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Posted:
2010-10-06

dementedde3

Lowly Worm

Everyone should know by now that Infinity Wards latest is not to be missed, and it was more than just a video game release. It amassed millions of hours of playtime and had gotten endless amount of press over the past year, making it practically a force of nature unleashed on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Every nuance of the game as been inspected, every detail has been examined, to the point that if they wanted an unspoiled experience when their copy arrived they would need to make an effort to avoid the news about it. The developer has honed its well-worn formula to achievable and logical shine, far from shunning the weight of expectation; rarely in mechanics, it crafts a campaign that surprises with scope.

The series of Modern Warfare 2 is back on the hands of Infinity Ward, the developer that brought us Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the most significant multiplayer FPS. But between Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2 was another game that managed to be successful in its own right, which was Call of Duty: World at War, it never had a chance at being another Modern Warfare, though.

I need to get one thing straight – it was obvious that Modern Warfare 2 wasn’t going to be able to compete against its original, but that’s not to say this sequel has practically no chance of being anything other than a great game. COD4 had featured a strong single player campaign and was nearly perfect as a multiple game, Infinity Ward is simply building off this. Their mission, which turned out to be very successful, was to keep gamers interested and to add to the franchise regardless of how much time they might typically spend on a first-person shooter. Modern Warfare 2 has a top-notch online experience, a great single player campaign, and a new Spec-Ops mode that lets players test their skills in one-off missions and builds off COD4’s popular coda.

The single player campaign in MW2 takes everything a step further, but can be found a lot similar to COD4. The story is much harder hitting; they get you ready for a much more in-your-face look at nuclear attack, terrorism, and hand-to-hand combat than the previous game. Despite that MW2 is more of a mature game than the series’ previous titles, it also takes the story and goes completely over-the-top with it. It’s a military plot combined with different vehicular sequences, and slow-motion action stunts along the lines of the Watchmen movie.

The story isn’t entirely clear why certain things take place, following it can be very hard and muddled, and many of the character’s relationships with one another remain foggy. While there are some missing links they don’t really detract from the story and their almost always clear what your character needs to accomplish, why you’re on a specific mission, and the larger strategy that you are operating under. The story doesn’t quite hold up for the same period as the original, which is a huge shock since COD4’s campaign mode was a quick run through. It’s not by much but I would have imagined Infinity Ward trying to make something longer with their sequel to listen to all of the criticism. You may want to not ask too many questions and suspend your disbelief though, especially if you’re geo-politically minded. One point that’s interesting though is that you never fight in the anonymous, sandy regions found in COD4, instead the game mentions many specific places and countries which you never step foot on. Another thing is how quick the set pieces get put together just apparently after America went to war. It looks like the war has been going on for years!

This is a title that oozes a confidence built on collective experience, from the comforting and safe assault course opener. It’s the sort of videogame that doesn’t flinch in delivering set-piece after set-piece understanding exactly what its audience wants with barely a pause to load the next scenario. The commitment certainly isn’t questionable, but the politics may be.

The developer has – controversially – included an extremely graphic depiction that the player has full control over of a very specific act of terrorism early on in the game. This is something of a talking point, unsurprisingly, and to ignore the issue would be remiss.

I wouldn’t say it was deeply disturbing but the level is, without the doubt, an experience that is the most thought-provoking I have yet encountered in any mainstream game. Providing you’re immersed in the context and its atmosphere it can also be a pretty sobering experience, but you can easily skip or ignore this level if you don’t want to put yourself through a fairly clearly-defined moralistic mill. Despite the abhorrent undertone running beneath, it’s powerful in a way that videogames rarely are, and I just can’t help but admire it in some twisted way. It shocked me all the way through of playing it.

For those of you in the persuasion of wondering what all the fuss was about, as there will be a significant chunk of the gamers that will end up feeling this way, MW2’s action beat and constantly assaults the senses that proves the primary draw.

At times the visual panache and superlative gunplay borders best-in-show which is here Infinity Ward steps above and beyond criticism. Set-piece animation is integrated in an almost seamless fashion within the level design, enemies crumple realistically under fire, and you’ll be hard-pushed to spot a single respawning set of foes, which even if early reports of veteran difficulty as a direct consequence are to be believed.

The colour and lighting is noticeably improved in this second iteration, the crisp 60fps console versions are surprisingly well-detailed, and whilst the environment remains resolutely non-interactive, it’s a sheer pleasure to keep the eyes locked onto the screen when things are being blown up for you with relative frequency.

New additions to the mission structure will be pleasingly well judged, from climbing mechanics that offer up a healthy dose of tension to vehicle sections that work within the confines of the physics engine – it’s all integrated with a strong taint of talent and money behind the scenes, but whilst all this is great fun the majority of the missions will be familiar (clear the house, destroy the AA gun, follow the tank, etc). Even this is still done brilliantly, its Infinity Ward’s baby after all, and even though Treyarch may well be an improving off-year custodian, the fingerprints are unmistakable.

There is a new part to the game called The Special Operations (Spec Ops). These are short missions where you have a very clear goal – kill this many rebels, win this race, get to this point, etc. They are basically run through missions on either normal, hard, or veteran modes that are Call of Duty skill challenges in order to win stars. More stars will win you some achievement points and will increase your ever-present completion percentage. The missions include defending a point and stealth escapes, though you also get vehicle missions like a snowmobile race and a helicopter attack, even though their varied they stick to the same operations and settings handled in the game. These Ops can be fun, but not long lasting as there isn’t any way-points making the missions very challenging – you have to start over by making one critical mistake, which is not so easy when you have attack dogs and about 40 guys to kill. Anyone who dreams of getting 1000 Xbox achievement points must know that Veteran-level challenges are only for the most skilled gamers and anyone else putting in the time is going to be disappointed. Ops is a great way to improve your game while playing with a friend as it can be done in single player or multiplayer (including local) modes.

It’s all about more within MW2’s multiplayer. More mayhem, more levels, more weapons, more skills, and so on. COD4’s multiplayer has become the baseline against which all online FPS games are measured, and what better way could there be to follow this experience with MW2? With highly customizable skills and weapons and huge skill streak bonuses, Infinity War this time made sure to keep Veteran players interested while allowing new players to get into the game, with solid early level weapons and death streak bonuses. You feel like your achieving something with every session you are playing multiplayer because you are building up towards the next level. So that next holographic sight or launcher could be right around the corner. This means two things – there is a constant sense of achievement whether you were victorious or not and you don’t want to put the game down. It might not be a huge step up from COD4 but it’s still a great experience with enough changed to keep things interesting.

This may arguably be the best online FPS right now, but not everything is perfect with the multiplayer though. The game is now largely silent as MW2 has basically killed voicechat. This was about the opposite in COD4, this was mainly put down by numerous homophobia, racism and cheating. So instead Infinity Ward decided to curtail the chat, except allowing it in a few games. Most players (at least on the Xbox 360) have unplugged their headsets because the cuts that were made were large enough. Teamwork is what could have taken MW2 multiplayer to the next level, unfortunately it just doesn’t look like its going to happen in this generation.

MW2 refines and builds on the most solid of bases and is spectacular, as a whole, in all the right areas. This game has problems just like any other, but despite this it’s a game you should play for what it does achieve. The single player subject matter is often hard to follow and mostly over-the-top, but it also has powerful settings and compelling characters with a thought-provoking undertone. It really gets players into the mindset of the game as it’s a much more cynical look at the battlefield than previous titles. Spec Ops often requires a second player due to its difficulty, but it’s the single biggest addition to the game, and lets players perfect their skills in scenario-based combat which becomes quite rewarding. It’s definitely not as brilliant as its original, since it’s the same type of exercise but with a few different ideas added in, but MW2 is still a brilliant game in its own merits and stands proudly head up high above most other FPS shooters. This is a game every FPS and war veteran fan should definitely buy.

User Reviews

Dishonored (PC) - 2891 reviews

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Posted:
2013-05-23

8times8

Super Gamer Dude

7.7

Dishonored is a first person shooter created by Arkane Studios with the publisher being Bethesda Softworks (Yes, they do make more than just Fallout and Elder Scroll games.) The computer that this game was played to completion on has an Intel i7 processor (3.4GHz), 16 Gigs of RAM and an AMD 7970 3GB graphics card. This is to say, all bells and whistles were turned up to the max for the play through of this game. 1080p with 60 frames per second was the goal and it was achieved here.

Rats! No, this is not to say the game is bad as it is quite good, but that, there are rats everywhere. Welcome to the world of Dunwall, a town that has become infested with a rat plague. This plague is central to the story line of the game. The game's main protagonist is named Corvo. At the beginning of the game, you are the bodyguard for the Empress and are subsequently framed for her murder. From there, a very interesting whimsical tale of deceit and double (triple) crossing takes place that keeps the gamer enthralled until the game's end. The game was played with an Xbox 360 controller on the PC with the wireless receiver. Controller lag was negligible.

Technically, this game uses Unreal Engine 3, which is a very common game engine, used in games such as Unreal Tournament, Bioshock and Gears of War on the Xbox 360. However, this is a very modified version of it and it shows artistically in the graphics. This is a beautiful game as small touches such as debris in dilapidated homes and markings on walls add a distinct flair to the look of the game.

Gameplay has been the calling card of the game ever since the first trailer was shown. Imagine using Garrett from the Thief series, jumping around on rooftops, but also imbued with magical powers. Solid Snake and Sam Fisher do not have anything on this brand of stealth. Therefore, jumping from a three story building to do an assassination strikes a chord for the blood lust in us all. You are encouraged to use your environment for the best way to complete a mission as you are not given a large abundance of ammunition. In fact, it's quite scarce in the game so if you were thinking that you could Rambo through a level, think again. The game's story line can and will change depending on how you as the gamer proceed through the game. Are you violent and kill everything in sight? People in the game might not be willing to help you on some of your quests. These are some of the consequences that you face in the game.

As mentioned earlier, the story line follows the pursuits of Corvo after he is framed for the murder of the Empress. As in most cases, there is usually a heir to the throne for the sake of successful succession. In this case, is it the late Empress' daughter Emily. Emily becomes a pawn for many characters in the game as there are numerous people vying for power.

In conclusion, it's good to see that money was well spent here. Great voice actors and actresses such as Susan Sarandon, Carrie Fisher (Princess Lela of Star Wars fame) among many others lead this all-star cast. This is Arkane's first ever game together, but they have shown that they are willing to compete with the best developers out there. With knowledge that this game sold extremely well and this is now a franchise, let's cross our fingers that Dishonored 2 blows us away as much as the first Dishonored has.

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Posted:
2013-06-21

omanic

Super Gamer Dude

8.4

Battlefield 4 on the PlayStation 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts, this is the actual sequel to Battlefield 3 as the story continues.

The Battlefield series is about to add Battlefield 4 to its collection and, from what is so far known, it takes the war game genre to another level of sophistication. There are single player and multiplayer capabilities, with the multiplayer allowing up to 64 participants and this will almost certainly prove to be the most popular of the two. Game modes include Playground, Obliteration, Elimination, Commander and Spectator. Little is known about the first three, or whether there are more to be added to the list, but Commander mode makes a welcome return from when it was last seen in Battlefield 2142 and Spectator mode is new to the series and gives a new perspective to the play.

The Commander mode is really an overview in which one of the multiplayer participants takes on the role of Commander, and with his overall display of the battle scene, and view of the positions and numbers of men and vehicles, the Commander can direct the course of the overall action. Of course the Commander cannot actually take a physical part in the action which he is directing. Spectator mode allows a player to view the action from the position of another specified player, and in this mode the various combatants are color coded to differentiate squad members, team members and enemies.

There are three playable factions, USA China [Peoples Liberation Army], and Russia with the previous troop classes retained, these being Assault, Engineer, Support and Recon. Much of the content from previous titles is retained but there are of course many refinements and improvements both in weaponry, vehicles and gameplay. The game also uses the tried and tested Frostbite 3 engine.

Battlefield 4 has a bewildering array of weaponry among which are 5 assault rifles, 2 carbines, 3 marksman rifles, 3 sniper rifles, 8 personal defensive arms and, if your aim is not too good, 5 shotguns. These come with various optical and laser aiming and pointing devices as well as bayonets, knives and variations of ammunition. There are, in addition, 7 explosive devices including mines and grenades.

The vehicles also appear in a wide variety of forms. There are light armored fighting vehicles with their various mounted armaments, infantry transporters and heavy, main battle tanks. Then we have aircraft, both fixed wing and and helicopters, and marine assault craft. Many of these vehicles have specialized upgrades available for them.

Other elements which have been bought into Battlefield 4 is the mix of emotion, the game creators DICE decided this time round they would incorporate emotion to pull at the heart strings of the gamers, whether this will actually work is untested until the beta release is launched later this year. An example of this is teamwork, Dice stated that they want people to engage more with the on screen characters, making the gamer actually care about what happens to their team-mates whilst playing the extensive campaign missions along the dynamic landscapes in a war type environment.

If the advanced publicity, which is based on trailers and gameplay at exhibitions is to be believed, this game will be a great addition to the Battlefield stable which is currently thriving in all areas. It remains to be seen if rumors of female combatants being included are true.

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Posted:
2013-12-17

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

8.5

Is the horizon of the endless sea on sunset evenings a sight that inspires a deep desire to see what's beyond it? Do the quiet spaces in a forest where the leaves form dappled shadows intrigue you? Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live on a volcanic isle with a dragon as your roommate?

If these questions resonate with you, The Wind Waker HD, Nintendo's Gamecube classic reborn in high definition resolution, is a game you should consider.

What awaits is a sprawling adventure in a whimsical, dangerous cartoon world amidst colorful windswept ocean breezes and the mysterious depths of unexplored islands. When young Link's sister Aryll is kidnapped by a giant bird, he sets in with a talking boat called The King of Red Lions to find her. He is embroiled in a conflict far bigger than the player imagines when his fate crosses that of a band of sea-faring pirates.

Link will make friends with leaves that play fiddles, fire cannons at monstrous sea creatures, climb a tower of light and encounter an island wrapped in a powerful gale. He can also choose to chase pigs, feed map-writing fish, confront a roving band of bratty bullies, take selfies and hunt for buried sea treasure. The adventure is diverse and vacillates between humor and pathos like a well-kept metronome.

This installment does not follow the classic Zelda formula of journeying around 10 dungeons on a sprawling land, like Ocarina of Time. The sea is mammoth, but no island is larger than a typical Zelda dungeon. Oddly, the amount of those traditional experiences is low. Instead, it subverts the franchise's expectations with bosses without dungeons and areas to explore that do not conform to the long-running franchise's expectations. The closer you are to a dreamer and an explorer at heart, the higher the chance you will be enchanted into its world.

For those who have played The Wind Waker before, the question remains: is the Wii U version worth it? Visually, any rough edges have been smoothed out, the images are bursting with renewed clarity and vibrancy in widescreen, and the journey is brighter for it. Some prefer the original look. It's like choosing between two wonderful landscapes in an art gallery -- make a choice by experiencing it beyond screenshots or movies.

Due to common and long-standing complaints, Nintendo has tweaked various elements like sailing, using the grappling hook, a certain hunting quest and the Nintendo gallery. Elsewhere, little additions like Miiverse messages that wash up in bottles upon the shore add to the dreamy escapism. A Hero mode is significantly more demanding.

Unfortunately, Nintendo says the missing dungeons were later used in Twilight Princess, but surely they could have designed entirely new ones. They've done it before with Link's Awakening, so that sounds a lot like an excuse. Even 10 years later, Wind Waker has areas that still feel unfinished.

Still, an unfinished masterpiece is still a masterpiece. Wind Waker HD awakens the dreamer.

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Posted:
2010-10-26

Mike_Likes_To_Write

Super Gamer Dude

9.1

Dragon Age Origins is brought to you by BioWare, if BioWare brings out an RPG game you can pretty much assume that its going to be brilliant. They created the Star Wars Kinght's of The Old Republic series and the Mass Effect series, which are both unbelievably great RPG's too.

Story -- 9/10
The story is blatantly stolen from Lord of The Rings, weird Orc's looking things that live underground trying to kill everything. Typical its down to you to save the day, however picking it apart aside. The story line is not only very deep but also very clever; many choices effect not only how people treat you, if they know of you, how they think you will act and in some case's if they will even interact with you at all. The character customization is great too, not only can you customize how the look and your voice but you have your own background story which you play though leading up to the main event. Race and gender also give an eerily realistic difference to how you can be treated in certain situations.

Game Play -- 8.5/10
The game play is typical of the fantasy RPG game genre, it offers a simple attack technique in which you character continuously attacks the enemy. However you also have special moves which give you a more fun part to play rather than to sit back and wait until every thing is killed.

Graphics/Sound -- 9.5/10
The visuals, to put it bluntly, are brilliant. The worst I could spot was one conversation where the pixels didn't match up in a small section of the screen. However that was it, the sound is very good! The voice's are almost perfectly synced wand suite the characters, and you may recognize voices which will submerge you even deeper into the story.

Extra's
The game offers plenty of hidden extras which will amaze you when they become part of your characters own story. The side quest offer much distraction when you want to level up your character, character customisation makes you truly feel as if your character is unique. With the three different race's and three different class's creates a practically different story for each, which gives major re-playability (Is that a word?).

Overall this game starts well with great character customisation and background story's. Which leads into an unbelievable free-roaming world with additional (and optional) followers to aid on your battle. Throughout your choices make subtly effects to your own story line until the end in which some choices become an obvious hindrance or assistance. All of this leads to a great game with many more features that will make re-playing fun over and over again.

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Posted:
2010-10-26

Mike_Likes_To_Write

Super Gamer Dude

5.8

Sam Fisher returns in Splinter Cell Convition; as all great fans of splinter cell will know Sam Fisher is now on the run. He has gone in search for his daughters killer for revenge. If your new to the game series and you didn't know the background story...unfortunately they don't really tell you in the game. Other than the obvious remarks to him trying to find out who killed his daughter your going to be pretty lost, which was kinda a big error to start with. Especially when they talk about people you never meet and then you find out they died and your left sat there like "well why mention him if hes not in the game?" and the game (if it could talk) would say "well you should know". Which is awful stance for the game to take.

Anyway...

Story -- 6.5/10
Tom Clancy is a well known writer who would never write the same kinda crap over and over again, oh wait! The game starts off well and different from the last Splinter Cells, you are on your own and on the run from your old organisation which sounds fun and refreshing until you hear some terrorist are about to take over America. Classic Clancy stuff, which is the problem. He's done this many many times and its got to the point where the next splinter cell either has to be unbelievably brilliant or the last one for Sam Fisher at least.

Game Play -- 6/10
Nothing new other than the pretty awesome tag and kill system. In which you...tag and kill, it gives some pretty fun kills to watch but I always think anything you just watch in a game that isn't story relevant shouldn't be their. However the beauty of jumping down on to some guy and shooting 4 other guys in the head in about 2 seconds makes up for the fact you really do nothing. The control layout is different as per normal to Clancy games showing that he is "a head" of the gaming world. Takes a while to pick up but not to difficult.

Graphics -- 6.5/10
Over all, pretty good. That's about it really...
The other thing is that it gave a good cinematic feel which is a good and strong way of keeping the story going, however the story isn't that strong to start with so after a while the cinematic interrogations become a pain.

Online -- 4.5/10
While you are probably already getting the feeling that I hate this game and i am picking at all the bad points, I promise you this. The online is AWFUL, certain games are not meant to enter the online world and is clear that Splinter Cell Conviction is one of them; in the past Splinter Cells it was ok but with practically no players online and many bugs it falls short of what it could have been.

So overall I would say this game is not the worlds best, especially for the great Tom Clancy its a bit of a disappointment. For all of those great fans out there I would say buy it despite all of the above, its interesting to see the direction of the NEW Sam Fisher in a darker mood and it reveal's some secrets that you may remember. Most importantly to all new customers who are thinking about trying Splinter Cell for the first time here is what I say: BUY SPLINTER CELL: DOUBLE AGENT its much better and you don't need to know anything other than the basics (Sam Fisher is one awesome super agent). The story is way better, along with the characters and the choices that will impact on if each side believes your a traitor makes it even more difficult to make some moral decisions.

(Just like to add; some other reviews may say the opposite but I aimed this for people who are new to Splinter Cell)

Hope I was helpful =)

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Posted:
2013-04-14

epicure

Super Gamer Dude

7.5

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is the third of four expansions for the wildly popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), World of Warcraft. Cataclysm introduces entirely new areas as well as updating the game overall and revamping the original areas. As an expansion it received wide renown, generally getting ratings of 9/10 and up. The expansion was revealed accidentally in February of 2010 and officially unveiled in May of the same year; it was released on December 7, 2010.

Cataclysm expanded the leveling system from 80 up to 85 and introduced two new races, one for each main faction. The Alliance gets the Worgen while the Horde receives Goblins. The new races come with new abilities, skills and story lines; Cataclysm also gives more in-depth back stories to the original eight races.

The expansion adds a ton of new content, with IGN's review stating that you can "expect to play for well over a hundred hours before you've really touched upon everything Cataclysm has to offer." Ten new dungeons and five new raids have been added along with 3,500 new available quests, and other quests have been restructured and improved. Archaeology was also added as a new secondary skill.

It also brought a huge update to the game, with major redesign of the original two continents with new areas and a somewhat different appearance, as well as allowing for flying mounts which weren't in mind during the original WoW release. The UI (user interface) was also updated as were the graphics for the game.

The plot for Cataclysm revolves around the reawakening of a dragon that hasn't been seen for two in-game decades (an aspect of the dragon appeared during the real-time strategy game Warcraft II). The dragon, formerly known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, makes a return as Deathwing the Destroyer. The game also makes use of the current political atmospheres of the Horde and Alliance factions, which saw a number of changes with the new expansion pack due to Blizzard's habit of having expansions reveal in-game history in the making.

Reception of the expansion was extremely good. 3.3 million copies were sold within 24 hours of release, putting it second all-time in one-day sales. Anecdotally, the game in the number one spot, Diablo III, was created by the same developer (Blizzard Entertainment). Metacritic, the aggregate ratings company, gave it a 90/100, which usually means universal acclaim. IGN gave it a 9/10 and is cited as saying that, "Cataclysm is far and away the most impressive expansion to an MMO ever made." GameSpot rated it 8.5/10.

Essentially, Cataclysm is a good expansion to a well-loved MMO. The millions of sales should tell you that if nothing else. If you're a fan of MMOs and RPG-type games, or already are playing World of Warcraft, this may well be worth your time and money. It prices for $10 on the Blizzard Store website.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

ratty

Newbie

8.5

I have never really been a huge fan of racing games. However, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Gran Turismo series by Polyphony Digital. I guess that’s because Gran Turismo is more of a racing simulator than a racing game. Gran Turismo 5 is the latest entry into the series and although it doesn’t live up to the hype, it’s still a great game.

Gameplay 8/10

As a racing simulator, the way the vehicles handle is one of the more important aspects of gameplay. In that regard, Gran Turismo 5 is a vast improvement over the games in the series before it. The physics system employed here really gives each car a distinct feel. Even a teenager with a learners permit can easily tell a 1969 Mustang from a 2009 Corvette with their eyes closed. Well, if they could still drive with their eyes closed. With that in mind, this is definitely not a pick up and play type game. It will take many hours behind the wheel for a Gran Turismo novice to gain any kind of comfort level. Although, the inclusion of many driving assist options make the transition from arcade racer to simulation racer much easier. There is one thing in particular though that many players, myself included, wanted to see in Gran Turismo 5 that was inexplicably left out. Well, it wasn’t really left out as much as it just wasn’t fully implemented. I’m talking of course about the allowance of all cars to be fully damaged from accidents. Yes, the cars do take damage, but it isn’t very realistic. If you hit a concrete wall head on at 200 mph, it would be crushed. Not in Gran Turismo 5. Here it would look more like you ran into a shopping cart at 25 mph. This is one area where the game was over-hyped, as players were just expecting more from the damage system in a game that was in development for 7 years.

Car Selection/Models 8.5/10

There isn’t a racing game in the galaxy with the car selection on display in Gran Turismo 5. There’s everything from an old VW van, all the way up to prototypes that only exist in some car designers mind. There’s even a DeLorean as seen in the Back To The Future Movie Franchise. How many racing games can boast that? All these cars look gorgeous on the track too, most of all the Premium models. There are two types of cars in this game, Standard and Premium. The Premium models are flawlessly detailed and feature 100% true-to-life cockpit views. Standard cars, while graphically acceptable for a PS3 game, really suffer from the cockpit view standpoint. Each standard car only has a basic shadowy interior with almost no detail. This is very disappointing since the cockpit view is my favorite view to drive from.

Tracks 6/10

Don’t get me wrong, there really is nothing wrong with the tracks in Gran Turismo 5. The low score is based more on lack of variety than anything else. Yes Polyphony Digital added day and night cycles and changing weather, but unfortunately this great feature isn’t available on all the tracks. This really makes for a high level of redundancy when you consider the vast amount of cars at your disposal, and such a small variety of tracks to drive them on. There is a Course Maker, but it seems more like a last second tack-on than a full fledged feature.

Sound 9/10

I’m not really in love with the soundtrack in this game, but that's easily remedied with the option to play tracks straight from the audio library stored on your PS3 console. Want to drag race while listening to Metallica? Go for it. How about a 100 lap race around Daytona Speedway while blasting Taylor Swift? If you’ve got the songs on your hard drive the opportunity is yours for the taking. Where the sound really shines though are the cars and their corresponding effects. Each car sounds exactly as it should and is easily identifiable by sound alone. Plus nothing beats the thrill of blowing away that rival car on a straightway while hearing my Camaro roar like the beast that it is.

Final Score 8.5/10

Gran Turismo 5 was over-hyped and it shows with the lack of vehicle damage, poor track selection, and a failure to have all cars rendered as Premium models. Even so, there’s no way to deny it’s an outstanding game because the positives far outweigh the negatives. Gran Turismo 5 is proudly displayed in my gaming collection and is without a doubt my favorite racing game in a long time. Hope to see you in my rear-view mirror very soon. Happy Gaming!

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Posted:
2014-11-06

Garfedout

Super Gamer Dude

7.8

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on the PlayStation 4 was published by Activision and Developed by Slegehammer Games, the video game is geared towards a first-person shooter.

War sucks, at least it does in real life. In Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare it is hard not to see it as one giant and entertaining playground. From the guys that basically reinvented what the shooter genre really is, Advanced Warfare is a continuation of their boundary pushing concepts. You've probably seen the commercials and watched the gameplay videos but those experiences will pale in comparison to getting your hands in a sweaty death grip with your controller. Released for the Xbox One and PS4 as well as the 360 and PS3, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is another blockbuster entry into one of our generations most storied franchises. Let's dive in and see what exactly makes this game so much fun.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has a pretty clear mission from the outset: it seeks to continually blend cinematic and gaming experiences until the line is indistinguishable. We can see how this happens with the addition of Kevin Spacey and Troy Baker to the line up of voice and motion capture talents for the game. Kevin Spacey plays the role of Jonathan irons, the President of Atlas Corporation. He is deliciously evil, dangerously charismatic, and always interesting. In short he's the kind of villain that you enjoy hating because you never know what he'll do next. These characters are brought to life with the type of reality that has only become possible in recent years. You can count the pores on the faces of the characters you run across and you'll be amazed by how realistic every little detail of these characters is portrayed. That's a lot of detail, right? Now imagine that level of detail while the world is blowing up around you.

The Call of Duty series has always been about trotting your character around the globe to kick butts, take names, and try and save the world. Advanced Warfare is no different. The chapter-by-chapter gameplay style works especially well as you traverse the planet as Mitchell, the protagonist for this story. You kick things off with an action packed tutorial-turn-full blown introduction mission in Seoul, South Korea. The gameplay tips come flying in almost as fast as the bullets and you are charged with quickly learning how to carry yourself on the field of battle. It's hectic, eye opening, educational and quite fun. The rest of the campaign will have you marching through a series of sort of familiar missions. You'll traverse battleships and fight your way through closed in cities all over the planet. You'll find yourself forced to take over bridges, defend them, and ultimately leave them behind. The gameplay has the traditional up and down flow of any Call of Duty game.

Advanced Warfare is set in the eponymous future but it never feels unbelievable. While much of the environment, in particular the cityscapes, feels kind of new and different it never takes away from the games tone: things are bad and about to get much worse. In fact there are elements in the campaign that starkly remind players of World War II. You'll see dark segments that include human experimentation, torture, and death. These are uncomfortable to watch but they give you the sort of juice you need to move forward and kick some baddie butt.

For fans that aren't enamored with the campaign and merely here to serve up some butt kicking online, never fear. Advanced Warfare brings the same sort of hectic, manic, and infuriatingly fun online multiplayer as the previous franchise installments. You'll find yourself weaving through all the different levels as you try to one up your opponent in the fast and furious game of modern warfare. You'll see new tactics employed by your opponents that make you furious and then curious. You'll have to spend hours online getting to a point where you can play competitively and defend your precious Kill/Death ratio.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is an excellent game for fans of the franchise and those looking to take their first mission for Sledgehammer Games. Advanced Warfare is sleek, sexy, and filled to the brim with popcorn guzzling action. The performances by the sound team and motion capture artists make this one of the defining chapters in first person shooter history.

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Posted:
2014-11-12

smeagol

Super Gamer Dude

6.5

The Walking Dead: Season 2 on the Playstation 4 is a action adventure game and is the sequel to The Walking Dead, the game was published and developed by Telltale Games.

Don't play The Walking Dead: Season 2 if you haven't played the original. The best part of the game is how a character in the original series grows and evolves into a fully realized, three dimensional protagonist worthy of the time you'll invest in each of the five episodes. If you haven't seen where girl protagonist Clementine comes from, this second season's greatest strength will be significantly diluted for you.

Well that's not to say nothing else has improved. Whereas the first season asked us to believe that if we shook its hand, it would take us on a journey where our choices mattered, all it did was deliver an electric shock. This time choices actually do have a rather sizable impact on the conclusion of certain story lines. Elsewhere, the graphics are a little nicer in that the characters look less like they're made of polygons and the trees resemble something more like real trees. That's about it.

There are still technical issues that Telltale seems to refuse to address. Ssometimes bizarre glitches will impede progress. Even on more stable consoles, there are intermittent graphics issues. They've put out 10 episodes now and one additional bonus story, as well other games on the same engine. It's high time they fixed these issues that detract from the experience.

What do you do in The Walking Dead: Season 2? Well, you start out alone trying to survive in a zombie wilderness in a promising first chapter, which is a great deal more original and has writing that is much more constructive to establishing a heart of its own. Then you join with the usual cliched crew of survivors in the second episode. It all goes tumbling downhill when a mad mastermind of Ye Olde Safeguard Against Zombie Horde clearly inspired by the series' Governor character appears. From then on, it's a matter of Choose Your Own Zombie Cliche.

The problem is that Telltale isn't as good as this kind of thing as you might imagine from the praise the series has gotten. Telltale used to make games based on comedy properties: old point and click adventures like Sam & Max and Monkey Island, or animation and movies that depended on funny, memorable properties like Strong Bad, Back to the Future or Wallace & Gromit. The Walking Dead owes just as much of its interface to the tradition of those old adventures games where you select icons to look, talk, use or interact with objects and people, but it's really in the style of Japanese visual novel games which have you pick choices from available options at plot junctures. More importantly, because these are not comedy characters who build their identities through the standard point and click style of comical dialogue responses to clicking on the environment, the characters in Walking Dead: Season 2 come off as flat.

This was not as much a problem in the first season, because Telltale was largely plagiarizing in that one. Without an extremely inspired and masterful zombie novel behind it -- The Road is perhaps the best of its kind in written fiction -- Season 2 flounders. It can't fall back on the cultural ties a bond between an adult protecting a child can bring to a story. While not as manipulative in the same way, you can see the Telltale writers working hard from their Scriptwriting 101 classes to make you feel for characters by forcing contrived expository dialogue down their throats.

Dear Telltale, please observe that there are thousands of ways people get to know each other and form bonds that can cause emotional strife in a story. Picking and choosing from the most obvious exposition devices possible in order to let players choose who they save and who they let die is just as manipulative as exploiting the natural tendency to want to protect children in the first game.

In the end, just like one might read a romance novel for the heartbreak and passion of the inevitable hookup, or a fantasy novel for the creativity of its lore and world, The Walking Dead: Season 2 on the Playstation 4 is best left as a curio for those who really love their apocalyptic fiction.


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