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12:20 AM on 04.26.2013

Bioshock Infinite

The immaculately green grass of the cemetery swayed with the wind of this fantasy world known as Columbia. There was almost no noise, save for the distant sound of gunfire and the taps of the shoes worn by the heroes. I stared entranced as I tightly gripped the black plastic of my PlayStation controller. At last the pair reached the black iron gates of the grave the man and woman protagonistsí searched for. The woman's name was Elizabeth, a young and highly detailed character that I had grown comfortable with. Through all the many firefights that lie throughout my numerous play secessions I have never had to worry about her being shot, boost her to annoying places, or even wait until she got out of the freaking way. So needless to say, I was well contented with her existence in the story I found myself glued to.

There was a certain focus that came about once the plot began moving once more as Booker and Elizabeth found their way through the gate. The game's villain came over the loudspeaker, speaking his usual menacing and ominous sounding phrases. Before long, he began his newest plot for stopping the journey which I had already invested much of my time on. I realized that harm may come to the character that I had become so contented with, and I gripped my controller slightly tighter, my eyes dared not leave the enthralling events before me.

Once the newest goal had been laid before me by the large text in the center of my screen, I finally had the chance to once again fight against the armed men and women of Columbia. I was frustrated to find that the two weapons I had chosen in my severely limited inventory were low on ammo. The issue arose from the fact that this created a reliance on nearby weapons that simply did not perform to the level of my two choices. I settled for the abundant generic machine guns and shotguns that littered the vibrant grass.

Regardless I was satisfied with the detailed and gory deaths that the combination of my gunfire and vigors created. Though some of the vigors were much more useful than others, and the variety of my foes was limited, the fighting felt good. I continued along in my entranced state, continuously tapping the worn buttons of my controller.   read

9:39 PM on 01.31.2013

Medal of Honor: Warfighter Review

When I decided that it was time for me to actually write a review of a game, I couldn't help but be drawn to Medal of Honor: Warfighter. The memories of the old Medal of Honor games and the hope that the developers had learned from their last games problems only served to increase my interest. Sadly, I couldn't help but feel disappointed. Allow me to explain why this game seemed to fall short to me.

The single-player's story, first of all, has a pretty cut and paste story that most modern shooters seem to share. The story takes place after the events of the first game (Medal of Honor 2010), I don't want to spoil too much in case someone may actually be interested in the story. However, I will say It revolves mainly around the terrorists acquiring a new explosive known as P.E.T.N, which has fantastic destructive capabilities. Like so many of today's shooters, it is extremely linear. The game will always close doors behind you and will rarely give you very much freedom of movement. However, it does offer you the ability to choose how you want to breach into rooms. Neat! However, there is not really much difference in the choices, sure they look different, but each one ends in pretty much the same way. If you place a charge on the door and blow it to smithereens your enemies will always be in the same place and react in the same way as if you had simply kicked the door in.

On the bright side, the animations for these breaches clearly saw a lot of work. They look very nice! You can tell the developers wanted them to have an authentic feel. Still, the only reason you would bother choosing anything different than the first breech you unlock is to see different animations when you go in. Another annoying issue I ran into is the difference in the difficulty levels. In that the only difference is this: bad guys have more health, you have less. This is made worse by the fact that some enemies seem to charge you randomly, and often right in front of your allies faces! So I think it's needless to say that your 'buddies' are brain dead, invincible objects, that serve only to advance the plot. I even decided to test their shooting ability by leaving them alone with 3 enemies. A half an hour later and 1 of the enemies had died, hooray, big help guys. After playing through the single player a couple of times I concluded that it was not that great.

So what about the multi-player? I will admit, watching the "Combat Training" series of videos on YouTube got me pretty excited for the multi-player. The idea of playing as my favorite country's special forces, using grappling hooks as the sniper to find good over watch points, moving fast and scouting the area as the point man. Or perhaps, clearing rooms equipped with night-vision goggles as the assaulter, busting open doors as demolitions, or using the latest technology as Spec Ops. Unfortunately a lot of these things just aren't available in the multi-player.

Firstly, I found it frustrating that I could not progress through the country I wanted to play as. The different soldiers are unlocked , along with their weapons, almost randomly as you rank up. Frankly, I dislike this idea, as it seems silly that if I want to play as a German spec ops, I have to wait fifty levels in to do so. Even though which soldier you play as seems to have no effect on whether or not abilities or weapons or more powerful. Meaning that it is largely preference, so why again do I have to work my way up the ranks just to play from the country I want if it doesn't really have much effect on gameplay? Sure each soldier comes with a weapon, but couldn't that have just been earned separately? Speaking of the weapons, however, I did like the many different camouflages you are able to unlock. There is even a Dev Team camo that I earned by killing a member of the Dev Team. Also, I liked the most of the animations (though a few of them seem to have been borrowed from Battlefield 3) each of them seemed to be smooth and good looking.

More to the point, how is it like to actually play the multi-player? Well to be honest I found it an awful lot like a mixture between Call of Duty and Battlefield. It had some features of Battlefield, such as a "rush" style game type and different classes. While at the same time having features of Call of Duty, very low health (at times it would seem the avatars are made of glass) "support point" streak rewards and small maps. However, all that cool stuff that the operators in the "Combat Training" series talked about is not present. Each class has a special ability, but many of them don't reflect the roles that the actual operators seemed to talk about. You will not see demolitions breaching into buildings, nor snipers climbing to clever places to fire from. The latter largely results from the linear level design, the maps are small and limited, allowing little space for clever tactical maneuver. What that creates is a predominately 'Call of Duty' feel in well populated servers. As when you are in those servers you will run into the enemy within seconds causing a natural lean towards camping and run and gun tactics.

Danger Close had chosen to make their maps smaller and to limit the destruction in an effort to enhance the need for thinking tactically. However, I feel games with larger maps seem to reward smart, tactical, play much more than smaller maps. As I found that you will likely do better on most, if not all, of the maps if you play as either: Point man or Spec Ops. As a result of this, matches are much more tactical, and have a lot more tension, if you play on servers with low population. Sadly though, there are few populated servers, so finding servers that aren't full or empty seems to be rather rare. I mostly found myself having fun only on those rare servers with low population, where I had the time to clear buildings and search for my enemy. Rather than spawning on my buddy and getting instantly killed by a grenade.

One last point I would like to bring up about the multi-player is the "support point" streaks. These are earned basically by getting points, I have never been a fan of this sort of system. As it creates situations in which the winning team does better and better, and the losing team does worse and worse. The main area where it attempts to solve this issue is by allowing the player the choice between a defensive support action, and an offensive one. The only problem is, defensive actions have very little use. The main two defensive actions you are most often able to use are smoke, and Fireteam replenish. Firstly, smoke is almost useless as it is very easy to shoot people through it, especially since it is not all that thick. Secondly, Fireteam replenish is only useful in very specific situations, as you can get infinite ammo from your Fireteam buddy so you don't need standard ammo. However, classes abilities cannot be replenished this way, so for that purpose Fireteam replenish could be useful, but, only certain classes have abilities that don't just regenerate or are infinite, and because of the low health you often will die before really needing it.

Overall, I was left rather disappointed, only really enjoying myself in specific situations.

Score Breakdown:
Graphics: 6/10 Above average
Story: 5/10 Average
Multi-player: 5/10 Average
Sound: 6/10 Above average
Gameplay and fun factor: 4/10 Below average

Overall: 5/10 Average

The game was not terrible, however it failed to really surprise me or cause me very much continued interest.   read

8:01 PM on 04.25.2012


I have to say after watching the debut trailer for the new game Dishonored from Bethesda, I am interested in playing this game in the future. The game appears to feature a steam punk style supernatural assassin who is seeking revenge. In addition to the games style, I am intrigued by the fact that the game is intended to be first-person and open world. This is a combination that is not that common and it could come out very well, or not so well. Still, as of now the game looks pretty good.   read

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