The most fun I've ever had in a Battlefield game was in 2010's Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
That's not to say it's the best title in the series or anything like that, mind you -- just that it arrived at the right time for me a...
Telltale Games has today lifted the lid on The Walking Dead: Season Two. Another installment of utterly depressing zombie sorrow is coming out way. It is a time to be both excited and fearful. There will be so much sad!
As suggested by the screenshots and teaser trailer, players will now directly control Clementine, struggling to outwit the undead horde and, inevitably, some human shits who'll doubtless use the zombie plague to be terrible people. You know how it goes.
Set to begin "later this year," Season Two will appear as five episodes that can be purchased individually, or bought upfront for $22.49. Additionally, a "Game of the Year" edition of Season One will be sold for $29.99 before 2013 is over, and it'll include the 400 Days stopgap episode.
[Editor's Note: Our copy of Assassin's Creed IV came in late and, as a result, the review by Conrad Zimmerman will be tardy as well. We hope this piece by Chris will help tide you over.]
It turns out Ubisoft made good on its promise to not shove the modern day portion of Assassin's Creed IV down your throat. Throughout my time with the game, there are only a scant few portions that require you to venture outside of the exciting, debauchery-filled life of Edward Kenway, and into the present day.
But you know what? I actually spent a lot more time in it that I had initially planned, because the developers made an interesting call -- they made the real world sub-plot ancillary to the core game. And it was the right choice.
[Update: Official trailer added. Extinction is described as a "1-4 player cooperative game mode featuring a unique blend of fast-paced survival action, FPS base defense, scavenging and class leveling." Get to the chopper.]
I've always found Treyarch's Zombies mode to be a fun bonus for the studio's otherwise fairly serious Call of Duty games and have longed for Infinity Ward to offer something similar in its titles. Seems we may be getting exactly that in Call of Duty: Ghosts if an image of a loading screen for "Extinction" (shown below for the spoiler averse) is to be believed.
Aliens? Yeah, looks like it. There's been an official teaser that matches the design of the creature as well as achievements for Ghosts that reference the mode. Neat. I'd assume we'll hear more from Infinity Ward leading up to launch but, if not, that's only a week off.
Batman: Arkham Origins had to endure a lot of cynicism from the peanut gallery as it rushed headlong from sudden announcement to pre-Christmas release. It's hardly surprising, too -- after the Arkham series earned high critical acclaim, the third installment appeared to be little more than a hollow cash-in.
It was set to be a contentious prequel, Warner Bros. announced downloadable content in tandem with the reveal of the full game, a pointless multiplayer mode was added, and it had switched developers from the beloved Rocksteady to the less lauded Warner Bros. Games Montréal and Splash Damage. Most people had come to expect little more than a stopgap release -- a bit of filler, made to scrape a quick buck off the Arkham name simply because that's what could be done.
Guess what. Arkham Origins is exactly what most people expected. Except slightly worse.
2K has just announced that the first major DLC for BioShock Infinite, Burial at Sea: Episode 1, will be available on November 12th for $14.99 (or included with your Season Pass). This date is a worldwide release for the PS3, 360, and PC, so no timed exclusive or staggered release nonsense here -- everyone is getting it at the exact same time.
Burial at Sea features a self described "film-noir" themed story as you explore the original BioShock's Rapture setting, and encounter some "old friends." I have no idea what to expect from it, but rest assured I'll be trying it out at launch with the rest of you. I'm just glad it's happening right before the massive double-console launch.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution was quite the accomplishment when it was released. It wasn't everything an old-school Deus Ex fan could ask for (those boss fights), but it was a very reasonable compromise, and a great game in its own right.
Fast forward over two years later, and the Director's Cut is now gracing the twilight of the current console era, with new content and improved visuals in tow. While I'm not quite sure those extras are enough to sway fans who have already beaten the game from top to bottom, the good news is it's still the same great game we all enjoyed back in 2011.
When Demon's Souls was released and I wrote up my review, many readers didn't believe that I had actually completed the game. But I didn't get what all the buzz was about, because I've never found the Souls series to be particularly tough -- at least, compared to some other games out there.
The real reason I enjoy them is because they constantly make you think, and consistently challenge your sense of security. The Souls series is a paramount achievement in gaming because you never truly feel at ease, even in many of the supposed "safe zones."
After it was announced that Dark Souls II would be streamlining some features to more accommodate players of all skill levels, I was a bit taken aback, mostly because I feared that From Software would go overboard and remove what made the franchise so magical in the first place.
Thankfully, most of my fears were squashed after actually playing it, although I do have some slight concerns.
[Update: If you're curious about those PlayStation 4 or Xbox One bundles that you pre-ordered GameStop and Amazon have both released a statement detailing what they'll be doing.]
Ubisoft has pushed two of its high-profile titles, Watch Dogs and The Crew, off until its next fiscal year. Watch Dogs was originally slated to help round out this year's annual holiday crush in late November. The Crew never had a formal release date, but was expected in the first quarter of 2014.
Now, both of them are expected sometime after April 1, 2014. With regard to Watch Dogs, the development team said "We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience."
The Watch Dogs news doesn't come as much of a surprise, given that Ubisoft hasn't ramped-up the marketing as one would expect with a game that's set to come out in a month. However, it's quite the blow for people that were looking forward to picking it up alongside an Xbox One or PS4.
Skylanders has had a bit of an odd history. Initially, it launched under the auspices of the Spyro name, and made a very small splash in the market -- so small, that barely anyone knew what it was. Fast forward to six months later, and it was the hottest toy on the shelves, so much so that many retailers couldn't even keep it stocked consistently.
A sequel was greenlit, and the rest was history, as Activision raked in over a billion dollars from the Skylanders franchise alone. It's a massive success, and now, the third iteration is attempting to claim the throne once again, fighting off the juggernaut that is Disney Infinity.
Let's just say it's going to be a very interesting holiday season for videogame toys.
It's believed that Grand Theft Auto V will release for PC in the first quarter of 2014, reports Eurogamer. "I don't think it'll be console exclusive very long," said Chris Silva, an Intel director of marketing, chatting with PC Gamer. "But that's what happens when you have a brand new launch with two companies that have lots of money trying to make sure they have content."
Rockstar's official line on the matter is that "We don't have anything to share about the possibility of a next-gen or a PC platform release at this time and we are completely focused on delivering the best possible experience for the consoles people have right now."
While I'm thankful to get some GTA V time in using Conrad's copy, truth be told, I'm cautious not to get too invested in the main story knowing how much better the game could be on PC. GTA Online, however, I don't mind playing now. Until roaming gangs of players mercilessly and systematically hunt me down. Actually, that's kind of hilarious, in retrospect.
Before Heavy Rain’s release, Quantic Dream founder David Cage said that he didn’t want players to go through the story more than once. “It’s going to be unique to you. It’s really the story you decided to write,” he said in an interview with G4. “I think playing it several times is also a way to kill the magic of it.”
I never played Heavy Rain, because at the time I didn’t have a PlayStation 3 and when I did eventually get access to one, the game wasn’t on my radar any longer. Indigo Prophecy, however, stuck with me. Volumes have been written about the impressively idiotic final act, but I was fascinated by the game as a whole. It remains the only game I have ever completed within a single day (on my first playthrough, anyway).
But I decided that I wouldn’t miss Beyond: Two Souls. Good or not (and more likely the latter), I knew that people would be talking about its narrative for a while. Fortunately, I was able to get an early copy, so I marathoned it over the weekend to stay ahead of the curve. And as I played, making my decisions big and small, I wondered what I was missing. Then I realized that doing so would ruin what little magic exists in that first playthrough.
So for perhaps the only time ever, I’m going to echo the words of David Cage: Don’t play Beyond: Two Souls more than once. In fact, don’t play any choice-centric game more than once.
If you haven’t played the eXcellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you should. However, now there is a caveat to that. You should play it, but you should probably wait until November 12 to do so because that’s when the Enemy Within eXpansion comes out
Those who own Enemy Unknown on PC or Mac will need to plunk $30 down on the expansion and start a new XCOM campaign to eXperience the content. Console owners can nab a bundle of Enemy Unknown, all its DLC, and Enemy Within for $40, which is a particularly lovely deal if you haven’t picked the game up yet.
Grand Theft Auto V was undoubtedly one of the most exciting open-world games in recent memory, but the question remained -- how much would Grand Theft Auto Online add to the package? At first, it was looking pretty good for GTA Online, because in my initial impressions period, I had very little problems getting online and playing. But unfortunately, it seems to have only gotten worse as of late.
Rockstar has a really great game on its hands -- perhaps its best multiplayer offering to date by a mile. The company just really needs to get all of the crippling online issues out of the way as soon as possible.
I recently got to play a solid few hours of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and was able to do whatever I wanted, outside of the select core missions Ubisoft wanted to specifically show off. There was a lot to do, but I wanted to focus specifically the open ocean world and how you'll be interacting with it here.
Why? Because it was easily my favorite new feature for the Assassin's Creed series due to it being something fresh and different. Plus I liked ramming my big ship into tiny little ships because I'm the best pirate ever.
It's hard to divorce David Cage, the public figure, from the games Quantic Dream makes. He is, after all, a man who put himself in Indigo Prophecy's tutorial, immortalized as the movie director he's always dreamed of being. The self-styled auteur fiercely believes in being the one man with the one vision, and gladly takes credit for his games' success in doing so.
The auteur theory is all well and good, but it only really works out for a piece of art if the auteur in question is good enough to actually be an auteur. I've believed for years that Cage, while an undoubtedly talented man, is simply not a strong enough creator to be an unchallenged writer and director. If Beyond: Two Souls does anything right, it's prove that belief.
It demonstrates, beyond doubt, that Hollywood actors, cutting edge-visual technology, and a decent budget mean nothing, if it's all being piled onto a ship with an unsuitable captain.