Every generation represents a new set of hurdles for the medium (or art, if you’re feeling fancy) of video gaming. In the current generation — and yes, I do include PC games in this — I think the most obvious hurdles we’ve cleared have to do with graphics, the ease of connectivity and huge, immersive universes. Within the last few years, it’s easier to play with friends than ever before, or even talk to them across games. I can share games with them on Steam or track their progress through PSN or XBL. Games like Skyrim, Borderlands 2 and Arkham City have given us amazing, huge worlds that we can interact with, and feel like we’re a part of. The Uncharted series and Red Dead Redemption have given us high-caliber storytelling and some memorable vocal performances.
But do I think all of these things are perfect? Not by any stretch. The medium still has plenty of growing up to do in terms of what it can achieve, in any number of arenas. Today’s Pixel Count poll is a big one, representing what I think are the biggest hurdles that gaming still has in front of it.
So, if we’re entering the next generation soon, which of these do you think is the most important issue, from a player’s perspective? Vote and tell us what you think in the comments!
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!
I love stealth games, but they tend to stress me out. The idea of sneaking around without getting caught always tends to add a pile of burdens on top of me, like the game is judging me if I fail, and will punish me with extra waves of enemies should I find a way of royally fracking things up.
And while most stealth games do a poor job at making stealth just as fun as the shooting counterpart (or throw out a poor attempt at both), FarCry 3 makes sneaking around exciting, challenging and maybe even more fun than mowing down bands of pirates with an assault rifle or rocket launcher. This is mostly accomplished through an excellent skill system that rewards you for stealth kills and chaining takedowns together for some brutal, silent mayhem. It adds a dash of style to a mechanic that is normally slow and methodic, even in a (mostly traditional) first person shooter.
It’s always refreshing to play a new twist on a familiar game mechanic, and FarCry 3 does this in a number of ways. Because of this empowerment, FarCry 3 doesn’t make me nearly as nervous to play in a stealthy manner, and it’s making the game all the more fun for me. I’m not fretting about getting spotted, but rather, given just the right tools to adapt — and have a blast doing it.
How do you guys normally feel about stealthy gameplay mechanics? Do you tend to sneak around or come into a situation guns playing? What are some of your favorite stealth games? Go!
The GamerSushi Show is back for your listening pleasure two weeks in a row! Crazy, right? Unfortunately neither myself or Nick could make the cast this week, but that doesn’t mean that Eddy, Anthony and Jeff didn’t have enough to talk about on their own.
After going over a couple of 2012′s late entries, the guys talk about the upcoming games of 2013 and whether or not we’ll actually see the next gen this year (signs point to yes). There’s much more nerdery in the podcast proper, so what are you waiting for? Listen, rate, comment. You know the drill.
0:00 – 2:06 Intro
2:07 – 10:28 Hotline Miami
10:29 – 16:10 GamerSushi Schedule
16:17 – 21:46 Far Cry 3
21:47 – 27:55 GS Staff Personal Top 10 of 2012
27:56 – 31:50 Ni No Kuni
31:51 – 36:26 2013 and the Next Gen
36:27 – 48:58 The Games of 2013, January to May
48:59 – 52:21 Outro
This week, I finally jumped into Far Cry 3′s sprawling green and blue playground of predators and pirates, and like many other gamers, have found myself enthralled by not only the emergent gameplay, but the sidequests that know just how to entice me off the beaten path. But before I started off-roading, gaining experience through stealth kills and skinning komodo dragons, I did what I do for every game — I tweaked the settings.
Starting a new game is equal parts excitement and ritual for me. I’ve got a bit of a ceremony whenever I pop in a new title. First, I turn on subtitles, since I’m usually trying to keep volume low so as not to wake up a sleeping baby (or worse yet, a sleeping wife). Then, I lower the overall master volume of the game. Next, I check controller settings to make sure that the y-axis isn’t inverted, and after that I lower the sensitvity to the point where it feels like the gun is dragging through molasses. No matter how engaging the beginning of a game, if these things aren’t set, I don’t feel like I’m in control of the experience.
So what about you guys? What pre-game rituals do you have before you start a new game? Do you mess with the audio? Is there a particular set of headphones you prefer to use? A particular time of day or a specific position you need to be in on the couch? Show us your OCD side in the comments.
Just when you think the game industry couldn’t dig themselves any further into a misogynistic hole, out comes Deep Silver with their Zombie Bait Edition of Dead Island Riptide, boasting a bust of a zombified woman in a bikini. When I say bust, I mean bust: this is just a woman’s torso with no head or arms, and a Union flag-emblazoned bikini barely covering her breasts.
Special editions of games are no strangers to large, tacky statues, but I can’t think of anyone with half of a social life who would want to proudly display a severed torso in their living room. The bust is 31cm high, which means that this is one prominent piece of tawdry memorabilia. According to Deep Silver’s press release, the statue is meant to call to mind a grotesque version of a classic Roman torso sculpture.
2012 was a surprisingly robust year for gaming. While we didn’t quite get the bombardment of sequels to huge franchises that we’ve come to expect, we got a year filled with unique titles. 2012 was filled with strategy games, stealth games, new IPs and a new bar for emotional engagement in our favorite medium. Even the sequels found a way to change the game. Suddenly, the industry gave us something we’ve been clambering for what has felt like years — some variety. And what a nice change of pace it’s been.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the top 10 games of 2012. Enjoy, dudes.
Peace of mind is hard to come by in the gaming landscape these days. It’s bad enough we have online trolls spewing all manner of filth at us, but in the age of voice acting, we also have to contend with certain characters that just won’t shut the hell up. It can be enough to drive even a straight-edger to drink and the calmest gamer to fling his controller across the room.
In keeping with our newly implemented schedule and using only the latest in high-tech research equipment, we here at the GamerSushi Labs are trying to determine which character should be fitted with a digital muzzle. Will Slippy’s constant need for help be enough to help him win? What about Kenny, who seems to take great pleasure in being an antagonistic hypocrite? Or Kratos, who only has one volume setting and really needs to take a chill pill. And of course, the ever-present Claptrap and the irksome Tiny Tina are prone to make someone scramble for the mute button. Except Jeff. He loves Tiny Tina.
So vote now and hit the comments to let us know who you think should enjoy a nice cup of Shut The Hell Up!
If you’ll do us the kindness of remembering, you’ll recall that GamerSushi does the annual recap a bit differently than most places. Sure, we’ll do our Top 10 Games of 2012 list within the next week, but before that we bring you the Sushis, our roast, celebration and general send-up of the previous year’s highs and lows.
In the 2012 Sushis, we mock the disappointments, high five the best multiplayer experiences and give solos to the unsung heroes of one of the generation’s most interesting years yet.
It’s a sad fact that when you have the highs of a year, there will unfortunately be lows. With so many big name titles getting their next iteration last year (and in some cases, wrapping up a planned trilogy) it was inevitable that gamers at large would be let down by some of them. Not saying that these games were bad across the board, but when you wait fifteen plus years for something, well, expectations tend to be a little inflated.
So, here’s a list of games I’ve put together that generated the most stink during 2012. This isn’t me saying that I think these games are awful, but rather these are the games that critics and players won’t stop bashing. Let’s put it to rest once and for all. What was the biggest disappointment in gaming for 2012?
Now that we’ve talked about Best Multiplayer/Co-op let’s move on to the next segment of GamerSushi Votes. On the docket today is Best Single-Player, and it’s been a heck of a year for solitary experiences. A couple years back it looked like the single-player experience was on the way out and a good multiplayer portion was the ticket to success, but near the end of this generation we’ve swung back around to games having a really fleshed-out single-player campaign and tacked on multiplayer modes.
It was hard to narrow down the selection of single-player games to vote on, but I think I got a good sample. As usual, if there’s a game you think I missed, feel free to tell us in the comments. Now, vote!
Hello, gaming friends, and welcome back to GamerSushi Votes, our now annual tradition of asking you, the community, what you felt were the stand-out titles of the year.
For the first day of voting, I thought we’d tuck into the best multiplayer of the year, which I’ve expanded to include co-op because I’ve spent more time playing with people rather than against them this year. Mass Effect 3 lead this charge, having a surprisingly strong and deep multiplayer mode that has been repeatidly expanded on and I’m still playing to this day. Add that to plethora of other games that encourage working with your friends, and you have a very strong year for co-op.
So, choose a selection from the list below, or let us know what your favorite multiplayer/co-op of 2012 was in the comments!
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?
Merry Christmas Eve, GamerSushi friends, or any other holiday that you fine folks might be or have been celebrating. I’d insert a joke here about diversity, but I think we’re all a bit grown up for that by this point.
One of my favorite things about having some time off for Christmas every year is all the free time I suddenly get to catch up on games. In addition to the mouthwatering deals of the Steam Sale, I’ve also been playing a bit of Halo 4, and I’m dying to get my hands on Far Cry 3, Spec Ops: The Line and Sleeping Dogs. I’m sure there will be many other things added to that list in the next few days.
So what about you guys? What are you playing while on break? Hit us up with your comments! Go!
It’s been a heck of a year guys, starting off strong with Journey and Mass Effect 3 and finishing off with a wide array of excellent games from Borderlands 2 to Halo 4 to Far Cry 3. This year has been so great in fact, that a video montage by YouTube user Malcolm Klock is the best way to send it off. Set to “Leaving Earth” from Mass Effect 3, the video has clips from thirty-plus games from 2012. Give it a watch and enjoy.
There you go! What did you guys think of that? Did you favorite game show up? What games were sadly missing from this montage?
Continuing my trend of reviewing the DLC for Battlefield 3, like Close Quarters and Armored Kill, I’m going to sit down here and rap with you for a bit about Aftermath, DICE’s newest contribution to the steadily growing stable of post-launch content for their combined-arms FPS.
Like the previous two pieces of DLC, Aftermath has a “theme” to go along with it, and in this case it’s picking up from the single-player story by giving us four new maps set in a post-earthquake Iran. This means rubble-strewn pathways, and in the case of Epicenter, aftershocks that will shake your camera around a little bit. It’s not too noticeable that it will affect your aim, but you do have to compensate for it a bit.
The new maps are more in the style of the vanilla BF3 maps, having several choke-points leading to wider areas for you to mess around in. Coming off of the Armored Kill maps, which sometimes felt a little too big, this is a welcome change of pace. The maps are more suited to infantry combat, as tanks are a rare sight even on 64-player Conquest. The new hotness is the customized vehicles, which are basically civilian vans and Humvees with a grenade launcher and a machine gun bolted on. They’re a ton of fun to rip around in, and in a nice change of pace from the armored jeeps of the main game you can actually kill the occupants with a few bullets or a grenade.
Every year, the video game industry is rocked by a handful of events. Or more specifically, a handful of games that become events in and of themselves. No, I don’t mean blockbuster game releases (although the Modern Warfare 3 drama was something to behold in 2011), but rather games that become a story themselves, the release of which affects the trends and discussions of the entire industry as a whole.
In a new feature, MCV takes a look at 7 Games that Shaped 2012, where study the games that most affected the marketplace. The focus of this list is pretty interesting: Borderlands 2 proving that retail is still a powerful force, Double Fine and Kickstarter changing the way a number of indie games (and a few AA titles) are produced and released, and the quality tipping point of small, downloadable games with titles like Journey and Walking Dead. Each of these things has played a huge role in 2012 in terms of shaping the industry, and I’m curious to see what it means in the future.
Although some of the stuff on the list doesn’t quite apply to those of us in the States — like Mass Effect 3 and the collapse of GAME — Mass Effect 3 is still just as notable this year because of how it affected the discussion of art and the consumer. It’s one of the more memorable times we’ve seen a creator change a product after its release in order to cater to what consumers wanted from it.
So, what do you guys think the biggest game stories of 2012 were? What other games affected the industry this year? Go!
As excellent as Mass Effect 2′s Lair of the Shadow Broker was, BioWare might have shot themselves in the foot when it comes to post-release DLC. While it would be unrealistic to expect that every piece of Mass Effect DLC would be up to the same standards, it kind of laid the implication that any quests given to the player outside of the main game would advance the story, or at least fill in some background information.
To BioWare’s credit, Mass Effect 3: Leviathan did dredge up a more fleshed-out history of the Reapers, but the newest effort for Mass Effect 3 DLC, Omega, doesn’t add anything new to the story, or change your perception of the established characters you’ll be interacting with.
Shepard is contacted by Aria T’Loak, the Pirate Queen of the space station Omega, to help her take her throne back from Cerberus, who threw her out before the main campaign of Mass Effect 3. Because of Aria’s dislike of your squadmates, you’re going in without any familiar faces from the Normandy. I’ve never bought into the character of Aria as much as BioWare seems to want me to, and being saddled with her for a couple hours just demonstrates how one dimensional she is. While the end of the Omega campaign has her softening a bit, for most of the time she grunts and threatens her way through dialogue sections, being so predictable that a new character, Nyreen the female turian, calls her on it. It doesn’t help that the voice actress behind Aria, Carrie-Anne Moss, sounds like she’s collecting a paycheck for most of her lines, only occasionally dipping into having any emotion besides bored anger.
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?
If you’ve listened to the most recent podcast, then you’ll know that Assassin’s Creed 3 left one of the worst tastes in my mouth in recent gaming history. Not only did the game fall short of previous titles — it was flat out bad, something I rarely even say about a game I played all the way through.
From the controls to the story to the overall bugginess of the title, Assassin’s Creed 3 was a failure on multiple levels, and I pretty much have no qualms about saying that. It was an active step back from the excellence of Brotherhood, and even the good-but-problematic Revelations. The one redeeming spot in the game’s 10 hours or so that I spent with it would have to be the naval battles, which were an absolute joy — even more so when you consider how frustrating everything around them happened to be.
But enough of my ranting about Assassin’s Creed 3. I think one of the reasons I was so thoroughly disgusted by the game, aside from it being kind of crappy, is because of the wasted potential. We were given a new setting, a new character, a chance for resolution with a number of story threads and an actual revolution (pardon the pun) in terms of setting, gameplay elements and the like. And it was all a mess. After Revelations came out last year, I was ready to be done with the AC franchise for awhile, but the promise of AC3 lured me back. I don’t know if I’ll make that mistake again, after seeing all the wasted potential that this game lived up to.
So what about you guys? What’s the biggest recent gaming disappointment you’ve experienced? What’s the biggest disappointment of 2012? What made the game disappointing? Go!