I’m sure I’m breaching some international accord by posting an Independence Day themed “What Are You Playing”, but Canada is no longer directly under the dominion of the British monarchy, so I feel safe (don’t worry, the Commonwealth isn’t contagious).
In the spirit of the holiday, I pose this question to you, kind reader: what are you doing today on the most patriotic of days, aside from shooting off fireworks from eagle-back? Me, I’m at work right now, but I think my evening will consist of The Amazing Spider-Man, Beenox’s latest stab at making a half-decent title about the webslinger. For the most part they succeed, but at the end of the day it’s still a pale imitation of the Arkham style Batman games. That said, it’s loads better than last year’s Edge of Time, so expect an in-depth review for that one when time permits.
I can’t speak for the rest of the GamerSushi editors, but Eddy, Nick and I have been getting in to PC gaming in a big way, and Eddy even picked up the Combined Operation package for Arma 2, so expect some Day Z stuff from us soon.
What about you guys? What is your current gaming fare?
A yearly release schedule is a tough notion for any game, let alone one as deep and time-consuming as Assassin’s Creed. We were all pleasantly surprised to get Brotherhood so shortly after Assassin’s Creed 2, but the prospect of Revelations seemed to burn a lot of people out.
Focusing on the later years of Ezio Auditore’s life, the game moves out of Renaissance Italy to Constantinople where Ezio tries to find the keys he needs to get into a secret vault built by Altair, the assassin from the original game. Throwing in new gameplay concepts and an upgraded multiplayer mode, does Revelations deliver or does it fall flat like so many missed Leaps of Faith? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Everybody’s scrambling to get aboard the SS MMO these days, abandoning ship from traditional single player titles. Even franchises that are considered hallmarks of single player gaming such as Final Fantasy, KOTOR and Elder Scrolls have dropped their former identities, opting instead to join the seemingly lucrative temptations of the MMO genre. After the success of WoW in the mid-2000s, everybody’s been trying to recreate that same money-producing machine, with mostly mediocre results. Most end up going free to play eventually, which is something that even TOR is having to consider.
So here’s the burning question, then: why has nobody been able to follow in WoW’s footsteps? Because, GameSpy’s Leif Johnson argues, we’ve simply outgrown MMORPGs. In this article, Johnson does a nice job of laying out the state of the industry and digital connectivity in the past and now, and shows why trying to copy the WoW formula for modern games is just developers trying to turn the clock back on gamers. He believes that in an age of instant gratification, social media, mobile and more, it’s just going to take something more casual to be a runaway hit.
This is a question I’ve actually been wondering about myself. I think it’s so interesting that developers consider MMOs to be such a surefire hit that they’ll invest millions and millions into production, when so few have even done well to begin with. Yet new IPs are considered inherent risks? If only one MMO has had the kind of longevity that developers really want, then why does everyone keep trying to do this? What convinced everyone that the WoW formula was the way to go, even almost 10 years later? One glance at the paltry Elder Scrolls MMO shows that it’s just another WoW clone, even when that seems like a surefire way to fail. I guess dollar signs are hard to ignore.
What do you guys think about this? Have we simply outgrown the MMO? Do developers need to find a new way to make MMOs work for a new generation? What’s the new way to do MMOs right? Go!
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. Continue reading Battlefield 3 Close Quarters DLC Impressions
After playing Bungie-crafted Halo games for over ten years, how will 343 Industries fare when they take a stab at the mode the revolutionized multiplayer on consoles? If the new War Games trailer out of E3 is any indication, Halo 4’s multiplayer will be fast, brutal and more than a little bit flashy. Bungie’s Halo was always a more considered shooter, the slower pace leading to careful skirmishes rather than balls-to-the-wall gunfights. It worked well with the old games, but can 343 kick Halo into overdrive?
Overall the multiplayer of Halo 4 seems very similar to Halo: Reach: there are assassinations and armor abilities, but the new Spartans IVs are moving a lot faster than their Spartan III counterparts. I’m liking the look of Halo 4 a lot, but the sound design needs a little tuning. The melee attacks sound to squishy for a bunch of dudes in one ton suits of armor. What do you guys think? Does this trailer carry on the Halo legacy, or is Halo 4 turning into its own game?
Poor, poor EA. You know, I do kind of feel bad for them at this point. Between all the stuff with Mass Effect, trying to launch an much-maligned digital store and Battlefield 3, they really have been getting the short end of the stick recently. Not that they don’t deserve it, but still, it must suck to be the new punching bag.
As another addition to EA’s recent list of slip-ups, a rumored fact sheet for Battlefield 3 Premium has appeared, listing everything that should be coming with the service. As I speculated on The GamerSushi Show, it is a “season pass” of sorts, getting you access to all the DLC and a few goodies for a flat $50 fee. Here’s a quick and dirty read-out of what you get:
All Battlefield 3 DLC (up-coming and previously released) with two week early access
Unique in-game knife, dog-tags, soliders camos and gun camos
Stat reset option
Server queue priority
Exclusive events, double-EXP events and videos
5+ unique assigments
Additional bonus content
In addition to all that you also get some new platoon decal options and the ability to save Battle Reports. Battlefield 3 Premium is shaping up to be pretty decent, considering that all told you get a $10 discount on the DLC. What do you guys think? Are EA and DICE going back on their Call of Duty ELITE trash-talk by offering up a similar service? Will you be picking this up?
I forget when something qualifies as “over the hill”, but I think at this point the podcast is probably there. As benefits our advanced age, this week’s show is full of ramblings; without Nick on the cast to rein us in with a game we tend to go off on any tangent we feel like. Like episode 48, the result is a shorter podcast but I think that we have some pretty good discussions.
What do we discuss, you ask? We talk about a large variety of things all the way from EA removing official Battlefield 3 servers to Diablo III’s launch day woes and even how BioWare is floundering with the relationship they have with their fans. There’s also a couple of Day Z stories, some ranting about how we’re all too old to enjoy longer games, and whether or not games can (or should) qualify as art.
So! You know the drill, friends. Listen. Rate. Be fruitful and multiply. See you next time on our big five-oh shindig!
0:00 – 3:00 Intro
3:01 – 8:35 Diablo 3 launch day woes
8:36 – 10:30 EA removes official BF3 servers
10:31 – 13:44 The new new EA
13:45 – 18:13 Diablo 3
18:14 – 27:03 The future of Dragon Age
27:04 – 33:07 Padding games and getting old
33:08 – 36:51 Minecraft xbl
36:52 – 39:36 Walking Dead episode 1
39:37 – 49:29 Day Z stories
49:30 – 57:00 Should games be art?
57:01 – 59:04 Outro
In a situation where many publishers would have left their customers twisting in the wind, Blizzard has once again proven why they’re one of the most respected studios in the business.
Bad news struck potential Australian Diablo III players yesterday when GAME announced that they were going into administration and wouldn’t be handling any copies of the long awaited hack-and-slash RPG because of payment issues with their shipping companies. This left a lot of angry people with pre-orders than were good for nothing.
For a while it seemed that nothing would be done about the pre-orders that were now lost, but Blizzard stepped in and announced that they would be honoring all Diablo III pre-orders from GAME dated before May 15. Yes, eager to help their fans stare at a menu screen along with everyone else, Blizzard posted on their forums that if people affected by GAME’s closure bought Diablo III off Battle.Net before May 21 and sent Blizzard their pre-order receipt before June 20 they will be refunded the whole amount for the game.
Pretty decent of Blizzard to step up and offer a solution instead of just letting all those unsold copies of Diablo III sit around. At the end of the day they’ve got their money and people have their Diablo, so it’s a fair trade, I have to say.
What do you guys think about this turn of events? Pretty impressed with Blizzard? Anyone on here affected by the GAME situation? Go!
Mass Effect is a series that took all of us by storm, drawing us in with its unique, deep sci-fi world and the hook of making your own Commander Shepard with your own story. The first game had a few issues but BioWare kicked Mass Effect 2 into overdrive, giving us a competent shooter/RPG hybrid that garnered numerous Game of the Year awards.
The third game in the series has raised the stakes, bringing the series big bad the Reapers into the galaxy, plunging every race into a war for survival. You’re tasked with bringing together all of the different races under one banner and taking the fight to Earth. Does Mass Effect 3 manage to tie everything together? Continue reading Review: Mass Effect 3
In this day and age it only takes one good idea to get your indie title or mod noticed by the gaming community at large. It needs to be something that the big studios aren’t doing but everyone clamors for. The team behind the Arma 2 mod Day Z managed to find their zeitgeist by transforming Arma 2’s 225 km squared landscape into an open-world zombie survival sandbox. When the world is covered by zombies and you’re struggling to survive, the gloves come off and that’s exactly what this mod encapsulates.
Players live an average of four hours, just to give you an idea of how tough it is to survive out there. You start off with meager supplies and you need to keep yourself fed, watered and breathing all while contending not only with hordes of roaming undead but also other players. It’s safe to assume in Day Z that everyone is out for themselves and the game features a humanity meter to chart your interactions with other survivors. Malevolent players can earn a “Bandit” ranking that changes their outward appearance and makes them a target for frontier justice. There are a ton of player guides to help you out, but the true genius of Day Z is the moment to moment gameplay and what emerges out of that.
A video chronicling some of what happens in Day Z by YouTube user SideStrafe.
Day Z requires both Arma 2 and its expansion Operation Arrowhead, and the Combined Operations package has cracked the top five sales on Steam, surpassing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Here’s a handy installation guide for Day Z to get you started on your journey, including some tips for living longer than a few minutes.
Since Day Z has taken off in such a huge way, we decided to get in touch with the developers behind the mod and ask them a few questions. Dean “Rocket” Hall was kind enough to provide us with some answers about how the mod came about, what sort of reaction they’ve seen from Bohemia Interactive, and what’s next for Day Z. Continue reading Emergent Gameplay and Persistent Worlds: The Day Z Interview
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.
Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer was a surprising success, something we’ve been going on about ever since the demo for the game dropped way back in the grey blanket of February. A horde mode experience at heart, Mass Effect 3’s co-op mode drew on the backstory set up by the single-player games and gave players the opportunity to take control of the various alien races we’ve been interacting with as Shepard ever since Mass Effect one.
It’s this sort of legacy that gives the co-op in Mass Effect 3 its longevity, at least according to Rowan Kaiser over at Joystiq. He says that, because we’ve spent so much time with Urdnot Wrex and his krogan brethren, seeing and using a krogan in multiplayer taps into the narrative investment we have in those characters.
The multiplayer mode is an extension of Commander Shepard’s mission in the main game: uniting the various alien species of the Galaxy to take the fight to the Reapers, Cerberus and the heretic geth, throwing it in together as one force. While the multiplayer mode itself is very light on story, there’s such a link between the visuals and everything that we’ve learned about the universe of the game that we create all these threads in our mind that gives the co-op such gravitas.
The article goes a bit more in depth about how the mechanics work into the equation but the part about the aesthetics creating a bigger impression of the mode is definitely true for me. Mass Effect is so well designed from a fictional standpoint that every little thing has meaning for me whether it’s a krogan Vanguard charging into a mess of Cannibals or doing a biotic combo in conjunction with another player. What do you guys think of the article? Are you hooked on ME3’s multi and is the universe a big part of that?
Twisted Metal, one of the most iconic franchises of the PS1 era has returned with great fanfare. But after giddiness subsided, everyone had the same question: can a car combat game succeed in today’s world at a full $60 retail price? David Jaffe, creator and Internet instigator, clearly thinks so, as the addition of online multiplayer just might allow Twisted Metal to enter the current generation with guns blazing. Continue reading Review: Twisted Metal
With Skyrim recently continuing the trend of giving Bethesda the Game of the Year award it makes sense to assume that The Elder Scrolls franchise really has what it takes to produce some truly amazing games. The single player RPG world has captivated players since Arena, taking you into a deeply immersive world of Tamriel. While The Elder Scrolls series is one that has been a smash hit as a single player game, the question always came up about how it would fare as an MMO, leaving some fans drooling over the prospects of exploring the lands with a party of their best friends. Well today it’s official, Game Informer has released an article teasing readers about the June cover article which features a first look at The Elder Scrolls Online.
The game is being produced by Zenimax Online Studios with MMO veterans such as Matt Firor, whose previous work included Dark Age of Camelot. The game is set a millennium before the events of Skyrim, and players will deal with the Daedric prince Molag Bal trying to bring Tamriel into his realm in Oblivion. Matt Frior told GameInformer:
“It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years, the entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made – and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise.”
Tomorrow morning there will be a trailer from Zenimax and Bethesda Softworks, with screenshots coming later in the evening. All of the information going onward can be tracked at Game Informer’s own Elder Scrolls Online hub, which will be giving out exclusive content multiple times a week.
As a major fan of The Elder Scrolls series, I meet this news with an open mind, but a cautious approach. I have always wanted a way to play around the world of Skyrim or Cyrodiil with friends, but the full-blown status of an MMO is something I have debated before. This could spell great success for the series, but a different production studio and a new feel to a game that has made all of its success as a single player RPG could spell trouble. I’ll wait to see more information before I give final judgment, but this news has to have many gamers foaming at the mouth. So what do you guys think? Is it good that The Elder Scrolls is going online? What’s your opinion on the game being produced by Zenimax? Lets hear it!
The long-rumored Sony version of Nintendo’s Super Smash Brothers was announced on GTTV last night and the PlayStation blog put up a short trailer explaining the game. Called All-Stars Battle Royale, the game will feature Sony characters (including some third-party characters as revealed last night) duking it out on a variety of themed stages. Check out the game in action below!
The game is a little too similar to Super Smash Bros for my taste, but for some people this will be right up their alley. The characters confirmed so far are Kratos, Parappa the Rapper, Sweet Tooth, Fat Princess, Colonel Radec from Killzone and Sly Cooper. More will be revealed at E3, so stay tuned for that. Personally, I’m curious to see if Solid Snake will be coming back after his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and what the third party characters are. What do you guys think of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale?
We may have seen it leaked last week but Crytek and EA officially announced it today: Crysis 3 is coming in 2013 to all of your favorite consoles and the PC. Taking place some 20 years after the previous game, Crysis 3 takes players back to New York City which has been sealed off with a Nanodome, placed by the Cell Corporation (one of the bad guys from Crysis 2). The Nanodome divides New York City into seven different districts, each of which poses its own challenge for players.
Not much has been confirmed about Crysis 3 yet except that Prophet is back, he’s packing a bow, and we’ll be going up against human and Ceph enemies once again. You can pre-order the game right now on Origin and get the Hunter Edition which will net you a multiplayer XP bonus (jumping you up to level five), early access to the bow and some other goodies. EA is already calling Crysis 3 the “first blockbuster shooter” of next year.
What do you guys think about this? Is it coming too soon after Crysis 2? What changes do you hope to see? Personally I liked Crysis 2’s single-player quite a bit, but the multiplayer didn’t quite grab me like it did in the first game. Hopefully the design changes back from being a straight-up Call of Duty knockoff to something resembling its original form, but with a short turn-around between games, I don’t think that’s likely. Since the main character now uses a bow, expect me to be calling him “Prophet Hood” every chance I get.
It’s been kind of a Mass Effect-dominated week here at GamerSushi, and originally I wasn’t even going to post the trailer for the Resurgence multiplayer DLC, but the awesome playable characters being added changed my mind. You can now play as the geth and the batarians, and the krogan become even more awesome with the addition of the Vanguard class to their ranks. Personally I’m excited about the geth Engineer as that was my favorite class in ME3, but if I unlocked the krogan Vanguard instead, I wouldn’t complain. The DLC also adds new weapons and arenas, so check out the trailer below to geth the full scoop (pun intended).
Even if the GS crew hasn’t been able to assemble in a ME3 multi game in a while, I still kind of enjoy joining up in public games. Most people are around the level cap and the powers are kind of unbalanced in the players favor anyways. Mass Effect 3’s Resurgence DLC hits for free on April 10. What do you guys think about it? Which of the new classes would you want to play as?
At this point, Star Wars: Battlefront 3 is the Highlander of video games. Or the Dracula, if you think the franchise is a soul-sucking waste of pixelated space. Rumored to have been canceled in 2008, the specter of Battlefront 3 continues to haunt the Internet, with concept art and dark tales springing up from the most random of places.
Personally, I was a rabid fan of Battlefront 2, so every time one of these stories surfaces, I feel a mix of both pain and excitement. Excitement at the idea that maybe the game isn’t dead, just in hiding like Yoda, waiting to be released by some secretive developer. I feel pain because I know the world isn’t always that perfect and likes to crush my dreams.
So, it’s with a mix of those feelings that I post some supposedly uncovered footage of Battlefront 3 alpha gameplay, shot off-screen from an early PC build in 2008. Man, this brings back memories of some epic space battles, and heroic moments that involved mowing opponents down with a lightsaber.
The coolest part of the footage was leaving a base on the surface of a planet and flying all the way to a spaceship in orbit. Seriously, if anyone out there is a part of making this game a reality I will kiss you on the mouth. Any other Sushi-ans as big of a fan of this franchise as I was?
Journey was a sublime experience for me, one that was helped along by the presence of a silent other; a compatriot that I could travel with but not share a single form of spoken or written communication with. Aside from musical chirps, player interaction in Journey is severely limited but this didn’t stop my partners from helping me find hidden items or guiding me through the world. Without the incentive to hinder or harm me, were they actively trying to help?
This is what Jenova Chen, designer at thatgamecompany, thinks. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, he posed the thought that the agressive nature of multiplayer games leads to people being dicks to one another. I’ll let him explain his point, though: Continue reading Do Multiplayer Games Make us Jerks?
Somehow, I feel like I’ve stepped into a time warp. I’m not really sure how or when it happened, but gaming has taken me back about 12 years or so. I look a little bit older, I know only a couple of more things, I’m about to be a father, but the mouse and the keyboard still feel the same: every satisfying click fires another round, sends another SCV, marks another target or claims another piece of loot.