Happy Easter, everyone, hope you got your fill of chocolate and/or religious significance this weekend. As a godless heathen (aka, non-denominational well-wisher), I’ve been using this time off to play a few games like Minecraft, Portal 2 and the Gears of War 3 Beta. I might sound like a broken record on a couple of those, but what they hey, it’s not like anything is coming out until L.A. Noire hits.
Every since the 1.5 update of Minecraft, I’ve been getting back into that game in a big way. I’ve been playing cooperatively with my buddy and it’s been going rather well, except for the two occasions where he lured a Creeper into my tower and demolished my ground floor. Oh, and there was that instance where he built a giant pyramid but forgot to stock the inside with torches, so all the monsters spawned inside the darkened interior and we had to flood it with lava to kill them all. Good times. The weather effects are also pretty neat, and I’ve witnessed a couple of decent thunderstorms. Even though you spend most of your time underground, coming up to a different atmosphere is a nice change of pace.
What have you guys been up to these past few days? Portal 2, Mortal Kombat, or polishing off the backlog? I’ve told you what I’ve been up to, what you got?
How’s your holiday weekend going, GamerSushi-ites? Me, I’ve been tucking into the Gears of War 3 beta again after doing a marathon Portal 2 session where I polished off the whole game, both single and co-op. I’m pretty sure that we’re going to do a “What Are You Playing” sometime this weekend, so we’ll table that discussion for later. Segueing from that, I am planning on checking out Mortal Kombat soon, which frightens me mostly because fighting games are one of the genres that I totally suck at.
To be totally honest, in a multiplayer standpoint, I’m really only good at first person shooters. Even though I’m loving the Gears 3 gameplay, I’ll admit that my Kill/Death ratio is pretty terrible, with one often outpacing the other (guess which one). The same thing goes for real time strategy games, where I can maybe hold my own in a campaign or a comp stomp scenario, but once I get out into the wild, everything just goes right down the tubes.
All that pales in comparison to how badly I perform at fighting games like Street Fighter, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Tekken and the like. I’ll maybe win the odd round, but more often than not I’m getting Hadoukened back to last week.
It’s rare that anyone admits that they’re bad at games, but we’re all friends here, so go ahead and let us know what genres you aren’t that great with. Fighting, racing, shooting? Drop them comment bombs, yo.
As much as I still love a good old-fashioned bout of death match and the ever-exciting game of capture the flag, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood’s multiplayer mode was something fresh and new to sink my teeth into. It took the normal humdrum affair of online play and flipped everything on its head. You weren’t a super assassin out killing other super assassins – you were being hunted and could only defend yourself long enough to run away, rather than engage. You couldn’t just run through a match killing everyone in sight – you gained points for the more methodical, well-placed kills. All of these things enthralled me as I played, and I hope to see more out of it in the franchise in the future.
It’s because of my love for this multiplayer mode that I was excited to see a feature about it up on CVG about how AC: Brotherhood’s multiplayer was made. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was the team behind Splinter Cell’s fantastic multiplayer mode, the beloved Spies versus Mercs game mode that was so spellbinding at the time of its release.
If you’re banking on being a game designer of some kind in the future, I’d highly suggest reading this. I love their breakdown of the design process and just how the mode progressed over the course of several years (yes, years).
So what are your thoughts? What other types of multiplayer modes do you wish we’d see more of? Personally, I’d love to see better variations of CTF, or perhaps something more along the lines of a super-powered Juggernaught mode that we find in Halo. Go!
Portal 2 is out today as we’re all very, very aware, but there was another release this week that’s been overshadowed a bit by Valve’s behemoth: the Gears of War 3 Beta. I know that we’ve been talking about it a lot here on the site, and thanks to my Epic Edition of Bulletstorm, I got to hop in and try out the multiplayer flavor of Gears of War 3.
So far, I’m really impressed with the Beta. There are, thankfully, few glitches and I can actually get into matches, which is a big improvement over Gears of War 2. The progression from cover based shooting to close in melee combat feels natural, and it’s a real thrill to run your chainsaw through someone’s back when they aren’t expecting it. I’m finding the sawed-off shotgun a little over-powered, but that’s probably because I keep running into it like a moron.
Even though I’m loving the Gears 3 Beta, I ran into the angriest gamer I’ve come across in a long time last night. As I’m usually in a party with whomever I’m playing online with, I don’t get to hear the braying of the masses, but last night I put on my headphones and listened to the fury this man had to offer.
He got mad at me for reviving him, got mad at people for not reviving him, was pissed off that he ran into places with no backup, and made one player quit when he wouldn’t stop telling him that he was worse than a bot. I get that it’s a little frustrating when you’re stuck on a team with a bunch of ineffective players, but I could never fathom getting that angry about a match that’s ten minutes at most.
I wish I had recorded this guy’s outbursts, because they were seriously hilarious. I think that abrasive gamers have passed beyond offensive and into hilarious because we’re so used to the weirdness of the Internet as a whole. Have you guys ever ran across a gamer so angry that it stuck with you? Is anyone playing the Gears of War 3 Beta, and what do you think of it?
The Gears of War 3 beta is coming out next Tuesday, and I get to partake in it thanks to my holding onto the Epic Edition of Bulletstorm. As I was checking out the Gears of War 3 Beta Featurette that Eddy posted a few days ago, I noticed that Epic Games has taken a cue from their fellow developers and added a bit of player customization into the game, namely the ability to paint your weapons with a variety of colors (and a few other treats as well, I’m sure).
In an age where the game trade in business cleans up and publishers are trying to get people to hang onto their games, player investment in multiplayer has become a predictable addition to any big budget title. While Battlefield 2 was the first game I can think of that pioneered this (and I’m holding to that), Call of Duty 4 brought this out in a huge way. Even Halo has had a bit of that with the different armor pieces in Halo 3, and went whole hog with it in Reach. Continue reading Player Investment in Multiplayer: A Necessary Evil?
The Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta kicks off to full effect in just two weeks, so that means it’s time for Epic to start a bit of a pre-roll on the hype train.
That train kicks off with a new beta featurette titled Dedicated Execution. As much as I sometimes ignore these kinds of things, this one actually shows off lots of brand new multiplayer footage. Interestingly enough, there seems to be an emphasis on melee combat, which is a cool enhancement for the Gears series, especially given the penchant for curb-stomping that it’s known for.
While I’ve enjoyed Horde mode more than anything else about Gears of War’s multiplayer, this looks pretty fun. The game drops in September, which will probably be here before we know it.
One of the biggest criticisms leveraged against Halo: Reach was the astonishingly low quality of the multiplayer maps included in the retail version. The original offerings were either spaces taken from the campaign or Forge World creations and remakes of older maps. Even the Noble Map Pack, released by Bungie on November 30, didn’t measure up to the maps of the previous Halo games, though they were better than the base offerings.
Interestingly, Halo: Reach’s second map pack, the Defiant Map Pack, was crafted by Certain Affinity, who made the Blastacular Map Pack for Halo 2. The Defiant Map Pack includes two new multiplayer spaces and a Firefight arena, but what makes this particular DLC worth your hard earned space bucks? Continue reading Halo: Reach’s Defiant Map Pack: DLC Worth Paying For
Today I got a treat of something that that seems to be circulating around the internet. An indie company called Adhesive Games is working on a new project called Hawken. Adhesive Games’ upcoming indie title will be Mech Combat FPS, something I haven’t seen done well since Phantom Crash. The game looks absolutely stunning in two of their early game footage videos featured below. First we have a look at the beautiful world of Hawken in their unofficial trailer followed by some stunning gameplay. Hit the jump to check out the gameplay trailer!
The unicorn that is Duke Nukem Forever is coming out freakishly soon, and with it more and more information about the game is being trickled out. One of the newest bits of info concerns the multiplayer offering of Duke Nukem Forever and its take on the traditional mechanic for Capture the Flag. Instead of having an inanimate, emotionless flag (because you know, that’s for squares), DNF will repleace the traditional piece of fabric with a slappable woman. Wait, what?
In the recent issue of the Official Xbox Magazine (via a snippet from PC Gamer) Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford revealed that his team didn’t want to “shock” people, but rather wanted the CTF mode to fit with the game’s plot element of aliens capturing Earth’s women to breed an army. Apparently the terrified woman can get a little unruly during the match, and players will need to calm her down with a five-finger reassurance.
OK, wait, what? I get that Duke is not the kind of guy who will be leading a women’s rights rally, but I think I draw the line at abusing women, even if it is in a video game. I was really uncomfortable in Grand Theft Auto 4 when the game forced Niko Bellic to abduct and beat up a girl, so I can’t imagine finding this sort of thing “fun”. Besides the obvious ploy of using this for controversy, what’s wrong with a normal flag?
This news moves Duke Nukem Forever firmly down to my “do not want” list. Call me a sissy if you’d like, but I think gaming has enough problems without adding “condoning abuse” to the rap sheet. What do you guys think? Are you as disgusted as I am? Do you care?
Update: According to Randy Pitchford’s Twitter, we should all calm down because the slap takes place on the butt instead of the face. I’m still of the opinion that this is a stupid idea, though.
It’s hard to believe that anyone could try and out-do the mammoth MMO that is World of Warcraft, even Blizzard itself. But already Blizzard COO Paul Sams has been quoted, saying they are going to do just that with their new MMO codenamed “Titan”.
“I believe it’s the most ambitious thing we’ve ever attempted, and I feel like we have set our company up to succeed on that. We have some of our most talented and most experienced developers on that team. Many of the people that built World of Warcraft are full time on that other team.”
While this doesn’t spell the death of World of Warcraft it does lead to some questions as the highly experienced and talented staff that created the most successful MMO gears forwards on its new project. Sam’s also said that World of Warcraft still has an experienced staff watching over the game, just key members were moving on to the new project. The quote that really interests me is this next one… Continue reading Eclipsing the World (of Warcraft)
While some may say that the age of the “silent protagonist” in video games is over, there are a few times where I wish that we could return to the days of yore, where our controlled hero just got on with the job and didn’t have a smart-ass remark for everything. Bulletstorm is one of those times. Everyone in this game suffers from a severe form of tourettes crossed with verbal diarrhea. The story in your game doesn’t have to be amazing to please me, but at least make it so I don’t want to jam a power drill through my skull every time I have to listen to one of the characters wax philosophic about dicks.
For a little history, Bulletstorm is a First-Person-Shooter collaboration between Epic Games and People Can Fly where the object of the game is to kill enemies in creative ways to rack up Skillshots. Taking advantage of the Unreal 3 engine, and going out of its way to distance itself from every other FPS on the market, Bulletstorm hopes to carve out a niche with its unique take on FPS mechanics. How well does it fare in that regard? Continue reading Review: Bulletstorm
At an Xbox 360 press event today, Epic Games revealed a bit more about Gears of War 3, including the upcoming Beta and some additional details on the game’s September 20 release. VG247 has a really good interview with Gears’ art director Chris Perna about the new look for Marcus and friends, the environments, and the recently unveiled cover art for Gears of War 3.
As Gears of War 3 is the end chapter for the current trilogy, the characters are being redesigned to display the wear and tear of the fifteen year war against the Locust, the main enemy of the game. The armor is a worn down, the weapons are ragged and filthy, and the characters faces are tired and grubby. Gears of War 3 will retain the same predominantly brown look endemic to the series, but the levels are going to be a bit more varied this time around as opposed to the city and cavern based backdrops of the first two games.
It’s not just the protagonists that are getting a make-over for Gears 3, but the Locust as well. As Gears of War 2 saw the destruction of the Locust capital city (spoilers), the former alien conquerors are eking out an existence much like the human population of Sera, the planet Gears of War is set on. The Locust are beaten and broken, living in the wasteland and bearing a superficial resemblance to the Sand People of Star Wars (a comparison drawn by Chris Perna). The Lambent, the new enemy that are the bane of humans and Locust alike, are a bit more extraterrestrial in their origin; they’re very different from the Locust, who are more or less humanoid in their appearance. Chris Perna once again makes a reference to sci-fi pop culture by saying the Lambent are more inspired by H.R. Giger’s Alien designs than Conan the Barbarian, which served as the original inspiration for the Locust.
The rumor mill gets cranking once again about Bungie’s next game, which is certainly shaping up as very “MMO-like”. After Bungie writer Joseph Staten made a few cryptic comments about the nature of Bungie’s upcoming title at GDC Online, Kotaku comes along with an anonymous source who alleges that the Halo-creating studio is cooking up a sci-fi MMO for Activision codenamed “Destiny” or “Tiger”.
The unnamed ex-employee, who claims to have been laid off from Bungie at the behest of Activision along with 30 other workers (an allegation which Bungie quickly debunked), said that “Destiny” will be “WoW in space”, and will have “unique online connectivity and matchmaking technology”. This game is apparently a whole different type of enchilada as it runs on a new engine and doesn’t appear to be linked to previous Bungie intellectual properties in any way.
Seeing how all the rumors are stacking up, and given that Bungie protested just the layoff claim and not the MMO, it seems to me that the signs are pointing very specifically in one direction. What do you guys think about this whole to-do? Is Bungie actually working on a sci-fi MMO, or is this just some random troll out blowing smoke? What do you think Bungie’s next game is? Go!
It looks like we’re not done with Halo: Reach yet, as 343 Industries just dropped a trailer for the new multiplayer map pack, dubbed the “Defiant Map Pack”. Just like the Noble Map Pack, Defiant features three brand new multiplayer arenas, one specifically built for the Firefight gameplay mode, making this the first ever Firefight DLC. If you thought the Noble pack had some good looking maps, prepare to be amazed as one of the arenas features a Covenant carrier actually glassing the background as you play.
There’s no firm release date for Defiant yet, but the trailer does specify March 2011 as the intended target. What do you guys think of the new maps? Any thoughts on this announcement coming from 343 Industries and not Bungie?
There are those certain types of games out there, the ones that have you discussing for days or weeks on end how you totally stomped your opponents, or some random happenstance that blew your mind. These are the games that get you back together with your friends on a nightly basis to trade blows and throw grenades, striving to be the best, to get the next unlock, or just compete for bragging rights.
Just by imagining these scenarios, you probably conjured up a list of your favorite experiences and the games they were connected to. Whether its the exact right combination of tight mechanics and engaging gameplay, or just the fact that you can destroy your environments in real time with your friends, there are multiplayer experiences out there that stick with us through different consoles and generations. Conversely, there are certain ones that, no matter how much they try to emulate the successful models, just can’t achieve that level of notoriety. This is a sort of nebulous aspect about multiplayer games, a “soul” for lack of a better term. Which games have it, and which games don’t? Continue reading Why Your Multiplayer Needs Soul
Get your fanboy hats on, folks, because it looks like the rumored HD remake of Halo: Combat Evolved that I posted about back in November is the real deal. Joystiq, citing an unamed source, has learned that the game that kick-started Bungie’s rise to power and revolutionized First Person Shooters on the console is getting remade in High Definition with new art assets.
We’re not just talking about a tuned up re-release, no sir. This game is using an entirely new engine (Joystiq claims that the engine behind Reach is not powering this remake, contrary to popular belief), and is being made by Saber Interactive. The game will support 1080p and 3D as well, if that’s your thing. Multiplayer is still being worked out, but the game is confirmed to have online co-op (the original shipped with split-screen two player co-op).
Furthermore, this remake is apparently one of two Halo games under the 343 Industries banner, so expect more news from the Halo front. For a release date, we’re looking at November 15, 2011, ten years after the original launch of Halo: Combat Evolved.
On an unofficial note, that makes me feel really old, because that will mean I was 14 when the original Halo came out. Are you guys excited about a Halo: Combat Evolved HD remake? Nervous? Nauseous? Go!
Gamers are a greedy, fickle bunch, and we love nothing more than having our cake and eating it too. For every developer or publisher that tries to please us by making a fan-service game or getting sequels out faster, there’s thousands of gamers who will flock to the forums decrying the release dates and the addition of rainbows.
It is with a heavy heart that I type this news, PC faithful, because DICE, the developers behind the Battlefield and Mirror’s Edge series, has officially announced that they are cancelling both the PC port of Battlefield 1943 and the co-operative Onslaught Mode for Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
In a recent post on the Battlefield Blog, DICE General Manager Karl Magnus Troedsson came out in a very frank way and told the community that these two eagerly awaited games would have to be discontinued to make way for Battlefield 3.
We know some of you eagerly have been awaiting Battlefield 1943 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Onslaught on PC. I’m sad to say that these two titles are now officially cancelled. Instead, our talented teams will focus on delivering the greatest possible gaming experience in our next behemoth release. We’re confident this will lead to an even better experience in Battlefield 3, not only on PC, but on all platforms.
While this is hardly a surprise, given that I originally posted about Battlefield 1943 on PC facing a delay over a year ago, it’s still very much a let down. I did play and enjoy both 1943 and Bad Company 2: Onslaught on the Xbox 360, but the PC is my preferred platform for Battlefield.
So, PC gamers of this site, any thoughts on the unfortunate cancellation of 1943 and Onslaught? Do you feel slighted by DICE? Are you still looking forward to Battlefield 3 (which is running on the Frostbite 2 engine)? Go!
While Call of Duty: Black Ops may be Treyarch’s best contribution to the series to date, there are some out there who think that the game isn’t all that great. They’ll say that the story is confusing and poorly written and the multiplayer is full of broken spawns, latency, and on the PS3, dirty hackers. They might also say that the game is basically the same it’s been for the last eight years.
As the underdog studio just released the First Strike Map Pack (available exclusively on Xbox LIVE, kids), Treyarch community manager Josh Olin gave a little interview with NowGamer about how patches are important to the online experience and what Treyarch are doing to keep Blops going strong. At the end of the interview, however, the writer asks Mr. Olin what he thinks the biggest problem with the game industry is: Continue reading Today’s WTF: Treyarch to Gamers: Stop Being so Angry, Yo
Today is a big day for EA Games as they not only drop Dead Space 2 on us, but also unleash the multiplayer demo for Crysis 2 on the Xbox 360 and Bulletstorm on both consoles (no PC, sorry fellas). Since there’s really not much else going on in the world of gaming (and I’ve got a lot of free time) I decided to check out both demos and report on them for you. Ain’t I thoughtful?
The first one that I tried was the multiplayer demo for Cyrsis 2. I played a lot of the original on the PC, including some very fun stints in the multiplayer mode. While the original version emphasized large-scale maps with vehicles a la Battlefield, the sequel drops you into small arenas like those found in Call of Duty. Both teams are equipped with the series’ iconic Nanosuit and there are several load-outs to choose from, unlocked via ranking up through the in-game progression system.
Gameplay wise, it’s exactly as I imagined Crysis would be if I played it with a gamepad as opposed to a mouse and keyboard system. As an old-school PC guy, the mouse and keyboard set up is far superior for fast-paced gameplay, so I ended up with more deaths than kills. Watching everyone else use their suit powers to leap around the map and absorb bullets was pretty wicked though, and the game definitely looks gorgeous. Crysis 2 on the 360 doesn’t look anything like the videos parading around on the Internet, but it is one of the better looking game I’ve played in recent memory. Suffice it to say that, while it was fun, I’d much prefer to get it on the PC come release day. One thing that did irk me about the graphics is that the level I was playing on, Skyline, features a lot of brown textures, and the opposing team was decked out in brown colored Nanosuits. Seeing as my team was wearing white, this struck me as a little unbalanced. Hit the jump for my thoughts on Bulletstorm! Continue reading Tuesday Demo Overload With Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm