Last month, our Counter-Strike: Global Offensive game night was a rousing success. There were around 20 GamerSushi folks in and out of the server over the course of the night, and at one point we had a pretty healthy (although maybe a bit one-sided) 9 versus 8 match going.
Getting the crew together was so fun, we thought we’d try to start doing it twice per month, especially now that KillKill’s server is up and running. For our next game night, we’re eying Team Fortress 2. We expect mayhem.
Here’s how to sign up: if you haven’t joined the GamerSushi Steam Group, you should do that. Then in the comments, tell us what days/times would be best for you next weekend. We’ll do our best to set up a game time that works for as many of you guys as possible.
Also, you should wish Anthony a happy birthday today. Go!
2/23 Update: We’re playing this tonight at 10pm CST. Who’s in?
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!
First up is the word that a successor to Batman: Arkham City is in the works and will be coming out this year! Warners Bros. Interactive announced it quietly during an earnings call with the actual reveal coming in a few months. Rumors are abound about what the next Arkham game will be about, with Rocksteady either going back to the Silver Age of comics for inspiration or not being involved with the project at all. Arkham City and Arkham Asylum scribe Paul Dini will definitely not be returning, however.
Like many franchises before it, Dead Space 3 has been coming under fire for its sudden shift in tone. Where the first two games were heavily geared toward survival horror, Dead Space 3′s added co-op partner and upgraded arsenal supposedly give players more ways to take down armies of necromorphs than ever before. Even though our very own Mitch insists that the game still has its own share of scary, there are others who disagree.
Naturally, there are pockets of gamers that are extremely upset over this change in mechanics to a game that they love dearly. To some, it’s “selling out.” But Gears of War honcho and former Epic Design Director Cliff Bleszinski has some different ideas about what’s happened to the Dead Space franchise. In a recent Dead Space 3 blog post, Bleszinski calls the game an evolution of the franchise, and uses that term endearingly. And according to him, “You can either fight it or embrace it.”
As I talked about last week, I’ve been doing a remarkable job when it comes to my gaming backlog. The most recent casualty on my seemingly ever-growing list (seriously: I just added Ni No Kuni to it this weekend) is Sleeping Dogs, Square Enix’s Hong Kong crime drama.
I’m generally down on open-world GTA style games, but Sleeping Dogs was a welcome treat, providing fun hand-to-hand combat, some nice diversions, exhilarating driving and a well-told story to boot. But one of the things I loved most about Sleeping Dogs? It knew when to call the game quits.
A common concern with horror games is that adding another person into the mix will negate the scares, kind of like watching a scary movie with a friend and making fun of it to lessen the tension. While Dead Space 3 might seem like more of an action game with two players tearing up necromorphs together, there are a couple neat tricks that developers Visceral Games pulls to make the experience a little more frightening.
Throughout the game, the co-op partner playing as second banana John Carver will experience hallucinations that the person playing Isaac Clarke won’t see. It’s up to Clarke to protect Carver as he works through these visions. This is a pretty cool way to make co-op a bit more difficult as during these moments players can’t help each other defeat the enemies they are fighting, meaning that Isaac needs to hold off the hordes by himself while Carver does the same.
Communication is key during these parts, and this is one of the many ways that co-op feels integral to Dead Space 3. While there are the standard puzzles like holding a piece of equipment down while one player climbs up or re-routing computer programs simultaneously, going through Carver’s co-op exclusive missions make the co-op campaign of Dead Space 3 that much more enticing.
Has anyone played Dead Space 3? Are you doing it co-op, or are planning to do so?
We’re back with another one of our block-rockin’ casts, bringing you all that hot gaming discussion we know you love. Nick even makes a cameo appearance on the cast, so fans of his bearded tones get a little treat this week.
This is one of our longer casts as we get into discussions about the newly announced Assassin’s Creed 4, Dead Space 3 and microtransactions, Ni No Kuni, racism and Borderlands 2, the next generation and the possibility of the Wii U being DOA. So yeah, there’s a lot of gabbing going on here.
Listen, rate, comment; we’re all old hands at this, but I like reminding you anyways. Enjoy!
For today’s GamerSushi Asks Friday, we’re going to take a look at the long, hard farewell. I feel like there’s a “that’s what she said” in there somewhere.
After finishing Far Cry 3 recently, something happened to me that I’ve really only experienced a few times in gaming. After the main game was completed, the pirates were vanquished from the island, outposts liberated, animals hunted and huge portions of secret items located, I realized there was nothing left for me to do in the game. Because of said pirate vanquishment, I couldn’t even run around and kill a few bad guys. I was done with the game, almost completely.
And when it came time to sign off, I found myself coming up with excuses to hop around the world a little longer. I was kind of sad to say goodbye. This has happened before, and will hopefully happen again.
I hope you’re all happy to know that we’re bringing the Power Rankings back this year, but in a slightly different format. Last year, the Power Rankings updated at a few key points to bring you our running list of the best 10 games of the year so far. In 2013, the Power Rankings will focus more on our hottest 10 games of the moment, despite what year it was released. Think of it as a “what’s trending” list amongst the GamerSushi staff. These are the games we just can’t get out of our heads, or out of our disc trays (or hard drives, as it were).
Every year, it’s interesting to note the games that stick with you from the end of the previous year’s crazy gaming season. For me, the biggest surprises to come out of the Fall were games like Hotline Miami, but most especially Far Cry 3. While I had no interest in Far Cry 3 for the entire year, I couldn’t put the game down for the entire two weeks that I blazed through it, completing nearly all of the sidequests as well. If you had told me that Far Cry 3 would still be on my mind in 2013 a year ago, I would have snorted and called you a crazy person. Heck, I still might call you one today.
Here are GamerSushi’s top 10 most played games right now. Feel free to tell us we’re the crazy ones, and tell us what would be on your list.
January was a decent month for games: DmC and Ni No Kuni both landed with sizable critical acclaim, but other than those two, the month was bare. It was a good time to catch up on your backlog or even take a break for a bit, maybe read a book or two to pass the time. Two great games in one month is probably ideal.
Well, no more of that. February is here and it’s not “ideal”: it’s here to kick some ass. There is about a half-dozen worthy titles dropping during the shortest month of the year (and my birth month) and while the quality of a few may be in question, there is no doubt that us gamers will have a nice buffet of gaming goodness to sample from this month. Shall we take a look at the menu?
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve made what amounts to a Herculean effort in terms of my gaming backlog. That means that I’ve utilized the strength of ten mortal men to play lots and lots of video games, and the pile of judgmental game titles, physical and hypothetical, have lessened their gaze of fury, demanding to be played.
Basically, I’m having fun.
The most recent target of my gaming swathe has been Borderlands 2, the ludicrous FPS action RPG that can barely support any more capital letter descriptors. Nick and myself have been tearing through this game like nobody’s business, and just this past weekend managed to smite the Warrior, the game’s final fiery boss (with some help, of course). Naturally, one of the biggest draws of any dungeon crawler like Borderlands happens to be the massive amount of loot that you have access to, and according to legend, the Warrior drops some mighty fine bonuses.
Crysis 3′s multiplayer beta opened up last week and I spent a little time leaping around as a nanosuited operative, trying out the two availible game modes: Hunter and Crash Site, the latter of which returns from Crysis 2.
In Hunter mode, a team of ever-dwindling CELL soldiers has to survive against invisible, bow-wielding predators, and every kill the Hunters get adds to their own ranks. While this may sound like it makes for a tense multiplayer mode, the rounds are fairly short and the Hunters seem a little too over-powered, considering they’re invisible and the new bow is a one-hit kill. At one point I went on a five-kill streak with the bow when I was standing about ten feet from a group of enemy players, so oblivious were they to my presence. While the CELL team gets motion trackers and EMP grenades, the abilities given to the Hunters more than outweighs this puny advantage.
Crash Site, for those of you who didn’t play Crysis 2, is a territory control game type, where alien pods will land somewhere on the map and one team has to hold down that location to gain points. While this mode is a lot more fun than Hunter, there are several balance issues that need to be worked out before release.
XCOM is a roller coaster. It all starts out very fun, a little daunting, but once you get the hang of things, it seems like it will be a smooth ride. Then, things take a turn. The difficulty jumps up to a degree you didn’t anticipate and suddenly every alien turn is a stress-fest as you wipe your sweaty palms on your shirt while you pray to whatever deity you believe in for the aliens to miss their shot or FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LEAVE MY HIGH-RANKING SNIPER ALONE, YOU BIG BULLIES!
But then, with patience, careful movement of your soldiers and a hell of a lot of research and resources, things level off again. Suddenly, that sniper who struggled to finish off a Thin Man is double-tapping (attacking twice in a single turn) her way to victory, seemingly all by her lonesome. Your assault soldier’s useful shotgun is a now an Alloy Cannon of death and you almost feel bad for that Berserker that is about to get shot directly in his ugly face. Almost. This has been my XCOM experience.
For Stop the Presses Thursday, the biggest pieces of gaming news to drop this week happened to come in the form of two trailers.
Bioshock Infinite, coming in March, is a game that I can’t quite seem to peg. It’s well documented that the original Bioshock didn’t quite grab me the way it grabbed everyone else, even though I was appreciative of its dark atmosphere and its art design. Meanwhile, Infinite’s city in the sky, Columbia, is almost the opposite of Rapture in terms of its look and feel, even if its dark underbelly is similar in theme.
This newest Infinite trailer highlights the secrets of Columbia, and gives us a bit more info about the story. This game is tempting me something fierce, guys.
As goofy as it sounds, one of my favorite parts about any RPG is watching my damage number creep up as I progress through the game. Whether this number is ratcheting upward through new equipment or because I’ve hit a new level seems to matter little — what matters is that sweet, sweet damage total. I get kind of addicted to it. This is most evident in Borderlands 2 (which we’ll be streaming tonight), a game that bombards you with more numbers than a Mathletics competition, both in and out of combat.
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.
To continue our theme of What We’re Playing Monday, I thought I’d take us on a dismal tour of my future, one in which I gain 100 pounds, lose my job and become a hermit that only plays Sim City.
OK, so maybe the future isn’t set in stone yet, but seeing as how much I enjoyed my time in the closed beta this weekend, there’s certainly some kind of dark timeline where all of this takes place. Although, considering how much fun the game is, maybe it’s not necessarily a dark time line after all?
I grew up playing the old X-Wing game for the PC and it’s been sad for me to see that genre fall out of favor with gamers at large. True, that game was perhaps a little too complicated, but even simple space combat games have been few and far between the last couple of years.
Born Ready Games, with a Kickstarter backing, has decided to reboot the space combat genre and bring us Strike Suit Zero, a game for the PC that has not only spaceship dog-fighting but also lets you pilot a kick-ass mecha. Yes, you read that right: about an hour and a bit into the game, you get access to a Strike Suit, a prototype fighter that has the secondary function of transforming into a giant robot.
The controls for the game a pretty straightforward: as a fighter you get plasma cannons, a machine gun and a variety of missiles. Using the machine gun to strip the shields of enemy fighters and finishing them off with your plasma cannons keeps your fingers busy and doesn’t make you reliant on one weapon as the plasma guns tend to drain fast, especially when they’re linked. Once you get the Strike Suit, a simple tap of a button (or key, but I really recommend playing with a controller) turns your snubfighter into a death-dealing, missile spewing machine.
One of the most important aspects of a shooter is the weaponry, but beyond that, having a powerful, satisfying shotgun in your virtual arsenal is key. Sometimes a shotgun can make or break a game, so we’d like to ask you what your favorite video game shotgun is.
Personally, I just can’t think of a better shotgun than the M90 Close Assault Weapon System from Halo: Combat Evolved. The first time you find this beastly firearm, you’ve just encountered the Flood and are hoping for a weapon that will put down the larger combat forms in one hit. The M90 CAWS is the answer to that prayer and for the rest of the game, this scattergun will occupy one of your two precious weapon slots whether you have ammo for it or not.
Runners up would be the Gnasher from Gears of War, which can turn you into a living meatgrinder in multiplayer if you can get the hang of it, or the SPAS-12 from Battlefield 3. I recently discovered that equipping slug rounds on the SPAS-12 turns it into a one-hit kill weapon at medium range, and it requires a bit more skill than the other full-auto weapons availible.
I may be skewing kind of modern here, so I’ll pose the question to you guys one again: what is your favorite video game shotgun?
Dead Space 3 will be hitting our screens very soon, but some news about the game dropped this week that may sour your anticipation. According to Eurogamer, Dead Space 3′s new workbench, where you can custom-make your weaponry, will include a microtransaction store for buying some additional resources.
While players will still be able to scavenge the materials for themselves or use scavenger bots to gather crafting resources in-game, real-world money can always be used to circumvent the collection process. This doesn’t mean that eager players can drop a ton of cash at the beginning of the game and get all the top-tier weaponry; they still have to wait for those guns to be unlocked as part of the narrative progression.
Even though this is the first instance of microtransactions in Dead Space, giving quick boosts for cash is nothing new in EA titles. Mass Effect 3 had this, as did Battlefield 3 and I wouldn’t be surprised if SimCity has something similar. What do you guys think about this? Is this a harmless addition for those of us flush with cash but strapped for time? Is it a foul on EA’s part to try and get their mitts into your wallet after you’ve already bought the game?