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Call of Duty: Black Ops II on the Xbox 360 is a first-person shooter video game, developed by Treyarch and published by Activision.
Well it's that time of year again. There's another Call of Duty out and of course it's immediately the best game in the series yet, the best selling in the series, the list goes on. So here's what I think of it. Whether you agree or not well that's up to you. So, here, we...go.
Black Ops 2 probably has one of the most interesting stories in the Call of Duty series to date. Using a similar system as the original Black Ops where the story alternates between flashback sequences, set in the 1980's towards the end of the Cold War where the player controls Alex Mason, and present day sequences set in the year 2025 where the player controls Mason's son David. The story is centered around the game's antagonist Raul Menendez with the flashback missions telling the story of what caused Menendez hates America and his decision to take revenge of both the USA and the Western world. The present day sequences then go on to detail what Menendez's revenge involves and how it is carried out whilst David Masons struggles to prevent Menendez's devious plan from coming to fruition.
What is, perhaps, the most interesting feature of the game's story is the use of an RPG-esque mechanic where the player's actions throughout the game effect the outcome of the story. This is effected by factors such as the choices the player makes at certain points, whether the player finds hidden information in certain missions and whether or not the player successfully completes RTS style strike force missions.
Personally I would have liked them to keep the game's setting entirely in the future which is far more entertaining and interesting than the 1980's sequences. On another personal note it felt like the characters were for some reason unknown to all but the writers are all overly gruff about everything for no reason at all. In fact it got to the point that I found myself quoting lines from Batman at points which was entertaining up to the point where I lost my voice.
Overall the angle the story is approached from makes up for the fact that in terms of writing it is merely average at best.
Black Ops 2's multiplayer is largely the same as previous Call of Duty titles. It offers a smorgasbord of game types in which any player will surely find something to keep them entertained for hours on end. What is perhaps the most interesting feature of the multiplayer is the class customization.
Firstly Black Ops 2, unlike its predecessor has returned to the treadmill style unlock system of leveling up to unlock new weapons and then using these weapons to unlock attachments for them which is frankly a terrible system, however the unlock points system has been kept for score streaks, both types of grenades, perks and wildcards. But that's not the point.
The main point of interest is the 10 slot system that is used. Put simply the player is given 10 slots which the player can use for weapon's attachments, perks, grenades and wild cards. This gives the player a certain level of freedom as they can choose any combination of weapons, attachments, perks, grenades and wildcards. This means that the player can go with the standard loadout of primary weapon, secondary weapon, 3 perks and both lethal and non-lethal grenades. It is the addition of wildcards is what gives players the increased freedom. Wildcards give players bonuses ranging from carrying multiple primary weapons to extra perks meaning that a player could choose to go weapons heavy with 2 assault rifles with lots of extras but no perks or they could choose to take just a pistol but have lots of perks that give them little advantages over other players.
The kill streak system has also received a makeover. Although the rewards are the same as the previous titles but with a futuristic twist such as the K-9 robot dogs. However, this time around instead of getting a certain number of kills to get a reward. Players must now earn a certain score instead of kills. This feels like an attempt at encouraging teamwork as the required scores are often awkward numbers such as 450 points which is the equivalent of four kills and an assist, however this doesn't really do much in the end as it can easily be over come by just getting an extra kill and going over the required score.
To be perfectly honest with you the multiplayer is just the same as the previous games in the series and anyone reading this will probably know whether they like it or not already.
So, here we are at the final verdict. Now I could give this a score out of 10 but frankly that's pointless because my definition of let's say 8 out of ten will be different to everyone else's so I'll just summarize the game and let you make the decision for yourselves. Black Ops 2 is, for all intents and purposes, a Call of Duty game. If you don't like Call of Duty already then you won't like this one. If you're new to the series it's a decent entry point for learning how the game works and getting used to the game but don't expect most of the new features such as score streaks to be in the next edition as it will most likely revert to the Modern Warfare set up.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II on the Xbox 360 is really aimed at players who are already invested in the series but want to see a bit of an innovation to the game but not so much that it's an entire overhaul.
Despite the substantial content of the game, there is far too much redundancy to keep the attention of the player for a long time, and given the fact that it will take twenty hours or so to get to the conclusion of the game it does require a long attention span and this is likely to be too long for the quality of the content. The video game draws heavily on mythology and tells the story of the life of Perseus who is the mortal son of the chief of the gods,Zeus. Perseus is caught in the middle of some mischievous fighting between the gods, and you, as Perseus, are seeking vengeance for the death of your adopted family for which Hades, who is the lord of the underworld, responsible.
The adventure is never smooth sailing for the main character, and during the course of the game you will encounter various forms of evil characters. Your primary defensive technique against these are the light and heavy attacks but also a button press will be capable of releasing special attacks such as axe swings or perhaps a number of blades from your preferred weapon. The fights most of the time involve more than one assailant and so the best way to survive is to choose to fight one at a time, choosing to fight more than one if they are already weak.
Taking down a particular opponent quickly will earn you rewards which include bones, metals and gems which can be utilized for weapon upgrades. If a specific weapon has distinct capabilities the game may need you to find certain selected items or materials.
There is not much thinking required in playing since there is no puzzle solving involved. Some thinking is required unintentionally however to unravel the texts for the quests which are on the whole very unclear, making the player struggle to make out what the game wants him to do.
The environments presented in the game are recurring and repetitive especially as very often the players find themselves revisiting the same sites more than once to look for a certain item or to take down a particular opponent.
The challenge mode in the Clash of the Titans comprises specific missions which you have previously finished in the single player mode, and which are not so enjoyable the second time around. Aside from this, the lack of refinement of the audio and visual effects will also add to the list of downsides. While the soundtrack may be suitable to the tone of the game, it is frequently repetitive.
On the whole, the game experience is predictable, and despite the diverse and customizable loadouts of weaponry and a storyline based on the rich mythological tradition, the monotonous delivery and wearisome campaign will make you unwilling to play the game more than a couple of times.
The main characters in the game are Jack Slate, a police officer from Grant City, and his sidekick Shadow. Shadow is a Husky that follows Jack around and can perform tasks for him. Apparently, things have fully gone off the deep end in Grant City, and it's up to you and your dog to fix it.
It might confuse you early on, and then through the whole rest of the game, as to why a police officer would act like this. You don't arrest people, you kill them dead as fast as you can. Even unarmed individuals get melee handled until they're a broken, battered hulk. If you have a gun, you'll often bust into rooms full of bad guys, and just start blasting away at them, no warrant required.
One issue with the gameplay is the way the camera follows your character. Tracking behind your head will often leave opportunities for individuals chasing you to be unseen. It's not so good when you're chasing one enemy to take them out, and then find you have one that you have to fight on either side.
One thing that is nice is the addition of Shadow to the gameplay. Sure, you can have him run around and pick up ammo or guns for you by controlling him with the D-pad. The fun with your pet really comes in, though, on the levels where you only control Shadow. These levels usually have you stealthily taking out guards, moving their bodies, and penetrating ever deeper into the midst of the enemy so that you can grab a keycard for Jack, but there are also a couple levels where you can just run around as Shadow, killing enemies wherever you find them. The capability to move bodies and see enemies through walls as Shadow is a nice addition to the game that is a welcome change of pace.
Unfortunately, the graphics are not very welcoming, especially when you're playing as Shadow. The dog wasn't modelled very realistically, and in particular face shots of the Husky look fake. There are also issues related to clipping, and your four-legged character floating above the ground, instead of walking on it. None of these are enough to really take away from the enjoyment had in that portion of the game, however.
While Dead to Rights: Redemption doesn't offer a lot, the inclusion of levels that specifically let you play as Shadow somewhat redeem the game. If you're an enormous fan of third-person shooters, or really want to play a game as a dog, and you don't mind the extremely graphic nature of the killing, then this game might be worth filling a day of your time with.
The task of creating a realistic battlefield is very rarely attempted in the world of video games, but it seems that Operation Flashpoint Red River has risen up to the challenge and has in fact come rather close to actually succeeding.
However, despite the intensity that you can find it its very tactical warzone, you will find that the AI issues, some weak check pointing and the need to try the trial and error method in some areas affect that warzone. That aside, this game does manage to include a very well presented and very methodically situated campaign and some truly enjoyable multiplayer modes.
This game may have been a great first person shooter game but there exist a long list of technical and design glitches that keep it from being truly outstanding. It can be considered as a bit of a shame that they didnÂ’t iron these glitches out as this game could have been one truly fantastic release if it weren't for those pesky glitches that pulled it down. But as the case may be, the game is out and there is nothing much that can be done about them.
With this game, you take on the role of the leader and you lead a 4 man team in Tajikistan where you chase down insurgents who have taken it upon themselves to flee from the troubles in Afghanistan. Although it was meant to be a small operation at first, it quickly gets so much bigger and the army form China move in the country in order to clear out the insurgents that have taken to causing trouble in the Chinese border. It must be said that its story is indeed very well presented and mixed with some truly great looking scenes that do well to mix real life footage with videos from the game. But again, more perceptive players may notice that there is a marked lack of originality in the story line. This particular lack in originality is nothing new in games like these so there is not much of a surprise there. But you can still do well to enjoy the game such as it is.
In order for you to take control of your team, you are able to issue very specific commands. They start out as rather simple commands at first but quickly escalate to more complex ones as you move along in the game. One way to ensure that you are successful in battle is to make sure that that your small team is always in the right position to respond effectively an whatever situation may arrive, this way they can react quickly and efficiently as well. Take note however that your team has the propensity to wander off even once you have given a command and even more alarming is that they seem to wander in the line of fire often.
Just make sure to set your expectations when it comes to this game so that you do not go in hoping for too much and end up getting incredibly let down in the process.
Several years ago, if you were to mention to anyone that you would get to play Prey, you would have been branded as a lunatic. That is because after the idea was introduced to the press, the game never materialized as the team behind moved on to develop other projects and games.
However, in more recent times, it has again resurfaced; backed by a team that has come up with a couple of really successful and highly addictive game. While it is pretty much standard and does not offer anything groundbreaking to the genre, you will notice that it has come up with several novel, if slightly superficial twists that give it a slightly fresher look when compared to other games of its kind. For those who have heard of prey and were excited for its release, this might be very interesting news while those who have never heard of Prey might as well give it a try to see what all the hype was about a few years back.
The game starts with the main character sort of yelling at his image in the mirror. This dude is half Cherokee but he doesnÂ’t care so maybe you shouldn't either. All he really wants to do is bust out of the reservation with his girlfriend in tow. But while he is busy gathering the guts to tell her about the plan, they both get sucked up in some strange alien vortex. Oh and there is a third person to get sucked up that that vortex and that person just happens to be his grandfather.
Like any good game, the levels were designed to be very straightforward so that you actually get to spend a lot of time in actual combat and less time wandering about looking all lost and desperate. Also, like any good game, the heroes are always armed so that they are ready to shoot to kill at any given time. There are very interesting looking weapons in his game for the sole reason that the weaponry that you arm yourself with are all alien made; thus the reason for them looking all funny. One example of this is that instead of picking up the standard grenade to lob at the enemy, you will have to pick up funny looking bug things that explode. How is that for funny alien weaponry? But rest assured that they do the job and work just as effectively as normal Earth- made weapons.
It was mentioned that the main hero was half- Cherokee and while he didnÂ’t care about that before, he sure should be happy about it the alienÂ’s turf as it turns out that he is in fact a mystical Cherokee warrior and he can develop extra powers as the game progresses. These power ups really make the difference in the game.
While it is indeed an interesting game, one gets the feeling that had they spent more time on it, it could have done with some more improvements for it to reach its full potential.
It is the objective of GRID to give racing the sense of peril, reward and hazard which the remarkable PGR4 cannot match. What has been employed to make this happen is the Flashback feature which is probably the most resourceful trick of the game. If this is not present, most probably, the bloodshed and violence seen on the tracks will make the game horrendously exasperating but if the Flashback feature is present, the difficulty level is just appropriate.
An illustration of how the Flashback feature works is when you take a bad corner on the final lap of the race and your car gets smacked down by your opponent, what you will do is press the button for an instant-replay mode. Utilize the controls to move forwards and backwards, then you look for a good spot and finally, hit the Flashback button. At that moment, you will return to the race track and do what you have to do to steer clear from disasters which will destroy your race. Use of this feature is only limited to a particular number of times so you have to make use of this with caution.
WhatÂ’s more is that the vehicles in GRID are lighter and animated on the pitch and are predisposed to slide out if you apply excessive maneuvers with the accelerator and the brakes. The customization options of GRID are also amazing. Although, you can turn off all the driving assists as well as the race restarts and then subject the view to the camera in the cockpit, the experience will still not be as realistic as compared to other previous games.
On the other hand, the single-player campaign is outstanding. The GRID races are divided into 3 territories namely Europe, America and Japan. The races have varying types beginning from races that are straight touge, drift races and damaging derbies. The touge is a mountain racing tournament in Japan in which 2 cars compete over two race tracks. In contrast to the Racer Driver games of TOCA, in GRID you can start as a first-time driver with a battered vehicle to use. Once you have fixed your car, you can now begin to have your own team and compete.
Aside from that, you will have the fundamentals in managing a team. You will get sponsors of all sorts which can later be your source of cash once you can accomplish several goals of the game events. The visual quality of the game is also remarkable with spectacular tracks along with complete lighting effects. There is also the online play for 12 players which will make racing obviously fast and furious. GRID is an exceptional game and by far among the topmost road racing games ever released in the console generation.
In WWE 13 for the Xbox 360 you have several modes of gameplay available to you, some of these are Creative Suite, Attitude Mode and Universe Mode. I shall briefly outline features from these various modes.
The Creative Suite mode is pretty much self explanatory, this mode gives the user the ability to customize not only a character which you can create uniquely from scratch, but it also allows for the user to be able to change the Stadiums and Venues in which you will be competing. For example you have the option of changing the colors of the wrestlers outfits and the type of audience who will be watching the event. Finally the actual ring and logos can be edited, so this pretty much covers what the creative suite mode does.
In the Attitude Era Mode you play through a season of 65 matches, this also contains storylines and chapters where you play over a 2 year season. These chapters do not contain 65 playable characters, you only get to play eight wrestlers, a few examples would be The Rock, Undertaker, Kane to name but some from the selectable total in this mode of play.
In the overall game there must be upwards of 100 players in total, more if you count the various add on packs which offer much more. Overall it surpasses itÂ’s predecessor and makes for a decent game, more so if you happen to like wrestling to begin with.
There are a few drawbacks within the game, more to do with the commentary than anything else. With this type of game trying to get authentic commentary and matching it to specific gameplay combat moves is hard or nearly impossible. So from time to time the commentary is out of sync with the action, often with a lot of repetition, making it slightly annoying when you are trying to get into the swing of things.
Other slight problems within the game are visual effects, sometimes the wrestlers move in the most unusual manner which can get quite annoying, you would have thought these little bits would have been sorted in order to create something much smoother.
You also now have the ability to play online without the need to upload the content beforehand which is something a lot of people wanted, now giving you an opportunity to custom create your own player and go head to head against other wrestling fans.
This is probably the best wrestling game currently in production today. So with that said, if you are looking for a wrestling game of substance, then perhaps with WWE 13 you may have just found it.
In Spider-Man Edge of Time the user is presented with two different mission styles which take him both into the past and into the future, based around the timeline of 2099. In effect you get to play the classic Spider-Man and also the future version of the so called super hero.
This game does not live up to the high standards of its predecessor, Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions, the graphics are somewhat shaky, and the same attention to detail is just not there.
In this new version actions have consequences and how you interact within the game will also, in some areas, effect how the gameplay continues. As you spend most of your time hunting bad guys with no real sense of why you are doing this, it gets kind of repetitive and boring traveling down corridors and looking into laboratories.
The combat style of fighting is entertaining to a degree, however, if I had to choose between this title and the earlier Spider-Man I would go with the previous title as it is a much better game and the graphics, action, motions, and moves are of a much higher standard.
The game was created by the same people who made the previous title and so it is difficult to fathom out why this new title is such a disappointment. There are also fewer special moves than in the previous title. Granted this is not a follow up story to the previous Spider-Man, and the two games are not interconnected, you cannot help but make a comparison between the two, more so as they are designed by the same developers.
Overall the game is a massive disappointment, and being an avid Spider-Man enthusiast I expected more. It seems like they need to go back to the drawing board once again as it almost feels like the game was rushed, or rather no thought was really put into the construction of it.
Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed on the Xbox 360 was originally developed by Sega and like their previous titles it is full of spectacular colours and weapons which you can pick up during racing.
Following on from the hit success you now have more engaging weapons, better terrain, new characters, various new tracks which differ greatly compared to the previous encounter. I also like the way they have moved away from just racing on tracks, now one minute you are in a aircraft swooping down at lightning speed, the next you are racing on rough terrain as you battle against other competing racers.
There are plenty of track races but also varied off-road encounters, you might be racing along then suddenly there is no road, as your car turns into a speed boat.
The game reminds me a lot of Cars 2, except with this new game you have other vehicles and the graphics is much sharper, some levels use so much color it really is taking it to a new level. There are some color issues when traveling fast but this is only to be expected given the frame rate used in the game.
A good example of the colors used in the game can be found on the Roulette Rush Track, the attention to detail given on the track is simply marvellous. You also get various modes, I found myself spending most of the time in the Career Mode as a solo player.
There are also some new Vehicles which were not in the previous title, these include Gillus, Thunderhead, Vyse, and Gum to name a few, there are around seven to ten new cars, and each one has their own unique ability.
Overall, if you enjoyed the previous game, Sonic and All Stars Racing, or Cars 2, then this new title is well worth looking at, better weapons, tracks, vehicles, and the terrain off-road makes it much more free roaming compared to the previous games.
Forza Horizon on the xbox 360 takes gamers into the next level of racing, there is a huge transition between this title and the previous release Forza 4. The gameplay is superb and really sharp, the contract and the streets are real streets, and this is a massive improvement on the previous releases.
There are also game aspects presented in the game where if you hit barriers and various obstacles like posts and signs you actually get upgrades, which is a new spin on things. There are also speed cameras located within the game and as you drive through these it takes a snapshot of the actual speed at that given moment, this is turn can then be challenged by other players who try and beat the speed that was clocked at that moment.
The handling is also slightly different from the previous title Forza 4, the handling now enables a player to be able to regain control much easier which I feel has improved the overall experience within the game. The upgrade system on Forza Horizon is also very much lifted from the previous release, you get the same old Rim Style, Engine, Carburetor, I expected them to upgrade this to include new elements and choices but sadly this was not to be.
Another problem with the game which should have been addressed is the more top level cars, granted they have included many more cars than the previous games, however you only have certain options to upgrade certain cars, rather than adopting this model and applying it to all cars, I felt they should of gone that extra mile.
Overall the game is incredible and the attention to detail is superb, I love traveling to the Festivals and seeing all the rides and people that are about, also having the option to engage in various things, from spray painting your car, to races to other pleasures which adds to the overall experience and gameplay.
One of the things with the Xbox 360 is you also have the option to take it online, where here you can take it to the streets where you can compete and enter races with numerous online players. They have scoped it down a bit, now you get to race 8 players as opposed to 15, this was largely done I feel because 15 was simply to many cars to be racing against at any given moment. The cut back actually works better, as they say sometimes less is better.
I would say that Forza Horizon is more geared towards street racing, whereas Forza 4 is more geared towards actual racing, the cars which can be driven in this game you may see on actual streets. So in essence the two games are modeled quite different.
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