After 2012’s less-than-stellar entry, the Assassin’s Creed series seemed poised to spend the last few years of its life cycle fighting irrelevancy. While Assassin’s Creed 3 might have sold well, it turned off a lot of people, myself (an admittedly hardcore fan of the franchise) included. Half-baked mechanics, buggy presentation and a bland protagonist were all parts of the gumbo of disappointment that was AC3.
Not long after that game released, Ubisoft announced a follow-up that would take place in the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. The new protagonist would be Edward Kenway, father and grandfather to the Assassin’s Creed 3 playable characters Haytham and Connor, respectively. With a game poised to take advantage of the naval combat introduced in AC3, could Black Flag right the ship? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
When Watch Dogs was delayed last fall shortly before its release date, we were all sad pandas. Back then we didn’t know that Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag would be a rollicking good time, so Ubisoft’s modern-day tale about oppressive surveillance seemed like a sure-fire way to kick off the next gen.
Now here we are in the early months of 2014 and we’ve not only got Watch Dogs’ new release date of May 27, but also an explanation from the team behind it as to why they decided to delay the game. Continue reading Watch Dogs: New Release Date and the Reason for the Delay
When Warner Bros announced the next game in the acclaimed Arkham franchise would be a preequel, the reaction was mixed. When they announced that Rocksteady would not be returning for the prequel, instead handing the reins to Warner Bros Games Montreal, the reaction was negative. It felt like a cash-grab, a stop-gap while Rocksteady worked on whatever would follow the brilliant Arkham City. Was this reaction premature or right on the money? Read on to find out. Continue reading Review: Batman: Arkham Origins
Until yesterday I’d never heard of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Monolith’s new game that shows you what happened inbetween The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In this game you’ll play as Talion, a ranger of Gondor who gets possessed by a wraith and then uses his new found powers to systematically assassinate a variety of orcs and Uruk-hai. This gameplay trailer for Shadow of Mordor shows off some cool abilities you can use and details the nemesis system which sounds too crazy to actually be true. Give it a watch!
For a game that I didn’t even know existed until recently, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor looks like a guaranteed fun time. What do you guys think about this trailer? Are you on-board for some orc killing?
Look guys, I’m sorry I keep writing about Battlefield 4, I really am. This game had a ton of promise leading up to launch and then it promptly fell flat on its face and has been struggling to right itself even since.
A week or so ago I wrote about DICE and EA’s handling of the whole situation (which you can read here if you’re so inclined) and in summation I felt that all that was necessary was admitting that they did wrong by the consumers and apologize. Instead, we’re getting the “Player Appreciation Month” for Battlefield 4, where EA and DICE neatly side-step responsibility for the game’s problems by offering up free Battlepacks, double XP events and shortcut kits.
Take a read through and see what they’re offering. Even if you haven’t played Battlefield 4, I’m sure you’re at least somewhat aware of the game’s issues. Tell me, is the Player Appreciation Month enough to make up for the bungled launch?
As much as it’s easy to loathe the Internet at times (take for instance this 500 page Mass Effect 3 fanfic), there are other times when I find it just brilliant and amazing. The things that people can cook up when they find like minded folks is just astounding.
Proof: this subreddit of people that roleplay in GTA online as reporters, documenting the gang violence of Los Santos like digital versions of Anderson Cooper. It’s just one of those things that surprises you but doesn’t shock you, because of course there’s a subculture of the game’s population that gets a kick out of that.
To me, one of the most interesting things about online communities for games is the way that they tend to break down into these really unique niches. Take the custom game community of Halo, the roleplaying community of old Star Wars Jedi Outcast games or the MLG community for any competitive multiplayer title. I love that games give these people a home, because where the heck else could they have done some of these things?
What are some of the most interesting developments you’ve seen in an online community? Go!
Source – GTA V Media
Image – Stustuca
As much as I think gamers and the gaming press in general are prone to histrionics, the ongoing saga of Battlefield 4 is cause for legitimate concern. While I have faith that DICE will eventually get the game working in almost tip-top shape, the whole process of Battlefield 4, from the
demo Beta in early October to the mangled launch and the current state of the game has been quite the snafu.
The rumor out there is that EA rushed DICE to have Battlefield 4 drop on PC and previous generation consoles (the Xbox 360 and the PS3) on October 29, two weeks before the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts, sacrificing time needed to finish the actual game for a few extra sales. While the actual validity of this fact is up for debate, EA/DICE have a long history of taking potshots at Call of Duty and doing whatever they can to one-up Activision’s FPS juggernaut.
With lawsuits pending, future projects and DLC being delayed and more bugs than you can shake a stick at, has the rocky launch of Battlefield 4 shaken our faith in EA/DICE and cast aspersions on the future of the series? Continue reading The Troubling Future of Battlefield
I have an admission to make: I pre-ordered Final Fantasy XIII all the way back in 2010 (paid almost full price, too!), played it for about an hour and twenty minutes that March and then proceeded to leave the game untouched for more than three years. Even still, when Final Fantasy XIII-2 came out, I went ahead and bought a shared copy with my brother. He beat it immediately, and I let the game sit on my shelf unplayed until just recently. Why did I put off playing these games for so long? A combination of things, really: I tend to avoid long games until I’m in the right mood for them, and a lot of people were super-critical of FFXIII when it first came out. It sounded like a disappointment and a time-sink, and I wasn’t in the mood for either.
However, after I recently knocked out Demon’s Souls, I found myself craving more good RPG experiences. The FFXIII games were the most logical place to look, if only so that I might finally clear out my backlog of 360 and PS3 games in preparation for trading in one or both systems. I started out with XIII-2 because conventional wisdom is that it corrects all the missteps of XIII, but even though the game was a lot of fun, the story was convoluted and confusing. I felt like I was missing something, so I decided to give XIII a shot after all. Much to my surprise, I’m really enjoying it – the battles are a lot of fun once you can paradigm shift – and I’m already a good twenty hours in after just a few days.
So why was everyone so hard on the game? Was it just a case of preconceived notions, or is there something genuinely missing?
Continue reading Late to the Game: Final Fantasy XIII and the Siren Call of RPGs
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
We are back from a month long break to drop a cast on you before we talk another month long break. Hey, it’s the holidays, can you blame us?
In this three-man yuletide cast, Eddy, Anthony and Jeff talk about the PS4 and the Xbox One, the VGX and then do a live formulation of our top ten games of the year. Nick and I weren’t able to make it but I’d say that our views are fairly represented (except about The Last of Us, but that’s a battle I gave up on long ago).
We’ve never done a live top-10 discussion, but it worked out rather well, especially after our Top 20 Games of the Generation article kind of listed us out.
Hope you enjoy the last cast of 2013 and remember to rate and enjoy the Holidays! See you in early 2014, Sushians!
The GamerSushi Top Ten Games of 2013
1. Grand Theft Auto V
2. Bioshock Infinite
3. Tomb Raider
4. The Last of Us
5. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
7. Pokemon X/Y
8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
9. The Wolf Among Us
10. Fire Emblem: Awakening
Honorable Mentions: Super Mario 3D Worlds, Saints Row IV
0:00 – 5:03 Intro
5:04 – 18:46 Next Gen Consoles
18:47 – 41:06 VGX
41:07 – 1:11:09 The Top Ten Games of 2013
1:11:10 – 1:12:59 Outro
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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
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
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
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!
It’s time for the next generation of video game consoles to arrive! As we say good-bye to October and hello to November, it’s time to check out the latest releases, both current-gen and next-gen, that are hitting stores this month. Personally, I didn’t buy anything in October except Pokemon because I was too busy with GTA V. But now, with the new consoles coming, I am ready for more. And November has plenty to keep us all satiated. Hit the poll below and meet me after the jump for analysis:
Continue reading Pixel Count: Most Anticipated November Release
We’re back with another episode of the video game podcast you love, the GamerSushi Show.
This week bears some exciting news as Eddy finally joins the ranks of 3DS owners. Nintendo’s handheld has picked up in some big ways, and the mere fact that he bought one brought up a conversation about how we’re all transitioning to a different style of playing games.
After that we talk memories from out PlayStation One and Two days and then I finally get to talk Pokemon. Anthony has also been digging into the newest iteration of the series so we get my perspective as a veteran and his as a newcomer.
I think you know the drill by now, but listen, rate the cast, and be nice to everyone. Except that one person. You know who I’m talking about. See you next time!
0:00 – 2:00
2:01 – 10:22 Eddy gets a 3DS
10:23 – 17:42 Getting older and finding time for games
17:43 – 33:00 PlayStation memories
33:01 – 46:55 Pokemon X and Y
46:56 – 50:40 Outro
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
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With the release of Batman: Arkham Origins yesterday, the series, which has smashed all of our pre-conceived notions of what a licensed game should be, saw its first release away from the careful hand of Rocksteady, the developers of the first two titles. While the general consensus in the reviews is that the game more or less matches the quality of Asylum and City, Warner Bros. Montreal didn’t do enough to innovate this time around, and the game was docked points for that in some outlets.
Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City were both fantastic games, one of which will probably rank among the greatest games of the past generation. Since Arkham Origins hews so closely to the previous games that it’s more or less indistinguishable from Rocksteady’s work (for the most part), should Warner Bros. Montreal get flack for not innovating? This is a series with sky-high expectations by this point, throwing a new developer into the mix and asking them to completely rethink the Arkham series while at the same time trying to live up to Rocksteady’s work is quite the herculean task.
While innovation in some games is necessary, the Batman: Arkham series is about as close to perfect as games come, for the most part. Should Warner Bros. Montreal have been expected to think outside the box, or were they well within their rights to take as many pages out of Rocksteady’s book as possible? Should all gaming sequels be innovative, or is it OK to just have more of the same every one and a while?
Ugh. In what I’d call more of a gut punch than actual news, Ubisoft announced via its blog yesterday that Watch Dogs, slated for a release this fall, will be pushed back until Spring 2014.
The reason? They want to make the game better, and to deliver more of a truly next gen experience. From Gary Steinman, Ubisoft’s community manager:
Why now? We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.”
So, yeah. This is pretty disappointing for me, as Watch Dogs was the one game I really wanted play on my PlayStation 4 this fall. Now, the thing may just be a paperweight until February, when InFamous comes out. Unless I *shudder* decide to play Assassin’s Creed 4 instead.
Who else is bummed by this? What games will you be playing this fall? Go!
Source – UbiBlog
Telltale Games just released the first part of their follow-up to our favorite game of 2012, The Walking Dead, and I think it’s safe to say they’re still in the zone and only getting better. The Wolf Among Us is a prequel to Bill Willingham’s long-running Fables series, which focuses on the lives of creatures from fables, stories and legends who escaped from their home world into the “real world” and are hiding their true identities from the “mundies” around them. The main character of the game and comics is Bigby Wolf, formerly known as The Big Bad Wolf, now reformed and working in human form as sheriff for the Fables community. He’s gruff, dangerous, and chain-smokes his way through the entire game.
Knowledge of the comics isn’t necessary to enjoy The Wolf Among Us, but reading them will help you catch a few references here and there. Readers of the comics may also be interested to know that the game is considered canonical. The first episode sets up a noirish murder mystery occurring about twenty years before the start of the comics, in the sleazy, neon-filled 1980s. The art style and music are pitch-perfect for the material; as soon as the game loaded up, I already knew I was going to love the music, and by the end I was ready to drop money on a soundtrack album (not that one exists right now, of course). It took me just over two hours to finish the first episode, and I’m already considering replaying it so that I can try different options.
In some ways I think I might actually prefer this first episode of The Wolf Among Us to The Walking Dead. Shocking, I know. Part of it is that The Wolf Among Us builds on and refines the style first perfected in the previous game. The same tense dialog choices are there, as are the split-second decisions and visceral quick-time events, but the art and music are even better, and the world of Fables is far weirder than anything in The Walking Dead. That extra bit of oddity piled on top of a gritty mystery is right up my alley. Several reviews I’ve read call out the fact that Bigby doesn’t have a moral compass like Clementine to influence his decisions, and it’s definitely true that this makes Bigby’s world that much more of a moral grey area. If you liked The Walking Dead, you should definitely check out The Wolf Among Us.