I have recounted my experience with Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on many articles and comments on this site, as well as our renowned GamerSushi podcast. It was the first game I played on my XBox 360, and I was blown away with my first foray into the realm of HD gaming. Seeing the wide open world, the detail and the nice RPG mechanics was enough to make a nerd like me sweat, and I was in heaven. I did small bits of the main game, but I mostly spent the 30-40 hours of it I played robbing people’s houses. I’m a bit of a klepto at heart, it seems.
Anyway, Oblivion was much loved by many gamers, so naturally, Elder Scrolls V is high on the list for most anticipated sequels. While the last game was great, there are going to be a few things that people are hoping for in the next entry. That’s why GamesRadar has come up with a wishlist for Elder Scrolls V. I have to say, they make a few good points, including a bigger pool of NPC characters and voice actors, a better encumbrance system and a better scaling system for monsters.
That last one I definitely agree with. I’ve never been a huge fan of RPG’s where the monsters level up with you — it sort of defeats the whole purpose of leveling up, yes? Anyway, if you’re an Oblivion nut, I’d highly recommend checking out the article.
What’s on your wishlist for Elder Scrolls V? What do you think of this list? Go!
Today is the day we’ve been waiting for since what feels like forever; the day that Blizzard deigns to grace us with the most hotly anticipated Real-Time-Strategy game in recent memory, StarCraft 2. Well, to be accurate, the first part of the StarCraft 2 trilogy, the Terran-centric Wings of Liberty campaign. I won’t split hairs though, because this is a monumental occasion for gamers of all types. More than any other game I know, StarCraft has a fervent legion of followers; even self-professed “non-gamer” friends of mine have been looking forward to this. Now that the game is finally out, how many of you are playing, and how many of you are waiting patiently for your copy to download? In celebration, check out the beautiful Ghosts of the Past trailer:
So, what’s your first stop: campaign or multiplayer?
As you’re all probably aware, most of the GamerSushi staff are in the throes of Alien Swarm addiction. The game is really engaging, and it manages to wedge itself nicely into the niche left in my gaming life by Diablo 2. Valve was even kind enough to give it to us for free, and judging by how their servers got the crap beat out of them on its release day, they’re probably kicking themselves for not charging at least five dollars for the thing.
Even though we all love Alien Swarm, it’s not a perfect game. There are a few issues I’ve had with it, but my mind keeps glossing them over because of the price tag (or lack thereof). So I pose this question to you guys: can you even review free games? Price is definitely something that has affected the perception of past titles (ODST comes to mind), so will something that only costs us hard drive space be given an automatic pass in the grading department?
Something else I’d like you to consider is DLC. I’ve played all of the Mass Effect 2 content packs, and, when stacked against ME2 proper, they come up very poorly. Even Overlord, the most recent and best of the DLC, is kind of lack-luster compared to the main game and its selling price. Can DLC be rated on its own merits, or does it have to take the larger picture into account?
Well, you’ve listened to us yap about what we’re playing on the podcast, so it’s time for you all to jump in with it, too.
Fortunately for me, we seem to be in a very brief gaming drought, while we wait for the fall releases to start dropping on us. I suppose this begins in September with Halo: Reach, so that gives me a good couple of months to catch up with some of the games on my backlog. These include Alpha Protocol, 3D Dot Game Heroes, Starcraft II (when it comes out), Dragon Age: Awakening, and even more Red Dead Redemption.
However, in the immediate future I will be playing both Alien Swarm and Alan Wake, two games that are polar opposites in terms of budget, scale and style, but both equally as engaging, I’m sure. While I haven’t officially started Alan Wake just yet, I watched my brother play about a quarter of the game a couple of weekends ago and I was mesmerized. In addition, Alien Swarm has commanded the last couple of nights, and I still can’t get over just how fun this free game is.
Today, Valve is releasing something special that many PC gamers are sure to freak out over. I have to admit, I am not one of the rabid denizens of the Unreal 2004 community that played the junk out of the now famous mod known as Alien Swarm, but I’ve heard all about it from friends of mine who swear that it is one of the most fun multiplayer co-op games that they have ever experienced.
If you don’t know of the history behind it, Alien Swarm was a top-down mod for UT 2004 that allowed 4 players to battle it out, Diablo style, against legions of aliens with totally awesome weapons. Valve then hired the team behind its inception to help them build Left 4 Dead. Apparently the team has had some free time on its hands these days, and have produced a good and proper Source engine version of their beloved classic, which releases today on Steam.
The best part? It’s absolutely free. I’m going to be playing this tonight for sure. Who’s with me?
On the internet, everything must be taken with a grain of salt, which is why Wikipedia is no longer a valid source for information when writing a paper for school. Simply put, there are too many untrustworthy people who are much, much smarter than the vast majority of us, and they use their talents to disguise erroneous facts as the truth. This video, though, seems to be pretty legitimate to me. Apparently an X-Box LIVE user attempted to connect to a friend’s game, only to be bounced to a Marketplace page that announced that a Membership plan was necessary, but not available yet. Take a look at the video and decide for yourself.
The top of the screen clearly has the beginning of “membership” before it is cut off by the size limitation. What do you guys think? Will Modern Warfare 2 follow a WoW-based route, or is this for something different? Treat this as a rumor for now until we have official word from Activision. It wouldn’t surprise me, though.
Fable 2 was OK, for the most part, but it wasn’t perfect. Like all games helmed by Peter Molyneux, it over-promised and under-delivered. That’s not a shot against the long-time developer, but it’s a sad fact that most ambitious projects get crushed down by the harsh realities of development. The difference with Fable 2, though, was the astounding number of bugs that had to be squashed before the game game out. According to a recent interview, some 67,000 bugs were present in Fable 2′s code at one time, necessitating a rating of “super-black” by the Microsoft quality assurance team. Judging from the interview, games are rated on a sort of “threat assessment” scale, with “super-black” being a very scary area.
Eventually, Lionhead Studios got the bugs under control and the game shipped to above average reviews and sales. Molyneux still wasn’t happy with the finished product, conceding that there were “huge design flaws” in Fable 2 (what those were, he did not specify. How about farting until someone married you?). Fable 3 is apparently facing a tough time as well, breaking its predecessor’s record for most bugs present in a Microsoft first-party title. While the exact number wasn’t mentioned, it is a known fact that Fable 3 has more coding errors than Fable 2, and the team at Lionhead are working very long hours to get it under control for a fall release. Molyneux maintains that this is endemic to the industry as a whole, and reading post-development breakdowns of games like Uncharted 2 would reveal similar problems.
What do you guys think of Molyneux’s statement? As gamers, I think we’ve all come to accept the reality of bugs and glitches, but 67,000 is quite the staggering number. Does this change your perception of Fable 3?
In a recent and totally sweet podcast, Nick made the comment that most of our users were probably PC gamers. I’ve always thought this as well, mainly considering that our news posts that get the most comments are often about PC games, and the fact that many of you came over due to an affinity for The Leet World, created in Source. But we’ve never really asked, we’ve only assumed. And you know what they say about assumptions.
Anyway, I wanted to do a poll to figure out if you guys actually are PC gamers, console gamers, or if you consider yourselves a mixture of both. This isn’t a question about what’s better, so no flame wars, folks, but feel free to state your preferences in the comments as well. I used to consider myself a mixture of the two, but have recently been leaning more towards consoles. However, the release of Starcraft II and a future upgrade to my PC are probably going to push me back to being a mixture.
As reviled as Activision is among the hardcore gamer population, the constant success of their franchises really makes me wish I bought some stock in the company. Whether they’re printing money with World of Warcraft or breaking sales records all over the globe with Call of Duty, Activision seems to be doing quite well for themselves.
While Call of Duty may be experiencing a little fatigue brand-wise, there’s no question that the next installment, Black Ops, will still pull in massive numbers over the holiday season. An analyst for Pacific Crest Securities has predicted that, even with the current kerfuffle between Activision and CoD-creating studio Infinity Ward, Black Ops is outpacing Modern Warfare 2 for pre-orders at this current time. His information comes from some of his “retail contacts”, so take from that what you will. The same analyst also says that even though Black Ops will have a greater number of pre-orders, he expects it to only move about 12 million copies during the holiday season, about four million less than Modern Warfare 2 did.
Black Ops is coming into a tough market this season with a lot of big-name titles from competing publishers hoping to vie for consumer’s holiday dollars. Could this be the first step on the road to mediocrity for Call of Duty, or do you think that the veteran franchise will have another stellar year? Has anyone pre-ordered this yet?
Developer Bioware made quite the splash with Dragon Age: Origins last year by introducing a new RPG in the midst of dozens of sequels and shooters. The not so black-and-white tale that involved darkspawn, big choices and an epic story was one of my favorite games of 2009 by far, and while I haven’t been able to play its expansion Awakening yet, I’ve been anxious to hear about any news of a sequel.
Well today, Bioware and EA delivered with the announcement that Dragon Age 2 would be dropping in March 2011, with a debut trailer coming for the game as soon as August of this year. So does this mean we can expect more Morrigan loving, Orzammar questing and tricky gameplay? Well, perhaps not.
Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make.
Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land.
Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior.
Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go.
Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style.
Updated graphics? Count me in. I’m really excited about the direction of some of these changes, especially considering I didn’t have many complaints about the first game to begin with. The team also gave a brief plot overview:
You are one of the few who escaped the destruction of your home. Now, forced to fight for survival in an ever-changing world, you must gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. This is the story of how the world changed forever. The legend of your Rise to Power begins now.
Anybody else excited about this? Just looking at the concept art gets me all a flutter. Consider me geeking out.
Anonymity on the internet is an important tool, even if it allows every single user on YouTube to type out the stupidest crap known to man without fear of repercussion. While we all get upset from time to time at the vitriol spouted from the internet, it’s mostly harmless and said by those who don’t really know better. However, most of us are rational people who can shrug off a random troll’s abuse. As with all segments of the population, there are those who can’t be responsible with information and use the internet as a vessel to play out their sadistic tendencies.
This is why protecting your identity is vital, because we live in an age of information where everything from your favorite band to your bank account can be accessed by someone with the inclination and the right know-how. Since we’re all pretty guarded against identity theft and stalking, Blizzard’s latest move has caused quite a furor on their forums. Just to bring you up to speed, the renown MMO/RTS developer has stated that, come StarCraft 2, forum posts will require users to submit their real name via the “RealID” system. Naturally, Blizzard’s users crawled out of the woodwork to protest this change, and some of the points they make are valid. Several female users expressed their concern for cyber stalking, and a lot of people voiced their opinion on the stigma associated with playing World of Warcraft and what would happen if their employers found out.
To placate the masses, Blizzard employee Bashiok decided to tell people his real name and within minutes all his personal information spilled onto the internet like tauntaun guts. While this act is mostly out of ire, it shows just what people are capable of with such little information. What do you guys think of this move by Blizzard? I’m sure it was put forward with the best of intentions but it seems to have backfired. Should you force users to give up their real names if they’re already paying you for your services?
Update: Looks like this idea got scrapped. Chalk up a win for for the forum goers. I guess Blizz should get some kudos for actually listening to fan feedback. Now, if we could only get LAN support.
I think one of the most interesting discussions in gaming right now is the idea of what’s more essential in terms of a multiplayer experience.
For years, co-op was the name of the game, with game studios offering chances for us to play through things with two players on our old school consoles. However, that eventually gave way to the rise of the versus mode through PC gaming, which then bled almost a decade later to the consoles. Now, we’re seeing a renaissance of sorts, with co-operative play coming back to the forefront of many AAA games. In fact, if there’s a multiplayer component, co-operative play is almost expected these days, where it wasn’t before.
For me, I think co-op is the more essential experience, but I know that others feel differently. Over this weekend, in fact, I’ve played several bouts of co-op in both Uncharted 2 and Bad Company 2, and had much more fun than I have in deathmatch modes for most games.
So I’ve put together a poll for you guys. Let the answers do battle!
Alpha Protocol is a game that was delayed and bashed, even by someone who worked on the game, who stated that it should have been canceled. All this led some to believe that the game was an unfinished, buggy mess, but I find this not to be the case at all. Well, mostly.
Alpha Protocol touts itself as an “espionage-RPG” set in the modern world and dealing with modern conflicts, such as terrorism. You play as Michael Thornton and can choose one of several backgrounds to begin with, ranging from former desk jockey at the Justice department to an assassin that doesn’t really exist. The decision results mainly in what areas your character is already leveled up in, such as Stealth or Assault Rifles, although a few NPCs may make a reference to your past, depending on which choice you made. A nice touch, I thought. I personally chose a blank slate so as to have better control over my character’s development.
There are some licensed properties that cry out for a decent video game adaption, and one of those is Transformers. When the basic premise is “giant robots beating the crap out of each other” you really have to try hard to mess that up. So far this generation, we’ve had two less than stellar attempts to cash in on the giant-bot franchise, and both of those fell flat (though that may have something to do with them being movie tie-ins). Now, High Moon Studios, the company responsible for the moderately-successful Bourne game, has gotten behind the wheel and is trying to steer Transformers in a better direction. Does the game deliver the goods, or does it perish in a Michael Bay-style explosion?
Well, who knew that when we posted those Portal 2 gameplay videos the other day, that even more of the big E3 demo was going to be hitting the Web shortly? Parts 2 through 5 (of 7 total) are now online for Portal fans to gobble up, with the next 2 parts coming out tomorrow.
Honestly, the glimpses I’ve seen of the game so far are an absolute blast, and it really looks like they’re taking things to crazy heights in terms of the puzzling and platforming. I love the leap of faith mechanic, and they’ve got some cool new stuff to show off in these videos as well.
Welcome to our semi-monthly open-forum post where we pose to you the simple question of “What Are You Playing”? It’s summer now, but the games keep on coming, so much so that I can barely keep up with them. I’ve completely skipped Final Fantasy 13, missed half of God of War 3, only just caught up on Heavy Rain, and I still feel like I’m struggling to stay current. It may have something to do with sinking about two days worth of playtime into Red Dead Redemption, but that game is awesome, so I’ll assume that you forgive me.
Other than that, there’s been a couple of co-op DLC releases, a licensed game that’s actually pretty good, and Steam is having a ridiculous sale right now (you can find all of the delicious savings through this link if you don’t follow us on Twitter). I think I’m going to pick up Torchlight since it’s so cheap. I’ve heard good things about it, but has anyone played it?
Also, before we jump in to your posts, I should mention that next week will be bereft of the GamerSushi podcast since Nick and Eddy are “ascending the slopes of Mount Doom” with Web Zeroes, as they put it. We’ll pick up where we left off with our normal format in a couple of weeks though. Hopefully you can wait a while before our dulcet tones, and my nasally voice, caress your ear canals once again. OK, enough blabbing on my part, get cracking!
As cool as the reveal of Portal 2 was at the Sony E3 press conference, I’ve been looking forward to seeing something more than the brief teaser trailer we got. From the sounds of things, the story is going to be a much bigger deal this time around, and there are going to be lots of new gameplay elements as well.
That’s why I’m excited that these two new Portal 2 gameplay videos have hit the Web, with Valve showcasing what the next game has to offer for all of the franchise’s many adoring fans. In the first video, we get to see a bit about the set up of the game, which apparently takes place many years after the first. The second video highlights some of the new gameplay additions we’ll be seeing. Personally, I think these awesome. I’m assuming you will agree.
Ever since we’ve been able to use the internet to connect our consoles to each other, cooperative play is becoming more and more popular. I’m all for this, as I enjoy taking on waves of baddies with my friends just as much as I like shooting them in the face in a competitive match. There’s just something about co-op play that is altogether different and more satisfying than a straight-up Deathmatch game, but maybe that’s just because I’m a team player.
Both Red Dead Redemption and Battlefield Bad Company 2, two excellent games in their own rights, are getting co-op add-on packs today. Since both these games should be a blast to play with friends, I thought I would find out what your favorite co-op gameplay memories are. Do you have a specific recollection of you and a buddy (or several) holding out against AI antagonists, or maybe a particularly epic campaign playthrough to the wee hours of the morning? Let us know!
XCOM is one of the classics of the the PC gaming scene, an old-school strategy title where you waged war against alien invaders as the director of a Men In Black type organization. In the re-imagining of the series (done by Bioshock developers 2k Games), you still undertake the role of the leader, but instead of issuing orders from behind a desk, you step out into the field to meet the aliens mano a mano. A trailer dropped for the game during E3, and dang if it doesn’t look intense.
Set during the 1950s, this game bares more than a passing resemblance to another period-piece title from 2K that I mentioned above. While similarities aren’t exactly a bad thing, especially given the fact that this is probably the best team to turn XCOM into an FPS, it still remains to be seen whether this will help or hinder the game come release time. What do you guys think about XCOM? Eager to blast some symbiote-looking aliens, or upset about the change in genre?
For many months now, there has been a rumored Fallout MMO in the works, with Interplay and Bethesda caught in a slight legal debacle over the rights to the game. The codename for this game has been Project V13, and while it wasn’t scheduled to go into public beta until sometime in 2012, it seems that things might have changed. A new Fallout Online site has been launched by Interplay, with a flash animation, some artwork and even a form to register for the beta as well as regular e-mail updates. I guess they’ve had their issues worked out, recently?
This is potentially pretty cool news, even though I have yet to finish the game. The Fallout world is a really rich one with plenty of great locales to visit, and tons of room for player exploration. I think it’s exactly the kind of property that lends itself perfectly to an MMO, so the developments here should be fun to see. If any of you are interested, head on over to the site, but just be warned that it’s loading a bit janky right now because it’s servers are no doubt being beaten like a drum.
So what do you guys think of this? Who’s going to sign up?