Open-world games are hugely popular. Ever since Grand Theft Auto III, it seems most franchises try to take a stab at it at least once, with mixed results. The masters of the genre are the ones that give you so many things to do that you become paralyzed by the freedom of choice. Although sometimes this can be a good thing. If everything is fun, then maybe you just do whatever is nearest to you, until eventually you have done it all.
The point is, there are many ways to approach open-world games. Grand Theft Auto V is drawing close and I will be anxious to see if they are able to give us enough tasks to keep us busy, as they failed to do in GTA IV. I am currently playing Fallout: New Vegas in the meantime and I am taking a slightly different approach to the game than I have in the past. When I play Skyrim, Oblivion or Fallout 3, I tend to avoid the main quest as much as possible, doing all the side tasks that I can until I am suddenly weary of the game and then I race through the main story as fast as possible before the game drives me insane.
September is the official first month of Fall and with it comes the official start of blockbuster games season. It’s not overflowing with gaming goodness and there is a legitimate reason that we can point to: Grand Theft Auto V. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Check the list and poll of games below and then meet me after the jump to discuss September’s offerings in further detail:
This last week saw the release of Saint’s Row IV, the sequel to the irreverent, goofy, completely ridiculous sandbox crime series that lets you blow up just about anything in just about anyway possible. As if the games weren’t already insane enough, this version of the series has added in superpowers with which to visit havoc upon the citizens of Steelport, in addition to its new alien overlords.
While the first few missions of SR4 took me a bit of getting used to (the game makes you waddle through quite a bit of set-up in order to get to the first open world gameplay), once it unleashes you in the digital, Matrix-style Steelport, where you’re constantly testing the world’s parameters— things kick up quite a few notches. I’m already in love with the power glitches, a gameplay element quite similar to Crackdown’s agility orbs, which beckon you to jump to new heights to get stronger and faster. We’ll see how the rest of the game unfolds.
So what about the rest of you? Who else picked up Saint’s Row IV this last week? What are your thoughts on the game so far? What’s your character like? And did you choose the Nolan North voice? Sound off, Sushians!
My hatred of Grand Theft Auto IV has not been exaggerated or underreported in the slightest over the last few years. While Liberty City was gorgeous to look at through Niko’s eyes, I found it to be a dull, tedious place that I hardly cared about, or cared to be a part of.
But dang, does Grand Theft Auto V look different. In addition to a campaign that looks to mix up the formula with three protagonists, Rockstar’s newest iteration of the popular series is taking the multiplayer in a different direction than ever before by way of Grand Theft Auto Online, a persistent world where you and up to 15 others can heist, race, deathmatch, build and generally unleash havoc together. I’ll let the video do the rest of the gushing.
Grand Theft Auto Online releases on October 1, and is free with every retail version of GTA V. What do you guys think? Am I jumping too far into the hype train? Have I been burned too many times to take another chance?
Another month, another update to the rankings. This time, we’re seeing not only movement in our backlogs, but movement in a few games that we managed to stick with from one month to the next. Imagine that!
I hope the summer is treating you well. You know, with life stuff. We primarily talk about games here, but life is sort of crucial, too. I guess.
But enough with the srs business — it’s been awhile since we’ve properly talked about what games we’re playing, so right at the edge of summer seemed like as good of a time as any. For me, this is the time of year that I’m doing what I can to catch up on my backlog — and thanks to the latest Steam sale, that’s gotten just a bit bigger recently.
I think that I’ve been pretty vocal in my condemnation of Assassin’s Creed 3 over the past year. I thought it was barren, janky, scatterbrained and didn’t fit the mold of what I’ve come to expect from an Assassin’s Creed game. In short, it left me wary of future installments in the franchise.
Since Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was announced a few months ago, I’ve been rather lukewarm about it. Sure, it capitalizes on the best part of AC3, the naval battles, but being a successor to that game would it travel the same dark road? This new gameplay video narrated by game director Ashraf Ismail shows how closely Assassin’s Creed IV is hewing to the older games and what’s changed for the next adventure.
I’ve got to admit, Black Flag is looking pretty solid. The naval combat has had a tactical layer added on to it with the spyglass, and the return of free-form assassination contracts rubs me in all the right ways. So what do you guys think? Does Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag look like it has some promise, or are appearances deceiving?
After Skyrim, I thought to myself, what’s the most stressful, rage-inducing experience I could put myself through? Naturally, a trip to the DMV was my first choice but there were no appointments available. So I went with the next best thing: Dark Souls. The only difference being, with Dark Souls, there is a chance, albeit slim, that I could end up feeling good about myself.
I didn’t quite finish it back when it came out, so I deleted my save and started anew. Thankfully, my skills had not atrophied over time and I quickly cut my way through the first few areas. Even the bosses that once gave me fits found themselves bowing to my mighty sword. The rush you get when clearing an area is like few in gaming. No Achievement or Trophy has ever made me feel the sense of accomplishment that I got when I finally dropped the Capra Demon in the Lower Undead Burg. My next stop is the infamous Blighttown, an area that I have heard horror stories about.
Have you ever stopped a game for a really long period of time and when you came back, you find that you are somehow really good at it now? This happened to me with Pac-Man, as well. I sucked as a kid, but as an adult, I can usually get the high score. Just like I did during GamerSushi Weekend. Seriously, ask the guys, they will tell you. I even called it beforehand, too.
So what about you? What games have you stopped and then picked up again later without missing a beat? Have you stopped a game and then discovered when you come back to it that you have no idea how to play anymore? Do you plunge through or restart?
I’ll be honest, when I heard that Telltale was releasing 400 Days, The Walking Dead’s first official DLC (excluding the episodes, of course), I may have squeed a little. OK, maybe a lot. Even though I was a little saddened that we were seeing the world through the eyes of a handful of new characters, I was still happy to be stepping back into Kirkman’s zombie-verse, as depicted by Telltale. And once I played it, I wasn’t disappointed.
For any of you that loved The Walking Dead, do yourself a favor and pick up 400 Days. It’s a handful of stories of brand new characters, including a long-haired stoner, an escaped convict, a former drug addict, a young kid on the run and a big sister trying to soften a hard world for her younger sibling. And while the DLC might only be a few hours long, Telltale shows that they’re as efficient as ever in crafting memorable, fully realized characters in such a short span of time.
What amazed me most about 400 Days is just how invested I was in brand new characters, even though you really only spend about half an hour (or less) with each of them. It makes me wish that other studios would start taking notes about how to craft characters, how to introduce them to us right when their lives change, and how to make us identify with them right off the bat. At just $5, the game will easily return what you spend.
Have any of you played 400 Days yet? Thoughts? Go!
Half of 2013 has come and gone, and maybe it’s just me, but this year already seems like it’s offered us some huge surprises — almost too many, if my nasty backlog is any indication. Fortunately, July is the month that we can sort of start catching up, putting old titles behind us in preparation for the blitzkrieg of the fall.
That’s not to say there aren’t any new titles worth playing, though. Between The Last of Us, Animal Crossing 3DS and Company of Heroes, we’ve had our hands full. You’ll see these guys making appearances in our monthly top 10, along with some old classics. So here we are, the top 10 games we’ve been playing for the last 30 days.
What do you guys think of this list? What are you playing right now? Go!
You guys probably knew this was coming, but after Battlefield 4′s strong showing at the EA press conference yesterday, there’s no way I could pass up sharing this.
DICE showed off a 64-player Conquest mode match on a map based in Shanghai, displaying the revamped Commander mode (which you can do through a tablet as well as in-game), Levolution, and a few things besides. While the gameplay is live, the players are quite obviously following a script, but overall it’s a great trailer. Have a watch!
So yeah, consider me super impressed by Battlefield 4! EA had a great press conference, even if they did spend a little too long on sports (which I understand, even if it’s the genre of games I find the least interesting). What do you guys think of Battlefield 4′s multiplayer? Looking good?
E3 2013 is right around the corner (seriously, it’s on Monday!) so it’s time to bust out those E3 predictions! Gaming yearly extravaganza always seems to sneak up on us, even when we know exactly when it’s coming.
So! What do you think is going to happen at E3? What are you looking for out of the press conferences? Of the big two, since Nintendo is skipping E3 this year, who do you think will come out on top? Will EA announce SimCity 2? Go!
Man oh man, if there’s one game for the rest of this year that might be able to topple BioShock Infinite off of its lofty perch, it’s The Last of Us. Sure, everybody might have their own personal Game of the Year (come on, Battlefield 4), but I predict that those two giants will be slugging it out for that prestigious award come December.
What makes me say that, you ask? Well, in case you missed it yesterday, the review embargo for Naughty Dog’s fungal-fueled post-apocalyptic title lifted and there are some fantastic reviews out there. Here’s a round-up of what some outlets are saying about it:
Pretty much unanimous across the board, except for Polygon’s review which highlights a few inconsistencies with the shooting mechanics. The multiplayer is of particular interest to me, especially considering I kind of forgot that The Last of Us even had this mode.
The game is out next Friday, so what do you guys think about these reviews? Are you getting excited?
We gripe quite a bit about the homogenization of games on GamerSushi. One of the most disappointing things about this past generation has been the way publishers and developers have shifted to providing game experiences that feel all too similar. We’ve been through the laundry list of complaints before: RPG mechanics married with Call of Duty style shooting, games that lead you down cut-scene filled tunnels, etc.
However, in the last year or two, we’ve finally had a bit of a break from the attack of the video game clones. With creative titles like XCOM, Monaco, Papers Please, Journey, Walking Dead, Hotline Miami and more, it seems like we’re slipping out of that mid-generation funk of tired, boring military games. And as time goes on, I feel like I keep seeing more reasons to be excited about upcoming games, as people are finally turning the corner. Don’t get me wrong, the shooter will always be popular — but we’re finally seeing more of the variety that the generation started with.
So, with that in mind, let’s have ourselves another edition of Pixel Count. This week, we’re talking about the game types we miss most, and that we hope to see more of in the near future. Start casting your votes and tell us why in the comments. Go!
I’ve got a confession to make: I don’t love Blood Dragon.
After being so excited about Far Cry 3′s far-out DLC with a cheesy sci-fi bent, it turns out I’m just not that into it. The atmosphere of the game, full of reds, purples and neon colors, actually makes it kind of hard to pull of Far Cry 3′s refined, excellent gameplay. You can’t see enemies very well, you’re so superpowered that stealth barely matters, and with all the colors you rarely have any idea of where enemy fire is coming from.
But more than anything it just makes me want more of the real game. I’m not sad that I purchased it — I think DLC like this should be made more often — it’s just not really floating my cyber-boat. I find that I’m having to force myself to play the game, even after bumping it down to Easy to make it pass more quickly.
With gaming, I tend to muscle through most of the time and finish titles, even if I’m not 100 percent feeling them. But sometimes, I run into a Blood Dragon, where I legitimately do not even want to play it anymore, but feel like I should. So my question for you guys is this: when do you decide to cut the cord on a game? And what’s the last game you decided to stop playing? Go!
After a little break from the Drunk Cast, we’re back with a normal-ass normal episode of the podcast. Nick joins us once again and we bring back Anthony’s famous GAME TIME clip for the second time in recent memory.
In a little change from casts past, we talk about something other than the video game industry. We dip into a conversation leading off of Blood Dragon about TV shows, and it’s a pretty good talk, all things considered. We’re very well-rounded nerds.
So yeah, listen up, rate up and enjoy…up. Catch you next time!
0:00 – 5:06 Intro
5:07 – 18:34 EA and Star Wars
18:35 – 23:33 Microsoft Ditches Points
23:34 – 46:16 Blood Dragon (NOPE j/k we talk about TV)
46:17 – 53:44 Fire Emblem: Awakening
53:45 – 1:00:59 Star Command and Kickstarter
1:01:00 – 1:02:06 GAME TIME (Percentages)
1:02:07 – 1:05:03 Chance we’ll see a price at the Next Xbox reveal
1:05:04 – 1:07:11 Chance that half the presser is dedicated to Kinect
1:07:12 – 1:09:36 Chance we’ll see some new cool thing involving Kinect
1:09:37 – 1:12:25 Chance we’ll see a Halo teaser/trailer
1:12:26 – 1:16:34 Chance there’s a good launch title
1:16:35 – 1:21:07 Chance the Wii U will have a system seller by this Fall
1:21:08 – 1:23:27 Outro
We’re finally here with Episode 69 of the GamerSushi Show, the third installment of the Drunk Cast! It’s a full crew this time as Nick makes a triumphant return with some whiskey and beer.
After we establish the nation of Askarnia in podcast canon, we talk about Nintendo skipping E3, Microsoft’s next gen troubs, Tomb Raider, Call of Duty: Ghosts, GTA 5, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and many more things besides!
So yeah, it’s a pretty great cast. Listen, rate and enjoy the cast!
0:00 – 7:57 Intro
7:58 – 25:17 Nintendo skipping E3
25:18 – 40:30 Microsoft is behind for the next-gen
40:31 – 46:42 Tomb Raider
46:43 – 57:06 Call of Duty: Ghosts and GTA V
57:07 – 1:10:54 Watch Dogs and some other stuff
1:10:55 – 1:23:45 Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
1:23:46 – 1:27:49 SimCity
1:27:50 – 1:37:41 Outro
Can you guys believe that it’s already May? That means it’s time for another bout of Power Rankings. At about half way through the year, I do have to say I’m surprised with the games on this month’s list, and what a surprise 2013 is shaping up to be in terms of variety and the titles available to us. Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite are still kicking strong, but Blood Dragon is a surprise contender out of the blue. And that’s not even mentioning the two 3DS games that are making waves.
So here’s this month’s list of the hottest 10 games that the GamerSushi staff is playing at the moment. I’m actually really looking forward to the shake-ups that are bound to occur for June’s list, when games like Last of Us and Monaco show up in our backlogs.
What do you guys think of this list? What are you playing right now? Go!
It’s the last day of April and with it comes Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, which is the likely winner of this month’s poll. Before that, let’s look at last’s month poll real fast to see who won: Injustice! The DC Comic fighting game won the hearts and minds of our readers in a somewhat anemic month. Did anyone play Injustice? I tried the demo and found it to be about what I expected, which is a lot like the last Mortal Kombat. Not like that is a bad thing, but I already got my fill of that a few years back.