As much as I loved this past generation, I think one of the worst things it’s left behind is the idea of progressive unlocks in multiplayer. I hate to lay the blame at just any one game’s feet, but let’s face it, everybody pretty much took this from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Now every franchise from Halo to Assassin’s Creed is borrowing the idea, and multiplayer suffers for it.
Last week and over the weekend, I ran into a lot of this with Battlefield 4. While I enjoyed what I played of the game, I couldn’t help but get frustrated that all of the things I really wanted to do were behind a wall of arbitrary XP unlocks. These requirements dictated that I get a certain amount of XP before getting better weapons—which is extremely difficult to do without better weapons. Continue reading The Grind of Progression in Battlefield 4
While the article about this over on Kotaku reports this leak as legitimate, given what happened with Survivor 2299 and the fact that Bethesda has declined to comment, I’m going to firmly declare this as a rumor until we hear something official.
A series of casting documents obtained by Kotaku apparently confirm the existence of a game codenamed Institute (which if you remember from a Fallout 3 sidequest is the in-universe name for what was once MIT), which you might know better by its proper name, Fallout 4. The word Fallout doesn’t appear in any of the scripts, but it points to Fallout 4 being set in Boston, which makes sense given its codename. The casting script also details the opening monologue (in which the classic “war never changes” line is read by the player character instead of series regular Ron Pearlman) and a few side characters such as Sturges who is apparently a cross between Buddy Holly and Vin Diesel.
While I wish Fallout 4 is real as much as the next person, the rash of hoaxes surrounding the next game in the series over the past few months has made me very skeptical. Although I wouldn’t mind a Fallout game set in Boston and centered around the Institute, the information in this casting document, even if it is real, is subject to change so a lot of what is in there might not even be in the final game.
What do you guys think? Is this the real deal, or yet another hoax?
Source – Kotaku
I have to admit, as much as I generally loathe the production of any gaming television that finds itself in the mainstream, it’s still hard not to get excited about them when you know you’ll be seeing all kinds of new reveals and information. This year, Spike’s Video Game Awards show saw a bit of rebranding as VGX, a streaming only, more quiet affair that ditched the dude bro appeal in favor of something resembling, you know, something gamers might actually care about.
Whether they succeeded or not is another question entirely. While I found the show to be passable, there was no doubt the usual Twitter snark directed at Joel McHale, who really looked like he would have rather been anywhere else as he delivered poorly written jokes. Personally, I tuned in for the video reveals and ignored everything else.
And trust me, there were plenty of those to be had. Continue reading The VGX Round-Up
A new generation of challengers arrive!
It’s pretty weird to see PS4 box art in this update of the Power Rankings, but they’re here, plain as day and just as bright and shiny. This month, we’re diving into 3DS games, PlayStation 4 games, small PC titles and more. I think the number 1 spot will surprise you, considering how down we were on last year’s outing, but rest assured that this game deserves all the praise we’ll no doubt heap on it over the next few weeks. You’ve been warned. Continue reading GamerSushi Power Rankings: December 2013
There are three things I really enjoy about the Holiday season: doing Christmas things with loved ones, the Granville Island Brewing Company’s Lions Winter Ale and the ability to have a few days off to just wrap myself up in a toasty blanket and play some video games.
While any type of video game is a good time, there are certain genres and titles that I feel are ideal for this sort of situation. Long, free-form open world games with a ton of collectibles tend to be my go-to; something that I can just wander around in doing what I please. Skyrim was the perfect game for this a couple of years ago, doubly so because it had the wintery atmosphere to go with it.
I also like a good first-person shooter multiplayer with a ton of unlocks and progression for when I need something a bit more action oriented. What about you guys? When the weather gets colder and you have a few days off, what are the types of games that you like to play? Go!
While I’m enjoying Battlefield 4 a lot, I’ll be the first to admit that the game is broken. While DICE has brought out 13 server-side updates and two-client side patches (with more to come) since the October 29 release date, their next-gen shooter is in a sorry state of disrepair.
Even though China Rising just launched this past Tuesday, work on Battlefield 4’s remaining expansions (and other DICE projects, presumably the Mirror’s Edge prequel and Battlefront) have been halted until the majority of the issues with the game have been sorted out. While the previous client-side patch solved the Commander EMP blur effect and the sound bugs on maps like Golmud Railway, there continues to be a large array of problems on every system.
China Rising was apparently too far along to postpone (no word on Second Assault which is an Xbox One timed-exclusive) which is why it stuck to its original release date. DICE recently held a double-EXP event and gave players a 3.4x scope for the 1911 pistol which was formerly a developer-exclusive attachment as a way to make up for the issues that have been plaguing the game.
To editorialize a bit here, I’m a massive Battlefield fan, but the sorry state of Battlefield 4 (and the fact that EA put it on sale for $30 on Black Friday/Cyber Monday) has made me really wary of pre-ordering Battlefield games in the future. I have a huge amount of respect for DICE, but every Battlefield game has been messed up on launch to varying degrees. While DICE has demonstrated that they are working hard on these issues, and postponing work on future projects and DLC is a good move, the fact that we’re over a month after launch and the game is potentially just as, or more, messed up now as it was on day one is a pretty big black mark on their record.
Has anyone else been playing Battlefield 4? What do you think of this move by DICE/EA?
Source – Polygon
If there’s one way to mercilessly QA-test your new product, it’s by releasing it into the wild. Rest assured that, no matter how many man-hours your company put into testing a device, giving it to a million people will mean that any bugs, issues or glaring oversights will pop up in short order.
Since the Xbox One released on November 22, the gaming community has had plenty of time to fool around with it and figure out what it’s missing. A website called Xbox Feedback has sprung up where suggestions for future updates to Microsoft’s new console can be found.
Personally, I find the lack of some of what I would consider no-brainers (such as being able to check the battery charge on the home screen or the difficulties with party chat) pretty mind-boggling. Even though the Xbox 360 got bogged down with a UI that it was never really built to support, it still had a lot of user friendly tools and tricks. I personally appreciated the ability to set the controls to every game for inverted as a system-level option because I am a weirdo.
What do you guys think about Xbox Feedback? Any suggestions you would add to their current list? Do you think this website will actually gain any traction?
Source – Xbox Feedback
One of the biggest shopping weeks of the year, the week of Thanksgiving isn’t just a good time for us Americans (sorry everyone else) to get some good game playing in—it’s also a great time to find some awesome deals on games. Whether you’re lining up for a Black Friday sale or staying at your computer to hunt for deals, it’s always nice to get a deal on a game you’ve been dying to play, but you didn’t want to spend full price on.
In case you guys weren’t aware, here are some of the Black Friday deals going on this week in various parts:
So with all of that information available to you, I thought I’d ask: what games are you hoping to catch on sale this week? Anything in particular that would be hard to pass up? Personally, I’ve got my eye out for PS Vita prices, since I’d love to have that for my PS4 for remote play. I’m also watching for certain 3DS games.
What about you guys? What are you looking for? Go!
Much like my fellow GamerSushi editors who have made the jump to the next-gen, I’ve been sinking my teeth into the latest Assassin’s Creed game, Black Flag, over the past few days, although I am playing the PC version.
While the mouse and keyboard controls took a little getting used to, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag looks amazing on PC and is a spectacular return to form that the series needed after 3.
While I was originally pretty down on the meta-narrative for AC4, in which you are a game designer playing through Edward Kenway’s memories to turn them into a video game, it’s actually a good way to get players to stay inside the Aniumus for as long as they like without breaking them out periodically to remind them that there’s another story going on. Sure, playing through Edward’s memories because of Desmond Mile’s “generous” donation of his genetic lineage to turn them into a video game is pretty goofy, but it serves its purpose for getting you into the Animus and letting you stay there as long as you like. Continue reading Getting Back to the Basics with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
There really aren’t enough words to describe the affection I have for Telltale Games at the moment. The guys absolutely knocked me off my feet with their astounding take on Walking Dead, and I hear they’ve actually managed to raise the bar with Wolf Among Us. So count me ecstatic then, given the current rumors surrounding the studio.
Today, IGN reports that Telltale is working on none other than Game of Thrones, the HBO series based on The Song of Ice and Fire books by George R. R. Martin. Of course, this is speculation at the moment, as IGN is citing multiple anonymous sources, and Telltale has offered no official comment.
But we can dream, can’t we? If you ask me, Game of Thrones is one of the perfect franchises for Telltale to lend their talents to. What other universe is full of so many great characters, such emotionally charged decisions, so much danger and betrayal. Imagine saying the wrong thing to the wrong family, and have it come back to bite you in a big way games down the road.
So yeah, I am dying to find out if this is true. What do you guys think of this rumor? Yay or nay?
Source – IGN
Hello, Sushians. I’m writing you guys from the future. Or rather, from the next generation.
Having received my PlayStation 4 last weekend, I’ve been enjoying my fill of it over the last several days. I’ll write something a bit more extensive at some point in the near future, but right off the bat I’ll have to say that I love the machine, and am incredibly impressed with how it does everything promised. It’s quiet, it’s easy, and it just works.
Gushing about the PlayStation 4 aside, however, one of the games I purchased, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has given me some food for thought. While I’m loving this game much more than I did its predecessor, the let-us-not-speak-of-it Assassin’s Creed III, I can’t help but wonder if game tutorials have gotten too ridiculous. Continue reading Rethinking Tutorials
Between gimmicky Wii shovelware, Red Rings of Death and large price points tainted by giant crab battles, this generation started with something akin to a whimper—and that’s being generous. But as the years went on, we were not only treated to one of the longest generations of console gaming, but also the most fruitful. We saw games take great strides in scope and imagination. With dozens of new IPs that hold great promise, some of the most fantastic sequels ever made and new approaches to storytelling, it’s safe to say that gamers are in a better situation now than they were back in 2005, when the Xbox 360 first debuted.
On the even of a new generation, we thought we’d take a look back at this last generation—and perhaps one of the greatest we’ve ever had. Over the course of several weeks, the GamerSushi staff voted on the best experiences of this generation, getting in heated debates, pitting games against each other in vicious battles and nearly ending several friendships. Below are the results.
Thees are our top 20 games of this generation. Enjoy, dudes. Continue reading The GamerSushi Top 20 Games of the Generation
Launch titles for a new generation of consoles have a lot to live up to. They have to be discernibly different from the previous generation, look better, carry all sorts of bells and whistles and run smoothly.
Given that this is the first hardware refresh in eight long years, perhaps the expectations leading into this gen are too high. Some people might have been expecting 60 frames per second and 1080p on every game, but recently it came to light that the early games of this console cycle will rarely be hitting that mark.
In fact, Dead Rising 3 falls far below it, as Digital Foundry found out on behalf of Eurogamer. The Xbox One launch title runs at 720p and is supposed to be a consistent 30 fps, but sometimes it dips down to the lower twenties and high teens. The dip is especially noticeable in the large outdoor areas now that Dead Rising 3 is a contiguous open-world and boasts a larger variety of zombies than the previous titles.
Dead Rising 3 does have a crazy amount of effects like per-object motion blur (which the original game had as well, believe it or not) and seems to be a vast improvement over the performance the game displayed at E3, which was apparently choppy and tearing frames all over the place. It seems that Dead Rising 3 definitely puts the Xbox One through its paces.
What do you guys think? Did Dead Rising 3 promise what it can’t deliver? Did we expect too much going into this next generation of consoles? Is 1080p at 60 fps still another cycle off?
Source – Eurogamer
In case you haven’t guessed, it’s next gen week here at GamerSushi, and really everywhere else on the Internet, for that matter. Can you blame us? We’ve got two new consoles launching this month, ushering console gamers into a collective new era of brand new possibilities, new intellectual properties, and new ways to get trolled online.
Of course, one of the least exciting things about a console launch would actually be the system’s launch titles, which are very rarely anything to boast about. This seems to be the case this generation in terms of first party games, although there are a few third party games to get excited about.
So, I wanted to ask you guys which of the following launch titles excited you most? In the past, what are some of your favorite launch titles? Hint: if you say anything other than Mario 64, you might be banned from GamerSushi. OK, kidding. Sorta.
Wow. Even though my excitement about the next generation has been restrained—I mean, come on, we all know that launch lineups are traditionally lame—my enthusiasm has hit a sudden peak in the last day or so, due to the launch of the PlayStation 4 this week, and the Xbox One later this month.
I haven’t been a day-one participant in a console launch since the Nintendo Wii, back in 2006, and the PlayStation 2 before it back in 2000. It’s crazy to think that I haven’t had this experience in 7 years (almost to the day), but here it is, just a sunsets away. And while I was just semi-pumped before, paying off my system last night and seeing all the deals from places like Target and Amazon are getting the fire stoked anew.
Basically, I can’t wait for the next generation. And it’s about to be here.
So my question for you guys today is this: who’s jumping in right away? What are you getting? PS4? Xbox One? What games are you getting? Let’s do a bit of a roll call. Go!
In a pretty astonishing move yesterday, Square Enix announced Collective, a new crowdfunding platform that allows indie developers to pitch and create games for some of their old, dormant IPs. With Collective, Square Enix is basically allowing indie developers to rouse some of their sleeping properties, with Anachronox, Fear Effect and Gex going up for grabs. Developers that create games for these will receive a majority of their profits if Square helps publish, and all of the profits if Square does not.
To me, this is an inspiring, fascinating idea, and one that makes total sense. If you’re a developer with a huge backcatalog of IPs, some of which you know for sure you don’t have the resources or interest in resurrecting, why not hand them over to the community to see what comes out of it? It’s incredibly forward thinking of Square Enix, and I’m dying to see if other companies follow suit. In particular, I can’t wait to see what folks do with Anachronox, an often-overlooked cyberpunk noir RPG that had a rich atmosphere, ripe with potential.
So my question for you all on this Friday of Asking Things is this: if you had a chance to resurrect an old, long unvisited property, what would it be? What are some old games that you’d love to see more of, and would you change anything about how they’re presented? Let’s call this an impromptu game jam. Go!
Source – Gamasutra. Image by Alex Chin Yu Chu
Halo 4 came out one year ago today, marking the first time in the series’ history than an FPS title was developed by a studio other than Bungie (who had, at that time, moved on to making Destiny).
343 Industries, the studio that Microsoft created to keep the Halo train rolling, brought forth an admirable effort (we liked the game a lot), but one year after launch, how is Halo 4’s multiplayer user base doing?
According to this NeoGaf thread by user FyreWulff, not very well. Halo 4 had a peak population of just over 400,000 gamers shortly after launch and that number has dropped down to about 50,000. In this thread he lists 343i and Mircosoft’s various missteps with Halo 4, including the early map pack debacle and the weapon tuning and balance changes that occurred six months after launch (Black Ops 2 also sucks up half of Halo 4’s players, but we won’t count that against 343i or Microsoft).
The number tell the tale of Halo 4, it seems. Despite the game impressing critics, it failed to retain the long legs that made Halo 3 and Reach such contenders throughout swaths of Call of Duty releases. What do you guys think of Halo 4’s one year decline? Does this mean bad news for the future of the series?
Source – NeoGaf
There seems to be some gaming event called “the next generation” coming up pretty soon. I don’t know, maybe you guys have heard of it? Apparently these big machines are coming out and people are pretty excited.
However, before that strange phenomenon occurs, we peons are stuck in the current generation (or you’re perpetually next generation gaming on your PC), no doubt clamoring through our backlogs and keeping up with this year’s more modest fall deluge of video games.
Since I’m waiting to play Assassin’s Creed 4 on my soon-to-be-released PlayStation 4 and holding out on Steam sales for Batman: Arkham Origins and The Wolf Among Us, I’m currently playing the heck out of Grand Theft Auto Online and loving it. Even though the actual online design is borked to all hell, the actual races, once you get in them, are among some of the most fun I’ve had gaming online in recent memory. Anthony and I have been partaking in planes, boats, motorbikes and more over the last week, leveling up our respective gangsters and having a general ball.
So what are you guys playing right now? Has anyone else tried Grand Theft Auto Online? Who’s playing Arkham Origins? Details, folks!
Since our hobby is something that we’ve grown up with, we gamers tend to be an over-nostalgic bunch. Sometimes all it takes to yank on our heart strings is a sound clip, a bar of music or a screenshot of an old game.
Sony taps into that nostalgia thread with their new PS4 ad, “For the Players Since 1995.” It’s about as close to pandering as you can get—but that doesn’t mean I don’t love it. They really capture that feel that no doubt many of us have had over the years of growing up with consoles in our rooms, and give lots of great shout outs, too.
The PS4 releases in just a few weeks. Count me excited.
One of the things I love about the Sushians here is that I think we cover a decent spread of ages and lifestyles. Some of us have kids, some of us are still in school, some of us are kids at heart and others of us eat hearts to strengthen their bushy beards (not that I’m naming names).
In recent weeks, I’ve had to do some thinking about the state of things in my life, what it means for my schedule and how that affects the time I can devote to gaming. Sadly, I’ve concluded that multiplayer games are all but out—however, handhelds are on their way back in! Most of that is because I’m discovering that I just don’t have the disposable time that I used to (most of my free time goes to family and writing), so it’s time to stop kidding myself.
With that in mind, I wanted to ask you guys about your gaming time sheets, and how many hours you guys are able to put toward our illustrious hobby week in and week out. Feel free to go into more detail in the comments. Go!