Articles in the Impressions Category

Borderlands 2 Expands Already with Scarlett’s Booty

21 Oct 2012 | Posted by | Comments Off

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?

Borderlands 2 Roll Call!

19 Sep 2012 | Posted by | 10 Comments

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?

The GamerSushi Power Rankings: September 2012

4 Sep 2012 | Posted by | One Comment

CS GO

It’s been a couple of months since we’ve updated our Power Rankings, and the tumultuous nature of the top 10 list should show that quite a bit of time has passed. This has given some new challengers room to flex their muscles, smashing new resting places for themselves right at the top, casting down all other games in a mighty display of strength. All future games for 2012, take notice. Walking Dead is the way you want to make your entrance.

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Battlefield 3 Close Quarters DLC Impressions

18 Jun 2012 | Posted by | 2 Comments

My relationship with Battlefield 3 has been rather tumultuous ever since the game’s release in October of last year. More than once before the first big patch I declared that I was done with the game, but BF3 has been changed in so many ways from its original inception that it’s not really the same game anymore. There are a lot of similarities, but DICE continues to tweak it, something that I wish they had been given more time for before launch.

If Battlefield 3 still played like the game it was a few months ago, I wouldn’t have even considered picking up Battlefield Premium and getting early access to all the DLC. Now that the game is much more playable, I’ve been dumping a lot of time into it, and the new expansion, Close Quarters, has been occupying my time ever since it dropped early for Premium members last week.

A common sentiment about the DLC is it’s “better at Modern Warfare than Modern Warfare” and I’d say that this statement is pretty accurate. The maps in Close Quarters bare a strong resemblance to Call of Duty’s multiplayer arenas except that you can tear them apart with your weapons; like all Battlefield 3 maps, it’s great fun to see how much a map can change from the beginning to the end of a match.

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The GamerSushi Power Rankings: June 2012

9 Jun 2012 | Posted by | 7 Comments

Diablo 3 banner

Welcome to the June Power Rankings page update. If you’re new to this feature, it’s our running list of the top 10 games of 2012, pitted against each other in brutal fashion. Think Wizard Chess, only not as cool. Really, that’s not a fair comparison, since nothing is cooler than Wizard Chess, but the point still stands — these games are fighting for their lives.

Just like the last update, we see some more moving and shaking as new contenders arrive, and old games fade away.

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The GamerSushi Power Rankings Update, Week 2

7 May 2012 | Posted by | 7 Comments

Trials Evolution

One of the newest features of GamerSushi would be the Power Rankings page, wherein we pit the games of 2012 against each other every few weeks or so, in order to see who is leading the chase for that coveted top 10 spot. We’re pretty excited about updating this regularly, and we think it’ll be fun for you guys to get involved. Heck, your comments might even sway our rankings for the next go around.

Anyway, we’ve just given the page its first update, and there is already some moving and shaking going on.

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The Great GamerSushi Review Round-Up

29 Apr 2012 | Posted by | 2 Comments

Bastion

Ahoy, gents and lasses of GamerSushi! I’m writing to you from the ridiculous world of fatherhood, some bizarre alternate reality where the universe felt that I was somehow fit to be entrusted with the care of a little girl’s life. It’s just a bit of an adjustment, which is why I haven’t been posting at all this week. In the meantime, Mitch and Anthony (and Jeff!) have been rocking it out with some great content. I’ve found the tiniest bit of equilibrium over the last couple of days, and hope to be producing more of that myself shortly.

But first, I wanted to draw your attention to the newest batch of reviews. In the GamerSushi update post, I promised that we’d been awaiting the debut of our new grade chart to post a few outstanding reviews, and for once I wasn’t a dirty liar. Here are the reviews we’ve posted in the last week, with more coming all the time:

So far, I’m really liking the way the updated review system has translated into actual grades. It seems a bit more balanced to me, and doesn’t give us quite as many A and S scores. Other reviews coming soon: Journey, Twisted Metal, Portal 2 (that one is super late), Final Fantasy XIII-2 and more.

What are your guys thoughts on the new review system? Have we completely lost our minds? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Do You Free to Play?

24 Apr 2012 | Posted by | 5 Comments

tribes ascend

Hope y’all are enjoying the new site, because it’s just the start of some cool changes around here. I know we say that a lot, but when we do deliver, it’s a pretty big deal. Huge props to Nick and Jeff for whipping up the new hotness.

Recently a huge number of Free-to-Play Shooters dropped on us: Tribes: Ascend, Blacklight: Retribution and Super Monday Night Combat all went live and they all host the Free-to-Play model. This has been a trend that has been increasing pretty quickly, and FTP games are on the rise. This year at PAX East saw even more Free-to-Play games being announced, so I have a question for you guys: do you try these games out?

I’m trying to get a sense of how popular these games are because, while I’ve tried them, they never seem to stick. The Battlefield games are moderately fun but DICE’s method of microstransactions really turned me off. I get that a lot of these games have a renting system where you can rent weapons or skins for the in-game currency you use, but the Battlefield games have one of the poorer implementations of it.

I also tried out the Free-to-Play MMO Firefall (thanks to a Beta invite from Drell Assassin), which I’m also enjoying, but it hasn’t really clicked with me yet. Once the game comes out of Beta and gets released I’m sure that the influx of new players and maybe some friends will convince me to stick with it.

So what about you guys? Have you tried any of these games? What do you recommend? What do you think of the current trend of the Free-to-Play game? Is this what PC gaming will look like in the future?

GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

31 Mar 2012 | Posted by | 12 Comments

Diablo III Monk

April isn’t exactly the greatest month in the world for gaming, but we’re right up at the edge of it, and we’ve got to play something, right? As for myself, now that I’ve completed both Mass Effect 3 and Journey (both of which I loved), it’s on to a few other odds and ends.

For one, I spent quite a bit of time playing the Diablo III Beta last night, and I have to say that I’m surprised at just how much fun I had. It’s not that I didn’t expect the game to be great or anything, it’s just always been one of those games that I knew I would be playing, so the specifics of the gameplay never really mattered that much to me. I know that might sound strange, but some games are just such a given you don’t even spend that much time getting excited about them, and instead focus on things releasing ahead or behind. I rolled a monk, and in no time at all I decided that it’ll be my main class when the game drops in May. It’s hard to quantify just how joyous it was to pummel hordes of undead creatures and other ghouls in that good ol’ hack-n-slash style. It’s just been too damn long, you know?

In terms of other things I’m playing, I could rave on and on for an entire post about the beauty of Journey, which so captivated me in my one-sitting-playthrough that it’s already in contention for game of the year. The game affected me in a way that’s hard to put into words, which is weird because I consider myself a writer. In short: just go play the thing.

When I’m not Journey-ing or fighting minions of Diablo, I’ll be catching up on MGS HD, Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 co-op and anything else I can get my hands on – at least until my daughter arrives in just a couple of weeks’ time.

So what are you guys playing? Go!

Saint’s Row 3 and the Out of Date Escort Mission

23 Jan 2012 | Posted by | One Comment

Saint's Row 3

I’d like to consider myself a fairly patient gamer. I don’t have too many deal breakers or things that make me want to lambast a particular game in general. I’m very much able to greatly enjoy a number of titles despite small (and sometimes even massive) failures. That being said, there are occasional stumbling blocks I hit when playing a game that throw me for a loop.

Take Saint’s Row 3 for instance, a game that I love dearly at the moment. For all of its zany mayhem, hilarious writing and occasional forward-thinking (such as the GPS arrows on your HUD), the game has the occasional bothersome design hiccup. The biggest offender? Escort missions.

Like the top of some ancient relic poking through an otherwise serene landscape, these out of date mission prompts completely disrupt the flow of the game for me. What’s worse than that is the fact that for the first few hours, nearly every other mission you’re performing is an escort mission of some kind. Sure, they take on different shapes – you could be escorting someone below you while raining down rocket launcher fire or protecting a pimp while he goes to make girl/drug deals, but in the end it’s all the same.

As much as I should be used to these things appearing so frequently in games, it kind of seems like we should be past them now as a medium. I’m not saying that they should never appear again, but I do have to say that I’m surprised by their frequency, considering the fact that they have almost never been in the entire history of the people of Earth. I mean really, shouldn’t we have left these things behind last gen? I’m surprised that we still see these at all. You can add exploding red barrels to that list, as well. But I could be the only one that feels that way.

What do you guys think? Are escort missions out of date? Are there any other random gameplay tropes that still surprise you with how often they appear in modern games? Go!

Demo Madness with Kingdoms of Amalur and The Darkness 2

17 Jan 2012 | Posted by | One Comment

kingdoms of amalur reckoning

It might just be me, but 2012 seems a little light on big tent-pole titles. 2011 would be a tough year to beat, true, but this far out the only notable games I can think of are Mass Effect 3 and Halo 4. I’m sure I’m missing some, but beyond that I’m not too sure if there’s anything to look forward to.

Demos dropped today for a couple relatively unknown games hitting early this year, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and The Darkness 2. Kingdoms of Amalur is a new one for me, but it’s got some well known names behind it like Big Huge Games, Todd McFarlane, Curt Schilling and R.A. Salvatore. Big Huge Games made one of my favorite RTS games of all time, Rise of Nations, then kind of dropped off the map for a while.

Reckoning, which I’m going to be calling it for brevity’s sake, is a Western-style RPG that’s very reminiscent of Fable and Dragon Age 2. It controls more like a brawler, but you have all the RPG trappings you’ve come to expect from games of this flavor. You can pick one of three archetypes (warrior, rogue or mage) and min-max from there, but thankfully the game doesn’t lock you into one specific class. I actually really enjoyed my time with Reckoning, which has fun combat, a beautiful world, and an engaging story (despite all the obtuse fantasy terms). I can already tell it’s one of those games that sucks you in very quickly and doesn’t let go. I just love the art style in this game, which is stylized and helps differentiate it from similar games in the genre. Even the most basic weapons and armor look bulky and bad-ass and the spell effects are flashy and powerful looking.

I have a couple of minor nitpicks, mostly concerning the inventory and the conversation systems. Reckoning straight up lifts Mass Effect’s dialogue wheel, but doesn’t give your character a voice. Maybe I’m too used to that, but if you’re going to copy someone’s ideas, at least go all the way with it. That’s a minor annoyance compared to the inventory, however. Like most RPGs, you get a huge stash of loot to manage, and the screens to do so are big and clunky and move kind of slow. You can put consumables like potions on a wheel to use in combat, but you can’t put various types of weapons on there, meaning that during the tutorial I had to constantly hop in and out of the menu to use the various gadgets the game was trying to show me. Once you nail down your class I expect that this smooths out, but it was kind of annoying.

That said I’m really looking forward to Reckoning after playing this demo. Like I mentioned above, it’s a game that just grabs you and pulls you in without any difficulty, something that only BioWare and Bethesda games have managed to do. Hit the jump for the other demo I tried.

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RAAM’s Shadow is Gears of War DLC You May Want to Skip

12 Jan 2012 | Posted by | 2 Comments

gears of war 3 raams shadow review

RAAM’s Shadow, the second piece of DLC for Gears of War 3, dropped on December 13 featuring a single-player/co-op campaign set just after Emergence Day. Starring Zeta Squad, composed of Lieutenant Kim from Gears 1 and Tai Kaliso from Gears 2 with two newcomers, RAAM’s Shadow offers a three-ish hour adventure with the opportunity to play as the titular Locust general, complete with Kryll shield and giant machete. Purchasers of the Season Pass may have gotten it as part of the deal, but what about those of us who didn’t go for the package offering?

It’s been a while since the DLC has dropped, so you’ll have to forgive me for that, but the experience I’ve had with it has made me realize that I wasn’t really missing much. Since the DLC is set years before Gears of War 1, you play on a Sera that has yet to be destroyed by the Hammer of Dawn and seeing a city in this world complete and intact is something unique, but the outdoor environments feel very sterile and “fake”, for lack of a better word. Gears of War has always nailed the “Destroyed Beauty” motif, so simply cleaning up all the rubble in the decor doesn’t make the world believable, it does the exact opposite. There are a few cool areas to fight through, like the bank vault which has stacks of money that catch fire and the school that really does look like a deserted evacuation center, but that’s about the extent of it.

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Revelations: When Story Suffers at the Hands of Sequel-itis

12 Jan 2012 | Posted by | 2 Comments

Assassin's Creed: Revelations

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, or worse, terribly cliche – I want to take a moment and gripe about sequel-itis in video games. No, I’m not against sequels. And yes, I understand that in a time where AAA games cost big bucks to develop, publishers want to go with surefire hits instead of taking chances on new IPs. All of that’s fine. But what I can’t forgive is when this sequel-itis starts affecting stories negatively.

Take Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, for instance. I’m sure all of you will think I hate this game after posting a couple of negative critiques about it, but it’s more that Revelations’ negatives shine so outrageously because the game itself plays so well – and in some ways is a perfection of the Assassin’s Creed formula. I’m going to have to be as spoiler careful as possible here, but AC: Brotherhood ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. OK, that’s an understatement – it ended on a double scoop of cliffhanger with a major sprinkle of WTF. Part of the lure of Revelations is that it was supposed to give you some of the answers about both Desmond and Ezio that were left hanging at the end of Brotherhood.

The problem is, Revelations ends in much the same way. The cliffhanger isn’t so bad compared to Brotherhood, but the “answers” they finally give you only lead to a dizzying array of questions. No explanation is given for some of the really bizarre things you see in the climax of this game, after the entire narrative kept assuring you that the time for answers was coming soon.

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GamerSushi Asks: Getting Your Attention?

13 Nov 2011 | Posted by | 7 Comments

Skyrim Whiterun

At 10 hours into Skyrim, you’d think that I would be a walking bad ass by now. Townspeople would weep or cry out in joy at my passing. Animals would steer clear of my manly musk. Dragons would swoop down to bow before me in reverent awe. My weapons would sing with the crackle of lightning and the sharp hiss of steel and silver. In short, you would think that I’ve already started bending the world of Skyrim to my digital will.

Actually, I’m picking flowers just outside of Whiterun. You see, I’m trying to learn some new recipes and the properties of various ingredients for alchemy, just so I can sell some potions and make enough money on the side to buy a house. You know the type: a starter home, with a nice view of the Jarl’s place up on the hill. It’s quaint, but it’ll get me by long enough to stow all of my stolen items until I can contact someone in the Thieves’ Guild to purchase them for me. I might get around to that once I’ve searched the nearby brewery or taken a few more Smithing lessons up at the Skyforge. That’s just how I roll.

While none of those things sounds particularly exciting, they’ve somehow gotten me totally snared by Elder Scrolls V’s dark and fantastical clutches. Every preview of the game showed spellcasting, shield bashing, dragon shouting and dragon fighting. Yet all I’m doing is the mundane, the ordinary, the stuff that nobody in their right mind would do.

And I love it.

You see, I’ve got certain triggers when it comes to video games. Certain things that scratch just the right spot or catch me at just the right moment. This happens from time to time, and even though it shouldn’t surprise me, it still totally does. I wrote just a few weeks back about how Batman: Arkham City made me feel like a kid again. Skyrim is sort of similar, but there’s something more to it: it just has my attention.

I can’t really describe what it means when I say that a game has gotten my attention. The only mental image I have is of a small child, with a street performer snapping in front of him to hold his gaze while he does a sleight of hand routine. And I guess that’s what video games do to us. The best ones leave us transfixed, totally beholden to whatever spectacles are playing themselves out on the screen. I won’t declare Skyrim game of the year or say that it’s one of my favorites. But I will say that it’s already put me under its spell.

So my question to you guys is this: what does a game have to do to get your attention? What kinds of things tend to really suck you into a game and keep you from doing anything else? Does it have to have a good intro? A great story? Great mechanics? A combination of those things? What types of games tend to leave you obsessed? Go!

Battlefield 3 Roll Call

26 Oct 2011 | Posted by | 12 Comments

battlefield 3 roll call

Ten-hut soliders, Battlefield 3 has finally hit and we need to know who here has donned their war faces and are hunting for dog tags. I played a bit of co-op and multiplayer last night and I’ve got to say, every concern I had with the Beta has been addressed and then some. While the co-op is a little bland in its design (still fun, though), multiplayer brings the game back to the feel that Battlefield 2 had, and that’s giant 64-player battles, tanks, helicopters and jets all mingling with infantry warfare. More than once I said that a few maps felt like Strike at Karkand, and this is a very good thing.

I didn’t have any problems with Battlelog or any in-game stuff either, so I’m pretty impressed with how DICE managed to iron that all out. There was a bit of lag on the servers, but that’s to be expected of a launch-day game (and it was actually working, unlike Bad Company 2 at launch). Joining a game with a party is now pretty effortless and if you happen to get separated there’s an actual in-game Squad browser now. There’s a “Command Rose” too, but I don’t think it’s entirely functional right now as you can’t call for ammo or health and your character doesn’t shout out the message you select.

So, is anyone else playing Battlefield 3? What system are you on? What are your thoughts on the three different modes? Go go go!

Finding New Thrills in Gaming in 2011

23 Oct 2011 | Posted by | 8 Comments

Confession time, gents and ladies. Playing Batman: Arkham City makes me feel like a kid again, and I don’t really care who knows it. As of right now, it’s my game of the year. I’ll tell you why in a moment.

Arkham City Concept Art

But first, there’s something you may have already guessed about me, but I thought I should confess that as well: sometimes I can be a bit of a cynic. I always try to look at the brighter side of things, but in this day and age, the overwhelming cynical voice of the Internet can be a bit of a bog that all of us get stuck in. Especially when it comes to gaming.

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Batman: Arkham City Impressions

19 Oct 2011 | Posted by | 5 Comments

Batman: Arkham City impressions

Swooping out of the shadows with a vengence, Batman: Arkham City has finally arrived and it’s being hailed as one of the greatest games of this year (and that’s saying a lot). People are calling it “Crackdown with Batman” and it currently sits at a 95 on Metacritic (97 on PS3).

I played the game for a few hours last night and I’m seriously impressed so far. Arkham City runs on the Unreal engine just like Gears of War, but I’d go as far to say that Batman actually looks better than Gears. Checking your cryptographic sequencer on a rooftop with the Gotham skyline in the background and the spotlights casting lens flares all over the screen looks really really good. As nerdy as that sentence is, I just can’t get over how awesome the game looks.

The combat has also been refined too, so it’s a lot smoother than Arkham Asylum if you can believe it. There’s an upgrade system that works like Deus Ex’s where when you gain 2000 experience you will get a talent point that can be used to upgrade your suit or gadgets. The story is pretty cool so far too, but I still don’t get why someone thought building a giant prison in the middle of Gotham was a good idea (or how they got all the criminals in there) but I’m sure that will be explained later. I’m also enjoying Hugo Strange as an enemy; he’s of a different breed than the Joker, although the Clown Prince of Crime makes his presence known too (voiced deftly by Mark Hamill once again). I’m also enjoying the more open nature of Arkham City as opposed to the hub and spoke design of Asylum. Stalking the rooftops as Batman is just as awesome as you think it would be and the ability to glide between buildings makes it all the sweeter.

So far I’m really liking the game, but as with every massive release, we here at GamerSushi like to get your opinion on it. So, are you playing Batman? What are your thoughts?

Battlefield 3 Beta Impressions

29 Sep 2011 | Posted by | 8 Comments

battlefield 3 beta impressions

While the Battlefield 3 Beta does go public today, I’ve been playing it since the 27 thanks to my pre-order early access (and the fact that I bought the Limited Edition of Medal of Honor). I haven’t been hiding my anticipation for Battlefield 3 at all and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a chance to try the game out before release. Since I’ve already pre-ordered it, I’m kind of locked into the full retail version, but I wanted to give those of you still on the fence a little taste to help you decide whether or not to jump on this train.

The only map currently available in the Beta is Operation Metro in its Rush variant. Operation Metro is a very linear map that progresses from a park to a subway tunnel and then out onto a wide promenade. The other map, Caspian Border, is currently locked behind a password, but that’s the more traditional BF map with wide open areas and combined arms warfare. Metro is strictly an infantry combat map in this form, and it doesn’t exactly carry that Battlefield feel that people might be expecting.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution: When Reviews Change Your Mind

22 Aug 2011 | Posted by | 9 Comments

Deus Ex Human Revolution

Sometimes you think you’ve got your fall completely planned out, with money and pre-orders organized in neat little rows and squared away just so. You tell yourself you know the games that are worth skipping, the ones that you’ll get after a price drop, and the ones that you’re getting on day one.

But then reviews change everything.

As many of you know, I’ve had my qualms about Deus Ex: Human Revolution for quite some time. In fact, I labeled it as a “Shun” in a recent feature. But today, a pile of glowing reviews dropped for the game in advance of its release tomorrow.

Apparently, Deus Ex is a contender for Game of the Year. It’s being hailed as the best action/stealth game to come out since Metal Gear Solid. It’s also being called a cool blend of Metal Gear Solid and Mass Effect. People are raving about the world, the story and the phenomenal gameplay. As such, all of the GamerSushi staff decided to purchase it today, including myself. And I can’t wait to play it tomorrow. I’m happy to have been proved wrong, but we’ll see if I agree with all the reviews.

So – who else is pumped about these great reviews? When have reviews changed your mind about a purchase before? Go!

What’s Your Take on Free to Play Games?

19 Aug 2011 | Posted by | 4 Comments

Age of Empires Online

Free to play games are getting more and more common these days, but I’ve always been hesitant to check them out, mostly because if a game has the word “free” in it, my mind tends to lower my expectations significantly. I don’t know where this notion comes from, but I’ve been making an effort to try out the mass of free games that have flooded the market (except for TF2, I played that game for years before it became free).

To date I’ve tried the Battlefield game, APB Reloaded and Age of Empires Online, and a few buddies of mine have tried out the MMOs that have gone free like Dungeons and Dragons and Lord of the Rings Online. While the gameplay in these games are pretty good, I just can’t get into them, mostly because of their reliance on the microtransaction business model.

All of the games use it to varying degrees, but APB Reloaded and Battlefield are the two worst offenders in my mind, allowing players to purchase weapons for use in PvP combat. This might not make much of a difference in Battlefield, which is still and FPS and is mostly determined by skill, but APB is an MMO, so whoever has the best gear wins. Add that to the fact that the level system is so convoluted (I had to play for two days before I realized that I wasn’t even close to eligible to buy a weapon with in-game funds) and I got tired of the whole experience pretty fast. It was fun ripping around the city robbing store with friends, but the whole microtransaction aspect soured me on it.

I realize that this is just one example and most of the stuff you can buy with your money in other games are personal cosmetic things and the like, but I just can’t abide with the “whoever has the most money wins” method of play. I know some people don’t have an issue with this, but for me I can clearly identify which games are a shameless cash-grab.

Firefall is an upcoming free game that I’m greatly looking forward to though, mostly because the developers have stated that they want their game to be about skill, and the paid stuff will not affect PvP combat. To me, that’s the best way to go about these things. I’m wondering what you guys think about free to play games, though? Which ones have you played and did you enjoy them? What your take on microtransactions?