Tom Clancy’s The Division, a game about American sleeper agents taking back New York after a brutal viral outbreak, released at the beginning of March after one of the most prolonged hype cycles in recent memory. I’ve played a decent amount of the Division, completed the story and found every single collectible (all 290 something of them). I’ve fought tons of bullet sponge enemies and spent minutes scratch my head over whether some gear is better than others thanks to the somewhat impenetrable item stats.
The Division is getting a significant patch next week that is adding an end-game activity called Incursions and bringing in sweeping changes to loot, crafting and a whole bunch of other stuff. This impression covers everything pre-patch and some of my feedback might be addressed come release, but this is what I thought of The Division during the first month of its life. Continue reading The Division Delivers But Only in Fits and Starts
When faced with adversity, most of us would like to imagine that we would face our problems head on and confront them. In reality though, the most appealing path is to get as far away from your issues as possible and hope that the distance means you won’t have to deal with it, at least for a little while.
This is the case in Firewatch, a first person adventure mystery game from Campo Santo. In the Summer of 1989, playable character Henry takes a temporary job as a fire lookout in the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming, far away from civilization and his own personal hangups back in Colorado. Continue reading Talking Up a Storm in Firewatch
Over the weekend I’ve played a generous amount of XCOM 2, and I’ve also restarted after 10 hours into my first playthrough. I’ve named soldiers, customized them and watched the die to hilariously biased random number generation (RNG) and pulled off more than a few clutch victories. But for all of that, I’m just not enjoying my time with XCOM 2 all that much.
20 years after the events of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, in which the alien invasion was successful, you and your ragtag band of resistance fighters are striking back against the extraterrestrial overlords that control Earth. XCOM 2 flips the formula a bit by making you the invading force and you start most missions with a concealment bonus. You can actually plot ambushes this time, a welcome change from the free move the aliens would get when you encountered them in the first game. Continue reading Having Trouble Finding the Fun in XCOM 2
A mere three months after its exclusive Xbox One release, Rise of the Tomb Raider has arrived on the PC bringing the rebooted Lara Croft’s mass-murdering rampages to PC players everywhere.
On the scale of PC ports from Arkham Knight to Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Rise of the Tomb Raider falls closer to the latter, but it still requires a beefy rig to get the most out of it. The minimum requirements are pretty forgiving (i3 or equivilant, 2GB GPU) aside from the 6GB of RAM, which is quite the ask for most builds. For reference, I’m running an i7-2770k, 16GB of RAM and a 4GB GTX 980. Despite the taxing nature of the game I ran it on the highest quality with nary a dip below 60 fps aside from a couple areas at the end when everything was popping off – fire, lighting, multiple enemies, collapsing geometry, you name it. Continue reading Rise of the Tomb Raider is a Great PC Port if You Have the Rig for It
This past weekend the Division beta finally gave us a glimpse into the long-gestating title that Massive has been working on. The hype train for The Division has been a long and strange one and it felt good to finally get my hands on the game.
While the beta was fairly limited to one mission and the Dark Zone, I had an awesome time taking on the gangs throughout New York and going rogue against others agents to steal their loot. I played on PC and the game was fairly well optimized for a Ubisoft-published title. While there was some concerns about the “bullet-sponge” nature of the enemies from pre-beta impressions, I didn’t really notice it too much at the time. Continue reading Testing the Division Beta on PC
Assassin’s Creed is the gaming world’s whipping boy for the case against annualized releases. While Call of Duty pulls this trick as well, the sheer scale of an Assassin’s Creed game means that the stress fractures brought on by a quick turn-around are more readily apparent.
Last year’s Unity could be seen as the tipping point in the series. With a buggy launch and a poor reception, despite its decent co-op mode, Unity left the series balancing more closely to irrelevance than ever. Ubisoft needed to right the ship with the follow-up title, and thankfully Syndicate was the shot in the arm Assassin’s Creed needed. Continue reading Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is a Great Return to Form
Ever since EA and Disney announced their partnership to bring more Star Wars games to the market a Battlefront reboot helmed by DICE, the developers of the Battlefield series, was inevitable. The pre-release material showed us all the right stuff: gorgeously rendered Stormtroopers and Rebels mixing it up in iconic locations with tantalizing glimpses at the famous heroes, villains and starships thrown in for good measure. Now that Battlefront has been out for a while, how has this seemingly killer formula measured up?
There’s no getting around it: Star Wars Battlefront is quite possibly the best looking and sounding game I’ve ever played. With no last-gen version to hold it back, DICE went all out on recreating assets from the original trilogy down to the smallest scratch of paint on the X-Wings. DICE leaned heavily into their location research and promotional shots of the material they got from LucasArts as part of their marketing and their dedication to capturing the look and feel of the first three movies paid dividends. Continue reading Star Wars Battlefront is Gorgeous Fan Service, But Not Much Else