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

Halo 4 Roll Call

halo 4 roll call

We’re a day late on this one, but who can blame us? Halo 4 is finally out, riding a wave of excellent reviews. I beat the campaign on Heroic last night, and I have to say that 343 Industries did a fantastic job. I was a bit worried about how Halo would fare under their stewardship, because new things are always scary, but hot damn did they pull it off.

To start, the game is freaking gorgeous, whether it’s the exquisitely rendered cutscenes or the in-game visuals. This is the best a Halo game has ever looked, and it still manages to feel like Halo despite the new flourishes 343i put on their designs. The voice acting and the story are very strong too, as the Chief and Cortana’s relationship gets fleshed out like never before. I seriously got a little emotional at the end of the game, and I wonder where 343i will take the Reclaimer Trilogy next.

There’s so many things I want to talk about regarding the campaign, but it would all stray into spoiler city. I’m going to be checking out multiplayer and Spartan Ops tonight, both of which I hear are quite fun.

So what about you guys? Have you been playing Halo 4? Hope to pick it up? Do you have any non-spoiler thoughts on the campaign?

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 55: Sick Cast

the gamersushi show

It’s been a while, but we’re back. In the month since we’ve been gone a lot has happened, such as Disney buying LucasFilm and a whole bunch of games coming out. We managed to cover a lot of it, leading to what has to be our longest cast in a while.

Nick is absent yet again, but you have the regular crew, albeit with a couple of us fighting off coughing fits at several points. Eddy just plain forgets that he can mute himself, so in a couple spots you’ll hear him coughing or chomping on a cough drop. It’s not too bad, but I’ve decided to christen the cast in his honor.

You know how it goes by now, being veterans of our show. Listen, rate and be excellent to each other. We’ll see you soon!

0:00 – 2:43 Intro
2:44 – 20:12 Disney buys LucasFilm
20:13 – 26:08 Halo 4
26:09 – 30:52 Wii U
30:53 – 41:53 Assassin’s Creed 3
41:54 – 50:26 XCOM: Enemy Unknown
50:27 – 51:14 Dishonored
51:15 – 56:54 RE6 and Borderlands 2
56:55 – 59:04 Over/Under Recap
59:05 – 1:00:53 Outro