplayer matches. Horrid save fails. Ridiculous things that you pulled off, wishing someone had been there to witness what could have been a storied feat. We all have those ridiculous gaming stories, things that defy explanation, logic or just happen to be worth their weight in lulz.
I find that these most often take the best shape in either sandbox games or in multiplayer. Exhibit A: my Halo: Reach Killtrocity from a few weeks ago is something I’m quite proud of, in the nerdiest way possible (you’ll notice several GamerSushi editors being dominated). In terms of other stories, I’m finding that Minecraft seems to produce them from everybody that I talk to. It’s just one of those games where the unthinkable happens. For instance, my friend was playing and mined underground so long that he got lost from his spawn point. When he dug his way back to the surface and found that the sun was setting, he hurriedly pulled his compass and accidentally threw it into the ocean. He never found his way back home, died, and lost all of his stuff. It happens.
Hearing all of these hilarious things lately made me wonder what the deal was with you guys. So, what are some of your favorite gaming stories? Feel free to share!
On the day the newest entry in the Halo series, Halo: Reach, was released, two sounds were heard: the sound of my mind being blown and the sound of oinking high above your heads, as pigs were surely flying. What caused the pork chops to take flight? I, Anthony, someone who was always “meh” towards the Halo franchise and quite frankly, bewildered by the insane amount of love and devotion gamers bestowed upon the series, had reached gaming nerdvana by way of Reach. Satan shivering in Hell? Check.
My experience with Halo began back in my college days at Florida State, where drunken Halo was a common pasttime at a friend of mine’s apartment. However, owning only a PS2 and a GameCube, I couldn’t play Halo worth a darn and no one was about to give me a second to do something as simple as figure out the reload button, so my early contact with Spartans and Master Chief was filled with cursing and frustration. When that happens, I usually just say, “Meh, that game sucks.”
But I kept hearing about it over and over and as Halo 2 was released, I felt like a lone wolf left behind by the pack as they all raced to stores at midnight to buy the sequel and play it all night. Then, when Halo 3 was released and Microsoft suddenly channeled the immortal merchandising and marketing soul of George Lucas, my feelings went from surprise to complete annoyance. How dare this franchise get so huge without my approval? And seriously, Gaming Fuel? Who authorized this? Clearly, some moron didn’t get the memo.
One of the advantages that PC gaming still maintains over consoles is its modding community. I’ve stated on numerous occasions that until 360 and PS3 games allow the same kind of tools and access as you’ll find in the PC world, the question of “have consoles surpassed PCs” is a discussion that can’t yet happen. If you’re not too keen on the exciting world of PC modding, you might have missed out on a few pieces of big news that happened this week.
Dota 2 (an adaptation of the name Defense of the Ancients 2, probably to avoid legal issues) was announced by Valve for PC and Mac in 2011. For the uninitiated in PC gaming lore, Defense of the Ancients was a Warcraft III mod that pitted teams of heroes against one another as they rushed enemy turrets, with AI controlled units battling it out between them. Valve hired project lead IceFrog to come aboard and develop a Source version.
We’re exactly a month after Halo: Reach’s monumental release, and we keep finding things to post about it. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! For the small but vocal minority out there that have been lambasting Reach for its relatively slim selection of multiplayer maps, Bungie has heard your cries.
Coming at us next month for 800 Microsoft Points, or 10 real life dollars, the Noble Map Pack will deliver three new maps and 250 Achievement points. Considering that I still haven’t beaten the game on Legendary solo (it’s really hard!) I can only imagine what these new cheevos will bring. Halo 3 had some ridiculous Achievements added after the fact, so my inner Achievement whore shudders to think what I’ll be going through in a month and a half. Bungie has also released some screenshots of the battlefields contained within the Noble Map Pack, so hit the jump to see them in their glory!
If you weren’t watching ESPN tonight for whatever reason, then you may have missed the full length trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops. The teaser went up a few days ago, but good things come to those who wait, right? Because you’ve been patient, we have the trailer embeded right below for you. Go ahead and get a quick look at the single player campaign of Call of Duty: Black Ops:
Say what you will about Treyarch and their previous efforts, I kind of like the behind-the-scenes, cloak-and-dagger setting that the game is building, which is different from what Call of Duty usually gives us. While I’m sure the game will involve all the bombastic action that we’re used to, having an opportunity to fight through the Cold War is a new one for us gamers. Now that we’ve seen a bit more on the single player for Black Ops, any thoughts? Do you have doubts after Modern Warfare 2, or do you think Treyarch will succeed in single player?
Steam. Everybody loves it. What better way to get your games online for your PC than with Valve’s awesome distribution method? Naturally, if a competitor is doing something excellently, Microsoft is going to try and capitalize with its own service: enter Games for Windows.
At the London Games Festival, Gearbox recently called for Valve and Microsoft to fix the incompatibility issues that plague users who purchase their games via the rival distributors. According to Gearbox’s marketing honcho Steve Gibson, the two are “building silos”, which will inevitably “hurt the PC industry.”
With their big release of Duke Nukem Forever in 2011 sure to be a sales grabber, it’s no wonder that Gearbox is concerned about this kind of issue. Honestly, I’m wondering why anybody would purchase a game via Games for Windows when an option like Steam even exists.
Every year, the question of digging through the stacks of releases to find which games are worth your time and money is a pretty extensive one. It requires a fair bit of research, a little bit of hocus pocus and also gut instincts to nab the things that you think will jive with your gaming preferences most fully. This becomes especially hard as the video game world becomes obsessed with certain games, sometimes hyping and potentially overhyping whatever new Messiah of gaming has shown up this year.
We’ve all dealt with our share of overrated games not quite living up to what we thought they would be. In fact, we’ve talked about that very thing a number of times here on the old Sushi. However, I was thinking about this issue the other day when talking about the Halo franchise to someone: can a game be both overrated but also still good?
Personally, I think it can be, and the Halo games totally fit the bill. They’re not quite as great as everyone gives them credit for, but they’re still pretty awesome, in my book. Other games that belong here in my opinion include anything from GTA IV to Bioshock (great but over-praised, I feel), Final Fantasy X and even one of my all time favorites, Final Fantasy VII.
So, what games would you guys put in that category? Can games be both very good but also overrated?