Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

black ops 2 review

While Call of Duty moved into the realm of fictional wars with the first Modern Warfare game, the series has never strayed beyond modern technology; indeed, even jumping into today’s battlegrounds was deemed a huge leap for the series. Now that almost every era of modern war has been mined for inspiration (I’m still waiting for Trench Warfare), Call of Duty’s off-year team Treyarch decided to make a bold move and place their Black Ops follow up in the year 2025.

The whole game doesn’t take place in 2025, however, as there are several levels that occur in the 1980s that set up the origin of Raul Menendez, the antagonist of this particular outing. Switching back and forth between the shiny combat of 2025 and the shady battles of the 1980s, can Black Ops 2’s unique narrative break it out of the Call of Duty rut? Continue reading Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Battlefield 3: Aftermath is the Expansion We’ve Been Waiting For

battlefield 3 aftermath review

Continuing my trend of reviewing the DLC for Battlefield 3, like Close Quarters and Armored Kill, I’m going to sit down here and rap with you for a bit about Aftermath, DICE’s newest contribution to the steadily growing stable of post-launch content for their combined-arms FPS.

Like the previous two pieces of DLC, Aftermath has a “theme” to go along with it, and in this case it’s picking up from the single-player story by giving us four new maps set in a post-earthquake Iran. This means rubble-strewn pathways, and in the case of Epicenter, aftershocks that will shake your camera around a little bit. It’s not too noticeable that it will affect your aim, but you do have to compensate for it a bit.

The new maps are more in the style of the vanilla BF3 maps, having several choke-points leading to wider areas for you to mess around in. Coming off of the Armored Kill maps, which sometimes felt a little too big, this is a welcome change of pace. The maps are more suited to infantry combat, as tanks are a rare sight even on 64-player Conquest. The new hotness is the customized vehicles, which are basically civilian vans and Humvees with a grenade launcher and a machine gun bolted on. They’re a ton of fun to rip around in, and in a nice change of pace from the armored jeeps of the main game you can actually kill the occupants with a few bullets or a grenade. Continue reading Battlefield 3: Aftermath is the Expansion We’ve Been Waiting For

Review: Halo 4

halo 4 review

When Halo: Reach launched, the future of the Halo games became rather uncertain. Sure, we knew that Microsoft had formed 343 Industries to shepherd the series now that Bungie was moving on from the games that made them famous, but there were still doubts as to whether 343i had the chops to take over. Their first video game effort didn’t come until 2011 with the re-release of Halo: Combat Evolved. While it was a nice update to this classic game, it was still just standing on the shoulders of giants.

Leading up to Halo 4 you could kind of sense the uncertainty surrounding it. An unproven studio with Microsoft’s most valuable franchise making a game that promised to uphold everything Halo stood for? 343i was in a tricky position, because if they played it too close to Bungie’s territory they’d be looked down on and if their Halo was wildly different, the backlash would have been immense. They needed to strike a balance between making a Halo game while at the same time moving it in an entirely new direction. Now that the game is finally out, have they become the Reclaimers to Bungie’s Forerunners? Continue reading Review: Halo 4

PlanetSide2 Offers Three-Way FPS Action for Free

planetside 2

One game that always had potential but hit too early was PlanetSide, Sony Online Entertainment’s sci-fi MMO shooter. When it originally came out, the computers of the time were barely able to keep up with the huge environments and massive firefights that the game had to offer.

Now that computing technology has become a lot better, Sony Online Entertainment is taking another crack with PlanetSide 2, this time making the MMOFPS free-to-play. Having the ability to fight as one of three factions over three giant continents with and abundance of vehicles and player classes may seem like a crazy amount of content to give away for free, but the game pulls it off without finding a way to beat you over the head with microtransactions.

Don’t get me wrong, those exist, but they’re mostly cosmetic. Upgrades to your character and your weapons are bought with Certification points which are earned by killing enemies and taking capture points. While the base level attachments are fairly cheap, higher-level purchases can run upwards of a hundred points which take a while to earn. Fortunately, basic modifications like small increases to your base health are not that cost prohibitive.

Each of PlanetSide 2’s three factions have their own theme and style to go with it, like the Vanu Sovereignty which is all purple body suits and lasers or the New Conglomerate which look and fight a lot like the Browncoats from Firefly. Straddling the line between them is the Terran Republic, so no matter you fighting style (or taste for clothing) you can find a faction that suits you.

The battles in PlanetSide 2 can range from small skirmishes to all out war between the three factions with dozens of players on each side. Tanks and air support mix it up with infantry and all the classes have their role to play.

The only downside of the game right now is the lag and the fact that the UI is extremely cluttered, which might be intimidating for some new players. Figuring out how to take down bases is also a little tricky, but watching the tutotrial videos will help clear that up.

I’m really enjoying my time with PlanetSide 2, and I recommend that you check it out. It’s free, so the only thing you’re wasting is hard drive space. Has anyone else played PlanetSide 2? What do you think of it?

More Details Leak About Bungie’s Shooter, Destiny

bungie destiny story

Poor Bungie just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to their new top-secret Activision published shooter, Destiny. The studio has purposefully gone dark about it since Halo: Reach landed, but the world at large seems determined to foil their plans. While the accidental reveal of Destiny’s release schedule during the Infinity Ward vs Activison trial was an unfortunate side effect, this latest leak stems from a reader who passed the information along to IGN so it’s much more deliberate in nature.

The story of Destiny takes place 700 years from now, with mankind living in the shadow of its Golden Age, surviving in a settlement known as The Last City on planet Earth. A strange alien orb known as The Traveler hangs over Earth in very low orbit, and creatures from beyond the edge of space are trying to wipe humanity off the map. The player takes the role of a “knight”, tasked with pushing back the alien hordes. While some might say that Bungie is going back to the thematic well, Destiny is set to take a more fantastical approach than Halo, aiming to be “fun and accessable” according to the document obtained by IGN and is “designed for your inner seven year old”. While the document doesn’t confirm or deny that Destiny will be an MMO as rumored, it does mention that the game is socially oriented and a large focus is put on exploration with your friends.

Bungie themselves went ahead and confirmed that the Destiny details were correct in a post on their site labeled “Well, that just happened…again” and posted another piece of artwork to go along with it.

What do you guys think of this? Feeling bad for Bungie all over again? What do you think about Destiny’s story?

Sources – IGN, Bungie.Net

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 56: Mendicant Podcast

the gamersushi show ep 56

We’re almost back on track with the podcasts as we return with the 56 episode of our illustrious gaming show. In the edition we see the return on Nick, who regales us with the tale of his journey to the International Beard Competition. Or, maybe we just talk about Halo 4, GTA 5 and Assassin’s Creed 3 like a bunch of nerds.

The podcast opens with some Grand Theft Auto 5 talk, including our misgivings about the three playable characters and the changes that Rockstar needs to make to the formula after 4. Halo 4 is, of course, a big topic, with Anthony and I declaring our love for the game with all of its playable modes. We close out the cast with a final dissection of Assassin’s Creed 3 where I expand on my review a little bit.

I don’t think you need to be told what to do at this point, being 56 shows deep, but I’ll remind you anyways because I’m nice: listen to the podcast, rate the podcast, love the podcast. Wanna meet that podcast.

0:00 – 1:12 Intro
1:13 – 16:08 Grand Theft Auto 5
16:09 – 31:03 Halo 4
31:04 – 40:37 Assassin’s Creed 3
40:38 – 42:10 Dragon Quest 7 re-release
42:11 – 53:18 Outro

Dead Space 3 Co-Op Is Visionary

Dead Space 3 Co-op

The news that Dead Space 3 would have optional co-op has been met with a giant “Meh” from both the Internet and the two resident Dead Space fans (myself and Mitch) here at GamerSushi HQ. We like Dead Space for the isolation, the fevered combat and creepy atmosphere. It’s difficult to understand how Dead Space 3 can replicate the best parts of the previous two games with a buddy next to you.

Well, we might have shrugged indifferently too soon because Visceral has been cooking up something pretty unique for us and it is quite intriguing, even for a skeptic like myself. As revealed in EGM’s preview of the game, Isaac Clarke and his new partner, John Carver, will both have terrifying hallucinations. Separately. In the demo described in the article, one player saw creepy toy soldiers, while the other saw nothing unusual. Then Carver has terrible visions of shadowy children trying to kill him, but it is all in his head. While this is going on, Isaac has to protect Carver from the necromorphs who are taking advantage of Carver’s vulnerability to attempt to slice him to pieces. If either player fails, it’s game over. Intense, no?

I have to be honest, I still don’t know if I like the idea of co-op, but good on Visceral for trying something unique. The visions remind me a bit of Eternal Darkness, an overlooked gem on the GameCube that had your character going slowly insane, resulting in scares such as your memory card being wiped or the volume on your TV being turned way up or way down. Dead Space 3’s terrors seem to be less meta than that, but it does give me hope that Dead Space 3 might still be scary to play, even with a friend. The preview doesn’t state if these are scripted events or will happen randomly, but the idea that your partner could also be your undoing is a novel one.

What say you? Does this assuage your doubts about Dead Space 3 or are you still on the fence? Comment below!

Source: EGM