When ranking the great surprises of this past generation, I would have to stick both Saint’s Row 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV somewhere near the top, for completely opposite reasons. GTA IV was heralded as the savior of all fun things ever, but turned out to be a game that I found soulless and dull. On the other hand, Saint’s Row 2 was dismissed as nothing more than a Grand Theft Auto clone — yet it found a way to make its sandbox a true chaotic playground in nearly every sense, offering up scores of hilarious rabbit holes, lots of customization and a decent story to boot.
Enter Saint’s Row: The Third, Volition’s follow-up to the mayhem manager and one of my most anticipated games for 2011. This entry into the bombastic franchise promised even larger scales of destruction, more violence, greater levels of absurdity (there’s a dildo bat, for goodness’ sake) and an all around hilarious time. But does it deliver the goods? One thing’s for certain, Steelport and the Saints will never be the same.
Let’s not be coy about it: the Sonic franchise has seen better days. What once stood as the speedy bastion of an entire console experience and a worthy rival to Nintendo’s Mario has limped along for many years, a hedgehog much past his prime. Over the years, Sega seems to have lost its way with the spiky blue wonder, unsure of how to transition him properly to 3D while still honoring the tried and true flavor from generations past.
With Sonic Generations, they tried their hand at something new — rather than try to reinvent both wheels, why not package both 2D and 3D Sonics together into one comprehensive experience?
After the well-publicized falling out of Infinity Ward and Activision, the Modern Warfare franchise returns with (presumably) the final chapter in the world-devastating saga. There is no question that this game would sell a ton of copies, but the real question is can the remnants of Infinity Ward, along with a little help from their friends at Sledgehammer, maintain the quality that the fans demand?
The coming of an Elder Scrolls game is always a monumental occasion in the world of video games and the release of Skyrim was no different. Hype for this game was incredibly high and it even knocked Counter-Strike: Source off the top-played list on Steam for a short while. It seemed like the entire world was waiting on baited breath for Skyrim, but does it keep up the legacy of the Elder Scrolls or take an arrow to the knee?
We may have seen it leaked last week but Crytek and EA officially announced it today: Crysis 3 is coming in 2013 to all of your favorite consoles and the PC. Taking place some 20 years after the previous game, Crysis 3 takes players back to New York City which has been sealed off with a Nanodome, placed by the Cell Corporation (one of the bad guys from Crysis 2). The Nanodome divides New York City into seven different districts, each of which poses its own challenge for players.
Not much has been confirmed about Crysis 3 yet except that Prophet is back, he’s packing a bow, and we’ll be going up against human and Ceph enemies once again. You can pre-order the game right now on Origin and get the Hunter Edition which will net you a multiplayer XP bonus (jumping you up to level five), early access to the bow and some other goodies. EA is already calling Crysis 3 the “first blockbuster shooter” of next year.
What do you guys think about this? Is it coming too soon after Crysis 2? What changes do you hope to see? Personally I liked Crysis 2′s single-player quite a bit, but the multiplayer didn’t quite grab me like it did in the first game. Hopefully the design changes back from being a straight-up Call of Duty knockoff to something resembling its original form, but with a short turn-around between games, I don’t think that’s likely. Since the main character now uses a bow, expect me to be calling him “Prophet Hood” every chance I get.
It’s been a couple weeks since our groundbreaking Mass Effect 3 spoiler cast, but we just wanted to give you guys some time to absorb the postmortem we gave the series and reflect on how right we all were. OK, that was a lie, but let’s just agree that that’s what happened.
It’s a three man show this week because Nick and Anthony had to sit it out but Eddy, Jeff and I kick off a series of fantastic conversations ranging from Mass Effect 3′s Extended Cut DLC to The Hunger Games to Journey. We also wrap it up with a game of Grades, which we know you love. There’s no overt technical issues this time, because everyone managed to sort out their microphone issues from last week.
So, the usual song and dance. Listen, bask in our gaming-related intellect, and give us a good rating. It’s for your health.
It’s been kind of a Mass Effect-dominated week here at GamerSushi, and originally I wasn’t even going to post the trailer for the Resurgence multiplayer DLC, but the awesome playable characters being added changed my mind. You can now play as the geth and the batarians, and the krogan become even more awesome with the addition of the Vanguard class to their ranks. Personally I’m excited about the geth Engineer as that was my favorite class in ME3, but if I unlocked the krogan Vanguard instead, I wouldn’t complain. The DLC also adds new weapons and arenas, so check out the trailer below to geth the full scoop (pun intended).
Even if the GS crew hasn’t been able to assemble in a ME3 multi game in a while, I still kind of enjoy joining up in public games. Most people are around the level cap and the powers are kind of unbalanced in the players favor anyways. Mass Effect 3′s Resurgence DLC hits for free on April 10. What do you guys think about it? Which of the new classes would you want to play as?
In a move to placate fans after the uproar about the ending, BioWare has announced that it will be releasing a free “Extended Cut” DLC for Mass Effect 3 this summer. No specific date beyond the season has been announced, but the DLC will offer additional scenes that the developer hopes will help clarify the end of Shepard’s journey.
The Extended Cut DLC will not change the ending to the game but rather will contain “additional cinematics and epilogue scenes” which will be tacked on to the existing ending, according to a post on the BioWare Blog. The author of this post for BioWare was very cut and dry about the motivations behind the Extended Cut DLC as well:
So there you have it. Are we proud of the game we made and the team that made it? Hell yes. Are we going to change the ending of the game? No. Do we appreciate the passion and listen to the feedback delivered to us by our fans? Very much so and we are responding.
This DLC has apparently been re-prioritized by the staff at BioWare to help address the problems people have with the ending of the game. Will this satisfy the “Retake Mass Effect” people? What do you guys think about the Extended Cut? Is BioWare making the right move?
At this point, Star Wars: Battlefront 3 is the Highlander of video games. Or the Dracula, if you think the franchise is a soul-sucking waste of pixelated space. Rumored to have been canceled in 2008, the specter of Battlefront 3 continues to haunt the Internet, with concept art and dark tales springing up from the most random of places.
Personally, I was a rabid fan of Battlefront 2, so every time one of these stories surfaces, I feel a mix of both pain and excitement. Excitement at the idea that maybe the game isn’t dead, just in hiding like Yoda, waiting to be released by some secretive developer. I feel pain because I know the world isn’t always that perfect and likes to crush my dreams.
So, it’s with a mix of those feelings that I post some supposedly uncovered footage of Battlefront 3 alpha gameplay, shot off-screen from an early PC build in 2008. Man, this brings back memories of some epic space battles, and heroic moments that involved mowing opponents down with a lightsaber.
The coolest part of the footage was leaving a base on the surface of a planet and flying all the way to a spaceship in orbit. Seriously, if anyone out there is a part of making this game a reality I will kiss you on the mouth. Any other Sushi-ans as big of a fan of this franchise as I was?
Journey was a sublime experience for me, one that was helped along by the presence of a silent other; a compatriot that I could travel with but not share a single form of spoken or written communication with. Aside from musical chirps, player interaction in Journey is severely limited but this didn’t stop my partners from helping me find hidden items or guiding me through the world. Without the incentive to hinder or harm me, were they actively trying to help?
This is what Jenova Chen, designer at thatgamecompany, thinks. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, he posed the thought that the agressive nature of multiplayer games leads to people being dicks to one another. I’ll let him explain his point, though:
April Fools’ is an interesting time for any entertainment industry because you’re never quite sure if what you’re seeing is an obvious farce or something that could come true. Generally we’ve gotten pretty good at sussing these things out, but sometimes there’s a really good prank out there that trips us up.
This year saw some pretty good gags from Blizzard (like Blizzard Kidzz and Supply Depot 2, which takes a stab at Mass Effect 3′s ending) to Mojang and Notch’s very overt dig at Mass Effect, Mars Effect. The Old Republic team also had a pretty good one detailing the addition to play as your ship’s Protocol Droid. There were also a lot of great video April Fools’ gags, which I’ve put in after the jump.
April isn’t exactly the greatest month in the world for gaming, but we’re right up at the edge of it, and we’ve got to play something, right? As for myself, now that I’ve completed both Mass Effect 3 and Journey (both of which I loved), it’s on to a few other odds and ends.
For one, I spent quite a bit of time playing the Diablo III Beta last night, and I have to say that I’m surprised at just how much fun I had. It’s not that I didn’t expect the game to be great or anything, it’s just always been one of those games that I knew I would be playing, so the specifics of the gameplay never really mattered that much to me. I know that might sound strange, but some games are just such a given you don’t even spend that much time getting excited about them, and instead focus on things releasing ahead or behind. I rolled a monk, and in no time at all I decided that it’ll be my main class when the game drops in May. It’s hard to quantify just how joyous it was to pummel hordes of undead creatures and other ghouls in that good ol’ hack-n-slash style. It’s just been too damn long, you know?
In terms of other things I’m playing, I could rave on and on for an entire post about the beauty of Journey, which so captivated me in my one-sitting-playthrough that it’s already in contention for game of the year. The game affected me in a way that’s hard to put into words, which is weird because I consider myself a writer. In short: just go play the thing.
When I’m not Journey-ing or fighting minions of Diablo, I’ll be catching up on MGS HD, Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 co-op and anything else I can get my hands on – at least until my daughter arrives in just a couple of weeks’ time.
One of my favorite TV shows of all time is AMC’s Breaking Bad, the story of how a mild-mannered chemistry teacher becomes a hard-core crystal meth dealer. In the opening few episodes, the central character is told by his junkie accomplice that you just can’t start “breaking bad”, implying that if you’re a kind person at heart, you just can’t start doing things that are incredibly out of the norm for you.
I feel this way about moral choices in video games. I’ve just started replaying the entire Mass Effect trilogy as a Renegade female Shepard and I’m finding it difficult to “break bad” as it were. I subconsciously find my conversation wheel hovering over the Paragon dialog choices before the option is even up, and when it comes time to make a Renegade decision I get a little sick in my stomach.
With the video game market being so clogged with shooters and other sorts of violent games, it’s kind of hard to forget that the medium can pull off some really serene, beautiful moments. Thatgamecompany, famous for PSN titles like flOw and Flower, return with Journey, a game about, well, taking a walk through a desert to reach a mountain far off in the distance. There’s very little cutscenes and no dialog, but the bang for your buck offered by Journey makes the trip worth it, and then some.
Starting far away from your target as a mysterious, red-robed traveler, Journey chronicles your sojourn through the vast desert and down hills, into caves and across a snowy tundra. The controls for Journey are quite simple, you press X to jump (the longer your scarf the longer your jump) and Circle to do a little shout (hold down for longer shouts). You don’t even really need much else, as Journey is quite elegant in its minimalism. There’s some cool segments like surfing down a dune through a lost city and swimming through the air in a cavern, but these need to be experienced to really understand how moving they are. There are so many things in Journey I wish I could describe, but it would be unfair to spoil these moments for you guys.
Journey is also quite gorgeous, boasting better sand and lighting effects than Uncharted 3, which had the best use of those two elements to date. Journey has an incredible style and the sound design is superb. The sand crunches under your feet, your scarf snaps in the wind, and the distant call of a fellow traveler beckons you closer. The music is haunting and resonant, and only adds to the already surreal mood.
Hey dudes, we are back from outer space, here to bring you our thoughts on BioWare’s space opera trilogy ending Mass Effect 3. We’re unfortunately beardless this week, but Eddy, Anthony, Jeff and myself wax philosophic about everything from story beats to the multiplayer, the ending controversy and the ending itself.
There’s no Six Minutes with Resident Evil 6 or a game this week, so I hope that an hour and a half of straight up Mass Effect is good enough to tide you over. Eddy hadn’t finished the game when we recorded, so he dropped out for the ending talk. When you hear Harbinger for the second time, that’s when we launch into the discussion. There was also a technical issue with both Jeff and Eddy’s mics, and the way the cast is recorded means these sorts of problems are hard to rectify. Jeff fixed his junk for the ending talk, but for the first half of the show he is super quiet.
Technical problems aside, the cast is super sweet so I hope you enjoy. If you guys could also rate the cast that would be boss. Enjoy!
Assassin’s Creed 3, the first game since the 2009 title to make an acutal numerical leap, looks to be making a lot of impressive changes to the formula. If you’ve been worried about AC3 and whether or not it will breath new life back into the franchise, take heart, because this list of 50 Assassin’s Creed 3 facts posted by Kotaku will give you the biggest of mind boners.
The article goes over all the different features being adding in to AC3 including how the game’s two towns, New York and Boston, will work, and it details the hunting that the player will be able to engage in. It also describes how you can assassinate a bear, and if that doesn’t sound like Game of the Year material to you, you need to get your brain checked.
In addition to these juicy details, there’s also some stuff that only hard-core developers or engine-fanatics would find interesting, like the amount of bones in the character’s faces and that fact that Assassin’s Creed 3 will have “twice the production capacity of the Ezio trilogy”. There’s also a lot of stuff about how new protagonist Connor will strike from the trees and how he will get involved with the Assassin Order, so even if you’re kind of “meh” on AC3 I still recommend checking this list out.
What do you guys think of the list? What are your favorite segments? Anything that worries you? What are you hoping to see in Assassin’s Creed 3?
One of the things I love about video games is when you manage to find a “game within the game”, to speak. This has become more and more of a thing in the past generation due to open-world sandbox games, and there’s a certain kind of joy there that’s hard to match. As a kid, I remember playing Mario 64 during the summer when I was bored, just playing the flying missions repeatedly to see how low I could swoop to the ground without touching it and losing the flight. Somehow, we always find new ways to entertain ourselves.
That’s exactly what the guys at Achievement Hunter have done in their newest video, Things to Do in Skyrim, which features them creating trick shots that involve throwing cabbage into buckets. It’s very reminiscent of this Michael Jordan/Larry Bird Super Bowl ad for McDonald’s – and that’s a good thing. Anyway, you should watch it, the reaction shots at the end are priceless.
When’s the last time you guys got sucked into doing this kind of thing in a video game? Did anyone else die laughing when they freaked out?
Sorry about how slow it’s been around here lately guys, but other than Mass Effect 3 dominating our lives (and every news post on every other site), there’s hasn’t really been much else to report on. There’s a new Sim City, I suppose, but what do you need to know? You make buildings, lose them to tornadoes, c’est la vie.
Given the lack of news and new releases, I’ve been replaying Mass Effect 3 on Insanity, trying to make Mass Effect 3 the first game in the series that I get 100% of the achievements on. So far it’s been fine, but the thing about cover based shooters is that on the hardest difficulty, the game pulls some really cheap tricks to make things difficult for you.
Since being in cover essentially makes you invincible (as one would expect), stepping out in to the open means certain death via some BS means like stun locking. Getting caught out in the open in Mass Effect 3 is survivable on normal but on Insanity it’s an instant death sentence. This doesn’t make the combat encounters challenging, but more of a slog because it mainly comes down to finding the one corner where enemies can’t flank you and just wasting them with power and ammo until you win.
Games do a really poor job at being difficult (there are exceptions like Dark Souls and the like) and that’s what makes doing runs on Insanity or Legendary or whatever such a chore. Maybe it’s too hard to design higher difficulty levels because most people just play it on normal, but increasing the amount of damage done to you incrementally doesn’t actually count. Halo: Reach was one of the last games to make a fun, challenging experience on Legendary; there were actually more things done to change the way the enemies behaved, and the energy weapon projectiles were faster meaning that not getting out of the way of a plasma pistol volley could spell the death of your Noble Six.
What games have you guys played recently that have given you a run for your money? What games have really poor excuses for the highest difficulty level? Do game developers need to start making harder games overall? Go!
We’ve all got our quirks, even in video games. Or at least for some of us, especially in video games. I tend to be an obsessive compulsive searcher/hoarder/stealther. I’m not sure if some of the searching obsession comes from the days when JRPGs didn’t mark every item for you or make them obvious, forcing the player to run around mashing buttons in the hopes of finding some potion or other piece of loot. But even in Mass Effect 3, which marks things for you via omni-tool, I’m still running around mashing buttons in the most random corners, searching every last avenue before moving towards the objective. I almost can’t help it.
I’ve also documented multiple times my obsession with stealing in open world games and how I like sneaking around in stealth games. It borders on unhealthy, and tends to totally hamper the first portion of both of those types of games. Deus Ex: Human Revolution combined both of these things into one package that forced me to actively re-think the way I approach these situations, just to keep my sanity.
I’m bringing all of this up because 1UP has a fun article going on at the moment called You’re Not Alone, which takes a look at different quirky gaming habits from readers and staff alike. It’s kind of hilarious to see that there are other gamers just like me who hoard special items until they’re practically useless, or who hate to use healing items if there’s an inconvenient method to do it for free.
So what about you guys? What are your gaming quirks, ticks and obsessions? Go!
In the wake of the recent Mass Effect controversy and all of the other game-design related outcries, I sometimes wonder if gamers would take games to court if they could. 1up recently put up a feature about six game design choices that should be punishable by law, and it’s a pretty good read.
Sure, it’s humorous in nature, but there’s no denying that I feel like I need compensation for the pain and suffering caused by some of their examples. The slow-moving text in Skyward Sword is a great one, and it’s something that a lot of Nintendo games, from Pokemon to Mario, are guilty of. Sure, you can hold down the A button or whatever to speed up the text, but it still crawls pretty slowly. Ninty seems set on doing this and a lawsuit just might be the only way to get them to change their ways.
Personally, I’d like to sue someone over the Journal design in Mass Effect 3. I can get around bad quest logs, but the one in ME3 is just plain unhelpful. Main quests, side-quests and fetch-quests are all lumped together and the damn thing doesn’t even update when you’ve gathered one of the items necessary for your eavesdropping side-business on the Citadel.
I could probably also make a case against some of the things in Battlefield 3, and maybe for the extreme time-loss caused by Skyrim, but I’m pretty sure I have Stockholm Syndrome where that game is concerned. What did you guys think about the article? Are these choices worth going to court over? What games would you get litigious against?