Well isn’t this just dandy? Just a couple of weeks after the game is released with a mess of glitches and bugs packed right in, Ubisoft has announced the Thanksgiving patch for Assassin’s Creed 3 which, by the looks of it, will remedy almost every misgiving I had with the game engine wise.
As I outlined in my Assassin’s Creed 3 review, this new game in the series is riddled with almost-game-breaking glitches from things that prevent you from accomplishing optional objectives for full synchronization to a final chase that’s so ridiculously bug-ridden that it’s nigh impossible to complete on the first few tries. The fact that this patch is being handed out half a month after the game has launched means that Ubisoft was more than aware of the problems AC3 players would face, but chose to ship the game anyways.
Just take a look at the laundry list of fixes coming in with the Thanskgiving patch. Almost every mission is getting changed to some degree, and that’s before getting to the stability changes that the Anvil Next engine is getting.
If this is how much the game needed fixing after the day one patch, I can only imagine the state it was sent to discs in. How it ever passed certification is beyond me. Since I’ve given up trying not to editorialize, I feel massively ripped off by Assassin’s Creed 3 in a way that I haven’t been by a video game in a long time. I payed full price for a game Ubisoft knew was broken, without any idea that it would be receiving a patch that would fix most of my grievances. While my problems with the mission design and the story still stand, I think the game would have fared better if I didn’t have to fight a legion of bugs.
What do you guys think about this? Am I right to be this indignant? Who’s still holding on to their copy of Assassin’s Creed 3?
If you’re lacking a subscription to Game Informer, have no fear: with every cover story there’s a million sites on the Internet willing to round up the juicy information for you. Such is the case with Grand Theft Auto 5, which VG247 has been kind enough to do a write-up on.
Rockstar’s next installment in the GTA series will take place in Los Santos, of GTA: San Andreas fame, and will feature three playable characters this time around. Trevor, Franklin and Michael will be availible to switch into almost all the time, each with their own backstory and motivations. They each have unique skills, so for example if you want to fly a plane, Trevor is the only on in the group capable of doing so. While having to jump into specific characters just to fly a plane might get annoying, the fact that you can switch characters on the fly might help ease the pain of doing so.
One of the benefits of having three characters is that there’s always a story mission ready to go. Instead of doing a bunch of side tasks to unlock the next plot quest, you can jump into one of the trio and get going on any of their individual objectives.
Los Santos is also reported to be the biggest open-world in a Rockstar game so far, bigger than Red Dead’s map, Liberty City and the old San Andreas combined. While Rockstar has said that recreating the whole of San Andreas on this scale wouldn’t be feasible, they’re doing their best to make Los Santos and the surrounding area both visually stunning and fun to get around. Expect the melee combat and gunplay to be tuned up this time. With Max Payne 3 showing that Rockstar can actually make a mechanically sound shooter, I’ve got high expectations for GTA 5 in this regard.
So, what do you guys think of Grand Theft Auto 5? Does it sound promising? Are you still burned by GTA IV? Do you think this game would have been better served by waiting for the inevitable next generation of consoles? Will it ever come to PC?
The most appealing aspect of the Assassin’s Creed series is the ability to experience different periods of human history through a sci-fi wrapper. Thanks to the prolonged presence of Renaissance Italy’s Ezio Auditore, the need to travel to a different era was reaching a high. Thankfully for Assassin’s Creed 3, Ubisoft moved the clock up a few hundred years, dropping you in Revolutionary America in the moccasins of Connor Kenway (real name Ratonhnhaké:ton) a half-Mohawk, half-British assassin.
With a new setting, a new engine and the possibility of wrapping up the modern day storyline of Desmond Miles, Assassin’s Creed 3 seemed poised to make the same sort of leap that the series did with Assassin’s Creed 2 back in 2009. Did Ubisoft manage to pull it off, and can Connor replace the venerable Ezio? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed 3
It’s crazy to think that we’re almost a year out from Skyrim’s launch and we’re still getting DLC for it. Bethesda’s long-term commitment to their games this gen have been nothing short of astounding, at least where Xbox 360 and PC users are concerned. That aside, the trailer for the upcoming Dragonborn DLC for the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is out and it features a whole host of new features and areas.
Personally, I haven’t played any of the DLC for Skyrim, but Dragonborn looks like it will be a pretty meaty add-on, so I might consider picking this one up. In reference to the PS3 joke above, how do you PS3 owners feel about how Bethesda is handling the DLC for Skyrim? I hear that Dawnguard doesn’t even have an ETA yet, and who knows how long it will take to get Dragonborn.
What are your thoughts about the DLC? Are you in for more Skyrim?
It’s been a while, but we’re back. In the month since we’ve been gone a lot has happened, such as Disney buying LucasFilm and a whole bunch of games coming out. We managed to cover a lot of it, leading to what has to be our longest cast in a while.
Nick is absent yet again, but you have the regular crew, albeit with a couple of us fighting off coughing fits at several points. Eddy just plain forgets that he can mute himself, so in a couple spots you’ll hear him coughing or chomping on a cough drop. It’s not too bad, but I’ve decided to christen the cast in his honor.
You know how it goes by now, being veterans of our show. Listen, rate and be excellent to each other. We’ll see you soon!
Hello, Sushians. I’ve come to give you very bad news: single player video games are nothing more than a gimmick. I know, this may come as a shock to you. What, with games like Dishonored, XCOM, Deus Ex, Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City gracing our screens over the last couple of years. I mean, it’s easy to be fooled by these great titles with fantastic mechanics or engrossing stories. But you really should know that playing by yourself is a gimmick.
At least, according to Gogogic CEO Jonas Antonson. Antonson has a few thoughts about single player titles in a recent interview that might not be too popular around these parts:
“I also think that it is worth to note that the single player mechanic is a gimmick – games are meant to be played with others and it doesn’t matter if it’s in-person or online. The first games were designed as multiplayer experiences, but when computer and console games became a thing there was a need to construct an antagonist and/or a protagonist for commercial purposes.”
Antonson goes on to talk about how toddlers make up someone to talk to when they play games, and even points at the “high score list” in arcades as a way to make games social. I understand what he’s saying — on one level, playing a game in a social setting transforms the entire experience. It’s nice to compare experiences with other people in a meaningful way, as we’re seeing with a game like XCOM. But on the other hand, I think it’s too much of an overstatement to say that all single player titles are inherently gimmicky by not including a social component.
So what do you guys think? Is this WTF worthy? Is Antonson off his rocker in his assessment of single player as a gimmick? Does every game need some kind of social component in order to truly matter? Go!
Even if a game like Dishonored presents itself very seriously, there are still options to exploit its mechanics for moments of levity. One of my favorite YouTubers, birgirpall, found a way to turn Dishonored from a tale of a man seeking revenge into a comedy factory. It may just be his Icelandic accent narrating the entire thing, but I haven’t laughed this hard in a while. There may be spoilers for certain scenes in here; I don’t really know, I haven’t played the game yet. Just a head’s up.
Sometimes it’s nice to remind ourselves that people stil play games for fun as opposed to just finding ways to complain about them all the time. Just thought I would share this with you guys to try and brighten your day. Enjoy!
After being saddled with Desmond the last four games, Ubisoft is looking to bring a bit of finality to his story, and in the words of Masters, “To actually wrap up what you’ve opened and experienced with him”. Traditionally the Desmond segments of the Assassin’s Creed games have always been poorly received, right up from the moment in the first game when we realized that we weren’t technically going to be playing an assassin in the Middle Ages, but were experiencing the genetic memories of some poor kidnapped sod. It’s actually kind of interesting to see the lead designer of AC3 admit that the series did rotate around Desmond for a bit too long, as this part of the interview shows:
“And we wanted you to feel a good sense of progress in what’s going on in the story. A lot of the misdirection and the way we’ve been meandering a little bit has been kind of frustrating as a player and for the audience, so we wanted to make sure there was going to be more substance to get your teeth into.”
While I don’t hate Desmond as much as some, the cliffhanger at the end of Revelations did feel like the modern-day storyline was starting to wear out its welcome. I’m interested to see where the Assassin’s Creed story will go after three, and whether or not we’ll be saddled with another Desmond-type character to keep the sci-fi conceit going.
What do you guys think about this? Will we actually see Desmond’s story wrap up or is this just a developer telling us what we want to hear? Are we saying goodbye to Desmond for good, or will he be back?
War games are a dime a dozen in the video game industry, but rarely do they make you think about the decisions you’re making as a virtual soldier. Go here, do that; it’s all very clean-cut and morally upright. But as anyone who’s read a post-war memoir or has watched a good film, or talked to a real solider might know, war isn’t so neat. It’s messy, brutal and even if you somehow managed not to get physically injured, there’s a whole host of psychological scars.
The other trope of video game wars is that you’re usually a low-ranked grunt, a Private or at most a Sergeant, someone who’s important on the field of battle but isn’t calling the shots. Spec Ops: The Line puts you in the boots of Captain Martin Walker, a Delta Force operator leading a small three-man fire team into the ruins of a sandstorm ravaged Dubai. You’re hot on the heels of one Colonel Konrad, the commander of the Damned 33rd and the person who was supposed to be evacuating the citizens of Dubai. Can Spec Ops: The Line make it through this hot washup? Continue reading Review: Spec Ops: The Line
There may have been some crazy stuff going down at Irrational games over the past few months with some of its high-level designers leaving, but there’s no denying that BioShock Infinite is looking quite hot. It’s been a while since we’ve seen hide or hair of the game, but Machinima just released the Beast of America trailer for BioShock Infinite, and damn if it doesn’t get me excited. This game just needs to come out.
While I just couldn’t get into the first BioShock (I tried playing it about three years too late), I can tell that Infinite is going to push all my buttons in the best way. Leaping from cable to cable and blasting fools off floating cityscapes might just be too much fun. The game is still on track to hit its February 2013 release date. What do you guys think? Is BioShock Infinite still singing its siren song to you?
Considering I’ve beaten Borderlands 2 twice and conquered the end-game raid boss known as Terramorphous, it probably comes as no surprise that I’m hungry for some Borderlands 2 DLC. Gearbox, who apparently know their target audience better than I thought, were happy to oblige with Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty, a DLC adventure that takes you to the Wurmwater Flats in search of Captain Blade’s lost treasure.
Once you hit level 15 in the main game, you can take a trip out to the town of Oasis where you’ll meet your new BFF, Shade. As you might be able to tell from the title, Pirate’s Booty is, well, pirate themed, and as such you’ll be running across all sorts of re-skinned bandits and a few unique enemy types like the Anchorman and the Cursed Pirate. While the desert setting is bereft of water, the new Sandskiff will carry you ably across the sands, provided you don’t slam it into too many sandworms.
While it is fun to get back to Pandora, Pirate’s Booty is kind of lacking in payoff, although is does shine through with the classic Borderlands humor in some parts. Shade is hilariously creepy and this DLC contains two of my favorite new quest-givers, one of whom gives you a great quest riffing on DRM, “Don’t Copy that Floppy”. Unfortunately, Captain Scarlett herself is a lackluster villain, joking the entire time about how she’ll betray you, so it comes as no big surprise when she finally does. You can see the end of the DLC coming a mile off, so the feeling of running back and forth for little to no reason is more prevalent during these quests. To be fair, Handsome Jack set a high standard for villainy, but Captain Scarlett doesn’t even come close to hitting that mark.
If you’ve been hankering for more Borderlands 2 like I have, then Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty will be right up your alley. It’s a good jumping off point for Borderlands 2’s season pass, and it adds even more Badass Ranks to obtain. There’s another high-end raid boss that seems to address the ways players were able to beat Terramorphous and a brand new currency called Seraph crystals (which, to be honest, I didn’t see once during my playthrough).
Has anyone else played Pirate’s Booty? What did you think of it? Was this a good first installment for Borderlands 2 DLC?
Man, there has been a binder full of games coming out the past week, and it just isn’t going to stop until December. I’m still finding things to do in Borderlands 2 (like the recently release DLC) and I’m neck-deep in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I’ve also been playing Pokemon White: Version 2 and Sonic Adventure 2, and Sleeping Dogs sits on my shelf, waiting to be unwrapped.
Truth be told, I don’t know if I’m going to have time for anything other than XCOM. It’s just so good, and really, really difficult. You’re constantly spinning plates when it comes to managing the metagame, and I’ve got at least four countries sitting on Level 4 Panic while I hurry up and wait for my satellites to build. If I play that game through again, I’m going to start building power generators and satellite facilities from the get-go just so I can have a stable of the damn things ready to launch if things start to go off the rails.
I’ve also been quite tempted to pick up Dishonored, but I’ve heard mixed things about it despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews. While the game is being praised for a lot of things, I hear that it really can be quite short, and the stealth mechanics are a little fuzzy when it comes to determining whether or a not a guard can actually see you. After Mark of the Ninja (apples and oranges I know) managed to pull off communicating this so well, and games like Chronicles of Riddick have done it too, I feel like Dishonored could have been more tuned up in this area. That said, I haven’t actually played it, so feel free to tell me if I’m talking out of my butt.
You have to give it to Sony. They’ve been working hard at making things right since the infamous (get it?) PSN Hack. From rolling out tons of perks on Playstation Plus to making Triple A titles available digitally on Day 1, the Big S has really made some strides. So it should come as no surprise that they have something special in store for us for October: The Caravan of the Dead.
It sounds slightly ominous, but it’s actually a good thing: great deals on horror-related video games, with even better deals if you are a PSN Plus subscriber. The deals include Dead Space 2 for $13.99 ($9.79 for PSN+ members), Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Dead Nation and the must-buy game of the collection: inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood for only $4.99 ($2.50 for PSN+). I have heard really good things about the stand-alone expansion and for that price, I intend to find out. The sale runs from now until October 30th. Hit the link for the full list of games and DLC, which is an unlucky number 13.
Recently I’ve been playing the hell out of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and I’ve been really enjoying it, despite its difficulty and the fiddlyness of the controls (though I hear using an actual controller smooths this out – I’m on the PC). One of the aspects I enjoy the most is being able to customize your soldiers and give them individual names. The problem with doing this is that I’ve grown kind of attached to my little polygonal troops and XCOM has no problem killing them off on a whim.
I try to be as careful as I can in a given mission, but sometimes the game just works against me. For the most part I’ve been quick-saving often (autosaves are disabled by default) but during a particularly tough mission today a box truck exploded, taking out two battle-hardened soldiers. I was almost done the mission and had killed about nine Chrysalids along the way, so I didn’t feel like reloading and doing the whole operation over again just to save two troopers. Granted, they were generic ones that I hadn’t given special names to, but this is the first time in XCOM that I hadn’t felt the need to call a mulligan and rolled with the consequences.
Dishonored is a game where this sort of approach can also apply, given the inherit stealthy nature of the mechanics. While you do have the option to go hog-wild on the guards you’re facing, the game rewards you for taking a quiet, non-lethal approach, something that can make people into perfectionists, quick-saving constantly.
So, my question for you guys is, do you accept the consequences of your actions in games like these? Do you prefer to reload your last save because you know you could have done it better?
While we’re being blessed with an amazing fall for gaming, sometimes we need to take a step back and reevaluate how we judge the games we play. Even though we avoid bad games, they do exist and sometimes there’s a benefit to playing them just to remind yourself that making a good game is actually pretty hard.
I don’t want to turn this into another “bash Resident Evil 6” fest, but I kind of want to play it just to adjust my views. Between X-COM: Enemy Unknown, Dishonored, Pokemon White Version 2 and Borderlands 2, we’re being kind of spoiled right now and this season is only going to get better. Playing a game like Resident Evil 6 might help me appreciate games more, because if you only sample the best of anything, your tastes get less eclectic and it becomes harder to enjoy the decent titles.
One game I played this year which I enjoyed for what it was was The Amazing Spider-Man, Beenox’s movie tie-in and follow up to the astoundingly bad Edge of Time. If I hadn’t played Edge of Time I might not have liked The Amazing Spider-Man as much as I did, but because I played a game that clearly did not get as much love in developement, Beenox’s next effort seemed better for it. Even though The Amazing Spider-Man is a pale Batman: Arkham City imitation, it has a lot to offer, something I might not have realized if Edge of Time hadn’t lowered my expectations.
So, what about you guys? Do you think there’s a value to playing bad games? Do you always avoid them or do you find they help you keep gaming in perspective?
It’s been more than half a year and I’m still plugging away at the multiplayer mode for Mass Effect 3. While the mode was a little basic to start off with, the various classes and maps that have been added to the game since release has kept its longevity going, and the new pack for Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer, Retaliation, brings a whole new enemy faction into the mix.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the news on Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer mode, Retaliation reintroduces the Collector faction from Mass Effect 2, but this time around they pack an even bigger punch. Collector captains are the brand new foes and in addition to being tougher than the regular Collector trooper, they can also release Seeker Swarms which block your power usage, something that can be downright terrifying when you’re facing down a couple Scions or a Praetorian.
New player classes have also been bundled with Retaliation, including a turian Havoc (a jetpack-using close combat class) and a volus Adept and Engineer. Yes, those little balls of asthma are now playable, and they’re just as hialrious as you expect. Watching a volus roll around and blast Collectors is quite the sight, especially considering they can’t take cover and just sort of stand behind most obstacles (which works because of their short stature). Cerberus and geth also get new types added to their lineup in the form of the whip-using Dragoon and the grenade-launching Bomber, respectively.
BioWare could have let Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer languish, but they’ve shown a surprising amount of dedication to it. They even put up a whole new web portal for stat tracking, including the brand new N7 challenges. Even though this is the last pack for multiplayer, new classes will continue to be added. While there are still server problems and synchronized kills from the large enemies continue to be frustratingly random and Vanguard-inhibiting, this new feature for the Mass Effect series is still going strong, and is a large part of why it’s staying high in my personal top ten for this year.
Is anyone else still playing ME3 multiplayer? What do you think of Retaliation? Anyone going to hop back in now?
It’s been a few weeks, faithful listeners, but we’re back. It’s kind of hard to get a balance going once we start the podcast again, but we’ll probably be back up to weekly casts right before we go on another break. C’est la vie, non?
In this episode we’ve got some apologizing to do around Resident Evil 6, which is apparently the worst game ever. Seriously, we’re really sorry about how much time we devoted to this game over the past year.
We also talk about Cliffy B and the BioWare Doctors leaving the industry which evolves into a talk of whether there are anymore big name people left beyond the standards (Newell, Miamoto and the like). It’s a really cool talk about the state of the industry and how faceless it’s become in some ways.
We also talk about Borderlands 2 (nee Bonerhands) for a while and then we chat about our most anticipated games for the rest of the year.
So! You know how it goes. Listen, rate, and please accept our apologies.
0:00 – 1:33 Intro
1:33 – 14:25 Resident Evil 6
14:26 – 17:17 Over/Under Checkup
17:18 – 31:10 Cliffy B and the BioWare Docs
31:11 – 40:42 Borderlands 2
40:43 – 53:00 Most anticipated game of the rest of 2012
53:00 – 54:45 Outro
2009’s Borderlands was an interesting animal back when it released. A mishmash of RPG and FPS with a lot of loot thrown in, it stayed aloft mostly on a wing and a prayer. It was a little bland in its environmental design, the story lacked any real payoff, and it was too easy to break the various classes available to you. That said, it was fresh and unique and had an excellent crop of post-release DLC to keep it in people’s minds.
Three years later, Gearbox is taking another crack at it. With more polish, more PC options and even more guns, does Borderlands 2 hold even more for gamers or does it deserve to be sold as vendor trash? Continue reading Review: Borderlands 2
It’s almost like EA is goading us on purpose now. The recently announced Mass Effect Trilogy collection sounds pretty neat and looks even cooler (what with the unified designs on the disc labels) but it will only include the DLC that came free with the various Online Passes associated with the game, and you’ll have to pay for the other bits.
I’ve never heard of a collection of any work where parts of it were purposely left out and you had to buy them separately. Hell, George Lucas kept adding stuff when nobody wanted it. For those curious, here’s a breakdown of what you will get with the package in terms of DLC:
On PC, Mass Effect will include Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station on disk. For Mass Effect 2, Cerberus Network will be included which features Zaeed – The Price of Revenge, The Firewalker Pack, Cerberus Assault Gear, Arc Projector heavy weapon, and Normandy Crash site mission. For Mass Effect 3, Online Pass will be included granting players access to co-op multiplayer.
On Xbox 360, Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station are not included with Mass Effect, however they are available as stand-alone downloads through Xbox LIVE. For Mass Effect 2, Cerberus Network will be included and Online Pass will be included for Mass Effect 3.
Information on PlayStation 3 DLC will be available soon.
Not bundling Mass Effect 2 with Overlord and Lair of the Shadow Broker is baffling, because those two add-ons were fantastic, and in the case of Lair, essential to the series’ story. Arrival I can take or leave, but regardless, I think that all the DLC should be bundled in.
What do you guys think about this? Should EA throw in the DLC or am I just making too much of a fuss about this? I get that EA is a business, but this just seems like an unnecessary cash-grab.
Welcome back to Fun or Shun, the feature where two GamerSushi editors take a look at an upcoming game and give their thoughts on whether or not they want to buy it. We did this last year with the excellent Deus Ex: Human Revolution and now Anthony and I are putting Dishonored, the Bethesda-published steampunk game, under the microscope.