Review: Aliens: Colonial Marines

aliens colonial marines review

Games with a twisted lineage seems to be Gearbox’s forte. After resurrecting the poorly received Duke Nukem Forever, the studio turned its sights back on Aliens: Colonial Marines, which had been continually delayed since its announcement six years ago.

With rumors of multiple studios involved and pre-release demos that couldn’t possibly represent the real game, is Aliens: Colonial Marines the “true sequel” we were promised, or is it worse than Aliens vs Predator: Requiem?

Editor’s note: Images contained within this review do not accurately represent Aliens: Colonial Marine’s actual graphical style. Look to our forthcoming video review to see what A:CM looks like in action. Continue reading Review: Aliens: Colonial Marines

Review: Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3 Review

When Dead Space 3 was first announced at E3 last year, it was met with a chorus of skepticism. With the addition of co-op and a revamped combat system, this formerly slow-paced horror game looked more like a Gears of War knock-off. Although Visceral games has said repeatedly that Dead Space 3 will still adhere to the series’ roots, developers are known to embellish a little.

The final act of a trilogy carries a lot of expectations, especially when the people making them add a bunch of new features and try to rework tried and true conventions. How does Dead Space 3 fare under the microscope? Continue reading Review: Dead Space 3

Review: The Walking Dead

Walking Dead

You probably know all about Telltale’s adventurous take on The Walking Dead, which released in 5 episodic installments over the course of 2012. Taking a comic book series and a TV show known for its zombie scenarios and making it anything other than a first person shooter might have seemed like an odd move to some, but Telltale clearly saw past the horror and straight to the humanity of Walking Dead’s world — and that sometimes, humans are the scariest creatures of all.

In a departure from our normal reviews, all four of the GamerSushi writers have contributed to this piece. As you may know, Walking Dead was our number one game of 2012, so we wanted the review to reflect that high place that we’ve given it. To review the game, each of us have written about the one aspect that makes this game stand apart, and why we personally chose it as our game of the year. Enjoy! Continue reading Review: The Walking Dead

Review: Paper Mario: Sticker Star

paper mario sticker star review

While the main Mario games may be getting a bit stale, the mustachioed plumber has a great stable of spin-off titles in other genres. Paper Mario wasn’t our hero’s first foray into RPGs, but the series became known more for its art style and humor as opposed to any stat-based hooks.

Armed with his trusty book of stickers and a new companion, can Paper Mario: Sticker Star bring the series’ trademark charm to the 3DS? Continue reading Review: Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Review: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM

We don’t get many thinking man’s games these days. It’s usually shoot first, ask questions never, and maybe occasionally press X to interact while the really cool stuff happens in QTEs or cut scenes. But XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a different kind of animal for a different kind of gamer. Of all things, XCOM is the most taxing on your brain — and sometimes your heart. Continue reading Review: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Review: Far Cry 3

far cry 3 review

If you’re captured by pirates on a tropical island halfway around the world, what do you do? According to Far Cry 3, you get some sick tribal tattoos and start stabbing. Far Cry 3 doesn’t waste much time before dropping you into an island paradise full of dangerous predators and even more dangerous pirates and mercenaries and allows you to go about your business as you see fit.

Want to be a master of stealth and roll around with a bow and a machete? Go for it. Want to trundle in with a flamethrower and a bunch of rocket-propelled grenades? Perhaps you’d like the local wildlife to do your killing for you. Far Cry 3 has so many ways to interact with the environment and your enemies that it’s almost insane. Oh, did I ever tell you the definition of insanity? Continue reading Review: Far Cry 3

Review: Dishonored

Dishonored Cover

New IPs are increasingly rare as this console cycle stretches on and on. It’s not something I fully understand, as more people than ever have 360s and PS3s, so one would think the risk of funding a game based on a new property would be much lower, but then again, what do I know?

Thankfully, Bethesda feels differently and thus has unleashed Dishonored upon the world. Developed by Arkane Studios, which features the talents of one of the original Deus Ex developers, it is a mix of Bioshock, Thief and Deus Ex, all rolled into one package. Onward to the review! Continue reading Review: Dishonored

Review: Hotline Miami

hotline_featured

When I first heard about Hotline Miami, I didn’t quite understand the attraction. My assumption was that it was just a gruesome beat-em-up with the old-fashioned pixellated visual style so common in indie games these days. I just wasn’t that interested in a game that appeared to involve nothing more than bashing in the heads of an endless number of goons. However, when I had a chance to pick it up on sale over the holidays for $2.50, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Hotline Miami is stranger and far more challenging that I was originally expecting, and I knew within a few hours of gameplay that it was worthy of a place on my personal top ten games of the year.

Continue reading Review: Hotline Miami

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

black ops 2 review

While Call of Duty moved into the realm of fictional wars with the first Modern Warfare game, the series has never strayed beyond modern technology; indeed, even jumping into today’s battlegrounds was deemed a huge leap for the series. Now that almost every era of modern war has been mined for inspiration (I’m still waiting for Trench Warfare), Call of Duty’s off-year team Treyarch decided to make a bold move and place their Black Ops follow up in the year 2025.

The whole game doesn’t take place in 2025, however, as there are several levels that occur in the 1980s that set up the origin of Raul Menendez, the antagonist of this particular outing. Switching back and forth between the shiny combat of 2025 and the shady battles of the 1980s, can Black Ops 2’s unique narrative break it out of the Call of Duty rut? Continue reading Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Review: Halo 4

halo 4 review

When Halo: Reach launched, the future of the Halo games became rather uncertain. Sure, we knew that Microsoft had formed 343 Industries to shepherd the series now that Bungie was moving on from the games that made them famous, but there were still doubts as to whether 343i had the chops to take over. Their first video game effort didn’t come until 2011 with the re-release of Halo: Combat Evolved. While it was a nice update to this classic game, it was still just standing on the shoulders of giants.

Leading up to Halo 4 you could kind of sense the uncertainty surrounding it. An unproven studio with Microsoft’s most valuable franchise making a game that promised to uphold everything Halo stood for? 343i was in a tricky position, because if they played it too close to Bungie’s territory they’d be looked down on and if their Halo was wildly different, the backlash would have been immense. They needed to strike a balance between making a Halo game while at the same time moving it in an entirely new direction. Now that the game is finally out, have they become the Reclaimers to Bungie’s Forerunners? Continue reading Review: Halo 4

Review: Sleeping Dogs

sleeping dogs review

When a game originally starts its life as part of the True Crime series and gets dropped by its publisher in advance of its release, it doesn’t bode that well. Such was the case for Sleeping Dogs, until Square Enix swopped in and scooped up the rights to bring the game to the public, saving United Front’s Hong Kong-based open world game from development hell.

Starring the enigmatic Wei Shen as an undercover police officer infiltrating a local Triad gang, Sleeping Dogs takes the melee combat style popularized by the Batman: Arkham titles and mixes it with some familiar open-world tropes and in a brazen move, refuses to give the player a gun for the first few hours. Sleeping Dogs takes a lot of risks for what should be a safe bet in the video game world. Does the game succeed or is its cover blown?

Continue reading Review: Sleeping Dogs

Review: Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck It Ralph Review

We primarily review games here on GamerSushi, but every now and then, a movie comes out that appeals to the gamer zeitgeist enough that it deserves a review of its own. While Wreck-It Ralph, the new animated feature from Disney isn’t based on a video game, it has more than enough video game references that it practically screams for attention from the gamer community. Which we are granting with this review.

Wreck-It Ralph is the story of Ralph, voiced by John C. Reilly who is the villain in a Donkey Kong-like arcade game called Fix-It Felix. Ralph’s job in his game is to smash the windows of a tall building and then climb to the top, throwing bricks at Felix as he tries to fix the windows and reach the top, saving the residents of the building from Ralph’s destructive rage. Once Felix has done so, Ralph is summarily tossed off the building into the muddy ground below while Felix is awarded a medal. After 30 years of this, Ralph is fed up with his lot in life. He is ostracized by Felix and the residents, resigned to living in a nearby dump (literally) with nothing but bricks as his bed. He longs to be a hero, but as his support group of video game villains tells him, that’s just not possible. Continue reading Review: Wreck-It Ralph

Review: Assassin’s Creed 3

assassins creed 3 review

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 RatonhnhakĂ©: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

Review: Spec Ops: The Line

spec ops the line review

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

Review: Borderlands 2

bordlerands 2 review

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

Review: Mark of the Ninja

mark of the ninja review

Klei Entertainment is known for making 2D games with a really refined art style that are sadly a little lacking in the gameplay. While Shank and Shank 2 were by no means bad games, they were beset by a bit of monotony and a lack of polish in some of the fighting.

Mark of the Ninja is trying a completely different track, though, eschewing the over-the-top action of the Shank games and putting you in the tabi cloth of a ninja, one who has been gifted (cursed?) with an ever-growing collection of mystical tattoos which grant him great powers at the cost of his sanity. Can Klei make the transition from brutal violence to the beauty of a well-timed stealth kill? Continue reading Review: Mark of the Ninja

Review: Max Payne 3

max payne 3 review

After Remedy moved on to Alan Wake, Rockstar was left holding the bag for the Max Payne franchise, having published the first two games in the series for consoles. Instead of bringing on a developer with experience in the third-person shooter genre, Rockstar decided to tackle Max Payne 3 themselves. If I’m being kind, the shooting in the Grand Theft Auto games and Red Dead Redemption were passable, mainly because there were so many other things to do in those games that you could kind of work around it. Max Payne, however, is all about the shooting. The normal shooting, the slow-motion shooting, and the slow-motion-diving-backwards-down-a-flight-of-stairs-it’s-so-bad-ass shooting.

Developed by Rockstar Vancouver and written by Dan Houser with a serious case of Man on Fire envy, does Max Payne 3 deliver the same pill-popping thrills the series is known for? Continue reading Review: Max Payne 3

Review: Journey

Journey Review

Thatgamecompany has a history of making games that bend the rules of what we traditionally associate with games, and their last PlayStation exclusive, Journey is no exception.

For the uninitiated, Journey is a two-ish hour adventure that features a unique twist on co-op: you can see you partner, and he can see you, but you can’t talk to each other, or even send PSN messages. All you can do is do little chirps at one another. Sounds strange right? It might sound even stranger that this foundation makes for one of the most emotionally resonant experiences in modern gaming. Let’s get to it. Continue reading Review: Journey

Review: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

assassins creed revelations review

A yearly release schedule is a tough notion for any game, let alone one as deep and time-consuming as Assassin’s Creed. We were all pleasantly surprised to get Brotherhood so shortly after Assassin’s Creed 2, but the prospect of Revelations seemed to burn a lot of people out.

Focusing on the later years of Ezio Auditore’s life, the game moves out of Renaissance Italy to Constantinople where Ezio tries to find the keys he needs to get into a secret vault built by Altair, the assassin from the original game. Throwing in new gameplay concepts and an upgraded multiplayer mode, does Revelations deliver or does it fall flat like so many missed Leaps of Faith? Continue reading Review: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

Review: Xenoblade Chronicles

Xenoblade Bionis vs. Mechonis

Hardcore games on the Wii have been few and far between lately. Despite Nintendo’s proclamations that their next system will focus on hardcore games before casual, it still took a massive online campaign to get the Big N to release Monolith’s epic JRPG, Xenoblade Chronicles, in the United States. Now that they have, was it worth the wait? Continue reading Review: Xenoblade Chronicles