2013 has been a fantastic year for gaming. We already had amazing games, like Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us and Grand theft Auto V. The next gen consoles are already upon us. So yeah, it's been an incredible year. One trend that got popular this year was the release of prequels to major franchises, some examples: DMC, Tomb Raider, Gears of War Ascension, Gears of War Judgment and Batman Arkham Origins. The real question of this blog is, Were they necessary? Did they move the franchise forward? or Were they last gen cash ins? *Warning some minor spoilers ahead*
DMC Prequel/Reboot of the Devil May Cry franchise, developed by Ninja Theory. A game that made fans rage, due to Dante's new look. The developer even joked about this whole situation by making Dante wear a white wig. Now, comes the analysis:
Pros: Felt like a Devil May Cry game, Deep combat, easy to play, hard to master, Good Origin Story.
Cons: Easier then the rest of DMC's, Lame boss fights, Predictable Plot Twist.
Necessary? Yes/No. It's an interesting approach for an old franchise, but it could've been a new IP and still be a great action game.
Gears of War Judgment Prequel to the rest of the Gears of War games, it follows Baird and his Kilo Squad while they fight through the locust hordes. Developed by People Can Fly, the same developer of Bulletstorm, EPIC games trusted them with a really important franchise for the xbox 360. So, did they nail it?
Pros: Overrun, pacing is chaotic and fun, needed tweaks to the gameplay.
Cons: Boring Story, no horde mode, nothing to expand the gears franchise.
Necessary? No, this could've been a fantastic DLC for Gears of War 3, but as a full game it falls way short.
TOMB RAIDER Square Enix was brave to reboot a beloved franchise like Tomb Raider. A game that since this gen, slowly got forgotten, due to some lackluster adventures. Some of my friend didn't even knew Tomb Raider, until this reboot got announced. Now talking about the game, this one has to be one of the greatest pleasures I've had to play this year. Here's why:
Pros: Polished combat, Intense pacing and set pieces, Modern game design (RPG elements).
Cons: So-so story, easy puzzles and multiplayer.
Necessary? Yes, they brought back Tomb Raider in a modern and polished way. New strong competitor in the action/adventure genre.
BATMAN ARKHAM ORIGINS I'm almost sure that when this game was announced, everybody got excited. Until we heard Rocksteady wasn't behind this one. WB Montreal was in charge of developing the prequel to the Arkham series, they gave us a promising idea of what to expect. A young Batman, meeting for the first time some of the best assassin's, reunited to take him down. I was sincerely disappointed, here's why:
Pros: More Batman is always good, Creative boss battles.
Cons: Same story structure as Arkham City, no innovation in gadgets, falls short to the rest of the series.
Necessary: No, WB Montreal played it real safe. They almost left everything unchanged, instead of pushing the franchise forward, this one feels like a cash in, until Rocksteady announced their next game.
There you have it guys, Which prequels did you like? which one you didn't like?
November is just days away, and by now I guess everybody knows what that means. A new COD title is among us, this year it's Infinity Ward's turn with COD: Ghosts, but instead of talking about the new game, let's talk about how much things have really changed in the multiplayer. We'll begin with COD 4, i do know COD 1,2,3 had multiplayer but Modern Warfare 1 was an immediate hit.
Modern Warfare 1
The game that launched COD to the top, the first multiplayer that let the player choose their own load out. Creating a class in COD was simple, but at the same type deep. A word I associate with MW1 is addicting, leveling up made every match worth playing to the end. You could also select perks to aid you in combat, although they were some perks that felt overused, for example: martyrdom, juggernaut and last stand. If players killed others in a row, you were rewarded with killstreaks, UAV, Artillery Strike and Attack Helicopter. One issue with MW1 was the lack of host migration, it would be infuriating at times.
World at War
Treyarch decided to change the setting back to WW2, but that's almost all they changed. It felt as if they were afraid to take a risk, almost every aspect of the multiplayer was the same as Infinity Ward's. They swapped modern weapons with WW2 weapons, the same perk system was here, even with the overused perks. They did nail the setting, maps were extremely detailed, we had tanks in certain maps and this is still the only COD with gore in the multiplayer. Weapons on the other hand didn't feel balanced, snipers and submachine guns were extremely popular, specially the mp40. Still no host migration.
Modern Warfare 2
This time around Infinity Ward decided to expand what they created in MW1. Customizable killstreaks (Harrier Strike, AC-130,Tactical Nuke), Host migration, new perks, they tweaked around with weapons (you could now carry a shotgun as a secondary) and death streaks (really?). It all sounds like fun, which it was at the beginning, until people started using the one man army class. This class involved using a random assault rifle with a grenade launcher, one man army, danger close and a third perk of your choosing. This class got really popular, turning MW2 into an annoyance, since entire teams would begin playing with this class. Every new element added felt like they were oriented to newcomers. Map design didn't help either, camping is always a problem in multiplayer games, but in this one they even had tools to camp, scavenger, claymores and sit rep pro didn't help to solve this issue.
Black Ops 1
Treyarch took a huge risk with this one, the result was a fresh new take on the COD multiplayer. They introduced COD points, to purchase new weapons or perks, perk 1 was now associated with your character's look, new setting for the franchise, theater mode, combat training, wager matches, an emblem editor, weapons and your character were more customizable, they created one of the best multiplayer maps, nuketown, a funny dolphin dive and they added lag compensation to matches. They seriously redeemed themselves from the lack of creativity in World at War, a lot of new features, also improvements. One man army was gone, death streaks were eliminated, explosives got balanced, people without internet connections could now enjoy the multiplayer, thanks to bots. But not everything was perfect, lag compensation was a real deal breaker at times, hit detection was annoying, campers were now ghost campers and Treyarch still didn't completely succeed in the weapon balance department. Even with these issues, the COD multiplayer felt new again and that is a win in my book.
Modern Warfare 3
I guess most of the COD community can agree that MW3 is Infinity Ward's most mediocre attempt. This time instead of expanding the multiplayer, they decided to tweak things. Point streaks (Killstreaks) now came in 3 categories; assault, support and specialist, weapons now leveled up, some perks were either eliminated or divided into other perks, death streaks returned and they brought new friends like dead man's hand, new game modes for the franchise; kill confirmed, infected and face off. As you already guessed, these all seem like small tweaks in the COD formula instead of changes or additions. Infinity Ward tried to make the game for fast paced by reducing the size of maps, and that resulted in horrible spawns, lag compensation was still here and a problem. The game did have tons of weapons, some were just better than others, for example: ACR, MP7, PP90, Striker, Type25.
Black Ops 2
Treyarch surprised again, we had a new setting, pick a ten system, no more pro perks, no more death streaks, new modes: league play, hard point, multi team deathmatch, codcaster mode, COD TV, a lot of thing we loved in Black ops 1 return for Black ops 2. Almost every element has been tweaked to make the multiplayer feel balanced, but LMG's with target finder are getting popular. But overall this is one of the best multiplayer in the COD heritage. Lag compensation is still here though and maps do seem to be uninspired by design.
The COD formula has been tweaked a lot during this generation of consoles, but it's still fun. During this blog it's clear that if we expect any innovation in the COD formula it's coming from Treyarch. Infinity Ward has lost their touch and now seems to just follow the same formula they had in COD 4, but by now we deserve something better.
Thanks for reading and please tell me what's your best COD mp, here a link for a further analysis of the COD mp, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plxpJ7Nwc7s
Being a gamer during this gen has to be one of the best thing, in my opinion. We got some many amazing games, also we have finally seen how games can be almost movies. But, there is always a but, we as gamers may have been disrespected by publishers and developers. I repeat this is my opinion and I will try to see both sides of the issue.
My first disappointment has to be the quality of games, by this I mean the games that switched genres just to sell more. The most recently examples are Dead Space 3 and Resident Evil 6, both used to be horror games. Dead Space 3 just wasn't scary enough, it changed it's main core completely. Don't get me wrong, it was still a good game. I even considered it the best paced Dead Space, it always kept you on your toes, but the horror and survival elements were completely gone. Resident Evil 6 has only kept the name, because the franchise has really gone a different direction during this gen. The game is 30 or so hours long and they constantly try to scare you but they failed to nail the atmosphere. Not only that, the game just lacked any Resident Evil staples. The quality of games of some very important franchises has gone south, and why know the reason. Every publisher wants to sell millions of copies, but at what cost. Each year games are getting for friendly for consumers.
My second disappointment is DLC, when I first heard of this idea, my mind was blowned. I couldn't even imagine what developers could do to expand their games. Unfortunately, I was almost immediately disappointed, the DLC being released were map packs, this during the beginning of the generation. As the industry started growing, few games had interesting DLC, they were basically rehash of thing we have already seen during the full game. Now, among the next gen of consoles, it's sad to see that DLC has now turned into weapon packs, pre order incentives, micro transaction, season passes, even content that makes the game easier. Few games made good dlc, some examples are Borderlands, Star Wars the Force Unleashed, Dishonored, Fallout 3, Oblivion, they were at least not rehash. It makes me even more sad when DLC were locked into the game disc, for example Street Fighter X Tekken or Battlefield. We had to pay full price and then pay for DLC to expand our game, which ironically was already expanded when we bought the game.
Disappointment can be a harsh word, but when money is involved in the disappointment it suddenly takes another meaning. We gamers sometimes pay the price for bad advertising, and this is another disappointment of this generation for me. The most clear example is Dead Island, when the debut trailer released, everyone started creating their own take or theories on how sad and realistic the game looked. I have to admit the first trailer looked promising, I sure thought we would have our first zombie game with a great story.
Unfortunately when the game released, I was surprised by how different the game felt from the first trailer. Don't get me wrong, the game wasn't bad, but the game had no resemblance to the trailer. We got an open world rpg with some classes to choose from. The desperate struggle we saw in the trailer was just part of the level design in the game. Dead Island created a fan base because it is a really addicting game, well it's an rpg. Where was the desperation and survival seen in the trailer? Maybe I perceived the trailer and believed it was something else.
Dead Island got a sequel of sorts, called Dead Island Riptide which also had a similar trailer, but people now knew what to expect. Speaking of prequels, this gen had a ton of sequels and reboots. I can't really talk about sequels without mentioning Call of Duty, Black ops 2 currently the ninth installment in the franchise. Man are those a lot of sequels, surprisingly every sequels broke sales records of the last one. Assassin's Creed began in 2007 as a repetitive new idea, but when Assassin's Creed 2 was released Ubisoft really nailed the idea, and then again in 2010, and then again in 2011, and then again in 2012, and then again in 2013.
Some sequels weren't that sucessful, for example Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens Colonial Marines both "developed" by Gearbox. I feel sorry for the poor souls who bought those games at full price. But sequels weren't the only one dominating the market, recently we have seen prequels or reboots. Tomb Raider, DMC, God of War Ascension, Gears of War Judgement some of the more popular ones. Did we really need these reboots or sequels? Well, I guess publishers just didn't care. Some of these are really good, but others just felt like cash ins before the end of this gen. We also had the pleasure of having past gen games being coated with HD, mostly all of these were pretty good ones, but some like Splinter Cell Trilogy or Silent Hill Collection felt like the just grabbed the games and instead of having 3 disks, now we have them in one. They both felt unpolished and didn't age that well. At least we could relive those moments in HD.
This gen we had some really great games that leave you thinking if you made the right choice. Some of these games are: Mass Effect, The Walking Dead, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Spec Ops, Black ops 2, X Com Enemy Unknown,etc...
Every one of these games had some intense karma moments, should you leave in daylight when there less zombies or wait until night, should you kill everyone in a hostage camp or do I shoot with caution. We had a lot of games that let us influence the narrative or play them the way we want to play it. The Walking Dead was the one that really impressed me, I actually felt like a real *** in some of the decisions I made, and the game showed no mercy with the consequences.
In other games like Deus Ex or Dishonored, I usually avoided killing anyone, when on my playing the games I tried to see the situation from the enemies side. I didn't know why these people were defending the bad guys, maybe they were forced to work for the wrong side of the law, maybe they had a family to sustain and this was the only solution. These were the things I was thinking when playing these games, I mean, if the bad guy was doing this to start his own business he clearly didn't deserve to die.
In games like Mass Effect or Fallout it's unavoidable to take the renegade/bad karma path. In Mass Effect you feel completely bad ass, you can intimidate, punch, insult people or species. In Fallout, it's simply hilarious to go the bad karma way. You need a key from an NPC, and he gives a fetch quest, you can simply kill the guy and get the key, also it has VATS, you can't go wrong with slow mo kills.
But I'm really interested in how we gamers make decisions in games. Do you relate to the situation? Are you an evil clone of yourself? Are you usually a hero or a villain? Please leave a comment on how do you play these games. Thanks for reading and see you soon.
Every year, more games have demonstrated how cinematic they can be. I recently finished The Last of Us, and I couldn't stop thinking what a good TV Series the game would be. In this quick blog, I'll list some games that just scream to have a Tv series. This is just my opinion and if I leave some great games out, please comment and I'll make a list created by the users.
1. The Last of Us
Right from the beginning you know this game has a great universe to explore. If Joel and Ellie have a great story, just imagine what other characters have to tell. Everyone just scavenging to survive, living on the edge every day. The characters you meet through the course of the game have really compelling background stories. I do know this sounds really similar to the Walking Dead, but the infected in this game are different and change how the main characters could succeed every combat situation. Plus, with the hope of a cure on the way, it should be interesting how characters survive knowing it could all end and return to the way it used to be.
2. Mass Effect Franchise
Mass Effect came out of nowhere, it became one of the most beloved games of this franchise. Imagine if you could see this universe turned into a good TV series. Shepard would still be the main character, but in the TV Series maybe we could see other characters get the spotlight. Tali, Garrus, Liara, Wrex, Ashley, Kaiden, everyone could have tons of episodes just dedicated to themselves, we could see them before they were recruited by Shepard. Before every episode we could vote for how Shepard would react to a situation, maybe he could be paragon or maybe renegade, that would really be a great idea for the series. The lore behind Mass Effect is so huge, it could be a long series.
3. Halo Series
The first time a played a Halo game, I had the foolish idea it was just another shooter, but how wrong was I. The Halo franchise has had a few adaptations, for example Halo Legends and Halo Forward unto Dawn and even the rumored Halo movie. Halo tells the story of how humanity must adapt to the new necessities of war. Spartans vs Covenant, Forerunners vs The Flood, the topics are just too vast to be ignored, someone out their please make a TV series about these wars.
4. Metro Series
I know, another about the apocalypse, but the Metro series differ from the rest. They add a small tiny dose of horror to their story. The first Metro game had a great story to tell, mixing survival with psychological thriller. Societies have moved to the metro stations due to the fact that outside the metros the radiation is extremely harsh. Imagine all the stories of how the managed to survive, every single person down there in the metro has a different tale to tell.
5. Metal Gear Franchise
With the recently added Metal Gear Rising, they're infinite stories and characters to portray. Solid Snake has been in the gaming industry for years, so many adventures we've been through, so many story arcs. The real challenge will be how to adapt the stealth elements into a TV series, I mean how to adapt the franchise for the masses. When I started the idea of this blog, this franchise was the first that came to mind. If someone out their is already thinking about making something with the franchise, either live action web series or movie, whatever, please tell us!